Posts Tagged With: Novel

Plotting and Revising

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It’s been a while since I’ve written.  I’m gonna say it’s because I found this REALLY awesome book by Cathy Yardley called Rock Your Revisions.  Her proceeding book, Rock Your Plot, detailed a first draft process that is REALLY similar to the one I already use.  That gives me all the hopes that Revisions will work for me as well as Plot does.  And we all know I’ve been looking for a way to streamline things.

So far, Revisions has lived up to the hype.  I feel much more in control of Easterbay than I ever have, and I know what I need to do to move forward.  It feels freeing, and I’m moving through things rapidly.  Yardley claims that her revision process takes twice as long as writing the first draft.  So if I go by her estimates, I should be ready for alpha reads in two months.  To say I’m excited about that would be an understatement.  All we can hope for now is that I stay motivated enough to make it happen.

I’m mentioning this for two reasons.  One reason is because if you’re looking for a writing process, Yardley lays out a good one.  The second reason is that it is Nanowrimo time, and we could all use a little extra help in the planning process before diving into a novel.

That’s basically all I have to tell you.  I’m also diving into Nano this week, and expect updates to the blog to remain intermittent until December rolls around.  We’ll see, though.  Sometimes avoiding the morass of a Nano novel leads to more blogs instead of less…

Hence the need for motivation.  As always come November, cross your fingers for me.

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Categories: Self Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Self Publishing: The First Month – Amazon Ads

Self Publishing Update

So, I’ve now been the self-published author of a novel for a month.  Aside from the free promotion, I haven’t done anything except run ads via the Amazon system.  I feel like I’ve learned something? Maybe?

I think the book is doing pretty well, actually, for being a first novel in a genre that doesn’t typically sell in the indie market.  And for being a book with only four reviews.

I have sold 4 books since I ended the free promotion.  3 of those were hard copy and another 1 was a Kindle copy.  Kindle copies are where I make my money, so it was nice to have one.  The profit margin on the print book is slim (although not nothing, and I’m not really in this for the money anyway at this point).

I also had several Kindle Unlimited pages read, though that’s also hard to break down.  The reports tell me how many pages, since I get paid by the page.  But is it the same people re-picking up the book, or is it new readers?  We’ll never know…

My ads haven’t been working okay.  I’ve never written copy before, nor do I have any experience with advertising, so I’m being gentle with myself about it.  I’ll be rejiggering the ads today to make them better.

You may already know this, but with Kindle ads, you bid on a keyword.  If you’ve bid the most, whenever someone visits a book that’s classified under that keyword, they see your ad.  You pay if they click on it, otherwise it’s free.

I currently have 4 ads running.  On the first, I let Amazon pick my keywords. Hardly anyone has seen the book on this one – about 74.  On two other ads, I have about 450 people who have viewed it, but only one person on each ad has clicked on the ad and the report estimates I haven’t had any sales.  They don’t take Kindle Unlimited into account, though, so I think this might be where I’m getting some of those extra Kindle Unlimited pages from. On my third ad, about 650 people have seen it, but no one has clicked.

I ran the same exact keywords for all three ads I set up myself, so I’m not sure why everyone’s seeing the one and not the others.

So, I have two goals this month.  The first is to re-do the book description on the ad so it’s a little more punchy.  The second thing is to pick better keywords.  Right now, the ones I’m getting the most hits on are the names of other authors.  I plan to add in a greater swath of authors who I think write things that are like this book.  I’ll leave the Amazon auto-target ad alone, probably.

That’s a rundown of the basics.  In addition to redoing the ads, I’m considering a blog tour.  Most authors I’ve seen who have done it say they basically break even – they make about as much in book sales as they paid for the tour.  Still, I think it might be worth it for me from a review perspective.  The blog tour I’m considering would have 15 stops, so that would be 19 reviews on the book once I’m done if you add the ones that are already there.  I’d definitely consider buying a book with 19 reviews, where I’d look askance at 4.

