Short Story – Done!

All day I worked on setting up pre-orders, promotions, and a lot more. I think my brain exploded at some point. I kept telling myself – just get through all this stuff and tonight I’ll write.

So tonight I wrote. I wrote a lot. I finished the annihilate the ghost scene and the wrap it all up scene… In all I wrote over 4700 words! It’s done and sent to my beta readers. Hopefully they don’t tell me it’s horrible.

I’ve set it aside for right now. I will do a read through – probably tomorrow night – and then I’ll get down to the nitty gritty of editing. I’d love to leave it for a bit though so we’ll see.

In the end it’s a little over 17,500 words which is right in the middle of the range for the anthology. I can call this one done – at least for a couple days – before I hit the editing phase of it.

Overall, it’s been a very productive day but I’m hitting the bed and crashing for a few hours.

Short Story Progress?

Today I slept late and got up tired. It doesn’t help I was up until 3. It was a lazy ish day. We did breakfast. Vicki and I tried to watch the new Persuasion movie on Netflix. I don’t recommend it. We turned it off after 25 minutes.

We picked a better version of Persuasion and while we watched, I worked on writing stuff. I have this mental list of things I need to work on. Today I was to put my Ava (pen name) books on Bookfunnel so I could participate with more promotions. I got all of them on the site.

After dinner, I was alone and my brain was not on my short story. I did other things and putzed a bit. I settled in to write and got about 1500 words down. I’m up to just under 13K for a total. So I still have 7K of room.

I’m on the final scene. I sat here playing on my phone. I hadn’t any idea on how to start this scene. I played on my phone for a bit. Bash and I have a routine. At some point around 11 pm, he gets up and bugs me to go to the bathroom. He will pace from the living room to the hall. He’ll scamper back and forth. Sometimes he even meows at me. So I went to the bathroom and ran water in the sink for him. I sat there not thinking about anything in particular and then it came to me how to start this climatic scene.

I’m excited to write it but my brain is sluggish and my eyes are tired. I got the beginning of the scene written. I’m taking a break though because my brain just isn’t focused. So I’m headed to bed and hoping I can finish this tomorrow. It’s only the 8th of the month but I’d like to finish this now so I can give myself a break between writing and editing.

I have a list of things on my calendar for the next couple of days but I’m hoping to do both. Hopefully I can get a lot done over the next few days. For now, I think I’ll go to bed and hope to have more inspiration in the morning.

Still Life With Cherries And Peaches

Canning, Freezing, & Writing?

It’s been a busy day. Ken and Vicki went to the farmer’s market. They brought back lots of goodies. Ken took a trip on Tuesday to pick up more blueberries and peaches. Ken also picked the produce out of our garden.

This meant today we spent most of the day working in the kitchen. Ken cut up two watermelons and put the squares on cookie sheets to freeze. Once they were frozen, we put them in bags in the freezer.

He also diced up – with the new Ninja chopper – cucumbers to make dill relish. Last time we combined two steps and got SALTY relish. This time we did it the right way and got yummy dill relish. We also pickled onions, sliced cukes, and zucchini. We finely chopped some onions too to make onion relish.

I cut up the tomatoes and onions to make tomato juice. Vicki put it on the stove while we moved on from pickled things to sweet. By the time the tomatoes went through the sieve we had 3 pints of juice.

My sister and I cut up peaches for prep to be frozen. The trays will come out of the freezer tomorrow and the peach halves will go in freezer bags. We also pitted cherries to throw in the freezer.

Vicki picked up one of my favorite – yellow beets! These got boiled and then we peeled and diced (roughly) them. We got 5 pints of them. Vicki pulled more beets – purple this time – from our garden so we’ll have to prep them for canning too.

This is how we spent our day today. It was long and a lot of work. We experimented with a couple of things. We’ll try and see if we will actually eat or have to go back to the drawing board.

We took a break, watched some tv, and then Vicki and Ken went to bed. I worked on whittling down my email from over 500. I’m under 400 right now and hoping I can get rid of many more over the next week.

I talked to a friend tonight for hours. This was my writing time but I’m okay with it. I wrote before and after we spoke. I did pretty good tonight I added about 2000 words tonight. The way it’s going, I see two more chapters. I’m at about 11, 300 words which means I need to wrap it up in under 8,000 words. This might be possible… maybe.

The more I write the more ideas pop into my head. Tomorrow should be a quieter day for me. I have a few tasks on my list but I should have plenty of writing time – I hope. Maybe I’ll be able to sit down and finish it off. But we’ll see if I get sidetracked.

Short Story Progress

On the nights I work in the office, it’s difficult for me to write as I’m usually in a lot of pain so not a lot of movement over the last couple nights. I hoped to get more done tonight but I got side tracked (more on this later).

As I was talking with my youngest daughter today, I came up with an idea for the ending of this short story. I was telling her about the story and asking her about scary things. Ideas started popping in my head. I’ve jotted down a few – we’ll see how many actually make it into the story.

It was after 11:30 tonight when I started writing. The story is flowing now which is fantastic. So I look at my clock on my computer and say – What? When did it get to be 1:00 am? Doesn’t matter really.

The nice thing though is I got 1500 words done on the story. I’m at almost 9300 so halfway done with the story. I’m not sure I can write the rest in 10K so I might have to check with the organizer to see if she’s okay if I go over.

Sidetracked – well I joined Discord and have created a server on there. Tonight I worked on building the channels on the server. If you want to join me, I’m here – https://discord.gg/MQbG7UEZ

I’m still working on the channels but it’s coming along. On my website I have a page for stand alone novels, so I may create a list from there.

I’m not working for five days! On Asana I have a ton of tasks I want to work on. I actually hope to make at the very least a good dent into those before she’s done with me. I need to finish this story and start checking off items from my to do list.

Tomorrow we’re processing food from the gardens and farmer’s market. This will likely take up most of the day. I hope to write in the evening though.

Tiny Steps

Last night I got sucked into a non-writing project and spent my evening fussing with it and not writing. This was disappointing. I also didn’t sleep last night.

Tonight, well I had a rough day and I’m super tired (bad night isn’t helping). So I thought this won’t be a writing night – I’m too tired. But people left me alone, even the cat went away. So I wrote for a bit and got distracted by messages on messenger and conversations with my daughters (always a highlight in my day).

So officially I wrote just under 1000 words tonight bringing my total to 7800. It’s progress but I’m a little disappointed with how little I’ve progressed. The story is there. I need to just focus.

Part of my problem is it’s set in locations I know and other people will know so I want the description of them to be right. Tonight I spent a bit of time looking at pictures of a museum I plan to have as a setting instead of writing the setting. From the pictures, I think I can do a decent job describing it but it took time away from writing.

So tiny steps in my progress to finish this story….

20,000 Words or Less

While on vacation, I spoke with the organizer of some anthologies. I have certain ones I always look at and then try to determine if I have time and energy to come up with something. This organizer posted her 2024 anthology topics and I can’t think that far in advance. So I found her 2023 and 2022 lists. For 2022 she has a Halloween anthology and in my head pops – oh, I could do the next Paranormal Investigators story.

Oh my head gets me in trouble sometimes. I reached out and asked if she still had rooms. She said yes. I said – hold don’t add me yet. My fear was I’d sit down to write and zero would come to me. I didn’t want to let her down. So I started writing – as I’ve said previously.

Tonight I was doing research and getting distracted but I sat down to write. I thought… not sure this is going well but I did a map of locations and more came to me. Then I researched a location which sidetracked me. But eventually I got down to writing. I brought in characters from the first story. I love the scene at the sister’s home.

However, I knew I had to get into another ghost scene and I had NO idea whatsoever of what I wanted to do. I literally have the characters standing backstage and no clue what to do next. I could almost hear Harper (my main female character) sighing about the delays.

Now I’m done for the night – it’s late and I have to work tomorrow. But I’ve managed to write 2111 words tonight and my story is now around 6800 words. I can have 20K so I’m not worried at this point but I still have several ghosts and locations to get to before I land on the finale.

Progress is good but I have a deadline of September 2. It needs to be written, edited and ready for the organizer. My day job gets busy (or in my case busier) at the end of August so I need to stay on top of this one. Lets not forget I have book releasing this month too. Solana comes out on August 20 so I need to prep for that as well. I’m trying not to think about this too much – I just need to write for now.

writing text, random text, text, paper, notebook, pen.

Summer Vacation Part 3

Yesterday I worked on getting Solana into blogs. Having different bloggers post about my books helps different people see my book. It also means I have to write something to go with. It might be a character interview or to answer specific questions. These take time to write so I got several done.

Then I worked on getting my books set up in Asana. Now I use this to schedule the different tasks I need to accomplish between now and the release date like editing steps, ordering graphics (or creating them) and marketing steps. I had seven books to set up. The nice thing is I lumped a number of those tasks on the same day despite the later release dates.

It makes it easier to do all the books at once like researching keywords rather than scattering those tasks over multiple days for the next year. This means I need to look at my calendar so I keep track of what’s on the agenda.

