Week Five (Day Four)

This week has been weird for me. Maybe it’s because my stress level has dropped, or because it’s a short week? I dunno. Not much into writing or anything besides school work.

In my defense, I have school work to do. Like reading that book for Interpersonal Communication. But I’m also in a mood and my notes are crabby. Basically, the book tells you to tap into the narcissistic nature of humans.

That makes me crabby, but what can you do about it? Not much at all. It’s play that game or hide in the corner your whole life. And some people you don’t feel like you’re inflating their already enormous egos. It’s just that I’m in some kind of “angry at humanity” mood.

Maybe it’s the announcements about climate change. Maybe it’s the rumour I saw about a certain president saying our climate is actually good or better than ever or… whatever terminology he used.

It is not, it is not better than ever.

Or maybe it’s this pressure to dress up for Halloween when we’re grown adults and Halloween no longer means candy and disposable culture and capitalism to me, the… theist?

I’m probably just in a mood. I know a few people who would tell me I’m tired and need to keep my thoughts to myself. Those people never seem to realize that I always feel that way. When I get in these moods, it just reduces the likelihood of not telling people they’re stupid or wrong. The rest of the time I resist because I know that telling people they’re stupid doesn’t change how stupid they are.

It usually makes them dig in their heels.

Now I feel like I sound like my mother.

Ah, well.

I did some writing in The Others but didn’t finish the post. No editing on Harvest which reminds me, once I do start that again, it’ll be a day or two until I need more pages.

Seed launches in four days, Contract Taken goes back up in price on most markets, along with all the Contracted books going up to the same pricing as the other books (3.99). Then next Wednesday or so, after the pre-orders are downloaded, Seed also goes up in price.

Amazon finally has Seed and Crop linked but haven’t linked Harvest yet which is really annoying. Do they know how many pre-orders I’m losing out on because their bots aren’t doing their jobs anymore? It’s really making it seem like you need to contact them now for each book to be added to a series, which is ridiculous.

It’s a waste of time and money on their part, the amount they’d have to spend just to keep up with the books. Some of the writers in one of my groups seem like they release a book every two weeks.

Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

But for a company to do that, it’s a waste of time. They could better spend their money ramping up and re-training their customer service, providing a better experience to the customers, thus fewer complaints which mean less loss of income.

I don’t even know why I was thinking of it like that. I’m scatterbrained today. So very scatterbrained. Just here and there and all over the place.

We have a test in keyboarding, but it’s a theoretical proofreading test, which was fine until I discovered that she wanted us to memorize all the marks, which no one in class knew. At least, no one seems to have known. Sucks, but at least I found out beforehand and somehow I got it right on the pretest.

Though, to be fair, that was because I looked at the page as an editor and asked myself what I’d do in that case.

Thank goodness I’ve edited before.

There’s currently a debate going on about what that assignment meant, as there were four lines we had to type out and do the marks in there. Half the class say it’s one paragraph, half that they’re new lines.

I’m in the new line camp because if that’s a paragraph, someone needs to take a writing course. Oh my, it’s more all over the place than I am. Talking about an address, then a donation, and … instructions for work, I think?

She had the answer key up for about ten minutes on the e-learning thing and I’m almost certain I’m right, but because so many people are debating it, I’m questioning myself now. Kind of sucks to do as you go into a test, especially since you can’t just turn on marks like you can in a word document.

Ah, well, I’ve already passed this course so if I fail the test because I did the wrong thing, not that big a deal.

Especially since I just discovered it’s worth 5% and I already have a final grade that’s higher than any of my grades from high school. So I need to stop over thinking that.

Week Five (Day Two)

Technically, it’s day one. Canadian Thanksgiving was this weekend. The day it’s celebrated on depends on the family, really.

I formatted and uploaded the boxset for the first trilogy of Contracted. I expect I will move few copies over the next week, as the pricing will be a little skewed. Next Monday, Contract Taken comes off perma-free though it could take a week or more for it to show on Amazon. I’m not going to rush there, but only because I know trying to rush with Amazon is pointless.

On my two days off, I definitely did not do much in the way of work. Just the box set, really. Then I started playing my game. It’s a sandbox science fiction … rpg, I think? It’s fun.

I drank my bottle of wine and played it Sunday night, sticking to one planet for about five hours, just walking around collecting one specific resource which was all over the place. I made a lot of money, bought myself a new NPC ship, a special-class tool, and still had 8mil left over in the morning.

For contrast, I started my night with about 900k.

So, I definitely had a relaxing couple of days though I do regret the 2am night Sunday night. More sleep would have been better. Especially since the last two or so hours wasn’t really doing anything except trying to decide what to do.

Back to school today, no work today but I still am not a hundred percent with work. I’m glad my boss is back. With her, I don’t feel like I’m taking crazy pills. She follows policies and is up to date on things that others are ignoring because “we’ve never done that. We’ve always done it this way.”

Yeah, trust me, everyone can tell. They do things based on how they were trained something like thirteen years ago. But the company which hired them and the one we work for now are two very different creatures.

I don’t think I’d want to work for my old company.

