Station Status Update – April 2018

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(No, I didn’t take this picture – but I wish I did. As always, any photos/images used here, unless directly stated, come from Pixabay.)

So it’s April.

Spring.

And I’m finding I don’t have a lot of energy to enjoy what few sunny days I see on the coast. Not just because of the hours I work, but because I’m emotionally drained a lot of the time due to stress. My husband is awesome, amazing, and I couldn’t do without him. However, my roommates…that’s a different story.

I’m not going to get into that right now though. I have to be at work in an hour (I’m at the library which shares the same parking lot) and I want to be able to put on my customer service smile.

For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook – which I’m guessing is the majority of you – I posted a huge announcement there that I’m also going to share here:

The Tiger’s Keeper will not be coming out until January 2019.

I’d love to see the first of the Inkosi Tiikeri books published this year, but to be honest, I don’t think it’s going to be possible for me to get it done. I’m just too tired, too drained, and have almost no time/energy to write anymore.

Though the “no time” will be changing within the next week or so. I got myself a refurbished Chromebook through Amazon and will be able to work whenever and wherever I want. I won’t be able to play video games – this one has a very limited amount of HD space – but I don’t care. The Chromebook isn’t for playing games. It’s for me to listen to music on, do research, maybe blog a little, and WORK ON THE DAMNED BOOKS I NEED TO WRITE!!!

Another thing I like about being mobile is that, once I get a vehicle of my own, I can just go. Losing steam at home? Back it up to Google Docs and head out to the library, or the coffee shop, or the beach, or…or…or… I miss Monstrosity (the huge Toshiba Satellite laptop I had for 5 years). Behemoth (my current desktop) is great and all, but I need to be able to get out and about and still work when I have the free time. Hand writing at work is problematic, especially since we have a snoop on our staff who likes to poke around at what you’re doing.

Anyway, here’s a ramble from me. Prepare to see more updated blog posts this month!

Oh…and keep an eye out on this blog for teasers and fun things from the Inkosi Tiikeri universe as The Tiger’s Keeper comes closer to being published. You’ll see all sorts of fun stuff.

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Station Status Update – Why I’ve been MIA

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As you may have noticed, this blog has been silent lately. A lot has been going on lately and I thought I’d give you an update.

First, I finished the first draft of The Tiger’s Keeper. I’ll be getting started on the second draft soon. I’ve seen doctors, specialists, the ultrasound technicians, and a few other random health people. I see my neurologist on Monday (the 5th). I then go in the following Monday (the 12th) to get my leg surgery done.

The OB/GYN is reluctant to do the hysterectomy due to the fact that I have a history of blood clots and that I’m on blood thinners. I have a very high risk of way too many side effects (most that lead to me being dead) that I’m willing to take his alternatives. Same with the surgeon I met to discuss my pain in the area where the gall bladder is. He’s not entirely sure it is my gall bladder. I’ve got a test coming up to determine if that’s what it is, so we’ll go from there.

This leads to my latest bit of news…

I AM EMPLOYED IN A JOB OUTSIDE THE HOUSE!!! AND I’M EXCITED!!!

I’m now officially employed full time as a cashier at a local grocery store. I’m extremely excited for that. My husband has been out for the past two weeks looking for a job since the business he was trying to get started was pretty much defunct thanks to some poor planning on our state’s part. I decided I was going to give it a shot.

TWO DAYS! It took two days for me to walk in, talk to the store manager while dropping off my application and resume, for the store manager to hire me. This was back on Tuesday. On Thursday, I went in shortly before lunch and filled in the paperwork.

I start on Tuesday. I work 8 A to 5 P with a trainer. I work Wednesday and Thursday too. Then on Friday and Saturday, I work on my own – with someone helping me if I need it, of course. What’s even better is the store manager told me the second person he hired doesn’t get away from the trainer for at least a week, possibly more.

Now I have worked retail before, but it’s been a little under two decades since the last time I was behind a cash register. Yet I’m the one being trusted to run a register sooner.

Anyway, I’m writing this at 1:40 AM, so I’m headed back to bed. All of you have a great day and I’ll report back later with how things go.08

Writing & publishing schedule update

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Hi everyone! Normally I publish at 8 AM. I know this. And I’ll get back to publishing at that time soon. I’m just trying to sort out my daily schedule right now so bear with me. I’ve got a lot of stuff to get done during the day so I need to work out how I’m going to do it all.

As the title suggests, I’m altering a few things with my writing projects for this year. First, before I start working on any of my serious novel work, I’m going to do little fifteen minute writing exercises. Just random little drabbles, maybe set in the worlds of the stories and maybe not. But they will be in the genres I write – fantasy and science fiction. I’ll be posting those here on the blog, very similar to what I was posting before I started putting Tiger, Tiger up here.

