Contract Delivered Week 4

Two more chapters to go. Still shy of 60k, but all the Contracted books have been short upon the first draft except for Contract Claimed and even that could end up getting longer. Or shorter, I might remove some of Will’s damned ramblings.

The next two chapters, for me, are doozies. Super annoying for me. It’s also the ending of the trilogy so that will probably be a kick to my head. Vodka, I think, got me through the last trilogy’s end and then, upon finishing it, I back tracked to Contract Taken and added an entire chapter.

Because I know they’re going to be doozies, I’m going to try to get both done tomorrow. So, in theory, Contract Delivered will be done tomorrow.

I opened Contract Taken today to at least look at the edits. I gave it to my little program and it spat it back out with a low score. I’m not sure the first trilogy had anything more than my eye looking at it.

I said as I shuddered.

Hey, if I were making spare money above what I needed to survive, I’d be hiring an editor. Can’t do that, so I’ll use the resources at hand. It’s not like I’m standing about talking about how I’m so much better than everyone else and pouting because no one reads my books. I know I’m stupid, I know I’m mucking it up.

Come join me.

I kid, of course. I have been trying to do better with my editing. Grammatical rules written out just never made any damned sense to me. I’ve had people hold my hand and lead me through and I just sit there like they’re trying to tell me them in German. Some of it gets through, but not enough.

I’m getting better, so I’m going to go back and do re-edits of previous books rather than just leave them as is.

Except His Grace and His Wings. I’m not interested in touching them again and I guess readers can feel that I was super bored with them.

So what have I been doing around the one chapter a day? Well, I spent about a week doing an intensive jump around edit of Seed. I found a few mistakes that my program didn’t pick up on and fixed those. There were a few continuity errors. Yeah. I’ve read this thing like three times. Didn’t catch them.

Surprisingly easy to fix with Kaz being present for every error. Not his power, no, but he’s one of those people who nods and lets you tell the same story again and again to see if you tell it differently the second time.

People repeat stories all the time, especially when they’re stressed out and not thinking right. I think he’s told three different times that Helen has been turned. Maybe four… and each time, because he shuts up about it, he learns a little more about what happened.

Admittedly, one of those times he bitches about it with something like “If I didn’t engage with him, even though he had told me just that earlier in the night, he’d whine about it for the next century or more.”

Once my two chapters are done, I’m not sure what will be on my plate. Not until May 1st and I think I have an idea what I’m doing for May.

Six books down, six to go.

Contract Delivered Week Three

Oh. My. God. I have so much time on my hands.

My routine at the moment is get up, straighten up, write my chapter over coffee. I’m writing a chapter a day and it seems to be working on driving me forward because it’s come down to about two hours to do the writing.

Then I switch over to Seed. Removing ‘was’ as much as possible. I’ve cut down about a third of them. Some are necessary, some are in dialogue and people can talk however they please so I leave it.

At the end of this year, I’m going to have so much editing to do. So much. Editing for years to come.

But I gotta get those books out and get a proper income coming in because I am loving this.

Know what I did last night? I played a video game guilt free. Spent a couple of hours away from the computer. Guilt free!

This only having one job thing could work out really well for me. If I can get the income necessary.

I still have lots of time to finish Contract Delivered. I’ve started looking at Prototype to see how I can make it work. My problem was too many characters and that was just stupid. I’ve cut them all from the book, basically. They’re still there. They still exist, they just don’t appear in the first book of the series.

Then I need to have a villain that is clearly a villain. I got this, basically.

I’m about halfway through this edit of Seed. I’ve started working that into Contract Delivered, the removal of was, I mean. It’ll probably take a while to really start to see it. Once I’m through that edit, I’ll resubmit it to my editing program for analysis and it will tell me I’m still a moron and I need to remove sixteen other words… I’ll probably cry a little, but then do it. Then at least one read edit. Maybe two.

Then I get to do the same thing with Crop, but at least I haven’t started the first edit yet, so it’ll be easier to fix.

Oh, and I might, maybe, have the time to do it!

About… 36k words on Contract Delivered. It’ll be one of the shorter first drafts that I’ve written, but that’s okay. I feel like it’ll require fewer re-writes than Contract Sealed.

