Mother Lovin’ (& Mah Plans – 07/09)


red heart with 'mum' written inside

Credit: palomaironique

I love my mum.
*nods*
That’s pretty much what today’s post is about. If you don’t fancy that, feel free to skip ahead to my round-up of August in terms of goals.

Last week was an awful week. There’s no two ways about it. Too many small things reared up and worked their deadly magic to make me feel low, scared and (very) weepy. Funnily enough, it didn’t seem to affect my productivity because a hell of a lot has been done regardless. But not happily. Not with my usual cheer, enthusiasm and verve.

This is where Mum comes in. She got two phone calls from me (Da Shared Brain) last week. Two frantic, blubbing, incoherent phone calls in the space of four days. Both for different reasons. Both saying the same thing. I can’t cope.

The first thing she did was nothing. Meaning she didn’t try to comfort me or get me to explain. She just heard the tears in my voice and told me to cry. To get it out. And she was quiet while I did it. Silent but for the occasional soothing sound and whisper of my name. How is it that doing nothing can be so powerful? So helpful? So perfect. And how did she know that’s exactly what I needed?!

Is she magical? Psychic? Secretly recording video in my home and streaming it to her phone, Big Brother style?
Probably not.
But she is my mum. She’s known me longer and more thoroughly than anybody on earth (bar Dad, I guess) and that allows her to guess at what I need. And often she doesn’t need to guess. She just knows. More times than I can count, I’ve woken up to a text message telling me that she’s thinking of me. And I didn’t even know I needed the reminder under I saw it. She’s bailed me out of trouble, listened to me get into trouble and never, ever judged me. Ever.

Every now and then, despite my writing the post, DSB rears up and takes over to set the tone. This is one of those days.

I just need to take a moment to say thank you, Mum. Despite my status as ‘a writer’ I’ll never be able to find the right words to express fully how I feel and what happens inside when you help me. Even if that help is just holding a phone to your ear while I weep into it at the other end.

Thanks.line break, swirling graphics, from openclipartblank calendar from OpenClipArtAugust. Tick. The month is over and September looms bright and shiny and new. So many projects have come to a head that I think it’s safe to stop writing new stuff for a bit. Maybe. Perhaps. Let’s recap first, shall we?

Last week

Finish read through of SORB and make last minute corrections.
Sorted. I can’t mess with it any more. I need to let it go (famous last words).

Case availability of my editor and arrange when to send file.
Also done. In fact I sent her the file last night. There’s nothing more I can do to it without starting to edit my voice out of it, so I let it go. It’s in other hands now. Let’s just see what happens.

Work through known contacts of Deviant Art with regards to commissions for cover art.
One so far and a mutual contact through Facebook already contacted. I’m quite excited by the level of talent out there, and it seems that there are plenty of folk able to do what I need. I just gotta pick one!

Outline marketing plan
Nah. I mean I have some vague ideas, but insofar as making something that might be called ‘a plan’ I’m not quite there. Maybe this week?

Start deep edits on my ghost story (complete at least 2,500 words)
Started, continued and done. I realised somewhere in the middle of yesterday morning that the submission deadline was today and not in fact the end of the month. -_- Having shared the link so many times I’m stunned that I misread it so terribly, but it did mean that I had to step up the pace to get the edits done. I know I could still work on it. I could do more, but I realised last night that I had to choose; send out a piece I was confident in but still wanted to edit, or miss the deadline and edit it forever and ever. This is another example of ‘letting it go.’ And I did. King of Christmas has been sent and so too has another story I may have mentioned here before called The Last Time. All I need to do now is wait and see what follows.

August 2014 Goal Recap

Complete changes based on beta notes on SORB
As highlighted above, SORB is done. But for the remains of the notes from my editor there is nothing left to do but sort out peripheral detail.

Work on collaborative project
This was a silly goal. It’s too vague and didn’t give me something clear to aim for. Yes I’ve worked on it, but what have I achieved? I can’t measure that because I didn’t say what I wanted. This month I’ll do better in that regard. And, even better, I can tell you more about the project now and invite those who are interested to join me. So stay tuned; Saturday is the big day for hearing all about what I’ve been working on so secretly.

Write ghost story for Boo Books anthology call
Not only written but edited and submitted. Now that I think about it, I didn’t leave myself as much time as I should have. I’ll know for next time; a month just isn’t long enough. Even with a cap of 5,000 words.

Goals for September 2014

  1. Know who is going to produce cover art for SORB and how much it is going to cost. Have at least a faux deadline for completion of primary artwork.
  2. Have a clear idea of the steps I plan to take insofar as marketing (including blog tours, promotion posts, cover reveals, excerpts and social media work).
  3. Submit one existing piece (short story / flash fiction) to an appropriate (and preferably free) competition.
  4. Take on Phase Two of my collaborative project and find fellow conspirators (remember to check in on Saturday for more concrete details)
  5. Chill the fuck out.

This Week

Number 5 of that list is a very important one. I get the feeling that my phone calls last week would have been far less frantic if I took that advice. So here’s what I plan to do this week.

  1. Spend at least two nights NOT working*
  2. Get at least three early nights sleep*
  3. Find two potential cover artists and get in contact
  4. Outline marketing plan

*Yes, yes, I know these aren’t writing goals, but I’m starting to realise that if I don’t include these things in my list then I actually won’t do them. Go figure.

There. Now the drafting and editing has done I genuinely feel that my brain will ease off the peddle a bit. So far I’ve felt unable because there is so much to do. Now I can step back, have a rest and look to the other part of being a self pubbing author. The part that involves very little creative writing at all, but lots of planning, begging, organising and waiting.

Wish me luck!
new ileandra signature,

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Like, A Curse (#RavenRantz No.3)


Good morning. Ish.
Today (after smacking Ileandra on the head so she can’t interrupt) I’m going to have me a rant. Just a small one, but a rant just the same. Buckle in.

Likes.

black and white thumbs up

Credit: mrtossum

I first came across this concept on Facebook. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Someone posts a picture, or makes a comment. You look/read/watch it and think ‘yeah, that’s cool’ or ‘I agree’ or ‘wow, that’s the deepest and most profound thing I’ve ever seen!’ Not likely on Facebook, but bear with me, okay?

So you’ve had that thought. And what do you do? You ‘like’ the post. You click a little link beneath the posting to show the postee (is that a word?) and the rest of the world that you ‘like’ this post. And then you go on your way and forget about it.

Don’t argue, you do. Or most of you do. I certainly do.

After all, I’ve done my bit, haven’t I? I’ve become involved. I’ve interacted. I’ve let people know how I really feel about the content of this post and how much it touched me, right?

Of course not.

A few weeks ago Da Shared Brain found this post by a Facebook user who stopped using the like button. She read it, mused over it and thought she’d give it a try. Since then DSB’s Facebook experience has been far more pleasant. Not like the author of that post, because DSB never really experienced links like those highlighted. Having never really ‘liked’ stuff like that in the past, the issue never came up. But she did find that the social media platform known as Facebook has suddenly become exactly that; social. Making comments rather than just hitting ‘like’ opens up a dialogue between people. It allows one to actually say what one thinks rather than a generic-catch-all-could-mean-anything ‘like.’

It was only meant to be an experiment, but DSB will be continuing to comment rather than like for the foreseeable future. She likes it. Hell, I do too; our Facebook fan page has exploded with activity and I can only guess that this is related to what the personal profile of DSB is doing. It’s lovely being able to actually talk to people and I hope that continues.

But why am I chuntering about Facebook? Because WordPress has recently followed suit and introduced a ‘like’ button. Not for posts, that was always there and I could write a whole separate post on why I prefer the WordPress ‘like’ versus the Facebook ‘like’. No, WordPress introduced ‘like’ for comments.

speech bubbles from openclipart

Credit: ousia

I don’t know if it really is new – maybe I just missed it – but I’ve recently received notifications that people have ‘liked’ my comments. o.O Maybe I’ve been spoiled by DSB’s experience on Facebook, but I much preferred when people responded to my comments rather than just ‘liking’ them. Because I end up thinking ‘do they really?’ Do they like the comment as a whole, or just a portion of it? Does it resonate with them or did it make them giggle? Are they involved with what I’ve said or have they nothing to add so they just want to show their presence by clicking like (which is totally what I used to do)?

