The State of the Writer: 5/20/18

<–The State of the Writer: 4/22/18          The State of the Writer: 5/20/18–>

A biweekly post updated every Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 6

Book Reviews: Master of Crows by Grace Draven – 5/7/18
Tags: The WIP Tag – 5/8/18
Game Reviews: Paper Mario Color Splash – 5/10/18
Awards: Mystery Blogger Award #4 – 5/10/18
Book Reviews: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #1) – 5/16/18
Book Reviews: The Diamond Tree by Michael Matson – 5/19/18

It was a productive two weeks 🙂

Project: Story
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 261,336
Prior Word Count: 261,419
Word Difference: -83
Status: Revising
Progress: First edit of Chapter 5

Quill pen with shadowI made some good progress in these last two weeks and am currently halfway through the first edit of the 5th chapter (that is a lot of numbers).  I think once I finish this I’ll be able to continue with my regular editing and posting schedule…after I consult my checklist of course 😉

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The WIP Tag

The Tag Catch Up Project continues.  I’ve also been deleting some of the older ones that I wasn’t directly tagged in that are sadly out of date (like one for 2017.  I’m seriously that late, alas), so there’s less to get through, but you know a narcissist like me can’t resist talking about her own writing so here we are.  This was found on Pretty Deadly Reviews, which consists of a duo of bloggers who are both very pretty and very deadly exactly as they claim.  I’m glad they left this tag open for anyone to snatch up.

I’m working on several thing as most of you know, but for this I’m going to use the original novel I started working for NaNoWriMo 2017.  I’m hoping the more I write about it, the harder I’ll try to figure out when I can actually work on it.

1. What is the working title of your book?

The High Archon.  It was originally called The High Lord, but the character who owns that title is much more than a lord (high or not).  I usually figure out a title before I start writing, but this one might possibly change since the story’s focus is technically on another character, but the titular one is important, too.  I’ll make that determination when I start writing.

2. Where did the idea come from?

This story is the reason I wrote The Broken Rose to go into overdrive on the horrible paradigm I needed to write about, but the characters have been with me for a very long time.  They’re from the first novel I wrote that’s still unpublished just in slightly different roles.  I love to shuffle around character roles and motifs.  It gives me something familiar to work with in different settings.  This may also be why I love writing fanfiction so much.  Creating “what if” situations for familiar characters is an enjoyable mental exercise.

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The Writer’s Tag

In my continuing trek to catch up to all the awards and tags on my list, we come to this Writer’s Tag by The Writing Hufflepuff.  I wasn’t specifically tagged in it, but she was gracious enough to open it to all who desired, so I saved the link and managed to get to it before a year had passed.

What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

I write dark fantasy and paranormal romance for both original stories and fanfiction as most of you already know.  My prose is as purple as the indigo in a rainbow, but I think much of the critique around that has to do with stylistic choice.  I grew up reading and loving eloquent descriptions, which now form the basis of my own writing.

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The Christmas Tag

What’s this?

Had to be done.

More Christmas posting?  Well, I wanted to get this in before the big day on Monday (seriously, I have a friend recording her children’s reaction Christmas Morning.  I’ve got an in on a Nintendo Switch opening.  Can. Not.  Wait), and sharing and spreading holiday cheer is one of the many jobs of my alter ego, The Christmas Goth.

Snagged from Ignited Moth, I figured this would be a fun little exercise alongside Creative Christmas hosted by Later Levels 🙂

1.  What is your favorite Christmas film?

Would you believe me if I said it’s been so many years since I’ve seen The Nightmare Before Christmas that I don’t really remember it that much?  I really need to remedy that.

It’s not a film per se, but my absolute favorite Christmas special is Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Look at this devilish mofo

I like at the end how his eyes change from yellow with red irises/pupils to “regular” with blue irises, because he’s no longer TEH EVULZ!

