Friday, November 15, 2013

falling into empty space no one there to catch you in their arms

+ What's on: Iridescent, by Linkin Park

Short version: King's Men release date has been pushed back from December. It should've gone to the betas in September if I wanted to hit that deadline. It's still sitting on my computer. New goal is January.

Longer version: Hey, lovies. Been a while, yes?

I actually started this post about a month and a half ago, but didn't finish. Tried again twice in October. Thought about deleting everything and just writing a couple lines, like, "Hey, guys, bad news, things aren't going well!" but then I thought "Maybe things will turn around if I just give it a little more time.." and I walked away from blogger again to wait everything out. Obviously that didn't work either.

As you've probably guessed from the silence on this end, edits aren't going well. Has a lot to do with the issues I alluded to in the last post. Things haven't gotten better and I don't expect them to any time soon. Strong chance they're actually going to get worse, but hey, that's what keeps life interesting. Right?

Along the way I let that stress/exhaustion/anger interfere with the things that are most important to me, and I've basically run all of my projects into the ground. My one goal for this weekend (well, aside from cleaning the wreck I've made of the apartment) is to figure out how to salvage them. I'll get back on track one way or another, but I'm sorry I didn't sort it out sooner.

Promise to keep in better touch while I deal with this mess. Thanks for your patience ♥♥

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

there was just this breath of air between and I couldn't breathe

+ What's on: I Couldn't Breathe, Lennon

I realized it's been a while, so I sat down and wrote a post. I read it over, realized it was way too rambling and personal, and erased it. Attempted a couple relevant bullet points instead, but that was boring. I'll sum it up instead and move on to something more appropriate: life is complicated, I can't wait to move out of North Carolina, and I have a list a mile long of books I want to read but can't until I'm done with edits.

See, that was much easier.

I'm behind on fixing and posting Fox back-stories, which is a little sad, but I don't want to slow the King's Men rewrite to work on them. For the most part, the rewrite is going well. There are just a whole lot of new scenes I wasn't expecting, and that's slowing everything down.

I've already figured out which project to rework next, but I'm trying not to think too much about it. I don't want to get distracted. I'm starting to get excited, though. I'll probably drink myself numb when I have to let go of King's Men and consider the Fox books done, but it'll be nice to leave contemporary fiction behind. All of my other projects are fantasy or urban fantasy/horror. It's gonna be a rough transition at first, I think.

Anyway, consider this my check-in: still alive, still editing, and still--as far as I know--on schedule for December. Love you guys ♥♥♥

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I can't leave here lonely knowin' I didn't even try

+ What's on: Hey Girl, by Billy Currington

A small series of quasi-related notes:

1. It is astoundingly easy to edit this book to country music. Why, I do not know. I know my sister does not appreciate it at all. Oh well! (Speaking of the sister, you can find her and her book over here)

2. Amazon is terrifying. The Foxhole Court hit Smashwords on Jan 15 and Amazon Kindle Store July 31st (I have no idea why it says July 30 on Amazon). In three-odd weeks, Amazon's clocked up more downloads. I don't know what to say except I love you all so much. ♥

3. I started INSANITY this past week. You guys, this shit is no joke. I tried it back in June and gave up after three days. I survived the entire first week this time 'round but I'm not sure how. I thought I'd be violently ill halfway through the Day 1 Fit Test. Knowing it's never going to get easier--that it's not supposed to get easier--is not encouraging. But gdi I'm determined to finish it this time.

4. Edits on King's Men are finally getting easier. There are four sub-arcs in the story, at least from a writing standpoint. I need to flip two of them chronologically (PS let's never do that again) and I need to completely rewrite one. I filled an entire 400pg pocket notebook before I figured out how to best pull it off. I'm also tearing out 20K words, which is all kinds of fun.

5. On the bright side, the relationship is finally coming together the right way. My goal was to get to the first kiss this weekend. Instead I spent 12 hours rewriting the same 5000 words over and over and over again. I was this close to choking Neil, no joke. That boy is so stupid I don't know what to do with him. How he hasn't gotten punched out yet, I don't know.

