SO MUCH TO DO

I have a lot to do.

I’m trying to get them all separated into things I want to do and things I need to do. I don’t typically do posts where I lay out what I need to get accomplished, but I have to figure this out anyway and might as well make a post out of it. These are not writing/editing related. I have a list of those on my What’s in the works? page, and I update it occasionally. If you’re interested in what’s going on with me in that regard, you’re more than welcome to check that page out whenever and see if I’ve updated it. (I’ve been updating it every two weeks or so, roundabout. It’s more so for when I actually accomplish the goals on there.)

These are in no (real) particular order and have no set time limit (as I have no idea which order I want to tackle them in):

1) I need to get a mailing list sorted out. I’ve been wanting to do that for a while now, but I really need to get that done. It would strictly be to keep people informed about when I have a release. I might do a quarterly ‘newsletter’ as well, but wouldn’t post anything from that onto here or the same in reverse.

2) I need to get the questions I’ve received for the video Q&A into a cohesive list. (One that might travel in a relatively straight line to prevent me from getting too far sidetracked and end up rambling forever.) There are still a few more days before I’ll attempt to tackle that, if anyone else wants to contribute questions. Really, I welcome anything for it. You can check out the post if you haven’t already. (Also want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone that’s shown interest in it, and asked me questions. I really appreciate it.)

3) Decide whether I need to actually make all these spreadsheets I feel like I need to make, or if I can put that off for a little while longer.

4) Catch up with responding to things.

5) Get my sleep schedule sorted out because I really do not like being awake during the day.

6) Figure out how to get this muscle in my cheek to stop twitching. It’s extremely distracting. (I’m guessing it’s stress-related.)

7) Get a little more organized on Twitter.

8) Figure out a way to get organized in general that won’t take months upon months of cutting into my work time.

9) Reach out to more reviewers for Reave. (If you’re interested in that, let me know!)

10) Write up some rather important emails without causing more facial twitching for myself.

11) Get book 1 of the trilogy to the first beta-reader.

12) Figure out if I want to release that one next or between books 3 and 4 of the Reave Series. (Probably and preferably between 3&4, but that depends on several factors.)

13) Figure out what the hell I’m doing.

14) I really dislike odd numbers.

 

Okay, one more thing.

I haven’t ‘liked’ near enough pages with my personal Facebook account. I have a lot of blogging buddies on here and I would like to ‘like’ your pages. It’s MUCH easier for me to keep up with what’s going on with people by looking on there rather than on here (at least for now).

If I haven’t liked your page, please feel free to leave a link down in the comments and I’ll go do that.

Hope everyone is doing well!

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I’ve been doing stuff.

Last time I was on here, Fable was consuming my life. I’m glad to say I finished that all up (for the most part) a few days after. I guess the awesome thing about cutting back on posts for whatever reason(s) is that I feel like I actually have some stuff to say.

The past couple weeks have gone like this:

Finished Fable 3. Rather than writing on the new book, I’ve been editing the trilogy. I started going to the gym with my sister and my husband. Feeling better in a lot of ways because of that. I have more energy and am somehow more tired at the same time. I got distracted early into editing the last book of that trilogy (a couple days ago). I was looking through Herald’s memory and realized that I’m missing part of the spin-off I started writing for that one. I wanted to break the world that day (because I HATE REWRITING). Doing more work was out of the question with all the anger and rage, so I tried out what I was talking about in ALL THE COLORS. It did not work. Yesterday I didn’t work at all, which was mostly due to timing and other plans. Husband and I went to see Divergent. I was PLEASANTLY surprised by it and I really think it’s one of the best YA book-to-movie adaptations so far. (Side-note: The Maze Runner looks amazing, but I haven’t read the books yet. Might wait on that.) After returning home from all that, it was too late to go to sleep because I had a basketball game to watch last night and there was no hope in the world I could sleep for a few hours and wake up for it. I was up for about 24 hours. I did not make it long enough to watch the game. (I’m so thankful for DVR.) Now here we are.

