Oh this has been a strange month! Advancing slowly yet passing by far too quickly all at once, we've hit "critical summer" here which means it's hot outside, yet everything is still shut down so there's not a whole lot being done.
Except writing, that is!
Yep, I've managed to do a whole lot of "word-vomiting", it seems like, and I managed to clear 40K! It's a new record!
I have joined a book club with some ladies from my church, I've made it to the library at least once this month (and I'm going to need to stop in again at some point this week... that's the trouble with the new way of doing things... one has to put books on hold, and one cannot just stop in and browse to one's heart's content to get plenty of reading material in one fell swoop!) and things are happening, so let's get to it!
Words Written: 40K!!
Books Read: 2/4
WIP-ping it into a frenzy!
Lol, lame pun, I know. But seriously, I have this thing where I can only focus on one particular project for so long before I start hitting too many walls and thinking about all the other projects I'd rather be writing! So the battle goes on!
One of the big things I ended up tackling this month is rewriting the part that was "Ronni the Robber Baroness" and "Tark the Trafficker" and turning them into the same event. Combining the experiences for Callista, I've found, ends up creating more of a definitive "Turning Point Moment" for her, in that she learns more about the Wordspinners and how they work, she gets a real sense of how dangerous it all is, and she gains the confidence to move forward instead of clinging to past ideals and regrets. Things go from "Callista worrying about what other people expect of her" to "Callista knowing what she expects of herself, and willing to face the consequences of it." Giving her a more active role to play in her own story just accentuates how much she's grown from the way she was at the beginning of the story, and gives her more of an arc than just "oops this happened now deal with it." Instead of throwing random "extras" around her, I actually gave the specific characters distinct backstories that affect how they interact and the way they view not only their captors and each other but Wordspinners as well. As a matter of fact, just yesterday I "discovered" that one of the prisoners who had basically been tortured out of his mind was in fact connected to the people the group is going to meet at the next stop, so that gave that part the direction and intentionality it needed!
But of course, I did mention that this is a battle, right?
As if that weren't enough....
THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKENPriscilla Sum isn't as "passe" as I thought! I know I've been getting really excited about Clan of Outcasts 3, and really annoyed with how long Priscilla and the gang are taking to get around to the really complicated part of the story (the one where I probably could have benefitted from actually doing some freaking research but at this point I don't want to expend more mental energy--which I obviously do not have--on this "was-going-to-be-a-short-story-I-swear" than what I have already expended) that I actually put out a poll on my author page--and in four responses, three of them wanted me to finish out Priscilla Sum, so that's what's going on!
At this point, it looks like the remainder of the story might take at least seven more weeks of Priscilla Sum, to finish out the plot... which means we're looking at Clan of Outcasts 3 starting in September! That's the other thing taking up headspace, though--I need to have enough of the story written in advance that I'll be able to post it more regularly, without having the issue that I'm running into with Priscilla Sum, where I can't seem to write it and get things together fast enough to post every week, so I miss weeks... I don't like missing weeks!
Something tells me I need to have a better system so that I can produce all of these projects more efficiently without feeling guilty about knuckling down and focusing on any one of them because it means I'm neglecting the others, which also have pressing deadlines looming closer! I detest deadlines!!
Reading this month... didn't go so well. I'm about two-thirds of the way through the first of what should have been 2 indie ebooks read this month, Broken Empire: Aftermath by E. A. Copen, I just haven't had a lot of downtime when I'm in the mood for reading, especially ebooks, this month. (Maybe it's the fault of the fact that when I'm on my phone I'm thinking of streaming videos and whatnot... but we won't talk about that just now!)
I will say that Broken Empire is definitely giving me STRONG Asimov vibes! The way the story is built, the rich and powerful seeking even more powerful, while the downtrodden "grunts" who see clearly what's actually going on are working in the shadows to upset that power balance... meanwhile there are characters who matter, characters you're drawn to root for... and they might not be the obvious "heroes" you would expect. Such is the beauty of Copen's writing--she makes you care in spite of yourself. Brilliant! I can't wait to see how this one turns out!
The only books I've finished this month are Funerals are Fatal by Agatha Christie and Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence.
The former felt more like a bust... because I went into it thinking I hadn't read it... only to find out, when I went to log it as "read" that I had apparently "read" it already... seven years ago... under a different title! Grrr... not cool!
Holy Sister more than made up for that though. Lawrence really built the story well, and his writing is still as spectacular as ever. "Men Writing Women" has long been something to point and laugh at, an absurdity of errors because of the numerous examples where men have done an abominable job "building" and describing their female characters... But if you're remotely interested in the new show Warrior Nun on Netflix... you might skip the disappointment and go straight on to reading this trilogy, The Books Of the Ancestor! Warrior nuns aplenty, and very real relationships, interactions, development... everything! His switch from a male-dominated cast to one that's mostly female feels almost seamless, as the girls seem every bit as diverse and strong and unique as his male characters. They're flawed and gifted in all the right ways. They make friends and enemies, they plot and plan, they share secrets and withhold information, they're just real, and it's wonderful!
I predict that I'm going to get to finish several more books in the month of August. I'm still working through Hercule Poirot's Casebook, and I've got a stack of books from the actual real library, no less, that I'll be working my way through as fast as I can: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter, Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik, and Blood Rites by Jim Butcher.
Next up in the realm of indie books I've got Dawn of Destiny by Amy Hopkins and Michael Anderle, and a book that's been on my Shelf Of Signed Books for years... Deception by Katika Schneider. Some of you might remember my review of the first book, Devotion, and the way it kind of threw me for a loop, since I hadn't really read much of its kind at the time... I'm interested to see how the sequel reads, now that I've matured as a reader. Looking forward to it!
So there you have it... We are past the halfway mark for 2020 and making headway on the rest of it.... Tally-ho! And as always...
Catch You Further Upstream!