Checklist

Hey there, everybody. Again, it’s been a super long time since I’ve posted on here. Things have been busy, busy, busy. I’m going to get straight to what I have to say, to spare you all the rambling I usually do on here.

As most of you who follow my blog know . . . I have a LOT of different book things going on at once. I unfortunately didn’t realize how overwhelming it would be to have multiple series to work on/get ready. I wouldn’t take back having that many going, but I do wish I would’ve had a better idea of . . . Well, I wish I’d had a better idea about everything. That’s one thing I’ve realized with publishing though – you never have more than a partial clue about anything. You only think you might possibly have one. That’s how it’s been with me, at least.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to get things sorted the last few months so that I’m not living in a constant state of SCRAMBLE (which is going to turn all my hair grey). It’s really an extremely unpleasant state of being, especially when I have such high anxiety anyway.

So, the not-so-great news is: I am taking a break from blogging. This is not a forever thing. This is not me quitting, or not caring. This is just me trying to get things where they need to be in order to utilize time in the long run. Publishing isn’t a sprint. Seems that way sometimes, but it’s really not. I’m not really going anywhere. I just won’t be on here actively for a few more months. (I will be on Twitter though, because it doesn’t take up as much of my time.)

The good news is: Not stressing out about posts and whatnot is going to give me way more time to get things organized and ready. That might not be good for blogging, but it’s good for releasing books. I’ve gotten a lot done the last couple months, and I’m going to be working like crazy to get a handful of things accomplished. Once those are accomplished, I’ll be back on here regularly.

The other thing is: I won’t be COMPLETELY absent from here. What I’m going to do is put a checklist of sorts below for all these things I need to get done. Once I’ve accomplished them, I will come back to this post and cross them off. I know some people actually do check my blog to see if I’ve posted, so this will be a way to let everyone know where I’m at, what I’ve been doing, and a rough estimate of how much longer I’ll be ‘away.’ I will make notes on the list when and where needed, so be on the lookout for that if you want to keep updated. (Such as saying something is in progress or where it’s at in the process.)

I’m thinking this will take a couple months. No, I don’t want to be away that long. I haven’t wanted to be away as long as I have. I just think that in the long run, it’ll be better this way. I’ll update my What’s in the works? page at the beginning of every month (after today), so that’s something to check on if you’re interested, but the checklist will be updated as soon as something is ready to be crossed off. I won’t be posting anything else on here, to keep this up at the top for people to check on.

One more thing before I get to the list. I know I said I’d be releasing my next book last month, but I decided to postpone that for a little while, until I get a bit more feedback on it. (Working on that at the moment, along with several other things.) It will be released during this break I’m taking. If you want to know when it’s released, I won’t be posting that on here (past crossing it off the list). You can follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook page, or add me on GoodReads to hear about/see when that’s out. And/or you can ‘follow’ me on Amazon to get notified of any releases I have. I might even post something on Instagram about it. (This paragraph will either be deleted or crossed off once that book is out. I’m planning on early March and there’s really no reason for being unable to hit this newest projected date.)

On to the checklist! (For any confusion over abbreviations, check my WITW? page. Most of these don’t have actual titles yet, so they get the abbreviations.)

Releases during the break:

  • S4B1 {Unexpected issue with the e-book has arisen. Have to push the release back a few days. Looking at March 12th.}

Cover Stuff:

  • Photo shoot for the rest of the books in the Reave Series (S2) and the spin-off of sorts (SA1)
  • Cover for S2B3
  • Cover for S6B1

Editing/Beta-Reading:

  • S6B1 to editor
  • S2B3 to last beta-reader

Revising (another round of):

  • S2B3, S2B4
  • SA1 (Reave Series spin-off) {Having to fight the temptation to go through it AGAIN because I love it so much. Not the best use of time…}
  • S6 (All three books. Needs to be done before S6B1 can be sent to editor.) [In Progress]

Writing:

  • S8 (I really want to get this finished while I’m away.)

Random/Personal:

  • Talk to/see some of my friends
  • Figure out what to do (if anything) with S1

Top of the list (other than releasing S4B1) despite being at the bottom of the list:

  • Redo the interiors for Reave and Elude, including fixing a few errors in Reave (Goodbye, Typo!) [In Progress] {Updated PRINT version of Reave is available. All others (including Reave e-book) are still the same as of now.}

So, that’s the list. I don’t know if that seems like a lot or not much, but . . . it’s going to be a lot of work and it’s going to take me some time. I know some people are really wanting the next book in the Reave Series, and I’m happy to say that if everything goes as planned, it will be released shortly after I return from this blogging break. I’m looking forward to that. One step closer to the fourth book. 🙂

If you want/need to get in contact with me while I’m away, here isn’t the best place. (I will get to comments and catching up on follows when I return, but likely not before then.) Facebook probably isn’t best either because I won’t be posting on there often. (I don’t get on there often.) I might make a little post on there (FB) to say when I’ve updated this list, so that will be something to watch out for. Anyway, I’ll be most likely to respond to emails in a timely fashion during this break than anything else. So feel free to email me. (Feel free to contact me anywhere, actually. Just know that some means will have a longer wait time.) 🙂

Email address:Email Address

I also just want to say that I miss a lot of you. It gets pretty lonely out here in the shed, especially when I’m buried past my head in work. I hope everyone has been/is doing well. Looking forward to catching up on all I’ve missed!

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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. 🙂

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.)

 

My Immediate Plans . . . (Including an upcoming release)

It’s about time for things to start getting ridiculously busy for me again. It’s not like things ever stop being busy, considering I have (what feels like) fifty million things to do. Sometimes I stop for a few seconds and sort of take stock on everything I’ve got going on book-wise and it usually results in either me shaking my head at myself or *handface*ing.

Many of you (may) know that I’d completely finished writing two separate series before I started a blog. By the time I released Reave, I’d also finished writing a trilogy on top of that. I’m so glad I did things that way because I now have two different story lines I can release from. (We’re not including the first series I wrote, though I have been putting some major thought into getting that releasable. But I’ll admit I haven’t touched it in a couple years and whether or not I’m even capable of getting it releasable is . . . questionable.) So yeah, I’m glad I did things this way. Things got so hectic after releasing the first book and I just don’t have the time for writing that I used to. (To prove my point, I’m still working on finishing up this new series (8). I started on it in February and this has been the longest length of time it’s taken me to get the first drafts finished of something I work on consistently. Again, I’m not including the first series I wrote because I didn’t have a clue in the world as to what I was doing until it was already done. Whether or not I found a clue after the fact is even debatable.)

It gets a bit (a bit is a major under-exaggeration) overwhelming at times, especially because I function best when focusing on one specific thing until it’s finished before moving on to the next. With so many different things (and ‘projects’) going on at once . . . it gets hard. I’m constantly having my attention jerked from one thing to the other then back again. Almost all of it is due to necessity. I’ll want to work on one thing while needing to work on another. (‘Oh. You want to write? Well, that’s too bad. Don’t you remember that you’re trying to get this released? That means you have to work on this again. And when you’re done with that, you should probably go through the rest of the series one more time. When you’re done with that, you should probably go through this other series. Then there’s cover art, and beta-reading, and making changes, and formatting, etc. etc. etc. When all that is done, you can get back to writing.’ . . . . . ‘That’s going to take months.’ . . . . . ‘Yes, it is.’)

That’s the way it goes . . . roundabout. (Not to mention social stuff.)

Anyway, it’s one of those times again, for the focus-shift.

Book 1 of the trilogy? Well, that’s the focus as of right now. I’d planned on releasing it after the third in the Reave Series. (The plan was: RS1, RS2, RS3, T1, RS4, T2, T3) Plans change. Now, it’s: RS1, RS2, T1, RS3, RS4, T2, T3 . . . That’s also subject to change, but as of now, that’s the plan.

If you keep up with my WITW? page, you might know that releasing T1 (or if you’re going by that, S4, B1) was a priority for me. It’s been in the beta-reading phase for a while now. A few days ago, I contacted my cover artist. (Claudia at Phatpuppyart.) We’re going to start working on the cover here shortly. That’s always so exciting.

I’d planned on having everything ready much sooner than what it is, but as I said about plans . . . Well, they don’t always work out the way you intend. They rarely seem to. So many aspects of publishing are totally out of the author’s control, and that’s something that’s taking me a while to (mentally) grasp hold of. I mean, I have all these books ESSENTIALLY waiting to go, but they still need stuff. Many of them still need to go through the beta-reading phase. I wanted to get ahead of this because scrambling before releases is . . . . . . . . not ideal. I’ve scrambled before both of mine so far and it’s horrible. It’s so stressful. Looks like this is going to be another scrambler.

I’m planning on releasing the first in the trilogy around mid-December. As I said the last time I gave a projected release date . . . please do not hold me to that. That’s when it will be put out if I can manage to get it completely ready by that point. I’m definitely going to need some crossed fingers to manage it, so if you have some fingers to spare and some time to waste by crossing them for me . . . that would be great.

I’ve been asked several times about the next in the Reave Series and when it’s going to be released. I unfortunately don’t have a set enough answer for that to give one. If you read my initial post about the piracy of Reave, then you know a lot of that (it taking a while to release these books that are ready) is due to finances. In order to release that one, there needs to be another photo shoot. I’m planning on having the photo shoots for 2 (possibly 3) covers simultaneously, so it’s going to run on the expensive side. (Books 3 & 4, and a possible stand-alone that I nearly have finished (at least the first draft).) Like certain things with time being out of my hands, having enough funds to cover that is totally out of my hands. I’ve spent quite a while cutting back on as much as I possibly can to manage releasing these books, and there’s really only so much that I can do. I really don’t like saying this sort of stuff on here, but it’s the truth. When it reaches the point that I have a more set answer for this and when the others will be released, this will be the first place I share as much (publicly). I really can’t even tell you how badly I wish I could get that fourth book out. Anyway. I wish I had better news in that regard.

BUT. I am excited about releasing from the trilogy. I’m nervous as all get-out about it, but I really am excited. I might blog more in-depth about this sometime relatively soon, so stay on the lookout for that.

So yeah. I might not be on here too often while I’m trying to get this ready. Not saying I won’t be, only that I might not. It all depends on time and whatever busyness is going on at whichever point in it.

Poor Series 8, getting put on the back burner again. I’ll finish that one up eventually.

News of varying importance . . . (Includes information about book 2 in the Reave Series!)

Look, I’m posting on here again before June!

I have a few updates . . .

Writing on the new series is going a bit slower than what I’m accustomed to. I’ve been lucky to get a chapter done a night over the past week or so, and I can sometimes manage four (or more) on a good night. (Keep in mind the chapters in most of my books are relatively short, and also that getting it out at that speed is probably a decent explanation as to why I have to do so many subsequent edits . . .) I still think it’s going well overall. I’m happy with it, but I am doing something a bit different in this one and that might be contributing to the lack of speed. I’m not sure. Might just be due to all the stuff on my mind. I’m trying not to be frustrated, but I feel like time is a limited resource and I want to ensure it’s being used productively. Still, I’m happy with it (the series) and shouldn’t complain about anything. (I do complain a lot, sometimes . . .)

I got my first request (of sorts) for Reave to be turned into an audiobook. It was more a question on whether it would, but if someone wants/needs it in that format, then I’m turning it into a request. I have to do more looking into it, but hopefully I can possibly get that sorted at some point in the future (whether distant or near . . . I don’t have a clue.) Another author (A. Michael Schwarz) directed me to ACX a while back. Does anyone have experience with them? I can (and will) look that up, but I definitely wouldn’t mind hearing from someone on here about it. That goes for that particular site or any other means of getting books turned into audiobooks.

I’ve recruited a new beta-reader for book 2 in the Reave series. I say ‘recruited,’ but I don’t know if that’s appropriate. I thought I was going to scare her off because the first direct interaction I had with her was a 2k-word message full of ranting, rambling, and digressing. Instead, she offered me cupcakes. I’m happy. And I’m definitely looking forward to more input on it before release (along with cupcakes).

Which brings me to the most important news . . .

The cover art for book 2 in the Reave Series is in the works!

It’s going to be a little while before that’s all done. (Not a super long little while, but a little while.)

I was hoping that after releasing Reave I would have a better idea about making actual release dates. I know I should get that down. I guess I’m just not at a place in my life where everything is . . . erm . . . stable enough to say, “Yes, this is when this is happening. For sure. No changes.” (That goes for anything.) I hope for that one day, but alas . . . it is not this day.

Getting (quality) books released is the most important thing. So I’ve just been doing what I could, when I could, where I could, and that is seriously all I can do.

With Reave, I gave a projected release date, which (if memory serves . . . and it usually doesn’t) I hit. I’m doing the same thing with book 2, and will hopefully hit that as well.

Projected release date of BOOK 2: Mid-June.

That very well might get pushed back a bit. It all depends on whether things go according to plan (they sometimes do). That is the plan.

 

On a personal note (or several) . . . it’s almost my birthday. Pretty close to. Not happy about that. My husband had his birthday recently, and we spent the day (night) watching movies and playing Diablo III. That was enjoyable. 🙂 (Pacific Rim was . . . interesting, by the way. Exactly what I expected, so no disappointment there.)

Also, my niece (who will be going into 5th grade next year) started running, to do cross country at her school next year. She’s doing over a mile in about ten minutes or so, and that’s just spectacular with no practice whatsoever. (I believe that’s what my sister said. She and I both mumble often, so it’s sometimes hard for us to converse at the gym.) Anyway, I’m extremely proud of her and just wanted to mention that on here!

Hope everyone is spectacular. And I will keep you all updated on book 2 news! 🙂

 

(Another ‘also’ . . . If anyone wants to review Reave, let me know!)

Yesterday.

If you missed out on my countdown to yesterday on here, and on Facebook (I think I spared my Twitter feed of it), then you wouldn’t know that the photo shoot for my cover is now over.

*clears throat*

THE PHOTO SHOOT FOR MY COVER HAS TAKEN PLACE!

Needless to say, my nocturnal sleep schedule is a little . . . off currently. I was (also, needless to say) extremely exited yesterday and stayed awake waiting to hear from the (uh-MAY-zing) photographer about how things had gone.

I WAS NOT EXPECTING TO ALREADY HAVE THE PROOFS!

I have them. 🙂

I’d been anticipating a 72-hour wait time – days spent alternating between fidgeting and my eye(s) twitching, and then attempting to calm myself. No days.

As of yesterday evening, I’d already chosen the image to be used.

I say that, but I feel that was sort of like the model and it wasn’t really me ‘choosing’. There was just one photo in particular that captured so many elements of the character. It was/is perfect. I was in a nearly constant state of Mind-Blown yesterday, and that (the photo) was the strawberry on top. (I don’t like cherries and, clearly, putting a cherry on top of something is a bad thing.)

I started working on some stuff with it all last night – stuff that I need to get done today. But I wanted to share this, and also give myself a little bit more time to wake up given that I’d been sitting here staring at my computer screen trying to force my brain to start making connections with things. (Failure)

So, busy(ish) day today, at least for the next few hours. Then . . . who knows?

I don’t even care. haha

Hope everyone is doing fantastically.

🙂