Time Flies!: June 2015

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Welcome to the latest edition of Time Flies! It’s my version of a monthly update, where I recap the past month’s accomplishments and articles, share news and random things from my offline life, and hint at what may be coming in the month ahead.

Is anyone else having a hard time believing that 2015 is now halfway over? Insane, isn’t it? But so far, 2015 has been an awesome year. Creatively, personally,… and now statistically! Because of your visits, comments, social media shares, and reblogs, this site has already topped 2014’s total page view counts – meaning it’s having its best year EVER. Thank you all so, SO much for your support and feedback. It means the world to me. And that’s going to make next month’s blogoversary that much sweeter. 😀

Which reminds me: I’m still taking questions for Eva’s blogoversary character interview! Submissions will be accepted through 11:59 pm on Friday, July 3rd. Click here for details and to see which questions have been asked so far.

Now, on to this month’s summary!

This Month’s Posts

Interviews, Guest Blogs, and Columns

Site Updates

Offline Happenings

Author contact cards are in and ready for #WDC15!

Author contact cards are ready for #WDC15!

June seemed to take on the theme of “pace yourself.” I was able to stay more relaxed by taking on only the projects I knew I’d have time for. Apart from the writing, I made some simple updates to my author contact cards (see above photo), which I plan to bring with me to the Writer’s Digest Conference next month. Also, I ordered more tea samples from Adagio and decided on two more custom blends inspired by The Keeper’s Curse. One is an herbal blend representing Eva’s fellow Councilor Nito, who’s a healer. The other… is Eva’s tea!! Hers has been an absolute bugger to figure out, especially after my original idea bombed. So I’m thrilled that I’ve finally found something that a) fits her personality closely enough, and b) tastes pretty good.

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Batch #3 of Adagio tea samples is in! I’m starting to feel like a chemist. *lol*

Draft #2 of TKC is still chugging along. Since the last update here, I’ve finished Chapters 8 and 9 and cut another 700-ish words from the manuscript. Now it stands at a total of around 127,200 words (425 pages, double spaced), and continues to head in the right direction. Well… except for a world-building hiccup that was brought to my attention over the weekend. It’s going to require additional revisions in Draft #2 (and some in Draft #3, for scenes I’ve already revised in Draft #2), but I need to fix it for logic’s sake. So right now, I’m trying to remind myself that it’s for the good of the story…

Speaking of TKC updates, I might change the frequency of this round of Chronicles from every 20-percent milestone to every 10-percent milestone. It might depend on how close the next milestone (30 percent) is to the Writer’s Digest Conference. So I might hold off on the next Chronicle until August regardless.

Apart from writing, June was a family-oriented month. My maternal grandmother passed away a year ago this month, so I went with my parents to Maine one weekend to visit her grave and spend time with relatives. And this past weekend was Dad’s birthday, so I treated him to a New England Revolution game (which coincidentally fell on his big day – yay!). He’s a HUGE soccer fan, and I appreciate the sport as well, so it’s become a tradition to give him Revolution tickets for either Father’s Day or his birthday. Unfortunately the Revs lost (partly due to shoddy refereeing), but what matters more is that Dad still enjoyed the game.

Finally, remember how I mentioned last month that I’m having bad-luck streak with new movies? It finally ended, thanks to “Tomorrowland”! Inspired by the Disney theme park of the same name, it tells the story of an idealistic, techno-whiz teenager (Britt Robertson) who stumbles upon a pin that acts as a portal to a futuristic city. When the girl realizes the portal is only temporary, she searches for a way back and enlists the reluctant help of an inventor (George Clooney) who had once been there himself. It’s not a perfect movie; some of the action borders on comical, and the ending feels a bit anti-climactic. But I liked the overall message and couldn’t stop laughing at the banter between the two main characters. And after seeing a dozen or so film that frustrated me, sitting back and having fun for once was a welcome change. Definitely catch “Tomorrowland” in theaters while you still can!

Song of the Month: “Revolution” by Kamelot featuring Alissa White-Gluz

This track won’t be to everyone’s tastes… but OMG, I love this symphonic power metal thunderstorm. I’ve been a Kamelot fan for 8 or so years now, and consider them among my favorites with Within Temptation and Anathema. “Revolution” is from Kamelot’s newest album Haven and one of two songs featuring Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy. Death metal-ish growls and screams normally force me to tune out – but honestly, Alissa  makes this song ROCK. And something about the song’s grittiness and tempest nature reminds me of a dark fantasy idea that’s simmering on the backburner. Oh, how I love finding inspiration where I least expect it. 😀

How Quickly Does Time Fly?

The next Time Flies will post on Friday, July 31st – Day One of the Writer’s Digest Conference! Until then, I hope you’re having a great start to your summer / winter. 🙂

29 thoughts on “Time Flies!: June 2015

  1. I’m just catching up on your blog this morning, I guess!

    But it’s crazy that Revolution inspired you, because it inspired me, too! It matched up perfectly with my general story idea that I’ve been toying with in my head but doing nothing about since college. And, happily, it made me finally sit down and start writing! I’ve only written the opening paragraph, but that’s more than I’ve done in the last five years! THANKS, KAMELOT~ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      • My main character’s half-dragon and undergoing experimentation/torture (a la V for Vendetta, I suppose, but it’s really not the same), and finally just snaps and loses herself and murders a bunch of people. She has multiple episodes of being consumed with fiery rage and then being crushed by guilt, really focusing on what makes her dragon and what makes her human, and how she has to come to terms with that. All while running away from her husband who experimented on her ;D

