Author’s Journal – 11-15-19

This will never last.

Because I know myself.

There are people who sing the praises of journaling, but I’ve never been able to maintain a diary or similar collection of thoughts. Oh sure, the desire is strong at first. When it becomes work, however, when I’m trying to make time or backfill missed entries, well, then it’s a hassle.

And free time doesn’t get spent on hassles.

With that encouraging preface, I push onward, nonetheless. At the very least, it will amuse me – and perhaps interest you – while it lasts. It’s my intent to keep these simpler and lighter-weight than other blog posts, in which I try convey some interesting update or learning I have had about writing a book. I generally try to edit them for length, content, and grammar, and while the result is more polished, they take time away from other things in my life. For these, I’m looking to knock out a quick post, straight through, with no rewrites and few edits.

Let’s see how it goes.

Friday, November 15, 2019

1. I’m listening to The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss on Audible. I’ll use a future post to gush over it, but as often happens while I’m reading, listening, or watching, I got inspired.

The particular scene included the lute of the character’s father. It made me think about a combining of magic and music, and how might a culture use that for things beyond everyday tasks or entertainment. What if the culture developed an interweaving of art into things like defense or warfare? Of the kinds of art in the world – music, sculpture, painting, etc – what if the people maintained their love and awe of these things, yet used them in practical ways? What if they did these things only because they had to or what if these things were incorporated because they were viewed as another skill, like smithing or bricklaying?

I got to work, wrote a few paragraphs about two cultures’ different approaches, and I added the detail into the appropriate books. Book 2 for the Prince and Book 6 for the Princess. Sorry for the tease.

2. I love cloud storage because it allows me to write at home and on my lunch breaks at work. Sometimes, because technology, a sync doesn’t happen. It often stops me dead because I’m not sure what might be lost. Version control isn’t the issue it once was for me, but it happened again this week. It kept me out of my document for a few days because I was discouraged and didn’t have the energy to address it.

So I made the time on Friday to compare a home copy to a work copy, and then I opened the side file I’d made to work on some complex edits. These were the last changes I’d made to the manuscript, and after a few comparisons, reassured myself that I hadn’t lost anything. Phew.

3. On that same lunch break, I went through my email drafts. I’ve found Outlook is the best for jotting quick notes because I don’t have to wait for another app to open, and it saves regularly. And, if my computer reboots, I know exactly where the files go. Yes, I’m aware that this is a risky – and stupid – system, but c’est la vie. It’s better than the random Post-Its system I used to have.

So, I went looking for a draft I knew had closed, and it resulted in me going through 400-some saved drafts of everything: mostly work stuff, a WIP for an anniversary card note, grocery lists, and well, many other things. And about 20 of the aforementioned writing drafts.

I spent the rest of lunch combining them, deleting what I didn’t need, and fleshing out a couple interesting thoughts. I suppose a similar task awaits me in Evernote, but that’s a chore for another day.

Well, a lot more happened on Friday than I’d expected. It is nice to be reassured that you’ve been productive and completed some tasks, which is one of the reasons for starting up this series of journal-themed posts. It also seems an interesting way to chronicle ideas that come to me, sparse in detail they might be here. #spoilers

And that’s a day in the life of a writer. It’s not always the fun of pure creativity, but I believe that finding value in the work can be equally rewarding, if you appreciate it.

Good luck with your writing!

Mike


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© Michael Wallevand, November 2019

Welcome to Empyrelia

This post is pinned to the top of the page.

Fancy R

The Book of the Lost Royals is a massive tome of two million words in a realm of nearly as many peoples. Hidden from time in a secret vault that knew no decay, it promises to recount an unknown history from an age of wonders. And now, a meticulous translation has begun.

Starting from the front and reading toward the center, the Book tells of Amethestra Straverian, lost princess of the Kingdom of Evereign. A baby abandoned in the wilds, she was found by the unlikeliest caretaker, the one person in all of Empyrelia who might protect her from those dark forces that sought to destroy the world. Under this mysterious witch’s careful, if unusual tutelage, the girl known as Tildy will discover the world beyond the protective borders of the Garden of Dappledown.

Astute observers might find themselves compelled to flip the book over, finding there the start of the tale of Prince Adamantin Straverian, her brother. His story progresses also toward the middle, recounting how he was smuggled to safety under a dead child’s name, by an adoptive mother who would never love him as equally as the child he replaced. The boy known as Samor has grown up behind the walls of the remote ice fortress Yrrengard, being tutored and trained to recover the crown he is unaware he has lost.

As their tales converge, we see the Book’s final chapters telling the same story, but from different perspectives. Before the end, the children of Queen Themesteria and King Therald must work together to save a kingdom they never knew.

In these diminished days of lesser peoples, the tome is being split into thirteen translated volumes that recount the tales of the lost royals, their loves and loss, their triumphs and defeats, and their journey to recover the lives that were taken from them.


Hello, and welcome to the website for the fantasy book series, The Lost Royals! Continue reading

April 26 writing update

This post is about 100 words. Lame.

This is a lame post, mostly because it was half written, mostly uninspired, and the result of not thinking I’d have writing time tonight.

I have writing time tonight!

So. I’m abandoning it, having scrapped most of the junk. Which is good. On to the real writing after this briefest of updates. I’ll hit 70,000 words tonight, the result of about four and a half months into a pretty decent writing routine. Not a great routine, but a better output than I’d originally hoped.

