Upcoming Virtual Book Tours, Snowmaggedon 2022, and Back at Shows

18 Apr

So I’m not sure if I actually had COVID, whatever I had was weaksauce and work wanted me back after 5 days. I wanted to be on the safe side and pushed it to six. Now we have a policy that demands we stay away for 8.

If you’re on FB you might have noticed that I posted a picture where my cat Calypso was in quite a bit of snow.

I live in a place where I’ve seen snow in every month other than July or August. Yeah, it kind of looks like winter but it’s actually all melting. Normally I wouldn’t care but I had back to back car issues, so I’m kind of in limbo as me driving a car that’s riding low wouldn’t be an issue if they weren’t waiting for the roads to melt. I was also stuck at work for 48 hours, but let’s be honest I saw it coming. I just work and the Union would take me seriously when I say storm stay protocol. Dodger I bombed to my sister and Calypso was fine. I did give my coworkers keys, but I’ve learned that people also misplace keys. I’m hoping I get to know my neighbors good enough soon to trust them, it was just lousy timing with me moving and the pandemic happening shortly thereafter.

Speaking of, R.J. Hore and I did two shows, and it’s nice to have more than one title, lemme tell ya. I’m pretty much ready to hit the ‘approve’ button for Garnet and Silver, but I don’t really feel like I’m in any rush either. At this point I will not be attending Keycon, and it’s because of the Passport Policy. To be fair, I’ve been frustrated with Keycon’s managing things before, but everyone else seemed happy, so I let it slide. I do not and will not violate PHIA, so I’m sorry if you are looking forward to seeing me there to hang out or chat. We are planning on doing Shelmerdine’s Farmer’s Market and I think I’d like to hit up a little Pinawa Farmer’s Markets, but we’ll see. I looked into having a book launch at McNally Robinson’s Grant Park, but they too are keeping with a passport and mask policy. No and no I don’t care if I never sell another book again.

Starting April 25 Witchslayer’s Scion will be on a Virtual Book Tour and the next day a Review-Only tour will take place for The Mermaid and the Unicorns. It’s by dumb luck that they occurred at the same time. I am going to put the discounted price in effect April 22, 2022 for The Mermaid and the Unicorns, so you can get an ebook copy for basically $0.99 in your neck of the woods. I know the Canadian Dollar and the American dollar are different, but it’s the lowest I could go. Follow along for a chance to win a Gift Card to an online book seller of your choice (Amazon, Kobo, B&N etc.) So if you’re on the fence about the ebook, wait a few days and it’ll be on sale for the duration of the tour. I don’t set the prices for Champagne’s titles, but I’ll tell you if anything I have does go on sale.

Other than that I was chatting with Cassie, owner of Champagne Books (Tower of Obsidian, Dreams of Mariposa, Witchslayer’s Scion) and while I don’t have a contract yet, it’s looking good for books 2 & 3. I’d love to be able to tell you I sent in Titan’s Ascent and I’m brilliant, but I’m almost there. It feels like a broken record because I thought I was almost there in January. I’m honestly burnt out and my mental health still kinda sucks, but hey if I go trilogy and I get the “That’s Enough” from everybody, I’d be content with this prequel set even if I don’t do the series I have in my head. I can see a massive shift in quality from Book 1 to 2, which was honestly pretty gradual because I noticed a shift when I was in University after I took a course in stylistics, but really hadn’t seen anything truly noticeable from project to project until now. I have enough other stuff that I could probably spend a decade editing it and either developing it for self publishing or going the traditional route, but all in all I feel like I’m no longer just treading water.

Review Tour for The Mermaid and the Unicorns, and I am sick

16 Mar

Aimed at readers 10-12, if you or another blogger is interested in the review-only tour, please go sign up. Not nearly as many stops as for Witchslayer’s Scion; yes they will be running at the same time, and I’ll be posting the ebook for free during that time. Book is 220 pages, so it’s not a huge time commitment.

I don’t know if Witchslayer’s Scion will qualify for a review tour as it’s about 135k, whereas this one is less than half. 100k used to run about 400 pages, but that depends on formatting, font size, etc. If you’re looking for an online book tour group, I tried several for Tower of Obsidian and I liked Goddess Fish the best.

