Quote of the Moment

"Magic comes from what is inside you. It is part of you. You can't weave together a spell you don't believe in." - Jim Butcher

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Writing Blues

First, my apologies for not posting last week. And again, apologies for this post not being what I had planned initially.

I've kind of run into the writing blues lately. Part of me thinks it's the weather shift, the change in the seasons that has me a bit down. The colder months have a way of dragging me down, like I have this innate need to hibernate or something. Funny enough, I actually live in a town where someone once lived who was famous for "hibernating", or not leaving his apartment for the entire winter--his name was Arthur "Turkey" Gehrke.

OK, that was a tangent. Perhaps that's part of my problem too--my mind wanders into insane directions.

Now, I know many people say to just keep writing, push through, ignore how you feel. Unfortunately, my moods tend to affect my writing. It's kind of weird. If I'm not into the writing, it's obvious. That would be fine if I were working on a first draft and it didn't matter if it was messy, but I'm trying to revise Dead As Dreams! This revision needs to be the best it can be, as I don't want to wait for another five years before I start submitting the manuscript places.

I think my other issue is I'm kind of feeling left behind. Both of my crit partners are actively publishing things, either through an e-publisher or some of it indie published. They're so busy with their writing, and I'm at a different stage with my writing--I still need feedback, so the dominoes can go off in my head. Me, I had another rejection come back for The Mind Behind the Mind last week. I would consider indie publishing it, but I need the next two books in that trilogy lined up before Mind can be released. All of that takes time, and with running the house and caring for my 4-year-old, I feel like time is slipping through my fingers. So, I get overwhelmed and then depressed, which leads to freezing up.

I also know other people say ditch all of your hobbies/pastimes/downtime to write. If I do that I'm even more frazzled. If I don't have time to veg each day, I'll give myself an anxiety attack (I get enough of those the way it is).

What's my point to this post? I guess it's just a bit of a vent, getting my frustrations out there. I'll get over it all, I have to, because if I don't keep writing something inside of me will shrivel up and die, and I can't have that happen. I might just need to allow myself to take a break, to take it all one step at a time, and stop getting ahead of myself. It'll get done when it gets done, and one day I'll be at the same level as many of my other writer friends--it'll just take me a bit longer.

So, what do you do to get over the writing blues? Have you ever found yourself in a funk that makes it hard for you to write or work on other things? I'd love to hear what other people have done to pull themselves out of that funk!

NEXT UP: Monthly Update (Next Wednesday)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

SFFS Snippet - 9/15/12

Time for Lazarus to dance. "Do you wish the aid of a spirit seeker?"

The chief pushed his spectacles up the bridge of his nose. "There are restless spirits that refuse to leave their old home for their new one."

The dialogue was the same every time. A changed word here and there, but Lazarus knew all his lines. "When they see me, they will go home and leave you in peace."

"We wish them honor, not harm. They are souls that are dear to us. We welcome a gentle hand, Spirit Seeker."

From Dead As Dreams, Chapter 3 (novel currently in the revision process)

About Dead As Dreams:

Dreams are in danger and souls are chained to the earth. Aysa, the Shepherd of Dreams, and Lazarus, a spirit seeker, join forces to restore the balance between dreams and nightmares and life and death. They face a rogue spirit seeker and a manipulator of nightmares--both intent on unhinging the world, but there is yet another pulling the strings.

Please visit Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday (SFFS) to read more great snippets!

NEXT UP: Classic Voltron: Defender of the Universe-- Episode Two! Change of plans - Writing Blues!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Gamer's Lexicon - Entry 2

A Gamer's Lexicon series touches upon terms players use in video games. The terms here mostly come from my experiences in the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) Everquest. This series will hopefully help the non-gamers understand some of the terms gamers use. And gamers may find it humorous as well! If you have any gaming terms (from any type of video game or table top gaming) you would like me to address in the future, or if you think I should add something to already defined terms, please post in the comments--I may ask you to define a term though, if it isn't one I've come across before. Happy hunting!

The previous terms in A Gamer's Lexicon series can be found here:

Entry 1: RNG, RNG Gods, mob, loot, wipe

5 more terms to add to your gamer-speak arsenal!

Newb or Newbie - This term refers to players that are new to the game (or gaming in general) and don't know most of the ropes. Newbies tend to ask a lot of questions. Whether players want to admit it or not, everyone was a newbie at one time!

Noob - Yes, this is different than newb. Noob is actually more of an insult. When one player is upset with another, she may call that player a noob. It's like saying said person is an idiot, so much that he acts like a new player. People that have been playing a game for years do not like being called noobs. Don't piss older players off, as they may have no gaming etiquette and decide to train (term defined below) you.

