Tag Archive | writing

A Blog Post: NanoWrimo Wrap-Up

 Hey all.

The last … um… Autumn has been a bit nuts.

New therapist! Tried three new ADHD drugs (#3 might be a winner). Got sick for most of October (probably drug #1). NaNaWriMo and a new wordcount record in November.

Then Wednesday my dad had surgery to clean plaque out of his carotid artery.

So uh. It’s been a pretty nuts season. Continue reading

2018 Writing – Not Really Much of a Review

I’m back to work, back awake, and looking at my numbers for 2018.

I put a copy of my summary sheet up on google docs if anyone is interested – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12kvifQVjOFEQiny_CQux_F3Cx1d9bTxCjBz4EWTILcY/edit?usp=sharing 

In short, I divide my projects up into “For Money” (things written specifically for money-making directly, like something written for submission to an anthology or stuff written for Patreon, commissions, etc.), “For Audience” (stuff written with intent to post it or to draw in audience), and “For Fun” (Stuff I write because I feel like writing it at the moment).

Those fell at 21% / 58% / 21%, which is pretty much where I like to have them, though I’d love “for money” to get higher, of course.

My meatiest project was “Nathan Stories”, a novel I’m writing for/with/at the encouragement  of Cal, at 10% of my total words; “Continuing Stories”, which would be the stuff I post here, was more than that at 13.7%, 102,431 words total.

Patreon weighed in around the same amount as Nathan, at 10% as well, although that’s a jillion tiny projects in one.

After that came Eva Novel and OtStrange, two of the novels I’m working on, and Edally Academy.

And that’s a year, folks!



Nanowrimo: A Summary

It’s been quite a month!

Let’s see.

I learned, without a doubt, that I need a lot more practice at outlining Short Stories. My sense of scale is, shall we say, lacking.

Cal – Inspector Caracal – has been a lot of help in this.  Even if some of it is “Lyn? This is a novel.”

My goal was 20-22 stories, counting submission and Patreon.

I submitted one story (and made 3 false starts on another)
I wrote 5 short-short stories and three chapters of Expectant Wood, my serial, for Patreon
I wrote 8 “finish it” stories and started two others

I wrote over 65000 words just on the nano project.

So, not success, but productive & educational.

I also wrote 6 stories independent of the #nanowrimo project, started one longer storyline, and created a new universe.​

My total wordcount for the month was 77,484.

I feel accomplished!  And not burnt out! (Which was also a goal!)

Onward to December, to putting all 8 of those short stories into an anthology, and to planning for the January-April novel.



Writing is like the monkeys in the silo

I was minding my own business yesterday, doing the dishes and thinking about something on the news, when bam, an idea hit me.

I was playing the “what if” game: “What’s his story? Why did that really happen? What if it happened this way?”

That idea is gone, sadly… I didn’t write it down… but it sparked the idea for this post.

When I was a kid, I’d ask my mom or dad while we were driving: “tell me about that silo out there” or “tell me about that chimney” (around here, you can often find chimneys sort of hanging around with no house). “Tell me why this road is named Hubbel… why this is named Euler.”

(there’s another story there, too…)

And my mom would tell me about the monkeys in the silo, or my dad would tell me about Hub Bill, who wanted the world to revolve around him, or the You Learns (our road is pronounced you-ler, not like the scientist, oddly).

Writing is like that. You look at a thing. You ask a question. And the question leads to a story.

Tell me about that chimney, mom. Tell me about Reed Road, Daddy.

Tell me about that guy walking down the street. He’s carrying bags on a ski pole like a modern yoke. What’s his story?

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1106252.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

The Kraken of World/Story Development, part Four: Technology (For Into Lannamer)

I found this thing: http://kittyspace.org/leviathan0.html and I’m gonna play with it because I’m finding it instructional!

The technology in Reiassan is at roughly height-of-the-Roman-empire.

They have steel; primary weapons is a sword similar to a gladius.

Points of interest: saddles have stirrups, and are between a western saddle and an English – wider, heavier than an English but without the large pommel horn.

