Grim Update Two

I am coming down with a cold, an arthritis flare up started, and a blizzard is expected today. To say I’m not having a good week is about right. I mean, a good writing week. The blizzard isn’t helping matters.

Considering the college isn’t closing and work isn’t closing and we’re expecting 20 – 25 cm of snow (that’s something like 8 – 10 inches for you Americans out there) and the clearance on my car is more like 15cm (or about 6 inches).

“Don’t approach shop lifters, your life is more important than our product.”

“Even in a blizzard you are working, people still need craft supplies.”

No, no, you can’t say the one and then not the other. But it basically amounts to: my work doesn’t want us getting injured on the property but if we die on the way there or out again that’s our own fault even though I’ve had managers in the past threaten to write me up because the snow was hip deep on a full grown man (who was not short) and my car literally could not move.

I mean, it could rock back and forth, of course, but that’s as far as it got.

So, I’m drained from the cold and the pain from the arthritis and when the anxiety started… I was done with this day before I left the house.

I don’t have the option of calling in to work. (see above)

I didn’t have the option of not coming to school. Apparently, a few years ago, the person in charge of all that didn’t shut down the school until taxis and buses also shut down. So there were stranded students sleeping at the school because they had nowhere to go.

I don’t care if we live in Canada, screw you if you do that. Especially with threat of docked marks, black marks on our records, or write ups.

A lot of people are like, “oh, just get a hotel room for the night.”

Do you know how much I make?

Basically, not only do you want me to risk my life, you now want me to pay you so I can work.

I don’t make enough in a shift to pay for a hotel room, I don’t make enough in three freaking shifts to pay for a hotel room. Or a motel room. Or a freaking dog house. Can’t sleep in my car, that’s a good way to die. Can’t spend the night at work because if you do, even if you can’t physically leave the parking lot, you’re fired.

This is so freaking stupid.

The closer you get to the Bay of Fundy, the worse the snowfall will get. Guess who lives closer to the Bay of Fundy.

I’d have no problem if it was 10 cm. I mean, I’d be a little anxious about driving, but I’d know I was getting home.

And with the co-worker gone, I’m now responsible for running her area through peak season. Which means I’m not getting days off. I’m not getting any sort of a break over my winter break.

I look worn out and it’s so fucking stupid. But, hey, at least the store doesn’t suffer and they don’t lose money.

Sometimes I really hate humans. And stupid greed.

Just running that position through peak is stressful, if you want to keep up on things. I can run it and keep it ahead and on time throughout, but I’ve walked into someplace that’s behind and is continually behind. And I’m already struggling to right things because it’s like any change, no one wants to do it but I’ve got sixteen freaking balls in the air and a seventeenth was added.

At some point, I’m probably going to end up saying, “I don’t care what you think. Do it the company way.”

Except it’d probably come out more like, “I don’t care what you think. Do it the company way.”

I have seventeen balls in the air so the first thing to take a hit would be my writing. And it has, I’m exhausted, though it could just be from the pain and the cold draining me. I don’t get time between school and work because I head to work and start right away because I have to devote as much time as possible.

If it was functioning, yes, a manager wouldn’t be needed. But to get it functioning, you need a full-time manager or people who are willing to change when you say something.

“This is the expectation…”

… I just looked out the window and witnessed what looked like our student body president walking into the school in knee high boots and a skirt that came down to about mid-thigh in a blazer that was open and a blouse underneath. Head down, clearly cold.

But at least you’re fashionable, woman. That’s all that really matters.

Ugh, I’m super anxious and tired and that’s making me bitter and cranky.

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.

Week Eight (Day Five)

Fuck this week.

I’m definitely in a mood. Such moodiness from me. I just want to growl, steal a bunch of chocolate and wine, and hide in the corner.

Sooooo…. the work starting in January is likely going to be a Wolf trilogy (previously called Bitches) I both hate and love you for that jab, so thanks.

That takes me writing wise almost to the end of school.

See, the issue is that I can’t write smut while in school. It’s obviously not appropriate, even if I do it on my breaks. So that has to be done while at home and such. I’m pretty freaking good, but I can’t write a book that fast (especially smut) if I’ve only got the time when I’m at home, which is usually an hour or so a day.

So. I’ve got two slots open for un-smutty stories. No, sorry, three.

