Friday, September 28, 2018

30 Days Weeks of Writing Questions –Week 2

Several years ago I participated in something called 30 days of Writing Questions – a question a day for 30 days. Since I don’t have anything better to do on Fridays I thought I’d resurrect it, only I’m going to do once question a week. What the heck, if nothing else it’ll be fun, right? And just to make it even more exciting…I was able to locate my original answers, so I’m including them as well. It should be interesting to see if, or how much, my answers have changed.

Question Two:

How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?

Old Answer:

In Driving Into Forever, my book set in the Myste, I start out with, uh, about 7 core characters and that many minor characters who almost immediately start “disappearing.”

The core characters are all essential to the story. The only one I could even think about cutting is the brother, but he’s the central figure in one of the sequels so he pretty much has to be included in this one. The same goes for the body-guard. What happens to him in this story is the basis of the next story.

I really don’t have a preference when it comes to characters – I like writing about both sexes. Because I write romance, I pretty much have to be able to write about them both.

That being said, in DIF I think I preferred Kelvin (the male MC) to Hannah (the female MC). He was pretty straight-forward to write about, but she gave me no end of trouble – her career changed a few times, and she underwent a real personality make-over. I was starting to get the feeling she didn’t want to be in this story! :-)

New Answer:

Okay. Back when I answered this question originally, Driving Into Forever was pretty much my only book-length WIP. Now I have several so the question is kind of confusing. How many per WIP? Per published book? Altogether? Do I count characters in short stories? You see my dilemma.

One WIP I have only has two main characters and a handful of secondary ones. The other has one main character, several significant secondary characters, and a whole lot of extras. I don’t know if that answers the question or not. Truth is, the number of characters varies from story to story.

I still don’t have a preference when it comes to writing about them. I usually like to make it balanced – equal numbers of men and women. The trick is to treat them like individuals and make each one unique.

You can find the previous week's question HERE.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Don’t Look Now . . .

. . . But it looks like I’ve started running out of steam.

4:12 hours on Wandering Wizards

Words from sprints:
Magic II – 610
Wandering Wizards – 606

Untimed words:
Wandering Wizards - 651

Total New words:
Magic II – 610
Wandering Wizards – 1,257

My editing hours were up slightly, and words added to Wandering Wizards was up, but I only managed two sprints last week and the words added to Magic II was way down – and I haven’t even moved those words from my Neo to my lap top, which is why the progress bar hasn’t moved.

What can I say? Last week was just a bad week all around. Normally I get to relax a bit on the weekend and recharge my batteries, but not this time. Saturday morning I got some editing done, then had coffee with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, then I ended up looking after the grandbaby for several hours.

We had a wind storm Friday night that knock a branch from a rotting tree onto the daughter’s house. The house was okay, but the tree really needed to come down before it did serious damage to something. Taking down a tree is a little hard with an overly curious toddler underfoot, so she came to visit Grammie while her parents dealt with the tree.

Then yesterday I went to Toronto with a friend to the 29th annual Word On the Street – the giant book and magazine festival. It had been a long time since we’ve been there – last time we went it was held downtown at Queens Park, now it’s held on Queens Quay which is within walking distance of Union Station.

I was pleased to see a greater presence of micro presses and self publishing, and surprised (but also pleased) to see more poetry. There were also a number of writing groups represented, as well as courses being offered. I entered several draws for a free course. What the heck, eh?

We only saw about half of what was being offered – okay, if you must know it’s because although I picked up a map at the beginning, we never looked at it, so we didn’t realize that there was stuff going on inside the big building that bisected the area, as well as more booths on the other side. Oh, well. If we go next year we can be better prepared.

I came home with a fair amount of loot:

The stack of books on the left were bought at greatly reduced prices, and the rest of the stuff was free – information, bookmarks, notebooks, pens… I think my favourite freebie was that little blue mesh bag from Dreamers Creative Writing (the middle of the pile). Inside is a business card with a prompt on the back, and a seed with a couple of words carved into it. You’re supposed to plant the seed to become inspired to write.

According to my friend’s fitbit, we walked 12,000 steps, which translates roughly into 9 kilometres. And no, I’m not going to convert that into miles for you Yankees – it’s more impressive in kilometres. LOL

I’d been kind of hoping absorbing all that creative energy would recharge my batteries, but the sheer number of people there was a bit draining, and then I got home in time to get supper ready for everyone so I didn’t have a chance to sit down and relax until much later. Too little too late.

I don’t know if this week is going to be much better than the last one, but maybe I’ll plant my seed and see what grows.

Friday, September 21, 2018

30 Days Weeks of Writing Questions

Once upon a time on a blog far, far away….

I participated in something called 30 days of Writing Questions. A question a day for 30 days, what could be simpler than that? The beauty of it was that you could start any time and just continue for the next 30 days.

So, since I don’t have anything better to do on Fridays, I thought I’d resurrect this, only I’m going to do once question a week. What the heck, if nothing else it’ll be fun, right?

And just to make it even more exciting…I was able to locate my original answers, so I’m going to include them as well. It should be interesting to see if or how much my answers have changed.

Here we go with the first question:

1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you’ve worked with and why.

Old answer:

My favourite universe to date is probably where the Myste resides. It isn’t just a setting, it’s almost like a character itself because the characters know so little about it, yet they’re exploring it anyway.

It can be dangerous and unpredictable, and no one really knows what the source is. Is it sentient? Is it magical? Is it created by technology? They’re never really going to know for sure, so it’s lots of fun to throw out hints that can be taken whichever way the characters (or readers) want.

I have one full draft written about the Myste, a sequel in the planning stage* so far, and ideas for two more in the series. As a setting, the Myste has a lot of potential.

* I actually wrote the sequel for NaNo in 2017 – it’s currently sitting at 53,400 words.

New answer:

While the Myste is still pretty cool, it’s not quite as interesting as the as yet unnamed world of the Seven Realms. Each of the Seven Realms is unique – seven closed ecosystems. They’re separated by the wild lands which is the chaos to their order.

In the trilogy I’ve got started I’ve introduced the reader to the Desert Realm, the Forest Realm, and the Jungle Realm. The realms also include: Mountain, Frozen, Ocean, and Darkling

While I’m hoping the books to be stand-alone, adventure/romance, the first three are connected by a wish made at the beginning, and a common thread through all seven will be the fairy godmother, Esmerelda.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Urjuzah Poetry Form

It’s been a while since I’ve done a form here so I think we’re due, don’t you?

The Urjuza is an Arabic verse form, consisting of rhyming couplets done in the rajaz metre. Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Except, the rajaz metre is made with lines that are 24 syllables long, divided into two groups of 12 syllables with a caesura, or break, between them.

The verse focuses more on the details of content leaving the poem "devoid of stylistic elegance and poetic beauty". The poem served several functions, for example camel drivers’ songs (known as al-ḥidā ), was utilized for verbal display, and other types of didactic and even obscene poetry.

The Urjuza is:
Written in any number of couplets.
Monorhymed or written in rhymed couplets - either aa aa aa etc. or aa bb cc etc .
Written in rajaz meter, which calls for lines of 24 syllables with a caesura at 12 syllables

Once of the sources I checked referenced the UK band, Camel (70s progressive rock), who made an album called Rajaz. They had a very eloquent description of the Rajaz metre:

The music of poets once carried caravans across the great deserts.

Sung in a simple metre of the animal's footsteps, it transfixed weary travellers on their sole objective... journey's end.

The poetry is called 'rajaz'. It is the rhythm of the camel.

You can check out their Rajaz site HERE.

I freely admit my example isn’t a brand new one, I wrote it many years ago. I recall enjoying writing in this form though, I mean other than having to come up with 24 syllables per line all I had to worry about was the rhyming of the couplets.

Unfortunately, my HTML skills have kind of atrophied from lack of use and I was not able to indent the second part of each line without changing the html coding for the whole blog, and I didn’t think it was worth the trouble for one poem. So you’ll have to use your imaginations for the formatting. Basically, the second part of each line should be indented. :-D

A desert wind blows across the skin of my dreams,
winding its way across dunes of lost words and deeds.
A desert sun sets fire to my imagination,
burning away reality until it bleeds.

A desert day can burn itself into your mind,
until you no longer see what the pen has wrought.
A desert rain can sweep the landscape of changes,
dark words scudding across the sky in clouds of thought.

A desert night will cool the burning of the soul,
with sibilant whispers of things that could not be.
A desert night can rain down stars of poetry
sweeping the landscape in a storm you cannot see.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Here Comes the Sun

Words from sprints:
Magic II -1,644

Untimed words added:
Magic II – 2,077

Total New words:
Magic II – 2,642

3:22 hours on Wandering Wizards

Hmm. Except for Saturday when I wrote that big chunk of untimed words for Magic II in one sitting, last week does not appear to be a good writing week.

