“So, Other Than That…

“…how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” a common joke punchline goes.

Well, the play hasn’t been going rather well the last few weeks. Short version-things have suddenly gotten really, really weird on me.

Health Issues-My ADHD might just be simple anxiety and the medication I’ve been taking has been masking that by a combination of hard-core focus on things that are easy to make sense of and a massive amount of bull-headed thinking in other places. But, because I had a high blood pressure scare, I’m trimming back the ADHD medication and going on a nice beta blocker that has a secondary anti-anxiety effect and…hey, I’m doing better! At least I’m not this huge ball of homicidal nerves and I’m doing better in some things.

Exercise-Since I don’t want to be on worse blood pressure medications and take the few things that give me joy in my life away (good food and drink), I’ve been exercising more. And, body-weight exercise sucks when you’re trying to blow the weight off and get back into shape. Once you’re in shape, you’re good, but I tend to respond better to getting in shape with weight work and such. Once I get there, body weight work will help clear up what remains, but until. then…

School-Actually, this is going okay to good. One of my teachers is still driving me nuts. He has a tendency to roam off on tangents and go for “new hotness” in his examples. Often with a major political slant, and I can’t complain about this because it is (CURRENT YEAR) and the teacher is the department head. So, head down and keeping busy with my assignments and everything current.

Social-Well, the outbreak of social media desire has gone down. Mostly because the usual ways I use social media (Twitter, Reddit, Discord, and even IRC) has confirmed that most people these days are making me want them to get off my f(YAY!)king lawn. But…I want to be with people, I miss people. I miss different people, and I actually would like to be with girls. That like me. That are single. And, I don’t have to wonder if they’re going to make me feel stupid at some point.

And, this leads to where you’ve all been waiting-

Writing-So far? The Winter Solist has hit a road-block that I might have to go back and revise…again to get through. It’s not a “oh, you didn’t plan it out” thing, it’s more of a “I thought this was a good path to take, didn’t work, so back to the drawing board.” Other stories are currently in a slight holding pattern, but hopefully once get past this particular writer’s block, I’ll be able to work on them more. I’m still aiming for a late September release, and hopefully that will be successful.

And, that’s the news, mostly.

The End Of The Month

It’s coming up far sooner than I expected-and, well…

Classes have been interesting, but I get this terrible feeling that I should be teaching two of my classes. And, online class work, especially when you HAVE to leave your camera and mike on or the teacher complains, is horrible. I don’t want to hear people’s various things going on in their world, see them even less, and I don’t want them to have to deal with the same with me.

The things we do for our white-collar employment union card…

On writing-

  • The Winter Solist-Finally gotten around the writing problem, getting to the next writing problem, but I’m happy with where it’s going. With some luck, I’ll be able to add the nessisary “B” plot to tie into A Solist In Rome, which I need to get done.
  • The Ethical Succubus-Going to probably keep this for the erotic/urban fantasy novel series title. First novel is probably going to be A Ethical Succubus, and balancing out the erotic, comedy, slice-of-life, and horror in the right proportions.
  • Other Writing Projects-The isekei/light novel concept is still somewhere in “how can I make this work” pile. I really want to do it, but there’s some practicality issues involved. The “have to look at this” hopper has been still dealing with things.

I’m considering this idea of a weekly column where I have a momentary gushing about writers that I like and the things they do right and wrong. Mostly because I’m trying to get those lovely, wonderful, SEO scores up on Google and such, which might mean more sales of my books. (That, and the terrible fear that some of the authors might respond…which wouldn’t be bad, mind you.) Tentative title of this is “Author on Authors.”

Otherwise, the weather is now actually nice (cool but not cold, with rain on all the right occasions), and just trying to make it through one act of madness at a time. Chin up, happy thoughts.

Half Way Through The Month…

…and, far, far too little to show for it. Real life events have been getting in the way too much. I didn’t go and I won’t be going to any of the large events happening around me, but there have been repercussions. And, it’s made it harder to write stuff because the world intrudes when I need to be somewhere else. It doesn’t help with my stress levels, either.

Current projects, in no particular order-

  • The Winter Solist-Having issues with the jump to the next part of the plot, but I’m still writing and still aiming to have this done in a reasonable time frame. I’m going to have to add some more stuff to tie into A Solist In Rome, but I think I can get it in there, no issues.
  • Unknown Erotic Urban Fantasy Novel-So far, I’m fleshing out the “A” and “B” plots and writing more character stuff. Title is still in the air, the series title is probably going to be The Ethical Succubus.
  • Other Writing Projects-The isekei/light novel concept is somewhere in “how can I make this work.” There’s a few other ideas in the “have to look at this” hopper, but I’m not sure I’ll get to them any time soon.

And, yes, the events of the last half month have made me think that 2021 is going to be telling 2020 “hold my beer and watch this!”, and it’ll be in the sort of ways that none of us are going to like. The only things I can do is hunker down, keep building up reserves for if things go bad, and get my school work done when I start school in about two weeks. Otherwise…just, fingers crossed and hoping that everyone will start to get better and calm down. Because, as much as life is a temporary state, what has happened for the last ten months cannot be how we live now. It will drive us to madness, and nobody wants that kind of crazy on their conscience.

