#ROW80 Reminders and #WIPpet Wednesday Jerkiness.

row80-2So it occurred to me on Monday night that while I took in the notes my betas gave me for AMCF, and did a pretty thorough edit on the same draft myself, having the files with my betas’ comments open as I work through the next draft would probably be beneficial. While it has been overall, there have certainly been moments that have given that reminder I’m sure we all dread. Namely, that there are always going to be things that people don’t like and I will never please everybody and it’s probably better not to try. I mean, there are more instances of “Yay, they liked that!” or “Ooh, that’s an idea, Imma run with that” than the negative stuff, but it’s funny how we always get hung up on the things people didn’t like. There was also a moment when I was rereading one of Regi McClain’s comments and realised there was a bit of a plot-hole and I maybe had a bit of an overreaction. I say overreaction because it’s actually quite fine and easily fixed, but I didn’t realise that til a bit later.

My ROW80 goal for this round is to revise two chapters per week… As on Wednesday night, I’m probably about halfway through the first of these chapters. However, my writing group and I are going away over Friday/Saturday to have a full-on editing blitz. So I’m hoping I won’t have any trouble meeting my goal by Saturday night, and may even surpass it. Last week I managed to complete two chapters on Monday night, but then didn’t get any more work done the entire week. Mostly because I got distracted by books written by people other than me, I will admit.

It’s just occurred to me that writing this blog post on the shiny new laptop I just bought on my way home from work is all very well except for all my AMCF stuff is still on the old laptop and that’s going to make posting a WIPpet difficult. I did have one in mind that was only short, let’s see if I can remember it.

“Word is you’re the prince’s mistress and if Princess Maria had been unable to conceive, they would have had you do the job.”

I’ve gone backwards slightly; this is the sort of thing Cait is responding to in the excerpt I posted last week. However it is phrased in the Word Document, it was 25 words, which is adding all the digits for the date except the 2. According to the online word counter I just used, it’s 23, which I suppose is all the digits added together except one of the 4s. Either way, the WIPpet maths works. Please do join us on WIPpet Wednesday! All you need to do is post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date (and we’re pretty lenient about that, really), and then join us at the linky. Thanks to the wonderful K. L. Schwengel who keeps us all in line. ;)

Anyway, as I have Church tomorrow night due to it being Holy Thursday, and I am going away Friday/Saturday, there are a host of things I really need to get done tonight. As such, I will leave this here, and head off. See you all soon! Have a wonderful Easter! :)

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#MirthMusicMon – Google and Some Josh Groban

So today I was on a bus and somehow got thinking about Eddie Perfect and I was like, “Is he the one who had the routine about Google” and then I remembered, “No, that’s Eddie Ifft”, and then I was thinking about how I liked that Google spiel. So this is Eddie Ifft’s Google rant. Sorry for a bit of bad language.

I was hoping to find an Eddie Ifft song to use a the music part of this post, because then we would have had two Eddies, but the only song I could find that would make sense to people other than Australians got a bit weird in the second verse and I didn’t like it. So when all else fails, Josh Groban, right? This is one of my favourite songs off his most recent album, “All That Echoes”.

To join in on Mirth and Music Monday, simply post some videos like this and then head on over to Regi McClain’s blog, where you’ll find a nice, handy linky. And with that, I leave you to enjoy (or not) your Monday.

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P.S. I just posted this, and WordPress congratulated me on my 200th post. So that’s a thing.

Book Review: Emergence by K. L. Schwengel

Title: Emergence
Author: K. L. Schwengel
Genre: Fantasy
Format: E-book, also available as paperback (Amazon)
Date Read: 18/03/2014 – 28/03/2014
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

coverrevealEmergence is the second installment in the Darkness and Light series by K. L. Schwengel, who is also known in these parts as the fearless leader of the Wippeteers and wrangler of the flying monkeys. I read First of Her Kind, the first in the series, back last May, so I was a bit worried about how much I’d remember. My concern was unwarranted, however, as I very quickly found myself settling back into the world of Ciara and Bolin and their adventures and struggles.

This novel is a bit road-trippy; Bolin is ordered fairly early on to take Ciara to the Emperor in the city of Nisair and I would estimate the middle 40% or so of the novel is them getting there. This does run the risk of letting the plot drag, but while there were a couple of points where it did seem to slow down a bit, for the most part there was plenty of action to keep the plot moving in spite of this.

We have a host of new characters in the form of the escort sent to make sure Bolin and Ciara arrive in Nisair. Most notable of these is Berk, who not only gets some awesome action scenes, but also acts as a second love interest to Ciara and makes Bolin grumble. Also, he’s super-adorable, and I never add “super” to things to make them sound even better, so that says a lot.

In First of her Kind, the big bad was Donovan, Ciara’s father from whom she inherited Andrakaos, one of her two forms of magic. Donovan is still around, but he is no longer the only adversary our heroes have to face. Donovan has teamed up with Teeva, a Dominion priestess in possession of some of the darkest magic there is. There are also Marauders to contend with, and they get nasty (actually there are some pretty dark things going on in the marauder camp, so if that’s not your thing, maybe give this one a miss). Oh, and let’s not forget that some of the Imperial Mages aren’t exactly acting under the direction of the Emperor anymore.

The multiple magic systems that K. L. Schwengel has created weave around each other seamlessly, and one of my favourite parts of the novel was the development of Ciara’s control over Andrakaos, which culminated in a very dramatic scene during the novel’s climax (vagueness deliberate). Bolin is also dealing with the effects of Teeva’s magic, and by the end of novel, there is something else looking on the horizon: the Darkness. The action scenes are also very vivid. I can see everything play out in my mind’s eye exactly as described.

My only real criticism of Emergence is that I thought we could have seen a bit more of Ciara. There was definitely some important stuff going on that we got to witness from her point of view, but I felt this was more Bolin’s story overall. Not necessarily a bad thing, he is a main character after all, but personally I would have liked a bit more of our heroine.

The ending has left us set up for an exciting and intense final installment in which many opposing powers are going to clash (there was also a Ciara/Bolin scene that left me with a huge, stupid grin on my face). I know I’ll be first in line on the day it goes on sale! :D

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Today’s #ROW80 and #WIPpet Wednesday

row80-2So I was all, “I probably won’t do a ROW80 update on this first Wednesday of the round, because mine is a weekly goal, and it’s unlikely I will have made a huge amount of progress in two days.”

Which would usually be true, except then I finished editing my two chapters for the week on Monday night. So that was pretty awesome. It helps that the first of these two chapters was one I had already written a fair amount of the new material for, anyway, and the second didn’t require many changes, so it was mostly just copying and pasting from the previous draft and making little edits here and there.

(Last night I then proceeded to write one sentence, before being invited up to my neighbour’s house to run Crucible lines [she is also in the production]. Except we ran no lines whatsoever in the two and a half hours I was up there, and just talked about what we’re reading and the upcoming Jane Austen Festival and how one year we’ll be organised enough to actually attend, and things like that.)

Most of the drastic changes between drafts do take place earlier on in the story, and apart from a few little things to do with the order of certain events, much from where I’m up to through to the end will remain pretty much how it is. There are a few spots where I’ve

I’ve also decided on the subject matter for either August Camp NaNoWriMo or official NaNoWriMo, (depending on what month it is when I am finally done with AMCF) so I’m doing some preliminary research on that to try to figure out an actual plot. Which is weird because I never do research (well, not at the outset), but I’m really set on this topic and the reading is really fun. Sorry my vagueness, I want to keep it to myself for a little while yet.

wednesdaybannerAnyway, today being Wednesday also means WIPpet Wednesday. I am going with something short today because I’ve spent way too long trying to figure out what to post. As for my WIPpet math, I added up all the digits of today’s date and got 20, and then I subtracted 1 because… that’s how many words there are in my excerpt. So ner. Or I guess I could just add up all the digits except for the 1. Whatever. Last week, quite a few of you admired Cait’s forthrightness towards Prince Felipe. This is another example of that, though in this scene, she’s dealing with one of the doctors in the war hospital who is rude to her on a number of occasions.

“Most people here realise that the nurses deserve as much respect as you; perhaps you should do the same.”