Items of tech needed in various scenes:
Tents (mostly ridge-style)
Chains! Chains, shackles, but an older style and a newer style.
Clothing (narrow loom), button-making (carving knives), metal casting

Bridges and barges, Erie-style goat-pulled and… hrrm. Not sure how else they get back UP the rivers. Bridge-building technology was a priority.

Mountain pass carving: how do they do that?

Building construction – so stonecutting, since they have very little wood in the mid-north.

They heat by mostly coal, bog peat and red sira; they use scrub wood and the wind-blasted bushes as fuel as well, since they’re not very good for lumber. They have mastered a well-drafting chimney; many houses and public spaces use a hypocaust-style heating system.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1001264.html. You can comment here or there.

The Kraken of World/Story Development, part Three: Money (For Into Lannamer)

I found this thing: http://kittyspace.org/leviathan0.html and I’m gonna play with it because I’m finding it instructional!

Sidetrack- Army Ranks
Of 7.2 million on the continent, about 4.8 million are Calenyena. Of those, about 480,000 are active in the army.

Leaf, rank-one
Double, Squad Leader (Squad of Nine)
Trefoil, Ride Commander (9 squads – 90 soldiers)
Starred, Fist commander (9 rides – 819 soldiers)
kalōkāt, War Leader (9 Fists – 7380 soldiers)
calenkat, Army Leader (9 Wars – 66,429 soldiers)
Emperor, leader of the Forces (Up to 9 armies – currently 7,465,010 soldiers)

jot down two to three sentences about the economic aspect of the setting.

Cafangnia is on the major river (Velka Ree in Calenyen) and, before the assault and occupation by the Calenyena, it was a major trade hub for the Bitrani. It was an affluent city, one of the richest in the nation, and also – because of its proximity to the Calenyena – one of the best defended.

At the time of the story, it had been fairly thoroughly plundered. Anyone who had the wherewithal to leave has long since left. Its remaining defenses have been taken over by the Calenyena.

The border territories have very little permanent agriculture and few permanent structures, at least on any travel route. Deep in the mountains, far off the river or the roads, some people live; others live just far enough off the road and the river to not be seen or easily found, not be bothered by soldiers or by deserters. Many of those people are bandits, and they are tolerated by the others so long as they take their cut only from travelers, and leave enough for the trading stations to plunder more legally.

There are former towns along both river and road. There have been long periods of peace before, and the Calenyena and the border Bitrani build in stone. Sometimes, a group who lives further back in the mountains will take up residence in a town when the army is passing through, just long enough to sell them wares.

On a separate piece of scratch paper, jot down two or three sentences about the economic background of every character who appears or lives in that city or country.

Characters encountered in this section include:

Bek and Torie, prisoner guards:

A career rank-1, Torie has made herself comfortable on her soldier’s wage by supplementing it with gambling, trading, and small plunder. She has an upscale tent, a nice brazier, her own goat, a very nice bedroll, and enough money and plunder squirreled away to perhaps set up a tavern, but only if she got a bit of financial help.

Bek has only been a soldier a few months. He comes from a goat-breeder’s family – hard work but profitable – but is only pulling basic soldier’s wages so far. He owns his own goat and that’s about it.

The Prisoners:

Some of these were farmers, some the equivalent of serfs; some were officers, one dukes, several landed noblemen. Right now, they have had everything they were carrying seized; their land is likely to be grabbed by the invaders. The difference between serf and duke right now is the quality of the clothes they’re wearing – and their potential fate.

The Calenyena spying on them:

Is a mid-ranked weasel who is good at collecting favors. They wear much of their wealth (as the Calenyena and many originally nomadic people tend to) and could comfortably buy a small plot of land and house with what they carry/possess.

Exiting check-point and another unit:
These go from basic rank-1 soldiers who own their clothing (three changes of clothes, two changes of boots), and, if they’re lucky, their goat, all the way up to a Fist Commander who has at least 7 changes of clothing and enough salary to own a decent house when they leave. A Fist Commander owns their own goat and a remount/pack animal, and has a tent big enough for comfort.


a fortified piece of property, several goats, enough food to get through a long winter. Individually, they often own gee-gaws and jewelry or trinkets given to them or traded to them by passing soldiers. They are not affluent, but they survive well enough.


