Misc Updates

Hey, guys! I feel like I haven’t been on the blog much lately. My workload has been utter insanity, and while I like being busy, I’d be okay with it cooling off for a while. However, as soon as it did cool off, I’d probably get excited about some other project and dive right in…like the podcast I’ve been thinking about starting. Everything I’m working on simultaneously feels like too much and never enough. 

I’m still making the 45 minute to an hour drive into and working at the day job, proofreading, occasionally writing, trying to make the publishing thing fly, blogging (mostly over at NightLark), and working on publicity for the next release there, which isn’t my book. Not one I wrote, at least. The crazy thing is that I think I’m better at promoting someone else’s work than I am at promoting my own. The effort is more consistent, which is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time.


It’s good because better/more consistent promotion usually equates to better sales. It’s bad because I’m doing things for this book that I should’ve done for all of my own books, and I know that. While putting this thing together, I neglected my own work. And that’s my fault. I should’ve found a way to manage my time more effectively. I am getting better, though, I think…I hope.


I have found that habits are magic. Whether they’re good magic or bad magic depends on the habit.


As far as my book release schedule goes for this year, I should have 2 more kids’ books out by the end of the year as long as the editing is somewhat smooth sailing. Both of those rough drafts are done. Is it weird I don’t get overly excited about finishing rough drafts anymore? I mean, I am happy they’re finished, but it’s kind of just a big step 1.


The adult series I planned to start this year will probably have to wait until next year. I do have one adult novella that I need to finish writing. That may be out around…Novemberish?? Or it could come out in the first couple of months next year. We’ll see what goes down between now and then.


Audiobooks…I’m still working on that. I have an area set up for recording. It’s much better than the setup I had before. I just need to get my rear end in there and use it!


What I really need is an assistant to follow me around and nag me until I finish all the things and also to occasionally knock the PlayStation controller out of my hand.


That’s it for now. Another toy collection post is on the way. I’m thinking Disney Villainess dolls…

Now please enjoy this picture of Bleu with 2 of his favorite things: newspapers and a box.

Pub Notes

So I’ve been trying to get this whole publishing beast to fly and mostly, with the exception of extreme delay on the first print book release, it’s going pretty well.

I’ve been reading a bunch of queries from authors lately. This is the first time I’ve ever been on this side of the query business, and I have some thoughts.

If you are an author, please pay attention to what the publisher accepts. I have seen this advice from literary agent blogs, etc and I can tell you that it’s really annoying when you open your inbox and you see a bunch of emails that do nothing but waste your time.

Also, please don’t try to query through a comment on a blog. Just…no.

Please don’t send books you already published, especially if they aren’t killing the game. Asking someone to pick up your slack after the fact is a no-go, for real. People are interested in new releases because they’re new.

Lastly, keep your book description brief and bare-bones simple. I keep getting these queries that I can barely finish reading, not because the writing is necessarily bad, there’s just way too much information. Seriously, I’m practically cross-eyed by the end of it. Whoever reads your query does not need every subplot and its cousin crammed into one email.

That’s all I have for now. I may have a new collection post tomorrow. We finished our movie and TV license plate collection, so it seems like an appropriate enough time to post it.

Now please enjoy this picture of a very long Bleu.

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Writing Updates

Despite the fact that the cold is making me want to hide in bed until spring, the writing is going pretty well. There are times that I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels, but I am making progress. I’m working more consistently than usual, which is good.

The current project is a rough draft for the sequel to the middle-grade book that’s coming out near the end of February. The first book in the series is currently in the hands of final proofreaders. I have vowed to touch it no further, except for book formatting, etc.

I’m actually launching 2 series next year: one for kids and one for adults. Did I mention that before? I can’t remember. The series for adults is going to have Gaiman-level weirdness and Evanovich-level attitude, both things that I love, so I’m really excited about it.

I also found a book that I forgot I wrote last spring. That’s normal, right? To forget you wrote a book?  That one is a kids’ book but not part of the series. I think it needs some intensive rewriting, so I might put that release off until I get both the series rocking and rolling.

And now, here is a selfie I took with Bleu. He tried to eat a cookie through a ziploc bag the other day. That incident is not pictured.

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The Corresponding Blog Post

What’s up, internetizens? I have a story today but not here. It’s actually on another blog. I’ll get to linking and such in a minute. First, some background.

I started writing this story a couple of months ago for a contest. Every once in awhile, I get this idea that I might enter a writing contest, but then I don’t. Sometimes it’s because I think whoever is running the contest is just going to pick their friends anyway, and other times, I just see something shiny and run off in another direction.

This round, my story idea was too much for the word count limit. I could’ve crammed the story into that box, but the process wouldn’t have been much fun. And if I’m not having fun, the writing is probably worse than it might’ve otherwise been. So the story hung out in my digital folder until I decided to pick it back up a couple of weeks ago.

I ended up trashing the original file and starting over.

Now, quick background on the other blog. I’m starting a publisher, my very own little venture. The first release is going to be one of my books, because if anyone should be the guinea pig, it should be me. I do plan to publish other authors, and submissions are currently open.

I’ve gone back and forth on the publishing thing for years. I’ve ended up talking myself out of it every time. I talk myself out of a lot of things, a habit I’m working to break.

It isn’t all that crazy of an idea, anyway. I have years of publishing experience with my own work, a business degree, a computer degree, a social media marketing certification. I’m not just some schmuck wandering in aimlessly off the street, and when I think about what I really want to do with my time on this big, bluish orb, books (reading and writing) are always at the front of my mind.

So, that’s what I’m up to. I plan to do it as well as I can.

The story is called Only the Moon and you can read it on the NightLark Publishing blog if you so desire. Click here for the jump.

And because what is a blog post without a picture, here’s Bleu on a newspaper.

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Random Things Lumped Together in One Blog Post

Guess what comes out tomorrow. Guess! Destiny Rise of Iron. I’ve had it preordered for a while now, so I am really, really excited to finally get to play it. There will be no evening walk or other physical activity tomorrow. If I do make dinner, it will probably be peanut butter sandwiches, because my fat butt is going to be plopped in front of the television, zoned in on a video game like the grownup child I am. YES!!!

In other news, Bleu, the new kitten, is a giant jerkface. He’s a wonderful, sweet, crazy cat child, who bolts from one end of the house to the other. He climbs the furniture and leaps from one piece to the next like it’s all his personal cat playground.

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I really forgot what having a kitten is like. I got so used to older cats, who know manners and commands, that I took all that for granted. This week, we’re working on not scratching faces because scratching faces is bad and also not sniffing visitors’ crotches. I thought that was just a dog thing. Apparently not.

We’re also working on NOT BITING CORDS. He has officially broken one mouse and the cord on a really nice pair of headphones. Luckily, the headphone cord is replaceable.

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Sorry for the blurry picture. He’s hard to catch.

I do love him, though. He is SO sweet when he isn’t running amok.

Rapid subject change. I forgot to mention the other day that I put a copy of Love and the Dark in a Little Free Library. Here’s a pic.

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Again, sorry for the crappiness of the picture. I was not on my photography game.

If you don’t know what the Little Free Library is, it’s a network of outside book boxes and people put books in and they borrow them and, hopefully, bring them back when they’re done. I plan to leave more books in other boxes, but it’s just this one for the moment.

I also got this really cool book at the library (the regular library) called A Burglar’s Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh. It’s pretty interesting. The parts that I’ve read so far have been about burglars in history. Reading it has made me decide that one of my future book characters is going to be a thief. She was going to be a journalist, but a thief posing as a journalist is way more interesting, I think.

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That’s all the randomness I have for you today. There will likely be more in the future but not tomorrow, because tomorrow is Destiny day.

Aaannd Bleu just jumped on and then knocked over the kitchen trashcan.

 

 

 

 

 

A Broken Car, a Flooded Basement, a Dead Tree Book, and a New Kitty, But Not in that Order

The last few days have been crazy and weird, good but not all good. Over the weekend, we adopted a new kitten, had a car break down, and our basement flooded. The flood and the car weren’t too bad. The car issue was quickly resolved. The basement flood was not. We still have some very wet carpet.

And it’s still raining, so my whole life feels a little waterlogged at the moment. Drive to work in the rain, listen to the rain all day, drive home in the rain, worry about wet basement when I get home. Rain, rain, rain. I think I need an ark.

The new baby is very sweet. We picked him up from the animal shelter in Indy on Friday. They were overcrowded and having a special. We have been thinking about getting a new cat anyway, so this was a good opportunity.

Here he is.

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His name is Bleu. He is very, very sweet. As I was trying to pet the cat in the cage diagonal from his, he was reaching through the bars for me.

He is  also very, very energetic. He bolts from one side of the house to the other and climbs furniture and jumps on tables and knocks things off. He’s a curious boy and currently gets into everything. We haven’t had a kitten in over a decade, so having him around has required some adjustments.

Sneaker, our grouchy, old lady cat, is not handling his presence very well. She should be used to having another cat around because she lived with Max for so long. Apparently, she does not have the same patience for a baby. We’ve had a lot of literal hissy fits.

In other news, Love and the Dark is now available in print through CreateSpace. Click here if you would like to see and/or order it.

I’ll have some copies available at an upcoming author fair I plan to attend in September. I’ll post a link for that soon.