Posts Tagged ‘Brea Borders Writers Group’

When Writing, I record my progress now daily, and by week and month.

My writing week is Monday through Sunday. It had to start sometime and by doing Monday to Sunday, and then dividing how many weeks there have been in a year and multiplying by 52, or days there have been by 365, I can make estimates of where I will be after a year.

Even though now I can comfortably write 20 pages a day, 6000 words, having the time to do so before we settle into Hemet and begin a job hunt, I have used the gauge to monitor my capabilities. Where when I started 2 pages was hard to find the time to do, now I do ten times that. When I started NaNoWriMo at the beginning of November, I was worried that commitments for the house hunting and purchase would take me away from writing so I wanted to get 8000 words a day, and then the next level is 10000 words a day, which I have done on occasion and think I could make a habit of.

I finished the NaNoWriMo novel in 14 days

                Day                        Word Count
Day 1        8045
Day 2        8253
Day 3        8597
Day 4        8609
Day 5        4081
Day 6 & 7        8448
Day 8        8302
Day 9        8195
Day 10        4201
Day 11        8363
Day 12        6202
Day 13 & 14        12419

You can see that I combine Saturdays and Sundays together and sometimes I don’t write on one or the other. (This last Saturday, the 4th, I did not write anything because of The Brea Borders Writers Group and then staying in Brea area all day.)

You Ought to Trust Your Mother YOTTYM-1inch.vHipGoYMqqLJ.jpg finished at 93, 715 words according to Scrivener, and 5 more than that when I uploaded it to the NaNoWriMo site

A good feeling but it did not mean I finished writing on November 14th for the month of November. I added almost 61,000 more words after that, working on the Conquest Story, now having a working title of By the Book. My November Count shows I wrote 154,657 but that is not how I count months for my word count. If a month does not end on a sunday, then I record the figures until it becomes Sunday, and I start it on the first monday of the month after writers group. The Brea Borders Writers Group meets on the first Saturday, so November did not start for my accounting of writing until the 8th. The first Saturday was the 6th, so that was the last week of my October still. The first week of my November then being the Monday following the first Saturday Started on the 8th and just ended yesterday.

4 weeks of writing, on You Ought to Trust Your Mother, and By the Book, a total of 126,904 words.

Now once I finished the NaNoWriMo project I felt a lot of pressure for 2010 was off. It came out well in the 2 weeks I wrote it, showing me I can write a long book in that time. (20+ books a year pace.)

When the year started, I wanted 30,000 words a week, 1.5 million a year. But at week 3 of January, I had that heart attack and really didn’t write much for 2 months. I also readdressed my goals and thought that 3000 pages might be more optimistic to push for.

As the year continued, I made that goal to be 4000 pages, or 100,000 words each month. 1,200,000 words by the end of the year. Today, this morning we are at 1,176.309. About 79 pages from the finish line. So I’ve added another 50,000 word to the goal for the next four weeks (My 2010 for writing will end on the 2nd)

What also will take up my time this month, is the house purchase, lining up workmen and purchase of appliances and flooring ready to go if we sign on Christmas Eve (My folks sign, they are buying the house and we are renting from them. But we have to do all the footwork.)

The Brea Borders Writers Group

Each month for nine years, though we cancel on some holiday weekends, we meet at the Borders in Brea California for our writing group. Currently we are six members, and three of us were able to gather for nearly 4 hours on Saturday. The first two and half we talked about the process of writing, about inspiration, about not closing yourself off to other novels and television for inspiration, about character studies and traits of people from real life. We talked about lap bands and Leonard Cohen We talked about songwriting for poetry. Then we did our readings. I was introducing my heroine and the team pointed out one thing that I needed to add to her character.

