Planning etc

So, school starts on Tuesday. Most of my work will be wrapped up by then. There are final edits I will have to make time for and work around but that was bound to happen.

The schooling I’m taking is a technical college, I think they call it. Basically, they are going to teach me how to do a new job. It’s also a little like on the job training and I need to network and be a happy person every day.

… this is the part where I swear.

Ah, well.

School is taking priority over both writing and the day-job. To be fair, though, after this long I can do my day job in my sleep. I need physical energy and nothing more.

But over all that time, what’s going to happen? I’ll just vanish for nine or ten months and reappear?

That’s not my plan. Instead, over the next nine or ten months I will find bits here and there for writing. I have to, or I will go mad. I’ll make time for edits, or I’ll start editing text books and the instructor’s notes. I’ll update The Others between school and work.

I will still do things.

But I’m making only one promise: every Monday I will write up a post. It could be what I learned the week before, how I’m doing, some snippet I’m working on. Whatever it is, I will write an update. I will post it here.

With any luck, one of my first updates will basically be: no homework. Totally writing another book.

But I’m not leaning in that direction.

Instead, I’m looking out over my time and am weighing things carefully. I don’t want to fatigue myself too much but I could have an hour or more of a wait between getting off school and getting home, a two hour wait on days I work the late shift.

It’s my own fault, should have gone for driving lessons sooner.

My first priority is obviously homework. That needs to get done, I need to put in an effort for getting the tasks down pat. My second is supposed to be networking but I need a handle on my anxiety to be able to talk to people.

I might join student union.

I didn’t feel that anything much was said about the Student Union besides that they raise money for Cystic Fibrosis, had a bouncy castle last year, and do ‘lots of things.’ Events change between years, but I feel they could work on their communication, especially if they want to get everyone involved.

Because I’m in a leadership position at work so I forgot I’ve got this problem.

The problem where, when the orientation lady looked over a group of ten, I’m handed the paperwork and then I manage the whole scavenger hunt.

It’s not even my anxiety doing it. My level is about a one right now and that’s probably because my new supplement is starting to wear off.

A gym full of people smelled sulfer and I was the only one to get up and ask about the weird smell that reminded me of natural gas. Everyone else stayed put.

Which… is super weird and concerning.

I think that means I need to add ‘natural leader’ to my resume, right? Except I loathe taking on leadership roles when I’m not certain of the surroundings. I can do it, but the fear of failure in those environments is enough to spike my anxiety. Which causes an attack, which makes me cry, which… etc.

I want to buy all the books now, but I’m a broke bunny until the grants come in. Which apparently isn’t for everyone? I assumed it was, but when I went to the student center the nice woman I dealt with was very surprised that I obtained so much in grants.

Apparently, I’m a broken but lucky bunny.

All I did was go in to show my notice of assessment and then I asked the question I’ve had for the past couple of weeks about what I need the first day. Then I shut up and nodded and listened. I caught myself trying to run, though, and made my feet return to where they had been.

In doing so, I learned that the student union has a book sale of donated books from past students. I spoke with the president one on one for about two seconds, she kept staring at my boob (I realized after she might be committing my name to memory, crap) and she’s in the same area as me and knows they have one of the books I’ll need and that it’s the right edition. It might not save me much, but every bit helps.

Right. Plans.

I’m converting books and all else over to OneNote. It’ll free up space on my phone and allow me to access from any of my devices. I’ve been worried of late about the phone dying or me losing it / it being stolen. This way if it is lost, I don’t lose part of a book as well.

Scotland… Working Title

Okay, I’m sitting in orientation having an anxiety attack and it made me attempt to retreat into fantasy (hey, if it works…) so this may be all over the place and make no sense.

Coffee and Blood will continue through vampires with a new trilogy set in Scotland and involving a Canadian visiting Scotland who gets mixed up with vampires. Her ancestors immigrated to Canada and I need to do some research on Scottish immigrants and choose a family.

I’m dabbling with her wearing a necklace that was passed down through her family, or maybe a ring. It may or may not cause trouble.

She’s 32, oldest I’ve had in the books yet but it just makes sense to vary the ages. Her age also puts her in the position to have the funds to go on the trip and gives a little more chance for her back story to work better. Maybe would also explain going to see where her family came from.

His name is Drest, he ruled th Pict people on and off for some five hundred years. He’s a warrior and is a generation below an Elder, having learned about half of what Elders need to know. He tells me he has no power, but he does have a way of using whatever is on hand as a weapon.

As far as I know, he doesn’t have a family or faction. I know at least one faction (Lamia) gets involved, but Scotland isn’t within their territory so the European faction likely also gets involved.

