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 Five (Day Five)

Finished the first hundred pages of Harvest, got another sixty from my beta reader. I keep thinking I’m going to drop off and ‘die’ mentally again so I’m pushing through this but I still have until December.

Trying some ads for Seed even though I shouldn’t, because I’m technically broke. I’m trying them because it’s the best pre-order to date and I want to get it out there to the right readers.

Bookbub scared the bejesus out of me yesterday. It sent me an email about a new release alert and I had a small panic/joy that they had actually taken me on for a new release ad. Panic because how would I pay for it, joy because oh my god.

But no, it’s a new release email they push to all your followers on Bookbub for free until you cross a specific follower line, which I think is over 1000. So… free for me forever!

Look at the upside of situations, I guess. Yup, that’s my mood today.

I guess it is update day for school.

Writing has gotten into talking about word choice and cliches, that kind of thing. It almost bores me because my work has talked to me about it for years, but then ignored it. I try to do the formal business-like language. So, I struggle to pay attention because I feel like I know it and she wants us to hand write everything while kind of discouraging notes. If I’m not taking notes, there’s a very good chance that I’m not paying attention, I’m just saying.

But all I want to do is write stories on the paper. The blank pages are taunting me, which they haven’t done in over a decade because I no longer deal with paper. It’s a lot harder for me to ignore that pull than it is to ignore the pull for a new story on the computer. At least the computer, I have to put in the effort to open the processor, whereas when I’m sitting in class with a blank page before me, trying to pay attention but I just end up staring at a blank page?

It’s worse than the clickety clack, it’s actually triggering my hypergraphia. That part where not writing has started to hurt and I hate that, but that’s how it goes when I resist impulses to write. So, I need to figure something out because writing The Others hasn’t helped take the mean edge off that need of mine.

All because she wants us to hand write everything!

I mean, I could hand write a story, just out on all that paper I have. I don’t actually need five hundred sheets of paper for school ,do I? I might use a hundred total, leaving just enough to write an actual book.

Oh god. Now I’m thinking about it.

Computer Skills and Math were kind of cancelled for this week as the instructor is out. He did assign work, I had the Computer work done the day he assigned it, I think, and the Math I finished yesterday about twenty minutes into the class that’s regularily scheduled for Computer Skills. I spent my remaining two hours reading the book for Interpersonal Communications.

The only class for that for this week happens this afternoon and we’ll have a speaker. No computer because she wants us to take notes and make sure the speaker feels like our full attention is on them. I get that. I suppose.

I swear, I’ll take actual notes and not write a story.

Although, now the idea of the pen scratching across the paper…

It’s like scratching a mosquito bite. It feels so good to think of that, but I know it’s dangerous and I shouldn’t do it.

What would I even write, right? I don’t have a story that could be done on paper!

There, matter settled.

Oh, but that scritchety-scratch of pen on paper.

Where was I?

Keyboarding?

The test yesterday was out 15% one, not the 5% one that I thought it was. Great, I feel like I did good, but I have this weird thing sometimes with proofing. I could proof until the cows come home. Then a book launches and I find a typo in the description.

I’m looking at you, His Grace.

Don’t worry, I fixed that one.

Anyhow, it took me about twenty minutes and for the timed writings in there, I actually met and exceeded my average words with no errors. Heck, I even had to go back and fix some stuff because I’m a silly goose.

My fingers are trying to say different words than I’m actively thinking to them. It’s like they’re trying to link to my unconscious mind which is kind of running in circles in the background going, “It’s almost NaNoWriMo and we haven’t settled on a story!”

Not participating in that this year, what with school and work and all.

Shoot, where was I? School update.

Accounting has been simple for this chapter. Doing the extra work took about ten minutes, and then I went back to reading the book for Interpersonal Communication. When I finished, I still had an hour or so of class left (this was ‘free’ time and many left during or even before the class started). I was going to work on The Others but there was a nagging voice at the back of my mind.

So, I wrote the rough draft of my book report yesterday in Accounting class.

Except, I can’t tell anyone except you, dear reader, because the other students have begun to resent me for always having everything done and never having a bother with the assignments. Or a complaint about the teachers. There appears to be some unrest starting and I don’t understand why everyone is getting so upset about sitting in class when it’s the perfect time to do that homework you’re behind on, or practice in that class you need help in.

Instead, they talk about wanting to go home and how a class or day is a waste. It’s not a waste, it’s a practical gift.

Besides what might be assigned today, I am going into the fifth weekend without any homework, because I took the free time I had at school and put it to work.

Pat on my back, right? It’s something to be proud of because I know me.

Normally by October, I throw my hands in the air and basically shout, “I quit!” and homework starts lagging. I know if I don’t do it here, I will struggle with it at home because that’s my time. And I won’t do it at work because some Nosey Nelly shoves her face into my business as I’m trying to do homework. They start asking about school and homework and what am I struggling at?

Oh, nothing? So, you’re just bored all the time? No, oh yes, of course you’re upset you missed 1% on your Accounting test.

No, I’m not upset because I didn’t get a hundred. I’m not beating myself up over it. I normally score in the 70% range for tests. When it came up to 99% it bothered me because I was so close and it’s a thing of pride to finally cross that threshold and have a 100% on a test.

I missed the dollar signs. She could have docked 3-6% for missing all the freaking dollar signs but she only took off a percent. For all she knew, I was dealing in ounces of crack, or bananas!

Ah well.

I don’t have lunch today. Yup, I went and blanked on freaking lunch. I’m not going to go hungry, I’ve got a debit card and got paid yesterday. It’s just that I’m one of those people who tends to look at the price of fast food/pre-made meals and turning up my nose because I could make something that tastes much better for that price or less.

Let that be a lesson to me!

If I had realized ahead of time, I might have been able to ask for leftovers, as it was, I didn’t find out until I was about to leave my room.

Next week I want to try to make loaded cauliflower casserole. I think is what it’s called. It’s going to be a little weird, but it’ll have cheese… and more cheese. I’m hoping it can pass for an “adult” macaroni and cheese because suddenly that’s what I’m craving.

Week Five (Day Four)

This week has been weird for me. Maybe it’s because my stress level has dropped, or because it’s a short week? I dunno. Not much into writing or anything besides school work.

In my defense, I have school work to do. Like reading that book for Interpersonal Communication. But I’m also in a mood and my notes are crabby. Basically, the book tells you to tap into the narcissistic nature of humans.

That makes me crabby, but what can you do about it? Not much at all. It’s play that game or hide in the corner your whole life. And some people you don’t feel like you’re inflating their already enormous egos. It’s just that I’m in some kind of “angry at humanity” mood.

Maybe it’s the announcements about climate change. Maybe it’s the rumour I saw about a certain president saying our climate is actually good or better than ever or… whatever terminology he used.

It is not, it is not better than ever.

Or maybe it’s this pressure to dress up for Halloween when we’re grown adults and Halloween no longer means candy and disposable culture and capitalism to me, the… theist?

I’m probably just in a mood. I know a few people who would tell me I’m tired and need to keep my thoughts to myself. Those people never seem to realize that I always feel that way. When I get in these moods, it just reduces the likelihood of not telling people they’re stupid or wrong. The rest of the time I resist because I know that telling people they’re stupid doesn’t change how stupid they are.

It usually makes them dig in their heels.

Now I feel like I sound like my mother.

Ah, well.

I did some writing in The Others but didn’t finish the post. No editing on Harvest which reminds me, once I do start that again, it’ll be a day or two until I need more pages.

Seed launches in four days, Contract Taken goes back up in price on most markets, along with all the Contracted books going up to the same pricing as the other books (3.99). Then next Wednesday or so, after the pre-orders are downloaded, Seed also goes up in price.

Amazon finally has Seed and Crop linked but haven’t linked Harvest yet which is really annoying. Do they know how many pre-orders I’m losing out on because their bots aren’t doing their jobs anymore? It’s really making it seem like you need to contact them now for each book to be added to a series, which is ridiculous.

It’s a waste of time and money on their part, the amount they’d have to spend just to keep up with the books. Some of the writers in one of my groups seem like they release a book every two weeks.

Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

But for a company to do that, it’s a waste of time. They could better spend their money ramping up and re-training their customer service, providing a better experience to the customers, thus fewer complaints which mean less loss of income.

I don’t even know why I was thinking of it like that. I’m scatterbrained today. So very scatterbrained. Just here and there and all over the place.

We have a test in keyboarding, but it’s a theoretical proofreading test, which was fine until I discovered that she wanted us to memorize all the marks, which no one in class knew. At least, no one seems to have known. Sucks, but at least I found out beforehand and somehow I got it right on the pretest.

Though, to be fair, that was because I looked at the page as an editor and asked myself what I’d do in that case.

Thank goodness I’ve edited before.

There’s currently a debate going on about what that assignment meant, as there were four lines we had to type out and do the marks in there. Half the class say it’s one paragraph, half that they’re new lines.

I’m in the new line camp because if that’s a paragraph, someone needs to take a writing course. Oh my, it’s more all over the place than I am. Talking about an address, then a donation, and … instructions for work, I think?

She had the answer key up for about ten minutes on the e-learning thing and I’m almost certain I’m right, but because so many people are debating it, I’m questioning myself now. Kind of sucks to do as you go into a test, especially since you can’t just turn on marks like you can in a word document.

Ah, well, I’ve already passed this course so if I fail the test because I did the wrong thing, not that big a deal.

Especially since I just discovered it’s worth 5% and I already have a final grade that’s higher than any of my grades from high school. So I need to stop over thinking that.

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.

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.