Finally, chapter four!

In an effort to return to regular writing, I finally reread and tweaked the fourth chapter of Not All Dead and posted it at Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, and here. It means the story is complete at last. I found it a real struggle to finish as I wasn’t sure I’d gone the right way with the chapter but after rereading it, I was actually pleased with what I’d come up with. So, with a touch or two of work, I got it into a form I liked even more and called it done. Having Ralph Dibny as part of The Flash cast this year didn’t help either; though the character is very different (and Sue doesn’t exist yet), Ralph as the Elongated Man is canon. Maybe this story could be considered alternate universe or alternate reality. In any case, I hope you enjoy it!

In my final author’s note, I mention the term “jossed”. That was coined by Joss Whedon fans and denotes a storyline that’s hinted at in canon–giving fanfic writers and fan artists steady inspiration–but takes a left-hand turn which invalidates all that fan speculation.

From TV Tropes (a site that can become a very, very deep rabbit hole and time vacuum):

A fan gets Jossed when the elaborate Epileptic Trees or Fanfic that they’ve lovingly built upon canonical elements is abruptly disproved by further canon or Word of God. Named after Joss WhedonBuffy the Vampire Slayer was notorious for this. Fans would come up with detailed and elaborate theories or plots during summer hiatuses, most of which got completely thrown out within three episodes of the new season.

I have to admit, this little discussion and the multi-verse theory used in the show has given me a touch of inspiration… time to tuck that idea into my plot bunny hutch!

The first day of NaNoWriMo 2017 was a success!

Well, it was for me and my region. We had a midnight virtual write-in in our ChatNaNo room with four to five people in there starting off the month with word wars and chats. Then a really well-attended write-in at Greenville Technical College’s Barton Campus library. It was our first time there and the librarians and English professors made us feel very welcome!

The Kick-Off was last Sunday at our usual park pavilion and it wasn’t as well-attended as I’d have liked–possibly because it was Sunday afternoon and probably because it was cold and windy out! Still, we gave out 10-12 goodie bags and had lots of food (there’s still lots of pumpkin dip here but we finally finished up the pumpkin chocolate-chip mini-muffins. Those are addictive!)

My superhero novel, entitled Superhuman Resources, is coming along. I still need names and powers for quite a few cast members, but my main character is shaping up nicely, I think. No one has been able to create character art for her yet; most of the artists in the NaNoWriMo Artisans forum do younger people, as most of the novelists write about younger people. Having a middle-aged superhero is something different and hopefully unique.

Speaking of superheroes, the theme this year is exactly that and I got my daughter, stripeysharpie, to do a superhero mascot for our region!

We’re still looking to name this character.

And… after all this great, gushing news, something that has put a definite crimp in my style as a municipal liaison: three broken toes and a Lisfranc injury. I’ve been told to “baby” my foot (the right one, as per usual) and I have a wheelchair to pick up tomorrow. Yes, you heard it. A wheelchair. I won’t be able to drive for at least four weeks and probably much longer. Which means the family will have to chauffeur me around for the foreseeable future–and I can’t make any daytime write-ins, which is really frustrating. They also are responsible for the housework, which is frustrating in a totally different direction. Had to print out a “how to wash your wife’s clothes” for Hubby after he put my favorite embellished jeans in the dryer (the tag says “line dry” for a reason!). So, the only thing I’ll be doing during the month of November is letting the dog in and out and keeping the cats from following (besides my usual sedentary stuff like paying the bills). That should leave me plenty of time to write, right? We’ll see.

Anyway, word count for Nov. 1st: 2226.

Questions you may have…

Did I reach my word count for Camp NaNoWriMo?

Uh, no. I didn’t. (Which is part of the reason I’ve taken over a month to update anything.) The story I set myself to, after finishing the Flash fanfic, just gave me no joy. It’s a story I want to tell but I may have taken too long to tell it. I mean, The White Winds finished in 2010 and this was supposed to be a sequel. It may be too late to go that route.

Have I posted the final chapter of the Flash fanfic?

No. I wanted to give myself some space before editing it and still haven’t gotten around to doing so. It shouldn’t take long to do, really. I’ve just found other things a priority–like housework.

Will I be doing Camp NaNoWriMo in July?

