Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: MOTS1

Not Much of an Update

I’m heading from one busy week into a busier week, so this is going to be quick. This week I managed to make progress on my writing 4 days. Over 250 words each day. I should have done another plot card today, but never got around to it, so that’s for Sunday—I hope.

But I think I have some idea what to do with Masters of the Schism 1. Mind’s been on it the past few days, but I’m taking it easy and not trying to force it. Hoping the epiphany I feel coming on will hit before long.

And that’s it.

Up in the Air

This week was a bit challenging. Even on the days when I got a substantial amount of tasks done, and there were one or two such days, it was a struggle. And then there was Wednesday. I got absolutely nothing done that day, because I slept pretty much the entire day. Really. I didn’t get to bed until around 07:00 Wednesday morning. Because of that, I barely made it out of bed long enough to do my daily kitty care tasks at 13:00 before dropping into bed again to sleep a couple more hours. Then, at 15:00, I got up long enough to take my prebreakfast meds, called my mom while waiting for those to do their job, ate, and hung up the phone just before lying down on the sofa for another 2 hours of sleep. Oh, and I don’t know if Mom noticed it, but I was having trouble enunciating during that call, which is a clear sign I need more sleep. Then, I got up for long enough to shut down my computer and went back to bed for more sleep. Yeah, that was a dud day.

But I got five days of 250 words on Unwritten Letters. All five days are on the same one scene, and I stopped it today at a spot where the scene seems done. I may add a few words or so to tie it up neatly, but I think this is one of those scenes that won’t follow the entirety of the plot card. That’s another flexibility thing, and something I’ve always been okay with. Sometimes my creative mind gives me more to plot for a scene than I actually use, or slightly different information as a guide. I’ll look at it tomorrow or Monday and figure things out then.

My next project is still up in the air. I opened up Wevae’s Scrivener file, but have done absolutely nothing with it today. Really, I think my creative mind is backbrWeaining MOTS1 right now. Though I’d like to dig into it again and read through the scenes I’m keeping for ideas on what else to include, I feel an aversion to doing so. Sometimes this means I’m procrastinating and I just need to force myself to do what I want, but not always. Other times, it means things are developing in my subconscious. Unfortunately, I’m not always able to determine just which cause is the root of my aversion. In this instance, I’m disinclined to force the issue right now. But if I open Wevae’s file over the next couple of days, I’ll be giving MOTS1 a good hard look again. If my creative mind urges me to open a different file, well, things can still be considered quite undecided.

One thing, I am thinking about DH04 again. In a somewhat offhand manner—fleeting unfocused considerations. More along the lines of, “I’d like to get back to that project.” This is even less definite than my urge to open Wevae’s file. Since I open Chraest’s file daily to access UL, I’ll probably take a look at DH04 again sometime this next week, just to see if something kicks up in my backbrain. I think I may have an idea for its title, though. Just need to comb through the music terminology page on Wikipedia to figure it out, and that I’m dreading a little.

So that’s where my Fool’s Errand stands this fine Saturday evening.

5Nov18: Exhaustion and D&D

Monday was another exhaustion day. Though I put myself to bed, I ended up bored out of my mind and got on Instagram and hit MeWe on my phone before giving up on sleep and getting up again. I managed to make the day productive though. Did my languages, called Mom, got 2 plot cards on MOTS1, and got my Fool’s Errand goal. Also went to Kit’s D&D. And that’s it!

3Nov18: Low Mood

Saturday could have been more productive, but my mood was low, and that sort of affected everything else. I did get my language done, and I edited 2 chapters of DH03 for future posting on Wattpad. Also got a plot card on MOTS1 and wrote a Fool’s Errand post. And, in an effort to cheer myself up, I did my big birthday splurge early and treated myself and my friend Daz to a meal out and some ice cream afterward.lo So, really, a pretty good day, just plagued by a low mood.

1Nov18: Another Long Day Out

Thursday was an unintentional exhaustion day. I took my night meds, but never got tired, and instead of putting myself to bed, I stayed up because I was hooked into doing prep for my next Fool’s Errand project.

What was that prep, you ask? It was the map of the grounds of the University of Magic where one of my characters lives. I also did my languages and got my 250 words for the day.

