Necia Phoenix

SF & Fantasy Writer

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TGIF? No, for me it’s Monday

My hubs only has one day off a week That was yesterday. So as everyone else is moving towards the weekend we’re just starting our new workweek. Blarg. That sums it up pretty well. So. Writing.

I’m currently (as in, in the other window) working on the final two installments of Inside The Author’s Mind, they’re going to be small, they average under 1k, so if I can get them done they’ll be up for Flash Fiction friday later today and next friday *crossing fingers*. Once those are done I’m hoping to compile them into a collection to have up in Sept. If they’re large enough I’ll see about putting together print versions. It may take some doing though, for the ISPNs. I’m considering a kickstarter or something like that to fund getting the ISPN numbers from Bowker. Or just tossing a donate button at the bottom of the page. We shall see.

If anyone has been paying attention to the bars on the **checks other tab** right side of the page, I’ve been puttering away at the first Zander book. I’m about 1/4 of the way through it and I think it’s coming along fairly well. I was thinking over the series itself and it struck me that there are going to be 4, possibly 5, in the whole series. The first three are the Northern Empire books and the last one(two) would be the grande finale/wrap up of that situation. So. 5 in the Zander series. **twitches**

I do need to come up with new titles for them…

I AM still working on getting E1 edited so I can serialize it. Which I’m still planning on doing. What the heck, right? It may be September (ahhh that month again) before I start serializing it. Or maye OCt. Not sure if I can swing it in Aug though. I may do a teaser chapter to see what people think.

Ok, in other pubbing news, Smashwords is holding a coupon special for the month of July. I’ve signed up all my titles for it. Linked below; The coupon code is SSW50

The Shiny – With coupon is free
Redshirts – With coupon is free
Muse Interrupted – With coupon is free
The Magic Maker – With coupon is 50% off; $1.50
Playing For The Dead – With coupon is free
Help Never Came – With coupon is 50% off; $1.75
River Of Souls – With coupon is free

In Aug I’m going to be compiling them into collections for a September release, and possibly pulling down the single titles. I’m undecided on this atm. We’ll see. I’m also working on some new covers (in my *haha* spare time)  and plan on going through the current titles for a typo hunt. Just a typo hunt/grammar fix, no story changes.

Anyways, time to wrap this up and finish the flash fiction stuff. Have a great weekend folks!

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A touch behind

We’ve had some family/RL things happen which have thrown me off my **hahaha** schedule.

So, I am working on JulNoWriMo, I’m a touch behind. The nano wordcount is at about 8000 or so, and I’m doing my own thing and using the new BPBK1 as my nano project.

Last night, as I was talking with a pal about the Zanderstuff, it struck me that sometimes when I write I go back and forth, kinda like weaving. I’ll find myself stuck, so I go back and reread what I’ve got. Often times I start fiddling, adding things, descriptions, reactions, I rarely delete much unless I realize there’s a plot hole that I need to fill and then I tweak and play around with stuff. Then I’ll move forward, usually in spurts of large word counts. Until I hit a snag and have to rethink things.

Right now my big issue is Bk1 has several military campaigns and such and tactical stuff and I am really second guessing myself. I’m writing about a group of guys who are troublemakers and who get in and out of scrapes. They get dubbed The Trouble Crew. And I’m drawing blank after blank about the details of how and what they do. I know they gain a reputation, but I’m not entirely clear on how.

I’ve been fighting a bought of the blues. Not full on depression, just a little down. Things haven’t panned out schedule/time/kid wise. I’m not where I want to be publishing wise. I know I can get this stuff done up and out, but…but…but… yeah, the list goes on, the things a mom of 9 needs to do is endless and sometimes it makes getting the words and editing and managing the ebooks and all the other stuff that goes with it, goes right out the window.

As I told a friend, I sit down to list out what I need to get done to get myself re-focused with the pubbing thing and get overwhelmed and start playing Zombie Lane or No Zombies on my tablet. Bad me. >.>

No I’m not perfect. In fact I’m far from it. While this year has been a GOOD one on a personal/family level, writing wise has been a struggle. I’m searching for my routine, for my groove. Sometimes I think I’ve found it. Sometimes I wonder if I ever will.

Anyways, enough rambling. I’ll get it squared away. Have a snip. This is a dreaming scene. In the Zander books, I noticed, he dreams. A lot. Those dreams foreshadow things that will happen later on in the story and ties several threads together.

