Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Day 20 - On the Other Side of the Sickness

I'm not completely out of the woods, but I'm definitely better than I was last week. And this week my energy has finally returned which has been very productive for my writing. I'm very happy to report that I finished A Breath in Time on Monday! (This is my longest completed novel now!) Also, that means that I finally have words to report for Point of No Return. I thought this sequel would be harder, but the new main character is really jumping off the page. He now has a last name: Sikes. I'm sure he'll tell me his first name and military rank eventually.

Words Written Today: 2,185
Total Words for NaNo: 31,363
Total Words for A Breath in Time: 78,342 (FINISHED!)
Total Words for Point of No Return: 3,026

I leave you with my newest favorite song and band:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Day 7 - 1k is Definitely NOT Enough

I know that 1k per work week day is enough to make my goal, but I feel like I'm barely reaching my stride when I suddenly hit 1k and hit the brakes. But I don't see how I could write much more than that with my energy levels running on empty during the week when I get home.

We'll see. I may not want to write more than 1k next week if I somehow manage to finish A Breath in Time over the weekend in the 10k sprint I've set up for myself.

Words Written Today: 1,026
Total Words for NaNo: 15,092
Total Words for "A Breath in Time": 65,100
Total Words for "Point of No Return": N/A

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Day 5 and 6 The First Missed Day and The First Catch-up

So, no post yesterday, because I fell flat on my face and succumbed to TV thereby ensuring that no writing was done. However, today, I wrote that 1k and a little more so I'm technically still on track (since on Monday I was nearly 900 words ahead).

Today also marked the first introduction of the physical form of my villain in A Breath in Time. Which, of course, freaked dear Alice (my MC) out. I will continue her freaking out session tomorrow.

Words Written Today: 1,213
Total Words for NaNo: 14,068
Total Words for "A Breath in Time": 64,076
Total Words for "Point of No Return": N/A

Monday, November 4, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Day 4 - Oh Yeah, Work...

So reality came crashing back down today with the beginning of the work week. I made my goal of 1k but just barely today because I was so tired. I get off work earlier tomorrow so maybe I'll have time to write a little more than today. 1k barely got the ball rolling before I stopped.

Words Written Today: 1,018
Total Words for NaNo: 12,855
Total Words for "A Breath in Time": 62,863
Total Words for "Point of No Return": N/A

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Day 3 - The Rewards of Pushing Through

...are a story that writes itself much faster. Though it did slow down a little towards the end of the day but I think that was because I was slowing down due to being tired. Writing is hard work. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Especially if you do it for many hours in a row.  It's the equivalent of a full-time job to get those words out onto the page.

But now the weekend is over and I go back to my day job and 1k to 2k a day. The story won't progress as fast, but hopefully the momentum will remain until the second 10k push next weekend.

Words Written Today: 4,943
Total Words for NaNo: 11,837
Total Words for "A Breath in Time": 61,845
Total Words for "Point of No Return": N/A

No excerpt today because I'm typing up this post late at night. I'll pick an extra long one tomorrow. Promise!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013: Day 2 The Long Slog Part 2

Whew. I thought I'd never make it to my 5k goal today but I did. However it cost me to write every single word. However, at the end I was rewarded. In the last 10 min and 200 words of the day the story finally shifted and started rolling. I think 5k will go by much faster tomorrow.

I guess I never outlined my goals for this NaMoWriMo. Due to work completely exhausting me during the week, my goal is to write 5k on Saturdays and Sundays and then a minimum of 1k during the week. I'll keep pushing on as fast as I can though to build up a lead. At least I don't have Thanksgiving this year to destroy my time to write at the end of November. Just report cards to slow down the beginning of it.

Words Written Today: 5,117
Total Words for NaNo: 6,894
Total Words for "A Breath in Time": 56,932
Total Words for "Point of No Return": N/A

And the first excerpt:


The yell near my ear jerked me awake. I waved a hand vaguely and connected with a warm, round something. I stopped trying to turn off the alarm as I realized the something was Kitty’s head.

“Why are you patting my head?” This time she didn’t yell.

“I wanted to see who was making a racket and waking me up.” I scrubbed her head before withdrawing my hand to rub sleep out of my eyes. “Did you eat already?”

“Mhmm!” She crawled onto my bed and snuggled next to me.

“Was breakfast good?”

“Yes! Mommy let me have my favorite cereal.”

“No wonder you are hyper. Too much sugar makes for a loud, excited Kitty first thing in the morning.” I tickled her and she squirmed, giggling.

“Have you packed everything for that trip I told you about?”

