Newness

But not writing newness. I redesigned the cover for Love and the Dark. Wanna see it? Of course you do! Otherwise, you probably would’ve moved on to the next cat video by now instead of continuing to read this nonsense.

So, here’s what the first cover looked like in case you didn’t see it.

dark thumbnail

Honestly, it’s not that great of a cover. It’s okay. I’ve definitely seen worse. I’ve seen much, much better. I’ve never been overly fond of it. I think that I reached the end of the book project, and I was ready to be done with it.

Despite my lack of love for this cover, I did attempt to use it for the print edition and then promptly changed my mind. As a front cover, it’s functional, but I couldn’t figure out how to handle the back cover in a way that looked halfway professional. It was bad.

So I proceeded with 4 redesigns. None of those worked. Into the recycle bin they went. Okay, not really. I kept all of them. I’m a digital hoarder. What can I say?

I settled on this one mostly for mood and color.

another dark forest cover

It isn’t live everywhere yet, but it will be soon. The print edition should be out in the next 2 -3 weeks if all goes as planned.

That’s it for now. Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lately

Hey, what’s up? I have pictures of things. Last week, the boy was at Boy Scout camp all week. The girl works all the time and the husband often takes evening naps. That left me with a crazy amount of alone time. Most of that was spent playing Skyrim (ESO online, which is not technically called Skyrim but I call it Skyrim anyway) and hanging out with the animals.

The in-house animal population currently consists of Sneaker the cat and Merlin, the girl’s bearded dragon. There’s also a fish (the Captain) but he’s in my daughter’s room, therefore not in a location to be good company.

I feel bad for Merlin. He hangs out in his cage and sleeps a lot. He really likes snuggles, and I think it makes him sad to be alone so much. Yes, a lizard enjoys snuggles. He curls up like a little, scaly cat, and falls asleep on a person or near a person. It’s pretty much adorable.

Not only does he like snuggles, he enjoys watching trees. I got him out one night to feed him and decided to give him a window seat.

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Then Sneaker came in and started nosing around his chair. She knew he was up there, so she didn’t want to actually jump up onto the chair. I got her a chair of her own and put her on it. This was the scene.

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They hung out in this way for about half an hour. It was strange and funny and made being almost alone a bit more tolerable.

Current writing status: making notes for a book/novella that I should not be writing at this moment because I have other, more important things to write. Writing is the most fun when I feel like I should be working on something else.

Day of Many Words

I hope everyone in the US had a lovely holiday weekend. I did! There was a lot of socializing, which wore me out (#introvert), but it was a good time. After parties on 2 out of 3 days and a 1-day writing retreat, I had no energy left.

The writing retreat (hosted by The Geeky Press in Indy) was really good, long, but good. I was proofreading and I got through about a third of the book (20,000 words). I was pleased with my productivity and pleased with the state of the book. It’s in weirdly good shape for a first draft.

I was also pleased with the fanciness of the place. I took a few pictures. If you click on a picture, I think it should pull up a slideshow.

 

Most of the attendees were female, like all but 2. I then wondered if most authors in general were women and then I thought about the books I read. They’re almost all written by male authors.

I wonder why this is. It isn’t a conscious decision. When I decide whether a book is worth my time, gender is not a factor. I have never put down a book because it was written by a lady.

I will say that I don’t read overly girly books. I prefer fantasy, thriller, horror, that kind of deal. So, that genre preference might be a bit of a factor.

I decided I need to read more books written by women, and I would like to encourage other people to do the same. Ladies can write, too. I’m going to find 3 new lady authors who write the kind of books I want to read, because I should really be more supportive of my own gender and because I need to broaden my horizons.

Recommendations are welcome!

Friday Bloggin

The weather this week has been SO much better, not as much heat, not as much humidity. As much as I like summer, I don’t do very well in the heat.

I had run-ins with wildlife this week. I was bitten on the face by a flying ant (an unprovoked attack, I assure you.) and a pair of baby bunnies fell into the basement window well. Here’s a picture for you to awwww…

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Those 2 characters in the background are part of our zombie gnome collection.

I got the bunnies out using a bucket and I was careful not to touch them but one did jump over me and into my basement. It dashed around and then under a couch. The other one did not escape into the house but he did panic and then bonk his head on the window as he tried to run away. Poor babies! I was glad they weren’t dead this time. We find dead bunnies in there sometimes and that is both sad and disgusting.

We really need to cover that window well with a screen or something.

I finished the read-through of the 2nd AnnaBeth book today. I made some much needed adjustments and changes and hopefully did not screw anything new up in the process. It will get a run through spellcheck and maybe another read-through before I release the 2nd edition of the print book.

Now, the next project is the first read-through of the third and last AnnaBeth book. I hope it’s in good shape. I feel like it might be.

I plan to make a deliciously large dent in that task this weekend while I’m on my one-day writing retreat. That’s right! I am attending a writing function during which other writers will be present. I have never done this before. I’m kind of excited about it.

This is where I’m going –

columbia club

It’s called the Columbia Club and it looks super fancy. I’m actually not sure if I’m fancy enough to be there. I guess we’ll find out! I’ll try to snap a couple of better pictures when I’m there if I can do it without looking overly touristy or like I don’t get out much. I actually don’t get out much, incidentally, but that’s beside the point.

If this goes well, if I get make great leaps and bounds of productivity, I might try to do something similar on my own. I could always hide in the basement for a weekend day and demand that the children and the husband leave me be. Would they actually do it? I do not know.

That’s it for now. Catch ya later.

Bookstravaganza

I’ve been deeply immersed in a book extravaganza the last few weeks. It has been great, and I think I really needed it. These are some of the books I’ve been reading and listening to:

Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld
Goliath, Scott Westerfeld (started listening to this one today)
How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, Orson Scott Card (haven’t finished this one yet)
Part of an unreleased book by a friend

I think that’s it. Oh, and I’ve been reading through the 2nd AnnaBeth book that came out in 2012. I wanted to fix a couple of typos I knew were in there and make sure the story in book 3 (not yet released) lines up properly.

My writing style has improved since then. There’s actually a lot about book 2 that I don’t like. I know I probably shouldn’t say stuff like that if I want to sell books, but it’s true.

If I wrote that book now, it would look very different, not so much the basic story or the characters. I’m okay with those. And I’m not going to offer specifics about what I don’t like because I don’t want to color anyone’s opinion before they even read the thing.

I won’t worry about trying to fix too much of it now, aside from the typos and small things. I do wish I had written the 3rd book sooner, because the writing is different.

So, next up after this little read-through is the 3rd book, which I would like to have out by the end of the year.

books

The Errant Book Child

Hey! How are things? Well, I hope.

I finished another rough draft of a book, well, almost. I have a scene or two left, but more or less, it is done. It’s a short, middle-grade book that I thought would be an easy project.

Turns out, it wasn’t. Writing it was like dealing with a kid that just won’t go to sleep, and when you finally get them to lie down, they do so somewhere weird, like the bathtub.

I’m a big believer in letting a thing be what it wants to be, but in this case, I need to use a heavier hand, which makes me worry about the book as a whole. I think the concept and the bones of the story are okay.

The execution just lacks the level of emotion and detail it needs to be good. I’ve been going through some stuff lately, so my emotional and mental energy have probably been affected. I need to find a way to recharge, and that’s going to involve a somewhat significant break from writing. If I’m not at my best then I’m just creating more work for myself down the road.

So, yeah, new writings are on hold for a while, at least a month, except for maybe some blogging. 

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quick writing updates

Writing has been rough lately. I do have a book that I’m working on that I planned to churn out as quickly as possible, but it turns out my notes weren’t as good as I thought they were before I started.

The way has been a little uphill, but I am getting there. I love the story. It has an awesome title, which I am not yet ready to share, but henceforth, I’ll call it “Oceans” on the blog.

Current word count is about 15000 words. I should finish the rough draft before the end of April if all goes well. Then I’ll have 2 rough drafts done this year so far. Not bad for just April, even if I do say so myself.

I’m also going to work on getting print copies of Love and the Dark together. People have been asking for it, and by people, I mean my mimaw. I’ve been lazy about the print book and some other things, like audiobooks. I have way too much that I’ve been putting off.

Does anyone want to be my unpaid assistant? No? Darn. That never works.

While I’m on here, I would like to apologize to the person who bought Llewyn’s Faith on Amazon the other day. I appreciate the business. I actually need more of it, but that story is currently not in the best condition. I’m actually in the process of fixing a few typos that shouldn’t have made it that far.

If you are that person and you’re all like what the crap is this crap? Then please message me and I will send you the fixed version plus one of my other books of your choice for free.

I do plan to rerelease Llewyn’s Faith on a wider distribution once it’s fixed. It’s only listed on Amazon at the moment.

That’s all for now. Later, gators.

writer author fiction book