Week Five (Saturday)

I’m in one of those weird states where I don’t quite have a project started but I also don’t necessarily have the get up and go to start a new project. It happens sometimes, and passes within a week so I don’t push myself anymore. I just try to view it as my brain doing a disc defragmentation and a cleanup before it gets back to work. So, instead of fighting it now, I just kind of lean into it and play video games more than usual.

Of course, over the summer and before school, video games were about the last thing on my mind. Besides these little stolen moments between work and school, and the days at home when I needed a distraction to keep me busy, I don’t normally play games this much in such a short span of time.

I might have actually played more in the last two months than I did in the three years previous.

I’m not counting running Sims in the background while I edit to keep me off the internet as playing a game, as that was more of me being passive aggressive with myself.

Being in that weird, in-between place, I booted up No Man’s Sky on the desktop, just for giggles, it never works on the desktop anymore but I’m giving it a shot. It’s been running some ten minutes, still loading. But it didn’t crash upon load up… wait.

No, I think I deleted the shader cache after I played last so of course it’s going to work. Well, I’m this far in, might as well keep going with it.

I like the bigger screen, but the desktop is slow as could be, it’s getting slower and is even slow doing Paintshop Pro, which I use for my covers. It sucks, but it still works. It’s just that I don’t want to have that patience. I want my bloody computer to work like it’s just under two years old, not like it’s five years old and my brothers have been downloading porn onto it.

Next desktop, I want to be a solid state drive. But that’s a save up for sure. Need a car first, unless this one breaks on me, in which case I’ll have to settle for whatever is on sale as long as it’s not another bloody Acer.

Wow, I really rambled for a while there, didn’t I?

Your hypergraphia is acting up.

Yesterday, I started writing Shade’s story by hand. I don’t expect it to go anywhere on paper, but at least I have something there I can add to when I need to and just keep going. And if it does happen to go someplace, well, I can practice my transcription skills and get it onto the computer.

So, while sitting, waiting for the game to load, you watch this rather peaceful screen that’s stars flying by, as if you were going faster than lightspeed in space, I guess is the idea. Me sitting there with my coffee, started thinking.

Now I’ve got this weird plan, but I’m going to give it a go.

For indie publishing, it’s suggested you don’t go more than 90 days without a new book. The closer together, the better. Okay, whatever, that was kind of my publishing schedule before. Some authors have had great success by publishing once a month.

Don’t worry, I’m not full on crazy just yet.

Harvest is still partly with the beta and I don’t want her to feel like I’m rushing her. Now, my beta is my aunt who lives upstairs and does a ton for me, but I don’t talk about it because I want to respect her privacy. She does a fantastic job and gives a bit of a different perspective on stories… and is to blame for Scottish vampires that will be happening sometime next year.

But I feel like I’m reaching a point in No Man’s Sky where I need a break. I love the planets and wandering about, but I’ve devoted almost the same amount of time to it as I usually do in writing a book. I may need a break.

However, my iddy biddy mind can’t handle just wandering the internet. I’ve got school and the paying job, and writing, I can’t focus on just wandering about. It’s a desire to achieve, or… what the heck do the call it? I don’t remember.

The internet wandering is wasted time. Reading someone else’s book doesn’t do it for me, so while sitting with my coffee, my brain started tossing ideas back and forth on what could be done.

We’ve got Seed in October, just a few days away. Crop in November, on Thanksgiving day for Americans (why did I not think of that before? Bad Aya). And Harvest in December, right near the end giving me time because I have a two week winter break before the book goes live. Lots of time, right?

In theory on that one. But we’re almost 160 pages in, which is halfway or so, so yeah, I think it’s safe to say there’s lots of time to get that one done.

Come January, I’m going to do the box set of Wraith’s Rebellion, the first of the Coffee and Blood series. In February, I’m going to release the box set of The Reaping.

See? Easy work come January and February. Except the inner table of contents. Damn, do I regret naming each chapter and replacing chapter heads with images when I do this. It’s a lot of scrolling and then I feel woozy because I get motion sick and then I get to the end and find out I missed one and there’s a scrambling to figure out what I did wrong.

And Smashwords always finds a fractured image in my Coffee and Blood books, because somehow it happens. It’s a process but I suppose I’ll have those two weeks of winter break to figure it out.

So… where’s the crazy come in?

