Writers Block and the smashing thereof

Bleh. So, here we are ten days into my 25k word writing challenge and I've barely gotten 2k written. The reason? First off, after not writing for so long its incredibly hard to put down the video game controller and actually get back to work. Half of why I was doing so well in previous months was that I was writing on an almost nightly basis, regular as clockwork. I had words and those words wanted to escape from my brain through my fingers. For the past couple months those words have been building up and have found their way out via other outlets…mostly though killing lots and lots of demons in Diablo 3. The words don't get out…exactly, but the brain is distracted through the gaining of levels and the finding of loot. Its one of the reasons that I've sworn off MMO's.

Another problem with taking such a long break is that most of the details and flow of story that used to be right at the front of my brain has faded completely into the background. I figured all I'd have to do is read the last few chapters that I'd written and I'd be able to just pick up where I left off, easy as falling down. Nope.

I realize now this is exactly what happened to City of the Sorcerers. I'd get an awesome idea, work like crazy and write a chapter or two. I'd burn through the words, excited that I was finally getting it done, but then I'd hit a block and stop. I'd stop for a week, or a month as I tried to figure something out. I wouldn't write, telling myself that I couldn't write until I'd figured things out and could go on. But by the time I'd figure things out, I'd lose the flow, or whatever you want to call it. And eventually, I just decided to put the story on hiatus until I could figure everything out, because I had more interesting projects to work on.

Was that a mistake? I don't know, maybe? Its hard to say it was because, until recently, Impervious was coming along so dang smooth. Until I stopped writing it. And now I've got that feeling that I felt so often with CoS. The difference this time is that I'm not going to table it. I've got sixteen chapters written so far; the first act of the story is almost done. There's too much done, to shelve it and say, move to a different project. There is but one thing to do. Ahem…

SETH SMASH!!!


Catching up and latest reads

So, now that I'm all married, honeymooned, and settled back in, its time to actually get back to the business of being a writer. I'll admit, I probably could have kept up better with writing, blogging and twittering the last couple of months, but most nights I just didn't feel up to it. Work and wedding just left me too mentally drained to go about the business of being overly creative. Instead, I mostly read and played video games. While video games are largely a waste of time, they're also a terrific way to bleed off stress which is mostly what I needed.

Now that all that is over with though, I've got plenty of time to dig in and get back to writing. My goals from earlier in the year remain the same: Complete six 25k word months and finish Impervious by the end of the year. I'll have to cram a little make those six months, since I only have one of them done, but I still think its doable. To that end, I started a 25k month yesterday, writing a whopping total of zero words. Yeah, not a great start, but doing anything is nigh on impossible when you had the cold that I did yesterday. I'm feeling better, and doing better today, what with ranting over at Edge of December and actually blogging today. With those monumental tasks out of the way, I'll be able to get back to punching out the words for Edge and for Impervious.

If you're coming over from Edge of December, I promised some info on books that I've been reading lately, because I think that they need to be mentioned. So, here we go:

The White Dragon, by Anne McCaffrey. This is the third part of the original Dragonriders of Pern series and there's just not enough good things to say about the Pern series or about Anne McCaffrey. I know that her son has been taking up her mantle and releasing new books in the world, but trust me, start with the originals. They are classics of science fiction for a reason. Yeah, sure. There's definitely an element of “You got your fantasy in my science fiction. You got your science fiction in my fantasy!” Here, but when McCaffrey does it, they really are two great tastes that taste great together.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I know. Where have I been? There's a movie out now and everything. Even still, I probably avoided it because of the “Twilight Effect”. Harry Potter was awesome, and there can be no denying it. That was a sensation I could get behind because they were awesome books and it was an awesome story. And then the world blew up because of Twilight and it destroyed my faith in YA fiction for a while because of it and all the teenage vampire romance that flooded the shelves. So, I dug a hole and pulled the earth in after me and pretended that the world didn't exist for a while. Suffice it to say, I did Collins a disservice and would not have you make the same mistake. Hunger Games is a great example of a dystopian future and a marvelous use of the “lottery” story. I haven't read Catching Fire or Mockingjay yet, but they are most certainly on my to read list.

Star Wars: X-Wing: Rogue Squadron, by Michael A. Stackpole. I don't want to call this pulp, but I think it qualifies. If you're a nerd and you want to know what happened after The Return of The Jedi, then this is a great place to start. Michael A. Stackpole spins a good tale about the Rebellions most feared fighter squadron and this is only the first of them. The whole X-Wing series is a really good read and they've finally come to eBook format. If you're a fan of Star Wars I can actually recommend the entire Expanded Universe series of books, which covers a LOT of reading. But, if you want to start with small bites, the first four books of the X-Wing series is a great place to start.

I think that probably covers enough for now, I've got other things to write tonight and nobody's going to put up with a blog post that's as long as a chapter in the book they really want to read. But now, to writing…or actually dinner and then writing! Huzzah!


