Tag Archives: Wins

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Spoiled Gambit is Here!

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The very last novella of my Jagged Scars Series, Spoiled Gambit is out today and will be $0.99 for one week only!

Pick up your copy now!

 

Cal screwed up. He trusted the wrong guy. Wendy almost died and Shelter fell. In an attempt to assuage his own guilt, Cal joins a dangerous mission to lead the Primate’s people away from the survivors.

While laying a false trail for the Primate’s Skinnies, Cal discovers some old friends, but he also finds an enemy even more dangerous than the Primate. Now the group must decide if their objective has changed. Cal will do anything to prove to the others, and maybe himself, that he’s not a traitor. But will it be enough to keep his friends safe?

 

Three-and-a-half years ago, after I finally finished a good draft of Fractured Memories, I did as I always do, and sent it to my beta readers.

Beta readers get a version of the book that is good, but not great. No matter how long I work on a draft, it still has problems, and that’s why I bribe my beta readers to help me out.

Well, they came back with a few comments about the characters in the book.

Now I thought my characters were fine. And they were, in my head. But on the page a couple of them fell flat. One beta reader even asked, “Why is this character here? She doesn’t do anything.”

Okay that hurt. I loved the characters, but I had somehow missed making them shine on the page. After a few minutes of pouting, I pulled out the book I often turn to when I’m struggling with characters, and I flipped through it until I found what I had been missing.

The side characters didn’t have wants and needs. Most of them weren’t really struggling with anything, they were just there to accent my main character.

Well, I decided I could fix that.

You know that scene in Fractured Memories when the teenagers talk about their dreams and ambitions? How Arie wants a piece of the council and Cal is in love with movies? Yeah, that wasn’t in the original draft. Neither was the fact that Kev is dyslexic (which I never say, by the way, but it’s shown throughout the series) and Arie loves art. None of that depth was there, and I’m so glad that my beta readers forced me to put it in. Each of these factors play through the entire series.

While it makes me sad to leave these characters behind, I’m excited to be moving on to a new project.

 

 


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Progress Made – Month Six of Being a Full-Time Author

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I had such high hopes for June. I had a great plan. I even gave myself extra time for everything, but in the end, it didn’t matter. Life blew up a few times and I barely got through the musts of the month and left many of the would-be-nice things in the dust.

A writer at a conference I went to once said that you should pad all of your time by 20%. I’m starting to believe him, and I’m also starting to believe that my number should be 30%. Because, life happens.

This past month my hubby’s family has all been in town. It’s been five years since that happened, so we’ve been spending a lot of time with them. In the middle of that, my dad ended up in the hospital for five days. My mother is incapable of taking care of  herself for more than a few hours, so my two sisters (one of which is recovering from an infection in her leg on top of a recent knee replacement) and I tag-teamed taking care of them. Seriously, the schedule was a thing of beauty. And I may have got my mom hooked on fancy sodas from Sips. Oops.

Like I said, life happens and we all get to roll with the punches. Am I right?

That being said, I’m going to list my wins:

The Jagged Scars Box Set is out! All five e-books books available on Amazon at a great price, if I do say so myself. I’m still really excited about having a completed series.

New Sight 3 (the final book of the trilogy) is with beta readers.This was two weeks behind, but I did get it out before the end of the month. Which, trust me, was nothing short of a miracle.

I managed to keep up with both my blog and my Flash Fiction Friday. Although I did end up writing one Flash Fiction on the Friday it was due. I really try to avoid that.

I ran a couple of promotions that ended up being quite lucrative. I sold the most books that I have ever sold in a single month. So that was awesome!

 

Most of my quarterly goals got juggled, but I managed to pull most of the big ones out at the end.

As usual, I wanted to get more done, but life did not permit. Not without losing sleep, which isn’t a great idea for me. Not if the people around me want to live.


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Progress Made-Month Five of Being a Full-Time Author

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As usual, I started the month off with way too much to do.

I’m like a kid in a candy store whose eyes are bigger than their stomach…

Ooh, a novel to finish. Ooh, a novella to edit. Ooh, covers to pick. Ooh, another novella. Ooh, a rough draft to write. Ooh, an anthology I could write something for. Ooh, two new projects. Ooh, marketing (okay, it’s more like “ewe, marketing”).

I knew there was too much. After four months of missing my goals, I decided I wanted to set reasonable expectations. You know, so I might be able to celebrate at the end of the month instead of being frustrated again.

I went so far as to write down everything I wanted to do, then cut it back to everything I knew I had to do. Then I went through everything that had to get finished and assigned hours to it. (I know, I know, not very creative, but there you go.) Then I calculated how many writing hours I had in the month. Then I compared them.

The hours were exactly the same.

And I know myself. Something always comes up, so I knew something would slip.

I moved forward anyway. I put everything that didn’t need to get done this month on the back burner, prioritized what had to get finished and in what order and dove in.

Guess what?

Almost everything got done.

I’m so excited!

Finally. Finally. Finally I have something to show for five months of writing. It’s been a long road, but I have to tell you that it’s been worth it!

Book five of my Jagged Scars series is out. I finished two novellas and have them ready to go. I’ve started advertising. The wheels are finally moving.

Have sales rocketed? No. But they’re steady. And growing, which is good.

So I guess this is my new process for my monthly goals. I already laid out this month, and it looks good.

 


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Wins and Losses-Month Four of Being a Full-Time Author

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The Montey Python boys say that I should always look on the bright side of life.

Johnny Mercer told me that I should accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.

Dozens of kitty and puppy memes a day tell me to be happy.

But it’s so easy to be grouchy!

Especially when things aren’t going exactly according to plan.

In an attempt to accentuate the positive, I’ve been writing wins and not so much wins each day in my journal. It helps remind me that some things are going well, and others—while perhaps unexpected—are awesome.

So that’s what my report for April is going to be.

Writing Wins:

Re-wrote the last book of my Jagged Scars series (again and for the last time) and got it back to my editor

Finished my fairy tale retelling—beta readers loved it!

Entered two flash fiction horror story contests.

Outlined and wrote 25k of a rough draft for New Sight 3.

Learned some marketing stuff.

Went on a super fun writing retreat!

Taught a class on writing action scenes. That went well.

Beta read a novel for a friend.

Blogged every week.

Put up Flash Fiction every week.

 

Not so much wins:

The rough draft of New Sight 3 was supposed to be finished on April 30th. It will be about 90k words.

I’m a few weeks behind on Jagged Scars 5 as well as a novella in that series.

Didn’t get any marketing done…because I was writing. I need to work on that.

I was supposed to start outlining my next project (just a few hours a week) but got nothing done on that.

Conclusion:

When I look at the good and then the not so good, I feel better than if I just focus on what didn’t get finished.

I took a few hours at the beginning of the month to layout Q2 of this year. And guess what? It’s already in danger.

But one thing came up that I wasn’t prepared for. I had the project I was going to work on after New Sight 3 all picked out, but I got distracted. You know how shiny, new ideas are, they’re so appealing and seductive. So now I’m trying to decide between the shiny new idea, or the awesome old idea. There are pros and cons to each, so I’m weighing them in an attempt to choose.

So basically I’m writing like mad, trying not to get distracted by the internet, family or anything else that comes up during my working time. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail.

 

 

 

 


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