Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Wrap-Up

Hey guys, I just have a quick question for you. And that would be, WHERE THE FLIP DID 2019 GO????

I mean I know that stuff happened, and months passed. But a whole year? No, no, because I distinctly recall it was just 2018 it cannot possibly be 2020 already. I cannot possibly be mere months away from turning twenty, I mean... I'm not old enough to be twenty.

Okay so I guess since we are apparently going with the ruse that it has in fact been a whole year and we are in fact in 2020 already I better do a proper farewell to 2019 and mourn it and all that and also honor its memory with this little wrapup.

So at the beginning of the year I made a list of goals which you can find here.

Of my life goals I did in fact grow in my walk with God, begin eating healthier and actually lose weight, and I have mostly learned to drive though I still have to tackle maneuverability before I can get my licence. I did not in fact learn Spanish but oh well I didn't actually think I would.

Of my reading goals I really failed quite miserably. 2019 was the year of the never ending reading slump.

And we will get back to my writing goals later and how they panned out but first some other regular life things that deserve mentioning:

  • I started this blog
  • I got a car :O
  • I started taking drawing seriously and actually got better at it
One of my first drawings of the year

My last drawing of the year
  • I started painting
My latest paintings with the help of Bob Ross tutorial videos

And obviously a ton of other things happened too, but not all of them bear mentioning.

And now on to the writing updates:

Of my 2019 goals...

I did in fact finish A Winter Grim and Lonely and published it this past January.
I did not really touch A Winter Dark and Deadly unfortunately.
I did write A Season of Subterfuge, Courtiers, and War Councils and jokes on me because it ended up being over 150k words long and murdered me painfully
I also republished A Time of Trepidation, Pirates, and Lost Princesses
I only wrote about 40k words in A Matter of Curiosity before I decided to set it aside to focus on other projects.

My goal was to write 500k words, and that was clearly huge and I don't know why I made that goal or thought it was at all attainable I mean seriously...

I did however:

  • Manage to write approximately 350k words.
  • Edited the snot out of Of Gold and Iron, sent it to two publishers. Both asked for more time to review it. One finally rejected it, I'm still waiting for news from the second.
  • I started and then dropped more writing projects than I would care to admit
  • Finally decided on the two projects I'm going to work on going into the new year (and it isn't QoDaF despite what my last two posts would lead you and me to believe)
  • Wrote a 150k word long book in four short months

But anyway there you have it, 2019 wrapped. My word of 2019 was LEARN and I think yeah... I think I really succeeded in that department.

Anyway tune in tomorrow where I shall list my goals of 2020. And also keep an eye out for two thrilling posts coming over the weekend.

How was 2019 for you? Did you have a word? Do you think you succeeded in keeping your goals? Comment Below!

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Question of Dust and Fate//Meet My Cast

So this week has been crazy busy what work and the upcoming holidays and having to work with the upcoming holidays. I considered not even doing a blog post this week, but I promised you an introduction into my characters from my newest WIP The Question of Dust and Fate and so that is what you will get.

As always the pictures are absolutely not mine, all credit to their original creators and Pinterest.

So like, technically I have two casts, and it is complicated. So I guess I will break them up as cast 1 and cast 2 XD

Cast 1

Eustace, the underpaid nerd
Voted most likely to die//Probably tripped 2 seconds ago//Does not speak sarcasm//We love him anyway

Felice, the assassin in over her head
Code panic//I'm not having a crisis of conscience but I am having a crisis//I'm not saying I'm protective, but if anyone touches you I'll kill them//Just because I don't kill you doesn't mean I like you

Seamus, smooth talking archaeologist
You are welcome for existing//Everyone loves me, I love me//Of course nothing bothers me//Some social cues would be nice

Markus, the hired thug
I wasn't paid enough for this//Has a wit drier than a desert//I shouldn't find that amusing but I do//I only care a little bit I swear

Norina, a woman out of time
I'm not your grandma//Has a plan//It's a good plan//Will screw up said plan

Misty, the treasure hunter
Don't play games when your opponent can play them better//Honestly could care less//Isn't even pretending//I'm just in it for the money

Cast 2

Talbot, the rich kid with issues

My secrets have secrets//I don't play well with others//Let's play a game of whether I am joking or actually insulting you//Don't take it personally if I don't like you, I don't like anyone

Conan, the exiled prince

Prince Broody//Anything you can do, I can do better//I need to be in charge because you will screw this up//I'm perfect and you are peasants

Shasta, the hotshot pilot
There is no way I cover up my insecurities with insults//If only he could love me//Pity that you all have to live with dying//If it is a risk, I'm taking it

Yesrin, the otherworldly ambassador
Don't mess with my peoples//I may be nice but that doesn't mean that I can't hurt you//I will kill you with kindness//If that fails then I always have my magic

Warner, the other mercenary
Loyal to every fault//Oh please//No seriously, please stop//Actually that was kind of funny

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Post NaNo Writing Updates

So... November is past. We survived NaNo!!! Well most of us... *cheers from the ditch that I landed in after falling off the NaNo bandwagon*

And now with the writing craze past, that leaves the question... what next? With this year wrapping up and a new one looming threateningly on the horizon, I've had to look more closely at my writing goals and schedules. And yes I have changed some of my purported publishing dates to far more realistic and less stress inducing ones. And so without further ado here is my new estimated publishing schedule (self-publishing only since that is the only one that I actually have control over, I'm still waiting to hear back from a few publishing companies about Of Gold and Iron)

A Season of Subterfuge, Courtiers, and War Councils. Shooting for March of 2020, but it could be April or May depending on how long edits take
A Matter of Curiosity. October 13th, 2020- that way it will have the same release date of book one.
A Winter Dark and Deadly. Yes this one does finally have an estimated date :O and that is... early winter of 2021
And then in late fall of 2021 the My Time in Amar saga finally comes to a close with An Era of Evil, Dragons, and Dark Lords

Obviously this isn't all completely certain but these are my goals anyway, and I have at least one other project that I'm hoping to self publish the first book of sometime in the next two years, but I won't say anything more about it until I actually start it XD

For the time being I am working on three writing projects.

Editing A Season of Subterfuge (you can read more about that project here)
Writing Darkness From the Stars (you can find out more about that project here)
And finally the third project is a new one which I guess means that I should announce it.

And so I give you...

The Question of Dust and Fate

I'm sure you are all wondering what is this book and why am I writing it? Well I'm so glad that you asked.

The Question of Dust and Fate is...

A time travel story
That takes place in a fantasy world
That has three different sentient species/races
Has a massive cast of misfit characters
That represent all three of these races
Too many POVs
Is horror
Is also mildly comedic
Is complicated

I don't actually have a blurb yet, but here are the aesthetics

I will do a post next week introducing you to said huge cast, and stay tuned for a cover reveal for SoS later this month *screams with anticipation*

How did NaNo go for you? What do you think about QoDaF? Which of these projects are you most excited for? Comment below!

Friday, November 29, 2019

The Shared WIP Tag Week Five: Snippets

So NaNo is almost over and I will admit that I definitely petered out. Actually I didn't even start strong. A word of advice. Don't spend the months leading up to NaNo speed writing a 150k long book. You will murder your brain faster than any of the fancy villains in the books you are writing can. But oh well, I may not have written much on my projects but I had fun and it was the break my brain needed.

Anyway, NaNo progress report:

Project: Darkness From the Stars
Total word count for NaNo: 10,167 words (though I will probably try to get a few extra in before the end of the month)
Total chapters: I started chapter five
So far there has been one death, RIP Pimberly.

-Line you’re most likely to cut in revisions?

Still not sure about this line if it even fits.

"The process of getting ready for a ball is akin to torture. Except the person doing it thinks that they are doing you a favor. And I haven’t a clue whether true merciless evil of someone wanting to do you harm or the false sense of kindness of someone who thinks they know what is best for you is more painful. But I would hazard to say that they are equally painful in their own ways."

-Line you’re most proud of?

I have my own spoilery reasons for liking this line mwahahahah....

"Mr. Wintersleeve shoots me a look so scathing that it feels half like it pierced me through. “I think the true problem here is the willful desire to not see things that are clearly there.”"

-Line that made you cry while you were writing it?

So I didn't actually cry with this line, but I nearly did.

"He raises a trembling hand to rest it on my cheek. I hadn’t noticed before that his hand was shaking. No, his whole body was wracked with tremors. “Astra, whatever happens, know that I love you. Love you as my own child.”"

-Piece of dialogue that made you laugh out loud, shiver or flail?

Probably the longest snippet I will share today, but I can't help it. This one had me cackling as I wrote about my poor dear Edgar trying to be "polite" oh the humor of it all.

"Henry nods toward us. “And Edgar, these are my dear friends Miss Miranda Addington and Miss Astra Dempshire.”
Dempshire?” Mr. Wintersleeve says his gaze sharpening on me. “That name is familiar.”
Henry leads toward him, dropping his voice but not quietly enough that I don’t hear. “It is her family hosting the ball.”
Mr. Wintersleeve furrows his brows further. “Are they? Well, you have a lovely parlor, Miss Dempshire.”
It’s a ballroom.”
Mr. Wintersleeve’s eyebrows shoot up. “A ballroom?”
Yes,” I say hardly able to contain my mirth. I’m certain that Mr. Wintersleeve is not actually an idiot, he appears to have an intelligent gleam in his eyes. But then perhaps if he speaks much more then that will become nothing more than just a gleam. “It is a room in which balls are usually held.”
Miranda steps on my foot, forcibly, if not painfully reminding me that as amusing it would be to mock Mr. Wintersleeve further, perhaps he is not someone to mock. I press my lips together and hold out my hand, returning to the boring confines of social refinement. “Anyway I am charmed to make your acquaintance.”
Mr. Wintersleeve stares at my hand for a long moment as if half expecting to find an Infected bite there. He leans closer to Henry. “Is it now fashionable to shake a lady’s hand on acquaintance?”
Henry shoots Mr. Wintersleeve a stunned look. “Heavens no, Edgar you are supposed to kiss it.”
Mr. Wintersleeve pulls back shooting Henry a look as if he had grown not only a second head, but a third as well. “Kiss her? That seems quite unseemly, and I must say that she is certainly not handsome enough to tempt me so early into our acquaintance.”"

-Line that made you stop writing for a minute so you could process it

"My eyes drop to the ground before I even realize what I am doing and I find myself staring into the blank eyes of Uncle Pimberly.
His body drops to the ground a second later."

-Favorite snippet that describes a place or character?

Probably this one where I just set aside several paragraphs to describe my darling Henry XD

"Henry, however, is a very humble gentleman and doesn’t put on any airs despite his heritage and everyone’s great esteem of him. He legitimately does not think himself better than anyone, and makes that fact very clear. Because of this, he seems to be a friend of everyone in society including me, and Miranda, and frankly everyone. Henry does not know a stranger."

-Line you can hardly believe you wrote (whether that's positive or negative is up to you)

I was essentially like O.O when I wrote this line:

"Most people were quite eager to leave. You know what they say. It’s all fun and games till someone gets decapitated."

-A snippet where even you aren’t entirely sure what’s happening. 

This little gem of dialogue got a tad odd and problem is I don't even know if the "accident" discussed was an accident or not. So yeah... definitely in the dark here XD

"He has since then spent nearly five years battling the Infected on the front lines.”
I don’t know if my brother’s voice drips with envy or just mockery.
Sedgewick didn’t even last a year.
That was until his disappearance for a good six months as well as his entire regiment. That was quite the talk at the time. Not as much talk as his return or his injury. How he was found wandering the wastelands half out of his mind with a gaping hole in his shoulder and somehow not infected. Of course, nobody assumes Mr. Wintersleeve inflicted that wound upon himself,” Sedgewick mutters bitterly sinking further into his cushions. “And there was no witness for that injury either to prove that it was not him.”
There is a good difference between being impaled and shooting yourself in the foot. One is significantly easier to do.”
Sedgewick shoots her a hard look. “I know very well how easy it is to be shot in the foot. All sorts of things can happen to lead to such a wound. Guns can misfire, especially if they are tampered with.”"

-Weird thing you had to Google mid-writing-session.

Military titles XD

-Beginning sentence and ending sentence (if possible without spoilers).

Since I didn't finish the book I'll just post the last sentence that I wrote *shrugs*

First sentence: "It is a fact that is commonly assumed that any single woman must be in want of a husband, and one with a significant fortune at that."

Last Sentence from the middle of chapter five XD: "I need more help than heaven can give. Of course she will expect me to pursue Mr. Wintersleeve. Never mind the fact that he is a cold blooded killer. He is a wealthy and powerful cold blooded killer so of course everything is fine."

Anyway that's all for today, let's sit back and congratulate ourselves on surviving NaNo. Some survived better than others for sure, but we all did great if you ask me XD

Don't forget to check out the other participants in the Shared WIP Tag and their awesome stories

Lila: https://lilakimswriter.blogspot.com/
Julian: juliandaventrymemories.blogspot.com

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Shared WIP Tag Week Four: Side Characters// in which I have too many of them and love them more than I should

So I have to admit that I am pretty excited for this week's topic. Because if you guys know anything about me it is that I love side characters too much. It's a problem because I tend to spend more time on them than even my own main characters and end up writing six spin offs about them XD But anyway today we are focusing on the side characters in DFTS and... well I have a lot. Because this book is sort of a family drama a lot of them are related.

-If you had to go on a mission with any of your SCs, which one(s) would you pick?

Um so I would probably pick Astra's older sister Penelope and Penelope's fiance Dr. Collin Arnold. While I honestly wouldn't want to go anywhere without the resident zombie slayer (Edgar, but because he is a MC that is not currently available to me), I think these two would be a good substitute. They are an amazing team, both extremely intelligent (between the three of us we may figure out how to think ourselves out of getting eaten) Penelope in a more practical and outcunning way and Collin in a by the book way. Plus he is a doctor so we are covered if any of us are injured. Also due to Collin's natural good nature, I know that they would not leave me behind if the going went rough.

-Which of your side characters attempts to steal attention from the MC the most?

For this question I am going to go with Henry Hearth, Edgar's amiable cousin, and also Thomas, Astra's younger brother. Both gentlemen are very outgoing and talkative on top of being good friends. The first time I was writing this book it was essentially Thomas and Henry doing all the talking and having a jolly good time while Astra and Edgar glared at each other in the background.

-Which SC would annoy you the most and which one would you bond with the most?

I would probably be annoyed with Shannon, Astra's youngest sister the most girl is unnecessarily dramatic and I'm just like plz stop. And bond with oh, surprisingly Sedgewick, the middle Dempshire brother. He is such a grump and genuinely hates everyone and I just. I relate because also secretly he loves everyone even though he hates them. It's complicated and we don't talk about it.

-Which SC would you be most attracted to, romantically or platonically?

Romantically? Collin for sure, I have almost as big of a crush on this soft, smart, and quiet character as I do on Edgar himself. Platonically? Oh Henry that dude is legitimately the nicest person I have ever written he is amazing.

-Would you fit in with your SCs collectively, or would they not be your type of friend group?

Actually I feel like I would? Because they are such a large eclectic group that I think that there is enough personality that I would fit in really well. Henry and Thomas will make sure that everyone is included and I think that I would have a lot of fun just hanging out with Penelope and Collin and then there are the people who no one likes and everyone just sorts of tolerates and that is honestly the way all of my friend groups were so yeah...

-If your SCs are not all friends, what would result if you were to thrust them together as a group and assign them an activity?

Like not all of them are friends, for instance everyone hates Sedgewick, but especially Miranda and those two wouldn't stop army to get anything done. Henry and Thomas would spend the whole time trying to make peace and Collin and Penelope probably decided to go off and just do the project. By Shannon probably sabotaged it somehow and probably the whole thing is just on fire to be honest.

-Which SC would fit into our world the most?

Probably Miranda, Astra's best friend, she is very forward thinking and progressive and I think she would just have a blast in the 21st century.

-Which SC makes you laugh the most?

Henry, this dude is a good conversationalist, he is very charming and makes me chuckle.

-Which SC could probably get removed without affecting much of the story?

That would unfortunately be Richard, the eldest of the Dempshire siblings, and his family. He is already happily married and making a life for himself so is actually in this book very little.

-Which SC could never get removed because of how important their role is?

*inhaled deeply* *releases screech* HEEEEENNNNNRRRRYYYYYYY

I don't think I can properly stress how much I love this dude. But also Collin who is suddenly insanely important and integral to the plot even though he didn't even exist when this draft started.

but anyway I hope that is a relatively good introduction to my unruly cast. As far a NaNo is going I made it to 10k *dies*

Lila: https://lilakimswriter.blogspot.com/
Julian: juliandaventrymemories.blogspot.com

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Shared WIP Tag Week 3: Main Character and Antagonist// There has been a change of plans

Okay so a lot happened over the course of a week. As I'm sure you all saw in my last post, I finished SoS, and I was extremely tired afterwards so that feat didn't exactly get the amount of screaming, freaking out, and flailing that it deserved. As I took the weekend off to rest so that I will be ready to start MoC on Monday I realized something. I wasn't actually excited for this story. I then realized that I was pushing myself too hard. First to finish ToT, then to finish SoS, and then MoC, all in the span of a few months without any break whatsoever.

So that is when I decided to not work on MoC this month. And yes, that means that it will be published later than I had previously expected. I've been reconsidering the planned publishing dates for all of my upcoming novels, they now mostly all have new publishing dates. Ones that are much more realistic. If you are at all curious about the fate of any of the books you have been looking forward to, feel free to ask and I will let you know my new plan for it.

In the meantime I still am doing NaNo, just with a new project. Leave it to me to start a project on the 12th of November (the day in which I actually decided to start this book). Is there no end to my insanity? Apparently not.

Anyway this book is actually one that I had started back in September, but had to put aside to focus fully on SoS. I had been about to announce it but then I went on hiatus all through October so I guess an introduction to this story is long overdue. And then we will get back to the Shared WIP Tag XD

Anyway, with all due fanfare I give you...

Darkness From the Stars

Think Beauty and the Beast, meets the X-Files, with a mix of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Rook and you will basically have an idea for this odd little story that absolutely refuses to be defined by genre. It is equal parts historical in that the setting is very Regency Era-esque, but also science fiction taking in a future somewhat apocalyptic world with zombies. A future, Regency Era themed apocalyptic world with zombies. Add into the mix a healthy dose of family drama, horror, and mystery respectively and there you go. You have Darkness From the Stars.

This story is actually a very old one. The original concept came from my submission to the Rooglewood Press Five Enchanted Roses anthology. That submission was titled Beauty of the Stars and essentially nothing, absolutely nothing is the same between the two stories except for the heroine's name Astra and the faint Beauty and the Beast theme (the original story was a hardcore retelling this one though only faint traces of Beauty and the Beast can be found if you look closely enough).

I do not at this moment have any publishing plans for this book beyond the fact that this is the story I want to pitch at Realm Makers. It is going to be a standalone, my very first standalone and may very well be my longest story (although it will have some trouble beating SoS in all its 150k words).

Finally, a rough synopsis:

Safety is an illusion.

Astra Dempshire has always led a quiet life. As the middle daughter of a wealthy merchant, living in the walled confines of her circle of society protected from the Infected, her only cares so far have been to avoid her mother's matchmaking schemes and survive family feuds. This all changes when the handsome Edgar Wintersleave, son of the famed General Wintersleave, decapitates her dance partner.

Edgar Wintersleave is a mystery to the good folks of Eastern Yorkshire, even his own family. Even to himself. When his whole regiment disappeared months ago, he was presumed dead or worse. Only to appear wandering in the Infected lands wounded with no memory of the past few months or any idea of what became of the rest of his regiment.

