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.

12-in-12 Challenge

Okay. I haven’t really bitten off more than I can chew, but I took on the 12-in-12 challenge last November to give myself a goal because I wasn’t quite certain where my writing was going besides into The Reaping trilogy. Now I’ve got that and the second Contracted trilogy done as well as one one-off.

The challenge seems to have boot-kicked my creative world building up into a higher gear which is fantastic and I love it.

Over the months I have learned more about editing and graphic design and now want to revamp all my backlog of books and update the covers for the Coffee and Blood series. I may have to revisit the Contract series as well, though I do like the style.

Coffee and Blood would likely follow the same style as the Seed cover. I like how that looks and the background colours for each trilogy will be the same colour and texture while the character changes. That’ll make it easier for readers to find the trilogies by glance alone, no?

There are… eleven books to re-edit and six or so more to edit.

I’m still waiting for an acceptance/rejection letter but I do want to go back to school. I want to do the editing. I want to get the graphic design up and running for real. Except the 12-in-12 is always there. And if I get into school, I can’t do the last two books of the year.

Basically, I’m considering ending my 12-in-12 because it served out a purpose and has jump started all sorts for my writing, editing, and goals for the coming years. Except now it’s taking up so much time that I can’t get anything done until November. I can’t re-edit until November, or re-brand until November. I don’t feel that would be a good fit to wait until November to start all this when I need Wraith’s Rebellion done for October, before Seed goes live.

So, I suppose this is now a to-do list:

-Rebrand website: I said I’d do this, what, back in November?

-Edit, in this order: Seed, Wraith’s Rebellion, Crop, Harvest, Contracted, D.o.t.A.

-Rebrand Covers: Wraith’s Rebellion.

-Get on with the Covers already.

-Blog tours?

-Revisit Blurbs of all the books.

-Adjust room/office area to actually allow for doing work.

-Update The Others.

Ark is still active, but I am dragging my feet because of the to-do list. Ark doesn’t have a due date, it’s not up for pre-order anywhere, I don’t have to rush through it. I’m kind of enjoying dragging my feet, though. Ark is set in a tropical biodome and is kind of giving me flashbacks of vacations but in a good way.

I’ve got a direction now, I know where I’m going and what I’m doing. It’s time to take off the blinders and make changes to further my writing rather continuing to do what isn’t getting books out until probably spring of next year. That’s too long.

Rough Publishing Schedule 2018

It’s that time of the year again.
Yup, I’m sitting here wrapped in a shawl and cursing my landlord’s strange choice of providing radiator heat but removing only my ability to control the temperature but also refusing to turn up the heat until I lodge four complaints and talk someone else in the building into doing the same. They have control over their heat from inside their apartments, however.

It’s also the time of the year that I need to consider what I’ll be doing in 2018. The writing side of things has been kind of settled until next November. My 12-in-12 is going well so far, and I’ve already chosen my books for the next two months, but more on that later.

So… what are we looking at for publishing?

Fragments is planned for the first couple of months of 2018. I’m going to start another edit in January and buckle down for the cover of it. Seed, Crop, and Harvest are going to be published during a six month period, so I need it all done and ready to go. No, that’s not true. I need the first two books edited and written. The rest will follow.

I’m going to re-re-name the second trilogy of Coffee and Blood to The Reaping. It was originally that, but during some formatting I had a brain melt and it turned into The Harvest. I like The Reaping better.

For The Reaping, I’m actually considering publishing them in April, June, and August, like I did with Wraith’s Rebellion. I might adjust them just slightly, to May, July, and September. That’s just a hope and a prayer.

The second trilogy of Contracted will be out either the end of the year, or early 2019 and Contract Claimed would follow a few months after that.

Then, of course, are His Wings and His Halo, which I’m calling obligation pieces. I’m obligated to complete the trilogy. These will be published as soon as they are written and edited, so it could be published in March and April.

So… I’m panning on publishing between six and nine books in 2018.

Here’s the weird catch/kicker?

Come April, I’m moving two provinces over and, near as I can tell, I will be working part-time until I can find a full-time job at another company. Somehow I don’t feel like the place I’m going to will have a full-time position open up. Besides in big city areas like the one I’m currently in, once someone gets full-time it’s like tenure. They stay there for years and years.

Anyhow, that’s a catch/kicker because… I will be part-time at my day job. And until I have my license, I will likely be gently applying to jobs because I don’t want to make my relatives drive me all over.

Unless that one company gets back to me… I’m sure they’d understand for that wage.

And when one is not making finding a full-time job their… well, full-time job, then they have a lot of time on their hands. For me this could end up being an issue where I’m manically all over the place, doing all the things.

