Featuring information for independent authors looking for guidance on marketing, editing and publishing their works; including tips on how best to use free resources and maintain motivation as you take your writing from hobby to profession.
This last year has been a not so great time for me. I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on family (often at the expense of my writing) while my family minimizes my written work and suggests with full candor that I would be better off doing literally anything else. I might be a stone cold bitch that habitually writes about getting away with murder but that still hurts, a lot.
Thankfully other writers are always there to remind me that awful as that is, it’s also kind of normal. We all have to fight for the time and space to do that thing that no one else really understands and seems largely composed of staring at blank walls from time to time. And we’re all here to help each other out and deepen our craft as we go.
So let’s do a relink of some of the more visited posts on my blog that are full of helpful tips for other struggling Indie Authors out there.
There you go Indies, a recap of everything that I’ve written on writing in this digital era that should prove useful to anyone looking for the information. Sign up for updates if you would like to keep abreast of anything new going on with my books or on the blog. Keep strong, keep your heads up and for the sake of the old gods’ keep writing!
Here I am, deep into book three of the Eldritch Elysium series, “Tasting Ash,” and I’m already coming up against the great thorny caltrop I laid down to wreck myself in “Toxic Ash.” I knew damn well that in a story dotted with shape shifting boyfriends and their poisonously beautiful sister and an old lover suffering under a debilitating curse that sooner or later I’d want to just toss in a little of the old razzle dazzle and let it explain away all my ills.
So I made sure to state it clearly once and for all so i couldn’t go back and add in a big ol sorting hat later on. Now that Ash is stuck deep behind enemy lines and is learning far more than she ever wanted to know about Caine, Caliban, Jeb, Klyde and Ophelia’s very messed up heritage I really really wish I could just wave a magic wand over the whole thing and call it done rather than wading through science journals and websites looking up the minutia of science that explains only half of anything and only half of the Corporation for that matter.
Because while there might be no such thing as magic, there certainly is something going on that’s beyond the realm of science. It’s in the gap between the first Helen’s brain surgery and impregnation, it’s in the extra bit of DNA that makes Ophelia kin to Blanche and it’s running lose and unfettered in the halls of the Corporation where scientists work in their pristine labs to distill something monstrous useful mundanity.
I feel a little like the parent, diligently informing their child that there’s no monster in their closet or under the bed–while checking the bars over the windows and doors as well as the handgun under their pillow. A monster by any other name is still gonna kill your ass.
I know, I’ve been dang nigh nonexistent in the blog for–a very, very, long time. I decided to put my all into finishing the outline for the new book, “Tasting Ash,” which is finally done. I’m neck deep in writing the novel now and already turning my eyes to the outline of the next book and thinking about releases and covers and all kinds of backend bullshit no one wants to hear about really.
As things keep moving right along I’ll try to finish up my series on using Scivener to write work with serial novels instead of single edition works. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on those so I’ll definitely keep putting them up till I feel like I’ve covered all the basis.
But for right now, since it’s been so long in coming and so difficult to get back to, I really just want to concentrate on writing the books themselves and getting them out the door in as timely a manor as possible.
So my monitor died some time ago and I didn’t realize how much of a ginormous hit that was to my productivity until I got it replaced and immediately felt like a weight was lifted from my writing that I’d never even dared contemplate was there before. Which should mean that I’m cranking out chapters like no one’s business – but. There’s always a but isn’t there? Just as I got close to replacing my monitor I lost large chunks of my Scivener project for the Eldritch Elysium series.
As in giant chunks of my manuscript for “Tasting Ash” were gone. Poof. Vanished into the aether.
This is the second time I’ve lost work thanks to using Dropbox coupled with Scrivener. Every now and again giant chunks of text just seem to vanish no matter what I do. Yes I was working on a different computer but I wasn’t opening the project on them both at the same time – at all – plus I lost bits of my notes from much older sections of the project (book 2 level old) which was both frustrating and utterly unacceptable.
Thankfully I have backups of my backups and now that I’m able to use the desktop again it wasn’t too hard for me to dig them out and get everything recovered. Unfortunately so frelling much was lost (that I really need) that instead of writing all kinds of awesome new stuff, I’m sitting around reentering old stuff.
Good news though, going through so many vital character notes has really helped clear away lots of my previous confusion with the manuscript for “Tasting Ash” bad new is I have parts of that to recover too and I’ve not gotten there yet.
My birthday has come, passed, and for the first time in five years it’s done so without the release of a new novel or even the paperback release of an old novel. The world didn’t collapse in a sea of angst and fire, in fact the day was quite nice. Warm and quite, with a visit from a neighbor’s kitty and lots of love sent my way. Just no new novel.
Inside it hurts but outside it’s nothing, like so much of a writer’s life, the giant internal shakeups go quietly unremarked by those around me. There’s a world altering storm beneath the surface but outside it’s a rather pleasant day.
Nothing for it but to turn away from the outside, turn inward and begin to calm that storm with the only thing that can – the steady click click click of my keyboard in use.
An outline has been crafted, deemed utter rubbish and all but thrown out. Hopefully more substantial news soon.
It’s 2015 already so I suppose you guys deserve an update.
Laptop has been repaired, my work on “Tasting Ash” has finally resumed (slowly with many false starts and general malaise) and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to release the novel sometime this year. My main workhorse computer is still down for the current count though so I’m not at all sure what I’ll be doing when it comes time for me to do the book covers, hopefully by then I’ll have the desktop back up to speed.
I’ll get back to finishing my series on using Scrivener to write series as soon as I’ve gotten my word count up to satisfactory levels. Stay tuned.
So it’s well past due that I gave an update but I’m afraid it’s all bad news. My work machine’s monitor is dead, so I can’t use it to work on the novel at all. My laptop which I usually use for editing, revisions, marketing and backup, is having harddrive failure punctuated by rolling BSOD’s that always seem to come at the worst possible time usually taking giant chunks out of whatever work I had managed to do in the process.
Basically all work has stopped on everything right now.
I’m reduced to pen and paper writing and it’s a slow ponderous hell that I had hoped never to return to. So yeah stuff is still coming out of my head but it’s not complete and I lose half as much as i gain again simply by virtue of it being on paper and easy to misplace, spill coffee on, rip to shreds, etc.
Until I can get my machines repaired/replaced there will be few blog posts and little progress updates as well. I’m so sorry to anyone that’s been anxiously awaiting “Tasting Ash” but there’s just no funds to run out to the store and buy replacement parts right now. Trust me I’m more pissed off about the delay than you will ever be.
Bit nervous to actually say that I’m back to writing and Mom is doing well, seems like every time I do that she ends up right back in the hospital and I face a writing block to end all writing blocks. Hopefully this time she really is doing better but I am experiencing the hell of nothing that is popularly called writers block and which I’d normally swear doesn’t exist.
Since Mom’s last exit from the hospital I’ve settled down at my computer every day and opened up my Scrivener document for the next installment in the Eldritch Elysium series which I’d just decided to name “Tasting Ash” before the last round of hospitals. I open it up and I stare, stare, stare. I stare till it’s about 10 pm and then I give up for the night.
If I remember correctly I was just about ready to start working on the outline before the heart attack but after all my notes make absolutely no sense and my characters won’t let me get back in. Worse, some of them have been laughing at me. Tried writing something else, anything else and it’s gotten a bit better though the nightmares are actually getting worse.
It feels like I’ve forgotten how to do the thing. You know the thing. That wonderful thing that’s part way between magic and skill where you slip sideways through reality and words flow from your fingertips, if not well at least on demand.
This – lack of words – more than anything else seems to mean I’ll be lucky to make my usual deadline for release of the next book. I will, of course, keep beating my head on this brick wall till something comes out. Anything (please gods anything).
When I’m not working on my latest novel I’m a full time, live in, caregiver for my mother who broke her back (literally) as a nurse for the state of Georgia five years ago. Most of the time it doesn’t interfere with my work so I’ve managed to get by without mentioning it.
Unfortunately last Wednesday I had to take my mother to the ER and we’ve been in the hospital since then. The situation is – not great. We’re expecting to have to remain at the hospital at least until sometime next week but even in the best case scenario I have no idea how long it will end up being before I am able to update the blog or anything else. Please bear with me and any good thoughts you can send in my mother’s direction, would be greatly appreciated.
I was deep in that dark place where all artists eventually go and sometimes return brandishing their freshly severed ear as a present. Climbing out of it involved burying myself in my work in a way that also didn’t make things worse, so it was kind of like trying to paint a self portrait with my eyes closed. When it was done, I was back to it with a vengeance, only the mild and occasional migraine to remember the slump by and a complete aversion to doing anything I should be doing that isn’t writing. I’ve neglected my Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterist, Blog and other authors in my efforts to get through the white knuckle phase and while I think I’m starting to emerge victorious from the other end – please bear with me as I get all avenues of communication (aka blather) firing on all cylinders again.