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Eclipse Lighting is Good For Writing

So Frontier Communications sent me an email to tell me that Slooh, this really cool web site devoted to astronomy lovers, was going to broadcast the Aug 21st eclipse on live streaming. Since I wasn’t going to travel to a place with totality, I got super excited about seeing it live. So excited, that I started thinking of a story involving an eclipse. Of course, it would have to happen on an equinox because I wanted to keep it in the fall and magical things tend to happen in stories during one of the four special earth-sun positions. So then, what about a warlock who uses the shift in power during the eclipse to summon a demon army. Sounds cool, right?

Around the same time, I read an article on the web about a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s who wrote out her living will and declaration of how she wanted to die with dignity. Only, she didn’t specify ‘hand feeding’ so when it came time to stop feeding her, the care givers couldn’t at that point because she opened her mouth when they hand fed her and they were morally obligated to keep doing so. It was a heartbreaking and moving article that made me feel for all sides involved. It stuck with me so when I wrote the protagonist in the eclipse story, he wound up having memory loss and physical injury caused by the very warlock he would have to face again during the eclipse and win the fight or lose the world.

Excited by the story idea, I starting writing sometime after the Game of Thrones episode and well into the morning. I turned on the Slooh broadcast and wrote while glancing out my window as the lighting started to get odd. At the time, I hadn’t realized we’d be experiencing 92% totality but knew something was wrong because the light was turning freaky weird. In fact, by the time I saw the total come and go on Slooh, I dove outside and basked in the rays of the craziest lighting I’ve ever seen. It’s not dusk lighting. No, this had sharp shadows and cool wispy crescent shadows from the pine trees. I’d never seen pine tree eclipse shadows before, only leafy tree ones, so that was really amazing to see. The lighting when looking up in the sky (not at the sun though!) was anemic – probably the best term to describe it. We still had light but it was like something had sucked part of it away and altered the color in a subtle manner that words and even pictures will never describe. You just have to experience it.

I finished the story around 2pm and was punch drunk with lack of sleep and the need to share the story with someone. So I gave it to a few friends and eagerly waited for their responses. I made two of them cry! I think that’s the best compliment I could ever receive about my writing. The thought of touching someone with words that I put to page is a heady feeling. The story is called The Archmage’s Eclipse and it will be available soon on Instafreebie and maybe some other places to gather newsletter signups and hopefully stir up interest in my book.

Which leads me to the next piece of good news – I’ve finished the first draft of The Summoner and the Seer! Yes, that’s right. I went from 92%, if you looked at my progress bar, to 100% in the two days following my absorption of freaky eclipse sun rays! I still have to edit the thing and do a full read to make sure all the foreshadowing and story stuff flows. But I’m very excited to have finished my first novel ever. It came out at just over 100k words.

So an entire short story and 9k words written since bathing in eclipse sun rays – I’d say eclipse lighting is good for writing!

Subscribing to the Blog and Other Things…

So, apparently you can use FeedBurner as an easy peasy way to let people subscribe to your RSS feed without the weird RSS mumbo jumbo dance on the user’s side of things. So, yay! Added that to the web site at the bottom. Just because I can!

Book update: I’m on chapter 23 and 89k words now. Also, I found a pretty nice looking template to prettify the pages so it will look spiff when publishing (in theory anyway!). Supposedly, the template works for both print and ebook form, but we’ll see! (Cue ominous music!)

Finally, I was cackling quite gleefully in this week’s Game of Thrones episode. Was also a bonus that it was streaming to my computer this weekend, so guess GRRM missed stabbing HBO live stream in the back like he’s been doing on and off in the past weeks. *chortle*. So sad to be coming to the end of this season already. However, a certain rat-faced, sneaky person can’t ‘end’ soon enough. I just hope he gets a wonderful ‘end’! Will he, or will he not make it to next season? Hmm… Probably too good a villain to axe him just yet.

Graphics Makes the Page

So long black and white web page, hello living color! I finally got the art for my book cover and web banner and wasted no time updating the old black and white web color scheme to something more colorful and hopefully way cooler. And with a little help from some CSS tutorials, I was able to adjust the transparency and border regions to make it pop even more. There’s little more satisfying right now than finally having the web page look author-y. Another stress item scratched off the list of things to do when publishing for the first time.

Also good news – I’ve reached chapter 20. At roughly 74k words, it’s now at that point where all hell breaks loose!

The Pen is Indeed Mightier than the Sword…or the Internet!

So last week I accidentally discovered live streaming of cable on my Xfinity site when I went to watch the season opener of Game of Thrones. So cool! (And yes, I am aware it’s been there a while, silly, slow me!)

Now I decided that was so cool, I’m going to do it again. Except this time – it’s dead Jim! I searched the internet and others report the same issue. Other channels work but HBO doesn’t. Hmmm… Coincidence? I think not!

This is proof positive that GRRM has found another victim in his quest to kill off people (or channels) in exciting ways! His pen is indeed mightier than the sword…or the internet!

I guess I’ll have to *gasp* watch Game of Thrones on my TV tonight.