Week Two (Day Five)

Writing first: Cover designer has backed out due to personal reasons for myself and four others. No replacement is being offered so I’m looking for a new artist for The Last Prophet.

Wrote some for The Last Prophet and put some edits into Crop.

Looking into making a box set for trilogies.

Now, the hypergraphic/personal:

 

2ifb0b

 

See the above. No one is really in dress code, which I’m fine with, wear whatever. The office dress code will vary, etc. But because I was told there was a dress code, I purchased dress pants and black shoes.

Though, to be fair, my shoes needed to be replaced anyhow.

No one is in dress code, no one talked about dress code. There are ripped jeans, leggings, and bulky boyfriend-style sweaters daily in the class. Flip flops on the feet and old runners.

Again, I’m not complaining in the least. They can wear whatever they want. But I kind of look like a crazy person snuck into class.

My dictionary informed me snuck is not a word, but sneaked sounds so flipping weird. I think this is one of those things I need to defend to the end of my days.

Anyhow, I’m in dress pants and button up shirts. The shirts have been in my closet for years, they’re what I’m most comfortable in. I know, crazy person. The dress pants are new and the shoes were a kind of hold over until they told us the dress code.

I have hip and leg problems and the shoes didn’t offer proper support, so I bought new ones yesterday. Happy feet help the Bitter Betty feeling a little.

So, new shoes, same shirts as always, but still dress pants. I could go back to jeans, which I wear for work. But I’ve decided to keep the dress pants.

I like how they make my butt feel.

And it’s really the little things, right?

Had an altercation last night with someone who is in a position I was in for years. One which I fixed the area she deals with and re-trained everyone.

She spoke to me like I was a child, like I had damage the property of a client. Like I had walked around her desk, bent right over and licked her between the eyes. Peed in her wheaties, wrote my name in black marker across the side of her cat, or car.

Walked right out and slapped a client, literally, not figuratively or metaphorically.

She spoke to me in a way which she is not allowed to speak to me. Clients don’t get away with that tone of voice. My parents don’t.

The problem in question?

There were things overdue the day I worked in her area and the person who put them together made a mistake on every single one. The last time I worked in her area, the rule was that they had to be left, even if they went overdue because that person is not a stupid moron and has to fix their stupid fucking mistake.

Now, the last part of that sentence is implied by how she behaves toward us. That’s not how we’re supposed to talk to one another.

Or what we’re supposed to do.

My boss came in two hours before I was done and said that it had been changed around and to fix the mistakes. We discussed the problems and how long they would take. She agreed with me to leave the one I left.

By that time, I was mid-way through completing the item due the next day. Not yet overdue, but about to be.

The one that I didn’t do was a fix of a previous error made by someone in this person’s area. We weren’t waiting on anything to come in, all the components had been there for two weeks and they ignored it.

I have no sympathy for people who take fixes and then pass off the work, make the client wait two weeks for something that’s not their fault.  But it was also a complicated process that I knew I didn’t have the time to fix.

For that? I’m a God damned fucking moron.

My boss has told me not to argue with this person. It’s not worth it, I get what she’s saying, but at the same time, I’m not just going to stand there and listen to someone talk down to me.

Me.

I’m fuckin’ perfect at everything.

(That’s a joke)

I know my limits and my history and I know the appropriate way of doing things for my company. I am an experienced, rational, balanced body. If I weren’t a good body, I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in of working/school thirty-seven days straight, of covering for the boss on Sunday while she’s on vacation.

I am an able body and this person makes me feel like nothing I ever do is good enough, will ever be good enough, but she just keeps demanding and taking more and more.

I left the uh… discussion halfway through.

And immediately began bawling my eyes out because that last bit? That’s a trigger for me.

I give and I give and I give and this company just wants my blood and my bones and my soul itself and I’m not willing to give it up. People like the one I had the discussion with are products of their training, of their upbringings and someone will say that I need to be the bigger person and understand and console and just say I’ll do better.

But you know what never changes if that happens?

Her attitude, behaviour, the cloud of negativity and hatred that surrounds her.

I’m not a goddamned saint. I’m out to slay the dragon (metaphorically). I can be the white knight on the horse, but if the bitch keeps getting caught by dragons, keeps falling into traps… well…

I let her die.

Again, metaphorically.

I went to the break room, grabbed a kleenex, realized if she came in I’d be cornered and those types go right for the throat when you cry. Oh, and I go for the soft parts when they do, so I headed out and found what I thought was an empty room only to have another manager look at me and ask what was wrong… and for me to start bawling again.

I’m tired, I have nothing left to give, but still they demand more and nothing I do is good enough. I bawled my eyes out until I managed to force myself to stop and then I got mad.

The manager in question tried to joke with me as she left. Like everything is good now that she’s rubbed my face in someone else’s shit.

I am not okay. It is not okay to talk to someone like that.

