Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Finished!

After working steadily for five days straight, happy that I had MLK day off from the day job, I finished the first draft of Navy Seal Nomad. Well, it's more of a polished first draft. Plan is to set it aside for two full days and then begin editing on Thursday, finishing Sunday, and then one final polish and off to my editor.

Very happy I managed to finish. This was an easier book to write than Cowboy Seal, probably because I had a simpler plot. Goal is to have much simpler plots in the future, and focus more on character development.

So I began working on NSN early December, and finished yesterday. That makes a total of 7 weeks it took me to write a 72,000 word book for a first draft. If not for the intense writing weekend I had in December, where I wrote 30,000 words in 4 days, I could not have done it.

I need to space myself and pace myself more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Goal made, sort of

I did make it to 60,000 on NSN this weekend, but my real goal was to get to 62,000 words. That plan was derailed on Friday when I learned of the tragic shooting at FLL. Since that is the airport I fly out of all the time, and the one friends and neighbors use, it truly affected me. I couldn't write anymore...I was too deeply shaken.

The rest of the weekend I did make some progress on the story. Plus I have a life, and I'm determined to have a life, so I wasn't at the keyboard all weekend. We had friends over Saturday night, and DH and I went to CS for dinner as well. Yesterday we took our beloved Holly for a very long walk at the park in the delightful 60 temps and looked for the nest of bald eagles at the park that our friend told us about. Last night we made a fire outside, and had another couple over for wine while toasting our toes before the fire... and it was a whooping 54 degrees. Ah, Florida life.

With the story, t am at the point now where I need to tie loose ends together. I really do like Nick and Shelby, and the setting of the story is part of the charm - a horse ranch in TN. I had wanted to travel there to research and write the story, but that wasn't in the cards last year.

I'm not sure what 2017 will hold as far as my writing career goes. Lots to think about and promo plans to try. I am putting the indie wolf series into two boxed sets with cool new covers. And releasing a story in March. One day at a time. My focus now is finishing the book!

I will be going to RWA in July. I did make that commitment. Not going on my local chapter's cruise... really had thought about it, but my conference budget is tight this year. RWA is accessible because I can drive. And after what happened Friday, I'm a little more leery of getting on a plane...domestically.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hello 2017 and deadlines

2017 is here. Made my goal of 50,000 words on NSN, and then over the New Year, wrote more so I have a total of 55,000 words. 15,000 left. I'm making plans on how much to write each day, and then will set aside the book to edit. The alpha smart comes in handy. I took it to the park New Years day when we took Holly for a very long walk, and then DH ran his new trains while I wrote and the dog sniffed around. Love my alpha smart!

This weekend, my goal is to reach 62,000 words. I don't want to push myself. I'd rather set lower goals and then surpass them. I do really like this book. Nick and Shelby are perfect for each other and the conflict, will he stay or go and will she finally work up the courage to leave the life she knows is safe and comfortable but unchallenging? is simple. I'm striving to write books with much simpler plots and focus more on character development.

We had a good New Year's eve; went to a party at a friend's house in Westin and then home to toast in the New Year with friends/neighbors, and then shot off a bunch of fireworks, making the other neighbors come out to join us. New Year's day was sluggish, but we ate out at a nice restaurant to celebrate the anniversary of our first date.

When I turn in NSN, I'm taking a short break.And then writing for fun. I need a fun project for later this month, considering I'm scared about the cheeto taking office. Who knows what will happen? What buttons will he push if he gets into a temper tantrum?

Anyway, writing wise, I feel good about the start to the year. Dh and I were reminiscing about last year this time, when I had to pack up the kitchen and both bathrooms due to the mold contamination, and we were searching for a place to live for 3 weeks. The beginning of the nightmare. It's nice to have this year start out with our biggest concern being where to eat to celebrate 23 years of first meeting each other!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 almost over, writing, writing

Feeling better about my career as an author. I took four days earlier this month, Dec. 8, and booked a hotel room in Melbourne at the Doubletree on the beach. Getting away from all the distractions, from the dogs to DH and the house, really helped. I was very sick, though. We had our annual Christmas party the weekend before and someone came and gave me this vicious sinus infection. So I was coughing the entire time i was away, but I STILL MANAGED TO WRITE 30,000 words. In four days.

Goal had been to write 40,000 words. I figure that 10,000 less is damn good, considering I hardly slept. I'd get up early, have my coffee on the balcony of the room and look at the ocean, and then get to work. There was a desk by the window where I kept the pink laptop, and I would write and write. Sometimes I would take the alpha smart down to the pool to write, but mostly I stayed in the room. In the early afternoon, I'd head out to Friendlys for chicken noodle soup.

It's a weird feeling, being alone for four days with only a book to write. Very isolating and lonely, but when I book these solo writing retreats,I am determined to make the most of them and get the most for the money I'm spending on the hotel. 

I returned, went back to the day job, and the writing, as I knew it would, slowed because of the holidays. Christmas is over now, and the fun and frenzy, and I hope to write a great deal this weekend. I have 46,000 words on Navy Seal book 3, and my goal was to get to 50,000 words before New Year's. 

I did tally up my writing income for this year and feel much better about being an author. I didn't produce as many indie books this year as last, so the results are as expected. Not sure about next year. Figure it will be one step at a time. I was really bogged down emotionally and time-wise with the mold problem in January, moving out of the house for 3 weeks, and then the nightmare with the &#*@#& mold contractor, who turned out to be a total asphalt, and then the renovations. But the kitchen is done, even though we had to hire the original granite installer to tear apart the granite counters and then reset to our satisfaction because the &*#@&# mold contractor did such a crummy job, and both bathrooms are done and Holly, whom we thought we would lose twice this year, is holding her own. Lots of crisis this year, which doesn't help you as an author. So I'm grateful I managed to produce 3 books for self publishing, and write the HQ books as well.

Guess I'll see what 2017 brings. I have my eye on some projects, and the Mating Game will be out in March. But I have learned over the years that I can break my back trying to produce books, but the stress will affect my health, and that is something that I must put first. balance. That's what I strove to attain in 2016 and I'd say I did a decent job of it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Where did this year go for this writer?

I have no clue. It's December. I still haven't started on the HQ book due. I am taking four days to go to a hotel this weekend to write. Focus. Being home has too many distractions. Laundry. Dogs. Stuff to do. I figure four days away, no phone, home, etc. and I can stream through and really make a dent in this book.

I wrote earlier this summer that I had burnout. Now I realize part of the burnout is that no one is buying the books. It's one thing to feel tired and burned out; another when no one is buying your books so you think, "Why am I killing myself to write this much?"

I've been sidelined with other projects and trying to make money. The short story turned into a novella of 41,000 words and it's out Dec. 12. Pre orders suck. Not the worst ever, but close. Very discouraging. I'm finally using instafreebie for a newsletter list, to build it up, but it's slow work. And I'm not even sure that it will work because it seems readers only want free, at least some of them. I have loyal readers who love the series, and I'm grateful for that.

Xavier's book is finished and going to edits in January, but I may delay publication in order to really promote it. I don't know. I suspect Xavier's book is the last in the series. I work really hard and it's not paying off. I told a friend this weekend at our Christmas party that I'm tired of spending all my free time promoting or trying to figure out promotions instead of writing.

I started a new project under a new name, to totally cut myself off from my real name. That project is 80 percent finished. Yay. No plans to promote, just put it up on KU and see what happens. Not even hiring a proofreader or editor. It would be hilarious if it made money. AFter all the money I've spent on editors and proofreaders, and this project takes off without either, I'd just laugh.

It costs me an average of $1,000 to produce an indie book, between the cover, editing and proofing and formatting. And I doubt I will break even with Cowboy Werewolf. Sad, sad state of affairs.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Stalled

Personal problems. They affect everyone. But this time, my writing has stalled. I'm trying really hard to kick start it again. It's like an old motor that needs a fresh infusion of oil, or gas.

I've never had this problem before, not to this degree. It's worrisome. DH says it's stress. Holly was sick the week before, but doing much better now. I don't know. Maybe it's the market and feeling discouraged, like no one will read what I write.

I have to find a way out of this.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Busy, busy

Can't believe it is Sept. 17 already. I'm floored. I started writing a new short story which is a novella now, and I'm up to 17,000 words. But I got copy edits for the next HQ book, which were given to me late. So this weekend I have to do them as they are due Monday. Such is the life of a hybrid author.

The novella means a lot to me because I still have burnout and I'm still struggling with the writing. It was a fun project, and I needed a fun project. Not a project to make money, but a project to rediscover my joy in writing. With all that has happened this year, from the renovations from the mold, the dog being critically ill and having to take her back and forth to the ER, the stress of my work at the day job, though it is PT, it's been a tough year. I'm trying to learn to balance everything and most of all, take care of my health. And my stress levels. Lately I've woken up with headaches. DH said it might be high blood pressure, but last Friday I was at the doctor and it was fine. I think it is sinus trouble.

The good news is my back troubles are mostly gone. Taking the mattress topper off our bed has helped a lot. I need a firmer mattress. My hip problems are mostly gone, just twinges now and then. the CT scan showed nothing, except normal aging degeneration/arthritis.

I need to exercise more. I got my Fitbit out but this weekend, it's not happening much since I have to get these edits done. It's so freaking hot still. I will join YouFit. That's a certainty.

And I have another book due Dec. 1. I might ask for a one month extension. No one is going to read it in Dec. anyway. Everyone is too busy.

I think I have a plan, though. This weekend I am working on Cowboy werewolf to send to a beta reader, and doing edits as well. Then next week I will finish Cowboy werewolf since I have only 10,000, no, less than 10,000 words to go.

I'll head out to a bed and breakfast or a hotel if necessary for a few days next month to get away so I can focus on the third RS book for HQ. And also in between I will finish X's book. I have 45,000 words already. Maybe I can get that book done to have an early 2017 release date.

I used to go like gangbusters on books, and I've slowed down this year. Some of which is because of the HQ books I've been writing; others because of the stuff at home with the house. But I'm slowly putting the pieces back together.