Also, Garnet and Silver is pretty much ready for me to hit the ‘approve my book’ button. Imma wait just a little bit.

On Monday, I was informed that someone I was in contact with tested positive for COVID. I tested, and at the time was asymptomatic, let work know. Developed symptoms within a few hours, though I’m already feeling better. I seem to be exactly four days behind the person who likely gave it to me in symptoms, so if this keeps going the way it affected her I am laughing and should be recovered soon. As of right now, Center Caboto Comic Con is still a go so long as I’m not sick. I’ll have a back up plan in case I can’t go so Ron’s not sitting there by himself.

Book Tour, Giveaways, and a Little About “Small Authors vs Big Authors”

9 Mar

Book Tour for Witchslayer’s Scion to take place April 25 – May 12. If you want to participate, go sign up. It can be a review, an article, or just feature the book. I’ll post again when the tour is live.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dreams of Mariposa by L.T. Getty

Dreams of Mariposa

by L.T. Getty

Giveaway ends March 25, 2022.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Giveaway for Dreams of Mariposa is scheduled to run on Goodreads from March 11-25. It’s also Giveaways Month on Goodreads, so maybe check it out and see if there’s another giveaway you can enter.

Latest “scandal” going around in the Wonderful (?) World of Writing has people complaining that best-selling fantasy author Brandon Sanderson has raised millions of dollars on a kickstarter. Despite being incredibly prolific and consistent, he’s somehow written another series and he wants to self-publish it. The money was raised in a very short amount of time, and somehow, this equates to White Privilege. I was sort of paying attention to it in real time, as I follow a bunch of Book Recommendation sites and book fan sites.

There’s lots to find online; here’s an article.

Imma be real with you; I’ve only read the first two books in his Stormlight Archives, and I wanted to familiarize myself with his style because Sanderson finished Wheel of Time after Robert Jordan passed away. Some of my friends said they couldn’t finish the series once Sanderson took over, and I get it. I’m actually fine with the change, but I knew Jordan died before he finished his series so I knew what I was signing up for.

I also understand the complaints, however I think it’s of the author not being diverse as opposed to the fiction itself ignores the author’s body of work. But let’s look at the real issue: Sanderson probably does quite well for himself financially, as opposed to the majority of writers who are not quite comfortable, even if they’re in what’s called the midlist. Even more are the people who are trying to break in, or who have had some success signing contracts, but are frustrated that they’ve never ‘made it’.

It’s frustrating when you see the same people flourish when you can only seem to get so far. You can call it what you want, and I too was kind of stupid in terms of believing that I ‘just had to get my work out there’. I’ll come across as jaded if I start grumbling about how unfair it is and that yes, people should read more books and not all the same ones all the time. As said, I belong to a few different book recommendation sites, and it’s frustrating when you see the same popular authors again and again and again. I don’t know about you, but unless I have a specific question about a hallmark work, I don’t need to be told that it exists. An example of this, would be suggesting The Lord of the Rings for fantasy. If you know anything about the genre, you likely have at least heard of this title. Asking a question – is it appropriate for say, a 12 year old to read, is a different question entirely.

The short answer, is that I’ll go to Bison General or The Daily Grind as opposed to Starbucks, I still like chain restaurants, watch common movies and I like to use references to books and movies the majority of people are aware of, as opposed to referring to more obscure titles and examples. I try to shop local and I begrudgingly use Amazon, but at the end of a book tour, I’ve yet to see anyone request a Kobo giftcard over an Amazon one after a book tour.

The last two years have been challenging because I haven’t really done shows with people, instead requesting books from the library (ebooks because the physical buildings are often closed). You know, like Wheel of Time and other authors who are best sellers, in spite of requesting books from smaller authors and presses. Even ones who aren’t as popular but still successful by any standard, I tend to want to go support them.

But instead of being mad that Sanderson is doing well, and boo hoo nobody cares about something I wrote,  I’m stoked that he’s legitimizing self-publishing. It’s not the same way as getting excited about a title getting a poor adaptation and therefore getting people interested in reading the books. He’s not going through a publisher intentionally, and if anyone can probably do some commanding, it’s probably someone like him. The operational aspects of what he’s attempting is daunting, and he might be locked out by the gatekeepers in the system.

But if you disagree with me, that’s cool. Read and review and promote the smaller and indie authors and publishers. Believe me, we appreciate it, even if it’s not a fawning review.

