Monthly Archives: November 2013

Coming Up For Air – An Update

Hi Friends.

Good news and bad news (well, not really bad news, just not so good news).

The good news is that I am feeling much better and I have come a long ways to catching up on my word count. The bad news is that I am not yet caught up, like I had planned. If I continue at the pace of the last few days, I should catch up by Monday or Tuesday.

Thursday is a dead writing day, turkeys and friends and all. That leaves me Friday and Saturday to zoom ahead and win NaNoWriMo (50K words). The other not good news is that even though I am past the 30,000 word count, I am not yet half-way through the plot of my story. Instead of being 60,000 words as planned, it looks like it will be closer to 90,000. Gulp. This means that I probably won’t finish the first draft until mid to late December.

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Swimming Upstream

Hi Friends.

As you may know, I have been under the weather this last week. It is not serious, just sinus headaches and chest congestion/coughing. As a result, I have not been sleeping, and concentrating on my novel has been difficult.

Consequently, my word count for NaNoWriMo is sadly, pathetically behind. I am currently at 12,000 words, where I should be at 25,000.

No. I am not giving up on NaNo. No way, no how.

But what this means is that I need to focus on speed-writing so I can catch up. Posting chapters here, out of necessity, makes for much slower writing. I am a lot more mindful of my choices. My inner editor keeps hammering at my brain to fix things, knowing that an audience will be reading it (and soon). And, I absolutely must give the chapter at least a cursory edit before posting it. All these things slow me down.

The biggest anchor to my word count speed, however, is research. In order to send this stuff out here, I need to do some preliminary fact-checking, looking up appropriate setting info, and spending time with the lingo, and word choices (i.e. my thesaurus).

During a typical NaNo November, I cast aside all these precautions and simply write, knowing that I will catch all the errors, fix the crud, and look stuff up – during the editing process. That is December’s work.

I type away, inner editor safely boxed up (duct tape works well), and when I hit a snag, I just make a comment or note in the work, and speed on. My manuscripts are rife with little yellow boxes surrounding words or phrases that need work or research.

Yes, you guessed it. Because I need to focus on my word count, because I need to catch up, I can’t afford the time it takes to polish (limited though it may be) the chapters for publication here on my blog.

I am going to speed through, type furiously, and pump out my 50K words before November 30th. If, and only if, I get significantly ahead of my daily word count, will I consider posting more chapters. But on the upside, December is editing month… half a month is not so long to wait and see what happens to Creed and Nika.

I have the whole work plotted, and I know all the twists and turns. I just have to get it into my computer.

Also, because I lost a week of writing (so far – I am still not over this gunk), I have cancelled all my regular DJ shows in Second Life, until December. I’ll kick this cold, and I will catch up.

I care abut my writing. It matters to me. It matters that it is enjoyable. So I don’t want to send out work that I am not completely ready to release.

Thanks for understanding, and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Mark Adam Thomas

All images and content copyright © 2011-2014 ~ Mark Adam Thomas


Kestrel Creed Chapter Three

Don’t forget to start with the Prologue .  Again, this excerpt is in rough draft form.

I have struggled with an annoying cold for 6 days now. Thanks for your patience. Here is the next exciting chapter in the saga of Creed and Nika.

Although very behind in my word count, I have faith that I will catch up and finish this novel before December rolls around. Wish me luck.

Thanks again for your interest in my Kestrel Creed novel, and feel free to leave a comment.

CHAPTER THREE

As Creed rounded a narrow, bending dip in the road – if it could be called a road – a shallow muddle of murky smoke wafted into the dim glow of the coupe’s headlights, seeping from the lows like deadly fog.  He pressed his foot on the brake, and as he slowed to a stop, the twin beams illuminated an iron gate.

This was the place. He hadn’t seen any indication of other homesteads for miles around. It wasn’t exactly that he recognized it. He simply felt it, a chill in his bones, like he’d been here before. Creed guessed he’d had at that, in a maddening, uncanny sort of way.

He shifted into neutral and keyed off the engine. The twin head-lamps dimmed, but he left them on. He wanted to see if Nika made it here safe. The gate’s reflection looked foreboding, like it was made of slender, burnt bones.

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Kestrel Creed Chapter Two

Be sure you start with the Prologue . Thanks

Again, this excerpt is in rough draft form.

I wanted to give an added note of thanks to all my friends in Second Life who have been incredibly supportive of my writing. Thank you for taking an interest. It really boosts my confidence and makes me feel like a real writer, knowing there are folks out there who are actually interested in reading my work. Of course this goes for all my other friends and family outside of SL.

If you have not yet done so, I’d love for you to dash over to my FACEBOOK page and give it a ‘like.’ All my posts here auto send a notice to my page there, so you can always know when there is a new chapter posted.

