Summer Plans

I had to open my availability up at work so I’m not a hundred percent certain how this is going to look.

This summer, I want to get through Nate’s Story and have it up and ready to go, preferably to have it launch August 20 but I don’t think I’ll make that deadline. That’s fine, it’s fine, I’ve been brain dead and you have to give yourself time to recover otherwise you’ll wind up permanently shutting down.

I feel like I’m forgetting a magic book or something, just sitting off in the corner of what I wrote before and haven’t finished with yet.

What I’d like to do is write Savage Shores (alien utopia/dystopia thing) I’m writing this because it involves a paradise ship and I’m taking a vacation to basic paradise so I’m going to take a notepad with me and my camera and do some intense research. The intro is written too, I just need to swing in from where I have written, add more steam, bam, done in a week.

… if I… work and Nate’s Story are getting in the way.

Anyone know how to clone a person?

This is definitely where normal people have editors, I know. But the day job isn’t paying a living wage, I can’t afford to pump that kind of money into books at the speed I write without a business credit card and I think my bank is actually laughing at me right about now.

If Savage Shores is written I can mangle time in there to do the edits but that version has to be on my desktop. I use ProWritingAid for that part and it won’t work on my laptop and the help service has decided not to… you know, help me.

I reached the limit of what I can do to troubleshoot at the moment so I walked away rather than spend ten to twenty hours finding the solution when I need that time for other things.

Once Savage Shores is written I’d pretty well launch right into editing. I’ve heard of authors doing all their edits in less than two days. Makes me wonder if I’m being too particular, but I’d …well, I’d like to try something like that and have Savage Shores out this year too.

Nate’s Story, I’m going to start reading again today because there are certain things from Izzy’s Story which need to be seen to in Nate’s Story, you know, plot holes, continuity, etc. So power through that and then start edits. Workload wise, these last two weeks of school sound simple, if they are as simple as they sound, I should have some work periods at school to devote to editing Nate’s Story.

The week of June 14 you won’t hear from me, I will not exist.

Unless I can write off that trip as a research expense, then yes, yes I do exist. But I don’t think that’s how write offs work.

I have two Wattpad stories to update weekly. The one has eleven or thirteen chapters pre-written which will take me all the way to … September? Before I “have to” make time for that but I will likely add more chapters between now and then. For The Arcane, I’ve been writing them weekly, but it’s two to three hours of writing and then off it goes. So I’ll slot that in every week.

I do have a side thing I have to do, but it’s basically a read and format , shouldn’t take more than a couple days as long as I don’t get sucked into doing the cover.

… I’ll probably get sucked into doing the cover.

As of July 1st I am going to sit down and manage and schedule. No school means I have 30 hours a week free. I have one week booked off that’s for family time but it’s not all going to be family time, so out comes the laptop for that.

If, and that’s a big if, but if I get Savage Shores and Nate’s Story done in time? I’m writing Dire Consequences in August. The third and final book of Morgan/Rachel. From there on it’s solo books in the world of daughters.

I need all the luck I can get. But it’s good to have a plan set out, because once I have a plan, I’m more likely to get stuff done. So. Let’s get this done.

April Updates

I’ve barely started the last edit for Grim Port, moved into Wattpad with a story called The Arcane, been dabbling with cover design and digital painting, and am super manic right now.

Grim Port may be slow because of a couple of reasons. The first being that last in the list: I’m super manic right now. Getting me to focus on words is like trying to feed a child brussel sprouts. It’s not that I have an aversion to words even, it’s that I have an aversion to editing. Normally I’d just hop on over to a story and get it out of my system but this is due in less than a month.

More like… about two weeks.

The move into Wattpad was done because of the manic thrum. I was down and out for almost a month from writing and world creation. Kind of exploded all over all the things. Serialized stories is how I started out and I love them to bits. It’s been years since I did one. Posting to Wattpad lets me get the stories I want to get out, out, while also allowing readers to get something from me that isn’t vampires.

Besides working on Kaz on the side, I’m going to shelve the vampires for a little bit. The three trilogies sort of round out the vampires and they do leave room for creation in the world. I do, at some point, want to write about Mungo and Daisy, and the witch war, and the Ba Re family.

But I also need a bit of a break from them.

