Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017 is now complete…

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Camp NaNoWriMo Completion Certificate July 2017

I reached both NaNoWriMo goals for July 2017. I original thought I would edit 500 pages and I ended up changing the goal to 600. I went over that revised goal. I also wanted to edit 4 out of the 6 books I have to work on and I edited all of them. Two are nearly ready for publishing now and will be released as soon as they are in ebook form. The other four will require another editorial pass before I can decide how close they are to being published.

However, I do feel much better about the four that aren’t quite ready yet. They are better and will continue to get better with the next editorial pass. Until I finish these six books, I can’t draft another one.

But I still have to write a story about a kitten with a magic tail. I will do that soon and post the result here on the blog sooner or later.

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July Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 & Other Updates…

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I am participating again, but this time I’m not drafting anything new. I’m doing an editing blitz to catch up on editing. I still have six books to edit and format as ebooks. All the covers are done. I plan on editing at least 4 out of 6 this month. If I can get to all the books, then that will be even better.

Also during this month, I have four ebooks and the 13th volume of The Moon magazine for free on Smashwords. My Smashwords profile includes all the books that are currently for sale including all the magazines I have converted into ebooks.

The four books are The Strange & Unusual Universe of Silver Moon Unicorn, The Guardian Series Book 1: The Formation of the Guardians, The Violet Series Book 1: A Water Nymph’s Tale, and The White Lion Unicorn Series Book 1: A Colony of Tiny Nekos. I suppose I should remember to promote them throughout the month or else people may not know they are still available…

One last thing… One of the #CatsOfTwitter has asked me to write about him and his magic tail. He is just a kitten and I feel like I can’t refuse him. Now I just need to get to know him and then I’ll be writing about him.

The Genres I Write In…

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Like so many things in and related to writing, genre is a very slippery. It is necessary for marketing. If anything it should help to describe the category the writing falls in. But it can be a murky description at the same time.

I tend to say my writing is science fiction and urban fantasy. I have to pick at least one genre. Both make me comfortable and I think they give a somewhat good idea of the elements in my stories. I have read quite a bit science fiction over the years. Perhaps not as much fantasy, but it seems to me that is wasn’t as accessible to me. I don’t know why that it is. Perhaps I will make up for it sooner or later…

I do use the standard space ships and other technology in my stories. It’s background and props for the characters to use. The urban fantasy is because of the wide variety of the characters who live in my universe. Yes, there are humans, but they are not the only ones. There are also vampires, were creatures, nymphs, elves, fairies, dragons, merfolks, dragons, centaurs… The list go could on and on if I’m not careful. The setting is in cities and countrysides in different time periods.

I’ve also read lots of Victorian literature, which I tend to refer to as Victorian Romances. Mainly those written by Louisa May Alcott and Jane Austen. Granted those women never got married, but they were observing everyone around them. They have let us see how marriage and romance was viewed in their time period. They focused more on the psychological aspects, but it is still a big part of romance. That does come out in my stories. I find myself making notes on who has children because the genetic lines are important as I am creating a whole universe. People just don’t come out of nowhere. They come from other people. And genes can do funny things. All those different people living in my universe don’t always know they may have were creature genes because they don’t always have another physical form.

Even though there is romance, I don’t want to use the Romance genre because what I write tends to be more psychological rather than graphic physical descriptions. I know there is Magical Realism as a genre. My characters do talk about magic and some of them do use it. They say it’s not an exact science and it may not work the way you think it should. But I may not claim that genre in addition to the ones I typically use. Is two genres enough?

My main focus when I write is on the characters themselves. What they think, feel, and do. Not all of them have romance in their lives. Some have to deal with prejudice hurled at them. Or they are the ones with the prejudice. In some stories, I have two characters that have similar genetics, but different personalities. I’m just using the contrast to make a point.

I try to use genre as a category and not be murky about it. I can’t guarantee there won’t be mystery in my stories. I may not use all the genre rules, but I focus more on the stories. I try to keep them true to themselves. So, if any rules get in the way, they will be broken. Genre can be a tool when I’m drafting a story. But genre is never everything when I’m writing.

Publishing…

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I knew it could happen sooner or later. And it did. A publisher has approached me and asked specifically for The Amazons Rise Up, a tale about a group of women who come together and form the colony on Orcus out in the Kuiper Belt. I wasn’t sure what to think at first.

So I checked out the website first. Inkitt and publishing info My impression was that it sounded geared towards helping writers out. But it sounded a little too good to be true. I suspected there had to be some kind of price involved.

And there is. They claim that in order for them to fully promote a book they need the full exclusive rights to it. Well, I don’t do deals like that. Sure they offer editing and book cover design, but those are things I’ve been doing myself for quite some time now.

I like to have full and complete creative control over my books. I am a graphic designer as well as a writer. I didn’t spend all that time and energy learning graphic design to had it over to someone else for what? So they can possibly make my book like others which are in the mainstream?

I’d consider it if they wanted to promote just a printed version. Then I could keep selling the ebook version without messing anything up for me and the universe I’ve been building for my characters. But that’s not the deal.

The only other thing that bothers me is that they used the term, ’emerging writers’. As far as I understand that term, it refers to writers who are going mainstream and are only in their 20s. I am no longer in my 20s, so they shouldn’t be talking to me unless they are willing to eliminate the age from the definition.

I know how strange and usual my work is. So was Philip K. Dick’s work. I know he did have some trouble with publishers, but his work is still read today. I have had trouble with traditional publishers. It’s clear that they hate me, but they can’t do anything for me that I don’t already do for myself. So it’s no big deal that they don’t publish my work.

Inkitt is using a different approach from the traditional publishers. They do find the audience before they invest in the book. They’ve been in the business for about a year now… So, it’s too early to say how well this new approach will work for them and the books they publish.

So, I take it as a compliment that they are interested in one of my books. I will just say, ‘no, thank you, I will continue to be self published.’

Camp NaNoWriMo for April 2017 is Over!

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Winner Certificate for the novel, Praying for Death

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Winner Certificate for the novel, This Strange, Wild Land

I did again. I drafted two new novels and wrote about 90,000 words. Now I need a long well earned and deserved break. At the end it got a little ridiculous. Not only was I writing everyday and pushing myself to put in all the details I could to tell both stories, but I also went on long walks just about everyday.

Then I think I must have gone crazy again. I replied to one of J.K. Rowling’s tweets, lost a whole toenail, lost wifi due to a lightning bolt which knocked out the electricity to my neighborhood, and found myself waiting to go over to Craft World, which is on the Italian Grid of the hypergrid… only to come up hard against a language barrier. I guess I wasn’t thinking and the mediation event sounded good at the time. But it was in Italian and not English.

It could have been worse. I did recognize a few words and when the host realized I was from the United States, she sent me private messages in English. I didn’t speak after the event was over. Neither did one other person until he was leaving. He typed goodnight to everyone (in Italian, I assure you) and then disappeared.

After all of this, I now have seven novels to completely edit and format as ebooks. I cannot allow myself to draft anymore novels until July, which will be another Camp NaNoWriMo. Now I must focus on editing the seven novels before starting any new projects. Oh, and I started another poetry book…

Time for a break before anything else goes wrong. I should be more careful and stop playing with lightning bolts. Or perhaps just be careful where I play with them.

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Dance into the fire…

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I’m all warm and toasty now.

An Excerpt from The Violet Series Book 2: The Search for Merlin

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(Violet is half human and half water nymph; all which is explained in the first book of the series. Carlos is a human and a practicing witch who wanted to find Merlin. Merlin is the famous Merlin from King Arthur’s court and the Knights of the Round Table. Carlos and Violet have already found and freed Merlin from his tomb, where he was sleeping for quite a long time.)

Merlin looked at Carlos and Violet. “Children, it’s time to go. You can work on that magic later when we are done.”

Carlos and Violet stopped practicing and looked at Merlin.

“Where are we going?” asked Carlos.

“To Paris.”

“Oh, then we need to walk back to the train.”

“The train? What’s that?”

“It’s a means of transportation. That’s how we got from Paris to here.” Violet looked at Merlin.

“I see. I thought I’d grab you two and then teleport us to her location.”

Carlos cringed. “I haven’t been able to do that and I doubt that Violet can at all.”

“I think it will be safer to take the train. We’ll show you the way.”

“I guess I’ve been asleep too long.”

“It’s okay, we can fill you in as we go. This way, Merlin.” Violet grabbed her backpack and put it on her back.

Merlin, Carlos, and Violet walked out of the castle. Merlin made the castle disappear with one wave of his wand. He looked to his two companions and raised his eyebrows.

“This looks much the same to me.”

“Yes, I can believe that. In a few kilometers, it probably won’t look familiar anymore.” Violet pointed in the direction they needed to go.

The trio walked all the way back to the train station, where Merlin stared in disbelief.

“What have you done while I was asleep?”

“We’ve modernized the whole world while you were sleeping. I’ll go get the tickets for all of us. Merlin, stay here with Violet.”

Merlin watched Carlos go to a ticket machine. “How do you know all this stuff already?”

“We grew up with much of it, so it’s not unfamiliar. Perhaps after we are done with Vivienne, we can show you some history which happened while you were sleeping.”

“If we survive Vivienne, then I’ll teach you the magic I know and you can teach me about modern life. I’m not sure I’m cut out for it.”

Violet smiled. “Actually, you might be able to pass as an old curmudgeon easily. Many of them complain about new technology all the time. Sometimes when new things come out or the old stuff had changed, people complain a lot.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

Carlos walked back to Violet and Merlin with the tickets. “I already validated them as well. Just hang on to your ticket. A train conductor may ask to see it.”

Violet took her ticket and kept it in her hand. Merlin did the same.

Soon the train arrived and the trio boarded it. Carlos found the three of them seats together. They sat down. A few minutes later the train left the station.

“I hope you two will keep me from looking like a fool once we get to Paris.”

Violet smiled. “Just let us know where to look.”

“How different is Paris now?”

“I don’t know.”

“Neither do I, but we’ll be there with you, Merlin,” said Carlos.

“Good.” He paused. “Wake me up when we get there.” He closed his eyes.

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017

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It’s almost time for Camp NaNoWriMo for April 2017. I’m ready to get started. I still have five novels to finish editing and packaging as ebooks, but they have covers. I’ll just have to edit them while I’m drafting two new novels in April.

The new novels don’t have covers yet. The notes are very few at the moment, but I will get to them shortly. I’ve decided to write about 90,000 words between both novels. I know I can get it done.

The novels are This Strange, Wild Land and Praying for Death. They are both in my Colonies of Earth series.

This Strange, Wild Land features a kidnapped woman who is forced into becoming a bride and then turns around and releases the fire nymphs on Mercury.

Praying for Death features a heroine who is trying to escape the abuse from her parents and rebuild her life. She travels from Saturn to Titan hoping she is far enough away from them.

And to top things off, I’ll be spending time in Fiction Cove, a world in Kitely created by my friend, Arton Tripsa. I know she won’t mind as she created this world as a writer’s retreat. I probably won’t be the only one using it for Camp NaNoWriMo.

With views like this to look at, I think I’m ready to start the camp and draft two new novels.

Do I feel inspired yet?

Meditation on the latest story or two…

Must stretch and remember to exercise or else my muscles will become stiff after all the writing I’ll be doing…

The beach for after the writing is done for the day.