6. I was thinking to myself that my next project should be whichever one has an easy relationship in it. Then I remembered none of my in-prog stories have easy relationships. This is what happens when you don't believe in love and don't understand physical attraction. FML. Henceforth I will define "easy" as "Doesn't take until book three for googly eyes to happen".

7. Tentative release date is still December. If I can swing it sooner, I will. I promise I'm trying. You'll be the first to know if the date changes.

8. I need another drink.

9. Uh, don't tell Shaun T I'm drinking.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

this is just a stop on the way to where I'm going

+ What's on: Temporary Home, by Carrie Underwood

Spending the afternoon tackling edits. I went digging for music and ended up going through pictures instead. Putting a small pile of them here to look at while I work. We'll see how effective it is. On the one hand, the nostalgia of lost homes helps set the mood to deal with Neil. On the other, it makes me restless to get out of this city. There's a 50/50 chance I'll spend the afternoon planning an escape route.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

David Wymack & The Monsters

+ What's on: Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own, by U2

Confession: I am not a U2 fan. But in every version of the Foxes' playlist this has been David's theme song. It got hooked into place when I heard the lines Listen to me now. I need to let you know: you don't have to go it alone. The rest of it is hit and miss, but it's still appropriate in a lot of ways. None of the Foxes have positive relationships with their fathers--half of them don't even know who their fathers are.

Anyway, I digress.

Here's a story (that took too long to write, for how short & rough it is) of how David Wymack meets Andrew's group. Takes place shortly after Kevin & Andrew's first meeting.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

but I changed my mind and I want to live

+ What's on: The Kids Don't Stand a Chance (Fanmix by Syncytio [aka Z])

Work continues to be work, but there've been a couple awesome things to offset that mess.

First off! Z, who've I've harassed known online for several years and who is one of the Foxhole betas, wrote an amazing, amazing story about some National Exy League ladies. Everything about it makes me so happy. Like seriously. It's called Don't Speak Against the Sun and you can find it here. Please check it out. ♥ She also put together a fanmix for the Foxes that is just all kinds of awesome. I love finding new music, especially when the songs are so perfect for the characters.

Equally exciting: you. All of you. Everyone who's read the Foxes' stories so far, everyone who's left comments here, everyone. You are all such wonderful people I don't even know what to do with you except love you half to death. ♥

Spent part of this morning fighting with the Kindle store. I uploaded The Foxhole Court, but haven't done Raven King yet. I want to make sure TFC goes through without a problem first. I got so distracted trying to get everything right I accidentally put a price on Foxhole. I can't adjust it while it's still in the "review" stage, but when it goes live I'll change that. Supposedly it'll take about 12 hours. We'll see.

I finally--finally--figured out how to change that plot point for King's Men. Means trashing part of the first chapter yet again, but then I'll be able to proceed with edits. Maybe I can finally leave the "tear hair out and smash head on desk" stage and get excited about edits again. Ha.

Uh, there was more, but I got distracted messing with a side story and completely lost my train of thought. There are two in-prog right now but not sure which one I'll finish first. I guess the order the side stories go up doesn't particularly matter, since they don't influence each other. I'd try to post them in quasi-chronological order but the two pieces I've already posted kind of hosed that up. Oops. Oh well. I'll track 'em with the fox story label.

Guess that's all for now. I'll come back if I remember what I forgot.

update Uh, so the upload worked, but when I went back to change the price to 0 it says price must be between 99c and $200. Need to figure this out. More later.

update #2 Hours later, I still haven't figured out the trick. Found articles & youtube videos about the pricing matter, but it requires the book to be Kindle Select (I'd have to withdraw the book from every ebook market save the Kindle store) and would only work as a promotional trick. Someone smarter than me have any ideas? I don't like uneven pricing; I can't have it cost on Amazon when it's free everywhere else. D:

