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.”

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.

Contract Delivered Week 1/2

I missed an update, darn it. I keep doing this. But my updates were Wednesdays on the bus to work, but the schedule was all kinds of played with over the past couple of months.

Oh, and last week I moved. I keep going from super stressed out to glad it’s over. I’m being a responsible adult and not getting a cell phone until I can actually afford it.

So every couple of hours I feel like shouting somewhere, “BUY MY BOOKS.”

Yes, I have a day-job but it’s part-time instead of full-time. I get anxious when not financially set.

I am getting settled. I need to set up a routine for work. It used to be just whenever I was alone or at a computer. Circumstances are a little different now.

I need to complete my last six 12-in-12 challenges and I’m kind of on track for that. Got a little lost from Contract Delivered over the move but that’s always been a trilogy that I have to be in a certain mood for and I’m more of thinking ‘urban fantasy.’

I might do Prototype next month.

While I’ve had a little struggle, it is now moving again. Chapter seven is written and there are about twenty chapters total with bits and pieces planned out. The second trilogy doesn’t necessarily have a bad guy. Unless you count time. My rough drafts likely have the time off, but I can fix that afterward. I wanted to start editing right away but I need my big pad of paper and that’s two weeks out.

For now, I have a little bit of a plan.

Except because I’m not in the mood for that, I’m actually more interested in putting Seed through another edit. In doing up some covers, maybe. Re-working the description of Contract Gifted so it sounds more stand alone-ish.

I wanna do all the things.

Except write.

I’ve chosen to write one chapter a day and see how I feel. That’ll take me to the end of April, which is cutting it close but at some point I’m going to write more in a day. It’s just this way, I can write a chapter and then do whatever else I please. A chapter can take as little as a half hour, or as much as… eight hours. If I drag my feet and update the website instead of actually doing the work.

April: Contract Delivered

Three days in and I’m already having issues. This sucks because I’m pretty certain this isn’t the same issue that I had with His Wings.

My pain returned yesterday, but no anxiety accompanying it. By the time I got home, because I worked through it all, the knuckles on my right hand were bright red against my pale skin. The index and middle finger of the left were the same thing. It utterly drained me.

Today the pain seems manageable. As in not really existing. My knuckles are stuffy but I feel exhausted to the point that I can’t focus on my writing.

The plus side of that all is that the last time my knuckles looked like that, I had to call into work because the pain made me physically ill. This time around it just sapped my energy.

To complicate my project schedule, I have a social event to go to tonight. I don’t regret going at all, but that means I probably won’t get work done until Thursday, which is my next day off. There’s a part of me that’s about ready to stomp her feet and throw a little tantrum over that, which is how I know this isn’t the same as His Grace.

I knew April would be challenging because my move happens during it. I knew that would interfere, that the anxiety would be high and I’d have a lot to do. That was one of the reasons I chose Contract Delivered.

After working with him for… what is, three years now? Mr. Wrightworth is practically a comfort when I’m sick or unwell in some way. Yeah, I’m team Mr. Wrightworth, but I’ve never had a proper, healthy relationship and have been known to be a masochist both emotionally and physically.

Contract Delivered is meant to be the end of the second year of Nathaniel and Mr. Wrightworth’s contract with Albert. In the original introduction, Nathaniel promised it would cover some of his time with Isabella. So the original plan was to have Contract Signed cover the year of servitude, Contract Sealed to be the years in between, and then Contract Delivered to cover the time where Isabella and Nathaniel were apart. Then four chapters into Contract Signed, Nathaniel changed it all.

He was all, “No, this should all be about Him.”

And I just sighed and shook my head but gave in and let him go with it.

In the meantime, I’m doing a read-edit of Contract Gifted, a novella that is like as not going to be expanded at some point in the future into a novel. That’s fine by me. I’ve got the cover done for it and have to work on the description. Once I’m done the read-edit, I can write up the description.

Both the edit and the description would be done on my phone. Since the read-edit actually involves reading it and making notes, then making changes on a computer.

See, for the next week, I can’t take my netbook to work. I’m worried I will forget it. Or be mugged… I’ve lived in this city for like four years and I’ve never been concerned that someone will notice what’s in my bag until now. Because that’s just my freaking luck. So, rather than risk the netbook being stolen, I’m leaving it at home. That also, of course, bites into my writing time.

