Future Publishing Plans

So I’ve been participating in a group activity with my writing group called 12 Stories in 12 Months. I should say I’m both participating in and running it. It’s ambitious and we’ve already had a couple of people dropout, but I have a good feeling about it.

With that being said, although I’ve completed three stories so far this year… they haven’t been stories that will advance my publishing goals. I would really like to have something published this year and with that in mind, I am devoting the next six months to the Leave series. I have six stories that need to be written to finish out the series and then they all (both finished and unfinished) need to be edited.

Now I’m sure some of you are wondering what the Leave series is. A long time ago (back in 2003), I was in grad school (the first time) and poor and couldn’t afford a birthday present for my sister after I paid my bills. So I wrote her a story. Which she loved. And then she asked for another. And another. And that one story morphed into an interconnected universe of eleven stories.

Now six of them aren’t finished (and one is only an outline) so I have a lot to do.

To keep myself honest and on track, I have plans to not only work on one a month for my story of the month, but post teasers, progress meters, and information here. My goal is to preview the cover by November and publish it in time for Christmas.

Since I am in the process of possibly changing some characters’ names, I’m not going to tease with anything other than the order of the stories and their current progress.

1. In progress
2. Editing
3. Editing
4. In progress
5. In progress
6. Editing
7. Editing
8. In progress
9. Editing
10. In progress
11. Outline

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Bits and Pieces

Wow, I haven’t been very good at keeping up with blogging here. Sorry about that, y’all.

Work has been crazy, but that’s my job. I work with kids and work will always be crazy. But we’re headed into testing so it’s all over except the shouting. I just checked my calendar and I have thirty-nine days of work left in this school year. That’s both exhilarating and terrifying.

Writing-wise, I’m working on finding time to write with other things going on. I started and joined a group on my writing site called 12 Stories in 12 Months. The object is to write a short story (of 1500 words or more) each month for the year. Although I’ve completed a story each month, I haven’t written one for publication. (I’ve been working on fanfic.) So I’m going to focus on my Leave series that I started for my sister many years ago (wow, 2003!) and hopefully finish the last six stories over the next six months. My goal is to have them published by the end of the year. We’ll see what happens though.

I’ve borrowed the book The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth from my library to work on my writing skills. Although I’m not really sure what it’s going to do for me. I haven’t started reading it yet, but I’ve skimmed it a couple of times. And in fiction, I’m reading Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle about Henry the VIII’s final wife.

I’ve also subscribed to The Writing Pal and although I haven’t done much with the site yet, I have created my own Writer’s Notebook. Although it seemed like the suggestion was to use a regular notebook, I bought a small three-ring binder and designed it with tabs. I took the suggestions that the Writing Pal gave and made my own. I’ve added things to the binder already and am prepared to use it this month for my writing needs. I’m excited about it. (I’ve included pictures with some explanations.)

The cover (I still need to design something to go here but it works as plain for now):

List of Books I’m planning to read:

Ideas (a place to store ideas I come up with; titles, stories, 1st sentences, etc):

Character ideas (names and sketches):

Specifically Plots and Story Ideas:

Settings (descriptions, ideas, etc):

Prompts (all my prompts!):

Free Write (for when I just need to get ideas out):

Writing Lists (all my story ideas and my planned writing assignments):

I need to decide if I’m going to use my “Free Write” section for my regular writing or if I’m going to make a final section to use for “Daily Writing”.

So that’s it… my bits and pieces for now. Hopefully I’ll have an update on Leave soon.

*Gasp*

I was interviewed! By a fellow writer… hop on over to her blog and check it out! She’s been interviewing authors all month! You can learn a bit more about me… and some other authors. And hey, check out her blog while you’re there.

My Interview by Elle

In other news, I’ll be in and out… our internet is not playing nicely and I can’t seem to get online much. Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon!

And don’t forget you have just a few more days (until July 31) to grab my book for FREE!

Fantastic Book!

I love reading ARCs. I love that glimpse before anyone else gets a chance to read the book. And normally it’s a good book and I get a nice little story and I leave a fun review. But then Jasmine Walt posted in her fangroup that she wanted readers for her new novella, Forsaken by Magic.

The prequel to her upcoming book, Fugitive by Magic, Forsaken lays the background of Polar ar’Tollis, who the readers of the Baine Chronicles know better as Fenris.

The book jumps right into the action with the reader joining Polar in his office as Head Mage as he attempts to finish paperwork and is accosted by Gelisia Dorax, his minister of finance. The reader is informed about their background, but Polar isn’t too sure he wants to continue their relationship. He moves onto dinner with his parents and then the action really picks up.

I don’t want to give away the entire storyline here, but most of the time an author’s work declines a bit as a series continues. This hasn’t happened with Ms. Walt. Each book by her has gotten more exciting and raised more questions so readers eagerly await the next book.

I opened Forsaken intending to read a couple of pages before bed… that didn’t happen. I was immediately sucked into Polar’s world and needed to know what happened next. I read the entire thing in one night!

For all the readers who want to know how Polar became Fenris and became Iannis’s advisor; this fills in a lot of the questions. For someone who is just stepping into the world of Nebara, it’s a great introduction.

My advice? Buy Forsaken by Magic. Preorder Fugitive by Magic, then go back and start at the beginning of the Baine Chronicles with Burned by Magic. You won’t regret it.

Free!

So I’ve been meaning all month to get this up, but it’s been a month. I’m not going to get into it now, but maybe I’ll come back later and blog all about it (although I don’t normally talk about super personal things on here).

Meanwhile, what I want to share is that my book, When the Prince didn’t Come in Time is FREE on smashwords until the end of the month! Follow the link and snag your copy today! Use the code SW100at checkout to get it free.

And when you’re done reading, hop on over to goodreads and leave a review, please!

Thanks!

Wonderful First Collaboration

Lara Croft meets Highlander meets Indiana Jones… sounds like a bad bar meet up. Or the beginning of a bad joke. But in reality its one way to describe the main character of the new novel collaboration from Jasmine Walt and Ines Johnson.

Dragon Bones is the first Nia Rivers Adventure novel (with the next one following in mid-July).

Nia is an adventurer who travels around truthing archeological sites. But there’s a catch. She’s looking for her own origins. Still let’s not give too much away in this review though.

Instead… let’s talk about the non-stop action and wonderful writing. From the moment you open this book, Ms. Walt and Ms. Johnson plunge you into the thick of the story. It doesn’t let up through the first few chapters and only slows down a bit so that the reader (and Nia) can take a bit of a breath before diving right back into the action.

And then there’s the writing. Each character is well-rounded, even the minor characters getting their own chance to shine, while the major ones feel like old friends by the end of the book. Nia is quirky and adventurous, with her own little foibles that make her even more believable. Meanwhile Loren is wonderfully sarcastic and persuasive; persistent in a way that in any other situation could seem manipulative. Nia’s two suitors, Tres and Zane, have their own secrets. And Nia doesn’t know why she remembers one and not the other.

In short, if you like adventure, mystery, and just a touch of magic… pick up this book. And as a bonus… it’s on sale right now!

Just added, for the next few days, Ms. Walt is giving away a few copies of Dragon Bones! Click over to Amazon and see if you can win a copy!

Gripping Read

A very good friend recommended I read When by Victoria Laurie when she had to read it for work. Kate works for Scholastic and she had to read it for a book talk she did. Most of the books she reads for work, I’m like, nope too young for me, but something about this book drew me in.

Maddie Flynn has a unique ability, she sees things. (And now my brain is going “She sees dead people”.) She sees numbers on the foreheads of everyone she meets (and even on their pictures.) These numbers are their death date. The book follows Maddie as she deals with a mystery (disappearing children) and suspicion that falls on her and her best friend “Stubby”.

Victoria Laurie weaves a believable world that is inhabited mostly by teenagers. Maddie is a wonderful storyteller who shows the reader the way through her life. She seems a reliable narrator, although you are stymied by the fact that you don’t know any more than she does.

This is not a happy story, as evidenced by Maddie’s ability, and the mystery. Most of the truly awful parts of the mystery are shown only through Maddie’s eyes, but you also see the effects of her mother’s drinking though Maddie’s eyes and how teenagers react to bullying and even how teachers react to a student who is very different. I found this difficult to read as a teacher myself.

Overall, despite the ending bringing me to tears, I really enjoyed this book. And I highly recommend it!

Writing Anniversaries

I was talking with a friend (We’ll call her B for sake of… well everything) about anniversaries recently. Writing anniversaries to be specific. She had a semi-important one coming up (her one year anniversary in a specific fandom) and was working on hitting a milestone number of stories written and posted in that fandom in time for it.

I commented that I didn’t think I’d ever marked my writing anniversary like she and another friend tend to. In fact, off the top of my head I couldn’t even remember when any of my writing anniversaries are. The more I thought about it though, the more I wondered when my writing anniversary (anniversaries) are.

The date I joined my writing group is easily discoverable and actually I do sort of celebrate that every year, although the group calls it a “birthday”. I simply needed to log into my account and access my information. I’ve been a proud member of my writing group since May 28, 2003.

My other two anniversaries are a little more difficult to discover. Not because I’m trying to hide them, but because the information isn’t online. One part was never online and the other has been removed for the time being.

So my next step was to discover my fanfic anniversary—the day I published my first fandom story. That took a little hunting through jump drives since I’m in the process of changing computers and moving my stories between sites. The first day I published a fanfic story was August 6, 2007.

There was one more anniversary I was interested in finding. The day I started writing my very first novel. While that novel will never see the light of day, that day is very important to me. Luckily the actual day was not just the day I started my novel, but also the first day of Operation Desert Storm: January 17, 1991. Now this isn’t the day I started writing, just the day I started my first novel.

So how about you? Do you celebrate writing anniversaries? Do you do anything special? I don’t normally, but I’m considering doing something this year. I’ll be hitting my 14, 10, and 26 year anniversaries this year. So at least one milestone this year!