        Revolution fits so well with her history because it starts all normal and then builds up to the point where Alissa just completely tears everything apart, then Tommy sings about standing in ashes and there’s a brief respite, and then there’s a change and Alissa rips it up again, which is all quite literally my character’s origin story. I had my husband listen to it (I give him my story ideas verbally a lot), and he immediately went, “Hey, I’m picturing Lilias here!” YAS

        So, every time I hear Revolution I play a mini movie in my head, and when Alissa loses it, I always picture Lilias just destroying everything with dragon fire, and it’s just really epic. Then I get inspired and actually write some of it 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • It’s very addictive (and expensive) after a while. Once you figure out certain flavors that complement each other, you start thinking, “Ohhhhhhhh what else can I come up with?” It’s like being an inventor – or a chemist! 🙂

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  2. You’ve certainly managed to cram an amazing amount into June, Sara. Well done, you! How do you keep track of your novel’s timeline? I’ve found there are 2 issues – mapping out the original action so that it all interleaves within a coherent narrative time and then when editing, it’s keeping track of the extra scenes added and deleted and their impact on the timeline…
    I use TrackChanges on a current version of the manuscript, using the comment boxes to label the date and time, which makes it quick and easy to double-check when stuff is added or deleted, how do you tackle it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah! 🙂

      In terms of the novel timeline… One of my “appendices” is a (massive) Microsoft Word table that I turned into a general historical timeline for Eva’s world. Any events related to TKC – both the novel’s plot points, anything that happened before (deaths of Eva’s parents, for example), and character birthdays – are listed there, as well as an estimated number of days, months, or years before or after the novel begins. I haven’t had to reshuffle the order of things yet… but if I needed to, the table is easy enough to update to match the story.

      Example of how it works: Chapters 1 through 3 all occur during the same day (Day 0). Chapter 4’s events take place four days later. So, the event in Chapter 4 is listed on the timeline as +4 days since Day 0. As for the deaths of Eva’s parents, that happened when Eva was 5 years old, roughly 12 years before TKC begins. So, that event shows up in the timeline as being 12 years before Chapter 1.

      I’ve heard other writers use actual calendars and other methods for story timelines. In the end, it’s whatever works best for you. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh for sure:) It certainly sounds like you’ve got it all under control. My current method is one I’ve arrived at after a fair amount of trial and error. But I’ve friends who use index cards and a Excel spreadsheets.
        I think this is the glory about writing – it is such a very personal business that we all create our own process to get our ideas and creations out of our heads and onto the page.

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      • “I think this is the glory about writing – it is such a very personal business that we all create our own process to get our ideas and creations out of our heads and onto the page.”

        Agreed! Where we write, our ideal writing conditions, how we prepare to write a new story, how we deal with writer’s block – it seems like every writer’s process is as unique as a fingerprint. That’s why I love learning how other writers work, too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my word… I’ve made a HUGE effort and cut down my tea drinking as it was aggravating my insomnia and causing tinnitus. Since I’ve eased up, I’ve also found my eyesight has slightly improved! I also now use almond milk, instead of cows milk which is MUCH nicer – no claggy aftertaste so I can make my tea weaker. Do you take milk with your tea?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Really? Hmmmmm. I haven’t had any problems with tea. The only thing is, I’ll only drink black tea in the morning. If I drink tea in the evening, it has to be herbal or white, both of which have very little caffeine. Anything else will give me the same insomnia problem you talked about…

        Actually, I’m one of those weird tea drinkers who prefers no additives at all. *lol* Everyone else I know who drinks tea takes it with milk and/or sugar.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sweet business/contact cards and box of tea! And I also watched Tomorrowland, it was the tack-on movie at the double feature theater I went to, and I didn’t think much of it at first but I ended up really enjoying it. Pretty wild movie for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I wanted something simple for the cards, and the quill image was very appropriate. 🙂

      It was a wild movie, but a fun one. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and have a good time with a film. 🙂

      Like

    • Thanks, Robin! Sometimes the summer weather has a (negative) effect on my productivity. But so far it hasn’t been too hot or muggy, and not too detrimental to motivation. How did summer start off where you live?

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  4. The year is almost half over?! Eep, don’t tell me that, haha! XD
    Awesome!! Congrats on finally figuring out Eva’s tea!
    World-building hiccups–they happen. I’ve had a few, *blushes*. But hey, that’s what going through Draft 2 is for, right? 🙂 You can focus more on the story content and pick up on those things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah!! Crazy, isn’t it??

      I agree, that’s what Draft 2 is for, and also what sharing your story ideas is all about, too. Sometimes you’re so close to things and so excited about the project that you become blind to problems, glaring or minor. But I’ve talked it over with a couple friends, and I think I have a solution. It’s going to require a few significant changes to what happens in certain scenes (including one I already revised), but it doesn’t change the overall story too much. And when you’re a writer, you gotta do what you gotta do to ensure things make sense, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, being excited for your book can be both a good thing and a not-so-good-thing, lol–“author blindness” I guess you could call it. 😉 Yeah, changing things is difficult, especially when you like a scene just the way it is but then have to change it. But we gotta do what we gotta do! And it will turn out brilliant and a masterpiece in the end, I believe. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow busy! But yay for increased blog stats and writing progress! Woo hoo! Yummy Adagio Teas! Yeshhhhhh! I need to order some soon myself lol.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

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