Hmm, a trilogy would fit in there quite nicely.

Grim Haven is sitting about 70k words right now, so about 70% done. I’m loving this format I’m working with. As that word count goes up in a file I always slow down but because it’s broken up into bits, it’s much faster.

So much faster.

If I can figure out the editing, I now have a freaking problem. A BIG freaking problem.

I have too many books done and ready for publishing. If I do one a month through the year, I’ve got something coming out every month until… oh gosh, June of 2020 or so? Mainly with what’s already written.

Guys, help me figure out faster editing, fer realsies. I’m borderline two books every month and that’s super exciting considering the list I have going. I want all those ideas down and done so that when I sit at my computer I can just snag whatever crazy idea I have.

Like a reverse harem that’s now dancing about because I took it from Daisy. Or that Visitor’s book, or Prototype and all the ones from Aurora.

Omg. Can I just quit and become a hermit and just do this writing thing full time for a year?

No. No, I can’t. But I am determined and ambitious and am trying to look around for solutions.

I’ve got problems, I know I’ve got problems, I’m trying to solve them. Not being able to get over 12k words in a day is a problem for me. Not being able to edit faster, or not being able to ship a story out to an editor, is a problem for me.

I’m in a high word count group and saw they were mentioning some kind of sprint thing over and over again without explaining what it was. So, I asked and basically got eye rolls and “If you’re in *this other group* go there, and look her up.”

Thanks for the non-answer.

When I finally figured it out I realized I’m doing something similar but with short sprints and long gaps because I’m writing on my breaks and then paying attention in class. I commented and said I want to break through the 12k ceiling to which someone told me it was really good to be at 12k and I should be happy.

Yeah, it’s also really good that I had a part-time job, but I’m not going to sit around with a thumb up my ass because it’s really good. I want better. I expect better. Making it past that 12k ceiling is my next level. I’m glad you’d want to plateau but I don’t want to. I want to keep going because I’ve got this and this and this and this.

See what I was saying? I’m mood as all hell.

And ‘thumb up (my) ass’ is a saying my father used to use a lot. And possibly my mother. It’s an actual saying. If you’ve got a thumb up there, you can’t do much besides pleasure yourself? I don’t know where the origin comes from, it just seemed appropriate.

But the response I got was also a non-answer.

I discovered files in Word are supposed to display editing time, so the time you have the file open and as the active window. Except mine displays a big fat 0 while everyone else in the class shows a number.

I looked it up and the only answer I found was “some people are in places where privacy prevents Windows from logging such things,” which is all well and good. Completely understand, except everyone else around me has that number, we all got the program in the same country, we all live in the same country, most of us are citizens of the same country.

So, I asked. They gave me the same response. I supplied the information about my peers and was told that it’s a useless thing anyhow because this and this and this and if I want something that actually works I should go looking for one. Because it. Is. Useless. If you ever leave the computer or forget to close the window.

Thanks for the non-answer.

That’s not what I asked. I didn’t ask for excuses. I didn’t ask to be told how I’m wrong because I want to use this thing.

I freaking asked how to freaking turn the freaking counter on!

“This is how you do it. But I think it’s useless.”

Bam, their answer with what I’m looking for at the same time.

The only fecking answer I got this week was when I fished for editing tips and someone answered me on my personal facebook timeline. Thank you, person, for being the only one this week to actually answer my question.

Suppose it’s time for a school update too, huh?

Four tests this week, Writing was probably the worst. I’m desperately trying to pay attention in these classes but I’ve found myself gazing out the window in a daze. Physically I’m tired and emotionally I’m exhausted. Mentally I’m still here and alert but I’ve just had such trouble paying attention to anything for long.

In Document Formatting we’re starting to get into things I don’t know much about. You’d think that’d make me perk up but I almost fell asleep. The instructor does not have a quiet voice, she has us doing things through the course, basically doing what’s she’s teaching on our screens so we get the experience.

You’d think I’d be very alert.

Nope.

And Writing? We’re starting on punctuation and such. And you’d think, really think that because I want to improve my editing skills and get quicker at it that I’d be very alert during that class and reading all the things.

Nope.

Math I pay attention in though. Not a clue why. I mean, I like math in general, but I also like document formatting and writing sooooo… of all the things not to pay attention to, I’d think my brain would lapse at Math.