I’ll admit that I didn’t realize it had been QUITE as long as it had since I’d been on here last. I guess I was just really caught up in editing, but I reckon that’s understandable when it’s been such a long time since going through that trilogy. It’s been difficult trying to work on it because there are just SO many details, and all the time that’s passed, etc.

Still, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by that as well. It definitely has it’s problems, but most of them are fix-able. (Apart from anything having to do with my capabilities. There’s also the timeline flub in the last that I’m STILL not quite sure how to fix.) I really think it won’t be long before I’m ready to let that one be read, which I mentioned on Facebook after finishing up with the second. There’s something in the first that I definitely need an opinion on. My mom has been asking me about it, but I’m terrified to let her read that one despite asking her to. O.o

I’m not sure how often I’ll be on here. I really want to get that trilogy (closer-to) ready. I just feel better in general when I don’t have a list of five million (exaggeration) things I need to be working on all at the same time. If I get that one to the ‘wait point’ (where the Reave Series currently is), then it will just be writing until the first ‘wait’ is no longer a ‘wait’. (Then more editing…)

At least I’ve been doing what I know I need to where the books are concerned (which is editing and not-writing), even if it bums me out a bit. I’ll get there eventually. I just want to have them as close to ready as I can get them.

So yeah, I’m really not sure how often I’ll be on here to say one way or the other, but just know that I’m working (for the most part) and trying to get more books ready to be released for those who are waiting. 🙂

I really hope everyone has been well the past couple weeks and whatnot. 🙂

The first of the Monday Update posts . . .

Today is my first Monday Update post, and after writing two full entries that are going to rot in Draft Land . . . I THINK I’m starting to figure out why blogging occasionally frustrates me (very badly). (Not to mention I have a streak [not steak] on my glasses that I didn’t get cleaned off, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Maybe my problem with this particular post is that I have about five million (clear exaggeration) things I could/might possibly want to say. Maybe it’s my mood. Maybe my biggest problem with it is that, in some way, all I want to write for this entry is:

I JUST WANT TO WRITE A BOOK.

I’ll keep this short (for me), just to spare you until I get all these possible topics for Monday separated into smaller subjects that could potentially be written about at a later date.

What I’ve been doing lately is editing book 3 in the Reave series. One of my largest issues is not ‘fleshing things out’ so this second run-through since December is to do just that. (The first was more to fix technical errors.)

I added A LOT to book 2 (I’m not saying how much), and I need to make sure this one is on par with what I put in the last. The problem is book 3 is/will be the most difficult to do that with (for reasons I’m not going to say because releasing it is just too far off and I don’t want to spoil anything).

I’m also not going to say how many hours of work it’s taken me just to get to chapter eight, but . . . it’s a lot.

That’s what I’ll be doing work-wise for . . . a very long time (for me), if the hour-count per chapter holds.

Along with all that, I’ve been trying to catch up on here. I’ve neglected Twitter and Facebook (surprise, surprise). I’ve been struggling with pushing through my anxiety in order to do what I need to do for Reave (working on it). And I’ve also been struggling with the INTENSE desire to just fall off the face of the planet for a little while, workworkworkwork, then come back at some point.

It’s extremely difficult not to, and I just have to remind myself that I wouldn’t be doing Reave any favors in doing that. Then again, I’m not really doing it any favors currently anyway, given that I can’t even figure out 140 characters to promote it. That might be adding to the temptation to disappear. It’s just overwhelming and I feel I’m not doing any good anyway.

I probably shouldn’t even be blogging when I’m in a mood like this, but it’s showing no signs of stopping anytime soon and . . . well . . . at least it’s real. That has to count for something, right?

So that’s my life as of now, as far as updateable things go.

Hope everyone is doing well out there (and kicking any struggles one may find themselves going through in their frustrating [non] faces).

Also, Reave is now available on SmashWords. You can find it here: Look, I’m a link to Reave on SmashWords.