Mid-ranked soldier in the special forces, outside of a squad or Ride and directly serving a fist commander. They are decently paid, enough to rent a decent place in a city for a year when they leave the army, three-four changes of clothing.

Variance runs from:

Owns nothing at all, not even themselves

Owns enough to survive, even it by scratching by

Owns enough for comfort

Owns enough for comfort and some luxury

Almost all of these people, however, have a slightly to much greater comfort level because of family and/or community; see Rin’s earnings as a mid-ranked healer vs. her family wealth, Bek’s rank-one salary vs. his family’s goat-wealth.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1000671.html. You can comment here or there.

The Kraken of World/Story Development, part Two: Conflict (For Into Lannamer)

I found this thing: http://kittyspace.org/leviathan0.html and I’m gonna play with it because I’m finding it instructional!


The conflict in Into Lannamer is three-tiered.

Primary is the conflict between Rin & Girey: She wants to save his life; he wants to return to freedom in the south.

Secondarily is the conflict between Rin/Girey and everyone who wants to stop them from going somewhere – or anywhere.

On the same level as this but separate is the weather. They leave the south in the middle of the rainy season and will end up in the north in the cold season. The weather’s going to be an issue.

This conflict comes about because the two nations have been at war longer than there have been nations, because Girey is very full of himself, because Rin is very bad at explaining herself and not interested in negotiation, because they both have meaning to their respective people & enemies beyond the meaning they have to themselves. Rin wants a project; Girey just wants to go home, even if home doesn’t exist anymore.

No, seriously. Outline your story.”

Okay. 🙂 /goes off to do that/

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/998433.html. You can comment here or there.

The Leviathan of World/Story Development, part One (For Into Lannamer)

I found this thing: http://kittyspace.org/leviathan0.html and I’m gonna play with it because I’m finding it instructional!

Oh hey I know this one it’s in the title!
The personal scope of Into Lannamer is very tight – it’s Rin and Girey. It’s their struggle to cope with the world being over, and what that means for both of them.
The background, the villains – that’s three personal stories, too, thee people with reasons to want to hurt Rin and/or Girey and one person who wants to pull Girey back to the far South. They all have very intimate reasons.
The background, that’s far wider, but it’s all out of focus. That’s the struggle of peace (of losing the war/of winning the war) after generations of war. It’s shaking everything. But we’re only seeing the tremors as they shake Rin and Girey.
Geographically, the scope is most of the continent, from [City continually renamed] in Bithrain to Lannamer up in the north of Calenta.

Rin is a career army medic faced with the end of the war. She’s a royal daughter who never sought to climb the army’s hierarchy further than the authority she needed to do her job with minimal interruption, and thus she’s an Optio (lieutenant)

Girey is the only son of the king of Bithrain, and while he has not been “spoiled rotten,” he has been pampered and spoiled more than is probably healthy. He took to the field with a given rank, and had not truly earned his way up to that rank in duty, sense, and respect before he was captured by the Bithrain.

Esnees, Esnetrennesnees, is Rin’s uncle, older than her mother and the Emperor’s second-born child. He long ago accepted that he would not inherit his father’s title, but he has been grooming a specific set of his nieces and sisters as options for rule; if they rule, he believes he has a better chance of being the power behind the throne.

[2 more redacted]

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/998038.html. You can comment here or there.

When you see this, post three lines from three wips you have

From scribble-myname

Lines picked from where I left off

“Creepy.” Cynara stared at the barn, at the lift slowly lowering the Jeep, at the warehouse they were coming down into. “This is not exactly inspiring any confidence in this Adder’s Who—”

“Addergoole.” Luke Hunting-Hawk was not the most talkative of travel companions, and he clearly didn’t want to be out here hauling her in.

“I wonder if you can test them for aether use? I wonder what you’d call it, then, if you wanted to be accurate? Natural aetherics? Hunh, you’d think they’d already call it that, then.”

“You gonna eat or you gonna sit there and whine all morning? I’m sure the schmuck in the next cell over will eat your breakfast with pleasure.”

Cell. They’d said cell.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/994520.html. You can comment here or there.