Well, I haven’t blogged regularly at ALL in quite awhile, but I wanted to post a wrapup of my writerly accomplishments this last year, if only so I’ll be able to look back on it one day.
It was definitely a slow year of writing, for me. I have difficulty writing when I’m stressed, so between that and spending a good deal of extra time on my copyediting business, the words were rather fewer than usual. But at least some writing happened!
2020 WRITING (ISH) ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Total words written: 76,160 (not my usual 100K+ but ah well)
53K of Tare/Kedran’s Wood books (starting book 3 for NaNo plus some edits on book 2)
12K of Operation Foxtail
11K on short stories — The Secret Piano (hopefully coming soon to a newsletter?), and three serial episodes of Girls, Spies, and Other Things the Faeries Stole. (I had written the first episode in 2019. The second was posted last January. So I have two more written, and one more planned, which would total 5 episodes. I hope to share them on here when I get the chance!)
I also did some plotting and editing on various works, including making some exciting breakthroughs in various books!
I didn’t have home internet for the last 8 months of the year so any blogging that actually got done . . . I’ll take it. 😛
I also focused more on my Instagram in this last year, largely due to said issue of a lack of internet aside from my phone. I can’t really blog on my phone but I can Instagram on it, sooo…
285 Bookstagram posts (daily posts aside from a couple of hiatus months and breaks when I got busy)
Hit 800 followers
I finally did more with themes, even seasonal ones (which was fun) — and aaall the flowers!
Finally made a Linktree and some highlights. XD *is almost getting the hang of this Instagramming thing*
Words copyedited or beta-read in 2020: 2.9 million words
Novels/novellas copyedited: 15
Short stories copyedited: 11
Beta projects (for friends etc.): 8
(Curious to know more about my freelance copyediting? Info is here! :))
Writing journal pages: 136
Won my 11th NaNoWriMo and 20th Camp NaNo (actually did two camp sessions this year)
Attended Hutchmoot: Homebound online (delightful), as well as a one-day writing conference in January, and read 6 books on writing
Sketched my character Teague
Was “in print” for the second time (I mean, just like the first time, it was a private bindup collection for authors of the Modern Bard blog stories, so it’s not like it’s… available? But it was still neat to see A Night in the Life of Glassman printed in a real book, personal collection though it may be!)
Set new word-sprinting records during November
Got a new laptop (after 9 years of writing adventures with my first laptop)
So there is a brief (?) look at my 2020 in writing! Although the wordcount was less than I’d hoped, and I didn’t finish any novels (two-thirds into both Operation Foxtail and Kedran’s Wood 3), it still wasn’t a bad writing year, apparently. I’m quite happy with a lot of these things. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed that! Thanks for reading — and let me know if there’s a writing-ish accomplishment you’re proud of from last year!
So. I’m writing the third book in my modern fantasy Kedran’s Wood series, so that I can hang out with Tare (my fave) and the Chess Club and have a hopefully chill/fun November for once!
1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?
Wow, it’s been so long . . . Well, I guess since it’s book 3, it would be because of starting a random modern fantasy back in April 2012 . . . which then had more spinoff ideas. I don’t remember the original spark for this one off hand, but origianaly it was going to be the sequel to book one, to be the adventures the Chess Club and Tare had the next summer, after The Owl of Kedran’s Wood. But then a snowy Christmas short story crept between them, eventually becoming a massive novel (145K words; please send help), so book three this one became! But the idea of the Chess Club and Tare on vacation has long been a fun one for me, and various things from the first two books and other Tare backstory stuff are leading up to this book. I’m excited. ^_^
2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary if you’d prefer)!
The Shadow of Kedran’s Wood (Kedran’s Wood, #3)
Road trip from Kedran’s Wood!
All the Chess Club wants is a fun vacation at the cabin Robin found them for the summer. All Tare wants is — well, probably for the Chess Club to stay out of trouble. (Saving teens, as well as the world all the time, gets exhausting.)
They find more than they bargained for with agents, a sinister secret lurking in the pine woods, a new side to Tare’s past, and of course McAllistair Mansion — which, let’s face it, is cooler than a cabin.
A storm is coming for the Chess Club and Tare.
So much for a quiet vacation . . .
3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects about the setting?
Still set in a vague/undisclosed part of modern-day America, but this time since the Chess Club road tripped away from their hometown, I have some new settings to play with. Pine woods and a cabin and a cool mansion and . . . other . . . things. I’m excited because, while I adore Kedran’s Wood itself, this gives me some new settings/dynamics I can play with — and Tare has an unexpected connection to this place too, so I’m going to have loads of fun with that! *cackles*
4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).
Meet the cast!
Tare – 20 years old – black hair – Enigmatic monster-fighting, black-leather-wearing guy and also my favorite character I’ve ever written
Lavender – 17 – blonde – Shy, softhearted, heart of the Chess Club
Baz – 17 – brown hair – Happy-go-lucky, fun-loving prankster and pun king
Ivy – 18 – red hair – Feisty, no-nonsense, go-get-’em Chess Club member
Adrian – 19 – blond hair – Easy-going, laid back guy, very protective of the Chess Club
Mr. Larch – 32 – brown hair – head of the Chess Club, dry and reserved, voice of reason
Robin Larch – 26 – light hair – Mr. Larch’s sister, enthusiastic, planning The Perfect Vacation
Arielle Everglade – 20 – long black hair – Appeared briefly in book 2, now shows up mysteriously (spoilers, sweetie)
Roderick Hendricks – 29 – dark brown hair – British, lawyer, basically an awkward penguin, lives at McAllistair Mansion, permanently anxious about Tare (not that we can blame anyone for being anxious about Tare)
5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?