Quick update – I’m Back

You know what Hawaii is? A trap. A diabolical trap meant to catch a person and not let him go. We escaped by only the narrowest of margins. Sadly, my hat didn’t make it, and we mourn its loss even now. But, to the task at hand! Now that I’m back and married, I find my mind able to focus once again on the business of writing. I’d love to write more of a post tonight on my wedding, honeymoons and what’s going to be happening in the next few months but that’s going to have to wait for another update. Tonight I’ve got a story to revise and get off to Glenn who’s been patiently waiting on my Edge short story so we can get the next ebook out. So, everyone have a nice night and I’ll get a better update out here this week.


The editing process…

Great googly moogly! I’m getting married in three days.  I’m. Getting. Married. In. Three. Days. I’m getting married in three days! Words do not do much to express to you the true extent of my excitement at this point because I don’t know if I’m capable of explaining just how happy I am.  Yeah, its ooey gooey sentiment, but this is my blog and damnit, I’m getting married.

You may have detected a theme there.  Marriage…excitement…yeah.  That’s making it more than a little difficult to get actual, real work done here, though I have been making honest efforts.  I’ve got a short story due to Glenn who’s chomping at the bit to get the next volume of Edge of December up on the Amazon marketplace.  I can’t blame him.  Poor man, I haven’t even talked to him in two weeks or so.  Still, I’m in the middle of my initial edits, which is where I print out my story, and then poor red ink over the entire thing.

Normally, I’m a huge proponent of doing things on the iPad, but this is just so much easier and quicker.  I’ve tried doing this initial editing pass on GoodReader (which is awesome) and another couple apps that allow you to annotate pdfs, but they tend to slow the whole process down.  I’ve found its also invaluable to have a hard copy to reference when you’re going through and fixing the unlimited number of things that went wrong with your first draft.

God willing, this will be done with before Friday, and I’ll have a bit to work on while I’m in Hawaii!  One of the things I like to do when I’m on vacation is write in interesting locations and I plan to do a little bit while I’m on the beach.  Probably in the evening before it gets too cold but while the sun doesn’t interfere with my iPad screen.  Hmmm… Though getting sand in my keyboard doesn’t sound like too much fun.  Either way, some writing will happen in Hawaii.  Probably.  Maybe.  Tell you what, I’ll play it by ear.  For now, though, I’m off to do some more wedding stuff.


Look, I’m getting married in 10 days. Give me a break here.

I like my blog.  No, really, I do!  You might not know if from how much I’ve been updating lately, but I have the excellent excuse of “getting married” here in just ten days.  Yes, in theory I’ve had plenty of time to write blog posts, but honestly, I’ve just felt like sitting and relaxing with my bride to be most nights.  Other nights, I’ll admit there’s been things like Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3 which have eaten up my time like ravenous wolves on a nice juicy dear.  You can see the blood, guts and disgusting little bits of my schedule all over the place.

So, is this a “poor, little, wannabe author” post?  No, this is just an explanation.  I’m not gone.  Writing these things every week is good for me, at least in theory.  You may here less from me when I’m really into a project, but its my goal to keep this sucker updated at least once a week in addition to my other duties.  So, aside from video games, here’s what’s been going on.

A couple weeks ago, Edge of December’s server decided that they were going to change their operating system to something that was incompatible with the Frankenstein’s Monster of code that Glenn and his cabal of dark sorcerers use to bring the comic to the world.  So, for that last couple week Glenn has been assembling components, installing systems and sacrificing virgins to whatever dark god he pays homage to.  In the end, his fell work has given birth to Edge’s new server, and we’re back up and as shiny as we’ve ever been.  But the cost in lives and tears was great.  I suggest you go and buy an eBook or two.

Speaking of Edge, I’ve been working on the first Edge of December short story, covering Baron’s time in Russia and the misadventures that he has there.  I’m happy to say that the first draft is done and we’re currently editing it to go into the next Edge of December eBook!  I’m really excited because this will be the very first time words of mine could be consumed by the public at large!  Squeeeeee!  I’ll be expecting everyone to go and buy it as soon as it hits the digital shelves.  And by everyone, I mean anyone who stumbles across these words.

So, that’s a pretty good breakdown of what I’ve been up to for the last month, aside from wedding stuff.  Lots of that.  My next plans are to edit up The Hard Truth while on my way to and from Hawaii and maybe kick out a new version of that for some alpha readers.  For the rest of the year, I have to do five more 25k months to meet my goal…which means to make that, I’m going to have to be writing like a mofo until January.  I do like a challenge.  So, stay tuned, there may not be updates for the next couple weeks, because I’ll be getting married and then in Hawaii.  *does a little dance*  Who knows though, maybe I’ll give you an update from the beach as I sip fru fru drinks.  Until then, everyone have a good start to your summer!