The Beard Scale

I thought last night’s wordiness was because of the word sprints/sprintsperation, which I’m positive were part of it. But now that I’m thinking about it, I’m starting to cart things out of my place, which I’m sure is helping, as well. I brought 8 books to the Little Free Library up the street. Eight books is nothing in the grand scheme of how many books I have in total around here, but it struck me as a starting point, something to build on similar to how I’ve structured this website. Every word counts, I say. And so does getting rid of stuff. I won’t be Marie Kondo-ing my entire place just yet, but getting rid of stuff is freeing, not just physically but also mentally. So I am curious if I hadn’t taken those 8 books away, would I have almost broken 5K words yesterday? Not sure. But it’s something to think about and notice as I continue The Great Purge. My freezer is now half full instead of bursting at the seams. My bookshelves continue to groan under the weight of their burdens, but maybe a teeny bit less now. I have 4,777 more words than I had two days ago. Somehow, it seems to be a weird scale of physical stuff versus creative output. It’s also because I have a few days off in a row to actually dedicate to writing, but why would I focus on that when I can make shit up?

When I Googled “weird scale,” this was the best image I found. And had to share, because everyone should know the Beard Scale!

Beard scale

WordacCountability Tally April 16:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories:  0
Nonfiction: 313
Blogging: 437
Total: 750
Grand Total: 38,947

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Freebie Alert! Saved by the Woodsman by Eddie Cleveland

Sometimes I’m thankful for my weird sleep patterns because it means that I’ll catch on to something like this! Author Eddie Cleveland’s book, Saved by the Woodsman, is FREE right now on Amazon!

As some of you may recall from my earlier post, Erotica Canadiana, I have a weakness for many things Canadian, including a perhaps unhealthy attraction to lumberjacks thanks to a steady diet of that waltzing lumberjack of my youth (anyone else feel slightly brainwashed in the best possible way by Log Driver’s Waltz?). So when I saw Eddie Cleveland’s book for free, I downloaded it right away! Guess what I’m going to be reading on my commute!

I’m not sure how long this will remain free, though, so be sure to pick up your copy here!

 

Saved by the Woodsman
Cover Photo of Saved by the Woodsman by Eddie Cleveland

When Write Drunk, Edit Sober Goes Hilariously Wrong

I’m not really a big drinker anymore. Sometimes I’ll have a drink or two because I like the taste of something, but I don’t usually drink just to drink anymore. But I decided tonight that I wanted to get a little tipsy, see if I could work on one of my sexy stories that’s been on the backburner for far too long. I poured myself a currant vodka and fruit punch concoction (heavy on the currant vodka, light on the fruit punch) and followed a couple of Twitter accounts that were doing word sprints today for sprintsperation (hello lovely peeps running @GetWordies and @NaNoWordSprints! Thank you for the kick in the pants I needed!) and also checked in with my friend in England to whom I’d promised a merman m/m sexy story. He provided the name of my main character, which was great! I thought I’d be naming the main character after him or a variation of his name, but he suggested something completely different, which I could totally get behind. I’d already pictured at least parts of how this story, which will likely be a novella instead of my usual short story length, so I dove right in with all the oceanic metaphors and such I could. It wasn’t until I had paused for a washroom break/vodka refill that I realized I’d called my character both a dolphin shifter and a merman. Um, what is he? I still don’t actually know. I’ve asked my friend for his preference, since I’m mostly writing this story for him, and if he likes it, I’ll see if it has a broader audience. If not, well, it’s good practice for a) rebuilding my alcohol tolerance and b) writing longer fiction (both are important skillz to improve upon!).But seriously, how could I have mixed up a dolphin shapeshifter with a merman? Yes, they’re both undersea creatures, but not even close to one another for so many other reasons. I mean, it wasn’t as ridiculous as mixing up a dolphin shifter with a yeti, mind you, but still ridiculous. I blame vodka!

Equally baffling is that I’m nearly at the 4K (YES!!! Best word count I’ve had in AGES!!! Thank you, sprintsperations!!) mark and the two characters haven’t gotten it on yet. It’s like this story is being written by someone who isn’t me! Oh yes, it’s being written by my best friend, Vodka. But I would have thought Vodka would have them getting it on right from the first scene! Then again, there’s lots of tension building up, which is probably better for a longer story to hold a reader’s attention. But still, I always thought vodka-induced writing = sexy times had by all. I have now been proven wrong. Thanks, Vodka. Maybe I should try the Write Sober, Edit Drunk thing and see if the sexy times pop up sooner?

By the way, if you want to follow my weird tweets, you can find me here. I’m wishing I could live tweet as I write while tipsy, but then again, maybe not. What I find incredibly hilarious now will likely cause me big-ass headaches later. Guess I’ll find out when I go to edit this dolphin/merman story!

WordacCountability Tally April 15:

Fiction: 3915
Short Stories: 0
Nonfiction: 282 (two poems, only two more and I’m all caught up!)
Blogging: 580
Total: 4,777 (I AM A DRUNKEN WORDY ROCK STAR!!!)
Grand Total: 38,197

The Interview

I spent the last week preparing for a job interview yesterday. It was a really long interview for a job in an industry where I’ve never worked. I gave the interview my all and came out of it feeling really good, even if I had been given wrong information all around about how it was going to work. I try to go with the flow on such things, which I believe is a plus for a company that’s growing super-fast. Right now I’m prepping handwritten thank you notes plus a more formal thank you letter to send in the mail tomorrow. If I don’t get a job offer from all of this, I’ll be disappointed, but I know I did my best and I’ll try to learn from this and move forward. Since I’m constantly stressing about money and paying rent, I know that having a full-time job again would definitely help me concentrate on my creative pursuits. So, if you have a moment, please send me some positive vibes for getting this job! Much obliged!

Now, since I’ve spent the last week focusing my energy on the interview and not on my current sci fi romance stories, I’ll admit I’ve fallen out of the habit of even thinking about them. I like those characters, though, so I’m going to go back to read the stories I’ve written/partially written to get back into the right mindset for writing about them. I, thankfully, have another three days off (but eek, not making any money for those four days hurts!), so I plan on delving back into that world. I’d love to be able to release those stories in May or June. I still haven’t figured out what platform I’m going to release them on, or even under which name, but since I can’t do anything with them until they’re actually done, I’m focusing on that first, the particulars later.

Referring back to my last post about Hot Guy Character Names, some of my friends/coworkers keep approaching me with new names every time they see me. It’s actually quite amusing when someone just whispers a name to me, with no context or preamble. I’m getting used to it, but it usually does take me a moment or two to figure out whatever they mean. Even though that one character remains unnamed so that story remains untold, I came up with a pair of names that I really like together which will likely become my first m/m couple story. Funny how that often works out!

All right, now it’s time for me to get caught up on my poems for the month. Who knew throwing everything you’ve got at getting a particular job was so time-consuming?! Didn’t even have time to think about poetry. But now, I will write poems and try to get back into my sci fi romance world.

 

WordacCountability Tally April 14:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 646
Nonfiction: 1,429 (eight poems yet still not caught up!)
Blogging: 509
Total: 2,584 (ooh, I broke 2K!)
Grand Total: 33,420

Hot Guy Character Names

I posted asking my friends for hot guy names since I really want to get that series written and out of my head. I asked for uncommon names, since I likely have many friends named David, John, Daniel, etc. (unintentional biblical reference there). I got the typical responses of using their own names from my joker friends, a couple of already over-used (and truly not hot names), a confusing suggestion from one person to use her 10-year-old son’s name (it made me feel icky), but also some names I’d never heard of. The most interesting part, for me, anyway, was that the Italians posted mostly Italian names, the Latinas posted Hispanic names, and the white people posted Anglophone names. Only one well-travelled gay white male friend picked names outside his background (Russian, Indian, and Arabic). None of my Filipino/Black/Indian/Asian/Arabic/insert-ethnicity-here friends responded so far, which is fine, I didn’t expect even the number of responses I got, but does make me wonder what they would have recommended. I might ask a couple privately, just out of curiosity. But it was an interesting thing to observe, considering I didn’t stipulate that the character was anything other than “hot,” male, and difficult to name. He had no ethnicity or even any context, but the names people think are hot were very obviously influenced by their backgrounds. Bias and race are tricky things, and I’m not sure how to interpret any of this. It was merely an observation I made after being frustrated enough to crowdsource a name for a picky character. And something I’m likely going to notice more when I’m naming my characters in the future.

 

Posting early since I have training tonight and I have a feeling a couple of colleagues from my old department will drag me out, even though I just want to get home and back into my fictional world.

 

WordacCountability Tally April 4:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 0
Nonfiction: 977 (book review and two poems!)
Blogging: 339
Total: 1,316
Grand Total: 30,836

Don’t Be A Dick

So, I have this one series that I really want to write but my characters are being dicks. Well, actually, it’s just the one character, but since he’s the main character, it’s really hard to get anywhere since he’s front and centre and won’t let me name him. He keeps telling me that whatever placeholder I write isn’t his name, and he refuses to cooperate by telling me his damned name so I can get on with writing his story. It’s really quite frustrating since I thought I’d be done writing this series of shorts a couple of weeks ago, but nooooo, my MC is a dick. I’ve threatened I’m going to call him Archibald, and that makes him laugh. Really hard. Because who’s going to read a set of sexy stories about someone named Archibald*? He knows he’s got me there. So, instead of allowing him to get the better of me with his insolence, I’ve been focusing on my sci fi romance series that brings me so much joy, I’m not sure I’ll ever leave that universe. Especially since even the biggest jerk of a character in that universe lets me call him his name without so much as a disapproving glance in my direction. So why is this other guy being such a giant knob? Oh yeah, because he’s a hot guy with lots of money. But the thing is, I don’t play those games. Not in real life and most certainly not in the worlds I’m creating. And I’m not gonna let him push me around. I’m just going to write around him until either he tells me his name or that story becomes a different story and I no longer have to take his flack for not getting his name right. Seriously, guy, don’t mess with me. I have zero qualms with ditching you for a better, worthier main character. I’m at the point where I’m thinking of turning a series of sexy stories into a series of horror stories created just to torture you. A series where nobody ever knows your name because you’re a dick and you deserve all that’s coming to you. Ahhh, the revenge of an author…

*Archibald is a fine name. It’s just not what one would think of as a sizzling hot name of a billionaire entrepreneur. Actually, I want to use the name Archibald for another character because calling someone Archie would make me smile. Just not this guy. Because this guy’s a dick.

 

(Post from yesterday but computer wasn’t cooperating. It must be taking lessons from my new unnamed character!)

WordacCountability Tally April 3:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 0
Nonfiction: 207
Blogging: 438
Total: 645
Grand Total: 29,520

What’s That In The Back Of The Freezer?

I realized today that I didn’t write a blog post yesterday other than posting about Tracy’s book (get your free copy here until April 5th!). Oops! Complete oversight since I was too busy trying to figure out what to do with all the stuff in my freezer. Realizing some of the food in there might be from the last Ice Age, I spent a good chunk of yesterday sorting through the edibles from the inedibles, and eating some of the former while trying to figure out what to do with the latter (raccoons are already out and about, making garbage runs a little more dangerous than I’d like). Spring cleaning feels like a natural thing to do. I’ve been getting rid of stuff for a week or two already, and every little bit I get rid of seems to clear a bit of room not only in my physical space but my mental space, as well. Go figure! So, I posted my query about Medium post first, to keep it separate from whatever this post is about, and I’m counting those words down below.

Since it’s April, which I believe is International Poetry Month, I’m writing a poem every day based on the prompts by Robert Lee’s Brewer’s Poetic Asides blog. I don’t post my poems online because I always wonder if I’ll want to publish them elsewhere in the future, and publication anywhere (including my own blogs!) means I no longer have first publication rights, something that many publishers require, although occasionally there are secondary markets, but they are harder to find. Not that the poems I’m writing are fantastic or anything, but I often take pieces of what I’ve written and add them to other pieces that eventually get published, so I’m wary of posting things online for no compensation. Mind you, poetry generally doesn’t pay all that much, so I’m not entirely sure why I’m so protective. Something I’ll have to examine in the future when I have my actual website up and running.

My totals below are for both yesterday and today because, well, freezer cleanout meant I forgot to write a blog. Sad excuse, I know, but at least I wrote some words before that! Adding the words from my poems to Nonfiction because they don’t really fit anywhere else.

 

WordacCountability Tally April 1 & 2:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 0 (but an idea is percolating!)
Nonfiction: 362
Blogging: 696
Total: 1,058
Grand Total: 28,875

Medium Thoughts

I’ve been reading up on the pros and cons of posting articles on Medium. Once I’m a little more comfortable with writing online, I think I might give it a shot. It seems to be a platform with an engaged audience looking for content (even if that content often has clickbait-y headlines) and potential to gain a decent following and get republished there. I’d publish things elsewhere first, though, as everything I read isn’t sure what the future of Medium holds and that means content could just disappear should the platform decide to upgrade or change formats or any number of what if scenarios. Part of my hesitation to jump in to online writing has always been about the “what ifs” of putting writing on the internet. But obviously I’m starting to embrace it as it is the way things have gone and left me scratching my head in the process. This old dog is tired of observing everything but never accomplishing anything other than eyestrain.

Wonderful readers, what are your thoughts on Medium? Have you used it? Did you like it? Have any awesome viral-post stories or cautionary tales? Please let me know in the comments. I would love to hear personal experiences before I dive in!

Freebie Alert! Forget Cinderella by Tracy Champion

My wonderful Facebook friend Tracy Champion has asked to spread the word that her book Forget Cinderella is FREE from now until April 5th (2017)! Be sure to grab yourself a free copy and follow it up right away with Remember Cinderella, which is out now. Feel free to share this post, and don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon as a thank you for the freebie!

🌟🌟🌟🌟 FREE April 1- 5th 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Have you read Forget Cinderella? Get it now because Remember Cinderella is coming soon.
💜💜💜Forget Cinderella💜💜💜
Find out what happens when Cara finally finds her happily ever after and then it all gets taken away. Will she survive what’s to come or will all be lost?
Amazon: Free with KU
US: http://amzn.com/B0178XREW8
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0178XREW8
CA: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0178XREW8
‪#‎ForgetCinderella‬ ‪#‎AuthorTraceyChampion‬
Author’s Facebook page
https://m.facebook.com/traceychampionauthor/

~~ Synopsis for Forget Cinderella (True Loves Fairytale 1)

Cara Mia

It all begins with my story.

I was Momma’s beautiful, happy, hippie princess. Then I was lost, sad and closed off. I wanted the fairytale, I wanted to be Cinderella.

When I was preparing to start life on my own my story took on twists and turns I never expected. I decided to take some time to turn my story around. I wanted a happily ever after that was almost impossible until I met Amber, my friend, and she made me realize my story wasn’t where it was meant to be.

Then Jordan came along, my prince, and now my story is out of my hands. I’ve found what I was missing and I didn’t even know it, but it may all be taken away from me. I may even be taken away from this wonderful life I’ve built and the people I’ve surrounded myself with. My beautiful life could be gone and my fairytale forgotten. I don’t even have a glass slipper to help me.

Love and Tree Ents

It’s Friday night and I spent my evening working, then grocery shopping, and then doing a couple of writing sprints on Twitter with @frinightwrites and #writeclub. Always a good way to start off a weekend by playing with words! This Friday Night Writes thing is fairly new to me and I think it’s brilliant. The premise is that you write for 30 minutes and then have a 10 minute break in between, where you can refuel, surf, or do whatever you need to do in order to come back and write some more. And the fun part is that it’s with other writers, so you can check in with each other about writing, snacks, or anything else that might strike your fancy. I just like seeing those 975 down below here. And it’s all about love and tree ents. Because that’s what Friday nights are for: creativity and fictional characters. Right?

I still have no idea why my brain loves these sci fi love stories so much. They’re weird. But they are funny (to me, at least) and fun to write. And they’re a great way to burn off the weird thoughts that run through my head like little anarchist tree ents that want to get up and walk away at a moment’s notice. One of these days I’m going to have to figure out exactly what I’m going to do with all of these stories. But for now, I’m enjoying writing them, and pleasantly surprised when one of my previously written about characters has a walk-on role in my newest story. It’s almost like these weird characters are becoming real. Hm…

 

WordacCountability Tally March 31:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 975
Nonfiction: 0
Blogging: 292
Total: 1,267
Grand Total: 27,817