That’s mostly all I have to say. For those who want to get into the nitty-gritty with me on the ad portion, I’ll post a little more detail below.

The book descriptions I went with on the ads are as follows:

  1. What do a spy, a runaway, a subversive print shop, and a queen have in common? Blue Gentian. You won’t be able to put this book down. (450-ish views)
  2. “Love at first page!” Looking for something new to read? You just found your next favorite epic fantasy with a strong female lead. (450-ish views)
  3. Traditional fantasy gets a makeover in this epic coming-of-age tale about leaving home to find it. You won’t be able to put this book down! (650-ish views)

I went with these descriptions partly because I read a book that told me that ads with “you” in them tend to do better than ads that don’t.

In this next cycle of ads, I intend to run descriptions 1 and 2, but not 3.  I also intend to run one that says “If Lord of the Rings and Little Women had a baby, Blue Gentian would be it. You’ll love this epic fantasy about leaving home to find it.”

I ran the following Keywords:

action, adventure, caravan, coming of age, council, epic, fantasy, female voice, gentian, healer, intrigue, kwed, little women, low magic, medicine, mission, notlimah, printing, queen, quest, shaman, spy, strong female lead, sword, tolkien, traditional fantasy, travel, travelers, traveling, wise woman, young adult

BY FAR Tolkien got me the most views.  Wise woman, shaman, and travel got me the next most, although I’m not sure travel is really doing for me what I’d like it to do.

This month I’ll add:

Shannon Hale, Le Guin, Dianna Wynne Jones, Chrestomanci, Uprooted, Naomi Novik, Wheel of Time, Rothfuss, Jane Austen, Jeff Wheeler, Veronica Roth, Sarah J. Maas, Harry Potter, Patricia C. Wrede

I may also take out some of the others that are probably deceptive (like travel), although it doesn’t cost me anything to bid unless the ad gets clicked on.  We’ll see where that gets me, and I’ll report back in another month!

Here we go…

Categories: Self Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PUBLICATION DAY!!

Blue Gentian is officially out for publication, and I’m running it free for the next 5 days to thank you all for following me through this journey.  If you could please consider telling someone what you thought of it (especially consider reviewing it!) I would be the most grateful girl on the web.  Thanks in advance.

So what are you waiting for?  Go get your free copy!

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Categories: Book Reviews, Fiction, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Self-Publishing Tools

Before I launch into the meat of this post, I have an update on Blue Gentian.  Or, I guess I should say that I’m hoping it won’t be an update but it might be.  Amazon has lost the 2nd Galley of Blue Gentian in the mail, sent it to the BFE, and now they don’t know when it will be here.  “If you haven’t heard by Friday let us know,” they say.  Which is 12 days AFTER my original delivery date.  For which I already waited several days for them to print the thing.

That’s frustrating, but what’s worse is that I may need to postpone publication of the hard copy.  I’m optimistic that my cover will be a good resolution and the insides will look great.  But if they don’t, I’ll need to do another Galley round and God knows when Amazon will get its act together with this one.

Alright, vent finished.  Now to the actual purpose of this post:

I wanted to just mention some tools I’ve been using that make writing, editing, and selling a better process, in case you’re interested.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions now that my book is coming out, and I’m not sure if everyone knows about these.  They basically make my writing life possible.

Firstly, Amazon has a plug-in for Word that’s free to download that makes it AMAZINGLY easy to format your novel for Kindle publication.  I had heard horror stories about getting this to work and was prepared to spend months formatting, but instead it all went like buttah.  I highly recommend, especially because it’s free.

For the writing of the actual novel, I also recommend Scrivener.  It’s a great program that allows you to draft and drag your novel in pieces so you can manage the flow better as you’re writing.  Even better?  It exports into Manuscript Format, so you don’t have to worry about that jazz yourself.  Totally worth the $45 to to have the program forever.  And if you’re a Nanowrimo winner, it’s just half that.  How can you not buy Scrivener at that price?

