Writing Update! (New Steampunk + Tare Snippets)

Hey, friends!

SO. I haven’t talked much about my writing projects in awhile, and since I actually have Exciting Progress Things to report, I thought I’d pop in and let you know how things are going over on the writing desk and share about my new projects! (And share some snippets. Because snippets.)

The Siren and the Skyship (S&S): first draft — finished!

As you may know, once upon a time (last November), I finished writing the first draft of The Siren and the Skyship, my steampunk-fantasy Little Mermaid Not-Little Cloud-Siren Prince retelling. It took me a smidge over a year to write it (starting it one NaNo and finishing it the next, with some writing in-between) and I had an absolute blast with it!

I had intended to dive into the sequel not long after that, but instead got sidetracked trying to finish a different book, namely . . .

The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2): first draft — finished!

Somewhere around 2:30 a.m. on April 30/May 1st, I finished writing The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (affectionately known as KW2), which is the second book in a contemporary fantasy series.

Guys.

I. FINISHED. KW2.

(Okay, so I realize I mentioned this in my last Ishness, but IT BEARS REPEATING.)

It took me just over 5 years to write this, and it’s a massive 145K, but I’m just so ecstatic to have reached the end of this one! It’s been my constant background writing companion, interspersed with other things, throughout the past half-decade, and I’m not sure exactly what to do now that it’s over?? It was so rewarding to get to pound out the last few chapters — messily, but so much fun. XD

Also, writing a wintry, Christmas-y scene in April/May isn’t what I was planning on, but it works. *shrug*

Finishing, Y’all

Finishing a draft is such a rush of amazing feelings.

I hadn’t finished a novel in quite awhile, between spreading myself too thin across various writing projects, working on short stories, and blogging/online presence stuff.

So it was beyond incredible to get to finish two projects I’ve adored working on, within six months of each other. It provided such a boost to my writing enthusiasm, and I feel on top of the clouds! (Literally, with my steampunk-fantasy series. XD)

Next Up . . .

So, what now?

I’ve been working on S&S and KW2 for a long time now and not much else, so it was a really weird feeling to not have either of them to write! O_O

Mixup at Kedran’s Wood (KW2.5) novella: WIP

. . . Which is why I turned around and started writing a between-books novella (set a few months after KW2) a week after I finished KW2. XD

I’m currently about two chapters in and having a blast just working on a smaller, fun project!

Short version: Tare and Adrian having a buddy story while looking like each other. Bwahaha. 😀

Spring comes to Kedran’s Wood and brings with it a series of mishaps, both magical and ordinary. Tare battles a cold (to the astonishment of the Chess Club, who somehow feel he should be immune to ordinary human complaints), and Adrian and Tare run into a magical scrape with chaotic consequences: They accidentally switch appearances. Attempting to live each other’s lives is hard enough for even a day. They’ll have to work together, despite their differences, if they’re going to get out of this one.

I don’t have a pinterest board for it specifically, but here’s the board for the series in general.

Siren and the Skyship sequel: plotting

Meanwhile, I’m trying to wrangle the plot of my next major project, which is hopefully going to be S&S2.

I’ve tentatively decided that since book 1 is going to need a massive overhaul/rewrite anyway, I may as well dash out rough drafts of the two sequels. Since, apparently, they’re going to be tightly knit together, instead of semi-standalones like I was originally intending. Heh.

SO. It’s high time for me to introduce this one to you! At the moment it’s a mess of exciting ideas but hasn’t formed into a solid plot.

I’ll share a blurb in a second, but first, if you want some pretties, you can check out my pinterest board! It started as a board for The Siren and the Skyship and I’ve just been adding S&S2 stuff to it more recently, so you can find that here.

Introducing . . .

*drumroll*

The Skythief and the Secret Tower (S&S2 for short)

The short version: Steampunk-fantasy Jack and the Beanstalk meets Snow White in Rapunzel. (At least loosely. XD)

A young sky pirate named Keller teams up with a girl called Ebony from a stone pillar with hidden secrets and a magic mirror, to pull off the ultimate heist. Stealing from the dragons has never been easy, and neither is evading the pirate king to whom Keller owes forced allegiance — especially when Princess Tasmania Peckham-Archley, Royal Skynavy captain, is hot on Keller’s trail, in search of the stolen crown jewels which are the only way to stop a war. If he doesn’t manage the mission the pirate king sent him on, Keller could lose everything, but if he succeeds, he could release the worst threat to the sky world. Despite his smooth-talking, thievery skills, and power to control plants, Keller may have finally hit the end of the line. This skythief’s heart isn’t the only thing that might be stolen from him.

…That’s a working summary, so I have no idea how it will actually turn out, given that my plotting is an unfocused mess and currently looks like this.

