Monday, October 7, 2013

Launch Day Times Two!

It's a landmark day here on the blog. I'm celebrating my first release in... a while. And it feels good. Like, a
perfect cup of coffee on a rainy day when you can watch the wave-tossed lake out your double bay windows while a perfect playlist entertains both you and your baby kind of good.

My Primetime anthology is live on all major venues. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple. And you can get it in either trade paperback or digital. Yes! I am in print! All you ebook haters, this one's for you! Best news of all? I have ARCs! Oh, and wait- the bestest news is that by purchasing this fabulous anthology, you are supporting no-kill shelters all across the country. So rush on over to your friendly neighborhood etailer and support a great cause. Me! And animals. Don't forget the animals. Of course, if you're interested in doing a review, drop me a line or leave a comment and I can hook you up that way, too. And check back tomorrow. I will be starting a Teaser Tuesday here on the blog, in anticipation of my many releases coming up between now and Spring. And hopefully beyond. Well, definitely beyond, but Spring 2014 is as far as I have firm dates and releases for.

(If you just came for the anthology, note that what follows is a looong post about my writer's group. had to do a combo post. It's that kind of day.)

So yeah. A good day. And a long post, because it's also the launch of ROW80, Round 4. This the third straight year of my participation in A Round of Words in 80 Days, founded by the lovely and ambitious Kait Nolan. You can read more about the challenge here. Basically, I state goals and then blog about them on Sundays and Wednesdays. This keeps me accountable, and I have that bi-weekly reality check of, "Oh hells, I have to post soon... better get some stuff done." In the past, my goals have been  very specific, sometimes painfully so, like "Write 5,000 words a week," "Write 500 words a day," and "Write two chapters per week." Last round, I tried the backwards approach, for reasons ranging from being in a slump to having a baby, with the attendant whirlwind of crazy. What is the backwards way, you say? So glad you asked. It starts with the over-arching goals and works down from there, taking stock of what I actually get done and building on that. It worked, I think, because my life is crazy and it's the most flexible way I can think of to work. More like an anti-plan.

So this round, I am starting with two tiers: Committed Goals and Stretch Goals. Committed Goals are firm, must-do's, like the books I already have contracts for. Stretch Goals are kind of bonuses- things I want, maybe even need, to get accomplished, but my neck's not on the line for them. Yet. Many of them will bleed over into Round 1 2014. Then I will make note of the steps I took to reach those two tiers, and try to repeat what worked and ditch what didn't.

Committed Goals for Round Four:
1. Finish all writing, rewriting, and editing needed for my Nov. 11th launch of the Angel's Edge trilogy.
2. Write the first three chapters of my Asheroth novella. Polish and spit shine those babies. Make sure Chapter One is ready and willing to go into the Nov. 11th launch as back matter. At the very least, outline the rest of the book, and let it percolate until I can get back to it.
3. Write, rewrite, and edit Daughter of Glass for its as-yet-to-be-determined launch. Probably late winter. This is much more significant task; I have to add several thousand words, which will involve adding such things as subplots and maybe even extra characters.
4. Get back on a sane schedule. This has been sooo difficult, because there's this tiny human who depends on me for literally everything. And I love it, don't get me wrong. But lately her sleeping schedule has been hideous. I've been going to bed anywhere from 3 am to 5 or 6, and not waking up until just before the kids are slated to get home from school. 3 pm or so. This has made anything resembling a normal life impossible, and I feel all fuzzy and worthless most of the time. So my new goal is micro: Do not go back to sleep as soon as the kids leave for school. Instead, stay up and write. Something. Anything. Even it's one single stinking word. And then, if it's been a truly awful night, I can pass back out and pick back up at midnight or whatever godawful hour. But I must write that one morning word, edit that one line, or whatever. Hopefully this will morph into normal human hours for both me and Boo, but even if it doesn't, at least I'll be making the effort.

Stretch Goals:
1. Consolidate the first two Chronicles novellas into one long actual novel.
2. Work on the second and third Chronicles books, which are kind of a mess right now. They're in pieces, and will need to be loved on and supported. At the least, I need to lay down a more coherent structure, and plug in the parts I already have. I suspect the bulk of the writing for these will bleed into Round 1 of next year, but a girl can dream, right?
3. Write a short for an anthology. I have one in mind, but a couple more opportunities have come to my attention, and I may switch to another anthology or publisher. I'm not much of a short story writer, but I'm finding that these anthos are a great way to try out new writing styles, meet new authors, and network. We shall see.
4. Work on my new dark contemporary series. I have had a really exciting epiphanygasm about both a stand-alone darkish romance set in the 90s, and a series of contemporary romances tackling some of the problems plaguing us today. I will have to come up with code names for these as-yet-to-be-named books. (Claire LeGrand turned me on to code names. But not unicorns, although she's tried. Hard.)
5. Work on the Asheroth novella.

Okay, so that's a lot. And I can hear Kait in my head: "Measurable goals, dumb ass. That's how this works." Well, she wouldn't call me a dumb ass. That's purely me. And yes, I expect many of the stretch goals to stretch into 2014. (Ha!) But it never hurts to keep the eyes on the prize. And as for the day-to-day how to get there part, what's worked so far has just been: write. A couple of hours a day, when I can do it alone or with a chillaxed Boo. It takes me longer if the house is busy and/or Boo is fussy, because then I usually have to hold her on my lap and type one-handed. That can take four to six hours of stops and starts. Or even know I'll have to skip days here and there, sometimes in clusters, but I have so far managed to make them up, so far by working late and/or on weekends.

The good news? I am on my way! I did not go back to sleep after the kids left for school, but got some rewrites in and wrote this blog. So that's a good start. And hey- it's release day! Win win all around. Thanks for stopping by, whether you came for the anthology or The Row. Teaser Tuesday tomorrow!

9 comments:

  1. I always have HUGE goals, too. It's all these stories knocking around my noggin, I tell you.

    As a mom familiar with the baby/writing juggle, I'd say the key is self forgiveness. If you don't write one day, don't waste time with stress over it. Just write the next day. Remember the reason you're in this is for the love of it, and a mom can't help when baby needs a little extra. Not to mention they're tiny for such a short time…enjoy!

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  2. We need some kind of subgroup. Row80 moms, or something! As for huge goals... it's so exciting when they're all shiny and new. Hard to resist, at least in the beginning. :)

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  3. I commend you! This is huge, but I'm sure you'll deal. :) Congrats on the publication... yeah! X

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  4. Thanks, Shah! From the sanity of one day later, yeah, it looks kind of huge. Didn't seem that way when I was making the list. I'll be happy if I can knock out all the "musts," though. We'll see about the "wants!"

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  5. First congrats on your anthology. I love that you have two sets of goals. Wishing you all the best this round, and there will be a lot of us excited to share your 11/11 news.

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    1. Tia, thanks so much! I'm excited too- it seems like all 3 years I've been doing ROW80 has been leading up to this...

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