#DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords Tag

#DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords

#DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords

Quite some time ago, the lovely Rebekah Hendrian (@booklass13) tagged me for a writing tag on Twitter, #DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords, which is exactly what it sounds like. I promptly did not do it, due to not knowing which WIP to try. So I thought I’d turn it into a tag on my blog and expand it.

I decided I’d take a dozen of my WIPs (don’t worry, I’ve only started half of them; the others are in plotting mode) and do all of them with three words each.

It’s really difficult, by the way, so I don’t know how well I did . . . But I tried and it’s all in fun anyway. πŸ˜‰

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The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Winter, doubt, friendship.

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The Other Half of Everything

Writer, worlds, siblings.

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The Invisible Mask

Secrets, mansions, gentlemen.

CoverHeartseeker

Heartseeker

Heartless love. Bard.

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Song of a Pirate

Memory, sea, selkies.

HH

Hairdo Havoc

Bizarre. Traveler. Humor.

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The Silver Forest

Curse. Faes. Princesses.

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The Siren and the Skyship

Steampunk. Love. Tea.

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The Library in the Stars (NaNo 2016)

Time, minds, space.

Once Upon a November

Magic, writing, pumpkins.

From That Shadowy Land

Changelings, shadows, Tamlin.

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The Princes of Starrellia

Adventure, princes, bears.

***

So there you have it! What do you think?? Also how would you describe your WIP in 3 words?

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The Ghost of NaNos Past

The Ghost of NaNos Past

As we approach the NaNoWriMo season (*sound of panicking in the background*), I thought it would be fun to look back at the last six years of NaNos, ever since I started.

It’s amazing how different they’ve all been! Ups and downs… And each year I step deeper down the rabbit trail as it were. πŸ˜‰

(I did also do 4 Camp NaNo sessions — a 20K goal and three 10K goals, all of which I reached — but for the sake of continuity I’ll be ignoring those this post. XD They are, however, little footnotes in my NaNo history, so maybe someday I’ll do a post about them! But 6 + 4 = 10 times I’ve participated in (and won) a NaNo-ish event! *celebration*)

Here are my NaNo experiences . . .

NaNo #1: 2010 — The Chaos Year

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(Since I didn’t join the NaNo site my first year, I don’t have a handy graph from the site of my wordcount, so this one will have to do. Blue bars = where my wordcounts should have been to be on par. White bars = where my wordcounts actually were.)

Twelve Fugitives in the Wild — set in another world, without fantasy elements but with an 18th-century time period. Muskets, carriages, a dark tower, missing persons, and lots and lots of unexpected plot-twists…

Brave new step: Undertaking my first NaNo.

My first year was utterly insane. It was an unofficial NaNo (i.e. I didn’t sign up with the site) and I had no idea what I was getting into. I decided to do it the night before, and pantsed the whole thing, which I had very little experience with… I managed to reach my goal but not without falling dreadfully behind most of the month, and having to do an enormous catch-up day, writing 8,000 words on the last day. It took the entire day and much chocolate and family members pushing me back to the computer every time I wandered away in despair… *cough* But I made the 50,000! I was so happy.

NaNo #2: 2011 — The Perfect Year

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Far-mark’s Dream — to this day, the only novel I actually finished during NaNo. A fantasy adventure story featuring prophecies and salt fairies and bats and a serpent, and three friends (one reluctant; okay, he hates them and opposes everything they stand for, but to be fair he’d been enchanted. *cough*) who set out to defeat the Empire, with much epicness along the way.

Brave new step: Joined the NaNo site and forums.

My second NaNo was a complete dream come true. Learning from my mistakes of the first year, I planned ahead and had the whole novel plotted before day 1, made sure to stay on top of my wordcount, and just had a blast. I hit a few snags through the month, but always came through, and finished two days early… actually finishing the novel itself as well. I still look back at this year as my ultimate NaNo experience. ❀ I loved the book too. I still do… though I’d like to rewrite it a bit and expand some of the things. *nod*

NaNo #3: 2012 — The Overconfident Year

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Grey Betrayal — Book #1 in my several-book Epic Fantasy series, this one features plots and war and mountains, a talking bear, and the adventures of two friends, one of whom has many secrets…

Brave new step: I stepped out of my introvert writer shell and went to write-ins and a victory party at the end!

