Year End Review

My publication anniversary is here. Technically past but that’s fine, we’ll work with a generalized idea of it.

First off, let’s do inventory.

Last year about this time, I started my 12-in-12 challenge, meaning to write a book a month. Technically I have one more day to finish. I think I’m shy by one book, but my numbers keep slipping all over the place. It’s expected, but whatever, it’s close enough, right?

Published this year:

His Grace Oct. 25, 2017

Contract Gifted April 7, 2018

His Wings April 8, 2018

Fragments May 9, 2018

Isabella’s Story (boxset) Oct. 6, 2018

Seed Oct. 15, 2018

Published “next” year:

Crop Nov. 22, 2018

Harvest Dec. 31, 2018

Wraith’s Rebellion (box set) Jan. 2019

The Reaping (box set) Feb. 2019

Written this year:

Contract Claimed -NaNoWriMo appr. 89k words

Contract Sealed – Dec appr. 20k words

His Wing – Jan approx. 87k words edited and published

Contract Delivered – appr. 70k words

Crop – appr. 87k words (finished about 104k) edited and published

Harvest -appr. 90k words (finished about 108k) edited and published

The Last Prophet – appr. 90k words mild editing

Hera – July appr. 97k words beta read

Contract Gifted – appr. 25k words edited and published

Grim Port – Oct. appr. 101k words

Plotted out:

D.o.t.A. books x 4 (I cannot recall their names)

Savage Shores – m/f alien interaction on a giant paradise ship.

Contract Unspoken – m/m smutty novella of Mr. Wrightworth and an unnamed slave

Elysia – an Elders book about Elysia finding Kaz and turning her, though told from his perspective.

The Special Boy – a Coven book set in the Coffee and Blood world about the grown male witch

Grim Haven/Grim Travels – two books to fill out the Grim trilogy set in Scotland

In Planning:

Bob – (Coffee and Blood) an ‘Elders’ book, as Bob is technically an Elder, about Vampire Las Vegas. South American setting.

Ba En Ra – (Coffee and Blood) a trilogy set in the Ba En Ra family, said to be located in or around Egypt, where they lived for tens of thousands of years.

The Rebellion – (Coffee and Blood) a trilogy wrapped around the werewolves and witches and a treaty they are in the process of forming.

Bitches – (Coffee and Blood) I don’t care what the freaking wolves say, this title has to change. This is a couple of stories, or maybe a trilogy wrapped around Daisy and her adventures. I’ve given her a nudge and she might find herself in Mungo’s path. That’ll make sense later on.

Duality – (solo world) a book or series set around a world where mages need to pair off in order to access their magic.

Shade – (solo world) a series of random books of varying lengths about an immortal named Shade.

Savage Shores – this is supposed to be a series following the consequences of the book.

Alpha – a set of three smutty m/m novellas revolving around the ‘adoption’ of a new companion by an Alpha who has two already. They would then be released in a set. The series would continue on.


Something is missing. Maybe December was finishing off Contract Signed. It would take about four hours for me to find the information and then I’d get lost down the rabbit hole.

In the last year I’ve also moved, gone back to school, moved from full time to part time work, adopted a cat, got my license back… been making my own covers.  I like the cover making, but I need more experience and practice before I start selling, I think. I always think that, so we’ll see how it goes.

Cover design takes hours at a desktop, though. I don’t have that time. So no arts and crafts for me.

So…

What do I want to do in the next year? What do I want to see?

I want more than five books published. I want the entire backlog edited and published. I want to keep writing as fast as I am, so one or more books written a month.

I need to set a clear goal but I think I need to think on this more. Just like I did last year, I want to set up the books for writing and editing and such on. I want it all listed out.

Right now, let’s focus on right now: Finishing the Grim trilogy. Write that sucker. I could be done in two weeks with some pushing.

Once finished the Grim trilogy, finish reading Harvest. Grab Hera and do a read, then start the plot edits then do other edits. Grab the Grim trilogy as a whole. Read it all, do plot edits. Then start actual edits on the trilogy.

Given time and how things are falling into place, I’m actually hoping to have that almost done by January 7th when I go back to school.

So, my real hope is that my next year will look like this:

January: Wraith’s Rebellion box set

February: The Reaping box set

March: Hera

April: Grim Port

May: Grim Haven

June: Grim Travels

July: Grim box set

… and then? I dunno, but that would get me four out of 7+ books. Dum, dum, dum, what do I do then? I’m definitely on a Coffee and Blood kick but they don’t draw a lot of income so far.

