I announced the reason for the blog's slow down back at the very beginning of August, complete with the mention of a hope things would return to normal once I settled into teaching, but that never happened. As it turns out, my perfectionistic tendencies didn't mesh well with trying to teach three classes and keep other "balls" in the air, juggling work, writing, and running a small business the way I've done in the past with more typical administrative positions. To put more of a point to it, I didn't mesh well with classroom teaching, so I ended up leaving my position at Foster Academy at the end of October.
The way my brain works, my memory in particular, is excellent for working one-on-one with students as a tutor, mentor, or a homeschooling mom. However, without a carefully written and laid out script to follow each class, it makes me the kind of teacher kids hate in a classroom setting. You know, one of those teachers whose train of thought jumps the track every few minutes, so they're impossible to follow?
Yeah, I was that teacher the first week or so until I learned to start writing myself scripts to follow in the form of slides presentations. You see, I remember things by association. One fact links to another and another and another because of similarities between them.
One of my biggest goals for this quarter was to finish the Icarus rough draft, but plans have changed.
It's not something I can really talk about at this stage, but I'm helping on a big project that will be ongoing. I might talk about it once things are more settled, but suffice to say the most intensive part of it will take place over the summer this year. Because of this, my time is going to be very limited. Things here on the blog won't change much, if I can help it, but I'm going to have to put drafting Icarus on hold until at least mid-August.
I apologize for the "secrecy," but rest assured, I'll let you in on what's going on when I can.
Normally, I would make this kind of announcement closer to the date, but I didn’t want to upset the posting schedule for the back to basics series yet again.
This is only my second holiday season since establishing this website, and I don’t think I mentioned anything about either my annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale or my Christmas sale last year on this blog. While the sale is mostly for Contented Comfort, the small business largely responsible for supporting my writing habit, the books are included in the sale. Because of the larger overhead for books, especially printed copies, I cannot mark them down by the same margins I do the bath and body products or even the few crochet items in stock. However, a 20% markdown is still pretty good, and that includes the signed paperbacks as well as the ebooks!
The start of a new school year always seems like a new beginning to me. Maybe it's because I married a teacher. Maybe it's because we're a homeschooling family. I'm not sure, but that feeling of a fresh start come early August is still there.
Because of this, I wanted to take a few minutes to ask you what you'd like to see from this blog. Do you want me to stick with just fiction writing, publishing, and related topics? Would you like some basic composition and grammatical lessons? More reviews? Fewer reviews? Now's the time to speak up.
Sorry, but I don't have an article for you this week. I also want to apologize for the lack of a flash fiction this past Friday. Last week had a high point when we took the girls to a natural history museum on Monday, but it was all down hill from there.
Between a slight flair and a series of migraines, I've been feeling horrible. We had major barometric shifts late in the week, which ushered in a bunch of storms. It was great for our garden, but it's been murder on our sinuses as well as triggering migraines for me.
This week is our last week of summer break before the new school year begins not only for C. L. but the girls too. I'm trying to take advantage of it as much as possible to get the last few things organized, the house back to par after being laid out for several days, and get us all back on routine. I'll try my best to have a flash fiction up on Friday, but I can't make any promises.
The back-to-school transition tends to be our most hectic and trying time of year. It usually takes us a week or three to get into the swing of things, but everything should be back to normal before the end of August.
Thank you for your patience.
I thought I'd try something a bit different. Most often, I write about writing or projects, but I figure that can get a bit boring. And it's crucial for a writer to keep their skills sharp no matter what stage their current project is in. Therefore, I decided to try my hand at a bit of flash fiction using a random first line generator as a prompt.
Here's a screenshot of the prompt I was given, and the story starts below.
So the end of 2015 more or less kicked my rear. I suppose I should have known I'd either end up horribly ill, insanely busy, or both the moment I signed up for NaNoWriMo. As it happened, things went busy, ill, extra busy trying to make up for time lost being ill, even sicker, then busy and ill over the course of November and December. Needless to say, not as much writing got done as I'd hoped because concentration is the first thing I misplace when not feeling my best.
But it's a new year now, and I'm feeling pretty good again. I'm returning to the desk a good 50,000 words behind where I'd like to be with Icarus, but hey, I'm 25,000 words farther along than I was on November 1st, right?
To be quite honest, with everything that's happened this past week, I completely forgot I was supposed to post a lesson on the self-publishing process this morning until about five minutes ago. Thanksgiving week was good but a bit on the rough side this year, and I'm almost ready to drop this morning. So I'm here to announce this week's lesson will be postponed until Monday, December 7.
I apologize for any inconvenience this causes, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to do a good job on the article today. I'm exhausted, beyond scatterbrained, and verging on being ill, and I never want to publish anything for you that isn't the very best I can give you.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. I'll see you next week.
If you've been paying any sort of attention to the word count ticker to the right of this page, you may be asking if I just up and deleted most of the rough draft of The Icarus Project. The answer is yes and no.
As sometimes happens, I realized the place where I needed to start the novel was a chapter or two into my rough draft. This time it wasn't because those first chapters were boring, but what's the point of a couple chapters if you're going to end up rehashing them repeatedly on into the book? I took the original first chapter and published it as a short story, which was the original idea when I first started working on this story back in 2004. If interested, you can find "Icarus Awakens" in Daydreams and Myth.
The other half a chapter was deleted in the interest of starting at the best place. So as of today, my rough draft word count is back 4559 out of a goal of 80,000. Between the rest of the week and NaNoWriMo, I'm going to see how close to my goal I can get before December 1.
Who else is planning to participate this year?
This week was one of those odd ones when I was supposed to go in and work at the station on Monday and then work the rest of the week from home due to the holiday. However, the main program I use to schedule all the commercials got overwhelmed with the start of year renewals and locked up mid morning Tuesday, meaning the remote link I use to work from home locked up too. Since Hubby was home because the high school where he works being out for holiday too, he was already handling most of the girls' studies for the day.
This meant I was free to drive to the station and reboot the computer the requisite four times to get our scheduling software to behave, which was handy since everyone else was just as busy. After everything started working again, I stayed to finish the last of the scheduling on the off chance the system would lock a second time. Then, of course, I had a couple of errands to run before going home.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is how I got blindsided by an unexpected year long commitment to teaching a creative writing course.
A. B. England is a small business owner, home-schooling mom, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves fantasy, mythology, and all flavors of science fiction.
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
69061 / 75000
Myth & Science Collection
Icarus Trilogy Book 2
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Icarus Trilogy Book 3
Supers Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Yekara Series Book 4