-_- It’s a tricky one. Particularly in the blogosphere because we’re all phenomenally busy people. As much as we would like to read every post, comment on every post, we just don’t have the time. Having a convenient ‘like’ button is a great way of showing that we are involved and that we do care, even if we don’t have the time to make a full comment. And I appreciate that function. But I do wonder if the fact that I have so little times means that I should just pare things down and devote more of my attention to a few things, rather than a fragment of my attention to many things.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. Not so much a rant, I suppose, as a series of observations.

What do you think? Like or comment to let me know. :-p

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Name That Body Part! – (& I Haz Planz 28/08)


Wow in big letters

Credit: TikiGiki

Sprog2 found his testicles this week.
Not that they were lost, more than he noticed them for the first time.

Picture the scene:

Two boys in the bath, covered in bubbles. Weary Mum (yeah, that’s me) sitting on the toilet with her head in her hands, trying to organise her thoughts into something resembling order. When that fails (as it often does) Mum picks up a pumice stone and starts shaving her feet.

Sprog2: Is it balls inside?
Mum: What?
Sprog2: Balls. Tiny balls inside.
Mum: *wearily* I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Sprog2: Tiny balls. Two balls. Inside.

Sprog2 promptly stands up in a wash of bubbles (soaking the floor in the process) and shows Mum his ‘two balls.’

Mum: Ooh! *cautiously* Testicles?
Sprog2: *super proud* TESTICLES!

Now… I immediately gave him the correct word, as we also do for various parts of the anatomy. Penis ranges from ‘penis’ to ‘willie’ to ‘wee-wee’ which is interesting and amusing all at the same time. Breasts are also known as ‘boobs’ and ‘boobies’ in this house. Vagina is an interesting one, but since there’s only mine in the house to worry about, it doesn’t come up very often (who knew I’d eventually wind up in a house with three lads?).

Anyway, this post isn’t just a check-in on my boys (though I’m sure you appreciate that :p) but an observation about how I, as a writer of erotica, treat certain parts of the body when I name them.

Working with Breathless Press, I’m thinking a great deal about the sort of language I’ve used in ‘Slippers & Chains‘. I’m also forced to think about the conventions in the UK and how they may differ in the US. In fact, I need to ask my editor about that, since I’ve obviously used UK slang and phrases for my characters. I’m already all ready having to change all my spelling, I need to know if that’s a problem too.

I’m most interested in the way body parts are treated by other authors (British or not) when writing about sex or even non-intimate relations. Looking at my own words is even more interesting because I’ve very clearly settled on a small cluster of words that I’m comfortable with using over and over (eg cock, boobs, dick, pussy, clit, member, arse ass, balls, nads, tits). There are some I use less often but they do still get an airing every now and then (schlong, meat, prick, snake – notice those are all substitutes for penis?). Very rarely in my writing (or in anybody else’s, actually) do you see the word ‘penis’ or ‘vagina.’

paniking man from open clip artWhy is that? Is there something inherently unsexy about the correct words? Are they just too clinical? What is it?

In my first draft of ‘Slippers & Chains’ I used the proper names and, as soon as I began to edit, I took them all out. Something in my head just reared up and bayed at the sight of ‘vagina’ on the page. Whyyyy?

I don’t know. Frankly put I’m too tired to dwell on it over might right now (hence the late post, sorry about that!) but I wanted to put the thoughts out there. I wondered if you guys might have anything to add that may put my weary mind at ease.

