After the storm

I’ve decided to add a touch of – not tragedy, more like disaster – to the second novel.  The township was wrecked in a fierce storm, and now the town’s people have a monumental task before them.

Interesting though, is that Bentley is now aware of an old legend of gold and jewels and other valuables locked away in the deep ocean.  Is it possible that the legend is true?  That there is gold?  And that much gold could do wonderful things (repair work etc. 😉 )

The whole point of this part of the story is to show what can be done when we all pull together and try to help each other.  When we are one, who knows what we can accomplish?

A wild tempest

After a lovely weekend away with my partner and Bentley (who saw the beach for the first time 🙂 ), I sat down to work on chapter six.  And what a scary night!

So, Bentley is off exploring and meeting new friends and, you know, doing what all heroic Jack Russell’s do.  Meanwhile, his town of Appleby has been lashed by a fierce storm the likes of which no one remembers.  Houses have been picked up and shifted to new addresses, trees uprooted, the beach reshaped, the whole nine yards.  Bentley is going to have quite a shock when he comes home.

I think that the storm is a good metaphor for coming together and being there for one another, at least in this story, because the townspeople, as well as the four-legged, winged and eight-legged inhabitants, will band together and rebuild the town with stoic resolve.

After all, isn’t that what communities do?

A chapter a night, and going strong

So I’m trying for one chapter per night, and when I sit down to write, I write one chapter as a minimum.  If I got any more out of myself, great.  But one chapter.  For me at this point this equals roughly 1800-2200 words.  (Though tonight it only equaled just under 500 because it was only a short chapter.)

One great piece of advice I’ve heard in my life is – when you have a challenge (not a problem, a challenge, because that’s what problems are), isolate the problem areas and work through bit by bit, step by step.  A novel is a huge undertaking – my first novel finished up at 25000+ words (I’m not actually sure whether this qualifies as a novel in terms of word count, but there it is 🙂 ), and I didn’t focus on that number – that’s WAY too overwhelming to contemplate.

So instead I aimed to write a certain amount of words every time I sat down (I averaged about 1400 words per session, give or take) and I was done with the book in about five to six weeks.  Had I focused on 25000+ words instead of 1400 or so, I wouldn’t be writing this blog (or my novel, for that matter).  I broke the challenge down (a novel) into a set of steps (1400 words per night over 5 weeks or so.)  That was how I overcame the challenge.

So whatever you’re doing, when you get stuck (and you will sooner or later), take it steady, one chunk at a time.  You’ll get there.

A legend of treasure and magic fire TV

Got some mojo happening tonight – maybe it’s listening to Carl Barron in the background on the TV, but the pen was moving at warp speed tonight.  (And the chocolate and coffee doesn’t hurt either 🙂 )

Bentley and Cora have been playing for hours, and late in the afternoon they met an old Woodland Bear named Archie.  Archie, like Artie from the first novel (out soon 🙂 ) has the gift of Fire-Changing – he can manipulate and change flames and the very fuel of life.  Camp fires are hundreds of feet tall and the planets come down from the heavens to form laser light shows.  (How cool would that be?  Seriously.)

After said light show, Archie, who conjures a fireball, then splats it on the cave wall to form a kind of screen, tells our heroes a story of sunken treasure and a mysterious Lord Of The Low Seas who can manipulate the weather at his will, complete with pictures on the fire TV.  A legend?  Myth?  A good yarn spun by an enthusiastic amateur author?

We shall see 🙂

Back in the saddle

I’m back after over a month of inactivity.

Well, not inactivity, just haven’t been working on the writing.  I’ve been working on new music for my musical project, plus taking care of some things over the Christmas break.

Now I’m back to work, pumped out over a thousand words tonight 🙂 at this rate I’m hoping to be done before the end of April.

So the story so far…Bentley and Cora have been out exploring the Western Forests while a nasty storm gathers to the south of Appleby, which promises to be a storm to remember.

I love writing.  I think sometimes I love writing more than music.  Music is a wonderful thing, but writing is a wonderful means of creating worlds, creatures, people.  Who doesn’t love that?

In other news, I’m sketching ideas for another story series which I will put together over the next few years.  I’m tentatively referring to it as “Industrial Fantasy”.  Should be interesting…

Back to B-I-C time (thanks to Jim Butcher for this wonderful term)

After a couple of weeks away, I needed to get back to this blog and communicate with the world again :-).  Thanks for being patient with me.

I’ve had a few personal issues taking up my time over the last couple of weeks, which is why I haven’t been on my blog, or worked on my novel for that matter.  But I decided that it was high time for some quality BIC time.  (Thanks Jim Butcher:

BIC stands for Butt In Chair.  And I needed some BIC time to get some work done on the next novel.  And I’m getting all excited again about Bentley’s next adventure.

This one is shaping up to be a lot more focused on action/adventure, and more of a focus on magic, which I’m both excited and unsure about.  I’ve never worked with magic before in my writing, so I imagine it will be a pretty simple attempt, at least for now.

By the way, I’m thinking a March/April date for the publication of the first novel 🙂  I’ll be 31 on April 7, so that might make for a nice birthday present for myself 😛

An excellent resource

I discovered this website a little while ago, and it’s changed my entire outlook and way I conduct myself as an author and blogger.

It’s geared towards authors, but I think some of the resources and ideas are applicable to other creative types as well.  Ideas and suggestions on websites, using Twitter effectively, all kinds of odds and ends.

Check it out – it’s well worth it 🙂

Harvest festival time (aka novel number two is off and racing).

Tonight I began the second adventure of Bentley The Brave.  Hooray!  🙂

I’ve penned 1,320 words tonight, or one chapter, and the Harvest Festival is fast approaching.  The Harvest Festival happens on the last four days of spring, and is a time of celebration.  It’s also an important time for farmers and growers of fruits and vegetables, for the finest of these are picked/harvested etc. and are then traded with other towns to the west, traded for grains and other necessities.  Fruit and vegetables is the town’s currency, along with cider and pear strudel (more on that in another post.).

This novel will feature a much stronger human element, and I’m hoping to capture the resilience and depths of courage that people bring when troubled times are afoot.  And trouble is definitely brewing on the southern horizon.

Bentley, however, is nowhere to be seen…yet…

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2nd novel in the planning works (***SPOILER ALERT***)

I finished the outline for the second installment of Bentley The Brave, and this one will be a lot more thought-out, a lot more human (by virtue of the fact that there will actually be humans in this one 🙂 ), and hopefully my writing skills have improved to the point where this one will be a lot better.  (Hey, how can it get worse when you’re just starting out? 😛 ).

The basic idea goes something like this – Bentley and his very best mate are out in the Western Forests, adventuring, while back home a raging storm is very thoroughly destroying his town.  After seeing the damage, Bentley heads out to find a fabled treasure.  Along the way, he will meet a hippy Golden Retriever (interesting character, believe me), a ticklish octopus who really shouldn’t be guarding prisoners, and a 600-year-old man who needs a full nights sleep.  Badly.

Should be a fun ride with this one, and this time I have no excuse for stopping for three months because I actually have a plan.  It’s scary how organized I can be sometimes 🙂