Monday, July 22, 2013

we drink and we fight and we love just because we are numb

+ What's on: We Are Young, by 3OH!3

Sorry I've been slow to respond lately; things have taken a turn for the worse at work and it's starting to bleed into everything else. They fired three people last week, two so far this week (it's only Monday), and will probably let go of another 5-10 by the end of the month. It's an ugly combination of apathetic agents & an uncooperative client -- our client won't get us a bigger call floor, so any time a training class rolls through we free up cubicles by firing the last-ranked agents. Mgmt is also threatening to take away our breaks, which I didn't realize was legal in NC. I tell you, right-to-work states are an eye-opener for a San Francisco-transplant. It might just drive me back to drinking.

But yeah, things are getting pretty tense and everyone's looking for a way out. Haven't been able to get much writing done. I sit at the keyboard and press keys but all I write is run run run. I've been brainstorming, though, working out scenes in my head over and over ad nauseam. In the good ol' days I'd write a small m/m scene to make myself feel better. Good ol' days was before these boys' attitudes and trust issues made this the slowest relationship I'll probably ever write. (For the record, I'm sorry it's taking so long.) Now I can't even write a scene for fun without wondering how they realistically let each other in.

Anyway, enough of this. 31st I'll be off all day, so I'll tackle the Kindle store & figure out a timetable for the side stories. One or two "stories" are actually pretty short, so I might even be able to post one of 'em next week.

Anyone else wants to commiserate about work (school?) feel free to vent in the comments section. ♥

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I'll wrap my hands around your neck so tight with love, love

+ What's on: Up in the Air, 30 Seconds to Mars

If this is not the most perfect song for the series' relationship I don't know what is. Seriously.

But hey! Today is Foxhole Court's six-month birthday. I don't know what's more amazing: that it's already been six months, or that it's been six months since I let go of it and I have no drive to rewrite it. Those I know from LJ understand, I think, what a milestone that is. Editing Foxes has been an obsessive need for me for so long. I'm starting to wonder what it'll be like when King's Men is out. (All the King's Men? The King's Men? It's listed a different way in Foxhole than it is in Raven; ATKM is the original title but TKM sounds better.) Will I finally finish my other projects?! The possibilities are endless. I can't wait. Oh my god.


Foxhole is six months old, and Raven King is off into the wilderness. I'll be honest: King's Men is currently a disaster. But I'm trying, I promise. Whereas Raven got stuck on a major arc (3 guesses as to which set of chapters were the hardest to write?), King hinges on a decision that I have to make in chapter one. I can't skip that part and come back later when I'm inspired; the story literally cannot proceed until this is set in stone. My goal for the week is to finally figure out which way I'm jumping.

Speaking of goals, here's a couple more for you:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Raven King

+ What's on: Dream Within a Dream, by The Glitch Mob

The Raven King

The Foxes are a fractured mess, but their latest disaster might be the miracle they've always needed to come together as a team. The one person standing in their way is Andrew, and the only one who can break through his personal barriers is Neil.

Except Andrew doesn't give up anything for free and Neil is terrible at trusting anyone but himself. The two don't have much time to come to terms with their situation before outside forces start tearing them apart. Riko is intent on destroying Neil's fragile new life, and the Foxes have just become collateral damage.

Neil's days are numbered, but he's learning the hard way to go down fighting for what he believes in, and Neil believes in Andrew even if Andrew won't believe in himself.

Many thanks to KM, who took my wreck of a summary and finally made it into something worthwhile. ♥

Monday, July 8, 2013

all that I feel is the realness I'm faking

+ What's on: Shattered, by OAR

I keep trying to think of something interesting to say about The Raven King, but I've got nothing.I'm so lost for ideas, I started this entry five days ago. Obviously I never got very far. Keep getting distracted/stopped by other things, including a thunderstorm this evening that caused brown-outs.

I spent a small chunk of this weekend finally putting together The Raven King's cover. The cover almost caused a last minute panic, because my sister no longer has access to the program she needed to make the Raven mascot a vector image. I ended up resizing & sharpening it as-is, and I think it held up decently, but...