Aurora Awards – Eligible Works by Manitobans

3 Mar

At least the ones I know about. I don’t know where Steven Erikson currently resides, but he grew up in Winnipeg so close enough. Apologies if I’ve missed you or someone you know who currently resides in or was a long time Manitoban, if you hit me up before the voting for nominees end I will add. I’ll link everything to the author’s blog. Seeing as how I’m L.T. Getty, no linkage on my two titles.

The Aurora Awards are a chance for all Canadians to vote on their choice of the best science fiction and fantasy produced in the year previous. I’m not saying to only support Manitobans – I’m saying it’s fun to see who’s local, because the lists by themselves are daunting. I enjoy supporting local authors, but I also love checking out authors I’ve never heard of before. At the very least, if you’re looking for quality, go to the website, and check out previous winners. I’m not saying you’ll love everything, but it’s a great opportunity to check out different authors, artists, publishers and more.

Adult Novel

Threader Origins, Gerald Brandt, DAW Books

http://geraldbrandt.com/

The God is Not Willing, Steven Erikson, Macmillan

https://steven-erikson.org/

Shadows of Blood, L.E. Derekson, Sky Step Publishing
https://ledereksen.com/

Witchslayer’s Scion, L.T. Getty, Champagne Books

Axis of Andes, D.G. Valdron

(Den’s Info is below with the shorts)

YA/Middle Grade Novel

The Mermaid and the Unicorns, L.T. Getty, Black Unicorn Books

Short Story

Midnight Man versus Carrie Cthulhu, Chadwick Ginther, Water: Selkies, Sirens, & Sea Monsters, Tyche Books

`Til Death is Done, Chadwick Ginther, Poise and Pen

https://chadwickginther.com/

Frankenstein vs the Great Ape, D.G. Valdron, Duel of the Monsters, Vol 2. (Wild Hunt Press)

https://denvaldron.com/

A Terrible Thing To Waste, David Perlmutter, Medium.com

The Canadian Invasion, David Perlmutter, Pulp Literature Issue #32

https://dkperlmutter.medium.com/

Novella/Novellette

The Road to Hell is Paved with Parsnips, R.J. Hore, Champagne Books


‘Twas the Week before the Night, R.J. Hore, Champagne Books

https://www.ronaldhore.com/

Unexpected Tour Off / Oh Canada

18 Feb

If you’re worried about Canada – all I can say is it’s going to get bumpy, but I know it’s going to be okay.  I know Who has us. I’ll leave it at that; just keep loving each other, even if you don’t agree with them. I’m crying watching live footage of the police going after peaceful protestors.

               On Sunday I twisted my ankle. I didn’t think it was that bad, but I cut my workout short and decided to rest it. Let’s just say I can walk on it and I’ve definitely blown it worse, but I really shouldn’t be walking on it. It’ll take longer to heal.

               I got my old crutches and I was told to expect a blizzard. Sounds like a good excuse to sit on my butt and get some writing related work done.

               Titan’s Ascent is coming along, but it needs more polish. I’ll probably be able to publish Underman soon. It’s really hard to describe when I know a book’s good enough neither it’s not quite there yet, and it’s not me being a prima donna. I need a break from it, editing in general – and I have other projects I can work on.

I booked an online book tour for Witchslayer’s Scion; I’ll let you know when the dates are set. I’m also booking a review-only our for The Mermaid and the Unicorns, and March is Giveaways Month on Goodreads, so I’ll let you know now I’ll probably do one of those too.

I need to do more OT (or at least my regular time, hah!) college fees are due next month, but assuming I’m back at work next tour it shouldn’t be a problem, assuming my assets aren’t frozen for wrongthink.

Continuing a Series with Different Characters

               As I’ve said before, Witchslayer’s Scion was a spin-off of a series I created in Jr High, and is a prequel that allowed me to expand on things because the scope of the world is so huge, it was impossible to explain everything, and to be honest it was also a good excuse to spread out information across two series.

               Underman, a novella, was an excuse to paint a picture for what it’s like for an island character who isn’t Nisiris. I didn’t like that there was a jarring move away from the sudden rebellion in the seas – but it was also pointless to go on about it, because the Imperium at the time had a united naval front, so the islands that were in close proximity to the mainland were just pumelled back into submission. Doing anything like that felt like it was filler taking away from the story. Granted I happily write long books, but I am trying my best to write tighter novels.