My favorite Scapple (relation of Scrivener) plotting software! Currently dropping all my ideas in and making a mess. XD

More factoids!

  • Book 2 of my Sky Voyages steampunk-fantasy fairytale-retelling trilogy
  • Loosely inspired by Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Snow White
  • MC is a blond sky pirate by the name of Keller, who has plant powers
  • Continues to feature plot-threads with characters from the first book (Princess Tasmania, Rook, etc. — ALL MY FAVORITE CHARACTERSSS)
  • Used to be book 3 and then switched places with the one I knew more about, so that one is now book 3 and this one is book 2, which is understandably causing my brain confusions. XD
  • Is giving me a dreadful time of it trying to wrangle said plot threads
  • Heroine (who is Rapunzel/Snow White) refuses to tell me much about herself which is naturally making it difficult to plot
  • URGH
  • But also I’m REALLY REALLY EXCITED
  • Especially after writing up that blurb. 😀

Ahem. Anyway, there are EXCITING THINGS going on, even if I’m having a spot of difficulty figuring the plot out. XD


So that’s what’s up on the writing front!

Short Tare scribbling and attempted-plot-wrangling of The Skythief and the Secret Tower. I’m really excited about both of these! Even if I don’t have a lot of time to spend on either, due to life and the fact that I should switch to prepping for Realm Makers. 😛

But just sharing about them is making me MORE EXCITED! So hurray! Maybe I’ll be motivated to sneak some progress in on these when I can. 🙂


Snippets!

Ah, yes, I did promise snippets!

Since I recently finished KW2, it seems like a good time to share a few of those, and maybe one from the story I’m currently working on. 😉

All the best lines are spoilers (whyyy?? Answer: because I was near the end of the book, which is spoiler-rich territory) but I managed to find a few fun ones that aren’t. XD

(I know that they mostly feature Baz and Tare. I equally apologize and don’t apologize for this fact. Baz = humor, Tare = awesome, which means they’re in most of the snippets I want to share, naturally. :P)

Snippets from KW2 (The Secret of Kedran’s Wood)

“Where are we going?”

“To get pizza,” Baz said firmly.

Tare raised one eyebrow. “Because?”

“Pizza doesn’t need a reason. Don’t question pizza,” Baz replied.

***

“I hate to break it to you, but not everything is your fault, Tare,” Ivy said.

***

“Like a secret society.”

Baz shrugged. “We’re not very secret. Open books—that’s us.”

“Speak for yourself. I’m a closed book. Locked. And written in code,” Ivy said, tossing her red hair over her shoulder.

Baz blinked. “No fair—why didn’t I think of that!”

***

Tare’s last thoughts before the world went dark were that he hated magic, and that he couldn’t pass out because the Chess Club were in danger and he had to find them.

***

“So, my family’s kind of rich and important; don’t judge.”

“Not judging,” Tare said briefly.

Baz blinked, surprised. “Oh. Thanks.”

“Any time,” Tare said dryly. “As long as there are no puns involved.”

“Talking through bars kind of imprisons my sense of humor,” Baz said.

***

And Tare was tied up on the floor, which pretty much signaled the apocalypse.

Possibly literally.

***

“You know, looking around your home, no one would be able to tell it was Christmas next week,” Adrian said. “You should decorate.”

Tare raised a sarcastic eyebrow, looking over his shoulder as he opened the door. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been a bit too busy to decorate.”

“No, we didn’t notice at all,” Ivy said innocently, following him out onto the porch.

“Well, what do you think we’re for?” Baz exclaimed. “We can decorate your house.”

“Don’t you dare touch my house.”

Baz, passing through the doorway, deliberately reached one finger out and touched the wall.

Tare spread his arms in a “why me?” posture and gave Baz a disbelieving look. “Really? Are you five?”

***

“As someone who is very definitely not a football,” Baz gasped out in his version of defiance, “I resent being thrown around.”

***

Tare’s blood boiled momentarily before turning to frigid ice as he coolly stepped out and pointed a pistol at them. “Let him go,” Tare said.

Adrian looked up at the sound of his voice and the others jerked to see him. The one who had just punched Adrian—a fair-haired young man not like the two red-heads—drew back and went for his gun.

Tare leveled his own toward him. His voice was iron. “I wouldn’t.”

***

Baz raised one hand. “I, for one, have all my ribs broken, buuut yeah, I’m fine.”

Lavender leaned her head on his shoulder, and Baz didn’t object at all.

Adrian rolled his eyes. “They’re bruised, not broken, Baz. Don’t be a baby.”

***

“Well,” Baz said, “welcome to the Chess Club, officially. Now you know why we don’t play chess as often as we might, because what we actually do is lead a double life of fighting monsters and evil faeries and saving the world and all of that—”

“Speak for yourself,” Tare muttered.

