Back to Work (again)

Seven weeks behind, I think it’s safe to say I’m throwing out some expletives in frustration. I need some project I can tick off as complete before I start getting disoriented by this pile of work that’s building up.

Need to get back into the routine. Death Mask on the phone, Contract Signed at home. Whatever I can manage at work.

Today “whatever I can manage at work” is formatting for both Contract Broken and Contract Renewed. I got the wraps back, thankfully my cover designer found time among planning a wedding, working full time, and running her own writing job.

Thinking about how much was on her plate does not make me feel better about me being seven weeks behind.

Seven weeks! That’s like two books written and one edited with how quickly I normally work.

I’m also concerned because I have another doctor’s appointment next week. My concern, of course, being that the last appointment took me out for a week. My skull was vibrating like a tuning fork even on Saturday.

I do have a plan, but I also had a plan last week and it did not work.

Then again, I didn’t expect to have two trips to a lab and an extra trip to the doctor because she forgot to tick a box off…

Still, I’ve never done this before and don’t know what my reaction will be. 

So there’s that concern. 

In the mean time, if my bus ever shows up, I am going to write on my commutes, I’ve got the tablet to do the formatting at work, and I do have a plan for edits and writing once I get home. I even had a plan to write this morning. 

I find, however, that I can work better if I read the last chapter to get in the mindset sort of thing. So I drank my coffee and read chapter eleven of Contract Signed. 

I don’t recall writing it, but my goodness.

There are so many things I could be doing, if not for the day job. It’s aggravating because all my energy when I get sick or injured… or have no water for three weeks… goes towards the day job because the bills have to be paid.

Gotta get back to work. That’s my mantra now. 

Gotta get back to work.

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

Okay. Now I’m really frustrated. 

Nathaniel’s story has changed, which is fine. That’s why I don’t start writing right away. 

The frustrating part is Angel is now put off and I’ve got another book to write before Morgan’s Story. There are not enough hours in my day around the day job for all the things I want to do.

The plus side of that is that I have several books sort of ready to go. I’m going to take the next couple of days or so and plot it all out in my writing app, which creates text based documents for me to transfer if necessary and very easily edit on any computer.


Nathaniel’s trilogy would be Contracted books 4-6. I swear that’s the end of the world there. Honestly. You can totally trust me when I say I won’t write another book for a world. I’ve never said that and added sixteen more stories, honestly.

Need a sarcasm font…

Contracted 4-6 would be my first published m/m and is very much M/s with BDSM. Anyone who has read Izzy’s Story would probably know that. This series covers Nathaniel and his Master. 

So it’d go:

Signed : Nathaniel and his Master. Not how they met. This begins at the portion where their M/s relationship begins and goes over how in the hell that went. If they could kindly stop throwing sex scenes at me without context, that’d be fabulous.

Sealed : how the community was set up and an introduction to the Sadists. Nathaniel played at being Sadist while still serving his Master. This could also involve the threesome that Nathaniel mentions in Contract Taken as the time line is about right.

Delivered : This may be a two parter (in one book) with the first half dealing with Nathaniel’s time during Contract Broken, including his lessons in there for someone, and the second part would either cover Contract Renewed or would come directly after it and explain a bit about Mr. Wrightworth. The man is never really mentioned “in the future” and it’s creeping me out. 

Since exploring this new trilogy, I’ve been assured that he’s alive and well, but what happens to him keeps changing. I swear my characters are fucking with me. 

One explanation was he landed in jail, another that he didn’t land in jail, he landed in jail bait (yes, that’s the way it was put to me) another that he retired to an island and yet another that he stepped down from the Program and started work as a Contractee representative, living mainly off investments but under a new name.

Make up your mind, you guys. 

He can’t be all of those things.

I think.


What have I been up to?

Well, Prototype in a month was a bust. I seem to be missing something to tell the story, even though I know how it all ends. That kind of sucks, but I’ll keep working on it and maybe do a re-write. That seems to work well for me recently.

I’ve almost written another book, At Death’s Door is part of a trilogy called Wraith’s Rebellion. All the writing is done on my phone. Isn’t that a nifty thing? More like crazy as could be, but I have long commutes and haven’t wanted to read anything. It doesn’t even feel like work because it’s doing a great job at distracting me from hours on a bus.

The Contracted trilogy is up for pre-order on Amazon, and I’ve reached out to the cover artist to do the wraps she had promised. Coming up with other options well, I know she’s very busy and might not have the time to put them together.