Except I freaking love them. You know, if you couldn’t tell. Those who read them seem to like them, which is fantastic. I just need more readers.

So… oh, D.o.t.A, I guess.

 

 

Week Three (Day Five)

Writing:

How do I put this…? My muses have been tossing about ideas for a new Contracted trilogy?

I know, I’m world and story creating like crazy and not getting on with the writing of anything yet. It’s all the clickity clack from keyboarding school driving me to it, but I’m making and keeping notes on OneNote so that it’s all there and available for when I can write again.

A Kaz/Balor story is started but put off because the content is not work or school safe so I can’t work on it anywhere. Not until either tomorrow or Sunday but I’ve allotted for edits for Crop to get that done.

Have I talked about The Others? It’s almost entirely unedited, which is stated in the first post there. It’s an ongoing project that I update in between other things, or pick away at between classes and such. So, if you’ve got an itch, head on over. Just realize it is m/m.

The idea is to pull it later on to edit and do additions, then publish it as a series. I think I’ve decided I’m writing out as much as I have/can, as far as it goes, then pulling the whole thing and editing it.

But if you do go, you’ll notice I’m not rushing any with that.

Other:

Work moving stuff last night definitely tired me out. I’m not necessarily sore, though. Just… tired.

I went to brush my teeth this morning and had immediate fatigue, so… you know, the writing class is going to be fun since she has us hand-write notes.

We had an accounting quiz yesterday and I looked around after I finished and realized everyone was still writing. Cue me panicking because I must have missed something. If they’re still writing, it must mean I did something wrong, skipped at least one part. So, I checked it again and again, even put the alphabet beside the transactions, worried I had just skipped one.

No, it just happens that I have managed a good understanding of the first two chapters. Because I read them ahead and took my own notes (this is how I learn better) but now I worry because chapter three, I read it and I couldn’t find anything to make a note about. Just, yup, that all makes sense.

Writing, the instructor was sick but assigned some homework in place of her being here because we still have to keep up on work, right? Your boss calls out sick, do you just skip out  home and do nothing?

If  I’m being honest, I’d work from home if I could get away with it.  Well, it sounds like a few people didn’t hand anything in because they didn’t read the full announcement. Oh, geez.

Keyboarding! Keyboarding is the one I constantly feel like I’m struggling with. My hands are starting to move a little better but I still have to make exceptions to their rules. My knuckles don’t move like that and as much as I’ve forced the new motions, the fingers just kind of shoot out and start hitting all the buttons. So, I guess you could say that I’ve adapted the method because of my arthritis. I’m sure my method wouldn’t pass for others, because the damage to the joints is different.

However, my word count and accuracy have begun to go up. Yesterday I did a two-minute timing without a single error, not even one I deleted. Though… it was weird. I did several two-minute timings. I think five in total? On one they kept wanting ‘exam’ someone wrote and exam and didn’t tell this other person when the exam was.

Yeah, for some reason my brain insists there’s an ‘e’ on the end of ‘exam’ but not all the time just every third or fourth time I write exam. My fingers hit the ‘e’ at the end and my brain, reading it out goes, “Yup, that looks right.”

Math, I worry I’m so lost that I think I’ve made it. Like I aimed for the Pacific Ocean and ended up in the Atlantic instead and just can’t tell the difference, that kind of lost. It both seems too easy, and they ask me things that I was never taught in school.

Rounding and estimating, what is this? Math of lazy people?

Yet, I use rounding and estimating when I’m doing math at work, but because I’m in a school setting my brain stutters and I think I must not know how to do it right.

Have I hit them all? No. Computers. I need to pay more active attention but I think he thinks I’m writing in class because now he’s wanting us to focus forward. If I don’t take notes, it doesn’t stick. Writing notes by hand gets it out of my head so I just never remember. But if I type it, thanks to all the writing, my brain logs it all down.

All, like, “Oh, gonna need this in edits, I just know it.”

So on breaks and as he was dismissing us, I scrambled to get notes into my note page to remember it this time. He’s teaching us file sorting. I like to think I’ve got that down. But then I tried to find things in my OneDrive and it seems I bungled something, so I need to revisit my system. Which is fine, it’s new. Sometimes it takes me some time to figure out the easiest way to set up a new system.

Oh, and Interpersonal Communication. I started reading the book, think I’m about halfway through. Need to read more, obviously. Need to take notes in that class, it’s after lunch and that’s definitely going to be brain death time.