Also, readers online prefer the romance. Readers in person like the vampire books better so, you know, if I could figure out how to get them into a book store in a major city, I could get books into the hands of readers that way.

If only, right?

Anyhow, Wattpad will update once a week. I think it was a Sunday I posted? Monday? One of the two, I’ll figure it out on Sunday.

For the cover design, well, it’s not words and it’s basically arts and crafts. I did a quick slap together cover for The Arcane and then did another cover, this one with purpose and attempt to make it look nice for an author named R. J. Price over on Wattpad.

At some point I need to do five fantasy books for the same author, but thankfully it’s not a commission so I’m not pressed to do them now.

I’ve been thinking about redoing the Contracted covers. I love the current covers, but they aren’t what readers are looking for, apparently. I also (still) need to redo the Wraith’s Rebellion covers. Lots of arts and crafts.

There’s also still school and work involved. I didn’t get either the specialized work program for the summer or employment for the summer from the hospital. It almost sounds like they only hired one position for the summer and it’s a friend of mine which is great for her.

So, from the sound of it, I’m stuck at my current job over the summer. Did some more math, can’t afford to quit and just spend the summer focused on my work and publishing like crazy. It’s sad, but that’s the fact of life.

Unless one of you has the winning lottery numbers?

Any job opportunity we hear about, I apply for. Getting into a job next year will be easier if I have experience in my field.

But I’m trying to prattle on to avoid edits, and if I get them done I can move on to another story sooner rather than later.

Plan Changes

I need to change my publishing plan.

I have the books written, I’m trying to edit them, but it’s not going so well. Hera will be done in time, but the Grim trilogy is barely started and I don’t want to rush on through it. So. That’s got to change so I can relax a little.

Work, school, writing, cover design.

I’ve got a lot on my plate.

The plan was ambitious, it was meant to give me a lofty goal and it was something I desperately wanted. But it’s not something I can do right now.

So I’m going to finish the edit of Hera. I think on the side as a breather, I will take chapters of The Others and rewrite them. If I don’t go exclusive, I can publish on Amazon and all the rest. There will, of course, be additions to the book. I’m hoping to do about double the word count. It’ll include expanding on the smut, of course, and possibly adding a few chapters.

It’s just something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and doing this is kind of like a me thing I can do.

This means the publication dates of all books have been pushed forward except Hera.

In the real world something came up. It was the thing that, going into school I said if it ever happened I would quit school and do that instead. So, when it came up, I ventured forward.

Only to be told it was never going to be an option. Not because I wouldn’t qualify or could be trained for this opportunity but because that, while, yes, this thing had happened, the opportunity no longer exists.

Changes happen everywhere, all the time. Supposedly it’s a sign of progress. My guy… suppose I should name him. Uh, let’s call him Flynn. Obviously not his real name, anyhow. When the opportunity came up, I needed someone… or four… to talk to. It’s kind of a big deal, even if I had made the decision back before school started.

When it fell through Flynn said something like, “okay, so, your plans just stay the same.”

I went through my day, got home, and started crying in the shower.

Okay, so I guess I wanted to go through that opportunity more than I had expressed. It would mean leaving school, which would mean a significantly shorter week for me. More time for editing, art, doing what I want to do. I wouldn’t be stretched so thin.

I wouldn’t be tired all the time.

All.

The.

Time.

And the thing is, yeah, I considered not writing because it’s extra work. But the writing is filling in gaps. A break here, two hours between work and school there. It gives me something to strive for and something that is a me thing. It’s a reminder that I’m doing all this for something just like the opportunity.

Something that, once I’m in it and there, I can focus less on editing, formatting, cover design, because I could finally afford to hire out. Then instead of being all stressed out about getting a cover done, or getting it positioned just right, I can relax more.

Quality would improve, time would be found. I could do so much more.

That’s why I’m doing all this.

Checking sales each morning and keeping track of them helps keep me sane. It’s a regular structure that never changes.

Unless I have no sales.

Editing over coffee gives me something besides the next year of exhaustion to focus on.

New fountain pens is weirdly getting me through this heart wrenching time. Heart wrenching isn’t a term a normal person would use, but I’m super not normal. So, there’s that.

There is a slight possibility that I will be obtaining a fountain pen that was a special edition a couple of years ago and is Mr. Wrightworth purple.

