January 2017 Planning

I haven’t updated here in awhile and we’re a third of the way through the month, but I need to start being accountable again.  So here’s January’s plan though it’s a bit short!

Publishing

Double Helix – Shadows and Secrets

Editing/Formatting

Double Helix – Emergence anthology

Zero Drafts/Revisions

  • Not Alone Project short story
  • Witches & Warriors short story

It’s Release Day!!

After eight months, lots of learning, and lots of people putting major effort into it, the Queens & Courtesans anthology benefiting the Sirens Conference is available! I’m extremely proud to have been a part of it from the beginning – and to see how everything has come together.

Women have long wielded power in various ways. This collection explores two prominent archetypes, the Queen and the Courtesan, in memorable stories that cross speculative genres. Whether finding love or finding themselves, coming into their magic or other strengths, these complex women rise above the roles that confine them to ask: Who will you be?

You can find it via the following links:

Help us out and share this post and these links with your friends and family. If you can, and are inclined too, purchase a copy and review it for us on Amazon, Goodreads, or anywhere else.

Queens & Courtesans Anthology Cover

Queens & Courtesans Anthology Cover

Tomorrow I’ll be posting links to posts from other members of the anthology group. Everyone stretched themselves and got something different from the project.

Adding to the Process

With most of my stories, I don’t make notes after I’ve finished them. There’s really no need to since most of them are one-shot stories. This is a good thing because I don’t have reams and reams of notes I’ll never use again. It’s a bad thing because I do have a series building up and the only notes I have are on the individual stories.

There’s a simple solution – take a time out from writing those stories and create a story “bible.”  Television shows and existing fiction franchises keep story bibles so that important facts, events, and characters are portrayed accurately no matter who the author is who is writing a particular story. It’s something I have to add to my existing process.

So that’s what I’m doing right now. My Double Helix series started out as one book. Then I had an idea for another one, and a collection of short stories about how each of the members joined Helix. Now the series notes are up to six novels and six short story collections.  There are too many details to keep straight without a little help.

So characters, locations, organizations, timeline notes, and other details for the entire series are going into one place. I can update it when a new detail comes up. I can refer to it when I’m not certain about something. I can give my beta readers the relevant parts of it so they can make sure I’m consistent with descriptions and motivations.

It does take time away from writing the actual stories, but it will also make things quicker when I need to remember details. Here’s to learning and using new information.

Changing Gears

Now that the work is mostly done on the anthology (other than marketing), I’m having to change gears. I’m finding it a more difficult thing to do than I’d expected.

It’s not just moving past the anthology to the next project. It’s figuring out what that next project is. It’s determining just how much havoc the anthology caused to my plan for the year. Because it was completely unplanned and unexpected, I had to drop things I was working on.

Where do I pick up? Where do I start trying to get back on track?

I also have some major decisions to make about what method of publishing I want to pursue with some of my stories. Do I still want to pursue traditional publishing for some of them? Or do I want to self-publish all of them?

How do I market them? How do I build up an audience? A mailing list? What can I offer readers to sign up for my mailing list or visit my site?

How do get back in the right mindset to work on the projects I put aside?

These are some of the things I’m struggling with right now. It may take some time, but I will figure them out.

Cover Reveal, Pre-Sales, and Release Date!

The 2015 Sirens conference was my first. It made a rather large impression. I found part of my tribe. And out of a writing related post on Facebook back in February, something astounding grew.

Two characters, a queen and courtesan from completely different stories, were being very loud in my head. Neither was from the story I was working on at the time, but both were insistent. One of my fellow Sirens thought that would be an interesting conversation to hear. Not something I could write, since their stories are centuries and worlds apart – but her thought sparked another story idea in my mind. And in other Sirens’ minds as well. Within two weeks, the first real work on creating the anthology started.

I am extremely proud to be able to reveal the anthology cover, announce the release date, and announce that the e-version is available for pre-sale now.

Title: Queens & Courtesans: A Sirens Benefit Anthology
Release Date: Thursday, October 6, 2016

Queens & Courtesans Anthology Cover

Queens & Courtesans Anthology Cover

Description:

Women have long wielded power in various ways. This collection explores two prominent archetypes, the Queen and the Courtesan, in memorable stories that cross speculative genres. Whether finding love, or finding themselves, coming into their magic or other strengths, these complex women rise above the roles that confine them to ask: who will you be?

E-Book available for pre-sale at:

Decisions, Decisions

The benefit anthology that I wrote a story for is coming out soon.  As the US “publisher” I’ve been very involved in getting it set up with several different distribution channels. It hasn’t been too difficult, though they’re all just a little different.