I plan on it. My physical therapy should be finished by then and I can actually spend some time going away from home to write. Trying to write here with the pets and the responsibility of keeping the house clean is difficult.

One thing I’ve discovered about myself, however, is what I tend to write when I write original stories. For the past few years, whether I’ve written fantasy or science fiction, I tend to write superheroes. This hearkens back to my early days as a budding girl geek, when my favorite show was Batman and my favorite character was Robin. Back to the time when I collected comic books almost religiously. There’s something about them that fascinates me. I started daydreaming about a character for another fix-it fic for the Flash but this time, instead of bringing an already established DC Comics canon character into the universe, I wanted to write an original character. However, by the end of the season, all the reasons why she would be needed were answered (sort of) and I thought, why not write her in an original story? So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, that’s what I plan on doing. Whether I write her tale in July for Camp or start building my cast of characters and my world for November’s main event, that will be my focus.

Now that I’ve said all that, I’ve also followed a new group on Tumblr called WIP Week. I understand the idea is to work on the WIPs (works-in-progress) in my catalog. It might push me to finish one of the Thunderbirds stories I started posting. We’ll see; like the story I picked up for Camp in April, these have been languishing for years. I still know where I want to go with them. It’s getting there that’s the problem.

I’m in the home stretch!

I reached today’s goal (45K) before midnight on Saturday, putting me a day ahead with 45751. I have four more days to write and three of them have write-ins! With the pace I’ve already set, I could reach 50K on Monday and have more words than that before the month ends on Wednesday.

One of the things I really need to do is sit down and name some of my characters and places. I have a map, made long ago on an older program called AutoREALM. It was updated in 2015 so may be usable when I swap towers sometime next month. (The Girl needs a new chassis to finish off her custom computer rig. Then I get her old tower with more processing power and Windows 10.) There’s a far newer program called Inkarnate that I could fool around with, too. Either of them would help me get my place names in order. I would then have to come up with character names. I have a couple of lists written down from days past and I can always hit up my favorite fantasy name generator at nine.frenchboys.net–“Guaranteed 99% pronounceable fantasy names”.  It’s just a matter of doing the work.

I plan on doing laundry (which needs folding) and bringing in some of our Christmas stuff so I can start decorating. Writing will take a back seat until the evening at least.

I was a day ahead…

Just before I posted this. As of midnight, Thanksgiving Day, I’m right on target at 40044. I plan on writing in the evening when people can be in the region’s chat room.

It’s becoming clear to me my story will go over 50K by a large margin before I can actually go through and start editing. It’s always this way, actually, which is partially the reason I haven’t actually published anything. I write so much stuff I know I’m going to have to cut and I run out of steam by December 1st. It’s a cycle I have to break if I’m going to be published.

This year’s book has been more difficult because I have the first and third books sort of weighing on me. More things about my world are becoming clear–such as the source of conflict between the Hex and the Covenant. But I still haven’t defined the governmental policies, given proper names to the continents and countries, developed a timeline for my events–there’s so much that goes into world building. Since this particular story started with that still-developing world, one character, and her basic conflict, I’ve found myself skipping things I should do–like naming secondary characters! So, when I get as much finished as I can here, I plan on printing out all three books as they stand and trying to pull everything together. I’m told seeing it on the page makes a book a whole lot easier to work with!

Character excerpt–Alain di Wintersea

My current word count is right on track: 3494. The word count widget is in the right sidebar.

Just to prove that I don’t write just female characters, let me introduce you to Alain di Wintersea, from my novel, Knights of the Hex. He is majii but has what many would consider a low-key power: he can turn one inorganic thing into another. He is the current head of the Wintersea clan, known for the long line of majes that the Maj (the world’s spirit) has chosen. A scholar and historian, he is considered a good overseer to his region and quite a handsome, virile catch, even in middle-age and after two marriages–one failed, the other ending with his wife’s death. He is in love with Elise and he inadvertently sets into motion some of the plot’s events when he sends his son, Denys, to a disputed island that has been lost to the family’s records.

Continue reading “Character excerpt–Alain di Wintersea”

Well, NaNoWriMo 2016 has begun!