So be it.

Four more work days, nine days until my move. Oh, which I probably won’t be able to write Contract Delivered during. I suspect typing on a computer would be super distracting to a driver so instead I’m going to have my phone with all the background stuff shut down, a traveling battery thing (I can’t seem to recall the word, so it’s probably best that I’m not writing this morning), and an MP3 player separate. I’ll work on Harvest instead.

For like… fifteen hours or so. Three hours is usually one chapter for that, so I could be about a quarter of the way done by the time I arrive.

Plans, etc.

If only my head was able to focus on writing a story today.

Rough Publishing Schedule 2018

It’s that time of the year again.
Yup, I’m sitting here wrapped in a shawl and cursing my landlord’s strange choice of providing radiator heat but removing only my ability to control the temperature but also refusing to turn up the heat until I lodge four complaints and talk someone else in the building into doing the same. They have control over their heat from inside their apartments, however.

It’s also the time of the year that I need to consider what I’ll be doing in 2018. The writing side of things has been kind of settled until next November. My 12-in-12 is going well so far, and I’ve already chosen my books for the next two months, but more on that later.

So… what are we looking at for publishing?

Fragments is planned for the first couple of months of 2018. I’m going to start another edit in January and buckle down for the cover of it. Seed, Crop, and Harvest are going to be published during a six month period, so I need it all done and ready to go. No, that’s not true. I need the first two books edited and written. The rest will follow.

I’m going to re-re-name the second trilogy of Coffee and Blood to The Reaping. It was originally that, but during some formatting I had a brain melt and it turned into The Harvest. I like The Reaping better.

For The Reaping, I’m actually considering publishing them in April, June, and August, like I did with Wraith’s Rebellion. I might adjust them just slightly, to May, July, and September. That’s just a hope and a prayer.

The second trilogy of Contracted will be out either the end of the year, or early 2019 and Contract Claimed would follow a few months after that.

Then, of course, are His Wings and His Halo, which I’m calling obligation pieces. I’m obligated to complete the trilogy. These will be published as soon as they are written and edited, so it could be published in March and April.

So… I’m panning on publishing between six and nine books in 2018.

Here’s the weird catch/kicker?

Come April, I’m moving two provinces over and, near as I can tell, I will be working part-time until I can find a full-time job at another company. Somehow I don’t feel like the place I’m going to will have a full-time position open up. Besides in big city areas like the one I’m currently in, once someone gets full-time it’s like tenure. They stay there for years and years.

Anyhow, that’s a catch/kicker because… I will be part-time at my day job. And until I have my license, I will likely be gently applying to jobs because I don’t want to make my relatives drive me all over.

Unless that one company gets back to me… I’m sure they’d understand for that wage.

And when one is not making finding a full-time job their… well, full-time job, then they have a lot of time on their hands. For me this could end up being an issue where I’m manically all over the place, doing all the things.

The last time I went part-time, I took two weeks off… sort of. Actually, they didn’t schedule me for two weeks  and I sat home playing video games until I basically lost my mind and took on six or so projects. Cleaning, scavenging, setting up furniture. Now I’ve got things to focus on, projects and writing and the like.

I’d really like, like really, really like, to use that time to complete some projects and get other things sorted out. Yeah, that totally made sense.

January and February, I’m writing His Wings and His Halo. March I suppose I should do Contract Delivered to wrap that all up and start edits for late 2018 publishing. April I’m hoping to have Seed published, which means … oh, but Crop and Harvest have to be done before April because that’s when I stop commuting and I can’t change that method of writing mid-trilogy. They are my cheat books and off schedule.

I guess that means April is open. There’s The Visitors, or Prototype. Whatever I can get written in April and possibly May could also be published in 2018 given a conservative projection of finding a full-time job.

Which, I suppose, means April and May are those up in the air stories. Dear readers, what would you like completed? I’ve been promising a lot of projects and after Contract Delivered is completed, I’d like to get back to m/f for a while. Browse the worlds, look through the little snippets tossed out here and there, and let me know what you’d like to see.

