May – Harvest (week 2/3)

You read that right. I don’t know what it is with Prototype but I don’t feel like rushing through that. I want to take my time with every line which is weird because I’m doing the same damned thing with Seed. Of course, the key with Seed is that I promised almost a year ago that I wouldn’t put it up for pre-order until Harvest was written.

I now have a proofreader. Huzzah!

Except she’s a bad influence. I fleshed out The Ark, and have a new sub-series for Coffee and Blood. Not a trilogy, but a series called The Elders. Older vampires dictating parts of their history for mortal consumption. Elysia is all for it, apparently. Though she has a long, long history and has done a lot. She also won’t even choose a part of time until after Harvest goes live.

We’re over halfway through Seed, so getting Harvest done is imperative.

For my ego, you understand. It’s hiding under a rock weeping.

All these people Trademarking words and then being petty annoyances. I believe one quote I read went, “I am building a brand, you are writing a book.”

Woman, we are all pouring our hearts and souls into books and series and worlds. Anne Rice did not trademark vampires (thank god), E.L. James did not trademark BDSM (thank god), and you know what they are?

Brands.

Okay, it’s late at night and I’ve been an emotional wreck for about five days so I’m clearly expressing a little hypergraphia and… written vomit.

I did some editing while on vacation but no writing. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I was overwhelmed and felt small and stupid and just… like I was invisible. I tried to retreat to give myself a foundation and calm down but at every turn it went wrong.

I was at a five star resort, there were people everywhere. The few times I felt alone, I managed to regain just enough of myself to continue but not enough to muster up the courage to write. The little voices at the back of my mind started whispering.

Just give up. No one likes you. Your writing is shit and will never get better. You’ll never be anything.

I didn’t even have the energy to fend them off. I just let them wash over me and beat me down because I knew once I got home I’d refocus and squash them again.

And as soon as I got home, I basically fled. The second I was alone I started crying. Just all that emotion boiling out of me. I haven’t felt like that in years and I’m so happy that I made choices and changes to my life to protect myself and build myself back up.

Besides that, the resort was fabulous and I will go back.

I have two new worlds, a new sub-series, and have found the bits of The Ark which were missing. I did manage to decompress despite shutting down emotionally and have my body turn on me.

I’m still not feeling Harvest, but I am recovering from all the alcohol, the emotional state, and the bodily complaints. And I am starting the keto diet. Supposed to be good for all that ails me… literally.

The book is written up to chapter six. I have one more stressful trip ahead of me with long hours on both a plane and in a vehicle which should help me write it, if I can plug into an mp3 player and drown out the world. At this point I need that, though. My mental health has to come before anything else.

Especially since this is month six of twelve and I’m spiraling all over the place.

Oh shit. I don’t know where my usb is. The only things not backed up are the edits for Seed, and all of Contract Delivered.

Excuse me while I tear apart my room and try not to have a panic attack.

Prototype Week 1

I’m still re-cooperating from over exerting myself this weekend with my move in and unpack. Everything is finally in place but I’m distracted by little nagging voices about positioning and those things.

Prototype has a sort of quirky and sarcastic voice to it. Right now I’m just feeling bitter and sore. The bitterness was someone else’s doing, but I’m off for vacation tomorrow and that should clear that all away.

I’m still stuck on the naming convention for the constructed people too. The ‘god’ that isn’t shown is named Sadie, because she’s kind of a sadistic bitch to everyone but close friends. She’s supposed to be a kind of opposite of the one who created the world everyone lives on. I was like, “can you…” and she just stared at me. She’s not even active, but, okay. She still has to be Sadie.

Her name could help later on, I suppose. The news reports her people as dead besides one but near as I can tell, that’s not true at all.

So it is Dorian Sadie. He also insists on Dorian. I tell him no, he tells me yes, I tell him no again and he says his name has to start with ‘D’. I asked why.

“Because women all want the D, that’s what everyone says,” he replied innocently, smiling impishly as he spoke.

Bugger.

Since starting Prototype, I used the naming convention for the constructed people over in Coffee and Blood for the DiLucrecia family, but there it made sense.

I apparently have a thing for naming conventions of families. Over in D.o.t.A. there’s a system based kind of off the Welsh names of old, I believe it was. The vampires are named after their matriarch or patriarch. So far the only families named are from about the same area. Hence DeElysia and DiLucrecia, though the latter has been disbanded by the Great Maker.