But my feet didn’t hurt as much at the end of the day. I’m also not as tired as I have been the past couple of weeks. Almost energetic physically. Mentally, I’m okay. Emotionally, though?

I’m done, so done. Negative Nellies, Talk-down Tanyas, Bitter Betties and Whiny Wilmas need to leave me alone.

 

Week Two (Day Two)

It took until I reached school for me to recognize that weird heaviness all over. My joints are aching, on top of more pain, and I’m already sick. Yesterday my nose started running after lunch so I could very well be sick and tired, and in more pain now.

I should have suspected when I had an internal argument with myself this morning over shoes and my backpack. I wore the backpack as I put on my shoes, normally I take the backpack off and kneel to put on my shoes, you know, like a normal person. The idea of kneeling made me whiny and the idea of taking off the backpack only to put it back on again made me call the inner voice who argued with me a very nasty name.

Normal people don’t have full on conversations with themselves, I realize, but I do. Especially when stressed or annoyed. Heck, the voice even helps me remember things, it’s like my personal Siri or Cortana.

Anyhow, I’m supposed to be imputing edits for Crop this morning but I think I need to do some self-care to get through this day. Then, when I get home, I need to medicate with a couple different things and go to bed early, hoping I’ll sleep the night through. At this point, it’s the only help I’ll have.

In a month, though, another option becomes legal. I wouldn’t have to take ibuprofen for the swelling, Valerian to keep me in a deep sleep, and St. John’s Wort to take away the brittle edge that pain puts me in. I can stop at a dispensary, buy a little something, have a puff (quite literally one puff) and then sleep the whole night away.

It’d even have the added benefit of replacing anything I take for anxiety or insomnia for about three days. Replacing such side effects as agitation (how exactly does an anti-anxiety helper cause agitation?), insomnia, and all sorts of medication conflicts with dry mouth, the munchies, and sleepiness.

All without breaking my brain, writing, or mood, so I’m super excited about that.

So, obviously, not working on Crop today. Instead, I ended up reading The Last Prophet on the trip to school. I think I want to expand on this a bit. I think the wrap up doesn’t have to end like a movie does, I think we can do wrap up in the book and not write a separate novella about Sweetheart. Well, not about her outcome. I think I need to add more about P.P. Marky.

A prophet who became a rapper and exists in the modern day, obviously conflicting with the title of the book. I kind of want to hug Marky, as his songs make it onto the radio and later on Abby recalls one and uses his prophecy to save them. Prophets aren’t supposed to be able to cross the thresholds of other prophets, so that could maybe be where her title comes in? I dunno.

I’m looking forward to expanding on this.

The cover artist contacted me a few days ago and I responded. She had been on vacation and then sick. Woops. I checked for a blog or news page, I must have missed it. Completely my fault that I didn’t give it another week, but it’s ingrained in me to follow up. A cover will eventually be in the works, when she is recovered and goes through her messages and puts me on the schedule.

The Last Prophet has distracted me from my pain today, and my frustration and emotions over the past couple of days. I’ve found myself opening the file between classes to read more. This is a good thing, especially for me.

The only trouble being, I requested a wrap with the cover artist. The e-book cover is free, I would pay for the wrap. But the poor woman needs to know about how many pages the book would be, and I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about it and I might be able to add another 80k words to The Last Prophet. It’s going to be a beastie, but there are other things I want to add and explore and delve into. Everything is just a flash, and partway through I asked myself: why? Why is it a flash? Why can’t there be a couple of chapters extra? Why can’t David take lunch with Sweetheart so we learn about her, but also to show their relationship instead of having him just tell Richard? Why don’t we learn about Abby and her parents? Why does she just casually mention her father is dead, when there’s a magical force behind that?

Why doesn’t she call her mother when she awakens?

There are so many other things that need to go into this. And you know what? If it winds up being so freaking long, I can always break it into books like I do all the others. Let’s face it, if I took my trilogies, I could probably work them into one book quite cleanly, besides maybe Contracted because of the time jumps and changes between books.

I feel like I have the bones of The Last Prophet, basically. They’re good bones, they’ll work very well, but they don’t have as much flesh on them as I’d like. So, I’m going to take my time and do what I will with the book. I’m going to turn it into my vision instead of pushing the first copy out in the world.

I seem to be moving away from erotica and romance more, but my bio does say “whatever takes her fancy” and “when she finds a world she loves, she dabbles endlessly.”

Sure, The Last Prophet could go under its own pen name for high fantasy or something, but … no. This is me, this is how I write. I know there are people who insist an author must write only one genre, but that’s just not how I can work. It’s not how most of us work, and few seem to realize that. They hear about Stephen King switching from horror to the dark fantasy genre and they were scandalized and thought he was an exception to the rule.

I like to think of it as authors switch genres as much as readers do. Just because I love Robin Hobb, doesn’t mean I read her exclusively. Nor do I stick to her genre for reading. I also love Anne Bishop, Anne McCaffery, Anne Rice, and Stephen King when I’m in the mood. I’ve picked up single books from some weird scifi/fantasy hard boiled detective something before. I enjoyed it and put it down and never picked up another.