Awakened Week Four

Sorry for the not-quite update last week. Normally within a week, I’m back to where I was before but this time I was determined to do something even if my doctor won’t and I ended up anxious as could be and it ate away at my mind for a little longer.

Two things ended up being suggested to me: Valerian root at 500mg, and a CBD tincture.

I looked up both online, did my own research and decided to give both a shot. Valerian root is relatively inexpensive but I could only find 400mg which is okay. I’m sensitive to chemicals, drugs, and sometimes just wind up seeing sparkles when I try new things.

On the CBD, it made me anxious because it is a grey area. You can get it in my area without a prescription of any kind. It’s classified as a supplement, not a drug because the psychoactive part of it has been basically removed.

And until I tried Valerian, I was actually sitting around wondering how in the hell they could make CBD a supplement so quickly.

Oh… Valerian.

I went eighteen hours before the anxiety returned and then I crashed hard. By the time I got off work I was in tears.

I didn’t want to take a second Valerian that night to make sure everything was out of my system. I had a glass of wine instead. I regret that… the not taking the Valerian, not the wine. Though if you ever decide to try Valerian, don’t mix it with alcohol.

A friend had to drag me off the couch the next day to go get CBD. I had never done it before and the place she took me to is a completely legal place, they are good with whatever laws they have to be good with.

I thought it was a freaking spa. I swear I’ve seen ads on their door for eyelashes. I walk by it every time I take my walk.

And it’s possible, just walking in, I got like a contact high from the smell of it. I loved it, but I had a weird childhood where that smell is actually a comfort to me. I always get a little goofy when I smell it.

Don’t worry, for those who have been tagging along in my 12-in-12, Awakened was completed the day before my episode. I already have some edits in mind. Things to add in. As this may be the only book for the world (no others came eagerly forward) I may be doing an actual re-write for this book.

Then I got to thinking and Awakened is a little off the wall for my usual style so I’m just basically sitting here, twiddling my thumbs as I try to figure out what I should do. I’m not thinking about creating a new pen name, I had just been wondering about trying a publishing house with Awakened as it’s more like their thing.

That’s probably a stupid idea though.

I don’t have my usb on me, but I think Awakened finished off at about 87k words.

As for me… When I woke up this morning, I felt myself. For a fleeting moment, I felt myself, and then it was gone and it’s just sort of coming and going. Which is good, I miss that.

Minimal joint pain starting my day and no anxiety, but the world isn’t filled with cotton candy dreams the way it was on Monday after my first night with Valerian. That kind of sucks for me because I was looking forward to the cotton candy world, that spike of happiness, but at the same time it’s a good thing. It may have been a bit of mania which caused the crash.

I could be that happy again, I’ve felt like that before just on my own and in a good place in life. Just not right now, at least until I know it’s not going to make me crash again. I have about four more days until I have to start April’s project.

I think I’m about 320,000 words right now. Not counting additions from edits. I’ll be making a confirmed number this weekend with the final draft of His Wings and will add to it as I get drafts finished, or until November comes around.

Still waiting on Seed to come back from betas. I had been hoping to edit Crop these past two weeks. It obviously didn’t happen but I swear I can feel that thrum under it all. But I gave myself to Friday to get used to the new supplements so that’s what I’m going to do.

Awakened Week Two

I’ve written about ten thousand words in the last week and I hate the struggle. I came up with the loose plot four days ago and then forgot it all. It’s like hitting a wall.

My sleep patterns have changed because the noisy neighbour moved out. Today I realized it’s been a year since I slept properly. No wonder I’m now struggling.

This morning I sat down and wrote out a rough geustimate of the plot. I started at the end and worked my way back because there was this little gap I was struggling with and working backward was definitely the way to go.

I’m hoping I can get a move on again. It’s about nine more chapters or about another 35k words. I’ll get about 23k this weekend but I do believe Awakened will be my longest project to date. I think even Contract Claimed was shorter.

I found and joined a high word count group and they think I’m burnt out.

I mean… Full-time job and the move and the life changes and trying to meet a project, okay. I guess they’re right but that’s not a great thing. I’ve been doing so good! I’m halfway there. May is supposed to be when I struggle.