Thanks again for your interest in my Kestrel Creed novel, and feel free to leave a comment.

CHAPTER TWO

Despite the gentle movement of the gossamer curtains, and the late afternoon sun, the small room was stuffy and hot. The basin’s water, on the other hand, had cooled from boiling in little time at all, and was now tepid at best. Nika rung the washcloth into it, watching Creed’s blood swirl and turn the water pink. She dabbed it again at his wounds, this time caressing the crusty blood from his split lip. It must hurt like the dickens, but he didn’t flinch or complain. The skin had already begun to purple where he’d been walloped by the table leg.

Creed hadn’t spoken since they’d retreated to her room. He was brooding, and she’d long learned not to interrupt him while he was mulling. Those dark, piercing eyes were intent on some far-away trouble. She dipped the cloth into the water and repeated the process on his jaw now. It was a hard-lined jaw, and quite fetching. The cloth roughed against his afternoon stubble, despite the care she took, but again he seemed not to notice.

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Interlude, a plea for help.

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Hi friends!

November 17th, in San Francisco CA, there will be held an event called The Night of Writing Dangerously.

I have attended this event three times. This is its 6th year, and I fear I will not be able to go and write with hundreds of NaNo authors from around the globe.

Why can’t you go, you ask? The reason is quite simple. Nobody has sponsored me.

You see, this is a fundraising event for The Office of Letters and Light, a non-profit group who does a lot of good, especially in the Young Writers Program, making sure young, talented writers have every opportunity to shine. You can read more about OLL and YWP by following my link below.

In order to attend this event, I need to raise $250. So far, nobody has sponsored me. Yup, I am a bit sad about it, but I know times are hard. They are super hard for me, I must admit. In the past, family and friends have sponsored my attendance, and there have also been years where I came short, and had to stay home.

So… this is my last ditch effort to get some support. I know it is a lot to ask, but if you can afford even a little, it would mean a lot to me, and also to the kids you will be helping through YWP.

Thank you in advance for your awesome generosity. I would very much like to revisit this incredibly fun night of writing abandon.

Mark’s Donation Page

Hugs and much love,

Mark

P.S. Look for CHAPTER TWO very soon.

All images and content copyright © 2011-2014 ~ Mark Adam Thomas


Kestrel Creed Chapter One

Updated Note: Be sure you read the Prologue first. Thanks

Again, this excerpt is in rough draft form.

A note on the language of this story. Two issues present themselves for me when writing this story. First, and the most obvious, are the racial references in this chapter (and future chapters as well). The story takes place in 1934. The 1930’s were a turbulent time for race relations in America, and as an author, I have a duty to keep the characters words and phrases honest. In many instances, it would be unacceptable for a contemporary character to use such language.

Secondly, our hero Kestrel Creed is a white Australian. He would logically call his aboriginal mentor ‘blackfella’, which at the time was not a derogatory comment.

In the same vein, I myself am neither of the 30’s, nor Australian. In this first draft, I am approximating what I think the characters might say, but I am unfamiliar with the idioms and the slang of the time. You may notice blatant inaccuracies, and in part this is on purpose. I am attempting to write at breakneck speeds for NaNoWriMo, and to stop with each sentence and research the proper terms would kill my pacing. Therefore, I speed through the work, and will focus on the language in later drafts.

Just wanted you to know.

Thanks again for your interest in my Kestrel Creed novel, and feel free to leave a comment.

CHAPTER ONE

Creed sailed through the air. He landed hard on the table. It collapsed under his weight, sending shot glasses, cards and chips flying in all directions.

Goodness but this negro brute Kule, was strong. Creed was no small man, and sturdily framed. The hulking savage-browed man had lifted him like a rag-doll, and flung him two yards or more across the taproom of Reingold’s First and Last Chance Saloon. Nika swallowed down her heart again. This time, the brawl was her fault.

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Kestrel Creed Prologue

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PART ONE – POSSE

PROLOGUE

Water sloshed out of the buckets as Albert Towler plopped them down. “Drat,” he cursed. “Haste makes waste, ya lug.” Still, he managed to hold tight to the yoke handle. He had just a few more paces yet to go. Up the steps and into the house. “Paps maight have built the house a lil’ closer to the creek,” he complained aloud.

The brown, weedy ground greedily drank the spilt water. Thankfully no more than a few cupfuls had been lost, but after only a moment, the earth didn’t so much as show the dark stain of water. It had already returned to the worrying, milky-brown that had of late parched the surrounding countryside, and the farm along with it. If the winter had been this droughty, God only knew how the imminent dry spring would treat the land.

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