Um. Spoilers? But there mayyy be a group and it mayyy be connected with villains of earlier book(s) and there is also a return of a side antagonist-ish or two . . . it’s complicated.
6. What excites you the most about this novel?
That it’s a new book with Tare and the Chess Club! I finished a novella with them last December, and while I’ve fiddled with things since, I haven’t actively been writing a KW book in ages (a.k.a. all this year!) and I’m excited to start this one. Also, I mean, it’s going to be a blast with Chess Club vacation and new characters and Tare being done with everything and yeah. 😀
7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?
Well, it’s in a series . . . book 3 of 3! :O Sort of . . . I currently have an “official” trilogy of novels in the series, but also (either written or planned) 4 short stories, 2 novellas, a sort-of-for-fun alternate-ish novel that doesn’t really count, and a spinoff novel that also spins off of some other books I have. Not to mention sometimes my short story ideas turn into novels, and I have ideas for new adventures occasionally . . . (So there’s 10 . . . or, well, 11 . . . currently. But kind of just 3. XD I’ve drafted 2 novels, 2 short stories, and a novella so far.) BUT I still think of these three being the main books, so in that sense I’m starting on the last “official” (currently) Tare and Chess Club book. But I’m so excited because I felt like I’d never get this far! XD
8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?
Hooopefully plotting? I haven’t done a lot yet but I do like to have an idea of how things will go. I have tons of it in my head already, and some basic notes/lists/snippets. I always mean to plot more for NaNo than I usually get around to, resulting in some flailing around, and with Tare and co. you never know when something might dash out of outline plans, so . . . call it a mix?
9. Name a few unique elements about this story.
Um. Mansion + secret agents (ish) + modern fantasy + British penguin lawyer (he’s not actually a penguin but he’s basically an awkward penguin, more or less) + Tare Doing Things + Chess Club shenanigans + road trip + camping + Tare backstory info (bwahaha) + I’m also planning a cameo of a character from one of my non-KW books. 😀 I don’t know how unique any of that is, but I’m looking forward to it!
10. Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).
I’m drawing a blank on this since I don’t have a playlist yet (oh, help) and haven’t really made any fun things . . . Sooo, here, have my ancient KW series Pinterest board which I haven’t messed with in ages but should have some inspiration stuff for all the books, including this one!
Talk to me! ^_^
And there we are! Do join in on the linkup if you’re writing anything for NaNo, or just, you know, writing! (Find me on NaNo here!) And let me know what you think of this? I know I’ve been very absent from blogging, sorry! *hides face* I’m looking forward to hopefully starting writing this in November, and I wish you luck if you’re writing as well! Thanks for reading! ^_^
I realized I haven’t seen many retellings of this one? But I do love a certain movie of it, and I read a fascinating retelling, and I have a steampunk reimagining of this fairy tale on my to-write list . . .
So I thought I’d celebrate Jack and the Beanstalk month by briefly highlighting those three here today!
I absolutely loved this movie! Aside from the giants (who are kind of gross and creepy), I just loved everything about it! 😀 Jack is a great hero, the princess is great, it’s exciting, deliciously fantastic, gorgeous, funny, and it has a great ending. *grins* And best of all, Ewan McGregor is fabulous as a guard in it. What is not to love? I’ve only seen it once or twice, from the library, and it’s been awhile so I don’t remember it as well as I should, but I’m reminded of just how FUN it was and now I want to see it again. 😀 I’d call it one of those underrated fantasy movies that you don’t hear about much but is actually really good!
Trial by Song (by Alicia Gaile)
Aahh, this book! I read it quite awhile ago now, but it was just SO striking and atmospheric and gripping! I was utterly enchanted — which is appropriate, what with it being about magical music and scary fae and all of that. It’s a modern fantasy and it’s SO INTENSE! A little on the grittier side, so if creepy fae and a bit of language/gore/etc. bugs you, beware, but it was just so absolutely fascinating and I could NOT put it down! I loved the Jack and the Beanstalk elements and bits of another fairy tale that I didn’t expect, and the modern elements mixed with faeries. Jack himself was a really engaging hero, and I absolutely loved his family of so many brothers and how they were so different but so real and protective. It was such a vivid book and if you like faeries and urban fantasy, you absolutely have to try it out! It also ends on a cliff hanger so I really need to get around to reading the sequel! *collapses*
I’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s the second book in a YA steampunk-fantasy series I’m writing. Book one (The Siren and the Skyship) is in rough draft form, and I would like to start book 2 soon . . . but it’s in plotting mode and there’s something that’s keeping it from clicking finally, enough for me to write it. Hopefully I figure it out soon.
If young sky-pirate Keller can’t pull off a heist the shadowy pirate king sends him on, he could lose everything — but if he succeeds, he could unleash the worst threat the sky world has ever known.
Stealing from dragons has never been easy, and neither is evading Princess Tasmania Peckham-Archley, Royal Skynavy captain, who is hot on Keller’s trail, in search of the stolen crown jewels which are the only way to prevent a war.
Despite his charm and plant-powers, and the magic mirror belonging to Ebony — the mysterious girl in the stone pillar — Keller’s luck may have finally run out.
This skythief’s heart isn’t the only thing that might be stolen from him.
Do any of these sound interesting to you, or have you seen/watched any of them? (If you’ve read my WIP, please let me know, time-traveler, so that I can take notes . . .)
Have you read or watched any great Jack and the Beanstalk retellings that you would like to recommend to me? I would love to hear about them!