Still don't have a book description, and I'm fast running out of time. I've got 8 pages of sample sentences, though. Before Wednesday morning I'll have to compile 'em into something real.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

07 10 2013

Just a quick note on my way out the door for work: looks like I'll have Raven King all together and ready to go on Wednesday, July 10. Still got some last-minute things to do with it but almost everything else is in place. I requested that day off from work, too, so I can deal with formatting and last-minute issues as they arise. Man, I hope you guys like it. It's definitely.. busier? than Foxhole was, I think.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I ain't got no car, and I got one pair of jeans

+ What's on: Sweet Serendipity, by Lee DeWyze

I missed the book's 5-month anniversary! Le sad, but on the bright side, Foxhole is still somehow clocking downloads at Smashwords. I don't have words for how much I love all of you. ♥

I finally consolidated the Goodreads accounts - I've been on the site off and on since 2009, but I didn't bother to put Foxhole Court up there when I self-pubbed it. It ended up there anyway, so I finally got up the nerve to "claim" it. Somehow it has the wrong series name, though, so I need to find someone with librarian status to change it. Oops.

Chowing down on book 3. The beginning is of course a mess; that first chapter has too many important conversations in too short a time. Unavoidable without dragging everything down, but difficult to control. Now that it's done the rest should be easier.

Speaking of beginnings, I need to go back and edit the first few chapters of Raven. I knew they were boring when I handed the book off to my betas but I think I was hoping no one else would notice. ;D Also need to harass my younger sister for the cover's Raven logo.

I need to recheck the formatting on book 1, too, since I've been asked to get All for the Game onto Amazon as well as smashwords. Not really sure how to do that but I'll figure it out eventually.

In between all of this I realized there's something pretty critical I hadn't tackled yet: the summary/blurb thing that's supposed to go with the story. I spent years and years reworking a query for Foxhole, but because Foxhole never got picked up, I never bothered practicing queries for the other two books. I've texted myself stray sentences I can hopefully put together into a coherent summary but so far it's very very rough.

In short: busy busy busy. Anything new and exciting with you?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

all alone, he's holding his breath half to death

+ What's on: The Bird and The Worm, by The Used

It's been a while since I listened to this song, but I love it dearly. If I had to chart out a list of five songs that are good for getting into Neil's headspace, this would be the book I start the trilogy with. 30 Seconds to Mars' "Capricorn" is another really useful one. I used to waste a lot of time putting together playlists for the Foxes. Had songs for all of the individual characters, then songs for the relationships. At one point it was almost 6 hours long before I realized I was letting it completely out of hand. I think I trimmed it back to, uhhh, 3. Then I attempted making playlists for each individual book, but that didn't work out so well. Anyway: it's a fun way to procrastinate. I don't do it anymore, because I don't have/use iTunes anymore. Now I just play SWTOR.

But that wasn't really what this post was supposed to be about.

Have received an update of sorts from the betas. I'm surprised they're still speaking to me; they are amazingly tolerant people. Kidding, mostly. I kind of dropped a 100K-word project on them in the tangled mess between midterms and finals. Not to mention impending graduation, a couple full time jobs, and two international trips. Ahaha, a considerate author I am not, but at least I am a master of bad timing? They are glorious people and I love them to death for putting up with me. ♥

By the looks of things Raven King should be ready to go in July. Thanks for your patience, lovies, and I promise I'll be more communicative with King's Men progress. (More prolific, too, as several backstories can't be posted until Raven King is out. Too many hints of spoilers. At least you'll have something to read while waiting?)

There was something else I wanted to say, but I don't remember. I'll assume it wasn't important.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Kevin and Andrew

+ What's on: Come What May, by Scene Aesthetic

This back-story takes place roughly two years before the start of Foxhole Court, during the twins' senior year at Macon High School in Columbia, South Carolina. The Ravens offered Andrew a contract with them but were rejected. Now they've come in person to see why.

Apologies if it reads rough; the original version was from Andrew's POV and I rewrote it with the help of copious amounts of wine.