His stock is of noble heritage but never kings or queens (that’d be dangerous) and he has the fifth highest immortal body count. That’s right, he know a couple of deaths of the month.

I don’t know his age or who turned him. I suspect (in this version of history, of course) he was the force that drove the Romans out through shadowy schemes and outright taking to the battlefield. Which would mean, given the timing, it’s entirely possible he’s the only vampire to drive out the Council and survive.

Death killed his Maker, but he’s also got a vendetta or two he’s carrying out. Considering he has travelled the world, has the worn passport to prove it, to bring down a vampire, he’s probably got more than one or two vendettas, now that I think about it.

I still need to debate the causes of the plot and what the outcome is. I mean, I think I know the very ending but I said the same thing about The Reaping and it changed. I’ve got a couple of ideas, both a cause of clash and why he gets involved and why she chose to go out now of all the time to visit Scotland.

Because of his position it is possible he works or protects another supernatural race. At first I thought fae but now I’m not certain. Could be witches. Could be hybrids, can’t remember what they’re called. Could be a mingled community of all the races (including humans).

I’ll find out more over the next couple of weeks.

Hera

Last week my hypergraphia flared up.

As I’ve stated before, I have hypergraphia. This means that every once in a while I have these episodes where I have to write. It’s linked to obsessive compulsive disorder and let me tell you.

There is no option.

When these moods hit me, I often start projects but then as the mania passes the project tapers off and never gets finished.

So last week when I started writing Hera I didn’t tell anyone except those in my immediate life.

Over the course of eight days I wrote about 97k words. Just a couple of hours ago, I finished the first draft.

Because of the mania which fueled this story, I have no idea if it’s any good. I know (from reading articles and the like) that the stories written during the mania of hypergraphia can seem like the best idea during but then once the mood has passed it makes no sense.

I quite hope it is good, and barring that, salvageable.

The first Elders book is written. I think my mania has passed and now I can get back to other work.

Update

To do? I don’t know really.

Uh, so I’ve been accepted into the college, yay. I’m actually quite excited about that, that’s not sarcasm. I plan to treat this as a job basically. My only trouble being, the certificate has something like thirty-seven courses listed for three semesters. That math doesn’t add up!

And I want to take all of the classes, well, almost all of them. So that doesn’t help me narrow it down. Especially when there are a couple that I want to take to further the certificate to help me get a job later that require four prerequisite courses which are all prerequisites of one another.

I also have to sort out learning French. Being bi-lingual can help your wage as well as your career in general.

It’d also be kind of cool if I could translate my own books into other languages.

My problem with languages at the moment is that they’re all a broken jumble. I tried counting to ten in French. Got to seven… then it turned into Japanese.

For the writing…

Seed is up everywhere except Amazon. Going up there in just over a month. Amazon doesn’t let you put up a pre-order more than three months out, even if you have the completed files. But then, the pre-order on Amazon is more for show than anything else whereas on other sites it helps build your rank on that first day. Basically, I’m not rushing over to Amazon. Setting up a pre-order there has no benefit for me. If all three were done right now, okay, that would have some use.

But the readers who want my books, will still come back to read them if they have to wait five months for me to fix my mistakes and make something of a story. Those are the readers I want the most. I love all readers, but I don’t want to rush anything else to publication that isn’t polished enough.

At Death’s Door has received some editing. I’m about a third of the way through the first re-edit. I’d also like to never have to do this again. I want to fix it all, but it’s time consuming. I’m now thinking about the fact that if I had an editor and a cover designer, I’d be able to write more and worry about less.

But my income hasn’t changed from yesterday or last week.

My books are appearing on Google Play, which opens up to a whole different audience. I’m also trying out a Bookbub ad, not the featured deal which they always kick back at me. I’m hoping the ad passes so that I can get some traffic into Seed. Or do they just pass all the ads there?

Besides all that, I’ve taken on a weird side project. It just hit me like a bus. I’m not talking about it beyond that because I keep expecting it to basically die like so many other random projects. But anytime I sit at a computer it’s all I think about. On breaks at work I’ve been doing research for the project, looking things up. Get home and immediately start working on it.

It’s so weird, though, because the project has basically pushed me into trying to advertise for Seed. And I still edit a chapter of At Death’s Door almost every day. Breaking that into bits seems to be making it easier to edit, because I’m more likely to pay attention to what I’m doing instead of ignoring it.

It is the first time I’ve written with an audience, so to speak. Want to spend time with the family but also get the project done, so I just take my netbook with me. Which is dying I should add. It’s a year old and black bars just randomly appear across the screen now and it takes twenty minutes to load even though I stripped everything out of it basically.

