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 One

Keyboarding properly might just kill me. The goal they set out is simple: 30wpm, no more than two errors.

I can do 55 or so a minute as shown with Hera (doing 10k words in three hours, my calculator tells me that’s only 55 a minute. Seriously?) But the errors, oh, the errors!

The instructor said in the past she has disabled the backspace key (oh… gods) but this year didn’t. To which my mind went YES! And then that little voice in the back of my head went, “how much faster can you write a book if you actually typed accurately?” To which I, being the proud writer that I am, threw them off a cliff.

And began taking the tests and doing the exercises without the use of the backspace.

The instructor has a point. When something is there, we rely on it to help us out, but we need to learn to do things when it’s not there. At the same time, the voice at the back of my mind has a point. My old laptop has one broken key. The backspace key. Yeah, I used it way too much.

The thing is. My fingers go, “we can be so much faster,” and I don’t have music to drown things out. The woman who sits next to me keyboards properly, learned it in high school and a lot more recently than I have. Her wpm are something like 35 and I can hear her typing and it’s like a drug or something.

Mm, give me some of that clickety-clack.

Then there’s a couple of issues. Stories on the go for writing? None… editing is Crop and Harvest, but I always have something writing. I’m still planning out the new Coffee and Blood trilogy. That should be enough. But it’s like I hear the clacking of keys and all my characters start jumping up and down and going, “me, me, me!”

And Shade, who I’m supposed to be using to practice good keyboarding? Well, he rolled over and went back to sleep in his cell. Thanks, Shade. I no longer feel bad about what I’m about to do to you. How do you become an immortal, feared monster hunter if you’re a lazy bum?

The issue I’m having seems to be that all my stories want some help, they want my attention thinking that I’m in between projects, and I’m not. The other issue is that every time a story pops up, the voice at the back of my mind immediately dismisses it because I don’t want to devote that kind of attention to the plot. I don’t think I could manage to pay so much attention. So there is Savage Shores, all… five? Of the D.o.t.A books I have planned out, two for Coffee and Blood planned out, even Shade.

But the only one that has stuck around and maybe I could work on is mainly erotica, working title Bound by Blood, a book I started working on three years ago and never finished because it wound up more novella length and I didn’t like that.

I need to figure this out because the stories have to stop bothering me. Without being able to write, which would distract me, I’ve been flickering between webpages and OneNote. I’m almost certain the person beside me has caught on and watches but all we’re learning this semester are things I have a basic understanding of. By doing the back and forth, I’m stopping myself from becoming frustrated or winding up in circles. If that happens, I’m going to start writing and that’s not great for me.

Besides keyboarding, the other thing I might have trouble with is Interpersonal Communication. Yeah, soft skills. Boo.

Work has also taught me this over the years. It basically amounts to customer service and not being a dick. Easy, right? Sort of…

I have training in interpersonal communication, in difficult conversations, training and retraining and all sorts. That doesn’t mean I’ve ever been comfortable with the level of talking I give others, if that makes sense. So, I could very much learn from this course but it’s main time is Friday afternoons. Day three of three long days and at two-thirty on Friday my brain completely checked out. I lost about twenty minutes of the lecture and only really came to as I was leaving and the instructor said goodbye and wished me a good weekend. She’s such a cheery woman that it stuck out.

I basically went to work and proceeded to beat my head on the wall because that is not how interpersonal communication works.

Do you want a good job, Aya? Because this is not how you get a good job.

Math, accounting, and writing round out the semester. Math I can do, it’s only covering twelve years of math in one semester, how hard could it be? It goes so far as fractions and long division, maybe some algebra I think he said. I can do that. I do that while at work to fill the time. Figure out total new income from raises, percentages on sales, and hours, etc.

I like math, I suppose is what I mean.

Accounting, work has also had me do. Not quite the way they’re teaching us, but I kind of have a basic understanding. I’ve also been doing this for my writing but it seems not quite correctly. Everything’s recorded, it’d just be hell to go through for any poor soul who has to audit me. So I’m going to start doing that properly which is great practice for accounting.

Oh, and computer skills. I apparently skimmed over what the first chapter said. Stupid. Once I hit the questions, I knew I had a problem so I need to review it again.

For homework, I’ve done most of it on breaks or between school and work. But those periods were actually reserved for self-review last week. I went over extra information. Going through chapters and writing up notes on it, reading old notes, doing exercises. Whatever I can do to stay on top.

They told us several times that in the end your grades don’t matter and I fully understand and believe that. I could probably pass on what I know already, but then why even bother taking the semester? If I can refine skills I already have, I would be very happy. And for some reason I can’t just leave off at what the instructor gives us. I need to know I have an understanding of the information before me. It’s been that way for years.

Maybe because work has, for years, thrown new information at me and had me train others. After so long it’s almost impossible to just leave off. So I’m making more work for myself now, but I also feel a little more confident in my skills which means less nerves and the ability to pay attention more because I’m not concerned with that failing grade. I’ve only ever received below 60% on one course so… I mean, statistically it’s almost impossible for me to fail.

That doesn’t mean I’m just going to lean back and laze through the semester though.

My notes are going through OneNote, which has been fabulous so far. I access it on my phone, on my computers, and all the rest. Because I do most of the notes on my laptop, I don’t have to worry about a connection to the internet to access them when I’m out and about. Typically I am accessing them on the  laptop.

The only issue I have is writing. She wants us to hand write/print it all. No computers. Me and my arthritis are not pleased but I get that we do need practice hand writing things because we will have to write notes. With those, I simply take pictures at the end of class and upload them to OneNote.

Tada. All my things on one place and organized by subject, then by date/chapter. Gone are the days of flipping through things searching for something specific and I love it to bits. I’m sure there are other programs that do the same, it’s the concept I love, I’ve wanted that inter-connectivity since being in high school and losing my first usb drive. I still have to back up onto drives because clouds could vanish or be hacked. I’m just not worth the effort of trying to get in there, so… so far I’ll be fine.

The only issue I really have is wanting to quit work. I want my work and income to be purely from writing but it definitely does not offer enough to do that.

Suppose this is where I put on the weepy author eyes and say, “please buy my books and leave a nice review when you’re done.” but I’m sure it will come with due time. For now, I have to accept the situation I’m in.

Unless I can buy the winning lottery ticket, but I’m not spending money on that without some kind of incentive.

Harvest – Complete

My schedule is messing with my updates. Could have also been the trip to Mexico and the other trip across the country. My internal clock is all kinds of messed up. When I go to bed at night, I end up laying up and unable to sleep. By the time I fall asleep it’s an uneasy sleep.

Tried valerian. Does not work? Suddenly gets me all wired up.

But once my clock settles back down and realizes this is my timezone and we’re going to sleep when I want to sleep.

Oh, right, I should just set my alarm. That’ll certainly resettle things back down.

Anywho, the book is done. I think Harvest turned out better than Crop in the first go around. I think it’ll take a little less editing than Crop, which is good.

Rather than rush these guys out, I’m going to take my time with the edits and get it right. Then once they’re all out I’m going to do a box set.

See, I’ve been a little trouble about the trilogies and then the whole world. The naming scheme is… I mean, I can’t be the only one to do it. So Wraith’s Rebellion is the trilogy, and is what’s on the covers, but Coffee and Blood is the name of the world. All these trilogies and books and such will fall under the giant umbrella of Coffee and Blood.

So I’ve decided to release them under the trilogies and then bundle them together and release the bundle under Coffee and Blood. That way the bundles aren’t bungling up the solo books. The trilogies don’t share main characters, though main characters of previous trilogies may end up as secondary characters in other trilogies.

I have no idea if I made that make sense. I’ve been replacing flour with with flower and trying to phonetically spell words for some reason. I blame the long travel basically killing my brain. Which was why the first week, I struggled through the chapters. Then yesterday just slammed through three chapters.

Or was that four…? I don’t remember. It’s done though.