Monday, May 6, 2013

you're getting used to the rocks at the bottom

+ What's on: Let it Hurt, by Rascal Flatts

- I'm sorry, lovies; I don't have new news on book 2. As soon as I do you'll be the first to know. I promise I'm working on it! Trying my best with book 3, too, but book 3 is kicking me in the teeth at every available opportunity. There's an entire chunk I'm ripping out that'll affect everything from the middle onward. I also seriously want to rearrange part of the timeline because it'll make more sense if it's flipped, but unless I handle it right I'll wreck my fragile relationship.

- Regarding the aforementioned relationship---yes, the trilogy is supposed to have one, and it will, it's just the slowest thing in the entire world. You might've noticed while reading book 1 that Neil has a couple trust issues. Those are kind of bogging everything down and frustrating the ever-living hell out of me. If I could just throw these two at each other I swear I would.

- In between the hair-pulling and story-wrecking I'm working on the back-stories. There are a couple I never got around to writing and a couple I have to rewrite from scratch on account of the changed relationships and such, but. Some will be up before book 2 is released, others will have to wait until after. Half of them are the meet-and-greets: Kevin meeting the twins, Andrew meeting Coach, etc. Eventually I want to edit Renee & Andrew's story. It's Renee's POV of the cousins' freshman year and last I checked it was some 25,000 words long. That's definitely going to have to wait.

Some real-life nonsense:
a. Still working at the call center, but at the start of the month our project switched from paying us per call to paying us per minute of what they call production time--that is, time we're actually on the phone. Since we're inbound only and can't control the call volume, no one on the project is happy. I suppose the real riots will start when we see our first paychecks. Should be interesting.

b. Went to Universal Studios Orlando to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Absolutely amazing. Not looking forward to getting that credit card bill though.

c. Picked up Star Wars: The Old Republic because my sister is into it. Gives us something to do together besides rant about our respective uncooperative stories. Nothing says stress relief like force-choking one's enemies.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dan Wilds & David Wymack

+ What's on: Gothic Messiah, by Future World Music

All of the impossible things of the Foxhole stories, all of the liberties I've taken, all of the convenient, self-indulgent bloodbaths--and Wymack is still one thing I find the most unbelievable. In the best of ways, but still. He is probably the only positive father figure I will ever write.

I can't tell anymore how strong his presence is in the book; I've rewritten the trilogy so many times I can't always tell how much has been left on the cutting room floor. I read and reread but I read between the lines to the dozen-odd backstories, the hundred-odd scenes I've pulled and set aside. All I can do is hope he shines through as the one piece the Fox line cannot exist without.

One Fox in particular would be nothing and no one without him. I've always loved Dan & Wymack's relationship, but every draft pushes it further and further into the background. A couple years back I tried to write Dan's story for NaNoWriMo. I never got far, just barely far enough to win NaNo, and I regret that. I wanted not only to have a "girl power" sports story but to have more time to explore their relationship. It's too personal to be father/daughter, too devoted to be coach/captain. D.W. & D.W.

Also: Dan is also the only Fox who knows Wymack's story. Wymack and Neil touch on Wymack's family in Raven King, but only in passing. Dan is the only Fox Wymack's ever felt compelled to explain himself to in full.

Here's how they first met. It's a little rough, because I've never properly edited it, but. Also, it was written so long ago the timeline is off a little bit, but the general idea is still the same.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Exy : Rules and Regulations

+ What's on: Back to Black, by Amy Winehouse

With many thanks to Z, who pushed me to rewrite this and then checked/rechecked the mess I dumped on her lap. Any remaining mistakes are mine. If I've forgotten anything, please let me know.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Icarus is flying towards an early grave

+ What's on: Icarus, by Bastille

... I think I'm done with the Exy rules & regulations worksheet, but waiting to hear back from Z on whether or not I've left something major off. Even drew you guys a chart in PSP for how the court looks at starting serve.

 ... Realized I am still misspelling Edgar Allan's name. My brain is convinced it is "Allen" not "Allan" - which means even The Foxhole Court went out there with it misspelled. Le sigh. Have uploaded a corrected version. One day I'll get this right, I swear.

 ... Talked to the younger sister about designing the Ravens' logo for the book 2 cover. She doesn't have the vector software she used for the paw, but she thinks she knows a way around that.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Exy : A History of the Sport

+ What's on: Was it a Dream? by 30 Seconds to Mars

It's questionable how believable this is, but hey. Umm. Liberties of writing fiction? I don't know. Also, it got longer than I intended it to be. Oops. I'm still working on a post about how the game is actually played - the last time I wrote out the rules was years and years ago, and I think it was on paper.

Tetsuji Moriyama and Kayleigh Day met while studying sports management abroad at Fukui University (from University of Connecticut and University College in Dublin, respectively). Exy began as a lark: first an idea, then a class project wherein they recruited classmates and friends to be guinea pigs, and then spreading to after-school teams when they interested enough people.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

underneath the cuts and bruises finally gained what no one loses

+ What's on: I'm Not Dead, by P!nk

Just finished the Raven King rewrites. Finally.

This week I'll reread it and edit it where I can, but hopefully I can have it out to the betas by the weekend.

I don't even want to think about All the King's Men yet.

Oh man.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

who are you, really, and where are you going?

+ What's on: Who Are You, Really?, by Mikky Ekko

Since it's been two months since I put Foxhole Court out, I guess it's time for a status update? I'm hard at work on Raven King, but Raven King is---difficult. I've always had more trouble with it than either of the other two books. When I say I've spent the last two months working on the same two chapters, I'm not exaggerating. I have written, rewritten, and rearranged these few scenes so many times I feel I could recite them all from heart.

I'll be honest and say sometimes it's so frustrating I have to walk away from the project, but I at least try to stay within the Foxes' universe when I do. I've made notes for the major changes book 3 needs and I've toyed with the back stories & side ficlets. Of course, I'm just as likely to be found screwing around with the Foxes' playlist, which is infinitely less productive but at least twice as fun.

Anyway, this week I finally broke free of those two chapters. I've got one last related scene to wrap up and hopefully it's all downhill from there. I think there're only three chapters left, and those ones are going to be fun.

But have I mentioned yet how aggravating it is getting this couple together? They work so much better this way, seriously, and I don't regret reshaping the books' relationships, but that third person was the instigator and driving force. Without him there to get things moving, it's just like oh my god you impossible assholes one chapter after another.

Slowest. Relationship. Ever. Le sigh.

Anyway, back to work, I guess.

Friday, March 15, 2013

here's a quarter buy yourself a grave

+ What's on: セツナレンサ, by Radwimps

I wanted to write about Japan today, because it's been on my mind a lot the past few months (the past few months, technically, but now and then I hit my stride and don't notice its absence as much). I wrote four different posts, then deleted all of them, and decided posting pictures would probably be more cathartic. But as I was going through my photo albums (the "Japan" folder on my hard drive is nearly 5 GB) I started to despair. I couldn't find the right photo - or photos, plural - to sum up that hollow ache.

Then I found this one.

At first glance this picture is nothing special. It's just a fuzzy too-close picture of alcohol taken with a phone camera. It's one of probably fifty pictures of alcohol I have on my system (not exaggerating; I bought us so much alcohol in San Francisco KM and I had to name our alcohol cabinets).

But I bought this shot in Hiroshima. I can't remember how it tasted, but I remember that day: the complicated feelings my trip through the museum created, how vibrant the city looked despite the ghost in its midst, the two Japanese ladies who laughed at the thought I might understand Japanese beyond "sushi" and "Fuji", the boy at the Ota River who played his guitar and sang at the top of his lungs like he didn't care who heard and knew he'd never grow old--

--and that one memory is vivid enough it all comes back: the winding road between my apartment and Chukyo University, the first time I understood the biting frustration of culture shock, the sing-song voice on the train lines announcing the next stop, the house in Musashino with its sliding doors, nikuman and anpan and taiyaki, the time I crashed my bike so hard near a train station exit I lost both of my shoes (and entertained the rush-hour crowd, I'm sure), the train crossing in Sendagaya and the absolute serenity of the Silver Pavilion in Kyoto--

--and I am as comforted as I am sad.

