It’s time again for an appearance on Writer Imperfect, the Twitch streaming show about writing, publishing, and … vampires?
That’s right, the other esteemed authors I’ll be speaking with have all written vampire stories at some point or another. I’ve had a couple shorts on this blog about vampires, but nothing novel-length. (Well, there was that one failed attempt at a gypsy vampire novel. It was terrible. So, so terrible.) So I’m sure the talk will circle around to that at some point. Lol
I really enjoyed myself at my first appearance, and I’m hoping next Monday goes equally well. I didn’t feel to nervous or awkward, and despite River deciding to appear on camera in the background with her legs spread-eagled, it went great. I had fun, and I felt at home with these other, more experienced authors.
For authors who want a good time chatting with other authors (plus some good exposure), I highly recommend signing up for an appearance on this program. It’s every M-W-F at 8pm PST, and it’s an hour of fun and shenanigans. The show is rated mature, and there’s a reason. 😉 We can talk about some crazy stuff. I have seen–no lie–a discussion about killing zombies with butt plugs. It’s a thing that happened. I wasn’t on that episode (I probably would have shot coffee out my nose if I had been), but it was a wild ride.
I’m kinda excited for this next appearance, and after that I’m going to get together with my co-author for The Hunting Woods and work out a time when we can both sign up. That should be a great show. 😉
It’s 0432, and I’m at a friend’s house for the night, waiting for my husband to wake up so we can go the rest of the way home. So what’s an insomniac to do but write?
I tried to take a writing break during Estrella War, but my story started speaking to me again, and I couldn’t ignore it. This is after weeks of little to no progress on Book 3, so I’m glad the Muses decided to become chatty. Still, hand writing when you’ve pulled a muscle in your back (on your dominant side) isn’t exactly fun. I’ve already called out from work–well, texted out, I should say–and I foresee a heating pad in my future once I’m home… Possibly a doctor’s appointment. Depends on how much worse it gets. At the moment, I really don’t want to yawn, as I discovered last night that breathing too deep causes pain in the pulled muscle.
My feet hurt, too, as well as my legs, but it’s more of an ache from overuse of muscles that I’m not accustomed to using. You’d be surprised how many new muscle groups you will discover when you have to sludge through half a foot of thick, slippery mud for days on end. It actually got to the point where walking on dry land felt unnatural.
I’ve been tasked by my publisher’s publicist to find and book no less than three (preferably five) podcast appearances by mid March. I’ve had terrible luck getting responses, so that’s another thing I’m going to have to do once my laptop is unburied from the mess that is our car. I’ve enlisted the help of Twitter, whose #writingcommunity hashtag is a wealth of help and knowledge for newer authors like me, but I’m still going to do the “legwork” of searching podcast apps and contacting shows. It’s going to take a lot of my time, but I know it’s for my own good. I need to keep promoting ABNORMAL even though I’m working simultaneously on ESCAPE THE LIGHT and Book 3. An author’s work is never done, I guess.
I’ll be glad to get home. I miss my cats, miss my shower, miss my bed. I miss my house, my comfy couch, and all the things that I couldn’t take with to Estrella.
I wish that I had ventured out from camp more during the War. I was so miserable that I didn’t make enough of an effort to see friends that I rarely get to see or even to meet new friends. To my SCAdian friends, I apologize for not having much of a presence this War. I’d promise to make more events or something, but I’m still not sure what my mental state is following this “break” from work. I feel somewhat refreshed in the sense that, aside from a few frantic texts, I haven’t had to think about work in a week. However, that little twitch in my right lower eyelid is still there, and I still don’t know how I feel about getting back into attending more SCA events. I want to keep active, but I also need to take my mental health into consideration. That being said, I got some of the best hugs this past week, much needed and sorely missed.
It’s official: Book 2, a.k.a. ESCAPE THE LIGHT, has a signed contract with RhetAskew Publishing!
Okay, so I knew it was coming. It actually technically should have come a few weeks ago, but due to email issues I wasn’t getting it. Now, though, the balls are rolling and things are in the works. It’s happening–really happening. Er, again. Lol I wonder if the excitement will ever wear off…y’know, like one day I’ll open the email and be like, oh, yeah, another one. I hope not. I’d like to think I won’t become so full of myself as to just automatically assume I’ll get a contract for whatever I write. As for right now, I feel like..
