Lethargy

My get up and go got up and shot itself in the face: is how I describe how I’m feeling right now. I think it’s been a couple of weeks since I did any real work. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that all my motivation is gone. Not the external motivation, the internal fire that keeps me going and keeps me warm at night.

Not depressed… which is usually a cause of this behaviour. A little stressed but in the process of fixing that. A few life changes, what with school and driving courses and applying for a student loan.

Could be the student loan. Since I’m dragging my feet about applying.

I have this weird relationship with spending money I need to improve my situation but not wanting to because of how large the dollar amount is.

Or it could be because my birthday is coming up. Normally I get whiny and … well, wine-y.

So the “Alphas Book 1” hasn’t been written. I do have to start over and write from the beginning of the book but it’s a loss of a couple of pages and I like the new plot better.

Wherein there is no plot really. But it’s a nice show of how Alphas can and do act. So far I’ve just had them startled. Like a cat finding a cucumber laying behind it. And the Alphas shown have been bickering over land. Land, like that’s going to get them a gold star.

I mean, it could, there’s a new world order they’re working out. But typically owners of land rule for a decade or so then get eaten and forgotten about.

Actual Alphas, who are settled in stable land, don’t worry about the land or who owns it. Unless that person interferes with their studies or inventions, then the owner of the land dies horribly when the Alpha unleashes his companions on the Dom’s settlement and just sits back with a cold drink, watching the bloody chaos that follows.

I don’t know why I want to write about the companions going all stabby but it’s been a recurring fantasy of mine since I created the world and it hasn’t been linked to any real world problem. It’s probably a phenomenon in the world that I just want to explore, as I am a world builder.

Anyhow. Real alphas are a bit more like Blane when Alex was still alive. Alex (or a companion) would run their land, estate, raise the children right. The Alpha would take an active role but their mania would mean sometimes they are absentee fathers, which is where the companion comes in, stepping in to fill the role of father while the actual father is off and away.

So in Alphas Book 1 we come across Darien who is constantly checking his email. I really had to pry it out of him as to why it was important. He told me to take a flying leap, I threatened to have him broken for Rebecca’s (the only Mother so far) entertainment and that didn’t work. Then I threatened to sell his companions on the black market for dirty, unpleasant things and finally he relented.

He checks his email and phone throughout basically thinking things like, “nope, still a broke Alpha,” because he’s recently done a thing for his line of work, which I won’t spoil because it kind of ties in to the big ending. Darien isn’t necessarily young for an Alpha to break out into the world, twenty-seven or so. Which means he’s late to the party so to speak. He wasn’t in school all that time. He graduated at twenty with a doctorate (which is not unusual for an Alpha) and promptly and accidentally took on an underage companion.

With how Alphas break companions and create lifelong, unbreakable bonds with their new… ‘friends’ this is a very real problem in the world. Darien went to a party, Cody said he was of age and had a fake identification (obviously Darien couldn’t tell the difference) then found out the problem the next day.

Okay, so that’s a little world building for me because without that I might lose interest. Cody would be the first companion broken while underage who is acknowledged in the books but when you have jerks like Owen about, it’s likely happened in the past and I hope they were slaughtered slowly by their own companions.

Oh… that happened too. Wonder what the story was behind that.

Darien and the new kid Al are in talks with one another about how this will go. It seems they want a bunch of smut with the old companions in the first book, a bunch of smut with Al in the second book, and then maybe a third to wrap up the whole story with a bunch of smut all around and maybe with Blane.

Who probably walks in pissed off because this would be the sixth book, I think, that I have him called.

Why?

Oh, he knows why.

Which is also why he’s not protesting too loudly to me about it.

Of course, these would be novella lengths, not books. Or novellettes.

Obviously my words aren’t backed up, so I’m not burnt out. The ideas are still there and flowing like ever before.

No idea what’s wrong. But I have to head out for a course now, so I’ll have to try to solve this problem later.

Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Might look funny.

Barring that, I can start an edit of Crop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Awakened Week Four

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

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

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

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

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

Oh… Valerian.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s probably a stupid idea though.

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

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

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

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

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

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