Thursday update March 26

I know, today’s Monday. Yes, it’s really Monday here. You’re getting bullet points again today:

  • I was a little late with the Thursday update last week, so I made a post dedicated to the Nimbles in the Balance of Souls world descript. There’s been a lot of work drama and family stuff lately. After this update (which I’m counting as March 22 and March 29), I’ll switch the posts / update schedule to either every other week or once every three weeks. I’ve been having too much to deal with lately to maintain a weekly schedule.
  • Current Will to Speak wordcount: 9,449. I have plotted all of day one, most of day two, the absolute end, and pieces of day three. Significant portions were cut out when I went through that plotwork, so I probably cut out around 6,000 words of earlier writing that just didn’t fit anymore. My first editing pass over what I have so far is complete and the project is ready for a reprint.
  • I have a cover image in mind for Will to Speak. This one’s a photo, so the process will be more like when I made Y’s cover. I’ll still edit the image a bit (to remove any logos if necessary and fit it in format), but overall it should be easier since the bulk of the work for it will be in the staging of the original image, not the digital editing. My current idea is a set of headphones (or my dad’s older headset, if he still has it) over a cleared wooden area on a cluttered desk. But I’ll create multiple images and several variations before I decide for sure.
  • I have made several minor tweaks and fixes to the Balance of Souls world descript (in addition to adding the Nimbles post). For example, I added geargrind as an insult to time point three.
  • In retrospect is finally done and has been posted. You don’t see that one on the main feed on the homepage because I was filling in a placeholder post. Several [bracketed] posts on the blog and extras pages are placeholders for future posts. Overall, they’re at various stages of completion. For example, the self-publishing post is outlined. For another example, the FotNS post is just a good idea I want to write out eventually.
  • Remember that chess post I mentioned a few weeks ago? It’s outlined. Maybe I’ll do a post at some point about my writing process. I do a hybrid between typed and handwritten, so it actually sounds more complicated than it is.
  • Camp NaNo begins April 1st! I’ve set mine for 80 hours. Even if I don’t make that count, it is a useful way to track how productive I am for the month. I’ll be working mostly on my current main project (Will to Speak).
  • Update on Into the Unknown: I intend to publish my next book in April. I’m just waiting on one more beta reader to get back to me. Then it’ll only take me a few days to go through her comments, do the copyright, finish formatting the cover, and publish it. The summary is only partially written, but I always find that to be the most difficult part. I have the main cover image almost complete. However, I’m still concerned about my inability to find a sensitivity reader for this one. I did do a lot of research (I do tend to obsess, but I’ll admit I have been known to overdetail and overthink when I really research something), so I figure it’ll all work out. I know, probably not the best way to look at things, but that’s essentially how I have to look at it at this point. I do think I did well in the research that I did.
  • My grandfather passed away a week ago. We’re just glad he’s not in pain anymore.

Note from the future: I still have not found a sensitivity reader for ItU. However, an interpreter I know has agreed to beta read. Also, the next blog post will be filling in a placeholder post [here], and ItU’s official publishing date is now June 4, 2018. I moved the publishing date to give my betas more time.

Nimbles and Empaths

[The Balance of Souls]

Nimbles are basically a hybrid between a human and the Pyrrh. The humans think they’re human, albeit with Pyrrh tech visibly integrated into their bodies. They’re called ‘Nimbles’ because of their propensity for agile movements and flight. Most Nimbles are children, and it is odd to see one speak a human language. It is rare to hear one speak at all, but a Nimble speaking in a way a human can understand is not unheard of. The Nimbles speak to each other through a type of visual language that involves finger motions.

For the most part, humans do grant Nimbles access to human spaces (such as shelters and inner zones), but Nimbles do face resistance. Many humans question their humanity, argue that they should be denied resources, and openly demand their allegiance. Nimbles are not spies, but they have no way to communicate that well.

They can communicate with the Pyrrh, but also only on a very basic level. Pyrrh do not harm Nimbles since they tend to perceive them as curiosities instead of potential threats (think how a person might perceive a beautiful bird). Jewelry is common among Nimbles since they tend to adore trinkets. They also love to decorate their own bodies. If you give one a container of paint they will paint their skin in intricate patterns. Most are forced to wear more bland clothes because of what they can access in the time, but they will lean towards brighter colors if given an option. Their eyes are especially drawn to patterns, whether complex or simple. Nimbles can communicate especially well with other Nimbles. Their language is mostly non-verbal, relying heavily on emotional expression, patterns, visual cues (like eye direction and attention), and their own unique signing (it looks to the human eye like a quick finger motion, almost like finger flicking). A Nimble will usually only use their signing with another Nimble.

In modern human terms, Nimbles tend to be roughly agender, genderqueer, or non-binary. They only tend to reveal their own understandings of genders when amoung other Nimbles. Humans do not usually notice this since Nimbles do not choose to communicate it to humans. But they do communicate it when interacting with Pyrrh.

(To clarify: Nimbles are not deaf. ASL and equivalents still exist for the deaf community. Nimble signing is its own language.)

I sketched a few:

Empaths do exist in humans. They are known to exist by time point three, but actually exist through all the time points. For example, Emalyn in Will to Speak is an empath. They read other being’s emotions phenomenally well, even if they are reading another species. Yes, this also applies to cats.

Empaths will also be very strongly impacted by the emotions of a space. They will often pick up on the vibe or feeling of an area and absorb it as their own. They’ll oftentimes also pull other’s emotions in in the same manner. It should be noted that this can be dangerous, since an empath can be overwhelmed by the strength of the emotions around them.

It is unknown if empaths exist among Nimbles.

Thursday update March 8

Alright. Time for another Thursday update. It’s been a busy week, and tomorrow is another busy day. Technically, it’s Wednesday evening here, but I can take advantage of my site thinking it’s British. Here goes:

I’ve plotted more of Will to Speak! I have all of day 1 plotted, along with significant portions of days 2 and 3. Day 1 is entirely outlined (that’s also where most of the substance writing so far is). Technically I haven’t written out the outline to days 2 and 3 yet, but I want to allow some space still for randoms and scenes I have yet to plan out. A noticeable portion of day 3’s plot is still missing, but I do have the ultimate ending planned out already. I would include an updated word count here, but I probably have a few thousand words handwritten that I still need to type. (Randoms by the way are part of my organizational system while writing. They’re basically random scenes I decided to write out with at least one of the main characters. Sometimes I find a place for them and sometimes they end up as an extra on my site. If I see a particular trend in my randoms I might intentionally incorporate that trend into the overall plot depending on how it serves the story itself.)

I’ve added time bounty hunters and Time’s Doomsday Book. They’re in the language of time point three post under the Balance of Souls world descript. A hunter’s use of a Nimble will set in motion parts of the plot of day 2. However, my own day appears to be testing Murphy’s law, otherwise I would type out more about what I want to do with these concepts in WtS. Maybe I’ll make a post some day about my own writing process.

Remember that second cover I made for Victim? I’m still not satisfied with the earlier one (for reasons I explained in last week’s update), but I’ve decided to keep the current cover for now. The other image I made has been filed away on my computer so it might serve as a base for a later project.

Also, I’m wondering if I’m becoming a bit of a workaholic. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially since I am still establishing myself as a writer. However, I do recognize the need for balance. Breaks are also necessary, including mental ones. I’ve hit burnout way too many times in the past, so I recognize the danger of pushing myself too hard for too long. Well, here’s my solution: painting! I really enjoy painting as a hobby, but I haven’t done that much of it in a while. This weekend I picked up a few canvases and my dad helped me rig a makeshift easel in the garage. It’s made out of scrap wood and a clap, but will serve its purpose. I’ve already painted the background (a light magenta gradient). For the center, I’m thinking I’ll make a dark blue butterfly. I’m going to end up working on this at 3am when I’m too tired to write, aren’t I? That’s how this usually goes for me, but that’s just part of the fun of it.

Happy writing! (And painting!)

Thursday Update March 1

I know, the bullet points last week were a bit of a cop-out. But, I was fighting sickness and it had been a long week, so I figure it all works out. Here’s an update for this week:

The Nimbles paragraph is complete and has been added to the Balance of Souls world descript (you can find it under language of time point three [here]). I have made some good progress on Will to Speak, but not as much as I would like to have made this past week. I can probably blame my time fighting sickness for that.

I’m still not satisfied with Victim’s current cover. I’ve made a few other possible cover images, but I’m not satisfied with those either. I’ve been asking people who are familiar with the story for their opinions on them, but I keep getting told they like the current cover the best. My main issue with it is probably that I couldn’t get the chains to fall naturally (I’m not perfect with paintshop). The coloring also feels a bit bland in retrospect, but it’s hard to convey darker melancholy. For now, I’ve filed the other cover images in a folder on my computer, so maybe they’ll resurface later as a base for another work. I’ll probably get a few more opinions before settling on a decision. Right now it looks like I’ll be keeping the current cover.

I’ve been invited to be one of the authors speaking at a local author event in VA beach at the beginning of April. I intended to attend the other one tonight (just so I know roughly how things will go next month), but my cysts have had a rough day. I did technically have a table at another local author event back in November, but that one barely had any foot traffic. Both events are free for me to attend, so they can at least be good for gaining experience, learning marketing, and figuring out that mythical ‘networking’ (I’m not getting started on that rant here).

Will next Thursday be a regular post or another update? I have a partial draft for two regular posts, but I might not get to them by then. I intend to prioritize Will to Speak, so my blog posts are more like a persistent side project right now. I’ve been considering switching the schedule to every other Thursday instead, but I’ll figure that out later.

I feel like I should be further than I am. I understand that it does take a while to get going, but it’s still frustrating. Happy writing.