IWSG: December

Happy Holidays fellow IWSG-ers.

Whatever you celebrate: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, or anything else I’m forgetting (sorry!), I’m happy we’ve gotten to the point. Not because I’m confident I’ll wrap up everything I’ve got left on my list before we ring in the new year. It’s definitely not because EVERY store is going to be a hellscape for the rest of the month. It’s only partially because I get to hum Christmas tunes all month and my husband can’t roll his eyes at me.

I’m happy we’re here because it means we survived another year, and we’ve made it through writing slumps and breakthroughs, through the joy of perfect sentences and the frustration of edits where whole chapter have to be thrown out.

We made it. And now, as everything else goes crazy in this season, we can take a much needed break. (assuming any of us are constitutionally capable of it.)

What I’d love to hear is something you’ve accomplished this year, something you’re proud of. Tell me your joys so that I can re…

November Wrap-Up

Words Written: 50,287-words in 23 days
(AVG 2,186-words/day*)
7 projects + Admin (9%)

November is all SUPER FOCUSED, and then suddenly, that last week, everything went to hell.
My general daily goals weren't really met.... but I hit the 50k, thanks to that messy week.

* the image is wrong because I hadn't remembered to change the day's written before I took the screenshot.

It's a short update this month because I have SO. MUCH. TO. DO!

No Nano

NaNoWriMo is an awesome challenge and great way to push yourself to get something started, or get something finished… or just get focused. It’s an amazing community and it’s a great way to kick yourself in the pants.
As someone who’s done NaNo several times, I am a big proponent of participation. I needed it for focus because… whoa, my brain gets especially flustered around this time of year.

But this time, I had to make the hard choice to not participate. As a self-competitive person, and a completionist, stepping back and removing myself from that particular trackable goal was tough. But my first priority goal this month is an edit and editing does not for a NaNo word count make.

I probably will still hit the 50k mark (Even my worst month since I started actively tracking my word counts in 2013 was over 50k… barely). But those words will be pulled from all over the place within my to-do list and so, I can’t in good conscience count them toward a NaNo “novel.”

That’s why I’m over her…

October Wrap-Up

Words Written: 113,815-words in 26 days
(AVG 4,378-words/day)
5 projects + Admin (6%)

This month feels like it was three years long. Maybe that’s because I got in as many words as I did? Maybe it’s because I spent it watching horror movies (some of which take a few days off my life every time I watch them)? Maybe it’s because the year is winding down and the weather’s finally getting cold and my bones are aching? Maybe it’s because I need my dosage upped and the time nonsense associated with my TLE has started to mess with me. Who knows.

The word count is as high as it is because I threw 70,000 of those words into a fast draft (it had OH SO MANY NOTES) in 9 days that is completely horrendous. I’ll be setting it aside while I work on other things next month so that I can come back to it in December and see how many of those words I’m actually going to keep, and then get a real draft around the 90k mark. (note: I’m not going to be able to do that draft in 9 days, history has proven thi…

Why Iron Heinrich is my Favorite

When people ask me what my favorite fairytale is, I usually tell them my second favorite. Mostly because it’s easier to simply say “Sleeping Beauty” than to explain the Iron Heinrich part of The Frog Prince.

In the version that includes Heinrich (so many leave him out), Heinrich is so distraught over his prince’s enchantment that he binds his chest with three iron bands to keep his heart from breaking. When the prince returns, his heart swells so much it is the bands that break.

The thing that has always fascinated me about the fairytale that leaves him out is that it made little to no sense to me as a child. Why would the prince want a princess who was so selfish and violent? Then again, why would the princess kiss a frog? I get that moral of the story is that promises need to be kept and that the rewards therein can be great, but what do you really owe an amphibian?

After my first time reading Iron Heinrich, some things fell into place for me. When it comes right down to it, I felt …

Release: Roar of Sky

Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

The books that came before:

Breath of Earth
Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

Call of Fire
Changing Hands | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | iTunes

For more information, visit their site.

Some Thoughts on The Last Jedi

By the end of our second viewing of The Last Jedi, I realized why it had taken so long for me to get back in the padded chair before the big screen. Despite everything that was amazing and wonderful about the film… it leaves me overwhelmingly sad. The beginning is sad, the middle is sad, even the moment of renewed hope is sad....

That general gloom makes the jokes harder to hear, leaves a bitter taste after they’re gone.
There are so many things I wanted from the movie plot wise that didn't happen and I waited this long to write up my thoughts on it so that I could shove most of those aside and work with what we were given, instead of the rewrites I would needlessly suggest (though at least one made it into the text below.

But I can like things that make me sad, so it’s still toward the top in my rankings.

And now, an itemized list of the things I like and dislike in no particular order*….
(Except the best, that's definitely first)

Vice Admiral Holdo
I always joke that I’d joi…

4 Reasons I'll Stop Reading

Let's start with why I'm writing this: I'm editing at present, and I'm going through the book with these things in mind.

Once upon a time, I completed every book I started. It wasn’t a good policy. The result was bogged down reading time (because finishing them was not desirable, so I’d keep putting it off) and a general distaste for reading in general at times.

In the last few years, I’ve allowed myself to mark things down as DNF. Sometimes, I think I’ll go back to them… and sometimes I do. Most of the time, I set them aside for research purposes. That’s the point at which I’m most likely to go back and read through them.

Reading for pleasure is different than reading for research.

Ridiculous plots are one thing – they’re actually pretty awesome. In 99% of fiction, I can overlook plot problems with science and even irrational character reactions (people are often irrational) what I can’t overlook is bad or lazy writing.

Most of the time, I stop reading for th…

Spice Tea

We’re in that fun season where sniffles and sneezes, and rib cracking coughs are starting to make the rounds. That means it’s time to share another, updated version of the spice tea recipe that keeps me alive when the yearly plague rolls through. As always, it’s pretty much the same as previous versions I’ve posted. Though, this time I have added a pair of variations that I’ve enjoyed recently. If you make it often enough, like I do, you’ll eventually get to a point when you don’t need to measure out the water (it hits right beneath the handles on my stock pot). And you may want to adjust the spice ratio too. I pull my cloves and cinnamon out with a tablespoon, but I let them heap too, so I don’t know exacting amounts. When you’re feeling like it’s not quite enough, adding whiskey* is a good plan too. Ingredients 6 Quarts Water ( 24 Cups/1.5 Gallons)1 Cup Sugar1 Tbsp Whole Cloves1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon12 Bags Black Tea (I use Lipton because you can get it in bulk at Costco)1 ½ Cups Lem…

On Pranks, Trust, & A Culture Where It’s “Funny” To Hurt People

Prank videos float around the internet the same way germs bounce around elementary school classrooms. You can ignore them most of the time, but you can never really avoid them.

I loathe pranks.

There are pranks people call harmless. Pranks where no one is physically hurt. The ones where you can “laugh” about them afterward.

There are videos where people convince younger boys to do something that inevitably winds up with a nutshot. There are the pranks that have a potential to be psychologically damaging. The ones that could, conceivably, kill someone if copied by someone who chooses to play out the same prank in an unsuitable location. 

People who get upset about pranks are deemed “overly sensitive.” When others speak up about pranks they’re called overly PC. We’re told that we need to get over it. That it’s all in the name of fun….

When I was six, an older cousin decided it would be hilarious to get me to cover my eyes for a “surprise” and then pants me. It’s twenty-five years later and …