A nice break…

I read.  I read real books.  I read several real books.

And then I got slammed with a migraine Tuesday night.  It got steadily worse, and peaked Wednesday evening, then faded all day yesterday.  It was gone when I woke up this morning.

My desk faces out of a huge picture window, looking north.  Yes, it was cloudy for almost all of this week, but it was still too bright.  I spent the last couple days in my recliner across the room, far away from direct light. Indirect was okay–direct was not.

Today is a lot better, and I’m back at my desk.  Ready to work. I’m even mostly caught up on the housework I fell behind on.

It’s time for me to get back to work.

Next week, I’m going to edit/revise/add to Bite Sized.  I’m hoping to have it ready for beta readers soon.

Next part of the project: come up with a cover.  I’ve discovered that I’m good at making art with words.  Not so good trying to make art with other media.

Gonna go get my book.

I finished the first draft of Bite Sized, last night.  And last night, I emptied and cleaned one of my absolute favorite fountain pens, and re-filled it with a water-proof purple ink my husband got me for my birthday (Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa).  Waterproof, because I have cats that like to knock over my water bottle, and splatter my draft book.  I’d had a waterproof black, but black is boring.  😉

I’m going to take today and tomorrow off from writing (and being chained to my laptop), and go pick up a real, honest-to-God paper and ink book that smells like a book, and feels like a book.  And I’m going to read as much as I can while the kids are still at school for the next two days.

It’s an unaccountable relief to finish a first draft.  And I’ll be working on revising it starting likely on Wednesday or Thursday, so that I can get that out on the schedule I set for myself.


I’m just about to go get a second cup of coffee, so I’m not ready to keep writing, yet.  I got Survivors set up to link the paper edition to the Kindle edition, and then set it for the MatchBook that Amazon has set up.  As of now, if you order one of my books–any of them–in paper copy, you get the Kindle version for free.

I’ve managed a REALLY good week of writing in spite of it being Spring Break with cranky, bickering kids stuck inside half the time because of cruddy weather.  Five thousand words last Sunday, and 2,000 words every day since.  I think I’m within spitting distance of the end of the book.  I may manage to finish the first draft on Wednesday.  Definitely by the end of next week.  I’ve got two sets of rewards in mind for hitting the the goals: if I can hit Wednesday’s, I’ll empty one of my favorite fountain pens and re-ink it with the purple iron gall ink I got for my birthday (I NEED the waterproof ink for my draft books, because I have cats); if it doesn’t happen until the end of the week, I’ll still celebrate by taking a day off and reading a book.  A REAL book.  One that smells of paper and binding and ink.

Hell, if I manage to finish Wednesday, I’ll do both.

In any case, when I finish, it’s getting set aside for a few days.  I’ll be starting my next project during that time–probably planning, and looking for the right music for it.  I likely won’t start writing on it until after I’m done with the first edit of Bite Size, and it’s off to my beta readers.


Counting down…

This week is Spring Break.  I haven’t fallen further behind, but I haven’t caught up any more than I managed Sunday.  It’s really not easy to work with the kids under my elbows.  Kathryn wants to “clean up” and “sweep the floors” but takes close supervision to not make a bigger mess and/or lose the things she’s “putting away.”

And Daniel wants to draw, color, make paper airplanes, and in general carpet the family room with loose papers that get scrunched and wadded up from getting walked on, then wail about his “beautiful artwork” that littered the floor.  (And no, it’s not beautiful.)

The TV is nearly constantly on, too.  And they’re fighting over what to watch.

It’s Wednesday, though.  I’ve got two more days before the weekend, then two more before I can send them back to school for another eight weeks.

That said, I did manage to add 9,000 words to Bite Sized since Sunday.  I’m hopeful I can actually finish a first draft before the end of the month.  It’s currently 34K words (just checked), and I’ve got probably another 10-15K words before I hit the actual solution of the problem the characters are working.  And probably another 5-10K of resolution and setting up for the next one.

And then I’ll set it aside for a week or so before I dig into revision and developing some of the bits I’ve left as little more than framing and scaffolding.

(I may start typing up the next Modern Gods at this point–Hades is starting to pester me a bit, and I’ve got bits and pieces written out long hand in a draft book.  I also need to start figuring out a cover for the one I’m currently working on.)

Amazon’s quicker during the week. ;)

Last night, since I had a few minutes free and I’d finished a chapter for Bite Sized, I contacted Amazon to link my paperback copy and ebook copy of SurvivorsUnlike my experience with Normalcy Bias, where they had it done in minutes, it took overnight for it to get done.

I am still working on Bite Sized...but it’s been slower going than I like, mostly because of ten days of brain fog and headache.  And joint ache.  I’ve got not quite 7K words done in 10 days.  NOT enough.  I needed to have gotten at least 13K words farther.

I’m going to try to catch up to my goal for the point in the month we’re at.  It’s not going to be easy, but I think I can do it.  We’re headed into Spring Break, so I’m going to have to work with interruptions.  I’m going to try to hit the 48K word mark by the end of next weekend.

I don’t know how, but if I manage to catch up and finish the first draft of this before the end of the month, I am going to have to figure out some way to reward myself.  Maybe by picking up a novel and reading all day while the kids are at school instead of moving on to the next project.

Linked copy

It took a while.  I gave Amazon two weeks, but finally went ahead and contacted their help department.

The two editions of Normalcy Bias hadn’t been linked.  Now, they are.  It happened really quickly after I’d contacted them, so absolutely zero complaints there.  I don’t know what had happened to start with, but they were really fast fixing it.

Should you choose to order a paperback copy of it, you can get the Kindle version for free.  Yes, I get less money that way–I get less of a cut of the paperback price than I do of the Kindle price, and the starting amount that I get a cut of is significantly lower–but I don’t see it as fair to double charge if you want a copy of both.

I’ll try to get Survivors linked next week.  Right now, I’m busy with Bite Sized, and trying to fight off a headache.

Life with cats

Last week wasn’t a good one for writing.  It wasn’t a good one for much, honestly.

I was hoping for better this morning, and did better (finished a chapter).  And then.


So, as background, I have two cats.  They share two cat brains between them, but nowhere near equally.  Cricket, my black and white kitty, is so very, very sweet, and dumb as a box of rocks.  She seriously reminds me of the rooster on Moana, where brainpower is concerned.

Shadow, on the other hand…Shadow has  all of her smarts, plus 2/3 of Cricket’s.  And last week, she discovered she likes butter.  I’d needed to wash my butter keeper, so I set half a stick out for use on a small plate while it was in the dishwasher.  And I forgot to put it in the fridge overnight.  I found lick marks in the exposed end and side in the morning, and sort of watched it.  I finally caught the kitty in it just after I got the kids home (she waited ’til I went to go get them before she got on the table).

Yes, I threw it away.  I just wanted to figure out which kitty was after it, so that I’d know how much trouble I’d have trying to keep them out of the butter in the future.  Unfortunately, that answer is “the smart one, so lots.”

Anyway, back to today.  I was writing, finishing up a chapter, just about to start the next one…then…

There was a suspicious noise in the kitchen.

I went to investigate, and caught Shadow jumping down off the counter…where my heavy, glass butter keeper resides.

Yes, it still survives.  It survived a kitty “fuck that thing” attack, because there were too many other things between it and the edge of the counter.  Like a cherry delight that I made last night in lieu of a birthday cake for myself, and which I’d be really unhappy to be cleaning off the floor.

The butter keeper is no longer on the counter; instead, it’s on a silicon baking mat thing I use as a large trivet on the middle of my husband’s grandmother’s dining table.  I think I need to look for a Tupperware butter keeper, that will neither break nor pop open when the kitty decides to play “fuck that thing” to try to get at the butter.

And I am going to have to go curl up with a pen and notebook to try to get back into the story, because that little interruption?  Knocked it right out of me.

Uh oh.

Okay, vampire story is moving along.

I think it’s going to be a series.  No telling how many books.  Series is The Liquid Diet Chronicles, this book is Bite Sized.

My character, Meg, knows nothing about being a vampire that she didn’t learn the hard way: anything with calories (other than blood) makes her violently ill…which she learned the hard way.  She doesn’t have to kill (and won’t unless she’s attacked, or defending someone else from an attacker).  She does investments from her home office for…individuals who prefer anonymity.

Her story about waking up dead is in Normalcy Bias.  That story’s title is “Good Evening…This Is Your Wake Up Call.”

I’m having a lot of fun with all the snark, but it’s taking a really nasty, dark turn I wasn’t really expecting.  Like serial killer dark.  I don’t know exactly how I was expecting this to develop, but I really wasn’t expecting it to go this dark this fast.

I was, however, expecting the normal human sidekick.  And her FBI agent fuck-buddy.

I do know the major events and approximately how they’re going to happen, but a lot of little details are catching me by surprise.

This one is fun.  Even if I wound up cutting over 2000 words, writing 3000 more, then cutting another 3000 and writing 5000.  So far, I’ve managed to get it back up to 18K words, and it’s not done for the day.  And I’m less than a third of the way done with the first draft.



It’s live.

Normalcy Bias is up.  Amazon hasn’t linked the hard copy and Kindle copy, yet, but it’s live and available for order.

Once the two are linked, if you buy the paperback, you get the Kindle version for free.

If you don’t want to buy it, and you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free (please leave me a review).