Editing?  You can’t go wrong with Auto Crit.  Their software is a little pricey – I shell out for the one that’s just under $30 for the month.  But it’s been INVALUABLE in editing the novel.  It recognizes chapters, analyzes your writing based on its genre, and is altogether wonderful for tightening prose, finding repetition and cliche, and making your work a million times better while keeping it your work still.

Lastly, if you are looking for art I recommend Canva to almost everyone I meet.  They have thousands of free templates for you to use,  let you upload your own images, and even offer the paid stuff at only $1 each.  I end up looking beautifully designed for nothing.  They even have Kindle covers ready to go.

I’m sure there are a million other programs that help a lot with this whole Self-Published Author thing but these are the ones I find I’m using constantly.  Good luck on your own journey.

Categories: Self Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NaNoWriMo 2016

Well, it’s the time of the year again where I agonize over whether or not I’m going to do NaNoWriMo.  I don’t know why it’s even a debate anymore, really, except that it’s never a good time to drop whatever I’m currently working on for a new thing.  And to be honest, it’s getting a little overwhelming how many terrible first drafts of novels I have sitting around waiting for me to get to them.

Still, I’ve been doing this for six years now, and I’ve won every year.  There’s history in the game now, and I’m not going to break the streak.  Especially when I can tell myself all sorts of good stories about needing to incorporate more practice into my writing and how Nano is the ultimate practice.

On that note, I’ve decided I’m going to push through in October on getting as much done on my other projects as possible.  And then I’m going to see if I have what it takes to write a romance novel.  I’ve been reading enough of them, and I’ve been wondering for over a year now if I might make a go at writing something a bit feminist to join the immense pack of well written things that are a little bit suspect in message.  Nano is for finding things out.  If it turns out I can’t write a romance novel, then I’ve only spent a month on figuring that out.  The bonus of not being able to do it means that I also won’t have another hurt first draft of a novel sitting lonely on my computer.  The bonus of finding out that I can write one is that there will be more feminist romance out there in the world.  Maybe, eventually, if I ever get to editing it.

Because of course I’m being feminist about it.  And wildly American, surprisingly.  I’ve picked a really terrible title and am looking for better suggestions, if you have any.  It’s got to be punny, with bonus points for those that mash up second wave feminism and bawdiness (or first wave, or third… I’m not picky).  Brian came up with “Romancing The Vote” which almost works, but doesn’t quite.  Here’s my hastily scrubbed together cover and synopsis:

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In Suffrage or in Health:

Boston, 1891.  Charlotte keeps a close secret that would surely ruin her and all her marriage prospects if discovered: her pen name is Susan Catt and she’s the one behind all the incendiary suffragette articles in Frank Godwin’s Illustrated Magazine.  And with handsome but proper Henry Harcourt just about to propose it’s more dire than ever that Charlotte keep that other name from ever getting out.  After all, Henry is everything she said she wanted with plenty of gilded halls and money besides.  Isn’t he?

If only broke, uncouth Frank Godwin wasn’t so tempting… And so willing to accept her as herself.

Anyway, I’m happy I’m keeping to tradition.  I’ll have a full on outline in a few days, and then I just need November 1st to roll around so I can start cranking out the words.  It’s nice to be done with this so early in the game; quite a change from last year when I did this all without an outline 2 days before the deadline and imploded a week later. But I also know from much Nano experience that pre-planning alone is not enough to keep the implosions at bay.  Think good thoughts for me.

Need a writing buddy?  Come find me!  I’m Caseykins, and I will 100% buddy up to you back: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/caseykins

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An Office Behind Toontown

I always have worked best under deadlines.  Which is why I’m excited to have one for Blue Gentian now (entering it into the Other Half contest).  It intellectually feels weird that I will re-write 4 more chapters and then call it done.  I’ve been working on this thing for 5 years now.  But creatively, it feels almost done.  I’m even sorta proud of it.

Is it wrong to admit you like your own work?

