An Art Related Dilema

So I have a bit of a dilemma, a conundrum, a debate with myself.

A long time ago, I thought that I had picked out a perfect divider art for the entire Nickel and Dime series.

It was such a simple concept, and the graphics side of Kabobbles took the concept and made a picture. I thought it was what I wanted, but as soon as I tried to use it in the file, I changed my mind.

I don’t know that a nickel and a dime really fits the story. It’s got a connection: Effie’s store is named Nickel and Dime. Her family’s name was Nickell. There’s a few lines about nickels and dimes. There is even a character named Tennant.

It’s just… I don’t think it’s right.

The graphic artist said she would change it from this:

divider for nickel and dime

to this:

divider for nickel and dime rev 1

and that should help.

I don’t know. I still don’t know that I want it as the divider. Bear in mind that they would be a lot smaller in the book. I’m just including the big versions for comparison and best quality as I try and get some thoughts from others.

Is the writer being irrational?

Nobody’s Hero

I have been meaning to do this song for a while. It is the perfect song for Garan, even if he’s not exactly a soldier.

Reading over the lyrics, it’s hard to find ones that don’t fit him. He’s a mess of guilt and pain, and he continues to work through that as the stories progress.


You didn’t ask for this…
And you’re nobody’s hero.

Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.

At the Beginning

Since I decided to focus on getting Nickel and Dime prepped to publish and did a lot of singing the baby to sleep lately with the extra babysitting I’ve been doing, this song kept coming up again. When I heard it, it joined the many songs that made me think of Effie and Garan, specifically for their first adventure together.

We were strangers, starting out on a journey, never dreaming what we’d have to go through.

This part is very Garan:
No one told me I was going to find you.
Unexpected, what you did to my heart
When I lost hope, you were there to remind me

And even though they’re not standing, this does kind of remind me of them at the end of the book.

Now here we stand, unafraid of the future
At the beginning with you

Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.

Mixed Emotions and Thoughtlessness

More from Effie and Garan. Since they have two novels, and even a short story at this point, it’s not hard to find lots of songs for them. 🙂

Again, with Garan being as stubborn as he is, most of this song just… fits.

In fact, I didn’t find a part that didn’t.

Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.

Maybe I’m Amazed

This whole song is Effie and Garan, and it will still be them no matter how long their series gets to be.

I don’t even need to quote lyrics because the only part that doesn’t fit is this one: Maybe I’m amazed at the way you help me sing my song.

Although, come to think of it, Effie sings, so that does fit. 🙂

Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.


There’s a particular scene in Nickel and Dime that is this song, though the theme kind of runs through it, too.

I believe that you can save me
And you’ll never let me fall
I believe in what you’ve shown me
Maybe there’s a hero in us all

It’s both of them. Some parts might be more him than her, but it’s both of them.

When the world’s confusing, I don’t care
I’ll crawl into your atmosphere
I know you’ll make it right
You’re all I need to know

Pull me in like you were made for me

Kabobbles Sing Along is just what I think when I hear songs. I sometimes see images when I hear lyrics, pictures or movies in my head. Sometimes I relate it to stories. My interpretation of the songs and lyrics are probably nothing like their original intent.

December Loses to November

So, I didn’t manage quite as much writing in December as I did in November. Partially because of edits, partially because of life’s unpredictable drama, and the rest because of illness. I completed one novel, not three. In November, I had Nanowrimo to work on, needing at least 50,000 words for a novel to complete that challenge, so that was a big part of the difference. I did, however, have my own personal challenge of posting a section a day to a story. That’s the Not-So-Super Superhero, and I am proud to say I only missed one day there, and there were circumstances which excuse that.

So… a look at the word count totals as they stood after midnight last night:

The Monster in Garden Shed: 62,156

First Nickel and Dime: 59,932

Second (and currently untitled) Nickel and Dime: 14,365

The Not-So-Super Superhero: 33,393

Misc other: 34,580

This Month’s Total: 190, 061

So, close to 200,000 again. Not a bad total.

If I had been consistent around that 200,000 (and I wasn’t), I’d have a yearly total somewhere around 2,400,000.

My goal this next year will be to track it and see what I come up with for a full year. It’s a bit hard for me to track where I was when 2011 started, unfortunately.

Right now, though, since I have tracked it the past couple months, I think I know where I am, and I can use that to continue keeping track of things in order to have a yearly total. I gave some consideration to looking at day-to-day totals, but not only am I not the type to be that organized, I frequently am up past midnight writing, and… oh, yeah, if people knew how much writing I did daily, I’d be in a lot of trouble. I have other responsibilities that I neglect to do as much writing as I do.

It’s so much more interesting to write than clean a house. Admit it.

What to Do When the Ideas Won’t Stop Coming

So, I already have four stories on my plate at the moment. I’ve got The Monster in My Garden Shed, The Not-So-Super Superhero, the second in the Nickel and Dime series–this needs a name, but I’ll figure that out later, it’s one of those books–and another one.

Why then, with all of these stories going, do I have to have a bunch more ideas come to me? I’ve already got more than I can work on at the moment, and I’ve got notebooks and folders and files full of things I’ve started and not completed. One of them I picked up late last night and read over, realizing that, aside from the one part of it, there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t be done. I’ve got the beginning written and typed, most of the middle is handwritten or in notes, and the tail end is written as well. This thing should be done. No excuses, really.

So now I find myself wanting to do that.

I also want to start a brand new one that has a very fascinating (to me, at least) concept. Involves aliens and memories and was probably partially inspired by stuff from The Monster in My Garden Shed. This idea is dying to be written.

I don’t have time to do all of these things, though. I barely have enough time to write on the three major pieces, so I need to clear my plate a little before adding in something new.

I sometimes allow for rotation when I have a new story, but as I’m already in a rotation with stories, I can’t add a new one until one of the others completes. The Monster in My Garden Shed doesn’t want to cooperate with me on that, since it keeps adding in something I have to deal with before the end of it can come, and it’s still not clear what that end is. The Not-So-Super Superhero is in its second act, where Clayton is trying to make use of his power and make a life for himself instead of fighting it, and now he’ll have to fight against other people instead. That may mean it’s closer to a conclusion, but I’m not actually sure how long it will take to resolve all of that, either. The second Nickel and Dime is coming along, but it’s not ready to conclude yet. The other story is done, but can I really add another one in already? I don’t get to the ones that I’ve got enough as it is.

And what of the one that should be complete and isn’t?

And all the ones that I should type?

Well, I have some options. I write the idea down, and I might come back to it later. I might give it a scene or two, thinking I’ll get back to it in a while. This usually doesn’t work. If I don’t “run” with the story when it’s fresh, it doesn’t usually happen. Any Other Reality is an exception to this. It was put off for months, not started, and written in less than a month. Still, it’s an exception, not a rule.

The other option, and I do this with stories I know I don’t want to put down on paper, is to picture it in my head over and over until it’s done. I can “watch” the movie of the story and I’ve seen it. If I’ve gotten it to its conclusion, there are very few stories that I’m willing to write after that point. I’ve seen all the interesting parts. It’s done.

This new idea is not one to give to a mind movie, though, so it just might have to find a way to be a part of the rotation.

Not enough time, and always too many stories. That’s the nature of a writer, though, right?

When an Outlet Isn’t Enough

I write for a number of reasons. I write because I love it. I write because the ideas never stop coming. I write because the characters need their stories told. I also write to escape. I write to process my world. I write as an outlet.

Today, though, was almost a day off from writing all together.

Had a bit of a wake up call happen last night–nothing bad, but it could have been a lot worse, and it made me think and made me take a look at a few things. It also left me feeling rather guilty because while nothing bad did happen, it could have, and it would have been my fault.

When I got home, I was wound up and usually I unwind by writing before bed. I didn’t. Couldn’t.

The underlying issues I was avoiding couldn’t be ignored for fic. They spilled out onto the fic, giving it a bad light. I was convinced that I’d lost touch with all my current stories: The Monster in My Garden Shed, The Not-So-Super Superhero, The Memory Collector, and the sequel to Nickel and Dime. I didn’t know where to take the first two, I thought I’d screwed up the third, and the fourth was going over the same thing over and over again with Effie and Garan’s current problems.

I couldn’t even bring myself to type on my older projects  because all my writing seemed… bad. Not worth fixing or working on bad.

This is the state I get in where I know things are really bad. If I can’t write, then I’m in a place that worries me.

I told myself it was just the day. I’d take today off from writing and things would look better in the morning. Morning came, and I was not over it. I still thought they were all horribly flawed and not worth fixing, even if I knew where to go with them.

Distracting myself with the games on my phone wasn’t working, though they are very addicting little apps. Talking it out was somewhat helpful, though since it had to be done by chat, it caused some confusion and frustration, too.

It was getting later and later, and it looked like there would be no writing done today at all. I did some minor edits to the second Nickel and Dime–which, by the way, continues to vex me with its refusal to get named–and I had a strange idea for how to go on with it, so I opened up the file and started working on it.

Of course, that was about when it became time to get dinner and go out for the evening, so the scene wasn’t done when I left. Out and about, I used the phone to start today’s Not-So-Super post.

Writing today was more of a battle than an outlet, but I do think that I am better for it, not just in the sense of settling some of my issues in real life but also for taking that look at the stories and acknowledging what might need to change and figuring out where to take them and knowing that they are still worth it, even if they need a bit of work.

Edits, Edits, So Many to Do

Editing has to be the longest process in a book.

Possibly, in the past, publishing was the longest, but the thing is, once the format and cover art are done, it can be published as an ebook within a relatively short time. Really, how long the site takes to make it “live” is not nearly as long as editing a story can take.

Now, before, arguably, editing was a part of this publishing process. It still is, I guess, but I tend to separate it in my mind from the “publish” part where the button gets clicked and websites make the book available to the world.

What I learned the last time I went through this process, though, was that the actual end part, the final step, was so much simpler than the ones along the road.

My main delay in getting Just a Whim out there was really myself. I had edits, but I was scared to take those last steps and put them in and format it.

I find myself with almost the opposite problem now. I’ve got four complete stories–novels–and another three nearing that point, but I don’t have edits. In the last week, I’ve gone over them myself, with new fresh edits for Nickel and Dime, In the Family, Variety Store, and Any Other Reality. I’ve begun edits on The Memory Collector and after that, I’ll move onto another one. I’ve got plenty of them to work on, and while I’ve been putting off All the Men in My Life since I’ve been expecting edits back on that one, so it will probably be the last.

I was joking with myself about editing all of them in January, but with only a few more days to go, that’s not that likely, not with four novels to do and two of them over 80,000 words long. Still, it would be good to get as close to that as possible.

Every little edit is a step closer to publishing, after all.