Oh, this year. I had grown arrogant, I fear… After my insane impromptu first year, followed by one where I took precautions and nearly everything went smoothly, I thought that NaNos were a breeze, apparently, as long as you planned for them. Alas, I was wrong! I didn’t realize that my second year had been the best and easiest NaNo I’d ever have the pleasure of being a part of. I started out pretty well on this third year, especially thanks to the numerous rambling thoughts of my main character, which gave me lots of words (thanks, Faron). But then I hit a snag a third of the way through called running-out-of-plot. I had neglected to plot further, and the rest of the month was a serious struggle. I pushed through at the end, but emerged a humbled NaNoer, realizing my good fortune of the previous year for what it was.

NaNo #4: 2013 — The Leading Year

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Underground Rainbow — contemporary fantasy featuring a young photographer and his adventures with various fantastical creatures: gnomes, griffins, leprechauns, and the like.

Brave new step: I stepped into a co-leadership role as a NaNoWriMo ML for my region. (Municipal Liaison: volunteer event organizer/local leader.)

This year started out all right, and then life crashed around me. It was my first year as an ML and that took up a lot of my time and creative juices, plus I was kind of in a writing slump, so that took its toll. This year is actually kind of hazy in my memory… But the story was a lot of fun, despite that, and I did make it in the end. Not to mention the wonderful camaraderie of my region this year, which was fantastic. ^_^

NaNo #5: 2014 — The Roadtrip Year

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Heartseeker — original fairytale YA fantasy romance type thing, featuring the princess who goes on a quest to find the heart of her betrothed.

Brave new step: Well, it wasn’t very brave, exactly, since I had no choice, but it was definitely crazy. I managed to do NaNo while being on a roadtrip most of the month AND ML-ing at the same time. It. was. insane. But I’m also very proud of me for surviving and doing okay. XD

Although it was arguably my most difficult year, due to a roadtrip in the middle on top of life and ML-ing, this is also one of my favorite NaNos, looking back at it. I’d say this and the Far-mark year were the best. Writing in the car was a new challenge, and one I only survived due to helpfully-pestering family members, and the kindness of my co-ML lending me a power adapter so I could use my laptop in the car and some rewarding letters from her characters which I could only open at certain points. I also was thankful for being snowed in at my uncle’s house for a couple of days, which allowed me to catch up in the middle of the trip. I finished off this NaNo with a spectacular write-in at a library late at night, which is my favorite NaNo memory. ❀ I can’t believe I survived it, and I definitely wouldn’t have without the support of wonderful friends and family, but it was a challenge and, despite the stress, was a blast as well.

NaNo #6: 2015 — The Rebel Year

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  • The Silver Forest — retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • The Rose and the Raven — novella retelling of Sleeping Beauty
  • The Secret of Kedran’s Wood — book #2 in my modern-fantasy series starring Tare and the Chess Club

Brave new step: Turning rebel (not so much brave as insane) and actually working on THREE different stories during NaNo in order to hit my 50K goal, instead of just one like the “rules” (made to be broken. ;)) state and like I’d done every year.

I did all right with my 12 Dancing Princesses story until exactly halfway through the month when it decided to inform me that I’d gotten the whole beginning wrong and would have to scrap everything I’d written and completely restart the novel. Um. It was going to be so much awesomer with the new twists that had emerged, but SERIOUSLY?? IN THE MIDDLE OF NANO?? What kind of bad timing was this? (Answer: it was the best of times; it was the worst of times . . . You can read the story of my Mid-NaNo-Crisis here.) I ended up abandoning it for the time being and instead taking the opportunity to work on my novella for the Rooglewood contest, with bits of KW2 to help whenever the painstaking shortness of the novella got too much. I survived this one too (despite a nasty cold near the end and running out of plot a couple times) but wow, it was definitely a new challenge! Writing more than one story in a month is super hard, because you have to get into the right mindframe for each of them, and switching between them is difficult. But it turned out okay, so huzzah!

NaNo #7: 2016 — ???