I have just 3 weeks for those chapters, so I’m plugging along at a rapid pace.  No thought space for the blog, just for fires in churches, archers in empty buildings, a dancing queen, and a surprise murderer.

So, to tide you over is this essay I wrote a bazillion years ago about my job at Disney, as an assignment for my very first creative writing class.  I’ve been gone from Disney for 3 years and I’m sure it’s all different there now.  But this is a good approximation of how it was, or how I remember it was.

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AN OFFICE BEHIND TOONTOWN:

My desk is exactly three feet wide. There is just enough room for me to tuck my legs underneath the gray plastic top. I have managed to stuff a small space heater below the desk because it is always cold and I sit underneath the air conditioning vent. Between the computer and the large black conference telephone that sits on the desktop, there is room for nothing else on the surface. I brought in a lime green clock from home and hung it on the wall next to my computer screen. It is a personal item, with its cheerful tick and scrolling black numbers, and therefore it is illegal.

My desk is shared because I am a Costumer’s Assistant. The lady who trained me three years ago made it very clear that assistants don’t get their own desks. Still, I am the only occupant of this tiny island of plastic countertop. I know this because my papers are always where I left them. The stack of unfinished paperwork and the notebook with my “to do” list covers the top of the black telephone. Shiny fabric swatches that glitter in the fluorescent lights litter the base of the monitor in the same heap as the day before.

The walls around my clock are surrounded by white papers detailing how to make Costume Style Numbers, showing the Fiscal Calendar, lists and lists of phone numbers. Just above the desk are two cabinets, one on top of the other. They are packed full of empty binders. The bottom one also holds paper trays, staplers, and all the things that would be on the desktop of there was room. Behind me is a large walkway. People who don’t even work in the office go strolling in and out, staring at the Excel forms that are always open on my computer screen.

I ship costumes and fabrics to China sometimes, which requires me to leave my desk. When an order is ready to ship, I print out the checklist of everything I’m supposed to send. Then, I walk through the costume warehouse, down the concrete stairs, and into the shipping bay. Boxes stacked on pallets obstruct the middle of the room, and the walls are covered with metal racking. I go to the fabric holding rack and I count everything on the checklist twice.

The person in shipping used to save me boxes, but there’s a new girl now.

She has decorated the shipping desk with puffy stickers and her pens are planted in a lurid red cup of clay that her daughter made. The keys to the receiving bay currently sport a Hello Kitty key ring. She got rid of the boxes because they were too much clutter. Now, a box of just the right size and condition is almost impossible to find. I end up peeling off a lot of stickers and scratching out a lot of names with a thick black sharpie. Sometimes the shipment is several rolls of fabric and I don’t have to worry about a box at all. Instead, I have to drag the clear plastic bags full of cloth around and pretend I am strong enough to handle them.

My life at Disney is governed by rules, by sheets of paper that say can or can’t.

I wanted a special nametag, and so I filled out the application for a language pin.

I had to go in and take a test in the fancy yellow building where only the executives work. I walked into the hot pink lobby and climbed three flights of sprawling stairs. A man in an office with a gigantic window that looked out on a tree lined courtyard quizzed me in sign language. Once the test was finished, he handed me his business card, and a small blue pamphlet with glossy pages titled “Guest Services for the Hearing Impaired.” He informed me that I would receive my new nametag in two weeks.

Four months later, it arrived.

It is exactly the same as everyone else’s nametag, except that it has a little gold plaque at the bottom where two white hands have been inset.

The hands spell “S” and “L” in American Sign Language.

I was thrilled to have that name tag. I pictured myself strolling through the park on a sunny day. As I passed by the path near the Matterhorn, a family poring over a map, brows furrowed, would look up at me and notice the shiny white letters beneath my name and they would smile. Gesturing in perfect American Sign Language, they would ask where they should have lunch. Matterhorn is near Tomorrow Land, and the Pizza Port has great food, I would suggest. They would beam as they strolled off to Tomorrow Land and they would have a wonderful lunch because of me. It would make their entire Disneyland day.

