pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Determined)
Good news everyone!

I'm going to pay off my car this month.

Also my new job is going pretty well.

Also I finished the first read-through and edit of my next book. Onward to the next!

Investment

Apr. 7th, 2012 10:06 am
pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
Writing is an investment. You're investing a bunch of time into something that may or may not pay off.

I'm trying to treat writing like a second job. It's hard work. I finally finished formatting Windshifter for print and now I've got an "early bird version" up on CreateSpace while I wait for Amazon to okay it. Sales are very slow thus far, but then I haven't made an "official" announcement yet. Besides, one print copy is equal to about 15 ebooks in terms of royalties, so I'm not going to complain too much.

"Cricket Song" is getting edited. There's another book, a kid's book, that I've been writing on and off for about a year that is getting worked on.

Eventually, this is all gonna have to pay off.
pikestaff: (Devious Snaps)
I haven't written a post updating my life in a little while so here we go!

Overall things aren't bad; the meds and therapy are making a big difference, I think. I feel more optimistic about things in general and the panic attacks are, thankfully, much more sparse than they have been in the past. My therapist recently mentioned that I seem to handle small, "daily" goals much better than bigger, more long-term ones, and I have to agree with her, so I've been trying to incorporate more of those into my life. As a result I'm finally doing things like digging through boxes of crap from years ago (throwing away old schoolwork is a painful but necessary sacrifice) and working on editing Cricket Song, which was NaNo 2010.

I'm also trying to take more walks and stuff in the mornings. Not particularly to lose weight or get in shape or anything, but now that I'm almost 30 my metabolism has noticeably slowed and I want to at least maintain an "average" build while still being able to eat like a pig. I have lovely life goals, don't you think?

Lastly, work recently fired the third of three people to have been fired in the last two weeks or so. And not just quietly and with a little pink slip-- we're talking being escorted out mid-shift and told not to return. These are older people with families, too. The rumors are flying around like crazy but of course the higher-ups aren't talking. I find myself wondering if they're just looking for excuses to fire people now, since Sears Holdings Corp. is in such deep financial doo-doo. Hopefully I'll be gone before I can find out.

Projects!

Dec. 2nd, 2011 01:20 pm
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
I've only taken a break of a couple of days and the writing bug is already upon me again.

I could go three possible routes here:

1.) Edit "Cricket Song" (NaNo 2010) - It's been sitting around gathering dust for a year now but it's a pretty tight story to begin with so I could polish it up relatively easily and then sell it online, I'm sure.

2.) Edit "Space Heroes Forever!" (NaNo 2011) - I just finished it, so it's still fresh in my mind. Once I polish this one up I want to try to traditionally publish. The thought kind of scares me, but you gotta try, I guess.

3.) Write something completely new - I have three different ideas for this; two are kids' books in a similar vein to what I just wrote and one is a heftier project a la "Windshifter" or "Cricket Song".

I'm not sure what I want to do at this point. I'm leaning toward #3 because there's just something magical about first draft writing that editing lacks. But then, I don't really want to sit around for years on unfinished projects! Decisions, decisions. Either way I'm looking forward to jumping headfirst into a writing project again.

Mmm.

Jun. 12th, 2011 10:20 pm
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Determined)
I don't think I'm going to do the current big project I'm brainstorming as my Summer NaNo book. I want to give said project a few more months to percolate and then do it in November, once I've got a more solid outline prepared. For summer I think I'm going to do something a lot more "light"-- something fun and breezy, just enough to keep my on my writers' toes. Like a humorous kids' book, or a short story compilation, or something.

I also think I want to e-publish Windshifter sooner rather than later. Yesterday I gave myself the rather optimistic goal of "sometime this week", but thinking about it that probably won't give me enough time to do a cover and one last proofread. Maybe by the end of the month? That sounds reasonable, right?

Ultimately, by this point, I just want to get it out there. It feels "finished" to me. There are things I could improve upon, sure, if I really wanted to, but it'd be a hassle and I think I should just move on. I mean, I got some pretty detailed feedback regarding my strengths and weaknesses as a writer from an actual publisher, so I figure if I take said feedback to heart and focus on my strengths and work on improving my weaknesses in my future books, then Windshifter (and Cricket Song) can just be stepping stones and trial runs, so to speak.

That's my logic, anyway~

Welp!

May. 1st, 2011 09:16 am
pikestaff: (My Little Pike Pony)
Yeah I failed Script Frenzy. It doesn't bother me. Scriptwriting is one of the very, very few things I'll claim to having some sort of modicum of talent in and I know full well I could've written a script in a month if I'd had the motivation. I just... didn't! NaNoWriMo is the more important thing for me personally, anyway.

