Review Excerpts

Saturday, February 15, 2020


The tonsils are out, and while I've had my ups and downs this past week, it's not the worst. Not particularly fun, but not the worst. So! Since I'm not completely miserable and I have passed off most of the care of my children to other adults, I've actually gotten quite a bit of writing done. Yay me.

When I last blogged, I predicted Hunting Astrid would go eight chapters (or so). I debated whether or not to split one chapter into two, and ultimately did so, so it does look like I'll wind up with eight, plus a short epilogue. I finished Chapter Six today, but the next two will be long, so don't expect a finished draft any time soon. For total word count, I'm predicting...let's say around 22K. Definitely more than 20K, probably less than 25K. Either way, it'll be a cute, fun little novella that didn't take me a ton of time, assuming I don't get struck by a meteor or something in the next few weeks. Another win.

I'm still patting myself on the back for deciding to work on this project and shelve Sonata for Springtime for the time being. 4th Quarter royalty statements just came out, and while I admit I still don't know all the ins and outs of the Kindle Unlimited program, Fire Beyond the Frost did do well, I'm happy to report. At least better than a lot of my other books upon release. KU tracks pages read instead of books as a whole, and if I did my math right (which I TOTALLY might not have), it translates into a triple-digit number of readers. Or, for all I know, one or two people who liked it so much they read it a bunch of times. As someone who is far from a world-famous author with a huge following, I'll take it.

I'd suspected for a while that the more specific your categories/genres/niches/whatever you want to call it, the more successful a book will be. (Unless you're really savvy with your keywords and marketing, which I am not.) We'll see if I can keep the momentum going with Hunting Astrid, and if lesbian sci-fi romance turns out to be my true, yet somewhat specific, calling, so be it. I'm not saying I'll never write in another genre again, because I know that won't be the case, but for now, we'll see where this path takes me. Either way, I'm finally writing like crazy for the first time in years, and if I'm having fun, I'm hoping readers will, too.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New Project, and a New Year, Part the Next

Happy New Year! Writing-wise, 2020 is off to a great start. Before we get to January, I'll follow up a bit from my last post to provide some general advice to anyone who may want/need it: Remember how I'd considered bringing a notebook with me to Disney World juuuuust in case there might be a few spare minutes to write? Ha. Hahahahaha. HA. Yeah, no. Disney is crazy on its own, and as the Official Organizer of this trip, who had to keep track of everything including two 4-year-olds and two 70-year-olds...I didn't even open the book I brought to read, either. But although we got zero down time and my darling children refused to sleep in any buses or airplanes, we had a fantastic time. Which we can probably do all over again in another two to three years....

For the Disney uninitiated, if you want to get the most popular meal reservations, you need to get up at 6:00 a.m. EST 180 days before the first day of your trip to book them all. Since the Be Our Guest restaurant is the only place to meet the Beast, that's a popular one. Yeah, I didn't care what the rest of my family did, I was the one who got up before 6:00 that day, I was getting a picture with the Beast, dammit.

Now onto writing. The new project, which has been titled (and officially tagged here as) Hunting Astrid, is still going well. Honestly, this is probably some of the fastest writing I've done in years. Maybe not necessarily the best, but it's something. If nothing else, at least it's a great baseline/first draft I can always clean up later, right?

I just finished up Chapter Three, and as of right now, I'm predicting around eight...ish? That's the other thing about this project—I'm definitely pants-ing more than plotting this time out, and THAT'S OKAY. My two main characters still have placeholders instead of last names. SO WHAT? I still haven't worked out 100% of the issues I worried about at the time of my last blog post. I'LL FIGURE IT OUT SOON ENOUGH. I've been working to getting back to these writing habits for a long time, and while I'll always have bouts of overthinking things, at least it feels more effortless. I'm hoping to keep it up.

One more not totally writing-related point before I sign off: After dealing with recurring issues for the past six months, it's been decided that my tonsils are coming out sometime in February. Yes, we're all aware that, in my mid-30s, I'm practically ancient in the tonsillectomy world, but it's got to get done. (I'm about ready to reach in and rip them out myself.) I've been told that the older you are, the worse the recovery is, and the ENT told me to prepare for at least two weeks of that. In a perfect world, I'd be able to use some of that time off to write, but we'll see. I'm just hoping I won't be zonked out on the couch for two straight weeks and can at least catch up with some knitting and Netflix.