Apr
2017

Reviews, Elemental Truth, BP and other things

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on getting myself back on track with writing. With the posting BP on the Patreon, I’ve found myself a lot more motivated. Having things settling in the home life is helping too. So I was at the website going over the backoffice stuff and discovered that there were hits to my site coming from a site called Web Fiction Guide.

Apparently when I first started posting Elemental Truth, I’d gone over and submitted it so it would be listed. Then life happened and I completely forgot about it. Basically it lists your web fiction, allows people to give reviews and whatnot. Well at the bottom of the Elemental Truth listing, was a review.

Let me say, for the record, I try not to read reviews. For a number of reasons, the biggest being, reviews aren’t for me. They’re for the reader. Well I went ahead and skimmed over this review. Then skimmed over it again. And a third time. Each time my jaw was firmly sitting in my lap and the hubsbeast pointed out if I didn’t close my mouth, a bug might try to make my acquaintance.

You see, I’d just spent several hours rereading Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch‘s business and writing posts. I’d just bought the book Heinlein’s Rules; Five Simple Business Rules for Writing and read it (I’m a fast reader), just bought The Pursuit of Perfection: And How It Harms Writers and was reading it when I took a break and stumbled across that review. What timing.

The kind review is over here. Seriously people I am so stunned. Reviewer, thank you for your kind words. I hope I haven’t chased you away for good with my hiatus.

Perfectionism is a big problem with me. I find myself agonizing over whether it’s good enough or not. I see blaring issues.

I’m not sure what my thinking was when I pulled E1 offline. But to see someone who liked it, along with what I’d already been reading and my reawakening writing brain, I decided to go ahead and put E1 back up. I also fixed the TOC issue mentioned in the review (sorry bout that) and took a hard look at my writing schedule and what E1 needs to be called DONE.

The Patreon is scheduled through the end of May, so I can set BP aside and get E1 wrapped up. All I need to do, is filler for about five or six scenes. That’s it. That was all I needed when life crashed around me and I tucked it all away so I could focus on RL. Well now the focus is back on writing and I have a lot of projects I need to get finished and pubbed.

So that’s what I’ll be working on over the next week, and getting back on schedule for E1. I believe I’ll be posting on Thursdays, since the Patreon chapters are posted on Tuesdays (hey it makes sense in my head).

From there?

I’ll need to get a copy editor, and possibly redo the covers for both books. It would be nice to be able to pub both of them this summer. But we’ll see. The big thing for me is to finish E1’s posting online.

Reading:

I picked up a copy of Starla Huchton‘s new book Wild at Heart. It is book five in the series but I’ve been assured by both Starla and several friends that they’re stand alones (my fav type of series). So once E1 is done I’m going to dive into it. The cover is absolutely GORGEOUS.

I’ve got a list of other books, suggested by several friends, which I’m planning on picking up.

Anywho. I hope you all have a blessed weekend. Happy Easter for those who celebrate it.

Be kind to one another

~NPhoenix

Become a Patron!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Jan
2017

The Plague

We’re sick here at Casa De La Phoenix, myself, the monkeys and the spouse type person. The posts I was hoping to write got pushed aside in a fit of coughing and hacking up lungs. blech.

Work has officially ended, I am back in the ‘unemplyed/self employed’ catagory. Gotta love that seasonal stuff. I had a blast, made some great friends, and am now debating my next move.

The patreon is live! I am super excited about it. There is so much to the Avaria stories, I’m almost bouncing in excitement. For those of you new to my blog/site/thingy you can peek at the planned book list over here. It’s a huge list, this stuff needs to get set free.

I hope you are all recovering from the disaster that was 2016. Time for me to get back to writing, and being ME.

 

~NPhoenix

 

Become a Patron!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Sep
2015

Cleaning up the website and other things

I’m going to be going through the website over the next couple of weeks and cleaning up bad links, broken links, and may possibly redo the theme completely. I’m also working on a schedule for the website, not too much cause, hey, I have a busy life. I’ll also be trying to fix tags (my last few posts I didn’t tag at all) and other stuff.

Elemental Truth.  Ok so the serial is still ongoing. I am currently working on the next couple chapters which have had to be completely rewritten. I do love this story, and since life seems to be slowing to a managable rush, I’m trying to refocus energy in that direction.

 

NANOWRIMO  I have always loved NaNo, some years it’s been an impossibility. This year might be one of those years. The biggest reason is that, if things work out right, I’ll be returning to school in nov. I’m not sure school and nano will work. We’ll see. Either way, I’ve been so exhausted for so long, I may just stand on the sidelines and cheer everyone on.

 

Have a great week, and hopefully things will be back on a schedule next week.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Mar
2015

State of the NPhoenix, an update, and future plans.

Happy Early Ostara to those who celebrate it! (Or Mabon[I think] if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere)

So there are some things I’m having to change. Plans schedules and whatnot. First of all, because of some things one of my kids is going through, I’ve had to prioritize him and his needs over everything else. Now that he’s where he’s getting the help he needs, I’m able to readjust my schedule and reorganize my plan for 2015.

Elemental Truth.

I sat down a few days ago and did a full read through of E1, from the front to back. And I discovered something sorta distressing about the back end, which I’m working on right now. It is nowhere near where I thought it was completion wise. There are several things I need to rewrite/fix to make it a rounded tale. So where does that put the serial? I thought I’d get it done and have it up for sale by the first. And tbh if I didn’t have other things going on in my life, I would have. But it wouldn’t have been what I want it to be. It wouldn’t have done justice to the story I’m trying to tell. It wouldn’t have been the best I can do with it. I don’t want that. My readers don’t deserve a half assed attempt. I went with self-pubbing so I could control my schedule. I need to remind myself of this.

I’m going to cut the serial postings to once a week. I know, I know, it’s been sporadic as it is, and for that I apologize. Reducing my stress level is a big thing for me right now. So I think I’ll be posting chapters around Tuesday or Wednesday.

When it is done, it will be offered up for sale on the usual sites and I’m planning on going through Createspace to do a print version also.

Blog

It has suffered from neglect. I admit that. I’m working on putting together some more posts to get back on a schedule. I would love any suggestions for topics.

Other Projects & this year’s writing/pubbing plan.

I decided that this year is the year of the series. What that means, to put it simply, is that my focus is going to be on getting my series written and up for sale. The Avaria series, the Elemental series to start with. I have a lot planned. It’s time to get them done.

Flash Friday. I haven’t done that in so long, and I want to get back to doing that too. ATM it would be sporadic though, E1 is my main focus with the Zander tales on it’s heels ready to be finished. I’m not sure I can spread my attention that far.

ATM I don’t have dates down for when stuff will be out. I am going to be trying to guesstimate that this week, and put up the announcement or somesuch next week.

Real Life

To give you a rundown, and I feel I owe explanations to my readers. My 14 year old got caught up in a very bad situation last summer. What followed was lots of court stuff, him being in juvie, and then at home monitoring, and trying to get to the bottom of what seems like a 180 degree change in attitude. Currently he is in a special inpatient program which is helping him address his issues (drug & alcohol and mental illness such as depression & PTSD) and we are doing our best to cope with the fact that the kid we knew is not who he is now. It’s a tough thing to accept but we are doing our best.

Thoughts, prayers, candles lit, Buddha’s belly being rubbed are all appreciated. I worry that his bright star will be forever dimmed by this. Then again I am a worry wort, so I may be over-stressing.

Hug your families. Hug your friends. Let people you care about KNOW that you care about them. You never know what might happen tomorrow. Don’t put it off.

NPhoenix

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Jan
2015

Quick update.

Ok, so last year was not the easiest year I’ve ever had. This year is going to be better. I refuse to believe otherwise. So here are a few things I’ve got on the plate.

2015 Writing/pubbing lineup

Elemental Truth;

I am not going to dwell on it. I’m working on it daily. I’ll post chapters as they’re ready. I’m hoping that by the end of this month it will be ready to be pubbed. I’m also going to be releasing it in print, though I’m not sure when it will be ready.

The Bastard Prince, The Sarukai Lord, The Dragon Gates & Crossroads

I love this story. and I hate it. Which makes me sad to say. Once I’m done with the E1 edit/publishing, I’m diving into the Zandercrack and it’s going to be published. This year. Even if it kills me XD.

Those projects could easily swamp me this year. But here are other things I’d like to try to check off the list;

The Fallen. Two maybe three scenes and it’s DONE. >.<
Zombiestuff  –  I have more storires set in this world I want to tell.
Crown of Bones – Fantasy Adventure series, with female protags.
Space Opera
PHFR (prehistoric-fantasy romance)

 

There are other things but right now I have to focus on E1 & Zander. Those have been sitting for way too long. It’s the year to dare to be bad I have to. My sanity depends on it.

I’m also hoping to take one of Dean Wesley Smith’s workshops (you can find them over here) because I want to improve in many areas. Anyways, there’s more on my mind, but I’ve been catwaxing all day. Time to finish the typo sweep and post the next chapter of E1.

NPhoenix

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Dec
2014

Coming up for air

In short, we’ve been struggling as a family. My son has been fighting addiction and it has dragged our whole family & routine down the drain. I’m working to find a balance between family, writing and other endeavors. I’ve found a stress easement with some new pets (ball pythons) which have helped with the general out of it I’ve been fighting.

I am sorry. I failed getting E1 up and posted on time. I probably lost what readers I have. If any of you are still around, light a candle, rub buddah’s belly, pray, whatever that y son can get a handle on his issues and that I can help him.

I’m working on the next couple chapters. The edits needed are minor, just a few tweaks and it should be done. I’ll try to get them scheduled this week. Again, I’m sorry. Life derailed me horribly and sometimes you just have to refocus.

NPhoenix

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
May
2014

It’s time

So I’ve been waffling on this for a while now, but I’m taking a jump here. Starting next Tuesday here and, possibly Wattpad, Elemental Truth will be posted as a serial. Two chapters a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays until it’s done. Once it’s wrapped up, I’ll do a final edit pass then it’ll be available as an ebook & a POD through either Createspace or Lulu (I’m still looking into the details on that). This is an experiment, I’m not sure if I’ll serialize the other Elemental books,we’ll see how things go. One step at a time, right?

 

Ok, off to do a final edit sweep and try not to dissolve into a pile of twitching nerves.

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Apr
2014

Planning

J.A. Marlow gave me this project planner back in Jan, but I kinda forgot all about it. Sat night I dusted it off and started planning out projects, setting dates and OCDing on what I want to get done this year. I may have overloaded myself 😛 but I have a clear cut idea of what I want to get done over the next…two years 0.0.

You read that right, two years.  Just take a look at my Series List and you’ll see I have more than enough planned stories to write XD (Yes J.A. Marlow, this is ALL YOUR FAULT!!!  **shakes fist**)  😛

The rest of this year needs to be an Avaria year, and next will be the dragons. I’ve also got smaller projects that I want to put out in between the larger ones. I need to get this ball rolling. I’ve pushed The Bastard Prince back to September at the latest. I have the project The Fallen staring patiently at me waiting for me to finish the edits and put it up for sale. The plan is to do that for this May.

I also have some digi art plans, and plans to do a really awesome computer build (think alienware, but homemade, it is going to fucking ROCK!) so there’s a lot to think about, aside from the family shtuff. I am still around, have just been drowning in life stuff.

Hope yall have a great Monday!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Feb
2014

Re-Release

One of the greatest things about self pubbing, is if you need to change something, you can. If you don’t like the cover, you’re not stuck with the pubbing co going SOL.

The Magic Maker is one of my favorite stories, and the first of what I hope, many set in that world. To date I haven’t been able to really dabble much with it but I plan to. I redid the cover, and did a skim through to correct things (typos, misspellings, random commas etc) and have gotten it back up.

The Magic Maker

In a corrupt city, Tia struggles to keep her small family together. She finds herself caught between a sorceress and local crime lord, and to top it off, an unknown voice begins begging her for help. With time running out, can she escape the city with family and sanity intact?

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo

In other news, I’ve had to push Zander back 1 month due to personal reasons. Mid may is the new target.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Jan
2014

Still here

I have been sick, still trying to get writing stuff handled. Zbk1 edits are in full swing, shooting for an April 12 release (my birthday). I have some awesome betas who are giving me great input. Have a mini snippage:

 

Valen handed Zander a small sphere with odd indents and markings on it. Zander frowned and looked up at his friend.

“What is this?” He whispered.

“A charge.” Valen grinned, lifting up another one. “Push down here,” he tapped a raised, circular impression in the middle of it. “Till it clicks, then toss it at enemy, and it goes boom. Big explosions. Sometimes messy, always loud.”

“Fun.”

“You have no idea.”

 

Hope yall are doing okay. **waves**

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Jan
2014

Inside The Author’s Mind released

The series is done, for now, and compiled into a complete collection.

cover

 

Inside The Author’s Mind is a collection of shorts written from the
point of view of the story elements. From characters, to ideas, to
muses, and editor, these have previously been sold singly and are
now put together. The collection is approximately 6400 words, 25
pages, and includes The Shiny, Redshirts, Muse Interrupted, Editor In Chains, 
Daydream Paradise Beach

It is available at:

Smashwords
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Now on to the next project!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Jan
2014

2014 Goals, Plans, and Expectations

A new year, new goals. I’ve made up a tentative publishing schedule for this new year, starting with the goal of one new publication (large or small) a month with three large releases for the year. We’ll see how it goes. Goals are dreams with a date on them they say. And I’ve even taken into account the usual grueling summers I have.

There are plans to move to another house sometime in late spring early summer which may disrupt things.

The big releases, the first three Zander books, are slated for April, ?June?, and September/October. The final book, Crossroads (which *might* be 2 books) *might* be ready by December.

I’m still dabbling with the idea of E1 up as a serial, but I’m not sure with everything else I have on my plate, that I have the mental capacity to to that atm. I might do something like that over the summer since E1 is, for the most part done.

Other smaller projects will be released through the rest of the year, hopefully on a monthly basis. I’m not hinging all my hopes on any one project. As a writer who plans to be around for a long time, my larger goals are long term, not hinged on any one book. A career isn’t built on one book, rather multiple projects. I’ll refer you to Dean Wesley Smith for more on that particular viewpoint.

I also have the goal of doing a Friday Flash fiction every week this year. Lofty? Maybe. I’m gonna try to do it though.

Last year’s sales;

With the lack of new material up for sale, sales were fairly non-existent. I haven’t pulled up the actual numbers yet, but I know they were spotty. There are a number of reasons why, ranging from pricing, covers that need to be improved and just lack of new material to keep my name up at the top of the new release lists and whatnot. Last year was fairly brutal for me. For a number of reasons and that impacted me finishing and releasing stuff. In short; sales sucked and I’m the reason why.

That was last year. This is a new year, new opportunities, new information to learn. This year. I want to write more. I need to write more. I need to get a better handle on covers, formatting and get back in the game so to speak. The paralyzing that halted me over the past year and a half, seems to have melted away. While there is a touch of anxiety, it isn’t halting me. Onward and upward! I’m ready! Are you?

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Oct
2013

How the Myths still affect us

This post was inspired in great part by Kristine Rusch’s post Story Demands.

For years I had this dream of publishing the Zander books traditionally. I pictured them on a bookshelf in a bookstore, I would even go to waldenbooks and find where my name was and kinda scoot the books around so there would be room for them. >.>  Ever do that? 😛

As brick and morter bookstores vanished (where I lived we only had chain bookstores, tehre were NO small indipendent ones) so too went the dreams of seeing the books in bookstores, and when I decided to self pub, there was a period slight mourning. I’d never ever see them in print. Ever.

Ok so that was dramatic, now I’m planning on putting out print editions eventually but for the n00b self pubber a couple years ago (a couple YEARS??? O.M.G!) it was a drastic thought, I wasn’t sure I’d ever do print copies at all.

But there were a lot of things that hung on. Sure I was going to self pub, but I was clinging to a lot of the traditional thought processes and that included how I was putting a story together and the wordcount caps.

As you can see, if you take a glance at my offerings, I have shorts up. Nothing large. A lot of reasons for this, many of them are legitimate time and RL issues (I have had some life upsets over the past year and a half that have impacted writing and publishing), but there are other reasons, a lot of them have to do with the fear issue. Fear of failure, fear of imperfection, fear of ridicule, fear of something I can’t quite put my finger on.

Larger project = heftier formatting = greater chance of typos = imperfection

And everyone has seen the ridicule self pubbers have garnered from others if they have typos and imperfections in their self edited* projects.

But then again, look at the ‘traditional’ published authors who ALSO get ridiculed. It doesn’t seem to matter who you are, if you put out something in the public eye there is going to be someone, somewhere who is going to hate it and make fun of it. Period.

I can list off numerous people who have ignored this and continued on. From musicians, to actors, writers, directors, and so on.

I can also point out people who have thrown in the towel, hundreds, thousands even, who have given up, gotten bitter, and continued on in their little lives, because somebody didn’t like what they did/said/produced so they stomped off in a hissy fit. Or just went *poof*.

Smaller projects, while still subject to dreaded typos, are less time consuming on formatting and easier to typo check (in theory). They are safer. Again in theory.

**takes a deep breath**

The projects that really move me are my big ones. The monstrocities. The doorstoppers. The ones that I got duped into believing years ago would never sell. The huge epic ones I was told that agents weren’t representing them because publishing companies aren’t going to buy them.

I’m not even going to breach the George R.R. Martin thing, I really am not. 😛

So the things I learned as a nOOb writer, trying to break into the business included;

  • don’t make your first book part of a trilogy, pubbers don’t want to risk investing on an unknown whose work might not even sell.
  • Don’t make your first book larger than 90k. agents won’t shop it around because pubbers won’t buy it. Typesetting issues and cost and whatnot.
  • General fantasy and Epic fantasy no longer sell. That ship sailed in the 90s, don’t write it. UF and vampires are the ‘thing’. And romance.
  • Sex. If in doubt, toss sex on the page. The more your characters get laid, the greater chance you have of selling your book or bagging an agent, and the more explicit, the better. (I swear to dog I heard this from multiple sources!)

Now obviously these are wrong. I’m not going to tell you how to ‘bag an agent’ mainly because I don’t feel the need for one. There are other places you can go to locate that information, here is not one of those places.

But this was my understanding, among others which I am still discovering (some of these are so deep rooted I have a hard time defining what they are!) as I go along.

Last night I finished the rough draft of Bastard Prince. In came in at 52k with several placeholders in the beginning for battles and such that I need to plan out a bit better to fill in. There are some threads I need to lay, and flesh out, some plotholes which make it look like a colander (I think I could drive a jet plane through some of them XD) but it is, for lack of a better word, done.

I also pulled up what I have of bks 2 & 3 and got a good idea of what I need to do to finish them. And I saw what the myths of the trad pubbing had done to my story, and how it had tweaked with my head.

I had this story, you see. And it’s a life story. It’s Zander’s story, and it geeks me right the hell out. He’s got an intense one, with highs and lows, with loves and hates, joys and sorrows. Friendships and betrayals and all of it moves through a greater story which pushes the world he lives in to the brink, and eventually, possibly, over. And it’s important.

But to make it fit, to appease who I thought needed to be appeased to get it to the people I wanted to share it with, I came close to murdering it. One of the most important foundational parts of the story, book two (which needs a name) rings in at 16k right now with a lot of [this happens here] type of place holders.  Why? Because I was going to skim over it. I was thinking, oh this is the romance part, the slow-down part. This is the part people are going to yawn through. I can do flashbacks.

You see, even though I decided I was going to self pub it, I was still stuck thinking I was writing one book. I was locked into thinking that I needed to keep it small. I was trying to squeeze all of this huge, epic story into 90k. 17 (or was it 19?) years of world shaking events into 90k.

I sat in on a few conversations with some friends at FM as I mentioned in some posts over here, and my brain kinda rebelled, and melted and threw a full on tantrum (really, brain? REALLY?) but in the end it was like a sign from dog.

I sat down and did the outlines for books 1 – 3 and knew that this was right. This is the story I’m trying to tell. And it’s all important. And 90k just isn’t enough room to tell it all. And that led me to think about Crossroads (which is the grande finale to the Zander story). Which scares me because that is a friggen monster story and brain started doing the flailing again because brain realized that I KNEW, finally, that I didn’t have to stick to the old formulas anymore, and when it stopped its flailing and started calming down, it started thinking about the things I tossed as irrelevant to the story because of that whole 90k/bag-an-agent-go-trad thing. Things that were relevant. Things that need to be there.  I realize now that  Crossroads will be two books (I *might* divide it three ways, I’m not sure yet).

DC – stop laughing. I can hear you. Even now, through the screen I can HEAR you laughing. Stop it NOW. -.-

**clears throat**

The FM crowd, they make fun of me. My plotbunnies breed.

And you know what really bothers me? How much I have let myself be held back by traditional publishing myths. I have a lot of stories to write. I have a lot of stories to tell. Many of them, oh so many of them in Zander’s world. Zander isn’t the only character in his world that I adore. There’s Auron, Michael, Kale, Shaderunner, Rune, Tayek, Nyhavi, Tienovey(though there is a lot of Tien in Zander’s story) Ivonnova (still trying to decide on the spelling there), Caladorn, Eric(name change imminent), Brent, Uralko and so on. But without Zander’s tale, I just can’t tell the others. His is the foundation. Why? Ask brain, I just write 😉

How much further, would I have been if I had realized sooner that I didn’t have to keep it under a certain size?

You know what really makes me wonder? What other things are going to come up that are holding me back in little ways?

I can say this, (hours after I wrote all that up there)  I started reading ZBK1 today (I know I just finished it yesterday) and I found myself loving it. Just loving it. It’s rough, it needs work, and I see where I need to tweak things and I found some typos I need to fix. But I love it.

I love the words I finished working on yesterday. I don’t hate them. Another myth bites the dust.


This is why I took Angela James Before You Hit Send workshop. Seriously, worth every penny I spent on it, and if she puts it out in a book form I’m so buying it. Awesome, awesome workshop.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter