Quote of the Moment

"What's Past Is Prologue." - William Shakespeare

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

NaNo 2021 - Final Wrap-Up

Where exactly did the month of November go? Well, it's gone. That's for sure - lol.

My kids failed as spectacularly as I did. Maybe if I had pushed myself more, they would have as well. But as usual, November ended up being such a rough time to write. Between planning holiday gifts, Thanksgiving, and some family issues to deal with this year, the second half of the month blew up in my face.

I did add 6495 words to Magic Morsel, so I exceeded 2020's total. And hey, I have episodes scheduled for that on Kindle Vella through the end of the year now. ;) Any progress is good progress, yes? Yes.

My 25k goal was still overly ambitious, though. That goal changed the first week, as I felt burned out after three days straight of writing. I think next year I'd rather take a look at my monthly word count average, and then aim to up it slightly for November. Now, if I remember that, all the better. In all likelihood, I'll want to try to torture myself yet again with an insane goal because... NaNo!

It's time to take a look back at how 2021 went and plan for 2022, which will be my next two upcoming blog posts.

I hope all of those who tackled the NaNoWriMo challenge are happy with their accomplishments for November, even if 50k wasn't reached!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

NaNoWriMo 2021 - Never Give Up

Oh, yes, it's that time of year again. Fall has descended in my area of the U.S. and winter is just around the corner. Halloween and Thanksgiving - holidays to be juggled (Black Friday, too, which is a holiday for some).

Wait, no, that's not right. Right, r...wite, WRITE! That's more like it. It's that time of year where a bunch of crazy writers attempt to write 50,000 words in a month. NaNoWriMo time! (There are some crazy writers who write this and more almost every month of the year - I feel burnout coming on just thinking of that possibility for me.)

So, this is my yearly National Novel Writing Month post. Not sure if you'll see any other updates on Born to Write in November, though I may add some updates to this post if I feel so inclined.

This year, I initially had the intention of aiming for the 50,000, since I've never hit 50,000 in a month (not just during NaNo). Then I made a schedule for myself and realized how unrealistic aiming for 50,000 was at this time. I think if I go for 50,000, between the holidays and kids, I'd burn myself out for all of 2022, and I don't want to do that.

25,000 sounds way more doable, and a goal I've aimed for many NaNos in the past, though I also never reached it. My best NaNo year was 2015 when I hit 20,214 words. Even if I simply eclipse that by a handful of words, I'll be happy. As I've said before, NaNo is a way for me to challenge myself and push my limits. But there's a fine line between pushing limits and being completely unrealistic.

Of course I'll be a NaNo Rebel this year in more than word count. I'm planning to add onto Magic Morsel so I can at least finish the current "arc" of the episodes and have enough to publish one episode every Friday through the rest of the year on Kindle Vella. And I've also been chomping at the bit to get back to Gemini's Echo. Therefore, those are the two titles I'll be adding words to come November 1.

I'm going to try the NaNo Bites thing again. Here's hoping it imbeds nicely into this post, but if not, here's a direct link: NaNo Bites 2021.

Stickers are fun. XD Here's hoping I can at least get 50 of them - 500 words = 1 NaNo Bite!

Both of my kids want to take part in NaNo this year, too. That'll be extremely interesting for the grade schooler. I'll likely make her older sister help her on the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program website. Oh, and another reason 50,000 seems crazy is because the kids have off the WHOLE week of Thanksgiving week. Oy.

For those undertaking NaNoWriMo this year, good luck and happy writing!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Chains of Nect: Obsidian's Obsession - Ch. 29

DISCLAIMER: This is rough draft material. Don't be surprised if you fall into plot holes, trip over inconsistencies, and get hit in the head with direction changes. I've done my best to read through several times before posting, though, to make sure most spelling and grammar errors are corrected. Any constructive comments are welcome for when I revise this novel. Thank you for reading!

All current and previous chapters for Chains of Nect: Obsidian's Obsession can also be found on Wattpad. And for an easy to access list of all chapters that have been posted to Born to Write, please visit the Table of Contents.