Nope.

Interpersonal Communication seems to be going okay. I’m trying to, you know, talk to people and such. But weeks like this one are hard.

When people interrupt me, give me the dead eyes look as they just sort of stare past me, ignore what I’m saying, tell me I’m wrong, give me non-answers.

I think I’m worn out again, emotionally. I had a day off just this past Sunday, but I used that time to rewrite blurbs on most of my books. Even that is emotionally wearing for me. My next day off is next Saturday. I’ll have two days off in a row. I think a bath and wine are calling my name again. Time for some self-care.

And, in the mean time, I’m going to keep writing. Because some people knit when stressed out.

I write.

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 Seven

Sorry for the absence here. Those who follow my Facebook Page have probably been following along over the past nine days and what a doozy it’s been.

Had a hypergraphic episode. It probably ended Friday, but I was about halfway through then so I figured I’d push on through. Might have hit again today, but that was also likely triggered by anxiety.

Which hit me Sunday morning. And then my boss texted me at home. “What exactly happened last night?”

That’s never what you want to hear, especially when you’re at home, from someone who usually respects that work barrier. So the anxiety definitely get worse, but Sunday started it because I forgot to take my morning pills which include a St. John’s Wort. I don’t know why the anxiety is riding so high in just general.

It sucks, really, because until June it wasn’t that high.

Now, I did start driving myself on Friday, maybe this is just an adjustment period. It’s been a long time since I’ve driven myself and I definitely miss it. I like being the only one in the vehicle with music playing. It’s relaxing, really. Especially night driving, which I know lots of people don’t like, but I like it. There’s this calm of night driving, there are fewer vehicles on the road then and less to deal with, I guess.

It’s just a bad mental health week for me. I want to cry and don’t know why. I want to hide, don’t know why. Instead, I force a smile and try to function but it sucks, really.

Yesterday I told my cousin we should leave earlier if he wants to be dropped at the front doors. There’s a traffic circle by the front doors and the idea of going in there caused a mini-attack while I was in the car.

So, you know, picking him up is going to be fun.

He, of course, has never grappled with anxiety, so he demanded to know why that would cause anxiety.

I don’t think I said it would cause anxiety. I think I said it would cause an anxiety attack. Growing up I got that a lot. Bullshit about how mental health is in your head and there’s nothing to be sad about, blah blah, ignore it and it’ll totally go away.

Mind you, that’s why I get out of bed now, but having someone ask that actually caused me more problems. Thankfully I answered.

“Because… anxiety, it’s… bad.”

I finished Grim Port today and I’ve just got a lovely little feeling but underneath it all is the anxiety. It’s back and kicking into high gear as I sit for work.

It’s not my usual day to work, but there was a sudden need. It’s also that particular co-worker’s night to close.

And I’m already a bundle of tears and nervous anxiety wrapped up in attention problems and way too much energy.

Wonder if I have an attention disorder… No, I can pay attention fine when I want to.

I’m not worried about the past. I’m not worried about the future. I’ve got a handle on finances so far. I get paid this week and then pay out from that, but that didn’t even register until this second. So all that stuff that’s been flicking me in the nose, basically, over the past couple of months isn’t doing that.

A few ratings and reviews have come in for Seed and they’ve been good so far.

Unless it’s just one of those… calm panics.

It’s this weird thing that one of my friends from high school pointed out. I lived with her for a while and after a year, I started trying to find an apartment. I didn’t want to move out, she didn’t want me to move out, but it was just this… this instinct. I started panicking because I was in the same place for so long.

Turns out that can happen. Nothing bad goes wrong after a lifetime of explosions and after a few weeks of quiet, you start seeing everything as a problem. It’s a pretty big struggle to get over, but possible.

Maybe it’s just that. It’s like I expect someone to fling something at my head or something. Like just getting ready for it and panicking ahead of time because I’m trying to find out where the thing swung at my head is going to come from.

Hopefully, not my boss. She texted me Sunday, today is Tuesday, I haven’t seen her since.

School is going all right. We changed from Keyboarding to Document Formatting last week and I’ve learned a bit, but I miss the hour of music to unwind as I did typing, of being wrapped up in me and my worlds while I did some work. It was nice. I’m learning from Document Formatting though, so I’m still trying to pay just as much attention there as anywhere else.