I also like the message that’s not entirely religious, but is a bit subtly religious, but only if you’d like to interpret it that way (if that makes any sense).  Christmas isn’t about the tangible, the things, it’s not something that can be stolen, rendering the title more philosophical and making the story itself demonstrative of such rhetoric.

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I Dare You Book Tag

This is a new one from Ignited Moth!  I wasn’t technically tagged in it, because it was open to everyone, which is what I’m more than likely going to do.  I’m getting lazy lol.

1.) What book has been on your shelves the longest?

Oh my God, are you seriously going to make me get up, you cruel thing?  Didn’t I just say I was going to be lazy?  Wait…I have a Goodreads shelf for all of the books I physically own.  Hooray technology!  Helping roly-poly kids like me be lazy at 2 in the morning 😀

I think it’s Deerskin by Robin McKinley.

Wow, I’ve had this book for a long time.  Since high school and it shows.  The spine is held together with duct tape.  I want to start doing “classic” reviews as in reviews of books I read a long time ago.  I also want to reread it, because it was one of my favorite books (if really disturbing) in high school, and it helped cultivate my love of retold fairy tales.

2.) What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading seven books, which you can find out more about from my last State of the Reader post.

The last book I finished was Abstract Clarity by my blogger friend B. W. Ginsburg , and I’m in the process of writing a review for that.

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The Goodreads Book Tag 2

I still have a ton of blogger tags/awards to get through, and I can’t even claim to be doing them in order.  Today this is the one I’m awake/aware enough to go through, so…

First, I found this on The Writing Hufflepuff’s blog so you should check her out.  She does book reviews mostly and her blog is just set up really neatly.  I use Goodreads a ton, so this is the perfect tag for me.  Please feel free to friend me there if you use it, too!

What was the last book you marked as read?

The Quantum Ghost by Jonathan Ballagh.  I just finished reading it this morning.  Such an excellent mid-grade novel.  I’ve also read and reviewedThe Quantum Door, which was good, too, but Ghost was even better.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading six books, but that number will probably jump back up to seven before I post my State of the Reader update this Wednesday:

  1. Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
  2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia by Patrick Thorpe
  5. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  6. The Poetic Edda by Anonymous

What was the last book you marked as ‘to read’?

Primitive Mythology by Joseph Cambell, the fist book in his Masks of God series.  I initially had The Power of Myth on there in its stead, but a friend told me that I could just watch the interviews with Bill Moyers, so I threw that on my Amazon wish list.

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What I’ve Learned from Blogging

I have to thank the Well-Red Mage for giving me the kick in the pants I needed to post this.  It’s been sitting in my notes for a while, and the timing just happened to be perfect, since it’s almost my blogaversary, and I was planning on talking about just this very thing.  However, doing it a bit beforehand is fine with me.

The original post is located right here for you to peruse and try yourself, and the essential question is “What have you learned since you started blogging?”

This short answer is a lot.  I’m no stranger to writing nor am I stranger to planning when I’ll be able to write.  I’ve completed three novels, one of which is actually original hehe.  That doesn’t occur if you don’t know how to manage your time, but blogging is a bit of a different beast.  Maintaining this blog is like having a second job I’m not paid for (yet), but I’ve been saying that about writing in general for years.  The blogging aspect has become a part of my daily writing task, but unlike novel crafting, blogging grants much quicker and regular interactions.  So this is what I’ve learned.

