Saturday, February 22, 2014

"The Heart of the Metal" and More...

The Heart of the Metal, February 21, 2014...

Last night was the first Troubled Waters event of the year and they kicked off their 2014 round of shows with a bang.

Michelin Social Club, Bridgewater, NS... It's only a small venue that has less than a 100 person capacity, but it's large enough to host an awesome lineup of bands that rock the place! 

There were four bands in the lineup last night, two of which I had seen before, one that I have wanted to see live for a while, and one that I hadn't seen or heard of at all until Troubled Waters released last night's full lineup.

I've seen Dirt Stache before. This power duo may only be a guitar and drums, but they have the energy of a five member band, and they are very talented guys. The fact they are goofy in nature only adds to their appeal in my opinion. I laughed more at their descriptions of what each song was about than one would do at another live show, and really enjoyed watching them strut their stuff.

Flesh Cauldron is one I have wanted to see for a while but wasn't lucky enough to until last night. They are great! Their material borderlines on death metal and although they didn't have a live drummer last night, they did quite well with an "electronic" one that was programmed with all of the drums for their set.

My favorite local band, Whom Gods Destroy, was up third. As always, the guys KICKED IT and kept their promise of keeping "Sea of Tears" in their shorter set list. (I'm going to let them live - FOR NOW! Muwahahahahahaha....) I do have videos of their performance, but it's ultra dark and you can't see much... Plus I had a lot of interruptions, thanks to a couple of people that refused to listen to proper etiquette for any live show....I did get a couple of photos and I did share them on my personal profile and author's page, so if anyone wants to check them out, the link to my FB author's page is in the links area to the left of my blog posts.

Vicious was the one band in last night's lineup I wasn't familiar with. I had never met any of the guys, seen them live, or even heard any of their music before last night. That said, they now have another fan in this aspiring author! Their energy and showmanship are reminiscent of bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica and Def Leppard, to name only a few. I was blown away by their talent and performance, and I can see why they're popular in the Nova Scotian music circuit. I would not be surprised to see this group win a Juno, ECMA, or even a Grammy in the future, they are that good!

I would like to thank all of the bands in last night's lineup for their outstanding performances, and a special thank you to Troubled Waters for putting on events like The Heart of the Metal, and the Michelin Social Club for hosting the event.

For anyone who likes metal music, I highly recommend you check out all of the bands featured last night...

Dirt Stache Official Facebook Fan Page

Flesh Cauldron Official Facebook Fan Page

Whom Gods Destroy Official Fan Page

Vicious (band) Official Facebook Fan Page

And lastly...

Troubled Waters Official Facebook Page

Whom Gods Destroy at "The Heart of the Metal", February 21, 2014. 


And on a side note... 

If you're at a live show, whether it's a large venue like the Metro Centre or a tiny venue like the Bridgewater Michelin Social Club, PLEASE respect the bands and other patrons! Pushing your way onto the "stage" area to get into the bands' "personal" space, touching their equipment at all, taking the microphones and screaming into them even though you're not a member of any bands, and a lot of other things are just NOT COOL AT ALL.

If you can't behave at something like this, please do the rest of us a favor and STAY THE HELL HOME!

Sheesh. *SIGH*

I'm Out of My Cotton Picking Mind..... (Writing Update!)

A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to get Ten off the ground when an idea for another story hit me. Of course, I wrote it down into my ideas for future stories file and thought I'd get to it sometime after I had finished Ten's first draft.

Wrong!

The darn idea would not leave me alone, no matter what I tried. I would try to think of ideas for Ten and something for the new idea kept popping into my brain! I'd be doing dishes, talking with Peapod about general stuff, and whammo, a scene for that new idea would pop into my head. This has been happening for a couple of weeks, ever since I got the new idea.

This past week, I finally gave in and set up a file for what is now nicknamed "Eleven".

Yes, you read that right. I have another WIP on the go. *SIGH*

The original idea for it was ultra complicated, and it had more than one possible ending, so I streamlined it to make it simpler. Yes, it was another one of the ultra complicated plots with a zillion twists and turns that I seem to love writing. That said, after I trimmed "the fat" into yet another possible future idea, it's still a complicated story, but less so than something like the Legacies series.

So far, an ideas file, character profiles, a rough timeline, and an "Over 18" scene ideas file has been started, as well as the main file itself... And I have a few scenes written up that will be spliced in shortly, after I get past that *censored!* speed bump I hit in the main file, it happens after the initial "blast" and everyone's reaction to it.

At the moment, that's two WIPs I have on the go and I do hope I can get into one of them soon. I haven't had a story that was in the brain 24/7 since I finished draft one of "Legacies: Family Portraits" (book 2) last October, and I'm really feeling it. I'm grumpy and it's really showing sometimes. My apologies to my family and friends, and thank you for putting up with me when I'm like this....

I hope either Ten or Eleven turn out to be my next completed manuscript. I'm going nuts here.....

And the cleanup of the Legacies series continues. No Regrets (Book 1) now has a lot of areas that are color coded highlights so I know where there are passive scenes, where I was too wordy and after a while, I'll be going through to see where I've been repetitive, etc. If I can do it, I'd like to send it off to a beta reader from one of my writing forums by the end of the year so I can get some extra help in finishing its revamp.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be back with another update on the writing, hopefully soon!


















Sunday, February 16, 2014

Glacier Crawl

Things are not the best in the writing world at the moment. We had a snow day on Friday thanks to a storm and due to Son having meltdowns and crying on and off all day, I had a headache and didn't get a darn thing done in Ten at all.

However, this past Wednesday I managed to get a little added to the main file after I finished cleaning it up. It was the bulk of a scene and although it's rough, what's there is solid and plausible for this area. I didn't get a lot of time to edit it though, so I'm hoping to do that later this week. 

I also did some research on various amusement park/fair rides. All I'm saying is that I'm NEVER going to watch a video taken from the inside of the Zipper while it's going again! My reaction wasn't pretty.... 

I've also come up with another idea for a new story. I'm trying to set it aside so I can work on Ten, but it's invading my mind more than Ten is right now. *SIGH* I'd run with it but it's one of the ones with a more complicated story and may turn out as long as No Regrets stands currently if I go with it. I can't learn to write a shorter, simpler story if another one sucks me in, so it's in the "waiting to be written file" at the moment. There is a way to make it less complicated but I'd rather keep it as is because it'll make a much more interesting story if I keep the original idea. I just hope I don't work on that while trying to get moving in Ten, else I'm going to be in deep trouble... *SIGH*

The cleanup of the Legacies series has also been at the back of my mind constantly and it's driving me nuts. I'm not happy with it "as is" and I want to get it done NOW so it's ready in a few years. It's a long, detailed and complicated project so it's going to take me a while to do. I have talked to a couple of my most trusted friends (including Peapod and Sandra) about this, and I've come to a decision. I will work on the first stage of cleaning up No Regrets while I'm working on Ten.

It's something I feel as if I have to do to learn and grow as a writer and to hone both my raw writing talent and the editing skills. I feel as if I don't start it now, it won't get finished, and I hate that feeling. I also feel as if I failed the series by letting them gather dust on the external, and my friends, fans and supporters if I don't get on with it. 

Stage one of it consists of going through the main file, noting what seems passive, repetitive and what is too wordy, etc. Everything will be color coded in highlighter so I know which areas need what kind of work, and things that are okay will be left alone. I'm only partway through part one now and there's a lot of highlights in various colors. Yeah, there's a lot that I wasn't seeing until now. I'm hoping that the constructive criticism I've received about the manuscript is going to help me a lot. If not, I have others on my beta team to point things out that I missed. Now that I have a better idea of what to look for, I'm seeing so much that needs to be done.

To be blunt, No Regrets was a mess and I shouldn't have sent it out when I did. It needed a lot more work before I should have even thought of doing that. 