Anyhow, I need to do a write up on things that happened over the past two weeks. It all needs to be accounted for and I’m concerned about the customer complaints and the team members who were upset.

… and the bright bubbly one getting so upset I did’t want to deal with her.

I have been looking into vehicles. Obviously, I need one to be independent. I can’t just live in the basement and borrow a car forever. I know it’ll be some time before I can afford one but I opened an account to start putting money into.

Used or new, I’d prefer new but I need to consider that price tag and my income. It’ll likely be a little beater or some sort, but if it works, it’s better than what I have now.

I’d really like to go back to writing, but I’d have to get rid of the day-job to write while at school. That really sucks, doesn’t it? Ah, well.

 

Week Three (Day Two

Writing First:

… just drew a total blank.

Uh, right, I finished reading Contract Claimed last night. When I started reading it, I thought it was complete. That is not the case. As I hit that area, I had this flash of a promise I had made to Mr. Wrightworth to go back and expand. The book was originally written for NaNoWriMo 2018, it was the start of my 12-in-12 challenge. Halfway through, I realized my issue, but also that if I didn’t get something down, I’d lose the thread.

So, I’ve got a nice flow and then all of a sudden something like two books got mushed into the later half of Contract Claimed. The plan is now to fix that.

Nate’s story will be the second trilogy out of Contracted, still slated for editing next June or so. Then, once it’s scheduled for editing, I will do additions and the like for Will’s story. I’ll revisit Contract Gifted at some point and expand on that as I had originally planned. Once all that is written and done, Mr. Wrightworth might consider a one-off to wrap up the series (or at least those characters) where his name is finally revealed on the last page of the book.

Because I’m evil, or he is, your choice.

My beta is about a hundred pages into Harvest¬† and asked if there’s actual sex in the books at all.

Uh oh. We realized I added it during the edits. But, admittedly, Coffee and Blood tends to have less sex than most of my other books.

Possibly because I’m on a bit of a theme, after her comment, a sadist from the old Devil faction appeared and offered to seduce half the Eastern shore of the North American continent.

I should be putting edits into Crop, but my mental health is in the way again. This isn’t even a part I could hire out for. I need to take each edit out of context, judge it, perform the edit, do a check, then decide if the new way even looks good.

Then do a scanned spot check of the surrounding area to see if anything else jumps out at me.

Other stuff:

I spent the trip to school fantasizing about going onto stress leave from work. It’s my understanding doing so qualifies me for Unemployment Insurance. Or maybe it’s employment. I don’t recall, because I’ve never used it before.

What I’ve heard is that if I go on stress leave, tell them I chose to go back to school because I knew work was stressing me out, they might even help pay for the schooling. There’s a special name for it, but they basically help you get the training you need to get a job and get off of their services.

Except, for that to work, I would need to explain to them the situation with my co-worker. She’s the reason I chose to go back to school. She’s also the reason I applied for my manager position, because I had to get as far away from her as possible, even though I knew I would be going back to school.

There’s a, uh, a worksafe program, that might actually be their name. When you report that kind of thing, they do a full on investigation. The company can be fined, the boss could get in trouble.

It’s not her fault. She’s been trying to correct the behaviour. And I don’t really want the company to be fined. Their handbook covers the topic quite well. It could mean termination for the one involved.

I’m not the type to derive any sort of joy from that. I want this person to change and to stop hurting people. If that all happened? She would be bitter and angry and nothing good would come of it.

I’d much rather the ability to go on stress leave and for her to put her nose into the air like she does and say, “I knew it. She was never cut out to be a manager.”

Nine and a half years experience managing for this company in like six different positions.

It’s those little details that really explain my reaction. I don’t just have so much experience with this company. I have moved between different stores and learned different management styles. Different customer bases. Different ways to approach things. I learned that my way does not necessarily always work. I’ve learned the company’s way… typically works.

I’d just like them to stop cutting hours and to add more back in.

It’s… I’m tired of fighting her.

I had trouble talking myself into bed last night. Anxiety hit me like crazy hard and I don’t understand why. I don’t work with her today. I don’t even work. I don’t see her until Thursday and even that is in passing, is my understanding.

This morning, despite dragging my protesting self to bed at nine, I’m more tired than I was last night. I hurt more, probably because I woke tense. I keep giving myself these weird charlie horses in my sleep because I’m so tense during sleep.

My stomach is still on lock down. I never want to eat, having difficulty downing my coffee or talking myself into water. I’ve got this feeling a physical beating is coming and I just want to get it over with already.

Which, admittedly, is probably why I’m a little more focused on Mr. Wrightworth than I should be.

I don’t know. Maybe I should take the time to write that Master-child scene between Kaz and Balor that started playing through my head. It’s only about a chapter long though, so what do I… How do I handle it when it’s done?

Can’t just slap that into the box set, when it comes out, people would expect an extra bit to be Ashley and Kaz.

Admittedly, I could write that as well, but Kaz is super gentle and sweet with Ashley. He’s always had a soft spot for women. Always nicer with them than the men.

