Oct Update + Short Story

Hola mi amigos!
Word count: 75438 (9395 more since last post.)
Progression: Posted up to chapter 15 of an estimated 39; working on chapter 16.

It has been too long since I have posted. I am really horrible about keeping a writing journal/blog thingy. Lots of new stuff has been happening. First and foremost, some slightly depressing stuff.

Nadine Hanuska – I love and miss you terribly. I am extremely sorry that I missed out on the last 13+ years of your life. I was a horrible granddaughter in your remaining years, but, at the same time, I am glad I have only happy memories, and not the ones where you were not yourself. You always made sure I had as much mashed potatoes as I could handle – which was entirely too much – and you introduced me to the game called dots (terribly poor taste to keep a young child up till the wee hours of the night playing such an addictive game) and whenever possible, you always broke the wishbone of the turkey with me. I miss you and your tea… sweet and southern.
I miss your face, your laugh, and your ability to keep this rag tag, huge family together. I love you.

There, now that I am all crying and upset, I can try to see through the tears to write the rest of this.

Back to my writing progress. Depending on how I look at things, I am about halfway through! I say depending on how you look at things cause who the heck knows just how far I really am until I am done.

Speaking of which, since the last post I have been able to nail down my chapter outlines along with tentative word count goals. Right now the estimate is 162338 words to end the first book. I know, weird number, but I counted the chapters I have already written. Yeah, yeah, they will be edited so who knows just how much I really have to go here.

I will say it has been amazingly helpful to get the outline redone. I started with some vague ideas a number of years ago, morphed into a general outline about a year ago, and have completely rewritten that because I realized there was just too much I wanted in the first book. Well, unless I wanted to get up to 400k+.

For anyone that really wants to know how I did this, I put together that board I discussed before, which helped me figure out that I had too much slated. Then I decided to put it all together in an excel sheet with a bunch of stuff like word count expectations, summaries, Lenaeu vs Earth time lines (keeping track of the time difference is crazy hard) and a general idea of what will go into the rest of the books.

I still have so much to do… As you know – I think – my magic system is based upon Astrology and Elements, which causes a lot of rigid structure I have to follow. I can’t have someone that is a Water sign magically have crazy amounts of Earth element to play with. If you don’t know the rules, don’t worry, I shall explain.

(Astrologers, close your eyes and skip this to prevent a serious need to attack me for my lack of knowledge)

Each astrological sign has an element that is their “main”. Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Each sign has something called a ‘detriment’ – opposite sign. An example –  Main = Water (Pisces); Detriment = Earth (Virgo). So then if the Main is Air, their detriment is Fire. This means that someone with Water is exceptionally skilled with that element, about half as skilled with Air and Fire, and very, very, very unskilled in Earth (detriment).

All of that I have to remember with each character and assign them a birth sign. For now, the only two that have one are my main characters – Ayli (not yet in the book) and Ama. The rest, I am simply assigning an element to until I feel like nailing down a birthday.

Ah, I did forget, there is one group of people that are a caveat.

I wrote a short story on them and they are called the Overlaps or the Seacht Laethanta – Seven Days in Gaelic. Basically, there are 7 days (October 24th-30th) in which all three of the astrological groups have either an Air, Water or Earth sign. The reason why this is important is that it allows for these people to wield all 4 elements without a detriment. Since Fire is only a detriment to one of them, and not all, it cannot be a ‘full time’ one. (They are my magic rules so whatever)

I could go on but I won’t… for now.

So, that was a very long winded progression discussion. But it does go to show just how many hours worth of work I’ve had to do here. Many different spreadsheets, hundreds of research hours into astrology and many more hours daydreaming of possibilities.

I will say the Seacht are a wonderful find that I was not planning on. This has allowed for one of my characters – Dara – to fit her role more perfectly.

Moving on, it is about that time of the year where I find myself writing more. It is something about the fall – I love it and it loves me. The writing me anyways. I have written a short story that I have posted below, and I have great plans to write a ton of stuff over the next month or so. Hopefully I will be 3/4 to 4/5 of the way through by the end of November.

(This is anywhere from 46K to 56K words – fun stuff)

Anywho… below is my short story, I hope you all enjoy!

PS. I didn’t cuss once in this post! Fuck!


