Like, seriously bad. I spend so much time on my work computer (I work a 4x10 schedule, so 10 hour days, 4 times a week) that I don't always want to update other things. If you follow me on Patreon or on the website (where I'll cross-post this), you'll know that's the truth. I will go for a while updating and then fall off the face of the earth. It's not you guys. It's totally me.

I'm trying to decide what to do next for my patrons today, since my Dropbox doesn't want to load on the hospital wifi, and I don't feel like setting up a hotspot. Lament is covered under an NDA, so I can't share that with them. So time to think of either continuing an older project, like Falls; starting a new novel from scratch; or doing some shorter stories/novellas. I'm kind of leaning towards the last choice, as I really want to work more on short stories. It's a form I'm not good at, and yet one that I love. And I can experiment with different voices, while not contaminating Lament's voice.

Growing as a writer is important, just as it is as a person. I'm doing a lot of forced growth this year, and I'll be honest - I'm not enjoying most of it. But I'm doing it. Life is about moving forward, and one thing Brian's death has taught me very clearly is that we were in a rut. Both of us. We were living the life we settled for.

I'm done settling.

regret nothing
vg_ford: (Default)
( Jun. 19th, 2017 09:10 am)
Day: 1
Starting Count: 2989
Ending Count: 3380
New Words: 391
Opening Line:
Sapph filled him in quickly. “So if we take her words at face value, there’s no reason for this place to be haunted,” she finished. “But I can feel the Ghostwind here, a lot stronger than if there were no ghosts.”
Closing Line:
“How do you know?” Sapph said, following his gaze. The main room they were in had a large oak card catalogue and three desks, each of which had a typewriting and a stack of books on them. There was a microfiche machine in one corner. And on the air was the scent of old paper and the faintest trace of mold. 
The building they were in now was not the building she and Scottie had entered. It was smaller, and Sapph could see water damage creeping down the walls. It lay like old mold over everything: almost decorative, not interfering with the books she could see in the old bookcases, but definitely there. The books were large, substantial looking, but the titles were missing. She wondered what she would find if she opened one. “Do books have ghosts?” 
vg_ford: (repent)
( May. 21st, 2017 02:09 pm)
Starting count: 1027
Ending count: 1864
New Words:837
A loud bleat made me jump, and I glared at Archimedes, who had stuck his head over the dutch door to the back yard. He bleated again, and butted his head against the door.
“Absolutely not. You know you aren't allowed in the kitchen,” I told him sternly. “Even Gran never let you here. It's not sanitary.”
Archimedes snorted.
“And it's not Sunday, so no chocolate,” I continued. “Go harass the girls.”
He shook his head, the bell on his collar jingling merrily.
“Go,” I said firmly. “I've things to do.”
With one more snort, he pulled his head out of the kitchen. I heard the bell jingle across the back yard. Gran had always maintained that Archimedes understood English perfectly well. I still had no reason to disbelieve it.

1867 / 50000
Some of the tired is staying up to watch the Red Sox lose at 1 am EST (sigh, Jesse must be pleased with that result - it was his A's who beat us), and some of it is that I'm not really up to full strength yet. Some of it is also going past my first yard sale this morning. Brian loved yard sales, and he would hopefully say, "Yard sale?" if we went past one. It was one of our games in the car to pass the time. He was a yard sale genius - seriously. And I miss him.

We bury him on June 11. There shouldn't be any snowstorms to keep people from this service, and I've already had a stern conversation with him about how there will be no rainstorms or hailstorms or any nonsense like that. I want a lovely day. Or else.

We're going to go to his favorite Chinese buffet afterwards. It seems right, somehow.

Today, I'm writing. We have writing group at 2 pm, and I have to go and get my short story printed out. I'm also going to be working on some stuff for my Patreon and the SSP that I need to really work on.

I hope you're all doing well. I need to write more, here and everywhere.

I'm just tired, that's all. 
Started the novel over again today, mostly by cutting some words I'd put in before. The net gain for the day is 303. Slowly but surely. Time to get to the grocery store and the pharmacy before I head home and work on some kumihimo and reading and getting ready for work tomorrow.