The Gratitude Log

  1. Cereal–it is how I start my morning, and it is getting a little boring but it meets the Diabetes and Heart requirements I think. 1 bowl every weekday.
  2. Vector Graphics–Can’t really find a freeware or shareware one for the Macintosh. Have been using Numbers PastedGraphic3.qlCQ1XE9aYIE.jpgto solve that problem. I will have a movie up for By the Book showing how I used it and show off the battle sequences on it.
  3. Inkjet Printers & Scanners–Saves the need for faxing. Print out whatever form someone needs me to sign, then sign it, scan it and email it back
  4. Arco Gasoline– PastedGraphic2.T76pAyWhWns2.jpgThis is still one of the best buys for gas out here and certainly is saving us money during the recession. Even if it is a BP company and they leaked oil into the gulf. We save everytime we fill up. Why don’t any other chains figure that out?
  5. Reading–Without it the great number of stories I think up would be the poorer

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It seems like just a few days ago that I gave a long over due update of my successes of the last few months, so what am I doing writing again so soon? Well on last sunday, about 1, I finished the 2010 NaNoWriMo book. Not the 50,000 words, I went past that on Monday the 8th. No, by the 14th I finished which was seven or eight days better than 2009. 93,720 words for You Ought to Trust Your Mother.


Having finished this story so quickly and now at over 1.1M words for the year, 3600+ pages, I have returned to the Conquest story, which is over 57,000 words and nearly half way. A second climatic battle scene is in the offing and at chapter 9. The story is one of intrigue, politics, the success of the man of the hero and how one man can change things. I remember Robert Adams taking using some of the themes of H Beam Piper’s Kalvan of Otherwhen PastedGraphic1.YGKDvQk8PnR9.jpg series in his Horseclans seriesPastedGraphic2.tTxbX2etgehM.jpg. The concept of the middle kingdoms he added as an area that had many petty kingdoms. Albert Nofi put out a game that also had many medieval kingdoms fighting for each other. This concept led to my idea that the shattered remnants of the empire, having not been united for three hundred years, has two cores of power. One in the north and one in the south, with several realms in between. The powers are content to let the small countries grow and shrink as long as they do not get too big. Then they step in with a variety of ways to keep them small. Asimov though showed us in the Foundation series PastedGraphic3.YKUKOMmNg7zH.jpg the one man can make a difference as we have seen in history with The Mule. Thus comes into play our hero.

I had to deconstruct where ideas came from for my last writers discussion and this might be a good exercise for the next writing group. The Brea Borders Writers Group is now a shlep for me as we are in Riverside on our way to Hemet. Probably moved in by the end of January. How does one have an idea and then develop it? Perhaps spending some time with this is important in the journey to a novel because there are writers who just start typing on the blank page. I do that but I have the chapter synopsis written, though it might be one or two sentences. It might develop further by the books later chapters into a bulleted list of the scenes in the chapter with the points I want to remember to get across.

Twenty years ago, I might have started with the first part of the idea. In the case of Conquest it would have been Hero becomes King. Well, now I have a more in depth structure to that, and a road that will take me there. I know several of the steps along the way and the world had been fleshing out for the last five years with the elements I cited above.

A sample of the world map I am using, partially filled in:


Again the opening of a story:

Cold of the Night

Franklin, though all called him Frank, quickly stamped his feet for they were cold. Very cold and he realized he had been standing still so long that the blood had slowed throughout his body. He needed to get the circulation going or he would be no good for anything.

He didn’t mind the cold, well he didn’t mind being in the cold for this mission. He would have preferred that his feet were warm, but someone had to stand out in the cold and wait for the men of Duke Lawrence to attack. Not that it was a sure thing that they would attack this night. Nor the next. What was assured was that they would attack. Lawrence wanted to be a Prince as sure as Count Michael was content about being a count forever. That was what Sir Henry said and he had met the Count many times. The village of Northford was part of Sir Henry’s demesne. It was also one of the closer villages to Duke Lawrence’s land.

The old Duke had died some months before and his nephew had succeeded him. Sir Henry said the old Duke was a kind old soul and could be counted to keep the peace in the inner realms. Peace was what all wanted except the lords. They wanted to fight and they wanted men to fight for them so they could get more land without actually fighting themselves. It had been a lot of years since Count Michael had feared for anything greater than a border skirmish.

Frank rubbed one foot atop the other and then switched the right for left. He couldn’t stamp as loud as he wished for that might make too much noise. The forests here was not filled with a great dense growth, but they were high up the Forbright River’s source. There were tall established trees and new off shoots, ferns at the bases of the biggest, and rock outcroppings everywhere on the hill. The river fully formed some five hundred paces below but here above an old logging camp, were paths that led over the mountain into Duke Lawrence’s domain.