And then added a game back in because I was like, “it’s stupid anyhow!”

I dislike that brand of computer. Either I have bad luck with them, or their product is inferior.

Oh yeah, my tower, which is the same brand, can’t play a game which my six-year-old laptop can play because the maker of the tower hobbled it on purpose even though it was purported to be a gaming system.

I’d burn the tower, but it’s all I have. And besides not being able to play the games I want, it works well for all the other things. Certainly a great deal faster than the netbook. I don’t wait a minute or more for a page to load and it doesn’t lose internet randomly.

I just have to sort out this chair situation.

Maybe next month that’s what my royalties will go to. A nice office chair.

Anyhow, I have to get back to work. This project had me up at 6am to work on it before work. I don’t work until 11am.

I don’t know what’s going on with this thing, but at this point I’m not going to dig my feet in, I’m just going to go with it. The speed I’m working at, I could be done in a week or so. That’d be nice. But this way, if it fails, no one is getting excited over a project that will never be done.

Could have been the school that did it. My brain could just be like, “get all the words out now!”

Guess I’ll find out.

 

12-in-12 Challenge

Okay. I haven’t really bitten off more than I can chew, but I took on the 12-in-12 challenge last November to give myself a goal because I wasn’t quite certain where my writing was going besides into The Reaping trilogy. Now I’ve got that and the second Contracted trilogy done as well as one one-off.

The challenge seems to have boot-kicked my creative world building up into a higher gear which is fantastic and I love it.

Over the months I have learned more about editing and graphic design and now want to revamp all my backlog of books and update the covers for the Coffee and Blood series. I may have to revisit the Contract series as well, though I do like the style.

Coffee and Blood would likely follow the same style as the Seed cover. I like how that looks and the background colours for each trilogy will be the same colour and texture while the character changes. That’ll make it easier for readers to find the trilogies by glance alone, no?

There are… eleven books to re-edit and six or so more to edit.

I’m still waiting for an acceptance/rejection letter but I do want to go back to school. I want to do the editing. I want to get the graphic design up and running for real. Except the 12-in-12 is always there. And if I get into school, I can’t do the last two books of the year.

Basically, I’m considering ending my 12-in-12 because it served out a purpose and has jump started all sorts for my writing, editing, and goals for the coming years. Except now it’s taking up so much time that I can’t get anything done until November. I can’t re-edit until November, or re-brand until November. I don’t feel that would be a good fit to wait until November to start all this when I need Wraith’s Rebellion done for October, before Seed goes live.

So, I suppose this is now a to-do list:

-Rebrand website: I said I’d do this, what, back in November?

-Edit, in this order: Seed, Wraith’s Rebellion, Crop, Harvest, Contracted, D.o.t.A.

-Rebrand Covers: Wraith’s Rebellion.

-Get on with the Covers already.

-Blog tours?

-Revisit Blurbs of all the books.

-Adjust room/office area to actually allow for doing work.

-Update The Others.

Ark is still active, but I am dragging my feet because of the to-do list. Ark doesn’t have a due date, it’s not up for pre-order anywhere, I don’t have to rush through it. I’m kind of enjoying dragging my feet, though. Ark is set in a tropical biodome and is kind of giving me flashbacks of vacations but in a good way.

I’ve got a direction now, I know where I’m going and what I’m doing. It’s time to take off the blinders and make changes to further my writing rather continuing to do what isn’t getting books out until probably spring of next year. That’s too long.

Harvest – Complete

My schedule is messing with my updates. Could have also been the trip to Mexico and the other trip across the country. My internal clock is all kinds of messed up. When I go to bed at night, I end up laying up and unable to sleep. By the time I fall asleep it’s an uneasy sleep.

Tried valerian. Does not work? Suddenly gets me all wired up.

But once my clock settles back down and realizes this is my timezone and we’re going to sleep when I want to sleep.

Oh, right, I should just set my alarm. That’ll certainly resettle things back down.

Anywho, the book is done. I think Harvest turned out better than Crop in the first go around. I think it’ll take a little less editing than Crop, which is good.

Rather than rush these guys out, I’m going to take my time with the edits and get it right. Then once they’re all out I’m going to do a box set.

See, I’ve been a little trouble about the trilogies and then the whole world. The naming scheme is… I mean, I can’t be the only one to do it. So Wraith’s Rebellion is the trilogy, and is what’s on the covers, but Coffee and Blood is the name of the world. All these trilogies and books and such will fall under the giant umbrella of Coffee and Blood.

