Sunday, March 29, 2015

More Midnight Ramblings

It's actually almost one a.m. here in California, as I start this post, and my mind is wandering away from me again....

Fifteen years ago, somewhere around this time, I would be coming home - either from work or LOML's apartment - and sit up until four or five writing my first (as of yet unpublished) novel/series. It's technically high fantasy, I suppose, and I'm torn between the YA version it currently is, or the Adult version I envision it to be. Now, I really can't focus on much at this hour - but I'm still awake, so I'll blog.

One of my goals for 2015 is to get back to Isiterra. I shared The Tale of the Orbs here several months ago. It was written as part of the back story for what became what I call my Middle Earth. It's actually another planet, in another galaxy far, far away ... (Just kidding ... sort of.) The picture below reminds me of a bad place there....

The orbs, or moons, are the gods of this world - believed to have created life on the shell of another of their kind. No space travel involved, and the inhabitants closely resemble those of Earth, with some slight variations. The different races of "man" are Keepers (human), Siyens (have various powers) and Underdwellers (adapted to live underground but not dwarves, rarely surface, some may have powers resembling a Siyen.) Animals (or crennas) are for the most part the same, but there are some additions, such as the dreaded Kraorack. The "common tongue" spoken by all is English, but there are separate languages I've been creating along the way for each, and dialogue throughout is sprinkled with them. Several words, such as "crenna" are used even in common tongue, because that's what they're called in that world.

The characters live and breathe in my head just as they did then - maybe more so now because I know so much more about them. The map of the world is clearly drawn out in my head - but I've never been able to get it on paper. I'm out of practice with the languages, which I blame in part on the kids for looking at Mommy funny when they walk in on her speaking in Siyen or Northern Underdwellish.  But really, I have to blame Sam and The Shadow Watcher for talking in my ear. Their story didn't require my invention of religions and languages, etc., they're here on Earth.

I did start practicing some Siyen a few weeks ago;"Onae mara ceren senen" - I can save them. I haven't touched the original draft in years - I don't even know what the title is anymore. But, when I last visited it, I decided the beginning needed more character/world building chapters. (Oh, but they're fun, they involve an annual hunting competition, and the heroine nearly gets killed before the real story even begins!) I started them, but still need two more. I think my first NaNoWriMo attempt was the second book, but that is still completely unedited. (I'm actually scared to look at it.) Somewhere, there are outlines for the third and fouth books on paper, but they're in my head too. The most vivid scenes to come to me I've written and tagged for which book and where they belong. They just feel far away right now...

But, A Shadow in Doubt is first. I will have updated release information in the coming weeks. And with that, I'm going to turn in....

I hope you're having a beautiful day, or night, wherever you may be!

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March Updates: Sorting Laundry

I'm pausing from my marathon of fluff and fold this evening to post, since I haven't in awhile. I start posts, and then get distracted, and wind up deleting them because they no longer feel relevant. I guess I just haven't had much to say.

Silence is golden, except when you're trying to get your book out to readers. I know this is important, especially for indies ... so I'm now on Twitter too (@roaribenjamin). It's still very new, so bear with me....

But really, what I need to sort out is the status of A Shadow in Doubt - the sequel to The Shadow Watcher. I was originally planning to release it last Fall. Then, this Winter. Now, I'm hoping for Spring?
A Shadow in Doubt by Roari Benjamin

The original draft was my NaNo 2013 novel, which I wrote before The Shadow Watcher was published. In the process, I realized changes were necessary to book one, which I made. Once The Shadow Watcher was out there, I had to figure out how to get the word out. Side note - nothing will sell nothing, even if it's the greatest nothing in the world. Listen to what everyone else has been saying, and learn from my mistakes: start marketing before you publish, even more so if you're self-publishing. Don't wait to get on social media. I spent so long living in my own little world, I forgot to let the real one know it was there. I'm still playing catch-up.

But, back to ASID.... After getting The Shadow Watcher out there, and fixing some problems, and tweaking the cover, I got back to ASID, and then went back and fixed more problems, and tweaked the cover(s) more. I planned on writing a novella of Jay's time waiting for Sam and Michael to return to release before ASID, and then got side-tracked on the Fore Shadows stories. (Yes, that's plural, too. Escape 2169 is the first. There are drafts of two more, and tidbits of others. Another one pops into my head at least once a week.)

Along the way, there was trying to market The Shadow Watcher, another Nano, and the holidays. When I finally got to reading through it again, I found ASID needed to go another direction. As much as I was set on the original plan, the new one has to happen, and the reason why won't be obvious until much later - another book or in the Fore Shadows, don't know yet. I need to get a dedicated block of time, preferably at the start of the day - even one hour a - etched out here, soon. Who needs clean laundry anyway? (kidding....)

I hope you're having a beautiful night, or day! (I hear the dryer calling me....)