Awake and (kind of) alert

Okay, thanks to Rory I’m up and at ’em this early Thursday morning. Yeah, he thought 0100 was a decent time to wake me up.
It’s already been a relatively productive hour and fifteen minutes, though. I started on design elements for an SCA arts swap project that I am participating in (I think my assigned recipient will like what I make, because some of the things she listed as her “likes” are right along the lines of what I already do arts-wise in the SCA so far), and now I’m delving into my notes for Book 2.
I already know I have one major no-no to fix as I rewrite, and it’s going to make dissemination of some of the necessary info tough: the dreaded head-hopping. I tried it in Abnormal but the publishers didn’t care for it, so I had to get creative with how I was relaying info there. This is going to be even more difficult though, because right now three of the main characters are–wait! Can’t tell you. Spoilers and all. 😉
My notes were previously on Evernote (great app! Love it), but last night I transferred many of them to a Word document and printed them all out so I can make handwritten notes and get my thoughts/plot points organized. It’s not quite the neat and pretty outline that I’m sure my publishers will ask for when I submit Book 2 after it’s finished, but for now it’ll do. I don’t do well with neat and pretty outlines anyway. They’re tedious to me, and I do better making them if I’ve already written the thing I’m outlining. Lol I guess I’m a little backwards.
So far I have a few thoughts brewing as to how I’m going to fix the boo-boos, but it’s going to be a slow process. The slowness will be compounded by A&S projects, the arts exchange project, and of course work and SCA activities. I don’t know when the publishers expect it to be done, but so far they’ve seemed willing to work with me when I’m still in the development stage. We’ll see.
Speaking of compounded, I may or may not have a new foot fracture. Left foot this time. No, it’s not a compound fracture, but hey, that’s the best segue I’ve got. Anywho, it’s been hurting off and on (more on than off now) for about two weeks, and I think it’s time to get out of the town called Denial and just get my ass to the doctor. I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon. He’ll probably order some x-rays, they’ll probably tell me yeah, it’s broken, and I’ll probably be back at the podiatrist’s office to get a boot for the left side. At least this time I didn’t wait until I almost couldn’t bear weight on it anymore. That counts for something, right? Stupid high pain tolerance.

Square one–er, two?

After waffling for a few months on whether to revise Book 2 to fit the new end of Abnormal or just rewrite the whole thing, I finally came to the conclusion that I should kind of do both. I’ll keep the sections that still fit with Abnormal’s ending–what few there are–but I’ll also start over. So it’ll be something old and something new. I guess.
I’m kinda bummed that I have to go back to the beginning for this sequel. Granted, the first draft was, as most first drafts are, not the greatest. I was still green when I wrote it, with the gerunds and head-hopping and all the things that probably drove my publisher bonkers with Abnormal. Lol But I guess it’s a good thing? I mean, I can wipe the slate clean and start over better. Stronger. More powerful than the average bear.
That’s for tomorrow, though. It’s getting late. (For me, anyway. That’s the glamorous life of an author with a full-time job at a clinic. Surgery days start early.)

Gone to bed–time to start the day

It’s bedtime for ABNORMAL. I’ve officially emailed the final revisions to RhetAskew.
Soon come the marketing materials and the footwork to get ABNORMAL out in the public eye. I have a lot of work ahead of me; I’m not trying to fool myself into thinking things are done. Even if I didn’t have Book 2 and the others to write, I’ve got to put in as much work as possible on the marketing.
Ah, marketing. The thing I spent my first year of college majoring in. Twenty years ago. If I recall, the only actual marketing course I managed to take before I switched majors was Business Statistics. So yeah. I’m flying blind here.
There’s one small local bookstore that I’ve heard of. A couple bigger ones in Tucson and probably a bunch in Phoenix. And I wouldn’t rule out traveling out-of-state for conventions or book signings. That’s not enough, though. I’ve got to blow up Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and All The Things to get word out. But it’s not like I don’t have resources. I can look up blogs on book marketing, ask my publishers for advice, ask other authors who’ve had success in their own marketing.
Until my marketing package arrives though, I guess I’m going to start back on Book 2.
Well, after today’s barbecue.
Welcome to home ownership.

Coming soon, to a bookstore (or website) near you…

Yeah, bookstores are a thing of the past almost, but…
That’s right, RhetAskew Publishing has officially announced ABNORMAL! It’s not for sale yet–there’s still some work to be done on it, and all the pre-production stuffs has to happen, but it is announced!
Here’s the beautiful announcement artwork, courtesy of Dusty at RhetAskew:
I am beyond excited, and even though I should totally be working on revisions right now, my head’s buzzing a little. I’m, like, beyond words.
”ll give updates as I’m allowed. For now, it’s back to work! 🙂