Aster

Reave has been live for…seventeen days now, and I’m no closer to accepting it being ‘out there’ as I was when I said I was trying to maintain some semblance of dissociation from it for my mental well-being. Somewhere in my mind I’m completely acknowledging the fact that, yes, it is out there and, yes, people are reading/have read/will read it. The positive feedback has blown my mind, I’ll say that again. (I’ll probably keep saying it.) Seeing people post things about it on Facebook, or randomly finding a new review has just been…fantastic. (I could make a comment here about Blades of Glory and the ‘mind-bottling’ remark.)

In a commenting back-and-forth with Ben from over at BensBitterBlog (If you’ve never seen his blog…you need to), I got inspired to post an entry. This is it, by the way. And this entry right here is entirely (mostly, knowing me) about the main character in Reave, Aster.

I’d contemplated making a post about her before, but that’s tricky for me. One of the things I’m most looking forward to as the series goes along – receiving input about it – is hearing opinions on Aster’s development. So what can I say without giving away too much? That’s the question.

I’ve felt it was almost impossible to dance around characters in a blog entry because the characters dance around themselves in the books. (Spend a moment trying to imagine how that works. If anyone figures out how it’s possible, let me know. I’m at a loss. Made sense in my head.) So what could really be said?

There’s never been much of a debate over whether I was going to write about something on here. If I wanted to, I did. If I maybe did, I didn’t. Simple as that. (An example to the contrary is the post I made about sleeping. I’d take it down if it wasn’t the entry that got the most hits off Google. And it might be a bit evil of me, but I seriously LOVE the search terms I occasionally see because of it.)

The point of that digression is: When having to ask myself so many questions about if I DID want to write about her, to let people get to know her a bit more…The answer was no, due to the questioning involved. But I think I might be able to manage it (if I could EVER get to the point in an entry).

Aster began as a product of my first series. The main character in it was……a brute, to be honest. It was fun at first, but then it was just…too much. (She was also an absolute MORON, but that is NOT the point.) So when I sat down to write Reave – putting the Reapers out of my mind and focusing on the MC – I knew…I wanted her to start weak. Now, if you’ve read Reave, or if you’ve even read a BIT of Reave, you probably already know…

Aster is ANYTHING but weak.

Mentally.

Even from the get-go, she looked at me and said, “I will not have this.” So, I wrote her how she was, then got dragged along behind her (and a few other characters) for the four books I’ve written and all the bits of ones I’ve only written in my head. I don’t have a problem saying that’s how she is. It’s apparent from Chapter One.

I’ll admit there were times during my multiple edits where I sat here in my chair, openmouthed, over certain aspects. You see, it’s probably not that noticeable with the first, but these books were made to be re-read. I know a lot of people aren’t re-readers, and that’s fine. I feel you can read through each book once and find yourself satisfied (unless you hate it/them, in which case…I’m sorry). I can’t say I designed them that way (I wrote them, but being a pantser…I only have so much to do with it), but I can say I tweaked it to make it fit the way it naturally wanted to be. And the series says, “I promise you’ll find something you didn’t the first time if you just READ ME AGAIN after you hit a certain point.”

Then again, I found things I didn’t initially find when reading through Twilight more than once. So………………………………………………………………………………………………

*cough*

The point of the most recent digression is: Aster.

I’ve written…six female protagonists, at least bits of them, depending on how far into their stories I currently am. (Seven if you count a spin-off series that goes in a different timeline where the MC is essentially an entirely different person. Please don’t ask.) I can’t say this series was my best WRITING (I can’t tell you how much I wish it was), meaning in the technical aspect or whatever. But I can without a doubt, one-hundred-freaking-percent say…Aster is, and will always be, my favorite main character that I’ve ever written/will ever write. And honestly? That’s WAY more important to me.

There’s the growth, for one thing. But for another? She SCARES me. I look at some parts of the books, and I get freaked out. And this isn’t a ‘she could kick my a**’ freaked out, it’s a ‘……how did she come out of my head?’ freaked out.

She’s damaged (we all are, and she has good reason just like any person). She has her flaws (the lack of knowledge about normal human-type things could definitely be considered one, but by god…it was fun at some points). Her moral compass is occasionally………..askew (then again, moral compasses being askew is all a matter of personal opinion). But there are so many things I love about her.

