Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Update: Path to Publication

 


Hey there, 

In my last post I mentioned I would (probably) be releasing a update on The Path to Publication. Here it is, plus other updates. Huzzah.  


Path to Publication

It looks like the original plan is all being pushed back by a month or two. I'm not giving up on it in the slightest, and have no issue following this plan through some extra months. 

The hardest part with Roslyn, story-wise, is the fact that it's so very... big. The first draft is around 106,893 words and yet the story still feels very young. I have a whole other part of the book that will likely take that count to 200k or so, but I'm not entierly sure how that will go. 

Given that fantasies are known to be bigger, this is a first draft, I refuse to split this into two books, and this will be self-published, I'm not too stressed over the word count (though I am still endlessly confused as to how it's that big) so much as I am the pacing. Pacing is something I need to work on, for sure.  

After the holidays I will (hopefully) get back into full swing with writing Roslyn, and may even share some excerpts some time soon. Maybe. We'll see. 

In the mean time, I'll continue writing little bits here and there.



NaNo

As you may recall, I didn't do Roslyn for NaNoWriMo. I had been pressing myself to finish the draft by October so I could read it through during Oct. and then write the second draft during NaNo. But I talked to some friends and listened to common sense and decided not to do that and switched to another story for the month. 

So how did I do on that story? 

Well, it wasn't good. 


Daily tracker:





As you can see, I was doing really well for eight days, and then the struggles began. Then my motivation chord was pulled and I flatlined. Yaaaaay. 


Stats:







Story experience:

MoTWW was alright. I enjoyed the parts that I actually wrote, but I really wasn't feeling it. Writing just hasn't been the most fun of late, but that's okay. This story is fun, and I know I'll enjoy it when I'm more in the swing of things.  


Final word count:

In the end, my final word count was 16, 481. Some of that may have been for another story, too (because I ended up missing Roslyn too much and would occasionally work on it instead), but the majority of it was for MoTWW. 



General Writing

My overall writing lately has been nonexistent. I've written a few poems and worked a very small amount on a short story for a secret Santa swap in my writing group, but outside of that I've written nothing. 

I have edited Roslyn a bit, as well as some other stories of mine that have never and likely never will see the light of day. 



Reading

I have been reading a lot today, which is wonderful. Currently my leading reads are...


Healer's Bane by Hope Ann

It's very short, but due to the next book I've yet to finish it.

I'm really enjoying it so far, especially the atmosphere of the story, and look forward to writing a review for it. 


Dragons' Hope by Melody Jackson

I recently finished re-reading Dragons' Bane and Dragons' Might by Melody Jackson in preparation for the third book. DH (Dragons' Hope) has been out for two years as of the 15th, but I'm only just now able to read it. 

So far I'm loving it as much as I do the first two books, and really look froward to getting deeper into it (as right now I'm not even a third of the way in). 


My minor reads:


The Naming by Alison Groggon

I'm a little deeper in this than I am DH, but have halted it for DH. It's a great story so far and I'm really enjoying the world building (from what I can tell, it's wonderfully vast). 


The Icebound Land by John Flanagan

This is book three in The Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan (aka one of my favorite series every even though I'm only three books in). I'm over halfway through with it, and absolutely loving it.

This is a minor read because I'm buddy-reading it with a friend of mine, and we aren't in the same timezone so finding a time to read it together can be a bit tricky. 


The next books on my list: 


The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

This book has been pretty high up on my TBR for a while, so I was thrilled to finally get my hands on a copy. It's a pretty thin book, so I imagine it won't take me too long to read. 


Echos by Miranda Marie

This book is a thick one, so it may take me some time. But Echos has been on my TBR for years now and it's high time I read it. I've also heard amazing things about it, and Marie's other works (The Fire Rain Chronicles) were wonderful, so I'm sure I'm going to love this one. 

Though I hear it's a really painful read, so we'll see if I survive. 


The Battle for Skandia by John Flanagan

This is book four in The Ranger's Apprentice,  and if the name is anything to go off of... I fear how book three will end. 


Bleeding Ink 

Lastly comes Bleeding Ink. I have one change coming to it soon, which I'm really excited for. It may take me until around January to make public, given the holidays and that I have a few more things I need to do before it's ready, but I'll get it up here as soon as I can. 

