Year End Review

My publication anniversary is here. Technically past but that’s fine, we’ll work with a generalized idea of it.

First off, let’s do inventory.

Last year about this time, I started my 12-in-12 challenge, meaning to write a book a month. Technically I have one more day to finish. I think I’m shy by one book, but my numbers keep slipping all over the place. It’s expected, but whatever, it’s close enough, right?

Published this year:

His Grace Oct. 25, 2017

Contract Gifted April 7, 2018

His Wings April 8, 2018

Fragments May 9, 2018

Isabella’s Story (boxset) Oct. 6, 2018

Seed Oct. 15, 2018

Published “next” year:

Crop Nov. 22, 2018

Harvest Dec. 31, 2018

Wraith’s Rebellion (box set) Jan. 2019

The Reaping (box set) Feb. 2019

Written this year:

Contract Claimed -NaNoWriMo appr. 89k words

Contract Sealed – Dec appr. 20k words

His Wing – Jan approx. 87k words edited and published

Contract Delivered – appr. 70k words

Crop – appr. 87k words (finished about 104k) edited and published

Harvest -appr. 90k words (finished about 108k) edited and published

The Last Prophet – appr. 90k words mild editing

Hera – July appr. 97k words beta read

Contract Gifted – appr. 25k words edited and published

Grim Port – Oct. appr. 101k words

Plotted out:

D.o.t.A. books x 4 (I cannot recall their names)

Savage Shores – m/f alien interaction on a giant paradise ship.

Contract Unspoken – m/m smutty novella of Mr. Wrightworth and an unnamed slave

Elysia – an Elders book about Elysia finding Kaz and turning her, though told from his perspective.

The Special Boy – a Coven book set in the Coffee and Blood world about the grown male witch

Grim Haven/Grim Travels – two books to fill out the Grim trilogy set in Scotland

In Planning:

Bob – (Coffee and Blood) an ‘Elders’ book, as Bob is technically an Elder, about Vampire Las Vegas. South American setting.

Ba En Ra – (Coffee and Blood) a trilogy set in the Ba En Ra family, said to be located in or around Egypt, where they lived for tens of thousands of years.

The Rebellion – (Coffee and Blood) a trilogy wrapped around the werewolves and witches and a treaty they are in the process of forming.

Bitches – (Coffee and Blood) I don’t care what the freaking wolves say, this title has to change. This is a couple of stories, or maybe a trilogy wrapped around Daisy and her adventures. I’ve given her a nudge and she might find herself in Mungo’s path. That’ll make sense later on.

Duality – (solo world) a book or series set around a world where mages need to pair off in order to access their magic.

Shade – (solo world) a series of random books of varying lengths about an immortal named Shade.

Savage Shores – this is supposed to be a series following the consequences of the book.

Alpha – a set of three smutty m/m novellas revolving around the ‘adoption’ of a new companion by an Alpha who has two already. They would then be released in a set. The series would continue on.


Something is missing. Maybe December was finishing off Contract Signed. It would take about four hours for me to find the information and then I’d get lost down the rabbit hole.

In the last year I’ve also moved, gone back to school, moved from full time to part time work, adopted a cat, got my license back… been making my own covers.¬† I like the cover making, but I need more experience and practice before I start selling, I think. I always think that, so we’ll see how it goes.

Cover design takes hours at a desktop, though. I don’t have that time. So no arts and crafts for me.

So…

What do I want to do in the next year? What do I want to see?

I want more than five books published. I want the entire backlog edited and published. I want to keep writing as fast as I am, so one or more books written a month.

I need to set a clear goal but I think I need to think on this more. Just like I did last year, I want to set up the books for writing and editing and such on. I want it all listed out.

Right now, let’s focus on right now: Finishing the Grim trilogy. Write that sucker. I could be done in two weeks with some pushing.

Once finished the Grim trilogy, finish reading Harvest. Grab Hera and do a read, then start the plot edits then do other edits. Grab the Grim trilogy as a whole. Read it all, do plot edits. Then start actual edits on the trilogy.

Given time and how things are falling into place, I’m actually hoping to have that almost done by January 7th when I go back to school.

