Category Archives: ROW80

Nothing to See Here…

No, seriously. I have nothing for WIPpet Wednesday. Zip for WIP, if you will. No new words, nothing edited. Here’s what I HAVE been doing:

ROW80 Update

Formatting, etc.

I finished my first goal, which was going through the re-formatted version of Bound, fixing typos/errors, and then uploading the file to Amazon and those other places.

Putting it up was nerve-wracking. The file looks AMAZING on my Kindle and in the Amazon KDP previewer, but less so in the”Look Inside,” which seems to be using the version that shows up on other devices. Bleh.

It’s super pretty in the Kindle, I swear. Drop caps and everything. Fancy.

In any case, and for better or worse, that’s done. And having this version (done with the Vellum program, which is so simple to use) means I can add in pre-order links and such when the time comes.

Yay me!

Okay, I still couldn’t HTML my way out of a paper bag, but this works. I think. I hope. Because I can’t make any sense of the previous version when I open it in Calibre.


Let me know if you happen to download the new version…


Book Three Stuff

I spent yesterday getting my office re-organized after a long absence, and also getting my revision notes in order for book 3. It’s funny how some things don’t become clear until after the first draft, no matter how much planning I do. Character development and motivations, subplots, the way one thing affects another… I have two scenes to add to an admittedly already huge book, and a few others to re-write, but I’m excited to get back to it.

In March.

Because my editor says that he’ll be done with Torn tomorrow or Friday, so that’s my January and much of February gone.


I forgot about the anxiety. I think it’s like what they say about having babies, that you forget how horrific labour is until the first contraction on the second baby, when it’s really too late to back out.

Not that I’m anxious. Nope. Coooool as a cucumber.


Seriously, though, I’m excited. I have no doubt that this is going to be just as big a challenge as Bound was when it came back from edits, but it will be just as rewarding, and I’m going to learn a lot. Again. I hope.

If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right.

And we are so doing this.

And I’m excited about this book.

*crazy grin*


Snow Day (Or: How I Decided to Participate in ROW80 Again)

I’ve been on the fence about participating in A Round of Words in 80 Days this year. It’s a fantastic event-type-thing, and accountability is a great way to stay on-track with goals. It’s fun to meet other writers and read their posts, learn from their frustrations and share in their joy when things are going well.


Well, I do worry about boring blog readers, which is why I only post updates on Wednesdays to go along with WIPpet Wednesdays. There was a time when most of the people following this blog were writer friends, but we’re gaining more and more of my readers (hi, guys! So happy to have you!).

It’s almost like I need a writing blog and an actual website for readers, isn’t it? But this is my home. This is where I stretch out, make myself comfortable, and talk about the things that are important to me. Reading, writing, life, headaches, distractions, moose sightings, cover reveals and other author promos, pretty pictures and fun teasers… there aren’t really any limits.

So everything stays here, for better or worse.

I didn’t make the decision until I realized that today was the first day of round one. See, I was looking forward to getting back to work today, as the kids are back to school.

Or they should have been. But it’s a snow day. So instead of retreating to my office with a coffee, I’m at the kitchen table writing this post.

Funny how things work out.

I’ll probably stick with just posting updates on Wednesdays. Twice a week doesn’t allow much time for change between updates. Wouldn’t want to bore anyone who’s getting e-mail dings every time I post.


And guys? This is going to be a big round (ends March 26).

**ROW80 ROUND ONE GOALS (2015)**



Proof-read Bound: Yes, I did this before publication. Many times. So many times that I still can’t really enjoy reading it. But I’ve re-formatted the e-book in a program that allows me to make it look nicer AND to make corrections without knowing HTML stuff, so I need to go over that.

Also, there’s a big, secret thing happening, and I need this book to put its absolute best foot forward for it. I’ve caught 2 typos. Moved a few commas. Changed a word or two. Tiny fixes. Nothing has changed with story, characters, dialogue, anything. Nooooo revisions. So no worries, dear readers. It’s like dusting the shelves (but hey, hang on to those first-edition paperbacks…).

Goal: Finish by Wednesday, January 7 (currently at 70% finished)


Edits on Torn: My editor says he plans to have these back to me by the end of this week.

**WOO, PARTY!!!**

We had some delays in getting started, but I’m ready to work hard to get through this as efficiently as possible. How long it actually takes will depend on the scope of revisions required. My beta readers didn’t tell me to make any big story changes… we’ll see what the editor says. I had to re-write sections of Bound after he got his hands on it (and thank goodness for that!).

Goal: Come what may, finish by the end of January.


Other Torn stuff: I need to be super organized on this goal, which includes proof-reading, sending it out to a few readers who have offered to act as true beta testers and error-catchers, formatting, setting up pre-orders, having someone format the paperback, sending paperback info to my cover artist so she can do the wrap-around cover, doing promo stuff for Bound once pre-orders are up for Torn…

And also organizing the cover reveal, the first chapter release, creating teaser pics, pulling my hair out, angst, stomach upset… I’m swamped.

Goal: Varies. Set up pre-orders by mid-February. Other events to follow. Advance review copies (offered to newsletter subscribers first) sent out early March.


Release Torn: Yes, before the end of this round. As I’ve said before, I’d rather release late than release something that’s not ready, but I’m confident that we can pull this off, even if I have to turn into an unwashed editing-cave troll to do it.

*grunts, shuffles, squints at sunlight*

I’ll keep you updated on that, and announce an official release date soon.


Bound Trilogy Book Three: Obviously I’m going to be busy with Torn through this round. But I need to keep moving forward with book three if I want it out by the end of the year. It’s looking good, but I’ve had a few ideas on how to make it better, smoother, more satisfying, and more epic. Those revisions will take place in March while all of the fiddly, non-writing stuff is happening with Torn (I hope). Then it’s off to my wonderful first readers for a test drive, and then whatever punishments they decide to hand me afterward. FUN.

Seriously, though, I will never understand how some authors get a book from first draft to release in two or three months. Between developmental edits, line edits, two rounds of readers, and corrections, never mind the three drafts I do before any of that happens… not a schedule I can hope to achieve.


Still aiming for one novel and one non-fiction book a month. Right now I’m reading UnSouled by Neil Schusterman, and then I think the next one by Jenn Wylie is up. But I also just bought Gone Girl, which I’m told I won’t be able to put down… we’ll see what I’m in the mood for. This might be a two novel month. I’m determined to get through “Writing 21st Century Fiction” even though I’ve been stuck on it for a year because it’s dry as bricks and feels like the author is talking down to me. I’ve never had this problem with Donald Maass’ books before. We’ll see how it goes, I might DNF it and give it away. Fiction Unboxed is also in the non-fiction queue, and I’m more excited about that.


Aiming for balance, for working during work time, social media-ing during social media time, making more time for housework and giving my family my full attention during their time.

That last one shouldn’t be difficult, but it really is. I know. I’m a horrible person.

^These are not quantifiable goals in this section, but they’re reportable. We’ll see how it goes.

So there we have it. Wish me luck, and if you’re participating in this round, let me know so I can stop by and cheer you on in your goals post!

More ROW80 goodness here.


ROW80 Recap Post (or: Most Boring Post Title Ever)

Yeah… no WIPpet Wednesday this week. Sorry, guys.

But I will give you this teaser snippet. I’ve got a short story almost ready for you. Some of you saw a pre-edit draft here a while back. Others will find it completely new. Either way, it’ll be my gift to you (at least until it eventually goes Amazon exclusive and I have to charge a whole 99 cents for it).

Coming soon.



Okay, on to the looking back bit.

Goal #1: Finish drafting Bound Trilogy Book Three

COMPLETED. I flew through that one faster than anything I’ve drafted before, thanks to better outlining than I usually do. I was pleased to find that there was plenty of room for surprises… maybe a little too much, as the draft currently sits at 130,000 words. Good words, but still.

I’m exactly half-way through revisions now.


Goal #2: Self-edit Torn one more time before it goes for professional edits.

COMPLETED. My beta readers had wonderful suggestions for me, and I incorporated most of them. Editor J.E. took the book a week ago, and last I heard is making good progress. It’s kind of a crazy time of year, and I hope he’s taking Christmas off, but I’m feeling hopeful about getting this thing back in early January and getting back to work on it.

And then we might just get a release date. And plan pre-orders. And, and, and…


Goal #3: Short Story

Okay, I’d hoped to have it out for Christmas, but a) it’s not exactly a feel-good Christmas cheer thing, and b) distribution is pretty much shut down most places for the holidays, so it can wait a little longer. But it’s edited, I made a cover (sorry guys–can’t do my regular artist for a free story!), it’s formatted, and it’s ready to go. I’m calling this COMPLETED.


Other Goals:

Listen to two podcasts a week – not even close.

Beta reading – COMPLETED

Other reading – I read several books. Besides the beta reading, I finished Behind the Scenes (Dahlia Adler), The Virgin Cure (Ami McKay), Blink (Malcolm Gladwell), Moon Bound (Sylvia Frost), Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell), Here Be Dragons: Strange Creatures of Newfoundland and Labrador (Bruce Hynes), and am making my way through UnSouled (Neil Schusterman). All great books.

I should really do a review of The Virgin Cure on here, or a more complete one on Goodreads, but I haven’t recovered yet. Seriously, so good.

Didn’t read a writing-related book (still can’t get into Writing 21st Century Fiction a year after I bought it), but I asked for Save the Cat for Christmas. Fingers crossed.

Audiobook release – we did a giveaway, it was fun. I still haven’t managed to listen to the whole thing yet, myself. It’s nothing against the production or the actors, I just can’t do audiobooks. They sound so different from how I read in my head. That said, I still have a few copies for people who love them… we’ll have to have that as a party prize at the Torn release party. 😀

Use Duolingo to learn French – I actually forgot about this. The boys lost the iPad for a few weeks, and I got off track. Better get back to it.


So there we have it. Not all complete successes, but I hit all of the big ones and won NaNoWriMo.

We’ll see what comes next round. 🙂

Link back below to your wrap-up posts if you’ve been participating! I want to come say hi.




WIPpet Wednesday: Seriously Running Out of Stuff to Share

Like, seriously.

I have three works in progress. Technically four, but vampires are definitely back-burner right now. Practically off the stove, though I’ve had ideas for… you know what? Let’s do the ROW80 update first so we can talk about that.

ROW80 Update

It seems I’ve been a good little writer. I usually suffer from a constant fear of running out of ideas, because while my muse is good at keeping me entertained and always comes through for me, he’s also a bit of a stingy arse sometimes. I’ll have characters show up out of the blue, but no story to go with them. Or I’ll know that there’s more to a story, but I’m not allowed to see it until I finish the first part. In a way, it’s a blessing. It keeps me from trying to spread myself too thin. In another, it’s incredibly frustrating, because WHAT IF THIS IS ALL I HAVE TO OFFER?

No fear. Apparently finishing the draft of book 3 and reading it over earned me a bit of respect, and a few nights ago I filled a bunch more pages in my idea journal.

What I actually end up working on will depend on what readers want, of course. But if you like the world that Bound is set in, if you like the characters or are curious about certain bits of history… no spoilers, but you’ll be happy with my recent brain-vomit. I’m not going to say what or how much, but this world alone could keep me busy for the next four years.

But… I also had ideas for my vampires. If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember Shivva and co. Resurrection got fantastic responses from beta readers, but I haven’t had time to do anything with it. I also haven’t had time to finish drafting Sanctuary… but now I have ideas for three more novellas after those, and a bigger world than I expected.

And then there’s miss Catalen Sparrowhawk, who we’ve gotten to know a bit these past few weeks. I have no idea when I’ll get back to her, but I hope it’ll be before “Steampunk and related sub-genres” become as eyeroll-inducing to the general public as vampires are.

Not that that stopped my vampires from saying “shut up and write.”

So that’s my update. Lots of ideas, and I need to learn to manage my time better if I want any chance of getting them out to you before I get hit by a bus or something. Quality over quantity is always going to be my goal, but damn. It’s exciting to see the potential for quantity, too.

Today: visiting WIPpeteers/ROW80 people, on to scene 2 of book 3.


WIPpet Wednesday

So here we are. Guys… I’m about out of things to share. Torn will be off for editing soon (how soon depends on a few factors that I won’t go into right now), and I’m about out of non-spoilers. And book 3, which I’m revising now, is ALL SPOILERS. I can’t show you some great snippets because just saying who’s in them would be Torn spoilers.

