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**

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2013 Winding Down

2013 is almost over, and I have to say, writing-wise, I didn’t do as much as I’d planned. But what’s done is done and I’m not going to beat myself over the head about it. I’m still writing, and that’s a lot more than a lot of ‘writers’ these days. I’m putting together a 2014 business plan atm, will post it as soon as it’s more than a vague idea.

Dean Wesley Smith has a 2013 wrapup over here which I thought was very interesting.

I hope you all have a great Christmas (If you celebrate it), Yule, Winter Solstice, etc.

 

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December is here

Where did the year go? Rhetorical question, I’m not expecting an answer :P. So I did hit the nano words and my brain decided that Dmitri was going to go to sleep and Zander promptly started whispering at me. 0.o

Something that I noticed, post nano. I don’t seem to have the post nano brain-dead. I think it’s because writing has become such an integral part of my day (yes my DAY) that writing 50k really isn’t all that big a deal. Looking over my records on writing, I seem to have the greatest monthly output, wordwise, in feb, march and april. Interesting (imo).

I was fiddling with a program called Aeon Timeline to set up the timeline for the Zander stories. Mind you I’ve tried a number or programs and most timeline ones limit the dates. This thing is effing awesome. The world Zander lives on and the time frames in this world are VAST. This program allows me to set up my own date/calendar system. My OCD is very happy with this. VERY happy.

I managed to do the timeline for Books 1-3 and then Zander/Talia’s part of bk 4 and was starting to work on the timeline for the forensic fantasy part of bk 4 when I realized that I needed the name of a character, I couldn’t for the LIFE of me remember his name. So I did something I shouldn’t have done. I opened up my backup files and started skimming through old versions of Crossroads. -.- I am kindof surprused how well it holds up. YES there are issues, and no I don’t think I’d be able to edit it to fit into the new plot/timeline. But some of those scenes are golden. Just golden.

Anyways, I’m back to plugging away on the Zander story, I want to finish bk 2 before Jan 1st. Anyways this sat on my computer for way too long. Hope yall are having a good december so far.

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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.

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Summer Wrap Up

Well writing wise that was slightly disappointing. But I do tend to expect too much from myself. I think, starting next summer, I’ll just suspend big writing goals during the summer. There’s just too much going on.

The kids have been in school for a week, I’ve been catching up on housework and stuff. And wrapping up a badly overdue story (I’m sorry DC!!!). One thing I have managed to do is finally jump and start studying Russian. Why Russian? Why not? I love it. I really do.

Self Pubbing:
I haven’t put out a new project in months. I haven’t been focused on it. For multiple reasons. It’s time to jump back in the saddle so to speak, which means I have some catching up to do. What I was doing a year and a half ago might not be the best methods to get it done (I’m talking formatting here). I have some things I need to wrap up(stories/editing/books), and I need to update covers. I need to overhaul the web-page, put together a reasonable (and do-able) publishing schedule. I love the possibilities we have these days, even if it’s a touch overwhelming.

In the next week or so I’ll be working on research, cover-updates (mainly with the earlier ones) and wrapping up the Inside the Author’s Mind series, and figuring out what needs to get tackled next.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend (If you’re in the USA)!

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Holy Crap

Where has the summer gone?  That was a rhetorical question, no need to actually answer LOL.

So I’ve thinking. Lots of thinking, and I realized I need to sit down and re-plan everything. From next projects, to releases, to covers, even to this website. It all needs an overhaul. I feel like I need to ‘Go back to the beginning’  and re-learn everything. There have been changes to the self pubbing world and I need to catch up.

I have many projects, some would say too many, and my writing tapered off a bit over the past year because of that dreaded real life thing. Last post I listed off my To-Do list.  So here it is again:

~Get the Inside the Author’s Mind collection together. By sept 1st running out of time on this. have a couple more stories to go write up for it. may push the date back to the 15th.
~Write up SOMETHING for the FM Anthology; By Aug 15  Still working on this. I have idea, just getting it down. Yes the deadline passed. It whistled loudly as it went by. **sigh**
~Finish Zander BK1 (before Oct?)
~Finish The Fallen
~Finish editing E1 and start putting it up either here and/or Wattpad. Still debating this one. On one hand I think it would be really cool, on the other…. i dunno.
~Write Zander bk2
~Finish E2
~Write up the Zombie christmas thing before christmas THIS year 😛
~Write up E3 – E7
~Write Zander bk 3-5
~Write CoB series
~Don’t forget the Friday Flash stuff
~Breathe

Adding:
~Overhaul covers do a typo check in works already up (I’m paranoid)
~Re-organize website & blogging schedule

I need to rethink summers. In this house, with as many kids as I have, writing just doesn’t happen. I think next summer I’ll just go on hiatus for the summer. Stressing about writing on top of everything else… it just isn’t a good situation.

There’s more, but I’m drawing a blank. Hope yall are doing well. School starts next monday. I’m a mite bit excited. 😛

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Monday Morning

I wanted to do a Sunday Serenity post yesterday, but I was so serene I napped on the couch while watching River Monsters! LOL

Today’s agenda (because I really know yall want to know) are to run a couple errands, clean my living room carpet, and write. Just waiting on the bank to open so I can go.  Am thinking of putting together some research links for fellow writers, but for now I just don’t have the time. Anyways, here’s a vid for you, have a great Monday!

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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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Memorial Day

For those of us in the USA, we take this day to remember the men and women who have served, are serving, and have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy.

 

memorial day

 

Thank you.

Seriously I cannot listen to this song without crying.

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Moore, Ok

My dad’s side of the family is in the Oklahoma City area. Yesterday I got a frantic call from my mother, who lives SE of Tulsa, OK, informing me that a 2 mile wide tornado was on the ground and going through Moore Oklahoma. Going along a very similar path that the ’99 tornado took. My aunt is a HS teacher in Moore, and I believe my uncle teaches HS or Middle School though I could be wrong. Yesterday I spent several hours on FB, txting and making phone calls to see who had checked in, who was all right.

Everyone is alive and accounted for. Their homes are still standing.

But there are so many who were not as fortunate. I see pictures and hear of the children in the school… I had to turn off the news yesterday and all the tension and worry collaborated, and jumped me, and I went to bed early. I slept a full 12 hours.

Today I’m watching fb, seeing my relatives posts and giving encouragement. Thankful that my family, though I’m not close to them, was spared. Saddened for the families who lost members, pets, houses. And Thankful, so very thankful that my darling hubs moved us out of tornado alley.

For my midwest readers, please take precautions, have a plan of action and go over it with your family frequently in case of severe weather. Update your plan of action, make sure you have emergency supplies and rotate them to keep them fresh. Be safe.

KTUL.com – Tulsa, Oklahoma – News, Weather
According to Weather.com, there is supposed to be more severe weather today. Stay aware folks.

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Oklahoma

In 2001, right before 9/11, I moved myself and small children to Oklahoma. It was a difficult move, a difficult situation and as a California girl I was in culture shock for years. Living in Tornado Alley taught me a different kind of fear. I love thunderstorms. I hate tornadoes. It was a goal to move out of Tornado Alley as quickly as I could manage. 11 years later I finally did.

Last night, though, I found myself watching weather channel updates and skimming my FB for my OK family’s check ins. I was saddened by the report that an entire neighborhood in Shawnee was wiped off the map.

And I feel justified for the decision to get the hell out of dodge.

My heart goes out to the people affected by the tornadoes  in OK, KS and the other Tornado Alley states. The weather isn’t going to be much better today, from what I’ve seen. Be safe people. Be aware. Know your escape routes, keep a weather radio on hand.

Tornado Safety page on the Weather Channel http://www.weather.com/safety/tornadoes/tornadoes-safety-before-20120330

NOAA Weather Radio web site http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/

And….be safe.

 

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Onward and Upward

I finished marking up the hardcopy of The Fallen and today the plan is to start inputting the changes into the story itself. I’m hoping I can have it done before the 15th but unless life slows down (hahahaha) that will be unlikely. I’ll shoot for the 20th.

Yesterday I wrote out a bit of a scene for Crown of Bones, and while the scene in my head was very clear, the scene I wrote kinda…meh. BUT I love the characters, I love the situation, and I know when I finally tackle that story it’ll come together. **happy sigh**

I’m currently taking a workshop called Before You Hit Send put on by Angela James. A buddy of mine on twitter took it and recommended it to another buddy of mine. It just started today, and I’m uber excited about it. I think it will go a long way in helping me with my self editing. I think I’ll use E1 for this workshop. It needs to be edited before I start putting it up as a serial. I really hope I take away a lot from this workshop.

Have a ninja snip from CoB  😀

“You get into the oddest predicaments.”

Ok I’ve got mundane stuff and revision stuff to do. Have a good monday!

 

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Monday

IT is a monday.

Boy is it a monday.

 

I have three kids home from school with the three little ones home.

Last week I knocked out outlines for Elemental Wars books 2 through 6, working on 7’s outline right now which is giving me a few problems. Having kids home isn’t helping. Last night one of the toddlers was up crying off and on all night. No fever, no booboos , just… crying. So I’m groggy. I usually do one cup of coffee in the morning a day. I’m on my third **shudders** I really don’t like the flavor.

Anyways. Time to Bring It P90X style then catch up on housework and do some cleaning in the basement. Sometimes that jogs lose all sorts of stuff writing wise.

 

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