“—and when we’re finished we limp home if we’re alive and laugh about it and wonder why superheroes think this is fun.” He grinned.

***

Tare paused. “Did I just agree with Baz?”

Ivy rolled her eyes theatrically. “The world is ending after all.”

And one from KW2.5

Tare smirked and kept backing as he turned to leave. “Don’t worry. I don’t get colds.”

*

“Really, Tare? You had to say it,” Tare remarked to the underside of his bed canopy as he lay staring up at it.

Tare woke feeling like death.

Which, considering how often he had gotten close to actually dying through the course of his life, was silly, since he wasn’t very close to it this time, and merely had a nasty cold.


And there we are! What do you think? About . . . any of it! My steampunk story, or the snippets . . . I’d love to hear! Thanks for reading! ^_^

#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. 😉

KW2coverP

The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Winter, doubt, friendship.

OHEcover

The Other Half of Everything

Writer, worlds, siblings.

NewIMcover

The Invisible Mask

Secrets, mansions, gentlemen.

CoverHeartseeker

Heartseeker

Heartless love. Bard.

SPcover

Song of a Pirate

Memory, sea, selkies.

HH

Hairdo Havoc

Bizarre. Traveler. Humor.

SilverForestCoverFinal

The Silver Forest

Curse. Faes. Princesses.

S&Scover4

The Siren and the Skyship

Steampunk. Love. Tea.

lscover

The Library in the Stars (NaNo 2016)

Time, minds, space.

Once Upon a November

Magic, writing, pumpkins.

From That Shadowy Land

Changelings, shadows, Tamlin.

StarrelliaBannerNew3

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?

Beautiful People: Teague’s Childhood

BPTeagueJun2016Childhood

Beautiful People is here again!

(Er… that is… it’s been here for three weeks already and is about to close for the month. I never said I was punctual… *cough*)

This month’s theme for the questions is Childhood! YAY! So I’m doing Teague from The Other Half of Everything. Because.

bp

Beautiful People, the monthly character-questions linkup for writers hosted by Sky @ Further Up and Further In & Cait @ Paper Fury. Join the fun and link up!

I’ve noticed that whenever I answer the questions about the characters, it’s more informative, buuut when the characters answer the questions themselves, it may be way less informative but more fun.

I feel like fun, so I’ve tweaked the questions from “their” to “your”, directed at him, and talked Teague into answering because I told him he could answer in between reading. …I now see that may have been a bad idea.

Anyhow, on with the show!

Teague-ish

Beautiful People: Childhood Edition (June 2016) with Teague

(I’m in bold; Teague is in regular type.)

1. What is your first childhood memory?

*looks up from behind book* *directs a vague stare my way from under eyelids drooped halfway down* Meridian would tell you that I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning — which I must admit is entirely true. (Did I have breakfast today? I certainly wouldn’t know.) And you’re asking me about my earliest childhood memory? Well, someone is obviously in for a surprise.

Because you don’t remember?

Because I do, as a matter of fact. *goes back to reading* *looks up again* Right, yes… I distinctly recall, at the age of two or so, falling flat on my face when I tripped over a tussock of grass. Fascinating, I know.

2. What were your best and worst childhood experiences?

*mild sigh* Are we really doing this?

Yes.

Mmm… Best: that really good book I read, the one with the . . .

*gives him a look*

*pauses* What does that look mean? Is it a hint?

It means actual experiences, specifically outside of pages.

A bit picky . . . but all right, adventures with my siblings, then. Worst: Probably the time I got eaten. Nearly. Dragon incident. Not my fault, by the way . . . *trails off because is already reading again*

3. What was your childhood home like?

*long, long pause while Teague continues to read*

Ahem.

*longer pause*

Finally: *Teague glances up* Oh, we’re still doing this, are we? Well. I suppose you could say it was a house. In fact, it was… house-like. Wooden. Painted white. Like Lulin’s hair. *shrug*

4. What’s something that scared you as child?

Oh, the usual, you know: dragons or paper cuts or something. Moving on, then.

Author’s note: His worst fears: losing one of his siblings, and losing his imagination. Um. Let’s just say he doesn’t like to talk about this… >.>

5. Who did you look up to most?

My father, I suspect. And my favorite authors.

6. Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?

This question sounds suspiciously like it came from Meridian… always badgering me about food. I can’t fathom it, exactly. I never have been very into food, to be honest. It’s not something I think about. But I do remember rather disliking cauliflower cheese, and I recall some quite good meat pasties with some sort of grey-ish mushroom-y gravy, as well as being moderately fond of lemon meringue pie.

7. If you had your childhood again, would you change anything?

Nothing. And everything. *tilts head sideways* Would you?