And we started off with a bang! (Not literally, of course.) Day One and we had a write-in at the local Panera. Not too many showed up but at least one newbie discovered the charms of a word war. I was under the eight ball from the start; not only did I have to come up with a new prize tote (the original one smelled to high heaven courtesy of a few old glow bracelets) but I forgot to download my IRC client when I upgraded my Scrivener and Open Office. I hope taking the paper, rubber, and cloth items will allow them to air so I can use them later this month. The stuff that had been in the stinky tote still smelled strongly enough to me that I felt nauseous during the write-in. I sprayed the tote itself, a really cool antique-looking oval case with a leather handle, with too much Febreeze and put it out on the front porch to air.

Current word count: 1774. You can find my official word count widget on my home page if you’ve a mind to follow my progress. Fortunately, I don’t have to spell well at the moment. I have the most horrendous typos!

Also, you probably all think my only interesting characters are women. Well, that’s not true. I’ll post something about one of my male characters tomorrow.

Now off to do a bit of research into some titles from my previous novels!

Another character excerpt–Siobhan Shaunessy

This particular character is from a middle-grade novel I wrote several years ago–the one NaNoWriMo novel I came closest to actually finishing. The story itself takes place in an alternate history, one where much of the Americas were still under colonial rule into the late 1800s and the sciences were just beginning to supersede magic in some areas. I liken it to a mixture of Harry Potter, X-Men, and the gaslamp fantasy Girl Genius with a soupçon of steampunk stirred in. I’ve been editing and rewriting to change the point-of-view from third-person omniscient to third-person limited.

Siobhan is an orphaned girl from Eire, brought to New Anglia by her great-uncle, Father Liam O’Keefe, according to the terms of her grandmother’s will. She is a seer; she literally “sees” things from the past or future of those who touch her skin-to-skin. She also sees ghosts and spirits. Her grandmother enrolled her in a school for mages like herself where she is expected to learn how to control what she can do. At first, she is shy and unsure of herself. Her manners need work and it takes time for her to get into the routine of the household. But as she becomes accustomed to her surroundings, she learns of a plan to use her classmates for profit and insists on acting, even when those around her feel she is too young to help.

Here is an excerpt from Bellecourt Chronicles: the Seer

Continue reading “Another character excerpt–Siobhan Shaunessy”

Another character sample–Jenestra of Drake’s Hammer & Elise di Michaux

Okay, these two are from my first book (third in the trilogy but first written). They are friends and traveling companions. Both are majii; Jen picks up on languages, both spoken and written, unusually fast, while Elise is considered “twice-favored” as she is both a healer and an empath. They are also of different kindreds. Jenestra is a dwarf (called dwermer in my story) and Elise is human.

Jen protects Elise to some extent. She is a fighter, handy with a glaive, and keeps Elise from wearing herself out healing–or tries to. Elise hates to see anyone in pain–partially because she feels their pain–so she’ll do what she can to alleviate it, even to her own detriment. They travel in a well-equipped wagon pulled by creatures who look like pangolins. Elise was originally a character I developed for a role play I participated in and she’s pretty much stayed the same from story to story. (It took me a long while to settle on what kind of story she would work best in. I started with her in a current day Earth and branched out from there.)

So, here’s a little bit from Knights of the Hex.

Continue reading “Another character sample–Jenestra of Drake’s Hammer & Elise di Michaux”

A character sample–Delphine di Wintersea

Okay, I’ve said I’m a character-driven writer, so let me introduce you to one of them: Delphine di Wintersea. She’s the protagonist from Dawn of the Hex and starts out the story in her childhood.

As a daughter of the house di Wintersea, she is a majii, gifted with powers from the Maj, Majere’s sentient spirit. (“Majii” means “the favored” in a long dead language of the world.) She is gifted as an auger–someone who dreams of future events–which is rather frightening if you’re only five or six. As a teen, she travels with her uncle Maslin to visit other majii he is acquainted with. It’s during one of these trips she discovers how her dreams are and have been coming true and spurs her to gather as many majii as she can find to form the Hex Majestorum, a guild for practicing majes. She hopes by working together they can defeat the strange beasts wreaking havoc on the other side of the Great Sands.

Here’s a brief excerpt from Dawn of the Hex.

Continue reading “A character sample–Delphine di Wintersea”