Chandra and Adam

I used to live my life by the cycles surrounding her. The way her once animated, beautiful, and adoring face could give me almost violent shudders of anticipation, was both the cause and the effect of my everything.

One day, we would be blistering in our closeness, our unbridled love, out of control and reckless. The next, she would be cold and distant. Now all I saw was her suspended, hauntingly pale, and lifeless. But I still felt thrills of excitement… some days, at least. For even in death she was the most beautiful thing I have ever beheld.


On rare nights, as I lay gazing at the stars, I would only see her shadow. It was a giant dark hole where my heart once dwelled. Those were the good nights, in a sense. At least they were less painful than the ones where I caught slivers of her face; her pale dead skin gleaming in the harsh light. Yet they held nothing in comparison to the nights when I saw her fully, a poor imitation her once glory. Mercifully, they were short lived.


I could look back to when we first met with fondness; at least that was not taken from me. Although, it is a bitter memory, I could enjoy it. 


I was minding my own business, busy with my normal cyclical routine, but completely bored. Out of the darkness, blinding me with her beauty, I saw her heading my way. I thought nothing of it, assuming she would pass and ignore me like everyone else. 


But she didn’t. 


She wasn’t looking where she was going, typical behavior I came to find, and ran full force into me. I tilted but stayed steady. I reached out to her to save her from falling, being the polite gentleman I am, while her water drenched me. It saturated my muddy colored clothes and instantly cooled me in the summer heat. 


We both laughed after the initial shocks wore off. Her body quivered as she fought her giggles, pleasingly distracting me. Then, her pale blue eyes met my hazel. It was as if the universe stopped and we realized, in this embarrassing encounter surrounded by strangers, that no force could ever be stronger. No one would measure up to this instant bond. No one could ever be anything more than the background to our story. No one could be more perfect.


It seemed as though our gazes never separated afterwards.


Our love was a firestorm for no amount of water would quench our thirst. We blazed across time, ignoring or conquering everything in our way. 


Eventually our relationship cooled, but it did not diminish. Rather, we were symbiotic, matured. 


If I had known how it would have ended, I would have changed nothing. Yet, to be without her for so long, to have lost my best friend, my life, my soul… no torture could be more absolute.
But, after this eternity apart, I had hope. Our children have grown, matured and blossomed. They are fighting for all of our lives.


I had almost given up, and they had nearly destroyed me in their adolescence. But now… they travel to her pale, gaunt face, and I can already see a shimmer, a faint glint of her once endless blue eyes forming.


You see, I made a plan; one that would return her to me. For thousands of years I have cared for, nurtured, and evolved our offspring. Gently I have nudged them, given them guidance, and shown them how to leave me, to go out on their own. But, their first stop would be with her – to breathe life into her lunar husk.
Just as they are restoring her, so too, are they rebuilding my forests, my waters. The water she inadvertently spilt upon me that fateful day.


Soon, I will be able to bask in her presence once more, our worlds forever held in this orbit. The Earth and Moon shall be together again in this sea of stars.

© Copyright 2016 Kristol Hannah

WTF Facebook…

Hello again world!

Just started my G+ account. Seems a bit convoluted, but then again I am not used to these new fangled fancy SM things. Added some links to other author’s I know, got some followers on twitter and followed a few people.
Facebook… not as easy as twitter let me just say. Getting an account was super easy, so was posting stuff and general editing. I won’t bore you with details. BUT.. adding a facebook button to my blog took me an hour. WTF… Honestly it is a bit of a headache, I had planned on writing the steps down, but F that. I suggest going to youtube and watching this.
Another hour later and I finally have my twitter, google+, blog and facebook connected, plus the apps on my phone. Then I realized I really do not want my facebook and twitter connected. That took a while to figure out as well. Haven’t tested to see if I actually succeeded yet.
And one more thing FB… WTF is your problem huh? I hope one day I get a SM platform that takes hours to configure because nothing is where it should be.