“Uh-huh! Mommy said we’re going to Earth for a trip. Are you coming?”

“I think I will. Though, I might come at a different time. I have to stay here to help all the people leave. And then I get to leave on the last shuttle. You, my cute Kitty, will be leaving before then.” I squeezed her before tickling her a little more.

Friday, November 1, 2013

And We're Off! NaNoWriMo 2013

It's finally here and words are finally being put on the page to finish the novel from last year, now renamed "A Breath in Time". It's been a hard slog to get back into the story, but I think I managed to get back on track after today. This weekend should be the final ticket to getting myself thoroughly situated back in the story and world. That is, if report card writing doesn't get in the way...

Words Written Today: 1,777
Total Words for NaNo: 1,777
Total Words for "A Breath in Time": 51,815

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

4 Months

4 months?! It's mind boggling to realize I've been in South Korea for four months now. The time has flown. I've been up, down, and back up again in the space of those four months though. The past month has been an up, what with the addition of a new coworker and friend. Yet another potential friend arrived on Tuesday. Those first three months were a spiral down to the point of frustration at the micro managing style at work, but I survived! (And it helps that the higher ups aren't breathing down my neck much nowadays.)

I haven't seen half as many things here as someone more extroverted and bent on adventure might. Though I might just get dragged into a lot of it in the coming months if the past month is any kind of indication. My new friend is very much the adventure seeker type with the ability to wear me out! (Sorry, Dottie, but it's true! And you know it.)

I've seen two palaces in Seoul: Changdeokgung and Gyeongbokgung. Both were beautiful and elegant in their own way though I preferred the nature oriented architecture and garden of the former. I promise pictures from both places, but they are waiting their turn in an increasingly larger backlog of pictures I need to polish up and upload onto flickr. (I know I have a link in the sidebar, but here is the link again to my flickr photostream.)

I'm halfway through uploading the pictures from Chuseok in September. It's the South Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving in the US and all the little preschoolers and kindergarteners dressed up in hanbok, korean traditional clothes. I even got into the spirit with a hanbok loaned to me by the school.

My kids are growing on me though a few are still in the "can I just strangle them?" category when they refuse to listen in class to "Teacher". I've gotten oddly used to talking about myself in the third person as "teacher" this and "teacher" that. Or even "Anna Teacher" when the occasion calls for it.

South Korea has grown on me and I like it a lot here (even if my workload is frustratingly heavy at times). I'm glad I came.

So what does it take to drag me out of my hermit, coping hole? NaNoWriMo of course. It's right around the corner. Less than two weeks away! And I'm raring to go. I'm excited to meet with fellow Nanoers here in the Seoul area in the coming month though I hope to find some to write with who are closer than a 15 minute walk to the subway and another 30 to 60 minute ride on the subway itself. But we'll see how it turns out. I have a few potential coffee shops lined up for writing in and I may take up residence there for a good portion of the month even if no one else joins me.

Since it is late as I write this, I leave you with the two covers that my lovely friend Riella made for my NaNo novels (my interview with her is here) and my two synopses. You'll recognize the first as the novel I wrote and won with last year under a new name, but I haven't yet finished it and so it will take first priority before its sequel.

A Breath in Time:

Alice Oglethorpe is a brilliant scientist and the driving force behind the colonization of the moon. However, no one knows she gained her brains by traveling space and time for over a hundred years. When a former nemesis attacks the moon base, Alice's cover is blown and she must use all of her acquired knowledge to save not just the colonists, but all of humanity from destruction.

Point of No Return:

The moon colony has been saved, but if the infestation is to be stopped, the bugs must be traced to their source and eradicated. Alice Oglethorpe embarks on this mission accompanied by her old team who helped her the first time. But can she go back to the old life when she now has a human companion to remind her of what she might have once had?

Until next time!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Kagerou's Journal 14

Catch up on previous parts here.

Day 3

I take my pen up again today to recount the events which transpired. We discovered some disturbing information about the night raid by the goblins which I will explain.
The day began normally enough. Over breakfast Eyotah received word that the armor she’d ordered would be ready the next day. The halfling, Stormy, set off to the cathedral to have a few flasks of water blessed. She appears to be proficient in the holy arts herself, but I suspected, at the time, that she wanted to visit the healer.
She left the three of us sitting at the table eating leftovers from the feast the night previous.  I couldn’t quite remember but I thought I’d heard something about a grave robbing at the cathedral.
Abruptly I shoved myself upright. “There’s no point in setting off on our job until tomorrow when you get your armor.”
“What about it?” Eyotah yawned, bored.
“I thought I heard something about a grave robbing so I’m going to poke around for curiosity’s sake.
Now both of them looked more awake.
“Count me in,” said Breuvial.
“Me too.” Eyotah rubbed her forehead. “Maybe it’ll take my mind off this hangover.”
I ducked my head so she wouldn’t see my smirk. It’s little wonder her head hurt after all she drank. I stretched leisurely as they persuaded their bodies to stand up. Then I set off in the direction I thought the halfling had gone.
“I suppose one of us knows the way to the cathedral?” I mumbled.