Story to write this year: To Be Announced…

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Brave new step: I’m going to be ML-ing thisΒ  year totally on my own. In my previous three years as an ML, I’ve had wonderful co-MLs and helpers with whom I’ve shared the burden. I’m all alone this year and just hoping I’ll be able to do it without those wonderful people having my back. Wish me luck, because this is scary. XD

Obviously, this year’s NaNo adventure is a mystery yet to be discovered (unless you happen to be a time-traveler, which I, unfortunately, am not…). What will happen this year? I’m as curious as you are!

Stay tuned for next week’s post which will (hopefully) be all about what I hope to work on this NaNo! (No promises, of course; NaNo projects are notoriously slippery beasts.)

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So there you have my past NaNo exploits! What about yourselves, my roadlings? Have you done NaNo? How many? What were your best (and worst) NaNos? Tell me aaall in the comments!

Writing Update (ALL THE STORIES!)

WritingUpdate

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a real writing update post… I do talk about what’s up with my writing each month in my ishness posts, but that’s not the focus, and I don’t talk about my various stories specifically very often either…

So, since I’m currently rather stuck on my writing, I thought why not do a post about my different stories* and what’s up with them (or not) at the moment?

Pretend we’re sitting at a coffee-shop somewhere, you and I, just chatting, and you asked what’s up with my writing. This post is probably pretty much what I’d say. (Except in person it would be less precise and LOADS longer and have a lot of “ums” and side-tracks and hysterical laughter. But… this post is kinda guilty of all of that too so whatever.)

Here’s a look at the stories I consider my “current” ones, which is a nice round 10. Because obviously that’s only a few out of my oodles. *cough*

*I know most of you probably know all about these, but just for a refresher and/or for newer readers I AM going to recap a little about what they’re about too…

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The Other Half of Everything

What: Part contemporary YA, part world-hopping/”portal” fantasy adventure, with a lot of humor, some brokenness, and a focus on a small group of odd characters, told in first person by a rather unreliable narrator. Also known as TEAGUE AND MERIDIAN ARGUE AND ARE CUTE TOGETHER.

Status: 1,300 words into Chapter 1… with 8,000 words of snippets for later.

I’ve never written a book like this before. Every. single. thing. about it is new. So I don’t know how to go about it. I’m currently flailing around trying to make it work and writing snippets.

I can’t decide if to try to force it to 1) go in order (which would require figuring out the scene in chapter 1 that I’m stuck on), or 2) to write it in snippets, out of order, throughout the book in a semi-organized manner (which would require having an actual plot/outline, which . . . AHAHAHA let me just laugh over here and then go drown in chocolate) or 3) write random snippets whenever I happen to come up with/feel like them (and hope that they actually turn into a coherent book eventually at some point in my life). Option #3 is what I’m doing right now and… erm… my logical side is going “Yeah, let me know how that works out for ya.”

But it’s very tricky for reasons including that the story’s told in first-person, the multiple-locations thing makes it difficult for there to be a “central plot”, and I’m discovering that it’s more about the characters and their relationships, so maybe that’s okay? I’m just not sure what “progress” on this looks like, because it may not look the way progress looks on normal books of mine, which I’m having a hard time dealing with. Having some sort of plot and writing a story from beginning to end (and thereby able to measure how far along I am) is what normally happens. But The Other Half of Everything appears to be anything but normal. …I shouldn’t be surprised, should I. Eheh.

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The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2)

What: Modern fantasy novel, book 2 in my “Tare” Kedran’s Wood series, about the shenanigans of the local Chess Club of Kedran’s Wood going up against mysteries, otherworldly problems, and of course Tare. (Note: I’m also usually thinking about the 6 other stories in this series that I haven’t written…)

Status: 63,000 words in, finished part 1 of 3 (yes, it’s going to be huge; shush), with another 5,000-ish words of snippets for later. Just started part 2.