So close, yet so far away

Timing is everything…and it looks like we were just in time–or not.
See, part of the reason for the whole house thing–the land transfer from my parents, the building, the moving–was so we could be closer to Mom to be able to help her if needed. My mom has fibromyalgia and has a tendency to overdo things (and thus be out of commission for days afterward) or to lose her balance and fall. Yesterday, the latter happened as she was on a walk. By our house. Like, right next to our driveway.
We were cleaning our apartment at the time.
It was a #fml moment to realize that at the exact moment we were getting most of the last of the stuff out of the apartment my mom needed us. Sure, my sister was with her…but she wouldn’t have had to hobble all the way across our adjoining land (on a broken left foot) to get home, and she wouldn’t have had to wait for my dad to get off work to go to the ER. Even if I had been at work, my husband could have checked on her, made her stay put, walked over and gotten her car, helped her into it, and taken her to the ER right away. Did I mention she hit her head when she fell? Yeah. That too.
She’s okay; she’s in a splint for her foot and I guess testing showed that her head was okay. But still, it was a hard reminder of why we really moved. It wasn’t just to get out of apartment life. It was to be there, extra hands if needed, for Mom.
And we weren’t. We could have been. And there are going to be times when we’re not here. We’ll be at SCA events or I’ll be at work and we won’t have the car or we’ll be at the movies or grocery shopping or whatever. But, for the most part, we’ll be here. Four acres away.
We just weren’t here yesterday. 🙁

Signed, sealed, delivered, HOME

We did it! After more than a year and a half of planning and building and paperwork and stress, our house is our house. We can sleep and eat and shower and live in it!
The first night went well, though I didn’t sleep any better than usual. Still woke up ass-early in the morning, but I was able to do some revisions on the chaise of the couch while my husband slept soundly, without worrying about typing too loud or finding headphones to listen to music on the laptop.
Yeah, there are boxes everywhere. Yeah, we still don’t have all the smart home stuff fully set up (though I can turn on/off lights and fans and such with my phone or the Echo now). Yeah, there’s still stuff lingering in the apartment. Yeah, we still need to clean the apartment. We have to officially change our address at the post office and numerous other places. We have to get used to driving an extra 20+ minutes to get anywhere compared to the 5-10 minutes it used to take when we lived “in town.” We’ve got stuff that we need to purchase to maintain the land and house and all that. But we’re home.
Rory and River love it. They were apprehensive at first, but once they realized they were here to stay and they had twice the space to explore as the apartment, they were all about the house. There’s new furniture and old to climb on, new windows to look out (with windowsills they both fit on), and a nice, new concrete floor to lie on when they need to cool off.
This upcoming long weekend will be a huge help in getting settled. We’re going to see Solo on Saturday (and making an out-of-town trip for it), but otherwise we don’t really have anything planned. We can take a breath and focus and get things organized. Just knowing that we have that little bit of extra time helps me relax and get out of OMG-I-have-so-much-stuff-to-do-and-no-time mode.
Revisions are coming along again now that we’re moved. I’m about halfway through a preliminary read of the edits, but of course I have to review everything a couple of times before resubmitting. After all, this is the LAST batch of edits. The LAST revisions before publication. I can’t say when publication is yet, because I haven’t been officially announced by the publisher, but as soon as I can I’ll be blasting it all over the Interwebs. (Which reminds me, I need to get back to actually utilizing Twitter to grow a fanbase/network and to start marketing.) I’ve given my publishers an open invite to stay with us should they ever come to Arizona, and there are tentative plans in the works to get some booths set up at local conventions once the book is published.
As soon as this first book is “put to bed” I’m going to get cracking on simultaneous edits/rewrites on Book 2 and SCA Arts & Sciences projects. I have to learn/write the documentation for the one thing I’ve made so far, finish the research on the research paper I plan on writing, and potentially make a third thing for entry. I’ve gone from entering just in the local Baronial Arts & Sciences competition to entering as part of a household in another Barony. Still a lot to do in just a month or two, but I’ll be okay. I just need to breathe and not stress out too much about any of it. Of course, to make the third as-yet-to-be-determined thing for A&S I’ll need a new chair for the craft room. Turns out the carefully-planned room (which is still awesome) does not have enough room for the futon I used to sit on, so I need an actual, like, office chair or something. Oh yeah, and I have to put all the crap in there away, or at least “away enough” to where I can start on the third project. At least the research paper doesn’t need to be constructed, just written and printed.
We have no less than three house parties in the works now, with one huge SCA party planned, one party for family and coworkers, and one party (date as-yet-to-be-determined) for close friends. I’m hoping to get at least some of the “rapier obstacle course” that I plan on making done by the SCA party, so we can have some er, party games. Yeah. Party games. With mutherfuckin’ swords. Hell yeah.
Lots to do, but much less pressure now.
Now that I’m home.
Home, sweet home.

