Tag Archives: writing

Amity Dawn and the Great Manuscript Disaster of 2014

So, recently, I decided to pick up Amity Dawn again. I hadn’t touched it in months, and most of that was conversion from first to third person. I had about 25k to 30k words, eight full chapters, written. Sure, it needed a lot of work, especially the post-conversion chapters, but the switch had to be made. It’s hard to tell a story with such a broad scope from a first person perspective. I felt like limiting the perspective and head-hopping from chapter to chapter wasn’t doing the message justice, so I made the switch. The writing is harder, but I think the story will benefit.

Anyway, as I was saying, I decided to work on Amity Dawn for the first time in months, so I went to open the Scrivener file–and it was gone. I hunted high and low; Google Drive, Dropbox, all of my flash drives, my external hard drive, anywhere it could have feasibly been saved, I checked. Nothing. First, there was panic, then tears, then rage, and finally… resignation. Amity Dawn was gone, all almost-30k of it. I deliberately use cloud storage so these things don’t happen, and in four years of doing so, I’ve never had this happen.  I suppose I was over due for a horrifying, gut wrenching, tear-inducing catastrophe. Well, now I’ve paid my dues for the next few years, and catastrophe had better rein itself in. I don’t have time for this shit.

Moving on! Regardless of my whirlwind of pain and tears, I still wanted to work on Amity Dawn. Kadri was calling  me, and I still had my outline, which, thankfully, had been printed and was stuffed in my Bag of Holding. So, I began again. It needs work. I have to include elements I had forgotten about and never made note of. I need to add depth and description and dialog, but the basics are all there. Everything I wanted to convey. Everything that needed running through. I’m just starting chapter three and my manuscript is about 6k so far.  I have a long way to go, but it’s something that has, despite the grief, given Amity Dawn new life. I can see it clearly and retain my drive.

More importantly, I’ve re-learned the “back up your work” lesson. Following in the wake of a few friends, I’ve taken to 750words.com to drive me to keep writing. That’s actually what this blog post is contributing to tonight. While it won’t reach the full 750, I plan to use the rest for chapter three of AD. It’s refreshing to have a daily goal, instead of floundering with no direction. Discipline is nice, and I like getting badges and achievements for doing stuff–it’s the gamer in me. Honestly, if you have trouble getting going, try 750words.com. The first month is free so you can get a taste of whether it’s right for you, and, after that, is only $5 a month. (I have to note that I’m not getting paid to say that, and I’m not getting any special treatment. I’m just finding that it’s really working for me, and, if it works for you, too, I want to help facilitate that.)

Moral of the Story: Get back on the horse. Don’t let setbacks get you down. Keep fighting, keep writing, and back up your goddamn work.

Have you ever lost a significant amount of work to an accident like this? How did you get past it?

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Today We Are Four

It’s been awhile. How are your writing endeavors treating you? I hope everyone is still working hard at whatever they’re doing now. Goggles & Lace turned 4 yesterday! It’s been a weird road, but I have to say that, even through the sparse times, this blog has been one of my favorite projects. I haven’t been able to make good on promises of consistency, and it bothers me. I just wanted you all to know how grateful I am for your dedication as readers and friends.

Since I’ve moved to Florida, I feel as though my life has been one long, unhappy transition to an unknown end that’s nowhere in sight. I lost perspective on who I am, my writing has suffered, and I’ve neglected G&L. I suppose it just makes me my own worst enemy, but I’m looking to become an ambitious, organized human being who is responsible for her own future. It’s a long time coming, folks.

In the next few weeks, I will be overhauling G&l and implementing a once a week post schedule, subject to expand as (read: if) I find the time. Right now, I’m currently balancing college, work, and family, and I believe the lesson it’s taught me is that I can’t skate by forever. Southern New Hampshire University id currently the home to my academic adventures in creative writing. I’ve never been an A student, so this is new for me. Also, weirdly satisfying.

