Writing Update (August, 2022)

My writing had been going along with slow but steady progress for the last few weeks.  I’ve been almost exclusively focused on revisions for Thorns 1, and am about 3/4 of the way through this pass.  I’ve been paying particular attention to Terrence’s character, and the character of the chief villain of the story, his brother Gregory.  There’s been a few new scenes, and some tweaking of existing scenes.

I’ve also found a few opportunities to do more with Penelope, the heroine of my unexpected additional novel.  She’s still a small character in this book, but Terrence and Rose wonder about her a little more, and worry a little more when she leaves the scene (events that lead her to her own book).  Here’s an excerpt from an added scene featuring her.

Penelope always seemed to have a wall up that Terrence didn’t know how to get past.  Someone else might find a clever way around, but the best he could think of was to just fling himself at it.  Because there really had been something on her face, when she’d looked at him just then—  “Are you happy here, Penelope?  Do you…miss where you grew up?”

A long pause stretched out, as Penelope continued with her embroidery, and he thought she wasn’t even going to answer.  But at last she said, “The castle in Relnyra was close enough to the shore to hear the waves, especially at night.  I do miss that sound.”

That was a more personal remark than he’d ever had from her before – but it didn’t answer his first question.  “That sounds nice.  It must be hard, to be in such a different place,” he said carefully, not certain they were actually talking about waves.

Continue reading “Writing Update (August, 2022)”

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (July, 2022)

I’ve had a good mix recently of non-fiction and fiction reads – though I’ve had better luck on the whole on the nonfiction side!

I’ve been rereading L. M. Montgomery’s journals for the…third?  fourth?  fifth? time.  I’m on Volume IV of her Complete Journals (as opposed to the previously published Selected Journals).  Volume III covered most of WWI, and Volume IV covers the next several years, including the 1919 flu epidemic.  It was interesting to see what she said about the flu – more than I remembered, but still not very much.  No mention of things like masks or lockdowns!

I also read Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy, which I liked a lot.  It basically advocates for giving kids more freedom and worrying less, with some good arguments on why parental fears are often overblown.  She did become a bit of a fear-mongerer about fear-mongering, though, in a strange way… Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading Lately (July, 2022)”

Writing Update (July, 2022)

Writing projects are continuing along at a good pace!  At my last update, I was going through beta-reader feedback on Thorns 1, making quick edits and putting more complicated comments into a combined document.  I ended up with a document with about 95 comments – some my own, some from readers – noting needed revisions.

I took a step back from the story after sorting all that out and did a read through of my WWII/Phantom story, making some notes on some fairly significant revisions I eventually want to do there.  This was a NaNo project that I thought I had outlined pretty well, but now that it’s mostly written I see some changes I’d like to make, especially in the flashback sequences, which will feature Erik and Meg (some fifty years after my Guardian trilogy!) Continue reading “Writing Update (July, 2022)”

What I’ve Been Reading Lately (June, 2022)

After a lot of rereads last month, I brought home a big bag of books from the library and have been off on a lot of new reads more recently.

I continued my T. Kingfisher reading with Paladin’s Strength, sequel to Paladin’s Grace, focused on a supporting character from the previous book.  It was very good with some nice turns to the story, if not quite as good as the first in the series – but Paladin’s Grace is a serious contender for best of the year right now, so it’s hardly fair to set the bar that high!  I very much enjoyed the second one too, and plan to finish the trilogy.

I got up to date on the Morrigan Crow series with Hollowpox by Jessica Townsend.  I believe the next book is due out later in the year.  I liked Book 3 better than Book 2 in this case, as Morrigan got to do much more with her magic and that was very fun.  I was not prepared for a plague story, though.  I guess the title should have tipped me off, but I genuinely didn’t make the ‘pox connection!  Still good, but I’m glad I didn’t read this a year ago – and I think some of the “terrible” government restrictions trying to curb the pox (like…a curfew) may read differently now than they would have pre-Covid…

Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading Lately (June, 2022)”

Writing Update (June, 2022)

Writing has been less intense since last month, with the unexpected novel I ended up drafting!  My focus has been spread out to a few different projects ever since.  I made some revision notes for future reference for that unexpected novel, which may end up being Book 3 in my growing Thorns series (or possibly Book 4…)

After that I worked on some revisions for Thorns 2, which I did a full first draft on a couple of years ago – but I wanted to substantially rewrite the last several chapters.  So I did some of that work, made more notes for the future, and decided I was better off holding on that until I did more final revisions on Thorns 1.

Which brings me to what I’m currently working on – my beta-readers returned feedback to me recently for Thorns 1, so in the past week I’ve begun sifting through that for revising.  So I have one book in Stage 3 revisions, another in Stage 2 revisions, and a third that’s drafted and waiting for Stage 1 revisions, all within the same series.  Oh, and I have ideas for an additional two books in the series, probably Books 3 and 5, but I haven’t actually started writing them.  It’s gotten complicated! Continue reading “Writing Update (June, 2022)”