Revolution: Dominion of the Damned by Jean Marie Bauhaus

October Surprise

I have to admit, I had some doubts we’d get this far into the year, but we made it to October, y’all. And there was much rejoicing.

And much pumpkin-flavored confection consuming. This morning, to celebrate, I had Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice coffee in my Boo mug, and my husband broke into the Halloween candy and we both enjoyed a Reese’s pumpkin.

The “surprise” is that I’m bringing back the blog. I said in the final issue of my weekly newsletter that I probably would eventually, so it’s not really that much of a surprise. But here we are. We’re going to keep it casual, not sticking to a schedule, posting when I’m inspired and/or have time. History has borne out that this won’t work any other way. So be sure to subscribe if you actually enjoy my occasional ramblings.

So what’s up? For starters, yesterday I put the finishing touches on Revolution Part One: Survival of the Fittest and uploaded it to KDP, so it’s all set to release on October 11 as promised. There’s still time to pre-order it for 99 cents — and if you already pre-ordered it at a higher price, don’t worry. You’ll be charged the lower price when the book ships to your Kindle.

The onset of fall has brought with it two developments that are highly conducive to getting writing done: one, the end of my better half and I having to mow and weed-eat this property like it’s our part-time job (which, it kind of is), and two, the return of my creative energy. So now I’m back in WRITE ALL THE THINGS! mode and the challenge is to not take on too many projects at once and spread myself too thin.

I’ve started another blog to promote my freelance pet writing (and also to hopefully serve as a source of passive affiliate income), but I have no plans of treating that like a job. It’s primary goal is to GET me jobs, not BE my job.

I’ve also started another secret side project that I’m having a lot of fun with and that is restoring the joy of writing. My main priority now that Rev. Part 1 is off my plate is to finish and publish Rev. Part 2 as soon as possible, but here’s the thing: I’ve realized that, in our current national and global predicament, the last thing I want to do is spend my time mucking about in a post-apocalyptic landscape. This side project is turning out to be just the antidote for that. It’s lighthearted and wholesome and fun, and my plan is to reward myself by spending time on that after I’ve put in my word quota on Rev 2 for the day.

I’m sorry, I know I’m kind of a jerk for being cagey about this other project, but I have good reasons. All I’ll say is that if sweet romance is your jam, leave a comment or drop me a line and I’ll add you to a list of people I’ll reveal this project to once it’s further along in development. But ONLY if you actually read sweet romance. The reason I’m being secretive is because I plan to keep a HARD line of separation between these brands so as not to confuse the Amazon algorithms.

Relatedly, watch this space for a future post about how rushing in to support the authors in your life by buying their books even if you don’t normally read those genres can actually do more harm than good (and don’t feel bad if this is you — this is something I’ve only recently discovered myself). And I’m not even sure if this is true about all booksellers, but it definitely applies to Amazon.

In other news, our Chihuahua, Pete, is hanging in there. We started him on a new drug that’s keeping him stable, for the most part. He’s definitely slowing down, but he’s still got some pep and plenty of zest for life. Hopefully he’ll stay that way for a good long while yet.

Now that you’ve been sufficiently updated on my writing life, I’m going to sign off and get to work on those novel projects. Hopefully it’s as beautiful outside today wherever you are as it is here, and hopefully, both you and I will get some time to get out and enjoy it.

Happy October!!!

Quick update…

…to say that there will be no more updates until my WIP is finished. Which, Lord willing, will be later this week. The next time you see a post here from me, it will be to announce that Bound Spirits is finished.

Four more scenes to go. Wish me luck.

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Writing Update and Newsish Bits

I let an entire week go by without an update, but I still don’t have any word metrics to share. It’s been a few days since I’ve written — I needed the weekend to rest, and with a lighter-than-usual freelance workload this week so far I’ve been taking advantage of that and the gorgeous weather (finally! It had been rainy/cloudy for almost a solid week and it was seriously triggering my SAD) to catch up on some housework. Also, recovering from the clock change, in which I’m sure I’m not alone. Stupid DST is stupid and disruptive.