At first I was going to write it off (pardon the pun) as just one of those weeks. But then I was doing some research about solar flares (for something unrelated to either of my current WIPs I might add) and I learned some interesting facts.

Have you been suffering from lack of sleep, fatigue, low energy, or restlessness lately? Have your ears been ringing making you feel ungrounded or dizzy? Have you been having inexplicable pressure headaches and/or anxiety? Then you, too, might be affected by the fluctuations of the Earth’s magnetic field due to solar flares or solar winds.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Or maybe even a little science fictiony. But earlier in the week I was sitting here one night, alone in the house. It was cool enough that I didn’t have either the fan or the a/c on so it was quiet. The air was just so still outside that it was creeping me right out. It was one of those times when even turning on some music or the T.V. wouldn’t have helped because I’d know the silence was right underneath it all.

Then I remembered the last time I’d felt this way and how afterwards I’d stumbled across the possibility of a solar flare being responsible. Strange, but true.

Now I’m not using the sun as an excuse for my lack of progress last week, but I am going to cite it as a contributing factor.

If you’d like to learn more about solar flares, check out one of these links:

Major Solar Storms Causing Anxiety
How Solar Flares Affect Human Health
How Solar Flares and Geomagnetic Storms Affect Us
Sun's Solar Storms and Human Biological Effects
Three Day Solar Storm Forecast

Friday, September 14, 2018

Daydream Believer

This is the third, and final post in my dreaming series, and to my mind it may be the most interesting one of all.

I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering.
~ Steven Wright

Call someone a daydreamer and you may as well call them a flake, a space cadet, or a slacker. Daydreams, and daydreamers, have got a bum rap over the years, and I’m here to change all that.

Psychologists estimate that we daydream for one-third to one-half of our waking hours, although a single daydream lasts only a few minutes. Specifically, daydreaming helps you:

Relax. Like meditation, daydreaming allows your mind to take a break, a mini-vacation in which to release tension and anxiety and "return" refreshed. It's also very useful for controlling anxiety and phobias.

Manage conflict. Organized daydreaming -- or visualization – can be used to curb anxiety and is also useful for personal conflicts.

Maintain relationships. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, especially among daydreamers. Happy couples tend to think about one another when they're apart, which has the effect of psychologically maintaining the relationship. We imagine sharing good news with them, along with our successes and failures. Unhappy couples daydream about arguments and ruminate about conflict while happy individuals think positively ahead."

Boost productivity. Allowing yourself a few minutes for daydreaming can help you to be more productive in the long run.

Boost creativity and achieve goals. The beauty of daydreams is that nothing is impossible. You can aim high in daydreams and end up working harder to make your dreams a reality.

Relieve boredom. People with monotonous jobs, like factory workers and security guards, often use daydreaming to keep their minds stimulated and to get them through the day.

* * * * * * *

Almost all people daydream, although the frequency of daydreaming varies considerably from individual to individual. Similar to dreams experienced during sleep, daydreams occur in cycles set by biological cycles of temperature and hormone levels. Psychologists estimate that the average person daydreams about every 90 minutes, and peak around the lunch hour (noon to 2 P.M.).

Daydreaming first occurs for most people during childhood, sometime before age three, and these early daydreams set the pattern for adult daydreaming. Children who have positive, happy daydreams of success and achievement generally continue these types of mental images into adulthood; these daydreamers are most likely to benefit from the positive aspects of mental imagery. Daydreams become the impetus for problem-solving, creativity, or accomplishment.

On the other hand, children whose daydreams are negative, scary, or visualize disasters are likely to experience anxiety, and this pattern will carry over into adulthood as well. A child's daydreams may take a visible or public form-the daydreamer talks about his mental images while he is experiencing them, and may even act out the scenario she or he is imagining. After age ten, however, the process of internalizing daydreaming begins.

Although most psychologists view daydreams as generally healthy and natural, this was not always the case. In the 1960s, textbooks used for training teachers provided strategies for combating daydreaming. Sigmund Freud felt that only unfulfilled individuals created fantasies, and that daydreaming and fantasy were early signs of mental illness. By the late 1980s, most psychologists considered daydreams a natural component of the mental process for most individuals.

