Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 19

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

1. Short story: 10,003 words (second and final round completed; just waiting on a proofread/publisher approval)

2. NOBODY’S LADY (NEVER VEIL 2): 67,652 words, 28 chapters (working on first round of publisher revisions)

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

1. Short story: 10,037 words (proofread completed and turned in to publisher–no more edits?)

2. NOBODY’S LADY (NEVER VEIL 2): 70,747 words, 28 chapters (first round of revisions completed and turned in to publisher)

WIP Issues This Month: As usual, not finding time or brain power to work on my own writing. (My eyes are acting up lately, too.)

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. I love how new scenes added in revisions can really add depth to a manuscript.

2. It seems like revisions are never done (until all of a sudden, they are).

3. I’m very picky about being in the right “mood” to work on my own writing; I can’t have a ton of things on my to-do list.

4. Editing is more fun than business writing.

What distracted me this month while writing: I had a lot of work again this month, including editing a long manuscript for a client that took up every moment of my work time not devoted to the usual clients. (I also finished editing my friend’s manuscript right before then–I’ve been busy editing!) I didn’t know I’d have that client last time I updated, so there was no way I’d complete the goals I set then.

I did go to the local Renaissance Faire, as I tend to do once a year! I just love the ambiance. I was a little sad I decided not to waste any money on a trinket like I usually get, though, but I had good food.

I found out the publisher of my short story has delayed the publication until next year! And I think I’m done approving it, so I probably won’t mention it again… Until I can finally announce it.

Goal for next month: I’ll be done editing for the client by the time September starts, so I think I can finally devote some time to a new manuscript. Maybe. I haven’t worked on one in almost a year. I’m not expecting second round of revisions for NOBODY’S LADY (which will most likely have a new title in time, by the way!) until October.

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Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon 18

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

1. Short story: 9996 words (first round of revisions done and turned back in to publisher)

2. NOBODY’S LADY (NEVER VEIL 2), returned to me for first round of revisions: 69,931 words, 28 chapters

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

1. Short story: 10,003 words (second and final round completed! Just waiting on a proofread/publisher approval)

2. NOBODY’S LADY (NEVER VEIL 2), 67,652 words, 28 chapters (As of right now, I’ve been approving deletions to improve wordiness mostly, but I still have more to do and will probably be adding scenes. Revisions are due at the end of the month, too. Gah, I wish I had more days off from work!)

WIP Issues This Month: Work/life/fiction writing balance!! ;-; Heeeelp….

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. I love fiction editing and writing and really wish I could devote more of my time to it.

2. Supporting other authors is awesome and makes you feel less alone!

3. My first drafts can be very wordy.

4. Revising is a lot of work!

What distracted me this month while writing: More work than I can handle, but I’ve been trying to balance everything. I also went to Chicago twice (check out photos here), once to Lincoln Park Zoo with my boyfriend and once to the Field Museum/Navy Pier with him and his family. (Including a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old! Very cute and energetic!) My boyfriend and I also celebrated our 10th anniversary just yesterday! 0-0 But we were both so busy with work, we didn’t do much besides go out to eat. (But we usually do that on Fridays anyway.)

I also joined “Waiting on 2016,” an awesome group spearheaded by fellow WIPMarathoner Suzanne van Rooyen (our own Emma L. Adams is a member, too) for authors with NA, YA or MG books coming out in 2016. Not just for debuts or big 5 publishers, it’s the first open group of its ilk I’ve had a chance to join. I opened an account on Wattpad while I was at it, so “follow” me there if you have an account.

I still haven’t been able to announce what the short story will be in! But I’m crossing my fingers for this month.

Goal for next month: I HAVE TO finish my first round of revisions to NOBODY’S LADY this week, even if I have a lot of work to do as well. After that, I’m going to finish editing the second book in the Smoke and Mirrors series for my friend Melissa Giorgio. (The first book came out this week! Check it out here!) Then I’ll finally be *free* for a time (until I get more revisions back). I may start working on my YA suspense page-1-rewrite. More likely, I’ll try to get ahead with work instead, though. *sigh*

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon 17

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

1. Short story: 9988 words (first draft done and turned in to editor)

2. NOBODY’S LADY (NEVER VEIL 2) was returned to me this month and is ready for round one edits, but…

Current report WC + CC/ SC:

1. Short story: 9996 words (first round of revisions done and turned back in to publisher–I know, it seems like it barely changed, ha)–btw, I still haven’t been able to spill the beans on what this project is, but I hope I will be able to by this time next month!

2. …I haven’t even touched them yet.

