Multi-passionate writer, author and solo-preneur

Month: October 2013

NaNoWriMo Prep and a Cover Reveal

shiny_web_copyI managed to accomplished two (TWO!) writing/publishing-related things last weekend: I broke through my block and figured out the main plot arc of the next book in the Damned series (and also what book three is about, and that it’s up to four books now instead of being a trilogy); and I came up with a cover for Shiny, my steampunk cyborg fairy story (previewed here), that I’m (mostly) happy with. This is probably not the final final version (I’m not 100% sold on the main font, thanks to the “y” looking too much like a “g”), but it’s close. At any rate, I’m aiming to have it ready for release in December, after Nano is out of the way.

Speaking of Nanowrimo, I had originally planned to do a series of posts throughout this month covering the whys and hows and wherefores of participation in the month-long writing marathon, but I’ve been too preoccupied and overwhelmed with getting my web design and marketing business back off the ground and, frankly, I just don’t have a lot of steam left. What little steam I do have, I should probably save for writing my novel.

The short version is, for those who still question the sanity of Nanowrimo and whether or not they should give it a try, is that I recommend doing it at least once, if you have any book-length writing ambition whatsoever. The primary reason I recommend it is because it’s basically boot camp for learning how to keep a deadline. It forces you to learn how to make yourself write when you just have a few free minutes here and there. If you’re someone who thinks you can’t possibly write unless you have a big, solid block of uninterrupted time to “get your head in the zone” and “find your inspiration,” much like I used to be, this is a valuable and necessary lesson to learn.

2013-Participant-Vertical-BannerAs for me, I still need to relearn that lesson from time to time, which is why this is going to be my seventh year (it would have been my 8th, but I took last year off). After so many attempts–some of which were successful, some of which gave me books that were eventually good enough to publish, some of which produced manuscripts that are best left forgotten at the back of my hard drive–I’ve also figured out that the way Nano works best for me is to use it to write a discovery draft, a “draft zero” that’s somewhere between an expanded outline and a full-blown manuscript. That’s why I’m not going in with a detailed outline. As mentioned above, I do have the main arc worked out, so I’ll know what direction I need to move in, but I’ll basically be pantsing it and figuring out the details as I go.

I am a little doubtful of my chances for success this year, because as I said, I’m not running on a full tank of gas and my day job is still pretty busy. But being that it’s a sequel, I already know the characters, so I don’t have to spend time figuring them out and trying to find their voices. That should help things flow more smoothly. At any rate, I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself to “win.” As long as I get a good start on my next novel, regardless of whether I reach 50,000 words, I’m going to consider it time and effort well spent. And I’ll probably be working on this manuscript for the next six to 12 months, regardless of how far I get in November.

At any rate, it’s only two days away! Which means that Halloween is tomorrow! Which means that my big Halloween book sale is about to draw to a close! Which means you should totally go snag all of my books for 99 cents each before the price goes back up at the close of October 31st (or when I remember to go raise the prices back up on Friday)! So go now!

Coming Soon!

Welcome readers of Preppergirl.com and Daydream Believer! This will be the merging of those two blogs, and should be up and running soon. Subscribe to the feed and make sure you don’t miss the launch!

Free Flash Fic: Blood

So, I had all these posts planned for October, mostly revving up for Nanowrimo and explaining why you should do it and how to go about it, but work day-job need money to live blah blah blah busycakes. So have a free flash fic.

PS: My books are still on sale!

 

BLOOD

 

I was a boy when the monster killed my parents. Of course nobody believed me. It was put down to a bear attack. But I know what I saw. I watched from under the bed as it fed on them. And when it was done, it sniffed me out, lifted the bed off me like it was made of cardboard. It bent down and put its big ugly face in mine, its breath fetid with the stink of their blood, and stared at me with nightmare eyes that I still see every time I sleep.

Then it left.

I don’t know why it spared me. I don’t care. It orphaned me. I’m going to make it wish it had killed me.

My entire life prepared me for this. Learning about it, studying the lore. I found others who had seen it, who had been victimized by it. I found those who knew how to track it, and how to kill it. They taught me, and when I was ready, I hunted it.

I found others of its kind, and killed them. It took a silver-tipped sword, forged by monks and tempered with holy water. Beheading worked. So did stabbing through the heart, but the heart was hard to locate, so I generally stuck with beheading. I’ve taken out five of them since I started hunting. But none were the one I wanted.

That one is here before me now. I tracked it to a back alley in Tulsa of all places. I know it by its eyes. It’s looking at me, and I see recognition. And regret.

Good.

I draw my sword. It swipes at me. I dodge, but not fast enough. Its claw grazes my arm. Not deep, but it tears through my coat and makes me bleed.

We dance like that for several minutes. Time slows, and it feels like hours. Then my sword finds its home, slices clean. The head falls, and just like that, my life’s work is done. My parents are avenged.

I hear a wild howl, and I turn. My monster had a mate, and she charges me. I raise my sword. She runs onto it. Miraculously, it finds the heart. She falls.

I pull out my blade and wipe it on her fur. I hear another wail, this one small and pitiful. It’s coming from a Dumpster.

Inside I find another one. Just a pup. An orphan now, like me. If I spare it, it’ll only grow up to be a killer. And it’ll want vengeance. Also like me.

I won’t make that mistake.

I raise my sword, but as I look in its eyes, I see only myself.

It trembles as I wrap it in my coat and tuck it under my arm. As I carry it to my car, I wonder first how it will ever forgive me. Then I wonder how on earth I’ll feed it.

We’ll figure it out, together. We’re family now, bound by our parents’ blood.

###

Like this story? Get more like it on Patreon!

Become my patron on Patreon

Halloween Book Sale!

Jean Marie Bauhaus Halloween book saleWe’re already halfway done with October and I’m just now finding time to tell my readers about my annual month-long Halloween book sale. That… is not an effective way to sell books.

At any rate, all of my e-books are only 99 cents all month long, everywhere that they’re sold. They’re also marked down on all of the international Amazon sites, so whatever the equivalent of 99 cents is in pounds or Euros or Canadian dollars or whatever… that’s what the price will be through Halloween.

Paperbacks are also marked down considerably.

All of my books so far have a paranormal/horror bent, so they’re perfect reading for the spooky season.

Get ‘em here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Createspace

Kerplooie

That’s the sound I imagine my blog making on Friday when it imploded and all of the content disappeared. Although I suppose “kerplooie’ is more of an explosion than an implosion. At any rate, that happened.

The best part is that the site went down RIGHT after I sent out several freelance job applications with links to the freelance writing CV I’d spent two hours putting together on Thursday. For several hours after that, this blog, and every other WordPress site on our account, including our business blog and both of Matt’s websites, became completely inaccessible. When they finally came back up, all the other sites were fine, but this here blog?

Kerplooie.

No, wait: the ACTUAL best part was when I asked my web host’s tech support for help restoring the content, and they waited until the next day to respond, and their response was to tell me, basically, to buy their backup and restore tool and fix it myself. Funnily enough, after openly ranting at them about it on Twitter, suddenly they were able to get it restored post-haste. Never underestimate the power of airing your customer service grievances on Twitter. The name of my web host, by the by, is iPage, who offers dirt-cheap hosting, and let this be a lesson to all that with web hosting it’s especially true that you get what you pay for.

Okay, no, hold up. The really, REALLY best part is that, after all of that, the page with the freelance writing CV — you know, the one I’d spent two hours putting together the night before, the link to which I sent out to several job prospects on Friday right before the crash, and also the one of which I foolishly failed to make a backup copy — was not included in the site restore. So I’m going to have to track down all of those writing sample links and compile the whole thing all over again.

At any rate, I’m just grateful the site is finally back up and that I don’t have to restore everything myself. I’m also grateful that that would have been a possibility, and the one silver lining I kept clinging to was that if one of our sites had to get wiped, at least it was mine, since I mirror all of the posts to my Livejournal. Would restoring all of the content from LJ have been a pain? Yes. But at least it would have been doable, which is more than I could say for any of our other sites.

Oh, and here’s another lesson we can all learn from this: back up your websites and your WordPress databases regularly, folks. Don’t leave it up to your web host.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén