Updates after an unplanned absence . . .

So, I’ve been completely absent for nearly a month now. I need to apologize for that.

(I’m sorry!)

It wasn’t planned. I wish I could blame Mercury being in retrograde again, but it is right now and honestly when it started is around the time I started getting everything straightened out. That would’ve made sense (or as much sense as Mercury in retrograde actually makes) as to what was going on with me several weeks ago. I don’t have the excuse.

Do you ever have one of those days where you’re just . . . bleh about everything? Of course you do. We all do.

I had a little more than a week of that. I don’t know what was up with it, but I seriously couldn’t force myself to do much of anything. I worked a little here and there, and just wasn’t feeling it no matter what I tried to work on. Wrote up a few blog posts during that time. Didn’t post them. Then I gave up and just played Skyrim until I felt a little more like myself. I take that back. I played Skyrim until I reached the point of, “I need to work regardless of how I feel. I’ve got too much s*** to do.” Then I worked until I felt more like myself.

I do have my theories to explain the weirdness. I think I was (and still am) overwhelmed. I was bogged down by not just trying to get this second book ready, but trying to get OTHER books ready (so I can eventually focus more attention on new things), also trying to work on new things, all the while trying to figure out how in the world to balance social stuff (at least the internet-sort). I’m used to working a lot (all the time) and prefer it that way, but I think I just hit some weird sort of breaking point that stole absolutely every bit of my motivation/drive. I did NOT like it. I’m used to being stoked to get out of bed every day so I can get to work.

There were also a few road blocks to getting book 2 ready, which left me kind of fumbling around not knowing what to do or what to say to anyone. So I stayed off everything until I would have something a bit more definitive to say.

Let’s see . . .

I have to delay book 2 a bit. Not long, but I was hoping to have it out within the next few days (with my projection). Not going to hit that projection. I don’t have a more set day yet, but I should be able to give everyone an update within a week or so. (*fingers crossed*)

I should have an update about the cover within the week as well. All I can say there is that it’s in the works.

I did (most of) another run-through of the trilogy. I’m currently part of the way through the last book, RIGHT AT the part where the time line flub starts. I wanted to be able to tell everyone I’d finally gotten that fixed, but I can’t because I haven’t.

I did some writing here and there on a few different things. The standalone short story that goes along with the Reave series, and also the ‘spin-off’ (of sorts). I actually got quite a lot done on the former of those.

Book 3 of the Reave Series is already in the hands of a beta-reader and has been for a couple weeks now. I’m really happy to report that people are liking the second book more than the first (LIKE ME!). I’m even happier to say that, last time I checked, my beta-reader was liking the third book even more than the second. (YAAAAAY! That’s SUCH a relief.)

Said beta-reader gave me cupcakes in exchange for B3, so I wasn’t joking before about taking bribes in all forms of cake. Not really. I was going to give her that one anyway, but I do love all forms of cake. By the way, THEY WERE THE MOST DELICIOUS CUPCAKES EVER. Not joking there, or exaggerating.

I passed on an opportunity to go back to Florida with my sister. I’ve been upset about that. I wanted to go, but there’s just TOO MUCH going on right now and I couldn’t justify being gone for ten days. Sad face.

I’ve been going back and forth about whether to release the third book in the Reave Series after the second, or to release the first in the trilogy. I haven’t decided yet. I’ve been wobbling about that for a few months now, but I’m leaning more toward first in the trilogy. That will all depend on a few variables, and I’ll keep you all updated either way.

Let’s see . . .

I went through books 3 & 4 in the RS as well during all this time. I didn’t print them out due to how few changes I made on book 2 the last run-through. Couldn’t justify ‘wasting’ money on the ink . . .

It gave me migraines. I hate going through books on screens, for so many reasons. I probably won’t do that again, ink costs or not. I really don’t know how people can use e-readers. >.< Well, I do know, but I just can’t do the ‘screen’ thing. I digress . . .

I think that’s really about it.

I just need to get my What’s in the works? page updated now to reflect all this and whatnot.

I’ll try to be on here a little more often. There will be a few days (hopefully soon) that I won’t be able to, due to busyness with B2, but I will definitely say something on here before that. I hope nobody else was bitten by the zero-motivation bug. That was seriously one of the worst things ever for me. I hope it never finds me again.

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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Home Again

Well, my sister and I arrived back in good ole’ Kentucky last night. I have every intention of posting an entry about Florida later today, or possibly tomorrow depending on how long it takes me to get the pictures on my computer and sorted through. Yes, I will be posting pictures.  As of this moment, I don’t plan on putting a lot on it. Who knows? I have over 30 pictures that my sister attempted to take of dolphin fins while I was absent. I’ll see how many of them were successful once I get them on a bigger screen. I think she took more pictures in that few minute time span than I took the entire time I was down there. haha

Anywho, just wanted to touch base. Say, “Hey there all! I’m back!”

And also, “Expect an entry later.” Oops – that should have had (!!).

Here in a bit (like . . . a few minutes), I will be comment-responding. Then messing about with pictures once I’m finished. But all the while, I’ll be drinking the first cup of MY USUAL COFFEE that I’ve had in a week. It’s like being in heaven, let me tell you.

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I did something that I never do – made a spur of the moment decision.

My sister called me just after I’d laid down to go to sleep this afternoon (technically yesterday now) and asked Husband and me to go to Florida with her. He couldn’t, due to school responsibilities, but . . . Well, I’m a little over halfway through the ride right now.

I’m a little (or a lot more than a little) conflicted. We’ve never willingly been away from each other for longer than a lunch date or so. And we haven’t spent a single night apart since he came home from his deployment a few years ago. I’m not ashamed to admit that heartless me cried a little (or a bit more than). I miss him. You might think it’s ridiculous, but I miss him terribly.

He told me to enjoy the time with my sister. After passing the point of no return (two hours into the drive), it’s been easier to do. Fun things. I’m trying to think fun things. Beach. Sun. Fun things. But I miss my husband and I wish he was with me. Yes, listen to me continuing to whine. This time I’m not sorry about it.

I probably won’t be posting entries (unless they’re very short or I have a plethora of free time) or responding to things. Using my phone for this is a major pain.

Maybe I’ll get some cool pictures and post them on Instagram.

Hope all of you are having a fun time and are taking advantage of summer.

I guess this is what they call taking time off. Wasn’t what I meant/expected when I said that earlier. Life is funny sometimes.