One more from Torn, and than I might be out for a few weeks.

Today is 12/10… so 3 very short paragraphs (1+2=3). No context. Two characters in conversation.

“Thank you. So what happens now?”

“Life goes on as it should, I suppose,” I said, remembering Celean’s words.

Florizel snorted and tossed her head. “Nothing is as it should be. Life will go on, but for now we settle for things as they should not be, or we strive to make them right.”

The head tossing will make more sense when you meet this character. 🙂

Okay, that’s really it, until it’s time for pre-release teasers. Mwa ha.

For more WIPpeteer fun, click here for the linkie. Lots of authors posting from works in progress, lots of genres, lots of… like, words and stuff. Thanks to KL Schwengel for hosting. If you want to join in, post a snippet from a work in progress on your own blog, and make the selection relate somehow to the day’s date. Then link back, and be sure to visit everyone else. It’s just more fun that way. 🙂

For details on ROW80 (when is this round over, anyway?), click here.



WIPpet Wednesday: Awkwarrrrrd

Okay, let’s start with a confession: I’m sharing from a project that’s technically on hold. Much as I love Cat and her story, I have worldbuilding issues there that I need to work through, and I promised my editor I’d try to get some more pre-editing done on Torn, so that’s what I’m doing.

Sparrowhawk & Son is still a work in progress, though, so here we go. Catalen has been forced by her new employer to have a medical exam done. She’s not too happy about the idea, but she’s been promised that she won’t be poked or prodded.

6 paragraphs (3+1+2 for 3/12)


No poking or prodding, my ass. I should have specified that personal questions make me as uncomfortable as physical examinations do. My eye isn’t the only secret I’d prefer to keep.

This room is cold, and not exactly private. Sure, the doctor pulled a curtain around the bed so no one can see me, but the nurses’ hushed murmurs drift through from outside. They can sure as hell hear me.

“Are you sexually active?” The doctor is this roundish old guy with a skinny neck who reminds me of a turkey I once saw.

I shrug, and the open-backed gown they’ve got me wearing slips down my shoulder. “I’m not sexually passive.”

He looks at me over the top of his glasses. “I’ll just mark yes. Any chance you’re pregnant?”

“I’m promiscuous, not stupid,” I tell him. He gives me that look again, and I sigh. “I’m always careful, okay? Always.”


For anyone new here, WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by KL Schwengel where we (the WIPpeteers) share a snippet from a work in progress that relates to the day’s date in some way. For more entries, see here–there’s usually a good range of genres, and often work that’s more polished than my first draftishness here. Want to join in? Post to your blog, link back on the linkamajigger, and be sure to visit and comment on other people’s posts.

Apologies to anyone I missed last week (which is everyone who posted after late Wednesday afternoon, I think). Not having my laptop stinks, especially when we’re away for the weekend. :/


ROW80 Update

On to A round of Words in 80 Days, which I keep forgetting to link back to on their blog. Oh, well. Still nice to have some accountability, even if it’s just in my head.

It’s been an interesting week.


First thing: I pulled off that NaNoWriMo win before we went away. Just barely, but I did it. Between that and my insane month-and-a-bit before that of drafting Bound book 3, I’ve written about 130,000 words of first drafts since the end of September. Not a lot for some people, but I’m pooped. Never mind the two weeks of editing I did in there… yeah.


I’m not sure how to say this. We’ve hit a series of small snags on Torn. Nothing to panic about. It’s just that my editor can’t take it until a bit later than estimated (not his fault, just the way things worked out. These things happen). On top of that, I might not even be able to see his notes until the new year. Why? Remember how my laptop died, so I have to use my old desktop? Turns out it’s too old to run the current version of Microsoft Office (or the current version of Windows), so I can’t put Word on it to see Track Changes. No, I didn’t have Word installed on it before, because I use Scrivener and kind of hate Word.

I can’t get my laptop fixed until I get it into FutureShop (hi, pricey service plan!), which means a 4 hour trip to St John’s. I tried to order a mac laptop (which I need anyway) as a replacement. It would have been perfect. Delivery by December 10, a more reliable computer, everything I need…

OOPS, they won’t deliver to a PO box, and we don’t have home delivery. Wait… I need to find out whether I can get that with expedited shipping.

I’m rambling. Sorry.

Just frustrated. And none too happy with Microsoft, either. *glares*

BUT… I’m still moving ahead, and currently using AutoCrit to catch repeated words and other issues to try to save time on editing later. You’d think at this point that I’d notice when I’ve used “hideous” twice in one paragraph, but it’s all a blur to me. And it’s so rewarding when they tell me “nice job!” for not having any dialogue tag-related adverbs in a chapter.

“YAY, ME!” she shouted shoutily. Oops.

Please wish me luck in either getting my computer fixed, getting a new one, or finding a hard copy of an old version of Word.



Started Deathmaker (Dragon Blood Book 2) by Lindsay Buroker, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been having a lot of trouble really becoming immersed in books lately, but this one did it for me on a long car ride in a way that nothing else I sampled over the weekend did. It’s book 2 of a series (not sure how that happened, but it was on my Kindle), but I didn’t have any trouble getting into it. Good story so far. I did have a moment of “Aaaah, crap” yesterday when they announced something to do with gem power (which is what they use in Sparrowhawk & Son), but hey. It’s all been done before, and I’m sure there are major differences. It’s just a jolt when you see a concept/idea/familiar bit of action from your work in someone else’s.

Anyway, I think I’m going to need to pick up more of Lindsay Buroker’s work if the story ends as well as it starts. Really great stuff. And for writer types, especially independent authors (or author-publishers, or whatever term you prefer), her blog is a fantastic resource.

I also wish I was as prolific as she is. Maybe some day, but I don’t think I’ll ever be “finished first draft at beginning of November, publish the book by Christmas” fast, even on shorter books. I need more time than that. So jealous, though…

More ROW80 here.



WIPpet Wednesday: All Trussed Up and No Place to Go

So… yeah. This character and I are getting along famously. I don’t know whether anyone else will love her as much as I do, but things are just peachy.

I mean, the plot needs work, but the character is there.

Catalen is at a wealthy person’s house, and someone’s been getting her dressed up for a fancy dinner. Cat is a little out of her element, but she handles these things pretty well. At least, she has so far. She’s on a mission, and her self-confidence has yet to take a beating.

WIPpet math: 2 + 6 + 1 + 1=10 sentences. First draft warnings apply.

By the time Madam Hat is done with me, I’m trussed up like a hen ready for roasting. My waist looks waspish under this striped blue corset, and my tits are squished nearly up to my chin. I could eat off of them. I swear there’s room to balance a plate, maybe a cup and some cutlery.

But when I look in the mirror, I realize that I’m the one who looks like a feast. The full blue skirt puffs out so you can’t tell what’s dress and what’s me, and it’s long enough that I seem to be floating when I tiptoe across the floor. I’m all curves in this thing—not that I wasn’t damn fetching before, but now I look like the girls in movies.

Feck that. I look better than them. Definitely more fun and more capable, and less likely to blow away in a stiff breeze.

You know what they say goeth before a fall, right? We’ll just leave her to enjoy this moment for now.

For more WIPpet Wednesday fun, click here. If you want to join in, the only rule is that you post a snippet from a current work in progress that relates in some way to today’s date. And it’s not a rule, but being a good neighbour is encouraged. Get out there, read some! Comment some! We all love it, and tend to return the favour.  🙂

Many thanks as always to the Flying Monkey-Master (or is that Flying-Monkey Master?) KL Schwengel, who hosts WIPpet Wednesday every week.


Okay. I’m still trying to win NaNoWriMo, because all of my friends are getting pretty dragon badges, and I WANT ONE.

It’s the little things, you know?

So here’s the plan. If I can write 5,000 words today and 5,000 tomorrow, I’ll have done it. Three separate projects this month, but 50,000 new words. I’m not going to have access to my computer(s) after tomorrow, so this is it.

Wish me luck.

Oh, and as far as goals after that go… I do have this Bound-related short story back from my editor that I’d love to share with you all before Torn comes out, but I haven’t even read over the notes/corrections yet. So I guess that’s what comes next.

Other updates:

Reading— I did some this week! I read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking* by Malcolm Gladwell, and it was fascinating. I read that thing in less than 24 hours. These days, most books take me weeks. Interesting information, and well-written. I’ll be looking for more of his stuff.

I also finished Broken Aro (The Broken Ones Book 1)* by Jen Wylie just last night. I enjoyed this book, too, and look forward to seeing what happens as the characters’ adventures continue.

It’s never too late to join in on ROW80 if you feel the need for some creative accountability. Here’s the link.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’re having a great Wednesday, whatever you’re up to.

*Affiliate links. These cost you nothing extra, but if you buy after clicking, they help me out. I feel skeevy not mentioning it, though…

WIPpet Wednesday: Back (to) Draft

Yep, back in first-draftsville again. I finished edits to Torn, can’t do any more on my own, so that’s sitting and waiting to be called up to the major leagues (ie my editor’s computer, which is likely nicer than mine).

That leaves me free to desperately struggle to win NaNoWriMo. I only need 2,000(ish) words per day, but I’m going to lose a few days at the end of the month, so I really need to get my butt in gear.

I’ve re-written the first chapter of (working title) Sparrowhawk & Son and moved on through the second. I was going to do it in 3rd person, but this character’s voice is too strong for me to take the words out of her mouth. First-person it remains, and on we go. Cat is probably less like me than any character I’ve ever written. She’s hard, abrasive, cocky, sees no point in reading for entertainment, and admits to not being all that bright when it comes to school. Still, she’s got a great sense of humor and an interesting way of looking at things, and that should get us through.

Now to decide whether I need to throw another POV in there, or whether Cat can handle the story on her own.

For WIPpet Wednesday, here’s something I wrote yesterday. All first draft, of course. Cat (Catalen) is about to go on her first ride in… whatever I’m calling the private airships in this world. She’s from a polluted, poor town, and isn’t used to anything like this. If you read the now-unlinkable first draft of the first scene a while ago, you may remember that she slept with a rich guy she met at a club the night before, and he showed up in her machine shop this morning. She calls him Richie von Perfecteeth… That’s not his name. She doesn’t care.

WIPpet math: 18-(1+1)=16 sentences*

This thing is unbelievable. When I’ve gone to flicks at the Goshen Theatre,  where they show hand-me-down films from the High City, I’ve assumed the characters’ surroundings were made up, or at least exaggerated. But this is real. Everything in here is so damn clean. Pale brown carpet covers the floor. Electric lights. White walls, white furniture—chair, sofa, painted tables. Holy shit, they have flowers in glass containers, like it’s nothing. Big purple ones. Cut, so they’re just going to die and need to be replaced. I want to go in and touch one, but I hang back in the doorway. Richie pushes past me.

“You can come in,” he says. “Nothing here’s going to bite you.”

I smile to myself and wonder whether he still has the bite mark I left on his shoulder last night. He catches that look, frowns, and turns away.

Yeah, Not-Richie is in trouble if anyone finds out about his little indiscretion. This should be fun.

For more snippets from works in progress by my WIPpeteer buddies, click here. Leave some comments, have some fun, see what’s on the go, jump in on your own blog if you’d like. Say hi to KL Schwengel, who hosts this shindig and needs to STOP MAKING ME THINK SHE’S GOING TO KILL OFF SOMEONE I LIKE.

Sorry for yelling. I get attached.



ROW80 Update

  • finish drafting book 3 of Bound trilogy
  • finish self-edits on Torn, get ready to go to JE
  • start something new and panic over trying to finish NaNoWriMo on time

If we could count editing hours this month like we can during Camp NaNo, I’d totally have won by now. But we can’t. I counted words I added to Torn during the editing process, but also took into account the ones I deleted, so that wasn’t a huge help overall. But it’s cool, I can still pull this off. Aiming for 4,000 words a day, just to be safe (and to account for silly things like days of spending time with my family. I know, right?).

Too bad there’s nothing I can do to make up for the hours I spend distracted from my work. If I actually spent all of my work hours working, I would be so much more productive than I am.

And as an official goal:

  • read all WIPpet Wednesday posts

I pulled it off this week. Going to do it again.

For more ROW80, click here.

Thanks for stopping by!

*That’s right, I used brackets. BEDMAS, SUCKAS!

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