A Hectic Month (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! It’s been a while since I last updated you on my life, because life went a little nutso for a while. The beginning of the month had a trip to the grandfolks and a staycation, and last week my computer was down all week with the Blue Screen of Death. It was sad. And annoying. Mostly annoying.

I have been writing steadily, but I’ve also read a crap-ton in the past month. Starting with SHATTERED by Kevin Hearne, which I loved! It’s definitely my favorite book of the Iron Druid Chronicles so far. Then OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks, which was ok, but didn’t leave me wanting to read the rest of the series. Then THE VAST AND BRUTAL SEA by Zoraida Cordova *finally* released, and I devoured it. Such a good end to a great mermaid series. Then I finished JUST BREATHE by Tamara Mataya, which was interesting because the MC has synthasia (she could feel sounds). I topped it all with TAMING FATE by Amalia Dillin, which was a nice little novella that tied into her FATE OF THE GODS series. I’m now reading THE RED QUEEN by Phillipa Gregory as a beach book, and HALE MAREE by Misty Provencher as my pool book (yes, I have separate beach and pool reads).

All that creativity in such a short time left me dying to stretch my analytical brain muscles, so last week I put out a call on Twitter for new WiPs to CP. I lined up three, and then my computer broke >.< But I did finish the first one and get it back to the author, and I’m waiting on a version of the second that I can open (for some reason my computer didn’t recognize the file as a word doc, so the author is re-sending). I’m still waiting on the third author to send theirs, but I don’t expect to get it until August. All the CPing worked, though – my analytical brain stopped being so pushy and let the creative side back out.

corkboard

See? I made that with my creative side :) It was a pain in the ass.

This is my first #WriteMotivation update for the month, so let’s see what’s going on:

  1. Actually finish the first draft of StO this month. For reals. With the broken computer this isn’t going to be quite finished by the end of the month, but I’m hoping to have it done by the time WriteOnCon comes around.
  2. Start switching Erie’s POV in the first half of StO. This isn’t going to happen until August.
  3. Catch up on Science Tuesdays because I still haven’t done that… Yep, still haven’t done that…
  4. Morning Swims! I’ve been pretty good with this! Although when I tried to go to the pool this week it rained :( I took the dogs for an extra-long walk that night instead.
  5. Don’t forget to cheer on the other bloggers. With a broken computer I haven’t been very good at this, but now that the computer’s back, I’m hopping back on the cheer wagon!

Not too bad, I think, although I was really hoping I’d be further along with StO by now. But hey, life happens. It’s not like I’m under any deadline that isn’t self-imposed.

Have a good weekend, Aledans, and I’ll see you on Sunday for an awesome Custom Pony!

Cover Reveal Take 2: THE PAPER MAGICIAN by @CNHolmberg

Happy Wednesday, Aledan Merfolk! I know I’ve been mysteriously absent so far this month, but that’s because I was taking a staycation and reading, reading, reading! But you’ll hear more about that tomorrow – today I’m here with a Cover Reveal. You might recognize the title, because I did a cover reveal for the same book in May :) But the cover has changed, and I wanted to show you the updated version!

PaperMagicianHolmberg

I loved the old cover, but this one is so clean looking that I adore it too! Can’t remember what THE PAPER MAGICIAN is about? Have a blurb:

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the TagisPraff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

You can add THE PAPER MAGICIAN to your Goodreads shelf here. Or learn more about Charlie at her website.

CharliePic1.1Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. In addition to writing fantasy novels, she is also a freelance editor. She graduated from BYU, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day own a dog. The Paper Magician is her debut novel and the first in a whimsical series exploring a world of magicians who animate manmade materials. She currently lives with her family in Utah.

Braindead (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! I’m still a bit brain-dead from training my ducklings, and not sleeping well last night, so don’t expect much out of me today. This will be my final #WriteMotivation update for the month, but I’ve already signed up for next month, since I failed this month’s goals.

This is totally me today. No wonder Bou is such a momma dog :)

This is totally me today. No wonder Bou is such a momma dog :)

1. Either finish drafting StO, OR finish changing Erie’s POV to first person. I’m almost ¾ finished with StO! I’ve been working steadily on it, just not quickly. I thought I’d have this entire week to work on it, but Hubs’ trip ended up being postponed, so I don’t have all the alone-time I thought I would (trust me: I’m NOT complaining! I’d rather have him home :))

2. Catch up on Science Tuesdays. There are so many emails that I’m scared to look at them right now. I’ll try to put up one giant “all of June” post on Tuesday.

