Writing–New Release! Spirited in Spite Available for Pre-Order!

That’s right, kids. I have hit the big time. Well, big time in the sense that I’m going to give this pre-order business whirl.

Spirited in Spite

Gret Brown is a paranormal skeptic. She and her sister Heidi are investigating the Jayne House on Halloween, a project months in the making. And then plans change.

Much to her displeasure, Gret finds herself joined by ghost hunters, one of whom is Scott Spence, her old school rival, and two psychics of dubious abilities. Gret either has to try to investigate the Jayne House with everyone else or forfeit a night that she desperately needs in order to write her book on the place. However, choosing to investigate the house with the group endangers the secret to her success, a secret Scott Spence would delight in using against her.

Because the house is haunted.

And that’s a bad thing.

Spirited in Spite, my latest novella isn’t coming out until October 7th, but you can order it now and have it show up on her preferred reading device the day it’s released. It’s like magic!

You can pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Writing–August Projects

sunI’ve decided to take a slightly different route with my projects this month.

I’m still feeling a bit burnt out on the whole revising thing. I looked at my list of projects that are still on the editing block and went, “I don’t feel like it”. And though I got a great rush from writing the Zak novella, I really don’t feel like it’ll be a good idea to spend another month working on something new, especially when I don’t think I have anything that in my mind is ready to be put down on paper. I don’t feel like spending a month struggling to get a first draft down just because I need something to do.

So I’ve decided to make August the month that I focus on business and organization. There are a couple of little writing things that I’m going to do so it’s not like I’m totally slacking (“She’s Not Here Anymore” needs to be polished and there’s an idea that’s been gnawing away at my brain that I want to get out and into a notebook before I lose any of the fun bits) and there’s nothing that says my revision burn out won’t become a flame before the month is out and I pick a project to work on. But I think my main goal this month needs to be a little bit to the left of writing.

The special edition of Yearly is currently available on Lulu. If it passes all of the distribution muster, it probably won’t hit any other distributor (Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, etc.) until September at least. I feel like I should use this as an opportunity to generate some sales and interest. When I did my first print anthology, I pretty much did nothing outside humble suggestions to buy it (and that got me to a place known as Less Than Nowhere).

But the difference with Yearly is that it is selling as an ebook. I’m wondering if I could get bold and offer the opportunity to get autographed copies (my ego!) or maybe even hold some kind of a contest to win copies. Something. Anything. I really need to work on this part of the business, the drumming up business part of the business. I have something that people are interested in. I should probably capitalize on it.

I’m also feeling a bit disorganized. I’ve got one more project going to the e-presses this year (Spirited in Spite is coming out in October! And it needs a cover still, but whatever) and I feel like I need to start lining up things for next year. I’d like to keep the same sort of publishing schedule, putting out two or three projects. I need to figure out what’s going to go out and when so I know how to really focus my project energy.

It sounds easier than it is considering this year I was so sure two of the projects I was going to publish this year aren’t even ready yet.

I think this month is going to feel weird because I won’t be so focused on working on the individual projects, but it’ll still be productive nonetheless.

Writing–The Grand Writing To Do List

Rainbow paperI’ve mentioned before that I’m working on clearing off the bulk of my Writing To Do List. I thought that maybe some of you would like to see this mythological creature, as I’m frequently mentioning it, but not very good about getting too specific about all of the projects I have going on.

It’s not in any sort of special order and all of it is writing related even if it’s not actual writing.

  • Revise Hatchets and Hearts
  • Polish Hatchets and Hearts
  • Revise “She’s Not Here Anymore”
  • Polish “She’s Not Here Anymore”
  • Revise The Timeless Man
  • Revise The Rainmakers 1
  • Revise The Rainmakers 2
  • Revise (Vampires) Made in America
  • Write Fairliza
  • Write Parlor Tricks
  • Publish A Tale of Two Lady Killers
  • Publish Spirited in Spite

Hatchets and Hearts is, obviously, the novella I’m currently revising. “She’s Not Here Anymore” is a novella that I revised down to a short story. The Timeless Man, as you should know by now, is the next novella in the Ivy Russell series. The Rainmakers 1 and 2 are the two novellas I wrote for NaNoWriMo last year. (Vampires) Made in America is a Stanley Ivanov novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo a few years ago. Fairliza (which isn’t a title, but the name of the character) is an idea for either a long short story or a short novella that will more than likely be written this summer. Parlor Tricks is an idea for a what will probably be my NaNo project this year (or one of two projects if it looks like it’ll be a novella).

How the To Do List works: Projects that are/will be getting my attention are on the To Do List. I don’t put polishing any project on the To Do List until it’s had at least one round of revisions/rewrites.

That’s the Writing To Do List.

A living thing.

Writing– The (Self-) Publishing Schedule

Rainbow paperAt the beginning of the year, I established a sort of publishing schedule for myself. I knew that I’d be putting out Yearly in February, but I decided that I should set a couple more dates for the year to keep myself motivated and producing with the end game in mind.

After some thought, I settled on June and October (dates not specified, of course), already having some idea of what would be going out when. I thought the time span was reasonable enough for me to finish what I wanted to publish while publishing often enough to attract potential readers while keeping others interested with the new content.

I have a great way of overestimating myself.

The good news is that, provided I can come up with covers, I will be publishing according to my little schedule. The sort-of-bad-but-not-really news is that I’m not publishing what I thought I’d be publishing.

In January, I thought it’s be The Timeless Man and probably Hatchets and Hearts, even though one wasn’t even written at the time. Now, in May it’ll be A Tale of Two Lady Killers and Spirited in Spite, though I haven’t made the final decision on what will be happening when.

Turns out that Hatchets and Hearts and The Timeless Man have ended up being a lot harder than I anticipated.  Surprise, surprise.

This is why I end up working on so many different projects in different phases. I may think I know what I’m doing, but in reality, I’m a moron in need of plans A-Z.

Thank goodness for my need to always be working on something.

Writing–May Projects

pinkflowerThe final polish of A Tale of Two Lady Killers is done. The contest essay is submitted. The slog to get projects completed continues.

Next up will be the final polish of Spirited in Spite.

And then I will be back to revising.

I probably should get back to The Timeless Man, but I haven’t quite worked out everything that needs to be fixed yet, so I don’t want to start it until I know the solutions to all of the problems. It can sit another month or so while I work the last few kinks out in my head.

Instead, I’m going to take another hack (pun intended!) at Hatchets and Hearts and maybe try to get in another round of revisions done on “She’s Not Here Anymore”. Of course, the latter will depend on how well the revisions of the former go. If they turn out to be a big struggle, then I’m not going to add to my pain. I anticipate the revisions on both of these projects, even though they’ve each been revised/rewritten before, to be rough.

But if by some miracle, they both end up being easier than I anticipated, there’s plenty of things left of my To Do List to fill my time.

Writing–April Projects

Yellow flowersRevising. That’s all I’m going to do in April. Just revising. My To Do list is filled with revising.

My essay for a contest is going to be revised and polished this month. The deadline is next month and it needs to be done and ready to go with time to spare. It has top priority.

Also getting revised this month is Spirited in Spite. I actually don’t think it needs much in the way of revisions, but I’m going to comb through it one more time just to be safe.

After that, anything is up for grabs. I’ve got one short story, one novel, and four novellas that need revisions. I guess whatever I feel like working on will get worked on.

It’s going to be a while before I write anything new, I think, which is fine. I’ve found it’s sort of hard for me to think about writing a first draft of a new project when I have all these other drafts of these other projects hanging out patiently on my list.

So starting now, my focus is totally on eliminating what I can from this To Do List. That means revising. Revising, revising, revising. Then polishing.

Now watch me get another brilliant idea that I can’t pass up and I end up writing that instead.

Writing–February Projects

purpleflowersHaving done a whole bunch of revisions, both hard and easy, this month I’m looking to write something new.

It’s time to get the new Ivy novella down on paper. That is for sure. I’ve got it all sketched out. Okay, I’ve got it as sketched out as I need it to be. Good enough, time to go.

I also got an idea for another, unrelated novella that has been rather persistent and so I think I’m going to explore it as well. I’ve sketched it a bit. I think I can write it. I think I’m going to.

And finally, I got slapped with a short story idea that won’t take me but a couple of days to write, so I think I’m going to do that as well. I’ve actually had the idea for a while, but I couldn’t figure out just how to work it until recently. Now that I know, I want to get a draft done.

So, I’m looking forward to a lot of writing this month.

But, since Spirited in Spite didn’t take that much work to revise, I started reading A Tale of Two Lady Killers in preparation to revise it to completion, too, and I’m realizing that it’s not going to need a whole lot of work either. So it’s entirely possible that I might do some of the nitpicky revisions on it this month, too.

Short month doesn’t meant I’m short on work.

Writing–Revising Spirited in Spite

Rainbow paperSo as I may have mentioned in my previous projects posts that one of my plans for the year was to revise Spirited in Spite to doneness and that I was going to start this month.

Here’s a little back story on Spirited in case I never mentioned it (which is entirely possible since I don’t talk about my projects with any sort of regularity):

It started out as one of my earliest NaNo losers under the title The Spinning Room.  I can’t remember exactly how the loss took place. I think I ended up not finishing it during the month, but getting it done sometime afterwards. The original idea was for something straight horror, but at some point during the first draft, I realized I couldn’t keep my face straight that long. I think that’s part of what made it so hard to write during NaNo; I was doing it wrong.

When I decided to revise it with a lighter tone, it went a lot easier. I put together a new draft and revised it once more at some point and then left it alone to do other things.

Apparently, I re-read it sometime last year, but I don’t remember doing that.

I started doing the revisions on the second. I was done within a week.  And that was going slow.

I had apparently done more revisions on this manuscript than I remembered doing. I certainly didn’t remember revising it down to novella length, but also didn’t remember revising the story to the point that it was so…finished. The revisions I ended up doing this round were of the nitpicky variety, partly because I was marveling at how little I had to do.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m done. There are minor things that I thought about changing, but didn’t change because I’m not sure about those changes yet. I’m going to let it all rest for a little while and come back to it again.

But I’m no longer thinking that it’s going to take me a better part of a year to get this manuscript done.

Looks like A Tale of Two Lady Killers is going to get its shot, too.

Writing–January Projects


Finally, we get around to my first projects post of the new year.

I’ve got most of the heavy lifting rewrites done on “She’s Not Here Anymore” and it’s officially a short story now. I’m going to let it rest for now. It could probably use another round of picky revisions, if not two. But not this month. It can wait.

This month I’m going to start on one of my big year goals and start revising Spirited in Spite, which I thought was still a novel-length manuscript, but it looks like the previous revisions I did cut it down to novella-length. Now I get to decide if I want to expand it back to being a novel or just go with novella, which is kind of becoming my thing. And so my big goal takes on a new dimension.

I think I’m also going to start sketching out the next Ivy Russell novella. I’ve already got the idea for it, but it’s gonna need a little work, some fleshing out and outlining. I may even start writing it if I’m feeling good about it. You never know.

I might also start doing some work on the Hatchets and Hearts novella if I’m feeling productive. It needs some hefty revisions and I’d probably be better off getting them out of the way as soon as possible.

I had an easy time of it in December. Time to get back to work.

Writing–Rereading the Written

English: Page of a manuscript written by Penns...

I’ve got several manuscripts that I’ve written that have been hanging out, waiting for me to get back to them. Some of them are just first drafts; others have had one or two rounds of heavy-lifting revision done to them. All of them were put to the side so I could focus on something else.

Since I didn’t have much going this month, I decided to read them all to see what I had and get reacquainted with them.

It was interesting to see where I was as a writer a few years ago. I can pretty much tell what was going on in my life just by reading the manuscript. It’s fascinating. Nobody else would be able to pick anything up, but I guess because I wrote it and lived it, I know exactly where I was.

Looking at the pieces in a more professional, critical light, I’m happy to say that all of them are workable to an extent. I could make them all into something that you wouldn’t gouge your eyes out while reading. Which is reassuring in a sense. There will always be work waiting for me because I’ve got four manuscripts in various states just waiting to be finished.

And it won’t be a waste to work on them since there’s something worth working on there.

I admit to liking some more than others. Spirited in Spite and A Tale of Two Lady Killers have gone through a couple of heavy-lifting revisions and their stories are pretty good. Fun, quick little things that won’t require too much more lifting to finish.

The untitled Ivy novel should probably be revised down to a novella because I padded that thing pretty hard. The other POVs can go (though I might save Leo’s and rewrite it as a short story). Sticking to solely Ivy and shortening it up will do the story wonders. I might also end up changing the location. We’ll see.

American Vampires, I don’t care for. It’s only a first draft, a NaNoWriMo draft at that, so it needs A LOT of work. And I know what I was trying to do with the original attempt at a story, but I missed the mark. Of all the pieces, I like this one least and it will take the most work. Somehow, though, I think it might be worth the effort. Eventually. I’m in no rush to get back to it.

When I’m done with The World (Saving) Series, it looks like I’m all set for the next revision project. I’ve got plenty to choose from.