Grim Update

Well, that sounds ominous, doesn’t it?

But that’s the title of the trilogy, so there’s that.

With the next year set out, I realized I had to make time for updates. I could write until my little heart explodes, it wouldn’t really do much unless I kept everyone up to date on what’s going on.

So, Monday mornings is the update day. Except I had no Monday this week because school was closed for Remembrance Day and work gave me the day off, so I actually had a three day weekend.

Tried to get into a video game, didn’t work, tried pounding through Grim Travels, ugh, did not work. I’m standing about 22k words still. I mean, it’s not bad, but still. I’d like to be further along.

What’s going on? Did I just lose my words or something?

No. I finished Grim Haven on Tuesday, took it and Wednesday off to recuperate. I was ahead, I was feeling good, but I also knew I needed to give myself a little time. Thursday I started writing but we had a test, then we gathered after the test to talk among ourselves out at the tables so I didn’t get much done.

Then I was informed that the troublesome co-worker, who caused anxiety attacks, threw things at other people, and was the cause of that mental breakdown I had at work back when the boss was on vacation, is no longer with the company.

Slight… little bit… of an issue there.

The only one currently capable of filling her position is me. There are all kinds of problems in there, so many issues. So many broken things. So much hoarding going on, things all over.

Oh, and a guy from corporate is visiting. He’s… mean. If he finds out that I was her position and I saw that stuff going on and I didn’t immediately correct it, he’ll take my head off.

I mean, it’s his job, but, come on. Have you met–oh, wait, no, you haven’t.

I will not be paid more for this adventure of mine. No one outside of the store will be grateful for what I’m about to do and some within the store are going to be very upset about it. Because she’s gone and suddenly I’m changing things.

She’s not dead, she’s just no longer with the company. If we look at the health of the shop, we can clearly see that policies aren’t being followed and we have problems in there. I’m just trying to put it to rights before a replacement is found because there’s no way a new person can walk into a shop like that and weather the storm.

More work, no more pay, no bonus of any sort. Oh, and I still have to do my other position. Though we do now have a temporary me, so there’s that little possibility that I won’t have to run two positions at once.

I have no problem proving to the company that the position can be done by a part-time body. I’ve been saying for years that the position is no longer necessary, that, if anything, it could be done by a full-time position, just not a management one. Because there is nothing that body does anymore that can’t be done by someone else without the manager capabilities. They could save a lot of money by switching over.

Could also avoid this happening, because then the manager couldn’t hide in their shops and start stock piling supplies from thirteen years ago. Like, really? Why wouldn’t we… ugh, whatever.

I was told second hand that she was a self-declared hoarder so I don’t feel bad about the literal clean and purge I have to do.

Anyway, you can really tell that it’s consuming my thought process, it’s now at the back of my mind. I have to do this and this and this, and this is how this might be taken, and this is my weakest point in there, and that needs to be handled and this needs to be changed, and oh gosh, what am I walking into after three days away?

All of a sudden, I’m starting to see where I was struggling before. As my part time position, all I need to worry about is me and cleaning the store. That’s getting harder and harder with our busy season coming across us, but being unable to use more bodies, having people just up and quit or not show up, having to swap from one person to another who just doesn’t have the same capabilities as others.

Then I’ve got the writing and school.

How’s school going? Well, about the same.

Writing is officially my worst class. It was a little amusing for me the other day when the instructor said something like, “what you can get away with in fiction writing, you can’t do in business writing, they’ve very different,” but it wasn’t directed at me, it was in answer to why you don’t use and at the beginning of a sentence.

But I like doing that.

And sometimes it helps emphasis a point.

I try to avoid doing that in formal writing, however, as I know it’s not the best. I’ve seen some terrible emails come down from our head office and higher ups, but that doesn’t mean I follow their example.

Math we’re all falling behind. It’s not quite our fault. The instructor was gone for that week and a half or so. The other class is ahead of us now.

Document formatting, I think we’re about to get into stuff I don’t know, but I’m already using this in my writing. Love it, need to pay more attention, not less.

Accounting, my grade has slipped below 99% because I made a silly mistake. Ah, well. It’s just the way of the world sometimes. I enjoy accounting, I do like how even headed the instructor seems and how she gets to the point while giving us the time to practice.

For Interpersonal Communication, I need to edit the book report. I could submit it early but I suspect I’ll be beating my head on a wall for this. I don’t… mind interpersonal communication, but it does make me uncomfortable due to past experience with people ‘helping’ me learn to change. So, there’s that. But thankfully there’s not necessarily a test in the class.

There is something called a reflection paper, and I dun wanna. No reflecting for me! Reflecting is bad.

I’ll still do it, I just feel grumpy about it.

And writing (as in publishing) what’s going on there? Well, Crop is coming out next week. Harvest hasn’t finished its read edit because of the plan I set out. While reviewing the plan for my year, I realized I forgot to include spots to edit the three Wolf books. I have Wolf 1 scheduled, but not the rest.

How exactly was I planning on publishing them next December, if I wasn’t going to edit them?

Ugh, okay, so I changed the plan again, which isn’t a problem really. It’s all penciled in for a reason. I removed D.o.t.A 4 from the writing schedule because it was a spare novel, then I attached Wolf to the second month of summer vacation for editing. Since the first book would be edited, the month should be enough for two, considering I’m planning on editing the entire Nate’s Story trilogy through July only. That seems a might bit ambitious, even for me.

Ah well…

I did start working on a post for The Others. Still struggling a little with how that should go.

Suppose, I should get back to work if I want to finish Grim Travels next week.

Year End Review

My publication anniversary is here. Technically past but that’s fine, we’ll work with a generalized idea of it.

First off, let’s do inventory.

Last year about this time, I started my 12-in-12 challenge, meaning to write a book a month. Technically I have one more day to finish. I think I’m shy by one book, but my numbers keep slipping all over the place. It’s expected, but whatever, it’s close enough, right?

Published this year:

His Grace Oct. 25, 2017

Contract Gifted April 7, 2018

His Wings April 8, 2018

Fragments May 9, 2018

Isabella’s Story (boxset) Oct. 6, 2018

Seed Oct. 15, 2018

Published “next” year:

Crop Nov. 22, 2018

Harvest Dec. 31, 2018

Wraith’s Rebellion (box set) Jan. 2019

The Reaping (box set) Feb. 2019

Written this year:

Contract Claimed -NaNoWriMo appr. 89k words

Contract Sealed – Dec appr. 20k words

His Wing – Jan approx. 87k words edited and published

Contract Delivered – appr. 70k words

Crop – appr. 87k words (finished about 104k) edited and published

Harvest -appr. 90k words (finished about 108k) edited and published

The Last Prophet – appr. 90k words mild editing

Hera – July appr. 97k words beta read

Contract Gifted – appr. 25k words edited and published

Grim Port – Oct. appr. 101k words

Plotted out:

D.o.t.A. books x 4 (I cannot recall their names)

Savage Shores – m/f alien interaction on a giant paradise ship.

Contract Unspoken – m/m smutty novella of Mr. Wrightworth and an unnamed slave

Elysia – an Elders book about Elysia finding Kaz and turning her, though told from his perspective.

The Special Boy – a Coven book set in the Coffee and Blood world about the grown male witch

Grim Haven/Grim Travels – two books to fill out the Grim trilogy set in Scotland

In Planning:

Bob – (Coffee and Blood) an ‘Elders’ book, as Bob is technically an Elder, about Vampire Las Vegas. South American setting.

Ba En Ra – (Coffee and Blood) a trilogy set in the Ba En Ra family, said to be located in or around Egypt, where they lived for tens of thousands of years.

The Rebellion – (Coffee and Blood) a trilogy wrapped around the werewolves and witches and a treaty they are in the process of forming.

Bitches – (Coffee and Blood) I don’t care what the freaking wolves say, this title has to change. This is a couple of stories, or maybe a trilogy wrapped around Daisy and her adventures. I’ve given her a nudge and she might find herself in Mungo’s path. That’ll make sense later on.

Duality – (solo world) a book or series set around a world where mages need to pair off in order to access their magic.

Shade – (solo world) a series of random books of varying lengths about an immortal named Shade.

Savage Shores – this is supposed to be a series following the consequences of the book.

Alpha – a set of three smutty m/m novellas revolving around the ‘adoption’ of a new companion by an Alpha who has two already. They would then be released in a set. The series would continue on.


Something is missing. Maybe December was finishing off Contract Signed. It would take about four hours for me to find the information and then I’d get lost down the rabbit hole.

In the last year I’ve also moved, gone back to school, moved from full time to part time work, adopted a cat, got my license back… been making my own covers.  I like the cover making, but I need more experience and practice before I start selling, I think. I always think that, so we’ll see how it goes.

Cover design takes hours at a desktop, though. I don’t have that time. So no arts and crafts for me.

So…

What do I want to do in the next year? What do I want to see?

I want more than five books published. I want the entire backlog edited and published. I want to keep writing as fast as I am, so one or more books written a month.

I need to set a clear goal but I think I need to think on this more. Just like I did last year, I want to set up the books for writing and editing and such on. I want it all listed out.

Right now, let’s focus on right now: Finishing the Grim trilogy. Write that sucker. I could be done in two weeks with some pushing.

Once finished the Grim trilogy, finish reading Harvest. Grab Hera and do a read, then start the plot edits then do other edits. Grab the Grim trilogy as a whole. Read it all, do plot edits. Then start actual edits on the trilogy.

Given time and how things are falling into place, I’m actually hoping to have that almost done by January 7th when I go back to school.

So, my real hope is that my next year will look like this:

January: Wraith’s Rebellion box set

February: The Reaping box set

March: Hera

April: Grim Port

May: Grim Haven

June: Grim Travels

July: Grim box set

… and then? I dunno, but that would get me four out of 7+ books. Dum, dum, dum, what do I do then? I’m definitely on a Coffee and Blood kick but they don’t draw a lot of income so far.

Except I freaking love them. You know, if you couldn’t tell. Those who read them seem to like them, which is fantastic. I just need more readers.

So… oh, D.o.t.A, I guess.

 

 

Week Eight

Quick updated, I guess this is.

Mid-terms are this week and I’m thoroughly bored with school and trying to pay attention so I’ve started Grim Haven, writing on breaks and the like. I then wind up paying attention in class so that I can get the homework done the first time without having to redo it because I read through too quickly or something. Chapter seven is about to start so 30k words since Wednesday at lunch or so.

It was a long week, starting on Tuesday for work. The assistant has had to request a leave of absence and will be gone through most of our busy season. We have a new full-time of my position, which is good, except she’s still learning and we can’t lean on her. There’s also the problem co-worker but we can’t lean on her either.

Which leaves two functioning members able to do things like opening and closing. Me and the boss. So, with the new one off next week for training in another store, which thankfully is in their slow period due to their location and the fact that everyone travels south from them for the winter, she’s working something like… three weeks in a row?

Then she’s off because she booked time off before and tickets are already booked, or else her time off would probably be cancelled. Then she gets stats off basically.

Oh. My. God.

All I’m thinking about is how crazy I got doing the same thing. I like her, I respect her, I don’t want her to suffer just so I can be comfortable so I’ll be doing basically whatever she needs me to do over the next six to eight weeks.

So… I could be working Tuesday to Sunday and only have Monday’s off. She’s going to probably give me every other Sunday off because we did discuss how I can’t do that again because I go freaking crazy and just can’t do it again.

In school it’s all simple for me (for now) and we’re taking tests all this week so last week was so boring. We were reviewing and I knew the stuff and I’m struggling to stay focused in class because what if I miss something, right? I’d rather get it down now than struggle on the job. Which was why I started writing Grim Haven. It’s a weird thing, but it works so I’m going with it.

But due to work, I’m not at 50 or 60k words like I was with Grim Port after the same number of days.

With that all coming up, there’s been a change to the plan.

See, I have three weeks in December. Grim Travels will be done in that time. Which means I’ll be sitting on a lot more books.

Hera needs to be edited and published before the Grim books. So what is it now? Box set of Wraith’s Rebellion in January, Box set of The Reaping in February. Hera in March, then Grim from April to June and the box set in July. I’m desperately wishing for an editor and cover designer now.

I’ve got all these books on backlog but haven’t the inclination to edit them, I just want to write more. Which, I mean, in a way is good. But because of my position and how things are going, I can’t just not edit.

My beta is a lot of help, but she can only work if the freaking printer works. And no one in town seems to have ink! I went to exchange a non-functioning cartridge and they were out of ink again, they had to give me a refund even though it was against store policy. I mean, all I was going to ask was if I could come back with the cartridge in a few days and exchange it then because they said they were going to receive a shipment.

I might have a line on an inexpensive cover designer who does good work, so the styles could be changing some, but that’s actually the part I like the most. Of the two, I meant, editing and cover design, I prefer doing cover design, I just don’t have the time for it like I thought I would. I have to be at the computer and the computer has to be behaving, otherwise I have long gaps where I can’t get anything done because the program is thinking because the hard drive is a piece because it’s an Acer.

I really hope I can afford an SSD drive for my next computer. That would be just fantastic.

 

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 Five (Day Four)

This week has been weird for me. Maybe it’s because my stress level has dropped, or because it’s a short week? I dunno. Not much into writing or anything besides school work.

In my defense, I have school work to do. Like reading that book for Interpersonal Communication. But I’m also in a mood and my notes are crabby. Basically, the book tells you to tap into the narcissistic nature of humans.

That makes me crabby, but what can you do about it? Not much at all. It’s play that game or hide in the corner your whole life. And some people you don’t feel like you’re inflating their already enormous egos. It’s just that I’m in some kind of “angry at humanity” mood.

Maybe it’s the announcements about climate change. Maybe it’s the rumour I saw about a certain president saying our climate is actually good or better than ever or… whatever terminology he used.

It is not, it is not better than ever.

Or maybe it’s this pressure to dress up for Halloween when we’re grown adults and Halloween no longer means candy and disposable culture and capitalism to me, the… theist?

I’m probably just in a mood. I know a few people who would tell me I’m tired and need to keep my thoughts to myself. Those people never seem to realize that I always feel that way. When I get in these moods, it just reduces the likelihood of not telling people they’re stupid or wrong. The rest of the time I resist because I know that telling people they’re stupid doesn’t change how stupid they are.

It usually makes them dig in their heels.

Now I feel like I sound like my mother.

Ah, well.

I did some writing in The Others but didn’t finish the post. No editing on Harvest which reminds me, once I do start that again, it’ll be a day or two until I need more pages.

Seed launches in four days, Contract Taken goes back up in price on most markets, along with all the Contracted books going up to the same pricing as the other books (3.99). Then next Wednesday or so, after the pre-orders are downloaded, Seed also goes up in price.

Amazon finally has Seed and Crop linked but haven’t linked Harvest yet which is really annoying. Do they know how many pre-orders I’m losing out on because their bots aren’t doing their jobs anymore? It’s really making it seem like you need to contact them now for each book to be added to a series, which is ridiculous.

It’s a waste of time and money on their part, the amount they’d have to spend just to keep up with the books. Some of the writers in one of my groups seem like they release a book every two weeks.

Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

But for a company to do that, it’s a waste of time. They could better spend their money ramping up and re-training their customer service, providing a better experience to the customers, thus fewer complaints which mean less loss of income.

I don’t even know why I was thinking of it like that. I’m scatterbrained today. So very scatterbrained. Just here and there and all over the place.

We have a test in keyboarding, but it’s a theoretical proofreading test, which was fine until I discovered that she wanted us to memorize all the marks, which no one in class knew. At least, no one seems to have known. Sucks, but at least I found out beforehand and somehow I got it right on the pretest.

Though, to be fair, that was because I looked at the page as an editor and asked myself what I’d do in that case.

Thank goodness I’ve edited before.

There’s currently a debate going on about what that assignment meant, as there were four lines we had to type out and do the marks in there. Half the class say it’s one paragraph, half that they’re new lines.

I’m in the new line camp because if that’s a paragraph, someone needs to take a writing course. Oh my, it’s more all over the place than I am. Talking about an address, then a donation, and … instructions for work, I think?

She had the answer key up for about ten minutes on the e-learning thing and I’m almost certain I’m right, but because so many people are debating it, I’m questioning myself now. Kind of sucks to do as you go into a test, especially since you can’t just turn on marks like you can in a word document.

Ah, well, I’ve already passed this course so if I fail the test because I did the wrong thing, not that big a deal.

Especially since I just discovered it’s worth 5% and I already have a final grade that’s higher than any of my grades from high school. So I need to stop over thinking that.

Week Four (Day One)

Writing first: the edits of Crop are in. I’m just waiting for the preorder of Harvest to go up before uploading the final copy.

Got a novella of Mr. Wrightworth. Wish he couldn’t push my buttons the way he does. Ah well. I’ll be writing up the outline tomorrow, maybe.

Two weeks to the launch of Seed.

Think that’s it…

The everything else: besides Mr. Wrightworth catching me off guard at work, yesterday was a good day. I didn’t end up stressing out or anything.

Hairdresser I work with found a grey hair and then plucked it from my head. That kind of hurt.

I did sleep good Friday to last night, but I’ve been exhausted all day. Can’t tell if it’s because I’m fighting off a cold, or stress, or a combination of that and early mornings.

I spaced on my driving lesson tonight, so I didn’t make my lunches last night. I spent an hour finishing up Harvest instead. So now between school and driving I have to make lunches as well as after lesson.

Another lesson tomorrow night and then the driving test tomorrow morning.

I also have to email the other instructor. Shoot. I thought I did!

I updated The Others as well today. Uh. I suppose I just really want to play my game and watch some tv at this point but I can’t because I chose sleep and finishing a project yesterday. It would have worked out very well if not for the driving lesson.

Can’t believe I forgot about that.

Need to pull some address information and extra identification for Wednesday just in case.

I’m definitely overwhelmed. Five more days and I have two off. A bath and a bottle of wine is definitely in my future.

If I could drive myself, I would be home by now.

Boo.

I think I’m so tired even my emotions are asleep. Is that even a thing? Dunno. But I need sleep.

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.