Yep–I feel like I just scored an imaginary touchdown in a mental institution. Lol It’s okay though. This mental institution is a pretty cool place to be. I’m in good company. And look! The other patients are celebrating with me!
Seriously though, it’s a thrill to sign and know that the next book will be in my hands, er, eventually. It’s still got to go through Creative Development edits, revisions, line edits, revisions, more edits and revisions, et cetera. But it’s coming, and it’s mine, and it’ll be awesome.
I started the end of my royal embroidery project today. Granted, the “end” means two full hems that need to be embroidered, but….eh, details.
On the bright side, due to me being unable to math at 0400 this morning, the horse head designs that I’m stitching will have to be spaced out more to make it even….thus making fewer heads to stitch and saving me time in the long run. That wasn’t my intent, but the hems will still look good once they’re finished. Lucky for me I realized my error quickly, before I got too far into the design to take out what I’d done.
Lesson learned: Measure twice, add/subtract/multiply/divide twice, then place the design on the fabric and put on the hoop.
So, instead of stitching two dozen 3.5″ x 4.5″ knotwork horse heads, I’m stitching 16 of them. Thank the Gods for the Tim Gunn method of design: “Make it work.” (At least I didn’t have to use the Bob Ross method and turn my mistakes into birds. Wrong monarchs.)
I should be packing. Or doing laundry. Or something else. I’m of a one-track mind right now, though, so embroidery it is. Writing and the like will have to wait until later.
Oh! Speaking of writing–I’m being interviewed by my publisher, RhetAskew Publishing, on Twitter this evening. They’ve been doing a series of interviews with their authors, but due to my work schedule this is my first time being able to participate. 8PM PST, on the RhetAskew Twitter feed! (Or follow me @AJMullican–I’ll be tagged of course in the interview.) It’s kind of weird getting interviewed when just a couple years ago I was doing the interviewing of people. Strange how things come full circle.
Next week is Estrella War, the biggest SCA war in this area of the country, and I have a lot to do still before we leave on Wednesday.
I have to repair a couple pieces of garb. I have to keep working on the embroidery for the King and Queen. I have to mentally prepare for the embroidery classes I’m going to teach (the actual physical prep is pretty much done). I have to do laundry. I have to pack my garb and any mundane clothes I want to bring. I have to pick up the Viking coat that my fencing teacher made for me.
I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can think of right now. So despite the fact that after today I’m off work until the War is over, I’m still going to be quite busy.
I’m hoping to get a good start on the hem embroidery for Their Majesties by the end of the weekend. It should go quicker than the cuffs did, despite the additional details. I’m hoping. Fingers crossed. Lol
Even with War going on, I’ll have the good ol’ laptop handy to tap-tap-tap away whenever I have some free time. I’m not going to let my early a.m. insomnia go to waste just because I’m at an event! No, I’m going to keep busy with writing and editing in the wee hours while there’s not enough light to embroider by. Y’all can’t get rid of me that easily. 😉
I’ve added a subscription option to this page, as well as a newsletter that will be going out on a semi-regular basis. I’ll have tidbits about the projects I’m working on, links to blog posts, and other fun stuff. Keeping up with that should prove interesting, but I think if I set myself reminders on my Google calendar or something I’ll be okay.
Well, off to do war-like stuff now. Or embroidery. Or loading the dishwasher. Whatever my happy little butt decides to do. Lol
So there I was, right in the middle of writing a hot ‘n’ heavy scene in Book 3, when all of a sudden our roommate comes home from work.
Mood effectively killed.
There’s something to be said about writing in the wee hours of the morning, especially when my husband is still asleep and it’s just me awake–mainly that there are no distractions, and I can focus on writing what my characters have to say. Not so much when there’s someone else awake, though, especially not when she wants to chat. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have a problem with chatting when I’m not writing. But if I’m typing along, generally I prefer to be solo…especially with hot ‘n’ heavy scenes.
I can write sex when there are other people in the room; I’ve done it before, and I’ll probably do it again. However, once the mood is gone, I have to stop until I’m alone again and can focus.
