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…


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 Three

Crop is done! I even converted the files over but apparently forgot to check the word count. It’s probably about 66k words, but with autocorrect being labotamized I’ve found it less detrimental to the story to write it all out and then go back for the additional information. This is what I’ve been calling the description edit.

Or, alternatively, getting to the end and realizing you gave no one and nothing descriptions. Like. At all.

Ugh. It’s only been like fourteen manuscripts since I started chastising myself about the descriptions, you know. It totally takes forty before it clues in.

The plus side of such description edits is that I don’t have to stop and backtrack going, “what do these characters look like again?”

It never seems to stick. That’s what happens when you want to pump out stories to get the ideas down before you forget them.

The detail edit also lets me get really into the manuscript and paying attention to details and typos

I finished last Friday and proceeded to take almost three days off to drink wine and play video games. I got bored halfway through day one when I realized my controller didn’t have batteries and I was out and feeling lazy. So I didn’t get to play the games I wanted.

The third day, I set up the wrap for Seed and wrote two chapters of Harvest.

Yesterday, I edited four chapters of His Wings, read five chapters of Fragments, decided to rework the description of Fragments my next day at a computer, updated the Worlds on my website, started plotting Awakened, and began working on the cover for Crop.

Yes, that was all yesterday along with a full shift at the day job.

It seems I was suffering a B12 and D deficiency, both of which can lower energy levels and cause depression on top of my home situation which resulted in me being a lazy bum.

I’m back to myself again!

Except I’m not cleaning my apartment. It’s this whole thing. Landlord thinks I should live in a mouldy home and pay full rent while my ceiling is leaking in three places and I’m kind of hoping the leaks cause an electrical fire and take it all out. But not until I move my stuff out.

And cleaning it never feels clean thanks to the issues in the building. But I’m sure it’ll make good backstory for something.

Awakened is so far the contender for March. Mr. Wrightworth has walked away from Contract Delivered again. But it could be because once it and Contract Gifted are written, the world will be closed. Only because I feel like the stories have been told.

I will be writing Harvest at the same time, on commutes, after I finish a read edit of His Wings.

And I need to pack at some point. Right… much to do, sort of enough time to do it in. Basically, it’s crunch time.

Crop Week Two

Almost forgot to update because work changed my shift for today. I don’t mind at all, in fact I prefer an earlier shift, but I’m a creature of habit so I almost forgot.

On chapter sixteen of Crop. I’ve been editing and working on cover design too. Might have a design for The Reaping trilogy.

It kind of amuses me that the current setup has the title Seed sitting between Kaz’s legs just below his crotch. Greatly amuses me, actually.

I finished an edit of His Wings on… Saturday? Maybe. Started the chunk edit yesterday and got distracted by cover creation and packing.

Movers are booked. Huzzah.

Back to work I go.

Arts and Crafts for Authors

I’m talking about cover design. No, I’m not going to tell you how to make a cover. There are a couple of tutorials for different covers from the age old, “add a black box,” to, “add black bands,” and on to the, “just feather that all around,” stuff that doesn’t translate well from Photoshop to Paintshop, apparently.

Cover design is very personal, and while I may talk about it later on, I won’t right now. I just got started, by next week all my information will hopefully be upgraded.

Cover design is one of those things that most of us should probably hire out for, myself included. It’s not just a slap on the butt and it’ll work.

It’s not like painting a wall, where as long as it’s mostly okay, no one will notice the flaws. 

There’s positioning and hierarchy and typography. And not just the type of font you use, but how you make that sucker stand out from the rest of the cover. There’s negative space and texture and colour.

So, I’ve been talking for a while about getting into cover design…

I’ve got the program, I’ve got a couple sites for stock photos, I’ve been doing research in those moments when I can’t focus on writing. 

I kind of suck at it right now, but doing this kind of work when the words elude me takes the pressure off me. I don’t feel like I’m a failure because I can’t make my three thousand words, or I’m not marketing, or editing. I get my mind off the plots for a little bit, so that I can take a look back with a fresh perspective and see new things in a world. 

It’s a great thing that keeps my attention and doesn’t make me feel guilty, unlike the video games I keep trying to play. On the one hand this is a good thing, because it means that I have the ambition, drive, and, heck, even the time management skills required to get this whole dream of mine off the ground. I’m just missing the reader base.

Market more.

That’s the voice I hear, except it’s always in a snooty tone and said by someone who isn’t living paycheck to paycheck, able to afford rent but nothing extravagant. Know what I can’t afford?

Furniture, trips, alcohol, makeup, and a shit ton of other things like daily coffee. If I can’t afford those things, I can’t afford marketing.

Then you can’t afford to be a writer.

You and I, snooty voice, need to have words out behind the woodshed with a shotgun.

This idea that if you can’t afford marketing, you can’t afford to be an author is absolutely ridiculous. You can afford to be an author. Save your money for things that really matter, like an editor and cover designer. Write a good book, the rest will come with time. Sure, it’ll take you longer, but just because you don’t have expendable income doesn’t mean you have to abandon your dream.

End rant.

Yesterday, after making my three thousand words I made the cover for His Grace and then did the other idea I had for the cover. It could be the shitty angel wings I grabbed for filler, but the second one looks stupid. I will try to find an appropriate pair of wings and see how that looks. 

Probably just the same.

Then I tried playing my game and was on just long enough for it to load before I looked at the time and grimaced.

It was only noon, I still had lots of time before my day off ended. I couldn’t come up with anything to do with the game, at least nothing interesting, so I closed it down and reopened Paintshop. 

I grabbed a couple random things. I slapped something together and finally ended up looking at an approximation of the cover I had wanted for Masked Intentions. Only an approximation though.

I started trying to come up with pre-made cover ideas. While wandering around, I found a stock photo of two pillows and got an idea, so I did it. That’s it, that’s all. I made what was mostly in my head.

My typography and texture mixes are still bothering me. Texture is getting better, but I have to find someplace with typography tutorials. I want to know how I do that thing with the thing and that one over there.

Mine’s just all flat and boring. All I can really do is drop shadow and glow. 

I am doing the smart thing, though, and making up recipe files for my covers. I think there’s a way to save palettes but I don’t know how to do that yet. Rather than spend the three hours teaching myself in the middle of craft time, I grabbed the hex numbers and added them to the recipe file.

So, that’s what I did this weekend. It’s what I plan to do tonight when I get home as well, unless His Grace begs to be written. 

I need to finish Death Mask. Haven’t heard anything back from the betas of Cheating Death, starting to worry it’s a bad book. Ah well, I’m a bad author and a bad cover designer.

I don’t feel bad about that, though, as I will get better.