The last time I went part-time, I took two weeks off… sort of. Actually, they didn’t schedule me for two weeks¬† and I sat home playing video games until I basically lost my mind and took on six or so projects. Cleaning, scavenging, setting up furniture. Now I’ve got things to focus on, projects and writing and the like.

I’d really like, like really, really like, to use that time to complete some projects and get other things sorted out. Yeah, that totally made sense.

January and February, I’m writing His Wings and His Halo. March I suppose I should do Contract Delivered to wrap that all up and start edits for late 2018 publishing. April I’m hoping to have Seed published, which means … oh, but Crop and Harvest have to be done before April because that’s when I stop commuting and I can’t change that method of writing mid-trilogy. They are my cheat books and off schedule.

I guess that means April is open. There’s The Visitors, or Prototype. Whatever I can get written in April and possibly May could also be published in 2018 given a conservative projection of finding a full-time job.

Which, I suppose, means April and May are those up in the air stories. Dear readers, what would you like completed? I’ve been promising a lot of projects and after Contract Delivered is completed, I’d like to get back to m/f for a while. Browse the worlds, look through the little snippets tossed out here and there, and let me know what you’d like to see.

The goal is then to take the books written in April and May and publish them in 2018. Which will, hopefully, raise my published books from 6-9 up to 8-11. I could double my books in the next year, that’d be awesome.

Then in 2019 I’ll have 6-9 books already written and ready to edit and be published.

One Year Plan… and Rules

Okay, so my plan over the next twelve months is to complete twelve books. That way, come next November, I will have finished twelve novels and have between three and nine that I can then begin to edit and publish, hopefully just as quickly as I wrote them.

This, I realized needs rules:

-The books just need to be completed. If one is almost written (like Contract Sealed) or partially done (like Prototype and Bound in Blood) they are not excluded from the count. In fact, completing books should be encouraged!

-Which leads to the second rule. One book a month. That’s it. If I finish Contract Sealed two days into December, I don’t get to write again until January. I can plan the books, scribble a bit, but I’m not allowed to actually start. This has proven in the past to be quite helpful in my production.

-For sanity purpose over the next five months, there is one exception to the one book a month rule: Harvester trilogy. That’s done on my phone during commutes and is sometimes the only way I stay sane. If the trilogy is complete, I’m back to one a month.

-Books still need to be published. Not one a month, but at least a couple next year. The one book a month is supposed to help balance this off.

-By the last day of the month, I will make a post announcing which book I will be working on. Then (in a perfect world) will update every Wednesday on where I currently am in the book.

-Should I run behind, the one book a month bit goes out the window. Because then I have to get two, three, four, done. I may cry mercy, just whip me a couple times to get me back on track.

-These are completed rough drafts. A rough draft doesn’t have to have the completed word count. Fragments went from something like 70k up to 85k words during the first edit. Seed is about 77k and has jumped almost 2k words in the first couple of chapters. But the rough draft does have to be complete. Adding a chapter is one thing, not finishing the last four is not allowed.

-After the completion of a book, if it is done early, I will take two days off in a row. Preferably from both jobs… these are to do with as I please but will likely be playing video games, drinking, and sleeping. You know, normal celebratory stuff. After that it’s back to editing written books.

The rules may end up changing a little bit. This is, after all, the first time I’m doing this kind of a marathon. All told I’m hoping for a word count that’s about 924k words, so about one book shy of a million.

The past year I’ve written… okay, I’ve tried to count it four times and I keep coming up with a different number. A trilogy, a D.o.t.A, Seed, His Grace, Contract Signed… Seven books, I think? Yeah… I feel like I’m forgetting one.

Going from seven books when I had no specific goal in mind, to a planned twelve is not going to be as crazy as it sounds. For me, it’s about finding the right rhythm and keeping that goal in mind, to keep focused. When I’m not focused I get all over the place, and then four things end up getting half-done.

On Finding a Name

Ugh, so I might have messed up the setup of the site and made posts instead of pages. It should be a simple fix of switching them over with some copy and pasting but it’s the time that it’ll take and how stupid I feel right now.

I’m still debating what to call the site. Smart thing is some combination of my name, but ayadeaniege.com just sounds narcissistic to me. I’m trying to come up with something that I won’t want to strangle myself over.

In the meantime, I’m hoping my brain holds out and I can do a writing sprint this weekend. After two days of struggle, I finished chapter fifteen of Death Mask, which will likely end up being chapter seventeen, after I go back and refresh the first couple of chapters and fix up the first little arc.

I’m hoping this weekend to complete His Grace and begin the editing of that. Beth needs some help with a side project that I promised I’d work on for her. It could take ten days to four months.

