Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Wordy Weekend

Hurray for Friday! (Or Saturday, rather, since it's almost midnight) I'm thoroughly jazzed the weekend is here. Although I still can't ride in a car (the jarring around puts me in horrible pain), I'm able to get around the house fairly well. In the morning the guys are heading off to the Sunshine Festival, and it's a bummer I can't go. However, the guys have promised me that if the gator booth is open this year, they'll bring home some fried alligator on a stick - with dipping sauce, of course! ☺

For the past few days I've been enjoying all the Indie Recon posts. There are videos still posted for authors to check out when convenient. To find them, simply check the IndieRecon hashtag on twitter, or do a google search for Indie Recon 2015. There's a lot to take in. 

I read through part of the vamp manuscript today, and made a few notes on what's there and what isn't. After a while I switched over to working on the final revisions for Moonlight and Shadows. It's almost ready to be sent off to the formatter. I'll be thrilled to have it back in print, but I'm a little concerned about what to do with it when it's ready to go. I'm torn over how to price and distribute it. I'm playing around with the idea of offering it up for Kindle Select, and then enrolling it in the Kindle Unlimited program. As a reader, I love the Unlimited program; however, I've never tested it out from an author's side of the equation. I've heard horror stories - poor reader response, a pittance for royalties, some books taking a steep plunge in sales after doing well off the program, etc. Then again, Moonlight and Shadows is so short, I'm sure that I'll have a lot of reads and returns, anyway. That's the sucky part about writing and selling short stories, especially since Amazon makes it so easy to return ebooks. Either way, I'm going to try not to worry about it too much. I'll cross the distribution bridge when I get to it.  

Over the weekend, I hope to get some more revision done, and then check a book or two off my TBR stack. I bought a handful of a next books this afternoon to keep me entertained while the guys are doing their thing. Anyway, that's all for now... I need to hit the hay. So until next time, happy wishes. ☺

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Breathing Easier

Whew! Deep breath! I haven't been to my blog in a while. I'm feeling better. (Again. Yes, I know. I had a relapse.) It's been a rough three months, but I'm having a good day today so I'm going to enjoy it. I'm not in pain right now, so that's a blessing all its own. *does the slippery socks dance*

Oldest is home from Bahrain, and home to stay. Well, at least until he figures out what he wants to do, where he wants to go, etc. etc. For now, we're enjoying a full household again: hubby, both boys, and me. Plus all the fur family members. I haven't been able to lounge around the living room with everyone yet, but I've been hobbling through there every so often, so I can see everyone and socialize.

Some of the worst of the worst stuff lingering from last year has finally wrapped up, our taxes are done, and I'm actually able to move around without screaming in agony. The overall picture: I'm finally breathing a sigh of relief. What's that popular saying? If you're going through the fire, don't stop, run so you can get through it as fast as you can. Something like that, anyway. That's my life right now. I'm running as fast as I can, trying to get somewhere better. I'm long overdue!

Last week, or maybe it was the week before, I managed to finish my new book. This is amazing, since I haven't been able to sit at a computer for several months now. Just in the past few weeks I've moved the laptop into the bedroom so I can tinker around with some words. I wrote a lot of the book on my phone, my ipod, and my kindle, and then emailed the pieces to myself. What a chore! But, I managed to piece it together. The book hovered around at the 30-40k mark for the longest time, but I finally broke through that barrier. It still needs work, but the draft is done and I have that big writerly heap of word clay to work with. I've been picking through it, trying to judge what's in there, what needs to be cut, what needs to be added in, etc.

While working on the novel, I also began cleaning up Crossing Borders to release on Smashwords. I've decided to add a considerable amount of story to it, and I've written several new scenes already. I like direction it's going, and I think it will resolve some old questions still left standing. Stuff I didn't realize I hadn't answered as a newbie writer. I'm also going to bring Seth more to the forefront, since I get a lot of questions about him. He's not the evil guy he's made out to be...just overprotective. I want to reinforce that in the book.