I think.

On Writing And Other Nonsense

The weirdness of weather around here had made it a bit hard to write, but I remain busy in my writing fugues. I’ve gotten up to about Chapter 16 of The Winter Solist, and I’m nearing a half-way point. The two big B-plots are about to collide into the A-plot, and that’s when we get close to the end.

Unknown Erotic Urban Fantasy Novel is currently in the “plotting” phase. This is going to be a much more tightly plotted book that Solist At Large was, and at the very least it’s looking to be a five to six book series. I’m still enjoying the idea of the series (and first book title) being The Ethical Succubus, which will make for very interesting reading.

I have another writing project that is going to be coming up soon. What I’m hoping to do is that I will combine the project with my Business Certificate program at Santa Rosa JC. Use this project (it’s going to be a comic book series) as part of my course-work, and eventually put up a GoFundMe to produce the first “issue” of the comic, then go to IndieGoGo and release the first “trade paperback” issue, similar to what Timothy Lin is doing for the Kamen America series.

(Why the separate fundraising? Simple-comic books are not cheap at the starting level. For my “first issue” (which goes up as a PDF for the IndieGoGo campaign to show what we’re doing), I’m going to have to shell out about $9000-because I’ll need an artist and color person and at least one cover. The actual “six issue” trade paperback will be about $52,000 before I even get to printing (remember, contract artists and having to pay up front). Printing a full run of about 1000 is going to be in the $8000 range-and if I can get more people to buy the book, the cost goes down for me.

(I’m aiming to at least cover my costs and make at least a 25% profit during the fundraising, which is probably in the $75,000 range. I figure costs for the next issue will be lower, because I’ll have a product to show that I’m able to produce.)

Anyways, back to work and to the salt mines.

The Wonder Of Writing

Right now, I’m in the middle of purging a whole plot line from The Winter Solist. Have to, really. Initially, I thought it was going to be because I needed to expand the story and plot some more…but, then I realized something.

With the fact that I’ve expanded the book series from eight books to eleven, I now have a chance to talk about more of the story universe and it’s various aspects….

So, I’ve had to start planning to put a new plot-line in. Part of which will be resolved in A Solist In Rome. And, tie up one plot line from Solist At Large.

What’s going to be worked through this and the next book?

Short version-Roman Catholic Magical Girls.

Long version-there’s been a lot of problems at the lower levels of the mystic underground that has been fought by several groups and organizations. One of them is in the Lycée, and they recruit from the students there. And, Adelaide, in all innocence, stumbles on them…

The Process Of Major Revision Work

Just to explain where I’ve been so far…

Before I published Solist At Large, I was (at a rough estimate) about a quarter of the way through The Winter Solist, and I had the major plot beats going on. Then…then, I published Solist At Large, and in the glow of “I’m done!“, I realized that I had made the book far too dense, plot wise. And, The Winter Solist was just as dense.

Clearly, Something Had To Be Done.

I decided that I was going to do two things-

  1. I was going to trim one of the plot elements in the novel that was going to be a snarl, because I wanted to have at least three trains of plot running into each other…and, I could not for the life of me figure out how to slam them together.
  2. I was going to add at least one more book to the series, tying of a plot line from the first novel and expanding on a plot point that I have been nursing through the first book and this one.

But, this one particular plot line? It will. Not. Leave. Me. Alone. The woman in it is hold on for dear life in the writing, and I can admire her tenacity. Still doesn’t mean that I’m not going to get rid of her ASAP. Maybe use her in another novel, I’ve kept notes.

And, that’s what I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks.

Book Writing Information For This Week

After celebrating my birthday this week and managing to get…sixty to sixty-five percent of what I wanted from this year, I got back to work on The Winter Solist. Right now, I’m de-cluttering the plot of the book in a way that Marie Kondo would be very proud of. Before I had over-done the plot in my last book, I was up to 16 chapters and hit several stuck points. I think by the time I’m done, I’ll be down to twelve or so chapters, unstuck where the plot wasn’t working, and sadly going to have to get rid of one little side plot that I was really enjoying working on.

But! I did save original copies of everything I cut, so I can maybe use it in the future. Probably not, but I’m still hopeful.

The de-cluttering also revealed something that I hoped I wasn’t going to have to do. Since I’m going to have to stretch out the book some more, the original eight book plan (covering a semester of Adelade’s life in high school) is probably going to have to be eleven or twelve to finally tell the whole story.

Damn.

The good news is that I know what the title of book #3 in the series is. The title is A Solist In Rome, and we get to see Adelaide have fun with some of her peers and find out how much deeper the rabbit hole goes. A Solist In Rome is currently in the plotting phase right now, and I do know that it’ll be one of those odd hybrid first/third person books like The Apocalypse Codex, since we’re going to have to see the story from a number of other perspectives. And, it’s set in Rome and the Vatican City, so I have to do a lot of research on those as well. Mostly for the final dance number (i.e. final big confrontation of the book), have to place it properly.

Well, back to the writing work. Wish me luck.