Once Upon a Thursday

168 fiction words, 479 total words, 0 hours on publication

My cats are learning their names. I’m unsure why I’m so excited about this, but I am.

Today is another regular day for me, another in a long line of days where I wake up, feed the cats, get coffee, work on my #bujo, journal, then do this: blogging and trying not to get distracted by all the other things going on in other tabs. My feed reader, for example. All those lovely blogs that posted content first thing this morning (or late last night) that I want to catch up on, or the webcomics that have new pages out. Gloriously distracting they are.

I wrote a bit yesterday morning and planned to write more in the evening. 168 fiction words, 479 total words. The reason more fiction words didn’t get written is simple: I needed 38 levels to add Mending to a pickaxe that was in the very last round of upgrades, and so I wanted to go grind in the Nether gathering quartz for the XP. And then I finally did it, got the final upgrade I needed, and went to gather more XP to repair both my Silk Touch pickaxe and the Fortune III pickaxe, so now I at least have the cool tools – until I can get better tools or villagers for a breeder.

And that’s my Minecraft life right now. And writing! Yesh, I do that, too.

Purry kitty is happy kitty

657 fiction words, 909 total words, .5 hours towards publishing

(Coming up with titles every day is hard! So sometimes I steal things my kids say and plop them in as blog titles. You don’t mind, do you? Thought not.)

It has been our mission over the last week or so to brush the cats every chance we get. This is because one of them has developed some impressive mats. It’s not his fault, especially. He’s got long hair and it’s matting in all four armpits of his. (Leg-pits? Under-legs? I don’t know, but you get the idea.) Naturally, it doesn’t feel good for us to brush at them a lot (cats have sensitive skin, especially on their stomachs, so I am learning), so we’re trying a comb, and I’m going to get a mat brush from Amazon (because the local pet store was absolutely useless in this regard). We don’t want to resort to a groomer ($$$, and he’ll hate it).

Yesterday was Memorial Day, and except for the really loud booms setting off near our house, it was quiet. I almost got a haircut, I almost cut my own hair, and I actually did watch quite a bit of Downton Abbey. This will be my 3rd watch-through (although I’ve only seen Season 7 once – not sure how I missed it the first time).

I got words written, too. While not the 2,000-3,000 I’d prefer to write, it was a respectable 657 fiction words (909 total words). I only spent .5 hours towards publishing, correcting a cover that got flagged at CreateSpace. Apparently, there aren’t enough pages for spine info. For that, I would like to blow a large raspberry at them. I fixed it, though, and my back cover spelling errors.

Um…yeah, that’s about it! I’m on a roll this morning, too, even though I didn’t get out of bed for my 5 a.m. alarms. At least I woke with them. Then I fell back asleep and had one of my obligatory “going back to work” work dreams. It was quite odd, with an interrogation by my boss about how the morning went (several things had gone wrong). Then another alarm went off, and that was the end of that. Thankfully.

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.)

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.

When you write in the evening…

258 fiction words, 467 total words, 3 hours on publication

I need to make writing this post in the morning a priority because when evening comes and I haven’t yet written about the day before, the only thing easily available in my brain is today. And then when I get to tomorrow, I feel like I’ve already talked about today.

Yesterday I did okay on words. Better than usual, for certain. I logged 258 fiction words, 467 total words, and a whopping 3 hours on publication. To be honest, at this point I don’t recall what took three hours. I may have been distracted for three hours, but since I don’t remember, I’m going with productive.

That’s all I have, to be honest. No news is good news? I’m looking forward to completely starting over on the A Brief History print layout before I go to bed (which should happen in the next 45 minutes).

Morning is broken

55 fiction words, 402 total words, .5 hours on publication

Maybe that’s not how the song goes? Meh, it’s fine.

Yesterday was awesome in that I got the proof copy for Space Cats. I found lots of mistakes, so I’m going to go through and fix all the things, and then set it out into the world. I’ve done this before, so hopefully, one swipe will do it. Inevitably something else will slip through, but I can only fret about it so much before it’s unproductive.

The cover, though. So adorbs!

I got a little bit of formatting done for A Brief History, but with Tuesday and everything, not a ton got done.

We are also entering Concert Season, and with that comes Anxiety. I spent a good chunk of last night preparing for today, making a list of all the things that need to happen and by when so I feel organized and can see that yeah, things really are going to be fine and I can worry a little less. It helps to a degree, but there’s still some nerves floating that we won’t make an appointment, or not everyone will find seats. I know it will be fine, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying about it.

So with all that, I wrote a little bit (55 fiction words, 402 total words, .5 hours on publication), but not all that much. Just enough to keep a streak going, think about my characters, worry that I’m not describing enough, that kind of thing. When life settles a bit I’ll probably take another swipe through and see if I can work on those things without sacrificing the pacing I’ve already established.

Nothing is going as quickly as I want, with writing or publishing. I don’t know whether to beat myself up for not trying hard enough or to acknowledge that I’m a Writer (Starter Edition) with a family and a full-time office job and that I need to cut myself a little slack (but not too much). I suspect it’s the latter, but the former is so easy.

One more day into the week

93 fiction words, 382 total words, 1 hour towards publishing

Greetings and salutations! I have fifteen minutes to get this banged out, so here goes.

Yesterday was pretty productive. I spent an hour finishing up the ebook formatting for A Brief History for Smashwords and Amazon. That done, I turned to the print formatting for about three seconds before I got sidetracked with writing a new author’s bio. I like it, I really like it. It’s kind of odd and not as professional as before but I love it and it still has all the important information it’s supposed to (who am I? what have I done?) so it’s done.

I wrote a tiny bit in the morning before leaving for work because I forgot the day before entirely. I didn’t want to repeat that at all. 93 fiction words (382 total words) was my total for the day. I meant to go back and get some more description in a few places, but by the time I was done with formatting it was time for bed.

I think I’m finally feeling back up to par after a week of phlegm and sore throats. Hopefully today I can be less disgusting at work.

Tonight is writing group, which I’m looking forward to even as I realize I may not get a darned thing done. I’m taking print formatting with me to do, because that doesn’t require original creation, just absent-minded attention. Lots of, “Do I want this here, or there?” Easy stuff.

Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone!

May the 4th (be with you)

286 fiction words, 554 total words, 1.5 hours formatting

And also with you!

Heh. Sorry, leftover from days when I went to church and was asked to go around shaking hands. I should have used this particular phrase then. The practice might have been more fun.

Yesterday was one of those days when I was busy all day long, I got a lot done, but I didn’t actually get anything done that I had intended to get done. Does that make sense? Well, that’s only half true. At the office, I intended to get two things done that didn’t happen. But, I got one other large task completed along with another surprise task. You really can’t get too upset about that kind of thing, you know?

At home, I completed the cover for Space Cats! I may not be a book cover artist (those guys are amazing, by the way), but I’m kind of proud of what I did. It’s not too shabby, I think I’m going to like looking at it, and it doesn’t look slapped together.

So now with the interior and cover completed, I can get started on the print copy. It involves uploading some files, getting nervous about the state of the proof copy that I’ll need to order, and some patience. I’m going to have to find some patience.

Oh, words! I wrote 286 fiction words, 554 total words, and spent 1.5 hours formatting. That was the point of all this.

Although I just thought of something else. I had two very different, very real conversations about writing yesterday in a space that I don’t often admit to my passion.

The first conversation started when someone came to me asking if when I write something down, don’t I feel like I really should be a writer? I answered no, actually, I am a writer. This, I gestured at my office, is not me. The other person’s reaction was unclear, whether they were surprised at my declaration

The second conversation started when someone was talking about how to get her business started, and the only advice I could think of was a question I’d learned in a seminar. Would I be better off writing? And as a baby writer, yes. So I told her that, and how it applies to her position. She wouldn’t be writing, of course, but doing the activities that are critical for her career. And then we started talking about how can you find the time to write, and my answer was NaNoWriMo. And then she said she has a youth that likes to write, and my answer was YWP. And then she said she has an elder that likes to write shorts, and my answer was NaNoWriMo again. So I need to take her a booklet if I still have any. It’s on my list.

Well, this was a lot of words. I’m going to get moving. Have a lovely Star Wars Day!

Another new one

DAILY: 464 fiction words, 623 total words, 2 hours toward publishing

The week starts new today, and the month. It’ll make for a very busy day, I’m certain. At least it’ll make for a busy day here, with this weekly review and later on with a review of April.

But first, yesterday. Yesterday was busy, and I still have a bit of a spring cold which is really more of an annoyance than an actual issue. Maybe it’s actually a spring sinus thing because my ears keep popping. That’s the biggest irritant, really. At any rate, Junior Youth returned from camping. I did the last of her laundry and worked quite a bit on formatting the interior of Space Cats. I ended up starting over, but as this time I actually looked at the requirements for CreateSpace, that was probably a good thing. I think I have what I want now, I just need to grind away at it for a bit.

I also worked a tiny bit on a new series. I need to settle on the age of my antagonist. Currently, she’s pretty young, and I think I may need to age her up a bit. We’ll see how it goes. I managed 464 fiction words, 623 total words, and two hours toward publishing.

Now, on to the weekly portion of this weekly review post.

Meh. Not my best week, and that’s because I was really hesitant to start writing anything new with outstanding things to get published. But Saturday, as I’ve mentioned, I got started on something new anyway.

Oops.

And then I’ll just drop this here:

April fiction total: 15,814
March fiction total:
 12,576
February fiction total: 9,217
January fiction total: 18,615
2017 fiction total: 56,222

There’s actually things to say about that little block, but I’ll save it for the monthly review post in a few minutes.

Overall, the week was OK. There were four days with no fiction writing whatsoever, and I think I’m fine with that, though it feels better to be writing fiction. I will do better on the publishing front this month, especially as a friend has just published her A to Z Challenge yesterday, and that motivates me to get my butt in gear.

Three stories finished but none published yet? I need to get cracking!