I am still trying to figure out exactly how I want to post things here. There is a lot of information to sort through and I am having a hard time pacing myself and planning everything with all my new gadgets on top of my book thoughts. I guess I should explain a bit about my book.
First, current word count is 32K. I know that is less than what I said in a previous post, but I was guessing before. I finally sorted my scrivener draft into what will be in this book vs other books.
So why is word count so important vs the number of pages? I have found that in the publishing world, word count is what they go by. Generally speaking the ‘limit’ publishers go for is anywhere from 80-120K for a fantasy novel. I haven’t decided if I will listen to that rule or not. I have a very long story to tell, and while the thoughts of break dancing dollars are popping and locking in my head, I don’t know if I really wanna sell out for more money by having more books to buy. Like I mentioned before, I love long books, and this book is supposed to be an accumulation of everything I wanted in fantasy, so whatever.

Then again if Tor or DAW picks me up, then I think I will listen to what they have to say.

Back to the meat of the story… I do not want to give anything away, and right now I am still planning out how I will keep a mystery around the main plot reveal. So here goes:
Once upon a time… Ha! Just kidding. There are really 2 main characters (MC’s) and at this point there are 11 other secondary – but very important – characters. The first book focuses mostly on 3 of them.
Amadel – A teenage girl from Earth is thrown into another world, Lenaeu ([Len – a – ooh] – still not sure on this name) after visiting her Aunt. This was done by means of a magical book and necklace passed down through her family. She is the prophesied savior of the land along with her twin sister. The problem is her sister disappeared almost a decade ago. Now she must learn to survive in a world with magic and an evil sorcerer, bent on her destruction, who has overthrown the kingdom and enslaved millions.
Leah – Orphaned when she was very young, and sent to live with an abusive foster mother, has just lost her new friend, Amadel. Something is whispering in her mind, telling her to locate and help Ama. She finds a way into the other world only to be caught by the evil sorcerer and sent to the Void; a place between Lenaeu and Earth that no one emerges from.
Merlin – Fabled magician from the middle ages, originally sent from Lenaeu to Earth on a mission to protect the prophesied twins. He is there to guide them and help them learn their powers before having to overthrow the evil sorcerer. But when he realizes the prophecy is heading down a path of death and destruction, he takes matters into his own hands.

There is a hell of a lot more and I suck at summarizing but I will leave it at that for now.

Now that is out of the way, I do have some ideas on how to streamline my blog. First, always greet my peeps (not that I have any at this point but hey, whatever). Second, post my word count – even if it is less than it was previously due to editing *shudders*. Third, post my progression or any relevant topics. IE: start my rambling. And fourth, tips for new writers based on my exp. Might switch around 3 and 4.
Since I have already done all but #4, here goes.

Tips:
1. Get a cloud service or multiple flash drives. Why? Well if you are anything like me, you may go through hard drives like a hot knife through butter. Plus I have a tendency to lose flash drives… Thank you google for the cloud drive.
2. Get something better than Microsoft Word. As I stated before, I suggest Scrivener, but I am biased and have no opinions of other platforms yet. I did a quick search and this site seemed the most unbiased, but a bit dated. http://www.dailywritingtips.com/writing-software/
3. Unless you are an English major, or just really well versed with writing already, get an editing tool. Currently I am using (and not using it enough) ProWritingAid because its free. But I will probably update to something else later.
4. Read. Read a lot. Review a lot. Read some more. Review some more. And do not just read and review your own writing genre. I have read quite a few different genres and found very helpful tips. Namely, if you do not take serious time to review your own work, and get beta readers and other people to critique your work, errors are bound to show up. As a reader, I am a stickler for flow. If I see someone doing something out of character, or if something was just explained one way, then totally opposite the next, or if the paragraph(s) that I am reading are just too damned confusing, then I will not want to read anything else from that writer.
5. Just fucking do it already. Will it suck? Yes. Will it frustrate you and cause you to want to ball up your paper and throw it away? More than likely at one point it will. Could you compare your work to <insert your favorite author here> and get totally depressed? Yep… been there, done that, still kinda doing that at times. Will you get over it? I dunno, that part is up to you. I suggest you do. I am 100% serious when I said I have probably thrown away more than I have finally put to ‘paper’ at this point. I just couldn’t let this go though. I have a story to tell and I know there will be at least a few hundred people out there that will love it.

I really tried to not cuss, in fact I have been forcing myself not to because of excluding certain people, or pissing off my HR department. Which is total bullshit by the way. I have been on conference calls where certain …people… have said quite a few interesting things…

Anyways… back to writing. Goodnight my imaginary audience!

PS. The unlinking didn’t work. You have to go to https://www.facebook.com/twitter