But there’s a problem.

That book, sitting there all by itself on each distribution page, looks lonely.

My name is on the book, if I had other stories published – traditionally, or self-published – I could take advantage of any sales on the anthology.  There won’t be any “By the same author” links for any of my writing.  Some of my fellow contributors probably will see links like that with their names in them.

I’ve always intended to self-publish some of my writing. But I’ve been concentrating on a couple of novels that I was planning to submit for traditional publishing. I don’t have anything ready, polished enough, to self-publish right now. And a month probably isn’t long enough when I’m working on promoting the anthology.

So, do I pause the projects I’m working on? Self-publish them instead of going the traditional route? Or do I pull out some of the story ideas I haven’t written yet, finish and polish them with the intention of self-publishing them as soon as possible?

Decisions, decisions…

Early September Progress Report

We’re five days into September and so far I’ve been pretty productive.

I have:

  • posted over at Wandering at the Shadows’ Edge
  • posted over at Find the Soul
  • written 567 words on a new short story
  • set up the charity anthology on Amazon, CreateSpace, and Digital2Draft
  • tracked my word count for each day
  • got the email list fixed!
  • updated the Publisher and payment information on all the publishing accounts
  • input all my current story ideas in Scrivener – most are just notecards right now, but they’re all consolidated. There are over 100 ideas that I’ve either got notes or beginnings for.

Flash Fiction Day 1 – Kiss Kiss

A kiss. Just a simple kiss. Not True Love’s kiss, not even a kiss from a specific person or type of person. Just a kiss, and he was a man again.

And that’s when the trouble started.

He hadn’t been human is so long that it took more than a few seconds for him to realize what was missing when he changed back. The young lady who’d kissed him realized it much sooner because what was missing was clothes.

People put such importance on clothing. As far as he was concerned, it was annoying and uncomfortable. It restricted his movement, itched, and was hot. He was always uncomfortable.

Then there were the people. Had they always been so nosy and pushy? Had he just not noticed it before the curse had been laid on him?

They knew he was a prince – only princes were ever afflicted with that particular curse, so that much was a given.  There was more than a little confusion over his status in the Princely hierarchy though. This was not his kingdom and none of the nearby kingdoms were currently missing a Prince. They didn’t even have any unaccounted for in their histories.

How long had he been a creature of land and water? He didn’t have a clue and it seemed no one else did either. Time hadn’t mattered to him in that state. He’d instinctively kept track of the seasons, but not how many times each one had passed by.

The curse had kept him from aging in his alternate form. And he’d been lucky in the version of the curse he’d encountered. When he’d return to his true form, he didn’t age. He was the same age as he had been when the curse had been laid on him.

That was about the only thing that was simple anymore. He didn’t remember people being so complicated. He was realizing that he didn’t particularly like people anymore. They wanted too much from him. They assumed too much.

That was working to his advantage at the moment though.  He’d asked about the witches who could cast a curse like the one he’d been under. And everyone had assumed he wanted to find the one responsible to get revenge.

When they realized he’d disappeared, would any of them put it together? Did he care? By the time they knew he was gone, he’d be far past caring.

His life was about to go back to being simple.

February 2016 Planning

Normally I try to switch between zero drafts and revisions, but since I’m querying Secrets and Shadows starting this month, I thought revising the sequel would be a good idea. I’m sure it will take a couple months to hear back on any of my queries, but I’d like to have the sequel more or less ready to go, just in case.

Revision

Dark and Light

Short Stories

2AM Cheerios (title will probably change)

Blog Posts

1 per week here
1 per week on other blogs

Other Writing Related Projects

  • Track words written/revised
  • Send out queries for Secrets & Shadows
  • Post first audio/video short
  • Track queries and responses

January 2016 Plan

I didn’t keep up with the plans or wrap-ups toward the end of 2015. I’m going to try to do better in 2016.

Revision

Secrets & Shadows – final revision before sending out queries

Short Stories

End of Existence

Blog Posts

1 per week here

  • Jan 1-7
  • Jan 8-14
  • Jan 15-21
  • Jan 22-28

1 per week on other blogs

  • Jan 1-7 – Wandering at the Shadow’s Edge
  • Jan 8-14
  • Jan 15-21
  • Jan 22-28

Other Writing Related Projects

  • Track words written/revised
  • Re-establish email list
  • Research/Choose audio and/or video shorts possibilities
  • Revise Secrets & Shadows synopsis and base query text