On To the Next!

I’m happy to announce that I’ve started drafting the third book in the Civil Dusk series already! In this story, tentatively called “By Appointment Only,” Hugh meets with the spirits of Skara Brae to get his dian-stane fixed. They tell him to journey to New Hampshire in the USA, where descendants of theirs journeyed and built a settlement 4000 years ago. But how will he find it in a country to which he’s never been? Perhaps a local guide can assist!

Stay tuned for a completely unique story that’s already a page-turner! And in the meantime, get your copies of Civil Dusk and First Watch; links in the Buy My Books link above!

Big ol’ rambly post

One of my favorite things about writing is that Moment when Inspiration Strikes. I’ve been struggling with a plot problem in First Watch for several months, and it’s made me NOT want to write because I knew once I reached that point I’d have NO IDEA what to do.

So I’m wicked pleased to announce that I’ve solved it and am now extremely excited to write again!

Thanks to a Facebook post by Mystic Moon, a local shop, I’ve learned that when hag stones break it’s a sign that it had saved a life. Readers of my novella Civil Dusk will know that Hugh, the main character, is bound to a dian-stane, which is really just a BIG hag stone when it all boils down. (Nonreaders can grab a copy of Civil Dusk here: buy my book on paperback or Kindle.)

Followers of my Facebook will know that the Wild Hunt features prominently in the plot of First Watch, which is the sequel to Civil Dusk that I am presently drafting and will endeavor to release sometime in 2020.

Readers of this blog will be wondering where the fuck I’m going with all these cues, and hey, guess what: that’d be telling! Unless you enjoy massive spoilers in a novella that isn’t even published yet, you’re just gonna have to wait. And if you do enjoy massive spoilers, please comment on this post and I might divulge SOME STUFF because I’m legit really excited about this.

Or you can just go explore the posts in the various things I linked above and piece it together yourself, because I’m sure I’ve leaked some critical plot stuff somewhere in there. What else have you got to do, anyway?

I guess the main reason I’m writing this post (besides to take the opportunity to toss in some shameless plugs, because OBVIOUSLY) is to define writers’ block as it affects me. When I get writers’ block, it manifests as either ZERO idea of how my plot is going to get from where it is to The End, or to the next scene, or whatever; OR it’s because I’m missing a scene idea to bridge Where We Are to The End. Basically, I don’t know where the story’s going, so I can’t write it. This problem likely arises because I don’t outline.

Why don’t I outline? Well, it’s simple: I get REALLY EXCITED about the ideas I do have, and so I just want to Get Writing those ideas. So outlining takes time, time which I could be spending Writing The Ideas, and so The Ideas get written and the outline doesn’t happen. It didn’t even get Capitalized. So my writers’ block moments are, ultimately, my own fault.

And I’m okay with that. This method of haphazard spurts gets shit done, obviously: I’ve published some books. It’s just not very efficient, and I get that, and it makes me a little unpredictable as far as release dates, and I get that too.

How does your writers’ block manifest? Is there something that triggers it? Are you dealing with it? Can you punch it in the face? DO YOU KNOW ITS NAME??

Determination

Previously, my books have taken years between them for the writing process to occur. I’d set goals and organize little trackers to, in theory, help motivate myself by seeing the progress as it happened. And, to a degree, these worked: books were written and subsequently published. I’ve got 3 out, y’know. But then I read a summary of survey results regarding Writing Habits of the People That Actually Do This For A Living (And Don’t You Want To?) (my title, not theirs) and it seems that people who make a living with their books have published over 20 titles.

As a person who works in retail, this made a lot of sense to me.

So I’ve become more determined to get the series started by “Civil Dusk”  populated as quickly as I can while still maintaining a particular sense of quality. To that end, I made a goal for myself: I’d write 1.5 pages every day until First Watch was complete. Ideally, I’d like it to be fully drafted and edited by the end of August 2020, so that I can get all the cover work and last bits done in September for publication in early October or late September.