I am going to take the second trilogy of Contracted, which is written already, put it on my kindle and read it start to finish. Then? Well, then I’m going to take notes on it and start putting in edits. I’m going to write out the plot basically, then fix the bloody thing. Then I’m going to do the basic edits. Then I’m going to use my editing programs to find the problems rather than struggle through to find them myself. Then I’m going to edit it again.

Then I’m going to publish them in March, April, and May. Then the box set in June. With any luck, the complete edits will be done before the first launches, leaving March, April, May, and June to work on Hera.

Because editing one book is relatively simple when I’m not freaking out about work. I do it over coffee, I do it on commutes (until I start driving myself) I do it between school and work, one these Saturday mornings and Sunday nights. Until my homework and studying ramps up, I do it Monday and Tuesday evenings and on lunch breaks at school.

Some people knit, or play mobile games. I edit. It’s a very weird thing, but anyone can train themselves to do it.

So, I want to edit three and a half books between now and June. I want to publish seven books, but of those seven books, three of them are just about formatting as long as I get the edits done.

Mildly crazy plan, but for the first time in weeks, I feel excited and ready to go. I feel like I have a direction and a plan and I don’t feel like I’m giving up something I love to be paid an hourly wage and be screamed at.

And, usually, once I have a plan, I set about and do it.

This is awesome.

Oh, someone might ask about Contract Claimed, when that’s actually coming out? It has no release date because it needs to be re-written and expanded at least to two books total, maybe three. So it’s likely my project for next summer.

And Awakened needs additions that I’m slowly picking away at. So if there’s a day I can’t edit, that’s what I’ll be doing.

And The Others? Well, it is an ongoing project, I’ve updated several times over the past couple of weeks so now might be a good time to go back and re-read. Though, to be fair, the updates are easy to write and I can add a little here and a little there. I just need to put a little work into the site to update the characters and add a glossary for Todd’s dictionary.

Week Three (Day Four)

Writing first: Suppose I should officially say this as well.

I am looking for a new set of characters within the Contracted world, or a similar sort of story set in another world. I had a flash of one, quite liked it. Then I lost it. Problem being, I can’t remember when, or much beyond his cold eyes. If it could come back to me (but not in school) that would be great.

The forerunner of an idea is barely more than a fragment. For starters, I need names for these countries I’d be dealing with. But Mr. Wrightworth’s country basically takes over old France (it’s mention in Izzy’s story, then again in Will’s that they won) except they aren’t going down quietly and no conquering country is free of sin.

So, upon catching a rebel, probably needing information, they tie her up with this general or something and he’s had a taste for the lifestyle but is also a douche. Thing is, I’m not feeling the ‘fall for the douche and stay’ plot. Maybe there should be a second guy in there.

Huh, maybe that’s why it feels incomplete. I’ll have to consider that.

Still no Crop work. Ugh. So… Saturday morning I’ll be pounding that out, along with Sunday. Putting in edits isn’t really work for me, especially since I can put on a show or movie in the background.

Other stuff:

Work with the co-worker today, well, not really with, around, near, kind of in passing. I’m currently trying to convince my stomach that I’m not dying and my brain that it’s not too bright in here, that everyone else isn’t louder than usual. I can hear them over my music and it’s at the highest volume I can manage without being in pain.

That volume always cuts them out, so I know it’s just because of a me issue, not a them issue.

I hurt and I’m tired. Work is doing a strip and wax, which is where we move all the things except, like, the aisles themselves, and then a crew comes in and strips the wax off the floor and puts down new wax.

Yesterday we had lots of… we didn’t prepare at all. But. I wasn’t the closing manager, I shut up and did it her way. It wasn’t painful until this morning. Oosh.

So, moving all the stuff, the closer walked up and pushed on one of the mobile things and commented on how it wouldn’t move. She’s a foot or more taller than I am and frankly, I think she has more muscle to her. I frowned, set my hands on the mobile and just leaned.

A body in motion will stay in motion. So the trouble is always getting them moving in the first place, but once they’re moving, they’re good. Well, we moved a third of the mobiles together and then I realized we had ten minutes before the end of shift and I didn’t want to stay later when I was already later than usual and hurting. Leg acting up last night, today my back would like me to know I suck.

But, already hurting and want to go home… I left them, walked to the other side and moved a third of the mobiles by myself while they moved the other third. I’m not super strong, I just know about leverage, motion, and that the mobiles have no option but to move. Once you tell them that, they tend to move.

Today we have to move a bunch of what are called bunkers. Sort of like plastic boxes a foot and a half by a foot by two and a half feet… full, mainly. The items vary in weight to feeling empty to… what was that the one year… sixty pounds? Then lift them onto a stack of somehow organized bunkers on another big thing and push the big thing into another area.