You are never alone...

Astra however knows just what to think of Edgar and his claims that there are more deadly things out there than just the Infected. Perhaps he has won over all of society with his alluring dark manners and famed father, but she won’t forget what he did to George Pimberly. Even if he claims that he actually saved her life and that Pimberly was an Infected.

But as Infected attacks and other deadly encounters find their way inside the walls of Eastern Yorkshire, Astra is left questioning all she believes. Edgar may not be as mad as she originally thought. Perhaps there is an intelligence behind this pervasive evil. Perhaps the Infected aren’t the only things out there that threaten humanity.

Sometimes being right is a deadly business.

Anyway, now that you have a pretty good feel for this project onto the Shared WIP tag in which I will be talking about DFTS since it is my new NaNo project XD Primarily Astra Dempshire, my MC.

-Would you be friends with your MC? Why or why not?

I think so, yes. Astra is a fellow INTP and we both love reading more than we honestly should. We would have a nice time taking long walks across her grounds and playing a friendly turned intense game of chess together. We are also the middle sister in large families so yeah we would have a lot in common.

-What would an ordinary day look like in the shoes of your MC?

If Astra has her way it would involve mostly reading in the library. If she decides that she has spent too much time sitting down she will go on a walk or ride her horse through town. The day is considered a success if she avoids as much human interactions as possible, with of course the exception of her siblings. She will often good naturedly rib them and tease them.

-You’re walking down the sidewalk when the villain approaches you and tells you he needs your help. What do you do?

I would probably scream my bloody head off. And hope that someone, preferably Edgar, showed up to save me and chop off the villain's head. Because my villains in this book are zombies. I mean, I have other villains and some humans who do shady stuff, but I'm going to avoid going into that any further because of spoilers. So all villains in this section are going to be the Infected. My other villains aren't exactly the type to ask for help anyway; they don't generally ask anything they just take whatever they want. They are rude like that.

-What would be your first impression of your MC upon meeting them?

Um, probably that she is a woman of quality XD Honestly I would see her scowling at the world like it personally offended her and just be like, a woman after my own heart. Then I would probably get torn apart under her biting wit, but oh well. A small price to pay.

-What would be your first impression of your villain upon meeting them?

Yucky icky zombies.

-What would happen if you were stuck in an elevator with your villain for five (or worse, ten) minutes?

I'd die probably. Which is unfortunate. And by die I mean I would become an Infected as well. Which would be doubly unfortunate.

-What makes your MC most like you and least like you?

Astra and I share the same personality as I mentioned above, we are both from large families so we have quite a lot in common. One thing we do not have in common though is that Astra hates balls and parties and frankly I don't so...

-What song or selection of words best describes your villain?

"Won't see us coming, at the door even before you even blink. Something so cold blooded. With a deep killer instinct." - Wolves, Sam Tinnesz (featuring Silverberg)

-If your MC was teleported to your front porch, what would be their reaction (and what would be yours)?

Honestly I think Astra would be extremly surprised. Even though she comes from a world far into the future, it's similar to the Regency Era and she has only read about the technologies that we have. I think she would be quite inquisitive about the time before the Infected and also somewhat relieved to exist in a world where there are no Infected.

And I would just be like eyyyyy, it's you! Come on in, I've got some reading recs.

-If the antagonist had a dream come true, what would it be? (no spoilers!)

Hmm, no spoilers indeed...

So yeah still talking about the Infected. Essentially their whole goal in life is to share their parasites with the rest of the world (how very generous of them). So you know, giving someone a loving bite and sending their little babies that they produced asexually to swim up that person's bloodstream and kill that person's brain? Yeah that is their dream come true. Real family oriented villain, eh?

So anyway that is all for this week, what do you all think of my new project? As always, don't forget to check out everyone else's posts this week:

Lila: https://lilakimswriter.blogspot.com/
Julian: juliandaventrymemories.blogspot.com