Two Months of Updates in One Post

Filed Under: Life, Writing

So, my last update was almost two months ago. It’s not that nothing happened, it’s just that it turned out to be a rather stressful set of months. None of the blog posts that I wanted to write ever seemed to materialize beyond concept — not to mention that I never found the time. (Forever the quandary.)

Here are the general updates on what you’ve missed, starting with writing:

Writing Updates from April and May

I did Camp NaNoWriMo in April, and hit my 10K to win. That was nice. At the very end of May I finally finished The Witch-mothers Coven. That was actually pretty exciting. It’s the first novel draft I’ve finished since I completed Dreaming of Eden, and I didn’t realize how good it would feel to do it again. Or how long ago that was.

That said, I’ve already written more in June that I did in May.

I also had two short stories post to The Confabulator Cafe, one in April and May. I even managed to write a funny one for one of those prompts! I’ll let you guess which one it is.

* * *

Shiloh went live on April 15th, 2016. It’s about a man who was born and hidden on a woman’s colony dealing with the stress of trying to hide his identity when he and his wife are called in to plan their family.

“Quinn.” Elpida’s voice had faltered, as though she had tried to cut herself off from saying his name but couldn’t quite stop. He yawned and rolled over, blinking to bring her into focus. “Quinn, it’s from the population commission.”

He rolled quickly from the bed and crossed the room, goosebumps forming on his skin. She wasn’t wrong — he didn’t think she was, but he’d needed to see it for himself. The official summons for their appointment at the seed library, six months following the submission of their marriage forms.

The screen went dark. Elpida grabbed his hand and squeezed. “We knew it was coming. We’ve prepared.” But her hand shook.

You can read the whole story over on The Confabulator Cafe right now.

We were supposed to include a road warrior, a library, and self-sacrifice as our prompt. I got a little fast-and-loose with the “road warrior” part, as the POV character (Quinn) had been a traveling salesperson with his mother before settling down — all prior to the events of the story. But I liked what I came out with.

* * *

The Monster Next Door” went live on May 27th, 2016, and I described it on Twitter thusly: a game of telephone between monster hunters leads to an awkward misunderstanding for a newbie on the job.

Clutching the silver cross she kept in the pocket of her jacket, Marlene rolled her shoulders and made her way into the bar. It was better lit than the outdoors, with bright lights over the bar but booths cloaked in shadows. Only one other person sat at the bar, an older man with a book and a beer. The bartender was leaned back against the single patch of wall that wasn’t covered in photos, scrolling mindlessly on his phone.

Marlene took a seat at the bar and tried to say, “Gimme a Miller Light,” but her voice squeaked around the word “gimme.” She stopped to clear her throat, and looked down at the bar, embarrassed and certain that the bartender, grizzled and old enough to be her father, could see the flush she felt in her cheeks. “A Miller Light, please.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Can I see your ID?”

The prompt for this one was a case of mistaken identity. What I wrote was based on a joke that Andy (my baby-daddy, for the uninitiated) made over dinner one night. It was pretty fun, and I have concluded that it takes place in the same universe as Supernatural, because I’m an adult and I do what I want.

This one is also available right now over at The Confabulator Cafe! Imagine that!

* * *

Right now I’m working on a short story that uses the same settings and character concepts as Dreaming of Eden, which is something I’ve wanted to do since I’d trunked it. I didn’t write for about two weeks after finishing The Witch-mother’s Coven, and I feel like this offers a decent transition back into working on Seven Sisters.

I’ve also loaded Seven Sisters to my  Kindle with intent to reread what I’d already written. I sort of regret leaving it half-written like I did, but I’m really pleased with The Witch-mother’s Coven. It needs a lot of rewriting and cleaning and prodding in the next draft, but I feel like it’s got really, really good bones.

The plan is to finish up this draft of Seven Sisters, and then decide from there where I’m headed. I’d like to finish it up before I start school — because I have no idea what my writing schedule looks like once I start school. The first time around I actually did a lot of writing during college classes — but I also didn’t pay a lot of attention and failed most of my courses. So I’m not exactly looking to emulate that.

Life Updates from April and May

May sucked.

My grandmother passed away at the end of the month, after her health taking a steep decline in the preceding weeks. Her funeral was actually the same weekend that “The Monster Next Door” went live, so I’d forgotten about it at the time — a friend reminded me on Twitter.

I was also sick, sort of, for a good third of the month of May. Without getting into the specific details, something has gone wonky with the birth control I’d been taking for two years. We know that now — we did not know that at the time. This has turned out to be an ongoing issue, and I’ve now switched to a different pill.

The financial and emotional strain of suddenly having to see doctors and change pills and not knowing exactly why my whole body had suddenly gone wrong was extremely stressful. I fell out of both my writing and exercise routines in May, and I still haven’t quite gotten put back together.

But hey, some nice stuff…

We saw NXT at the beginning of May! NXT has some of August’s favorite wrestlers right now, and they had a show out in Salina, which is less than three hours from us. I don’t have much to add that he hasn’t said. We took some pictures, many of which were blurry. I had a cold and had lost my voice, so couldn’t do much hollering. The 10-year-old girl behind us was awesome, and we were best friends until we were on different sides of the Finn Balor/Samoa Joe match. August got so excited during the Shinsuke Nakamura/Tyler Breeze match that I thought he was going to accidentally punch the woman in front of him in the back of the head.

Wedding planning is going well. (Despite jokes, we did not bring extra wedding invitations to hand out to wrestlers at the NXT show.) We’re mostly at the “making sure everything is in order and wait” stage. This is not my favorite stage, frankly, because now it’s a lot of small details that I’m terrified I’ll forget and suddenly it’s July 31st and wait, did I ever make an appointment with a hair stylist? (I had a stress dream once that I was two hours late to the wedding because I couldn’t figure out my hair.)

I’ve also started my first class. I’m taking a one-hour course this summer, mostly to get me adjust to being back in school.

All said, though, the summer is coming together. Hopefully I’ll be back in less than two months next time to tell you what’s up. I make no promises.

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