3. Morning Swims! Last week I completely bombed on this, but this week I swam a few laps on Sunday, and a decent number the past two mornings. I plan to do it again tomorrow.

4. Don’t forget to cheer on the other bloggers. Bombed this again >.< How can cheering people on be the hardest part?

Next month I should actually finish StO and start working on switching Erie’s POV over to first person in the first half of the book. I’m disappointed, because there’s no way in hell I’ll have it ready for #PitchWars, but ah well, there will be other contests.

If you missed last week’s return of Custom of the Week, you should definitely check out the amazing (posable!) merpony: Mandarin. And check back this Sunday for another stunning custom! Have a good weekend :)

My Little Ducklings (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! This is going to be a short update, because my brain is fried from training two new people at work this week. I feel like a momma duck with her ducklings following in a line behind me, quacking their questions.

It’s a #WriteMotivation month, so let’s get right to it:

1. Either finish drafting StO, OR finish changing Erie’s POV to first person. I’m steadily plodding along on finishing the first draft. I wrote my favorite couple of chapters this week, despite my mushy brain, so things are going well with this goal.

2. Catch up on Science Tuesdays.

3. Morning Swims! I did swim once this week, but there’s been a cold going around the lab, and I think I’ve been fighting it off, so I’ve been too exhausted to wake up early and work out the past couple days.

4. Don’t forget to cheer on the other bloggers. I started out strong early this week, but I haven’t had time to do much in the cheering realm the past few days. I’ve barely been able to hop on Twitter, much less read blogs. I should have more time next week.

And that’s it for this week – time for me to get back to my little ducklings. Have a good weekend, Aledans!

ducklings

Two-thirds Done with StO! (and a #WriteMotivation Update)

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! I’m happy to say I reached the 2/3 mark of StO this week, and I’m currently writing my favorite scene. It’s Finn’s happiest-ever moment, followed right away by his worst-ever moment (until the next worst moment, and the next one, and…this book is about to get really dark). The sex scene that I spent three weeks trying to get right is finally finished, and it made my boss blush, so it must be good ;) It also led to some excellent CP comments, my favorite being: “if they’re small & perky, there’s gonna be pinching.”

ariel

I think I just realized I’ll never be a YA author.

June is also a #WriteMotivation month for me, so here are my goals:

1. Either finish drafting StO, OR finish changing Erie’s POV to first person. Working on finishing StO before I go back and fix Erie’s POV. I’m still trying to figure her out.

2. Catch up on Science Tuesdays. Oh gosh, I haven’t posted these since February. It’s going to be scary.

3. Morning Swims! I did this twice last week, but this week Hubs left for a business trip and took the pool fob with him, so I couldn’t open the gate (it’s a neighborhood pool). He’s back, so I’m going to try to swim tomorrow morning. I DID buy a new bathing suit that fits, so I can swim without flashing the world :P

4. Don’t forget to cheer on the other bloggers. *cheers* I haven’t gone to any blogs yet, but I’m going to work on it next week :)

So far, so good-ish. Now back to destroying Finn and Erie’s lives! (It’s ok, StO isn’t a tragedy)

P.S. if you missed the #MyWritingProcess Blog Tour on Monday, you can find it here.

Back from Staycation

The last day of staycation, with Boudin and the new patio table.

The last day of staycation, with Boudin and the new patio table.

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! I completely missed updating on Thursday due to the wonky holiday week and my brain still being partially in vacation mode (and the super smutty scene I was writing in StO). I’m back from my staycation, which started with Hops puking all day when we left for the beach, and ended with a new minifridge, patio table, and a cookout with friends, complete with the game Cards Against Humanity. It’s “a party game for horrible people”, and if you’re a horrible person like me, you should check it out. It’s hilariously fun.

I’m happy to say I completed all my quick-turn CP projects before we left for the beach, and the time away from StO helped me figure out what to do with this sex scene I’ve been trying to get right for the past three weeks. I think I got it right yesterday ;) Now to write the realization that a Bad Life Decision was just made.

Next month I’ll be back on the #writemotivation bandwagon, trying to finish StO and keep on track with working out. I’m happy to say I woke up early the past two mornings in a row to swim laps at the community pool. My shoulders are sore, but I much prefer it to running.

There may not be a custom pony this weekend, because I’m having trouble getting permission lately to feature customs, but I’ll definitely be back on Monday with the Writing Process Blog Tour. If you haven’t done the Writing Process Blog Tour yet and would like to, let me know and I’ll tag you! See you Monday, Aledans.

Busy Busy, and Eleven Questions

Happy Thursday, Aledans! I’ve been a busy little bee lately. I kind of stalled out on StO, but I’ve been CPing instead. First for Diana Beebe (of PonyFest fame), then for Juliana (of being my best friend fame), and next week for Lauren (of just got an awesome agent fame). I love CPing, because not only do I get to read awesome books before anyone else, but I also get to put the analytical side of my brain to work. After all the drafting I’ve been doing on StO, my creative side needed a break.

It was definitely biting at the bit last night to be let back out (I even had a dream I was swimming with Erie), but I don’t think I’m going to have time until after vacation. Especially since vacation is a NO writing zone, and I have too much to finish before then. But since this year is a staycation, and we live near the beach, I think I’ll have plenty of inspiration to get back to my mermaid novel when I return ;)

That content vacation smile - I can't wait to have it again!

That content vacation smile – I can’t wait to have it again!

So, the long and short of it is: I might disappear from the blog for the rest of the month again, but I promise June will be back to normal! I was also not-quite-tagged by Shen Hart with a blog award (she was going to tag me, but the rules said she could only tag someone with less than 500 followers), so I decided to answer her questions anyways. Enjoy!

1. If it took no time or effort, which subject would you become an expert in? Genetics, hands down. For one, it’s pretty awesome, and two, I’ve already got a good head start since I took it in college ;)

2. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read? EYES OF THE DRAGON by Stephen King. I couldn’t get past the first chapter, although I tried because it ties into the DARK TOWER series, which is one of my favorites.

3. What is the most important thing to you? Well, that’s kind of a broad question. Friends and family and pets. And the environment. Cause if we screw that up there’ll be no more friends and family and pets.

4. What’s your idea of true bliss? Being happy with where I am in life.

5. How do you celebrate your successes? Wine! And lots of fun music.

6. What’s that one word you can never quite remember the spelling of? Sentence. Although I totally just got it right when I wrote it :P

7. What’s the one word you’d like everyone to describe you as? Content.

8. Where is your happiest memory located? Either Mackinac Island (wedding) or Key West (sailing) – both with Hubs <3

9. If money, practicality etc were no object, what’s your ideal mode of transport? Fins ;) But really, teleportation might be nice. Or my very own Nightcrawler.

10. Tell us about your journey to where you are now. If you’ve been around the blog long enough, you know I started writing in MLP RPGs (yes, really). Then I started writing MLP fanfics for my characters in those games (I still do, on occasion). Then I started writing fanfics for other worlds, like X-men, Dark Tower, and Invader ZIM (because GIR!). Then I was bored in a work meeting one day many many years ago *coughtwelvecough* and that was the exact moment I started storylining Fie Eoin – now known as THE NAMELESS WARRIOR.

Yes, I worked on that book for twelve years. At first I was just writing for fun, and for my friends to read a little story about twin girls, but at some point several years ago I decided I wanted to at least try to get it published. It was a complete mess and took several re-writes (including one in 2012 after an editor told me to throw it out and start over) before it was ready to query. And now it’s out in agent-land, looking for someone to love it.

A lot of those twelve years was spent on other projects, too. Lane’s Girl/The Rebecca Stories, Phooka Tales, After Ancient, Apollo and Daphne (which will someday be edited), and Book of Souls (which will someday be finished). There are also bits and pieces of other books scribbled down on stickies and in writing folders: Mio’s story, Parallel You, Reason Island, and something about a kid living underground in the Middle East that has no name or plot. Right now I’m working on my mermaid novel, SPEAK THE OCEAN.

11. What are your top three activities to participate in? I’d like to say Yoga, but it’s been months since I’ve actually gone to yoga. My favorite “activities” now involve reading on the beach with a glass of wine (which is technically three things in one!), so that could be why I gained ten pounds last year ;)

And that’s it for the questions! If you’d like to play along, feel free to link to your own answers in the comments section :) Have a good weekend, Aledans!