But I’ve got a few bits of minor news/administrativa to share:

  • There are currently six chapters of my WIP available to read on Patreon.com. Chapter 7 will join them tomorrow. I’m thinking about changing the $1 option to only being able to read a month’s worth of posts at a time and adding a $2 option for complete access to the archives. So if you want to be able to read it all from the beginning for only $1/month, you should probably hurry up and get on that. And if you think limiting the $1 option is a terrible idea, now is your chance to lodge a protest.
  • The second issue of my monthly author newsletter went out last week. If you missed it you can read it here (you can also click here to subscribe so you don’t miss another issue).
  • I started a Facebook group to serve as a hangout space for fans of my books. Come check it out and don’t be shy!
  • Not actually news (yet) but I’m giving serious consideration to deleting my Twitter account. The why involves a long rant about everything that’s wrong with Twitter and how it’s a microcosm of everything that’s wrong with the world and I’m sure you already know if you spend any time on Twitter at all. At any rate, if you’re one of the teeny tiny handful of people who are used to chatting with me on Twitter, if you’re also on Facebook, you should consider joining the above group, where it’ll be a lot easier to chat me up.
  • I’m also looking into alternatives — I already have an Ello profile, but I haven’t done anything with it in a very long time. I’m open to suggestions.
  • This isn’t actually new, but did you know that you can read Dominion of the Damned for free on Kindle Unlimited or the Prime Lending Library? Well, you can. Also, Eucha Falls is perma-free pretty much everywhere e-books are sold.

In other news, I’m going to try to get back on the writing horse today. I’ve thought up a new scene that I’m quite enamored with but that doesn’t fit well into my current outline, so I’m going to find a sunny spot to sit with a printout of said outline to see if there’s a way to make that scene work. I also want to do some brainstorming and strategizing about upcoming writing projects and my career trajectory. I’ll let you know if that produces interesting results. But first, I’ve got a bit of business to take care of and some laundry to fold and put away, so off I go.

Blame it on the weather (a Monday writing update)

Happy Monday, campers!

I still don’t have any word metrics to share, because I’m still doing the longhand thing and I haven’t typed any of it up yet. I can tell you that I didn’t do any noveling over the weekend (although I did quite a bit of journaling). Actually, looking at the habit tracker in my bullet journal, I didn’t do any noveling the last four days. I’m not sure what happened to keep me from writing on Thursday and Friday, but it probably had something to do with April weather in the middle of freakin’ February sparking an early case of spring fever.

I did manage a certain amount of domestic productivity over the weekend (including finally bringing out the knickknacks that got put away to make room for Christmas decorations back in early December), but a lot of my weekend looked like this:

At any rate, I’m back on the horse as of this morning, having finished Chapter 10, Scene 1, which features a long heart-to-heart between the Wilson sisters that explores, among other things, Chris’s fear of close relationships with the living and Ron’s daddy issues. And the virtues of always checking for TP in public restrooms.

By the way, you can start reading this right now in serialized first-draft form on Patreon. The first three chapters are already up, with more coming later this week!

Monday Update (sans word metrics but now with pictures!)

Last week was another crazy and off-kilter one. I ended up having to work over the weekend in order to make an article deadline, so I took yesterday off from work work (and I didn’t even realize it was President’s Day when I made that decision) and used it to catch up on some house work (and also on Agent Carter and Supernatural, lest you think I was all virtuous and productive all day. Also, mind that I’m watching these on Hulu Free, so I’m still a week behind everybody else. No spoilers!).

I did actually manage to work on my novel all week, but I’ve taken to writing it longhand, so I won’t have any updated word metrics until I start typing it all up. I do have a picture, though!

noveling

See?

I never used to really like writing longhand. Typing has always felt like part of my process, and it makes it easier to keep up with my brain. But lately I’ve actually been enjoying doing it this way. For one thing, I hate being tethered to my desk all day, and it’s easier to get motivated and get started when I can just grab a pen and notebook and start writing wherever I’m comfortable. And there’s something about the tactile sensation of pen and paper, and being forced to slow down a bit, that helps me focus. Of course, not being anywhere near an internet connection certainly doesn’t hurt that, either.

At any rate, the novel is still coming along more slowly than I’d prefer, but at least it’s coming along. I’ll begin posting unedited chapters on my Patreon page this week (tomorrow, if there’s time), so you can start reading it soon if you’re a member–and it only costs a dollar to become a member! Seriously, these days you can’t even get a decent cup of coffee for a buck.

For now, I’m off to squeeze in some exercise before dinnertime. Later taters.

Monday Word Metrics and the #JustWrite Challenge

For the second week in a row last week, I managed to write every day (save the weekend). Even so, I didn’t write as much as I’d hoped, thanks in part to the fact that we finally crawled out of our introvert hole long enough to go see The Force Awakens. All I’ll say about that in this space is that I loved it and am itching to see it again.

Onward to word metrics!

Today’s word count: 905 (so far–I’m not done yet for today)
Novel so far: 34,001
Words of fiction this year: 16,873

I’m hoping to break 35K tonight, but if I don’t I’ll most certainly do it tomorrow.

Here’s a non-spoilery snippet of today’s output:

“That girl’s a looker,” Jim said after another long silence. “I hope you’re doing all your thinking up here.” He reached over and tapped Doug’s temple.
That also wasn’t entirely true, but Jim didn’t need to know that, either. “I know what I’m doing.”
“Let’s hope so.” They reached their exit, and Jim navigated to the street that the restaurant was on. “After all these years, I don’t know why you can’t just let it go.”
“You mean just let Jimmy’s killers get away with it?”
“I mean get on with your life, son. You’re still young. You’ve still got a lot to look forward to. But you’re too stuck in the past to live your life.” He pulled into the parking lot and parked next to Doug’s Mustang. “It’s time to lay your brother’s ghost to rest,” Jim told him.
Doug nodded, thanked him for his help, and got out. As he fished his keys out of the envelope, he thought, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.

***

In other news, I just launched my attempt at a writing challenge. The #JustWrite Challenge is an informal challenge designed to get struggling writers over their initial hurdles and help them get their butts in the chair and start writing. If you’d like to participate, click here to read all about it.

In OTHER other news, this week I’ll be launching the first issue of my monthly author newsletter. If you’re not already on my mailing list and you want more of a glimpse into the writing life, or at least into this writer’s life, along with book recs, links of interest and other randomosity, click here to sign up (you’ll get a free book for doing so!).

Monday word metrics, and some spooky podcast recs

Happy Monday, readers! I actually managed to write every day last week, which is a first, at least as far as this year goes (I didn’t write any over the weekend, though, but it was productive in other ways).  I’ve added 5,558 words to Ghost of a Chance since my last blog update. I’d love to double that, as far as weekly output goes, but until that coveted day when writing novels is my actual job that’s not too likely to happen. So for now I’m just pleased to be building a daily noveling habit, even if some days are 1,800-word days and others are only 500-word days. It all adds up, in time.

Today, I’m happy to say, was an 1,800 word day, or thereabouts. Here are today’s word metrics:

Today’s word count: 1,808
Novel so far: 30,564
Words of fiction this year: 13,436

And here’s an unspoilery snippet:

She flipped the sun visor down to look in the mirror, and frowned. She’d put her hair up in a top knot, thinking it had looked sophisticated, but now it just looked sloppy. She considered taking it down and running a brush through it, but of course she hadn’t brought a brush and she’d probably only make it worse anyway. Unbuckling her seat belt, she smoothed out the wrinkles in her blouse and picked off some stray cat hairs. She frowned at her skinny jeans, wishing she’d gone with a skirt instead. Too late to do anything about it now, though. With a sigh, she brushed more cat hair off her jeans and checked the mirror one more time to make sure she hadn’t got any lipstick on her teeth. This was as good as it got, at least for now. Heaving a sigh, she got out of the car.

By the time she reached the front, Doug was leaning against the building. He glanced up as she rounded the corner, then stood up straight and smiled. “Hey,” he said. “You look nice.”

“Thanks,” she said. At least he has low standards. She noticed for the first time that he’d cleaned up pretty nice, himself. She was used to seeing him looking all clean cut and professional on TV, but in a dark gray button down and black jeans, he’d struck just the note of nice and casual that she’d been striving for. Crap. Was this a date? “You look nice, too,” she told him.

“Thanks.” He rubbed the back of his head nervously. Chris grew increasingly nervous herself as she watched him fidget.

This was a date.

Crappity crap.

***

I had a low-key but relaxing weekend that mainly involved hair maintenance, light housework and football with Mr. B (go Broncos!). There was some coloring, podcast listening and some light button sewing mixed in there, too.

Speaking of podcasts, I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it in this space, but I’m quite the fan of the Black Tapes, which just started its second season. And now I’m also hooked on the spin-off TANIS, which has about 9 episodes under its belt so far (I’m up to #6). They’re like a radio play version of all the best creepy pastas, with a little of the feel of the old LOST ARGs, and I love them. You should listen.

After today’s writing session I had PB&J for lunch and then did a spin on the exercise bike (while listening to that 6th TANIS episode, natch). I’ve set aside the rest of today to serve as a badly needed planning day, to do some research into various prospects and get my bearings for moving forward. I think I need to set aside a day like this at least once a month, if that’s possible. Hoping to take a tea break later and work on my hand-lettering skills–which are pretty much non-existent at this point. Which is why I need to work on it.

How’s your day going so far?

Back on the Writing Horse (Monday Word Metrics)

Here are today’s word metrics for Ghost of a Chance, the sequel to Restless Spirits:

Today’s word count: 1,403
Novel so far: 25,006
Words of fictoin this year: 7,879

Last week’s writing schedule was thrown off by a doctor’s appointment and a hefty freelance work load. That load’s a bit lighter this week (so far), so I’m going to do my best both to be more consistent and to make up some ground. Otherwise my soft goal of finishing this draft on Leap Day is just a pipe dream, as by my estimate I’ve still got at least 60,000 more words to go.

After today’s writing session I let my husband feed me a slice of leftover frozen pizza, which is NOT on the approved weekday healthy foods menu, but he needed to make some room in the fridge, so I caved. I made up for it by doing the entire first leg of that kickboxing workout, which did not kill me, although for a few minutes there as I lay prone on the floor afterwards it seemed touch-and-go.

I spent the weekend watching more football than I’d planned. I’m not really into football, or sports in general, but Mr. B is a good guy who usually at least makes an attempt to enjoy the things I enjoy, so I reciprocate by trying to at least pay enough attention to football to be able to have an intelligent conversation about his favorite team. That would be the Broncos, by the by, and while we’re happy they won, that game was painful to watch, even for someone who wasn’t that invested in it. I hope they can get their act together before next week because BOO Tom Brady.

Oh, and also, our living room TV died right before the game started. So yay for that. We ended up watching it on our tiny, ancient bedroom TV. The big TV’s crapping out isn’t that big a deal, since we mainly used it to watch local news and football, and now football season is almost over. But we watch everything else online, anyway, so we’ll survive. Though I suppose we won’t be hosting any Super Bowl gatherings this year.

Anyway. Here’s an unspoilery snippet of today’s output:

“He’s not talking,” said Doug. He went from the closet to the coffee table in the living room, where the ghost box sat in the middle. “Either that or this thing’s not working.” He looked at her, his face anxious. “Is he here? Can you see him?”

Chris looked around. A breakfast bar was all that separated the living room from the kitchen, and Jimmy wasn’t visible in either room. “Is there a place he might go to rest?” she asked. “A place that’s just his?”

“His room,” said Doug, and led her into a hallway. He paused at the first door. “I’d always planned to turn it into a home gym or something, but I never got around to it.” He placed his hand on the knob, and seemed to consider what he’d just told her. “Or maybe on some level I just knew that was a bad idea.” He let that thought hang there as he opened the door to reveal a typical teen boy’s room. The posters on the wall were straight out of the late ‘Nineties, and suddenly Chris felt herself transported back to junior high. Her eyes scanning the room, she stepped inside and smiled. On the bed, stretched out amid scattered Scrabble tiles, lay Jimmy, sound asleep. He was barely visible—just an outline, really—but easy to see if you knew what to look for.

And if you had a knack for seeing that sort of thing, of course.

On the Sense Memory of Ghosts (Tuesday Word Metrics — and some healthy links!)

Here’s today’s word metrics for Ghost of a Chance:

Today’s word count: 1,174
Total word count: 23,603
Words of fiction written this year: 6,476

Today’s output wasn’t great as far as quantity goes, but I had a late start and a lot of interruptions, mostly in the form of a needy Chihuahua and a cat who doesn’t quite know how to lap kitty but has recently decided that’s no longer going to be a barrier between herself and my lap. Just goes to show you that it’s possible to make considerable progress under less-than-ideal circumstances.

I’m pretty proud of how this paragraph turned out, though, which is the main reason I paused to do an update today. Here’s an unspoilery snippet of today’s output:

They stood on the back porch, at the top of the steps. The sun shone on them. Joe couldn’t feel its warmth, of course, nor could he feel the breeze that made the trees gently sway, or breathe in the fresh air, although Ron told him that the air these days wasn’t anywhere near as fresh as he remembered. And he did remember. Though the memory was distant, if he thought real hard he could recall how it felt to be warmed by the sunshine, to breathe deeply and fill his lungs with clean air, to smell the scents that mingled in it, which in his day had included a lot of manure and other barnyard smells, but also clean hay and newly mown grass and the honeysuckle and milkweed that grew along the fence around the yard where his girl had played. And that was almost as good as feeling it.

***

After the writing session I ate lunch (stuffed pepper soup–good stuff!) and did the warm up and part of the first leg of this kickboxing workout. I was up to being able to do the entire first leg before my jaw would start to ache and I’d feel like passing out, but since the last time I did it I realized that I could combine podcast listening with spinning on my husband’s stationary bike, which is about a million times more motivating, so I’ve been doing that. Which apparently is not the same level of cardio because MAN that kickboxing routine kicked my hinder today.

And now it’s back to the word mines, this time for freelance stuff.