                Growing up I was always told the best stories should be self-contained. I think in general I agree with that, as technically The Lord of the Rings is one book split into parts. That isn’t to say that I don’t mind books that leave the reader hanging and they need to get the next book to find out what happens next, and I think that’s something that’s fine if you’re in say, a rather large series, I think of the Marvel Movies and how, with few exceptions, most films stand on their own. It certainly helps if you’ve seen the movies in order, but if I can’t remember a certain film or haven’t watched the spin-off shows, I’m not completely lost (and no, I haven’t seen every film or do I have Disney Plus. So same idea with Book of Bobba Fett and The Mandalorian). I think it can get a little tiring when the issue raised in say, a seven book series, the character is stuck at square one for the entirety of the series.  I think it works for the right type of reader. I think too often what we see is things that are said to work in market trends – hence why readers of Wheel of Time are upset with the changes to the series, because it’s meant to be more streamlined, and hit those notes with a mainstream audience.

               Movies and shows are expensive to produce, whereas with writing it costs the same amount in words for epic battles as witty banter. I’m not saying that writers should be given free reign and editors aren’t important; Especially with Wheel of Time, people complain about several titles in the middle and call them ‘The Slog’. I’ll be the first one to admit that if I was reading it I’d probably skip over certain chapters, but it’s much more tolerable when you’re listening to an audiobook while you’re driving or otherwise preoccupied with your hands. I’ve heard multiple people say that the stories would be much better if it were much tighter, with plots like Faile’s capture and Elayne’s quest for her crown omitted. But for me, I don’t mind the subtle details and the author going into the background for something we might consider innocuous.

               I think so long as you’re not beating a dead horse of the original plot and expanding, it can be quite enjoyable. I get it when a reader is waiting for a continuation of a character’s story and they’re not in it at all – because the story’s grown large and unruly.

               Back to my writing, I shouldn’t say it took me by surprise but Koth is not the main character in Titan’s Ascent. In the first book, several people who helped Koth and Una are arrested, some of them executed. One slave spoke out and had her mind broken by a mage, and I ran with her as the main character for what would have happened after her mind was healed and the gravity of the situation took effect. She had a year of her life stolen, as well as the people around her murdered. In a way, she blamed Koth while starting down a similar road, but unlike him, was born without power or a useful skillset, and was of almost an invisible status in her society.

               That’s not to say that Koth’s not important. He’s key to the plot kicking off – both fixing Marjani’s mind and really being responsible for the Titular Titan coming back on the scene. The story has always been bigger than Koth setting out from his village to avenge his brother’s murder. In the main timeline, he’s introduced as an older badass that’s willing to do the work that makes people with better moral compasses uncomfortable. I could have left him at the end of Magus’ Gambit and focused on Una’s divided path (which I promise will be answered) but I wanted to give some sort of resolution to the people of the islands. What I didn’t want was this to be a story of the evil empire and the poor island citizens – I wanted nuance. In the main story line, this rebellion sets off and initiates other civil wars – Tenagee was a rising empire that imploded from within, and the poetic justice in Lamont and Elza trying to manipulate the future to avoid it, lead to Lamont starting it.

               I’m still in the idea-writing phase of The Mermaid and the Unicorns 2 (no title) and it’s following after Esperanza as opposed to Daphne. The generic plot is, that roughly a year after the first book, Espy’s brother Alfred has set to sea and his ship goes missing. Espy needs Daphne and her friend’s help to find out what happened, as there’s conflicting stories. The main reason it felt natural to go with Espy as opposed to Daphne was that while both girls grew, Daphne was the main viewpoint character and was less mature to begin with, and her flaws were obvious. I don’t know if this’ll stay the same as I write a more solid story as opposed to writing scenes and playing with ideas.

               How do you feel about stories that not only change focus, but change characters? Will you read or watch something obscure set in the same universe just to be complete, or are there certain storylines you could care less about?

Freedom Convoy 2022 and… vacation update/goals

27 Jan

Of course I support the convoy. I shouldn’t have to be working my shift, picking up an extra shift or two (at 12 hrs a pop) to keep ambulances running, and rallying to defend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and protesting the Nuremberg Code.

This is actually the second one; a group left from Alberta in the fall and was there for weeks. It’s non-violent protests, and while I don’t doubt some people who are violently inclined will try to attach themselves, I suspect more spin and bull from our Coward Prime Minister’s bought and paid for news spin cycle.

This is not about what you think about the vaccine. This is about Canada as a society, if we respect our own laws and if we’re going to start treating people as inferior because they don’t do as they’re told by so-called ‘leaders’ who cannot mail envelopes to their members to vote, can’t keep ICU’s open, keep making decisions that make good people leave, etc.

I’m not saying that unvaccinated people have the right to go into countries that demand vaccination, or that maybe people should stop using caution. You pick your risk level, and stop penalizing businesses. I have spent the last ten years having it drilled in my head the importance of medical privacy. I know we’re all tired and want this to end. Demonizing people who don’t think like you is wrong.

How I did Goal Wise

What can I say; I picked up shifts. One of my education ‘goals’ was to take down time and do the things I enjoy. I refuse to partake in Trudeau’s Segregation, so no going to the pool or meeting people at a coffee shop, and most people I know V’d or Un-V’d are getting sick so it was a lot of hang around the house. I usually take two tours off in January and for whatever reason, my year-approved vacation got messed up. Refused a day in July, didn’t tell me about the week in August, and I normally get two tours off in January yet they gave me one tour and I still got a phone call concerning my first day off. I tried to request another tour off as I have stat days, and of course none of which was approved.

Work’s burned me out before, and I came back. I’m not letting them do it to me again. I’m giving myself grace.

Finish that Room

Work owes me money. I am sick and tired of dealing with payroll, but I am not holding my breath it’ll be taken care of any time soon. My house is like thirty and no one has finished that room; the insulation can wait and I’ll try to finish it later.

Publish Underman

It wasn’t as polished as I thought it was, so I went through a round of edits. So the plan is to give it another round of polish, but it won’t take long. It’ll take longer to find all the sites to upload it to, so I’ll do the same thing with Straw Man.

Design a Wrap for Garnet and Silver

This I did. I have a little bit of design choice to do for the spine, but given I’m not in a rush to publish it. Right now, the goal is to finish Underman/TA and then look at G&S for March.

Edit Titan’s Ascent

Yeah I went through it. See Underman: Needs more polish. I really like the story and I want to go deeper, if that makes any sense.

Oil Paint at least one picture

Never got around to it. To be fair, I didn’t do as much drawing because of my shoulder, either. I went for massage and I did a hard massage on my shoulder too. I am back to lifting weights, just trying to avoid the overarm exercises. Never stopped spinning, so there’s that too.

Finish Rough Drafts on those Novellas

NOPE. My plan right now is to do them at work. I need to fix my printer and can print out what I have written; I did do this then I chucked out the papers because I was in a mood in the fall. I’m still in a mood; but I’m also at a place where I know my creating stuff is necessary for my mental health.

Basically I don’t consider it as having a vacation so much as just having alternative days off. I have a few days off and I think I’m going to just enjoy them.

21 Jan

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Mermaid and the Unicorns by L.T. Getty

The Mermaid and the Unicorns

by L.T. Getty

Giveaway ends February 05, 2022.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway

Fall From Grace (Trope)

10 Jan

So I haven’t blogged much about Witchslayer’s Scion, so I thought I’d do something different: Talking about tropes. Although it’s the latest of my titles through Champagne Books, it’s an earlier novel that I had sitting on my hard drive. It’s a spin-off of a series I developed waaay back in high school, and now that I’m a better writer I hope to fix the main series. In Witchslayer’s Scion, there’s only a handful of hints we’re in future north America, most of it reads like a sword and sorcery. The idea was that something happened that plunged the majority of the population into not quite into the dark ages, but they lost electricity and communication, and over centuries most common folk lost the ability to replicate what they had. Since this was a spin-off, I didn’t think it would be realistic for Koth or too many of the characters to be aware of their lost history.

The trope of civilization falling from a technological standpoint is far from new.

There’s plenty of stories about Atlantis, seen here is Disney’s 2001 Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Studio Ghibli did a take on this trope too, with the 1986 film Castle in thy Sky:

Studio Ghibli did a take on this trope too, with the 1986 film Castle in thy Sky

It’s often seen in an active dystopia or apocalypse, or in my case we’re well after a fall. It can be from a cataclysmic event, or perhaps the slow eek of a fading empire that collapsed under its own weight. There’s speculation about our own history, but we know that there was a relative lull around the time the roman empire fell. Between that and the burning of the Library of Alexandra, that period of time is called ‘the dark ages’ throughout most of Europe for a reason, and the Renaissance literally meanings a new revival of the old.

As a trope, I love it. I’ve done something similar with Dreams of Mariposa, only they’re a little more steampunk. And yes, in theory I could see Dreams of Mariposa and Witchslayer’s Scion taking place within the same approximate timeline, with DoM taking place in Europe while WS taking place in North America, only don’t expect me to work vampires into the current projects. I worked in a Skinwalker in Magus’ Gambit; and the title Titan’s Ascent has a titular… suggestion. There’s plenty of room for expansion of the world I built but I’m going to focus on a few tasks at hand as opposed to chasing off after other ideas.

    

In The Warlord comics, it’s explicit that while magic does exist, a select group of people are generally exploiting technology from a people who lost the ability to utilize it.  

Tolkien’s Middle Earth more famous stories also utilize this trope. I’m not as hardcore as many Tolkien fans, but it’s quite explicit about the civilizations and great kings that came before. It almost feels like with the leaving of the Elves, that such an era is over and can never be as it was.

It’s also made explicit in the Wheel of Time Amazon adaptation that Lews Therin lived in a very technologically sophisticated time compared to his rebirth some thousands of years later. In the books while it’s never outright stated that it’s our world, the lore characters hint around suggest that Rand and company descended from a space-faring civilization around the time of the Breaking of the World.

I could go on, as I think science fiction and fantasy is rife with this trope. Is it a difference in technology level, or a story about remembering what their ancestors could do that you’d like to share?

As for me, I’m on night shift and supposed to be on vacation in the morning. We’re terribly short staffed, so I’m going into a rounder a little closer to home in the morning. I’m going to work on some blog entries and work on Underaman and Titan’s Ascent. Hopefully I’ll get some sense after a 72 hour work week and take the remainder of the time off.

Let’s set some Modest Goals:

Finish that Room in the basement (Insulation, dry wall. I just grow hydroponics down there and its probably the coldest room int he house)

Publish Underman Novella

Go through Titan’s Ascent. Polish and attempt sending it to Champagne for the end of the Month

Oil Paint at least one decent picture

Work out almost every day. Yes, shoulder still sore but I will baby it

Arrange for a Book Tour for Witchslayer’s Scion and The Mermaid and the Unicorns

Figure out what I’m going to do for the Wrap for Garnet and Silver. Might self publish, might wait a few weeks.

Sounds like a lot but a lot of this isn’t going to take that long. Underman has a cover and just needs some formatting, and assuming I don’t pick up after the next two days I’ll have 10 days off. Titan’s Ascent will need the most time, and that is polish so I can’t commit to how long it’ll be.

2021 Year End Wind Up

31 Dec

Well, so far the 20’s have been… interesting. Yes, I know there’s no year 0.

Fitness: My goal was to do a pull up.

Lame Duck: Shoulder’s a little off so I haven’t been weight training in a few weeks. My parents gave me their bowflex when they moved, and I’m noticing a huge difference in my grip strength. A pull up? Not risking my shoulder right now. I remember a few years ago I recovered from plantar fasciitis and then immediately tried jumping rope and bringing it right back, so not taking the bait. I’d love to restart P90X in January, but I might loan my cousin my DVDs. I got my spin bike fixed so that’s basically what I’ve been doing in addition to stretching. My shoulder feels so good right now compared to how it felt about three weeks ago, and I don’t want to push it. My ankle feels a lot better in general, so across the board YAY.

Reading:

I only knocked it out of the park because of audiobooks. I was carpooling in 2019/2020; my partner has moved on so I drive by myself so I listen to books on my way to work, as well as when I’m going to the lake or wahtever. I was hoping to read the entire Wheel of Time in a year; but I’m cheap and used the library so that didn’t happen because I’d have to wait between titles. I seem to be at a gap so I might be quick for the final 3.5 books. The only other goal is to finish series and try to get the books on my Goodreads list. I am really not all that fussy; Ron loans me books and I still try to read a lot of small/indie books.