I’m going to be getting two more fountain pens so I can have three colours on the go. Then I can take my notes and do world creation and start the writing journal I want to make. The pens/markers I have now are very narrow and it’s hurting my hand to do writing.

When I got the fountain pen it was like a freaking revelation. Suddenly I enjoyed writing things out by hand. I haven’t enjoyed that in years. I’ve looked at it with distaste because of the ache.

The co-worker who gave me the pen suggested those little triangular foam bits that children use as grips on their pens and pencils to teach them to grip it properly. It’s a fantastic idea and I’ll look into it but I don’t want to attach them to the markers I use at school because they won’t fit into my binder cover. The other option is to swap them out from marker to marker and suddenly I’m tugging on markers constantly when I’m already getting looks because whenever I have to open a marker I look like a crazy person who has never seen a pen before.

Basically, I have to wrap my hands around the cap and then the end but not while making a fist with my right hand, just kind of using half my hand and then tug and wiggle until it comes off.

Except I’ve got this thing about sudden changes and such so when it pops off I always look super surprised. Like I just discovered that these stick things open and there’s stuff inside them.

So, to go along with the Mr. Wrightworth purple, I’m going to be getting an apple green pen. It’s an odd choice for me, but of all the colours offered that’s the one I like best. Which is weird. You’d think I’d go for black or blue. Maybe even a nice white to pair with the black one I already have.

Mr. Wrightworth purple and witchy green.

See, that cheers me up and there’s no way to explain the why.

For inks I’m getting a sample of true turquoise, which is just luscious, Moss Green, and … I don’t recall the exact name, but I think it’s Dragon Rage orange.

There’s also a chance the purple pen will come with a Mr. Wrightworth purple ink.

Little things.

I’m already trying to buy all the inks. When the co-worker talked to me about inks and we reached three he said, “and…”

And I said, “No, that’s it. I do not need to hoard ink. I want all the ink, but I don’t need the ink so three will work for now.”

Hera Update

The first edit of Hera is done. Yay.

My laptop is acting up, like it hasn’t got enough memory to run Grammarly. The next edit is to try out a new program. But today I’m taking some time to try a cover design out for it.

I could order a cover and I’m still seriously considering doing that, but I need to tell her what to do.

Therein lies a problem.

So I’m slapping something together. See how it looks, burn it to the ground, and try again.

Need to sort out the laptop to use it for the next edit. Word has been acting funny, shutting down without warning, and it keeps dumping things into the cloud and then claiming it can’t merge the files from the cloud even though I only used the laptop for the files in question…?

Apparently, I need to go back to USBs. I like the convenience of the cloud, but it’s being a bugged out piece and I just can’t have it doing this. It could lose necessary information and that’s bad.

With a little luck, I will have a pre-order set up sometime tonight.

With luck.

This morning, I woke up feeling good. It’s been a long time since I felt good. I’ve been in pain about … frig, I don’t even know. It might have been the start of December. The last two weeks or so my knuckles have been red. Even holding my phone hurt.

I have to be careful about what I take because I overreact to medication. We don’t need to be chasing my floating self through the aisle at work. But yesterday it got so bad I felt I had to go home, so I went to my purse to take something and realized I forgot my pills.

Note: these are just OTC ibuprofen and acetaminophen. I don’t have a doctor so I have to self-medicate.

Anyhow. Cue me swearing until I remembered a little ‘first aid’ pack a co-worker gave me when I called her a pain in the ass. There were both in there, so I took one of each, got curious, and googled the ibuprofen brand.

It was Aleve, which is not ibuprofen.

But an hour later the red in my knuckles was gone. I was so pale that I had an entirely different concern, but I didn’t have as much pain. Oh, I still ached. I didn’t realize how freaking much I ache. But the pain had gone down to a throb.

So I’m now on a quest to find Aleve in town. Pharmacies in Canada don’t display what they carry on their websites, which is frustrating for me, but I get it.

Because I felt good when I got home is likely why I completed Hera instead of wrapping up in a blanket and grumbling at the cats for the night. It’s why I went looking for a cover and figured that all out, sorted it out, and maybe came up with a plan. One I hope will work.

This morning I took another Aleve and felt good but the cold caused an ache in my right hand so I paired it with an acetaminophen. There’s a frustrating ache in my right hand but otherwise I still feel good.