It was a rough lesson to learn but I got it now and am doing my best to make it right, both in the Legacies series AND future works, including Ten itself. Yeah, I got it Uni.

As for Family Portraits, I already knew that one wasn't ready for publication by a long shot. It's still in its third draft and is even messier than No Regrets, so it's not bothering me as much. That one won't get cleaned up until after its predecessor is finished. 

I'm thinking Stage One of No Regrets' clean up is going to take me at least six months. I'll only be working on it once every week or so, and mostly on the days that were supposed to be writing days that turned into snow days, like this past Friday. If I do things that way, I will feel like I'm actually doing something with the writing even if I'm not able to work on Ten at all.

I hope all that have been affected by this weekend's storms are safe and warm. We're lucky to have power right now. Outside, everything is covered in ice and the wind is picking up. It's very gusty out there and I'm expecting us to lose power even for an hour at this rate. If you have to drive on the roads please - BE CAREFUL. Although the DOT crews are out, the roads are still very slippery and ours is still covered in snow, even though it was just plowed. 

I'll check in when and if I make progress on Ten or even Stage One of the Legacies series revamp/cleanup. Have a great Sunday everyone!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cleaning House...

Once again, I find myself fighting to get a new WIP to start off interesting and smoothly.

Friday was spent writing up a scene that happens later on in the story, yet another one that is in a separate file and waiting to be spliced in when the time is right. It's choppy and I have a lot of work to do on it, but its foundation is pretty solid and has basically everything I wanted to happen in that particular key scene.

I had tried working on the main file that day, but couldn't get more than a sentence or two added in before the brain refused to cooperate.

Over the weekend, I started trying to figure out why I couldn't move in the main file again and today, it hit me why things were not running very well. I had a lot of passive scenes in the first two chapters and the scene that was "dead in the water" needed a lot of changes as well. 

Hubby ran errands today and between the time he left and the afternoon bus arrived, I dove into it and started cleaning things up. I removed a lot of the junk that was in Chapter One and Two and started editing things so things line up a lot better. It's not done because I'm still trying to figure out how to insert a couple of facts that were in the passive areas back into the story. I haven't found the "right" spots for them yet!

The scene that went "dead in the water" is going to have a few changes and notes are made on *what* to do with it. I want that fully cleaned up before my next writing day, but will have to do it when things are a lot quieter. I wasn't able to finish everything I wanted to do so I'm going to take an hour or so of my writing time to clean the scene up to my first draft standards, etc and then continue on with it. Certain things will not be done in it and where I've already started along that line, that means I have about an hour or so worth of cleanup ahead of me. I think what I may do is just keep the scene up to a certain point, remove what comes after it and start fresh with things. 

I really hate rewrites and taking pages and pages worth of stuff out of the main file or any other bit I've written up. To me, that shows that I'm not always writing good stuff and it frustrates me. Y'all know how I like to get it right the first time and it ticks me off when I do not. However it is a necessary part of writing and even the greats probably didn't get it right in their first drafts either. I have to remember that, else I'm going to wind up getting too ticked off to write. *SIGH*

I've also made a few changes, to help me keep the writing vibe. I have discovered that there are a lot more unrealities out there and am doing my best to avoid anything that will not allow the writing juices to flow freely. Certain friends will get what I'm talking about and fully understand why I'm doing this. I'm not becoming anti-social, I'm doing this to preserve my sanity and to keep me out of the dark place I was a few years back. I learned the lesson on stirring the crap pot long ago and if anyone doesn't get that, they don't deserve to be acknowledged at all in my opinion. Hence the changes and improvements in my online and real lives and that's all I'm going to say about it. Those closest to me know what's been going on, and that's the main thing.

I have at least one writing day this week if the blasted weather cooperates... I am really hoping to see that stupid "wall" in Ten's main file gone and me moving on in it so I can get closer to doing a few scene splices! I'm going nuts with not working on the main file or getting over 5,000 words added each writing day... *babbling incoherently*

I'll update things later this week or early next week if there's progress. Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Zombified!