The spire of the cathedral guided us like a beacon so we made good time. The priest was escorting Stormy outside as we arrived.
“Father Tobyn’s tomb. That’s the one.”
“The earth is still turned up?” Stormy asked.
“Aye. We haven’t had the time to restore it yet.” The priest looked worried.
“Rest assured. I’ll let you know if I find anything new.”
“Thank you.” He bowed slightly and hurried back inside.
“How’s the healer, Hannah?” Eyotah asked.
Stormy registered our presence. “She’s doing badly. Father Zantus is unable to heal her at the moment.”
Breuvial clucked her tongue sympathetically. I changed the topic.
“I take it you’re interested in the grave robbing too?”
She whipped around to face me. “How…?”
“I heard some rumors back at the tavern. I’m not deaf either. You were just talking about a grave with that priest.” Nonchalantly I dug a finger in my ear.
She relaxed. “The previous father’s, Tobyn’s, tomb has been disturbed.”
“Then let’s go investigate and see if we can’t shed light on the situation.”
Eyotah grunted her approval and Stormy led the way.
“The night guard only saw shapes of people in the graveyard. One tall and several short. They carried Father Tobyn’s body away. For what purpose no one knows. Here we are.” She stopped in front of a fresh pile of dirt.
Eyotah bent down to examine the prints on the ground. “I see six goblin prints and one human size boot print. Beylor?” The bear sniffed the ground. He growled in Sylvan that he smelled three drunken goblins and a familiar human scent.
We all looked at each other at that. So the human was familiar. That boded ill to me.
Stormy lent her nose to the effort. “The human smells similar to our tavern host, Amico, and someone from the glassworks. Maybe a relative?”
“We should go back to The Rusty Dragon and confirm that it isn’t Amico’s scent.” Eyotah pushed herself up and started walking.
I nodded my agreement and followed. The others came as well, though Stormy’s face was blank of any emotion.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kagerou's Journal Links

I thought it'd be convenient if I collected all the links to Kage's story in one place. Enjoy!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14

Kagerou's Journal 13

Read part 12 here.

Aldern smiled and nodded eagerly. “I’ll have everything prepared for your visit.” His eyes lingered on me slightly longer before they focused on the halfling instead. “And lastly, who are you?” He was done eating so he clasped his hands and leaned forward.

She grimaced. “My name is Stormy.”

“A halfling I see.”

She hesitated, then nodded. “Yes.”

“Are you from here? You appear to know the area. I didn’t think, though, that halflings were native to this region.”

“We aren’t. I’ve visited this town many times and have had extended stays.”

I noted the discrepancy with what she had told us, but kept quiet. She must have a reason to hide her true business.

Cheers and applause prevent Aldern from addressing her again. Breuvial dropped back into her seat, fanning her face with her hand. Her clothes seemed to clink a little more loudly than before and I wondered how much money she had pocketed.

Aldern clapped his hands together. “Wonderful dancing, Breuvial. Correct?”

She nodded. “Thank you.”

Aldern refilled her cup and she gulped it down. “Ah, it’s empty.” He moved to refill her cup again but only a drop came out.

“Another keg!” he called.

I saw one rise up and start bobbing and weaving through the crowd. Ick appeared underneath it as he approached the table. He banged the spigot into the keg and set it on the table.

“Breuvial, tell me, are you from this area?”

“No. I’m just passing through.” She waved her hand vaguely and her sleeve fell back, revealing more of her tattoos.

“Is that a mark of sorcery? Can you do magic?”

“Yes. I have some skill in it.”

Aldern offered to refill her cup.

“Oh no. I’ve drunk enough. Thank you.”

“Then don’t mind me.” He picked up the keg and chugged it down. Those surrounding us caught sight of him and cheered him on. He banged the empty keg down on the table, grinned and then passed out flat on his face.

A servant wearing Aldern’s insignia approached behind his master’s slumped form.

“Please pardon my master. He wished to reward you for saving him.” The servant set down a small, heavy bag in front of each of us. He bowed, picked up his master and left.

I hefted my bag in my hand. It was of a decent weight and clinked softly. “I wasn’t expecting money.” I grinned at the others. “But it is welcome.”

They nodded in response and Eyotah pounded her fist with the bag on the table.

I rose to my feet. I wanted to count my money in my room away from prying eyes. The crowd was so dense I had to detour all the way past the bar.

“I’m taking off to check things out. Those goblins are up to something.”

I froze as Ick’s whisper reached my ears.

A female voice replied, “Be careful. You don’t want a repeat of last time.”

The voice belonged to the owner. I lingered a moment longer but neither poke again and I thought I saw Ick leave the building.

I reached the bottom of the stairs in time to hear Eyotah begin shouting and babbling in her native tongue. She had found a dog somewhere to mount and, waving wildly, she yelled something about slaying a hog monster before she overbalanced and fell off with a crash into a bucket of slops.

Laughing, I climbed the stairs and thanked the gods I wasn’t her roommate.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kagerou's Journal 12

Read part 11 here.

She was quite right. Many people filled the tavern judging by the noise level, and more were still crowding in. The Shoanti shoved her way in first making room with her spear as needed. I darted forward and took advantage of the path she created.

The crowd parted for us, though, once Aldern called out loudly,

“Welcome, my heroes! Please come over here. The feast only awaits your presence!”

Every head turned to watch us and many clapped or cheered. I even heard a few wolf whistles but I couldn’t pinpoint the source. Aldern was dressed in an extravagant outfit, flaunting his wealth. It matched his pompous, overblown attitude. I barely registered the presence of a woman with asian features standing near him. She stood there watching us until Ick called her away to the bar.

Aldern jumped around making sure we were seated and our plates filled with food. Once our cups were filled as well, he grabbed his own and toasted to us. Most of the people in the tavern followed suit. The Shoanti gladly joined in and downed two cups in a row. With a silly grin on her face, she called for a refill.

Aldern filled his own plate with food and sat down at the table with us. “We haven’t had a proper conversation yet. Even though you are all heroes, I cannot continue calling you that. It would be rude. What are your names?”

We glanced at each other, silently willing another to go first. Eyotah gave in first with a wave of her hand, being the least hesitant due to drink.

“The name is Eyotah. I used to be part of a Shoanti tribe up north.” Her mouth twitched and she raised her mug to hide it. In one gulp she drained half of it.

Aldern leaned forward, riveted, but she didn’t elaborate. “And the rest of you?” He addressed us, but he still appeared intrigued by Eyotah.

My roommate gave in next. “My name is Breuvial.” She bowed her head slightly.

“A Varisian I take it?” She nodded. “Well met. Might I be correct in saying it was your dance I witnessed early yesterday in the square?”

She flushed slightly. “Yes, that was me.” She winked and smiled. “Would you like a repeat performance?”

Aldern clapped his hands. “Yes, please!” I would be honored.”

He rose to his feet and graciously helped Breuvial to her. She batted an eye at him and drew out her scarf with a flick that caught the attention of everyone in the room. The noisy partygoers stamped their feet and whistled at her and she began to twirl.

Aldern resumed his seat and joined in, clapping. His eyes followed her progress around the room. I thought I saw the glint of coins in the air around her.

She’ll make a pretty penny tonight. I sipped at my cup before realizing that Aldern’s eyes were now fixed on my face. I sighed.

“My name is Kagerou. A pleasure to meet you my good sir and thank you for the feast.” I raised my cup and drank once again.

“Well met indeed.” He raised his glass to me. “Where do you hail from? A half-elf like yourself is rare in these parts.”

“I was born in Erages though I did not spend many years longer than childhood there.” I paused but his eyes kept boring into me. “I passed through the lodge in Magnimar before coming here. They sent me on business.”

“A pathfinder.” His eyes brightened.

“Only an initiate.” I returned to my cup. People like him were far too interested in my occupation because of the knowledge I might have come in contact with. I disliked such people, consciously greedy or not.

He continued to attempt to prod me into speaking with his eyes, but I had had enough of speaking. Instead, he broke the silence.

“My main residence is in Magnimar. I assume you’ll be passing through once more when your business here has concluded?”

I nodded.

“Excellent!” He fished out a piece of paper and handed it to me. “Please come visit me. Here is my address. I’ll treat you to another feast when you do.”

I smiled politely and took the card. “Thank you for the offer. I shall try to take you up on it.
I do have to pass through Magnimar on my way back to the main lodge.”

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Things I've Discovered in South Korea...

The way to and from work.

The reason behind little foam blocks on car doors.

How to work a Korean water heater.

2 excellent coffee shops to frequent. (For their wi-fi of course.)

3 convenience stores (visited. There are many more I've seen.)

2 cheap grocery stores

1 "dollar" store

4 restaurants (visited. More on the to-visit list.)

1 wal-mart type store

1 shopping mall (10 stories tall with 3 basement levels, a whole floor devoted to food and a whole floor devoted to a theater and a sky park on top.)

How to access free internet which has a log-on page in Korean.

1 subway line

2 subway stations

1 enormous shopping district

Several potential Japanese restaurants to try.

2 bookstores

Just how fast the internet speed around here is.

And last but not least, dozens of cute students! (Pictures of three of them forthcoming hopefully. The camera goes to work with me tomorrow.)

The new school year begins in three days. Wish me luck!

Until next time.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Kagerou's Journal 11

(Now that my life is starting to settle down a bit expect the Kagerou posts to resume with a more regular frequency. You can read part 10 here to refresh your memory.)

The inside of Quink’s house was cluttered with curious, ancient scrolls, books, artifacts and many things of which I had no knowledge. He led us to a small seating area and cleared off enough room for us to sit. He put the kettle on to boil and arranged five teacups beside the teapot on a table. He spooned tea leaves in the teapot very carefully. By this time, steam poured out of the kettle. He removed it from the fire and filled the teapot. The lid of the teapot clinked softly as he settled it into place.

“I tell you ‘bout Sinspawn now.” He sat down facing us. “They creatures summoned by rune lords to do bidding. Very evil magic. Each is different. Each comes from one of the seven deadly sins – envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath.”

“How can you tell them apart?” the halfling asked.

“Each looks different. Different in size too. Depends on which sin it came from.” He shrugged.

“So you can tell us which kind of sinspawn made this print!” She waved the sheet of paper in her hand.

“Do I look like I see one?” No. I do not know. I only hear about them. Don’t want to see one. Might die! You crazy.” He shook his head as he poured tea into the five teacups.

I accepted mine and sipped at it, thinking. The presence of a sinspawn meant that someone else had been behind the attack. So why target the healer?

Putting the teacup down, I asked, “The priest mentioned an event in Sandpoint five years ago that paralleled yesterday’s events. Might you be able to tell us about it?”

“Oh that. That worse. Whole town burned down. Called the Late Unpleasantness.

“A mild way of putting it,” I muttered. “How is it similar?”

“Probably same cause.”

The halfling cut in. “What do you mean by that?”

“Sinspawn cause craziness. Woodcutter called Chopper went crazy. Tried to kill lots of people with axe. Even now hi house empty. And priest’s daughter went crazy too and burned down last cathedral!”

“How does a sinspawn cause that?” asked the spearwoman.

“Wrath sinspawn cause wrath in people near it.” He spoke as if it should be obvious. “You know more ‘bout sinspawn once you go to ruins. Job, right?”

We nodded.

“Bring interesting this back and use paper to make rubbing of things on walls like writing. Ok? You understand? I pay gold when you come back.” He rose and shooed us out the door. Once we crossed the threshold he slammed the door behind us.

“What an odd fellow,” I remarked.

“Indeed.” The Shoanti shifted her spear.

“Where to?” Breuvial asked.

“I suppose that young man, Aldern ought to have the boar ready by now.” I watched as a half-orc stumbled out of the building across the street. He noticed me looking and sneered at us before he lumbered off to the Hagfish. The name reminded me of the job board.

“Perhaps we could inquire about the jobs at the Hagfish.”

I spoke to no one in particular but the halfling answered. “Not today. It’s a nasty crowd in there. Let’s return to the Rusty Dragon.”

I nodded along with the rest and we retraced our steps back to the tavern. The Shoanti fell back to match my pace.

“Where did you disappear to earlier?”

“The North gate. I saw some fighting over that way last night so I wanted to find out what had happened. And what about you?” I looked her up and down. “You didn’t have those bruises or that rip when I left.”

“I…sparred with Stormy.” She shrugged it off.

“Who’s Stormy?”

"Oh sorry, she’s the halfling.”

Looking ahead I studied the halfling. “What an unusual name. Do you two know each other?”

She hesitated. “We’ve met before.”

“Okay, okay. I’ll stop prying. Though,” I added, as an afterthought, “you stink. Did she throw that goblin’s barrel of pickles at you?”

She laughed. “No, no. I had some business at the tanner. The smell of the baths must have clung to my clothes.”

“Looks like the party has started without us,” Breuvial called from in front of us, interrupting our conversation.
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