Ballad of the Scribe

Earlier this week, I finally finished the end of Part 2 for The Orion Project: Redemption, the second book. I still have one more part to write, but I’m allowing myself a break. I’ve been reading a great deal of fantasy lately and I’ve realized that I really do love writing fantasy. I love the magic, the ability to shape and shift reality. It’s a wonderful thing, especially when you can imagine a brighter world. Science fiction is a bit harder to do that with.

So it’s time to revisit what I’m now calling “Ballad of the Scribe.” It used to be called “Time Enough for One Good Story,” but that title never really jived with me.

It’s a whole new universe with the general idea of a land where Scribes use the power of imagination to create books and scrolls which can actually change reality for the person reading them. If you’re familiar with the Myst universe, it’s sort of like that, only in reverse.

At this moment, I’m working on my Story Bible. I have a strong feeling that I want to make this a true series of novels. The first book is only 31K, so it’s a short novella, but I think I might be able to expand it out to a full novel with a bit of work. There’s a lot to be done and I really want to nail down the universe details before I launch into the rewrite. I usually discovery write a great deal of my works and I’ve never worked well with a completely structured world. However, with my recent successes with Blizzard short stories, I realized that structure can be extremely useful for crafting epic emotional pieces. Half of what I’m writing will never show up in the stories, but I know it’s there so it can inform the rest of the story.

The greatest irony of this story is it began while it was very hot and I was sitting in my car, clueless on what to write about. So I started with a story about writer’s block. During writing this, I listened to the outlining podcasts for Writing Excuses and decided I wanted to try that. So I went from pure discovery writing to pure outline. Now I’m trying to do a strange combination of both.

Anyway, that’s how things are going in the writing world. You folks have a great day.

-rks

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Consistency

For a while now, I’ve been struggling to get promoted at my current work place. While I’ve also been expanding my horizons and looking elsewhere to bigger and better things, I had the chance to sit down with my head Store Manager for a really frank conversation. You see, I’ve been told for years that I’m “almost there.” And I’ve never been able to nail down what they actually want. I’ve had this conversation so often with so many different managers and none of them have been able to communicate what they want to see.

I’ve heard a lot of buzz words that end up meaning too little. Double-speak and gibberish which makes me feel more confused going out than I was going in. I had one with a manager a week or two ago and I was so depressed afterwards that I felt like I just wanted to hide under the covers for a week.

But I finally got the truth. And it’s consistency. I was told up front that my customer service skills are excellent. My tech abilities are stellar. I have good ideas, I learn from feedback, generally I’m everything they want. But the truth of the matter is that I have mood swings. I tend to go up and down in mood. I’ll be good for a while, then burn out and crash for a while. The reason I have been passed over time and again is because of this.

I think all those other managers were trying to communicate that, but I never heard it in a way where it really made sense to me. I always wondered what was really going on. And I finally got to hear what happened in the meeting where they decided to pass me over again for the 9-10th time.

Now, I could have a little pity party right now. I could whine that their communication skills suck. That they can’t elaborate on their ideas. That they can’t have the courage to come up and really try to help me get it.

But I don’t want to do that. Because I’ve been down that road and it leads to nothing and nowhere.

So I’ve been praying hard and thinking hard about what I’ve been doing. I think that now I’m aware of it, I’ll have a better time trying to deal with it. My biggest concern isn’t tomorrow, or next week, or even next month, but two and a half months from now when I got zero sleep and got in a fight with Laura before going to work. That’s the key. That’s what matters.

Only real hope is divine intervention, right?

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The Orion Project: Redemption

I finally ended Chapter 37 and 38. The total word count is around 133K. Page count is 755 in my Word document. And yes, I know that’s way too long. I’m not caring about editing right now, I’m caring about getting to the end of Part II (yes I’m only 2/3s done) so I can do something else for a while. It will probably be an editing project for my “Scribe” novella I did last fall. That story has really been calling to me and I think I can do better by it.

College Adventures

I’ve narrowed down some of my options. I’m seriously considering going to “National University” for a BA in Digital Media Design. It’s accredited, it’s legitimate, and it’s definitely in the right direction for eventually getting a job in the video game industry. I know in truth it won’t matter that much to any studio I apply to, but in truth, I’ve always regretted not having a BA. It’s tormented me for years. It bothers me every time I see an “Almuni” license plate holder on the freeway. So it happens A LOT.

I’m not entirely sure about it, but I’m going to continue to do research on the subject. My goal is to focus on 3 different schools and get all the information I can get by the end of April. I want to make a decision by the middle of May.

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Caitlyn

Caitlyn’s almost walking! Just last night she did 15 steps in a series of toddling stumbles for both me and Laura. We’re so happy!

In Other News…

I finally got a new camera. It’s the Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS. I talked to a ton of my coworkers who regularly work with photography before I did it and it seems like the best camera for the job. I won’t really get to put it through it’s paces until Sunday because the SD card I ordered from Amazon doesn’t come in until Saturday.

And I’m sleeping worse and worse. I feel like I’m getting maybe 4 hours of sleep lately, with the insomnia, Caitlyn and our annoying orange cat. But there’s not a lot I can do about it. Sleep is for the weak, right?

Okay, just about done here. I’m now aiming to start having a blog post once a week or so. I can’t really handle more than that. And I just don’t have enough to talk about otherwise!

You folks have fun now, you hear?

-rks

Exhaustion and Other States

I’m writing this while I’m exhausted to the point of falling over. In the last week, I’ve had some schedule shifts lately, having to come in an hour early for work than I’m used to. It means I get up at 5AM instead of 6AM. You’d think an hour difference wouldn’t be that big of a deal. After all, I’m going to bed around 9:20, turning off the light around 9:40. Should be okay, right?

Yeah, not really. My brain utterly refuses to adjust to this schedule because I’ve been on the 8-5 schedule for the last year and a half. My brain will not stop yammering about the day, even though the reading helps.

Oh well. Not really much choice in the matter.

In other news, I’ve finally started to get my butt in gear on The Orion Project: Redemption. The story is now over 125K words. My Word Document is over 700 pages. And the sad thing is…I’m really only 2/3rd done with the story. What this means is likely I’ll have to restructure the entire trilogy. But right now, I’m not focusing on that. I’m focusing on finishing Part II. I’m only about 2 chapters away from the end where I just turn everything on it’s head. I’m really looking forward to this.

After Part II though, I’m seriously considering putting it aside to start rewriting my “Scribe” novella. I’m hoping to work out a more consistent magic system (reading Brandon Sanderson’s novels had taught me an enormous amount about how magic systems can work for plot) and to maybe expand some of the text until it’s a full novel. While many authors tend to ramble in their stories, I tend to ramble AND skip important things. It tends to grow with extra detail that I left out in the first pass. I have a very strong feeling about this story universe. I think it has an enormous amount of potential for an ongoing series and something very original. It’s funny because it started with me having writer’s block while in my car during last summer.

In other news, I’m thrilled. Caitlyn has finally learned to stand unassisted from a sitting position. All yesterday she was constantly standing and clapping. She was full of grins on Easter. And she went nuts when we started to blow bubbles at her. She squeaked with such joy. My aunt said “When the Bible talks about joy, I think that’s what it means.” I think she’s right.

Anyway, I hope to get a bit farther on Orion 2 on lunch today. It’s really the only time I’ve been writing lately, but that needs to change. Writing Excuses’s “April Fools” episode was such an amazing joke on all the stupid excuses we make not to write. And it really resonated with me, informing me in no uncertain terms that I need to stop screwing around and start getting more serious.

Here’s the link for those interested: http://www.writingexcuses.com/2012/04/01/writing-excuses-7-14-writing-excuses/

It’s time to get back to work now. You folks have a great day.

Have fun!

-rks