Speaking of which, I'm tired of being poor, so I've decided it's time to drag Cricket Song out of the proverbial cellar and force myself to look at it and edit it and then force myself to throw it at agents. Also I need to decide if I should make the main character about five years younger. (Have I mentioned that I apparently tend to overshoot characters' ages when I write? I think it's because I was am such a sperg that it was completely normal for me to act like I was, I dunno, 14 or 15 when I was 20, so I make my characters do the same. And then I don't realize it until people point it out to me. Apparently not everyone spent their early 20s curled up in bed, playing Game Boy, watching cartoons, and avoiding human contact!)

Aaaanyways, starting that up may or may not happen today, seeing as I'm exhausted thanks to sunlight pouring in through my window and waking me up at 6am for like the fourth or fifth day in a row. So we shall see!

Hokays

Jan. 28th, 2011 11:30 pm
pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
I feel silly for not updating in a while when I've been griping about other people failing to update, SO here's an obligatory life update.

Work and money situation are pretty much the same old.

The "Possibility of Moving Back to Montana This Summer" Plan is still undecided and completely up in the air, I see a lot of pros and cons for both sides of it. I'll give myself another couple of months to come to a more conclusive decision.

I think a couple of my fish are on their way out; this sort of distresses me since I toted my fish all the way here from Bozeman and I was so proud of how well they survived the move and how they were one of my links to "Home", but on the other hand I know it's related either to old age (I've had all but one of these fish for about a year or so now) or in-tank bickering (which happens), so I don't feel too bad. Plus, all my other fish are still doing great.

In video game related news I'm playing Phoenix Wright (finally) and keeping DerpCars open in a tab most of the day.

I'm not sure what to make of WoW at this point in time. I firmly believe that Cataclysm was, by and large, a Good Expansion, but upon getting my main to 85 I just sort of lost interest. I've done the gear grind twice and the thought of doing it a third time is not appealing to me right now, and alts are only holding my interest for so long. But you know, having played it for this long, and with my blog pretty much already stagnant, the idea of "quitting" or "hiatusing" isn't as big of a deal to me as it used to be, so I figure if I want to, I'll quit subscribing for a couple of months and it's no big deal. We'll see. *shrug*

I still am having trouble talking myself into editing "Cricket Song". I'm not sure why. I'm getting fanart up the wazoo for it from my sisters, though, which makes me feel good. Oh, and I now have two competing ideas for Script Frenzy in April. They're both really good. TEST YOUR MIGHT.

Hmm.

Jan. 18th, 2011 10:08 pm
pikestaff: (Proud Charmander)
Two of my sisters have now finished reading "Cricket Song". Both of them are basically enamored with it and keep asking me trillions of questions regarding details of the world and characters. In addition both want to draw fanart and both want me to write a sequel post haste.

This is ironic because really, this was just a one-shot I wrote up to get an idea out of my head; I had no idea it was gonna be such a big hit.

Maybe this thing has got more potential than I thought it did...

...inspired to edit now! =D
pikestaff: (Tree Finger Wag)
I'm considering sprucing up "Cricket Song" (NaNo 2010) and chucking it at this contest. I mean, I'm not anticipating any sort of response, but why the heck not, right?

In other news, my paycheck today was a good few magnitudes smaller than my last one. This has both a.) made me decide I dislike commission-based sales, since it's impossible to anticipate paychecks and budget anything, and b.) Kicked me out of "Moving Toward Financial Freedom" Tier and put me back firmly in "LOL, At Your Mom's House Living Paycheck to Paycheck" Tier. It stinks, but there's not a whole lot I can do about it, I guess, except wait it out and keep job hunting for something better.

I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to move back to Montana this summer. I keep alternating between being all "Yes, 100% Positive, Coming This May to a Moving Van Near You", and being all "Meh, May As Well Stay Here Now That I've Got License Plates and Everything". I guess I'll just see how things are going in a couple of months. It's not like I can go anywhere for a while anyway, what with all the snow between here and there.
pikestaff: (March Hare)
Yesterday I spent about three or four hours playing with my Wacom tablet. I was alternating between being impressed and not impressed with the results. Considering I'm still learning how to use the thing, I guess that shouldn't be much of a surprise, but I was getting kind of frustrated by the end so I quit mid-project. I may or may not pick it up again later.

I still need to learn how to do coloring and lighting that looks "real" and not "stupid". I sort of figured out a new technique for that by the end of last night but it wasn't working the way I wanted it to and I'd already been drawing for a while and was tired so I'll mess with that again later.



(Pic related: failure and more failure! But done entirely on tablet.)

This morning upon waking up, I had some lovely e-mail feedback from one of my sisters regarding my most recent novel. It was the first piece of feedback on this one and it was a lot more positive than I was expecting. She actually gave it a higher rating than she gave to Windshifter, which sort of shocks me because I thought my new book sucked. Maybe not! I really need to start editing.




