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

I like being lazy…

Good. You are back. Or you have just arrived. Eh, either way, good.

Let’s get down to brass tacks first.

Word Count: 42,741 (Yeah yeah… only 3k more than last time)
Progression: Actually, my progression is my topic.

No, I will not write about writers block, fucking stupid. There are god knows how many things already written about that. No… this is a post about what the fuck I am going to do to finish this, and within 2016.

So. There. I said it and I meant it. I will be done with book 1 by 2016. Actually, my real goal is to be done by September, then final draft in November.

Let me start over.

I have a job. A demanding and ever increasingly difficult job. I hate the lack of time I have because of said job. I am lazy. I like being lazy. I want to lay around the house, and when inspiration hits me, I get off my ass to do whatever I want. If I wanna go make a glass of chocolate milk, celery with peanut butter and a salad, I will fucking do that. If I wanna zone out to Netflix and waste away untold hours of my life, I can go do that. I want to stay awake at night and sleep during the day. I live in the desert, so it’s cooler that way. I might vacuum once a month, if I am lucky – or unlucky. If I want to write far too late in the night, more words on my blog than my book, screw it, I can.

In order for some of those things to happen, I need to have a job in which I can. Or no job. I am sure one day my boss will read this blog, hopefully not before I quit, and not because I dislike her, if anything, she is one of the best manager’s I have had. No, I just don’t want to be brought into HR (read previous posts, I refuse to apologize for this). Anyways, hopefully, the day my boss reads this, it will be the day I can no longer call her a boss because I have made enough money to quit.

For over 7 years I have toyed around with this book, and I no longer want to play make believe. There is nothing more that I would like than to have success like Meyer, Sanderson, Tolkien, fucking Shakespeare… but, I will not delude myself. The possibility of that happening is small, but still obtainable – I refuse to believe it is not. If they can I can. I CAN make the book. I CAN make some money from it. I CAN finish my idea of a mostly perfect book. I CAN make a mark. I CAN DO THIS.

I had a crazy goal I set last summer of having 27 pages written a week. Fucking idiot. If any newbie is reading this, yeah I am one too, just know, if you set yourself a goal like that, just do it. Me? I am a wuss and, like I said, lazy. So that goal was not something I really strived for. Could I do it… yeah. Did I? Fuck no. Did it make me depressed every time I saw the calendar reminder pop up? OMG yes…

So instead of seeing that and being like yay I did it! It was more like… I think I MIGHT have written half a page… FML.

Now, I have reset my goal to something extremely small. 2000 words a week. I can do that. It’s not too hard, its reasonable, and its attainable for someone like myself. Shit, I have already written 600 words for this one post already.

In fact, tonight I wrote about 700 words in the book. Easy right? Not really, but I still fucking did it.

This goal will allow me to make the remaining 60K words – yes I decided on 100K for the book – by September-ish. Could be more, could be less. I do like long books, so I will try for more, but I need a solid goal to work towards.

After that, I have allowed myself to November for editing. I still have a fantasy of sending it to Tor or someone and getting immediately picked up, but for now the plan is self publishing. Why? Well, I found a nifty calculator that shows how much you would make self vs traditional publishing. I make more doing self. I am money hungry, I won’t kid anyone there, but the ultimate goal for me is just to actually write this thing. The money is a plus, and it will help pay for me to be lazy… er… write…?

I really do not want the stress of a slush pile (Apparently this is another word for recycling bin according to quite a few authors) just to be rejected or wait around to be rejected for far too long. Also, an agent could just lengthen this painful process.

I dream of having an agent and a publisher. One day…

FYI a slush pile is the giant stack of submitted works that publishers or agents skim through until something catches their attention. Then, it gets put in the maybe pile.

So, I should have the book ready before Christmas this year. I will need Beta readers, I have a few in mind, but still need more. Hit me up if you are interested in reading what I have. I am still in the i-dont-give-a-shit-how-crappy-this-is-cause-its-not-in-editing-mode-yet phase. Needless to say it is a rough-rough draft.

I am a numbers person so bear with me here. If I started this goal on 2/15, and I am in need of another 60K words, that means that it will take me 30 weeks or 210 days. I am hesitant to put this here, its so final, but that would give me until 9/12 to finish. Since my magic is loosely based on astrology, that would mean it’s in the sign of Leo (Sidereal or Berg signs) and Virgo (Tropical – what most people are used to). Leo is a lion with an impenetrable hide represented by Fire, and Virgo is, among other things, based upon the last immortal to leave Earth and destined to return ushering a new age; hence being an Earth sign. I feel good about those signs. Strength and a promise to return. Good.

November can be up to 4 different signs. Since my book will be mostly based on the Berg theory, I am shooting for Ophiuchus – Nov 29 – Dec 17. Granted all of the dates are not quite fixed because of a lot of math and rotation etc. BUT, they are solid dates. I have been pussy-footing around and not setting one. (Hush all of you that realize I do not have a set date for the final draft)

It might be interesting to post my books according to the signs… Could get difficult too. Although, if I write a certain length per book, having 13 in a series, I could post one in each month. Eh… the sporadic thought process of me is quite annoying sometimes.

Ah look, I am over 1200 words now. Oh and I promise hope that the next post will have more info. Things like resources, people I am reading for publishing, the fact that I have a currently useless mailchimp account, that I am critiquing other writers works, etc.

Since I just brought it up, here is something I stumbled across a few weeks ago. It is a bit gimmicky, but still has quite a lot of great info http://timgrahl.com/ I signed up for his newsletter, and some 30 day course for free. If nothing else, he has made me really analyze how I will market when I go to publish.

Anyways, it was fun. Ya’ll come back now…