Am Reading: February 2014

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Am Reading

Started off February with a bang primarily because bad news meant I read more as a coping mechanism. After War of Honor, I slowed down because I got sick, because I distrusted the next book in the series, and because my attempts at reading my collaborator's fiction screwed with my writing, and I gave up. Then I did a little rereading to lift my rotten mood, but rereads don't count, remember?

  1. Doppelganger duology by Marie Brennan - compelling, couldn't put it down
  2. Flag in Exile by David Weber - layered and amazingly good
  3. Honor Among Enemies by David Weber - very good, enjoyed thoroughly
  4. In Enemy Hands by David Weber - reduced me to a quivery, cringing mess—in a good way. I was in no way up to reading the next book immediately and took a reprieve
  5. Mindtouch by M.C.A. Hogarth - even more amazing than expected and ended on a cliffhanger! love, love, love—except the cliffhanger
  6. Mindline by M.C.A. Hogarth - heartpounding, awww-inducing awesome. Love
  7. Echoes of Honor by David Weber - wow, loved
  8. Ashes of Victory by David Weber - oh, my heart
  9. War of Honor by David Weber - There are too many characters I want to strangle right now, not least of all High Ridge and Giancola. I hate how it ended and had to go read the summary of the next book to be sure it would fix it. It will. I must sit through watching my favorite characters fight each other. Gut-wrenching.

Breaking this down by genre:

  • 2 books heroic action-adventure fantasy
  • 6 books military science fiction
  • 2 books general science fiction*

*meaning I haven't the foggiest which subgenres the Mindhealers duology belongs to, but it was awesome and clearly SF.

By series:

  • 2 entire series
  • 1 continuing through a series
  • 0 stand-alone novels
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Well-Read in the Invisible

This entry is part 70 of 87 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

February 28, 2014

This morning, I wrote 156 words puttering in my head from last night on Lovemark the Seasons, including another in-story poem. Rachelle is well-read.

So the trade paperback of Dowse and Bleed is available on Amazon. I still have to get all the other formats up: mass market and ebook to the various retailers. :grimaces: Later. I'm saving the whole book announcement post until then.

I'd like to get some good words on collab and on my actual assignment. I keep getting bogged down in author's notes and meta. And music. It's thecatisacritic's fault. She sent me "Poison and Wine" and I looked it up online the other day and have lost so many good hours since. I can't say wasted because seriously, the creative fire! Love their work.

Having a fandom moment:

Four: The Traitor by Veronica Roth

See all of the covers here.

March 1, 2014

Sabbath and unexpected late-night family time. Wrote a poem in my head and didn't get it written down, just memorized.

March 2, 2014

I owe y'all an end of the month post and challenge check-in. Tomorrow! Today, I helped my aunt move and still need to plunk in 2 hours on packing my own things, plus got back my beta for invisible treats (which resulted in 6 words worth of edits, wow), plus submitted the edited cover for the mass market of Dowse and Bleed. Oh, and finally wrote down that poem.

I owe a bunch of collaboration material. I owe my Invisible assignment. I owe posts about indie community and fandom. I owe a lot of stuff, 'kay?

I have also been failing miserably at the 7-sentence challenge so went back last night and wrote 257 words on, unexpectedly, a very late fandom gift separate from challenges.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 419 words
  • Poetry: 16 lines | 99 words
  • Blog: 270 words

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Trusting the Process

This entry is part 69 of 87 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

February 25, 2014

So collaboration and Invisible fics. Let's get cracking.

I think we can best sum up the 25th as an exercise in type, delete, repeat.

February 26, 2014

I added the snippet of my collaborator's to the song "Dust to Dust" by The Civil Wars and finally got somewhere, 819 words, with writing this collaboration. Yay.

Been researching for my Ficathon pieces and located a beta for my not-sure-if-I-like-it treat I did, which I edited and added 60 words to yesterday on the 25th.

February 27, 2014

Out sick. Wrote 213 words in "Remembrance" when I realized what it is I was missing in this Vardin story due to a post by P. C. Wrede.