Anyway, I was thinking in broad terms about the series, and I believe it will be the best for the series overall if expand most of the books, repackage them as singles, and then as an omnibus. Then I ned to let them go. *dust in the wind*

When I'm a top form and can get back to my writing desk, I'm going to have plenty of revising and editing work to do on multiple books, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Another thing I'm looking forward to is PIZZA. Oh my god, I haven't been able to eat pizza since...January?  Maybe longer? Once I'm back to rights, that is the first thing I'm going to do - order a pizza. Canadian bacon with black olives, please! I can hardly wait! ☺

That's all for now. Until next time, happy wishes! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rest and Writing

I'm feeling a bit better, finally! It's a challenge not to take off full speed and try to catch up on missed time, but I really have to take it easy. I don't want to end up back at square one. I don't think I could survive another month off my feet.

I took a couple days off writing last week. I couldn't sit at the computer for even five minutes without hurting all over. After about the third day, on the brink of going stir crazy, I moved my computer into the bedroom so I could work on my novel. Having the computer in here with me is a nice change, and yesterday, I managed to bump the story over the 30k mark.

I've kept my Kindle Fire close by as well. I've been Facebooking and Twittering that way. I actually prefer it. I've also kept the KF loaded with books, and yes, I'm still using Kindle Unlimited. Personally, I love the program. I can say that as a reader, but I know nothing about it from the writerly side of things, so don't quote me. The point is, I'm reading like a fiend, and lately I've been working my way through all the Richard Laymon books that I wanted to read but could never get my hands on. A couple of those books, after reading them in ebook format, I bought them in paper editions. I'm still waiting on Night in the Lonesome October to get here. I read it a couple of weeks ago and wasn't sure I liked it at first, but what kept coming to mind was the way it was written. The way the characters are presented on the page. I liked that about it, so I ordered a keeper copy for my bookshelf.

I'm a big fan of non-fiction and writerly craft books, too, and there are a ton of them on Unlimited. The thing is finding the good ones. I've picked up some that were excellent, others that, not so much. I'm currently reading a book called Sentence Xpert. Or something like that. I thought it would be a list of sentence variations, but really it's more or less taking sentences from popular books like The Joy Luck Club, stripping them down, and analyzing their structure. That's a totally Virgo thing to do with them, so I like it. Fascinating stuff.

That's all I've got for now. I'm about to take command of the kitchen and forage for some eats. Until next time, wishing you all the best. Oh...and Happy St. Patrick's Day! ♣ 

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Breaking the 20k Barrier

Tomorrow I'm making an appointment with the gastroenterologist in Ruston. I've been sick, feverish, and in the worst kind of pain for well over a week. I spent most of yesterday and today lounging around feeling like crap, running a temp, etc. It hurts just to stand up. Clearly the pain is not going to go away on it's own, so it's time to call it in and find out what's wrong and what can be done about it.

About two hours ago, I took a dose of pain mediation that's so old it's a wonder moths didn't fly out of the bottle when I opened it. We never cull the medicine cabinet; everything sort of accumulates and then goes to rot in there. Or the label blanches and falls off the medicine bottle so I no longer know what the pills are for. That's when I toss them out.

I hate taking pain medication - hate, with a passion - because it always makes me feel queasy. Even after I gave birth to MiniBeast, via c-section, I ditched the prescribed pain pills and took over the counter Tylenol instead. Well, earlier tonight, I broke my no pain meds rule. I was hurting so bad I took a ten year old Loritab. I'm stunned it had any effect at all, but it did. Thank goodness for that, otherwise I wouldn't be able to sit here and type this blog post. I do feel a bit queasy from it, sadly. Still it's better than lounging around crying in pain.

I did very little writing today. It hurts too much to sit at the computer. Instead, I camped out with a heating pad and finished reading Richard Laymon's The Beast House. He's one of my favorite authors of all time. His books tend to be hit or miss, and they're chock full of rape scenes (which I prefer to skip), but I love his writing style anyway. Even his "bad" books. I've learned a lot about writing from reading his work. I've learned more from him that probably from any other author. That said, his beast house series is pretty good. I've read The Cellar, and now The Beast House. I have one more book in the set left to read. I'll see if I can pick up a copy to read next weekend.