I am trying to interact with my fellow students more. Soft skills, you know?

Work last night, besides the exhaustion, went all right. The co-worker was happy she hasn’t been happy in a long time. She also sported a new look. Looked like half her hair disappeared, since she flattened it. But the happy scared the shit out of me. I’ve had people get happy like that when they’re about to attack me.

I thought it was maybe just my perspective too, until someone else saw her walk by and their eyebrows raised.

“Whole new person this week.”

Hey, if she stays happy and isn’t mean to anyone, whatever and good for her. If she’s planning something, ugh. For about a second, I thought she was gloating and then I realized I didn’t care what she was doing. I was tired, I wasn’t working.

I played my game between school and work. When I started, a man I hadn’t met properly came and acted like the MOD. It took a second for the voice in the back of my head to kick me and remind me of interpersonal communication.

He’s good people. He’s in training for a boss position and I like him. I’ve never met an boss-in-training who I thought was good people. People, yes, but normally they’re just not great people. Oh, I’ve met plenty of bosses who are good people too, including my current one, it’s just I never meet good boss-in-trainings.

He was nice, he tried to help, he communicated, he introduced himself. There’s nothing threatening about him in the least.

Good.

Truth be told, it was his presence that calmed me around the co-worker being happy and the assistant asking (per her job) about the weekend. She says she has to talk to the boss about it, again that’s her job. I told her I wrote it all up and she seemed surprised.

Well, writer. Hypergraphic. Super upset. Also I have a bad memory. I cannot for the life of me remember anything beyond I don’t do my job and her invalidating all of my feelings by blaming me being tired.

Good thing I wrote it down.

At the end of the day, what was said doesn’t matter as much as the outcome. Of me bawling my eyes out and feeling like she was manipulating me into quitting and whatever she took from the conversation.

Which, I have to say, from my view is smug assuredness.

Oh well. There are other jobs. I’m told they’re a dime a dozen.

I can sleep in tomorrow, I’m so flipping excited. Nine more days. Just nine more days.

Week Two (Day Two)

It took until I reached school for me to recognize that weird heaviness all over. My joints are aching, on top of more pain, and I’m already sick. Yesterday my nose started running after lunch so I could very well be sick and tired, and in more pain now.

I should have suspected when I had an internal argument with myself this morning over shoes and my backpack. I wore the backpack as I put on my shoes, normally I take the backpack off and kneel to put on my shoes, you know, like a normal person. The idea of kneeling made me whiny and the idea of taking off the backpack only to put it back on again made me call the inner voice who argued with me a very nasty name.

Normal people don’t have full on conversations with themselves, I realize, but I do. Especially when stressed or annoyed. Heck, the voice even helps me remember things, it’s like my personal Siri or Cortana.

Anyhow, I’m supposed to be imputing edits for Crop this morning but I think I need to do some self-care to get through this day. Then, when I get home, I need to medicate with a couple different things and go to bed early, hoping I’ll sleep the night through. At this point, it’s the only help I’ll have.

In a month, though, another option becomes legal. I wouldn’t have to take ibuprofen for the swelling, Valerian to keep me in a deep sleep, and St. John’s Wort to take away the brittle edge that pain puts me in. I can stop at a dispensary, buy a little something, have a puff (quite literally one puff) and then sleep the whole night away.

It’d even have the added benefit of replacing anything I take for anxiety or insomnia for about three days. Replacing such side effects as agitation (how exactly does an anti-anxiety helper cause agitation?), insomnia, and all sorts of medication conflicts with dry mouth, the munchies, and sleepiness.

All without breaking my brain, writing, or mood, so I’m super excited about that.

So, obviously, not working on Crop today. Instead, I ended up reading The Last Prophet on the trip to school. I think I want to expand on this a bit. I think the wrap up doesn’t have to end like a movie does, I think we can do wrap up in the book and not write a separate novella about Sweetheart. Well, not about her outcome. I think I need to add more about P.P. Marky.

A prophet who became a rapper and exists in the modern day, obviously conflicting with the title of the book. I kind of want to hug Marky, as his songs make it onto the radio and later on Abby recalls one and uses his prophecy to save them. Prophets aren’t supposed to be able to cross the thresholds of other prophets, so that could maybe be where her title comes in? I dunno.

I’m looking forward to expanding on this.

The cover artist contacted me a few days ago and I responded. She had been on vacation and then sick. Woops. I checked for a blog or news page, I must have missed it. Completely my fault that I didn’t give it another week, but it’s ingrained in me to follow up. A cover will eventually be in the works, when she is recovered and goes through her messages and puts me on the schedule.