(To hear the next morning about how you didn’t do it properly no matter how you line them up)

Look, I get it, putting them back is an inconvenience.

So is moving them when they weigh half as much as you, when the capable bodies around you aren’t moving or helping because they’re ‘tired.’ It won’t wait until tomorrow, or until you’re rested unless you want to stay for another four hours. Just rip the bandaid off.

This all means I’m sore and tired today, but it’s not the exhaustion of last week, I’m not on the point of tears. I almost feel like I’m wrapped up in a blanket, like besides the anxiety, a calm has come over me.

In school, the ‘bad’ grades are coming in. They were 100s at the beginning, now they’ve dropped as low as 70. But this isn’t my total grade, this is individual grades on assignments and the 70 was because of the missed assignment. The others are between 83 and 95, which, as they’ve said a multitude of time, doesn’t matter to employers. I need to hit their passing percentage of 60. My concern is as we advance toward Christmas, life at work sucks.

Could we de-commercialize Christmas? That would make me so happy.

Ain’t no body need the items we sell at 10pm at night.

Or 11pm.

So, I desperately want 100s as buffers.

The schedule that loads with my days off appear on Sunday. Sweet babies. When the boss gets back, we need to have a sit down conversation.

About more than the co-worker.

I need a day off to myself at least every two weeks. That was what was promised to me at the beginning. I went into this still in my position because that was what was promised. If the promise can’t be met… well.

You’re going to see me cry a lot more.

No, I would have to step down or full on quit. School has to come before work. Anyone would pay me low wages to be walked over, to do the same work. It’s just other companies would be like, “yeah, Aya is in school, we can’t have her work outside her schedule.” or “Yeah, Aya asked for this day off, but what do I care? She’s not as capable as this person I have who’s worked for us for twelve years.”

I wouldn’t have as much to pay down debt, which is key to full on quitting and living off the writing. I’d also have to cut back on what I’m paying in board because I might not be making enough in a paycheck to pay the full board. It’s super irritating to me, but getting through school and into a type of office job would be better for stress, better for my bank account and, depending on the boss, maybe better for writing.

I’ve heard a lot of stories of office workers/desk workers (especially in the almost-secretary position I’m aiming for) to do their own thing between clients. I would love one of those jobs. Writing makes it look like I’m working on something super important too!

I also have to drive sales, obviously. And obviously I’m having a little trouble. I know there are readers out there for me. I know they exist, it’s just finding them. And not finding the people who wouldn’t like my books.

Or…

I could win the lottery. But I hear you have to actually buy a ticket to win?

Trying to Work

I have struggled to get edits done for Crop over the past week. I have goals, I have timelines, but I’ve been so stressed out by the day-job that I’ve managed absolutely nothing for two weeks.

And that sucks.

This morning I started editing Crop and even got through a couple chapters of removing ‘was’ (one of the many things I’m trying to do to strengthen my writing) then I finished my coffee and went out on an errand.

When I got back, I should have gotten back to work. Instead, I took a nap.

I did deserve a nap, but it’s also hours not being put into the work that I’m already behind on.

I miss the days when I’d stumble home from work (stumbling because I was tired) pour myself a glass of wine and spend the rest of my night editing as a way to unwind.

I’m working night shifts is why I can’t try to do that, I think. That and being constantly broke.

My school year is fast approaching and between it and work, I won’t be able to relax into much writing. Especially if the student loan doesn’t go through. Then I’ll need all the hours I can get to pay for the school but unlike a university degree, I can afford to pay for school with my current situation.

Come on, student loan.

The writing hasn’t really come back yet but my backlog for editing is pretty extensive and I wrote out all those plots weeks ago just in case this happened during the school year. It just so happens that my ability to write ended months earlier due to stress and anxiety.

Tonight, I’ll do more edits while watching tv shows. I’m also factory restoring my little tablet/netbook thing so I can start working while at work. They insist on working me full time hours (but since I need the hours, I’m not really complaining) on night shifts so I’m going to make it work one way or another.

As in, this works or I’ll be taking a baseball bat to it.

The writing I have been doing, for books of course, I’m trying to watch how I write and do it stronger to start with but words fail me. It’s an indicator or stress and overworking.

I’m going to be removing the games from my phone and avoiding certain sites like Reddit where I only read half the titles and have mucked up my attention span.

Going to have to read books again instead of skimming, oh noes!

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.

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.

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.