Yesterday, I got a couple thousand words down. I'm back over the 20k mark after losing all my data via the untimely death of my old PC. I'm glad the story is growing again.

Unlike my other books, the project I'm currently working on goes off into some dark and unsettling directions. I love the characters, and they love each other; however, I don't think this is going to be a Cora Zane book, in the sense that it is a dark romance. Yes, the story has romance in it, but truthfully, it's more of a horror/supernatural thriller. Instead trying to reign it in to appease the genre, I've decided to let it be what it will be.

I haven't decided yet whether I want to publish this new novel myself, or submit it to a few places first. Whatever route I choose to take, I'm pretty sure I'll be pubbing this one under a different name for branding reasons. Just an FYI for anyone curious. Whatever I chose to do with it, I'll share the news here when the time is right. I typed that as "write" then changed it. See where my mind is?

That's all for now. Until next time, happy wishes! ☺

Thursday, March 05, 2015

More Snow, More Writing

Today was another snow day. At this rate, the kids are going to have to go to school until June to make up for all the lost time. I don't remember the schools ever letting kids out this many days due to winter weather.

Wednesday actually started out sunny and warm. We ran the air conditioner for a while, then around 4 p.m., the temperature began to drop. We knew it was supposed to be cold over night, so I rushed around and turned on all the heaters.

I woke up around three a.m. and winds were slamming ice against the back of the house. It sounded like someone trying to scratch their way inside through the windows. For hours sleet raked across the exterior and the screen door. I listened to it until I fell back asleep. When I woke up a few hours later, the winds had died down and the yard was blanketed in ice.

Mini had no school due to the ice accumulation, and Hubby was home most of the day sleeping since he's working nights. It's been cozy and quiet here around the house. Uneventful. Mini played computer games on and off, and I worked on my novel. That's about the gist of it.

This weekend we have a lot of tidying and rearranging to do. Oldest is on his way home in a few weeks, and we've rearranged the house since he was last here. I suspect we'll have to pick a day and hit it hard. Arrange furniture, etc. Then rest. I can't afford to overdo it right now.

Aside from that, all is calm. All is well. I'm looking forward to the weekend. Until then...back to writing. •

Friday, February 27, 2015

Snow No More

After several days of ice and snow, it's mostly melted now. Nothing left but a few patches in the yard. Boohoo. It was great fun while it lasted, though. Mini wasn't jazzed about returning to school today at all, but I managed to get him dressed and out the door without too much whining and carrying on. I admit I loved the snow break, too. I stayed busy reading and writing and making a list of the things I need to do before Oldest gets home. He's back in the states and will be home with us in a few weeks. What he decides to do from that point forward, we'll have to wait and see.

Yesterday I managed to get roughly 2800 words written. My weekly total is sitting at just over 11k. I'm very happy with those numbers, and I'm looking to add to that amount after lunch. The main thing is to keep the story moving forward. So far, so good.

That's it for now. I should know in about an hour if Hubby has maxed out his work time for the week. If he has, he'll be home a bit early. I hope he has. We'll get to kick off the weekend early. ☺

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tracking Expedition

CharlieCat has the right idea.
A Sunday snoozefest. ☺
Last night I worked on my novel for a couple of hours. I wrote about a thousand words and took a ton of notes for future scenes - scene sketches, basically. I have a total crush on my main character. It's been a while since that has happened for me!  A good sign, for sure.☺

Today's order of business: I have a couple of scenes I want to add in with what's already there, but I think I'm going to have to use a spreadsheet to keep track of where everyone is at what moment. I've never had to do that before, so I'm kind of browsing around the internet for suggestions. Easy suggestions, nothing too complicated. Nothing complicated like a plotting system. Just a way to keep track of my characters while I'm writing.

In the meantime, I'm moving on with this thing. My characters have hit their stride. •