4/24/2020

I now have three full chapters and two "chorus" sections of the Faerie Story restart. I have posted them to my facebook group for Betas, but should probably ping a few people who aren't there as well. If you want to volunteer to read them, drop me a note with your email address and I'll happily share it in exchange for honest feedback.

I stand now at 7607 words. It's hard to say what point of the original I'm up to. I added some stuff, including an entire chapter focusing on a character who wasn't in previous versions, but I also cut a bunch. I realized there was a lot in the early chapters that really could be cut, so I've cut it. I am around were I was at the 10688 in the last draft, but I have skipped introducing someone I want introduced, so one of those scenes is going to get added.

In other news... My house is still full of people all day! It adds challenge to the whole getting-into-a-writing-headspace thing. I think having a big project to focus on is going to help me, although I will need to be sure not to be too upset with myself over days when I don't get much if any work done.


4/21/20

The COVID 19 pandemic has been affecting me, as it has most people on the planet. In my case, it's added a lot of extra anxiety, heightened my ADHD symptoms, made sleep really hard to find, generally sapped my creativity, and removed almost all of my alone-time.

At the start of it, I was trying really hard to post a lot of book reviews. That fizzled. I hope to get back to it soon, but only have so much energy.

Then I decided I'd start a new season of Wording Wednesday early. I wrote one week fine but have now spent two weeks on the second prompt and haven't finished it. I'll probably post a new prompt tonight anyway, although the idea of going to look for ne seems somehow depressing.

I do have a project I'm not despondent about, though. Over the last month or so, a slow realization about Faerie Story dawned. I realized that a large part of my struggle with the rewrites came from being locked solely into one character's POV. What, I started to wonder, would happen if I abandoned the first person present tense of my other novels and tried to do this one in third? Using the same omniscient yet focused narration of my recent short stories, I have restarted the novel.

If nothing else, rewriting everything has really helped me see exactly how slow the original opening was. I'm now dropping Interesting Things much earlier, which I hope will help the pacing considerably.

I only started this rewrite a few days ago and I'm not trying to rush with it. I have two full chapters and the start of a third, comping out to just over six thousand words.

I wrote two thousand completely new words today. Chapter Two focuses on a character who wasn't in previous drafts, a barista who is being recruited by the anti-faerie faction. I'm now really tired and realizing I didn't take my ADHD meds this morning. But I feel better about Faerie Story than I have in a long time.

2/25/2020

I wrote this several days ago, but apparently failed to post it. Such is life with ADHD...


Over the month since I last posted here, I have written several short stories.

The most recent was The Ghost of the Claw Machine, a story that had me returning to the world of Shadow in which my novel I'd Rather Not Be Dead was set. The new narrator (Drew's daughter, perhaps?) works with a new friend to help a ghost move on from Shadow in a tale of sisterly love with a hint of romance.

In Eeshkiks Last Watch a group of aliens just want to slack off and finish their stint monitoring Earth while doing as little work as possible. Unfortunately for them, the humans below have other ideas.

The Queen's Holy Orb features three gnomes, two dogs, and one holy object. When their errand for the church goes sideways thanks to a pair of gigantic canines, a team of delivery gnomes must figure out how to get the blessed orb back so that they can get it to its new home.

With those three entries, I have completed the fourth season of Wording Wednesday. I'm about to start a MasterClass taught by the renowned Margaret Atwood. I'm told it has writing exercises and I will likely be sharing those over on the story blog. I may use this blog to summarize what I learn.

1/24/2020

This week, I wrote and posted a new short story, Roll for Initiative, about a D&D Dungeon. As in a dungeon in which D&D is played. It was a lot of fun to write and I hope people like it.

I also wrote a review of The Bedeviled Series by Shani Petroff that you can find on Andy Reads Things. It's a Middle Grade series about the daughter of the devil and the comical mishaps her supernatural powers lead to when she tries to use them to fight against the evil that is middle school. I also read Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan this week, but haven't gotten the review up for it yet.

I have not worked on Faerie Story at all. I feel I need to fix that. Most of the month thus far has been eaten up by illnesses, mine and those of family members, but I'm hopeful next week is going to look better than recent ones.

1/14/2020

I've been either sick mysel or caring for sick people since New Year's, but I've written two short stories in that time frame anyway. The first, Defender of Earth, was a tale of a girl who goes to a Chinese buffet and is offered the chance to save the world. The second, The Chess Kitties, is a story about two cats, one chess board, and a mission from God.

I was told Defender of Earth was a bit dark, but I don't think anyone will say that about Chess Kitties.

12/18/2019

Since last I updated here, I have been mulling over changes to Faerie Story Book 1. I have a more solid idea of what I want to do now although I've only actually worked on the first few chapters. I've added some details about the different races of elf, figured out a new arc about the anti-faerie group that appeared in the last revision, planned a few new scenes to flesh out some stuff, and realized one of my characters was driving the wrong car.

I've also reviewed a few books on Andy Reads Things although I'm still trying to get back into the habit of doing that for most, maybe even all, of the things I read. Right now I'm on a holiday binge. I talked about two Christmas books this week already and have another one of those and a Hanukkah novel finished reading and ready to start talking about. I'm actively looking for something Winter Solstice related as the only book springing to mind is Terry Pratchett's  Hogfather, which I first read many, many years ago. (Although maybe Pratchett's Wintersmith would also fit? I'm trying to remember...) Fiction about Yule is hard to find, if for no other reason than when you search for "Yule" you get a ton of things that are actually about Christmas as the word was appropriated a really long time ago. I may have to write something myself...

I realized today that Pride, Prejudice, and Curling Rocks overlapped Christmas. I'd forgotten that. So I've already written a Christmas book. A Yule book seems like a logical next step. Oh, wait! Faerie Story Book 2 covers Yule! So there we go. But maybe one day I'll do something focused on the holiday rather than merely including it in the timeline.

11/05/2019

So apparently I've written and posted several short stories since the last time I remembered to update this blog. What happens is I tell myself, "You should write a post about this story as soon as you get it posted!" Then I post it to the zillion places I post to (I'm actually down to six after some culling, but it still takes a while and can't be automated) and inevitably forget. Last night it was because while I was posting to place number four, I realized I was burning dinner. Places five and six didn't get a post until this morning.

But, yeah... I wrote a short story yesterday. I started it in the local library while waiting for a ride home after accompanying a family member to get blood drawn and finished it after getting home. Then I decided to edit and post it around making dinner, which was probably a mistake. It would likely have been better to just wait until this morning to do it because I doubt having the story available earlier saved anyone's life or anything, but it did cause my skillet potatoes to cook too long.

It's a fun little story, though, and I enjoyed writing it. It's about a tentacle "monster" who would like to remind you to never use flash photography in places where it is expressly prohibited. You can read it on the story blog at https://andybrokaw-stories.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-tangled-tentacles-of-fate.html

This was the sixth week of Wording Wednesday Season 3, which means there will now be a break from short stories. This makes me a little sad, although I clearly need to spend some energy focusing on Faerie Story. If you want to catch up with the other stories this season, which included a tale of a rat who paints and that of an adorable baby nagi, you can find them here.