When I’m going to Mexico the first week, and flying out for a wedding the the third week. Second week? Something like that.

I will have to just take it as it comes. This isn’t like the struggle with His Wings, I want to finish Awakened and I’m enjoying writing it.

All told so far, between writing and editing the books I’ve wrtten, I’ve clocked about 80k words a month.

Or about 320k from November until the beginning of Marcg. That’s still pretty darn good.

Oh, in other news. I’m about to finish the read edit for His Wings. The final draft will be up sometime this weekend. That’s another project down to bed.

If I can finish Awakened, I’m going to edit Contract Gifted again and hopefully get that up. Maybe get it up the first week of April. That’d be fantastic.

Awakened Week One

Just over 44k words in six days. I had to take today off writing because I feel sick to my stomach.

I’ve also been doing a read edit of His Wings on my commutes. It’ll be finished in time, but I’m going to avoid arranging a pre-order before the book has gone through the first couple of edits.

I haven’t been sleeping, working constantly. It’s no wonder I’m feeling sick and tired. But I’d sleep if my upstairs neighbour got evicted like they said he was going to.

Instead he does a bunch of drugs and stays up all night. Which keeps me up. If I could just sleep, I’d feel better.

Going to go curl up now.

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.

March: Awakened

March’s project is Awakened. It has been bothering me nearly constantly. I’ll be writing it and editing and doing more writing for His Wings, Crop, Seed, and Harvest.

Most of that would be on my phone, is how it’d be done. I downloaded Grammarly’s keyboard for my phone. I just couldn’t handle the stupidity of the default keyboard.

Why does Kaz turn to Lax sometimes, Las other times? Why does fire turn into spit? Really? Really?

Anyhow. Awakened is a fantasy based in a high fantasy world after humans have killed the mortal races and the elves have all gone to sleep or disappeared. Every human is capable magic, but only a few ever get access to their magic.

So, it’s sort of like the elves and humans traded magic use, I guess?

It is set in the modern era, where pretty well all the same stuff has been created but at a faster pace because as mages became fewer, humanity built tech to replace what had once been done.

Just anyone can be awakened so there are taxes and fines on magic use and there are mage schools and patrons for the awakened. If an awakened doesn’t use their magic they end up burning out. Dying from lack of releasing magic is as familiar in awakened as starvation or exposure deaths in the homeless. But the taxes are kind of obscene, and the Mark usually empties a savings account.

It’s becoming fashion to give new parents money instead of gifts, so they can put it into a Mark account in case their child ever awakens. A child is more likely to have money saved for a Mark than for college.

Those who cannot pay are just like those who can’t pay bills. Though, it is dependent on what their magic can do. Some are offered jobs, but magical prisons are expensive. It’s not uncommon to find awakened among the numbers of the homeless. They offer their services in exchange for a few dollars, begging for both magic fines as well as food.

There is religion in the world, and an old sect called the Paladins who do mysterious things. The only way to become a Paladin is to be raised within the group. You can ‘join’ them so that your child has a chance to become a Paladin but then you’re referred to as a breeder. The Paladins understand that new blood is super important to the health of all but they look down on those who are called to the life and haven’t served.

Patrons have, at times, taken advantage of their mages. But for the most part human on mage violence doesn’t happen. An awakened is more likely to cause accidental death than a mage. And the difference between an awakened and a mage is years of training.

So when bodies start turning up, when mages are found with all their magic scooped out, the Magical Protection Agency sends the only man they think capable of hunting down a mage killer: Dave Archon, fourth son of the seventh son of the leader of the Paladins and the only one in six hundred years to be offered the knives and walk away. He’s got the pedigeee, the knowledge, and has even fought in both a magical and physical war and survived.

Our female MC is a newly awakened Abby Kestrel, a waitress with barely enough income to pay her bills. She is a nobody, her family has no history of awakening, and she knows about as much about magic as she does about brain surgery.

One would think discovering you had magic would be a blessing, that everything would fall into place. But this isn’t a fairy tale, and even though the world has magic and believes fate is real, none of them are so blinded by the magic to believe in true love or happy endings.

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.