What do you think?line break, swirling graphics, from openclipartBesides giving myself a headache thinking about stuff like that ^ what else have I been up to? Let’s see:

Last Week
Eeeerm. Don’t know. I just don’t know. Something happened in the middle and, despite getting loads done, it’s not the stuff on this list. *shrugs*

~Read through ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’ and decide if I really want to rewrite the whole thing. Dependant on outcome: 1) Rewrite ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’ OR 2) Begin deep edits of current version.
Nope. I know now that I want to rewrite the story (the original is bad. Soooooooooo bad!) but I’ve not started it. At all. Even a tiny bit. Not even created a new Scrivener document for it. Ah well.

~Secure five beta readers for ‘Eric & Morgan’
Nope. *shrugs*

This Week
The lesson I’m taking from this is to pay attention to my mood and my diary. My mood dictates whether or not I actually work rather than sitting in a dark corner playing Sims 3 until midnight while my diary will tell me if it’s feasible that I even try.

The summer holiday period is over now. This means that no matter how much I might want to keep pushing at the rate I have been, I’ll have no choice but to slow down because I just won’t have as much daytime to work in any more. This means scaling back the goals to fit into evenings once more and trying my hardest not to get disheartened because of how slow things are.

So…

  1. Write 3,000 words of the new ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’ short story
  2. Be prepared to go over edits on ‘Eric & Morgan’ from Karen
  3. Complete pre-edit checklist for ‘Slippers & Chains’ provided by Breathless Press

Any more than that and my head will explode. It just will, so I’m going to leave it there.

Wish me luck, my lovelies!

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The Worth of Beta Readers (& Mah Plans – 25/08)


I’m finally there. Finally!

Last week (on Friday) I finished inputting the edits on Silk Over Razor Blades that I had planned out as a result of comments from my beta readers. I talked about how close I was on Facebook for a brief spell, but that was before I finished. Did you see this?

FB update re SORBNow the novel is finished, the chapter order is as indicated by that post. It just means that some of the later chapter hooks got moved forward and others moved back. As a result the whole novel is just that little bit smarter with pace. When you’ve been working on something as long as this, it’s hard to see where the slow bits are and even though I took about 12 chapters out before betas got near it, I still needed to remove more and/or combine others.

I wouldn’t have seen this alone. I was so chuffed to get to a point that I was ready for people to see the novel that I stopped thinking about the structure of the piece. That’s okay. It’s been almost a year now, it’s normal for someone to get so wrapped up in something that they can’t even see it any more. Not just writers.

This is why you need betas. They show off things you become blind to. They also give you important opinions based around their own skill set (other writers, readers of fantasy, trained proofreaders/editors). All of these things combine to make a novel it best it can be, so long as you take on board all of it, then decide what to dismiss and what to keep.

My babes out and about.

My ACTUAL babies. Not so small these days…

I’ll be honest, I resisted lots of the changes. And there weren’t many. But SORB is my baby and I didn’t want anybody else telling me how to dress her (I certainly don’t allow that with my own kids1). But if I’m trying to dress my baby in swim-wear when it’s minus 12 degrees outside, then really I should be paying attention. Understand?

But that’s why it took so long to get started. I’d had my complete set of comments for a month before starting. Maybe longer. And I know it’s because I was looking at the thoughts of people I know and trust and knowing there were in right. In places. And the thought of making the changes required was too hard to bear.

It would take so long….
It would change my vision of the novel…
It would not longer be mine…
It would put back the publication date….

All of those things were lies but one. The publication date will go back, but since that wasn’t set in stone it’s not really a big deal. But the rest? It took as long as it needed to. My novel is still the same, my vision has been maintained and, as a result, SORB is most certainly mine. I believe, firmly, that nobody else could write this story. It’s mine and the changes made as a result of my beta comments have helped me tell it in a much better way.

So there we are. I’m reading it again now. Start to finish, picking up tiny errors that came about as a result of the editing process. But there’s no more revising now. No more fiddling with chapter order or plot structure. That’s done. After this read-through I’ll be sending it to my editor.

You may need to scrape me off the floor….

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipartThe month is nearly over. September approaches. Looking back over what I wanted to achieve over August I think I’ve done pretty damn well. One week to go.

