The State of the Writer: 2/7/21

<–The State of the Writer: 1/24/21         The State of the Writer: 2/21/21–>

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

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener

I managed to figure out one of the things I had under General Issues and Questions on OneNote from years ago for the male MC.  Sometimes I just have to start writing about the problem and brainstorming solutions, and it’ll come together.  I still have a few more things to do, but I’m starting to think about what I need to finish up in order to start writing the first chapter.  My hubs is the MVP for just listening to me talk about this shit and let me figure it out lol.

Continue reading

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Date Added: April 13, 2013
Date Started: August 9, 2018
Date Finished: September 13, 2018
Reading Duration: 35 days
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Young Adult (YA), Mid-Grade

Cover of The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanPages: 286
Publication Date: September 30, 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins
Media: Paperback


In this ingenious and captivating reimagining of Rudyard Kipling’s classic adventure The Jungle Book, Neil Gaiman tells the unforgettable story of Nobody Owens, a living, breathing boy whose home is a graveyard, raised by a guardian who belongs neither to the mortal world nor the realm of the dead. Among the mausoleums and headstones of his home, Bod experiences things most mortals can barely imagine. But real, flesh-and-blood danger waits just outside the cemetery walls: the man who murdered the infant Bod’s family will not rest until he finds Nobody Owens and finishes the job he began many years ago.

A #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of many international awards, including the Hugo Award for best novel and the Locus Award, The Graveyard Book is a glorious meditation on love, loss, survival, and sacrifice . . . and what it means to truly be alive.


Per the blurb, this is a retelling/fanfiction of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, but without the blatantly racist aspects of the original work.  In using the graveyard as a paranormal stand-in for Mowgli’s jungle, Gaiman’s novel serves as a perfect parallel to the “return to your own world” narrative, and could in fact surpass Kipling’s motif to the same.  While Mowgli will never belong to the jungle, one day the graveyard will be Nobody’s place, and the somber meaning of his name will be fulfilled.

Continue reading

The State of the Writer: 1/24/21

<–The State of the Writer: 1/10/21         The State of the Writer: 2/7/21–>

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

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener

I wound up making a checklist of things I want to do in Scrivener before I start writing.  This was after I went through all of my old notebooks for any scribblings specifically related to the WIP like the stuff involving language and demographic background.  The checklist happened because I wanted a way to catalog what I still needed to nail down before I begin writing (plus I work better with checklists/to-do lists), but I also feel like I’m nearing the point where I just want to start and then figure things out as I go.

Continue reading

The State of the Writer: 1/10/21

<–The State of the Writer: 12/27/20         The State of the Writer: 1/24/21–>

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

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener

I have reached the obsessive stage of my language creation lol.  I think I’ve found a pattern I like though, and I also think I can move on and back to other things while still working on this on the side.  I still have numerous items from my notebooks to work in, nor have I figured out some of the integral details of how the world operates.  It’s more hashing out how things work so that I can be consistent when I finally start to write.  Plus I want to go back to finding pictures of beautiful people lol.  I’ll start posting the ideas I have for the other characters, too.

Continue reading

The State of the Writer: 12/27/20

<–The State of the Writer: 12/13/20         The State of the Writer: 1/10/21–>

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

Finished Projects: 2


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener

Whew…creating a language is time consuming lol.  My plan was always to expand on what I’d initially started in The Serpent’s Tale, my first (and still unpublished) novel that this one borrows heavily from.  The male MC is a polyglot and fully fluent in the language of his background, and I’m kind of a doer when it comes to writing aka show vs. tell I suppose.  You can’t just say someone speaks a different language and not have them speak said language (it’s the same way how I had to literally show he’s an assassin by, uh, having him kill some people lol).  I made up more words in that language, which is called Rava, than any others, and it’s the only one where I even attempted grammar and syntax.

Continue reading

The Riddle of the Wren by Charles de Lint (DNF)

Title: The Riddle of the Wren
Author: Charles de Lint
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: August 26, 2018
Date DNF: September 5, 2018
Reading Duration: 10 days
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)

Cover of The Riddle of the Wren by Charles de LintPages: 295
Publication Date: 1984
Publisher: Firebird
Media: Paperback (Library)


Minda Sealy is afraid of her own nightmares. Then, one night, while asleep, she meets Jan, the Lord of the Moors, who has been imprisoned by Ildran the Dream-master-the same being who traps Minda. In exchange for her promise to free him, Jan gives Minda three tokens. She sets out, leaving the safety of her old life to begin a journey from world to world, both to save Jan and to solve “the riddle of the Wren”-which is the riddle of her very self. “The Riddle of the Wren” was Charles de Lint’s first novel, and has been unavailable for years. Fans and newcomers alike will relish it.


