Updates, updates, updates . . .

Prepare yourselves . . . this post is going to be chockfull of updates. It’s also (likely) going to run long, but it’s been about a month and a half since my last post so there are all sorts of things to talk about.

I’ve been pretty good about giving warning when I’m disappearing (to take a trip to Writer Land). I didn’t do that this time, unless you count Twitter. I’m going to count it, even though I typically don’t count anything as anything unless I’m talking about it on here. I’ll give the occasional update on Facebook, but usually . . . this is the spot for everything. Anyway, with that being said, I should definitely apologize for not giving warning. Then again, I very well could’ve given warning and it’s just been so long that I forgot about it. (Don’t have the time to check.)

I’ve gotten A LOT done lately, though perhaps not necessarily things I ‘should’ve’ been doing, but all that is subjective. Let’s get to it . . .

Update 1: I unfortunately had to push back the projected release of S4B1 (for reference, you can go to my What’s in the Works? page). If things had gone according to plan, it would be coming out in two days. I can’t tell you how unbelievably sad I am to not be getting the 12/13/14 date. I could’ve (should’ve) updated about that sooner, but I was holding onto the hope that everything would work out. Yeah, didn’t happen.

Update 2: Unless the sky actually does fall, I should be able to get this book out on the secondary projected release date that I’d set in my head. Not giving the exact date until I have it formatted (SOOOOOON), but I will say it’s in early January. Unless I chicken out, that book will be out.

Update 3: I will be having the cover/title/blurb reveal for that book once I’m finished formatting. As (I believe) was previously said in a post, the front cover is done and has been for a while now.

I have been writing my little heart out during this absence. Let’s get to those updates . . .

Update 4: I FINISHED WRITING MY 20th BOOK! That was a massive milestone for me, and one I celebrated for all of a few seconds before getting to work on something else. 🙂

Update 5: That 20th book finished was also me finishing up another series. (S6, B3) I was in a bad mood one day and went through those first two books (because they’re funny and would put me in a good mood, which they did), then ended up writing the rest of the third, completing it. (Completing the first (garbage) drafts of the series, at least.)

Update 6: Since then, I’ve been working on the ‘standalone’ that’s attached to the Reave Series. I’d thought that was going to end up being a short story. Yeeeeeah, no. If I had more time, I could get that finished likely within a week. I can’t at the moment. Anyway, that’s going to end up being over twice the length of the longest book I’ve ever written. I’m thinking about releasing it in three parts. And when people realize which character that centers around (after they’re introduced), I’m guessing they’re for sure going to want to get their hands on it. Unless I’m totally twisted in which characters are my favorites and no one agrees with me on that.

This break has seriously been one of the absolute best, most enjoyable stretches of time I’ve had in . . . . . . a long while. I’ve had so much fun working. My poor husband has hardly seen me at all though. It was definitely needed, all the writing. It’s been so fantastic for my headspace. It’s nice, getting to do what you love to. (Nice is the under-exaggeration of ALL TIME here.)

A lot of you likely know that I’d finished writing two different series before I’d ever started my blog. I’d finished three before I released my first book. I thought doing it that way would ensure I had enough material at different stages of readiness before getting sucked into all the ‘other stuff’ that goes along with this. Yeah, I didn’t really plan for how unbelievably overwhelming it was going to be to have so many things going on at once while trying to do ‘other stuff’. I’ve been feeling like I’m drowning in all this for longer than I care to say. I really need to start getting a ‘leg up’ on it, and a few things need to happen in order for that to happen. Life happens, you know, and I’m finding myself without my pool of beta-readers. I need to figure out what to do about that. So there’s one thing.

Also, if you’ve checked my WITW page, you might have seen me saying on S1 that I’ve contemplated getting that ready to release. I’m really putting a lot of thought into that. As most of you know, fantasy is my usual genre. Whenever (a miracle happens and) I finish S8, that will be the third fantasy series I’ll be releasing from. I want to be releasing what I’ve recently been calling ‘palate cleansers’ with/and/or/whatever between those. My writing style with ‘contemporary’ type books and with the fantasy ones is . . . totally different. So I now have S1 and S6 that I can potentially release from (between), if I get/make the time to work on them and get them good enough.

I’m not sure which of those I’d prefer to release from first. They’re both totally different, and they both have their strong (and weak) points. For one, I don’t think I write non-fantasy well, which would be a weak point all around for both. Then again, I won’t do much (anything) more than call myself ‘passably good’ at any point with anything. (Queen of Self-deprecation, at your service.) S6 is kind of hilarious, if you can tolerate a bit of good-natured filth. S1 is a bit cleaner (and yet also not), and is still sort of funny (at points). S6 is more straightforward, story-wise. S1 is more twisted. S6 is three books. S1 is six. S6 is more sci-fi-esque. S1 is paranormal. So I don’t know. It’s all apples to oranges. I don’t know. I haven’t gone through S1 in so long that I honestly don’t even know what sort of state it’s in. (Not a good one, I know that much by the last time I glanced at it.) S6 would be less work overall, due to it being written more recently. I’ve been doing this long enough that I’ve gotten better (slightly more easily-passing than struggling-passing) at it. S6 is also less books to go through, which would mean less overall time to get it better (and less $$ for printing it out multiple times to edit).

I don’t know. I’ll have to be asking people which they would have more interest in where those two series are concerned. Part of me is wondering why it even really matters if I’ll release them all eventually. (Which I think I very well might do despite being sure I wouldn’t release from either series, but it just seems bad to not when someone out there might potentially enjoy them.) But it matters because I have such little time that I need to make sure I’m using it where and on what it needs to be used on. I’ll get it figured out. And I’ll tell you what . . . I really want to finish writing S8. I love that group of characters more than I can say. I honestly have to say it’s a tie between the S8 characters and the S2 (Reave Series) characters. (That’s me saying they’re my two favorites. Yes. I pick favorites of my own work. It’s impossible to not. At least I can admit it.)

But in the meantime, the things I was waiting for where S4 is concerned are all done. Meaning I got it back from my last beta-reader. That means my writing time is finished (for now *sadface*) and I’ll be editing. I need to go through this one more time before formatting. Then it’s formatting. Then it’s getting the back cover done and getting a couple copies out to advance reviewers. Then waiting for the proof. Then release. It didn’t take me long at all to go through this the last time and the things I was worried about changing were unanimous to not be changed, so I’m sticking with it and just going through for typos and the like. I should be able to get this out when planned. (I should start planning to get all my books out on the secondary projected release date with the way things are going.)

SO . . .

My next book will be released in early January 2015, unless the sky falls. Be on the lookout for that, and for the cover reveal (which will be happening soooooon)!

Hope everyone has been well lately. Please be patient with me while I readapt to non-hermit life (and have little mental fits where I figuratively cry and stomp around about it). 🙂

Also, the next week or so will be really busy for me while I’m working on getting this done, but after that . . .

Well, things will still be busy, but I’ll be working on responding to things and whatnot. I just need to make sure I can get this book out on time, so bear with me for a little while longer.

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Book Stuff . . .

I’m definitely feeling better today than I was when I posted last. I can’t say that I’m back at 100% or even very close to that, but closer than. I’ll take that. Maybe a lot of it has to do with book stuff, but I’m sure getting to hang out with my husband and game for a while helped quite a bit. On to the book stuff!

The front cover for the first book in the trilogy is done. (No, not dropping the title yet. That’ll come with the reveal.) I’m planning on doing the reveal soon, probably one month (exactly) from the (projected) release date. I might change my mind about when with that. If I do, it’ll be a sooner rather than later thing. Everything still seems to be on track for me to actually hit that projected release date. I’m not sure they’re on track enough for me to be comfortable giving the projected release date. For now, I’ll just say . . .

The projected release date for the first book in the trilogy falls in mid-December.

Obviously that’s subject to change, depending on whether some unforeseen issue arises. If any unforeseen issues do arise, I’ll let everyone know as soon as possible.

Anyway, I might be feeling better due to knowing I’m close to being busy with book stuff again. By ‘close,’ I mean, ‘I can probably start doing some of that stuff right now.’

One thing I would really like to do is go through that book again before I get it back from who has it right now, just to potentially tighten it up a bit more. I’m still torn on whether to cut a few chunks of it out, but I’m going to need more opinions on that. (Waiting on those.) If I do decide to cut one major part, that would be an issue that might impact the release date. (Cutting other, smaller chunks wouldn’t cause problems with the date.) As a rule, I don’t like cutting from books. I know you’re supposed to or whatever, but I typically feel that something isn’t there unless it’s supposed to be there. Out of all the books I’ve finished writing (19. So close to hitting a big milestone with that!), this particular book is the only one that’s made me stop and wonder if it would be better to be missing a particular (pretty massive) chunk. Better experience-wise. (I’m not including two books that I re-wrote in the ‘chunk removal’ talk because those were complete changes.) I’m not sure, and as I said, I need more opinions on it. I’ll have to wait a small bit to get those.

So yeah, going through that book again is top priority for this week. It shouldn’t take me long (depending on how much ‘other stuff’ I do) because I’ve already done just about everything I can do to it. (Unless I want to wait a few years for my writing/skill level to change again, and if I start waiting for that, I’ll never release anything, ever.)

Along with that, I want to write up a post on here about releasing from a different series than what I already have out. That should come within a few days so be on the lookout for it.

Along with that, I’ll be trying to get caught up with responding to things. I didn’t get completely done with that before my husband had his days off work. So I guess I’ll be doing some time-splitting this week.

We’ll see how all that stuff goes.

Hope everyone is doing super great. I’ll be trying not to be impacted too much by the ‘writing weather’ going on here. 🙂

Harvest by HIGHS (Friday Music)

I don’t usually do two posts in one day, but I realized it was Friday and I’ve been wanting to share this band since this past Saturday. I really didn’t want to wait another week, so yeah.

Anyway, I’m not going to write a whole lot on this. I’m just going to say that I seriously fell in love with this band after hearing them.

Hopefully you’ll like them too. 🙂

I think I hate you, Mercury.

I feel like I owe everyone an apology, partially for a sort of absence on here and mostly due to how long it’s been taking me to get back with . . . everyone. I wonder if there will ever be a point in time where it doesn’t take me such ridiculously long stretches to get back with people consistently.

Yeah, probably not.

I guess I just need to accept that. I mentioned in the last post that my husband always tells me, “You’re only one person.” Obviously I hear that when I get stressed about one thing or another with work, at least when I’m stressing to the point where I tell him about it. Honestly? I hear that at least once a week. Seems like every time I do one thing, there’s this little voice telling me I should be doing something else. (Sometimes it’s not little in the slightest.) ‘It’s taken you over three hours to write this email. Don’t you know you have book stuff to be doing?’ (It happens.) ‘You’re writing right now? Don’t you know you have a pile of things you need to respond to? These people are going to think you’re a major a-hole.’

Lately it’s been, ‘You’re not doing anything productive? Don’t you know you have this massive pile of things that need doing? I mean, really. Aren’t you aware?’

I’ve been in a slump for about three weeks now, the sort of slump that I absolutely hate. I can usually get stuff done in some regard no matter how I’m feeling. The last few weeks? Nope.

I blamed it on the bad feels from the piracy garbage for about two and a half of those weeks. I’d tried to write afterward (because that almost always makes me feel better), and it just wasn’t working. It felt like I’d been sapped of about 94% of my energy stores. I also blamed it on the new scheduling and being awake (mostly) during the day. (My brain doesn’t function as well when it’s light outside. No joke.) I blamed it on the stress of upcoming releases and scrambling trying to get stuff done. But whatever I was feeling went beyond all that. Usually, no matter what is going on, I can and will find something to do. I just haven’t wanted to. (Not that I haven’t done anything at all, but nowhere near as much as I should have.)

So I was at the beginning of writing up this post, sitting here thinking about how there had to be some sort of reasoning for the sapping-feeling. (At least when it has lasted this long.) I thought about SAD yesterday, but fall isn’t depressing for me. Fall and winter have been great for me (writing-wise) in the past. I’m excited about fall and winter. (Besides, I’ve seen more sun in the last month than I did in all of spring and summer combined, I think.) I’ve worried more than once that I was having another repeat of whatever in the world was going on with me back in the summer, where I spent waaaaay too long so far down in something negative that I was concerned I’d somehow had some major personality shift or something. But this has been more a lack of energy/drive than legitimate down feelings.

For amusement, I looked up if Mercury was in retrograde again. You know what? IT IS. And WHEN did it start?

Three weeks ago.

Initially, I laughed the ‘Mercury in retrograde’ stuff off. I posted about it, mostly to be funny (and because I thought it was strange). I’m starting to wonder if it actually does make a difference, at least with me. I just think it’s weird that this feeling started at the beginning of it and has lasted the whole way through it, YET AGAIN.

The good news?

It supposedly ends tomorrow. I would say that if I miraculously feel closer to 100% tomorrow, then I’d be set on it. But if that happens, I’ll probably go with it being a mental thing. I’d imagine I’m going to spend the rest of the day thinking that things are going to get better tomorrow, which will (possibly) in turn make things better tomorrow. (At least where my headspace is concerned.)

To be honest though, just potentially seeing a light at the end of this tunnel does make me feel better. I miss being at 100% and having the feeling that I actually accomplished stuff.

Like I said, I haven’t been completely idle. Things are still moving along with the cover for the first in the trilogy. The front cover is almost complete (just needs the font). The back (cover) is on hold at the moment because I haven’t finished writing the blurb for it. I’m really so horrible at blurbs. I have been super excited about that. (The cover, not the blurb-writing.) And things are still looking good for me to hit the projected release date for it in December. So all that is really great. Obviously I’m still worried that something is going to happen to prevent that. I’m always ‘looking up and waiting for the sky to fall’ . . .

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, I hope everyone has been doing fantastically, and I really hope that whatever is going on with me hasn’t been messing with any of you. I’m really starting to think that Mercury is a major a-hole.

Catching up (or trying to) . . .

I’m really not feeling so great today. I mean that in a sick sort of way, not a headspace sort of one. I’m hoping whatever it is gets out of my system quickly. Obviously I’m not happy about feeling under the weather. I had plans today, like real life plans. I was going to go see my one of my best friends because it was the last day I could do as much before she has her baby. So yeah, I’m frustrated at my body for choosing today (of all days) to be like this. Out of my hands though. It’s not like I can do anything about it other than be frustrated.

I’m actually inside (rather than the shed) right now. Trying to write up a post on here while listening to music is not easy. I’m wondering if I’ll accidentally slip any song lyrics into this . . .

Since I can’t spend the day – or part of it – doing what I intended, I’ll be trying to play catch-up.  I’m going to try to tackle responding to everything. I’m seriously so far behind it’s ridiculous. I’m kind of at a loss as to how I was managing this for a while (maybe headspace has a lot to do with that) and I’m completely at a loss (as always) as to how people do manage all this stuff on their own. When I stress out about this to my husband, he always says, “You’re only one person.” That’s the truth. I usually wish there were more hours in the day or that people could find a way to function on zero sleep. Right now, I’m wishing I could split myself into two people just to get stuff done (then go back to the one person when possible). Then again, if I were split in two, both C’s would be arguing over who got to write and who would be doing the other stuff. It would probably come to fisticuffs, now that I’m thinking about it. I should probably stick with wishing I could function on zero sleep because I really don’t think I could get along with myself.

Anyway, I do have some good news. Now that I’m done rambling about splitting myself in two, I’ll share that . . .

Things are looking good for getting the first book in the trilogy out on the date I’m planning. (AS OF NOW.) As always, that’s subject to change. Things can seem to be going awesome one minute, then in the next you realize you’re so much farther behind than what you thought. Time gets away . . .

But yeah. I think this will be the soonest before a release that I’ll have had the cover art finished, so THAT’S awesome. (Along with being awesome, it’s a major relief.) As far as I know, I’ll be getting the copy (of the book) that’s sent out right now back in the time frame I need it to get everything else done. It all seems to be going smoothly, or as smoothly as it can, which is something I’m not really accustomed to. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed when not typing with them, in the hopes that there are no bumps/obstacles/roadblocks. There probably will be, if my experience with this tells me anything. I’ll hope for a speed bump rather than something major.

I just wanted to share all that, to keep everyone updated and whatnot. 🙂

*fingers crossed*

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend. 🙂

 

(Also, while I’m responding to things . . . if there are any weird words thrown in there/major typos or if I’m not making very much sense? We’ll say that’s due to listening to music while doing anything.)

 

Charles E. Yallowitz Interview on *Changes* Episode 9, October 22nd!

Legends of Windemere

CHANGES Theme Image_3OCTOBER 22ND @ 10 AM EST

SIT IN AND WATCH THE 1ST LIVE INTERVIEW OF FANTASY AUTHOR, CHARLES E. YALLOWITZ

That’s right everyone.  I’m having my first video interview next Wednesday, so you get to hear my voice and see my face for an hour.  Click on the link above to see the site and I hope to see everyone there.  You can even type in questions as the interview goes along and get into the action.  The interview will also be going onto YouTube once it’s done.  Needless to say I’m nervous and excited.

A big thank you to Sally Ember, Ed.D., for giving me this opportunity.

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Positivity Journal, Day 50

I got to write that up there ^^^^ down today. Fifty days of the Positivity Journal isn’t exactly a milestone where months are concerned or anything, but fifty days of doing this was definitely a personal milestone. I’d imagine that’s enough time to say I’ve successfully managed to integrate this into my life. Whether or not it’s been a ‘success’ in all aspects I intended with it is yet to be seen. I really like to think it’s brought something positive into my life, but then I could get into the question of how much of a positive mindset is mental (strictly mindset) and how much of it is physical (events). I could ramble for days about that, I’m sure. (Now I’m thinking about Little Giants . . .)

Some days have been harder than others, of course. I feel like most have been salvageable, even when they’re riddled with more than a few frustrating events. My internet going out for ridiculously long stretches of time while I’m trying to do stuff on it doesn’t seem like as big of a deal now as it did on the day of, where almost every negative bullet had at least one F-bomb dropped. I’m not a very patient person, and as I know I’ve said multiple times on here, when I want/need to work on something, it drives me nuts if I can’t. So the internet going out consistently on a ‘catch up’ day makes me feel sort of crazy. Like the sort of crazy where I couldn’t even abandon what I was doing to go write (with a legitimate excuse) because I got so riled up about it.

There have only been a few unsalvageable days, where both events and mindset are concerned. Two, unless I’m missing one. If I’m missing one, I guess whatever happened wasn’t bad enough (at least in comparison) for me to focus on. There was the piracy day. That one’s obvious, and I’ll be honest, it’s still messing with my mindset. (Because it’s not something you can easily put out of your head, especially when you’re still trying to remedy the situation. And I think that, in a sense, it would be a good idea to not let it get completely out of my head.)

Then there was two days ago. I did something stupid. I’m talking potentially catastrophically stupid. I’m talking about the sort of stupid that should never happen because you know so much better and of course you would never be so careless.

I was sending the first book in the trilogy to the next beta-reader, right? I might ought to add that I was getting rushed by outside forces (along with being busy that day and rushing in general trying to get things done), and I’m sure all that played into it. Anyway, I wrote the email address down wrong. Then I typed it up the way I’d written it down. I’m sure you can gather that I sent my book – that I’m getting ready to publish – to some random, unknown person.

It took me a few hours to text and be like, ‘Hey. Did you ever get that?’ (I didn’t want to be annoying.)

‘Not yet.’ (Or something.)

‘Maybe you should check the spam folder.’

Obviously it wasn’t in the spam folder, so the next thing I did was type up the email address in a text with a question mark. Again, I’m sure it’s obvious that the email they sent back was not the same. I immediately checked the message where the email address was initially given to make sure because I could’ve sworn I’d written it down right.

Yeah, I hadn’t. This was totally my bad. When I’ve spent years being so unbelievably careful with my work, I’m still baffled as to how I could’ve done something so careless with it. I guess you get used to stuff, right?

I can’t even explain the panic that ensued. That was probably the fastest (and the most ‘violent’) instance of me going from maybe ten (because I’m never at zero) to one hundred that I can think of. (It was probably more like in the nineties. Getting that close to 100 is terrifying.) Even figuring out about the piracy didn’t happen that fast. There’s always some sort of buildup. This was seriously like snapping your fingers and going straight into panic-mode. I’m sure the bad feelings there were exacerbated by the recent piracy experience and knowing how quickly and easily your work can be messed with, or taken, or whatever.

So, I did what I could. I wrote a new email to whoever it was, explained the situation and whatnot. I tried to send the book to the correct person. Of course . . . internet goes out. About ten seconds later, my computer just . . . froze. (Maybe it was feeding off my vibes?) So I went outside, lit a cigarette, paced around for a minute, then I went and sat down on the concrete, putting my face in my hands. And I just sat there, going through all the potential (bad) scenarios my head could come up with. When I was done with my cigarette (not even sure if I actually smoked it or let it burn, to be honest), I went back inside. I sent the file to the correct person. I retyped the email to the unknown person and left it up until my husband would get home from work, so I could make sure it was alright to send. (It might be weird to some people, but I like to get his opinion on pretty much everything.) When I was done with that, I went and sat down on the couch, and I hugged Pig (my dog) until Husband got home.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like a super big deal to anyone. It was a majorly big deal to me. It was so ignorant and careless, but that sort of stuff happens in life. I guess it’s like taking your kid to a park (or something), taking your eyes off them for a few minutes, then realizing they’re standing next to a complete stranger. But you can’t be eyes-on 24/7. You can try. You can get close to that. But people blink and whatnot. Or accidentally fall asleep while they’re watching TV. You just have to hope that nothing bad happens when you hit the lulling moments. (That the aforementioned ‘stranger’ will ask, “Hey kid, where are your parents?” In this specific case of sending the book, I’d be more than happy with, “Get away from me, kid.”)

Careless mistakes just happen, even when you’re just about as careful as you can possibly be. Kids slam their hands in doors, fall out of trees, trip and bust their faces up. That’s life, right?

I feel like there was an important lesson to be learned for me in this, that it’s further proving what I already know about planning. No matter how meticulous you are, even the best of plans don’t always work out. I guess part of this that’s so hard for me to accept is that I just can’t be revving at NINE THOUSAND at all times. Something’s going to eventually break if I don’t slow my ass down sometimes. And all I can think of now is, ‘Unfortunately, that’s not really an option.’ If I’d just slowed down two days ago . . . this probably wouldn’t have happened.

Anyway, I’m still freaked out about and shaken by that. I’m sure you can guess that after all the piracy garbage (and by reading my second post about that in particular), I’m not exactly at a high where ‘faith in people’ is concerned. So . . . here’s to hoping that everything goes as smoothly as possible with this release, and that whatever address I sent that to is someone’s old, unused email account and that my book never gets seen.

I still feel like a moron. I could say that I wish I didn’t, but I do, and it’s probably best that way. I guess I can equate this to a shock collar. (Which I personally would never use for my dog, so if anyone is shouting, “INHUMANE!” . . . please don’t.) But yeah, where shock collars are relevant to this . . . I guess I won’t be stepping past whichever point in the grass again as long as I keep remembering how unpleasant this is, right?

So yeah. The PJ can’t stop me from getting close to 100. It can’t. It can’t make me feel better when I get close to that. But I do have to believe it’s helping, when two days after the fact, I’m trying to focus on the lessons learned (positive) rather than the event (negative). I have to believe it’s helping when the rational part of myself is able to break through at any point. ‘It’s not like you can’t prove the work is yours.’ That’s true. That’s completely true.

I’m just glad I had however many days of the PJ before the piracy, and before this. Those two things, especially happening that close together? I can imagine they would’ve caused a breakdown of epic proportions that could’ve potentially lasted for some ungodly length of time. I feel like I’m retraining my mind, to some degree, and I don’t think I could’ve/would’ve if I hadn’t started this. So, if there’s anyone else out there like me? Finding your equivalent of my PJ? It couldn’t be a bad idea.

I really don’t mind taking the time out of my days for this, knowing all it’s done for me already.

(Also, I just wanted to say that I’m going to be trying VERY hard today to get caught up with responding to comments on here, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to manage it. I have to do some stuff for the cover art and send a few emails along with that. I’ll be trying. Apologies for the length of time. I’m working on it.)