Last week

Highlighted by the major achievement of finishing with the beta comments. But I’m sure I managed to do some other things too.

Let ghost story sit until Saturday at which point I may get to read the next section at the Phoenix Writers
Done. I also got to read the next 1,000 words on the Saturday. I have some interesting questions from the group so I think I’m now ready to begin editing.

Complete editing on five chapters of SORB (across the whole working week)
Done. But not just the chapters, the whole thing, as I mentioned above. Wooo-bi-hooo!

This Week

This is the home stretch now. I think it’s time to focus on lots of little jobs.

  1. Finish read through of SORB and make last minute corrections.
  2. Case availability of my editor and arrange when to send file.
  3. Work through known contacts of Deviant Art with regards to commissions for cover art.
  4. Outline marketing plan
  5. Start deep edits on my ghost story (complete at least 2,500 words)

I’m so happy right now I could float right off my chair. I haven’t yet, but there has been some crazy dancing going on in the house. Have you seen this yet?

Heh, heh, heh.
new ileandra signature,

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Raven’s August Indie eBook Review: Holiday Submission


Holiday Submission cover art

Credit: Marilyn Lakewood

Author: Marilyn Lakewood
Title: Hollywood Submission
Genre: BDSM Erotica / Romance
ISBN: 9781939564450
Words: 21,300
‘Caro Anderson feared two things. The wrong kind of sexual dominant—and never finding the right one. Cruel lessons taught her not to give her heart—but her heart is what Rhys Devlin demands. Together they discover how much is enough, and what they truly need.’


Woo, another lunch time read devoured during one of my lunch breaks. I’m getting pretty good at this. ;-) At first glance, this story seemed like just my thing. Dipping beneath the cover and reading it proved exactly that.

Cover:

Simple. Clean. Cute.
Good choice of font and all the information is there in a non obtrusive and stylish way. I even like the image. All round good’un as far as I’m concerned.

Story:

Caro is looking for a Dom. One who can give her want she wants needs from a D/s relationship. To get this she has enlisted the help of a professional Dom (Rhys) and given herself over to him for the weekend. Her safe word? Kiss me.
Rhys wants nothing more than to do exactly that, but before he can, he needs to make her use the safe word.
Cue smexxyness.
Not quite read something like this before. There are lots of stories of women looking for ‘real’ Doms and going gooey when they finally get what they want, but this had something new to it. Something fresh. The ‘kiss me’ angle was something I really liked for the insight it gave into both characters. It added new dimensions to the whole story.

Characters:

Caro felt a lot like many other BDSM story heroines I’ve come across. Hardness and hardship in the past have lead her to shut herself off and only the ‘right Dom’ can bring her out of her shell and let her experience the joy that is true submission. Yes… but what does she really want? What does she like outside of kink? Who is this woman? Unfortunately, despite how much I like her, I’m not sure I know.
Rhys is the male version of what I described above. I want to know more about what’s going on behind the kinky head.
Part of me wonders if it’s the length of the piece that ensures we never get as close as I’d like, but I’m not sure that’s it. I wish I could put my finger on it exactly.

Eroticism:

Plenty. Tasteful and sensual. Certainly fun to read. There was one scene I disliked in which there was another man involved. Not because of the additional body, but because of the actions of Caro and Rhys. Without giving too much away his actions seemed unnecessarily mean on an emotional level which didn’t quite fit with the idea that he wanted to keep this new sub all to himself. Beyond that, there was a pretty good mix of the tenderness and the pain often associated with BDSM couplings. Testing of limits (but sensibly) and not once did I fear that either party didn’t know what they were doing.

Overall experience:

No complaints about the text or story, it was a fun little read. For my liking, the narrative leapt between heads a little too much (maybe that was the problem I was having with characters?) but I suppose that’s a good device for giving over both sides of the story.

Final score:

Average across all scores is a nice clean 4 fireballs.