So, my real hope is that my next year will look like this:

January: Wraith’s Rebellion box set

February: The Reaping box set

March: Hera

April: Grim Port

May: Grim Haven

June: Grim Travels

July: Grim box set

… and then? I dunno, but that would get me four out of 7+ books. Dum, dum, dum, what do I do then? I’m definitely on a Coffee and Blood kick but they don’t draw a lot of income so far.

Except I freaking love them. You know, if you couldn’t tell. Those who read them seem to like them, which is fantastic. I just need more readers.

So… oh, D.o.t.A, I guess.

 

 

Lethargy

My get up and go got up and shot itself in the face: is how I describe how I’m feeling right now. I think it’s been a couple of weeks since I did any real work. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that all my motivation is gone. Not the external motivation, the internal fire that keeps me going and keeps me warm at night.

Not depressed… which is usually a cause of this behaviour. A little stressed but in the process of fixing that. A few life changes, what with school and driving courses and applying for a student loan.

Could be the student loan. Since I’m dragging my feet about applying.

I have this weird relationship with spending money I need to improve my situation but not wanting to because of how large the dollar amount is.

Or it could be because my birthday is coming up. Normally I get whiny and … well, wine-y.

So the “Alphas Book 1” hasn’t been written. I do have to start over and write from the beginning of the book but it’s a loss of a couple of pages and I like the new plot better.

Wherein there is no plot really. But it’s a nice show of how Alphas can and do act. So far I’ve just had them startled. Like a cat finding a cucumber laying behind it. And the Alphas shown have been bickering over land. Land, like that’s going to get them a gold star.

I mean, it could, there’s a new world order they’re working out. But typically owners of land rule for a decade or so then get eaten and forgotten about.

Actual Alphas, who are settled in stable land, don’t worry about the land or who owns it. Unless that person interferes with their studies or inventions, then the owner of the land dies horribly when the Alpha unleashes his companions on the Dom’s settlement and just sits back with a cold drink, watching the bloody chaos that follows.

I don’t know why I want to write about the companions going all stabby but it’s been a recurring fantasy of mine since I created the world and it hasn’t been linked to any real world problem. It’s probably a phenomenon in the world that I just want to explore, as I am a world builder.

Anyhow. Real alphas are a bit more like Blane when Alex was still alive. Alex (or a companion) would run their land, estate, raise the children right. The Alpha would take an active role but their mania would mean sometimes they are absentee fathers, which is where the companion comes in, stepping in to fill the role of father while the actual father is off and away.

So in Alphas Book 1 we come across Darien who is constantly checking his email. I really had to pry it out of him as to why it was important. He told me to take a flying leap, I threatened to have him broken for Rebecca’s (the only Mother so far) entertainment and that didn’t work. Then I threatened to sell his companions on the black market for dirty, unpleasant things and finally he relented.

He checks his email and phone throughout basically thinking things like, “nope, still a broke Alpha,” because he’s recently done a thing for his line of work, which I won’t spoil because it kind of ties in to the big ending. Darien isn’t necessarily young for an Alpha to break out into the world, twenty-seven or so. Which means he’s late to the party so to speak. He wasn’t in school all that time. He graduated at twenty with a doctorate (which is not unusual for an Alpha) and promptly and accidentally took on an underage companion.

With how Alphas break companions and create lifelong, unbreakable bonds with their new… ‘friends’ this is a very real problem in the world. Darien went to a party, Cody said he was of age and had a fake identification (obviously Darien couldn’t tell the difference) then found out the problem the next day.

Okay, so that’s a little world building for me because without that I might lose interest. Cody would be the first companion broken while underage who is acknowledged in the books but when you have jerks like Owen about, it’s likely happened in the past and I hope they were slaughtered slowly by their own companions.

Oh… that happened too. Wonder what the story was behind that.

Darien and the new kid Al are in talks with one another about how this will go. It seems they want a bunch of smut with the old companions in the first book, a bunch of smut with Al in the second book, and then maybe a third to wrap up the whole story with a bunch of smut all around and maybe with Blane.

Who probably walks in pissed off because this would be the sixth book, I think, that I have him called.

Why?

Oh, he knows why.

Which is also why he’s not protesting too loudly to me about it.

Of course, these would be novella lengths, not books. Or novellettes.

Obviously my words aren’t backed up, so I’m not burnt out. The ideas are still there and flowing like ever before.