When still being in pain is a good day… ugh.

Trying to source CBD but the store is constantly out and I don’t want THC. That helps the anxiety and the pain.

Which would all mean getting more work done. It’d mean less grumbling at the cats while wrapped up in a blanket.

Maybe clean my room. Organize some so that if it came time, I could have the new guy visit and not be worried that he thought I was some kind of slob. I’m not, honest.

It’s just the idea of cleaning when I’m hurting is too much to bear and when you have to decide whether your energy goes to getting through the day, or is split between that and cleaning, it just… it just doesn’t happen.

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.

 

Updates

The site has a new look, at least for the moment. Well, it might be given yet another new look in a few days but I’m not minding this one. I’ve adjusted the menus up top and two new pages for sub-series. The only trouble I’m having is that the older cover images added for Contracted and Wraith’s Rebellion have a weird white border around them. I’ll re-add them later and see if that solves the issue.

I already want to go back to writing Coffee and Blood. I’m kind of thinking about writing Gaia next. We’ve kind of beat out the details, so that’s good. Ish.

I have not done up the timeline yet because I’m trying to figure out how to fit forty-thousand years of human innovation and exploration into forty-two inches of paper. Recall, the closer to modern times you come, the more events and inventions there are. I think in the first twenty-thousand years of Hera’s life the most significant human discovery/change was the domestication of dogs.

Of course, I’m generalizing the timeline. There were lots of stuff happening in there like the recent-ish discovery of stone jewelry, and I’ve read articles about them discovering agriculture as far back as forty thousand years.

I like history and I like myth. My retention of that information is spotty at best but I do love reading and re-reading it.

The past three days or so I’ve been consumed by anxiety. Sitting in my basement room, playing Sims, and basically pouting.

Because I knew I was anxious and that it was holding me back but I couldn’t drag myself out of it. You know, that ‘upset that you’re upset’ feeling.

I updated The Others yesterday and wrote part of a second post for that. At least I got something done. I had trouble sleeping which isn’t necessarily a problem, but as the anxiety has abated some but not entirely, it wore on my for three days, and I didn’t really sleep last night means that this morning I’m mentally exhausted.

It took an hour and a half to put a chapter of At Death’s Door through an edit. But, I did it. I’m going to try to do another when I get home. Then I’m going to make a cover, maybe two. My thought on Wraith’s Rebellion has changed slightly so I have to go looking again. I also need a colour that would go well with the books. I used a red-orange for The Reaping so that’s not an option. I could use the brown that is in the original covers because I had thought of using the original texture too but brown on a cover that’s not completely consumed by an image?

Might look funny.

Barring that, I can start an edit of Crop.

My only trouble at this point is that I want to play Sims but also work. I’ve done that before. It’s very possible. I just need the computer for At Death’s Door because nothing else I have is capable of running my editing programs. Which means I have to be done the edit and covers before I can move on to playing Sims and editing at the same time because only the computer can use the photo editing software.

The more I think about all this, the less I want to do the edits and cover design. Likely, I’m feeling burned out and I haven’t had a new book out in several months and yet have been reading and hearing too much about how you’ll never succeed if you aren’t pumping out books every couple of weeks.

I can keep that pace, if I don’t do editing and covers. At the same time, I’m not a big believer of rushing things to publication before I’m happy with them.

And you can succeed if you don’t publish constantly. And by constantly I mean once every three weeks.

But at the moment I’m in a slump and I’m feeling rather like the world is telling me I’m going to fail. That’s likely linked to the anxiety I’ve been having, as I know I get like this sometimes.

Then one day I wake up and decide the whole world can burn, I roll up my sleeves and get back to work.

I guess this is still linked to the ‘upset you’re upset’ that I’ve been feeling.

I still haven’t gotten around to making covers for sale. It seems the price of them has gone up meaning not only can I not afford them ‘even more’ but also if I was making them, I might be able to afford an editor/cover designer for my books rather than struggling through them finding what’s right for the book I just wrote.

Suppose this ended up half-rant, half-update.

Back to work after the day-job and until school starts. Then writing has to go on the back burner because working and full-time school and the boyfriend.

I don’t have time or money to do all that I want.

And my luck is poop so I can’t even joke about winning the lottery because I’d never win it.