This update is something I'm really excited for, and I hope will be a great benefit to my audience and writer friends.


Other than that, BI is staying the same, inconsistent, messy corner of the world that it is.


----------

Alright, I think that's everything.  That's my writing/reading life right now. If you have any questions, thoughts, comments, etc., I'd love to hear from you. 


 - Edna


P.S. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I have a GoodReads now. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

The Writerly Sibling Tag



Hello there,

Yep, I disappeared. NaNo was weird. I'm momentarily back. I'll be posting a Path to Publication update soon. Maybe. I'll also hopefully be adding a banner to this post at some point in the future to make this easier to pin on Pinterest but as of now cannot. 

Meanwhile, I've been tagged in The Writerly Sibling Tag. Thanks, R.M. Archer, for tagging me! 



Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who tagged you and provide a link. 

2. Answer the inquires, including any ones added by means of rule six.

3. Always use your own characters. No exception, unless you don't actually have sibling characters (in which case you need to go write up some) or you don't write (in which case you need to start ASAP). 

4. Tag three other bloggers. 

5. If you happen to have any siblings who blog, they are automatically tagged and cannot count towards your three.

6. Add one question or prompt to the list of questions that the person before you answered relating to siblings and/or characters. Answer the question, and provide a list of all the questions that you answered so far.

7. Close out the post making some statement or other glorifying the King of kings.



Questions: 

(well they aren't actually all questions, only four of them are, the rest of them are more like demanding statements but yeah anyways)



Name the most annoying sibling character in any of your stories (Either annoying to you as the author or to any other characters).

That would likely be Torin, from my leading story Roslyn. But he isn't annoying to his actual sibling (well, he kind of is, but they don't interact much) so much as he is to his two basically-younger-siblings. They're in no way blood related, but at this point they are all siblings in my head. 

So that's a bit of a cheat, but oh well. 



Name the most caring sibling character of any of your stories.

Again, technically not actually a sibling to anyone but basically is, Michael (also from Roslyn). The lad is such a thoughtful and caring basically-big-brother and I love him. So do his basically-siblings. 



Name the most entertaining sibling character in any of your stories.

Hm. Most of them are entertaining when they're together, when they all have each other to ride off of and poke fun at and such. 

But, I can only cheat so much, so I'm going to say it's Bayron (whose last name is apparently "Rees" even though I have a distinct memory of his last name having the meaning of "lettuce", and "Rees" does not mean lettuce), a supporting character in another novel of mine, Paradox. He's a good-guy arsonist and a softy, despite his tendencies to light stuff on fire and blow stuff up. 



Name a sibling character who was inspired in some way by an actual sibling.

Another character from Paradox, who is unnamed. Like, I haven't forgotten to name him, but he is literally nameless in the story. He's based off of my oldest brother, who helped me come up with this story and continues to do so.



Name the largest character family (talking family, not family tree) in any of your stories.

Weirdly enough for someone who is one of eight siblings, the families in my work are all rather small. The biggest would be Bayron Lettuce (yeah we're just going to call him that for now because "Rees" makes me uncomfortable, given that I know it isn't the right name), which is a family of four.

If I can count the basically-family in Roslyn, it would be them, which is a family of five (if you could the wolf that Torin adopted).



Provide one to three excerpts from your sibling characters' dialog from any of your stories.

Ohh I had the perfect one for this but it's too spoiler-y. 

So I'll settle for this small one instead:


“Will it be too heavy for the horse?” Clare looked over the beautiful creature, her brow furrowing. 

“Not at all. This is a (strong horse), he can take far more weight than this. Besides, you’re a stick, you won’t be a heavy burden for him.” Torin held his hand out to her to help her up on the steed. 

Grumbling, “I’m not a stick,” Clare accepted his help up and swung her leg over the other side in an awkward movement.  

“Sorry, my bad. You’re not a stick, you’re a twig.” Torin winked and patted the horse’s neck, then headed over to Sebastian. 


(Yes I know "strong horse" is terribly specific, but this is a first draft. I still need to world build more and rename horse breeds and all that.)



Name three published books which have an amazing portrayal of siblings or family.

1. The Dragons Bane by Melody Jackson trilogy for siblings; there's several sets of siblings, I think, and they each show a different type of relationship from the others, it's great.