Studies suggest that daydreaming is an important cognitive state where we may unconsciously turn our attention from immediate tasks to sort through important problems in our lives. It is not unusual for a daydream, or series of daydreams, to precede an episode of creative writing or invention. At their best, daydreams allow you a range of possibilities which, in the hard cold light of reality, aren't possible.

So let’s nix the negative stereotypes and become, in the words of The Monkees, "daydream believers."

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Robert E. Howard

I confess I haven’t been writing much poetry lately, and I’m getting a little tired (as I’m sure you are) of recycling my old stuff. But rather than abandon my Passion For Poetry Wednesdays, I decided to alternate my old stuff with some of my favourites written by other people.

Most of you will be familiar with Robert E. Howard as the creator of Conan the Barbarian, and as the father of the swords and sorcery genre. But few realize that as well as being a prolific writer, Howard was also a prolific poet.

I have lived in the Southwest all my life, yet most of my dreams are laid in cold, giant lands of icy wastes and gloomy skies, and of wild, wind-swept fens and wilderness over which sweep great sea-winds, and which are inhabited by shock-headed savages with light fierce eyes. With the exception of one dream, I am never, in these dreams of ancient times, a civilized man. Always am I the barbarian, the skin-clad, tousle-haired, light-eyed wild man, armed with a rude ax or sword, fighting the elements and wild beasts, or grappling with armored hosts marching with the tread of civilized discipline, from fallow fruitful lands and walled cities. This is reflected in my writings.
~ Robert E. Howard 1906-1936

I love his poetry almost as much as I love his stories, but the following two poems are my favourites.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *


I have not heard lutes beckon me, nor the brazen bugles call,
But once in the dim of a haunted lea I heard the silence fall.
I have not heard the regal drum, nor seen the flags unfurled,
But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world.

I have not seen the horsemen fall before the hurtling host,
But I have paced a silent hall where each step waked a ghost.
I have not kissed the tiger-feet of a strange-eyed golden god,
But I have walked a city's street where no man else had trod.

I have not raised the canopies that shelter revelling kings,
But I have fled from crimson eyes and black unearthly wings.
I have not knelt outside the door to kiss a pallid queen,
But I have seen a ghostly shore that no man else has seen.

I have not seen the standards sweep from keep and castle wall,
But I have seen a woman leap from a dragon's crimson stall,
And I have heard strange surges boom that no man heard before,
And seen a strange black city loom on a mystic night-black shore.

And I have felt the sudden blow of a nameless wind's cold breath,
And watched the grisly pilgrims go that walk the roads of Death,
And I have seen black valleys gape, abysses in the gloom,
And I have fought the deathless Ape that guards the Doors of Doom.

I have not seen the face of Pan, nor mocked the Dryad's haste,
But I have trailed a dark-eyed Man across a windy waste.
I have not died as men may die, nor sin as men have sinned,
But I have reached a misty sky upon a granite wind.

Thor´s Son

Serpent prow on the Afric coast,
Doom on the Moorish town;
And this is the song the steersman sang
As the dragonship swept down:

I followed Asgrimm Snorri's son around the world and half-way back,
And 'scaped the hate of Galdjerhrun who sank our ship off Skagerack.
I lent my sword to Hrothgar then; his eyes were ice, his heart was hard;
He fell with half his weapon-men to our own kin at Mikligard.

And then for many a weary moon I labored at the galley's oar
Where men grow maddened by the rune of row-locks clacking ever more.
But I survived the reeking rack, the toil, the whips that burned and gashed,
The spiteful Greeks that scarred my back and trembled even while they lashed.

They sold me on the Eastern block; in silver coins their price was paid;
They girt me with a chain and lock, I laughed and they were sore afraid.
I toiled among the olive trees until a night of hot desire
Blew me a breath of outer seas and filled my veins with curious fire.

Then I arose and broke my chain and laughed to know that I was free,
And battered out my master's brain and fled and gained the open sea.
Beneath a copper sun adrift, I shunned the proa and the dhow,
Until I saw a sail uplift, and saw and knew the dragon prow.