Word Meter for Blue
676 / 50000

 It's finally time. I'm heading back to my dayjob tomorrow, and I'm alternatively excited and nervous about it.

Excited, because I do love my dayjob, and I love the people I work with. I work in a lovely campus. My team really supports me. And I'll get out of the house on a regular basis.

Nervous, because I have to talk to people again. And I'll be responsible for things. And I'll be around people who haven't seen me in three and a half months, who will have to ask me how I'm doing. And for the first time in a while, I'll have to talk about Brian and how I'm doing without him.

I won't lie. Days like yesterday are hard. Really hard. I'm glad I went to the wedding, but watching Brian's brother getting married was bittersweet. Brian was there, I know he was, but he wasn't THERE. And while the roommate was wonderful, she's not him.

I have to keep looking forward. One day at a time, as the AA folks say. He's always going to be with me, and there will always be that small part of my heart that won't ever return. But I can do this. I can.
My fingers are not up to holding a pen this morning, so I'm doing my morning pages here, on this journal. So if it's a bit disconnected, you'll know why, and you can just pass it over. I might just make this one private, I'm not sure. I really want to get back into doing the morning pages every day longhand, but when your fingers hurt, it makes holding the pen hard. So I might need to make some of these entries just do the morning pages routine.

The hard part of this is that I can't stop to fix things, or I'm not supposed to, but I can't NOT fix the spelling errors I see. Its as if they taunt me with their red lines, showing me how badly I spell. And of course, now that I'm looking out for it, I see it even more. So sorry, Julia Cameron, but I'm fixing my spelling errors at least today.

I need to get into a ghostly mood. I need to pull up a new play list, I think starting with SHEL, and then go to wherever it leads me. Sapph and Blue are more alike than Sapph and Molly - Sapph is a good bridge. I do like the idea of journal entries, but I'm afraid of what Sapph might say.

And I'm getting interrupted all the time, so I guess I'll just actually start writing, rather than trying to do this. :P 
I'm writing in a new world, and I'm terrified.

I'm terrified because I'm stepping into a world that no one has seen me write in before, and it's not completely mine, and it's VERY different from what I've written before. I'm comfortable with Molly, with Sapph, with Shanna. I know how they react to things. They're old friends who I can talk to, and writing them feels like coming home.

Blue is not an old friend. She's prickly and wary and looking at me sideways as she slips into the booth, and I don't know what to order for her. Sapph is Dr. Pepper, Shanna is a rum and coke, Molly is tea. But I don't know what Blue wants, and she doesn't even bother to study the menu. Instead, she's studying me, just as much as I'm studying her, and her body language is closed, not giving anything away. It's been a long time since I've written a brand-new character, in a brand-new world. I'm moving just as cautiously as she is.

But under the terror is excitement. This is new territory, and let's be honest - I haven't done anything really new in a couple of years. You have to do new stuff every so often, or your readers will get bored. (I know, it's hard to believe, but even the most hardcore of you will get bored of Schrodinger after a while). I'm working to rules that I haven't quite gotten used to, and I don't want to mess up this world (since it isn't mine). So the challenge is real.

So I'm going to order my signature drink (a Dark and Stormy, thank you, with real ginger beer), and see what she orders. We'll talk, maybe. Or maybe we'll just sit and enjoy our first drinks in silence. Maybe we'll order dinner. I'm not sure yet.
I used to love grey mornings. It was like being wrapped in silvery cotton - the rain pattering gently on the window, the fog winding around the house, and the cool spring freshness creeping in through the open window. And then I got older, and grey days were just another day that I had to get up and do adult things, rather than lying in my bed and dreaming. 

Lately, grey days have meant headaches and pain meds and bed, since my sinuses hate me. And yet, now that I've been home, the grey days are starting to weave their magic again. Stories come to me as I lie in bed, even if it doesn't rain. Characters are whispering to me again. Even Shanna, who hasn't been talking to me for a while.