2. The Fire-Rain Chronicles by Miranda Marie for siblings and families in general (yes I know Archer already did this one but it's a good one so I'm using it anyways). 

3. The Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan, because Halt is the best dad, Gilan is the best sometimes-annoying but awesome big brother, Will is the best baby brother, and pretty much every character somehow works its way into being part of what I call the "Arrow fam". I ship them as a family and I will go down with this ship.

But as none of them are actually related, my alternative would be The Hunger Games, because the whole thing is Katniss trying to protect her sister. But, that comes second to TRA because actual sibling/family content is not very common in it.



Name another author's character family that you wouldn't mind jumping into.

The aforementioned Arrow Fam. All the way. Without a doubt. Although I kind of wouldn't want to join it because it would crash the broship-ness of it by adding a female. Also it would be weird to hang out with them because I love watching them all interact, so I'd just be sitting in the corner, giddily watching, and being totally weird and potentially creepy in their eyes. 

But again, they're not family by blood or even adoption. So, I would have to say... Maybe the Pevensies from The Chronicles of Narnia. I haven't actually read Narnia, but I have seen the movies (I know, I'm terrible, but I have no regrets as the movies were a vital part of my childhood), and if they're anything like the books than the siblings are a lot like how my siblings and I were when we were younger. 

OH, or I would also love to be part of Anne's family from Anne of Green Gables. Not the family at Gables, but a family later on in the series which I will specify below, but if you have not read the magical series in its entirety, please kindly scroll on to the next question thing.

So, it's in Rainbow Valley, when Anne and Gilbert have started their own family. I'm not sure if I would want to be Anne or Gil's sister/sister in law (in no particular order) or their kids' sister. Because on one hand I think Anne and Gil and I would get along pretty well, and I'd also get to hang out with Diana and Fred occasionally, and I'd love to be an aunt to the kids.

But I also would love to be a kid growing up in Rainbow Valley, playing with the other Blythe kids and imagining and making up stories and all. 

And then that would carry over into Rilla of Ingleside, when they're all older. Which would be bittersweet given the war and all, but it would still be nice (though I don't think Rilla and I would get along too well). 



Provide an excerpt of sibling drama or camaraderie from any title (though be sure to credit it).

Supposing we're disregarding Rule Three and that this is not a trap to see if I paid attention to the rules or not, this excerpt from Dragons' Bane by Melody Jackson. 


"Blaze Montego!"

He wiped the sweat off his forehead and looked over at the little redhead standing there with her hands on her hips, resisting the urge to roll his eyes.

"That's my name, yes."

Elle frowned, apparently not amused by his joke. 

"How could you do something so stupid?" 

He lifted his sword, inspecting the edge with an almost lazy air. "And what 'something' are you referring to this time?"


I just love it. It's wonderful. Even more once you've reread the book. 



Name two characters from two unrelated books that you feel would make for great literary siblings (whether in terms of getting along, or being a constant head-to-head combat)

Yorsh from The Last Dragon by Silvana De Mari and Will from The Ranger's Apprentice. Why? I have no idea. I suppose they're a good balance between different and alike, and Will would be a good big brother to Yorsh (be it to Yorsh when he is but a wee elf baby or when he is a adorkable teen elf; either way Will would definitely be the big brother).

I can also see Will getting frustrated with the ignorance of Yorsh. Lots of hilarious things would pop up, subtly but beautifully, maybe a few fights, and if my two favorite lads met I would so be there for it.




What sibling trope would you like to write in the future?

Well, so far I've covered quite a few of them. However, I haven't official writing the one that goes with Bayron and his sister, so I guess that counts. That one would be the sibling-who-hurt-the-family vs. sibling-who-hates-him-for-it. Their relationship and history and everything is really interesting and really warrants its own book, but that's kinda the point of it so that's okay (kind of hard to explain; if I ever publish it you'll see what I mean). 



Which one of your own sibling groups would you love to join?

None. Because as much as I adore these kiddos, I adore them from the outside. Being a part of their sibling group would feel so weird. Especially so when you consider that, though many of my characters are a fair deal older than me, I'm the authoritative one (hahaha get it because, because author, and authoritative? because I'm the author and have authority? hahahahhaaa) and being stripped of that power and placed as anyone's little sister would frustrate me greatly.  