So, let’s say I wrote the Kaz and Balor chapter(s) for the sake of my sanity. Then what?

Then what… start an erotica anthology and just talk about these stories I’m writing but never publishing? I think Amazon allows 10k + words. I think. But would that dilute the world? Would those who like the vampires feel like I was pushing the issue, even though Kaz has had Balor tied to that bed on and off for a year?

I don’t know what to do.

Awakened Week Two

I’ve written about ten thousand words in the last week and I hate the struggle. I came up with the loose plot four days ago and then forgot it all. It’s like hitting a wall.

My sleep patterns have changed because the noisy neighbour moved out. Today I realized it’s been a year since I slept properly. No wonder I’m now struggling.

This morning I sat down and wrote out a rough geustimate of the plot. I started at the end and worked my way back because there was this little gap I was struggling with and working backward was definitely the way to go.

I’m hoping I can get a move on again. It’s about nine more chapters or about another 35k words. I’ll get about 23k this weekend but I do believe Awakened will be my longest project to date. I think even Contract Claimed was shorter.

I found and joined a high word count group and they think I’m burnt out.

I mean… Full-time job and the move and the life changes and trying to meet a project, okay. I guess they’re right but that’s not a great thing. I’ve been doing so good! I’m halfway there. May is supposed to be when I struggle.

When I’m going to Mexico the first week, and flying out for a wedding the the third week. Second week? Something like that.

I will have to just take it as it comes. This isn’t like the struggle with His Wings, I want to finish Awakened and I’m enjoying writing it.

All told so far, between writing and editing the books I’ve wrtten, I’ve clocked about 80k words a month.

Or about 320k from November until the beginning of Marcg. That’s still pretty darn good.

Oh, in other news. I’m about to finish the read edit for His Wings. The final draft will be up sometime this weekend. That’s another project down to bed.

If I can finish Awakened, I’m going to edit Contract Gifted again and hopefully get that up. Maybe get it up the first week of April. That’d be fantastic.

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.

Contract Sealed Week 2

The past week has been a bit of a struggle to get myself to work on something. This weekend I almost took two days off. On Sunday I set up free days for His Grace and I found out that Contract Taken didn’t even make the list of books for the year. Basically had a fifty-fifty chance and still failed.

I did not feel good about myself or my writing. For about six hours I felt like there was no point in even continuing.

Then I remembered it was December.

I chose such a short project for this month because I know I end up in a fragile state. I certainly wasn’t going to do anything rash. The only risky thing I do in December is buy scratch tickets.

I don’t even drink in December, it’s too dangerous with the wringer that work puts me through and the whole being alone thing. I know the holidays are hard and I won’t take that risk.

Monday when I got home from work there was a package waiting for me. A reader had sent me four care packages. That definitely cheered me right up.

I suck, but at least some people love me. This was the first thing I’ve received. Well, and private messages. Those are the new fanmail, right?

Okay, so it didn’t just cheer me right up. I was absolutely elated and told everyone I know. I only ever have bad news.

Bit by bat, ghosted by long term boyfriend, dead computer three times, no water for three weeks, leaking ceiling, mold the landlord won’t fix, raccoons, three noisy neighbours, bedbugs, and now ants.

In the last year.

It’s been a run of bad luck and situational that I haven’t been able to fix given my income. Couldn’t even afford hot chocolate.

And then I found it in the box…

Actually, my first order of business was making apple cider. I was a little disappointed when I discovered I can’t afford to buy more in Canada. Hopefully the prices will go down. Or they’ll go on sale or I’ll find it in a grocery store somewhere.

As I mentioned before, this past week has been… difficult. But not in a usual way.

I’m physically in quite a bit of pain. A cluster of events have left me with an all over ache. But mentally it’s… It’s weird

I can feel that manic energy starting and I can’t recall the last time I felt like this. I don’t know if it’s the events, or adding vitamin D to my diet. Or maybe it’s just because the iron is finally going back to where I need it to be.

Oh yeah, over the last week I’ve been given a bottle of my favourite wine and hooked up with a console for a great price. And then the package showed up on my doorstop.

The survivor of psychological abuse in me is really certain something is going to go horribly wrong. It always does when things go well. That’s the way my life has worked for three decades.

Gifted a computer, the pipes break for almost a month.

Come to think of it, things have been off kilter since I accepted a plane ticket back in September and not necessarily in a bad way.

Well, not in a bad way for all things but writing. It’s been a tough couple of months for sales. Which was part of why I felt like such trash on Sunday when I didn’t even make the list.

Beth says she felt like this too. She ended up walking away/ignoring all things about her books and it worked itself out. When she tried to do something about it, nothing would happen and she got frustrated.

I’m going to do something similar, but I will still be writing. I will edit and publish as I can. But otherwise, I’m going to just stop.

Stop looking at the reports that keep upsetting me. Stop trying to market all over, because it’s not helping. Stop looking for reviews or reviewers. Just stop.

I’ll gather my ego back up and once I feel better and more able, I will jump back in the middle of marketing and all the rest. Until then, I will focus on me and what I like to do.

Writing, editing, and cover making.

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.