I finished my book! Woohoo!

Last month, I made one, final concentrated effort to finish my dang book, after taking at least six months longer (and 100,000 more words) than I expected, and I finally finished it (on March 20th, to be exact, which was the day I wanted to finish it so I could play Animal Crossing: New Horizons without regret).

BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL’s finished first draft clocks in at 271,330 words (11,330 more words than I anticipated at the start of the month). It’s too long by half, but I now have something book-shaped to work with in the next draft, where the real work—and fun—begins. I’m planning on taking the next two-ish months off to let the book rest, or however long this Coronavirus bs continues (stay home, wash your hands, wear a mask if you have to go out, wash your hands—yes, again), aka however long my primary occupation continues to be homeschooling. I’m glad to have been able to finish my book just as isolation hit, because I am not getting anything done now. The only reason I have time to write this is because kiddo is currently watching Magic School Bus, giving me some much-needed peace and quiet.

I’ve also been annoyingly sick for the last two weeks, with this, that, and whathaveyou, which has made doing anything more than the minimum even more difficult.


Word Counts in March:

Blog/Newsletter: 788
Cartridges & Catacombs: 1638
Patreon: 1499
Other: 750

Total Words Written in March: 30,990
Total Words Written in 2020: 57,821


Plans for April:

Blessed be, I do not have to work on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL this month. Or next month. I have been working on the first draft of that book for over two years. It’s about time that I finished it.

Instead, I’ll be turning what little attention I can spare to other projects. With kiddo being essentially homeschooled and a “no TV or video games before 3:30pm” rule, I don’t have much in the way of working time. I might be able to grab 10-20 minutes here and there if I am lucky. That time will be spent working on worldbuilding for my next big fantasy project, STARCALLER, or finishing the first draft of DARK LORD IN TRAINING (finally).

I started working on STARCALLER in earnest these last few weeks, putting together maps, researching climates, geography, farming, weather, currency, architecture, and other such menial things that make up society. I’m still very much in the big-picture, general worldbuilding phase right now, focusing on the actual world as I want it to be before I start digging into the storytelling aspects of it. My focus this month is to build out four cultures and magic systems for the world. I’ve made decent progress on one of them. This will be the first time in about a decade that I’ve built a world up completely from scratch. Everything I’ve written in the last ten years has been Earth-based, so a lot of the worldbuilding was already written, thanks to history. I don’t have that benefit with this world. I’m building a secondary world, and while I’ll be taking some inspiration from primary world sources, I won’t get the benefit of having built in histories and cultures to draw upon. It’s a really big endeavor, but a challenge I look forward to. I always aim to write something amazing, but with STARCALLER and its series, I want to create something that’s spoken of with the likes of Sanderson and Tolkien and Jordan and all the other much-loved fantasy series of our time. It’s a really, really high bar to aim for, but I’m nothing if not ambitious.

On the complete flip-side of STARCALLER, there’s DARK LORD IN TRAINING. I’ve been working on DARK LORD IN TRAINING since NaNoWriMo 2013, if you can believe it (the original idea and title, WIZARDRY SCHMIZARDRY, got scrapped, but I still want to write a book or a story with that title… maybe if DARK LORD turns into a series of some kind?). DARK LORD has been my happy-fun book, and it will be nice to take a break from big epic serious stuff to play around in the silly little magical world I created there. I still have quite a few chapters left to write in that story, probably about 20,000 words or so left to finish it. I won’t write all of that in the month of April, but maybe by the end of May, if I can manage.

Otherwise, I have some non-profit event planning to do, but not much, with the Coronavirus preventing any physical event from happening. I’ll instead be doing long-range planning for later events in the year, which will most likely be digital in nature.

If I can get a decent schedule figured out—perhaps waiting until after 3:30pm to even start trying to work on anything—and if I can stay healthy, I can squeeze some writing and worldbuilding in this month. Here’s hoping.



Instead of excerpts, I posted two Behind-the-Scenes posts in March.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES: A Broken First Draft
BEHIND-THE-SCENES: Creating New Worlds


Cartridges & Catacombs:

I was doing so well in February, blogging each Friday, keeping on top of things. And then March happened. I did manage a couple of posts however.

Games this Month…

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