WIP Issues This Month: Managing to work on my fiction writing or editing AT ALL.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. I love celebrating a finished project! It was fun to have my book on display at BookCon and feel a little like a “real author.”

2. Editing other authors’ manuscripts is so rewarding and I wish I could do it more often. (I mean, I could OFFER to do it, but I can only afford to take on my beta readers’ for free. The rest I have to take on as clients, and I wish I could find more.)

3. You can go a LONG time without drafting a new project somehow. 😦

4. I can never manage to figure out how to cram in a lot of business writing work and fiction writing work in the same day. Even taking breaks, I’m just spent by the end of each day.

What distracted me this month while writing: So much! First off, you can read about my first author signing and my NY/BookCon trip here. After I got back from that, I had non-stop work writing to do, for better and for worse. (Seriously, I’m so tired out each day from work writing, I don’t have the brain power to work on fun writing.) I got to share some good news for my NEVER VEIL SERIES (read here). You’ll also notice the fabulous art I commissioned in my new banner. (Read more about that here.) I’ve also been to the cinema a lot this month, and it was my mom’s birthday and some things were really stressing me out. Just… Yeah, next to no fiction work done. (I did finish editing another author’s manuscript, but that was a paying job, so I was able to make time for it. At least that was fun, though!)

Oh, my comic spec script I worked on last month got rejected. I’d keep trying to submit it places, but finding a comic book publisher that takes spec scripts from authors without an artist is nigh-impossible.

Goal for next month: I do not see myself drafting at all this month because my time is limited and I have NOBODY’S LADY (NEVER VEIL 2) round one revisions due at the end of the month. So whenever I actually have the time and brain power to work on my own projects, that will get my full attention. I also want to edit my friend’s manuscript whenever I can, so I’ll at least be working on that, too. I might get my second round of edits for my short story this month, too, although I don’t anticipate those being major changes. Still, alas, this summer may not be the time when I finally write another manuscript after all.

Posted in Reading

My GMMG To-Read List (Just a Small Portion of It, Anyway!)

gmmgtoberead

It’s practically summer, which is one of my favorite times of the year to read. Yes, I read all year round, but I have very vivid memories of curling up with books all summer long between school years and even just taking a blanket outside to sit under a tree and read when my parents forced me to go outside to “get fresh air.” (I’m still a cave troll to this day.) So when a number of other YA authors who write for GMMG Books (that’s Month9Books and Swoon Romance as far as YA goes) were talking about what we want to read soon, we decided to highlight a few of each other’s books on our to-read list. Don’t get me wrong, ALL of the GMMG YA books (that I haven’t read already) are on my to-read list, but I have some particular reasons for wanting to read these:

HeartRobot

I HEART Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen

Suzanne and I met online through Ifeoma Dennis’ WIP Marathon in summer 2013 before either of us announced our book deals with the same publisher. But even if I didn’t know Suzanne a little better than some of the other authors on my list, I’d want to read this book! It’s got a dystopian Scandinavian setting (how frequently do you find that in YA?) and romance between a human and a robot–all based on their mutual love of music. And it’s a love against the backdrop of a civil war? I’m ready to swoon! Not to spoil anything (I haven’t read it yet, either, so does it really count as a spoiler?), but I hear there’s positive LGBT representation, too, so yay for diverse YA books!

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Crown of Ice by Vicki L. Weavil

Cover love! I had to get this on my Kindle as soon as possible because this seems to be one of those times when you can judge a book by its amazing cover. I love YA fairy tale retellings, and this one is a YA retelling of The Snow Queen. I, like half the world, enjoyed Frozen the year before this book came out, so I’m even more of a fan of the fairy tale than ever. It follows the POV of the snow queen herself, so I’m especially intrigued to see if she’s still a villainous character or more of an anti-hero. Since she kidnaps a hot young math genius, I’m guessing she’s at least still got a villainous streak, and I love my heroes in shades of grey.

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Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland

This cover scares the crap out of me. Seriously. But it makes me want to read it! This has been on my Kindle for a while, too. This story takes place in the afterlife. I have a thing for stories like What Dreams May Come and Life, A.D. that turn life after death into another adventure instead of just a resting place. There’s definitely a romantic element, too, as the main character decides to live on in the spirit world because of a young man she loved. It’s not in the synopsis, but I’ve heard it also deals with Ehler-Danlos Syndrome (ah, the title makes even more sense), and I’m eager to see how a YA book tackles this. I also met Ms. Rolland at BookCon this year (Ms. Weavil was there, too, but I didn’t have a chance to say hi) and I know she’s funny and friendly!