My math is laughably WRONG in this case, but whatever, that just means First Watch will be done waaay ahead of schedule if I stick to my goal. And so far, dear readers, I’ve been tempted to stray. I finished the first chapter as scheduled, and typed it up, and then TOOK A DAY OFF FROM WRITING.

MISTAKE, dear readers, MISTAKE.

My muse shattered. I lost inspiration for a whole second day. I knew generally where chapter two was going but had no impetus to write; until my day job boss gave me the next day off on the one stipulation that I WOULD WRITE. He’s super cool. 😉 Maybe he was sick of hearing about my writing woes. Whatever.

So according to my goal I now had 4.5 pages to write to catch back up to schedule. And I DID IT. And then, the FREAKING MAGIC HAPPENED: my muse didn’t pass out! I kept going! I drafted an entire chapter in ONE FREAKING DAY! It was a first for me and my writing.

And it taught me something. I needed structure, and I needed to be determined enough to actually keep working at the writing thing until it was fluid enough to keep writing without me. (Writers know what I mean by this.) Guess what? I’ve just done TWO MORE PAGES tonight because I sat down and stared at the page and jotted notes and stupid things down until the writing started. I meant to do 1.5 pages tonight; I GOT 2 DONE.

It’s exciting. Summary, as presented by my dog Aggie: be determined enough and you can do it, even if the task at hand is fitting your 62 lb Rottie self down into a bed meant for a 20lb dog TOPS. Yeah, you know there’s a photo.

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“First Watch” Update

“First Watch,” the second book in the series started by my novella “Civil Dusk,” is well on its way! I’ve drafted and typed the first two chapters, and already the Hunt-pup is getting into trouble and Hugh has reunited with the Nuggle. Don’t know what I’m talking about?

YOU SHOULD READ “CIVIL DUSK”! Get your Kindle e-copy: https://www.amazon.com/Civil-Dusk-Nicole-Ordway-ebook/dp/B07S21GXW7

and your physical paperback copy: https://www.amazon.com/Civil-Dusk-Nicole-R-Ordway/dp/0578485044

 

Anyhow, my dogs greatly enjoy cuddling with me on the couch while I’m writing. I figured I’d post some pictures of these silly pups for your enjoyment. Here are a pic each from yesterday’s writing MARATHON in which I cranked out chapter 2 in its entirety:

Aren’ they the most regal pups EVER?! Heh. The one on the left is Riley, who has been in my posts previously. The one on the right is Aggie, who is sort of the breed inspiration for Ozlo, the Hunt-pup mentioned above.

Are your pets involved in your writing process? Share cute pet stories in the comments!

Re: Impetus

Or rather, “regarding the things which inspire me to write, or stimulate the flow of ideas.”

 

What gets your ideas flowing? Is it music, television, rain, an abundance of sunshine, a particular book, a comic strip, or what? Tell me in the comments! Links are the best if you’ve got ’em.

 

For me, usually it’s my “Ethereal” Pandora station, which is loading with floaty, epic stuff ranging from Within Temptation to Enya. But TODAY – today my dear readers, it’s a blog.

 

I don’t usually read other blogs. I’m sorry for that, and I know it probably detracts from my own blog’s blogginess, but it’s a choice. Really, it’s a laziness. So it was a surprise to myself first of all that I found a blog today and read through every single post in its archives. I found it because I was searching for what the fuck to do with this sweet potato I’ve got that’s started sprouting slips on my counter.

 

Apparently, either toss it tits-up in a jar of water suspended with picks through its abdomen; or half-plant it in a tin. Better results on the latter. I’m gonna have to get a tin after work.

 

Anyway, the blog is The Art of Doing Stuff. You should ABSOLUTELY go check it out and read every single word on her multitudinous pages. I highly recommend it. Actually, if you want an idea of the VOICE in my upcoming Gardening Adventures book, you should DEFINITELY check out this blog; because, spoilers, she has a very similar VOICE.