But if I had to, it would be my not-literal-sibling group in Roslyn, which is composed of Michael, Torin, Clare, and Sebastian. 



If you could adopt only one of your fictional siblings as your own sibling, who would it be?

Like I said, I really wouldn't want to be siblings with my characters. But if I have to, it would be Torin. Michael and Clare are both two extreme extensions of myself, so being Michael's little sister would be weird, and being Clare's sister would be really weird because we're so alike. And Sebastian and I would communicate in wry humor that would end up being exhausting. 

But Torin is very not-like-me, except for in one area and in this case having that in common would be beneficial. He's also got a lot of traits from my real siblings, so I would know how to handle his Torin-ness. And I know that, despite his Torin-ness, he'd be a good big brother. Even if him being the older, in-charge one would make me angry because I literally made him. 


And now for my added question...


If you had to mix-match your sibling-characters, who would you swap with who and why?

I would swap Sebastian from his not-literal-siblings with Torin's literal sister, Serfena (so technically I'm cheating my own question because I'm swapping Torin and Sebastian even though Torin is one of the not-literal-siblings, but oh well).

(Maple, if you're reading this, skip to the conclusion because I want your first impression of Serfena to be when you meet her on the page.) 


I'm choosing this swap because Sebastian is a wry, sarcastic lad who is easily and openly annoyed. Serfena is a manipulative, conniving, and just overall rude character that not even Michael, my golden-hearted son, likes. 

Seeing these two deal with each other like siblings would be maddening and hilarious and really I'm choosing it simply because I would love to see Serfena get what's coming to her. 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Tag-ees:

1. Adria from The Works of Adria Avalon

2. Julia from Lit Aflame

3. Mary from Wild Writing Dreams


List of the questions for the above blogger's convenience:

-Name the most annoying sibling character in any of your stories (Either annoying to you as the author or to any other characters).

-Name the most caring sibling character of any of your stories.

-Name the most entertaining sibling character in any of your stories.

-Name a sibling character who was inspired in some way by an actual sibling.

-Name the largest character family (talking family, not family tree) in any of your stories.

-Provide one to three excerpts from your sibling characters' dialog from any of your stories.

-Name three published books which have an amazing portrayal of siblings or family.

-Name another author's character family that you wouldn't mind jumping into.

-Provide an excerpt of sibling drama or camaraderie from any title (though be sure to credit it).

-Name two characters from two unrelated books that you feel would make for great literary siblings (whether in terms of getting along, or being a constant head-to-head combat)

-What sibling trope would you like to write in the future?

-Which one of your own sibling groups would you love to join?

-If you could adopt only one of your fictional siblings as your own sibling, who would it be?

-If you had to mix-match your sibling-characters, who would you swap with who and why?


Conclusion: 

Siblings are wonderful, some times aggravating, hilarious, treasured humans that I wouldn't trade for anything. I'm incredibly grateful to have all seven of them. And to show how grateful I am and how much I love them, I'll give them each a shoutout now (except I'm going to give them fake names because you know, safety or something. I'll give them Narnia-esque titles to make up for it.) 


Shout out to...


Black-Jelly-Bean B., the Generous and Sassy. 

Kiwi-wei, the Swift and Determined. 

Lamp, the Genie and Hip. 

Frodo, the Fighter and Poofy (if you saw his hair you'd agree)

Liana (you get to keep your original fake name because the readers already know it), the Empathetic and Creative.

TKTKTKTKTKTKKTKTK, the Humorous and Kind

Nay-Nay, the Smol and Witty.


You all are really something. God assembled quite the squad, didn't He? 


Lastly, may all glory be to God, Who was and is and is to come, the Creator of all things, and the redeemer of all those who are willing. 

Brothers and sisters, both by blood and by species, please remember that He loves you, that He has made a way for you to be forgiven, and that no matter what you have done or will do, He will take you back.


That's all for now, folks. See you later maybe


- Edna Pellen



Monday, November 9, 2020

NaNoWriMo Week 1 Update

 



So, it's already been a week. How about that. 


Writing Experience:

It's been okay so far, not really enjoying MoTWW (my NaNo WIP) as of yet, but it's not been unbearable, just really hard to get into. 