The ability to overcome anything put in her way (maybe not in the most…fantastic way, but overcoming is overcoming). The drive and determination to fight for what she believes in. Her willingness to accept the bad but see the good (again, how did she come from my head?). She’s fiercely loyal (as long as it’s deserved). There is a whole list of things I COULD say, but CAN’T say without giving too much away. Still, there’s one more I can put on the list, and it’s up at the tippity-top.

The most amazing thing about her? She CONSTANTLY surprised me, even AFTER I’d written her. Every time I thought I knew her, I would find something and realize…I’d been wrong. And why this series will always be my favorite? Because I was constantly surprised over one thing or another, even after the fact, and I wrote it. O.o

I’ve gotten a lot of crap from people who’ve already read the first book. No one can understand my issue with it (I’m still wondering how no one understands my issue with it where the writing is concerned, but that’s not what I’m currently talking about here). All I can say to that is…

Wait and see. 🙂

Things are always better after the foundation is built, but that’s just my opinion…

By the way, I’ve heard/seen something twice that has given me the most stupendous feeling.

Our Aster. People have referred to her as our Aster.

That is….amazing. Because having anyone love her that much – people feeling connected to her? What else could I ask for?

Time-splitting and other things…

It’s been several days since I blogged last, mostly because I haven’t felt like I had anything worth saying. I know I can’t be the only person out there who feels that way… (What am I doing on here again?)

I’ve been drawing a blank on ideas to write about, but I reckon I’ll settle for the most relevant topic(s) for me at the moment.

I mentioned on my Facebook page that I was trying out this thing called ‘time-splitting.’ I’m pleased to report….

It’s working.

I’d been trying to figure out how to balance my time for so long. It’s an impossible thing for me to do – or it WAS an impossible thing to do – while actively working on a book. I’m not sure if that was due to the way I went about it, in trying to split all the things I wanted to do into separate days (which never worked because I would always end up either writing or editing without stopping for anything but the necessities in life, like sleeping), or maybe because regardless of telling myself I HAD to do whatever things…I didn’t actually HAVE to.

Releasing Reave has done good things for me, where that’s concerned. I’ve got a ‘baby’ out in the world and feel I need to take care of it like I would if it was still only mine (only in a different way). I might not be taking care of it the way I necessarily SHOULD, but this is a big learning process for me and I’m trying to figure out what to do as I go. It doesn’t help that my anxiety leaves me absolutely scared out of my wits to be promoting as shamelessly as I should. That also might be due in part to a lack of confidence…

But time-splitting has thus far been what I would consider a success. I’ve been doing a massive edit on book 2 of the series (which is necessary because I haven’t touched 2, 3, or 4 since the beginning of this year), and I’ve been REALLY GOOD (for me) at responding to things. Apart from yesterday, which I spent thinking about stuff. We all need those days.

I’m not going to say I’m evenly distributing time (like I SHOULD be doing), but I’m at least figuring out ways to function somewhat normally. Balance. I’m finding some sort of balance for the first time in…….three years. Well, maybe for the first time ever. Maybe better time-allocation will fall into place when I get more accustomed to this half-and-half thing (half-and-half with working on different things, and also spending time awake on the opposite side of daylight than what I’m used to).

Yes, obviously my sleep schedule is weird for me right now (and yes, I know I’m always going on about my sleep schedule). I’m used to sleeping from around noon until whenever, so I usually see the sun before bed. Now I see it when I’m waking up and that’s thrown me a bit. I don’t adapt well to change. Usually not at all, actually, so…this is good.

Like with doubleyewteeeff to do now that I have a book released…I’ll figure this other stuff out along the way as well.

I’ll tell ya though…Christmas stuff is not helping me regulate my schedule. It’s all random stuff at random times. My Grinchyness is kind of overridden by the fact that I’m weird and could wrap presents … pretty much all the time.

Still, I feel in a lot of ways like I’m playing a waiting game right now. Waiting for my world to straighten itself out, and waiting to see what happens in the meantime.

