Monday, December 26, 2016
Yes, I do have a new book release. This is the last one of the year! I really hadn't been certain I could get this one done in time, but the previous rewrite had fixed a lot of problems in it, so this edit went very well.
Whispers of Winterwood:
Four years ago at the age of 18, Derek Lee Stuart went to prison for a robbery he didn't commit. The last thing he wanted to do was return to Winterwood -- but when his grandmother asks him to visit for the holidays, he can't say no to the one person who still believed in him.
Unfortunately, everything from a snow storm to another robbery seems to be against him. The quiet visit with his grandmother is turning into a nightmare.
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I hope you enjoy it!
I want to end 2016 with some nice thoughts since there was so much that was not pleasant about the year for a lot of people. Writers, in some ways, have it better. We can escape into a different world and make that world what we want, but we'll still have to come out now and then and deal with the real world.
The one thing that will always keep me happy is the writing side of life. That's kind of obvious -- look at the title of the blog. If you don't want to read about someone who truly enjoys writing, this is probably not the spot for you.
I remember once seeing someone berate another because the second person had said they were celebrating having completed a novel. The person doing the complaining was a pretentious elitist (these days he'd just be a troll), who complained about how the lesser beings were ruining the world of writing. Paraphrased, of course -- but it was obvious how he felt about anyone who took pleasure in writing.
Unfortunately, there are still far too many of these people around: Don't do NaNo, don't celebrate finishing a novel, don't say you're an author until I give you the right to say so.
There is a part of this that they don't get.
We don't need them.
You need never listen to these people, no matter who they are. Friends, family, people on the Internet -- it doesn't matter. They are not you, they are not writing your book, and they do not have a right to tell you to stop or that you can't enjoy what you are doing. You might never become a big selling author. I certainly am not one. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy creating something that is born of your mind. Go at it. Have fun.
That's my last lecture for the year.
There are still a few days left in 2016, but the majority of my big projects are done. I have one outline to finish and I'm going to write several of the Saving Everywhere flash fiction serials and have them ready to post in 2017. I can say that my total word count is over one million words and will probably end close to 1,100,000 words.
I wrote 5 new novels and rewrote 8 others, plus did editing on most of the rewrites. I published 7 new ebooks and 4 print versions. That's a lot of editing and formatting!
Every year I try to do one experiment in writing. This year my experiment was to write, edit, and publish a novel all in one year. I generally like to leave work for several months before I do a first edit, and then I might let it sit for far longer before another one. Some novels wait for years in the queue. My last published novel, Whispers of Winterwood, was written in 2002.
This year, though, I wrote, edited and published Raventower and Merriweather 1: Secrets. I enjoyed it so much that I wrote a second book in the series during NaNo and I hope to have it out in early 2017.
I do not have much planned for 2017. I am going to start out the year with a new novel, of course. I always start one on January 1. This year's first book is titled The Journey of a Thousand Truths (the title might change) and it is going to be a fun, epic fantasy. I am not outlining the story. I want to see how far I can go with just tarot cards and an old gaming system (Thieves' World) that I dug out a while back. Lots of locations, characters, and maps that I can play with and see how it goes. If the story gets bogged down, I'll outline at least some of it.
Beyond that? I have one outline still on hand. I would like to write the 3rd Raventower and Merriweather book if I can get the second edited and ready for release. I'm trying not to tie myself down with too many goals. Let the year flow.
I want to get back to reading more history again, too. I have been stalled on the Cambridge Ancient History -- not for any good reason, just because I haven't happened to pick it up. That's going to change. I'm also reading a wonderful Time-Life series out of the 80's about American Wilderness areas. If you want to learn about a particular type of setting, pick up books like this at library book sales. There is a lot of great stuff for descriptions, as well as explanations about why things are the way they are. I'm reading the one on The Great Divide right now, but I've already read seven or eight others. They're short and they're well-written. The photography is nice as well.
This year I started going through some of The Great Courses. We do the $20 a month subscription. I've done 3 geology sets (I'm fascinated by it), a wonderful history of India, one art course, a short astronomy class, an archeology course, an ancient near east history course, and a wonderful one on Alexander the Great. Next year I hope to spread out a little into music and literature, but history and science will still be the things that most often draw me.
Oh, and I might as well add photography stuff in here. I have posted a picture a day for about ten years now. The picture is always posted on the day I take it and I have not missed a day in all those years. Some days even got more than one photo. If I was away from home for a couple days, I would still post pictures from the day they were taken.
I always have my camera with me. So I expect to still be doing the blog for year 11. I also hope to do more with my photo studio equipment this year. I want to play with graphic programs, too.
So there. I have a few little goals and not all of them are about writing.
Maybe I need some 'clean house' goals?
Nah. What fun is that?
Happy holidays, everyone! See you next year!