Wow, I know it’s been ages…but I just picked up the pen again!

My goodness, when was my last post? Over a month ago? Eeek! That sucks. I could prattle on with excuses, but the truth is that writing (or at least, writing on the computer) was not a high priority. My highest priority was not wrecking my new used car, cracking open my head on the concessions floor, or puking every time the earth turned into a wavy sea. Yes, for about 3 solid days, I had a bout of vertigo that enhanced my monthly hormonally-induced natural symptoms. And the doctor helpfully told me that I had vertigo. Then prescribed for me a motion sickness pill that, ironically, I had an adverse reaction to (read: more severe motion sickness). This came right after one of my employees thrust a 7-week-old puppy into my arms; he was one of the six that she rescued from a druggie who was set on drowning the litter in the river. Zech and I have named him Teddy, as in teddy bear, or short for Tolkein’s Theodin. Either way.
So…I guess car shopping, baby puppy, and perpetual dizziness will really put writing low on the priority list.
And I miss it terribly. I go through withdrawls, though I am now way past the withdrawl portion and into mild depression/permanent, low level stress. Yesterday and today, I’ve had some good writing time. I have my hubby to thank for that. He’s been taking care of the dogs and helping out with house work.
I also have another thing to thank for writing help…a phone app called Songza. While I do enjoy such things as Pandora Radio, I’ve become quite taken with Songza. There  is no entering in a song you like or fussing with creating playlists. You just tell it what you’re doing (excersize, work, sleeping/waking up, and so on) and then you select what sort of music you would like to listen to, and voila! It plays. I chose the Indie Songs by Women category, and it is sooooo nice to have fresh songs to listen to! You know…songs I don’t hear three times over during my 2 hour drive on the only radio station that plays something besides country.
This post is going to be a little scattered, ok? But it will be loosely based on things that help get me back writing again.
Another problem I had was my loss of Adobe software. It’s what I know how to use to format ebooks (and paperbacks) with, and so when my harddrive crashed and I had to buy a new one, I was unable to reinstall it. And knowing that I could finish my work in progress, but then not print it? (Or, having a heck of a time doing it, since I’d have to figure out how to go from Open Office Writer to .mobi) Well, that was very demotivational. The hubbs had a couple of ideas about how to fix that (without paying over $1k for the upgrade to the new software), and they have failed. So, I found some open source software that is promising. http://robcubbon.com/free-open-source-alternatives-to-photoshop-indesign-and-illustrator/ However, I have yet to see if there is a way to export a Scribus file as a .mobi…and I still can’t modify my Feral Magic file, since that is an InDesign file and Scribus can’t open it. Maybe I can just do The King’s Mutt and future projects on Scribus. One way or another, there is hope yet again! Maybe the hubbs will buy me the basic version of Adobe off Amazon for Christmas, since he has a student account there.
One final thing that I have been working on…I’ve been practicing with exposition! Many of the recent books that have come out (can’t remember particular titles) have left me feeling very sour towards the “x word”. You know, when all the exposition seems to do is brood over feelings and what-ifs and oh, poor me. But, a suggestion by an old friend put me back on track. The Last Unicorn by Beagle has gorgeous exposition, though the language is a tad too poetic for me. Just what is a lilac wood, might I ask? Maybe I’m just ignorant. But, it has struck a chord with me, and restored a classical element to my writing that was much-needed.
Then, I have encountered an article in The Writer’s Digest that left me inspired. Well, three articles, actually, about building suspense. They are:
  1. Raising the Stakes in Your First 50 Pages, by Jeff Gerke
  2. Creating Tension through Misdirection, by William Noble
  3. Making the Ordinary Menacing: 5 ways, by Hallie Ephron

While finishing up the opening chapter of Swift Magic, I started a tale based off one  of the suspense writing excersizes, and it is such a relief to have a simple plot to write alongside the higher-concept Swift Codex. I will post this “tangent tale” under “Works in Progress” as an Update-Wheneverly story. Interestingly, this is how The King’s Mutt started out. So…crap, I realized I need to name the WIP. …… …… hmm…. Ok, I’ve decided to name it after the opening line. “The Secret to Supreme Happiness: Or, The Gypsy Matchmaker and the Deadly Match”

It’s an odd style for me, I know, but it is fun to play with a stylized narrative voice. Why not? The side story is nothing but a release from the all-too-close-to-real-life themes in the Swift Codex.

Oh, and one final thing. I have discovered how to set up Google Alerts. So, I will be doing such. Just to keep my eyes/ears open.

I’m just full of little tips and things today, aren’t I?

Written with love,

Your Dearest Nicolette

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