Now, I do still plan on self publishing a book in June and one in December. Tiger, Tiger will be published in June and Into the Flames will be published in December. I was trying to work on the two stories in alternate months, but it’s just not working. So I’m devoting all my time and attention during my writing times – except for the writing warm up exercises of course – to Lilavati and Manas. I’ve got a lot of work to do and five and a half weeks to do it in. I know I can do it in, but I’m going to be working really hard.

Once I’m happy with Tiger, Tiger – and get it beta read and edited – I’ll get back to work on Into the Flames. I’m struggling with it right now anyway, so restarting it probably isn’t a bad idea.

I’ve also decided to work as a plantser for Tiger, Tiger. I’m going to read through what I’ve got, pick out the main plot and the subplots and post index cards on my wall. Once I do that, I’m going to figure out how I want to address each plot point and just set up some vague notes on how I want to work those points in and weave them together. I’m also going to keep notes on the foreign words I use and the names of places/the meanings of the words because I kept forgetting the name of Lilavati’s home. 😀

So keep your eyes open here for further updates, and watch for Wattpad links. I’d like feedback on the new format and chapters as I post them there, so please leave me comments when I do a link post here.

Everyone have a wonderful day and I’ll see you when I get the next post written. (Hopefully tomorrow…and hopefully it’ll post at 8. XD)

Oops! My apologies

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I know I posted that post that said Tiger, Tiger was finished and then I realized something. WordPress ate the final chapter. So I’ll post the final chapter tomorrow. I’m so sorry about that. I got locked out of my blog for some reason and it’s taken me this long to get back in. Again, my apologies and we’ll get you to the end of Lilavati and Manas’ story very soon.

*bows her head in shame*

PHEW!

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Holy Hannah in a handbasket…that took way longer than I expected it to. For those of you who are curious, Tiger, Tiger comes in at around 90k words as a first draft. *falls over dead* Thanks for sticking around to the end (if you have) and what a way to end the writing year.

Also, I’ve learned a very valuable lesson – I am NOT going to do another novel on my blog. Well, maybe not “never,” but not for a long time. That was exhausting. And this is a reminder for those of you who might want to scream at me about continuity errors at the end – if there are any, which I’m sure there are – this is a FIRST DRAFT. Completely unedited, and I didn’t go back and read anything I’d already written, except perhaps the last couple paragraphs just to see where I’d left off if I needed a reminder. I treated it a little like NaNoWriMo – get it done without dithering.

If you want a more coherent collection of chapters in the story, I have them on my DeviantArt account. At somewhere around 3k-4k a pop for the chapter lengths, there are twenty nine chapters. I’ll toss the link up at the end of this.

What I’ve learned from this is that yes, it is possible for me to write a novel without going back and editing the crap out of it as I go. That’s been one of my biggest downfalls when writing a novel is I never finish them because I’m always editing instead of writing.

By this point I’m working on (if I haven’t already finished it) the new first draft of Into the Flames…and the chapters may even be going up on DeviantArt. I’m considering using that as a tool to keep me from editing as I go. I have a deadline to get my chapters up (self imposed) because I have a bunch of followers who want the next story, the next chapter, the next tale. If I do that, then I won’t have to worry about keeping them entertained. I won’t have to worry about wanting to edit as I go.

So, we’ll see how my little experiment goes. Wish me luck!

And here is my DeviantArt account – you’ll find lots of stuff here.

Goals for December 2017

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Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I managed a weekend post. I’ve been having some issues as well as just general laziness, so those are my excuses. They’re not good ones. But there they are.

I was decidedly unmotivated last month. I don’t know if that’s because I forgot to do a goal post, if I did a goal post and ignored it, or found that I just didn’t care because November was a month full of stress and depression for me. I did manage to win NaNoWriMo though. I barely squeaked by with 50,067 words, though if you look at the NaNo website it says 50,167. I heard from a lot of friends that the validator on the site added 100 words to their documents too.

So, here’s December’s goals –

  1. Get back on the weight loss train. – This is getting rather vital as I’ve gained back all the weight I lost and my health isn’t that great because of it. My end goal is 135-140 lbs, which is the “healthy weight” for a 5’3″ woman. At 40, this is going to take a lot longer to get rid of than if I was still in my 20s or 30s, but it is possible.
  2. Document more of my cooking adventures. – My ultimate end goal with a lot of my cooking adventures is to write a cookbook. I can’t do that if I don’t have pictures of the foods I’m preparing. So I need more pictures! I also need to be better about writing down the recipes I make up off the cuff so I can repeat them later if they’re popular.
  3. Finish the first draft of Into the Flames. – I want to be able to start the rewriting process for The Tiger’s Keeper (aka Tiger, Tiger) in January so it’s hopefully ready for publication by June. To do this, I need to get the second draft done and into shape for my beta readers.
  4. Try to get non-fiction posts up every weekend. – Yes, this is still the goal. It’ll continue being the goal even after Tiger, Tiger is done on my blog since you’ll be going back to the short little drabbles of fiction during the week, sometimes supplanted by my “slices of real life” posts as things happen.
  5. Focus some time on personal growth plans. – I have a lot of ideas for what I want to do to and for myself to become a better person. I really need to do this, as some of my less pleasant personality quirks are causing issues for people. So I’m going to be addressing at least one of those this month.