I do have a few lines I've really enjoyed, but as a whole it's not been my favorite experience. 


Story Progress:

I'm in Chapter Two with one murder under my belt. 


Word Count:

So far I've made the daily word count almost  every day. I'm currently at 13,040, having not yet written today. 


That's a very short update. As you can probably tell, I'm just not really feeling very NaNo-y this year. But, that's alright. I'm still plowing through and getting a fair amount of words out. 


How's NaNo going for you? 


- Edna 


Sunday, November 1, 2020

My Favorite Writing Pep-Talks

 


Greetings! 


With NaNoWriMo in full swing, I don't have a full amount of time to write to you of anything incredibly creative or unique. 
So instead, I've gathered some of my favorite pep-talks that help keep me going with writing when I really don't want to, in no particular order.

Read on! 


1. Lemony Snicket's 2010 Pep-Talk

I cannot describe how thoroughly I love this pep-talk. It is honestly the most encouraging one I've read, and is the only one I need to get myself back into fighting the fight of writing.


2. Tamora Pierce's 2014 Pep-Talk

Tamora Pierce's pep-talk is great for helping you get un-stuck.


3. Neil Gaiman's 2007 Pep-Talk

Gaiman's pep-talk is great for when you're on the verge of giving up. 


4. Gail Carson Levine's 2009 Pep-Talk

Gail Carson Levine's pep-talk is a great one for some humor and starting November off on the right foot. 


5. Brandon Sanderson's 2011 Pep-Talk

This pep-talk is great for reminding you to use NaNoWriMo, and any writing tool, in the way that best suits you, as well as going over some pretty common writing issues, including writer's block.



I know that most of these would be best for later on in the month, but I figured you can always bookmark this page or the links if you need some encouragement later on.

That aside, that's all for now.


Stay determined, friend. 


    - Edna Pellen

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Three Key Things for You To Keep In Mind During NaNoWriMo

 



Dear writer,


It is now less than twenty-four hours until NaNoWriMo begins. So out of the goodness of my heart for my writer kin, I have written this post of advice for you, based off my nigh five years of experience in the field, before you're dropped into the arena that is November.


1. Stay hydrated, but don't

The more you drink, the more you're going to need more bathroom breaks, the less time spend writing. It also breaks the flow you have when you finalllyy fall into the groove of writing.
The less you drink, the more likely you are to become dehydrated and get nasty headaches, emotional instability, weariness, and confusion (basically, if you don't drink anything you're going to get the natural affects of NaNo much sooner). 

So yeah. Drink, but don't. 


2. Eat, but don't

If you eat, you're taking time away from writing. That's a no-no thing. You must spend every second writing. 
But eating is important. You won't have any energy without it. Also, you know, your stomach will start digesting itself after so long. Soo. 


3. Sleep, but (you guessed it) don't

Sleep is probably the biggest issue of all. You can rush to the bathroom and back pretty fast, and you can scarf food fast while doing a quick word count check, though both are a waste of time.
But sleep? You can't write in your sleep. You can't rush sleep, either. 
But without it, you're not going to be able to stay awake or focus. 

Caffeine is a good way around this. I recommend making a pot of coffee using Red Bull, Monster, and some all-natural (because we're very health conscious here) energy drinks instead of water, then plopping a full box of  Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast, and black Chi tea to steep in the coffee as it's brewed. If you're really running dry, try crushing a caffeine pill and mixing them in your cup. 

Sadly, you can only have so much caffeine before it gives you a heart attack, which will slow your writing process down.
To avoid that, I recommend selecting one day of the week to get four to eight hours of sleep in. And then, when you wake, write as fast as possible to make up for those four to eight hours of wasted writing time and down another pot of the frankiencoffee.


Now that I have graced you with my abundant wisdom, I shall bid you adieu. Best of luck with your soon to be near death experience. 


                -Edna Pellen


P.S. If you weren't already able to tell, this is satire. I will not be held responsible for any poor living habits you adopt during the month of November, or any other month for that matter, and the agonizing death that they may or may not bring.

Update: Path to Publication

  Hey there,  In my last post I mentioned I would (probably) be releasing a update on The Path to Publication. Here it is, plus other update...