Writing Update (October, 2022)

This will be a short update this month, and mostly an announcement of things ahead!

I spent September outlining the next two books I plan to write, Books 3 and 5 in my Thorns series, and I’m excited about both of them.  I’m hoping the more extensive outlining will help me stay focused and make the actual drafting go more smoothly.  In between outlining, I played with some writing prompts – I wrote 15 brief pieces in response to prompts, mostly using them to go deeper into the characters from my series – which may also help in writing the next two books.

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Writing Update (September, 2022)

It’s been a busy past month in my writing.  I attended my annual writing retreat just after my last update, and had a really great weekend.  As a group, we made some progress on our collaborative fantasy romance, as well as digging deeper into our next project, a planned collection of sci fi stories.

The sci fi stories center around a group of characters on the run (via spaceship), with each author taking ownership of two characters.  We wanted to explore how the group got together, so we played out the origin story in a loose D&D game style.  They all meet while separately robbing a museum on the same night, so we drew up a map of the museum and moved our character figurines through it as we invented the story in real-time.  It was a LOT of fun, and we ended up with an extremely detailed outline for what I think will be a very cool story.

I also made some progress on my revisions of Thorns I, and finished this latest revision pass about a week after the retreat.  I sent it out for second-round beta reader feedback, and will see how that goes.  A lot of changes happened in the revisions, so I’m curious to see how it reads now.

Since sending Thorns I off, I’ve been working on a higher level to outline my Thorns series more clearly.  I’ve come to the conclusion that what started as a short story is now going to be a five book series.  Book 1 is almost done, Book 2 is drafted, and I wrote a big bulk of Book 4, Penelope’s novel.  So now I’m outlining Books 3 and 5, and also looking at some revision plans for Books 2 and 4.  It’s complicated!  I hope to have some really solid outlines by the end of the month.

In between outlining, I wanted to do something a little less complicated and more around actual writing, so I’ve been doing daily writing prompts – sort of bouncing between doing a prompt each day, or doing some outlining.  I’ve been using the prompts to explore the characters from my series in more depth, so it’s been a good support to my larger writing goals.  And just been fun!

So just for fun, here’s a bit from a prompt about making grilled cheese, which I decided to use to explore my new sci fi characters.  Enjoy!

I got to work on my grilled cheese, using the super fancy stove in the commissary.  Seriously, I’ve seen navigation controls with fewer buttons.

That may have been a problem.  I mean, everything was going along great at first.  The bread was all toasty, the cheese was all melty, the butter was all buttery and I had a fantastic grilled cheese in process, when suddenly it exploded.

I don’t know how it happened.  I didn’t think cheese was explodable, but maybe there’s some nuance I missed.

All I know is one minute everything was fine, and the next minute there was smoke and blobs of cheese and smears of butter everywhere.  I blame the stove.

I would blame the AI, seeing as he clearly had it in for me, but if it was him, he did a really good job of simulating distress.

“There is smoke in the air and butter on my countertops and—and—my sensors are picking up cheese!  On the ceiling!” the AI howled.

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)”

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)”

Free Today: Nocturne, Book 1 of The Guardian of the Opera

I’m excited to share today that the first book in my Guardian of the Opera series, Nocturne, is currently available free in the Kindle store!  If you haven’t started the series yet, want to add an ebook to your paperback copy, or know someone who would enjoy the series, don’t miss this offer!  It’s only available until June 8th.

Here’s the book blurb to tell you a little more about it, in case you need to convince a friend!

A delightful retelling of the Phantom of the Opera from a new perspective, exploring love, betrayal, and the masks we all hide behind.
Paris, 1881. Ballet dancer Meg Giry befriends a newcomer to the Opera Garnier, soprano Christine Daaé. As their friendship grows, both women are hiding secrets: Christine is receiving singing lessons from a supposed Angel of Music, and Meg once met a very human Opera Ghost, forever changing her view of the Opera’s specter.
Behind the Phantom’s disguise is Erik, a man of many talents and many masks.  When he falls in love with Christine, he can’t resist at last allowing himself to be seen.  But love without trust can only lead to heartbreak, as events escalate and the Phantom of the Opera begins to lose control.
With strange events unfolding and the pieces failing to add up, Meg tries to unravel the truth about the Phantom – and about Christine.  Meg will discover that not all is as it seems and the masks we can see may be the least concealing ones.
Fans of the beloved Phantom of the Opera story as well as newcomers to the tale will enjoy this story of mystery and romance set at the Opera Garnier.  Enjoy seeing characters you think you know, and come away with a new view of the Phantom of the Opera.