I’m having a very hard time with the chapter I’m trying to write because DETAILS and TECHNICALITY. How do you make a hero meet a villain for the first time and both get away from it without a) one or both of them dead, or b) one or both of them looking WEAK. *grinds face against concrete wall in frustration* Also what do you do when a scene HAS to happen because you know it does, but you don’t remember what the characters’ reasons for said scene are anymore? Oh yeah, and technical details of trying to figure out how people actually do-or-do-not see other people when there’s chases involving alleys and rooftops and… ugh. My brain is sad. No wonder I’ve been stuck here for so long. O_O

After that, though, it should be pretty smooth sailing until a good ways into Part 2, so there may be hope! (But don’t ask about Part 3. Absolutely under no circumstances WHATSOEVER may Part 3 be mentioned. It is a vast uncharted landscape where all the “big plot things” have seen fit to lurk in lairs, laughing quietly to themselves because I don’t know how things fit together or what happens, and are WAITING TO DEVOUR ME. I tell you, it’s scary over there. WE DO NOT MENTION PART 3.)

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The Invisible Mask

What: I CAN’T EXPLAIN THIS ONE. Mysterious kind of Pride & Prejudice-like but with action and mostly about the guys, sort of thing… except it’s not P&P-like at all but it’s that kind of time-period, ish, maybe-but-not, except in another world, even though it’s not technically a “fantasy world” because there’s nothing fantastical about it… Anyways it has Richard Armitage playing one of the heroes so that’s about all you need to know. πŸ˜‰

Status: Nearly 20,000 words in (should hit 20 when I fill in the scene missing in the chapter I’m currently in). I hadn’t written on this one in AGES but have a little recently.

Where I’m at with this one is that I still only have very vague notions of plot further on in the story, but enough that I’m now not sure about what I’ve already written. I knew hardly anything when it started out, so I’m not sure the beginning is “right” anymore. Also I have a technical problem with the next scene I need to write, involving hiding places and assassins/spies and not knowing what the badguys’ motives are or what POVs to use. So I’m rather stuck and not sure if I should keep what I have written and press on, or restart (which I don’t want to do).

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Heartseeker

What: Fantasy novel, “original fairytale” type of deal, about a princess who goes on a quest to find the heart of the prince she’s betrothed to, and her adventures along the way with a certain knight who she starts falling in love with kinda-sorta-maybe. Also an awesome shapeshifting bard because #whynot. Started for NaNoWriMo 2014.

Status: 53,000 words into a very messy draft. Currently kind of on hold.

This one’s problematic because, again, I’m not sure about what I’ve written, mostly because I’ve realized I need to go back and add the POV of the knight as well as the princess. Plus other holes and general lack of editing, due to NaNo… All of which makes me squeamish to continue, because I’m like I NEED TO FIX ALL THE PROBLEMMMMS AND MAKE IT SHINY OTHERWISE I CANNOT GO ON *falls dramatically across couch* . . . but I really need to finish it before I can tackle all that, probably. At least I have the rest of it fairly well plotted, but still have some things to sort out, and my characters have been stuck at this one place SO LONG that I feel like they’ll never get out of it…

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Song of a Pirate

What: Novella. Set in a fantasy world with ships and gypsies and selkies and lost memories, through forest, desert, mountain, jungle, islands, and on the high seas. Also *gasp* magical song and pirates. (Bet you never saw that coming.)

Status: 22,000 words in. Hoping it will remain a novella… Also on hold.

I recently figured out a very important thing for the plot later on, so that’s exciting… Mostly it’s suffering from the same problem as The Invisible Mask, which is that there’s so much going on LATER in the story that I feel like I may need to go back and rewrite or at least add stuff in the part I’ve already written… But I don’t want to and don’t know how. I also have a curious love/hate relationship with this novella; one moment I adore it to the depths of my soul, the next moment… the other thing.

I’m excited about what’s going to happen but don’t know how to write it. I feel like the characters are being dreadfully mysterious and not having enough about themselves up-front to be interesting. I also know vague things about the ending, but again, it’s going to be hard and is still rather vague. Then again, it’s only a novella. So perhaps I could just sit down and finish it without too much trouble… Which would be cool. πŸ™‚

HH

Hairdo Havoc

What: Humorous short story. Basically a conglomeration of whimsical silliness.

Status: 1,200 words. Waiting/on hold.