So I’ve decided to release them under the trilogies and then bundle them together and release the bundle under Coffee and Blood. That way the bundles aren’t bungling up the solo books. The trilogies don’t share main characters, though main characters of previous trilogies may end up as secondary characters in other trilogies.

I have no idea if I made that make sense. I’ve been replacing flour with with flower and trying to phonetically spell words for some reason. I blame the long travel basically killing my brain. Which was why the first week, I struggled through the chapters. Then yesterday just slammed through three chapters.

Or was that four…? I don’t remember. It’s done though.

My two complete days off are Monday and Wednesday because, and I didn’t realize this before. Part-time hours doesn’t mean real part-time hours when you have skills they can use. They’re dropping me into every shift they have available and I’m just kind of sitting in the corner going, “I was told there would be part-time hours.”

On my full days off I’ll have to study for my license and maybe go in for it.

Because, guess what? My royalties will be enough to do it!

Get the license, find an actual full-time job. You know, the kind with a regular schedule? Or get moving on applying to school to go back for a certification and just alter my availability.

I was expecting more time to myself, as I’ve seen with all other part-timers. I feel like I have no time but I have a great deal more time.

My family even feeds me when I get home. I should have all the time in the world.

Must be the travels, sleep, and lack of regular schedule. I’d book off certain days and give myself a regular schedule, but the person above me doesn’t seem to have a regular schedule.

I definitely function a great deal better when I have a regular work schedule. If I could get that, I’d be golden.

I start my next book in a week. I have to say, I’m looking forward to the end of this. If I wasn’t working, just writing, this is the way I’d go. I’d definitely have all the time in the world and I’d write a book a month, probably get it done in a week, in a couple of years I’d have the editing down pat and I might even be able to publish a book a month.

Super distracted, but a long day yesterday to get the book done.

Also, strangely hopeful for a future of just writing.

I definitely need two days off.

May – Harvest (week 2/3)

You read that right. I don’t know what it is with Prototype but I don’t feel like rushing through that. I want to take my time with every line which is weird because I’m doing the same damned thing with Seed. Of course, the key with Seed is that I promised almost a year ago that I wouldn’t put it up for pre-order until Harvest was written.

I now have a proofreader. Huzzah!

Except she’s a bad influence. I fleshed out The Ark, and have a new sub-series for Coffee and Blood. Not a trilogy, but a series called The Elders. Older vampires dictating parts of their history for mortal consumption. Elysia is all for it, apparently. Though she has a long, long history and has done a lot. She also won’t even choose a part of time until after Harvest goes live.

We’re over halfway through Seed, so getting Harvest done is imperative.

For my ego, you understand. It’s hiding under a rock weeping.

All these people Trademarking words and then being petty annoyances. I believe one quote I read went, “I am building a brand, you are writing a book.”

Woman, we are all pouring our hearts and souls into books and series and worlds. Anne Rice did not trademark vampires (thank god), E.L. James did not trademark BDSM (thank god), and you know what they are?

Brands.

Okay, it’s late at night and I’ve been an emotional wreck for about five days so I’m clearly expressing a little hypergraphia and… written vomit.

I did some editing while on vacation but no writing. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I was overwhelmed and felt small and stupid and just… like I was invisible. I tried to retreat to give myself a foundation and calm down but at every turn it went wrong.

I was at a five star resort, there were people everywhere. The few times I felt alone, I managed to regain just enough of myself to continue but not enough to muster up the courage to write. The little voices at the back of my mind started whispering.

Just give up. No one likes you. Your writing is shit and will never get better. You’ll never be anything.

I didn’t even have the energy to fend them off. I just let them wash over me and beat me down because I knew once I got home I’d refocus and squash them again.

And as soon as I got home, I basically fled. The second I was alone I started crying. Just all that emotion boiling out of me. I haven’t felt like that in years and I’m so happy that I made choices and changes to my life to protect myself and build myself back up.

Besides that, the resort was fabulous and I will go back.

I have two new worlds, a new sub-series, and have found the bits of The Ark which were missing. I did manage to decompress despite shutting down emotionally and have my body turn on me.

I’m still not feeling Harvest, but I am recovering from all the alcohol, the emotional state, and the bodily complaints. And I am starting the keto diet. Supposed to be good for all that ails me… literally.

The book is written up to chapter six. I have one more stressful trip ahead of me with long hours on both a plane and in a vehicle which should help me write it, if I can plug into an mp3 player and drown out the world. At this point I need that, though. My mental health has to come before anything else.

Especially since this is month six of twelve and I’m spiraling all over the place.

Oh shit. I don’t know where my usb is. The only things not backed up are the edits for Seed, and all of Contract Delivered.

Excuse me while I tear apart my room and try not to have a panic attack.