Contract Sealed Week 3

Going through Contract Sealed, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. The book was written over a year or so and meanders all over.

This coming from an author whose books have sometimes been described as “pretty clean for someone without an editor.”

Ugh.

Anyhow, it’s on my list and at least it’s complete.

I changed my schedule today. Normally I work late but that late shift combined with tomorrow’s early shift would have resulted in about 2hrs of sleep… if my upstairs neighbour shut up long enough for me to call asleep. So I changed it.

But now I’m all sorts of confused. Regular schedules help me distinguish days of the week and this is not the shift for me.

What have I been doing with my time?

Playing games, cleaning, and doing puzzles. I feel like the laziest bum in the world doing it, but I know pushing through for the writing wouldn’t help me any in the long run. I need to take my time and accept my limitations.

January is still set to be His Wings. This is an obligated book and cannot be moved no matter how many times my muses toss up The Visitors world and try to distract me.

That and February set for His Halo. Get that trilogy done and dealt with. No one seems interested in it. Angels aren’t popular? Maybe.

Maybe I just suck.

Definitely need sleep and rest still. Maybe if I did some editing I’d feel a little better.

Or maybe if looking at anything to do with my writing didn’t make me want to cry…

Monday was the first day that wasn’t overwhelming since the beginning of November. I almost felt good leaving work. Yesterday I might have gotten something writing related done if it wasn’t for one of my winter traditions.

Cleaning and organizing my home. Thanks to a slip Monday afternoon, my legs hurt from pulled muscles and I had to take my time. Which meant it took all day but I feel better for having cleaned. Maybe this weekend I’ll feel good enough to do some editing or some such.

Haven’t heard back from my betas about Fragments yet which isn’t helping my “woe is me” attitude. I’m really sick of being this low, but kicking my own ass into gear doesn’t work when all my energy is going toward getting out of bed in the morning.

Anyhow. Come January if I’ve not heard from my betas I’ll do another read edit or two and go forward with that.

Still haven’t helped Beth with her rebranding. Well, now I really feel like a bum.

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.

Contract Sealed Week 1

Done. Thank goodness. I know, I know. It’s only six days in and it was five or six chapters. At my rate of course it’s done.

You just haven’t been inside my head around December before, especially when I’m having problems at work.

I had a tension headache until Sunday. Might have had one of my episodes, but it wasn’t as bad as usual. Normally I check out mentally and I’m basically just this hull of a person.

If that sounds familiar to you, don’t worry, I’m aware of what it could mean. But try to get a doctor to check it. They won’t unless you go while in an episode and even then they won’t get the equipment in time to check and they act like you’re lying or something.

To which I’d end up staring mutely at them because my words fail me.

Why is that important? Well, if I was about to have an episode it explains my weird writing experiences just before. I was forgetting words and bumbling all kinds of stuff. I’d think “I’ve” and spell ‘ivory’ and there were a couple times where I thought one thing and something else entirely came out.

It’s possible that I wrote what I heard on the television instead of what I wanted to write. For me, writing is rarely about the images anymore. It’s a narration inside my own head, like I’m taking down the words of someone else. So writing what I hear on my shows instead of what I want wouldn’t be overly surprising.

The first couple of days was a struggle. One chapter over three days, this too is expected of an episode.

I think I wrote a total of six chapters. Approximately 20,000 words. Most of those were yesterday.

Normally after an episode, the words will die for a few days to a week. It can be so bad that speaking hurts in an all over way like I’m holding in the written word. Once that passes I see a sudden surge where I spend a day writing something like 23k words. I’ll stay with a manic word count for a bit then level right off.

But it’s December. Work will leave me hollowed out, emotionally and mentally exhausted. My workload has more than quadrupled but I have the same amount of time to do it. They say there’s a balance to those hours but… come on.

I’m hoping to get Boxing Day off. I’m also hoping to finish Contract Given this month. It’s a project that is outside of the others. I know I’m not supposed to be writing, but it’s a novella and I’m not going to use that for a project month. It’d be cheating.

December is the only month that I thought I might need a break. But when you go from 50k to 20k words in six days, yeah, you need that break.

I’m taking this weekend off writing and have no idea what I’m going to do with myself. Besides do the cleansing of the apartment that I always do in December. This time I’m going to wash walls and ceiling too, to get rid of the mold and hopefully the ants and to assess whether the ceiling is actually going to come down or if it’s just plaster cracking.

Five more months and I am moving…

Anyhow, officially done.

2 of 12 complete

Word count approximately 107,000 or about 53,500 per project.

Total writing days: 16

Or about 6,688 words a day.

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.