I’m still working on some things mentioned in previous entries that could pertain to the last few sentences. The world-straightening, for one. Trying to readjust, trying to figure out what’s going on, what to do. Trying not to freak out so badly at the prospect of interaction (I’m not doing so well with that one). Trying to be more positive and realize that things…maybe aren’t quite as bad as they are in my head (it’s not very pleasant in there, just saying…). Trying to learn how to take good things as they come rather than digging around for bad that maybe isn’t there. I’m not successful with that all the time, but…I’m working on it. Even a small bit of success with that is a step in the right direction for me. I’m kind of taking things one day at a time right now.

I hope everyone is doing well out there, that life is cutting everyone a break and that, if it’s not currently break-cutting, it will start to do so soon.

I had to stop myself from continuing on with that. You’ll have to forgive me – all this ‘working on stuff’ has been turning me into a bigger pile of mush than I’m used to.

😛

Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse – Jack Flacco

I’m a little lagging with this, I know. But at least I’m hitting the one month anniversary of when Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse went live (depending on time zones – it’s one month exactly here).

I’m going into this assuming you don’t know Jack (haha, sorry, bad joke), so let me fill you in on the chance you might have come here from my Facebook page (which I will post this entry to when I’m done), or just haven’t happened across him on here.

Jack Flacco is what I would call a blogging-buddy, and – in case you’re not aware – he’s pretty effing (excuse my non-bad bad language) awesome.  Really, you can take one look at his blog and know as much. And I’m sorry, but any man that does a post every week (Wednesdays) on a new badass female from movies and the like wins major brownie points with me. I’d be impressed with one post like that, but . . . every week, people. I’ve got to appreciate that.

I haven’t done as many of these posts as I would like, but . . . I’m trying. This right here is essentially me shouting at you to go check something out if you’re not aware of it.

So, I will link you up to his blog (which you should follow if you’re not), Facebook page (which you should like if you haven’t), and the Amazon page where you can find either the print or e-book versions of Ranger Martin (if you haven’t already got it). (If you’re out of the US, his blog has links to the appropriate Amazon sites, but then again….searching also works.)

GO CHECK IT OUT! Because I SAY SO. 🙂

Blog

Facebook Page

Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse

My print version is on the way to me now, and I am SO stoked to finally get to read it. 🙂

And a note to Jack: I just have to say (AGAIN, I know, I know) how happy I am for you. Stay awesome. 🙂

(And just a little random thing: Does anyone else always want to spell apocalypse with two o’s instead of an o and an a? No? Just me? Alright then.)

Break.

I need one.

I haven’t really been taking one, despite my absent(ish) state from here and everywhere else. I’ve attempted to blog (I can’t tell you how much I added to my ‘drafts’ number). I’ve attempted to find things to say on my Facebook page (this is a spurt of not having much to say where the book is concerned). I’ve been good to manage random 140 character statements on Twitter every so often. I think trying to ‘force’ everything is making it worse, and there’s always this little thing in the back of my head telling me I need to be doing one thing when I’m doing another.

So this is what I’m going to do . . .

I’m going to intentionally disappear for a few days. Just a few days, and I think (hope) I’ll be good. I need to try and figure out a way to get out of the current headspace and into a better one. I SHOULD *CROSSING FINGERS* have my book back from the editor on Wednesday, and will start working on that if I do. If not, then I will be doing more waiting on that. We shall see.

I’m wondering if one of my biggest issues is that I haven’t actually WRITTEN anything (book-wise) in . . . almost a month. Just checked. I might try to get some writing in (I failed at that last night). I might just play some Diablo III. Not sure yet.

But I think a few days of trying to clear my head of as much of the . . . . . . . . . . stuff as I possibly can will be good for me.

Honestly, I think it goes past being ‘good’ for me. I feel, right now, that it’s absolutely necessary.

I WILL update anything going on (say, if I’m going through my book or something) on my Facebook page, if anything note-worthy happens over the next few days. I feel that’s about all I can currently manage.

I genuinely hope you’re all doing well. I know people say, “Don’t have too much fun without me.” But I’ll say, “Please. Have fun.”