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!)

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Random holidayness and stuff. (*ding*)

After a few hectic days, things are trying to get settled back into normalcy. Husband and I went to visit his family Christmas Eve/early Christmas. It was really enjoyable (as always, because his family is awesome). Got to talk about Reave with some of his family, which (of course)…mind blown. I wonder if I’ll ever stop being surprised by people liking it, but…I don’t want to stop being surprised by it because I feel that would essentially make me an arrogant A-hole. Still, it would be nice if the level of surprise could go down just a smidgen or two. (Can there be two smidgens? I say there can be multiple smidgens regardless of knowing it would just be smaller or larger singular smidgens.)

It would be REALLY nice if my anxiety level could go down about…ten million smidgens (or one extremely large smidgen, which would not actually be a smidgen). It’s been pretty bad lately, even around my family (who I see all the time). I noticed a week or two ago that I’ve started having issues even with speaking to them (stammering badly). And I think my hands have been shaking for the past four or five days straight. I don’t even want to mention the amount of sweating that happened with the in-laws (AND IT WAS SO COLD UP THERE!). All of it’s just ridiculous, especially so with the people I see/interact with all the time. It might be general stress setting it off and making it worse, but I can’t be sure. Either way, all of you out there in BlogLand should be glad you don’t have to interact with me in person.

Speaking of interacting in person. I’m still not used to talking to people who have read my books (minus a very small handful of people), so that’s been really strange. Just talking to people (when I can manage to get a few sentences out without sounding like a complete moron) and them actually knowing what I’m talking about with it. Or more so them talking to me about something I wrote, which is just…insane.

(Or hearing, “So and so read your book and they loved it.” Crazy.)

In other news, I’m slowly conquering my fear of Twitter. I’ve even made a new best friend on there, so that’s cool. (You can find his website here, and it tells all about his books and whatnot. He’s super awesome, so you should definitely check that out, especially if you’re into Fantasy and YA genre(s).) Apparently I can make friends even with my general awkwardness and declarations of a person being moved to BFF status after a few interactions. Twitter can definitely be an interesting place. (Is it a place? >.>)

So yeah, the holiday was good, apart from being stuck in a car for hours upon hours, then having The Migraine From Hell for several days in a row. It hit me the worst Christmas day, which I’ll say was likely due to a lack of coffee, sleeping awkwardly on an air mattress, my neck being garbage, and my hair being ridiculously long again. I AM glad to be rid of the blond though…not that there’s anything wrong with blond hair, but I had for enough time to suit me. Wow, digress much?

As much as I enjoyed the past few days, I’m looking forward to getting back to work. I feel lost when I’m not doing it.

Also, I need to apologize to all my in-laws for having to deal with me. I’m still hoping I don’t come across like as big of a mess as I actually am…

Actually…I need to apologize to anyone who ever speaks to me in person about my book (or sometimes just speaks to me in general, but especially about the book). My mouth-filter doesn’t work very well when my brain is malfunctioning due to anxiety. So when you say, “I love your book!” and I say, “That’s surprising. I thought everyone would think it’s garbage,” what I REALLY mean is… “I’m so glad. You have no idea what that means to me.” Sometimes that filter malfunctioning even extends to my fingers, so yeah, I’ll occasionally type things of that nature too. Occasionally might be a bit of a slight under-exaggeration. I have problems. One of those is a rather large lack of faith in myself. Another of those is not taking compliments well. When you add those up…well, you usually get the word ‘garbage’ in some way or another. It’s been one of my favorites lately.

Also…When most of your Christmas presents include pajamas, fuzzy socks, Starbucks gift cards, and candy? Well…it makes you realize that some people know you pretty dag on well. 🙂

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas (or whatever holiday(s) potentially celebrated recently), full of wonderful experiences that don’t involve you being unable to speak in a satisfactory way to your family, sweating, migraines, etc. 🙂

Self-publishing.

Yeah. I’m doing it.

I know, I know. I said I was going to attempt querying and do the whole shebang (get an agent and we all lived happily ever after with a picket fence and 2.4 dogs, er, kids).

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a little while knows I flopped back and forth about it (don’t we all?). I spent so much time weighing the pros and cons of each – carefully and meticulously – until all cons blurred with pros and pros were cons and cons were . . . um . . . what’s going on? That was basically how it went in my head for a very long time, so I told my husband to make a decision on it. I was content with that for about a day or two, and then the mental-flopping began again. I didn’t want to blog about it because I wanted to get it sorted in my head.

I realized, after speaking with so many people, that this was a decision only I could make.

I started looking into cover artists just for curiosities sake and found one that I LOVED.

For about four days, I did nothing but flop around mentally afterward. I mulled over the word author. I’ve said it before that I will NOT call myself one unless the word aspiring is in front of it. Not yet.

One night, I looked up the definition of it. I kind of had a moment. There was no ‘traditionally published’ in the definition, of course. For one of those days, I contemplated over the word – what it meant, what it meant to other people, and what it meant to me.

Rather than focus on pros and cons, I started focusing on why. Why did I want to be published traditionally? What was drawing me to self-publishing despite the stars and rainbows and glitter of the P and the T together?

When thinking about the why . . . it fell into place.

I don’t need a publishing contract to accomplish what I’ve wanted to accomplish with this. All I want is for ONE person out there to love my books – to make an impact on a person the way that some books have impacted me. I don’t need a P and a T together for that. I don’t.

So I made the decision about a week and a half ago and I haven’t looked back since.

There hasn’t been one single flop from me, or even one second of doubting the choice I’ve made.

I don’t like posting things on here unless they’re set in stone. I’m feeling comfortable with sharing now.

I’ve been arranging things with that love-inducing cover artist and the photographer. I love them both. Seriously. Details are being figured out and things are being put in motion.

My editor had to extend the date of finishing my novel, so I won’t have it back until early to mid-October. I’m trying to get everything done that can be done until that point.

As of now, I’m shooting for early December. That’s going to depend on how everything works out, but now . . . I’ll be able to keep you all updated.

It’s so freaking weird having things moving. I spent such a long time feeling like my entire world was at a standstill.

Anyway. No more waiting. It’s time to start letting them go. I’m worried, of course, but . . . I’m feeling good. I’m excited. I never thought I’d be more excited than stressed/nervous, but . . . I am.

Wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it.

O.O

Writer’s block, and other things.

So . . . it’s happened to me.

It took me two days to realize that I had writer’s block. Two days of sitting in my shed, staring at the screen of my laptop.

I’ve had difficult scenes to write before, of course. I trudge along through them – sometimes slowly – and stick my conquering flag in the face of whatever character or situation caused me so much grief. I never laugh though, so don’t picture me laughing while you’re picturing me sticking that conquering flag wherever I’m talking about (if you are). It’s never a funny thing – or a pleasant one. It’s simply something that must be done at some point or another during every story (or at many points, depending on). After writing two complete series (albeit one sh- er . . . uhm . . . crappy one), I’m no stranger to difficult scenes.

It was different this time.

Firstly, that it took me so long to realize that WRITER’S BLOCK had me at a near standstill.

Secondly, the scene I was stuck on was only remotely difficult. It wasn’t anything to bat more than a couple eyelashes at.

In two days, I wrote only about half of a chapter.

On the second of those days, I LITERALLY wrote one half of a page (keep in mind that this is while using Georgia font 12, so that half a page was not really half a page, but close).

This is not saying I sat down for an hour or so combined. I’m talking two entire NIGHTS. I know a lot of people are lucky to get that much written, usually because they have real jobs and the like. This is not me bragging (and I will say it again, I type very fast and I have a lot of time to write), but I usually knock some pretty decent word counts out in the eight to fourteen hours a day that I’m writing. Clearly. That’s a lot of time.

Last night was better. Mostly because I think I realized what’s been plaguing me. It has everything to do with that entry I wrote a few days ago – Overwhelmed by the new WIP. There’s just SO MUCH going on past the eyes of the current MC. So many things that I somewhat knew about, but didn’t really. So many characters that haven’t yet come into the story. So many ties connecting them all together. And I have to figure it out. That’s the issue.

I made some character chart things. Or basic ones – questions that need to be asked for all of them. Who are you?

Haven’t filled any of them out yet.

I had to come up with names that aren’t relevant yet. All kinds of names. Let me tell you – coming up with a giant list of names at one time is SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT than the spur of the moment names when introducing one character to another. I drew a map of this world, separating all the kingdoms. EPIC FAILURE. I tried again (with pencil). Had to put forests where I knew they were. Rivers. Because all of this is relevant in some way or another. The devil is most certainly in the details. The second attempt was only a minor failure. Well, that would depend on your outlook, I suppose. It was a better attempt than the first and – for the most part – I think I’ve got everything (so far) where it needs to be.

I’m trying to figure out when to do all of this (all of the lists/charts/webs [webs are important with this]) and I don’t have a freaking clue. I want to write. Of course this was all hanging me up, preventing me from writing in the first place. I have things to do on here. I have about four blog awards to accept (I WILL GET TO THEM AT SOME POINT! I REALLY HAVE EVERY INTENTION OF IT!). Comments piled up while I was working (I’M SORRY, I WILL GET TO THOSE HERE IN A BIT!). I have some emails that I want to respond to (I WILL GET TO THOSE IN A LITTLE BIT LONGER BIT BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO TAKE ME A FEW HOURS!). I want to sit down with Husband and watch a movie we bought the other day. I had to pick blackberries and make jelly with my mom yesterday. Had to welcome my niece back home. I need to eat at some point.

Yes, not very many things, I know. But if you write on a regular basis, you’ll know that every minute you spend doing something else is a minute that you could’ve been writing. Depending on your typing speed, a minute is what? Between 60-120 words? Add sixty of those together and you get . . . well, I’m bad at math and I don’t feel like adding it up.

LOTS OF WORDS.

I have issues, I know.

A minute spent doing character sheets. A minute spent responding to comments. A minute spent blogging. A minute spent doing anything.

And I actually took a bit of time to do some fun things on Friday. Went to Qdoba with my husband, tweeted about it and they tweeted me back (I’m sure they do that with everybody, but it was super awesome for me). Went and saw The Lone Ranger. Don’t even get me started on that. I actually wanted to blog about that movie and I might. I just wanted to make sure I’d do it with a calm mind.

Irrelevant.

Minutes. Words.

Clearly I’m losing it.

Can anybody see why I crawl into a little hermit-hole while I’m writing?

Sorry.

Thanks everybody for being so cool about all of it and (for some reason) liking me anyway.

Hope you’re all having wonderful days and whatnot. And I hope that no one else is plagued by the WB. Kind of like that down-bug that made its way ’round a few weeks ago. Be careful. Don’t catch this one.

Hmm . . . come to think about it . . . It would probably be best to go seclude myself. Just so nobody else gets it. 😉

Overwhelmed by the new WIP

The title says it all, doesn’t it?

I somehow managed to fix my sleep schedule back to normal (nocturnal) after that first night of coming home from Florida. So, for the past several days, all I’ve been doing is WRITING. Time has slipped away from me. I’m not ashamed of it, and I feel only slightly guilty.

Things are going well with this second book (so far). I’m writing it from another character’s perspective. Interactive. The story rolls on.

Here’s the thing . . .

I write a LOT of characters over the course of a series. I’m not even going to tell you how many were in S2. It seems natural to me. People meet other people. I guess it’s enough to be confusing if you have a difficult time remembering names. Normally, I don’t.

And you see . . . it’s not that there are a crapton of characters being introduced in these new books. There really isn’t. It’s everything else.

EVERYTHING.

I made up a new world in S2. Cities, small towns, etc. But it seems so . . . my god, I’m going to hate saying this, but it seems so basic in comparison.

Now I’ve got magic to deal with. Who can do what most efficiently. What it looks like when each of them use it (and its differences).

I’ve got creatures.

I’ve got dragons with names.

Ties. Families. Wars. Lineage. Kingdoms. Villages. Armies. Generals. Units. Laws. Punishments. More ties. Marriages. Kids. Taverns. Weapons. Soldiers. Secrets. More magic. SO MUCH MORE MAGIC. HAVE I USED THAT NAME? WHICH DRAGON IS WHICH? HOLY JESUS, WHAT COLOR DID I MAKE THEM AGAIN? WHAT’S THAT ABOUT REPRODUCTION? WHAT WAS THAT NAME? WTF IS GOING ON HERE?!

I uhm . . . I’m going to have to map this stuff out.

This will be a first, minus my little lists for sh . . . er . . uhm . . . craps and giggles. Lists of names, usually. Gotta make sure they’re not too similar (as I tend to do that occasionally). Lists of chapter titles. Lists of word counts for each chapter after each editing. Tallies of each cuss word and how many times they’re each used. Yes, I’ve got a bit of OCD. I like lists. And apparently the word each when writing the past few sentences.

But now I’m going to have to make detailed sheets, like . . . for each thing. It’s new. It’s made my eyes twitch a few times, thinking about it.

Anyway. What I’m trying to say here is, “Hey. I’m a little busy right now.”

I know I try to post every three days. I think I’m a day off right now. I might have to extend that a little.

Here comes the guilt.

We’ll say I’ll try to give an update and say hello every four days or so. I’m usually pretty good at responding to comments, but I’ve even fallen off on that. I’m just feeling very overwhelmed at the moment. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but honestly? I’m looking forward to it. This will be a new experience. New experiences – yaaaaaay.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. That’s what I’ll be doing. That’s what’s going on.

Hope all of you out there in the vast expanses of internetdom are having wonderful days and all that good stuff.

I sure am, despite the eye twitching.

I shall wave the shame fan in my own face for being such a horrible person and neglecting my social networking stuff.

My trip to Florida. Yes, there are pictures.

Florida was definitely . . . hmm . . . unexpected – all around.

I had some fun. I had some revelations. It was an experience, for sure.

One of the first revelations will be one of the last that I mention on here.

The following one: I might have to do some spelling lessons with my niece when she returns.

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My next revelation was that Florida during the rainy season is quite unpleasant at times, and somewhat scary at others. I recorded a video, but have no intention of posting it.

My disdain for Spanish Moss has not lessened in severity since leaving Georgia several years ago. No offense to those who are fans of it, but it just disgusts me. I have a horrible daymare about a big chunk of it falling from a tree, such as the one below, and landing on my head.

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Something completely unexpected was (what my friend J calls) a magnificent little plot bunny hopping around in front of my face, while looking out very early into the trip at the scenery below and hearing a story about a certain bird. (If you follow me on Twitter, that is the lamppost I mentioned on there as well, though from a different angle).

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Beach Day Number 1 was fun. My sister and I went alone and alternated between laying out, and walking around in the water.

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We then shared a giant platter of fried seafood (and fries) after, which was lovely. Our waiter needed a haircut.

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Dogs, generally, love me. The latter of those below followed me around the entire time while at the house. He tried to sleep on the bed with me one night and was so insistent on staying there that he had to be picked up and carried away. Poor thing. And yes, those are two different dogs. They are both thirteen or fourteen years old, believe it or not.

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Beach Day Number 2 involved several people and LOTS of rain. Needless to say, I have no pictures of during. It rained on us the entire time. I had children holding my hands (which was strange, but made me wonder if I MIGHT NOT be so horrendous at dealing with them when I possibly have my own one day).  I got the crap beat out of me by waves (which was a good laugh). All in all, it was a startlingly fun time. I’m glad there was no lightning, or else the time wouldn’t have happened at all.

The picture below is of my grogginess waking up on Beach Day Number 3. Those are my favorite sunglasses. They broke, shortly after I took this picture.

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I am expecting some pictures of BDN3 to appear in my email at some point, but as of now, I have none. That was another day with many people. Another revelation I had that day: My social anxiety has NOT lessened. I nearly had a panic attack due to the COPIOUS amounts of people on the beach. It was not pretty. Not at all. Well, the BEACH was pretty, but me on the beach? Not so much!

Later on, after it rained (which cleared out most of the people), my sister and I walked around in the water, looking for seashells. She found the best ones, but she let me have them.

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Beach Day Number 4 was only me and my sister again (yes, I know that is not the appropriate way to say that).

It was lots of fun, apart from some strange sand-bee things that were hovering around our laying-out-blanket. And, of course, the seagulls always make for a nervous time. Poo? No thank you. Also, some jerks tossing a football over people’s heads right before we left caused a bit of frustration. Anyway, that was the only day we saw dolphins. As mentioned in the last entry, my sister took 30 pictures of them while I was away for a few minutes. I will spare you of them all. If you see the little specks far off into the distance on the second picture – that’ll be the dolphins. Yes. Specks.

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The last full day was the 4th of July. I was missing Husband terribly, dyed my hair again, and was then thrown around people I didn’t know, a couple more kids, etc., and was about fifty million different levels of uncomfortable. The picture below is me sitting in the car while the kids did things at a little carnival type . . . thing? My misery level was 9000.

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But things got a little better (about 3 hours or so after that picture). Watched fireworks. Got a glow bracelet (hadn’t had one of those in a long time . . . I’ll disregard that it was yellow). Plus, I’d had some awesome blue cake earlier in the day, which was pretty great.

A few small things? I got an email from a friend that absolutely MADE one of my days. I spent some time with some awesome people. I found out that my favorite band, Geographer, will be playing close enough for me to see them. Yes, six hours of driving is close enough to see them. Don’t even talk to me about social anxiety; I will stomach it for them. I missed them the last time they were that close and I’ve been regretting it ever since.

Anywho, that was basically my trip.

But apart from realizing that I DO NOT LIKE BEING AWAY FROM MY HUSBAND, I also realized that my sister and I? Well, we can have a pretty dag on good time together. That was the best thing about all of it for me, which is what he’d hoped – for the two of us to get some quality time together. We did.

We drank a CRAPTON of coffee (though it was never as strong as I like). We laughed. We talked. We talked some more. She made jokes about her Flintstone feet; we then painted our toenails to match and had ‘chrome wheels’. She fishtail braided my hair (I’d never had it done, and she’d never done it). I made her listen to Mr. Roboto (WHO HASN’T HEARD THAT SONG?!). We listened to SO much music. We did a lot of talking.

I’ll tell you what . . . that plot bunny aside?

All of that stuff with my sister was the best part of the trip. And missing Husband (and having several anxiety-episodes) aside?

I’m glad I went.

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