After a crazy week, Facing the Fire is now out and available for you to enjoy. Aili’s adventures continue, and you get to meet some new friends she makes, as well as learning more about her country. Book 2, Facing the Fire, finishes her adventures with the magical artifact she first encounters in Runaway Magic, Book 1.
I’ve already plotted out the third book and I begin writing that tomorrow. She tackles new problems and visits a new forest. Aili is going to experience her first temperate rain forest. So far each forest has been inspired by actual environments I’ve been in, and the next forest is no exception. Canada has a wide variety of ecosystems and I can use them all as inspiration for new places Aili can go.
Our first newsletter went out today as well. Each has a bonus story involving Aili, as well as updates from the last month, and a poll or question that lets me get your opinion on something about the books or the characters.
After working so hard to learn new skills and get the book and newsletter done, it’s time for a quick rest. I’m not stopping writing, I’m just taking it easy for the week. I love adventuring with Aili and that will continue. Normally I will write between 2000 and 6000 words a day. This week I’m going to write however much I want and not focus on anything but telling the story how I like. A rest is a good thing. Unfortunately, Aili hasn’t had a chance to rest in her stories, which means I haven’t rested, either!
Facing the Fire is in the publication stage. It'll be ready incredibly soon. In the mean time, if you love science fiction or fantasy, check out these reads. Book 1, Runaway Magic, is in this collection. Click on the picture below or HERE to check out a whole collection of books by a variety of authors, myself included. If you have Kindle Unlimited, these books are all free to read.
Life has been a little crazy here lately. Winter is visiting early and we’re getting snow. Way more snow than normal for this time of year, in fact. A family member has been dealing with a health issue as well that means they can’t drive, so I’ve been driving them to appointments. Now, snow and roads...yeah, I’m not a fan of winter driving. I can do it, I’m good, but I don’t enjoy it.
Mostly my writing has been uninterrupted and normal scheduling, though the occasional day I’ve had to adjust around medical appointments. I’m now proofreading and making tiny changes for words and meanings, so I’m almost done. Facing the Fire will be for sale soon!
With everything going on right now, I’m resting every chance I get, when I’m not editing, that is. My first newsletter is already prepared and ready to be sent out on the 27th of October. I can relax and work on the final stages of getting Facing the Fire out into the world and still help my family member with their health problems.
I’ll leave it there, as it’s nap time. I just got back from driving up to a hospital on horrible roads, and I’m tired!
It’s something interesting I’ve noticed, as I’m close to finishing the second Forest Guardians book. I go on my own journey along with my main characters. At the start of a new book, both Aili and I are full of energy and ready to go. By the end, as the book gets ready for publishing, we’re both tired.
It’s not always Aili, either. I have a couple of books in the works with other main characters. Now, I don’t write the books in order at all. I plot out and outline my books, and after that I jump around and write what moves me. Maybe I start at the beginning, as it’s an excellent place to start, but I might write the ending next.
My journey isn’t about the plot and the character’s journey. My journey is getting from a blank file to a complete story. Aili may be going from her home to setting out and protecting her forest, and back home again, though her home might change.
The one main difference, other than that I imagine Aili’s journey while she actually goes on the adventure, is that she travels with friends. I do, too, but my friends are Aili and her friends. It’s often been said to me that writing is a solitary pursuit. In reality, physically I am alone, but I have a whole cast of characters in my head that talk to me through the pages.
So far I’ve been writing my books in about 3-4 months each. In that time, Aili goes from wherever I left at the end of my last book to a whole adventure, and back to wherever she gets to rest. I go from a fresh start with a lot of enthusiasm down to being tired. By the end, I feel like I’ve walked through the forests with her. As I get close to the end, I’m ready to lay down and sleep for a week, just like Aili did after the first Forest Guardians book.