Though I was supposed to go to game with my longtime gaming friends, I had made an appointment with the All of Us people to return Thursday and finish up my enrollment. It turns out I was supposed to do a “Basics” module in addition to getting the consents all done, so I took care of that before giving my blood and urine samples. It took about an hour or so with all the waiting for the tablet to function. Their carrier network isn’t the best, apparently.

I realized that if I went to join my friends for game, I’d get there about the time they were packing up. Also, I didn’t even know if they’d met to game. Because of that, I took myself into the pride center and hung out there for a bit, working on D&D prep. Originally, I was going to leave around 15:00 or so, but I was told about a new volunteer coming in that night and agreed to stay to help train them. Since I didn’t know exactly when they’d be getting in, I texted Daz to ask him if he’d be kind enough to feed Hendrix supper before he went to game, and he promised he would. Things went fairly well, and Kevin drove me home.

So it was a pretty good day. Especially since I was in bed by 23:00.

27Oct18: Masks and MOTS

I didn’t get nearly as much done on Saturday as I intended. Well, not of intended tasks. Did get my languages done and posted here. Also chatted with my friend Katie and arranged to go quilting at her place on Monday. Chatted with Mom twice on the phone and had her over for a visit as well.

But I spent most of the day working on 2 projects: Masks, and the first book of my Masters of the Schism series. It felt good to dig into Masks, but even better to work on MOTS1. An epiphany hit, and I sorted out the first several chapters of scenes because I now know what to do with book 1. Before, I had no idea how to end the plot threads to either (seemingly unrelated) storyline.

So there it is! a productive day working on long-incomplete WIPs!

And Another New Project

After Nano, my creative mind took me for a brief tour of WOTW, where I did some worldbuilding, mainly working on the conlang for Mukhamutara. I did this in a desultory way for the most part. Also figured out the calendar system and printed out the plot points I’d listed in a Scrivener file with the intent to transfer them to Scapple. I never got around to that, though.

Now, a few weeks ago, Zette and I tried to give Necia Phoenix, another chatter at FM, ideas for a story that ties in to Necia’s real life hobby/obsession of snakekeeping. And, about a week or so ago, I tried to add ideas to that basis—and ended up siccing plotbunnies (as we call them) on myself. I ended up with a main character, his serpentine familiar, and the basics of a new magical system.

I have since then been building this world. Very quickly, I realized this was a science fantasy story, set on an earth about 1k or so years into the future. It is, however, a future unlike we’re taught to expect. Not because of the progress made, but because of the way things have regressed. Cities as we know them have been long abandoned and people have resettled in “primitive” agrarian communities. I’ve got the basics of how this happens down now.

When I mentioned in chat having bunnied myself with this idea and that this was set on a future Earth, and the basics behind the animal familiars which are common in this story, Necia suggested I might write a family saga about the End Of Society as we know it. Which of course caused another character to jump into my mind. I’ll have to flesh her out later. I want to focus on the current story right now.

Well, no, what I’d like to focus on is any of my other WIPs—the ones actually already in progress. Creative mind is having none of that, though. I’ve tried working on WOTW a little more, but only upset myself. I’ve read Masks, but though I want to read it to its end, I don’t want to work on it, ’cause opening it to do so leaves me cold. I don’t even want to look at MOTS1.

I haven’t been able to work on much the past couple days. Appointments which I’ll discuss in future posts have taken up my days. It’s all stressed me out to the point where I’m not interested at all in my writing. I’m worried this may be the beginning of a writing downswing, so I’m mentally lining up movies I’ll watch so I can crochet and books I’ll continue reading while I’m not writing if the writing downswing does happen.

Before these two stressful days, I felt enthusiastic about the new project. I’ve got to do a lot of research for it. I need to figure out animal personalities for the most part, but I also need to figure out just where this new country is, ’cause all I know is that it’s “somewhere in North America” right now. I’m thinking somewhere west, a little inland. Will have to see, but I’m getting vague notions for putting the community somewhere on or near the Columbia River or one of its tributaries.

So, lots of research required. Don’t know when I’ll get to it all, or really where to start. But I’ll get it done!

Nano15 Final Count and Other Things

Well, this year’s Nano was a spectacular success. I Validated (again) my count, and it came out to about 70.5k. As I’m sure you can imagine, I’m very pleased with this.

