Tag Archive: jazz callahan


New Year, “New” Projects

So. This year, I have set out to do lots of things to help further my potential writing career. I have joined a wonderful writing community known as Get Your Words Out over at livejournal with my personal journal. It’s what used to be my writing LJ, but with all things, it’s changed and evolved into something else entirely. I still post writing there; it’s just gotten less frequent than the entries that are far more personal and navel-gazing in nature.

Now, over at GYWO, you could pledge to writing various amounts of words over the course of 2015. The number of words I pledged to complete this year is 500k, and as of today, I am just 400 words over the “target” line. I have written 16.8k words so far, this year. Not bad, right?

Except I have writing goals other than simply spitting out 500k words in a 365 day period.

I want to submit at least three pieces to literary magazines. I want to resume my Amazon Self-Published Erotica biz, Erotica Pen Name included, by writing and publishing at least one piece to sell. Most likely, it would be me playing with the “Vicky and Mordecai” storyline, as I have a part 4 that’s been languishing at “half-finished” for about half a year, now. I want to finish the Second Draft of Gray Morning.

If anyone’s been paying attention — back in December, I was wrapping up the first book of my A New Day trilogy. Yes, trilogy. Because between December 23rd and today, January 12th, I not only decided, yes, I’m shelving One Day at a Time despite not having filled in those last 15kish words, but that there was, in fact, another book that took place after Gray Morning.

I wish I could say I wasn’t surprised. But I was. I mean, I sat here and began writing Gray Morning a few days before January 1st. It’s at approximately 24k words total. I think at about 15k in, I looked up from my screen, my eyes widening and me whispering, “Oh, no,” to myself. Because I realized that there was no way Gray Morning would be a satisfactory ending to the storyline. That there definitely was more storyline to explore, after a certain protagonist’s death.

But I have never seriously thought about plot-related things after Gray Morning either. At the same time, though, the world Jazz and Savin now inhabit has undergone so many changes. It’s not the same that it used to be. They’re not the same that they used to be. I mean, okay, they’re still themselves, and their story is still theirs, but just like me and their world, they evolve, too. They experience growth and change (and they should, if they’re going to be well-rounded characters).

I want 2015 to be a good year. I want it to be the best year. I want to get into a routine, I want to find a way to write for at least an hour every day, so I can try to stay on top of my word counts. I want to set aside larger blocks of time to get caught up when lack of sleep and time inevitably tank the lead I have on my goals at present. I want to finish this damn trilogy and begin editing it and reworking parts and finally know all of the pieces to it.

My best friend thought I might be pushing myself a little too hard when I mentioned that I wanted to finish the 8-10 novel ideas I have in my head at present before I turn 30. I turn 30 in approximately three years. That’s roughly 3-4 novels a year. 3-4 months spent on one novel at a time.

Doable. As long as I can, in fact, write for an hour every day. I also want to work on finding an agent and building my “platform” and getting myself out there.

Who knows. Maybe I’ll be on my way to a publishing contract in another couple of years or so.

Wouldn’t that be lovely?

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It’s the little things…

Life’s been insane. I started working almost full-time at a local convenience store chain. Escaped my abuser’s home (and yes, I came to terms with the fact that it was abuse, in the past year).

In that time, I’ve been writing. I’ve been competing, too. Remember that writing competition on LJ I waxed poetic about? Well, season 9 started back in… March?

It’s still going.

We’re like three weeks or so away from reaching the top 50.

And I am clawing my way into that coveted range of people. My true goal is Top 25.

In the past year, I’ve split up my Tomorrow Trilogy into three separate books, each with their own separate story lines and casts. Gray Morning is still titled that — Gray Morning. Ryan (previously Ryin) has his own world to play in, and so does Jordine and the Hooban race.

I’ve written several new short stories I intend to try and push out into the world.

And my erotica writing has, sadly, ground to a halt. I intend to resume it, and I’m editing all five pieces for Say What You Want to publish as a single book — but I am debating on adding another “bonus” chapter to the end. My muses want to, and I think it might benefit the story if I did, but finding the energy to write that much unabashed smut right now is difficult.

My life, right now, is so much better than it was a year ago. And while I’m not writing as much as I used to, I’m still writing, and I’m piecing together a new draft for Gray Morning. Behold, a little of what I have cobbled together, today:


“Where were you?” Savin growled once the door shut behind him. “The Empire’s been fucking falling apart –”

“I know,” Jazz murmured, frowning.

“They think you’re dead!” Savin shouted, throwing his keys down on the little stand beside his door. He tugged off his jacket and tossed it aside, storming past Jazz once he slipped his shoes off his feet.

“I know,” Jazz whispered, his voice quiet and subdued.

“They think I did it!” Savin turned sharply on his heel, running his fingers through his hair. “Do you know how long it took for them to let me go back to my job? Fucking Amelia kept an eye on me for at least a month — I almost got fired — I –” He cut himself off, noticing the look on Jazz’s face.

