Tag Archives: #ROW80

ROW80 Update: Getting There Edition

This morning I told someone my brain was like a flock of birds, and that is the absolute truth. Sort of a murmuration at times, little starling thoughts all flying together in formation, working together and mostly heading in the same direction. Other times it’s just chaos, a thousand different species all pecking at each other and going off in different directions.

I suppose this is to be expected a month before one’s first book release.

Business. Promotion. Publishing. Formatting. Waiting on reader responses. Organizing.

Exhiliration. Self-doubt. Questions. Distractions. Perfectionism.

For the record, I’m not complaining. I chose this path, and though I think it’s perfectly valid to complain about the things we’ve chosen (hello, parenting!), I’m really not. As crazy and sometimes overwhelming as this all is, I wouldn’t have it any other way. For the first time, I’m attempting something big. Something that’s so challenging that I might fall flat on my face. Or maybe I’ll soar like this:

…or more likely, I’ll survive the business bits, get this book out, and move on to the next one. Because though I’ve put myself in the role of publisher, that’s just a thing that I’m doing. It’s not what I am. I’m a writer. I’m going to write.

ROW80 Update

I guess it’s time to look back at my goals from the start of this round to see what’s done and what’s not.

  • Edit Bound  DONE
  • Write back-cover copy  STILL WORKING ON IT. This is is harder than writing the book, I swear.
  • set up Facebook author page, change personal account name for consistency DONE and NOT DONE. If you’d like to give my page a like, it’s here.
  • hire proof-reader  FRIENDS/READERS WORKING ON IT (God love them)
  • find reviewers who might be interested in YA Fantasy (again, if you know anyone, or are someone and want an ARC, see below)  HAVE PEOPLE SIGNED UP FOR ARCS. STILL A FEW SPOTS AVAILABLE FOR E-BOOK ONLY.
  • put together front-matter and back-matter for the book, metadata, keywords, etc  WORKING ON IT. Dedication, acknowledgements, legal notice, etc. done. Need to research keywords, etc.
  • send out newsletter  DONE, and revealed a piece of the cover. Next one goes out in June, with release date, cover, sale information, etc.
  • Formatting (kill me now) HIRED SOMEONE. I have enough going on without this, and the guy I got does gorgeous work.
  • cover reveal here and on other blogs  SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 2
  • apply for ISBNs DONE. Easy peasy. I’m an official publisher!
  • submit to CreateSpace, order proof copy, correct all the things Waiting on proofreads and formatting
  • Prepare for awesome-yet-smallish Facebook release party TBA (looking at June 26)
  • Add to Goodreads, set up give-away Not yet– need finished blurb first. Will add on cover reveal day.
  • revisions on book 2 (we’ll call this a stretch goal) HAHAHAHA! Just starting today

 

Wow. So really, we’re looking good as far as goals go.  Coming up: revising book 2 for JuNoWriMo, which I hope will take my mind off of everything else. The story is there, but I need to add to it. There’s a love story that needs more attention, and I think the rest could do with some punching up.

So there we go.

I’m getting excited.

YAY!

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ROW80 Update- Receding Waters Edition

*Enters blog space, collapses into comfy chair*

Well, we’re home. Just two weeks after I first posted about our basement flooding, we’re pretty well back in business. The problems with the septic system were far more extensive than anyone suspected at first, including a bad installation 12 years ago and collapsed pipes under a neighbour’s yard. The guys fixing it had to dig a trench across the yard next door… and the house beyond that (and their driveway)… and across Main Street before the problem was totally fixed, but they did it.

We have working toilets. We have hot water. Our washer and dryer survived. The flood waters have left us, the guys cut out the bottom section of drywall everywhere to prevent mold, the floors are reasonably cleaned and disinfected.

And best of all, we don’t own this house. I think seeing the bill for all of this would be the end of me.

I think the only one who’s sad to see the end of the water is this guy:

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He made me laugh when I found him swimming around the basement like he owned the place. Gotta laugh when you can, right?

We spent a few nights with AJ’s parents, then a few with mine, then another with AJ’s parents before we got the all clear to move home. But it was good timing, really. Not only had I just finished my “no heavy lifting for a week” rule after surgery when it came time to hoist appliances, but the kids had last week off of school. At least all of this kept them busy.

