Thursday, September 19, 2013

Going back to daily blogging

I'm thinking of going back to my original concept for this blog.

That is, a daily, informal report on progress for the day.  No schedule.  If I have something interesting to say, say it, and if I don't, just report in.

I like ROW80 -- the quarterly, ongoing writing dare -- but to my mind, if writing is a daily thing, then the reporting needs to be daily.  And also, much as I like the social aspects, it really does get in the way of writing time.

I also like planning, but planning can get in the way of accomplishing, especially for me.  (It's one of those great OCD activities that you can do forever.)

And writing for me, right now, is kind of chaotic.  All these disruptions have slowed writing, but haven't stopped the idea machine.  My backlog of stories just gets bigger.  I'm thinking the blog has got to help with that.

From now on, I'll be posting sometime after midnight.  This, you could say, is last night's post.

This Week - Horse Stories

This week, while struggling with Smashwords over getting The Ride To Save King approved. (And it still isn't approved.  They blocked it because I mentioned a page count and not a word count in my book description -- which was an oversight on my part, but since word counts AREN'T required in the blurb, it shouldn't gum up the works for three weeks.  I'm really getting tired of a lot of the incompetent crap we get from Smashwords.  Books get held up for no reason at all -- I mean literally.  It'll say "No copyright line" when it has one -- and one that's identical to all the other books on their site.  You have to write them and wait a week for them to notice, oh, yeah, it DOES have a copyright line....)

Um, where was I?  Oh, yeah.  While I was waiting on Smashwords, I noticed that Ride had made it onto a best seller list on Kindle -- for Children's horse stories.  And I started to think about other horse stories I could publish.

I started brainstorming funny stories from when we boarded horses, or when we hung out at the saddle club.  Thought maybe I should do a series of little stories about a saddle club of kids and horses from the wrong side of the tracks.

Then I started coming up with stories that sounded familiar but weren't things that really happened, and I remembered a series of stories I had started back in 1990.  It was about a family riding academy, kind of a middle-readers horsey sitcom.  Maybe... I ought to revive that series.  Hmmm.

I went back and found most of what I'd written with those.  Great starts of four stories.  No finish.  I don't think I got stuck on them. I think that I just didn't have good markets for them, so I let them develop in the background while I worked on other things.

But I find I still really do like those characters.

Tess -- the narrator of the series is a 13-year-old girl who is kind of a misfit.  She's had a tough life and has a tough exterior.  But mostly she's kind of a likeable goof who would rather clown than excel.  Unlike every other horse-loving girl, she doesn't really have any interest in winning the blue ribbon or taming the wild horse that nobody else can tame.  She just likes hanging out with horses and riding them.  But inside of Tess there always seems to be a bud that wants to bloom. 

She has gone to stay with her aunt and uncle who own a stable while her father tries to rebuild a life after her mother's death.

Linda -- Tess' new step-sister who is an ambitious and talented horse woman.

Uncle George and Aunt Glad -- Easygoing, slightly fluff-headed horse-geeks who would run their farm into financial ruin if it weren't for....

Shank -- The bad-tempered city-boy farm manager who keeps the place running.  He has the demenor of a street thug, but somewhere under that crust is a human being. He seems like a background character, but I think he's actually the other main character.  He and Tess have a lot in common. They both have a tendency to hide in the shadows when possible.

I realize the theme of the series is "Taking in Strays," and that, even though Shank seemed to be a stray that was taken in by George and Glad, in reality, he's the one that keeps taking in strays.  Even at the start -- he moved in because he saw what a mess G and G were making of their business.  And one of the major stories is one where he and Tess rescue a severely neglected horse.

Then there is a cast of other guest characters, some of whom may stick around permanently, once they've entered. (For instance, another stray: the ditzy, runaway best-selling author who is on the lam from her gold-digging family and agent.)

At the moment, this is not an active project -- just one more thing on the pile. However, it might bump something from this fall's list.  We'll see.

See you in the funny papers.

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