–Michael

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© Michael Wallevand, April 2016

The Prince Influence 2 Me

This post is about 700 words.

I love the process of creating art. For me, it’s writing. I love hearing successful people talk about their own trials and influences. I could watch Inside The Actor’s Studio, Behind The Music, and the audio commentaries of movies for days. I’ve read Stephen King’s On Writing a dozen times. But I also love talking with fellow hopefuls about our own struggles.

Prince

It is in this spirit that I share a piece of myself tonight. I lost an idol today. A one-way friendship with a person unaware of my existence, although his music spoke to me as though he did.

Prince.

A single word that needs a million other words in definition. Fortunately for you, I’ll only use about 700 tonight. The words come slowly, but they come (heh, that sounds like a sentence Prince would approve of, so I’ll allow it).

He’s been one of my biggest influences and I’m staggered by his death today. I’m not a musician anymore, but consider myself a kindred creative spirit (albeit distantly related). When I say he was an inspiration, this isn’t an exaggeration or a lame attempt to connect my blog to the flood of news following his death. It’s a simple truth. Aside from family and Star Wars, I can’t think of anything else in my life that’s been as present or influential as Prince.

As I sat in stunned silence at work today, recalling fond music memories and trying to keep the void at bay, my writer’s brain started organizing thoughts. It occurred to me that I learned four very important things from him.

Prince2401141. Create limitless art. Man, he was fearless. His life seemed to be a constant experiment with music that resulted in beautiful, crazy, innovative, inspirational art. But it wasn’t only music. Look at his fashion over the years. The album covers for Dirty Mind and Lovesexy. He assembled musical groups. Created movies. He absorbed and synthesized musical styles, the results of which were distinctly Prince. His life was art and it knew no bounds.

2. Don’t compromise your beliefs. Whether the symbol-shaped middle finger he gave to Warner Music or his ongoing fight against digital music piracy, Prince stood strong for what he believed in, even if it cost him money. Perhaps more importantly, he knew who he was, what he needed to be, and when he needed to change. He reinvented the word reinvention. Despite this, we never questioned who Prince was – it was obvious. We might not have known what we’d see next, but we knew it would be 100% Prince.

3. Strive to master many different disciplines and styles. I just mentioned his style reinvention, so I’ll speak to his talent with instruments. It’s said that he sometimes showed a musician how he wanted them to play his song, the result of which would be the musician’s realization that he could play better than they could. I heard Tommy Barbarella of NPG say something similar on the radio today. He wasn’t just a brilliant lyricist with an incredible fashion sense. He was a multi-talented musician who was never restrained by the confines of definition or convention.

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Social Foundations

This post is about 400 words.

If you’ve done any amount of writing – and you probably have, even if it was just for school – you’ve experienced that point where you run out of steam. Or inspiration. If you’re like me, you want to keep going, but you need a change in virtual scenery.

Draft One.png

Pay no attention to all those red squiggly lines. I made up those words.

I’m about 70,000 words into the first draft of the first book, and I have maybe another 10,000 to go. I need to fill in some gaps and layer in some detail, but sometimes, it’s uninspiring work. Yet I still want to do something else that advances the writing journey I’ve undertaken.

Enter social media and online marketing, two things that are actually key components of my day job. I can write all I want, but even if I get published, a flashy cover and snazzy title aren’t enough anymore, are they? A writer needs to drive awareness and engage people who are interested in the genre. And nowadays, it seems like that often has to happen before the book is even finished.

So, I’m building some of the infrastructure of an online marketing plan, centered around this website and a diverse social media presence. Want progress updates or to participate in conversations about writing? Visit our Facebook page or this website. Want to see photos that capture the scenery in my head or inspire my writing? Check out our Tumblr or Instagram. I might even leverage that business juggernaut, LinkedIn. Heck, you could go to our Google+ page, but frankly, that’s just an SEO play.

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Eventually, I’ll be asking you to take a journey with me. A couple journeys, actually. We’ll walk through the lands of Empyrelia with our heroes, fighting slither-withers and trolls or riding dragons and flying on fairy wings. But our journey together – yours and mine – starts here, virtually, if you’re so inclined. For now, I’ll play it cool, and by ‘cool’, I mean quietly. I’ll slowly be adding content to all the sites so I’ll have a robust library of information by the time I’m ready to dip my big calloused toe into the social waters. For now, this will keep me busy whilst my muse takes a coffee break. She looks a lot like this.

If you’re the first person here, cheers! We’re in for one heck of a journey, faithful travelling companion.

–Michael

Enjoy what you read? Leave a comment or like the post and we’ll ensure that you see more like this from Michael!

© Michael Wallevand, April 2016

Greetings!

This post is about 300 words.

Fancy RWelcome to the website for my fantasy book series, The Lost Royals. These books follow the royal twins, who were thought killed when their kingdom was invaded.

Unlike a typical book where the point-of-view switches between primary characters, each book in The Lost Royals focuses on one of the twins. So, in our first adventure we walk with the princess in the forests of the south. When it concludes, we journey north in the second book to explore the ice fortress where the prince is being raised. Each pairing of books occurs over the same timeframe, so for example, when the princess sees a Dragonflight racing north, we see them soar into action in the prince’s story.

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