100K words!

Ladies and Gent’s, I present…
Word count: 101,793!!!!  (26355 more since last post.)
Progression: Posted up to chapter 20 of an estimated 39; working on chapter 21.

Well now… I must say I am quite pleased with myself. I clearly recall sitting at about 30K words and thinking “How the hell am I ever going to make it to 100K let alone the 150ish K I think I need to be at????” But here I am, over 100K words. Technically, I’d already hit this milestone a long time ago, BUT, these 100K words are all within the first book. (The rest have been moved aside to another installment)

So… Instead of writing more today, I decided to do a little cartoon, cause I’m a dumb ass like that. This was based upon quite a few recent conversations I’ve had with fellow writers, and I believe it sums up my feelings on the whole critiquing process.

Before I show you my attempt at wit, I did want to state one other milestone I hit. Since the start of writing this book, I have struggled, wrestled, and attempted to manhandle my way into a prologue. I managed to squeeze it out, it is no where near finished, but those words are what put me over the 100K mark. Like with much of my other words, I will not erase them. They are quite near and dear to me and I’ve set them aside as a reminder of what I can accomplish.

On that note, I have many people to thank… but I will leave that for my acknowledgment page. You know who you all are. 😀

Oh! And I created a new word… or acronym… or curse word… check out my FB page to see it!

Anywho… here is the cartoon:

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

The art of not-giving-a-f#ck

Hello my poor neglected lovelies!
It’s been a while huh?
Word count: 49543 (6.8K more – yes I have stuck with my goals!)
Progression: On chapter 10, needs a few more edits and then posting on FWO. The girls are finally across!

WARNING! I flaming curse a lot in this post. (TWoT anyone?)

In the last post, I said I would post more technical stuff, well I don’t wanna, and you can’t make me.

Just kidding, I need to write this down. A lot has been researched and forgotten, but I will do my best. I just need a starting point.

*Twiddles thumbs*

I guess it is kinda bad when you have writers block for your own freaking blog. Ah well. I think I will go with the art of not-giving-a-fuck.

What’s that you say? Where would you find this in a literary magazine or who was the originator of this crazy named nonsense?

Who the hell cares. Yes you heard me. I. Don’t. Give. A. Flying. Fillet-O-Fuck. (Thank you Elle Casey for that phrase)

That is my whole point. So many people, myself included, start writing and freeze. Not because they don’t know their story (there are exceptions) but because they start thinking of the people reading it, or critiquing it.

STOP!

You are no where near this point yet.

“How the hell would someone like this, who is not even published, have the right answer?”

Never said I did, but being an avid blog reader, forum poster, and all ‘round pessimist, I have an inkling or twenty.

Listen, I have big dreams for my book, and until I started actually writing and reading up on publishing, I never really had a fear of literary rejection. I had a story to tell and I honestly didn’t know a thing about writing at all, but I knew, and still know, that it will be successful.

Do I fear the rejection letters, bad reviews and shit ton of editing based off of critiques? Fuckin’ A. But here is the deal, I stopped caring. Mostly anyways. There is still that annoying ass voice screaming at me, but I have learned that it can fuck off because I know my writing is not ready yet.

I have a hell of a long way to go. I am sure anyone that writes will probably find at least 10 or more grammatical errors in this post. That’s okay though, I have plans to fix that.

You see, I have found that writing is really a full time job. (No shit? Wow, there are such things as authors?) What I mean to say is that it is work. For me it is *mostly* fun, but definitely takes dedication and delivery.

Without knowing your craft, or without trying to at least abide by the rules, you get to be one of ‘those’ authors. We all know who I am talking about. The ones that give away their book, or sell it for cheap, luring you in with a cool sounding premise, and you are suckered into reading their trash. Maybe their first, or first few chapters delivers. After that, you start thinking of other shit while you are reading, then have to go back, only to find that you didn’t miss anything really, and find yourself confused because they left out a verb, changed POV’s (I’m SO guilty of that) or just are not fucking making sense.

I will not be one of ‘those’ authors.

To combat this, I have decided to really work for what I want. I have been critiquing others writing like mad lately. And not just cause I love to read, but because I am looking for the errors that others have pointed out to me on my own work. This is helping me spot them quicker and see just how badly they stick out.

Also, I will be searching for something online for my reeducation of all things English – yay… I am looking here and trying to find some youtube stuff. I am cheap. Also, there are THOUSANDS of discussions at FWO, so there’s that.

So that is part of the dedication, the rest goes hand in hand with delivery. I dedicated myself to writing the 2K words per week, and granted, I had some overflow from last week where I did not quite meet my goal, but here I am, already 800 words over this week’s goal and fully caught up.

I stuck with it even when I thought I would just have to say fuck it and be a week behind till I could catch up. But I stayed dedicated and delivered what I promised myself. I cannot begin to tell you just how much that makes me feel like I accomplished something big, even though most might scoff at the lower word count.

That leads me back to the flying-fuck. I quit worrying so much about what all of these other people, who have been doing it for years, or who just seem to be fucking awesome at everything, and started focusing on what I could do.

I didn’t mean for this to be a pep talk. Really. So this post wasn’t technical huh? I disagree. You go to any blog, or any #amwriting twit (yes I am saying that, and yes I am one of them) and you get inundated with countless posts about just sitting down and writing. Yet, none of them really talk to you like you know what the fuck they mean.

No shit? I need to sit my ass down and write? Well fuck. I am an idiot.

It starts with making a promise. Make one to yourself, your pet, or a passing cloud – who cares. Just make the promise and deliver on it. Make it small, make it big, but make it possible. And for the love of God, quit worrying about your errors or what type of color green the grass should be or perfectly describing the bend angle of a arm waving hi, or even the fucking sound fog makes (I literally did the last one).

Quit worrying about when you finally let someone read whatever you are writing.

If you are a newb, hell probably even a seasoned writer, that voice will always be there to fuck with you. Fuck with it back. I wrote a list of everything it was saying and waited a day or two to read it back, directing a conversation with it – no I am NOT crazy, I am determined.

Here are some of the things it has said to me and what I said back.

You suck. – What are you, 5?
No one will ever read this, so why write it? – Well I am fucking reading it, and I happen to like the story and want to know what happens.
They will all say you cannot write – Well, I know I can’t right now. But doesn’t practice make perfect?
You are being repetitive – So the fuck are you.
This is shit writing – I didn’t know shit could write, are you saying you are a pessimistic shit’s thought?

Anyway, now that you know just how nuts I can be, I think I will leave off. So yeah, I may not have ‘street-cred’ yet, but I have ‘some’ experience. I hope, one day, that this crazy post does help someone.