I’m considering getting Indesign as I’ve heard you can do the ebook formatting on there and have Amazon accept the fonts. I’ll believe it when I see it, but it’s kind of expensive. Its subscription based and would cost me the same to hire out for the work, and that’s a problem. So I’ll keep looking around.

My laptop was failing to the point where it couldn’t work with some web pages, WordPress included. It works on my phone, but I’ve been writing At Death’s Door on there. So that’s kind of why I’ve been absent.

I won’t accept large gifts from people. It’s never ended well for me even to accept gifts in general. Dorian knew that, and one day showed up with his brother’s old computer. He set it up before I arrived and absconded with my laptop. The act of it led to our first fight in months, because there were things on that laptop I needed.

Apparently, his brother upgraded to a full on gaming rig, and Dorian told his brother he’d recycle the old computer. His brother isn’t the sort to ask if Dorian recycled it or not.

So my computer issue was fixed, though the monitor is driving me batty. I may have to save up and buy a new one, but those are a great deal cheaper than getting the entire rig.

I’m thinking about working on an angel and demon story. Woooo scary.

Because it’s just not possible, and I should know better.

But then… I also said no vampires.

My list for October is simple. Finish Prototype, finish At Death’s Door, do the first edit for Masked Intentions, and get the final copies of Contract Broken and Contract Renewed up. Preferably, get the hard copies of the Contracted Trilogy settled so I can do a giveaway.

I am planning on resisting the urge to write. However, as I can now write on my phone, most bets are off.

I also have this nifty world building app, which I put At Death’s Door into before I started writing. It has helped immensely. I barely follow the plot I wrote up, but the few times I’ve gotten stuck, I’ve been able to refer to it. The chapters are broken up, and I’ve found it much easier to dart all over. No extra pulls or anything, all the chapters linked together and at my fingertips.

If there’s mention of Hitler or random insanity that’s inappropriate, that’s because I caught the person sitting beside me reading my screen. Most of them moved pretty quickly.

Except for the one woman, who is on the bus every day with me. The next day she also sat beside me.

People are weird.

Day Four… or in Other Words:

Please let me go back to writing, I’ll be good! I won’t complain about the hours, or the editing, or how I feel insecure about my stories, I promise. Just let me go back to work!

Not that I really complained about the hours before…

Today we were supposed to go to Niagara Falls, but we overslept. Oh well. It kind of worked out in the end because er, let’s call her Mary, from yesterday? Well, Mary is going to the falls tomorrow with her man-friend.

Mary’s text dripped of a silently begging question. “Please, save me,” it cried. It didn’t take much for Dorian to change our plans around. Tomorrow we’ll go to the falls with Mary and her friend, to help her get through the week.

Dorian’s pretty certain she’d be interested in kink. Given the questions she’s dared to ask, I’m not surprised that he thinks that. So the next munch that happens, he wants me to invite her to it.

Oh yeah, me at a munch. Such a good example, Dorian.

I am kinky, but I do not like being submissive at munches. A fact that Dorian loves to take advantage of. If ever there were a time for me to keep my mouth shut, a munch is probably one of them. Not because subs should be quiet, but because the swear words that come out of my mouth, and my promise to “flay your dick off if you look at me again, you piece of shit.” every time my phone notifies me of a text, are sure to make people avoid me.

I swear when I get nervous. I also put on a tone of voice and glower at the intended idiot. If Dorian wasn’t there, it’d be no problem, but he insists I speak. If I didn’t have to speak, I wouldn’t get in trouble because I’d sit quietly with a drink, muttering to invisible friends.

Despite being ‘homebound’ today, I was not allowed to write. Taking the full week off means taking the full week off. My only respite is writing blog posts, which I swear Dorian only lets me write so that he can go back later, read it over, and see if he can torment me about anything else.

Hence avoiding all things smut today.

Yesterday Dorian finished reading Contract Renewed after we got home. He had taken it as his reading material. Of course his first comment was that it wasn’t directed at him, so he didn’t get as swept up in it. Then he asked if he should tie me up and invite Nolan over. If we should re-enact a scene from Contract Broken because he was pretty certain I’d enjoy it.

You know, what with the dirty dream on Monday?

No, Dorian.

Bad, Dorian!

I don’t care what actually ended up happening in the scene. Nolan is way too interested in making certain he has my undivided attention. And just because I write about three people having sex with one another doesn’t mean that I want to have a threesome.

Everything Takes Longer Than Expected

When I talked to Dorian about my plan, he went ahead and told Beth that I was looking to set up a home office. Beth researched and did the math. How much it would cost to buy versus the frustration of building.