I didn’t expect this. Every book I write teaches me something more about the process or writing, or even myself. I think the fact I’ve set aside the other books to finish book 2 has made the fatigue a little worse. With multiple books in progress, all at different stages, I haven’t experienced this tiredness before. That’s okay, I’ll rest when I’m done. I’m almost done!
I’m always looking to learn more about writing and everything that goes along with being an author. One thing I’m seriously looking into is having a newsletter for my readers, each month. It’s actually easy to do and doesn’t take long.
Why would I want to spend more time not writing? It’s a great way to connect with readers when done well. Also, it’s a great place to share things like bonus scenes and materials with my fans. What kind of bonus scenes?
Well, for those who sign up for my newsletter, I’ve written the scene from Aili’s past, where she survives the fire at the University. There will also be scenes from her childhood like her first camping trip, the scene with the bear mentioned in book 2, scenes of her and Ilia together, and more.
There’s so much I can do and share in a newsletter, so I’m putting stuff together for you all. I’m planning on sending them out at the beginning of each month. You can learn more about what’s going on, what I’m working on, see behind the scenes moments for both me and my characters, and more.
What else is going on? The puppy is settling in and learning when it’s playtime and when it’s writing time. Winter is coming, we got our first real snow last night, and we’re preparing for the change of seasons. I guess I need to finish repairing the winter blankets for the horses! I’m learning more about being an author, newsletters, marketing, and more. Oh, and as always, I’m writing more stories for you, my fabulous readers.
Yes, it’s that time again. Aili is ready to share another adventure soon. The second book is nearly fully in the final draft, and editing begins this week. Before the end of October, Facing the Fire will be available for sale.
That also means I’ll begin planning her next adventure incredibly soon as well. As it sometimes happens, I have ideas where I’d like to go, but Aili had other ideas of her own. She decided certain things needed to happen when I was writing the ending of book two, and now I have something more to tackle in upcoming books. Teenagers!
When I first considered writing a series, I was hesitant. Some well known authors I had been learning from expressed that sequels could be a unique challenge, but I didn’t find it so. If anything, it was easier to write than the first book. Mind you, the first book I was still learning how to write a novel.
So, what happens in the second book? You learn more about the main characters. You learn some back story for both Scouts. You see Aili tackle her challenges she faces after the final scene in the first book. You get to meet more Scouts and learn more about her society.
What about the third book? I’m still in the planning stages. I won’t start writing it until the second book is ready to be published. I can promise you’ll learn even more about everyone, Aili will have new adventures, she’ll face a whole new set of challenges, and she’ll get to see more of her world. For someone who grew up in a city, even a large city, she’s never explored her country until she set off on her own in book one.
Keep an eye out. Book two is coming soon!
Well, I’ve now had two writing days with my new writing buddy. He’s been a good boy for the most part. Puppies come with some challenges, and we’ve made a few changes to accommodate the puppy stage. Our morning routine takes a little longer, and that’s okay.
Since he’s so young, we can’t leave him in the yard unattended yet. We have owls and they’ve been known to take small dogs before, though never one of our dogs. Our older dog is big enough that he’s safe, but the puppy is not. So, any time we want to do anything, one of us stays with the puppy while the other does horse care, and so on. He’ll grow and it won’t be a problem anymore eventually.
This means I now get up a few minutes earlier so I can do dog care while he does horse care first thing. After he’s back, I still take the older dog for a walk. I’m still leash training him, as we’ve only had him a few days. Meditating is a little more challenging, too, with a puppy crawling on me, but hey, I love a challenge.
As long as he gets a good play session before I begin, he lays quietly and sleeps while I write. He’ll lay on the pad beside my chair and keep me company. So far he sleeps well, not fussing overnight, and waking with us in the morning.
I’m working away on my second Forest Guardians book and it’s nearly done. I have a couple more projects underway, including the martial arts book. With a good writing buddy, I’ll keep making steady progress. Our only sticky spot is house training, as I need to make sure he goes out really regularly for now, being a young puppy. We’re sorting things out and getting there.
So, say hi to my new writing buddy!