Writing:

Self Publishing

I self-published The Mermaid and the Unicorns. I wrote it for my oldest niece, who is now 14 (? !!!) same as Garnet and Silver TBH. I developed it because it was relatively short and fun. I really enjoyed the self-publishing process, so I think I’ll do more.

So some of you may know I started developing Garnet and Silver: A Faerie Tale for publication several years ago. I told myself I’d do it after I signed a few contracts with different publishers, either for books or shorts or whatever. Part of it was telling myself I needed to work to get the job I wanted, but let’s be honest I chickened out. The only reason I haven’t really put it out this year is I have a wrap cover and the image is sitting, locked, on an older computer. I have the cover image I love but I like the back shot too.

I have tried my best to unlock it. I am going to try again in January, but I think I’ll call it sometime next week, and just come up with a different back.

I also have a novella that’s pretty much ready to go. Odds are it’ll launch early January.

Other Writing: I had a bunch of very ambitious writing goals for 2021 and basically I’ve been a write off since late August. I have gotten Titan’s Ascent to a manageable size, and while I haven’t gotten it to a place where I want to send it into Champagne Books, I’m supposed to have a tour off in January. I put in for more time off, but work is offering to buy back our vacation – again – and meanwhile what’s the only thing that I told my Con Ed I need to work on, really? Taking down time and doing things I enjoy. Thing is, this part of writing isn’t the as enjoyable part. I enjoy editing, but this is more brain-heavy.

I’m not going to push myself for finishing Titan’s Ascent, as Champagne has been sitting on Magus’ Gambit for like two years, and assuming Cassie turns around with a contract in a month or two we still won’t be in production any time soon.

In the meantime, I have those two novella-length shorts to work on, and assuming I don’t philander and play I can pick something else from the pile to fix and send to Cassie. The way I see it, is she can hum and haw over those two sequels while I work on something different so that way if she says “Yes more please” I have a two book head start before I start working on book 4+, plus maybe something that stands alone for her consideration. Okay, a lie; book 4 has a few scenes written and because I yoinked a bunch out of book 3 several parts of book 5 are written. If she says, “No” I turn around with a completely different product.

On top of that, I started have loosely started on the sequel to The Mermaid and the Unicorns. I had several ideas, my niece wants more of the puppeteers, but so far it’s really focusing on Espy as the MC as opposed to Daphne, but it’s in the percolating stage so there’s no guarantee the end product will resemble this idea stage.

Other goals: Paint. I doubt even if things go back to normal I’ll be traveling any time soon (maybe in country. I want to see Tolfino, at least once) and I have some lovely oil paints, so on top of all those creative writing goals, do some painting. Yes, my inking and map making have gotten better. I didn’t put the map I was goofing around with in the book because ebook/print book issues. The cute one really needed color to pop ebookwise, so I was like ‘meh’ and skipped it.

Thoughts on Wheel of Time Season 1

27 Dec

So I’m just as surprised as you are to have watched the show; I’m currently listening to the Audiobook version of Knife of Dreams, and I’ll be honest this is not my most favorite series, but I see why it has the following it has. If I were to surmise the premise, author Jordan takes the idea of Wheel of Time where these things have all happened, and will happen again, and this interpretation takes us to a vaguely Tolkien-like World, at least superficially, where the chosen one must defeat the dark one.

If only the different factions could stop stabbing each other in the back long enough for them to organize.

As opposed to making the three Ta’alveran the main viewpoint, the show mostly focuses in on Moraine and Lan as they try to determine which of the four Two Rivers residents are the Dragon Reborn. The show streamlines events and introduces characters we wouldn’t have met yet while bypassing others. Moraine’s plan is to take the dragon to the eye of the world, and defeat the dark one once in for all, finishing in this lifetime what Lews Therin, the previous dragon, failed to do 3000 years ago and plunged the world into darkness.

TL;DR: the show is aiming at audiences who want a story like this but isn’t meant for the book readers. Believe me this has been going on for a while. This is around the time I normally watch The Lord of the Rings with my dad, and I remember everyone trying to find a property that could follow up. What was the forerunner? Narnia. What’s the problem? Narnia is meant for kids, and a bunch of my friends who went to watch it were like, “We got suckered into a kid’s movie.”

