I’ve taken the plunge

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I’ve put my first novel (written over 20 years ago) out on Amazon, blurbless, coverless as it may be. That’s a generic cover, made with Amazon’s Cover Creator. It isn’t too bad looking, but I’m going to see if I can’t find/make etc., a better one in the next couple of weeks. This is the story of a young knight going out to fight a dragon (and that’s part of the reason I haven’t written a blurb yet. What else is there to say? 😕 )

This isn’t the novel about An & Mattan which still has the first draft linked in the sidebar, and which I’m still working on with Barb, my editor friend. I was trying to make Mattan like a rock, but according to most of my alpha readers, I missed, and turned him into a doormat instead. There still is an implied inertness, but one that comes from weakness instead of strength.

Barb, bless her, thinks that he really is a rock, and he’s just so reserved that no one can get to know him until we draw him out some more. She has me working on various pieces of the book, and swears that it’s getting much better. All I can see at the moment, though, are pieces of the book strewn all over, like the time my parents refinished the piano.

Anyway, I plan to get back into blogging regularly soon. I keep getting distracted, by real life, by my characters An & Mattan, and by books I’m reading.

Mugshots of characters

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I still owe a few people book reviews, which I’ll try to get out in the next week, but I thought today I’d do something else today, once I finish battling with WordPress, which has changed its posting interface without notice. (Going through the Dashboard to create a post brings us back to the old posting interface).

Some time ago I Simmed all the main characters in my An & Mattan story (currently available unedited under “Writing” in the sidebar, if you can get through it). So, just for kicks, I’m going to show what the characters look like. Since I’m not one for making custom content, I’ve been stuck using whatever hair I can find, and sometimes I’m not too happy with what I come up with.
But anyway:

  1. An
    Screenshot-451Her picture turns out pretty well. She’s almost smiling (unlike most of the rest of the pictures, where my characters are scowling at me). At least you can see her green eyes, freckles, and red/brown hair. I’m not sure what’s going on with the shine in the mirror, though.
  2. Mattan
    Screenshot-459 Mattan’s hair is wrong in this picture. It should be pulled off his forehead, not over it, and everything below the band (which should be more of a flat clasp or barrette) should be blue. (His hair also should be slightly shorter in the back.)
    Screenshot-444 Mattan with short hair. I forgot to have him wear his leather jacket when I posed him for this picture. He pretty much always wears it. When he’s working in his workshop, he also wears a baseball cap turned backwards, but I decided not to post it this time.

  3. Jasin
    Screenshot-439Jasin turned out almost too cute (he’s better looking when he smiles), though once again I’m not sure what’s going on with the shine in the mirror. He has the same red/brown hair as An. I tried to make his hair redder, and An’s browner, but I couldn’t give them quite distinguished the way  I wanted without going  too obvious.

  4. Belinda
    Screenshot-449Belinda’s hair is fine, but I don’t like the way her face turned out as much. (She’s dressed for working in the restaurant.) She should be prettier, without losing the strength in her face. She has a bit too much jaw/chin, or something. More than I’d like anyway.

  5. Tolly
    Screenshot-447Tolly suffers a little because all Sims of the same age group are exactly the same height. (If you give Sims high heels, it doesn’t make them taller, it shortens their legs.) Tolly is supposed to be considerably taller than the other characters, so this doesn’t come off well. I’ve tried to make his shoulders as broad as I could, but I’m not sure it helped much. But his orange, slightly rumpled hair came through just fine.

  6. Glorina

Screenshot-453Similar problem to Tolly, Glorina is supposed to be smaller than nearly everyone else. I settled for giving her narrow shoulders.

 

 

  1. Jelana

Screenshot-457 Jelana is the one I wish most I could find the right hair for.

In the first picture, the hair is much too curly, in the second, it is a little too long, and in the third, it is much too smooth.

Screenshot-456If I had the skills to combine the three hairstyles, I’d probably be able to figure out something.

I made her a teen, rather than an adult, because she’s supposed to look very young. This also makes her shorter than the others (though it  doesn’t usually work  that way in real life.

Screenshot-455 I also gave her slightly alien eyes, which did seem to work out better for displaying her not-quite- human status.

I didn’t even try to Sim Daved. I don’t think I could give him enough of an “Uncanny Valley” enough of an appearance. Especially since the Sims are quite Uncanny Valley on their own.

Am I going crazy?

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Don’t answer that.

I could  have sworn last night after I typed part of Section 6 of my An & Mattan story, I never copied it over to my computer. But I found that portion of it on my computer, and a page in my blog. So, did I do that in my sleep? ::Puzzled::

Anyway, I’ve now finished typing in. I’m going to do a quick read-through for typos and such this week, then put it aside and edit it later, after I’ve let some other people look at it.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Epilogue

The State of the Blog Address

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The past couple of weeks I have been working really hard on getting my An & Mattan story typed up. The last few days I’ve managed to get  about 3000 words typed up per day. I have about 5000 words left to go, so that means two more days of typing, more or less. Possibly less if I can really get working on it.

Today I was typing something that was written close to when I started working on this story, but toward the end of the time-line. Turns out, I didn’t need that epilogue as much as I thought I did, I have a lot of the information (but not all of it) already written in that section. It also was obviously written before An started telling Mattan why she has trouble being happy, so it was news to him. I downgraded that somewhat. It also brought out several things that I had intended to say, but hadn’t gotten around to yet. So, keep that in mind for the revisions.

I’m not posting today’s typing yet. I didn’t realize until I posted last night’s entry that I’d somehow missed spell-checking a good portion of what I had already typed, so it was rather messy.

But anyway, since I’ve been doing that, I haven’t been writing blog posts like I intended to, and my poetry writing has fallen behind. I’m probably not going to catch that up this week, but I’m hoping I can next week.

Done! (Sorta)

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I think I’ve finally finished with my handwritten rough draft for my An & Mattan story. I still have to write an epilogue for it, though.
Actually, what probably need to do is find a place to put in a flash-back, and put the extra information there. But for now, we’ll call it an epilogue.

I stayed out writing for about an hour longer than I usually do today, since I was in the middle of the climax of the story, and couldn’t put my pen down until I finished that scene.

 

I’ve had a reasonable amount of clicks on the first part of my An & Mattan story, considering how little traffic I get on my blog in the first place, but very few people click on to the other parts. So it probably isn’t very good as written. Still, it’s the first time I’ve gotten this close to finishing a story in close to 30 years, so I’m excited. I’ll try to have the rest of it up on my blog in a week or two. Then I’ll have to start editing it  (ugh) to make it fit for human consumption.

TTFN!

Story Notes, An & Mattan

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Recently, I decided that it’d probably make more sense to just type up what I’ve already written, and get it out here, even if I’m still working on writing the stuff between, so I can cut down on the amount of notebooks I’m carrying around with me. Those things get heavy after a while.

So far, I’ve managed to cut out one notebook. I probably will be able to get rid of another one while I’m at it, leaving two notebooks I’m still working on.

So, I’ve put up two more sections of my An & Mattan story (each about half the length of the previous two sections). Part three follows immediately after part 2, but Part 4 takes place sometime later.

Hope you enjoy them.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

An & Mattan Story, Part 2

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Here, as promised, is the next chunk of my An & Mattan story. It’ll probably take me a while to come do the next chunk. I’m writing the story in sections, and the sections aren’t quite coming together yet.

So this chunk basically ended this section, and the next section is a few days later, after some other stuff happens which I haven’t written yet. As far as I know, the whole story line takes place within a two week period, unless, of course, I decide to end it eight years later.

At this point, though, I’m thinking that I’ll end it at the end of the two weeks (in which case, I’ve already got the ending written, though not typed) and deal with the eight years later as a separate story. Much like Louisa May Alcott originally wrote her “Little Women” story in two parts, ending the first part when Father returned from the war, and not writing the second part, dealing with marriage and death, until a few years later. Though of course, I don’t write nearly as well as she did.

I hope you enjoy it.

An & Mattan, Part 1

Story Update (An & Mattan)

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I’ve been meaning to put up a blog post all week (it’s Thursday now). Monday and Wednesday I didn’t write one, because the words were flowing so well on my story, and I didn’t want to interrupt them to write out a blog. Tuesday, I didn’t write one because the words absolutely refused to flow, and I gave up, and went home early. Of the two, I think Monday and Wednesday’s excuse is far more understandable.

I’ve figured out what I’ve written so far is probably between 35,000 and 45,000 words (depending on how I guesstimate how many words are on a page). The larger number feels more accurate to me, but that might just be wishful thinking. I’ve nearly filled up three notebooks (just two partial sections left, I need to pull out a new one to work on). I’m guessing the story length might double as I start connecting the pieces together.

Considering I’ve been working on this seriously since November (it probably was floating around my head for about a year before that), that works out to less than 1,000 words per day, even taking out weekends and holidays. So, yes, I’m slow. (Yes, I know it would be quicker to just type it up rather than write it out. Shut up.)

On the other hand, that’s more than I’ve been able to get on a story in probably close to thirty years. I’ve got lots of other things started, but that I’ve run out of energy/time/whatever before I get to the point where I’m actually feeling I’ve got a good framework on paper.

I’m thinking that I’ll probably have another 10,000 story chunk ready to put out for you in a week or so. If I don’t, someone remind me of it, ok?

So, anyway, I’m figuring that if I’ve written about half the book, maybe more, in a month and a half, then (assuming I can keep going, and life doesn’t get in the way) I should be able to finish this rough draft by the end of March, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

Then will come the harder, and far less fun, work of editing the blasted thing.

An & Mattan, Part 1

An & Mattan Story, Part 1

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A couple of days ago, I put up the first part of my An and Mattan story (I know, I really need to stick to a story and finish it before the rest of my characters can tell me their life stories.)

I’ve added about a page to it (more or less). I’m not putting things into chapters yet, the chunk up is just the size of one file on my AlphaSmart Neo (which I recently found out they aren’t making any more. 😦  ).

An & Mattan, Part 1

Also, I want to say that you shouldn’t name your main character “An”. It makes the spell checker/grammar checker cranky.

I have no idea if anything I’ve written is comprehensible, or what I need to expand or contract. I expect, for instance, that I really don’t need to have the story of what happened five years ago in there three times, though I don’t doubt I needed to write it three times for my own sake. (And I’ll try to keep both An & Mattan from telling it to me once again.)