Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: TPOM (page 2 of 2)

Nano and Chemo

This entry is part 05 of 44 in the series Breast Cancer Posts

For the past few years, I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month (Nano, where I can be found as Ashe Elton Parker with The Power of Music 3 listed as my project), which happens each November. A few weeks ago, I wasn’t certain I’d be participating due in part to the cancer treatments I’ll be undergoing during that month and in part to the fact I didn’t know what project I’d be writing for November. I wanted something I could either prepare quickly or which was already somewhat prepared and only needed finishing-up in the way of outlining so I could hopefully work in the word count around my chemotherapy treatment visits up at the VA.

Night before last, I started making progress on TPOM3’s outline once more. I’ve also got ideas for how to handle the big major conflict that’s supposed to happen in it, which was primarily what I needed in order to continue with the outline. Now that I have those bits, I can finish the outline, hopefully before the end of October, and be ready to jump into Nano on November first. I’m not sure I’ll be sitting up ’til midnight to start progress on it, but I’ll definitely be doing my best to get words later on that day.

I expect to be starting chemotherapy up at the VA sometime either in late October or early November, so this will have some effect on my writing. I won’t know for sure the start date until the 17th of this month, when I see the Oncologist again. By that time, I’ll have seen my surgeon again and I hope I’ll have my drainage system removed then. Since I expect to be taking weekday-daily trips up to the VA, for two or three weeks in a row for the chemo, I’m kind of hoping they have at least a place where I can hook up my laptop so I can work on my writing. If they don’t, I’ll probably just read, or I may start working on another story I plan to write after Brotherhood is finished.

Of Writing and Titles

Last night, between ten and eleven, I wrote on Brotherhood for the first time in about four or five days. I hadn’t touched it, even to outline on it, since the 23rd. Though I wrote on something else, I’m not going to discuss that here, because it was a totally different genre, for one, and, for another, it was something I didn’t particularly want to write, even though it was the only idea nagging me. I have since put that unwanted idea to rest. It may return to haunt me sometime, but I should be able to defeat it. I’d far rather focus on my fantasy writing.

But I wrote on Brotherhood. It felt good to get back into it. My muse has been uncertain this month due to all the appointments I’ve had. It’s been hard for me to get into writing mode when I get home, usually because my mind’s been so full of real-world info on my cancer and its treatment. This makes me glad I’ve been writing on my fantasy stuff since just before the beginning of this year. I don’t think I’d be enjoying myself half so much if I was still writing that other genre. No, it isn’t science fiction, though I wouldn’t mind such ideas if I wasn’t so determined to try and figure out technical/scientific bits about it—without the necessary background or education required for such details (I have trouble handwaving technology and my anal-retentiveness requires me to work out those details to the point where my inability to drives me batty if I try to write science fiction).

I wasn’t writing due so much to absence of ideas; I had them. I simply couldn’t grasp them. Sometimes, especially if the flow is right, I can throw myself into contemplating the next two or so cards on an outline and come up with the scenes pretty quickly. These ones had been festering in a non-graspable state for a couple days, though, due mostly to busy hours. I was finally able to grasp them yesterday afternoon, which pleased me. I got the two necessary plot cards in the forty-five minutes before I was picked up to attend a monthly square dance event with my club. This pleased me, and it enabled me to write when I got home.

The scene I wrote came out to almost 1600 words. I’ll admit it was a scene where the princess attempts to bribe Doéna, but don’t want to say more. It was fun to write.

In other writing news, I may have come up with the titles for the other two books of TPOM. The first has been pretty firmly titled (Unsought Gifts) since conception of the idea for the trilogy, and it fits too well to change. I’m considering the title Looking into Spells for the second book and By Proxy Led for the third. I’m not so keen on the third books’ tentative title right now, but it gives me something at least, and now that I’ve got a start on it, I should be able to come up with something better by the end of the book.

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