This adaptation basically wants a Game of Thrones, so it’s using the basic stories and characters as launching points as opposed to being true to the source material. It seems grittier than the prose would immedaitely suggest to me, and it’s trying to make its material ‘more adult’.

In general I thought the show was going for stunning visuals to make up for some lazy writing. I really like the casting for the most part, and I’m not sore that we bypassed Caemlyn to see Tar Valon; I think the main issue was that rather than making a faithful interpretation of the books the directed thought the women needed bigger roles and to be ‘fixed’, so the three Ta’alveran, (they made Egwene one, I don’t care close enough) are incredibly generic.

Fortunately, they left Nyneave alone because there was nothing wrong with her. The bit with the trolloc was a bit much and we could have used that time to develop someone else’s character, but whatever you want some fighting and neat visuals as opposed to characters like Elayne going on about Honey in her Tea, I’ll shaddap. I’ll be honest I wasn’t the hugest fan of Egwene when we started the books but right now, she’s the definition of someone who is constantly trying to be moulded and standing firm; coming into her power but not relying on out magicking everyone else, uniting people which is what is precisely is needed given The End of the World Looming.

Right now she’s amazing and brave and everyone loves her. Moraine and Nyneave are interesting because they’re flawed – Moraine being manipulative and willing to sacrifice people for the good of the world and and Nyneave being fiercely protective of her kinfolk and having issues with Moraine’s plan. Egwene suffers from this new generation’s version of Strong Female Character – I’m awesome and too good for this sinful earth; please stop fighting over me boys. It brings me to the Children of the Light bit, and I had zero problem with them focusing on her as opposed to Perrin, at least initially. My problem, is that they’re supposed to have a grudge on him, Egwene barely has to deal with them moving forward. We barely touched on the Wolfisms, and I think it would have been one thing to think, “Okay, a pathetic little sorceress from the backwater village” but another to see a yellow-eyed Darkfriend.

I suppose I better prove what I mean by Lazy Writing. The easiest is to pick on the Seanchan at the very ending, but it’s actually throughout the series. They went with some really, let’s just say ~interesting~ visuals, and this ending stirs a lot of questions. Who are these people? They don’t look like anyone we’ve seen so far. They immediately look like an invading force, and you’re not sure about their channelers, and they…

…make a giant tidal wave to take out a child on the beach?

It looks stunning. But assuming the child isn’t that far from her village, what are you hoping to accomplish, other than announcing your presence? Sending out a wave towards a port filled with warships, makes some tactical sense. All you’re doing is announcing someone with magic is showing up, and Aes Sedai are bound by oaths to precisely *not* do that.

In defense of the show, I’ll be the first one to admit that it takes a lot of work to make a very convincing fantasy world. I just kind of go with whatever rules the author throws at me, so long as they’re consistent with their lore and logic and it doesn’t sound like they did a last minute saving throw, you can convince me. And if there was an already definitive screen version of the show, I wouldn’t mind so much deviation and reinterpretation, but really what season 2 needs to do, especially since they laid the ground work, so assume that the audience likes intellectual pay offs.

In Game of Thrones, we as the audience despised The Red Wedding but knew it worked because there was a ton of set up. The Starks were winning battles, but lost because they lost the support of key houses (The Karstarks, the Freys, and the Boltons) and it was established that the latter two houses were opportunistic as opposed to the more loyal, more modest houses that exuded Ned Stark Honor. There was plenty of Dany’s history where her going mad and burning King’s Landing could have made a lot of sense. Over the course of the series she was sold, abused, but always rose up and triumphed, and usually on behalf of the weak. Saying, “Guess who’s mad with power now?” didn’t sit with the audience, because it wasn’t a payoff.

Respect your audience. I know some people just want something fun and a romp, but I’ll probably go rewatch The Lord of the Rings – 20 year anniversary – and other movies that are timeless and when I think about them later, I think about the ideas and streamlining that made sense, as opposed to, “Well… at least it looked cool.”

And yes, you can tell some of it was done on a budget. We all got spoiled with Gollum and other fanciful CGI; the poor actor playing Loial has a wonderful voice, but I think we all wanted incredibly non-human proportions.