Friday, September 30, 2011

100 Words About: Wind

It was really windy last night. The kind of windy where tree limbs fall off. I love that kind of weather, especially in the fall. It's hard to describe exactly how it makes me feel; I guess wild is the best word. If the Wild Hunt were sweeping around you, and you couldn't see them ('cause it's not Halloween or Walpurgisnacht), I imagine it might feel something like that. Unfettered and insidious, tempting you to follow.

The next day after a fall wind storm is almost like a hangover. There's trash blown everywhere because the bins have all blown over, and tree limbs and twigs all around, and what pretty fall leaves there were have all been ripped from the trees, so the foliage that's left is bare and patchy like a two-day beard. I hope there's some color left up by the apple orchard when we go.

Image: Tina Phillips /

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Novel Updates

The novel is off to the copy editor, yeay!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm trying really hard not to start a new project, because I still have a ton of work to do. I'm working on the cover for Scent and Shadow when I'm at home, and after work I'm formatting short stories on my laptop in preparation for ebook conversion.

Of course, I still have to do covers for all those stories. I haven't even started looking at fonts yet. Fortunately I've taken some artsy classes before, including one on typesetting. (This jack-of-all-trades thing comes in such handy!) I've got an idea of what I want my fonts to look like, so hopefully I won't go completely ga-ga when I start going through the font sites.

That could be wishful thinking though. I've spent hours already just looking at stock photos...

So anyway, I'm trying to get the art part done first, and then I'll add the text once I figure out what fonts I want. For formatting I'm going clean and basic, nothing fancy, so it'll work the best on the most ereaders. I've seen a number of ebooks where they tried to get funky with the font size or the spacing and it ended up all wrong. My story should be what the readers are focusing on - I think most people only notice the formatting when there's something wrong with it. Then it becomes distracting. But when it's fine, only formatting or font buffs notice, I assume (I could be wrong).

All in all, I hope to have a whole bunch of stuff available next month. Some old, some new, and some of it free to download! Including this year's brand-new free Halloween story. Muahahahaha!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Not much to say today, my time is being sucked up by going through my Facebook friends list and making sure I'm subscribed to everyone and All Updates is checked. Stupid Facebook. (Although being able to uncheck Games is nice.) If you make a List and add all of your friends to it, and add it to your Favorites, it's almost like your old news feed - just without all the fan pages. :( Haven't figured that part out yet. Hopefully Facebook Purity has a fix soon.

In the meantime, here's a funny-but-true demotivator someone sent me. I don't know where it originated.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Empty Brain

The line edits are done, the scenes are rewritten, and I've searched out my adverbs and words I use too much. Now I'm going over one last time, finding places where I can tighten up phrasing and break up long paragraphs to help with pacing.

And then, copy editing.

My brain feels empty.

I've had this feeling before. The first time I finished the novel - by which I mean the first time that I wrote the ending - my brain was quiet for almost a week. It was so peaceful. No characters poking at me, no scenes to figure out. Just...quiet.

This time it's less peaceful. It's more like being numb, like I've powered down. I write a lot more than I did back then, so I've gotten used to all the action in my head. Sort of like when you go to the dentist. Even when you aren't using your lip for anything, you know it's there; you miss it when it's numb. You can't help noticing it, even though when you can actually feel it, you don't notice it at all.

Of course, as soon as I start taking notes for Ashes of Empire (the Constantinople storyline), I know my brain will tingle painfully back to life. I'm just putting that off for a few days while I finish the read-through, to keep my head in the game.

Man, I'm looking forward to that though. I'm dying to do something totally new. I think I'm more excited about starting a new project than I am about finally putting Scent and Shadow to bed after over thirteen years.

I love this job.

Image: digitalart /

Friday, September 16, 2011

Closer and Closer!

The line edits that I got from my Write By The Lake instructor are done, yeay! So with that and the rewrite of the big battle at the end, all I have left to do are:

Finish the rewrite of the hunters' introduction
Rewrite/touch up the other hunter scenes to match (six scenes or so)
Make another pass for adverbs and words I use too much
Reread the whole thing and look for things I broke during the fixes

And then it's off for copyediting!

That may look like a lot, but I'm hoping I can get it all done this week. Next week at most.

I'm less scared and more excited at this point as I get closer to being done with the writing side of things. Also, this great post by Dean Wesley Smith helped too. I love Dean and Kris. They've always got great advice.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One Step Closer

I finished one of the rewrites on the novel, the biggest single thing I had to do to it. It feels good; I feel close to being done.

It's hard not to freak out.

I'm going to be putting my stuff out there soon. Without the gatekeepers.

It's scary. And exciting.

It's a risk. I know the novel is good. It might be really good. It might well be good enough for a big agent, a big contract. I think it is. But without submitting it to the gatekeepers, how do you know?

And yet, I'm not going to.

For years I dreamed of getting published by a big publisher. I dreamed of the big advance, the contract, of seeing my book on a bookstore shelf. And now I'm turning my back on all that, and taking a book that might well be worth a five-figure advance and publishing it online for roughly $3.50 gross, each. Doing my own marketing. Investing in editing and cover art and classes on how to format. I could easily lose money on the deal.

But I'm still going to do it myself.

I believe in my work. I believe the audience is out there. I believe I can find them.

Maybe I'm wrong. But at least, if my venture fails, it won't be anyone's fault but mine. And I'll be free to try again, and again, and again.

And I will. No one can stop me but me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

100 Words About: Actually Honoring 9/11

Yeah, it's been ten years, and I can kinda see maybe wanting to do something in remembrance of that fateful day. I don't know if we did anything for the ten year anniversary of Pearl Harbor. But we sure as hell weren't selling commemorative coins or bits of blasted boats back then. Back in those days, if you wanted to spend money related to the attack, you bought a freaking war bond.

What the hell changed?

Every year around this time I have to start filtering my media consumption. I wish it was just because listening to sad stories makes me cry, but mostly it's because all the 9/11 "coverage" just pisses me off. Most of it is selling something, whether it's a trinket that won't help either the survivors or the families or the war or the first responders (I won't get started on that one right now, Congress) or selling an idea: racial or religious hatred; fear, uncertainty, and doubt; or "vote for me."

You want to honor the fallen? How about you get something done with that big empty hole that's been sitting there for ten years now? Our grandparents' generation would've had the twin towers rebuilt in six months just as a giant "fuck you."

Right after the attack, this country came together, neighbor united with neighbor in a way that made me proud to be an American. Since then, people have done nothing but use its memory to tear us apart from each other and take away our liberties.

So have one last three-ring circus. But then, let's put this thing to bed and move on to something relevant.

Image: Paul Martin Eldridge /

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Posting a little early this week. I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I ransomed The Husband back from Vegas (cost: gasoline and a couple hours of driving) and got a computer virus. Good thing they happened in that order, as The Husband is the technologically-savvy person in this household. All I can say is I LOVE CrashPlan. :)

Do you have a backup plan? Huh, do ya, punk?

I did not get nearly as much work done on the novel this holiday weekend as I would have liked, but I'm making progress. Speaking of which, I need to get back to the grind before The Husband gets back from his guy night.