The goal is then to take the books written in April and May and publish them in 2018. Which will, hopefully, raise my published books from 6-9 up to 8-11. I could double my books in the next year, that’d be awesome.

Then in 2019 I’ll have 6-9 books already written and ready to edit and be published.

Contract Sealed

There’s no internet. Why is there no internet?

There was a mobile outage for my carrier yesterday and it seems I no longer have data. I will probably have to go into the store and fix it there.

This is only a problem because I’ve been streaming music on my phone. My mp3 player is dead and I don’t know if I have my portable battery with me. I must… I think.

I need music. I’m super frustrated. Partly from work which obviously has not gotten better.

In fact, it’s evolved into ignoring me. The only time what I say is acknowledged is when the one who is causing the problems does the exact opposite of what I say.

The boss witnessed one of these events and I’d discuss the second with him except it’s my understanding that his boss will be there when I get in

Oh, and her boss too.

House is on fire. His boss doesn’t care about the dirty dishes so much as she does the meal being done on time.

I’m also frustrated with a certain service. I’ve been trying to figure out how to pay a bill for several weeks and today realized it’s overdue. But it was a futile and frustrating exercise because their site is not user friendly.

This isn’t some small site either. This is a million or probably billion dollar company. I filed three complaints this morning for each step of the way where I hit a wall. I tried to be polite but oh my gosh.

I also know corporate reads things like that. Especially when one of the complaints asked for a rating and I gave them the worst I could.

I need some sort of relief.

Anyhow.

Yesterday I tried writing. Just a random thing. It was godawful and difficult to get the words out. That frustration is still riding my nerves. It was so bad on Wednesday that the person working opposite me asked if I believed in the use of marijuana.

I do, actually. But it’s still not legal and the THC keeps me from dreaming or writing for up to a week. It makes me feel really raw and vulnerable after, and not in the fun sort of way.

He’s a good guy, the one who suggested it. He was just trying to help out and was witness to a meltdown because of things being done the exact opposite of what I needed to happen. And he had been told to help me by the boss (who I didn’t give a choice to) only to be pulled from me by the one who is pretending I don’t exist. He came back to me, super confused but also helpful.

“Who do I listen to in that case?”

“Me. Anyone can do what she wanted, she can pull another body. You’re the only one who can help me, so you listen to me.”

See my problem? I want to talk about one thing but I’m entirely focused on something else despite trying to refocus.

It’s going to be a long project this month. Only six chapters long too.

Damn it.

All right, let’s try this again.

It’s December 1st. That means I can open my advent each day (no, it’s not wine or that mythical edible advent) but also that a new writing project starts today. The project for December is Contract Sealed.

And you might be asking, “Aya, how many m/m books do you plan on writing on this adventure of yours?”

And my answer is: shush.

Technically speaking there are only two more. Contract Sealed and Contract Delivered.

His Wings deals with it a bit.

I know with the second Contracted trilogy I’m going to get backlash. The straight guy going gay is a cliche and blah blah blah.

Except Nate doesn’t go gay. He labels himself as a straight man who sometimes has sex with his best friend. He only ever agrees to the sex because he wanted the everything else of a Master/slave relationship.

That’s kind of why I like Nathaniel. He’s not willing to discuss his sexuality and is clearly a creature of upbringing. When he was growing up you couldn’t be both rich elite and gay. You absolutely had to be heterosexual and sexuality was very black and white. So he insists on it.

He’s not homophobic, just afraid of what would happen if he was labelled as anything but heterosexual. Let’s recall that how others viewed him was literally life or death until just before his thirtieth birthday.

And it’s not really that he’s bisexual. He’s not interested in men. He’s only interested in Mr. Wrightworth.

Let’s face it, who wouldn’t be interested in the sadist turned daddy?

In Contract Sealed Nate comes to terms with service, and is collared by Mr. Wrightworth. Collaring is supposed to be long-term, almost like marriage. It’s a commitment. But they make it even though they know their relationship has to end at the end of the year.

Though, if we look at the whole series I can’t help but argue that Nate is still submitted to Mr. Wrightworth.

Month two:

Book: Contract Sealed

Status: 14 1/2 chapters written between January and October.