Being a student has given me new perspective and drive. I’ve taken my future into my own hands a bit and posted a “Hire Me” page here and at KitMacConnell.com. I’m offering affordable copy-editing and beta-reading services for fiction of all lengths while I work at obtaining my degree. Check it out if you’d like. My resume is also available in my “About” section on KitMacConnell.com.

I’m still toying with my schedule for G&L, but you’ll know more when I do. I’m excited to be back in the saddle. It’s good to feel like a person again. Your thoughts, comments, and questions are, as always, welcomed and encouraged. <3

I hope you’ll keep reading!

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“Ambassador”

It’s been a long time since you’ve seen any fiction from me, and I apologize for that. So, the first in ages. Enjoy.

Ambassador

The silence was sickening. Kadri sat across from Ambassador Andus Ordell, hands cuffed and clasped in her lap, as he paced the floor of his private suite. Lavishly decorated and afforded the chiefest comforts, Kadri had to wonder if Andus had lost touch with reality the day he put on that damn sash. Super-important Ambassador Ordell.

“Let’s have it,” he said, his temper reined in with a simple swipe of his fingers through his dark hair. He was handsome, but Kadri still wanted to punch him.

“I shot him. Adrian had been standing with his arm locked around Talmai’s neck, a knife at his throat. I fired without flinching. Is that what you want to hear?” she asked flatly, the handcuffs restricting her capitulating gesture.

“No!” snapped Andus, his arm flying upward, but he caught himself before he swept everything off of the polished glass coffee table. “I want you to be remorseful! Feel badly, Kadri! You murdered one of your own!”

“I don’t feel bad about it.” Her eyes lifted and met his, firm and cold. “In fact, I don’t feel anything. Adrian was a traitor; if I didn’t shoot him, someone else would have, and probably for reasons that didn’t benefit ‘The Cause.’ You know, ‘clones are humans, too, blah blah blah’ and all that bullshit you’re always spouting? They’d have shot him in cold blood, probably for money, drugs, or information. Not that I’m saying my principles were noble or anything. I’m just saying Adrian was the bad guy and I shot him to save my friend.”

Andus drew a steadying breath and clenched his fists. All Kadri could think about is how she’d choke him to death if he hit her, but he didn’t. His shoulders sagged and he shook his head a bit.

“You exhaust me,” he muttered, and looked her over. “I’m trying to give us a chance. Earth’s fractured governments are coming together and they want to order all clones decommissioned. Euthanized. Do you know how hard it is to change people’s minds?”

“He said he wasn’t a person. Adrian did… about Talmai. He was going to kill him because he’s an alien to us and because I cornered him for information. That was his play. I’m tired of hearing that. Adrian was a clone, same as you and me, and plenty of humans out there say we’re not people, either. I did for Talmai what you’re doing for all us clones, Andus, only you’re using politics and lies and I used a gun. Out there, that’s what it’s like. I’d have done the same for you.” Kadri shifted on the couch, which, like everything in Andus’ suite, was cream-colored. Way too clean.

With a sigh, Andus shook his head. “If it ever comes down to that, I’ll take the knife to throat. Good luck at your trial, Kadri. I’m sorry.” Stepping to the doors, he pressed his palm beside one of them, and it hissed open, letting in a pair of soldiers to take her to her cell.

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The Finish-Your-Failure-a-Thon Club

Welp, Wrimos!  I’ve started the thread for The Finish-Your-Failure-a-Thon!  The NaNo forums have rolled over, so we have a whole year to get to know each other, and 29 more days to pick a failure!

Join me in the NaNo forums at The Finish-Your-Failure-a-Thon Club thread!

I’m reworking Glass Dragons, a Camp NaNo failure from July 2011 that only amassed 22.6k words.

What’s your NaNo plan?  Are you rebelling?  Starting something new?  Give me the word!

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NaNo is Coming!

In light of my previous poll, I’ve decided to rewrite and continue my failed Camp NaNo novel from 2011, Glass Dragons.  It was the very first novel I began in my Cloneverse (which now consists of several stories) and a 50-page companion book (which is not even faintly close to finished).  The story follows Ethaniel, the first successful genetically-enhanced human clone in this particular project, and his adventures with Niran, an Ularian king of the Kirit criminal underground.

Naturally, I’m super excited!  I know that the spirit of NaNo is to start something new, but I have issues finishing things. NaNo is no challenge, but finishing something completely will be!  Glass Dragons is a fun concept that I don’t want to rot away, unfinished.

So, in light of that, I have a challenge. For everyone who loves NaNo but never finishes beyond the 50k, I challenge you to pick your favorite unfinished NaNo project to date and finish it this November!  Rework the outline, untangle your plot-knots, and pull yourself out of that corner! This NaNoWriMo on Goggles & Lace, it’s a Finish-Your-Novel-a-thon! When the forums reset, I’ll create a thread for us to chat about it!

Okay, folks, think about it! =]

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NaNoWriMo Poll!

NaNoWriMo approacheth!  I don’t know if I can do a full-fledged NaNo this year, what with school and work, but I’ll give it a shot.  What do you think this year’s NaNoWriMo should be?

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Amity Dawn, GoFundMe, and JaxPPD!

Another progress report, guys.  I know you’re getting sick of them.  I’ll have new content for you soon!  Right now, I’m focusing on getting ready for school, muddling through draft one of Amity Dawn, and fundraising.  It’s been an odd summer; one filled with motivation, support, and love, and it just keeps getting better.

So, let’s start with Amity Dawn.  It’s still a working title, until I can find the one that pops at me.  I’m working through chapter 7 at this point, and getting ready to convert chapters 1-4 into third person perspective.  Kadri is just about to confront the primary villain for the first time, after muddling through lead-up conflicts lackeys for the first six chapters.  I’m excited.  This novel is taking shape slowly, coming to life from the outline I began a year ago this month.  Unfortunately, I put it down for a bit too long, but better late than never, right?  Before long, I hope, I’ll be hunting down beta readers.

As for school, I still need to raise some money to buy my books.  I’m still selling Byzantine chain bracelets for $20 a piece (+$1.50 for shipping within the US).  You can see the details of that in this post.  Alternatively, you can visit my GoFundMe page and check out some of the smaller donation amounts.  They come with neat perks.  =]

Lastly!  I may be sharing a table with another writer friend of mine, J. Meridith Harmon, who has recently released his new novel Snyper: A Matter of Caliberat Jacksonville Pagan Pride Day!  Check it out on Amazon!  Anyway, I’ll be volunteering at PPD regardless, so you should come visit if you’re in the Jacksonville area on Sept 22. =]  If we do get the slot, I’ll be selling bracelets, G&L bookmarks, and possibly prayer beads (if I can settle on a couple of patterns I like, I’m being fickle).  It’s going to be awesome.

See you kids around. <3

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Refinement & Personal Growth

I’ve got an update!  Well, there are several updates, really, but this is the first one.

I’ve recently enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s creative writing BA program.  Awesome, right?  I know, I know.  I’m still an active supporter of “you don’t need a degree to write a novel.”  It’s true.  You don’t.  You do, however, need experience in editing and refining your work to make it appealing to people.  Some of us have more trouble with that than others, and so I’ve decided to go back to school for something worthy of my passion.  I’ve tried so hard to look for a degree or certificate program that would be a quick fix to my lack of professional direction, but there’s nothing out there that really makes me happy.

Writing makes me happy.

Writing is what I spend my time doing and thinking about.

Helping other writers to write well is something I take pride in.  It’s rewarding for me.

I can’t help writers with any credibility if I don’t further educate myself.  I can’t edit and rewrite my work very well, either, if you want the truth, and some guided direction is going to do wonders for me.  I just know it.  I want to be able to bring the benefit of these courses to others.  I want to be able to help you, my readers, and anyone else who might stumble on this blog.

I also have an announcement!

INKWELL IMAGININGS HAS A NEW CHAPTER!

