TAK

The March

The land

The land

It all belongs to us

We take

We take

You cannot stop it

Marching

Marching

Through the lands we take from you

Calling

Calling

None shall rescue you

The children cry

Their sorrowful tears

The mothers cry

Their pitiful tears

The fathers cry

Their  silent tears

The land

The land

Shall never be the same

The March of Byrnan Soldiers

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Oh Darling

Oh darling

My love for you is wild like Quorum

No man can sail it safely.

Oh darling

My hate for you is deep like Quorum

No man can see the bottom.

Oh darling

My tears for you flow swift like Quorum

No man can ford it securely.

Oh darling

My fear for you is cold like Quorum

No man can find warmth.

Oh darling

My hope for you is boundless

No man can contain it.

From the Songs of Hieros

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Character Record

I never used to do this, but for the last four or five stories I’ve written I started keeping a booklet of information for each story. I mentioned this a bit in my previous post about resources.

For TAK, I’ve got more than that. Right now I have a booklet with character descriptions for all my major and sometimes minor characters. Basics like eye colour, skin tone, hair colour and length, body type and height are recorded for each character. Their name and age heads the top of the description. That used to be it. As I’ve been writing and honing my craft my resources have grown with me. Now my character descriptions have more information. They contain the types of clothes the character may wear on a regular basis; do they wear boots or shoes? Leggings? Tunics or shirts? Colour preferences? A character in TAK wears glasses. So I’ve recorded the shape and colour of his glasses. Sometimes I’ll put in some information about their background or little blips about their personality. A character in TAK, Gideon, doesn’t speak much. Read that as hardly ever. I made a note of that in his record.

Sometimes when I’m writing if I bring up a character I haven’t used in a while I might forget what they look like. Usually the little details like hair and eye colour. I find these records helpful in that they are separate and keep me from searching back through hundreds of pages just to find the information I’m looking for.

When I would write when I was younger, it was common for characters to change eye colour or hair colour. I would reread what I had written and realize the character had changed personalities somewhere along the line. This is obviously not good.

The book for TAK is way more involved than any other before. Not only do I have character descriptions, I’ve started writing the background of the world within it. In TAK there are four countries: Byrnan, Hieros, Haima and Allos. Each country has a ‘speciality’ and the people from each country are slightly different in terms of mentality, skin colour and talents. For example, Hieros is a country steeped in art. It is one of the southern countries and it’s people have an olive skin tone. They produce magnificent pieces of art such as paintings, fabrics, architecture, music and so on. I’ve also drawn a suuuuuper crude map in my booklet. I am not a cartographer and this will most likely not make it into the book itself. It’s for personal reference so I can remember where the countries are located, where the major cities that are mentioned in the story are located and what the terrain looks like. In keeping with Hieros, it’s very flat. Lots of grass and open plains. Hieros is also known for it’s food production.

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Don’t judge my lack of mapping skills

As you can see, it’s not professional, but it serves it’s purpose.

The problem I sometimes run into is running out of book before I’m done with everything. This means I have to transfer all the information into another book. I write everything by hand in this book and I’m not in the mood to switch to digital. The story itself is being typed on a computer, but I just can’t get behind the idea of writing this information in a word document as well.

What things do you do to keep your writing on track?

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Resources! The World for Resources!

I find when I’m writing I prefer to have hard copy resources. These can be in the form of a book, a print out or even a photo. I want to be able to touch it, mark it, file it where I deem appropriate.

Last spring I purchased a used book that is an encyclopaedia of mythical, magical creatures. I already have a very good understanding of this kind of lore due to the courses I took in university and high school. However, sometimes there are things that I don’t know (shocking, right?!) and sometimes it’s good to get a refresher. I’ve been out of school for like, 10 years now.

In Three Abandoned Kingdoms I’ve introduced firearms as a method of weaponry. I do  not own guns, I have never held a gun and I rarely see them (I live in Canada). I wanted to buy a sort of encyclopaedia of firearms. The issue I tend to run into is the cost. Someone was selling a very small booklet, approximately 50 pages with illustrations, for $25 a while ago. That is just not something I could afford. The book about creatures is about 1000 pages long with illustrations and is a hard cover which I purchased for $5. That can be the issue when  you buy used.

Before you say it, yes, I am fully aware of the fact that I can look online and I can Google guns and such. But my issue is that I don’t have the basic background. I don’t even know the different kinds of guns available. Most of my knowledge comes from video games and when you play fantasy games like I do, they aren’t always realistic. There is a particular character that is using firearms; Gavin. He’s the leader of a mercenary group and I feel like he would favour a sawed-off shotgun. I have an idea of what that looks like, but as I said, I would prefer a picture or a diagram that I can write on, that I can copy and paste into my character record book. I may type up my story on a computer but all the other information is in a small lined paper book I received for Christmas a long time ago.

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Character Record Book, people.

I also use music as a resource. Certain scores or song evoke certain emotions and can make writing a specific scene easier for me. I used to have a hard cover book of baby names that I wrote in, earmarked and carried wherever I was writing. Especially back in the days when I wrote my stories in notebooks because laptops either didn’t exist or were too expensive (yes, I’m old). I got quite a few looks lugging those things around.

Once my funds increase again, I may have to take a trip to the used book store.

 

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It's Almost Winter Break Time!

The best thing about working for a post-secondary institution is the winter break. My office is closed on the 24th and we don’t return to work until the 4th of January. This gives me lots of time to spend with my family and a nice long break to chill, bring in the new year and just relax in general. Lots of sleeping in will be had and hopefully the kids will be happy to have us home.