Urgh, why, Beth? Why must you taunt me with your books and blackmail me with your cooking?

I have a full plate, basically. Lots to do.

Today I checked up on the Storyteller Competition¬†and discovered that they are preparing the short list. I haven’t been disqualified yet, so I can’t just stop checking on it. Or I could… I mean, I’m not going to win.

I’m always told to be more confident, but the people talking are really never happy with me when the next thing to come out of my mouth is, “I’m confident I’m not going to win.”

It’s not that I absolutely could not win a competition, but the short list is comprised of things chosen by Amazon’s algorithm. Which doesn’t quite like me but likes Contract Taken for one day, then the next likes At Death’s Door on fewer sales? I just… I don’t know how to read that thing and it’s partly responsible for creating the short list.

Oh, and I might be about to go through another one of my episodes, so if none of that made any sense to you, it’s okay. It’s the partly broken brain I have in its death throes. It’ll be back next week and my hypergraphia will be back on full blast.

When the Words dry up

Bad words, bad, bad words.

Normally I use that sentence in place of a curse word, but this time around, I’m chastising the words that I’ve been chasing around for the past week. 

Some people call it writer’s block, I call it hypergraphia. 

I’m not just prolific, I have a need to write nearly everything down, otherwise it becomes painful. I physically ache when I can’t write when I need to. I’ve learned to offset it over the years, manipulating myself to keep from going completely mad and writing on the walls.

For me, it swings like a bipolar. There are periods of lots and lots of writing, then periods of nothing. At some point over the next couple weeks I’m going to hate anything to do with words. Mainly the written word, but verbal communication will fall drastically as well.

I’ve been trying to push through and finish Death Mask in the mean time. There’s a period of time after, as it’s coming back, that I read everything I can get my hands on. Last year during such a period, I did editing on the Contracted series. 

One of my bosses, years ago, said something that has always stuck with me: use your people to their strengths. Don’t put someone in sales who isn’t great at sales, put them on setup where they can achieve more and are happier.

When it comes to managing yourself, it’s the same thing. Know your strengths and weaknesses, know when you’ve reached your limit and when you need to wear a different hat for a little bit. I could just try and try and try to write. Just do that for the next year and end up maybe completing Death Mask in the next twelve months. 

That would be a chapter every two months for those who may be counting.

Or I can take a break and recharge my batteries. I know the fastest way to swing myself back around is to basically look like someone with no attention span. My favourite way of doing this is to watch something on the television while playing a game and reading a book at the same time. After a day of that the thrum starts up again, but it takes about six days straight for me to start that twitch and to rage quit all the things and go back to writing. 

I didn’t write while in Cuba, but it’s time for a break. I can’t just walk away from all this for a month. For starters, that’s a bad thing to do. It’s also just not possible for me to shut down the indie author in me, not without a bunch of alcohol. I’d rather not do that.

But I don’t want to market and I don’t have a book to edit. 

Do I? 

Oh, I could edit Contract Signed. That’s a thought that could work out. 

I will still have Death Mask with me and available to write. I will even look at it every day and on each commute. This time around I just wanted to huck my phone across the room. I wanted to play a game or something. 

I don’t have a game. Writing a blog post instead, just because I can’t handle that but I feel guilty for not working on it. I had such a great start yesterday before work. Then my day just killed my brain.

In the mean time, as I struggle with finishing a book that should have been done two weeks ago, I’m going to see about a website. Maybe pre-made covers and graphics as well. Maybe even the cover for Death Mask, that needs to be done and I can do it all without doing the words. 

So much for two trilogies in six months. Stupid, broken brain. 

I realize that without that brain being damaged the way it is, I wouldn’t be the author that I am. I get that, I do. And I know there needs to be balance, but I want to write. I have ideas this time, I have the plot written out! 

But my words have failed me. I stare mutely at my blinking cursor and just want to cry because I can see it, I can hear it, but it won’t come out of my head. 

So I have to wait. I have to sit on my stories and hold my own hand even though I want to shout and scream at myself. I know it’s not because I’m lazy, I know it’s not because I’m not ambitious enough or don’t have the time. It’s simply because I’m broken and it’s not the kind of broken that I can piece back together. 

That frustration isn’t going to help me any. 

Sometimes it’s hard to be kind to yourself, because you have plans and want to go places and do things but you just can’t. I’m more forgiving of other people’s mental health than I am of my own. I shouldn’t be surprised by that fact, but I am. 

And I know I need to take care of myself before I look outward on the world and try to make a change in what I see. That’s what I’ll do, but in that conflicted, “I’m upset because I’m crying because I’m angry with you because you worried me,” sort of way.