It’s true!  Our local writers’ group has spread from a small library in Southbridge, MA to three separate states!  I’d like to welcome Inkwell Imaginings – Oklahoma City to our ranks!  Honestly, we never thought it would ever get this far.  Now that it has, though, I’d like to talk to everyone about Inkwell.  I’ve told you about it before, I think.  It’s a group created for local fiction writers to gather socially, get their work critiqued by peers, and celebrate or commiserate over their stories.

Want an Inkwell in your town?  Let’s make that happen!  Keep an eye out for a post on “How to Create an Inkwell Imaginings Chapter Near You!”  I’ll include an FAQ about Inkwell, what we do, how to join or create your own, popular meeting formats, and how to contact me.

AMITY DAWN DOES NOT HAVE A NEW CHAPTER!

Don’t judge me, I’m getting there.  Chapter 6 will be done soon.  I’m debating on whether to go back and fix my first person chapters by putting them in third person, or if I should just write the whole thing, then go back and include it in my first-pass revision.  x_x Ah, writer problems.

Coming up next, a shameless plug for chain maille bracelets that will help me buy my school books… STAY TUNED! Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

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BookTubeAThon and my failure

I began BookTubeaThon on July 15th.  It was a YouTube challenge set by padfootandprongs07 and ArielBisset put forth to drag YouTubers into an awesome readathon.

So, I wrote down my challenges and got to work.  Wouldn’t you know it, work destroyed any time I had to read in a marathon style.  I got through most of American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which is more reading than I’ve done in ages.  I finished it today, two days after the BookTubeAThon deadline  In my defense, I read a second book, short though it was, in the three hours following my triumph over American Gods.

The second book was The Hope Chest, by my friend Jenifer Jennings.  I had promised her I’d read it for AGES and I just suck at life and reading so…. It’s taken me over a year.  I’m a terrible friend.  It’s not something that’s normally up my alley, but I enjoyed it alright.  The collection of stories surrounding the Hope Chest in the novel were poignant and engaging.  I recommend it.

Now that I’m back to reading, I really do need to get more of it done.  I’ve missed it.

For those of you wondering, I will not meet my Camp NaNoWriMo word count goal, but you know what? For once I don’t feel badly about it.  I made great progress in my novel.  It’s something I won’t hate at the end of the event because it was rushed or forced or under-planned.  It’s a piece I have confidence in, and an underlying subject that means a great deal to me.  Despite my word count failure, I’m calling this a win.  Kadri and her crew are coming to life in my Scrivener file, and I can’t wait to have it printed so I can edit it and send it off.

Until next time. <3

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Writers and Their Quirks (or an extremely irrelevant opinion on coffee mugs)

I’ve got a lot of friends who are legitimately (versus college dormitories, ‘apartment over the garage,’ and ‘we need ten people living here to pay the rent’ roommates) moving into their own places now, and, naturally, that comes with the need for new stuff.  Furniture, cookware, decorative nonsense, and dinnerware.   Now, I’m a person who likes organization.  I like things to match.  Furniture should be in matching sets, obviously, and your dinnerware?  Absolutely.  Plates, bowls, glasses–gotta have everything looking tidy.

But not coffee mugs.  I think people who match their coffee mugs with their plates and bowls and things have no personality.  When I choose which mug I plan to drink my coffee out of for the night, it sets the mood for everything I do afterward.  I have a mug that I tend to use when I’m catching up on TV shows I’ve missed.  I’ve got a couple for writing.  A couple for reading.  One for crocheting and doodling.  A few that serve multiple purposes.

I’m not a crazy person (that’s probably debatable.  I have no concrete proof), I just think that a coffee mug can possess a lot of character.  I’ve got one with my business card design on it.  It’s pretty.   I don’t use it much, since it doesn’t hold nearly the volume of coffee I’m used to consuming.  (I have been cutting back.  Don’t judge me.)  A coffee mug should reflect the personality of the person drinking it.

Moral of the story?  Don’t be boring.

Don’t believe none of my coffee mugs match?  HERE, LET ME SHOW YOU.  (One of them actually has coffee in it.  =D)

2013-06-22 23.01.16

 

What are your quirks that have nothing to do with writing?  (Points if they are beverage-related. =P)

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