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The Funeral Singer by Linda Budzinski

I’m far more of a fantasy/dystopian/paranormal reader than a contemporary reader, but when I gravitate toward contemporary, it’s got to have a special hook that draws me in. The Funeral Singer is about the daughter of a funeral home owner, an amazing singer who lends her talents to eulogies and dreams of escaping the morbid business in which she finds herself. One viral-sensation graveside singing video later, she’s rewarded with fame and a hot rock star boyfriend. There seems to be hints about a love triangle, too, which is a trope I adore. There’s something intriguing about the funeral home setting that starts off this rags-to-riches story that makes me think there’s something special here. How many YA romances involve funerals?

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon 16

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:

1. 88,544 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (I’d just started making changes based on beta’s suggestions, but I had to set it aside to work on short story)

2. Short story: 4399 words

3. Comic spec script done (one issue written a couple of years ago with nowhere to submit it to), but no outline for entire series

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 88,805 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (edits based on beta’s suggestion complete and turned in to publisher)

2. Short story: 9988 words (first draft done and turned in to editor)

3. Comic spec script, pitch and outline complete (2251 words for outline/pitch), turned in to Oni Press for their open submissions period (it’s rare to find a comic publisher that will accept pitches from writers without artists).

WIP Issues This Month: Juggling fiction writing, work writing and travel nervousness.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. I can somehow juggle multiple projects at once.

2. I can go a long time (over a year!) without an agent and prospects for my future writing but apparently still feel okay about it. (A successful new release helps with that!)

3. Writing for the comic medium is interesting; your descriptions are only going to be seen by an artist and editor, so you have to rely on visual cues and dialogue alone to tell the story.

4. People can have vastly differing views on your writing. (It seems obvious, but they really, really can!)

What distracted me this month while writing: I’m posting this ahead of time because I’m due at Book Con in NYC Saturday to sign NOBODY’S GODDESS! 0-0 (Hopefully I’ll make it in time to add my name to the blog list.) It’s going to be amazingly fun as both a reader and a writer. I’m also just touring NY (as I tend to do yearly to visit my bf’s family) for a week! I didn’t have as much work this month, but I was still busy–I got a fellow author client (my favorite kind!) and have been working on editing a manuscript for her. I also attended a small local authors fair back home before I left for NY. Plus, Amazon selected NOBODY’S GODDESS as a feature in one of their newsletters and sales have really picked up this month. I’m excited to have all these new readers!

Goal for next month: I have my first round edits for the short story due in a couple of weeks (and may be able to announce what that’s all about next month). If I get first round edits for NEVER VEIL 2, I can start working on that, but I’m not sure when those are coming. It might be time to get back into manuscript drafting and tackle that YA suspense I wanted to start over from scratch… I don’t know… I have some editing to do for other authors as well.

Posted in Writing

WIP Marathon 15

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  1. 88,537 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (first edits complete, sent off to beta, but I hadn’t had a chance to go over her edits for the first few chapters yet)

2. Short story: Just an outline

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 88,544 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (I’d just started making changes based on beta’s suggestions, but I had to set it aside to work on short story)

2. Short story: 4399 words

(I also write a short 2000-ish-word scene from the lord’s POV for my NOBODY’S GODDESS book tour.)

WIP Issues This Month: Finding time to write and getting back into drafting–I hadn’t drafted since November!

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. It’s really hard for me to juggle fiction writing with work writing, but I try anyway. 0-o

2. You can feel like your first draft of something is crap but have to keep pushing through it when you’re on a tight deadline.

3. It’s hard for me to avoid info-dumping in a short story. Maybe I’ll fix it in revisions.

4. Enthusiasm for your debut is a great mood-booster!

What distracted me this month while writing: So much! I participated in the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt in early April and made an appearance on a lot of blogs to promote NOBODY’S GODDESS, both for my book tour and as guest spots. NOBODY’S GODDESS released on the 21st, yay. It was also my birthday and my boyfriend’s birthday the week before. Plus, we went to C2E2 in Chicago just yesterday.

Goal for next month: I have to finish and polish up this short story–it’s on deadline for something I can’t announce yet, but it will be published! (Assuming they don’t think it sucks after reading it. ;-; It was taken on outline, so…) Even though I have a lot of work this weekend, I really want to finish it before Monday. Then I have to finish my beta-suggested edits for NEVER VEIL 3 because it’s due to my publisher June 1st and she turned in all her suggestions, so it’s just waiting on me! That’s enough for me, so no other writing goals for the month! And I’ll be traveling to NY the last week of May to do my first book signing–at BookCon!

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #14

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  88,294 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (almost done with first edits)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 88,537 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (first edits complete, sent off to beta, but I haven’t had a chance to go over her edits for the first few chapters yet)

WIP Issues This Month: Finding time to work on it, really. I did devote a few weeks to proofreading my friend’s book instead (while she worked on beta’ing mine and wrote another manuscript–she’s a busy bee!), but it was really hard for me to find time to edit at all, let alone write. I guess that’s good that I’ve been busy with work. (I’ve also been busy gearing up for NOBODY’S GODDESS promotions!)

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Working had on first edits is worth it–my beta reader noticed I’d improved on certain issues!

2. It can be hard to balance the time you spend on your writing with all the work and other stuff you need to do–even when you’re really trying to fit it all in. (*same lesson as last month, lol)

3. Promoting my book is fun but time-consuming.

4. I certainly take a lot of time off between writing manuscripts sometimes.

What distracted me this month while writing: Work and proofreading for a friend. Month9 put together a blog tour for NOBODY’S GODDESS that will start late next month and I made it into the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt in early April! Fellow WIP Marathoner Suzanne van Rooyen is even on the same team. (Team Gold!)

Goal for next month: I need to do edits to NEVER VEIL 3 as my beta reader’s suggestions come in, but she’s really busy, so we might not finish in April. I intend to do even more promotion for NOBODY’S GODDESS since it’s release month: April 21st! I still don’t feel up to going back to writing something new, unless opportunities come up. Right now my goal is to get back into writing this summer.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #13

I just realized we’ve been doing the monthly check-ins for over a year now!

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  88,514 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (first draft finished in November but first edits needed)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 88,294 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but I added a few thousand words for an entire new scene and have also subtracted a few thousand words while reading it)

WIP Issues This Month: Ever since I went through the editorial wringer with my Month9 book, I’ve gotten better at editing–a good thing, naturally. But that means I’m applying lessons learned at this stage, my very first read-through of my draft, and it’s significantly slowed my pace. My biggest issue is I talk about where characters are looking or where their eyes are, in addition to having a few extra words like “I noticed…” I had to decrease those in NOBODY’S GODDESS and this time I’m trying to save my editor some work by addressing the bulk of them from the get-go right now. But man, I feel like I have to edit every other sentence!

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. I find I have a lot of the same types of sentences if I’m looking for them.

2. It can be hard to balance the time you spend on your writing with all the work and other stuff you need to do–even when you’re really trying to fit it all in.

3. While writing and editing, you go through phases when you love your work and phases when you hate it. That’s normal, I assume!

4. Reviews coming in for your book are scary but exciting–and a great review can really make me happy!

What distracted me this month while writing: This was the end of January, but to update from last month, we really did enjoy ALA Midwinter and came back with so many books. (Have I read any yet? Nope! I had too many others I wanted to get to first.) I had work for a few new clients and it didn’t seem like I had time to edit as much as I’d like–and my “cheat” for squeezing editing in anywhere (doing it on my Kindle and jotting down notes on what to change) doesn’t work so well when you want to change every other sentence. 😛

We revealed the prologue for NOBODY’S GODDESS this month! If you missed it, check it out here.

Goal for next month: I have to finish these initial edits for NEVER VEIL 3 and send it off to my beta–which I honestly think I’ll be able to do this weekend, yay. Ideally, I’d even make her suggested changes to the draft by the end of March so I can turn it in to my publisher in April, but that’s just the earliest I can turn it in–I have until June if neither of us can get the work done fast enough. 😉 (I should have edited much sooner if I wanted to turn it in sooner!) I also have some proofreading to do for her on a project I betaed a few years ago, so there will be NO time or desire for writing this month.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #12

I’m writing this ahead of time, although hopefully I’ll be able to post my link. I’m off to ALA Midwinter today! (Not as a librarian. Just as a book lover. And an author, I suppose!)

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  1. 85,589 words and 26 chapters in NOBODY’S GODDESS, latest round of revisions done and sent back to publisher

2. 88,514 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (first draft finished in November but first edits needed)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 1. 85,048 words and 26 chapters in NOBODY’S GODDESS, FINAL round of revisions complete and sent back to publisher! (Looks like I did nothing, but I did re-read it in its entirety yet again!)

2. 88,514 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3… Oops. Yeah, I actually did nothing for that one!

WIP Issues This Month: Getting back into the groove of writing and/or editing. I did edit NOBODY’S GODDESS because I had a looming deadline, but somehow I just haven’t found the time and/or motivation to get to editing NEVER VEIL 3 like I need to.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. Promoting my book is a lot of fun and I wish I could get paid to do that instead of work so much, ha.

2. You can find typos (very few) even after you’ve read a book a dozen times and like 10 others have edited it!

3. I really need to figure out how to get to the place between work-hard-on-manuscript-every-day and barely-do-anything-for-it-all-month.

4. I’m apparently afraid of diving into a big edit.

What distracted me this month while writing: Quite a lot! I helped my boyfriend move, so the packing, moving and unpacking took us a while. We’re headed to ALA Midwinter in Chicago today, too. My cover reveal for NOBODY’S GODDESS was so much fun! (And I love my cover!) You can see it all over my website, but in case you otherwise missed it:

Nobody's Goddess Cover Smaller

Goal for next month: I STILL need to add a new scene to NEVER VEIL 3 and fix a few things and then start the whole beginning-to-end read-through before passing it along to my beta. That’s been my goal for two months now and it just hasn’t happened. It’s been almost a year since I’ve been agent-less, too, and I feel sad thinking about how I’ll have nothing to query anytime soon, but I really need to finish NEVER VEIL 3’s initial edits before I get back to any of my on-hiatus manuscripts (or start something new). I also plan to start direct-subbing my project agents passed on last year soon.

Posted in Writing

WIPMarathon #11

Happy (almost) 2015, fellow WIP Marathoners! 🙂 I love checking in with you each month. Even when I don’t get much done, it helps to remind me to get back on track. Congrats to all of you on your writing and editing this year, and good luck next year!

Things I’m Glad I Did In 2014:

  1. I finished 3 manuscripts, including both books 2 and 3 of NEVER VEIL. (Well, the drafts are finished, anyway!) 2/3 of the manuscripts I’d done some work on in previous years, but it was still nice to get to “The End.”
  2. I got to announce my book deal! (I kept it secret in late 2013 waiting for the go-ahead to announce.) It’s been fun getting to know readers who are looking forward to the book and willing to give a new author a chance.

In 2015, I’ll love to:

  1. Celebrate the release of NOBODY’S GODDESS! (Hopefully in April. And I’m hoping the cover reveal will be much sooner than that. I’ve seen the mockups and can’t wait to share!)
  2. Sign at BookCon (I hope it works out) and/or do signings locally or visit schools.
  3. Complete another manuscript and try for an agent again.
  4. Direct submit my agent-rejected manuscript to smaller publishers because I still believe in it. (I’m still waiting on a few responses, but I doubt I’ll get an agent with it after all.)

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count:  1. 88,426 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3–first draft done

2. 82,790 words and 26 chapters in NOBODY’S GODDESS (NEVER VEIL 1), in the process of revising

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 1. 88,514 words and 36 chapters in NEVER VEIL 3 (I spent very little time on it)

2. 85,589 words and 26 chapters in NOBODY’S GODDESS, latest round of revisions done and sent back to publisher

WIP Issues This Month: Oops. After that first week, when I was finishing up the latest NOBODY’S GODDESS edits for my deadline, I really barely did any writing or editing at all. So… Finding the time and motivation to get back into it.

Four things I learned this month in writing: 1. December is not a good time for me to write.

2. You can resurrect scenes you liked you long ago cut out when an editor suggests something and you think you have the perfect thing to address that in your reject folder. (Yay!)

3. You wind up reading a manuscript MANY times before publication. Many. Good thing I love my characters!

4. Juggling writing, work and so much else can be hard.

What distracted me this month while writing: The holidays! Not just the actual celebrations (I’ve had two so far :)), but preparing for them took up a lot of my free time, and I don’t even consider myself someone who goes overboard. Also, work picked up a little (yay) and multiple people in my life, including me, got sick, so that sucked. (I seemed to have it easiest with a head cold, though.) I saw The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, but it was my least favorite of all six LotR films. (Yet I want to see it again.) I also got distracted by Super Smash Bros. throughout the month.

I don’t usually mention my reads here, but My True Love Gave to Me was the PERFECT December read for me and gave me many warm fuzzies.

Goal for next month: My editor tells me I may get the final round of revisions to do and approve in January for NOBODY’S GODDESS–that’s right, the FINAL round. It’s off to the printers after that! So that will come first, of course. I do want to add a new scene to NEVER VEIL 3 and fix a few things and then start the whole beginning-to-end read-through before passing it along to my beta, but I have time before it’s due and may not get to it. (My goal last month was to start it and I barely did, so…) I hope to, though. I have no plans to draft anything new or work on any of the other projects on hiatus this month, though.