I planned to write last night but I had people around me until late. I read a book instead. I was up until about 1 am and enjoyed getting lost in the story. When it was done, I wanted to keep reading but of course the book was done.

My daughter has started making fruit smoothies in the morning. We’ve had a mix of cherries, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, banana. This is how we’ve been starting our day and it’s delicious and filling. We will probably put the fruits we need for smoothies into one freezer bag so we can grab and make very easily.

Today is a lot of meetings for me. I do an author talk in my Facebook and then a group of authors get together and chat about writing stuff after that. In between today, I need to peel and halve peaches so they can go in the freezer.

After dinner, I plan to send people off to their own spaces so I can write. Yesterday while having a conversation with someone I came up with a plot for the short story I am working on. It all just fell into place. I have an idea of what I want to write and how to solve the issues. It just clicked which is heavenly!

Writing sample created using the Mechanical substitute for the arms, United Kingdom, 1919 (writing sample)

More on Summer Vacation!

Four manuscripts later, I’ve started a short story I wasn’t planning on writing this year. I saw an anthology which this story will fit into nicely. I talked to the organizer and if I can get it written in under a month I’ll be able to join the anthology.

Last night I worked on the short story and got almost 1200 words written. It was an odd day for me yesterday. I had lots of distractions for finishing the fourth manuscript I was editing. Also I found places to add in things my beta readers wanted. I’m pleased with the results and hope my beta readers will be as well.

Last night I also started some client work. This is on my schedule for today. My plan – very loose and adjustable plan – is to switch off from writing to editing as I get tired of one or the other. With any luck (and hopefully few interruptions) I can make a dent in both of these projects.

person holding white printer paper

What I did on Summer Vacation

Summer is supposed to be quiet for work. Not this year. Training, hiring, and procedures have been dominate in my day job. It’s been busy – very busy.

It’s been so busy finding time to take vacation has not been easy. However, I’m on vacation from the day job! I’ve got a full week off and I’m filling it with what I want to do.

Now some people think I schedule my life too much… sometimes I do. But for this week I haven’t.

Saturday and Sunday were normal weekend days. We did chores, ran errands, and I worked on writing stuff. I did my author talk and then met with a group of authors to talk about writing and life. I also worked my way through final edits for two manuscripts. They got sent off to my formatter.

Monday I worked on another manuscript – my longest of this batch. In my process I go through a lot of steps for editing and one of the final ones is to do a paper edit. I know this sounds weird to some people with all our technology. I actually print out a copy of the manuscript and edit on paper.

When I’m done with the edit, I turn it over to my sister who goes through it to enter the edits I’ve done. She also reads it again for me and adds anything she catches. She emails it back for me. I go through it to make sure the edits are correct (sometimes I wonder where my head was). Then I do an edit check and read through.

Today I tackled the last of the four manuscripts. I’ve added the author’s note and the acknowledgement and will send it off to my formatter so she can do the formatting for me.

One of the stories I sent to one of my beta readers. She and I talked through some of the story and there were some pretty serious rewrites done on it. Since I did that one yesterday, I’ve let it sit today. Tomorrow I’ll probably read through it but my beta reader said she’d try to read it this weekend so I might hold off.

Next step – well in doing my edits, I’ve culled some good quotes to add to graphics for posting. I’ll work on those. I also need to set up all seven stories (the three Dragon Descendant short stories in addition to the four manuscripts) in Asana which is my project management software. That will be time consuming but worth it as it keeps me on track when I’m doing other things like writing.

My hope is tomorrow I’ll work on client editing work and then tackle some writing. We’ll see. I’m not rushing things. I’m enjoying my days of leisurely working on books. Oh and because I like numbers I’ve edited 264,637 words in the last four days. Not quite done but happy with my progress. I still have plenty of days left in my week and I’m looking forward to seeing where my muse and tasks will take me.

I have options – oh so many of them – so I’m not picking tonight. I’m enjoying the accomplishments of my leisure time.

A Stone’s Throw

On May 21, I’ll release my new poetry book. This book has been in my work in process pile for quite some time. When I organized recently, I asked myself why I hadn’t published it. Initially I organized it for a contest. But it didn’t win or place.

This meant it’s just been sitting in my files waiting for attention. I asked my middle daughter to create a cover and handed the manuscript over to her. She did a beautiful job formatting it.

Here’s the blurb and cover of my new poetry book. I hope you’ll give it a try.

Ever thrown a stone into a lake and watched the ripples?  These poems explore the ripples of emotions caused by moments in life. This is a journey of battling societies expectations and beliefs while finding strength and power within. 

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