This has never happened.

I like to attribute this to the fact that I never actually stroll through the park on a sunny day. I don’t do anything but sit at my desk and fill out paperwork. And ship things like fabric and costumes to China.

The man in the office doesn’t care that I don’t ever use my nametag as it’s intended.

If I want the plaque, I have to take the test. Those are the rules.

My boss e-mails me a list of eight different sample costumes that need to be shipped to China this morning: 1. Jelly Fish Girl, 2. Chimney Sweep, 3. Main Street Piano Player, 4. Department Store Santa, 5. Mardi Gras Showgirl, 6. Scuba Diver, 7. Thin Pirate, 8. Jungle Stilt Walker. China will look at them, paw them over, ask how many we want, and then give us a price for making them.

This can only happen if I send them to China in the first place.

I print out the e-mail list to use as a checklist. Then, I pull all the costumes off their racks, and throw them in a pile on the concrete warehouse floor. Once I have every single item of clothing on the paper, I pick up the heap and cradle it against my chest. The lump of clothes stops just below my chin. I walk down stairs to box it up, label it, and give it to the girl in Shipping and Receiving.

She prints out all the paperwork that I have meticulously crafted for her.

It has to be detailed and correct or it won’t pass Chinese customs. A box without the proper paperwork is in purgatory. It can’t go back to the United States, but it can’t arrive in China either. Instead, it waits for months in the damp warehouse on a foreign pier.

With the correct paperwork, Rocky takes it to the large shipping distribution center at Disney.

They weigh every item inside the box, note the weight on the paperwork, and then send it to China.

This is where I end and begin, in a cycle of boxes and papers, rules and regulations. The contraband clock on my wall ticks. The letters on my nametag gleam. I tape the brown box closed, I hand Rocky the paperwork. She takes the box to the shipping center and I climb the stairs back to my desk. I play my part, a cog in the works, governed by papers. I open my e-mail and the journey starts again.

Categories: Life, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Writing, and Quantity

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I read somewhere about in a study they did with musicians in college.  They found that the amount the musician practiced determined how successful they were later in life.  1-2 hours a day, and the person usually became a music teacher or did small ensemble work.  The folks that got the prestigious Philharmonic gig were practicing 3+ hours a day in addition to all the ensemble work they were doing for class.  I’m trying to apply that to my writing, although I’m not terribly sure how well I’m succeeding.  I know I’m hitting 1-2, just not sure if I’m getting all the way to that 3 mark.

I say this, because I realized this week that it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about how the writing is going.  It’s going as well as it ever goes.  Some days it feels like I’m charging along.  Other days it feels like I’m flogging myself because I need to write and I just don’t want to.  I am in the weeds of the messy last ½ of Blue Gentian, and not enjoying it.  But I am making progress.  I’m trying to tell myself that I hate it because I’ve been over it too many times, and that it’s not a reflection of the actual writing.  I’m trying to tell myself that it’s definitely not a practice novel and it’s worth it to keep going.  Brian has been bucking me up about it as needed.

I’m hopeful that when I finish this draft, I will be awfully close to being able to shop it. Brian is my alpha reader, and he will have been through it all at that point and all revisions will be made.  I’m working on my synopsis and on my pitch letter.

When Blue Gentian gets too depressing, I’ve started to put together the 2nd draft of my next book – about a girl who has to travel to the Egyptian temple in the Grand Canyon to release a goddess from bondage so that the world doesn’t implode into a thing full of nothing but h bombs, earthquakes, and polio.  It’s set in the 1950s.  That’s going well, but slowly.  I’m in love with the world, so it’s nice to be in the middle of it for a while. Even if I’m not quite sure what the next part of the story should be.

I have a couple of short stories that are also going slowly, and I am shopping around another short.  Mostly it’s a waiting game at this point.  I hope to hear this weekend from the place I have it now, and then be ready to send it to the next place if the news is bad.  Spoiler: the news is almost always bad, although I’m a little more hopeful that this mag will say yes than I am for most others.

That’s how it’s going.  I’m plugging along.  And I’m hoping that quantity will eventually turn into quality.  I think the odds are in my favor.  If I can just get to hour 3…

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Casey’s Guide to Not Critiquing Like a Jerk

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In its latest iteration of editing, the book is on Critique Circle right now, and I am getting the most infuriating critiques.  For those of you who don’t know, Critique Circle is a members-only online critique group.  You can post things to the Story Queue for 3 credits, and you get 1 credit for every story of someone else’s you critique (more or less).  For those who don’t have a writer’s group, it can be helpful.  I find it’s mixed in the best of cases.  Sometimes I get REALLY GOOD critiques.  Sometimes it’s wishy-washy – not outright bad, but not deep enough to help much.

This time has been the worst yet.  Like, one or two are good.  And then I get this thing where the critiquer wants to tear apart my word choice in nit-picking detail and tell me how all of my phrasing is obviously wrong (bonus points if they re-write the entire paragraph – badly – below).  My favorite was the person who told me they would give me a secret tip that would really punch up my writing – to use other dialogue tags that aren’t “said.”

Now, I don’t mind taking advice.  But absurd advice that is wrong?  Come on now…

It’s still worth the headache, I think.  I’m getting at least one excellent critique per post.  But I thought I also might put together a Casey’s Guide to Not Critiquing Like a Jerk.  Not because I expect anyone to follow it, but because I’d like to vent a little.

Here it is:

  • You are not here to get the author’s thing published. You are here to help the author make the thing the best it can be.  Unless you are an editor of a paying publication, don’t ever use the phrase “Editors are looking for…” or “Editors don’t want…”  Editors are looking for a good story, period.  Are there things that might help that? Maybe. But the best thing about writing is that there are many, many exceptions to every “rule.” If the story is good, someone will pay for it.  You do not need to get hypothetical Editors involved.  It just makes people feel condescended to.
  • You are not here to be a cheerleading section, nor do you need to spend paragraphs bucking someone up or massaging their ego.  Presumably, if a person has given you something to critique they are aware that there are problems with the manuscript and are going to do more drafts of it.  They will be an adult about an honest, friendly critique.  Things like “I’m so sorry, but you will probably need more drafts,” or “Don’t ever stop writing, even though you have a ways to go with this!” are useless (and another point of condescension).  Give your critique and leave the fluff out of it.
  • Word choice, phrasing, and often punctuation are reflective of the author’s personal style. Their style might not be for you, but it is not wrong. Unless you are actively misunderstanding the meaning of something, leave it alone.
  • Know the “no’s.” You don’t have to practice this, but you should probably be aware that high use of adverbs, cliché, dialogue tags other than “said” and passive voice are considered bad form by most MFA programs in Creative Writing. If the piece is working despite this, that’s okay.  But don’t suggest to anyone that they do any of these things to punch up their writing.  Most likely it will not help.  And you will look like an uneducated idiot for suggesting it.
  • Focus more on why you didn’t connect with something than on what the writer can do to improve it.  That’s the most important part.  If you want to suggest stuff, go ahead, but make sure you’re doing the other first. You’re probably wrong about how it should be improved, anyway, since you don’t necessarily know what the writer was attempting to convey.  The where and why is more important than the how.
  • Heap praise on the good stuff. Not because the author needs it after all the crap you’ve told them (although they probably do), but because knowing what’s working can be just as helpful as knowing what isn’t.  It’s so easy when re-writing to just toss everything out the window, or to toss things that are needed in an attempt at making other things work.  As a critiquer, you can prevent this tragedy.  Tell them what you liked.
  • Thank the author for letting you read their work. It takes guts to put stuff out there to be slammed, and you obviously connected with it enough to read it all the way through, even if it wasn’t perfect.  This is the only bit of fluff you’re allowed, so make it count.
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3Point8

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So, this thing has been going on for a couple of weeks now.  I have been perpetually disorganized this last month, and am definitely remiss in posting this so late. But better late than never, right? I had to wait until payday to buy the book (because I didn’t realize they don’t charge you until it prints) and didn’t feel comfortable plugging something I hadn’t bought, even if I was going to buy it. Um, I mean, I was trying to stagger my release of this blog to help Mike keep his momentum going.  Of course.  Yes, that was my plan all along (shifty eyes).

So here it is:

I’m going to tell you about this good friend of mine.  His name is Mike Melilli, and he’s got a grasp of story that is, well, masterful I guess.  Except that description seems so pale.  I can’t say that I hate him for it, because he’s the sort of guy that is gregarious and unhateable.  I’m sure you know the feeling, though.  That jealousy that someone else has easy command of something you’re trying so hard to learn, while at the same time being floored by it.

I am telling you this because he’s writing a book, and we all know how hard that is.  MUCH harder than anyone who hasn’t done it thinks it possibly could be.  I already know he’s a good storyteller, because we’ve played Dungeons and Dragons/Savage Worlds in the same group together for, oh, certainly over five years.  Maybe closer to seven?  But I haven’t seen any of his writing.  Until now.

Mike is crowd-funding a book through preorders at Inkshare, and if his excerpt is any indication, the book going to be an AMAZING fantasy/thriller mashup. The whys and wherefores that have led him to this novel are his story to tell, not mine, so I will let him tell it.  You can read about him and his novel here: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/3point8?recommended=true.  I’m 100% excited to read the final product.

Several reasons you should buy his book: 1) It’s going to be a really good book.  2) 50% of the profits are going to Forever Footprints, a charity that supports families who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss.  3) The book is a steal at only $4.99 if you’re willing to sign up for an Inkshare account.  4) If you buy now (before the end of September), it will help Mike win a contest that guarantees he’ll get it published.

Thanks so much for letting me spout off about this.  More books in the world = more readers = a better world.  You can help bring one more into existence, you know.

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How It’s Going

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I haven’t talked about how the writing is going in a while.  That’s because it isn’t really going.  I mean, I shouldn’t say that.  It’s a different kind of “going” these days that feels less like writing and more like reading things and moving words around.  In short, I’m doing a bunch of editing.  All of it with Brian’s help, who is very awesome for going over my novel with me (it’s in much worse shape than I thought, but I don’t think the edits will be impossible).  Next stop Beta readers, maybe.

I set myself a few goals this year.  Goal #1 was to have a finished novel that’s ready to shop around.  Goal #2 was to get 5 short stories published, and one of those five paid for.  I’ll make #1, I think.  I’m on schedule to.  Brian and I will finish going over the novel sometime in June, and then I will have a full 6 months to do all the final edits and write the various synopsis that go with querying an agent.

But #2?  It just dawned on me that the year is almost ½ over and I don’t even have 5 stories written yet, let alone published.  And if everyone keeps things for 2+ months (which they do these days, mostly), then it is likely I won’t make it.  Yikes!  I’m whipping those six-in-six stories into shape as quickly as possible, and trying to write a few more as well.  The more I have circulating out there, the more likely I am to get things accepted.  That’s the theory anyway.  And only two of the six-in-six stories are something someone might be likely to buy, I think.

So I’m editing like crazy so I can start submitting like crazy.  The goal is to have 3 ready to submit this week, and then start writing again next week.  I’m making progress. Now we’ll just all have to cross our fingers that someone will give them a home.

Please?

In other news, Brian’s car is fixed!!!  It is running like a champ!!!  I have 2 hours of my day back and I couldn’t be more thrilled!!!  I like using exclamation points!!!

But seriously, it’s been nice to be able to have a little bit of time in the day, instead of always having to drag myself out the door, and then rush to the next thing, and then the next, until I finally get home (maybe) around 7:00 pm, after leaving at 6:20 in the morning.  And then there’s dinner to cook.

I do miss Brian, though, and it’s only been one day.  I’m hopeless.  I know.

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