Ordered the copies of Dowse and Bleed for my betas/readers, though I did nothing else toward launching the book. I sent off a couple long collaboration emails, slept a lot, dreaded making dinner for the family (my night), and watched The Civil Wars videos. Note: "The One That Got Away" is my new Rachelle/Justus theme song. She's the most asexual character I've ever written. She really, really IS a take it or leave it person.

Speak of the girl, she just handed me 198 words of Lovemark the Seasons and an approach to the story that I can live with. I'm going to start writing like a fangirl when it serves me. Sometimes, I forget I have a literary bent and what that means. As I've been digging into metafic and invisible fandoms and all the sort of possibilities of fiction, including a deep look at experimental and Nabakov's poem and reference novel, I realized that I am not limited by a pre-existing format or structure, unless I choose to be. As long as the final story works, go for it. I'm going to play with Lovemark. I knew when I started it that the work was experimental, so I'm going to finally really let go of my safety net and let it be experimental.

Speaking of which, I realized I haven't been trusting the process of collaboration either. I've been something of a control freak. Go figure. Not my usual thing except as it relates to something that's mine, but this is mine, just it's also someone else's. I needed to take a long look at my own strengths as a writer and my own weaknesses and cede controlling interest on the parts where I am weak. I hate writing those parts anyway, so it was past time to focus again on the parts I love and let my collaborator really shine where she's strong.

Spent five minutes setting up a Kingdoms and Thorn tumblr. Will fill in some stuff soon, but I realized it'll be a good dumping ground for stuff that's not just series bible stuff and also a great way to handle questions.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 1280 words
  • Poetry: 0 lines | 0 words
  • Blog: 580 words

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A Hopelessly Rambly Post: You’ve Been Warned…

This entry is part 68 of 87 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

What does it say that I spend so much time on my author’s notes for this piece? Meta, invisible fiction, creating the environment of a genre whole out of cloth and the culture that reads and writes it, metas it and reviews it, in the same way that I came out of fandom, people, and it’s something I can’t get away from and am slowly coming to the point where I can say I’ve stopped trying. I read, I write, I fangirl, and it gives me a very different view of how to engage with or engage in or speculate about literary culture.

I’m starting to really find myself examining this issue of literary culture in a way I sort of ignored before as unimportant in the same way I found engaging with the issue of race was unimportant for me though I am, in fact, multiracial with a unique culture that has come from the precise and rich melting pot of my family and family life. These things are easy to ignore because they hide around the edges.

But the more I write, the more I want to open these things up, the more I want to play with that literary culture and that social mesh and how that works for my characters and how it informs them and the themes I was already digging into with their lives. It interests me, though it was only a surface interest before. It interests me very much.

I got hooked on Save the Last Dance 2 last night, and this is what I bumped into, this concept of the cultural history of hip-hop music and dance and then of ballet and these words: I am here. It’s a genre making a statement that resonates and matters, that comes out even from the mouths and moves of the ignorant. It means something.

I’m still not that interested in engaging with my “own” genre: I write SFF for one reason only, it allows me to do anything I want to. Plus, less research. History and travel have never been my thing. I am interested, however, in culture and engaging with that in my SFF. This genre I love has a long history of doing just that, so I don’t feel all that out of touch by not caring even a lick about what others have been saying in genre. I talk to literature, but mostly classics and poetry. More than that, I talk to ideas and movements and religious questions and my own questions about identity and culture and family and relationships, etc.

Speaking of time, that was 258 words of author’s notes. :headdesk: I’ve got serious writer’s block just now, so I hoped that would loosen something up. Yeah. It didn't.

I'm not counting any fiction words since I deleted them all.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 0 words
  • Poetry: 0 lines | 0 words
  • Blog: 568 words

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The Storm After the Fizzle

This entry is part 67 of 87 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

I just reread A Ring of Endless Light, foregoing dozens of books I've been wanting to read for months, proving once and for all that mood figures in more than I'd like when it comes to my reading choices.

Also confirmed why I'm having a hard time reading my collaborator's other works right now. It screws with my ability to write the collaboration. Guess which I'm giving priority? That's right. Writing.