I apologize for not posting anything on this past Tuesday. I had little to discuss, as I hadn’t done anything really exciting. I have since realized I could have posted about my most recent therapy appointment, but nothing really fascinating happened during it, and the computer I’d ordered hadn’t completely arrived yet.

Allow me to explain that statement about the computer. I ordered, on Thanksgiving day, a new computer. This was because my last desktop, Homer II, stopped functioning with Windows 10 due to being a 32-bit system, when Windows 10 was specifically designed for 64-bit systems. I was not aware of this before I downloaded the Windows 10 upgrade. It would have cost money either way to get it repaired or replace it, and, to be frank, the system had been struggling for a number of months due to all I have operating on it. When I told Mom about all the issues, including the Windows 10 issue, she said she’d pay for part of the computer (as my Christmas gift) and we researched computers until finding the deal on my new system on Thanksgiving day. (Yes, we spent our Thanksgiving day shopping online—for reasons.) I’ll discuss more about the new computer next Tuesday.

As for my writing, I’ve decided to take a conscious break from it for a couple of weeks. I was starting to get burnt out on my Nano project, and my creative mind, in reaction, began to flounder for another project to focus on. What I’ve done since November is spent part of each day reading through various incomplete WIPs of mine.

One of these ideas was to plug what I have of MOTS1 into Aeon Timeline and finish the outline, adding those scenes to the timeline to determine when the various scenes will fall. There’s no getting around the fact that this book is going to be a long one, but I’m thinking I’d like to thicken Isgari’s plotline a little more than it currently is. That means I’ll need to go through and possibly add some more scenes to what I already have written, then make sure her future scenes come up more frequently. I want to put all these scenes into Aeon Timeline because I don’t want to end up with a stack of Isgari scenes that need to be placed at the very end of the book—I’m trying to balance things out between all three characters. While I won’t object to a fewer number of scenes for Isgari, I also don’t want her plotline to overwhelm the story at the end. So. That’s what I’m deciding on right now, and I figure if I finish off MOTS1 this way, I’ll probably start the following book this way.

Aside from that, I’m just waiting to see which way my creative mind will go. I’m hoping that by consciously taking this time off from writing I’ll prevent a full-on writing downswing, but I’m not counting on it. It’s my intent to do some other things. I want to finish the crochet afghan I’m making for my sister, read a book or two, hit the library for some research materials, and hunt down things I need for various worlds and books on the internet (specifically, some blank world/continent maps for Wevae).

I’m also in the middle of changing some things on my site. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to work on it this month, or when I’ll get it done, but don’t be surprised if you explore my site and discover something changed. One of the things I’m doing, though, is listing only in-progress WIPs with actual writing on them for the most part, except where there are series and I have some notion of plans for them.

Nano15 Update and Other Things

This past week, I’ve made a fair amount of progress on my Nano. I’m less than 150 words from breaking 40k on it, which is good. This has been my best official Nano ever.

I’ve been making more progress on the series this book opens too. Recently came up with another book title and basic idea for it. This brings the total books of the series up to four, but that may expand a bit as I come up with more ideas. The entire idea is still open-ended.

I’ve also got a better idea where I want to end the third plot thread in this book. Previously, I wasn’t sure; I thought I’d have the current ruler of Wevae assassinated about the middle of the book, but now I’m thinking I’ll have her killed closer to the end.

Timeline concept of the MOTS series is also becoming clearer to me as well. I have to cover about two years or so in the first book—if things go as planned—and I’m expecting it to take upwards of 120k or more in wordage. This is fine by me. MOTS is my Epic Fantasy Series and I’ve always wanted to have at least eight books for this series. Most of the story focuses on my to primary MCs and their plotline, but I’m still working with the tertiary MC to set events for the next book up. I think the overall timeline is going to pretty much inch along in all the books and may have to adjust the current book’s timeline in order to make the book fit the timeline I’m seeing.

I expect to be adding at least one new pov in the next book of the series. This is because I’ll be taking a side character and elevating him to POVMC. I’m giving the basis of his backstory in this first book, but I want to show more what drives him to become the antagonist.