I’ve been a little quiet on my blog this week. Something has come up and life has given us another turn. See, when I wrote my first book, my old dog was my writing companion. He lay on a pad beside my desk and really kept me company through all the drafts. Sadly, he had some health issues and age took him as I was publishing the book.
Well, our other dog is not nearly as interested in being my writing companion, as he prefers to do his own thing. He’s also not been as happy being an only dog, either. We were talking with a friend and things led to other things and basically...we’re getting a puppy!
He comes home tomorrow. When I haven’t been writing, I’ve been puppy proofing the house. We didn’t plan on having another dog, though we never discounted the possibility. We went and met the puppies and I happened to get to know one well, and, yeah - we’re getting a puppy!
So I may be quiet here for a few more days while we settle the little guy in. The nice thing about writing from home is I have the ability to care for and give attention to a puppy. Today I finish tidying the floor and removing temptations, as puppies have no common sense or idea of rules.
Have a wonderful day, everyone!
Another area I pay attention to is my fitness. When I feel good physically, I feel better mentally, too. What you do is not as important as enjoying what you do. If you like your activity, you’ll stay with it longer and look forward to getting active.
I enjoy a wide varieties of physical activities. Right now my fitness has taken a hit with the whole covid difficulty. Since it will be a while before I get back to martial arts classes, I decided it was time to do something about it. I began a new fitness program this last week.
I chose a yoga shred program, a cross between yoga and high intensity interval training. I’ve done both yoga and interval training before, and have enjoyed yoga program videos from this particular teacher before, so I thought I’d try it.
Today was day 6. Some days I feel fabulous and capable. Other days are difficult, but I push through and keep going. Yesterday was a successful day. Today was a real push. Either way, I give it my best effort and go for it. Only 3 days in, I already had more energy and felt better. Today I’m more tired after the workout, but it was a bigger challenge for me than usual. Tomorrow I’ll feel good again.
To go with my exercise routine, I’m paying close attention to my diet again. I already eat well, lots of veggies and home made foods with lower sugar and healthy fats. I’m even more careful with sugar now and I do feel great. By keeping fit and healthy, I really do write better. Fuelling my body and brain will let me achieve my best.
Everyone in Aili’s country wears a neckband. It has become a part of their culture, it’s been done for so long. When bands were originally used, they were made by mages who wanted an easy way to identify who was another mage and who was not. Earlier in their history the mages did allow non-magical folk to live in their countries, usually refugees from various disasters. Mages preferred to mark themselves instead of forcing outsiders to segregate or mark themselves.
People aren’t born with the bands, but they are given them within days from birth. As a person grows, the band grows with them. Their magical abilities and deeds are recorded by the bands through both colour and decorations. The bands start as a plain bronze, and change once a person’s magic becomes active. Normally this is around the age of five or six. Aili is incredibly unusual in not having her band change for a prolonged period.
The colour of a band affects a person’s status in society. Little children have bronze bands, and not much is expected of them as they grow and get ready to study magic. Once they are ready, around five or six years old, they are assessed for magical ability and their bands change to silver. Silver indicates a student. Silver bands have a small and flat plate with the magic teacher’s name on it. When a person passes their formal exams, their band turns gold and they are a full mage. They’re ready to find an occupation and take their place in society as a full adult. If their knowledge and abilities progress, usually as a person ages, their bands may turn platinum and they become a Master Mage.
By far the largest group are regular Mages. Much of the population have gold bands. Master Mages are not rare, though. They tend to gravitate to either academics, usually at the University, or they join specialist groups, like the Scouts and Border Guards. The population is fairly stable in the country, with families tending towards only two or three children generally, and people live in harmony with nature. Not everyone forms a family, which prevents the population from growing beyond their resources.
So, what does someone do when their band doesn’t act normally? That is Aili’s problem...
I’ve been writing stories for myself for years. Now, I’m a published author. No genre is off limits, though I have some favorites.