Wednesday, November 25, 2015

First Draft Complete!

My goal was to finish the rough draft of Huron by the end of November, and I typed the last words in the wee hours of November 25th. Another draft completed! Of course, Huron won't be finished (or more accurately, kicked out of the house) until it has undergone a couple rounds of edits and rewrites, beta reading, proofreading, formatting, copyediting, and a lot of frustrated tears.

This is by far my shortest novel, but that's okay since it's YA. The skeleton draft is about 62.5k words, and I'll be fleshing it out and giving it another row of teeth during rewrites. After spending twelve years writing the Malora Octet, finishing a stand-alone novel in a different genre is refreshing.

Huron begins on August 1, 1998 in East Tawas, Michigan. A trio of seventeen-year-olds venture into Huron-Manistee National Forest for a live action role-playing adventure. Before long, all three teenagers realize that something is watching them from the forest, something that no mythology or cryptozoology they know of can explain. Thus begins a twisting, turning, terrifying chase into an old-growth forest inhabited by nightmares.

Friday, November 20, 2015

National Novel Writing Month 2015

This is why I've been aloof lately. I've been working on a new book in a new genre, and I was so into it that I hit the 50k word count NaNoWriMo goal on November 18th instead of the 31st. Here is my participant page if you want to check out my stats.

I'm not finished yet. 50k is awfully short for a novel, so I've got a little ways to go before I'm done with the first draft. I tend to write skeletal first drafts and then add a couple thousand words with each round of rewrites. This will be a shorter book than my previous ones, but that's perfectly fine for the genre and plot.

So, what am I writing? I'm not entirely sure how to categorize Huron yet, so for now I'm calling it YA Horror. It's a funny, scary, old-fashioned horror chase set in 1998 in Iosco County, Michigan. My narrator is Casey Tallis, a snarky and nerdy seventeen year old who heads out into Huron-Manistee National Forest with two friends for a little live action role-playing. Before long, all three teenagers realize that they are being watched by something inhuman.

The picture below isn't my final cover, just a placeholder I made on Canva to put on my NaNo profile. I may still use this concept for the final version, switching up some of the colors and graphics. It suits the tone of the book fairly well. I wasn't expecting Huron to be so funny, but after writing 8 3/4 books, I've learned that sometimes you just have to run with whatever your characters decide to reveal to you. Narrators especially take on lives of their own, and this narrator happens to be hilarious. Hopefully the story still makes sense when I return to it for edits and rewrites in January, because I want to set it loose upon the world sometime in 2016.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Book Sale!

The Crystal Lattice (Emergence #1) is on sale for $0.99 on Amazon. The sale ends the morning of Wed., October 21, so grab your copy before the price goes back up. I may do Kindle Countdown Deals for the other two Emergence books if I have any success with this one.

"The ocean sings to me. The deserts, the wind, the rivers whisper to my soul. The mountains and forests beckon to me, but they are not my masters. I embrace the fire above all else. Starfire and kindling, candlelight and infernos. I am not a disciple of fire – I am the fire. I am wings of flame and sparks on the wind, dampened only by the bitter winter rain and the coldness of an empty universe. I close my eyes and see blazing cascades and meadows of molten rock. I breathe deeply of the ash and char to refresh my spirit and subdue my elemental nature. I open my eyes and return to a far more serene place, the halcyon world of my physical home." - from The Crystal Lattice

Friday, October 2, 2015

Time-Lost Again

I haven't been able to write much recently. It's not due to writer's block or lack of ideas. I'm just exhausted. I have ideas eating away at my mind, but no energy with which to resolve them. I had kidney stone surgery at the end of July and that flared up my narcolepsy to the point that I have trouble staying awake for more than a couple hours at a time. I had bilateral stones, so I had a second procedure, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy - ESWL, on my other kidney last week. I don't think it worked (will find out next week), so I may be in for a second surgery. I needed a stent for the first one and that was a little traumatic, so the prospect of going through that again is keeping my focus wobbly. I'm time-lost for the moment and hoping this narcolepsy flare doesn't last too much longer.

I do feel a little productive though, due to something I wrote in May. My short story, "They", was published in a little anthology Possibilities Publishing Company put out yesterday. The book is available in both e-book and paperback, so get your copy in whichever format you prefer.

I feel the need to stay productive despite the surgeries and narcolepsy, so I've returned to an old hobby... drawing. I'm planning on including some of my artwork in Rain Falls on Malora. I'm also drawing a geeky coloring book unrelated to my books, but since it's fan art, I don't think I'll be able to publish that unless I figure out copyright for each of the books, TV shows, and movies I've drawn artwork for. You can see some of them on my Instagram, though.

I want to share with you coloring book-style pictures I've drawn of characters from the Malora Octet. I bought a set of art pens recently so this has been a fun new experiment.

Bethel Masiona and Saruza Starsinger. Bethel is always a pain to color
against complex backgrounds for reasons that are obvious if you've
 read the series.

Rain and Dawn. I may alter this into a cover for Rain Falls on Malora
if I end up including Rain's short story in the book.

Silvan and Mairen from Arrow of Entropy. I don't want to be a
spoiler so all I'll say is they're learning how to spar.

Ravaki and Safora from The Crystal Lattice. I'm not happy with their arm
positioning, but I love how the rest of the picture turned out.

This was inspired by Nira's letter to Azfadel in The Crystal Lattice.
It's amazing how just a couple lines reveal her postpartum depression.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sketching the Imaginary Friends, Part 3

I'm having way too much fun with this project. My creative brain is extremely visual right now. Eventually I'll get the sketches scanned into my computer, and I hope to include them as illustrations (probably grayscale) in my short story collection, Rain Falls on Malora.

Ikuren Nightsong, Masai snow Emergent from Sand into Glass

Wildfire (The Shattered Veil)

Roar Banan (Mayfly Requiem)

Kith (Sand into Glass)
Cinderstorm, the apex phoenix (Arrow of Entropy)

Zephyr and Rhodren Briarwind (Echoes of Oblivion trilogy)

Sevilen and Aridani (Echoes of Oblivion trilogy)

Sevilen and Aridani after shading and detailing

Vutan Gira (Arrow of Entropy)

Rastaban and Sevilen (Before The Abyssal Night)

Zorie Berylatia (Sand into Glass)

Sefa Metavanya, Reed Velarani, Muza Masiona, Faron Masiona (Emergence trilogy)