The Riddle of the Wren is the type of old school fantasy novel I would’ve devoured in my younger, high school days.  Published in 1984, it’s exactly the thing that would’ve caught my fancy, and while I started reading Charles de Lint during that time, I cut my teeth on his later works, and this one flew under my radar.  You can definitely tell he was a fledgling author in this novel, and it turns out Riddle is his first.  Like so many books of that era, it begins with the locale’s description before it gets to the main character.  It does fascinate me how the conventions of writing change through the decades, and what was acceptable and expected then would earn an immediate rejection now.

Both the main character Minda and her best friend Janey are likable, and the trope of Missing Mom/Dickhead Dad is strong with regards to the former.  Janey’s description leads me to believe she’s a WOC, too, so score one for de Lint being inclusive even back then.  Minda’s father Hadon blames her for her mother’s death even though she didn’t die in childbirth (not…that that would make it valid either), but rather when she was between one and two.  Arguably, of course, women can still succumb to complications even after that length of time, but either way Hadon is still a jackass.  Minda has a paternal uncle who would be a much better father than her bio, but even if she did manage to escape, Hadon would just “drag her back,” and apparently Tomalin, the uncle, would let him.   While Hadon isn’t nearly as abusive to his daughter as the father in Deerskin *shudders* we do not diminish abuse by those degrees.

Continue reading

The State of the Writer: 12/13/20

<–The State of the Writer: 11/29/20         The State of the Writer: 12/27/20–>

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

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener

This week’s pic is a dead ringer for the titular character of the story and the male main.  Not…so much the clothing, but the paleness and ethereal beauty.  If this artist took commissions (and if I didn’t already have an artist I wanted to commission first) I’d absolutely tap them to do work.

Continue reading

The State of the Writer: 11/29/20

<–The State of the Writer: 11/15/20         The State of the Writer: 12/13/20–>

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

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener

Besides finding the perfect artwork of my protagonist I’ve been very productive.  It’s all worldbuilding shit right now, but I purchased the full version of Scrivener, and I’ve been working on it bit by bit every day.  I tend to come up with ideas as I’m working, which is a bit of a catch 22 since I’m a plotter, so I need to know what I’m writing before I write it.  This doesn’t mean I can’t change, but I have to have some kind of vague idea of where I’m going.  Granted, I completely changed the end of my first novel and had no clue how I was going to end Northern Lights when I wrote it, but I had all of the necessary elements to start.  With this one I have a similar issue where I’m not sure how the titular character’s major issue resolves, but as I mentioned I come up with my best ideas while writing, so yeah…

Continue reading

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Date Added: August 2, 2016
Date Started: August 6, 2018
Date Finished: September 3, 2018
Reading Duration: 28 days
Genre: Fantasy/Magical Realism, Paranormal, Young Adult (YA)

Cover of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye WaltonPages: 301
Publication Date: March 27, 2014
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Media: Paperback


Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.


Note: I’m going to split this into two sections: Review and Analysis.  The Analysis section will have spoilers whereas the Review will be just that.


Review

Foreseeing the future…means nothing if there is nothing to be done to prevent it.

Ava Lavender is a girl born with brown speckled bird wings in a world where magic might blend with the mundane but does nothing to mitigate grief.    Ava’s life is seeped with sorrow, and she came by it honestly.  The first part of the novel lays out the past to feature her French forebears with the apt surname of “Roux.”

Picture of Common Rue from Wikipedia

Pronunciation the same as the plant

All of them saddled with unlucky love and dying too young to reap the full sorrows.  Only her grandmother Emilienne survived to birth her mother Viviane who herself suffered love unreturned.

Continue reading

The State of the Writer: 11/15/20

<–The State of the Writer: 11/1/20         The State of the Writer: 11/29/20–>

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

Finished Projects: 1


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Status: Preparation
Progress:
Setting up notes in Scrivener

Holy shit…there’s a new story in the status lol.  I’ve talked about this one before I shelved it for a while, but I’m back at it now that The Broken Rose is finished.  This is the story I wanted to use TBR as a test run for.  I attempted to do it for NaNoWriMo a few years ago, but I wound up scrapping the whole thing and starting over.  The first chapter was boring, and I needed to do something else.

Continue reading