I liked this a lot. Again, maybe because my head is so full of ‘Slippers & Chains’ right now I’m seeking out a lot of BDSM. But it’s nice to see someone else handle the subject in a way that doesn’t make me want to gouge out my eyes with a dull spoon.

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#erotica, #romance and Twitter – (& I Haz Planz 21/08)


Over recent weeks I’ve spent a lot of time browsing hash tags on Twitter. I’ve been looking at what authors are doing, what readers are doing and generally meeting people. Lovely conversations are taking place across some of those tags and I’m enjoying myself immensely.

But! On Monday I looked at the #romance tag for the first time. I figured there are romantic elements about some of the Meeting Each Other series, it seems silly just to hang out in #erotica when there are so many facets to what I do. But what I found there shocked me.

Soooo many posts about #tits and #boobs and #pussy and #phatass and #cock. Tonnes! #dirtydaddy, #porn, #teen, #incest and #fuck. The sorts of things that I might have expected to find in the #erotica tag when people get the wrong idea. But no… for some reason these things are now associated with romance.

girl in purple asking questions

Whuuut?!

When did that happen? When did erotica get so gentle and sensual and romance become all about getting your leg over. Isn’t that backwards? I mean, no, it’s not, but if you were asking someone unfamiliar with the difference, wouldn’t they say that was backwards?

I’m so confused.

I haven’t been back to the romance tag since. I’m scared to. I don’t want to stumble across any more dick-pics (which I’m sure aren’t allowed on Twitter, by the way).

Did you know this was happening? Or was this just a bad day? Have you come across this? What do you think? Talk to me lovers, because I just don’t understand what happened there.

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipartPhew. *wipes brow* Okay. Calmer now. What have I been up to this week?

Last Week
Not too bad. Some things I chose to leave for another week, others I just forgot about. Let’s look.

~Make sure my newsletter goes out on time using the new host client
No. Ha. It did go out, but it didn’t go on time. Two days late. I’ll tell you what though; I’m so glad I switched. The new host is BEAUTIFUL and sooooo easy to use. And remember, if you’d like to get my monthly newsletter (and the freebies that come with it) be sure to sign up as soon as possible.

~Transfer ‘Eric & Morgan’ fine edits back to Scrivener
Done. I need to do one last read from the Kindle and then send it off. I’ve already prepared the file so I have an idea of the length of the whole thing too. Sitting around the 7,500 mark so it fits in neatly with the others. It’s all going well.

~Hit the beta reader trail
Yes and no. I have a list of my usual betas though everyone seems mega busy right now. Not too surprised by that. It’s getting away from Summer and all sorts of things seem to kick off in Autumn. Ho hum. I’ll keep going. I need at least five readers to ensure I get the full spectrum.

This Week
Time to step up my game a bit. I want the Meeting Each Other series done by the end of the year. To achieve that I need to move faster so I need to get back to working at a reasonable pace.

  1. Read through ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’ and decide if I really want to rewrite the whole thing. Dependant on outcome:
    1. Rewrite ‘Simone & Mr Bradford’ OR
    2. Begin deep edits of current version
  2. Secure five beta readers for ‘Eric & Morgan’

There. And remember my request is still out there. If any of you would like to read ‘Eric & Morgan’ before it’s out to the general public I’d appreciate your input. It’s a romantic MM pairing, available in .doc, .mobi and .epub files. Let me know, eh?

Catch you on Saturday. ^_^

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Epic Fantasy Is FUCKING EPIC!!! (& Mah Plans – 18/08)


A Song of Ice and Fire a while ago. Or at least as far as it goes so far. I powered through those books in a way I haven’t for a long, long time. They’re amazing! Wonderful characterisation, rich and vibrant settings, enticing plot. My only complaint is that it’s taking so long to get from the start to the finish, both for George RR Martin and myself. This series of books, collectively known as Game of Thrones these days (thanks HBO!) is without a doubt, what is often called an ‘epic fantasy series.’

Small tower with red pennant

Credit: nicubunu

I love epic fantasy. This is the traditional/high fantasy that often (but not always) features magic, dragons, mystical creatures and distant imaginary lands. Think of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time or Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings and you have epic fantasy. Think of Katherine Kerr’s Deverry series or pretty much anything at all by Anne McCaffrey or R. A. Salvatore. All epic fantasy.

I call myself a fantasy writer, even though all the examples that you guys will be aware of so far are those of my urban fantasy offerings. Or general fiction.

I’ve never really talked about my epic fantasy before, beyond brief hints of the roleplay I do over at the Ice Wolf Tavern.

But I wanted to put something on your radar. It will be a while coming, mind you, so don’t get too excited, but I do have some epic fantasy on the cards. Ten years ago I decided that my roleplay character Ileandra Young (of course that was her name!) needed a back story. Not only did she need a back story, but she needed it written in full because that was the only way to do justice to the incredible things she did and said in later roleplay. I wrote a back story leading into one of the few completed roleplay threads I’ve been part of; one that helped cement that character in my mind.

That back story became 300,000 words.

gasping/shocked/surprised face OpenClipArt

Yeah. I know. Granted, I know now that what I wrote could (and should) be a quarter of that length, but there are lots (and I mean lots) of little stories within that mess that need to be told. And each of those stories could make a decent 70,000 word novel. That sounds like a series to me. :)

One day, when Saar’s Legacy is done and dusted I’m going to return to those stories. I’m going to pick up that character (who I eventually called T’keyah, when I realised that not every female protagonist could have my name!) and write her story. I’ll write about the loss of her family. The way she travelled across half the country to retrieve her stolen horse. The way she was unfairly accused of murder. The way she gradually came to love her oldest friend in a way that neither of them anticipated. The way she discovered other races and the prejudices of all species, not just her own.

Now I’m older (and hopefully wiser) I can see all the layers in that story. I can see the potential to build something new and exciting from the world and characters I have whirling round in my head.

And it’s going to be epic. ;-)line break, swirling graphics, from openclipartGoals for the week… Can you believe it’s already half way through the month? More than that. The year has gone so fast I can still feel my head spinning. And all the time my deadlines creep closer and closer.

Last week

Better than last. But only in that I over achieved compared to last week. Heh, apparently to feel happy these days I have to exceed my goals, not just meet them. o.O Is it any wonder I have bags under my eyes and grey(ing) hair?

Write at least 1,000 words of Boo Books ghost story per working day (at least three days)
Not only done, but I completed the story. On top of that I took the first 900 words to the Phoenix Writers for a critique. I’m very pleased with the feedback so far and chuffed by my own read through completed last night. We’re all on track to get the story submitted in good time.

Beta edit at least four chapters of Silk Over Razor Blades (at least four working days)
Done. And I had an epiphany. Based on my beta comments I’m shuffling a few of the chapters around. Not only does this allow the tension to rise more steadily, but it also completely cuts out some of the sections where folk seemed to drift away. It speeds up the entire novel (without it becoming breathless) and solves the issue of the first two thirds being somewhat slower than the last. Doing this is going to slow me down, but it’s worth it. Looks like I’ll be publishing in late Autumn rather than the middle, but that’s still on track. *fingers crossed*

Figure out what the hell a blog tour is and how to run one
Nope. Well, I know understand what a blog tour is (ish) but the advise on running one seems far more complicated that it needs to be in my own head. Surely I just talked to a bunch of people I already have relationships with and ask if they’d be kind enough to host me on their blog for a day? That’s my understanding of it, but some of these guides talk about paying for services, sending emails through Twitter and Facebook and going through your mailing list. But surely your mailing list are readers rather than peer authors who can help with a blog tour? *head desk* Anyway, I’m putting it to one side just for the moment. I have other stuff to do.

This Week

Time to narrow the focus. This is what I want to do.

  1. Let ghost story sit until Saturday at which point I may get to read the next section at the Phoenix Writers
  2. Complete editing on five chapters of SORB (across the whole working week)

There. That should keep me busy. Taking on anything else at this point would be daft, so I’m not going to. ;-)

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