The ROW80 linky for today can be found here, and I encourage you to and cheer on some other writers. To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date, and then join us at this linky. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. And speaking of Kathi, I have a review of her latest novel, Emergence, scheduled for this Friday, so keep an eye out for that. I’m going to head off now, visit some blogs and then do some more writing. Catch you all later! :D

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#MirthMusicMon – Flash Mob! and #ROW80 Statement of Intent

This week on Mirth and Music Monday, a video that was shared by either the Disney page or the Lion King page on Facebook earlier this week. I can’t remember, I follow them both. Anyway, it’s the new Australian cast of The Lion King flash mobbing their fellow plane passengers on a trip back to Sydney with a rousing rendition of The Circle of Life. I wish I had been on this plane.

And for some more Flash Mob fun, here is another musical number:

Mirth and Music Monday is run by the very lovely Regi McClain. Visit her blog for the linky. :D

row80-2In other news, the new round of Around of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) starts today. My writer friends have instigated a challenge we’ve named “April-o Edit-o” in which we aim to have a fully edited novel by the end of April, at which point we pass it on to someone else to read, but I can’t say I’m stressing too much about whether or not I actually manage this. My goal is still to edit two chapters of A More Complicated Fairytale a week, which will see me finish roughly at the end of May. I’m thinking maybe a release date sometime in August, maybe? That’ll give me time to go back and fix the bits where I’ve just left red exclamation marks, get the non-writing aspects of it all organised… that sort of thing.

But anyway, that’s the longer term plan that goes beyond this ROW80 round. Two chapters a week, that’s my goal. Over the past couple of weeks, people have got used to me basically holing myself up at my desk, so they can continue being used to that. :P As for check-ins, I’ll just do them on Wednesdays, when I’ll be doing my usual WIPpet Wednesday post anyway. I never really feel like I have enough to say for two check-ins a week. I’m going to finish this off now, and will be back later in the week!

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Drive-by #WIPPet Wednesday Post

I… don’t really feel like writing a blog post tonight. Wednesday sort of snuck up on me. I apologise for getting around of barely any of your WIPpets in the past week, or even responding to comments on my own. I can’t even really claim to have been too busy or anything, just lazy. Ah, well. I’m still plodding away on AMCF edits. I’ve had this kind of gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach lately because I really would like to write something else, but I had no real ideas. Nothing too big, just a flash fiction or something, for a break. I browsed the “Adopt a plot” thread on the NaNoWriMo forums and there was one that did take my eye and is percolating at the back of my mind. Depending on how far I get with AMCF (I’m hoping to have edits done by the end of May), I might participate in the August Camp NaNo. Or you know, just start my own thing. Whatevs.

Anyway, my WIPpet math for today is very basic. Two very short paragraphs for the second of the month. I’m trying to flesh out Cait and Felipe’s first post-ball conversation, and actually have it go on for a little while before Cait loses her temper with him. Felipe asks Cait if she has any siblings and when he learns she has no brothers, with his infinite supply of tact, says something to the effect of, “Soooo, if your dad were to die, the rest of you are kinda screwed, huh?” to which Cait essentially replies, “Well, if certain royal families would change our stupid laws so we could inherit stuff, maybe it wouldn’t be a problem.” Felipe thinks this is a silly suggestion.

“But surely you don’t think your own upbringing, or that of most other women in the kingdom, would prepare you to manage property the way your father does?”

“My father studied history, your Highness, not economics or property law. Does that help him any more than the music or the languages I’ve studied?”

This is the bit where I’m relieved Cait is not of the Tumblr generation, because then I’m sure that the term “male privilege” would come up in this conversation, and that’s really not a place I want to go to. I’m all for social justice and activism and such but… Tumblr.

Anyway, I titled this post “Drive-by WIPpet Wednesday” and yet I’ve been writing it for the last hour and a half. Some of that time has been spent actually writing, though, and some of it was spent sending a detailed description of Cait and Felipe and the final scene of AMCF to one of my writer friends, who also happens to also be an artist friend and is going to do me an illustration. I’ve seen some of the art she’s done some art for one of our other friends and I’m really keen to see how this turns out. I’ll scan it to show it off to you all when I receive it.

To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an snippet from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date. Then join us at the linky and have fun! I’m off to bed now! I’ll catch you all soon!

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