So really, this picture sums it up for me better than a thousand could.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

talk to me I'm throwing myself in front of you

+ What's on: Another Heart Calls, by All-American Rejects

Valentine's Day was my last day at Applebee's. I finally have weekends and evenings all to myself for my writing (and my workouts, but those are infinitely less exciting to talk about). Spent most of this afternoon nitpicking that one aggravating chapter. What happens and how it happens needs to stay the same, but the dialogue still needs some serious work.

Dialogue is my favorite part of writing; I build a lot of my scenes around a couple spoken lines. Anytime I have to go in and rip conversations out, especially those critical ones the original scenes were grounded in, I go into it kicking and screaming. One would think I'd have matured past this stage by now, but hey. At least I'm smart enough to go through with it no matter how sullenly. I tell you, rewriting is frustrating business. If I can finish this chapter, though, I'll only have five left to go. Then I can line edit and re-read it to death before foisting it off on unsuspecting betas.

Also, yesterday I was looking for something in Foxhole Court (which I try to avoid doing; I haven't looked at the entire thing since I uploaded it) and I realized I left Abby Winfield out of the team line-up at the end of the book. Once upon a time she was the mother figure to the team and had a central role; over time her importance lessened and I lost interest in her. I didn't realize how far she'd fallen until I saw her name missing from that list. Oops. That oversight is entirely mine, since the line-up was the last thing I added to the book before uploading it. Sorry, Abigail Marie Winfield. Trying to upload a revised version of the file to Smashwords that includes her, but I'm a little scared that something will happen to the formatting in the process. Best keep an eye on it.

I was pulling up past versions of this chapter last night and stumbled into the folder where I keep all the old Fox sketches. Confession: I don't really think about what most of the Foxes look like, anymore. If I try to visualize them I always end up seeing their old comic-book versions. The first couple drafts of Foxes tried to keep those descriptions, but I let them slide over time. I've tried updating their looks in pictures throughout the past couple years but I never get far. Doesn't help that I only ever draw two of the characters anymore. Eh.

But here, just for fun, have a glimpse at the 2006 Kevin and Andrew.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

cause it's the end and I'm not afraid to die

+ What's on: In The End, by Black Veil Brides

A list of things I am doing instead of writing*:

1. Making homemade Baileys.
I found the recipe here. I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but I love baking--especially cupcakes. One of my favorite recipes is whiskey and beer cupcakes (used to be called Irish car bomb cupcakes, after the drink by the same name, but she changed the name after some people took offense). On the upside: very tasty alcoholic cupcakes. On the downside: very expensive, even if you already own all the alcohol. In this case I didn't have any of it, and the alcohol in NC is very expensive. Making my own Baileys saved me at least $20.

The recipe was super potent, though. It tasted like thick whiskey. Maybe the Bushmills was just too strong? Diluted it today with another 2/3c of heavy cream and some more vanilla, and it's much better. Soon as my cupcake pan shows up I'm going to make these suckers.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Palmetto State University

+ What's on: Impossible, by Shontelle

All for the Game was a comic up until I graduated from high school. It started the slow transition to novel format while I was studying at Clemson University. Palmetto State University is Clemson's fictional alter-ego: the geographic location is the same and I envision the campus layout to be pretty similar.

I loved everything about Clemson while I was there (except for my major, go figure) and I even considered looking for work in the area post-graduation. I ended up going overseas for a while instead, but hey. Clemson is also where I fell in love with the color orange. Orange is brilliant, I think. It's not exactly a happy color, but it is unapologetically bold.

The dots might not be 100% accurate. MS Paint and I are not exactly friends. But you get the idea.