Aggro - When you engage a mob, you aggro it. Most times attacking the mob with weapons or spells will aggro the mob, but you can also aggro it if it is hostile to you, or KoS (term defined below), and you pass near it. Make sure to have invis on if you're running through a pack of mobs! However, some may see through your invis and aggro you anyhow. Eek!

Train - To create a train, a player aggros a bunch of mobs, then she runs about with all the mobs following her. If she is cruel, she can purposefully run through another group in attempt to wipe that group--the mobs may decide to jump the group members and the player training will lose aggro. Some trains are accidental, though. A player who aggros a mob on accident may run for her life, gathering more mobs in the process. Most of these panicked players run to a zone line, which will end aggro. The kind thing to do when this happens is to call, "Train to zone!" so people standing at a zone line will know to move out of the way before they aggro the mobs and die!

KoS - Kill on Sight. Many mobs in games like Everquest are KoS to the players. This means, if the KoS mobs see a player, it will attack her immediately. There is actually a system where if you stay far enough away from the mob so it doesn't notice you, you can check, or con, the mob to see if it is KoS or not. But con is a term to be defined another day. =)

There are just too many terms I would have loved to list here, but I have to limit myself! Next time. ;)

NEXT UP: SFFS Snippet - 9/15/12

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

School Time

No, I am not going back to school again, but it is that time of year where school-aged children say good-bye to summer and spend a good chunk of their days attempting to cram knowledge into their brains.

My daughter started 4K yesterday. Now, this is only two and a half hours worth of school, five days a week (last year for preschool it was only two days a week). But when she decided naps were a thing of the past this summer, I lost my afternoon writing time.

School time for me, and many other writing moms and dads who stay home to care for their children, means more time to write! However, it's a shift from the summer schedule, a different routine that I need to get used to. The writing doesn't always flow from my fingers, and I need to get back into the groove of afternoon writing, fighting the afternoon sleepies the entire way.

I thought it would be neat to draw up a list of "Things writers do when they should be writing--the kids are back in school".

1. Take a nap because you've been trying to stay up late to write.

2. Take a nap because your children keep waking you up in the middle of the night.

3. Take a nap just because you can--the house is quiet!

4. Watch TV. Yes, I will admit my addiction to those court shows--I grew up on People's Court!

5. Play video games.

6. Browse the internet. So many blogs and articles to read!

7. Read Facebook posts and convince yourself that since you are reading posts from your writer friends, you are in some way doing a writing related task.

8. Stare at the blinking cursor, convincing yourself that you are thinking hard about what you plan to write or revise, when in actuality your mind is wandering to the episodes of "Big Bang Theory" that you watched last night.

9. Consider cleaning the house, but then remind yourself that's harder work than writing.

10. Blog. *coughs*

Are you guilty of doing any of the above when you're breathing a sigh of relief that you have a break from your children? Should you be writing or working instead? What other things do you find yourself doing instead of writing? My list is by no means complete!

NEXT UP: Gamer's Lexicon, Entry 2

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Summer's Over!

It's September 1, and even though the Fall Equinox isn't for another few weeks, summer is pretty much officially over. This is good and bad. Good because it's no longer sweltering outside (or in my house). Bad because I didn't make as much progress with some things on my to do list, especially in August. August was not a waste, though, as it included much needed family time. I need to have some balance in my life!

Of course, Hazard Yet Forward is still available for purchase, so please if you have a few bucks to spare, buy yourself a great anthology. Not only will you have numerous wonderful stories to read, but you'll be helping a good cause. =)

Since August didn't produce much, I'm mostly going to talk about my plans for September. I'm heaping the goals on my plate!

Dead As Dreams has been waiting patiently for me to dig back in to the revisions, and that's exactly what I'm going to do. After some reverse outlining, notes on the world history, and some character exploration, I hope to get a good chunk of the novel revised in September. I'm hoping I'll finish this revision pass by the end of October, just in time for NaNoWriMo!

In the next month or two, I will also be indie publishing my short story "Dancing in the Wind". It will be available through the Kindle, at the least. This story is a twist on the Wizard of Oz story--a modern Dorothy tumbles into Oz and finds that there are worse bullies than herself, including a trio of evil munchkins, one who happens to fear the color yellow. "Dancing in the Wind" received an Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future Contest. I'll be sure to post here when it's available for purchase.

As always, there is a new Writing Quest up for September. If you have any writing goals, even small ones, please join us!

Happy writing, all!

NEXT UP: School Time