Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Silent Debut

Kudos to the overwhelming number of people who discovered that my latest novel, The Spider Catcher, was silently published on Smashwords on November 29th.  And special thanks to those of you who not only found it, but decided to tweet it to your followers--made me feel so special!

It's still there, and still free, to anyone else who wants to pick up a copy.

For anyone who wants it on the Kindle or Nook, stay tuned and I'll let you know when it becomes available.  I've already got a few typos to fix out of this unannounced early release, and those will be fixed before the book goes out on other platforms.

I'm aiming to release Rabbit Bones, Redemption Book 2, before the end of April.  Preferably before the end of March, as my other big due date is early April.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Knocked up; Chinese food is delicious

The headline says it all.  I'm expecting my first child in April of next year, and fried rice is AWESOME.

I never realized how expensive baby gear is, but I'm very thankful that I was raised with an appreciation for garage sales and donated items.  While doing price comparison on car seats (the one item I know I definitely need new), it struck me that the price for the toys, the clothes, and everything else, is staggeringly high considering the short amount of time a child will need or use those items.  I've always had a borderline paranoia about new items, because I don't like getting things dirty; it makes me feel guilty.  Used and re-purposed things have always held my heart, because they're somehow like introverted people to me.  The old sweater I find at a thrift store has a story; it won't tell me the story, but that's okay.  From the find on out, we're in it together.

My brother offered to let me use the crib his children had when they were little.  The thought that my child will share the same memories of a crib that his or her cousins have, and that he or she will be surrounded and comforted by that common thread, is amazing to me.

The Spider Catcher, my camp NaNoWriMo project from earlier this year, will likely be published soon (keep an eye out for it!).  The second book, Rabbit Bones, will hopefully arrive before this child.  :)


Monday, July 29, 2013

Soon to be on the road again

Yay road trip!

For all of my fellow Camp NaNoWriMos buddies, you're almost there!


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo July

My July Camp NaNoWriMo is now up.  I'm working on the book to follow The Spider Catcher:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Draft 6?

When the H did happen?  I have just started edits on draft 6 of what was going to be the first book in a new series.  It's now the second book, because I received feedback from two frieditors that the 4 page flashback early on in the book needed more explanation.  (...And let's face it, they're right--the flashback was cheesy.)

I just finished writing the new section.  It's roughly 78,000 words worth of prequel, and there are a few sections within that I want to expand a little.  I say a little, but we all know how that goes.

So now I am back to book one (two), which is currently sitting at 170,000 words, and that's entirely separate from the aforementioned prequel text.  That's 335 pages single spaced size 12 Times New Roman in Word.  It isn't even done yet, since I wrote in some additional plot lines that I need to wrap before the book ends.

It's probably more like books two and three, if I can find a good breaking point.  Otherwise, I guess it's just a whopper of a book.   

I am wondering if I should write in some mini-plots to create a good break at the midpoint, but if I do that, there's going to be enough text for three books.  The problem there is that I had only planned six to seven books in the series, and if I keep it as is, it's now more like a nine to ten book series.  That's a long time to wait, and a lot of pages to flip, to get to a conclusion.

It's freaking me out a little, because I could swear this book was only 120K words the last time I left.  I can't wait to read what I've apparently forgot that I wrote.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Project Completion Exhaustion

I stayed up way too late Friday night clicking out the last few chapters of The Spider Catcher on my keyboard; because I was up late, one might assume that I slept in the next day.

Oh no.  I did not.  I got up around 8, and went about completing some house chores I had been putting off.  The crash hit me at around 6pm, when I fell asleep on the couch with my husband and two cats.  (Quick note: thank you to the universe, and my awesome friends, for missing our scheduled movie night.  I seriously needed that sleep.)  We woke around 8:30pm, and were unable to go to bed on time.

So we stayed up past midnight again, and neither of us slept well thereafter because we had napped so late in the day.  I now have a perpetually jet-lagged feeling in my brain and body, and work tomorrow morning.

I can't wait for Camp NaNoWriMo in July.  I never get this feeling when I have a project to complete...

I have learned that the curtains in my bedroom aren't doing enough to keep out morning sunlight.  This is unacceptable, and will be remedied as soon as possible.  Also, I am now consuming the first non-diet Dr. Pepper that I have had in probably 5 years because it was the most caffeinated beverage available in my refrigerator.  And it is delicious.


Friday, June 7, 2013


The final words are on the page.  Let the editing commence.  :)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo ~ The Spider Catcher

After receiving some encouragement, I have now signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo to finish the prequel for the Redemption series.  I have tentatively titled this book "The Spider Catcher," and had a little fun throwing a cover together to give it a face on my Camper page.  I haven't decided if this will be a published work yet.

My Camp 'WriMo page:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Checking in

Just popping in to say that I'm not dead, just avoiding digital life for a while.  I'm updating a few links and such, and experimenting with a few other marketing tools online.

Also, writing another book.  An editor wanted a prequel, so I am writing it.  I will probably put the prequel out as a free ebook to introduce the new series, but we'll see when we get there.  :)

Latest LibraryThing Giveaway:  Meh.  I'm glad that I did it for the genuine readers I reached, and even the ones who disliked the book.  The feedback is valuable.  I'm finding that many who receive the book won't review it (which is fine, their decision--and I personally hate commenting on books that I may have nothing to say about, so it is fine with me if that is the case).  Unfortunately, it leaves me waiting and wondering if people read the book and just didn't like it, or didn't read the book, or are the guy requesting the book as a kindle gift who then never cashes it in and I talk to my author friends and find out that the guy is signing up for as many ebook giveaways as possible and requesting kindle gifts to cash in on something that isn't the giveaway book...

'Til next time,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Smashwords and the .epub format

Tonight, I came within sneezing distance of publishing the second two books of the Waldgrave Series on Smashwords.  I didn't do it.  There were a few reasons, all related to my long and tortured love-hate relationship with Smashwords.

First, I want to make it clear that I love Smashwords.  I love what they have done for indie authors, and I love what they have done for readers.  I like that they give a good royalty to authors, and I like that they provide so many formatting options for download to buyers.

Now, why I hate Smashwords.

In a word: Meatgrinder.

The Meatgrinder is the Smashwords method for providing so many formats to buyers; it's an ingenious way to do it.  I suppose my qualm isn't so much with Meatgrinder as it with what an author has to do to make an ebook "Meatgrinder ready."  I spent a good deal of time converting my Word .doc books into .epubs so that they could go on to Nook and Kindle.  To get the books on to Smashwords, one must backtrack from an .epub to a complex series of rules and formatting requirements in Word before uploading to the Meatgrinder.

I can say it easily took me twice as long to make my Meatgrinder .doc as it did to make my .epub, and I am not nearly as satisfied with the Meatgrinder .epub generated from the .doc.

Then, around the end of 2011, a light at the end of the tunnel: Smashwords announced an effort called Smashwords Direct, where authors would be able to upload their own .epubs instead of Meatgrinder Word .docs.

This feature is now in beta; it's the feature I *almost* used tonight.  The reason I didn't is that I finally read the fine print: if you upload an .epub, that's the only format that will be available to buyers.  They won't Meatgrind-er it; this is a good thing, because they won't butcher my formatting.  This is a bad thing, because all the folks who go to Smashwords to get a .mobi, a .pdf, or an HTML version of the book won't be able to get it.

Sigh.  There is no option to upload customized versions for these other formats.  So my option is to deal with Meatgrinder, or .epub only.

One can upload both a Meatgrinder-ready .doc and a custom .epub, but anyone who selects a format other than .epub will still get the stripped and possibly low-grade Meatgrinder experience.  The reason I wanted to wait for the .epub upload was that I somehow believed they would be able to make better quality .mobi, .pdf, etc. files if I upload my own coded digital format--as an .epub--but this is apparently not the case.  Also, I was sincerely hoping that I would no longer have to deal with the Meatgrinder requirements.

<End rant.>

I am sure I will get over it.  I always do.  And I probably shouldn't be this wound up over the requirements for a service that has so much value; I do a lot of my giveaways through Smashwords, which is something it has over Pubit and KDP.

However, as I am making the decision about whether or not to spend another weekend going through the Smashwords Style Guide for Deception and Secrets, I would appreciate knowing if anyone has been dying to see these books on Smashwords, and what file format you usually use.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Return of Free Time

With the moving and unpacking mostly done, the home improvement projects dwindling, and a job switch in my nearer future, my free time is slowly returning to me. I've started doing thing thst I haven't done in a while--things like knitting, drawing, writing short stories, cooking dinner, and visiting with friends.

I put up a bird feeder in the backyard and watched the sparrows come and go for a bit today. I put away the holiday decorations, and cleaned up the storage room some (not a lot, but enough to make a difference). My large tom cat decided to pick fights all day with his undersized little sister, and they managed to topple my potted orange tree--even that was okay, because my huband helped to clean it up, and we had time. The cats got a time out, but seem to be doing better now.

We watched the movie Highlander, and it was okay--kind of cheesy, but hey, it was the '80s. Then we watched The Rescuers, and I had a total flashback to my youth. In the last two weeks we watched the entire first season of Once Upon a Time after a friend recommended it; I must say, I was impressed.

Even laundry is getting done again.

It's a good thing. I'm also hitting an upturn in the pace of my writing, which tends to happen sometimes (I'm never sure why), so hopefully more will be ready to publish soon. I added about twenty-five original pages to the start of Redemption, which I will probably send off to the editors some time this weekend. Sorry, editors--I know you want more than twenty-five pagses, and I know I swore I would stop writing and sending in a serialized fashion, but that's what's working for me right now. It worked for the Waldgrave series. ;)

And I just noticed it's after 11, and I have to be up early tomorrow.