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.

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.