He had been in service just since Duke Lawrence had taken over the Duchy of Lasmark. Count Michael had asked that each of his barons supply five hundred more men and each baron had gone to his knights for the additional men. Sir Henry had come to his father at the glassworks and had gone to others as well.

To his father, Sir Henry had said, “You have four sons, is that not so?”

“Yes, it is true. All good boys. They have never been a problem for me or your worship.”

“True, very true. Why during harvest, your son Frank has earned extra coin helping the farmers near by has he not?”

“Yes sir, he helps them with the figures for your bailiff and as well as carting the heavy bales to the counting stone.” There the farmers goods were parceled out as well as the lords. Sir Henry was entitled to three parts in twenty, and he had to give 1 part in ten to Baron Jason who held the lands from Count Michael. The Count getting a part of all that was grown on all the lands.

“Strong then, and a good head. I here he also holds onto the shield during the war training each year.” During summer from the time a boy was ten till he was too old to stand straight, one night each week the men-at-arms of Sir Henry would try and teach all the men of the Northford to hold a shield and use a spear. Shoot an arrow if they had any skill or their labors followed that path. Those with quick wrists were even shown the sword.

“Aye, he is a good hand there as well. You be needing men for the levy for how long?” Frank’s father was the only glazier in the village and served all of Sir Henry’s lands which had four other small villages as well. He was no fool either, though Frank was not so sure about his brothers. Only two could become glazers for master and journeyman, that was all that wages and coin would support. Frank did not want to spend his life in the workshop making glass till he was an old grandser.

The Gratitude Log

  1. Parents–P1000826.I2lYDUi8FlAy.jpgWithout their help, it would be tough to get by. Having declared bankruptcy we can’t buy a house to live in and of course we have been foreclosed and kicked out of our house. All that equity was just rent that we paid all these years. It is not a savings account as the great american myth has made it out to be. Obama has not helped the common american, that is a myth. He has helped the banks and his interests. There is no difference between democrats and republicans in office except that the democrats shout louder that they are for the people when they allow the interests that pay into their election funds to get as much as the republicans. The biggest contributors to the democrats in 2008 and Obama, was wall street. Who do you think gets payback then? So we little guy homeowners who watched it all bleed away because the money people raped us by making low interest and no interest homes available so that later a big faction could default and take down those who had good jobs supporting a whole other infrastructure fail as well. I could have paid less for Aspen for they would have been at an economic factor lower than they were. Bill Clinton and George Bush and now Obama are far too concerned with be well liked then with doing what needs to be done as a president. The president has to be like Lincoln, tough enough to do things that people hate enough to war over but in the end make a much better country. Let the Representatives talk a game of populist support and let the Senate examine the big picture of our nation and keeping us number one. Leadership is like parenting. Doing the things that sometimes your children do not like

                My folks though are able to help us out now and help us get a house and as soon as we are employed we can start paying them back. Now all we need is for Obama to get off his rump and really create jobs.
2)        HemetPastedGraphic.8Lzbgv6rvhte.jpgA less expensive housing community to wade out the recession. It may be hot, but it is also why our family is in Southern California. My great grandmother, sometime after the war, was at Gilman Hot Springs to relax. She broke something (Back, leg???) and had to go next door to the hospital in Hemet. My mother’s parents came down to fetch her and fell in love with Southern California. They moved her and that got mom here, who met dad eventually. You know genetics, if that leg or back hadn’t broken and Great-grandma (she was called-Lala) had not mended in Hemet, we would never have been here. No David, no writing.

  1. Costco1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic1.BKDewGx3JFwG.jpgso while moving, my glass frames broke. Of course I do not have a prescription, does the optometrist ever give them out, or do they always keep them? Inexpensive Glasses. I checked Lenscrafters, Costco, Sears, and Costco won.
  2. Trader Joes 1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic3.ShBLF5wOfY5c.jpg Chinese Chicken Salad–For years one of my favorite meals, easily dinner once every other week
  3. The Wheel of Time-PastedGraphic4.w0LfeSrGkzjn.jpgStill one of the best fantasy series ever written. Jordan is dead but Sanderson is doing well finishing the last 20% of it. The penultimate book was recently released and now only one more, due next year.

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The End of the World and Regency Assembly Press

We are at 77 sales. We have one review from our readers. Click on the picture to order a copy at Amazon or go here. As those who are following know, The Shattered Mirror is now being edited. We have three editors and myself working on it.

