The Podcast

I don’t know why I insist on doing things that give me mini-panic attacks. It’s like I can’t help myself.

I started a podcast. I’ve been thinking about doing so for several months. It’s called Authors Read, and if all goes as planned, if people actually want to be on it, it’s going to consist of authors reading short excerpts from their books.

I’ve been working on the first episode on and off for the last month or so while I’ve been tweaking my whole recording environment and process for the audiobooks. I made the mistake of doing the first episode myself, which kicked off a fantastic downward spiral of nitpicking of every little thing. Sometimes I wish my perfectionism actually resulted in perfection.


Here’s the link to the episode on Podbean

If you’d like to be on it, the contact form is at this link.

The podcast isn’t on itunes quite yet, but it should be once they appprove it.


Emerging from Hibernation?

Hey-o! I have been SO lazy lately. The urge to curl up in my house and hibernate until spring is real and true.

But I did finish a rough draft manuscript today, so yay! It was my nano project, and this version is complete at about 71,000 words. Yeah, it’s kind of short. Most of my stuff is. That’s okay because it makes it easier for me to wrangle.

I questioned my decisions a lot during the writing of this thing, especially toward the end. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

For instance, there was one point in which I was really on the fence about whether a character should die. The death would make sense during the course of the story. But I couldn’t bear to kill that person off, and then I felt bad about not killing them off. I wondered if I was letting my feelings get in the way of what the story should be.

Then, with another character that actually did die, they did so off camera. They were just kind of found dead. Should I have done more with that? It made sense in the story, for the body to be found, given the chaotic situation that was going on at that time. If this story happened in real life, such a thing would be entirely possible if not probable, but books aren’t real life.

I’ll have some time to mull things over before I circle back to edit this one.


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Sad Kitty Tomato is Sad


Movie: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Have you ever had one of those days that technology just wants to smack you around a bit? That’s been my whole day, battling uphill against the stuff not working, and as I type this, there is an internet outage. I actually have to use my phone as a hotspot to post this. I also can’t play Destiny 2, which displeases me greatly.

But enough whining. I have a movie post! I haven’t done one in quite some time, but I feel strongly about this movie.

Valerian is based on a French comic book that I never heard of before I watched the movie. It’s also directed by Luc Besson, the same guy that directed The Fifth Element, which is one of my favorite movies. Here’s a quick description from IMDB.


“A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.”

Like The Fifth Element, Valerian is colorful and funny. The action scenes and the special effects are very well done. The characters aren’t as endearing as the ones in The Fifth Element, but they have their merits.

The acting was mostly decent. All in all, the movie was exactly what I hoped it would be: butt-kicking, fun scifi.

I might need to check out the comic book.


Back on the Audio Horse

Okay. I started recording a new audiobook today. I made it down to my chilly, makeshift sound studio and got the thing done. I still have to edit it, of course. That’s always the far bigger thing.

I think I lost my narrator that signed on for Destined for Darkness. The book was supposed to be finished by the end of October, and she has vanished into thin air. That’s the 2nd audiobook narrator I’ve lost.

Look, cats and kittens, if you want to get into audiobook narration, that’s fine and dandy. There isn’t much of a barrier to entry for auditioning. Know what you’re getting into so you don’t waste someone’s time getting involved in a contract that someone will later have to beg ACX to cancel. That’s not fun. It causes delays and is, in fact, quite annoying.


Given that I don’t have thousands of dollars to drop into audiobook production (it typically runs about $200 per finished hour), this is going to come down to me, myself, and I getting ‘er done.

So I’m working on Beneath Oceans of Sky right now. Then when/if…no when (it must be when) that’s done, I’m going to work on Love and the Dark and/or The Blood of Guardians.

I figure one chapter at a time probably won’t be too bad. I just need to make sure that I edit each chapter before I start the next one so I don’t have 1000 hours of editing ahead of me at the end of recording.  *shudders to think*



Gardeners vs. Architects

I was watching some writing lecture videos today and found these Brandon Sanderson lecture bits. I watched about 5 of them, and I like them very much.

The one below is about gardeners and architects. Basically, if you outline your story in advance like I do, you’re an architect. If you prefer to start writing without a plan, you’re a gardener.

Sanderson does a good job of describing the difference between them and the drawbacks of each approach. Personally, I plan to remain an architect, but to each his/her own.

OMG is this all she does?

She just like redesigns her covers over and over again?


This is the last redesign for a while. This one is for Love and the Dark. Leftie is old cover. Rightie is new cover. I might still brighten the graphics on it. They might be a smidge too dark.

another-dark-forest-cover      Love and the Dark cover

I didn’t totally despise the old cover, but the new one is more dramatic. I think this may be the first time that I did a whole cover from start to finish in Photoshop. I usually bounce back and forth between Fireworks and Photoshop.

The new design involved a lot of thinking and sketching. I knew I wanted blood, roses, and a gun. My original thought was that I would have the gun sitting in a puddle of blood with the roses above it and then petals falling from them, into the puddle. That didn’t really work out. It was probably too complex for my skill level.

Anyway, the roses are actually a photo of some roses the hubby got me for my birthday. Now they shall live FOREVER!

The print edition will be updated at some point. I thought it would be cool to put the same roses on the back  cover, only flip them so the blooms are right side up and the stems are at the bottom of the book cover, then maybe have the blood drops above blooms.

NaNoWriMo 2017. Thing Completed.

I have completed the thing! Current word count: 50,039. That was a whole bunch of words. I was behind up until yesterday. I never did manage to get ahead a day, but I finished, so I’ll take that.

I worked the fastest on my phone/bluetooth keyboard setup. It was functional enough for me to type but not functional enough that it was easy to switch over to something that distracted me. Whenever I tried to type on the laptop, I couldn’t seem to fight the urge to check on things, email and other projects, etc.

I entered my word count on the Nano website to make it all official-like. I had to paste the text of the book into a window, so that they could verify that I reached the word count. I don’t remember having to do that before. I thought it was interesting.

Once I did that, the nanowrimo site granted me this certificate graphic thing.


And there was this video, which may actually be the nerdiest thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life. I say that with love.

The book is not finished yet. I plan to work on it through the weekend and hopefully finish by Monday. I probably have another 5-10,000 words left in the story.

Boom. Completion.