Some of the other students have decided having two tests on one day is too much, having five in a week is way too much, and they’re trying to get things pushed. I don’t want them pushed and it seems these other students know that. It upsets them that I want to stick to the schedule.

How often have you gone to your boss needing an extension on something? Need it because it happens to fall on the same day as some other deadline?

For me? Uh, I think three times in twelve years. Otherwise, you try to skip out on a deadline and you’re in a lot of trouble. Deadlines, stress, it’s a part of any job.

Plus, I mean, they were talking about taking the accounting test from Tuesday with Math and moving it to Wednesday where we’re having a writing test. So. Rather than have the two math tests the same day, they want to switch it up and do math and then english and think that somehow it will help them out?

I just, I dunno, guys, that sounds like a bad idea.

Over lunch I got passive aggressively chastised again because I’m not having trouble. So, yet again, I explained that it’s just this semester I know almost everything for. Next semester I’d be in the same boat as everyone else.

I mean, my grades are between 90 and 99% right now. I watch others try to argue with the instructor about what should and should not count as right. Or, I explain to them how to do it and they say they understand then I watch them go to the rest of the class on another day with the same question.

Get the same answer. Then go to the instructor with the question.

Up and leave at 3pm every day, and the instructors do not look impressed at all.

Skipping class, texting in class. I’m seeing this all and I’m just thinking omg because they all seem to think that… that the instructors don’t literally have a file on each of us. They’ve told us as much. There is a file with everything in it, if we’re late, our emails to them, what we wear, how we behave, if we work with others.

I’m not sure how much clearer that could be made.

And there I am at the back of the class feeling self-conscious if I take too many notes because they might think I’m writing or something. For Googling the answers to questions I want that aren’t being taught in class (maybe because they’re being taught later, but I don’t know…)

Can I just take a mental health week? Just stay home, build a blanket fort, and sleep the whole week away.

Oh, that’s right, I can’t. Because I have to work and I have to go to school and in between I have to try to do cleaning and maintaining of things otherwise I’ll drive myself crazy.

Winter break is about seven weeks away. Then we’ve got three weeks off in a row. During which time I need to pick up whatever hours work is willing to offer me. It’s all this have to and got to and must haves. But even if I work every hour they’re allowed to give me, it’s not really making any impressive number.

Yay, life.

Where’s my damned sarcasm font?

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 Five)

Finished the first hundred pages of Harvest, got another sixty from my beta reader. I keep thinking I’m going to drop off and ‘die’ mentally again so I’m pushing through this but I still have until December.

Trying some ads for Seed even though I shouldn’t, because I’m technically broke. I’m trying them because it’s the best pre-order to date and I want to get it out there to the right readers.

Bookbub scared the bejesus out of me yesterday. It sent me an email about a new release alert and I had a small panic/joy that they had actually taken me on for a new release ad. Panic because how would I pay for it, joy because oh my god.

But no, it’s a new release email they push to all your followers on Bookbub for free until you cross a specific follower line, which I think is over 1000. So… free for me forever!

Look at the upside of situations, I guess. Yup, that’s my mood today.

I guess it is update day for school.

Writing has gotten into talking about word choice and cliches, that kind of thing. It almost bores me because my work has talked to me about it for years, but then ignored it. I try to do the formal business-like language. So, I struggle to pay attention because I feel like I know it and she wants us to hand write everything while kind of discouraging notes. If I’m not taking notes, there’s a very good chance that I’m not paying attention, I’m just saying.

But all I want to do is write stories on the paper. The blank pages are taunting me, which they haven’t done in over a decade because I no longer deal with paper. It’s a lot harder for me to ignore that pull than it is to ignore the pull for a new story on the computer. At least the computer, I have to put in the effort to open the processor, whereas when I’m sitting in class with a blank page before me, trying to pay attention but I just end up staring at a blank page?

It’s worse than the clickety clack, it’s actually triggering my hypergraphia. That part where not writing has started to hurt and I hate that, but that’s how it goes when I resist impulses to write. So, I need to figure something out because writing The Others hasn’t helped take the mean edge off that need of mine.

All because she wants us to hand write everything!