No idea what’s wrong. But I have to head out for a course now, so I’ll have to try to solve this problem later.

Rough Publishing Schedule 2018

It’s that time of the year again.
Yup, I’m sitting here wrapped in a shawl and cursing my landlord’s strange choice of providing radiator heat but removing only my ability to control the temperature but also refusing to turn up the heat until I lodge four complaints and talk someone else in the building into doing the same. They have control over their heat from inside their apartments, however.

It’s also the time of the year that I need to consider what I’ll be doing in 2018. The writing side of things has been kind of settled until next November. My 12-in-12 is going well so far, and I’ve already chosen my books for the next two months, but more on that later.

So… what are we looking at for publishing?

Fragments is planned for the first couple of months of 2018. I’m going to start another edit in January and buckle down for the cover of it. Seed, Crop, and Harvest are going to be published during a six month period, so I need it all done and ready to go. No, that’s not true. I need the first two books edited and written. The rest will follow.

I’m going to re-re-name the second trilogy of Coffee and Blood to The Reaping. It was originally that, but during some formatting I had a brain melt and it turned into The Harvest. I like The Reaping better.

For The Reaping, I’m actually considering publishing them in April, June, and August, like I did with Wraith’s Rebellion. I might adjust them just slightly, to May, July, and September. That’s just a hope and a prayer.

The second trilogy of Contracted will be out either the end of the year, or early 2019 and Contract Claimed would follow a few months after that.

Then, of course, are His Wings and His Halo, which I’m calling obligation pieces. I’m obligated to complete the trilogy. These will be published as soon as they are written and edited, so it could be published in March and April.

So… I’m panning on publishing between six and nine books in 2018.

Here’s the weird catch/kicker?

Come April, I’m moving two provinces over and, near as I can tell, I will be working part-time until I can find a full-time job at another company. Somehow I don’t feel like the place I’m going to will have a full-time position open up. Besides in big city areas like the one I’m currently in, once someone gets full-time it’s like tenure. They stay there for years and years.

Anyhow, that’s a catch/kicker because… I will be part-time at my day job. And until I have my license, I will likely be gently applying to jobs because I don’t want to make my relatives drive me all over.

Unless that one company gets back to me… I’m sure they’d understand for that wage.

And when one is not making finding a full-time job their… well, full-time job, then they have a lot of time on their hands. For me this could end up being an issue where I’m manically all over the place, doing all the things.

The last time I went part-time, I took two weeks off… sort of. Actually, they didn’t schedule me for two weeks¬† and I sat home playing video games until I basically lost my mind and took on six or so projects. Cleaning, scavenging, setting up furniture. Now I’ve got things to focus on, projects and writing and the like.

I’d really like, like really, really like, to use that time to complete some projects and get other things sorted out. Yeah, that totally made sense.

January and February, I’m writing His Wings and His Halo. March I suppose I should do Contract Delivered to wrap that all up and start edits for late 2018 publishing. April I’m hoping to have Seed published, which means … oh, but Crop and Harvest have to be done before April because that’s when I stop commuting and I can’t change that method of writing mid-trilogy. They are my cheat books and off schedule.

I guess that means April is open. There’s The Visitors, or Prototype. Whatever I can get written in April and possibly May could also be published in 2018 given a conservative projection of finding a full-time job.

Which, I suppose, means April and May are those up in the air stories. Dear readers, what would you like completed? I’ve been promising a lot of projects and after Contract Delivered is completed, I’d like to get back to m/f for a while. Browse the worlds, look through the little snippets tossed out here and there, and let me know what you’d like to see.

The goal is then to take the books written in April and May and publish them in 2018. Which will, hopefully, raise my published books from 6-9 up to 8-11. I could double my books in the next year, that’d be awesome.

Then in 2019 I’ll have 6-9 books already written and ready to edit and be published.

Claimed Week Two

I finished Contract Claimed on November 11th at about noon. It wasn’t until I headed out for my passport photo that I realized the actual date, and that I missed a ceremony happening near me that I was supposed to go to. I can’t keep the days of the week straight, numbers are apparently beyond me. For some reason I thought Sunday was the 11th.

I’m disappointed in myself for forgetting.

