It's a big, big, big day! Well, yesterday, but it is today, because, see, I'm writing this on Monday to post on Tuesday, since I already posted on Monday. Because this Monday is a big, big, big day! (Yes, I'm quoting Effie Trinket. She is rather stupid, but the quote is so accurate.)
I finished Time Captives! Not completely. I still probably have at a minimum three rounds of revising and editing before it becomes publishable, and probably more like twice that, if The Experiment was any indicator. But every single rough draft of the entire trilogy and its companion is done! I feel like having a party. Seriously, two years and one and two thirds months to reach the end of a rough draft is a long time. I shouldn't complain. I do believe it took Tolkien longer. Sometimes it felt like I would never reach the end. Sometimes it felt like the book stunk and I would never write anything again. I'm done with those feelings. At least for now. I feel at the moment like Time Captives is going to be amazing. There's still more work to do, but it's going to be fantastic. (Make sure your head plays that word in Christopher Eccleston's voice. :D ) After all, I reread the first chapter of Creighton Hill the other day and enjoyed it like it was written by someone else. I love it when I can enjoy reading my own book.
I'm not done with these characters, but I'm already getting sorry to wind down my time with them. I'm thinking I'm going to have to write some short stories about Grant and Eleanor at sea, some things about Adriel and his siblings, most particularly about Ariela, which would mean her and Connor, and bring the Hubbards somehow into my big group of friends which includes the Watsons of Across the Stars fame.
Want some stats? The whole trilogy is currently at 105,107 words with the first and last books somewhere in the neighborhood of 33,000 and the middle one at 39,500. Altogether, it's way longer than anything I've ever written, and even on their own, two books already top The Experiment. Add companion book Espionage in there, and the total comes to 133,682. I've written an awful lot in the last two years. Four books in two years! That's something awesome. It's also by far the largest cast of characters I've ever worked with. It was extremely challenging at times, but I'm happy with the way things are going. It isn't perfect yet, but it's just like this thing I saw on Pinterest.
I've shoveled in the sand, now it's time to build the castles.
I'll give you an estimate on publishing. I'll hopefully get Creighton Hill out by the end of Spring. That's still several months away, thank goodness. Then hopefully The Crossways late this Fall, Espionage Spring of 2016 and The Crossways sometime leading up to that Christmas. It seems like a realistic plan, but sometimes life can go crazy, so I'm not putting down any firm dates or anything. And, hey, it's slightly accelerated from my last plan (which means it's missing a still yet to be written Hanna and Sam Across the Stars sequel. It's still in my plans somewhere eventually.).
And that's my update. I've still only made one teaser trailer, but I'm planning to do more. Here's the one I already made again.
Ta ta for now!
I guess I'm a bit late on this, but despite having a blog for a year and a half, I'm still a rather inexperienced blogger, and seeing so many people posting special New Year's things made me want to do it too.
Most of my year was taken up with campaigning.
This was the Independence Day Parade I was in last year. And that's what I wore just about every Saturday from late January through July 19th. We went door to door for Barry Loudermilk almost every Saturday, only taking a few weeks off after the primary to rest and regroup before the runoff. I got attacked by a dog once, really more scary than anything, it scratched my shoulder really bad, ripping through two shirts, but my dad was nearby and the homeowner was a nurse. I also got threatened with jail for going door to door in a no soliciting neighborhood. Did you know the Supreme Court ruled that going door to door for religious or political purposes is not soliciting? Several people have had to pull that one out. I never got the chance.
There were also debates and fundraisers and Super Saturday rallies, our team was in four Independence Day Parades, and then we won with a huge margin. Look for Barry Loudermilk in the next Congress. Maybe I'm biased, having known him since I was five, but he'll be a great Congressman. Oh, and since I turned 18 last year, I finally got to vote!
In March, I participated in my local library's Author Festival. It was a good experience, and I'm planning on doing it again this year.
I also got my driver's license. I still don't like to drive, but it is helpful to be able to drive myself to my violin lessons, and I definitely take more frequent trips to the library than I did before. It wasn't as helpful when we had car trouble, but I didn't mind hanging out with the girls at whose house I take violin while waiting for my mom to pick me up. Speaking of violin, I played in a Vivaldi quartet in May as the Third Violin. Ashley Elliott, author of Becoming Nikki, was Second, and I believe it was that piece that set off our friendship...though the discovery at the recital that we are both Whovians may also have something to do with it.
At the end of May, I graduated.
Yes, there was a graduation photo-shoot, but this isn't from it and since you can always tell I hate photo-shoots, I'm not posting one of those. The graduation was okay, but I didn't really care. What I did care about was getting to hold Barry Loudermilk's granddaughter who was two weeks old at the time. Best part of the day. It was a pretty normal homeschool graduation, but I'm definitely glad it's over and I don't have to do it again. (And I don't ever have to wear the stupid hat again. Besides looking weird, it was difficult to fit over a Katniss braid.)
Also in May, we changed churches. Don't regret that at all. In fact, I doubt Becoming Nikki would be published if I hadn't, since I rarely saw Ashley before. I really like our new church, and the people there, some of whom we met and got to know through the campaign. I just wish we lived closer.
In June I got a job at a Classical Conversations Parent Practicum taking care of the 3-5-year-olds. I loved it! Of course, it wasn't always easy, especially since I developed a massive headache the first day, but being in a room with 12 or so preschoolers all day is fine with me, on a short term basis, anyway. There were more kids, but we had two groups that switched out. We sang Frozen constantly and I was flattered when a little girl told me my hair was just like Anna's. One little girl, upon arriving and hearing someone down the hall playing Frozen, asked me with concern why I let them have my "music thing" (my mp3 player in a zip up speaker). It was great, even though I was sometimes frustrated by the teen helpers.
I taught a little girl six weeks of violin lessons as a trial, which was great the first few weeks until she stopped practicing. :(
While the campaign was still going, I rewrote both Creighton Hill and The Crossways. I consider that quite an accomplishment. Around the time it was ending, I started really working on Espionage. I plugged away at that, meaning to finish by the end of August, but I got stuck on chapter 8. So I finished it by the end of September instead. Then in October I started Crannig Castle. Slowly. This is the fourth month, and I'm still just barely more than halfway done.
I started an Etsy shop with little girl clothes. I haven't exactly figured out how to get that going yet, but that's a goal for this year.
Throughout November, I largely worked on Becoming Nikki.
I took Ashley's amazing photograph and Photoshopped it into a cover and formatted and proofread and checked for formatting errors a three hundred page book. And then there was a delay in getting the final version because the last couple of typos were found while I was at Disney World.
It was a great trip. We were there for nine days and visited each park twice, except Magic Kingdom which we visited three times. I got best in hour on Toy Story Mania once, though that wasn't even my top score of 175,900. And our last day at Hollywood Studios, we got to Toy Story when the wait time said 5 minutes and were the last people to get into an empty ride vehicle. Basically the last of the first riders. I rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 6 times, the most of the whole family. Star Tours was pretty awesome, as always, and my dad was even the rebel spy once. I did Mission Space Green for the first time, but was talked out of Orange because of the headache warnings. We did the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package and I got a great view of the first violinist. Jonathan Groff was our narrator, so that was pretty cool, too. He didn't say any of Kristoff's lines, though. My mom and I met Elsa and Anna while my dad and sisters went on Space Mountain. That was neat. Who cares that I'm eighteen?
I could go on and on forever about Disney, but I won't. When I got back, I came up with a plan to finish Crannig Castle by the end of the month. Well, I got sick over Christmas, not fun at all, and I still have a nasty cough, so it hasn't exactly happened yet. I'm halfway through chapter 15 of a projected 28. I have a plan, though.
For the new year, I'm really not sure what will happen. There are several possibilities for big change in my family's life that may or may not happen. Right now, I'm just waiting on some things. But I am planning on finishing Crannig Castle, duh, revising the entire trilogy and getting it off to beta readers so I can publish Creighton Hill this spring. I'm really looking forward to being done with Time Captives, because it is quite literally the hardest story I've ever written and I'm really eager to get onto my next project. That one is going to be awesome.
Another plan I have for this year is to play in a student orchestra at a local college. This is the first semester it will really work out, so I'm really excited. I've wanted to play in an orchestra for a long time, and I finally can, even if it is only a student one.
I hope everyone else had a great 2014, and happy 2015 to you all!
I finished writing Espionage last week! Most of it was pretty easy, but I hit a snag at the climax, which caused a single chapter to take a whole month to write. With my mom's help, I figured out how to solve the problem I had and took care of the bad guy. But then something happened that I didn't expect.
I want to write good stories. I want my books to be well written, the characters well developed, the plot well constructed. But I want my books to be more than just good, well written stories. I want my stories to mean something. More specifically, I want my books to point people to God and the Bible, to help to further God's kingdom. I quite often pray that God would use my writing for His glory, and that He would help me to write the stories He wants me to tell. Because stories without meaning are nothing but entertainment.
For a long time, it seemed that Espionage was just a story. It was exciting, Vannie was an interesting point of view character, the other characters were super easy to develop, and the story was unfolding wonderfully. But there didn't seem to be a message in it. I never want to force a message into a book. That sounds preachy, and I've never heard of anyone liking a preachy book. All my favorite books are non-preachy books with a strong message skillfully woven into the story. But Espionage didn't seem to have that.
Then I hit chapter 9. And I began to realize that it had been working toward a message the whole time. Vannie's attitude along the way gave her a lesson to learn. I don't want to give too much away, though it will be awhile before it comes time for the release of Espionage, since it comes between books 2 & 3 of Time Captives, but it ended with a Gospel message. God already knew what the point of Espionage was. When I give things over to Him, He always works it out.
I continue to learn that. It's hard to let things go. I want things my way, but my way is not always God's way. There are still things I need to give over to God. There always will be. But I am always encouraged to see how when I surrender things to God, they always work out way better than I could have expected.
"Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be directed." --Proverbs 16:3
"Commit thy way unto the Lord, and trust in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." --Psalms 37:5
For starters, I was interviewed recently on the Stardust and Gravel blog. Hop over there to learn extras about my books and some more things about me, like if I prefer movies, TV shows, or neither, and don't forget to enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of The Experiment.
Now for the writing update. A few weeks ago, I posted on my Facebook page that I had finished with my rewrite of The Crossways, book 2 of Time Captives, at 38,352 words, by far a record for me. The edits I made on my subsequent read through raised that number to 38,509. So now Time Captives is 2/3 complete. Book 3 will be Crannig Castle, but I haven't started it yet. I'm taking a break from Time Captives to write a companion to the trilogy.
This companion is called Espionage. Here is the logline:
In the midst of an alliance controversy, a nobleman's daughter must expose a heinous scheme by her father's political arch-enemy to force him to align with the evil strytes of Calhortz.
It will be a shorter, less complicated book than anything I have written in some time, and so it is a nice relief, in more ways than one. I'm estimating it will be about 24,000 words, and I'm aiming for ten chapters. (I just realized the number of chapters is the number of my favorite Doctor. Weird, and not intentional.) My goal is to finish Espionage by the end of August. I have a schedule that I have amazingly kept on track for a week, so I think this will happen.
Just a little bit more about it, because I like to ramble about my story ideas. The main character is a nine year old girl named Savanna, but called Vannie for short. I'm writing it in 1st person from her point of view. (Past tense, I can't stand present in the narrative of a book.) I haven't successfully written a book in 1st person, so if this works, which it seems to be doing, it will be my first. The only other complete story I wrote in 1st person was my stupidest picture book which will never see the light of day.
Vannie is a fun point of view character, and rather a relief from Adriel and Eleanor, the primary point of view characters in The Crossways. See, Adriel is a sullen and rebellious slave who is deeply hurt, and Eleanor has had her heart broken by her circumstances and been betrayed, and insists on dwelling on it, which can get sort of depressing. They'll both come out of it by the end, but they haven't quite yet. Contrast that to Vannie, who has a secure happy life, and has only the company of a very annoying cousin to complain about. Things do get more serious than that, but she still has a much lighter tone than either Adriel or Eleanor. Besides, it's fun to try to think like a little girl again. And the characters are super easy to develop, as opposed to my struggles with Time Captives who want to shut me out. :) I'm building a story board for Espionage as I write it on Pinterest. There's one for Time Captives as well.
What does this mean for publishing? Well, my plan is to publish Creighton Hill sometime early next year. I'm not sure of anything more exact yet, but I'll announce it once I am. I'm also thinking, not sure this will happen, of trying NaNo this year to write a sequel to Across the Stars about Hanna and Sam. If (and that's a big, major, huge if) I do, I will probably publish it next fall, if it's any good. You never can tell with sequels. Then the plan is to publish The Crossways in early 2016, Espionage in late 2016, and Crannig Castle the following spring. Who knows what will actually happen. After all, God is in control of my life, not me. His plans could be completely different.
Next on my writing plans, after Time Captives is finished, is to finally fully jump into an outer space dystopian trilogy I planned last year. It was sparked by a dream, and combined with ideas sparked by The Giver and my desire to write a space story because of reading Red Rain, The Destiny Trilogy, and Radialloy. I really can't wait to get into it, especially since every time I finish watching a Hunger Games movie I come away going "Must. Write. Dystopian." and start thinking about my story again even though it's completely different other than sharing a basic genre. What can I say? I've always loved evil government stories.
So that's a (not so) brief update on my current writing and publishing plans. (I could have rambled on longer, but I don't know that anyone would read it.) So long, for now!
I've moved my blog over to Blogger. You can find all the same content you can here plus much more at www.morganhuneke.blogspot.com
I am a 19 year old home-school graduate and a Christian children's book author. I'm involved in politics, and I play the violin. I make a lot of my own clothes and I love taking care of children. I generally blog about my books, but I also have an indefinitely running series on my favorite fictional characters. My friends' very awesome books seem to pop up around here quite often. I rarely post reviews here anymore, but my sisters and I regularly review books and movies at ShireReviews.blogspot.com I hope you enjoy your time here on my blog!