Basically I have to be in the right dry humorous mood to write this. Plus the story is very vague… I could write the rest of the next scene but I’m afraid of hitting a dead-end if I do that. Then again, a certain character who showed up has definitely made it more interesting for me, so that’s exciting, and it’s only a short story… All the other short stories I’ve written (aside from Darkling Reflections, which was rather long) I wrote in a single day, so… πŸ˜‰ I’d really like to finish this one, but I’d have to be feeling clever and funny. Guess how often that happens… πŸ˜›

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The Silver Forest

What: Fantasy novel retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. With faes. And an evil dragon. And different colored ballgowns. And a prince, soldier, gardener, and dark half-fae fellow. Also a nefarious curse. And long-lost missing people. Not to mention twelve princesses — WHO KNEW, RIGHT? (You said that in Flynn Rider’s voice in your head, didn’t you? I knew it.)

Status: Scrapped the 26,000 words I wrote for NaNo 2015, so I’m back to square one on this one, re-imagining it in a new way. So for now, Unstarted.

I’m super excited for the new things that happened with this (resulting in my Mid-NaNo-Crisis last year), but I’m not sure if I’m totally ready to take it and run with it. Starting this thing again sounds slightly daunting and I want to get it right this time. It’s also very complicated with all the numerous characters and threads and frankly my head hurts just thinking about it, even though I AM excited about it. I think I’ll have to plot it out a bit more and decide to commit to it sometime… BUT I’M REALLY EXCITED TOO BECAUSE EEEEE THIS STORY. πŸ˜€

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The Siren and the Skyship

What: Novel. Steampunk Fantasy retelling of The Little Mermaid (though mostly that plot keeps falling into the background since a certain dark character keeps trying to steal the show for himself. *cough*). Basically my excuse to do all the steampunk things and have a strange cast of characters and SKYSHIPSSSS.

Status: Unstarted. Simmering on the backburner.

This is basically a vague retelling which got hijacked by ten gadrillion (okay, okay… like a dozen) fascinating and diverse characters who are going to be so much fun to write… and also an unfortunate lack of linking plot. Though half of me wants to go IT’S A STEAMPUNK STORY. WITH CHARACTERS. AND A DARK GUY. AND A LOOSE FAIRYTALE RETELLING ON THE SIDE WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CENTRAL BUT WHATEVER. LET’S ROLL WITH IT WHO NEEDS PLOT. (But self-control…) (But apparently I really want to write Steampunk fantasy with nutty characters and humor and skyships and don’t really care if there’s a plot? I dunno, guys, I think I’m slipping… Tell me I can’t write it yet. Gaahh.)

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The Library in the Stars

What: Novel, maybe? Fantasy story in space with a dash of time travel and… lots of other weird stuff, combining several previous story ideas of mine. Also many books. Because libraries. Especially magical ones in space.

Status: Unstarted. Also simmering, sorting ideas out.

Oh, goodness, this thing. This sort of happened when about five of my different story ideas decided they have the same “feel” and belong in the same story despite being TOTALLY different, and despite the fact that I still don’t know exactly how they link together… I just think they do and need to discover how… (It’s also distressing when you take a fanfiction idea and tweak it enough to be its own thing, and yet there’s still a part of it that works so much better as fanfiction even though you don’t want it to. Ack. Having a time-traveling machine is just NOT the same as having a TARDIS. It just isn’t, guys. I’ll make it work somehow, but argh.) Basically I’m nowhere near being able to write this thing, but it’s currently one of my favorites all the same and I enjoy working little bits of it together from time to time. (Time to time… Did I mention this one was timey-wimey? *laughs at own joke* …Sorry, I’m writing this late at night. >.>)

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The Princes of Starrellia

What: Fantasy Series. Okay, so sliiiightly cheating on this one, since it’s not a single book, but rather my original epic fantasy series. You may have heard me mentioning the “Starrellian Saga” around here, with titles like “Grey Betrayal”, “Out of the Unknown”, and “Quest for a Legend”… I’m kind of reconstructing the whole thing. Maybe I’ll do a post about it someday. Anyways, at the moment the series is called “The Princes of Starrellia” and has a new book structure and everything.

Status: Being reconstructed. Also mostly a backburner project.

This isn’t very active, but it’s something I mull over here and there. I was having serious problems with the series as a whole for awhile there, and I think I’ve been away from it long enough that I can see it more clearly, and identify the parts I really love and want to expand on instead of just the parts that are “there” for no reason. I’m really excited about reimagining this series because it’s my original and closest to my heart, but I was really young when I started it and I want to give it a chance to shine as it deserves, which means looking at it with a fresh mind. I’m excited about the new structure (if it works) and new titles and just an all-around fresh take, while still being its same old beloved fantasy series. It’s going to be fabulous. And a whole, whole, whole lot of work… (But hey, no one ever said writing a 6-or-7-book fantasy series wasn’t. ;))

***

And there we are. Done, I promise. This was fun! πŸ™‚ For me, anyway.

And also may give you a bit of an idea as to why I’m stuck on all of the stories at the top of my Write-List, either due to not knowing if I should rewrite stuff, or stuck on the current bit, or haziness or general trouble in the plot-at-later-points areas. Past, present, future… it’s all problematic, I tell you. I have some serious writer’s block to get through, guys… *readies pickax*

If anyone has tips on said writer’s block and/or the breaking thereof, believe me, I’m all ears… πŸ˜€

But anyway, there’s a bit about where I am in my “main” stories at the moment.

…I’ll just try not to think of the other ones down there below the surface, waiting to re-emerge and demand attention… *balances precariously on raft of words with my ten stories bobbing about me, and shadowy shapes in the depths below…*

(If you made it through this whole post, you deserve a cookie. *hands them out*)

Looking Forward, Looking Back (2016/2015)

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I love the change of the year and have been doing many of my favorite New Years things like starting new journals. A fresh year is waiting, like a blank page to be written on, and the old year is gone, with all its good times and, yes, failures. It’s time to start fresh.

Danny Gokey says it beautifully in his song Tell Your Heart to Beat Again: “Yesterday’s a closing door — you don’t live there anymore.” Give the song a listen! (I heard it on the radio this week, fell in love, and have listened to it ten billion times since and am listening to it on repeat as I write this post). It’s beautiful and feels just right for the New Year.

Here are some of my excitements for the new year of 2016, as well as a brief look back at my 2015. And — yes! — lists!

2016

My word for 2016

Joy is my word this year. I want to find joy in everything if I can. It’s going to be hard, since I struggle with a tendency to be stressed and down on myself. But I’m tired of feeling crushed beneath expectations, beneath things I feel are obligations which ought to be enjoyable but have become chores. This includes — yes — writing, reading, emailing… even the things that I usually love, sometimes can become a burden because I’m a chronic procrastinator and a perfectionist. I’m hoping to approach everything, the fun and the not, with Joy. To rediscover my Joy in writing and life and find a freedom I’ve been looking for . . . that is my wish for the new year.

JOY! πŸ™‚

I’M EXCITED FOR THIS YEAR:

aspysdevotionThese books coming out:

Yorien’s Hand // The Goblin’s Puzzle // A Spy’s Devotion // Fridays with the Wizards // Rebel of the Sands // Songkeeper // The Story of Kullervo // King’s Folly // The Beautiful Pretender // Five Magic Spindles // Defying Shadows // Stolen Crowns #1 // The Bone Queen // Crooked Kingdom

(I did a post about this if you want pics/links to Goodreads, but I’ve since added Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams — sequel to Orphan’s Song — and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, both of which are sequels that I need this instant. *flail*)

These movies releasing:

  • The Abominable Bride (Sherlock special which I’m hopefully going to see on Wednesday… YAY!)
  • Captain America: The Civil War (YESSSS!! As I may have mentioned, I’m kind of looking forward to this a lot, primarily because BUCKY and HAWKEYE!)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Because Star Wars…)

(Also, perhaps someday I’ll see Kung Fu Panda 3, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Batman Vs. Superman, which are releasing this year, but I’m not in a super hurry as they also sound weird…)

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I’d also like to see:

  • Pan (missed that when it came out last year)
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy (somehow still haven’t seen this)
  • Thor 2: The Dark World (which I technically saw once but need to rewatch since I have no memory of it which is slightly terrifying since I think I liked it a lot?!)

My 2015 at a Glance

READING

66 Books

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I read many lovely books, notably many retellings and much Diana Wynne Jones; and discovered steampunk and heist books. (Yay!) And I just posted my top 15 favorites of the year.

Goodreads has a lovely new “Year in Books Feature” which I love! (Mine is here.)