One time, while writing Whispers of Death, I must’ve had the weirdest expression on my face as I was writing one of the sex scenes, because my husband asked me if I was okay. I said, “Sure, why?” and he said, “You look sad.” Oops. Not sure how what I was writing translated to “sad” on my face, but whatever. At least I wasn’t blushing or breathing hard or something. Lol
Yeah, my books generally have sex in them. Sex is a thing that happens. Not the kind of sex that happened in Whispers of Death, but there were demons and other extenuating circumstances. I don’t get too gratuitous, I don’t think, and I have toned back considerably. More fade-to-black, less graphic. Not sure how I feel about that, but it’s what my editors prefer.
Slowly but surely, Book 3 is coming along. I have a good, solid start, and as always there will be revisions and edits and what have you to make it more solid. But I’m on Chapter 5 now when I was stuck for months and months on Chapter 2–the beginning of Chapter 2–and things are picking up. I’ve got to watch my time and make sure I get my embroidery projects done, but when it’s the wee hours (and I’m alone…), it’s Writing Time.
I’ve got to dedicate more time to Writing Time–and treat it like a job. This is work that I’m doing, and if I tell myself “X hours of writing” or “Y number of words written” per session, maybe I wouldn’t be so slow. Lol
As far as this particular session, it’s time to take a break and get ready for the day job. That good ol’ 7:30-5 (or whatever the hours end up being on any given day) is calling.
My book, our book, my book, our book…which one should I work on more?
Ideally, I’d have enough inspiration for both books. However, right now Book 3 is eluding me, so I have to get my writing fixes in whenever my co-author sends me her latest chapter. Unfortunately, I have so much inspiration for the collaboration book that it takes me at most a day to write and send back my chapter. Then I’m left for days trying to think up how to progress the story on Book 3.
Splitting my creative energy between two books has proven difficult for me. I don’t know how some authors can work on a multitude of projects at once. I can throw in a short story or poem or flash piece while I’m working on a novel-length project, but multiple novels at once? I guess I’m not that talented. Lol
I’m going to try to get at least a few paragraphs written in Book 3 this morning. I’ve gotta regain momentum on that project, because Book 2 is in edits at the moment, and if I don’t write I’ll go nuts.
My problem is this: I have tons of ideas for further on in the book, but the point I’m at now is stalled. I have to write in order, for the most part. Sure, I can go back in revisions and add a chapter here or there out of order, then change things to make it fit, but writing the story out of order in the first draft? That would just be wrong.
Maybe I’ll retcon some of what I’ve already written and restart that part. I could be moving the plot too quickly, and maybe that’s why things don’t feel “right.” And who knows? Maybe I’ll find my groove again if I just go back and start over from the beginning of Chapter 2. (Yes, I’m that badly stalled.) Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Back up and restart in a different direction.
I know, I know, I’ve been a bad blogger. A bad author, even. I took a whole weekend off to myself, and I spent absolutely none of it writing. No blog posts, no Twitter hashtag games, no new progress on my WIP. I basically spent the weekend embroidering, with bits of eating and napping thrown in. I was a lump.
Today I’m back to the “real” world, the world of work and deadlines and what have you. So I’m back, for good or bad, until the next rare weekend off. Today I plan on doing the #amwriting hashtags, I plan on getting ready for work and going in and doing my job. I plan on adulting.
Not much adulting was achieved this weekend. I took some of the trash over to my parents’ house, emptied the dishwasher, put away the laundry….all at the last minute. Oh, and I ate a salad. One salad.
On the plus side, I’ve hardly thought about work at all. This is a good thing, because work is one of the main stressors in my life, and one that I can only do so much about. It’s not like I can take time off of work just to decompress (like I have been with the SCA). I have to go. That’s just all there is to it. Which sucks, because the stress in my life is showing, and one supervisor and an administrator both took me aside at separate times Friday to discuss how stressed I’ve been and how they can help. Fuck. I hate when the bipolar seeps out to where it’s visible. That’s no good.
I did some reading this weekend as well. 1,4,3 by Alicia Sophia, a fellow Askew author. It’s good so far, but I think I’ve come close to figuring out the ending, which sucks because I’m only halfway in. But who knows? Maybe she wrote it that way on purpose as a ruse. I could be surprised after all once I finish.
Lots of rest did my soul good, but I need to put back on the jet pack and hit the ground running today. Gotta work, gotta come home and write or embroider, gotta work on a lesson plan for the embroidery classes I’m going to teach at Estrella, etc etc etc. Got a lot to do, and less and less time in which to do it. Why do I do this to myself again?