I think this should be enough for me to get through December. We’ll see how everything goes in January. I hope you all have a great weekend and we’ll see you tomorrow!

The beginning of the rainy season

This is the view from my back deck. The left one is across the river. The right one is directly to the left. As you can see, the river is quite high. Usually there’s a lot more room between the edge of the river bank and the river. Now, there’s another 3+ feet before it even comes close to reaching the deck, but it’s still something we all pay attention to starting around this time of year.

Why this time of year? Well, here on our part of the Oregon Coast, this is the real beginning of fall – the start of the rainy season. Fall and winter are often gray with long patches of rain. Last year we went two months solid where we had maybe five days total of sun. It gets rather depressing at times.

So fall and winter I spend more time playing Sims 4 than writing, which is a big problem for me since I want to publish Tiger, Tiger next spring and Into the Flames next fall. (Yes, I’m ambitious.) So I need to buckle down and get to work.

So here we go on a writing adventure! I plan on writing in the mornings and giving myself permission to play Sims 4 later in the day. I figure that will give me my writing as well as my relaxation.

Let the writing commence!

It’s that time of year again!

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Every year since I discovered it back in 2003, I’ve at least attempted to write a minimum of 50k words in 30 days in November for NaNoWriMo – or National Novel Writing Month. It’s actually international, but NaNoWriMo works better for an acronym. 🙂

For those that don’t know anything about this fun – though stressful – event, it starts at midnight on November 1st and runs to 11:59 PM (in your time zone for both of those) November 30th. You have 30 days to write 50,000 words. Not an insurmountable task, but it can be difficult if you don’t schedule out the time to do it.

As I said, I’ve been doing it since 2003. Guess what, I didn’t finish in 2003. Hell, I barely got a week in. Of course, 2003 is also the year my oldest daughter was born, so you can kind of guess why I didn’t get my 50k that year. XD

I’ve “lost” six of the past fourteen years I’ve participated. I only say “lost” because I didn’t manage to write the 50k words required to get the cute little certificate you can print out. I actually won because I wrote words in November, more words than I’d had to begin with.

I’ve set up this year’s project on the site, but I’m not sure yet if I’ll actually participate. Tiger, Tiger is far more complex than I thought it would be and I don’t know if I’ll finish by the end of October. I hope so, because I’d love to participate in NaNo this year. I started last year, but other deadlines took me out of the running for the validation check mark.

There are official rules to follow, but you can throw them out the window and do just about anything you want, though counting what you wrote before November 1st is still considered “cheating.” You’d just be cheating yourself by not being honest, but it’s still not considered the thing to do.

There’s a program – called the Young Writers’ Program – for children and teens. There are many schools all across the world who use it to promote learning, creativity, and writing skills. It’s actually a very interesting program and you can learn more about it by going through the main NaNo site.

You have forums where you can ask questions, visit with people writing in your genre, talk to people in your own age group, and play little time wasting games when you should be writing. You can discover so many new and different things too. It’s just a lot of fun.

I’m sharing the link to my profile, just so you can see what a NaNoWriMo profile looks like – and so if you decide you want to join up you can become one of my “writing buddies” there. 😉

NaNoWriMo can be a lot of fun, and if you’re curious or just want to challenge yourself, come give it a try. Here I am!

Tiger, Tiger – an explanation

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Photo via VisualHunt.com

Hi everyone!

Yes, I know. I don’t usually post on weekends. But I’m sure you’ve all noticed my blog has been consumed by the story Tiger, Tiger. There’s a reason for that.

I’m attempting something that’s been done before, but I don’t really care. I’m doing it in my own style – I’m attempting to post a novella/novel on my blog. You’re getting it in small chunks as I progress through the story.

It’s going to be a little boring in places, and I’m sorry for that. You’re getting the first draft, as you do with just about everything I post here. My plans are to edit/revise/rewrite it and then post it for free on Smashwords in its entirety (since it’s already been up for free on my blog – I’m not going to charge people for it).

I just thought this would be a fun exercise. If you don’t want to read Tiger, Tiger, then just ignore the Monday through Friday posts. I’ll be posting on the weekends as well now. I won’t be doing my usual drabbles. I don’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to come up with something that takes me out of the universe of my current story, entering somewhere else, and then having to try to go back in.

What I will do is post some non-fiction posts. Some random recipes, some discussions on what’s going on in my life, fun things I find on the web, things like that. So there is a break from the story to give you guys a rest once in a while.

If you have any topics you’d like me to cover, leave me a comment. If you want to complain about Tiger, Tiger, feel free. But be warned I’m probably going to ignore you unless it’s a suggestion on how to fix areas in revisions. Then I’ll make a note of your comment and continue on.

I love you all. Thank you for following me, hanging out, and enjoying my stories. It means a lot to me. Now…off to get Manas and Lilavati into even more trouble!

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