“Do you blame them?” Jazz asked, his back nearly to the door, his lip caught underneath his teeth. “You did tell them what happened, right?”

Savin paused, the anger having been sucked from his lungs. He frowned and looked away from Jazz. “No,” he said, shaking his head. “They only wanted to know where you were — and since I didn’t know…”

Jazz nodded, still chewing on his bottom lip as he turned his gaze towards the floor. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I just — I couldn’t do it anymore.”

“I don’t care,” Savin said, turning on his heel and waving his hand dismissively in the air. He kept talking as he moved towards his bedroom, tugging his top over his shoulders as he walked. “I really fucking don’t, okay? You left, and my life nearly fucking fell apart, and I don’t give a shit anymore.”

He slammed his bathroom door behind him and shed the rest of his clothes. He needed a shower. Needed to get away and just forget that Jazz was even there. In his apartment. Alive. And apparently no worse for wear, even after the past six months, and —

Savin shut off the water and tugged his jeans back over his waist. Anger filled him again, and he marched out of the bathroom, arms folded over his bare chest. “Where the fuck where you, anyway?” he snapped, his nails digging into his upper arms. “You’re the fucking Emperor — how could you just abandon your whole fucking Empire like that?”

Jazz flinched, his back still to the front door. His face flushed and he kept his eyes low. “I thought it would be in good hands,” he said, fidgeting.

WARGLBLARGl

I am still alive!

I’ve been having one hell of a time adjusting to my new work schedule. Not to mention, I’m working 40 hours a week at that 12am-8am shift. I like the job, but it’s exhausting, and I’m still trying to learn how to balance life with it. I’ve been writing, though, and I have about 20k words for the newest version of Seize the Day. I haven’t written anything (yet) today, and I’m going to try to get in at least 750 words so I can say just above the NaNoWriMo quotas. On my days off, I tend to find enough time to bang out about 4-5k, so those days have been helping me stay caught up.

This has just shown me that I CAN in fact write while working full-time, and I can continuously hit my personal writing goals. I just wish I worked a different shift, at this point. It is what it is, however. I actually worked last night, so I’m starting to feel the urge to collapse for 20 minutes. 

My characters continue to astound me, however. Jazz and Savin are moving so quickly — it’s all lust and love at first sight with them and it’s so weird, because every version of this story I’ve written so far, they’ve had to wait to be together. Now? Not so much. I’ve learned that the one night stand I’ve always seen them have is 100% true, and that it was Jazz who initiates their initial encounter. 

Savin, however, is pretty much immediately smitten and is the one who pushes for a more emotional connection. Which, of course, will make things more tragic as I continue to write this. We’ll see how it goes, though. I’m almost entirely winging this. I’m letting the characters guide the way, as it should be, when I write a first draft. They like to tell me the way, a lot of the time. 🙂

A snippet, of Jazz and Savin being… well, themselves:

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Writing Daily

So yesterday I forgot to post, which happens. I wrote yesterday — a whopping 2k in about an hour. Repeated the feat again today. I wrote a chapter of Seize the Day yesterday, which was wonderful. I didn’t really have this particular chapter on the outline — I realized as I was writing the previous chapter that what I had outlined and what my characters needed to do didn’t quite line up, so I figured I’d wing the entire chapter.

Guys, sometimes I forget that I’m really a Discovery Writer at heart. I am like Stephen King — to borrow his metaphor in On Writing (a memoir I suggest every writer should read), I get only a part of the fossil (the story idea). This idea or situation is what I sit down to write, and as I write, I discover the rest of it along the way. This causes some of my drafts to be rather chaotic and need a lot of cleaning — which is why I sat down and started another draft of Seize the Day. With some of the major changes I had made to the world the story takes place in, I have a lot I need to rework and rehash and rediscover.

Which is fine. I like it. It makes the words come easier. The characters do the talking. They tell me more things, define themselves better, which makes for a stronger piece of writing in the long run. Outlines are great; they really are. But I am not a writer that truly needs them. When cleaning up a draft? Sure. When writing the first one?

Please. That just kills my drive to write it. And the scene shown below? Totally unscripted. Not part of the outline at all. But 100%, absolutely necessary.

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So, I’ve made it my goal to write one chapter of my trilogy a week. It’s sort of a mental break from all of the smut I write throughout the week. And even though Vicky & Mordecai aren’t finished, I really, really needed to focus my brain on other things, today. I finished Chapter Three, all 2500 words of it, and am now rereading what i wrote yesterday and editing it as I go along.

This piece is so long, I’m actually kinda impressed. My daily word counts have skyrocketed in the past few days. I’m back to the levels I was writing at a few months ago. My son starts preschool on Tuesday. I’m hoping to use the free time spent JUST writing. We’ll see how well that goes. Maybe I can maintain this level for a little longer than just a couple of days.

Don’t have much else to say, so here’s an amusing exchange from my chapter:

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