Sarimanok Feather v 1 is Complete!

Sarimanok Feather bannerMy first draft of this story went through my writing group on March 15. Everyone agreed that the ending didn’t resolve anything. Also, MK Hutchins pointed out an interesting point that Palipa’s job, which I spend awhile describing, didn’t have any bearing on the actual plot. You can’t waste words in a short story.

Apparently, those were the comments I needed, because on March 17, I figured out how to fix it. I waited until I was done with the current chapter of Treasure of the Gods before starting. I’m more pleased with it now, though I know it needs polishing. Now I’m going to send it to critters for some beta reads.

  • Started: March 22, 2014
  • Finished: March 28, 2014
  • 3,027 words long
  • 182% larger than v 0

Writing and Priorities

This month, I’m participating with a group of writers in March-a-thon, where we each make our own monthly goals with writing and then cheer each other on. My goals are to write 600 words a day, Monday through Friday, for a total of 12,600 words in the month. Here is what my progress looks like so far.

writing goal 2014-03

In achieving this, I’ve been following some writing advice came from my friend MK Hutchins. She said that if there’s a day when you don’t meet your goal, look back and figure out what you prioritized higher than writing. If that thing really is more important,  then don’t beat yourself up for not meeting your goal. For example, on March 12, I decided that finishing Words of Radiance was more important than writing. It’s a more frivolous thing, yes, but I justify it because I was filling the creative well, and studying from my favorite author.

On the other hand, on March 21, I didn’t meet my goal because I was too busy playing 2048. It’s a fun logic game, but doesn’t do anything to help me improve writing. So, I am now cutting it so I can keep writing. At least so far, I am on track to hit my monthly goal.

What things have you had to cut to keep writing?

The Servant Lord by Aneeka Richins

Servant-Lord-cover-7smallTitle: The Servant Lord
Author: Aneeka Richins
Series: The Chaos Gods Book 2 (Book 1 – The Wanted Child)

HOW HIGH IS THE PRICE TO BE THE PROPHESIED HERO?

The world is crumbling and seventeen-year-old De is excited! As the prophesied Hero, he can finally prove that his birth wasn’t a gigantic mistake. Thanks to Ki, his trainer, he is more than ready to take on the notoriously evil Wanted Child. Once she is destroyed, the world will love him and all his dreams would come true.

However, the Chaos gods are against him, determined to destroy the world’s last hope. De is ready for anything, but he doesn’t know their ultimate trump card. For his kind and amazing trainer—not to mention best friend—is the very Wanted Child he must destroy.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords

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Aneeka was the leader of the writing group I joined in college. She taught me the importance of character, and when I’m writing, I still hear her say “details! I want details!” Now, she has published her second novel, which I had the opportunity to beta read. The conflict is juicy, and I love the original world. I quite enjoyed it and hope you do too.

Sarimanok v 0 is Finished!

Sarimanok Feather bannerIn three days I wrote the first draft of my short story that I want to submit to The SEA is Ours. The main character, Palipa, was pretty easy to create. In Treasure of the Gods, the main character, Anku, is a boy, so I wanted this one to be a girl. Anku is from an island nation, but only spends a few chapters there, so I wanted this story to be set there. The inhabitants of this nation worship two main gods – who rule the wind and the sea. Anku is devout to the sea god and uses water magic. So in this one, I wanted to explore the wind magic. As soon as I decided that, I had an image of Palipa flying on a glider like Aang’s from the Last Airbender.

I’m still not sure what to make of the plot though. I hate ambiguously ended stories, yet that’s how this one ended up. Yet the ending resonates with the Maranao (a group from the Philippines) legends of the sarimanok. I’ll see what my writing group thinks. Right now, all I know is that to be eligible for the anthology I need to add 850 words (should be easy since I am an underwriter) and I will probably change the title.

The stats:

  • Started March 3, 2014
  • Finished March 5, 2014
  • 1,667 words long

February 2014 Writing Status

The Gods' Blessings copy
What I did in the last month:

  • Published “Infant Insomnia” at Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo
  • Completed 90% of my outline for changes to make to the next draft of Treasure of the Gods
  • Selected recipes for my cookbook from The Rice of Life blog. Copied 82% of those recipes into a .doc file in preparation for publishing.
  • Got “Silent Scars” critiqued by the writing group. My conclusions – it’s great as bonus material to Lightning Born but too disjointed by itself to have much of a shot in the markets. So now, I’m thinking about expanding the story so the plot is the story of the romance between Riak and Zelka. My worry is about what I’m going to do with it if it goes beyond novelette length (17,500 words). Eh, I’ll write it first and then figure it out.

Plans for the next month:

  • Finish outlining changes for Treasure of the Gods and start writing version 2.0.
  • Copy remaining recipes into cookbook file. Tweak recipes that need it. Copyedit.
  • Write first draft of a new short story to submit to The SEA is Ours. This is an anthology for steampunk set in Southeast Asia (or secondary world inspired by Southeast Asia). Treasure of the Gods is a secondary world inspired by Southeast Asia (though it also includes influence from the Pacific Islands and Korea). I just have to advance the technology 200 years to make it steampunk. I already have a character in mind. Now I just need a plot…

“Infant Insomnia” e-Single with Author Commentary Now Available

infantinsomnia cover final copyThis week, after banging my head learning about the ePub format, I have made my short story “Infant Insomnia” available as a stand alone on Amazon and Smashwords (For those unfamiliar with Smashwords, they offer the story in multiple formats, including EPUB, MOBI, PDF, DOC, and HTML). In future days and weeks, it will become available at other ebook retailers, such as Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.

As a bonus, it includes a short commentary on how I came up with the idea and how much work went in to creating it. If you’re on the fence about whether or not you’d like to purchase it, I do have the first part of the story available free here.

I hope you enjoy it!

Silent Scars v 1.1 Complete!

Silent Scars Heading copySilent Scars is an interesting short story. It started as flashback scenes I was going to weave in to Lightning Born. I quickly realized that wasn’t going to work, but I still wanted to do something with these scenes beyond keeping them for bonus material. Silent Scars is my attempt at fashioning them into a short story. I had to cut a lot of extraneous details from the world and situation out for it to make sense. Now it’s off to the writing group to see what they think.

Some stats:

  • Started Dec 13, 2013
  • Finished Jan 23, 2014
  • 5,200 words long
  • 5 sections
  • 3 different POV characters

2014 Writing Goals

infantinsomnia cover final copyIt’s a new year, and now that I’m getting used to dealing with three kids, it’s a perfect time for me to set out some goals for my writing for this year. I’ve got some ambitions, so we’ll see how I do.

  • Publish “Infant Insomnia” as an e-book single
  • Write 2 drafts of “Silent Scars”
  • Write another draft of Treasure of the Gods
  • Write another draft of Lightning Born
  • Publish an e-cookbook with recipes from my allergy blog

The last two goals are a stretch. I’m pretty sure that I can at least start the draft of Lightning Born. Finishing it before December 31 is another question. Publishing “Infant Insomnia” on the other hand, is pretty easy, and should be done before January is finished. The only reason I haven’t done it before now is that Leading Edge has an exclusive until the end of January. I’ve actually already got the cover done, as you can see, drawn by the awesome Kelley McMorris.

And now I’m off to work!