Anyway, I wanted to share a couple (poorly taken) pictures of the Clemson campus to help build a background visual for the story.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

you'll never know just what you're worth

+ What's on: Fix You, by Coldplay

It's been a week since I put The Foxhole Court on Smashwords, and I honestly have no idea how to react to its progress. You guys, Foxes has a 3-digit download. I was positive it couldn't break 40. I mean, let's be serious: it's a trilogy about college students playing a fictional co-ed sport with a couple serial killers thrown in. If someone else tried explaining the concept to me I'd probably quietly end the conversation. It's not exactly a sensible idea. That's why I chose to make the first book free: I wanted to stack the odds in my favor any way I could. But I still can't explain this.

Except I can. This is because of you. It's because of the people who've texted me or emailed me and said they've talked to their friends about it. It's the people who've read the summary, probably muttered a quiet "What the hell?" to themselves, and then downloaded the story anyway. Thank you; a hundred thank yous. The Foxes are so important to me--thinking that other people are reading Neil's story makes me almost sick with glee. I hope you like it. If you don't, thank you for giving it a chance at least. Thank you for holding it in your hands for even a couple paragraphs.

I mentioned fleetingly that The Foxhole Court is part of a trilogy. It will be followed by The Raven King and All the King's Men. The Raven King is about 60% of the way through edits. I have more work to do on it on my end before I can even think of giving it to my betas, so at this time I don't have a definitive answer as to when it will be ready. I'll have more time for rewrites and revisions after I've quit my second job (which should be early-mid February).

I apologize in advance for the useless things I'll be posting here. I've had too many years to think about this story. I've filled entire folders with sketches, trivia, and side stories. I've wanted for a while to build a simple site where I can store that stuff - mostly for my sake, because it is an absolute disorganized mess on my hard drive - but in the meantime this blog is the best thing I've got. Streamlining helps me get in the right head-space for edits, so I'll probably posts bits and pieces while I'm working on Raven King.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Foxhole Court

+ What's On: Capricorn, by 30 Seconds to Mars

The Foxhole Court

Neil Josten knows signing with the Palmetto State Foxes is a fatal mistake. After eight years on the run he ought to have better survival instincts, but one of his new teammates is a friend from his old life. Neil left him once; he can't walk away a second time. The longer he stays the faster his past catches up with him, but maybe Neil's finally found someone and something worth fighting for.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

close your eyes and count to four

+ What's On: Don't Stop (Color on the Walls), by Foster the People

A series of quick and meaningless updates:
--I am still in the queue for that job I originally wanted. I'm fine for now; I'm allowed to sit in the ready pool for this position for six months before my file is automatically rejected. I've got two months left.
----In the meantime I'm working two jobs seven days a week: as a hostess at Applebee's and as a provider services rep (that's fancy talk for a call center rep who talks to healthcare providers about claims and patient benefits/eligibility). It's a little exhausting working like this, but I've only got to hold out a few more weeks. I'll probably leave the hostess position in a couple weeks--after I've made sure my boss has hired and trained someone to replace me.

--I don't have a whole lot of free time, but what bit I do have I'm trying to spend on my edits. (I say "trying" because sometimes all I want to do is zone out and play the Mass Effect trilogy. My bad.) My focus lately has been on tidying up a project for self-publication. I've tried this story the traditional way - edits, rewrites, submissions, resubmissions, contests, etc - but finally accepted this story will never make it that way. I considered trunking it altogether, but I loved the story too much. Now it's gone through one last round of edits with some wonderful (and wonderfully patient) people and is just about ready for Smashwords.

--Kanji practice is slow as usual. I started getting a good lead on it, but things started picking up at work. My original plan was to study kanji on my lunch breaks. Now we're so busy (in part thanks to the start of the year, in part thanks to all the new policies we just acquired) we've got mandatory OT through chunks of our lunches and shortened breaks. Oops.

--I can't wait until life calms down at least enough for me to start reading again. Too stressed to enjoy books right now.

Anything notable and new out there?