WATCHING

Shows I saw:

  • Leverage (seasons 1-5) — everyone knows how much I love this… *cough*
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (BBC Miniseries) — interesting to see on screen
  • Star Wars: Rebels (Season 1) — I ADORED THIS! Sooo much fun. ❀

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I don’t go to the theater often, but this year I saw:

  • starwars7posterStar Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens — AS;LDKJFLSK FEELS. WHAT. Still haven’t decided what I think of it except that I know I had a blast and then felt extremely sad near the end… I think overall I loved it? But I’m not sure yet! *flail* One thing’s for sure: ALL OF THE FEELS. And I adore the new characters, particularly Poe, and want to see the movie again.
  • Cinderella — Gorgeous.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron — Hawkeye!!
  • Mockingjay Part 2 — Um.
  • Beyond the Mask — EPIC!!! ❀

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BLOGGING

87 Posts

I really discovered my love of blogging this last year, and started my Ishness posts, and just had a fun time.

My top viewed posts were:

ccakeFrom which I discern that people are unprepared for NaNo (always), and love movies (or characters), bookshelves, Christmas, and cupcakes (or possibly denial). Basically you, my blog readers, have your priorities in order. *thumbs up*

WordPress has a handy blog report showcase for the year which is fun. Take a look at my blog stats if you enjoy numbers like I do. XD

It says my top commenters were Sarah, Tracey, Christine, C.B., and Abi — thank you guys! And to every single person who reads this blog and who has commented (even just once) a heartfelt thank you. ❀ You make my day every time. ^_^

WRITING

Over 100,000 Words

DRcoverishR&RI wrote an entire novella and two whole short stories (and a couple fanfictions) — namely:

KW2coverPSilverForestCoverFinalAnd worked on several other books:

  • 2. The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (mostly this one)
  • The Silver Forest (and this one)
  • 0.5. Child of Kedran’s Wood
  • 2.5 Mixup at Kedran’s Wood
  • 3 The Shadow of Kedran’s Wood
  • 4 The Writer of Kedran’s Wood
  • Heartseeker
  • The Other Half of Everything (snippets)

S&Scover4

OHEcoverI was attacked by several new plotbunnies that I adore and can’t wait to write, most notably:

  • The Other Half of Everything
  • The Siren and the Skyship

My Kedran’s Wood series exploded into several different books/novellas/short stories.

starrellianicon

My epic fantasy series the Starrellian Saga is taking shape in a new and exciting way as I reimagine all of the threads into a different sort of book structure.

A few other exciting things:

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***

PonyFrom the start of the year when I was followed by a pony from the post office, through seeing my first stage play, spontaneously going on a few roadtrips, being a NaNo Municipal Liaison for the third time, all the way to spending my last days of the year frantically editing a novella under a deadline for the first time . . . it’s been a very interesting year!

With my new word (Joy) in hand, I look forward to what 2016 holds!

I haven’t made specific writing/reading goals yet. I’m on a semi-hiatus from writing for a bit, so we’ll see what happens after that… I’m currently leaving my options open. πŸ™‚

How was your 2015? I wish you all a truly fantastic 2016!

My Misguided Fairy Godmother Muse

Once upon a time, there was a girl who started writing stories.

She spent several years scribbling away at them, going back and forth between a few different ideas and consequently not making much progress on them.

Then something strange began to happen. She began to have even more and more ideas for even more stories! What could this mean?

But, cheerily, she continued writing, and making notes for all the new ideas. She became obsessed with making lists of the stories, and developing titles for them, and designing mock covers for them, and writing out summaries of what they were about. She began to be more excited about “playing” with the stories than actually writing them.

Time went on. The list of stories continued to grow and grow and grow! But far from complaining, the writer was delighted.

She did so enjoy making those lists and writing those notes, you see.

Somewhere along the way, she began to notice patterns. Whenever she would take a break from working on her writings, whether on purpose to recharge, or accidentally due to busyness, she would suddenly get hit with all this inspiration — and, more often than not, that inspiration might include ideas for new stories.

Then the year of 2015 hit. The ideas were flying in left and write right. It began to get insane. The writer began to despair of ever getting around to writing all of the things, especially at the snail-like pace the actual writing was happening.

So the writer stepped back and analyzed this phenomenon.