Discovered the new home on the web of one o' my internet besties and adored so many posts I wanted to reblog almost the entire first 12 pages of the tumblr. Go figure. She's one of many awesome people I know. Speaking of which, lithiumlaughter, I just reread A Ring of Endless Light, so we talked about talking about Zachary Grey. :hint, hint:

On publishing, I got my updated covers into review for both trade and mass market on Createspace. If they check out as covers, I order a proof for the mass and okay the trade so I can order copies for my betas/readers. Can I just say I'm HUGELY excited about this?

Tied up a bunch of social/personal loose ends. I know I'm supposed to write first, do other things later, but I've been needing to get some of this stuff done for months. I regret nothing.

So I was supposed to go and write today after all this and just ran out of umph and had a pain in my throat. I declared it a health afternoon and gave up.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 0 words
  • Poetry: 0 lines | 0 words
  • Blog: 254 words

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The Fizzle After the Storm

This entry is part 66 of 87 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Friday, February 21

Started off with cover specs from Createspace. Been busy with real life really.

So there went 499 words on the collaboration in an edit, re-layer.

Brain is fried. Doing more percolating than writing because brain fried due to unholy lack of sleep.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 499 words
  • Poetry: 15 lines | 83 words
  • Blog: 42 words

Sabbath, February 22

Now obviously Sabbath isn't a day I go in gung-ho for writing. Kind of against my faith and all that, so not much here because before I got to the evening I was already dreaming longing of bed. Started two poems I didn't finish and got in my trade paperback proof for Dowse and Bleed, which I love but needs just a little lighter background behind the LI of the author name. Procured the right info to ship copies to my delightful betas/readers.

Also, got hooked on The Civil Wars. I've wondered at times what happened to Joy Williams. I'm kinda sad to see that her beautiful faith in a song from her solo album, "Do They See Jesus in Me," has gone by way of "Barton Hollow," musically anyway, but I like a lot of her new work, so no surprise I fell in love with parts before I had a clue it was her.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 0 words
  • Poetry: 9 lines | 56 words
  • Blog: 0 words

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I've Created a Monster...

This entry is part 65 of 87 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So I wrote a 2391-word treat for the ficathon. I hadn’t intended to do that. At all. :headdesk: I promised myself whatever I wrote on the ficathon, I’d match on the collaboration, so here goes.

In the hour and a half before 12:07, maybe 12:09, I forget which, I wrote 2304 words on the collaboration. The time of night showed. :shudders:

On a side note, the Invisible Ficathon has really brought back to my mind how much it matters to show the fictional literary and popular culture in a story if your characters are well-read. It makes me want to develop my own 'invisible canons.' It makes me want to remember to add in books and authors and shows and cultural touch points that 'everybody' knows. It makes me think.

Publishing gave me another cover headache. I emailed Createspace and told them to give me a hard figure for what size with bleed a cover for this trim size should be. I'm tired of it constantly shaving things just slightly wrong.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 4695 words
  • Poetry: 0 lines | 0 words
  • Blog: 171 words

February Totals

  • Fiction: 10,325 words
  • Poetry: 73 lines | 451 words
  • Blog: 3416 words

Pieces Started Not Finished

  • Fiction: Hear the Stars, novella.
  • Nonfiction/Blog: Indie Author Guide to Genre, book/blog series.
  • Fanfic: Invisible Ficathon Treat.

Completed Pieces

  • Fanfic: “Wholeness of Self,” 783 words.
  • Poem: "Tell Me," 8 lines | 37 words.
  • Poem: "Mother," 8 lines | 22 words.
  • Fanfic: Invisible Ficathon Treat, 269 words.
  • Poem: "Native," 31 lines| 232 words.
  • Poem: "Moderation," 6 lines| 20 words.
  • Poem: "I Should Think," 20 lines| 140 words.
  • Fanfic: Invisible Ficathon Treat, 2391 words.
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The Day After That, the Queen's Child Comes In

This entry is part 64 of 87 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

So that's a fancy way of saying I'm really happy with the things I got done/discovered even if it didn't result in a lot of new words yet.

Most importantly, I got my website issues resolved yesterday. I still don't know what went wrong and the solution was anything but simple and easy, but there's this handy Webspace Recovery option on 1and1, and I was able to recover my missing files.