After finishing, I took two full days off writing. If I finish early in the morning it’s technically two and a half because the days off start in the morning. But I think I need to shift the days off to my next weekend off. Monday, what with the day job, was a real struggle for me to get through.

I’ve made an amendment to the plan. It’s now write a book, read a book. The read a book isn’t strictly enforced because I may not always have time. These are indie books and likely always free.

I’m a broke author on the verge of starving artist, but all books will be downloaded legally so that the author gets that little nudge.

So, Sunday I read a book. And I hated it. That’s all I’ll say at this point. If I encounter a book I love I will, of course, go on about it and such. I’m all about spreading the good news.

Yesterday I went back to work. It’s all editing at the moment, as Fragments and Seed are both completed and are up next for publication.

Technically speaking, after that I can laze about for the next eleven months or so. I never promised publishing all the books I write in that twelve month period.

I doubt I’d make it more than a week before I started editing again, however.

I had planned on publishing Fragments in about two weeks, but life got in the way.

If this constant exhaustion could go away faster, that’d be fantastic. It’s my own fault for forgetting my iron supplement. About four more weeks before I see results. Ugh.

Besides editing, I’m going to be taking some time to help Beth out. She wants to rebrand, I think the word is. Come December I’ll be writing again.

Given the fact that it’s Christmas, and the busiest and most exhausting month of the year for the day job, I am planning at this point to write Contract Sealed, or more of finish it. I think there are four to six chapters left to write. It is not a full book by far and is within my rules for the year long run.

But four to six chapters in a month that last year reduced me to tears and a catatonic state once I left work isn’t asking too much of myself. I still have about sixteen days to change my mind but short of my workplace burning down, and my no longer having a job, that is my plan.

I can officially say:

Goal: 12 books written in 12 months

Current: 1 book written in 1 month.

Word count: (I’ll add this in once I have access to a computer)

Woo!

… But I know I’ll be cursing myself when I start editing.

On Not Meeting a Word Count

75,629 / 90,000 words written.

That was not my goal, so what to do now?

Well, here’s what actually happened:

I wrote a majority of my words over three days, which was about 22,000 per day. One day I wrote 600 words, another only about 3,000.

Friday night (technically Saturday as it was 2am) I finished the rough draft at about 67,000 words. A rough draft is rough because you then make changes.

It was halfway through my second day of heavy writing that I realized I hadn’t been doing descriptions. Not of the characters or rooms, or really any emotional attachment to anything. It was mainly dialogue and barebones.

So, I went back to the beginning and started adding it all in. I’ve only reached chapter nine in this endeavour, not even halfway through the book.

Reaching that 90,000 word count for this book is possible, I just have to backfill the stuff I skipped over because I knew it would slow me down. If I had done it, I would only be about 40,000 words and not know the end or the thread of plot through the book. I would have lost it.

Now that I’ve got it, I’m almost good to go. Yay.

Long nights and regular mornings can wear you out. If you want to try this yourself, you will need to figure out what writing method works best for you, and practice meeting the word count.

This was a stretch for me, I knew that. I did it to fill a staycation where I couldn’t afford to do anything or go anywhere. It was my break from reality, one that I planned so that when I woke up this morning for my day job, I didn’t feel dejected because I did nothing but play video games and drink.

Don’t get me wrong, those things still happened…

Halfway through the week, I realized that I had no plan in place to edit it. But I think I can place it in the edit spot for Seed as I’m not certain that will be done on time.

I should be working on that now, but two hours of sleep and a long day ahead of me. I need my wits, because I need my day job and there’s not much room for error today.

During my week off, yes, I was pretty well holed up with no contact with ‘real’ people. All I had, for the most part, was a writer chat that kept me company. They knew what I was planning, and called me crazy, but then cheered me on and participated in sprints when I was struggling to meet my word goal for the day.

Once I made that goal, I was pretty well set. I’d end up staying up another four to six hours and adding between six and ten thousand more words to the book.

I don’t think I could have managed it without that chat.

Anywho. Heading back to the day job today. Not enough sleep because of a combination of my sleep schedule for the past week and being a little manic of plans for marketing and such.

The one plus side of the late night is that I might have and line on the next D.o.t.A. book. Apparently Morgan is content without telling his story, so I’m not about to push him.

New Alphas, new city, with only one of the old crew making a brief appearance. It promises to be fun.