Mar 2, 2017

February Numbers

Writing
71,471-words in 24 days
(AVG: 2,978-words/day)

6 Projects + Admin


Last month was…. Interesting.

I set out to do one thing, started strong, and then had something thrown at me that required ditching that particular goal. I’ll get back to it in a month or so, but for now, I’ve got a 6-week schedule that is possibly going to challenge my need for planning. Structure and I are friends.

Feb 8, 2017

What I'm Excited For In February


IRL
I’ll be finishing up my lower leg sleeve (Yay!) which is always fun. I have to say, the knee-adjacent work in the lining and shading was a lot easier than I expected, pain-wise.

We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s day. I don’t know that we have anything specifically against it, we’ve just never seen a need. I find cut flowers depressing and the mark-ups on things are ridiculous (yay consumerism).

Lego Batman
Something tells me this is going to be my second favorite Batman movie (right between Batman Returns and the original)

Trainspotting 2
Who hasn’t been waiting for this? Who isn’t surprised they didn’t use the book’s title?

John Wick: Chapter 2
I have a SEVERE problem with the beginning of the first movie (don’t you dare hurt another dog, Alfie) but otherwise, I enjoy the chaos and shoot-em-up nonsense of it. Possibly my favorite thing Keanu has done since Speed.

A Cure For Wellness
I’ll take things that look like a mind-f*ck for five hundred, Alex.

Tulip Fever
First of all, can we talk about the madness of Zach Gallifianakas in a period piece? Because, bring that on. Otherwise, the trailer kind of reminds me of Perfume. And as disturbing as that movie is, it is beautiful and it gives me hope that this one will be too.

The Stars Are Legion (or Lesbians in Space) by Kameron Hurley ALREADY OUT!
Somewhere on the outer rim of the universe, a mass of decaying world-ships known as the Legion is traveling in the seams between the stars. For generations, a war for control of the Legion has been waged, with no clear resolution.  As worlds continue to die, a desperate plan is put into motion.

Zan wakes with no memory, prisoner of a people who say they are her family. She is told she is their salvation - the only person capable of boarding the Mokshi, a world-ship with the power to leave the Legion. But Zan's new family is not the only one desperate to gain control of the prized ship. Zan finds that she must choose sides in a genocidal campaign that will take her from the edges of the Legion's gravity well to the very belly of the world.

Zan will soon learn that she carries the seeds of the Legion's destruction - and its possible salvation. But can she and her ragtag band of followers survive the horrors of the Legion and its people long enough to deliver it?

A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
London's fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro
In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers.

So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

Wintersong by S Jae-Jones
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.   

A Perfect Machine by Brett Savory
Henry Kyllo is a member of a secret society called the Inferne Cutis. A Runner whose goal is to achieve full-body lead content. He is chased through the city every day by Hunters whose goal is to shoot the Runners — with the threat to both sides that if they do not participate, through a mysterious force no one understands, one of their loved ones will simply vanish from the face of the earth.

Rumours abound about what happens when a Runner achieves “ascension”, but it has supposedly never happened before, so no one knows for sure.

Except that it has happened before. And it is happening again. This time, to Henry Kyllo.   

Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson
It is Earth year 2213—but, of course, there is no Earth anymore. Not since it was burned to a cinder by the sun, which has mysteriously begun the process of going supernova. The human race has fled to Mars, but this was only a temporary solution while we prepare for a second trip: a one-hundred-fifty-year journey to a distant star, our best guess at where we might find a new home.

Liam Saunders-Chang is one of the last humans left on Mars. The son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology vital to humanity’s survival, Liam, along with his friend Phoebe, will be on the very last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed.

Or so he thinks. Because before this day is over, Liam and Phoebe will make a series of profound discoveries about the nature of time and space, and find out that the human race is just one of many in our universe locked in a desperate struggle for survival.   

Feb 6, 2017

Movie Plots

Let’s talk about plots! Only four today, and just because these ones were on my mind.

I consume a lot of media. Books, Music, TV, Movies, Memes. And movie plots are one of those things that I’m exposed to often, thanks to a cinefile husband and the relatively small time commitment. (Assuming I’m not binging on LOTR, or doing my annual Christmas Die Hard Marathon)

Let’s talk about four of the Plots I see a lot.

The Watch It Twice Plot -
This sort of movie comes with a twist, or maybe it’s a mystery. Either way, you have to watch it twice. The first time, you watch it to be surprised. The second time, you watch it to look for the clues you missed the first time around. (Of course, this excludes poorly done versions where you spot all the clues and aren’t surprised at all.)

A lot of people I know say you can only watch an M. Night Shyamalan movie once, and while there are a few that I’ve agreed with that on simply for premise, I think others require a second go, just so you can pay attention, so you can spot the clues.

The “We Both Know This Isn’t Going To End Well” Plot -
Sometimes, a movie makes no effort to hide the fact that EVERYONE (or almost everyone) is going to die. This shows up in Horror and Military/War plots all the dang time. They might dangle the possibility of survival. Maybe THIS time that group of kids will come out on top of the crazy killer/spirit/curse they happened to stumble upon in the woods. But let’s face it. We all know.

If you didn’t walk into Rogue One expecting all of the main characters would die, I don’t know what to tell you.

The Love Triangle That Should End In A Polyamorous Situation, But Society Isn’t Ready For That Yet Plot -
The girl loves two guys. The guys are best friends. She bounces back and forth between a choice because it’s too hard, and they alpha-male it off to win her for themselves. Can I just tell you, life would be so much simpler if love was treated like love and not a competition. Reminder: it’s not a finite resource. And let’s face it, you could still work in a ton of conflict in that situation.

The When Is This Going To Be Over Plot -
We’ve all watched a movie and thought “How are they going to wrap this up, they have no time left?” and then realize you’re only 20 minutes into a 2 hour movie, it’s just dragging and as beautiful of a movie as it is, you really want the plot to pick up, because you just want it to be over. *cough* Doctor Strange *cough*

Sometimes, it’s a bad movie that makes you cringe and you thank whatever deity you pray to that you’re at home and no one objects to turning it off in favor of watching paint dry. Other times, you paid fifteen bucks to sit in a packed theater full of people who don’t seem to notice that it’s never. going. to. end.

Feb 3, 2017

January Numbers 2017


Reading:
6 Books (+Oath Breaker)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/3909899

1 Classic Murder Mystery | 2 Graphic Novels | 1 Memoir | 1 Non-Fiction | 1 Sci Fi
 
I’m two below my goal, sadly. But I blame that on the beginning of the year, the general state of the world, and other goals taking precedence.


Writing:
43,256-words in 17 days
(AVG: 2,544-words/day)
4 Projects + Admin
 
abkeuser.com

I’m totally willing to count this month as a “win” in the focus category. December wasn’t because of the disparate numbers between admin and projects, but this time, Admin accounts for a little over 1/3rd (ish)!  And two of the projects make up the other 2/3rds (ish). It’s a lot of ish, but who cares! Progress!

 
Next month--
I have lofty goals for next month. And the biggest one is in that focus area. I need to rewrite a draft from scratch and my hope is to get that done next month. I got 133k down in February of 2013, I can get about 100k in this time, right? (Especially on a book I’ve already written twice before…)

Feb 1, 2017

IWSG February


Is there anything more nerve-wracking than putting out a book?
I honestly don’t know how many I’ve written. My step-mother asked me, recently, and I didn’t have an answer for her. I’m not certain I want to know. I mean, I do, of course, but I don’t.

Writing is something I love. I imagine if you’re a part of this blog-hop, you love it too.

I think the thing about writing, though, is that the better you become at it, the worse you think you are… the more you think you need to improve. I can attest that it’s gotten more difficult to write a book. Not because the story isn’t there, but because I’m constantly forcing myself to push on and NOT edit halfway through. Or I pick up something old and can’t help but wince at it.

The book I released on Monday might be my best to date… or it might not. I have no idea because I’m too close to it at this point.

Do you feel that way too?

If you want to check out Oath Breaker, my newest release, travel over here and take a gander.

Thanks for stopping by!

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This post has been a part of the monthly IWSG blog-hop. Bounce over there, check it out and sign up if you’re ready to share you neuroses with the world.