My writing is the same way. So, despite a four day debate about switching The Last Prophet to another pen name, I’ve decided to keep it under Aya DeAniege. And, yeah, it’s the same pen name that published erotica and plans to again. The same pen name that dabbles in vampires, witches, werewolves, and angels. Both in sexual and non-sexual context.

I suppose, with my love of the book, I should save up royalties and pay for an actual editor for this one. But at the length I’m looking at it would be $3-5000 to edit it.

If my writing paid that kind of money, I wouldn’t need a student loan, heck, I wouldn’t need a job. When I felt like this, I could take a long, hot bath with a glass of wine and a good book, then sleep the day away.

I have a vision for The Last Prophet, and it’s keeping me sane and just a little stable.

Now it’s just a matter of how to get what I want.

Week Two

Writing update first: the read edit of Crop is done, there’s just imputing (Really? imput-ing only has one t?)

Annnd I somehow just took a screenshot of my computer when I tried to hit the bracket. This is my brain now.

Putting edits into Crop are starting today or tomorrow. My beta has Harvest so once the edits for Crop are put in, I will be starting the read edit of that. I also need a day with a clear head to look at the cover of Harvest so I can figure out what’s going on there.

Waiting on a cover for Awakened which is actually being called The Last Prophet.

If I could stop hitting shift+I when I’m trying to italic, that’d be great.

I know where the keys are. Even drunk and sick, I can find the keys.

But last week when I said I’ve worked months in a row, I forgot to take into account that both school and work are basically customer service and dealing with people constantly. I could write, edit, market, and graphic design for months on end, working long hours the entire time, but that’s not so much dealing with people.

Working until October 7th might actually kill my brain.

Example: yesterday I took a pen and tried to put it in a breast pocket. Neither did I have a breast pocket, but I’ve never used one before.

Classes are about the same. I need to start my book project for Interpersonal Communication. Get it done as soon as possible.

Driving lessons are almost done. I find out today when my test is. One slight issue: it might happen during a Math test. Cue me swearing.

This week, I was definitely dead on my feet by Saturday. I just had nothing left to give, to the point that when my boss said, “I’m so tired, thank goodness I have tomorrow off,” it caused me to start crying uncontrollable two minutes later when I went on break. I’m that kind of tired.

I don’t think I could do this if I was living alone.

My aunt has a dishwasher (and I live with them) so I wound up asking if I could use it going forward.

With work Saturday morning and then a driving lesson that night, my plan had been to go home, have dinner, shower, do dishes, and have just enough time to make it to the lesson. Dishes don’t get done when I school and work, there’s no time in my day.

Well, when I was picked up Saturday, my aunt said, “by the way… I did your dishes.”

Sweet, baby Jesus.

I had enough time to take a little nap before the lesson. Sunday morning, I felt a bit more like myself. By the time I arrived at work, I was exhausted again. It drains me to know it’s just always there now. Forever and ever and ever…

If someone could gift me winning lottery numbers that would be great. I don’t want the grand prize. One of the lesser, but not piddly prizes would work too. Something four times my old salary would be perfect.

On Sunday. feeling a little more like myself, I looked over my options and started figuring out what I need to do to keep me sane for the next twenty or so days.

My current binge show can go on my tv instead of the computer. The couch is more comfortable, especially if I fall asleep. The cats like it too. They can all get up with me. And my laptop can play my game better than my desktop, so it’s an escape for me. I can also play upstairs on Mondays and Tuesdays so I can socialize a little and feel like I’m not just in the basement.

Then there’s the food. I put pork chops and sweet potatoes in the slow cooked with chicken broth and it smelled divine. Until I dished it out, then it smelled a bit like vomit. I think it’s the pork. It’s not bad or anything, I just always have this weird reaction to smelling pork.

So, don’t do that again.

I might buy a tough beef roast next and do that in the slow cooker then add beans and some other veggies right at the end. That should taste good.

I keep having to remind myself, there is more food. I’m not as broke as before. Especially since my food budget is still kind of the same but I don’t eat alone as much. So, if pork and sweet potato make me regret putting them in my mouth, I can freeze it all and pull one out once a week.

I did wind up opening a bottle of wine. A glass of wine and an hour of my game Saturday night very likely helped me rebalance for Sunday, but I actually opened the wine when I discovered I wouldn’t have Sunday off like I was supposed to.

Did you know wine can go bad if not drunk in a certain time? Yeah, Google says it’s not just a myth created by functioning alcoholics. So, I’ve got about half a bottle of wine that I’m not sure I would, or could, use in cooking.

During typing today, I forgot where the ‘C’ key was. Then my mind suggested the helpful: there is no ‘C’ key. I’d venture the need for more coffee, but I’m still in the middle of one.

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.

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 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.