Another week has passed and once again, there's been progress on the writing front.

Tuesday, I was alone in the house for a few hours and wanted to get another erotica scene out of the way. Normally I can write just a regular love scene in my sleep, but it wasn't easy for me to get moving in this one at first, and it's not because of my brain short circuiting or lack of creativity. Everything was lined up perfectly... I could visualize everything that was happening in the scene, I could hear the dialogue and I knew what was going to lead into it.

So I should have gotten it done in an hour or so, right?

Wrong. It turned out the blasted cat decided that the instant my fingers started making the keys on the keyboard click, it was her signal to start yowling, pouncing on anything and everything, and knocking stuff over. When I stopped typing and got up to see what she was into, she'd stop and be quiet... Until I sat down and started typing again. *SIGH* 

This went on for about two hours, even with me throwing stuffed animals at her to get the point across.

Despite the cat going nuts on me, I did finish the scene just as my husband got home from running errands. 

I had another late night talk/editing session with my Peapod (best friend) that night...She read the ultra rough version of the scene and pointed out a lot of stuff to me that I had missed or where I was repetitive, etc. This one was a lot smoother and needed a lot less cleaning up than the other erotic scene I wrote last week, and after a bit of tweaking, etc, it's been declared "draft one worthy", and is very close to my standards for a first draft.

Peapod also mentioned something I need to work on with the style... I'm pretty wordy in my writing, and well, that's not great if I am trying to keep it within certain parameters for word count and if I don't want to bore a reader. I'm trying to discipline myself into a "less is more" way of describing things, and yeah, it's hard to do after writing two very detailed double length manuscripts. Let's just say things are going to be very "compressed" in the descriptions in Ten... One or two power-packed sentences to describe the energy of a spot is more than enough. I'm trying to remember that...

I also had two full writing days this week, and I was determined to get moving in the main file again, come hell or high water. I reread what I had originally for how the characters keep running into each other, and I figured out why I was having problems moving in the main file. It wasn't overly logical or even plausible for a small town.

Apparently, I'm still thinking "big city" in some ways due to the "Legacies" manuscripts. The second/last book there is completely set in a city, and I'm doing my best to revert to "small town" settings again. It's hard some days, but I'm slowly disciplining myself to get back to remembering what it's like to be in a small town...

So I kept up to a certain point in chapter 1, tossed the rest of it and started again. This time, an idea that would work for a small town, village or larger urban area came to me, and I ran with it. Things are a lot more logical, run more smoothly and it works perfectly! 

Two days of writing, and I'm now into the middle of chapter 2! It seemed that once I set things up more logically, the dam broke and my fingers were flying across the keyboard... The brain was moving too fast sometimes, and I wound up having to stop thinking, backtrack and finish one thought before another one hit me.

This story is starting to fog the mind more and more, now that I have a better way to get things moving between the main characters and know pretty much exactly how their story is going to progress.

I'm pleased. It feels great to be back into "zombified" mode after almost a three month break/drought, and having scenes pop into my head at almost any time of day or night makes me happy. I can't do dishes or anything else around here without something coming to me for this one, and that's the way it should be when one is deep into a story in my opinion. 

It was a 7600 word week. I know, it's not as good as the weeks or even some of the days I had when I was still deep into Book 2/Family Portraits, but it's great for the "just getting into it" stage. 

I'm tickled with my progress. Hopefully things will continue to go smoothly. If they do, I may finish a third "draft one" manuscript in three years.... I'd like to do that, but I'm not expecting to at this point. It's still too early for me to predict approximately when this one will be finished. I do know if it gets as engrossing as the "Legacies" series did, I'm a goner!

For anyone who hasn't seen a photo of "Monitor Kitteh", aka Amber, enjoy...

My kitty sitting on top of my monitor:


Her tail draping down across the screen:


Have a wonderful weekend everyone!