Contract Delivered Week Three

Oh. My. God. I have so much time on my hands.

My routine at the moment is get up, straighten up, write my chapter over coffee. I’m writing a chapter a day and it seems to be working on driving me forward because it’s come down to about two hours to do the writing.

Then I switch over to Seed. Removing ‘was’ as much as possible. I’ve cut down about a third of them. Some are necessary, some are in dialogue and people can talk however they please so I leave it.

At the end of this year, I’m going to have so much editing to do. So much. Editing for years to come.

But I gotta get those books out and get a proper income coming in because I am loving this.

Know what I did last night? I played a video game guilt free. Spent a couple of hours away from the computer. Guilt free!

This only having one job thing could work out really well for me. If I can get the income necessary.

I still have lots of time to finish Contract Delivered. I’ve started looking at Prototype to see how I can make it work. My problem was too many characters and that was just stupid. I’ve cut them all from the book, basically. They’re still there. They still exist, they just don’t appear in the first book of the series.

Then I need to have a villain that is clearly a villain. I got this, basically.

I’m about halfway through this edit of Seed. I’ve started working that into Contract Delivered, the removal of was, I mean. It’ll probably take a while to really start to see it. Once I’m through that edit, I’ll resubmit it to my editing program for analysis and it will tell me I’m still a moron and I need to remove sixteen other words… I’ll probably cry a little, but then do it. Then at least one read edit. Maybe two.

Then I get to do the same thing with Crop, but at least I haven’t started the first edit yet, so it’ll be easier to fix.

Oh, and I might, maybe, have the time to do it!

About… 36k words on Contract Delivered. It’ll be one of the shorter first drafts that I’ve written, but that’s okay. I feel like it’ll require fewer re-writes than Contract Sealed.

Contract Delivered Week 1/2

I missed an update, darn it. I keep doing this. But my updates were Wednesdays on the bus to work, but the schedule was all kinds of played with over the past couple of months.

Oh, and last week I moved. I keep going from super stressed out to glad it’s over. I’m being a responsible adult and not getting a cell phone until I can actually afford it.

So every couple of hours I feel like shouting somewhere, “BUY MY BOOKS.”

Yes, I have a day-job but it’s part-time instead of full-time. I get anxious when not financially set.

I am getting settled. I need to set up a routine for work. It used to be just whenever I was alone or at a computer. Circumstances are a little different now.

I need to complete my last six 12-in-12 challenges and I’m kind of on track for that. Got a little lost from Contract Delivered over the move but that’s always been a trilogy that I have to be in a certain mood for and I’m more of thinking ‘urban fantasy.’

I might do Prototype next month.

While I’ve had a little struggle, it is now moving again. Chapter seven is written and there are about twenty chapters total with bits and pieces planned out. The second trilogy doesn’t necessarily have a bad guy. Unless you count time. My rough drafts likely have the time off, but I can fix that afterward. I wanted to start editing right away but I need my big pad of paper and that’s two weeks out.

For now, I have a little bit of a plan.

Except because I’m not in the mood for that, I’m actually more interested in putting Seed through another edit. In doing up some covers, maybe. Re-working the description of Contract Gifted so it sounds more stand alone-ish.

I wanna do all the things.

Except write.

I’ve chosen to write one chapter a day and see how I feel. That’ll take me to the end of April, which is cutting it close but at some point I’m going to write more in a day. It’s just this way, I can write a chapter and then do whatever else I please. A chapter can take as little as a half hour, or as much as… eight hours. If I drag my feet and update the website instead of actually doing the work.

April: Contract Delivered

Three days in and I’m already having issues. This sucks because I’m pretty certain this isn’t the same issue that I had with His Wings.

My pain returned yesterday, but no anxiety accompanying it. By the time I got home, because I worked through it all, the knuckles on my right hand were bright red against my pale skin. The index and middle finger of the left were the same thing. It utterly drained me.

Today the pain seems manageable. As in not really existing. My knuckles are stuffy but I feel exhausted to the point that I can’t focus on my writing.

The plus side of that all is that the last time my knuckles looked like that, I had to call into work because the pain made me physically ill. This time around it just sapped my energy.

To complicate my project schedule, I have a social event to go to tonight. I don’t regret going at all, but that means I probably won’t get work done until Thursday, which is my next day off. There’s a part of me that’s about ready to stomp her feet and throw a little tantrum over that, which is how I know this isn’t the same as His Grace.

I knew April would be challenging because my move happens during it. I knew that would interfere, that the anxiety would be high and I’d have a lot to do. That was one of the reasons I chose Contract Delivered.

After working with him for… what is, three years now? Mr. Wrightworth is practically a comfort when I’m sick or unwell in some way. Yeah, I’m team Mr. Wrightworth, but I’ve never had a proper, healthy relationship and have been known to be a masochist both emotionally and physically.

Contract Delivered is meant to be the end of the second year of Nathaniel and Mr. Wrightworth’s contract with Albert. In the original introduction, Nathaniel promised it would cover some of his time with Isabella. So the original plan was to have Contract Signed cover the year of servitude, Contract Sealed to be the years in between, and then Contract Delivered to cover the time where Isabella and Nathaniel were apart. Then four chapters into Contract Signed, Nathaniel changed it all.

He was all, “No, this should all be about Him.”

And I just sighed and shook my head but gave in and let him go with it.

In the meantime, I’m doing a read-edit of Contract Gifted, a novella that is like as not going to be expanded at some point in the future into a novel. That’s fine by me. I’ve got the cover done for it and have to work on the description. Once I’m done the read-edit, I can write up the description.

Both the edit and the description would be done on my phone. Since the read-edit actually involves reading it and making notes, then making changes on a computer.

See, for the next week, I can’t take my netbook to work. I’m worried I will forget it. Or be mugged… I’ve lived in this city for like four years and I’ve never been concerned that someone will notice what’s in my bag until now. Because that’s just my freaking luck. So, rather than risk the netbook being stolen, I’m leaving it at home. That also, of course, bites into my writing time.

So be it.

Four more work days, nine days until my move. Oh, which I probably won’t be able to write Contract Delivered during. I suspect typing on a computer would be super distracting to a driver so instead I’m going to have my phone with all the background stuff shut down, a traveling battery thing (I can’t seem to recall the word, so it’s probably best that I’m not writing this morning), and an MP3 player separate. I’ll work on Harvest instead.

For like… fifteen hours or so. Three hours is usually one chapter for that, so I could be about a quarter of the way done by the time I arrive.

Plans, etc.

If only my head was able to focus on writing a story today.

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.

Crop Week Four

Obviously, I’m not working on Crop anymore. I’ve been editing like crazy.

The wrap for Seed is done, along with the cover of Crop. The wrap for Crop could be done in about an hour.

I like that wraps used to take me something like sixteen hours, and now it’s down to an hour or so.

I had an anxiety attack Sunday so bad that I was in tears. It continued into Monday. No reason for it, just over stressed about the day-job and the move coming up I guess.

Monday night, I played some video games and had a little wine. Just unwound basically. The attack passed sometime around midnight on Monday.

I didn’t get out of bed until one on Tuesday, and then only because my older cat demanded I get up.

So that he could sleep on the couch instead of the bed…

Jerk.

Sometimes caring for yourself means sleeping off the tremor created by attacks and the weariness from forcing yourself through a day. This was the first time in years that I didn’t want to get out of bed.

And last time it was also a cat that made me get up. Except that time it was so he could sleep in my spot.

Cats. They are so mean.

Once I got up yesterday I finished writing Contract Gifted which isn’t a big deal, it was only two chapters left. Then I put it through a chunk edit and started a regular edit. One chapter left for that edit and I plan to do it at work today.

I also started looking at photos for the cover. I have to figure out how many edits it needs, but it could be up as early as next week.

Novelettes are kind of nifty, but I’m not certain I have a plot or way to do another one. It’s just that Nicole popped up just before Christmas and was like, “Hello,” and it just worked itself out.

Tomorrow I start Awakened and I don’t have the energy to be excited about it. The attack is still riding the edge of my mood and it could be a while before I completely recover.

Or I could be tired because I forgot to take my pills and eat before leaving the apartment. Or it could be weariness in general. I want to move yesterday. And as much as I ‘booked’ six weeks off because I know all but one is going to be anxiety riddled and scary, I want it to happen and I want to be on the other side.

Awakened will have to keep me distracted until then. Four weeks, and supposedly twenty-four chapters to go. That’s about 100k words. 25k a week, or about 6 chapters.

Okay. Maybe I’m a little excited. Just a smidgen.

Contract Sealed

There’s no internet. Why is there no internet?

There was a mobile outage for my carrier yesterday and it seems I no longer have data. I will probably have to go into the store and fix it there.

This is only a problem because I’ve been streaming music on my phone. My mp3 player is dead and I don’t know if I have my portable battery with me. I must… I think.

I need music. I’m super frustrated. Partly from work which obviously has not gotten better.

In fact, it’s evolved into ignoring me. The only time what I say is acknowledged is when the one who is causing the problems does the exact opposite of what I say.

The boss witnessed one of these events and I’d discuss the second with him except it’s my understanding that his boss will be there when I get in

Oh, and her boss too.

House is on fire. His boss doesn’t care about the dirty dishes so much as she does the meal being done on time.

I’m also frustrated with a certain service. I’ve been trying to figure out how to pay a bill for several weeks and today realized it’s overdue. But it was a futile and frustrating exercise because their site is not user friendly.

This isn’t some small site either. This is a million or probably billion dollar company. I filed three complaints this morning for each step of the way where I hit a wall. I tried to be polite but oh my gosh.

I also know corporate reads things like that. Especially when one of the complaints asked for a rating and I gave them the worst I could.

I need some sort of relief.

Anyhow.

Yesterday I tried writing. Just a random thing. It was godawful and difficult to get the words out. That frustration is still riding my nerves. It was so bad on Wednesday that the person working opposite me asked if I believed in the use of marijuana.

I do, actually. But it’s still not legal and the THC keeps me from dreaming or writing for up to a week. It makes me feel really raw and vulnerable after, and not in the fun sort of way.

He’s a good guy, the one who suggested it. He was just trying to help out and was witness to a meltdown because of things being done the exact opposite of what I needed to happen. And he had been told to help me by the boss (who I didn’t give a choice to) only to be pulled from me by the one who is pretending I don’t exist. He came back to me, super confused but also helpful.

“Who do I listen to in that case?”

“Me. Anyone can do what she wanted, she can pull another body. You’re the only one who can help me, so you listen to me.”

See my problem? I want to talk about one thing but I’m entirely focused on something else despite trying to refocus.

It’s going to be a long project this month. Only six chapters long too.

Damn it.

All right, let’s try this again.

It’s December 1st. That means I can open my advent each day (no, it’s not wine or that mythical edible advent) but also that a new writing project starts today. The project for December is Contract Sealed.

And you might be asking, “Aya, how many m/m books do you plan on writing on this adventure of yours?”

And my answer is: shush.

Technically speaking there are only two more. Contract Sealed and Contract Delivered.

His Wings deals with it a bit.

I know with the second Contracted trilogy I’m going to get backlash. The straight guy going gay is a cliche and blah blah blah.

Except Nate doesn’t go gay. He labels himself as a straight man who sometimes has sex with his best friend. He only ever agrees to the sex because he wanted the everything else of a Master/slave relationship.

That’s kind of why I like Nathaniel. He’s not willing to discuss his sexuality and is clearly a creature of upbringing. When he was growing up you couldn’t be both rich elite and gay. You absolutely had to be heterosexual and sexuality was very black and white. So he insists on it.

He’s not homophobic, just afraid of what would happen if he was labelled as anything but heterosexual. Let’s recall that how others viewed him was literally life or death until just before his thirtieth birthday.

And it’s not really that he’s bisexual. He’s not interested in men. He’s only interested in Mr. Wrightworth.

Let’s face it, who wouldn’t be interested in the sadist turned daddy?

In Contract Sealed Nate comes to terms with service, and is collared by Mr. Wrightworth. Collaring is supposed to be long-term, almost like marriage. It’s a commitment. But they make it even though they know their relationship has to end at the end of the year.

Though, if we look at the whole series I can’t help but argue that Nate is still submitted to Mr. Wrightworth.

Month two:

Book: Contract Sealed

Status: 14 1/2 chapters written between January and October.

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.