It's spring, which I usually love. This year, it's been hard, since I'm mourning for those I've let go. I don't want to say lost - I didn't lose them. They just moved on without me, and although I'll follow, at some point, I'm now finding my way along through the world. It's spring, a new beginning, in more ways than one.

Yes, I mourn. I mourn the time that we won't have, the experiences we won't share, the memories we won't make. But I also turn my face to the warming sun and remember that I still have memories to make, experiences to have, books to write.

I'm on a PD James kick right now, and one of the lines really jumped out at me. They were discussing a writer who may or may not have been murdered (there was hanging involved), and the detective said, "She hadn't finished her book. Do you really know any writer who would kill themselves before finishing their book?"

That got me thinking. I have so many books to finish. But time isn't guaranteed. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed. And floating along means I'll never finish, and means I'll leave things undone. I don't want to do that. I will, I'm sure, but until I do pass beyond the Veil, I'm going to start writing as if tomorrow is my last day.

It's a funny thing I've discovered. I write more when I have a job.

No, really. I do.

I always think that when I don't have to work, then I'll get a ton of writing done. Because dude, I'll have nothing else to do! I can write! And just write! And intervenes.

I sleep late. I see friends. I crochet and knit and putter around my house and play games...and I don't write. This is why I don't think I'll ever make it as a full-time writer with no other job, because well, I can't seem to get my butt in the chair and blog, never mind write.

Then again, it might be that because I have other sources of income, I don't feel the NEED to write. I watch some of my full-time author friends and realize that they put in the time because if they don't, there's no money coming in. If I don't write, well, my next paycheck comes in 2 weeks, and I have savings. But I'm not depending on that writing to pay my rent or put gas in my car or pay for my tea habit.

Which is why anyone who makes the jump to full-time writing has my admiration. It's NOT easy. It's NOT carefree. It's a decision that should be made with open eyes and a clear idea of what is going to be expected of you.

I'll be going back to my day job in two weeks. I have managed to finish Winter's Storms, and have gotten it back from the editor. I'm starting on the SSP (aka the Sooper Sekrit Project) and I'm also starting to work on Sapph and Shanna again. I think there might be some shorter stuff on the Patreon for the next month or so, while I get myself back together. Also, I've discovered Southern Gothic music on Spotify, and I'm kind of in love.

Now, off to write.
vg_ford: (Default)
( Apr. 17th, 2017 02:25 pm)
My LJ account has now been deleted. However, don't fret - everything is here now!

I'm writing again. I have only 2 more chapters to go before Winter's Storms is done, and then I move to the next one. I'm hoping to start writing more here too.

I seem to say that a lot, but now, I'm finally going to follow through. 
vg_ford: (Default)
( Apr. 9th, 2017 01:07 pm)
It's funny how coming back to this kind of blog, with the reading roll, makes me feel like I'm coming home.

I'm deleting the LJ account as soon as I confirm that everything has moved over. But this - this reminds me of other times. Better times.

There will be different posts here than at my website (, if anyone wants to follow me there) and my Patreon ( This is going to be more of my stream of consciousness, I think. Kind of like a morning page, but not quite.

More later. I have a book to finish!
vg_ford: (repent)
( Apr. 8th, 2017 10:42 am)
Two days in a row! Holy cow!

Yeah, I know, nothing to write home about yet, but I'm working on it.

So, since I last dusted off my journal, I have had a pitch accepted for two novels that I can't really talk about (but that I'm very excited for) and I'm in the home stretch of Winter's Storms rewrite (the second Advent book). I should have that done (god willing and the sun don't shine, as my great-uncle used to say) by the end of the day tomorrow.

It is still planning on being launched at ConCarolinas in June, and I'll have more information on that when it gets closer.

Time to write. 
vg_ford: (Default)
( Apr. 7th, 2017 03:55 pm)
Yes, I'm moving from LiveJournal to here. I'm going to figure out how to cross-post my website and my Patreon here. And I'm importing everything from the LJ.

Expect more soon


That, my friends, is a gorgeous cover, and I really, really can’t wait for the book itself. I’ve seen snippets of it, and it’s so good, you guys. Doc Coleman is a good friend, and I’ve watched him work on this book. Here’s the important details:

Title: The Perils of Prague, The Adventures of Crackle and Bang, Book 1
Genre: Steampunk Adventure/Comedy
Release date: April 25, 2017
Formats: Kindle, and Paperback
Book Description:
Victoria, the Eternal Empress, has sat the throne of the British Empire for over 150 years. Her policies have brought peace to the world by suppressing the development of “dangerous technologies”, and where that has failed, her Imperial Troops, with their lightning rifles, have swiftly brought order. But there are still those who chafe at the yoke of peace.
When an evening’s entertainment in the British Protectorate of Bohemia unexpectedly leads to the destruction of the State Opera House of Prague, the eccentricity brilliant Professor Harmonious Crackle and his beautiful colleague Miss Titania Bang must team up with the Duke of Prague’s nephew and hunt down the evil genius responsible. Can they find him and stop him before he unleashes his new technology to terrorize the city and threaten the stability of the British Empire, and the Eternal Empress herself?
In a race against an unknown menace, this intrepid trio must search high and low and discover The Perils of Prague!
Author Bio:
Doc Coleman  began his writing career in 2010 with the Nifty Tech Blog, a tech review blog that demystifies technology by highlighting some of the best consumer products available. Doc soon moved on to writing fiction, with the short story “The Gift”, and stories for the online magazine Flagship and for The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences’ podcast Tales from the Archives. His latest work is the first book of his steampunk series The Adventures of Crackle and Bang, The Perils of Prague.
Doc is a computer geek, a motorcyclist, a homebrewer, a podcaster, a writer, and voice actor. Sometimes, he even finds some time to relax, too.
You can find more about Doc in the following places:

Actually, I’ll let you judge for yourselves how good this is going to be, since Doc was kind enough to give us a snippet:

“You’re serious!” Miss Bang’s brow was creased in ire. The hint of fire blazed behind her eyes.
He blinked at her. “Of course, I’m serious. Such a joke would be in very bad taste!”
“I don’t believe anyone ever accused my great-grandfather of having good taste,” I commented ruefully.
The professor turned to me. “Your great-grandfather was actually quite a thoughtful fellow in his youth. He did throw the most excellent parties. I never did find out what made him such a misanthrope as he got older. I’d often wondered… Wait! Wait, I was going to tell you something. Something I’d just discovered.” He looked down at the wing in his hand. “Yes! That was it! You remember the birds, the clockwork birds?”
I nodded. “Yes, Professor. It was just earlier this morning.” I wondered if it was still morning.
Professor Crackle nodded vigorously. “Yes, they’re a perfect recreation of the living creature. Or at least as best as I can tell, given the damage the sample sustained. If only I could examine an intact specimen.”
Miss Bang spoke up. “You’re drifting again, Harmonious.”
“No, no, no, no! This is important. Did you get a good look at the singers? The male and female leads?”
“At the opera?” I asked. I wasn’t quite sure where he was leading.
“Yes! Did you get a good look at them?” He seemed very agitated as he leaned toward me for my answer.
“Well, Professor, I am afraid I wasn’t really concentrating on them for most of the performance. And when things livened up at the end, my attention was, well… on other things.”
“And you, Titania?” He whirled to face Miss Bang.
“Other than the final song, they seemed quite capable, although somewhat uninspired performers.” She paused in thought for a moment, touching one finger to her lips. “I’m not sure how to describe the final performance.”
“Drat. I hoped one of you got a better look. Now we shall have to find what is left of them.” The professor moved back to his workbench and put down the wing and his loupe.
“You want to go find their bodies, Professor? Isn’t that a task better left to the police?” I did not fancy the idea of sifting through the rubble for pieces of the dead performers.
He turned to me. “Their remains, yes. But their bodies, I think not.” He lifted the wing again and shook it to illustrate his point. “I think they were clockwork.”
“A clockwork man? How is that possible?” I looked to Miss Bang, but she seemed fascinated by the idea.
“But such intricate detail, Harmonious… and such a complex series of actions to perform upon the stage. They were actually singing. It wasn’t a phonograph recording. Even with the latest equipment, one can tell the difference. I’ve never heard of an automaton that could truly sing.”
“Yes!” The professor looked like a child who had been promised a new pony. “Exactly! Such perfect duplication of the living form! When I went down on the stage and examined the woman, she looked otherwise normal except for the side of her face. The flesh sagged under a weight. I think a piece detached from the underlying support structure and dragged it out of shape. I believe the same person who made these birds constructed the opera singers as well. But I need more evidence. We need to find what is left of those performers.”
“So, we’re going back to the opera house?” Miss Bang asked.
“Yes! Well, no! We’re already there. I’m sorry about the little detour, my boy, but I’m certain your uncle is going to want to see whatever evidence we can find.”
“Surely he will be worried about my disappearance? Perhaps it would be best to just drop me off first and I can explain your theory to Uncle Randolph?” Much as I would like to avoid his wrath, putting off seeing my uncle could only make things worse.
“After losing a major landmark?” Professor Crackle asked. “Don’t be ridiculous! He may be worried, but he will have hardly a moment to think on it. No, trust me, even if you went back now you wouldn’t be able to get in to see him. But if we can find something to prove it wasn’t an accident, we’ll be able to get right in to see the duke.”
“And the police, Professor?” I asked, wondering what Inspector Janecek would think about the professor’s clockwork people theory.
“Yes, we must get there before they do! The last thing we need is for them to tromp all over everything and destroy the evidence we need.” He grabbed a pair of goggles off of a bench and strode through the door. “Come along!”
“But, but that’s not what I meant!” I sputtered and hurried to catch up to Miss Bang as she swept out of the room in the professor’s wake.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

vg_ford: (Default)
( Feb. 24th, 2017 10:08 am)

Dear Brian,

It’s been 24 days since you died, and it still doesn’t feel real. Your van is gone, starting its new life as the Gable van, but I still look out and expect to see it coming into the driveway at 6:30 pm every night. The house is too quiet, as if we’re all waiting for you to come back. Even Tayla and Bear are waiting for you – Bear’s at the door every night, right around 6:30, hoping that you’ll walk in.

My bed is too big now. It’s cold, and it’s lonely, and it’s very hard to fall asleep at night. I wake up with one arm outstretched, as if looking for you. I’ve taken to wearing your teeshirts, just so I can have you with me.

All the things I want to share with you – they finally released the new Pokemon from the Johto region, and I know you’d be excited about them. I’m trying to catch them all for you, but I’m just not as good at it as you were.

KJ and I have decided that the only way you’ll get to see things and do things is if we do them – I think that’s the best, so we’re going to live for you. It won’t be the same, of course. I adore KJ (just like you did) but she’s not you. There are some things that I’ll do alone physically, but I’ll know you’re there with me.

It’s still not fair that you’re gone. We were supposed to have at least 10 if not 20 more years together, even given your family history. I’m trying very hard to be strong, but it’s lonely. Even with people here, it’s lonely. I feel like I’m in a holding pattern, waiting for something to happen, but I don’t know what. People say it will get better, but apparently that takes some time.

I don’t know what else to say, but I’m sure I’ll write again. I don’t know any other way to communicate with you anymore, but somehow I know you’ll be able to read this.

I love you, and I miss you.


Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

vg_ford: (Default)
( Jan. 29th, 2017 05:48 pm)


As I write this, Birka 2017 is now in the books. For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Birka is the big winter event that the Barony of Stonemarche runs every year, and it’s basically a con masquerading poorly as an event. There’s food, there’s a hotel, there’s a hot tub, there’s a few tournies, and there is court. Oh yes, and there was shopping. Oh lord, there was shopping.