That was when the writer discovered the presence of her fairy godmother.

Most writers talk of their “Muse”.

(very helpful…)

This writer realized that instead of a muse, she had a benevolent but misguided fairy godmother of inspiration. (Perhaps rather like Ophelia from Broken Glass by Emma Clifton…)

The writer realized that the fairy godmother muse freaks out whenever the writer is not making Story, knowing that the writer is happier when making Story. So the fairy godmother, thinking the writer is just tired of the old stories, quickly throws a bunch of new ideas at the writer to get her attention.

If you haven’t figured out by now, this writer is me. And this benevolent but misguided fairy godmother of my writerly brain/inspiration/muse is the cause of both my excitedness about having so many story ideas to write, and my despair over ever finishing anything, let alone all of them.

My fairy godmother muse, especially this year, is constantly going:

“STORY. STORY! YOU’RE NOT MAKING STORY. YOU’LL BE HAPPIER WITH SOME STORY. MAKE STORY!”

And hands me more and more storyness, shoving it into my brain and then beaming and watching happily as I flail around like a headless octopus and try to work on ALL OF THE STORY THINGS.

Unfortunately, my fairy godmother muse doesn’t seem to care if I’m actually making PROGRESS on said stories, i.e., actually writing them down…

As long as I’m flailing around doing plotting or brainstorming or making lists, she feels confident that she has been doing her job well and fulfilling her role in keeping her writer happy playing with stories.

To give you an idea of the insanity that’s underway, I’m going to share a list of the story ideas that have “clicked” this year ALONE.

The main ones are:

  • The Other Half of Everything (I think I’ve mentioned this enough…)
  • Darkling Reflections (Finished this one! Huzzah! …Yes, it’s a short story; I can still be proud.)
  • The Siren and the Skyship (swashbuckling sky adventuresome gender-swapped steampunk Little Mermaid retelling)

Five more stories in the Kedran’s Wood series (bringing it to a total of 8… so far; last year it was supposed to be a “trilogy”. Haha. Isn’t that just ADORABLE?)

  • Son of Kedran’s Wood – prequel novella
  • Return to McAllistair Mansion – short story (I wrote this one! I’s so proud of me.)
  • Mixup at Kedran’s Wood – novella between books 2 & 3
  • The Novelist of Kedran’s Wood – novel set after book 3, a double story
  • Celebrations at Kedran’s Wood – short story set after all of the planned books (thus far… *cough*)

As well as:

  • A modern Cinderella retelling about a writer, set during NaNoWriMo
  • An untitled fairy-tale mashup conglomeration retelling (RETELL ALL OF THE THINGS)
  • An untitled thing I’m currently calling “The Epic Book” which is vague but has some awesome ideas swirling
  • An extremely vague notion of an idea for a con/heist story that would be a companion to Underground Rainbow, starring the eccentric purple-haired artist (no, unfortunately this has no plot yet and I probably will never be able to make it work)
  • An idea for a nonfiction book about various things

And I also “made official” i.e. added to my lists because I had had ideas about them but was pretending they didn’t exist:

  • The tenth Starrellian Saga book
  • A sequel/companion novel to Heartseeker about the Bard and Trillum
  • An untitled Arthurian retelling which is going to be super cool

Not to mention my Sleeping Beauty novella The Rose and the Raven, which had been a vague idea for years but only just this year finally came together as something I could write… (But, again, having trouble CONTINUING… ya know?)

Yes. That is 16 (or 17 if you count The Rose and the Raven) stories, either from ideas from this year or “officialized” by listing them as stories to write. THAT’S JUST THIS YEAR ALONE. That’s not even thinking about the 30+ other stories from BEFORE the notorious 2015-when-all-the-stories-exploded-in-plotbunnies-and-said-write-us-or-we’ll-kill you. Sometimes I scroll through my list of 50ish stories and just go… “HOW EVEN.”

Sixteen new stories this year, guys. (So far…)

Can you see how insane this is getting?

Apparently there’s just no dealing with a benevolent but misguided fairy godmother of inspiration.

(And no, I don’t actually know whether you should be very happy for me or PLAYING A DIRGE.

It’s very confusing and I honestly can’t tell anymore.

Blame it on my fairy godmother.)