Sunday, October 9, 2016

Distractions and Lurking

Yesterday was a perfect day for editing and I spent most of it working on An Elemental Earth. It’s close, so close. But it won’t be finished today. Today I have to finish this post, cook enough carrots and sweet potatoes to feed between 10 and 19 people, and get to Fabricland up in the city north of us. And be home again by around 4 to go to dinner. Can we say tight schedule?

The food is for dinner at the in-laws tonight (it’s the Canadian Thanksgiving). And Fabricland doesn’t open until noon. My carrots and sweet potatoes are cooking as I type this to save time. But the good thing about being so busy with other things today is that it leaves me with the holiday Monday for more writing. :-)

I might have actually finished the edits on Earth yesterday if not for the constant distractions. It was a cold, mostly rainy day, so instead of working in my office I worked in the livingroom - a lot of editing involves reading, so I might as well be comfy, right?

But while I was able to resist turning on the television, I was not able to bring myself to off the internet. So in that case it wouldn’t have mattered where I was working. Ah, the internet - email, Facebook, MSN Games ... although I’m kind of proud of myself that I could only play games after editing a couple of chapters, and I limited my time. Give the author a pat on the back! ;-)

The internet, however, was a totally different matter. It’s always there, just a click away, with its blogs and its social media and its information overload. And even when you’re a total lurker, like I am, checking out the internet can be really time-consuming.

The best place to lurk is blogs. I have a list of blogs I visit saved in my Favorites. Actually, I have several lists. And I visit these blogs on a regular basis but like most people I rarely leave a comment. Why is that, why are we so afraid to acknowledge that we enjoyed what someone else had the courage to put out there for the world to see?

I have no answer. But I will tell you a story. A few years ago I frequented a writers forum called Absolute Write. And someone in the blogging section started a thread posing that very same question, with the suggestion that we take a deep breath an comment on someone’s blog. So I did. And she commented back. And we started commenting back and forth and discovered we have a lot in common. I’m not sure when commenting became emailing, but now I can’t imagine life without my best bud Jamie.

So give it a try. You never know if your best bud is lurking just around the corner. ;-)

Wordage Report

Blog Posts (not counting this one)
2,224 words total
Down by about 1,000 words from last week, mainly because I didn’t have a movie review. Funny thing happened on the way to that review ... I had this wonderful plan to do classic horror movies this month because of Halloween, figuring to access the movies through YouTube. Only YouTube let me down. So did Netflix. However Walmart has an awesome, seasonal, display of horror movies, including the classic ones I was looking for. Now my only problem is picking which movie to start with.

0 words total
Still haven’t been doing the reviews of the books I’ve been reading, but I am keeping track of them. Not a lot of time for reading this week, but I did finish this creepy, really twisted fairy tale that was written more for middle grade or young adult. And I base that solely on the fact the heroine was only 12. But a really tough 12.

many hours total
As I said earlier, I spent most of Saturday working on Earth and I only have about 40 more pages to go. But don’t worry, once I’ve finished editing Earth I have several other novels that need to be worked on. ;-)

New Words
1,955 words total
Nothing added to Wandering Wizards, however I’ve added over a thousand words to Earth during the editing process. I also wrote around 500 words on that creepy story I came up with a few weeks ago. AND almost 500 words on a new idea that might be NaNo worthy. Yes, I’m seriously considering doing NaNoWriMo this year. Maybe. Probably.

Weekly Goals:

Last week:
Did not finish Earth, but I’m close.
Did not catch up on my book reviews.
No new words on Wandering Wizards, but I did get words on other stuff
This week:
Finish the edits on An Elemental Earth.
Minimum of 2,000 new words on Wandering Wizards.
Catch up on my book reviews. I mean it!
Find something new to edit.
Comment on at least one blog a day.

The excerpt this week is going to be from Earth this time, just because. In it, our Earth Elemental Chloe is performing a test given her by the mine master Gannon:

There was a pounding on her front door and her eyes snapped open. She’d been so caught up in what she was doing she’d been unaware of the passing time. It was no surprise that Granny had once more disappeared. As soon as her mother was safe she needed to have a long talk with that old woman.

The knock on her door repeated and she hurried to answer it. Ulrik smirked at her.

“Your stalling tactics won’t work with me. Let’s go.”

He reached for her arm but she jerked it away. “Don’t touch me!” she hissed.

“You’d do well to start being nicer to me. I’m Gannon’s right hand man now, and he listens to what I say.”

“Good for him. I don’t.”

Chloe got into the hover car beside the driver, leaving Ulrik to crawl into the back. She wasn’t overly worried about him - he wouldn’t dare to try anything in front of a witness. She’d just have to make sure he didn’t catch her alone.

They didn’t talk on their way to Lightning Strike. Chloe watched the scenery speeding past, while the driver - she thought his name was Kefton, one of Gannon’s flunkies - focused on his driving.

“Not too close,” Ulrik ordered. “We don’t want anyone from Lightning Strike to spot us.” Kefton glanced at Chloe for confirmation. Clearly he was not pleased to be taking orders from Ulrik.

“If you can get us about a mile from the mine, that would be perfect,” she told him.

He did as she asked while Ulrik fumed in the back seat. Once they were parked, Chloe left the vehicle.

“Stay here,” she told the two men when they would have followed. “I have to do this alone.”

“Gannon said--”

“I don’t care what Gannon said,” she told Ulrik. “If you break my concentration at the wrong time there’s no telling what could happen. Would you like to be the one telling him that it’s your fault I messed up?”

“Fine, just don’t go too far,” he ordered.

Chloe wished at that moment she’d been blessed with Zephryn’s gift. She’d have smacked that superior look right off Ulrik’s face with a blast of wind. Instead she had to content herself with just ignoring him and moving several yards away from the vehicle.

She knew every move she made would reported back to Gannon so she needed to make this look good. Kneeling down, she placed her palms flat on the ground. On a whim she had the plants around her bloom, just for effect. A fleeting smile crossed her face as she heard a gasp behind her.

The gas had done its work, she was fairly certain the mines were cleared of workers. Hopefully there hadn’t been enough time for a team to suit up and be sent in to investigate. Opening herself up to her gift, she searched out the faults under the mine. There weren’t many of them so she was forced to create her own.

It wasn’t easy. The ground deep under the Lightning Strike was solid bedrock, making it the safest of all the mines. She was forced to go deeper, which made the land underneath them unstable as well. Ignoring the tremors she focused on the mine itself, caving in tunnel after tunnel. They could hear the roar of the collapse from where they were parked, and seconds later the cave-in siren.

Keeping Granny’s advice in mind, Chloe sagged where she sat, feigning a tiredness she did not feel. If Gannon believed collapsing a small mine like this one had her on the brink of exhaustion, perhaps he would not think she was as useful as he hoped.

No comments: