Week Five (Saturday)

I’m in one of those weird states where I don’t quite have a project started but I also don’t necessarily have the get up and go to start a new project. It happens sometimes, and passes within a week so I don’t push myself anymore. I just try to view it as my brain doing a disc defragmentation and a cleanup before it gets back to work. So, instead of fighting it now, I just kind of lean into it and play video games more than usual.

Of course, over the summer and before school, video games were about the last thing on my mind. Besides these little stolen moments between work and school, and the days at home when I needed a distraction to keep me busy, I don’t normally play games this much in such a short span of time.

I might have actually played more in the last two months than I did in the three years previous.

I’m not counting running Sims in the background while I edit to keep me off the internet as playing a game, as that was more of me being passive aggressive with myself.

Being in that weird, in-between place, I booted up No Man’s Sky on the desktop, just for giggles, it never works on the desktop anymore but I’m giving it a shot. It’s been running some ten minutes, still loading. But it didn’t crash upon load up… wait.

No, I think I deleted the shader cache after I played last so of course it’s going to work. Well, I’m this far in, might as well keep going with it.

I like the bigger screen, but the desktop is slow as could be, it’s getting slower and is even slow doing Paintshop Pro, which I use for my covers. It sucks, but it still works. It’s just that I don’t want to have that patience. I want my bloody computer to work like it’s just under two years old, not like it’s five years old and my brothers have been downloading porn onto it.

Next desktop, I want to be a solid state drive. But that’s a save up for sure. Need a car first, unless this one breaks on me, in which case I’ll have to settle for whatever is on sale as long as it’s not another bloody Acer.

Wow, I really rambled for a while there, didn’t I?

Your hypergraphia is acting up.

Yesterday, I started writing Shade’s story by hand. I don’t expect it to go anywhere on paper, but at least I have something there I can add to when I need to and just keep going. And if it does happen to go someplace, well, I can practice my transcription skills and get it onto the computer.

So, while sitting, waiting for the game to load, you watch this rather peaceful screen that’s stars flying by, as if you were going faster than lightspeed in space, I guess is the idea. Me sitting there with my coffee, started thinking.

Now I’ve got this weird plan, but I’m going to give it a go.

For indie publishing, it’s suggested you don’t go more than 90 days without a new book. The closer together, the better. Okay, whatever, that was kind of my publishing schedule before. Some authors have had great success by publishing once a month.

Don’t worry, I’m not full on crazy just yet.

Harvest is still partly with the beta and I don’t want her to feel like I’m rushing her. Now, my beta is my aunt who lives upstairs and does a ton for me, but I don’t talk about it because I want to respect her privacy. She does a fantastic job and gives a bit of a different perspective on stories… and is to blame for Scottish vampires that will be happening sometime next year.

But I feel like I’m reaching a point in No Man’s Sky where I need a break. I love the planets and wandering about, but I’ve devoted almost the same amount of time to it as I usually do in writing a book. I may need a break.

However, my iddy biddy mind can’t handle just wandering the internet. I’ve got school and the paying job, and writing, I can’t focus on just wandering about. It’s a desire to achieve, or… what the heck do the call it? I don’t remember.

The internet wandering is wasted time. Reading someone else’s book doesn’t do it for me, so while sitting with my coffee, my brain started tossing ideas back and forth on what could be done.

We’ve got Seed in October, just a few days away. Crop in November, on Thanksgiving day for Americans (why did I not think of that before? Bad Aya). And Harvest in December, right near the end giving me time because I have a two week winter break before the book goes live. Lots of time, right?

In theory on that one. But we’re almost 160 pages in, which is halfway or so, so yeah, I think it’s safe to say there’s lots of time to get that one done.

Come January, I’m going to do the box set of Wraith’s Rebellion, the first of the Coffee and Blood series. In February, I’m going to release the box set of The Reaping.

See? Easy work come January and February. Except the inner table of contents. Damn, do I regret naming each chapter and replacing chapter heads with images when I do this. It’s a lot of scrolling and then I feel woozy because I get motion sick and then I get to the end and find out I missed one and there’s a scrambling to figure out what I did wrong.

And Smashwords always finds a fractured image in my Coffee and Blood books, because somehow it happens. It’s a process but I suppose I’ll have those two weeks of winter break to figure it out.

So… where’s the crazy come in?

I am going to take the second trilogy of Contracted, which is written already, put it on my kindle and read it start to finish. Then? Well, then I’m going to take notes on it and start putting in edits. I’m going to write out the plot basically, then fix the bloody thing. Then I’m going to do the basic edits. Then I’m going to use my editing programs to find the problems rather than struggle through to find them myself. Then I’m going to edit it again.

Then I’m going to publish them in March, April, and May. Then the box set in June. With any luck, the complete edits will be done before the first launches, leaving March, April, May, and June to work on Hera.

Because editing one book is relatively simple when I’m not freaking out about work. I do it over coffee, I do it on commutes (until I start driving myself) I do it between school and work, one these Saturday mornings and Sunday nights. Until my homework and studying ramps up, I do it Monday and Tuesday evenings and on lunch breaks at school.

Some people knit, or play mobile games. I edit. It’s a very weird thing, but anyone can train themselves to do it.

So, I want to edit three and a half books between now and June. I want to publish seven books, but of those seven books, three of them are just about formatting as long as I get the edits done.

Mildly crazy plan, but for the first time in weeks, I feel excited and ready to go. I feel like I have a direction and a plan and I don’t feel like I’m giving up something I love to be paid an hourly wage and be screamed at.

And, usually, once I have a plan, I set about and do it.

This is awesome.

Oh, someone might ask about Contract Claimed, when that’s actually coming out? It has no release date because it needs to be re-written and expanded at least to two books total, maybe three. So it’s likely my project for next summer.

And Awakened needs additions that I’m slowly picking away at. So if there’s a day I can’t edit, that’s what I’ll be doing.

And The Others? Well, it is an ongoing project, I’ve updated several times over the past couple of weeks so now might be a good time to go back and re-read. Though, to be fair, the updates are easy to write and I can add a little here and a little there. I just need to put a little work into the site to update the characters and add a glossary for Todd’s dictionary.

Week Four (Day One)

Writing first: the edits of Crop are in. I’m just waiting for the preorder of Harvest to go up before uploading the final copy.

Got a novella of Mr. Wrightworth. Wish he couldn’t push my buttons the way he does. Ah well. I’ll be writing up the outline tomorrow, maybe.

Two weeks to the launch of Seed.

Think that’s it…

The everything else: besides Mr. Wrightworth catching me off guard at work, yesterday was a good day. I didn’t end up stressing out or anything.

Hairdresser I work with found a grey hair and then plucked it from my head. That kind of hurt.

I did sleep good Friday to last night, but I’ve been exhausted all day. Can’t tell if it’s because I’m fighting off a cold, or stress, or a combination of that and early mornings.

I spaced on my driving lesson tonight, so I didn’t make my lunches last night. I spent an hour finishing up Harvest instead. So now between school and driving I have to make lunches as well as after lesson.

Another lesson tomorrow night and then the driving test tomorrow morning.

I also have to email the other instructor. Shoot. I thought I did!

I updated The Others as well today. Uh. I suppose I just really want to play my game and watch some tv at this point but I can’t because I chose sleep and finishing a project yesterday. It would have worked out very well if not for the driving lesson.

Can’t believe I forgot about that.

Need to pull some address information and extra identification for Wednesday just in case.

I’m definitely overwhelmed. Five more days and I have two off. A bath and a bottle of wine is definitely in my future.

If I could drive myself, I would be home by now.

Boo.

I think I’m so tired even my emotions are asleep. Is that even a thing? Dunno. But I need sleep.

Scotland… Working Title

Okay, I’m sitting in orientation having an anxiety attack and it made me attempt to retreat into fantasy (hey, if it works…) so this may be all over the place and make no sense.

Coffee and Blood will continue through vampires with a new trilogy set in Scotland and involving a Canadian visiting Scotland who gets mixed up with vampires. Her ancestors immigrated to Canada and I need to do some research on Scottish immigrants and choose a family.

I’m dabbling with her wearing a necklace that was passed down through her family, or maybe a ring. It may or may not cause trouble.

She’s 32, oldest I’ve had in the books yet but it just makes sense to vary the ages. Her age also puts her in the position to have the funds to go on the trip and gives a little more chance for her back story to work better. Maybe would also explain going to see where her family came from.

His name is Drest, he ruled th Pict people on and off for some five hundred years. He’s a warrior and is a generation below an Elder, having learned about half of what Elders need to know. He tells me he has no power, but he does have a way of using whatever is on hand as a weapon.

As far as I know, he doesn’t have a family or faction. I know at least one faction (Lamia) gets involved, but Scotland isn’t within their territory so the European faction likely also gets involved.

His stock is of noble heritage but never kings or queens (that’d be dangerous) and he has the fifth highest immortal body count. That’s right, he know a couple of deaths of the month.

I don’t know his age or who turned him. I suspect (in this version of history, of course) he was the force that drove the Romans out through shadowy schemes and outright taking to the battlefield. Which would mean, given the timing, it’s entirely possible he’s the only vampire to drive out the Council and survive.

Death killed his Maker, but he’s also got a vendetta or two he’s carrying out. Considering he has travelled the world, has the worn passport to prove it, to bring down a vampire, he’s probably got more than one or two vendettas, now that I think about it.

I still need to debate the causes of the plot and what the outcome is. I mean, I think I know the very ending but I said the same thing about The Reaping and it changed. I’ve got a couple of ideas, both a cause of clash and why he gets involved and why she chose to go out now of all the time to visit Scotland.

Because of his position it is possible he works or protects another supernatural race. At first I thought fae but now I’m not certain. Could be witches. Could be hybrids, can’t remember what they’re called. Could be a mingled community of all the races (including humans).

I’ll find out more over the next couple of weeks.

Update

To do? I don’t know really.

Uh, so I’ve been accepted into the college, yay. I’m actually quite excited about that, that’s not sarcasm. I plan to treat this as a job basically. My only trouble being, the certificate has something like thirty-seven courses listed for three semesters. That math doesn’t add up!

And I want to take all of the classes, well, almost all of them. So that doesn’t help me narrow it down. Especially when there are a couple that I want to take to further the certificate to help me get a job later that require four prerequisite courses which are all prerequisites of one another.

I also have to sort out learning French. Being bi-lingual can help your wage as well as your career in general.

It’d also be kind of cool if I could translate my own books into other languages.

My problem with languages at the moment is that they’re all a broken jumble. I tried counting to ten in French. Got to seven… then it turned into Japanese.

For the writing…

Seed is up everywhere except Amazon. Going up there in just over a month. Amazon doesn’t let you put up a pre-order more than three months out, even if you have the completed files. But then, the pre-order on Amazon is more for show than anything else whereas on other sites it helps build your rank on that first day. Basically, I’m not rushing over to Amazon. Setting up a pre-order there has no benefit for me. If all three were done right now, okay, that would have some use.

But the readers who want my books, will still come back to read them if they have to wait five months for me to fix my mistakes and make something of a story. Those are the readers I want the most. I love all readers, but I don’t want to rush anything else to publication that isn’t polished enough.

At Death’s Door has received some editing. I’m about a third of the way through the first re-edit. I’d also like to never have to do this again. I want to fix it all, but it’s time consuming. I’m now thinking about the fact that if I had an editor and a cover designer, I’d be able to write more and worry about less.

But my income hasn’t changed from yesterday or last week.

My books are appearing on Google Play, which opens up to a whole different audience. I’m also trying out a Bookbub ad, not the featured deal which they always kick back at me. I’m hoping the ad passes so that I can get some traffic into Seed. Or do they just pass all the ads there?

Besides all that, I’ve taken on a weird side project. It just hit me like a bus. I’m not talking about it beyond that because I keep expecting it to basically die like so many other random projects. But anytime I sit at a computer it’s all I think about. On breaks at work I’ve been doing research for the project, looking things up. Get home and immediately start working on it.

It’s so weird, though, because the project has basically pushed me into trying to advertise for Seed. And I still edit a chapter of At Death’s Door almost every day. Breaking that into bits seems to be making it easier to edit, because I’m more likely to pay attention to what I’m doing instead of ignoring it.

It is the first time I’ve written with an audience, so to speak. Want to spend time with the family but also get the project done, so I just take my netbook with me. Which is dying I should add. It’s a year old and black bars just randomly appear across the screen now and it takes twenty minutes to load even though I stripped everything out of it basically.

And then added a game back in because I was like, “it’s stupid anyhow!”

I dislike that brand of computer. Either I have bad luck with them, or their product is inferior.

Oh yeah, my tower, which is the same brand, can’t play a game which my six-year-old laptop can play because the maker of the tower hobbled it on purpose even though it was purported to be a gaming system.

I’d burn the tower, but it’s all I have. And besides not being able to play the games I want, it works well for all the other things. Certainly a great deal faster than the netbook. I don’t wait a minute or more for a page to load and it doesn’t lose internet randomly.

I just have to sort out this chair situation.

Maybe next month that’s what my royalties will go to. A nice office chair.

Anyhow, I have to get back to work. This project had me up at 6am to work on it before work. I don’t work until 11am.

I don’t know what’s going on with this thing, but at this point I’m not going to dig my feet in, I’m just going to go with it. The speed I’m working at, I could be done in a week or so. That’d be nice. But this way, if it fails, no one is getting excited over a project that will never be done.

Could have been the school that did it. My brain could just be like, “get all the words out now!”

Guess I’ll find out.

 

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.

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.

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.