Last night, I discovered how to do hardcover editions without going through Lightning Source and when to do casewrap vs. dust jacket. It got most of the mass market reformatted yesterday. There were some serious margin issues, which is a pity because now I have to do the justification all over again and hope the page count stays the same or close to it and possibly retrim the cover.

I did a huge amount of percolation/brainstorming with my collaborator and prepped Seven Days to finally to get written properly.

I wrote poetry of all things, one poem of which I've been trying to write for over a year. It just started playing in my ear this morning and I stopped, dropped, and wrote. I knew I wanted to write something about the fact that my great-grandmother dressed my grandmother as an Indian princess because of her actual lineage and that my mother learned English off the television and that I'm not the sum of my parts and am the product of legal immigration on both sides—from Mexico. So yeah. I wrote something. It means something to me.

Updated and resubmitted the mass market interior. That did affect the spine width and I'll have to update the cover. Again. :le sigh:

Compiled my data on an invisible fandom. I'm working out what the canon is in my head so I can write what my recipient wants.

Today is really a gathering things up in prep day. I was hoping for more of a throwing words down day, but oh, well. Both steps are more than necessary.

And there went the mass market submitted for review. The cover is tweaked and hopefully correct at last.

Lumping in yesterday's blog counts.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 0 words
  • Poetry: 57 lines | 392 words
  • Blog: 679 words

February Totals

  • Fiction: 5630 words
  • Poetry: 73 lines | 451 words
  • Blog: 3245 words

Pieces Started Not Finished

  • Fiction: Hear the Stars, novella.
  • Nonfiction/Blog: Indie Author Guide to Genre, book/blog series.
  • Fanfic: Invisible Ficathon Treat.

Completed Pieces

  • Fanfic: “Wholeness of Self,” 783 words.
  • Poem: "Tell Me," 8 lines | 37 words.
  • Poem: "Mother," 8 lines | 22 words.
  • Fanfic: Invisible Ficathon Treat, 269 words.
  • Poem: "Native," 31 lines| 232 words.
  • Poem: "Moderation," 6 lines| 20 words.
  • Poem: "I Should Think," 20 lines| 140 words.
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Today I Bake, Tomorrow I Brew

This entry is part 63 of 87 in the series Daily Scribble Reports

Heard back at last on where I strayed outside of the live elements area on the mass market cover for Dowse and Bleed. It would appear, I calculated the spine incorrectly—using their formula. Go figure.

It took a bit to sort out all the bits and pieces that go with the two sections I'm trying to write/revise, but I got that much done at least. It's only already afternoon. Ah, well.

There went 919 words on pulling together Lexanas. Now I just got to get them out of Lexanas.

And there went the updated cover of Dowse and Bleed [mass market] and submitted for review. Didn't mean to take time out from writing for that, but seriously excited to get this baby almost done.

I went ahead and got a start on the Invisible Ficathon, since the Lexanas exit is percolating. I got 263 words to finish up treat #1.

Word Counts:

  • Fiction: 1182 words
  • Poetry: 0 lines | 0 words
  • Blog: 315 words

February Totals

  • Fiction: 5630 words
  • Poetry: 16 lines | 59 words
  • Blog: 2566 words

Pieces Started Not Finished

  • Fiction: Hear the Stars, novella.
  • Nonfiction/Blog: Indie Author Guide to Genre, book/blog series.

Completed Pieces

  • Fanfic: “Wholeness of Self,” 783 words.
  • Poem: "Tell Me," 8 lines | 37 words.
  • Poem: "Mother," 8 lines | 22 words.
  • Fanfic: Invisible Ficathon Treat, 269 words.
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WordPress Catastrophe

So overnight, my website decides that the files for my five most important plugins simply don't exist. I can't sort that out until I get home, but needless to say, that worries me a great deal.

Gone are:

  • LiveJournal crossposter
  • Organize Series
  • Subheading
  • Reaction Buttons
  • My social media sharing plugin

and a couple others.

I changed my password and have to accept broken functionality on various parts of my website until I can load the backup files via ftp. If the original files are even gone.

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