This leaves the current work in progress, Beggars Can’t Be Choosier. A story of romance that follows a marriage.

Total for the month of April writing is over 144,000 words. Beggars is now over 71K words and will be finished this week. Almost 240 pages of first draft manuscript now in just two weeks.

The month finished strong and I hope to continuing at this pace for it puts at a 3000 page commitment and even 4000 pages.

Gratitude Log for the day:

  1. Mimi’s Cafe–This restaurant always is good and it is one of Cheryl and my favorites.Screenshot2010-05-04at12.02.02PM.UNHfefQl9j4D.jpg
  2. Rite Aid-Thrifty’s–This drug store chain had ice cream in a very unique scoop. Went back recently and had a scoop of Chocolate Chip and it was great. 1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic.oRb5Jqs4cxwG.jpg
  3. Tivo–The ability to copy what is on TV when you can’t get to the TV is worthwhile.
  4. Firefox–As internet browsers go, sometimes it is a little wierd, and slow but that you can do things to it, like custom the border of itScreenshot2010-05-04at12.05.22PM.42yHoq99cfI1.jpg like this, is great. I have made a Regency Assembly Press persona for all to use.
  5. iPads–I don’t have one yet, but I sure want one.PastedGraphic1.obGpqlEQ8JOd.jpg

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Brea Borders Writers Group met again the first Saturday of April. I was able to read from the first six pages of Shattered Mirror, and had some ideas thrown my way to incorporate. Jennifer, Deedira and Melinda also read and all were given helpful insights. I distributed t-shirts to our members that can be had at the Regency Assembly Press store.

You can get nice items such as :

SweatshirtScreenshot2010-04-08at1.50.41PM.gYHB3st5JKig.jpg or a TravelMugScreenshot2010-04-08at1.50.46PM.1rse0oAGUuLI.jpg

The End of the World is selling.

We are now at 35 copies plus in the 3 weeks it has been available for sale.

You can get The End of the World at the press or Here.
PastedGraphic.hRLDy1fgdLM4.jpg (click on the picture)

If you are in time for the discount, it is here: The End of the World Amazon Discounted

We have scheduled marketing day for April 16th so if you are thinking of purchasing a copy of The End of the World, doing so that day from Amazon would be a great help.

The Shattered Mirror continues. Nearly 45K words so almost half way. (We are targeting under 100K words.) After page 100, the hero and heroine have finally met. I think enough of each character has been established that they are compelling. We shall see. Today I am still writing the scene of their first meeting.

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March is ending and the Shattered Mirror has entered it’s third chapter. Nearly fifteen thousand words and a couple days before writers group. This weekend the group is meeting at the house where we are going to work on marketing strategy as well as reading from our works. The Brea Borders Writers Group is now in its ninth year.

The End of the World is selling. We have sold over 15 copies in the 2 weeks it has been available for sale. At least 15. It recently went on sale at Amazon where according to my reports only 4 copies have sold. That seems strange to me. But what do I know. Also at least 7 other people that I can not account for have told me they would be buying copies. If they have done so, I have gotten no reports that they done so from Amazon. So I am wondering if the Amazon reporting system is accurate or if these people who have told me they would buy have done so.

You can get The End of the World at the press or Here.
PastedGraphic.aeiAb0puTuPm.jpg (click on the picture)

If you are in time for the discount, it is here: The End of the World Amazon Discounted

Regency Assembly Press is in business. We are putting all sorts of great things at the site. I have a large page of Slang built into the site if you get lost with the words. A submissions page, a dance of the period choreographed. We even have Regency Assembly Press merchandise now.

Gratitude Log for the day:

  1. Good Health again-Saw the Congestive Heart Failure doctor who is pleased with my progress.
  2. Fish in a Bottle–This sushi place had more to offer than many and since I had sushi last week I had the teriyaki steak that came with green tea rice…
  3. Claro’s–Food is a great topic and we have Claro’s market near the house. Great Deli and Italian food almost every day.1__%23%24%21%40%25%21%23__PastedGraphic.u9OkqqPDYU6Q.jpg
  4. Iron On Transfers–I am taking some of the art I have been making at the website and going to make a sweatshirt to surprise my father…
  5. Rome Total War-Released recently for the MacintoshPastedGraphic1.srSBO7z1ig7C.jpg

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So today is the official end of the writing cycle month for me. Since it would be the normal day for a Brea Borders Writers Group meeting. But as it is the holiday, we are not meeting. It is a time to reflect on accomplishments since last month. Space Mine’s first draft was finished this month. It came in at nearly 98K words. It had a long rambling finish. But the finish revealed something, sure the mission could eventually be done, but the project would never finish. There is always tomorrow Tara… There will always be threats, and there will always be a need to respond to it. Ever vigilant, but plan to go forward.