I’ve also got the embroidery for Their Royal Majesties to finish before Estrella is over. I kinda was working on my own stuff mostly this weekend. Bad me. Stupid flighty brain. But again, it did me some good. Focus on me, have some “me time” where I’m doing things for myself.
I hope I don’t seem as stressed at work today. I don’t need another supervisor taking me aside and chatting with me about how stressed/distracted I am.
Soon I’ll be back to writing. After Estrella, maybe. Get serious about cranking out Book 3 and that fun collaboration with my Askew author friend Angelique Jordonna. Her book, Dani (which I’ve had the pleasure of reading ahead of release), is amazing, and I know our book will be amazing as well. Just gotta get that first draft out. Lol
Oh! One more thing: I found out that a Laurel was looking at the embroidery I did on my husband’s Viking hood and, from what he says, she seemed impressed, enough so that she said she wanted to talk to me about it. That makes me feel good, because while I did slack a bit on the timing of finishing it, I worked hard on that hood. Plus, it’s a good ego boost when a Laurel is impressed with your work. Here’s a look:
Guess that’s all the update I have. Time to get ready for the ol’ day job. Shower, get dressed, put on some semblance of makeup to pretty-fy myself. That kind of thing.
Oh, wait! I did a live streaming interview/roundtable with some other authors! That was cool af! Here’s the link to the YouTube recording (it’s an hour long, but it’s a fun watch).
Here’s where I’m at right now: I’ve gotten an assignment of sorts from my publisher to look up book venues (bookstores, libraries, etc) that I’d be willing/able to travel to for an event/appearance. There’s a caveat, too: they can’t be any place that I’ve contacted before. My problem? I live in BFE Southern Arizona, where the closest non-used bookstore and/or library that I haven’t already tried is pretty much 20+ miles away…and the majority of what I found is in Tucson, which is 70-90 miles away (depending on where in Tucson it’s at). Most of them, actually, are branches of the Pima County Library. Nearly half of them, in fact (I was told to select 20-30, so I picked the closest 30 bookstores & libraries). And one is 150 miles away.
I understand that I have to get my name (and myself) out there to get Abnormal seen and bought. I get that, I do. But I’m not in the best situation to make it to “out there” unless “out there” occurs on a weekend. Taking time off from the day job is difficult because of our patient load (and because I have quite a few responsibilities there), and I don’t see well enough at night to be driving 40+ miles (round trip) to an unfamiliar location. Then there’s the fact that, unless it’s in a place where I have friends I can stay with, it’s day tripping or a motel, one of which is exhausting and the other of which is expensive.
Let me just say that writing the book is the easy part. Cake compared to the marketing aspect. That’s turned out to consume more of my time and cause more stress than any of the writing/editing/revising did. So if you want to write books (and get them published), start learning now how to market them. I didn’t, and Abnormal has suffered because of it. It’s not beyond “fixing,” but it’s kinda dismal at this point.
Pretty excited to be able to tell you guys that I have an author interview set up!
Okay, so it’s been set up for a while…but now I have a graphic to go with it 😉
Debating on if I should wear the wig for it. Lol I mean, it’s become a part of my author persona, as it were, on social media, and I wore it to Tucson Comic Con. It’s bold, it’s bright, and it’s noticeable…yeah, I think I’ll wear it. 😉
Btw, Thomas Anthony Lay is another Askew author. I can’t thank RhetAskew Publishing enough for letting me know about the Writer Imperfect series and giving me the info to sign up for it.
So here’s the 411, or at least the short version: we’re going to talk writing and publishing and whatever else the viewers/interviewers have for us. 🙂 My story’s kinda not your average author tale, so you might want to check out the stream to find out how I got started in traditional/indie publishing. Hell, you should check out the stream anyway, because you never know what’s going to happen. It’s live streaming, people! Anything can happen! Lol
Once things have calmed down after Estrella War I’ll be able to crank out more marketing stuff for Abnormal and the upcoming sequel (still in the far-away land of edits). With all the projects I have leading up to War, it’s going to be tough to get all the things done.
Well, I’m off to play around with Twitch and see what-all I can learn about it (before I noob it out next Friday). 🙂