So now I need to get back to work. I’ve edited a few chapters in recent nights after the kids have gone to bed, sitting at the dining room table and trying to concentrate. I’m finding that it’s hard to get started every time*, but once I get the document opened and start, things are going well.

No promises on release dates or anything right now, but right now it’s still looking like June or early July. Thank you to everyone who has offered to help with cover reveal/release/ARC stuff already. Youse all is the metaphorical bomb.

I can’t really set my office up the way it used to be, what with the guys coming back some time in the next month to finish the walls. Still, I worked hard yesterday to set up a place to work, and since the kids aren’t allowed to play in the basement right now, I kind of have privacy. I miss my bookshelves, but at least the desk survived.

 

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Check out the bottom– you can see exactly how deep the water got in my office (the high spot in the basement) after I took the drawers and fled.

So that’s my update.

Oh, and I didn’t set reading goals this round, but last week I read “Write, Publish, Repeat” by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt. It was an excellent read with very non-gimmicky advice on indie publishing, and was entertaining and encouraging without promising the moon. Sometimes it’s incredibly comforting to hear, “yes, you have to work like a dog, but you can do this” instead of “FOLLOW THESE TIPS AND RAKE IN THE DOUGH” (which is always BS, in my experience). I like their ideas on product funnels and on balancing the art and business aspects of writing. Definitely worth the $5 price tag.

There we go. Updated. Now that I have my space back (sort of), I just need to find the time to work in it.

*This has nothing to do with the situation… this is just how I am. I sit down to work, and my brain starts searching for distractions. They make a pill for that, don’t they? :/


Pleases and Thank Yous and OMG A BOOK: ROW80 goals post, round 2

So this goals post is a week late. I said last Sunday that I was putting it off because of my surgical thinger on Monday (UPDATE: everything is fine, general anaesthesia is creepy, painkillers are kind of fun but I’m off of them now). That was true, but it wasn’t all of it. I was waiting to get stuff back from my editor, and I wanted to make sure his evaluation wasn’t going to be KILL IT NOW WITH FIRE AND EXTREME PREJUDICE before I made goals public.

Wouldn’t want to have to retract my goals now, would I?

Anyway…

This has the potential to be a huge round for me. I’m not going to lie, I might need you all to talk me down from an 8th-floor window ledge at least once, assuming I can find a building anywhere around here with eight floors.

Why? Because this round covers April 7 to June 26, and depending on how things go… no promises just yet… I might just have a book out by the end of this round.

LIKE A BOOK AN ACTUAL BOOK I MIGHT BE HOLDING MY WORDS IN MY HANDS IN LESS THAN THREE MONTHS HOLY CARP.*

Pictured: Holy Carp.

Pictured: Holy Carp.

I got the edits back, and they’re exactly what I had hoped for. My guy is a master of the “sh*t sandwich” technique. No punches pulled on things that need improvement, but some of what he said was so encouraging that I fell asleep smiling the night I got and read the (20 page) critique. When I read the line notes, I spent equal amounts of time slapping my forehead over silly little mistakes and grinning like an idiot because he totally got what I was going for so much of the time.

I’ll do a post on this experience later, because it was so interesting.

The important thing is that he had ideas on how to fix problems I already knew existed, and came up with suggestions that are really going to push this thing up to a whole ‘nother level.

I’m both excited and pants-crappingly terrified. It’s… different.

So what are we looking at over the next few months? A THRILLING roller-coaster of me working on that in a most professional manner and handling all of my other plans and responsibilities with the grace and aplomb of Martha Stewart organizing a dinner party, obviously.

*snerk*

But seriously. Professionalism is this round’s goal. Distance. This isn’t my baby anymore. It’s a product, and if I have anything to say about it, it’ll be a damned good one. I know I’m insecure about a lot of things, but I’m absolutely confident about that.

So, the goals. Please note that these could change and things could get pushed back. But:

APRIL:

  • Edit Bound (pray for me, send happy thoughts, whatever. Please. I’m new at this.)
  • Write back-cover copy (SOMEBODY SAVE ME)
  • set up Facebook author page, change personal account name for consistency
  • hire proof-reader (anyone know someone cheap? I’m pretty well out of cash)
  • find reviewers who might be interested in YA Fantasy (again, if you know anyone, or are someone and want an ARC, see below)
  • put together front-matter and back-matter for the book, metadata, keywords, etc

MAY:

  • finish edits
  • send out newsletter with release date, cover reveal date, preview, and request for readers willing to review ARCs in exchange for a free copy (sign-ups here, if you’re DTR**)
  • Formatting (kill me now)
  • cover reveal here and on other blogs, if anyone wants to assist… *puppy dog eyes*
  • apply for ISBNs
  • submit to CreateSpace, order proof copy, correct all the things
  • Prepare for awesome-yet-smallish Facebook release party (you’re coming, right?)
  • Add to Goodreads, set up give-away
  • revisions on book 2 (we’ll call this a stretch goal)

JUNE:

  • Upload to Amazon, Smashwords
  • LAUNCH THIS THING *smashes champagne bottle on Kindle*
  • Release party
  • mood swings, morning after regret, probable IBS
  • Draft book three for JuNoWriMo if revisions on 2 are done. Otherwise, keep up with that and get to book 3 later.

 

This timeline terrifies me. I’ve been 100% sure I wanted to publish independently for almost a year, but the traditional-minded part of me is still screaming “YOU CAN’T DO IT THAT QUICKLY! SO WRONG!” I’m still amazed when I see authors post things like, “Well, finished a draft, guess I’ll release next month.”

Um… *hides under table*

Time to stop wussing out, though. This is my job now. As entrepreneurial ventures go, it’s a risky one. I just have to learn to be OK with that.

Now, before things get too crazy, I think I should take a minute to thank all of you. My WIPpeteers, my blog friends, my real-life friends who care and have encouraged me and put up with my “should-I-or-shouldn’t-I” crap, and especially those who have read my stuff… you’re all the reason I’m going ahead with this. Your love and encouragement have meant the world to me, and have given me the confidence to follow this dream. You’ve convinced me that this is a gamble that’s going to pay off (in satisfaction and experience, even if not in cash). Your advice and assistance have brought me this far. So thank you.

 

Anything else y’all think I should be doing to get ready?

Oh, and if you need to reach me privately about anything, my contact info is in the “About Me” tab.

 

*Not written like this. You’re welcome.

**Down to read.

 

 


WIPpet Wednesday: Gempunk Edition

Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge this week is to come up with a “something-punk” subgenre and write a story in it. Not steampunk, not cyberpunk. Something different. It just so happens that I’ve had the beginnings of a story banging around in my head since the summer that fits nicely into that idea. This seemed like a perfect excuse to at least get this character out and let her strut her stuff a little and explore the idea of gempunk.

So in lieu of my regular WIPpet thingermahoojie, I’m using the WW rule that states we can start a new project, and posting a scene here.

Two birds with one stone and all of that. *pelts a robin and a bluejay with a flying chunk of sapphire*

I’m posting that here, just because it’s going to take up a bit more space than I usually use on WIPpet Wednesday. CLICK, CLICK!

This is very rough– I only started last night. It’s a scene, though. More than the 1000 words we were assigned, so anyone who’s here from the WendigBlog, you can stop at 1000 words. Oh, and yes, the guy’s name is Surely Morebrand. I don’t know where that came from, but I’m not going to argue with Cat on this one. She’s already being difficult.

The good news is that after months of this idea fluttering about and distracting me, I actually have a plot idea rather than the concept-and-characters-but-no-plot I usually get stuck with. So this could actually be a thing some day. Maybe. Or maybe I’m crazy for liking this one.

For more (shorter) WIPpety goodness, click on over here. Say hello to KL Schwengel, click on the linkie, and be transported to a world of unfinished masterpieces.

ROW80

I have a cover design finalized. It feels good. I’m still freaking out, because it’s so different from what I expected, but I love it. Going from “no characters” to “hey, that’s totally what Rowan looks like!” in a week was a bit overwhelming, but I’m really happy with it. Thank you to everyone who helped with ideas, opinions, etc.! No reveal plans as of yet (waiting for something within a month of release, at least), but holler if you’re interested in hosting.

Still waiting on my editor. He said end of the month. We’re good.

Um… well, I wrote that thing up there, which was really fun. It’ll go in the “to be continued” file for now.

My Scrivener online course is going well, even if I’m about 4 classes behind. I’m learning SO MUCH STUFF! Best program ever, really.

*twiddles thumbs*

Guess I’ll go edit, now.

Stop by tomorrow (I think?) for a SUPER AWESOME SURPRISE INTERVIEW that was really fun and also awkward for me.

And for more info on ROW80 (almost time for round 2!), head on over here. JOIN US.


ROW80 Update: WTF, Past Me? Edition

Well, I figured out what to do with myself. I started reading over Resurrection, and had happy times all over the place. And then I got the the part where it stopped RATHER abruptly, and screamed at Past Me for not just finishing it so Present Me could ENJOY IT IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK?

Apparently, yes.

So I’m going to have to finish that up, if only to satisfy myself (and anyone who wants to volunteer to beta read approximately 40,000 words of vampires, addicted victims, gory crime scenes, snappy banter, betrayals and sex. No fun at all, really. First chapter’s here, BTW)

I think that Cinderella story just got them back into my blood.

ROW80 Update:

WRITING

  • New goals as of last Wednesday: Plan out the rest of Resurrection. COMPLETED.

Oh, I planned it. It took an hour, five pages in my notebook, a lot of work on my dry-erase board and a few slams of my head into a wall to clear it, but I did it. Guys… it was so good I wanted a cigarette after. Then I remembered that I’ve never smoked, so I settled for a Fruit Roll-Up instead*. It was fantastic.

I always knew how this one was going to end, but didn’t know how to get there. I do now.

  • New goal as of today: Finish first draft of Resurrection by the end of February. I only have two hours per weekday day to work this month, but that’s okay. I should be able to do this. My husband might lose me for a few evenings, but this is going to happen.

Oh, and this week I also kinda sorta found a cover designer for Bound and got that information sent off so she can start in March, NO BIG DEAL.

READING

Read “Under the Empyrean Sky” by Chuck Wendig. SO GOOD. The concept (agricultural dystopia, creepy-ass GMO corn, oppressed people and flying cities) is fantastic, and the story lives up to its ideas. I’ll get a review up on Goodreads soon.

LIFE- Goes on. I can’t talk about it. I have vampires in my head.


Sunday ROW80 Update (and also Socks)

When I was a kid, socks were the worst Christmas gift ever, except for maybe underwear, especially when opened in front of OTHER PEOPLE OMG THE HORROR. But really, socks were pretty low on the list of Things That Make Great Gifts for Me.

Now? I got seven pair of socks from my husband for Christmas, and it was fan-frigging-tastic.

Of course, we’re not talking white tube socks. Oh no. We’re talking Cats.

sockcats

We’re talking beautiful koi:

sockkoi

Guys… we’re talking DRAGONS. Red ones, too, which is kind of perfect for me.

Grrrrr.

Grrrrr.

These are all from Sock Dreams, by the way, which is a fantastic website to waste hours on if you’re like me and think fancy socks are just the bee’s knees (or the dragon’s Volkswagen, as the case may be). You can make a wish list while you’re there, too. Mine just got a bit shorter when I ordered four more pair (don’t judge me, it’s an investment to make the ones I have last longer), but it’s still pretty great. I really need those whale and ship ones…

I’ve been informed that I can’t buy the BITCH socks. I say that I need to be able to say “Watch out people, I’ve got my bitch socks on today!” and mean it, but I suppose that’s a bad idea now that the kids can read.

Dangit.

Anyway, I owe an update. I missed Wednesday, but not because I wasn’t working. Things are actually going really well– or they were when the kids were in school, anyway.

EDITING: I did a little restructuring that cut some words and made the story a bit tighter. Didn’t remove as many words as I’d like, but we’ll see how that looks when I read over it. Only one more big thing to fix (involving gender-flipping a character, which I think will be fun). Otherwise, there’s just regular old editing and hunting for pesky over-used and unnecessary words. I got the ms under 110,000 words. We’ll see how much more I can do. Also, Project Semicolon Elimination was a near-complete success. I think there are four left in the entire book, down from… well, hundreds. I lost count.

READING: So, I read that ARC I said I’d read. I’ve been a little nervous about promising reviews on books, because I’m an honest reviewer and I’ve been disappointed in the past (not by any of my readers here, though, just so’s you know). No worries with this one! I’ll review here on the blog next month. Super good book, I’m so glad I did this.

OTHER STUFF: I’m the best wife ever today. I’ve got a pot roast in the slow cooker (thanks to the meal planning I did last weekend), I made chicken salad for AJ’s lunch tomorrow, the kitchen is clean, laundry’s in… lots of good stuff. I still wasn’t able to exercise much this week, but I got Jack out for a walk the other day. Yaaaaaay… Hey, it’s something. And I’m seeing a chiropractor on Tuesday. I’m just a little excited about that, let me tell you.

So there you go, another update. I know, the blog is all updates and Engrish right now. Things will get more content-y soon, I promise.

So, what’s new with you?


A Round of Words Goals, Vandaleyes edition

Round one of “A Round of Words in 80 Days” started on Monday. I meant to do my goals post on Sunday, but we were away. Better late than never, right?

No WIPpet Wednesday post from me today. All I’ve been doing is reading over a manuscript, trying to figure out edits, so there’s no new writing to share. I haven’t been getting much done recently. The kids were home for two weeks, and we’re now on their third day of no school when they should have been back. It’s not the weather; skies are clear here, and the roads are fine. Temperatures aren’t even that bad right now. But our part of the province (as in, the entire island portion) is having something of a power crisis, and all schools are closed to conserve.

Long story.

So here we are, still at home, still together 24/7. We’re getting a little bored. There are books to read, of course. The kids and I are almost through Coraline by Neil Gaiman, and they’re enjoying it. There are new toys, but even they lose their appeal after a while, and Ike has perfected his “annoy everyone while also playing with new toys” technique. In light of this, today seemed like a good day to break out my new self-adhesive googly eyes and vandaleyes some stuff around the house.

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Oh, eos, you so cute!

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I’d look like that, too.

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I am Aslan, hear me google.

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…you get the idea. It kept us busy for a while, anyway.

So here’s hoping that school schedules and power supplies get back to normal soon, and I get a chance to get back to work!

ROW80 Goals, Round 1 – 2014

Round one runs from January 6 to… some time in March, I guess.

Writing goals:

  • Edit Bound, get it ready to go for editing by February 10 (I know, that sounds like cleaning the house before the cleaners come. Just trying to save myself some money and get as much educational value out of this as I can). Spend 2.5 hours per day on this while it’s the main focus.
  • Work on short stories, unrelated projects while that’s away. 1.5 hours’ work per day, or 1000 new words.
  • Outline book 3 of this trilogy

Reading Goals:

  • Read ARC I received recently and review for February 10
  • Read over another friend’s book for him
  • read one novel and one non-fiction book per month (more if possible, this is the minimum goal)

Personal Goals:

  • Put phone away when kids are around (no Twitter, Facebook, etc. when I should be spending in-person time with family), block Twitter and Facebook during writing time.
  • Once my back can handle it, exercise four times per week (walk dog when it’s nice out, Pilates when it’s not.)
  • Make short, prioritized to do list every evening before bed
  • Make weekly meal plan and shop accordingly to try to eat better (and save money by not eating out/wasting food)
  • Prepare everything we need for taxes so I can get that in as soon as AJ gets his forms from work.
  • Talk to my dad (who’s a finances-and-tax type guy) about what I need to keep track of for business purposes
  • Get out to visit my parents once they’re settled in Corner Brook
  • Get a chiropractor
  • Plan our garden (you really can’t plant here before June, but we can plan!)

I guess that’s enough for one round.

Who else is doing ROW80 this round? Either way, what are your plans for the near future? And what do you think I should stick googly eyes on next?


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