A new chapter will be posted to Born to Write and Wattpad about one month after it's released to my newsletter subscribers. If you'd like to see the posted chapters a month sooner, please consider signing up for my Author Newsletter!

Chapter 28

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Chains of Nect: Obsidian's Obsession

Chapter 29

Obsidian paced the length of the room, which lent itself to a lot of spinning around in such a small space. But she couldn't sit still. Not at a time like this.

Bishop sat at the desk and watched her, his glower growing darker by the minute. Eventually, he stood up and blocked her hysterical path. "What did you learn about the Guardians?"

Sid jumped back and squeaked. She preferred the calculating and manipulative Bishop over this side of him. Anger darkened his features too much -- he belonged in the shadows with such looks. Perhaps even lumped in with the treacherous Guardians.

She couldn't blame him, though, not if his tale was true. "Only what Damian already mentioned. He asked his mother about magic, and she seemed to get upset he even uttered the words. I mean, I wasn't there, so for all I know Damian didn't tell me something, but I highly doubt it. I was actually kind of upset he risked asking her anything."

His upper lip curled. "You're hiding something."

He appeared to see through her, or inside her -- either made her damned uncomfortable. And she was technically hiding the whole argument with Damian about her gate back home. But that honestly had nothing to do with whatever the wretched Guardians kept from all of Nect. "Nope."

Bishop leaned toward her. "You know, I have magic of my own. I mostly focused my studies on opening the gate and reading the portal language, but I also picked up a few other tricks." His eyes shifted to slits. "I'm a bit rusty, of course. Not being around people much. Which is why I hadn't tried anything until now. But I can smell the secrets on you."

Smell them? Yikes. "Nothing to do with the Guardians and their deception, I assure you." She inched closer and stared right back into those accusing eyes.

He shrugged and sat back down. "Whatever. But have you considered my talent might help in ferreting out the truth and lies?"

"How rusty are you?" Wait, what was she thinking? Not as though Bishop could sit in on a conversation with the council. "Never mind. I'm guessing this magic of yours requires you to be pretty close. Care to risk reading a council member without getting caught?"

Bishop studied his hands, huffed, and grumbled.

"What was that? Sid's speaking too logically when you're letting your emotions get the best of you?"

He stared at her. "You mean like you did storming in here and freaking out about your roommate?"

"Hey, that was me freaking out with Damian. Not doing what I really wanted to do, which was storm the council room and demand they hand back Ama." And she had actually considered that for a fleeting moment, until she realized just how bad of an idea it was.

"Fair enough." He turned toward the desk and tapped his fingers on the book she'd pulled down from the shelf earlier. "I'd sure love some answers before I go home, though."

Sid sat on the end of the bed, directly across from Bishop. "I'd love answers, too. Possibly even Damian. But uncovering them aren't that easy." Knowing secrets existed and finding out exactly what those secrets were were completely different hurdles. "I'll make you a promise, though. If I find out anything to help Turss in the future, I'll come visit and tell you."

Bishop settled his elbows on his knees and stared at her. "Can't do that if Damian destroys the book."

"I won't let him." He couldn't. So much would be lost. And not just access to her gate back home. Still, there was that other option of hers... "Unless, of course, I come with you. I couldn't keep my promise, then."

He tilted his head, and that looking through her gaze appeared on his face again. "This is about your secret."

"When you're not rusty, can you read minds?" Seriously creepy.

The laugh that rumbled from his throat, paired with the grin that he'd first greeted her with, settled her temporarily. "Thank the All-Seeing Eye, no."

Sid considered asking him about this All-Seeing Eye of his. It sounded religious, and in Nect only the Ancients were worshiped similar to gods. Hearing about another religion would be fascinating.

Damian picked that moment to burst into the room, slamming the door behind him. At first she thought he was angry, but she visibly saw him trembling, palms still pressed to the flat surface of the door. His head hung low and it sounded as if he struggled to breathe.

She leapt off the bed. "What's wrong? What happened to Ama?"

When he finally turned toward her, she was shocked at the redness of his eyes. Had he been crying?