The Last Prophet has distracted me from my pain today, and my frustration and emotions over the past couple of days. I’ve found myself opening the file between classes to read more. This is a good thing, especially for me.

The only trouble being, I requested a wrap with the cover artist. The e-book cover is free, I would pay for the wrap. But the poor woman needs to know about how many pages the book would be, and I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about it and I might be able to add another 80k words to The Last Prophet. It’s going to be a beastie, but there are other things I want to add and explore and delve into. Everything is just a flash, and partway through I asked myself: why? Why is it a flash? Why can’t there be a couple of chapters extra? Why can’t David take lunch with Sweetheart so we learn about her, but also to show their relationship instead of having him just tell Richard? Why don’t we learn about Abby and her parents? Why does she just casually mention her father is dead, when there’s a magical force behind that?

Why doesn’t she call her mother when she awakens?

There are so many other things that need to go into this. And you know what? If it winds up being so freaking long, I can always break it into books like I do all the others. Let’s face it, if I took my trilogies, I could probably work them into one book quite cleanly, besides maybe Contracted because of the time jumps and changes between books.

I feel like I have the bones of The Last Prophet, basically. They’re good bones, they’ll work very well, but they don’t have as much flesh on them as I’d like. So, I’m going to take my time and do what I will with the book. I’m going to turn it into my vision instead of pushing the first copy out in the world.

I seem to be moving away from erotica and romance more, but my bio does say “whatever takes her fancy” and “when she finds a world she loves, she dabbles endlessly.”

Sure, The Last Prophet could go under its own pen name for high fantasy or something, but … no. This is me, this is how I write. I know there are people who insist an author must write only one genre, but that’s just not how I can work. It’s not how most of us work, and few seem to realize that. They hear about Stephen King switching from horror to the dark fantasy genre and they were scandalized and thought he was an exception to the rule.

I like to think of it as authors switch genres as much as readers do. Just because I love Robin Hobb, doesn’t mean I read her exclusively. Nor do I stick to her genre for reading. I also love Anne Bishop, Anne McCaffery, Anne Rice, and Stephen King when I’m in the mood. I’ve picked up single books from some weird scifi/fantasy hard boiled detective something before. I enjoyed it and put it down and never picked up another.

My writing is the same way. So, despite a four day debate about switching The Last Prophet to another pen name, I’ve decided to keep it under Aya DeAniege. And, yeah, it’s the same pen name that published erotica and plans to again. The same pen name that dabbles in vampires, witches, werewolves, and angels. Both in sexual and non-sexual context.

I suppose, with my love of the book, I should save up royalties and pay for an actual editor for this one. But at the length I’m looking at it would be $3-5000 to edit it.

If my writing paid that kind of money, I wouldn’t need a student loan, heck, I wouldn’t need a job. When I felt like this, I could take a long, hot bath with a glass of wine and a good book, then sleep the day away.

I have a vision for The Last Prophet, and it’s keeping me sane and just a little stable.

Now it’s just a matter of how to get what I want.

June – Ark

June, I will be working on a science fiction romance temporarily titled Ark. This could branch into a wonderful little series that varies within the romance genre.

That’s all I’m going to say for the moment because that’s almost all I’ve got. But I’m super stoked about it!

I do have an announcement to make. Due to life choices, I may not be able to finish my 12-in-12 challenge. I’ve elected to apply to college to gain a certification to move up in the world for a better job while I get the writing up and running.

And, actually, the great thing with this is it teaches me some reports and paperwork that I can convert into the running the writing like a business. I’ve been thinking for a little while that expanding my work into/under a publishing house umbrella. It’s my understanding I could then use that to publish under multiple pen names but it might simplify taxes and maybe payments too.

Anyhow, if I get accepted (I really hope I do) I go back to school in September and that would take precedent over a challenge of writing books. I would then have ten books from this year to edit along with editing my back …log? Of books.

I might still be able to complete the challenge, but I’m not going to over exert myself because I will be working at the same time that I’m going to school.

I kind of hate that I have to wait a couple of weeks to see if I get in. I don’t like being in limbo, it makes me a little ball of anxiety. When I went for my written driving test yesterday, I failed by one point because I forgot the classification of the driving license I had held for over a decade.

I’m not so great with failing tests and school things. It ends up distracting me.

Like, right now, I’m supposed to be editing Seed. And getting ready for a shift at the day job.

Right. Let’s get moving.

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.