8. What kind of child were you? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Definitely more on the quiet side, with a touch of curiosity, perhaps… I left the wild and devious side of things to Ivan and… others. I never went in for that kind of thing. Of course not. Absurd, really. I don’t know why in the world you would think it, honestly. *sticks nose firmly back in book*

9. What was your relationship to your parents and siblings like?

It was fine, thank you. You said there were ten questions, so what’s the last one? *goes back to reading*

All right, I’ll answer this. When he says “fine” he does mean it — he got along rather well with his whole family. It’s just a complicated question to ask NOW because his relationships “now” are far from “fine”, so it’s not a subject he dwells on.

Teague was always rather independent, if reserved (usually), but his relationship with his parents was a good one… but they’re dead now. He always had a good relationship with his little sister Lulin (not so little now), and that has not changed. She has a mischievous side like Ivan’s, but also a streak of quietness, which means she and Teague often understood each other when the wilder brothers didn’t.

Teague’s relationship with his two brothers is more complicated.

Teague was the quiet leader type role, but his next brother, Errol, of-whom-we-do-not-speak, was very much the dashing charismatic ringleader. Ivan was the reckless mischievous type, and would have followed Errol anywhere, and often did. Teague got along well with Errol — they all did; he was the center of their group, the heart, if you will — but Teague also often tried to temper Errol’s daring schemes with more wisdom.

Teague and Ivan got along okay, usually, though truthfully neither of them paid a ton of attention to each other since there was always Errol between them. Ivan always found Teague a little too cautious, which was boring and stuffy. Teague always thought Ivan was a little too reckless, but it never mattered much because between Errol and Teague’s dual leadership, they all always got out of their scrapes and adventures well enough. Until they didn’t.

Now Errol is dead, and Ivan and Teague are very much not on speaking terms. Lulin’s still on good terms with both of them, but angry with them for the split. Things are a bit… strained, you might say. So as you can imagine, Teague does not like to discuss his relationships to his siblings because they used to be fine, and now they’re… not.

…I told you it was more informative (and longer) but less fun when I answer questions. >.> Back to Teague, now.

10. What did you want to be when you grew up, and what did you actually become?

*arches eyebrows and stares over book at questioner* I beg your pardon, Miss Interviewer, but that is not the correct way to ask things at all. People never grow up. I do wish people would understand this. “What do you want to be when you grow up”, “what are you now that you’re grown up” — nonsense, all of it. *stares vaguely into the middle-distance* It’s not like people hit some magical threshold and floof, they’re “grown up” —

(“Floof”? Really?)

*waves hand slightly* It was the sound that wanted to be made. At any rate, grown-up-ness is never achieved, and we do not “become” something suddenly… it has to happen which is a process… And all that “when” you grow up and “now that” you’re grown up… where does it really get us? It doesn’t, because you must admit those are definite statements of past or future, and all we really have, ever, for a certainty, is the present, the now . . .

*face-palm* Just answer the question.

*blinks mildly* Excuse me?

Fine then. Please.

*little absent shrug of uncaring* If you want to be that way. Don’t blame me if it doesn’t turn out the sort of answer you wanted, with a ludicrous question like that. But I don’t know why you can ask about what I am when I’m grown up, at my age.

You’re twenty-five.

Precisely my point. I’m nobody’s grandfather, exactly. Still a bit young, don’t you think? But all right. *turns an absent dreamy look apparently through his nearest bookcase* Well. I wanted to be a writer and a hero. I’m a little of both, you could say, so I suppose that turned out fairly all right, if you put it in those terms. There’s always room for improvement, though, on both counts.

(I take it back about the “longer” thing.)

***

This concludes Beautiful People June 2016.

Thank you for reading!

*look of minor surprise* Why, you’re welcome. I suppose it is rather rare to find readers these days…

…I was talking to the blog readers, thanking them for reading your rabbit-trail-y answers.

Oh. Well, they’re welcome, too. And I thank them as well. *smiles faintly* *a pause* I am not rabbit-trail-y, by the way. In fact, everything I said was entirely related–

*hastily wraps up post before he can get rabbit-trail-y again*

*yawns* I heard that, you know. And I may very well get offended. *goes back to reading* *adds:* Someday.

Meridian calls from the background: “Unlikely!” *pause* “Now come eat your breakfast, Teague!”

The End.

P.S. Don’t forget that that lovely fan-voted Fantasy Oscar thing the Silmarillion Awards are still underway! Nominations end on July 1st, so if a) you haven’t nominated anyone yet, b) you haven’t nosed around the comments lately to see if there are gems of characters others have nominated who you must second, or c) if you have a friend or three who might enjoy sharing their two cents on favorite fantasy characters, do gallop on over to the posts and join in the fun! Remember that Teague approves of this, because, ya know, Fantasy. 😉