No, she wouldn't ask him that. Admitting something like that would be tough for a Guardian. Right now, he didn't deserve her prodding.

"What in the All-Seeing Eye happened to you?" Of course, she couldn't stop Bishop from being extremely rude.

Sid glanced at him, hoping he witnessed her displeasure. "Damian, sit. Catch your breath."

He wobbled to the bed and sat, pulled out a neatly folded rag from a drawer in his nightstand, took off his glasses, and wiped the lenses.

"Your secrets are burning a hole in my mind. Are you going to tell us, or bathe first?" The other-worlder might have allowed Sid some berth, but he clearly wasn't going to do the same for Damian.

All Damian did was shake his head -- no equally defensive response.

Couldn't Bishop see that whatever happened had the man completely rattled?

"I'm sorry." Damian's voice rasped out when he finally spoke. "I spoke to Councilwoman Liss about Ama, and she claimed the woman had given up and was on her way home. I saw no indication of deception." He paused and rubbed his forehead. "Nothing. I didn't see the lie." The words were so quiet, Sid assumed they were meant for himself.

"And then?" "I stormed back into the council building to... ask about something else, but I heard Liss talking to Bear." He raised a hand, reached out to Sid, then pulled back. "Ama was taken for experimentation. I don't know what it all entails, and she's being kept in some lab, but they intend to keep her drugged until they're sure you're no longer worried about her."

Worse. It was far worse than Sid had imagined. A quick death would have been a kindness. This, though -- pure torture. Before she thought it through, she snatched up Damian's still dangling hand and squeezed, more because she needed the human contact than to console him.

"What aren't you telling us?" Bishop needed to learn some manners. Holding his tongue wasn't in his vocabulary.

Obsidian felt the urge to explain, not that it would help. "Uh, yeah, he's turned on this weird lie detecting magic he has. It's unnerving."

Damian glared at Bishop, his dislike for the other-worlder finally peeking through. "It's personal."

"So what?"

He yanked his hand out of Sid's grasp. "We have other things to worry about besides digging into my personal problems."

"Like sending my ass back through the portal?"

Damian stood and stomped toward Bishop. "I'd love to do nothing more than that. But unlike you seem to think, I do care about more than just the precepts. And we have to find Ama and see if we can help her."

Obsidian gasped. She'd been ready to insist they save Ama after the men had finished their squabbling, and she'd never thought Damian would be the one to suggest it.

He plopped onto the end of the bed. "However, we have to consider the implications of anything we do."

Bishop held up his hands. "Hey, I don't have a dog in this fight. Leave me out of the we."

"Heartless bastard." The man had gone from rescuing her to willingly leaving another to be experimented on.

He almost looked guilty, but only for a brief moment.

"If you help us, you might learn more about the Guardians. Perhaps even something to help your world." Of course, Damian was smart enough to approach it more logically.

"And why do you even want my help? Why not just send me back through the gate and then deal with your Ama problem?" Bishop scoffed. "After all, aren't I more of a liability in a rescue attempt?"

Damian pulled his glasses off again and pinched the bridge of his nose. "The thing is, if we can rescue her, our only escape is through a portal. Yours."

Bishop gawked at the Guardian, then nodded, straight-lipped.

Sid tugged one of the pins out of her hair and examined it. She knew Damian was right. The only way to save Ama, and subsequently themselves, was to step through a portal, where the other Guardians couldn't follow.

Unfortunately, that meant leaving Nect behind. And her goal of opening her own gate to see what was on the other side.

She squeezed the pin until it pierced her palm, the pain bringing tears to her eyes. If she wanted to save Ama, she needed to sacrifice her own obsession.

Damian looked between her face and her hands, lips parted. He was giving up far more than her. Once he stepped through Turmoil, he'd sever his connection to the Guardians -- his family, his entire life was here in the House of Portals. Yes, she'd be leaving her family behind too, but not her beliefs. Damian's currently lay scattered across the ground, trampled on by the secrets the council kept.

Obsidian nodded. "We have to save Ama." No matter the cost.

* * * * *

Chapter 30 - Expected January 2022.