My two complete days off are Monday and Wednesday because, and I didn’t realize this before. Part-time hours doesn’t mean real part-time hours when you have skills they can use. They’re dropping me into every shift they have available and I’m just kind of sitting in the corner going, “I was told there would be part-time hours.”

On my full days off I’ll have to study for my license and maybe go in for it.

Because, guess what? My royalties will be enough to do it!

Get the license, find an actual full-time job. You know, the kind with a regular schedule? Or get moving on applying to school to go back for a certification and just alter my availability.

I was expecting more time to myself, as I’ve seen with all other part-timers. I feel like I have no time but I have a great deal more time.

My family even feeds me when I get home. I should have all the time in the world.

Must be the travels, sleep, and lack of regular schedule. I’d book off certain days and give myself a regular schedule, but the person above me doesn’t seem to have a regular schedule.

I definitely function a great deal better when I have a regular work schedule. If I could get that, I’d be golden.

I start my next book in a week. I have to say, I’m looking forward to the end of this. If I wasn’t working, just writing, this is the way I’d go. I’d definitely have all the time in the world and I’d write a book a month, probably get it done in a week, in a couple of years I’d have the editing down pat and I might even be able to publish a book a month.

Super distracted, but a long day yesterday to get the book done.

Also, strangely hopeful for a future of just writing.

I definitely need two days off.

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.

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.

Twelve Books in Twelve Months

It’s been a year since my first book was published. That’s right, Contract Taken has been available for an entire year! And I’ve only wanted to gank it down and burn it four times.

As the anniversary was coming up, I found myself looking back over the previous year at what I’ve gotten done.

Seven and a half books published (a half because the eighth is up, but not live yet) and written seven books.

Earlier today, I had somehow counted eight books. The first Contracted trilogy was written before Contract Taken had published. I have two books written and not yet published, another almost written, a fourth half-written, another three chapters into it and then NaNoWriMo is coming up.

I have all these books and no plan to actually get it done. I write a book, then immediately launch into the editing and publishing of the book.

Today at my day job, it dawned on me.

Goals are very important, without a goal you won’t achieve much. Or, you’ll have a goal, but no way to make that goal because you need little goals to get to the big goal.

I think I’m trying to quote my grade three teacher.

I’m tired and quite drained.

So, the basic gist of it is that I’ve been looking over the past year and then looking at the next year and wondering what to do with myself. I plan to keep writing and publishing, but how I could I build on what I’ve got now?

About an hour after it occurred to me that I should have a goal, like honestly sit down and decide something about the next year before I just decide to do whatever and only get a book or two written.

I am going to try to write twelve books in the next twelve months, starting with Contract Claimed during NaNoWriMo.

Seed, which is almost done, is not going to be completed in this number. I’m actually hoping to have the remaining chapters written before November 1st. Hopefully…

This doesn’t mean that I’ll be publishing a book every month. It only means that I’ll be writing a book a month. I may stick to the two month publishing routine that I’ve been doing, but then at least the books are written and ready to go. I’ve been able to relax with Fragments and I’m not quite so stressed about everything that’s going on with the book already written.

So… twelve books in twelve months. What are the books? Well, they’re up in the air basically, but my tentative plan is as follows:

Contract Claimed – November

His Wings – December

Crop – December/January

His Halo – January

Harvest – January/February

And that’s where things get weird. Crop and Harvest are being written on my phone, and could very well be the last books written on my phone, as next April I’m moving. The move will change a great deal, and I will no longer have a commute, which means I might no longer employ the use of my phone in writing.

I also come to a stand still on my plans. Those books have kind of been planned out. The plot for Crop and Harvest is complete and simply awaiting my completion of books that come before them. So is His Wings. They all go along together and are part of series and such that are already up and active.

After those are written, the rest are planned in no particular order:

Contract Sealed

Contract Delivered

Prototype

Sugar and Spice

The Visitors

Of course, this is a tentative schedule and there are months still to go. I could get to January and just drop everything for some kind of other hybrid. I’m really great at creating worlds, but not always completing them. Which is kind of the point of this exercise.

Besides, you know, writing a bunch of books that will get edited and published eventually…