I mean, I could hand write a story, just out on all that paper I have. I don’t actually need five hundred sheets of paper for school ,do I? I might use a hundred total, leaving just enough to write an actual book.

Oh god. Now I’m thinking about it.

Computer Skills and Math were kind of cancelled for this week as the instructor is out. He did assign work, I had the Computer work done the day he assigned it, I think, and the Math I finished yesterday about twenty minutes into the class that’s regularily scheduled for Computer Skills. I spent my remaining two hours reading the book for Interpersonal Communications.

The only class for that for this week happens this afternoon and we’ll have a speaker. No computer because she wants us to take notes and make sure the speaker feels like our full attention is on them. I get that. I suppose.

I swear, I’ll take actual notes and not write a story.

Although, now the idea of the pen scratching across the paper…

It’s like scratching a mosquito bite. It feels so good to think of that, but I know it’s dangerous and I shouldn’t do it.

What would I even write, right? I don’t have a story that could be done on paper!

There, matter settled.

Oh, but that scritchety-scratch of pen on paper.

Where was I?

Keyboarding?

The test yesterday was out 15% one, not the 5% one that I thought it was. Great, I feel like I did good, but I have this weird thing sometimes with proofing. I could proof until the cows come home. Then a book launches and I find a typo in the description.

I’m looking at you, His Grace.

Don’t worry, I fixed that one.

Anyhow, it took me about twenty minutes and for the timed writings in there, I actually met and exceeded my average words with no errors. Heck, I even had to go back and fix some stuff because I’m a silly goose.

My fingers are trying to say different words than I’m actively thinking to them. It’s like they’re trying to link to my unconscious mind which is kind of running in circles in the background going, “It’s almost NaNoWriMo and we haven’t settled on a story!”

Not participating in that this year, what with school and work and all.

Shoot, where was I? School update.

Accounting has been simple for this chapter. Doing the extra work took about ten minutes, and then I went back to reading the book for Interpersonal Communication. When I finished, I still had an hour or so of class left (this was ‘free’ time and many left during or even before the class started). I was going to work on The Others but there was a nagging voice at the back of my mind.

So, I wrote the rough draft of my book report yesterday in Accounting class.

Except, I can’t tell anyone except you, dear reader, because the other students have begun to resent me for always having everything done and never having a bother with the assignments. Or a complaint about the teachers. There appears to be some unrest starting and I don’t understand why everyone is getting so upset about sitting in class when it’s the perfect time to do that homework you’re behind on, or practice in that class you need help in.

Instead, they talk about wanting to go home and how a class or day is a waste. It’s not a waste, it’s a practical gift.

Besides what might be assigned today, I am going into the fifth weekend without any homework, because I took the free time I had at school and put it to work.

Pat on my back, right? It’s something to be proud of because I know me.

Normally by October, I throw my hands in the air and basically shout, “I quit!” and homework starts lagging. I know if I don’t do it here, I will struggle with it at home because that’s my time. And I won’t do it at work because some Nosey Nelly shoves her face into my business as I’m trying to do homework. They start asking about school and homework and what am I struggling at?

Oh, nothing? So, you’re just bored all the time? No, oh yes, of course you’re upset you missed 1% on your Accounting test.

No, I’m not upset because I didn’t get a hundred. I’m not beating myself up over it. I normally score in the 70% range for tests. When it came up to 99% it bothered me because I was so close and it’s a thing of pride to finally cross that threshold and have a 100% on a test.

I missed the dollar signs. She could have docked 3-6% for missing all the freaking dollar signs but she only took off a percent. For all she knew, I was dealing in ounces of crack, or bananas!

Ah well.

I don’t have lunch today. Yup, I went and blanked on freaking lunch. I’m not going to go hungry, I’ve got a debit card and got paid yesterday. It’s just that I’m one of those people who tends to look at the price of fast food/pre-made meals and turning up my nose because I could make something that tastes much better for that price or less.

Let that be a lesson to me!

If I had realized ahead of time, I might have been able to ask for leftovers, as it was, I didn’t find out until I was about to leave my room.

Next week I want to try to make loaded cauliflower casserole. I think is what it’s called. It’s going to be a little weird, but it’ll have cheese… and more cheese. I’m hoping it can pass for an “adult” macaroni and cheese because suddenly that’s what I’m craving.