Slow but sure

Revisions are… coming along. Slowly. Mainly because of adverbs like slowly and mainly. And because of gerunds. I apparently love gerunds. It’s funny the things you don’t realize you do until someone points out how often you do them.
I’ll get it all fixed though. I am so excited for this book to be published! It’s been a long couple of years since I made the resolution to get the first draft finished, but I’m now on the final revisions and Book 2 is in the early stages of revisions for the first draft. It’s got a long way to go as well, but now that I’m more aware of my gerund affinity I’m sure it’ll be easier … Won’t it?
Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll be just as stressed for Book 2, 3, and onward. Lol But it’ll all be worth it. I just have to push on.
In other news, the house is almost home and I’m doing some unwinding this weekend in between revision sessions. Soon things will be back to (my) normal. Work is work, and crafting is taking a hiatus while I finish the book. That means I probably won’t get the time to make and document enough stuff to enter as Champion for the Baronial Arts and Sciences competition. I can still enter as novice in a couple categories, but I’m a little disappointed in myself for not being able to go for the big prize right out of the gate. I had wanted to push myself, but maybe all this is the Universe’s way of telling me to simmer down and just take my time. I have the rest of my life with the SCA to try for Champion; I don’t need to get greedy the first time I enter.
Well, guess I should stop dwelling and get to the relaxation part of my weekend… While it lasts 😉

A portent of things to come

I received the best email this morning: the previews for the promotional materials for my book! They look great, and it’s lit a new fire under me to get my revisions done ASAP.
Unfortunately, I’m still mid-move, so that throws a bit of a wrench into things. I can’t just wake up early and open the laptop and get cracking. I have to pack boxes and get those things ready. That’s in the mornings; the evenings (after work) are for unpacking said boxes in the house. We’ve gotten maybe half of the apartment moved over, but the remaining half is the tough stuff. Clothes, dishes, electronics, deep freeze, food, bed, TV, and all the little piddly stuff that’s been left. I don’t know where I’m going to get the time. Well, I suppose I could cut back on what little sleep I get….
I’ll get it done by the deadline. I have to. I’m not giving myself any other option.
It’ll be nice to finally be in our house… But I can’t let my guard down. I’ve got to remember that I’ve still got work to do.

Seal of approval

It’s nearly done! After almost two years of planning and 7-8 months of building, our home loan has been approved! This Friday we sign the loan, and Monday we’re officially moved in (okay, so we’ve been moving our crap in ever since the builders told us that we could start).
Some of this early, early morning (thanks, Rory) has been spent packing boxes. I may or may not have gotten distracted looking for my first SCA award, which we plan on getting framed along with all the others and hung in the Olrun-and-Floki-SCA-Hall-of-Fame, but it was found safe and sound and now is with all the other awards we have received that are yet to be framed–except my husband’s Queen’s Cipher. He put that….somewhere. He’ll have to find that one.
Once I ran out of boxes, I decided I kindamaybesorta need to get cracking on revisions. Yep, my latest round of line edits has been returned, but I was so frustrated at comments or suggestions that didn’t make sense to me that I took a step back from it. Now, though, I have to somehow manage moving to a new home, working full time, and completing said revisions. Oh, and SCA life. And crafting. No sweat, right? Right. Sure. I can do this.
Rory and River have figured out that there’s something going on–we’re excited, we’re moving stuff around, boxes are appearing and stuff is disappearing–but they don’t yet know what’s in store. I can’t wait to see them chasing each other around the house!
Yeah, my commute to work goes from 5 minutes to 25. Yeah, it takes longer to get to the grocery store. Yeah, we’ve gotten spoiled by the small-town nothing-takes-longer-than-10-minutes-to-get-there life. But soon–SOON–we will be home.
Our home.
Our house.


Finally got my line edits back…and I’m once again feeling out of my depth here.
There were a lot of things that I thought I had “fixed,” or at least to the point of acceptability, but nope. I’ve got adverbs and passive voice and (apparently, though I’m not sure yet where or how) head-hopping. The last problem I thought I had taken care of by removing the chapters with a different POV, but with a book that centers on a main character who is telepathic, it’s kind of hard to figure out where I could have “head-hopped” where it wasn’t part of the story to be “inside” a different character’s head.
I’ve been up for hours, but I’ve only really read the introductory comments prior to the actual edits and maybe a couple of pages of edits. It’s a lot. And it makes me doubt myself a lot.
I know I need to keep a thick skin when it comes to edits and not take it personally. The publishers want a good book, so they want it to be the best it can be. However, I find myself pretty much in tears just thinking about all I have to fix. In three weeks.
So what have I done these past few hours, besides stare at pages and pages of red lines?
Yeah. I’ve cruised the Internet, created the eleventieth draft of a possible badge design for SCA (which took a considerable amount of time, given that Photoshop was being a jerk), and stared at the Word icon on the taskbar with a sense of dread. I think part of what makes this so overwhelming is the fact that, with my first book, I had edits in spurts–a few chapters at a time, with several people commenting on the chapters at once. I had more time to fix the problems as well, as I was self-publishing and didn’t have a set deadline. Now all the edits–all of them–are in one fell swoop, all the revisions need to be done in one fell swoop, and it’s intimidating. I feel like the worst writer ever, even though I’m sure I had the same quantity of critiquing with Whispers of Death.
I’ll have some time to work on it this afternoon and this weekend. I’ll have time in the mornings before work, as I always do. I’ll have some afternoons here and there when I’m off (provided that I’m not mid-move–the loan paperwork has been submitted, so that is also looming on the horizon). I can do it, but I’m still full of doubt. I just see myself failing all over the place. So discouraging.
Maybe this afternoon once I get off work I’ll be in a better frame of mind to focus on the story and on the revisions that need to be made. Right now, all I see is a failure of a writer, a hack, and that frame of mind isn’t going to help me at all.