Some things I need to do before I can continue writing this series beyond book 1:

  • Find a blank world map to draw governmental territories on
  • Find various maps of the countries, preferably with cities of note marked on them
  • Finish worldbuilding Wevae’s governmental system (it seems simpler than it is)
  • Work out general plot arcs for the following books
  • Research Victorian England
  • Hunt out and read some more Steampunk Fantasy books and others (not necessarily Steampunk) set in Victorian times and/or written during that Era

Most likely, I’ll get to various aspects of this list as I write the next books, but I must absolutely get those maps and work up Wevae’s governmental territories and do more work on the governmental system. In any case, this is proving to be a fun series so far, so I’ll more than likely do whatever needs to be done even though I’m not a fan of research. This looks like it’ll be fun, though, and I’m looking forward to making this series go.

Nano 2015 Project Decided!

After much flailing about, I’ve at last figured out my Nano 2015 project.

But first, the Saga of the Selection:

Way back at the end of September, I was in limbo. I’d just completed The Power of Music III: Measure of Resistance, and I thought I’d very much like to get started on the next book in the Discordant Harmonies series, A Life of Note I: Antiphons. I in fact quite looked forward to doing so, and set to work on it with anticipation of having an at least partial outline for it ready for November, as I’d decided that it would work perfectly as my November Nano project.

At first, work progressed well enough. Not as quickly as I’d have liked, but I was in a bit of a writing downswing and gave myself allowances for it. I didn’t push myself, but I got plenty of plot points entered into Scapple, and was working up something of a playlist for it since I’d decided to create a new one instead of using the one from TPOM, which I was rather weary of. It was easy to feel good about ALON1; I’d enjoyed finishing TPOM3, had the MCs firmly in mind, and could see a mostly-clear path from beginning to end of the first book of the ALON set which gave me the confidence I needed to work on it.

Then my writing downswing deepened, sometime within the first week or two of October. I lost interest in ALON1, but kept trying to work on it, even as my bipolar mood swung into a nesting phase. I cleaned house, then, in the third week of October, the nesting phase induced me to rearrange my living room, clean out my real-life files, and organize the files I keep for my writing. Over the course of the nesting phase, I threw out much, and I started working on another story set in the same world as ALON1.

This project was The Horseless Carriage I: Clockworks, which happens in part in tandem with the ALON series. Enough so that the characters cross over. I figured this was fine, as I needed to write both first books before going on to even outlining the second books of both series, because those books are where characters cross over. Even though I didn’t intend to have the same scenes written from the different points of view in the books, I do need to coordinate the storylines so I’m aware of what each of the characters are saying and doing in the books so there’s no confusion of the timeline.

Because I hadn’t quite lost interest in ALON1, I arbitrarily declared I was prepping both for Nano and would decide, at possibly the last minute, which one I’d work on for November based on the one I’d been able to do more prep for. This lasted until the beginning of the last week of October.

And, on Monday or Tuesday, I’d been up past my bedtime and was contemplating going to bed when another member of Forward Motion mentioned, on twitter, getting a steampunk comic idea. That induced me to open up one of my defunct projects which I hadn’t done much work on. It had a number of plot points, two scenes, and two reverse-outline plot cards written on it. Nothing much. I read through the two scenes and realized within myself a desire to read the rest of the incomplete story, so set to work on it.

I was rather willing to be distracted by Masters of the Schism I: The Elect because neither of my two Chraesti projects, one of which I’d already entered as my Nano project, were moving. I felt enthusiastic about MOTS1, though, and I was enjoying fiddling with the MCs’ lives. Over the next couple of days, I named more characters, brainstormed a major plot issue (Why is magic dying—and what’s the solution to bringing it back?) for the entire series, and wrote a couple of plot cards.

By the wee hours of this morning, it was pretty obvious MOTS1 was going to be my Nano 2015 project. I’d managed to write almost 15 plot cards, and decided at some point to do full plot cards for the first two scenes, cut them from the main WIP, and save them to another file so I could rewrite them for Nano and decide at the end of November which versions of the scenes I liked better. I’ve since entered the project as my Nano project, stats to be found here, and it comes complete with a full synopsis which I agonized over for all of about 45 minutes. I’ll add a snippet when I have something written after the first few days of November.

I probably won’t be staying up all night to write just after midnight on Sunday. I have church that morning, and I really want to be alert because I didn’t make it to church last week due to not sleeping the night before. I’ve also got a couple other things to do, but I hope to get to writing at some point before midnight so I can enter a wordcount on the first. As always, I’m not going to sweat it if I don’t write every day, but do my best to maintain a consistent wordcount ahead of the goals for each day.

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