Sometimes they get grouchy when we’re  home too much. They probably get as tired of us as we get of them. It’s good to have that space and that time without each other.

I haven’t been writing very much in the past little bit. Things have been a bit insane with the holiday season, the kids being sick and the husband stressing about school. I haven’t been to kickboxing in 2 weeks which is pretty crappy for me. Hopefully I can make it this Thursday like I want to!

I have been looking into the idea of yoga or Tai Chi or something. I need to be more zen. A lot of my issues are I’m too riled up and don’t know how to relax properly. I’m not very good when I have to do things like this on my own because I’m easily distracted by everything I need to worry about. There is a yoga studio not too far from my house that has led meditation. The problem is the cost is something I can’t afford at the moment.

The husband is still waiting on a payout from his previous job. It’s already 10 weeks over the quoted time. Which is annoying as hell. It’s expected, but annoying.

While I was packing up the gifts I made that need to be shipped I asked my friend if she wanted any pictures of my kids. I feel I have to ask because I don’t want to just force pictures on people hahaha. She’s my best friend and she was all excited for pictures. I’ll have to send some to my in-laws and ask if they could print them out. I suppose I could just go to WalMart and do it, but the cost! THE COST!

I will need to print some photos out for my dad as well. He’s asked for some and really, he doesn’t have any. It’s weird to trust in him and send him pictures when it’s been so long. But as the least crazy of my parents and the only one willing to be an adult, I’m okay with it. I don’t have any pictures of him so the kids don’t know who he is at this moment, but that’s okay. I’d like our relationship to get a bit better before I start telling my young children of a grandparent they will probably never see. That’s what happens when you live provinces away. It’s too expensive for us to go out there and I doubt he’d be coming out our way any time soon. He does have responsibilities and children to look after.

But I digress.

I was thinking of writing another short about Edessa, the one of the main female leads in TAK. I wrote about her family before in Skeletons in the Closet (Remember, this story has crazy amounts of objectionable content) but I think telling the story on how she left the family would be good as well. There won’t be time in the main story to get that out there.

So sit tight my pretties, I shall work on it!

ALSO! THIS IS POST 200!!!! Thank you for reading with me!

Miso-Happy-4

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Title 1

I can’t think of a great title for this post today and that’s okay.

I was just talking with my co-worker about writing and books and things. He’s got some really awesome insights. It started me thinking on my own book which I am sadly ignoring.

I miss writing. I am hoping to get myself a new tablet in the next little bit to keep up. I want something light with a built in keyboard. I have a tablet now but the keyboard is external and bulky. It suits it’s purpose but it makes it hard to write on.

There is so much I want to say, to write about. I have worlds to develop and systems to figure out. I mentioned before that I was mapping out the end of TAK. It’s an amazing feeling to have an idea of what I want to end it on. I used to think that you had to write a book in succession: beginning, middle, end. That you could’t write the end without knowing what happens in the middle. That may be true, but I now see that if I have an ending I can work on making the middle adapt. That was my problem with TAK. I was starting to lose sight of the middle because I didn’t know the end.

I hope that you are all as excited as I am and that the short stories I’ve been able to post are keeping you satiated for a bit. I will write another one soon. I think I will write about Edessa and her journey from her home and how she came to join the mercenary band. There are also stories of Edessa and Brexton. How they met, how their relationship developed and how it crumbled.

Look forward to it!

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Keep on Keepin' On

Phew! Between work, the kids, the house and freelancing, I’m starting to get a bit tired.

Things are going well for the moment. I’ve found relatively steady freelancing work (that’s not a typo) which is helping out. So far brings me in close to $100 a week. That’ll be fun come tax-time, but it’s not so bad. Hopefully I know how to claim it properly.

Haven’t done much work on TAK in a while. Finished the read through and every now and then something pops up in my brain so I write it down in a book I started taking everywhere. I’ve mapped out a good deal of the ending and middle now, which is awesome! I was getting so stuck on where I should be going next that I was missing a lot of awesome character-development points.

I’d still like to get Black & Red into a hard copy. I know I can do that through Amazon and CreateSpace but I haven’t had time to deal with the upload of the file etc. My laptop has bit the dust, hard. I can’t even use it unless I use an external keyboard which is painful. I might look into a cheapy little thing. I’d like an ultrabook or Surface, I think. But no money for that right now so it’s just a dream.

Been a bit sick lately; probably from stress, work, kids, weather-change etc. The husband and I are going to try and squirrel away some money to hire a babysitter for a couple hours or so. We haven’t had any ‘us’ time and we’re getting pretty worn out because of it. We don’t do much, but we’ll probably go for like an afternoon to troll the mall and eat at the food court. Maybe watch a movie. Babysitters cost money so we might not be able to do it until November and his work schedule changes a lot since he works part time so hopefully we can squeeze a date in before it gets too cold out.

It’s almost my birthday! The video game I want comes out after the actual day but I hope I get to get it. My husband gave me my present already since my birthday falls on a weekday this year.

One of these days I’ll be able to afford my cottage in the mountains of Jasper where I’ll sit writing all day and having a bonfire outside. If only things didn’t cost money! We do have a fire pit in our backyard but the previous owners were dicks so it probably isn’t up to code. Maybe we can fix it up for next year.

Anyway, time to work the Day Job. Lunch break is over!

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