He stood above the great city, watching the horde sweeping through the broken and twisted city walls. His soldiers behind him, fleeing through the mountain passes, he alone watched his home fall beneath the enemy. He gripped his swords, trying to look away, but unable to. The Great Tree shuddered as the enemy swept past it, the branches hitting the roofs of the houses beneath it. It began to lean, tipping towards the gate he’d led his men through.

The Great Tree shimmered, and for a brief moment, superimposed over it, was a rahaun woman, hands clasped in front of her, her hair intertwined through the branches and leaves. Again the tree shuddered and as he watched she looked up, her eyes locked on his.

Flee. Now. While you still can.

Her head bowed and the tree continued to lean. With a deafening crack, it fell, the great trunk crushed buildings beneath it, wedged tightly against the gate. He felt a hand on his arm, a voice hollering in his ear.

“We have to go, now!”

 

Have a good day folks.

 

 

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End of the year stuff

Short and sweet, my sales sucked. I am not bothered by this in the least, for several reasons. The biggest being I knew 2012 was going to suck. Hell, I made a major move, and everything has just been nuts and it still isn’t exactly squared away.

Now I am still on ‘vacation’, I’m just recouping and taking time to get RL squared away. I am thinking on what I need to do with the businesses I run. Something has to give, I know what is going to be dropped. No, writing isn’t on the table. It’s safe and secure, I couldn’t live without writing.

I’m just not hell bent on driving myself into the ground.

Here‘s a great end of year numbers post from Kristine Rusch, you can see my comment down at the bottom (I always read the comments on her blog, they’re fascinating).

I have work to do, I may add about an hour a day into my schedule to get some writing business stuff squared away. I have a lot to think on and decide, from what to do about the shorts, larger projects, covers that need to be updated, whether or not I’m going to stick with smashwords & B&N and so on.

I need to stay focused with my health stuff. Changing diet and cutting out frivolous foods and drinks. I need to get into the habit of getting to sleep sooner. I do so much better with sleep.

I think the biggest issue of 2012 was lack of proper, consistent sleep. Without rest, I’m just a vegetable.

ohohohoh

 

Over at Forward Motion they’re offering a free 2 Year Novel course. Because I’m a dork, I went ahead and signed up (I *think* it’s still possible to sign up). You start with a basic idea and build it up to writing and ready for pubbing, whichever way you decide you want to publish. The first few months are, in all reality, very slow, so I figure I am not breaking my vacation if I’m only working on something once a week. **nods**

because, you know, I feel guilty if I am not writing in some format.

 

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Edging towards the end of the year

I’ve bounced around on my projects since we moved, trying to get my head back in the right ‘space’. I’ve been slowly getting things settled. So I’m taking a look at the last half of the year. There are two big projects I want to finish (1st drafts), Bastard Prince and Crown of Bones.  I have three smaller (short story size) projects; the FMAnthology, The Christmas Zombie thing, and another ‘from the author’s POV story’ and I have 5 months…

Bastard Prince is sitting currently at 29k and I think 60k should wrap it up. I am going to be doing Aug Camp nano and I am fairly confident I can get that in Aug. Sept might be a rest up, do little projects, then (maybe) tackle COB again in oct/november. I wanted to have COB  finished (rough draft at least) before oct, but I have to say I don’t think it will happen.

There is something I’ve been missing with COB, and I haven’t had the time to sit down and just LOOK at it. Maybe I’ll do that in Oct. Well see.

I also need to do the next pass on E1, I’d like to have it pub ready before the end of this year.

so the line up is;

In Aug;

Bastard Prince I will finish this gods be damned story, dang it

In Sept

~ Shorter projects; 

  • FM-Anthology (submission call is over here for those interested)
  • Christmas Zombie-thing
  • Inside the Author’s mind story

In Oct

~ Final Edit round on Elemental Truth and possibly start formatting?

~ Do the cover for Bastard Prince Crown of Bones, Christmas Zombie  and Elemental Flame

plotting/worldbuilding for Crown of bones.  I need to sit down and just work out what is bugging me about this project.

~Plotting on Elemental Flame (E2)

In November

Crown of Bones

~ If COB doesn’t pan out I’ll work on E2

 

In December

~ Publish the christmas zombiething

~ publish E1(?)

~ Put together goals list for 2013 (dear dog did I just write that? o.O)

 

As usual, this list is subject to change (or be totally ignored) depending on how my RL goes.

There is a lot going on, on the internets, a lot that I have been thinking and mulling over. I just don’t have the words quite right in my head just yet.

Have a good day, folks. Happy Monday!

~*~

Bonus link;

Jay Lake posted at his blog a thing of dialog tags over here. Well worth reading.

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Time Management

Any hobby or profession a person chooses is going to eat up a certain amount of time out of one’s day to become really proficient at it. A sculptor, welder, painter, photographer, gardener and so on, is going to spend time on their hobbies. A writer is no different.

A common complaint I hear is that “I have no time for writing!” and I have to say I call bullshit on that. No! You yell, I have college! A full time job! Kids! I don’t have time to write!

I can think up many examples of people who simply MAKE time to write. And making time to write, while sometimes very challenging, can be done. Here are a few suggestions that I have found useful.

First of all you have to figure out what is taking up your time. Work, school, kids recitals/activities, tv(big time waster here), video games (Another time eater), surfing the internet(here too), other hobbies. Once you figure out what is taking your time up ask yourself how badly do I want to write?

Is it a passing fancy? Is it a drive that if you don’t it will make you go insane? Or somewhere in between?

Then find 15 min in your day, every day, to write.

Just 15 min. Open up your writing program and write. (we will discuss writer’s block another time)
Wait! You flail, arms waving madly, “I don’t see 15 min in which I can write!”

Do you have a lunch break at work? Take your note book and scribble down ideas. Do you have a ten or twenty min gap in between classes? For you kids in High School what about lunch break?

When you get off of work many people (myself included when I worked, am a SAHM/writer these days) like to slump on the couch and watch TV. But if you find yourself flipping channels perhaps your time could be better spent writing.

I know a lady who has a passion for writing, omg this woman astounds me (she’s a dear friend of mine) and she kicks out high word counts. High quality high word counts. She works over 60 hours a week, runs three kids to college/jobs I swear the woman is driving herself into the ground. But her free time, she writes.

Over years of doing this has given her the skill to be able to get a high quantity of words down in a relatively short period of time. She has chosen wisely how she spends her time.

I have 9 kids, my household is sometimes very very busy. I also homeschool which makes it interesting when I am trying to edit and help with algebra at the same time (doesn’t work, I don’t recommend it). I have learned how to be able to grab any spare time I have in between babies, lessons, laundry and dishes. It has not been easy.

It ISN’T easy. You know that things that are worth it never are.

I have encountered new writers who don’t seem to understand that the only way to get better at writing is by…. writing.

You can’t sit on the couch watching tv and eating potato chips and expect to become Mr/Ms Olympia. You can’t not run and expect to run a 3 min mile. You can’t not practice singing/playing a musical instrument and then expect to become a world class musician and/or singer. You cannot not write and expect to get better/publishable.

The only way to improve your writing, to increase your skills at utilizing the written word, is through writing. Trust me thinking about writing and actually doing it are two completely different things. Thinking about it won’t get the idea down, won’t give you the story to re-read and ready for publication (whichever direction you want to publish). You have to do it. And to do it, you sometimes have to make time to do it.

My biggest suggestions when it comes to writing:
Schedule 15 min every day to write SOMETHING.
Reorganize your internet/tv/video gaming time and slip writing in there
Sit down and figure out how important writing is to you.
Carry around a notebook, when you are waiting for the kids to get out of school, write, when you are waiting for the train, bus, plane, your ride; write.
You already carry a paperback or an ereader with you, right? So substitute a notebook and instead of reading in your spare time, or texting about the latest gossip; write.

Get rid of time wasters. Or limit them. Sure I love watching mind numbing tv. But I love writing more.

For me the biggest issue is the internet, I don’t watch tv, and I can’t afford the games I really love playing (Final Fantasy) because I’d have to get new gaming machines.

But I read blogs, I read the news, I read the Livejournal. There is one writer chat I go to. That is a writer chat though and it helps me keep on track (really…it does….I swear :P). I do need to work on limiting my blog reading time but you folks are often very interesting….

The bottom line is that EVERYONE can schedule at least ten to fifteen min a day to write SOMETHING. You just have to arrange your day and figure out when. Carrying around a notebook helps. Hey there’s always bathroom trips….

Happy Writing, keep it up!

P.S. I’m not asking anyone to justify how you use your time, it isn’t my business. Each situation, each person is different. And yes sometimes there just ISN’T the time to write, I understand that and am not trying to be judgmental. Sometimes sleep is the better choice….

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