Apparently she had the same idea as me, probably for a while since she was the one who pointed out the free pallets to me.

We met up at the store Monday night. The lucky bum got a ride from work because she stayed late to help someone. We did kind of rush through the displays, because we both had a budget and the moment we walked in started oh-ing and ah-ing over the setups.

Then went back to my place where I polished off Contract Renewed some more and we both ate pizza. 

I’m not certain I’ll ever be happy with the book. But you should hear Beth go on about her published books never being good enough for any audience. 

I got my delivery early in the morning. Beth shortly after. I know because we texted each other. We get way too excited over new furniture.

The last three times I’ve had deliveries, it’s been the same team of guys. Very respectful, quick, and relatively clean. Just a little dusty because they’re moving dusty packages. 

When I opened the door there was no identifying marks and my first thought was, “shit.” Thankfully it was the delivery, but I whined at Beth about it.

An hour later I got a text, “You didn’t say the older one was drunk!”

Apparently we both had the same delivery guys. We proceeded to get in an argument because the company always calls afterwards to check and I was going to report it to the supervisor. So I ended up not hearing from her until she had put her desk together. It was the least expensive, while not looking like it was cheap, so we both got the same thing.

“How did you connect the desk top to the trestles?” 

“Dunno, just doing it now.”

We can’t figure it out. I contacted Dorian and he sighed and said he’d fix both desks when he got back. Just drilling some holes, but while I’m not great with measurements, if it’s off I’m going to go crazy. So I’ll leave it for the guy with a construction background. 

It took nine hours of work to paint the bookshelves. The paint remains tacky despite drying overnight. The air feels moist though, so that may be it. Even the thin first layer I did on the last piece of the second bookcase felt that way. The first piece of the first bookcase wasn’t tacky by the end of the nine hours so it must have to do with humidity.

Trixie: hopped onto the first piece, leaving paw prints all over it and the floor. Twice. I got non-toxic paint just in case. Surprisingly she let me put her on her back and wash her paws. 

She leapt onto the desk top, sitting on the trestles but not attached, and rolled all over the desktop. Claiming it as hers.

After I built the first bookshelf, she jumped onto it, almost taking it to the floor. It’s now attached to the wall. 

Jumped onto the drying side, leaving permanent kitty prints up it.

Used the trestles as an obstacle course. The trestles which are under a desk top not yet bolted down.

Used the boxes as toys, getting irritable when she couldn’t simply bat them around.

And finally, this morning attacked me when I had my mug in my hand, getting coffee on my new keyboard. 

I have an important meeting today at work. Thankfully the coffee missed me. 

It’s almost built though. Soon, I’ll have more space to work. The coffee mug will be to the side, where it never comes over the keyboard. 

And I’ll be able to get to work.

August 1st I’ll be restarting D.o.t.A. I still don’t have a title for the first one. I wish it were a simple matter. I know the full plot of the first one. I could do Cracked and Broken. As the first arc is at least two books. Or Self Discovery and maybe Self Destruction. 

I’ll have to really think on that. 

Knife Play is a ‘no’

Yesterday at work I somehow managed to get my little finger caught between a hard place and a sharp object, almost skinning the pad off. It’s the kind of incident that no one expects to happen. 

Which, in my experience, means I’ll be the one to do it to myself.

I’m fine, I should add. 

But afterwards everything got dopey and slow. Having been a part of that lifestyle for a while, I recognized the drop. If I had been playing, it would be called sub drop. Apparently it’s not my reaction to playing itself, but the crash after pain has been caused.

Interesting. Thankfully it was only a little drop.

Because Dorian is out of town until next Sunday. I don’t do well with a big drop and being by myself. Did that with my ex, when I had no idea what was going on. 

When I found out he did know what was going on and ignored me on purpose, I broke up with him. While shouting and throwing things and going on because I was still in the middle of it all.


When I got home all I wanted to do was curl up with a stuffie and be petted and kissed and taken care of. Recognizing what was going on, I ordered pizza (with the little brownie bites) gorged like Dorian never lets me (because his rules don’t apply when I’m weepy and on my own) and after two brownies found myself with Contract Renewed open on my laptop.

I got that last chapter done after four hours. It took my mind off the finger until I tried to save. Apparently the left little finger is used exclusively for ctrl+s. 

Also, apparently I went four hours without saving! Thank goodness I didn’t lose progress, or I’d really be in a bad spot.

I didn’t write the entire time either. No, I spent about half the time wrangling Trixie.

Off the laptop, away from the wireless keyboard, away from the mouse. Then away from markers when I took a short break to try to fill out the planner again. And off the planner, then away from the planner,  then to the scratching post because she seemed intent on digging her claws into everything.

I first tried petting and cuddling her, of course. That didn’t work.

So now I have leftover pizza, brownies and pop. I let Dorian know, mainly so that he doesn’t order pizza next week. 

Then only reason he restricts me is that if I’ve dropped and there’s pizza available,  I’ll eat until I’m in a food coma, then feel terribly lazy all the next day.

So, long story short, Contract Renewed is almost ready for the beta reader. I’m planning on starting over on D.o.t.A in August. Taking the last week of July off… 

And I really think Contract Taken could be up on Amazon as early as September. Just have to contact the cover designer.

On Tuesday I’m headed out to get my desk.

… and two bookshelves. I have zero, in my defence. Books are just laying around all over the place. Stuff ends up on the floor because I have nowhere to put it. It’s also hard to argue with that price. 

Oh, and I’m putting the shelves on either side of my mantle to keep Trixie off of it so that I can out the TV up there where she can’t reach it.

My only problem is that everything will be white, to fit in my budget, and I have a strong dislike of all furniture that is white. 

Sounds like I’ll need to spend a day getting crafty, which is fine. Once Contract Renewed is off to the beta, I could probably use a nice day off from all the things.

On Planning

My original plan was to set up preorders for the Contract trilogy three months apart. Of course, I’m being guided by Beth, who is a planner. She makes me research everything. Or… nearly everything. 

When it first came to the preorder she was completely on board with the idea. Three months would give me a ton of time to market and build a readership. 

But the other day she stumbled on a discussion between authors. One of them was in a situation similar to mine. A trilogy was at the ready and this person was debating between doing preorders or launching all three books at the same time.

The author was advised to launch the first immediately, then do a preorder for three weeks for the next, and three weeks for the one after. The idea is to drive readership. And this will help you start off strong. 

Except I’m not certain three weeks is enough. What if something comes up, what if I need to make an alteration to the second or third books? How is three weeks going to help me, as a new author, to build readership? 

I, of course, went to Beth with these questions. So she sat me down and we had a discussion of our own.

See, Beth views writing as a type of business. It is still a hobby for her, she is not making enough to live off of it, but she hopes to one day. 

The way you would treat a customer in retail is how you should treat your fans. Or, if you can, treat readers better than you would customers. Now, she works in retail so that imagery works very well for her, and I can see where she’s coming from.

Businesses who treat their customers well, do well. If you were going to buy a suit and the salesperson was rude, would you still buy the suit? Most cities have multiple fine clothing stores, you don’t have to be limited.

Most people would go to another store. The same is true for indie authors. You aren’t the only one writing stories like that.

Of course, I adore my readers so for me that part isn’t really a problem. 

The part that deflated my ego was the next bit: it takes five years to build a business and about a minute to destroy it.

Beth, when she first published, wasn’t even close to popular. After two years she’s finally seeing some traction, but has to take a break because she can’t afford editing costs at the moment. That means her… cloud? Is slowly going to get smaller unless she gets the next book written  and finds the money for editing. 

Being a new author, she told me, I need all the help I can get. That means that if three weeks will help me build my foundation, I need to swallow my pride and just do it.

It also would mean that I’d have two months or so before I was back where I am now. Growling about editing. In two months I could probably finish writing the Daughters of the Alphas trilogy. 

Or I could finish the first and finish its edits, putting it up for a three months and basically buying myself time to write and edit the second, then do the same to get to the third. If I really focus I could work another writing project in the background. 

Because I’m keeping up a free story somewhere, so it’s not entirely impossible. If I could get the freaking tablet cord, I could write at work and edit at home. Which is what I was doing before. 

On the Contract Renewed front, I discovered why I only had four chapters left when I swore I had five chapters worth of stuff. That was because in the first draft, I somehow created two Chapter Fourteens. 

Go me. I can’t believe I missed that in the first two reads. Checking that the chapters read appropriately is one of the first things I do before I start editing.

So now I have twenty-one chapters with the possibility of rewriting the introduction to be more of an introduction instead of just a short chapter. I can take the old introduction and probably mire it into Chapter One, I think.

Before I left the house today, I went through Chapter Seventeen (I think) and started Eighteen before I got listless. Had to get ready for work. It’s still possible that I’ll finish Eighteen tonight.

Who knows, with tomorrow off and only three chapters left, I could finish with Contract Renewed tomorrow.