(Concept art from a million years ago... by which I mean September)
pikestaff: (Default)
(I sincerely doubt anyone reads this anymore, but that's fine, since most of my rambles are for my own benefit more than anything.)

I had a difficult time really getting myself into this last year's NaNoWriMo, "Cricket Song". And I always feel bad when I say that. See, I did like the characters. I did like the story. I did like the points that the story made, and its moral. I'm very proud of this little book (it really is little... a smidge over 50k, and it won't get much bigger.) Why, then, did I have such a hard time feeling it the way I did with Windshifter? Why do I have no motivation to re-read and edit it?



I don't know. Perhaps it's because none of the characters really "spoke" to me the way, say, Sparktender did last time. Or perhaps it's because the story's subject matter didn't feel as close to me as my last one did-- which is odd, seeing as "Cricket Song" is largely autobiographical, in a very allegorical sort of way. Or maybe I was just still in love with "Windshifter" from last year and making the switch over to a new story has been more difficult than I thought it would be.

Ultimately, I know that this is a story I can get excited about, because I remember when I was first really brainstorming the project last summer I got all excited about it. Boy, was I ever excited about it. That excitement sort of faded away for some reason that I don't understand, and never quite came back to 100% (it rose up to maybe 75% or so during NaNo itself). I'd love to get down to editing the story, though, which is why I'm searching for a way to get that excitement up to 100% again.

Here's to Alpha Reader feedback and hoping that I get some of that soon, and that that stokes the fire a bit.
pikestaff: (PikaRaichu)
Decided to post an actual update rather than a typical QQ/Bawww post. So here we go:

Work/Money Update: It's looking like I'm going to end the month (barely) in the black, as opposed to in the red. Granted, that's not counting new medical bills and the like, but this is much better than having no reliable income (aka October). My main concern at this point is that work has really nerfed the heck out of my hours now that the holidays are over. The last couple of weeks had me pegged at ~32 hour weeks, this week I've got 20. Only time will tell how that plays out...

Book Update: I'm in the middle of doing some last minute tweaking to "Windshifter" which you may recall I had declared "finished" a couple of months back. Specifically I'm making Windshifter himself a few years younger and then adjusting the ages of other characters accordingly. I've also been throwing in other minor edits as they strike me, but nothing big.

I'm still in e-mail discussion with that furry publisher, though it's sort of starting to turn into a game of tag more than anything. The last I heard they want to get the nod from one more partner (the publishing house is run by a few people) before they ask to read my manuscript. They're being very friendly about it all, and supposedly they get a lot of submissions and between that and the holidays I'm willing to give them the time they need. That said, I'm also prepping myself to start a mass-query-letter-fling to big league agents should this publisher not work out, (or should they end up taking too much longer...)

The Other Book Update: I made myself do some (very) minor edits to "Cricket Song" (aka this year's book) and sent it to my mom and sisters as a Christmas present. Am eager to get some alpha feedback on that before I jump into real editing. (This book will not need nearly as much structural editing as "Windshifter" did, thanks to having a decent outline beforehand.)

WoW Update: I'm playing more WoW than I probably should be, haha. Cataclysm turned out to be a lot more fun than I was expecting. I'm not even spending much time in the high-level zones yet, just dinking around on like a dozen alts and soaking up all the new quests. <3

Hokays, time for work!
pikestaff: (Devious Snaps)


Now I am going to chuck this thing in a dark place and let it age like a fine wine before I even attempt to look at it. Good gosh, the entire thing is me monologuing and throwing blatant allegories in your face (as per usual for me). And by the end I was scraping for wordcount and tossing in all sorts of superfluous sentences. BUT I DID IT.

Brings my total lifetime count of finished novels to five. Six if you count a middle-grade-ish one I wrote for my siblings years back which was probably 20k words or so.

Anyways literally within five minutes of winning my world sort of turned upside down for a reason that I am not yet going to discuss but yeah. MORE CRAZY STUFF HAPPENING IN PIKE'S PERSONAL LIFE.
pikestaff: (Jedi Pooh)
I'm feeling antsy with my new job because they haven't called me back yet (they said they have to get a background check done first... which is apparently taking FOREVER).

I'm also feeling antsy with my NaNoWriMo. By any account, I'm doing pretty well. It's November 11th and I'm sitting at 22k words, which is almost the halfway point, and I know exactly what should happen from here on out, plot-wise, unlike last year where I made it all up on the fly.

But it's all going SO FAST. Seriously. 22k words and the major turning point of the novel... you know, the top of the plot hill (assuming my plot is a roller coaster ride) is just around the corner. I was hoping for this thing to be, I dunno, like 80k words or something. At this rate I'll be lucky to hit 60k.

On the plus side, though, I was looking back through previous drafts of Windshifter and my first draft was 60k. By the end of the revision process I'd bulked it up to 70k. So maybe there's hope for my new book as well. (And the suggested "Young Adult" wordcount as written here makes me feel better too.)

Speaking of Windshifter I want to write a sequel for it now. Actually, I lied. I want to write a prequel. ...actually, I lied again. I want to write a compilation of short stories that highlight interesting parts of my characters' pasts. Crap. So much to write, so little time.

Edit: Apparently looking at blog posts and worrying about things like word counts and revisions and genres makes me a real writer now. Or something. I dunno, it still feels weird.

Edit Edit: Got a phone call, totally going to work tomorrow! PAYCHECK INC!
pikestaff: (Profferlink - Thinking)
NaNoWriMo 2010 is in a few months. Despite the fact that my current book is still languishing in editing limbo (lawl), I'm already looking ahead to what I'm going to write about this November (and having a hard time deciding):

Idea 1: Middle grade/young adult-- contemporary world with a few weird twists as well as a brief dip into an alternate universe of sorts. Basically what I was going for, was if Pixar and Tim Burton teamed up and made a slightly "older" version of Where the Wild Things Are. Strives to answer the question that haunts every creative person... "am I unique, and do my creations really matter?" Imaginary friends and other assorted psychological phenomena are involved. As of now this one would be the easiest for me to write, largely because I already have this thing very tightly outlined from start to finish, but also because it's a rather personal subject matter that's close to my thoughts.

Idea 2: Post-apocalyptic science fiction about a boy and his robot. Retells the Adam & Eve story from the point of view that the Fall was Good and not Bad. Also ties it into the idea of artificial intelligence gaining sentience. I haven't developed much of this story beyond that but I think it has a lot of potential. It would need massive amounts of outlining though. But. ROBOTS.

Idea 3: "Windshifter" sequel... honestly, not so much of a sequel as a completely new story with new characters that takes place in the same universe. No idea what I want to do with a story but the main character would probably be female and she'd have a zydekon buddy (cause zydekons didn't get to do enough in the first book)... Profferlink and a few others would probably make cameos or have bit roles; there would mostly be new characters though. Also considering coming from way outta left field and setting it in the same universe a few decades into the future-- "dieselpunk" it. Anyways, I don't really think I want to do this one this year (next year, perhaps) but I wanted it up as a third option just in case.

Decisions!

(Of course, knowing me, I'm going to come up with some wild idea the day before NaNo starts and want to do that instead.)
pikestaff: (March Hare)
I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night partially because of allergies and partially because of the heat. It's okay, though, because at some random point around 2am or so I was suddenly struck with a big ol' lightning bolt of inspiration regarding a new story I want to write.

It's pretty personal and dare I say symbolically autobiographical, and it's sadly not really sci-fi or anything crazy at all (but it is a bit... not normal, I suppose), and there is only one anthro character involved (what?) but it is a story that needs to be told, I think.

I may have to make this my NaNo project this year instead of my original post-apocalyptic robots story. Although I still like that idea too but I still really have to find the inspiration for that one. With this new project, almost all of the details about the plot and characters just came to me in a matter of minutes and now I'm really stoked for it.

Haha, poor "Windshifter", that book is never gonna get done, is it? =X I'm so close, too. I'm just so scared to actually query.
pikestaff: (Gir is dead)
Apparently this coming Sunday/Monday (the equivalent of my Saturday/Sunday-- this week, anyway), is going to be Moving Weekend for me. This puts me in a bind because I feel like I still have a ton of packing to do and that I somehow have to squeeze this all in between work shifts. Packing is insanely stressful for me. You'd think "Putting Things in Boxes" wouldn't confuse me as much as it does, but... it does. It doesn't help that I now have like 20 completely packed boxes laying around in various places throughout my apartment and yet everything still looks exactly the same for some reason that I can't fathom, so it creates this illusion that I have done absolutely nothing. Which makes me panic.

I think it would be a big help if I could just start moving now, to get these boxes out of the way and create room for more boxes, but I guess my new room isn't ready yet (apparently I am ousting some of my younger sisters, which makes me feel bad, but hopefully my parents know what they are doing...) so, I'll just have to work with what I've got.

Also I'm writing again. Because I'm one of those people who, when she gets tired of writing, writes about how tired she is of writing. So this should come as no surprise to anyone.

What started out as a one-off short story based on a flash of bizarre inspiration is quickly morphing into an all new novel. And because I am pathetic and predictable, this story involves most of the same themes that my last one did, and there is even a watch involved as a plot device. HELLO PREDICTABLE PIKE. Good thing no one is ever going to read it. Because the thought of six months of editing SOMETHING ELSE makes me want to curl up into a ball somewhere and sob... >.>

(Actually it's not so bad, I'm just whining again <3 )

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