Weekly writing check-in: The Haunting of Whiskers and Willow

I finished the short story I was working on. It will be part of the Coffee & Ghosts world. It clocked in at 4,600 words (give or take), and I’ll be sending it out to my newsletter as part of the launch of Season Four.

Mind you, I don’t plan on straining any muscles launching Season Four. I’ll get it out there into the world and then carry on with something else.

So now I turn my attention to episode 2, which doesn’t have a name and only the barest whispers of a plot. But I’m printing off all my notes and diving in.

I’ll let you know if I sink or swim.

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Weekly writing check-in: Hello, April! Farewell, classic editor.

The very latest update to WordPress has removed the classic editor I loved so much. True, there’s a kind of/sort of version of it that I’m using right now, but it’s not the same.

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

In other news, we’ve had a lovely Easter weekend, unseasonably warm and lots of sunshine.

I also did some work on a short story that may be part of the Coffee & Ghosts world, a mini-episode between 1 & 2 of Season Four.

But … I’m not sure how I feel about that either.

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Weekly writing check-in: tree be gone

I’m sure everyone’s been waiting with bated breath about our tree issue. I’m happy to report that our friendly neighborhood tree service had it safely down in less than twenty-four hours (along with another nearly-dead pine, and they limbed some of our oak branches as well–trees, we have lots of trees).

In writing news, I compiled all my notes into one (searchable) document. I’m feeling pretty good about the overall worldbuilding for the last season. It still feels like I’m going painfully slow. However, I’m truly wrapping up the series with this season. There are so many threads, large and small, to consider. Not to mention those 230,000 words that came before.

That’s a lot.

I didn’t work on the framework for episode two, but I did do some work on a short story that comes in between episode one and two, something that I think will be mostly stand-alone. Or so I hope.

So for the coming week, my plan is to work on that.

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Weekly writing check-in: we have a tree problem

We have a tree problem. And yes, before anyone asks, we’ve called the power company. Also, the tree isn’t actually resting on the power lines … yet. With the wind we’ve been having, it could happen.

In writing rather than tree news, I spent this week tagging all my longhand notes with post-its with labels like backstory, episode 2, episode 3, and so on. Now I’m compiling it (and expanding on it) in a document. Once I have all that completed, I’ll start the framework for episode 2. In fact, I just had a brainstorm on episode 2 this morning, and I’m so glad I was waffling on starting on it.

Sometimes, procrastination is productive and creative.

For this coming week, I hope to get all the notes together and complete a framework for episode 2. I’m calling it a framework rather than an outline because it is more like an idea of the story than a lockstep list of everything that happens.

I will report back on trees and writing next week.

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Weekly writing check-in: quickly, quickly today

So this week, I somehow finished up episode 1–well, the draft anyway.

But yes, all the way to the end. I’m pleased, a little tired, and peering into episodes 2 and 3.

One down, two to go.

I have some thoughts about my pandemic year, but I think I’ll save those for a separate post.

For now, I’m going to go stretch my legs and commence with the plotting.

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Weekly writing check-in: in like a lamb

March is unusually mellow so far this year. We may even hit 60 degrees later today or tomorrow. I suspect we’ll get the usual mid-month basketball tournament snowfall, but for now, I’m not complaining. The sun is out, the snow is melting, and it’s nice to walk outside and not have my face hurt.

This week, I continued my longhand brainstorming and note-taking–I have pages upon pages of notes, but I think I also have the worldbuilding and structure for not only episode 1 but the rest of this season as well.

Fingers crossed.

Not a lot of actual writing, but I hope to start that this week.

I also did the taxes, so there’s that, too—all in all, a fairly productive week.

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Weekly writing check-in: before you start that prequel

There’s a terrific article over on Tor.com this week: Is There Such a Thing as a Necessary Prequel?

The comments are worth a read too. Yes, I know. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t read the comments. The ones at Tor.com are thoughtful and insightful.

This is a timely thing for writers to think about. So often, the advice gets tossed around to “write a prequel” as a loss leader or a reader magnet for a newsletter. But … should you?

I tend to fall into the “no” camp. Honestly, if those events in the prequel were important and compelling, I would’ve started the story there. Likewise, I have similar feelings about sequels. This may surprise you since I’m working on Coffee and Ghosts Season Four.

However, I’ve been thinking about it for nearly three years now. Not just: is there a plot and new things to explore in the C&G world? But also: can the characters still change and grow?

I’m hoping the answer is yes to both those questions. Even though the series is meant to be fun and light, it’s not necessarily a light undertaking.

And speaking of which, after the last two weeks on a writing tear, I’ve slowed down. I’m pondering some worldbuilding questions that not only affect this episode but the rest of season four.

So this week was spent pondering questions with lots of longhand notes.

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Weekly writing check-in: off on a writing tear

I spent the weekend on a “Jo March” writing tear.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the hat.

I do have many draft words.

I didn’t log onto the internet (except for a quick check of my mail and to sync my file).

I thought about booting up my desktop and writing my update on Sunday.

Clearly, that didn’t happen.

But I can see the end of this new draft, and that’s a good thing.

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Blog interview: The Beauty of Storytelling

I had the chance to do an interview with Hawthorne Orchard, a student-led nonprofit made up of students from various local high schools.

They asked some great questions, a couple of which I really had to think about.

You can read the interview here.

While you’re there, click around to see all the other things they’ve been up to.

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Weekly writing check-in: spills and chills

So way back in the day, I had a weekly paper route.

Those of you of a certain age may remember the weekly shopper newspaper. It was a small publication of mostly ads held together by a few human interest stories.

For three or so years, every Tuesday, I would diligently deliver these little papers in the neighborhood next to mine.

Fun fact: this neighborhood was the neighborhood from the Betsy-Tacy books.

The neighborhood contained several hills (and still does, to my knowledge). One hill, in particular, was particularly brutal. Each winter, like clockwork, my feet would slip out from under me, and I would smash my tailbone against the ice-slicked asphalt.

Even after I’d relinquished the route, I made it a practice to slip on the ice or the steps at least once a year. It wasn’t winter until I took a tumble and bruised my tailbone.

Well, last Sunday, I renewed that tradition. I’m fine, but I went down hard on some ice in our driveway.

After that, I was in no mood for the internet, never mind booting up my computer.

And yes, my tailbone still aches.

But I am making good progress on Coffee & Ghosts. So there’s that. I mean, it’s currently -9 right now. It’s not like we’re going to pull on our boots and take a hike.

I’d probably just slip on the ice anyway …

 

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