Then Colonel Pen started, Pen for Pennington. I wrote through the first scene rather quick, and had that well thought out it, trying to establish our background for the character. But then there was not as much fire as before. I was writing my 1500 words a day, then by the end of the week I was writing nothing. With the first two weeks as I finished the Space novel, I was writing a lot more than 1500 words a day. Some days over 3000.

Pennington had no solid voice for me yet, the technical part of what I want to portray not too clear. But that picked up. I have over 23K now for Pennington in two weeks. Total for June is over 51K nearly 13K a week average. Not as good as April and May, but well over my goal of 30K.

I edited up to a third of Graces’ first draft and have those changes into the computer. I posted my short story from the 1632 entries. It was voted to be adopted for the Granteville Gazette. It was taken by them, then the editors lost it. I being trusting thought these people were nice and honorable. They weren’t and it shows in their writing these days. Even in the stuff Baen is pushing in hardback. Some of the stuff is just drek that you are paying a lot of money for and in reading the reviews, I can see that my feelings are shared. Eric Flint and I were at UCLA in the history program at the same time. He was a Graduate student there when I was there. He has let his beast develope into the many headed hydra and can’t say no. So you have a society that technology stops cold when they transition. Laptops circa 2000 can no longer be produced.

Generating electricity for them is not possible outside of certain areas so when one arrives a few years later in Venice, has any of these writers used a laptop. Those batteries drain away to nothing so that you have to plug the thing in. Then an hour later if you still had a battery you would have to recharge. Sure a laptop would be great, but it would be as good as a refrigerator without electricity. The Granteville world has a lot of writers that Eric is encouraging with no clue like that. I love the Ballet one. Here you have a world that is surrounded all around by war and struggling to make ends meet. And the failed dance teacher who writes these stories thinks that you can put together a cultural show of ballet and make a money making company right in the middle of everything. I had to suspend my disbelief. (But still couldn’t do it.)

The tangents that have gone on are ridiculous. The only stuff that really does make sense are the items Eric and David Weber write. But even then it has problems. Making an airplane… Once the people from the future can do it, the people from the past are going to be able to copy it and get their own into production too? They will need many scientists and engineers to figure things out, there should be years (decades) between. Advantage america, but that doesn’t happen.

So seeing those inconsistencies, is what I tried to address in Space Mine. It has to be a logical extension of the ability to mine the Asteroids from where we are now.

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Today was adventure day with Cheryl which also means fight day.

Is it me, or is Starbucks really Stupidbucks? We go there, when we go there and spend a lot of money for something really cheap, so we are giving away our bucks stupidly? Not only that, but they had this add for a a coffee and a coffee cake. But since they were out of the low cal, they could not substitute a leaded coffee cake that sells at the same price. And then there Tall, glass of coffee is there smallest glass of coffee. Did they not learn english? Are they not an american company? Is Tall the smallest in any language besides Starbuckese?

So I am a Stupid for being sucked in to the Starbucks. I have done my best to avoid them, and doubt that I shall really give them a great deal of money.

A, I don’t have that kind of money now,
B I think that fads are something I tend to avoid.

So yesterday was fighting with RCT, the game and where the files were hiding and why I couldn’t access them. Got that fixed, and also fighting all day with iPhoto. Got that fixed. Spent more time on the Websites and got My Siteto work better. Added a second page even though there a lot of extras displayed, I will be making them as the week goes on.

Deedira urged me to submit my manuscripts and so I contacted Wytherngate and McBooks and this time, so far Wytherngate has now taken the first three chapters of Colonel Fitz…

I still need to write something and use MacJournal more. Will be doing that during the week when I get back to my daily writing. Tomorrow it is more writing in Graces of Brantley.

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