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.

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.

Crop Week One

I’ve gotten a whole chapter done! At this rate I won’t even be finished by April. Frick.

I have been watching what I eat since October, which always leaves me hungry by the time I get off work. I’ve noticed this past week that I can’t write when I get like that. So I need to come up with something to snack on after work that is light enough that I’ll eat when I get home.

That’ll fix about half the problem.

Once I’m done the description edit of His Wings in about three more days, I’ll be writing on my phone at home. I’m pretty certain if I put a game or something on my computer, I can pull it off.

Officially I’ll have six weeks off work.

Unless I get to the other side and they interview me and it just so happens the secondary boss has quit and they offer me that position. That’s the only emergency sort of scenario that would make me go back before all the hoops I have to jump through.

Yes, I’ll be able to sleep in, and yes I’m so looking forward to it.

But not having my stuff for two weeks is going to stress me out. Having to get my license back is going to spike my anxiety.

Going to Mexico for a week is a freaking bonus but I wouldn’t be in the country to work…

And then there’s a wedding that’s going to cause a lot of anxiety. I’m doing almost everyone a favour by staying home.

I’m thinking the first week, around family stuff and arranging my license, I’ll just play video games. Two days in I’ll get bored, I know it, and go back to work in some kind of manic filled manner. But stuff will get done and the game playing will be out of my system.

I’m thinking The Awakened or Contract Delivered for March. Want to get the second done and get on editing that trilogy and the stand alone. Get them up. They’re burning a hole in my usb.

I have to figure something out for May, as I will be without a computer etc for over half the month. I may start May’s project at the end of April’s. I do want to do one book a month, and in theory I’ll have a lot of free time because I will be working part-time then, but I like having plans in place.

Fifty-nine days to my last day of work. Sixty-six until I arrive in my new home.

Blood on both the ceiling and floor of the public washroom I have to use almost daily (stupid bladder the size of a pea) and a literal pile of trash in my front yard. I feel like the city is starting to fall apart, but I’ve loved it for years.

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 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.