  • One of the main things that makes you a better writer is reading.  It’s one of the reasons I want to read horror, because I want to write it.  Even though I have quite a few ideas for horror stories, I’m not quite sure of the execution, and that’s where reading Lovecraft, King, Koontz, and others will come in.  Blogging is no different.  Follow small bloggers; follow medium bloggers; follow large bloggers.  Follow new blogs, and follow established blogs.  Follow bloggers who talk about what interests you or who talk about what you’d like to become interested in.  Like, comment, follow, interact.  This will not only help you become a better blogger, hone your craft, think up new ideas, but it will also allow you to meet, befriend, and interact with all kinds of different people.  Networking is hard, and not everyone is good at doing it face to face or has the opportunity to do so, but blogging gives you that opportunity.  This doesn’t mean you’re going to be offered $50k a year to blog hehe (god if only…), but it never hurts to make friends especially considering that you can follow blogs from all over the world.  One of my first and oldest followers is from Germany 🙂
  • In a similar vein, answer your comments and interact with other bloggers.  If someone comments on your post or follows your blog, reply to their comment and check out their blog to see if it’s something that might interest you.  Do those blogger tag posts (if the poster opened it up to every or if you were tagged) even if it might take you a few months if not longer to get to it (guilty as charged).  I know some people see them in a similar light to email chain letters or that annoying shit Facebook does, but I disagree.  Blogging those answers takes time and effort.  You’re talking about yourself, which has the opportunity to become as personal as you’d like it to be.
  • Post regularly and/or often.  Plan out weekly posts if you don’t have time to do regular, variable content.  I have my four weekly posts now not because I don’t have a shit ton of things to talk about, but because I don’t always have time to talk about them.  Essays take time, effort, and energy to write, and I’m often lacking both time and energy.  So do stories, and don’t let anyone tell you that editing all of this is easy either.  While that’s going on, I have my three weekly State posts and Final Fantasy Friday.  The State posts keep me honest with my writing, reading, and gaming, and actually do help me make progress.
  • Try to keep up with your blog subs.  That has proven to be the most challenging for me.  You want to not only follow other bloggers, but read their blogs as well, like, and comment.

Hm, I suppose these are just general “how do be a good blogger” tips.  I’ve also learned that people I don’t know or didn’t know before are way more interactive than IRL friends.  I think this has to do with the fact that you blog to and are following me because of a common interest.  Also Facebook is terrible with its algorithms in terms of what it will post.  But even outside of this, I’ve found bloggers to be not only more analytical, but more willing to accept and interact to analysis.  When I post my in depth Final Fantasy thoughts on FB, they’re often met with silence, but when I put them on here (or even Twitter since I know quite a few of you there), a lively discussion will start.  Facebook is like the cafeteria, Twitter is like the noisy pub where we’ve found a quiet corner, and WordPress is like a lecture hall where open discussion is welcomed.

I’ve also learned how to take disagreement.  I can’t tell you how important this is.  I used to become neurotically nervous about certain things, but now I realize disagreement about preferences doesn’t mean people think what I like isn’t valuable.  Again, a lot of this came from Facebook where sadly the atmosphere is often about one-upmanship or making your opinion/preferences seem more worthy than the other persons.  That, honestly, immature attitude doesn’t seem to permeate this space.  When I read an interesting post, I often think of emulation because it’s a good idea.  I might add my own spin to it, but it’s not to make the other person look bad, and thanks to WP’s link feature, you can always lead people back to the source. If I post I like Majora’s Mask on WP, I’ll get people who agree and people who  might say they weren’t fond of it for Reason A or B, but it’s not a dig at my enjoyment, but rather a discussion piece on their preferences.  With Facebook? “Majora’s Mask sucks!”  I feel like I’m bitching about Facebook, which is not my intention, but before I found WordPress, that’s where I went to share my ideas, and it really did make me neurotic.  I never knew when/if I was going to be attacked for talking about how much I loved FFVII, so I got to the point where I just stopped posting anything about it.  This is probably why I’ll apologize to people if I babble about VII too much, because, well, I had bad experiences with people being less than nice to me about it.  Granted, people could just not follow my blog or not approve my comments if they’re tired of hearing about it lol.

Learning how to disagree is integral to the human experience, and I’m an open person in terms of your preferences (so long as those preferences don’t violate basic human rights obviously), and blogging has taught me how to do that and accept different opinions objectively.  Since we all have different backgrounds and lived experiences, what we find enjoyable and relatable is going to vary.

Thanks again to the Well-Red Mage for presenting this question, though I still say he went back in time or sent the Timely Mage to look at my notes about it.  No hard feelings though :p