I’ve run Herald’s Point at Birka for too many years to remember, and this year, although I wasn’t running it, I was volunteering there. It’s a ton of fun, but a lot of work too, and that’s why there was no posting last week, either here or at the Patreon blog. My brain was full of Birka.


Now that I’m home, my brain is still full of Birka, but for other reasons. I’m charged up, like I get at cons, and finally coming to an idea of what I want to do in the Society now that I’m not Baronial Herald. There will be changes coming here, as I work through things, but regular posting will resume within a few days.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

vg_ford: (Default)
( Jan. 18th, 2017 08:30 am)


Wednesdays are going to be my week in review, moving forward. It’s a good day to stop and take a look at the last week (Sunday through Saturday) and see what I’ve accomplished (or not accomplished).


Last week, I was sick, so this week in review is not going to be as long as some of them. I lost Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday to the ick that I’m suffering from, so there was no writing. However, I did finally figure out how to do the corner-to-corner crochet stitch, so I got three squares done for my first afghan for Hooking for the Homeless, which was good.


Writing-wise, I got … nothing. I wrote blog posts for the week, and that was about it. But that’s okay – sometimes you need to do that in order to recharge.


This week, I’ve got the following planned:

  • Pitch a book to a publishing group
  • Write blog posts for the upcoming week for both the Patreon and this blog
  • More squares for the afghan
  • Write the pitch for Well of Dreams
  • Start the outline for Well of Dreams

We’ll see how I do in a week.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.


Wow, that’s a long title, but it’s a true one. I belong to both a serious writing group (where we read each other’s pieces and comment) and a creatives group (where we all just work on our own stuff and BS). I actually cherish both of them, for different reasons.


The critique group has really, really helped me to craft my writing. We have several published authors, and we’re all voracious readers. These guys keep me honest – I have issues with talking heads in my rough drafts, among other things, and they’ve helped talk me down from the ledge when I was ready to chuck the entire writing thing. We’ve been together for over 10 years now, and although we’ve had members come and go, the core group has remained the same. This group is valuable, because our goal is to make the story the best it is. We’ve actually lost members because we won’t sugar-coat things. This is why this group is good, because sugar-coating things doesn’t help the writer. We’re pretty honest – if it doesn’t work for us, we’ll tell you why, and it will be more than “I don’t like it.” It’s okay if you don’t like things – there are plenty of people out there who do like it. But if it’s unclear who’s talking, or your grammar is atrocious, well, you need to know that. A good critique group will point out the bad and the good, and help you make the story the best it can be. Our critique group meets once a month, for several hours, and we generally get through 2-4 pieces (depending on who brings what).


On the other hand, our creatives group meets once a week (mostly) at the studio or at Gibson’s, and we do all sorts of things. I’m writing this blog post during our Creatives meeting, and looking around the table, I see the following: two people stitching, one person working on audio editing, one person working on design work for a book, and two people talking about events for the SCA. There are times when we have people coloring, or reading, or coding. It’s a time dedicated to creating things. It’s valuable because it’s time to do anything, as long as it’s creative. This is a recharging of the well that I can only normally find at cons. There’s something about being with other people who are doing something they are passionate about that really gets me going.


And that’s why you need both. If you can find both, you’re in a very good space.


Are you part of a group? Tell us about it in the comments!

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.


Ah, January. That wonderful time of the year where everyone wants to get healthy. And yeah, I’m totally one of them.


I really just decided that I wasn’t going to worry about more than getting through the holidays this year. I survived them. I didn’t go over my highest weight from last year, although I got close, and and I got through it. Now, it’s time to work on getting better again.


That means I’m quitting the soda (again), and making sure I take my medications, which to be perfectly honest, I’m terrible at. I’m using my bullet journal to help me keep track of that, and I’ll be updating on this once a month. This month, my goals are simple:

  • Take all my meds for the rest of the month

Seriously, that’s it. I’m aiming for one goal a month, because I know from past experience if I try and do more than that, I get easily overwhelmed and say “Fuck it.” So the goal this month is meds.


What are you doing for your health goals this month?


Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.



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