So, now I’m kind of struggling for a quick way to denote created people from regulars in the eyes of readers. Those on Aurora just know. They walk by someone and get this shudder/feeling of “if I mess with them, I’m going to die.”

I decided to go with last name, but if I keep Lorraine, then her naming convention is Lorry, and I don’t want to do that. It’s personal, but the name Lorry should just jump off a cliff. I don’t want it in my books, or something that I have to deal with through multiple books.

And her name can’t have really great meaning behind it. Preferably a longer name that, when shortened, either sounds childish or stupid but isn’t a name that annoys me.

Anyone else have names that annoy them?

I’m going to try Penelope. Penny would then be the naming convention. It doesn’t really strike fear into the heart.

“Penny has said that if we trespass on her land again, she will unleash the dogs.”

“Dogs? Does she mean a lapdog?”

Yeah, that could work. That would make it Raul Penny. DeLorraine would have more oomph to it, but he doesn’t really let people use his last name while in front of him. He likes just going by Raul.

“Lord Penny!”

“Raul.”

“I’m sorry, Lord Penny?”

“My name is Raul. If anything, you may call me Chair Raul, but I am not a lord. No Chair may carry title besides Chair, which is why Dorian is the Lord of War even though I have led our armies for the last fourteen years. Don’t call me Mister, either. I am Chair Raul. It is due respect that all know the first names of the Chairs and besides Penelope herself, only we are referred to by our first names. Therefore, you will use my name. Raul. As an outsider, I will tell you once more if you forget, but after that I will apply the same response to you using the wrong name as I do my children when they start throwing a tantrum. If necessary, I also have a water bottle and can squirt you in the fact, if you are still having difficulty remembering.”

Normally he’s a man of few words. Yeah, I think Penny will work fine.

I’m at zero words but am scooping the first chapter from the original draft. Each chapter is seven pages long in my processor as compared to four for the Contracted series, and five for most others. Coffee and Blood may be the exception as that was on my phone so I aimed for five thousand words per chapter.

Speaking of Coffee and Blood…

The Special Boy has been running through my head for weeks. Just bits of plot slipping about and trying to connect to one another. This is likely exacerbated by the fact that I’m now living in the area where the main part of the story takes place. Being near the setting really seems to kick things into gear.

The story now has a female voice to pair with the male. She doesn’t start out in the area, I think. She’s a witch but I don’t think it’s Charlotte like I thought. See, the female lead is a possible lover to the male.

Charlotte won’t work, she’s a lesbian, which is why she’s in hiding.

Pretty certain the she is a witch too, not a werewolf, so not Daisy either.

It’s still a little… wishy washy? The female suggested a series title of “The Coven” but no promise of a trilogy. Could be interesting. Still have no freaking clue how the magic works. But I found two empty notebooks in my stuff that I didn’t even know I had, so I can take that down with me. Alcohol and nothing to distract me… something is going to fall into place eventually.

May – Prototype

It’s a working title, so bear with me. But May I will be working on Prototype, a two year old half-finished story that I need to basically start over again. Chapters are approximately seven pages long whereas other stories have five pages.

Balls.

The day job wants me back in tomorrow for emergency coverage. Which is still April so it’s not really bad news, but I won’t be able to get all my stuff set up because I need money so like I’m going to say no. So, setup will be done in May instead.

Balls.

May 1st, I’m going to see my grandmother for the first time in years, can’t write then.

… there’s no swear word after that, it’s a fact of life.

May 3rd, I’m flying out to Mexico for a week and for once don’t have to worry about someone breaking into my house or something going wrong with the cats and them dying a slow death. Alcohol included but no writing for seven or so days. Get back the 11th.

And then have five days before I have to fly out to my brother’s wedding, where I can’t take a laptop or tablet with me. It’s not safe for tech, basically.

Damn it.

Which brings me to May 20th when I go back to the day job.

Poop.

May is going to kick me in the teeth. It might be the first time when a novel stretches into June and that sucks but it is what it is and that’s how it exploded.

Alternatively, I could spend those five days doing nothing but writing. Five days, twelve hours a day… depending on focus I could get 50k-125k done. I used to be able to get 25k down in a day but things got loopy, I guess you could say.

When you work a two full time jobs, you don’t really have the chance to sit down and put that kind of energy into something.

Besides the timing, I’m excited for this one. Aurora is a world that’s dear to my heart and amuses me to no end. I think I have to change the last names, though.

See, there are gods who don’t like being called gods. Lorraine and Sadie are the two that are mentioned. And they made people, like actual people. Lorraine also made an entire world out of nothing, so there’s that. But in the original (this was before Coffee and Blood) the people created by Lorraine and Sadie were called DeLorraine and DeSadie. That’s not going to work now. I need a different scheme.

Raul Lorry and Dorian Sadie? I think if Lorraine’s name got shortened she’d go off like a volcano. Which she can do, what with being a god and all.

I pushed and pulled the plot around to make it do something. Got a bad guy all lined up. The other issue is sort of that this isn’t quite a romance? It’s a complicated thing where everyone ends up happy for right now and then stuff happens later.

It’s not my fault stuff doesn’t happen instantly.

One of my favourite things about Aurora are the cats. Created Anatomical Toys, their names should be CATs, I guess. Most of the cats are, well, feline in nature. They range from small like a house cat to the king of the pride, Krae who is a massive beast twice the weight of a grown man probably, whose head comes to the chest of most humans.

Lorraine made herself some pets who carry around her excess magic in case it should ever be needed. They’re big, their predators, they can and have killed to protect Auroran citizens.

And they really want citizens to pet and scritch them, ending up completely puzzled when humans start choking at the word scritch and why a mother wouldn’t want her three year old to ride one of them like a pony.

In later books, a type of dog is introduced to the cats, they act as a police force for the world and things get really confusing, so the name would have to be revisited, I suppose. But during Prototype only the cats are seen, though there are mention of the other creatures Lorraine made which vary from a wolf to a dragon and possibly some birds who are all cats but just not talked about by normal people.

Aurora is kind of like a ‘if you could create anything, what would you do?’ type of world, I guess. And I know the backstory and all the stuff that happens there so I need to resist writing it all in there. Prototype can’t be a crash course in Aurora, which is what I think was the problem I ran into to start with. That and too many characters. Reading through, I wanted to keep all the characters, but I’m going to cut them back again. That’s the smart thing to do.

May 1st, I start… or maybe May 2nd. I’ll have to see how it goes.

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.

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.

One Year Plan… and Rules

Okay, so my plan over the next twelve months is to complete twelve books. That way, come next November, I will have finished twelve novels and have between three and nine that I can then begin to edit and publish, hopefully just as quickly as I wrote them.

This, I realized needs rules:

-The books just need to be completed. If one is almost written (like Contract Sealed) or partially done (like Prototype and Bound in Blood) they are not excluded from the count. In fact, completing books should be encouraged!

-Which leads to the second rule. One book a month. That’s it. If I finish Contract Sealed two days into December, I don’t get to write again until January. I can plan the books, scribble a bit, but I’m not allowed to actually start. This has proven in the past to be quite helpful in my production.

-For sanity purpose over the next five months, there is one exception to the one book a month rule: Harvester trilogy. That’s done on my phone during commutes and is sometimes the only way I stay sane. If the trilogy is complete, I’m back to one a month.

-Books still need to be published. Not one a month, but at least a couple next year. The one book a month is supposed to help balance this off.

-By the last day of the month, I will make a post announcing which book I will be working on. Then (in a perfect world) will update every Wednesday on where I currently am in the book.

-Should I run behind, the one book a month bit goes out the window. Because then I have to get two, three, four, done. I may cry mercy, just whip me a couple times to get me back on track.

-These are completed rough drafts. A rough draft doesn’t have to have the completed word count. Fragments went from something like 70k up to 85k words during the first edit. Seed is about 77k and has jumped almost 2k words in the first couple of chapters. But the rough draft does have to be complete. Adding a chapter is one thing, not finishing the last four is not allowed.

-After the completion of a book, if it is done early, I will take two days off in a row. Preferably from both jobs… these are to do with as I please but will likely be playing video games, drinking, and sleeping. You know, normal celebratory stuff. After that it’s back to editing written books.

The rules may end up changing a little bit. This is, after all, the first time I’m doing this kind of a marathon. All told I’m hoping for a word count that’s about 924k words, so about one book shy of a million.

The past year I’ve written… okay, I’ve tried to count it four times and I keep coming up with a different number. A trilogy, a D.o.t.A, Seed, His Grace, Contract Signed… Seven books, I think? Yeah… I feel like I’m forgetting one.

Going from seven books when I had no specific goal in mind, to a planned twelve is not going to be as crazy as it sounds. For me, it’s about finding the right rhythm and keeping that goal in mind, to keep focused. When I’m not focused I get all over the place, and then four things end up getting half-done.