Oh, East of sands and sunlit gulf, your blood is thin, your gods are few;
You could not break the Northern wolf and now the wolf has turned on you.
The fires that light the coasts of Spain fling shadows on the Eastern strand.
Master, your slave has come again with torch and axe in his right hand!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Getting Up Again

Words from sprints:
Magic II -1,815
Untimed words added:
Wandering Wizards – 1,191
Total New words:

6:47 hours on Wandering Wizards

As you can see, I kind of fell off the wagon a bit last week. I started out strong, but then about Wednesday it started falling apart. From Thursday on the only words that got added were during editing. It wasn’t that I didn’t have time for a word sprint or two, it’s that I needed to edit what I already had so I could figure out what to add.

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but the editing process is not a great way to judge how many new words are getting added to a WIP. The untimed words for WW were uploaded from my Neo in two chunks, but I deleted almost as much as I added when I edited them into what I already had, giving me a plus of about 78 words when the editing dust settled.

I was so focused on WW that Magic II kind of fell by the wayside. A couple of weeks ago I had a great idea for when my main characters meet in real life towards the end of the book so I wrote it out (that was the 2,000 extra words I wrote in one, untimed session) and I’ve been alternating added to it and continuing on from the beginning. I suspect I’m going to end up meeting myself in the middle somewhere, and won’t that be a mess?

In any case, I set aside some time on Sunday to work on the edits for Magic II, but before I could settle down to it life reared its ugly head. I went to make the salads for supper (okay, Friday when it was still hot out I promised the daughter, who comes with her hubby and the grandbaby for dinner every Sunday, that we could have BBQ sausages, potato salad, and mac salad, and just because the weather turned insanely cold I saw no reason to change the menu) I discovered the two bags of tomatoes my neighbour brought me that needed to be dealt with.

I don’t wish to appear ungrateful, but these tomatoes ranged in size from golf ball to walnut, and I’m not sure they were worth the trouble. I had to skin them and de-seed them, and I can’t vouch for how ripe they actually were. Between the skins, seeds, and hard centers, I probably threw out as much as I saved. But in any case, that’s what happened to my editing time yesterday.

Today my priority is get Magic II edited so I can see where I’m at, and hopefully start sprinting ahead with it again. Wandering Wizards is ready to have another section of old stuff added to it, after which I’ll edit that to the point where I can add some new stuff. It’s been a rocky road for Jessica and Dominic, and although I think they’ve pretty much dealt with their personal issues, there’s still plenty of trouble in store for them.

My current theme song (chosen mainly for the first couple of lines):

Friday, September 7, 2018

More Dreaming

Wouldn’t you know, last week’s post on being just a dreamer was actually the first in a series of three posts. Far be it for me to break up a set, so here’s the second part. :-)

. . . And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity; . . .

From The Dream, Lord Byron

The tune for "Yesterday" came to Paul McCartney in a dream . . .

The Beatles were in London in 1965 filming Help! and McCartney was staying in a small attic room of his family's house on Wimpole Street. One morning, in a dream he heard a classical string ensemble playing, and, as McCartney tells it:

"I woke up with a lovely tune in my head. I thought, 'That's great, I wonder what that is?' There was an upright piano next to me, to the right of the bed by the window. I got out of bed, sat at the piano, found G, found F sharp minor 7th -- and that leads you through then to B to E minor, and finally back to E. It all leads forward logically. I liked the melody a lot, but because I'd dreamed it, I couldn't believe I'd written it. I thought, 'No, I've never written anything like this before.' But I had the tune, which was the most magic thing!"

* ~ * ~ * ~ *~ *

* During REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement; dreaming), our bodies have a physiological response that causes sleep paralysis. Our dreams can seem so near reality that nature has developed temporary paralysis as means to keep us from acting out our dreams.

* During the Roman Era, some dreams were submitted to the Roman Senate for analysis and dream interpretation. They were thought to be messages from the gods. Dream interpreters even accompanied military leaders into battles and campaigns.

* Many lucid dreamers focus on enjoying the thrill of flight in their dreams (think Superman or Peter Pan). Many more focus on enjoying thrills of a more passionate nature.

* In a trend that matches well to studies of sexual 'prime' in men and women, men tend to have sex dreams most frequently between late adolescence and their early twenties. Women's proclivity for sexual dreams actually increases with age until about age 40, where it plateaus, then starts to decline around age 55.

* Results of several surveys across large population sets indicate that between 18% and 38% of people have experienced at least one precognitive dream and 70% have experienced déjà vu. The percentage of persons that believe precognitive dreaming is possible is even higher, ranging from 63% to 98%.1

* ~ * ~ * ~ *~ *

President Abraham Lincoln recounted the following dream to his wife just a few days prior to his assassination:

There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break?

I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully.

'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers "The President" was his answer; "he was killed by an assassin!" Then came a loud burst of grief form the crowd, which awoke me from my dream."

* ~ * ~ * ~ *~ *

* Within 5 minutes of waking you forget half of what you dreamed about. Within 10 minutes you forget 90%.

* People who became blind after birth can see images in their dreams. People who are blind from birth dream just as much, and as vividly, as everyone else, however, their dreams are formed from their other senses such as touch, smell, taste, sound and emotion.

* Every human being dreams (except in cases of extreme psychological disorder). If you think, you are not dreaming, you just forget your dreams.

* Our mind is not inventing faces – in our dreams we see real faces of real people that we have seen during our life but may not know or remember. We have all seen hundreds of thousands of faces throughout our lives, so we have an endless supply of characters for our brain to utilize during our dreams.

* A full 12% of sighted people dream exclusively in black and white. The remaining number dream in full color. Studies from 1915 through to the 1950s maintained that the majority of dreams were in black and white, but these results began to change in the 1960s. Today, only 4.4% of the dreams of under-25 year-olds are in black and white. Recent research has suggested that those changing results may be linked to the switch from black-and-white film and TV to color media.

My dream is past; it had no further change.
It was of a strange order, that the doom
Of these two creatures should be thus traced out
Almost like a reality -the one
To end in madness -both in misery.
From The Dream, Lord Byron

For the full text of the poem The Dream, go HERE

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A Pair From PAD

A bunch of years ago I participated in Writer’s Digest’s PAD (Poem A Day) challenge. The idea was to write a poem a day for the month of April, which is National Poetry Month.

As you can see by the two I’m sharing today, they aren’t exactly award-winning, but I had a lot of fun with the challenge.


Thank God it’s Friday,
the end of the week!
My job is the pits and
my boss is a freak.
My co-workers hate me
my workspace? a joke;
who can see clearly
surrounded by smoke?
I finished my typing
with nary a sigh
and that’s when some moron
drops a stack off this high!
Home’s not much better
the kids are all sick,
the cat has a hairball,
my husband’s a dick.
So thank God it’s Friday,
I can rest for a while
and then greet my Monday
with a coffee and smile.

On Writing Haiku

A strain on my brain.
Writing haiku’s insane!
Three lines to make sense
(with no recompense)
and the syllable count,
something else to surmount!

How many was that?
Twenty-seven, oh drat!
Carve away ten . . .
start all over again.
Now that word won’t do,
I’ve still twenty-two.

What’s a one syllable word
for something absurd?
I sigh and I fret,
nothing written as yet.
I stare into space
whilst making a face.

Wait! That line is five
I really think I’ve
got the hang of it now.
Next is seven somehow . . .
Five more and I’m done!
Break out the bourbon!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Now THIS Is Progress!

Words from sprints:
Wandering Wizards – 1,071
Magic II -1,457

Untimed words added:
Wandering Wizards – 441
Magic II - 3,348

Total New words:
Wandering Wizards – 1,512
Magic II – 4,805

Wandering Wizards - 8:53 hours
Magic II - 0:40 hours

For anyone who’s interested, the word counts go from Sunday through Saturday. Since I’ve been trying to at least do a 30 minute word sprint once a day, I’m keeping track of the daily numbers for them as well as which WIP I wrote them for. The extra words are from untimed writing sessions as well as words added during editing. Magic II got a big boost last Sunday when I sat down and wrote a 2,000 word scene, and then I had another untimed session during my writer’s group on Thursday night.

If you’re doing some mental math (and more power to you if you are) and trying to figure out how the progress bar for Wandering Wizards can jump from 6% to 23% when I only added 1,500 new words, I might remind you that I mentioned last week I was trying to use as much of the old version as possible along with the new words.

Man, oh, man, what have I gotten myself into? I think I've added two or three chapters worth of new words to WW, and I think it makes for a better book, but integrating the old and the new is taking some creative editing. God bless the person who invented the computer and cut and paste!

This week I want to kick up the pace editing WW – the total editing hours looks good, but not so great when you spread it out over seven days. Less gaming, more editing at night. And I’d like to see if I can add in a couple of extra word sprints through the week.

Gotta keep those progress bars moving!