Updates: On the book launch, the new WIP, the new diet, and new TV

I’m working backwards today. I had a light freelancing load today (though it’ll get heavier as the week goes on), so I knocked that stuff out first, and I’ll get my word count in after I’m done blogging.

Actually, the first thing I did was make a new Amazon listing for Midnight Snacks. Apparently I missed the deadline to get my final ebook file uploaded by a few hours, so they cancelled the pre-order listing and took the book down. It’s back up now, at a different URL, and available to purchase outright instead of pre-order, but it doesn’t officially launch until Wednesday, when the price will drop to .99 cents. But if you just can’t wait, you’re welcome to go grab your Kindle copy now.

I’ve settled on a tentative title for the Restless Spirits sequel: Ghost of a Chance. Or GoaC when I’m feeling too lazy to type that out. I’m hoping to make it to at least 10K words this week, although that might be a bit overambitious considering I’m looking at a full workload and a book launch this week. At any rate, you can read a rough excerpt here.

In PCOS-diet news, I’m at the start of Week 3 and still feeling great, despite cheating over the weekend (we had pizza and beer and Chex mix and Halloween candy. I may have also had a few slices of pumpkin bread and some ice cream). I could definitely feel the after-effects of all that gluten and dairy in my system yesterday, but today I’m back to feeling energetic and clear-headed. It’s pretty awesome.

In TV news, I’m caught up on everything from last week. I have not yet watched last night’s Once Upon a Time, Walking Dead or Downton Abbey. Avoiding Walking Dead spoilers is already proving to be a challenge, so hopefully I’ll be able to get that watched tonight.

Some quick thoughts…

I’m a bit miffed that Doctor Who has finally managed to make Clara so likeable and relatable just as it’s becoming clear that she’s about done. I’m still working out my feelings for Twelve, though. At this point I think I want to like him more than I actually do, although there are moments when I love him. I guess that’s pretty close to how Clara’s feeling.

I’m not sure I care if Dean Winchester is kind of evil if he can keep singing karaoke and being besties with Crowley. If “saving” him will put an end to all of that, I don’t think I want him to be saved. Also, I am so beyond caring anymore about angel politics, but I guess they have to give Castiel something to do.

Dean Winchester Karaoke
More of this, please. (Image via Pinterest)

Matt and I were talking the other day about Sleepy Hollow and how likeable that show is, and how it would be even more likeable if it realized it’s a character-driven show and not a plot-driven show. The crack-addled supernatural plots are fun and make for some neat visuals, but really, I’d watch this show if it’s just an hour of Ichabod throwing snit fits about the decline of Western culture and Abby trying to get him to wear skinny jeans. I wish they’d look to the Whedonverse — especially Buffy — for cues on how to put the main focus on characters and relationships while still having entertaining monster plots to drive the action.

Oh! Speaking of Buffy, another thing I’ve been doing on the weekends while I work on crafty things is listening to Dusted, a new BtVS podcast by Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens. They’re going through and recapping and analyzing each episode, beginning with the original movie, and it’s terrific. They’re only up to “Teacher’s Pet” so you’ve got plenty of time to catch up. It’s making me so nostalgic. I’m going to have to make time for a complete Buffy rewatch sometime in the near future.

And that’s it for me. It’s a lovely, rainy fall day, perfect for writing about haunted houses, so I’m going to go make some tea and get cracking on that word count goal. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear about what you’re watching in the comments. Just remember if you spoil me on Walking Dead I’m going to have to send Liam Neeson over there.

Rearranging the Furniture

I spent some time over the weekend tweaking this here blog and making the theme look a bit more custom. I spent a lot of time and needless energy last week worrying that I needed to build myself a brand-new “profeshunul author” website and trying to envision something I’d be happy with that tied my personality/interests in with the type of fiction I write — which, let’s face it, are kind of unmeshy, as far as vibe goes. But I’ve since come to the conclusion that a) with a few more tweaks, such as replacing that big image at the top with a slideshow to prominently hawk my books and services, this blog will do me just fine for the foreseeable future; and b) I really like this theme and think it actually does a pretty good job of meshing both vibes, so why create extra work for myself?

Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World - Kristen LambThis is, of course, all stemming from finishing Kristen Lamb’s book, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World, which has me all motivated to fix everything I’ve been doing wrong in marketing myself as an author. I also made some tweaks to my social profiles, and started developing a master plan to make this here blog more organized and professional and non-neglected.

In other news, this is day two of going gluten- and dairy-free. Well, mostly gluten-free. Last night I made stir-fry for dinner, and though I’d planned to use a pre-mixed, gluten-free spicy Thai sauce that needed to be used up, there ended up not being enough of it to flavor the whole dish (I made four servings, enough to feed me till the middle of the week), so I had to improvise and ended up using the gluten-containing soy sauce we had on hand. So I guess I won’t actually be free of gluten until that dish is all eaten up. Also, I’m not worrying about gluten cross-contamination so much as I am just avoiding it as an ingredient.

Anyway, I’ve felt pretty good all day. I had to write some content mill assignments this afternoon, and that usually leaves me feeling mentally wiped out, but check it out: I still have the mental capacity to write this blog post. If I’m already feeling this much better after only a day and a half, then I imagine this is all going to turn out to be a worthwhile endeavor. I really did miss the cheese in my spinach omelet this morning, though.

I also put down 500 words on the new new novel this morning. AFTER I walked a couple of miles and did some light yoga. So go me.

Have I mentioned here that I finally started writing the sequel to Restless Spirits? I can’t recall if I did. At any rate, I’m currently more than 1,700 words into it, so I guess it’s officially underway. If you care to track its progress, there’s a little word count widget down there in the sidebar.

So far it’s flowing really well. I’m not working from an outline, but rather kind of a vague idea of what needs to happen to get to the end. That’s how I wrote the first one, so it seems appropriate. If there’s time after posting this blog and checking in on my social networks, I might try to add some more words to it before dinner.

The new TV season has just gotten started and I’m already behind. It’ll be the weekend before I’ll have time to watch Once Upon a Time and Castle — though to be honest, I’m not in a big hurry to watch OUaT anyway. I just can’t work up any enthusiasm about what they had planned for this season. I’m probably the only person on the planet who still hasn’t seen Frozen, mainly because I just haven’t had the opportunity. I’d still like to see it, and I’m afraid this show is going to ruin it for me. I’m also really tired of the way they constantly pile on new characters while neglecting characters I already care about.

I haven’t seen the new Agents of SHIELD yet, either. Matt missed the last six or so episodes of last season, and for some reason we failed to get caught up over the summer, so we’re working on that now. I think we’ve got three more to go before we can watch the season premiere.

I have started Sleepy Hollow, as well as the new Ioan Griffuth vehicle Forever. The latter has promise, and the former is still my favorite show that isn’t Hannibal or Doctor Who.

And of course I’ve been following the new Doctor. Twelve is starting to grow on me. So is Clara, finally. They’ve done a lot to improve her character this season and I find I’m no longer pining for the Ponds, though I can’t really see myself missing her quite as much when she’s gone.

Oh! I also finally managed to retrieve all of my book cover files off of my old, defective laptop over the weekend, so expect a cover reveal for Midnight Snacks later this week, if I can fit that in around implementing suggestions from the beta readers and getting that book ready to publish.

Anyway, does the new TV season have you rejoicing? Tell me what you’re watching in the comments!

Any day that involves a sonic screwdriver is a good day.

Today I added 486 words to Radium Town — 182 this afternoon plus another 304 just now. That brings the grand total so far to 6,919. I’m frustrated that it’s going so slowly, but considering that up until this time last week I hadn’t written anything on it in over a year, nor had I written any fiction whatsoever in several weeks, I guess I’ll cut myself some slack. I’m still figuring out this world and these characters. I’m confident that I’ll pick up the pace once it’s all more familiar to me and the plot gets rolling along.

Here’s the rough, non-spoilery snapshot of today’s output:

Betty shifted in her seat. She wasn’t accustomed to being the center of conversation. That was uncomfortable enough without having attention called to Will’s regard for her. She could sense Will fidgeting uncomfortably in his seat, as well. She braced herself for the joke he was certain to make, but to her surprised he simply said, “Nope. Not surprised at all.” She turned toward him in time to catch him looking at her, a mixture of pride and wonder on his face. Betty quickly looked down at her plate and took a bite of her roast quail.

Matt and I both felt better today, and a mix of cabin fever and spring fever made us antsy to get out of the house for a while. We went to Gardner’s Used Books, where we scored a beautiful set of second edition Lord of the Rings trade paperbacks in really good condition.

I also nabbed the next Dark Tower book (Wolves of Calla; I’m currently making my way through Wizard and Glass) and the latest Rizzoli and Isles novel (spellcheck wants to change Rizzoli to grizzly; considering what a scary mama-bear book Rizzoli can be that seems appropos). And being that I’ve been reading all this dark stuff lately (House of Leaves, scads of Stephen King, The Ocean at the End of the Lane which is lovely but not exactly the happiest of Neil Gaiman’s books), I also grabbed Maybe Baby by Lani Diane Rich, because I’m starting to crave something light and fluffy to cleanse my palate, and also because Lani is awesome.

And speaking of LDR, I’ve also finally begun listening to the Story Wonk podcast she does with her husband, Alastair Stephens. You should listen to it, too.

The first 182 words today were added from a booth at the coffee shop at Gardner’s, where I dorked out when Matt showed me the LotR set he’d found, and then dorked out again when I got up to the coffee counter and saw a replica of Eleven’s sonic screwdriver sitting next to the cash register. The barista (who might actually be the shop’s owner) let me hold it. It was shiny. I want one.

Came home, fed the dog, apologized profusely for leaving him and the kitties so long, took him and the turtle out in the back yard to soak up the sun, came back in and fed the turtle, wrote some freelance website copy, fed myself (well, Matt fed me) and watched Wolf Creek 2 before Matt turned in and I got busy writing.

Not at all what I’d call a bad day. And now I’m going to go dork out over Supernatural and SHIELD before I turn in.

What I’m Watching

RingerThe fall TV season is back in full swing (or at least it will be once Chuck makes its return next month), and I’ve gone from having one or two shows to keep up with over the summer to suddenly having to find time for a dozen. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a DVR and Hulu has tightened their restrictions on free broadcasts of network shows (which I don’t really get–hello, network TV? YOU’RE FREE! Stop being so greedy with the streaming); but somehow, I’m managing to fit it all in. Thank Heaven that I can knit and watch TV at the same time.
Continue reading “What I’m Watching”