The first thing to go

372 fiction words, 670 total words, 0 hours on publication

I am a perfectionist. I am particular, generally, about the way things appear. Especially things that I create. I care about appearances. I like being in control of those things. I like knowing how I want a thing to look, and being able to make it look that way.

But I swear, the first thing that’s going to go when I have the income to support it is doing my own covers and interiors. I’m going to get someone who does it professionally or train someone to do it to my standards. Either one – I’m not picky. It’s such a time suck.

Last night, I didn’t do anything toward publishing. I have to do the final layout portion of my cover still, and instead, I dug a hole in Minecraft. It’ll be a slime farm, so I dug a hole with purpose, but it was still a hole. It was fun, with a decent pickaxe. Then just before bed, I managed 372 fiction words (for a total of 670 total words). Those 372 words broke me out of that death spiral chapter I was stuck in (I hope) and can get me back on track.

I hope.

The rest of the day was fine, too. This morning everyone is sluggish except for me, who got the benefit of an alarming wake-up call in the form of a rocketing cat knocking things off the side table and using my hip as a launchpad. To where I do not know. But I am awake, so I’m grateful for that.

Good morning, Friday!

New Reads

99 fiction words, 202 total words, .25 hours on publication

I have oodles of new books in my house, including a couple new copies of my book (which are wrapped as gifts to discourage me from fawning over them unnecessarily), and I have no idea when I’m going to have time to read them all.

Henchgirl will probably go the fastest. I read about it on Bust, and then when I purchased it I got a free comic from Amazon (X-23: The Complete Collection Vol. 1). Since that was an ebook, I finished that one quickly. I can also see Blubber (Judy Blume) on my shelves, along with Starship Troopers (Robert A. Heinlein), whose rules for writing I try to follow. That doesn’t even count the tons of educational/motivational/psychological books I have (ten, at least, with more hiding elsewhere) that I want to read “for work”, and the oodles of books that movies have been based on that I pick up and never seem to get to.

Ah, the TBR pile. I loves you. (We’re not going to think about the books I have on Kindle I need to consume. That would just be overwhelming.)

Yesterday I actually tried to write a bit, but only came out with 99 fiction words and 202 total words. I spent a meager 0.25 hours on publication where I came up with a slightly better book blurb for A Brief History. That’s all I have to say about that.

That’s all I have to say about all of it, actually. Have a lovely Thursday.

Sleep, excessive

0 fiction words, 218 total words, 0 hours on publication

The only thing I did really well yesterday was sleep – eight hours and ten minutes worth. Thank you, fitbit. I loves you, too.

I didn’t write. I didn’t publish. I blogged, but that was it. I’m experimenting with not commenting on the photos I post not for any real artsy reason, but because I thought it might be interesting to consume the photos without any context aside from the ALT text, which I try to fill in every time.

I hung out with friends for about 90 minutes then headed for home, where I began sleeping. It was nice. I feel rested.

Boxing Kitties

0 fiction words, 520 total words, 3 hours towards publishing

I dread to think what the house would be like with only two cats. I’d probably feel obliged to break up every fight I come across. Instead, I watch, make sure nobody bleeds, and go about my business. It’s probably helping me relax with the kids, where I also need to learn to not break up every fight I come across, but just make sure nobody’s bleeding or making cheap shots.

At any rate! Hai. I’ve been struggling with a book cover for a few days now. I had an idea in mind, and I haven’t been able to make it happen. Last night I kind of gave up and just went a different-ish direction. I think I might need one or two more tweaks, and then again, maybe I just need to leave it.

I didn’t write any fiction words yesterday. I did write 529 total words (the header is wrong), including posting Space Cats for Space here on the blog with synopsis, lovely featured image that matches the cover, and a chapter excerpt (not the first chapter, actually). And I spent a few hours on the cover.

I also spent a little time at the mall. Thankfully, that was over quickly, and the mall was empty. It’s the only time to go, I think, when one must.

Space Cats from Space

A cat inside a space suit with a glove-encased paw looking adorably out to the reader, the Earth in the background

A Summary

A cat inside a space suit with a glove-encased paw looking adorably out to the reader, the Earth in the background
Space Cats from Space

Sarah just wants to write enough books to quit her day job. She does not want police officers to come to her door. She does not want some idiot to total her car. In fact, she really ought to stay away from cars altogether.

Except that’s not how Sarah’s life is working out. She’s got four cats, and they can talk. To her.

In English!

And they’re dragging her down their rabbit hole of intrigue and secrets, whether she wants to go or not. Now the question is whether Sarah is willing to accept this new world and the talking cats that come part and parcel, or if she wants the entire situation to return across space from whence it came.


To Purchase

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble (coming soon!)


An Excerpt

“Why does she do that?” Blinky asked quietly in his language to his brother. Had Sarah overheard, she would have noticed only a small half purr-grunt from the feline.

But she was absorbed in her project. Or maybe just pretending to be absorbed.

“Do what?” Pinky asked. “Talk to us, when she thinks we don’t understand? Negotiate, instead of just getting the job done?”

“Both, I suppose,” Blinky replied. “It’s confusing.”

“She’s human,” Pinky pointed out “Who knows why they do anything?”

Inky sauntered in from the kitchen, his head high and his ears forward. Blinky and Pinky blinked slowly at him as he entered. They watched him wind around Sarah’s leg for a moment, and then when that didn’t elicit any direct attention, he looked at the two of them.

The small, probing meow elicited no response from their human but called the two brothers lying on the sofa to attention.

“We need to meet,” Inky told them before turning to trot up the stairs.

Pinky looked at his less bold brother, bit him, and leapt off the sofa, racing after their captain.

Blinky just sighed. He took the time to stretch before standing and crossing the room to watch Sarah for a moment.

She was indeed quite determinedly typing away on her antique computer. Well, Blinky reflected, antique to him. For Sarah, it was only two or three years old. Disposable, even by human standards. Technologically out of date, but still functional and socially acceptable.

Blinky heard Inky call for him from upstairs, impatient, so he followed the sound of thundering feet that left the upstairs bathroom and ended in the master bedroom.

He arrived in the room that smelled most like their human, and thus was his favorite place to be. No one had yet claimed her pillow as his seat, so Blinky did. In doing so, he absorbed more of her scent into his fur. He would carry it around for the rest of the day, no matter how many fights he stumbled into, and no matter how much he bathed.

Blinky would not admit to having a crush on their human. Not even to himself.

“We’re ready for the Revelation in two days time,” Inky began without preamble. “We landed with the ideal subject. She has been responsive to every test. I am confident that everything will go smoothly.

“But I believe in preparing for the worst just as we hope for the best,” Inky continued.

Blinky watched their captain pace along the faded red bedcover that Sarah preferred. He wondered if Inky seemed a little on edge to anyone else.

Was he telling the whole truth?

“Blinky, if Sarah naps at all for any reason over the next two days, see if you can work in an extra session.”

Blinky nodded and flexed his paws reflexively.

“Pinky,” Inky snapped.

Pinky, who had been examining the area where his testicles had been a month previously, snapped his head up and his leg down. “Yes, Captain?”

“Make sure we’re set on supplies, and that our science is sound. I want you to double and triple check that this is the right time for the Revelation. Make sure we’re not missing anything.”

“You got it,” Pinky replied, relaxing, and resuming his grooming.

“Clyde?”

Blinky watched the largest of their litter lift his head. “I’ve double and triple-checked our transportation off planet,” Clyde replied before Inky could ask. And when the captain nodded sharply and took another breath to deliver additional instructions, their Engineer continued speaking. “There are enough nanites built up in your system for the transfer. I’ve just straightened out the paperwork for our arrival back home. And Sarah’s been feeding us the good food again. Pinky did a bang-up job with his regurgitation to get us back with the prime stuff. He deserves a raise.”

Blinky grinned. Pinky’s vomit hadn’t been an act.

Pinky hissed. He hated any mention of the illness, and the subsequent smell they’d had to endure until Sarah had arrived home from work.

Inky barely held back his smile at the impertinent report.

Then again, Clyde was everyone’s favorite, Blinky thought fondly. And Pinky’s contribution, purposeful or not, had been helpful.

“Excellent. Just make sure you hide those damn nail trimmers today. If Sarah gets a chance to blunt my tips again, I’m going to have a real problem with delivery.”

Clyde nodded, and lay his head back on the bed.

“Then I suppose that’s all I have. I’m very proud of all of you,” Inky added. “We’re going to go back heroes.”

Blinky sighed as his three brothers left the bedroom, leaving him alone with his task. If Sarah took a nap, it would be in her bed. She felt the sofa was too uncomfortable for anything but visitors.

And she hated how the cushions slipped to end up in an angry pile on the right side of the thing.

He wasn’t sure he wanted to go back. Hero or not, he liked it here. They wouldn’t be the first team to fail at their mission and instead enjoy a life of luxury on this planet.

But he wouldn’t do anything to ruin things for Inky. Their captain believed in this mission with every barb on his tongue, and Blinky loved his brother as much as he loved Sarah.

They would deliver the Revelation. Sarah would help them.

And Blinky would deal with the rest as it came.

Fluffy (in regards to my numbers this week)

DAILY: 266 fiction words, 669 total words, 4 hours toward publishing

Today’s post title brought to you by Junior Youth.

So this week wasn’t great for words but otherwise went very well. Yesterday, for example, I wrote 266 fiction words, 669 total words, and put 4 hours toward publishing. Maybe more hours, to be honest.The cover for

The cover for A Brief History is killing me. I had an idea, and I was like, this is a great idea! I can do this! Except the tutorials are not spectacular, in that in one particular step I can’t quite understand how to translate their instructions from the older version of Photoshop to my version. So it doesn’t work.

So I tried something else. And it’s working, except it’s not quite there yet. I don’t know what I’m missing, so I’m sure I’ll poke at it here and there to get it to where it needs to bed.

And the words. I should probably mention them. I’m not thrilled, and I’m not sure how to fix them. At 4K in, I should be able to find a way. Except it also feels like I’m much further into the story, which is not what I expected when I started. Hmm.

Anyway, on to the weekly review part of today.

Statblock for Week 21

So! The week. Low on words, as mentioned, mostly because I was working on publishing, which is not reflected here. I ought to find a better way to track it. I know there are task timers I could use, which would be especially useful because I only work on the project from this one computer. Perhaps I’ll look into it and see what I can find. What I use at work is nice, but doesn’t give me as much control as I’d like. And doing it manually…I could probably do that, too.

Not a big difference from last week, though, which is good. I’d like to turn that around and have a 50% increase this week, perhaps more. Maybe get the story really moving again.

May fiction total: 4,428
April fiction total: 
15,814
March fiction total:
 12,576
February fiction total: 9,217
January fiction total: 18,615
2017 fiction total: 59,671

ARGH. That May number really bothers me. I can do better than that.

A day for rest

273 fiction words, 687 total words, 4 hours on publication

Greetings and salutations, folks! I’m having a nice, relaxing day with my son watching Hermitcraft live streams on Twitch and Beam. We started with Xisuma, where he responded to Elder Youth’s comment in the stream (cue fangirl moment here), and EY actually thought it was pretty good advice. Sometimes all you need to do is hear something from your idol to make it sink in. <3

I should talk about yesterday, though, when I had a bunch of time to get things done while doing laundry, and I did! I spent a vulgar amount of time on some cover art and on trying to self-publish Space Cats in print on NookPress. It was awesome, and not as hard as I thought. In other ways, though, it was harder. Why can the different publishing systems not have the same requirements? I don’t know. At any rate, I have another proof copy ordered.

Now, I should mention that Space Cats is up for sale (and available for purchase)! Unfortunately, the print and Kindle versions aren’t linked yet, so I was waiting for that to happen before I put up the big BUY MY BOOK HERE page, but now I think I just need to get it done. I can add links as they show up.

It’s hard to get it all done and appearing at once, you know? Kind of like cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t know how my mom manages it. To get the turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and corn and crescent rolls all out of the kitchen and on the table at the same time? Yeah, it’s a lot like trying to publish on Smashwords and Amazon and CreateSpace and NookPress all at once. Everything has different turnaround times, and formatting, and print proofs, and yeah. It’s a mess I’ll have to get some practice with, definitely.

So yes, I should mention I wrote 273 fiction words yesterday, with 687 total words and 4 hours on publication. And that’s all I have for today! I hope everyone is having a lovely, relaxing, cool spring day. I hope the cool weather sticks around, actually. This is the perfect temperature today for me. Much loves.

Things that take more time than you expect

0 fiction words, 297 total words, .5 hours on publication

Two years ago I self-published a collection of short stories.  It took a while, but it was also my first attempt, so that makes sense. I ordered like three proof copies before I got everything right, and I learned a lot.

Last summer I helped to publish quite a few short stories, and it went very quickly. Admittedly, they were all ebook form. There’s quite a bit of difference in terms of formatting and preparation, especially when you consider my somewhat perfectionist nature. Since with ebooks there is so much customization available for the reader, it makes sense to have the version authors (or publishers) produce be fairly plain. then nothing gets too broken, you know? But with print books, what the author (publisher) wants is what the reader gets, and so there are a lot more options for me to play with.

This month, I expected to get three books published by the 15th, two in print and one ebook. I thought it would be easy to get done in two weeks.

And if I’d been only doing ebooks, it would have been. But for me, print books require print proofs, which take time to deliver. Until I get a personal track record of getting everything right with the first proof, I’ll probably still continue to order them, and then find all the things I need to fix, then fix them, etc. It’s a process, and it takes time.

So anyway, what I’m getting at is that this publishing thing takes nearly as much time as the writing thing. At least until I either get the hang of it or become more comfortable with not turning each print book into a Nickified work of art. 🙂

So about yesterday, now that my little rant is over: it was a lot of fun! I didn’t write at all. I did hang out with one of my writing friends (hai, Jamie!) eating loaded frozen yogurt, staring at books, eating food, and watching a horror science-fiction film (we saw The Circle). I did get my blogging in and I did some publication stuff in the morning (0 fiction words, 297 total words, .5 hours on publication). Basically, there was nothing wrong with the day at all!

I’m actually having another Perfectly Fine day today, so I’m going to get back to that. I need to devote some time to Rath, my new character who is having a bit of trouble. He’s suffering from Very Short Writing Sessions. (It’s a thing.)

Productive but currently useless

47 fiction words, 483 total words, 2 hours on publication

So yesterday I wrote a bit (47 fiction words, 483 total words), but what I really did was make a cover.

For a book I haven’t written yet.

Which is awesome, just frustrating.

I thought I was working on the cover for A Brief History. I looked at my stock photos to see if I had any distressed leather images (I didn’t), and found a desk with a book and a calico cat, instead. I thought, yeah, I was going to do something with that before this current idea. So I started working with the cat, making her look like a snapshot, then a ripped snapshot, and the desk with the book where I’d place the cover blurb, and it ended up awesome!

Except that’s not how I designed the interior. Very specifically, I designed the interior to go with an old, distressed book cover. And the interior wouldn’t go with the exterior I designed at all. So I have an awesome half-finished cover, but not for the book I’m trying to publish, so that’s a little irritating.

But I know what I want, and I just need to find (or create) an image or two to get it done. I can do that.

I get to hang out with a friend tonight, so my morning is rushed to get all the usual evening things done now. I may not get any fiction in (or I may stay up entirely too late after I get home doing it). That’s OK.

Have a great day, y’all!

Busy day done

38 fiction words, 273 total words, 2 hours on publication

Getting only 38 fiction words written means I spent most of what little free time I had yesterday evening (two hours) on publication – yay!

Because yesterday, amongst the activities, I got my second proof copy of Space Cats in the mail and got a chance to find that one thing that’s going to drive me nuts. I fixed it, resubmitted it, and as soon as it gets through the file review process, I’ll get it up for sale in print and ebook.

I also took a few minutes to finish up the interior of A Brief History and get the cover layout set up with all my guides. I’m particular, so I like to have the document set up with fun little blue lines that indicate where the bleed is, and then where a quarter inch in from the cut line is so I can make sure the design that needs to fit on the page fits in nicely.

It turns out that the print version of this book is going to be a slender volume. I’m kind of excited about that. So far, The 27th Letter and Space Cats were both about the same length, thus the spines were about the same height (unsure if “height” is right here, but we’re going with it). This will be a MUCH narrower spine. It should be interesting!

I got 273 total words yesterday, and since so little of it was fiction (as mentioned previously) my blog got the bulk. It’ll be that way today, too, probably. Although I really need a nice writing session to fix this chapter I’ve been butchering. When I can only write a few new words at a time, it gets really choppy. I kind of need to redo the last 1,000 words or so to make them good and smooth, then keep going from there.

Some days it feels like my writing work ethic needs work, and other days I realize I’m trying to work a full-time job and raise kids and squeeze in writing in what’s left. I’m doing well for where my priorities need to be.

So today! It better be good because I don’t have the patience for crappy.