Progress Update 4/8/15

Today is not going so well for me. I’ve made some progress this year, as far as writing. But it’s certainly not all unicorns and rainbows and fluffy pink bunny rabbits.

Last month, I made the decision to switch webhosting companies. I made the transition to the new service, got my website all set up, then decided to try setting up a second website. At that point, the additional website had problems, which required additional technical support, and caused problems with the entire account, which took this website down as well. After waiting over a week for someone to fix the problem, I still hadn’t had anyone get back to me. So I made the decision yesterday to cancel that webhosting service and switch to this one. Which means that I spent a few hours yesterday and today setting up my website again and adding my book information and blog posts back in. Not that my blogs are all that valuable, but I had saved them in Scrivener, so they were there. So that’s basically done.

I did finally get Persnickety’s Book of Bedtime Stories published as an e-book. I even got both books published to Smashwords, so they can be found on barnesandnoble.com and other sites as well. But I still have to figure out the cover for the print book, and get everything together and formatted. And then of course, the next important task is to get something else written, polished and published.

It’s currently April Camp Nanowrimo, and I’m trying to get something new written. I used the first week of camp to finish writing two short stories. Each of them is meant to be a thank-you gift for readers who review my books and send me a link to the review. So far, most people haven’t even collected their free book copies, let alone requested the free story. I’m starting to wonder if I’m just wasting my time here, if anyone even cares about what I write, or if it’s just more crap in the crap-filled universe of e-book publishing. So please, if you’ve read any of my stories and liked them, I would really love to hear from you. I feel like I’m spitting into the wind today. I know part of that is just the insatiable need we writers have for approval, and part of it is that I’m having a hard time planning my current project, and therefore questioning everything I’ve already done or ever hope to do.

I’m also trying to work through Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways course. April camp was supposed to be my motivation to get the story outline done and start the writing. It hasn’t worked out that way at all. I started off planning to write a clean Christmas romance novella, but I’ve lost interest in that story for the time being. There are a few reasons for this, I think. First, I had those short stories to finish, and that pretty much consumed my every waking thought until I got them done. Then I ended up dealing with website issues. I also got ideas for two fairly large projects.

One of them is a writing project, an idea for an insane fantasy story that involves a world with two suns and a two-day time zone system, a Sand Witch who travels the world looking for Time to ask him a question, a cowboy wizard with a British accent, a magic hat and a pair of bizarre pets, a professional stalker whose only friend is the narrator, mermaids, a revenge-seeking raccoon with a pop-gun, female pirates, and so much more. I’m still working on plotting this story out, to see if I can give it some structure.

The other idea is for a website dedicated to clean romance novels, since it’s difficult to find clean romance novels that are not inspirational fiction. At least, it’s difficult for me, since I read so much and so fast. So I still have a website to put together for that, books to read and review, lists to collect. It’s not directly related to my own writing, since I don’t currently have any romance novels ready for publication, but it still takes time. I’m excited about having a project that has to do with reading rather than writing, but there’s only so much time, and I feel very strongly that I should be writing first. Except that some days, like today, that just isn’t going to happen.

Progress Update 2/18/15

I had every intention of writing a blog post or two between this one and the last, but my writing time seems to have evaporated this week.

I made a goal to write two short stories as follow-ups to “No More A Pawn.” So far, I have three ideas. I’ve finished the rough draft of “The Reluctant Squire” and I’ve accepted a challenge to write a short story next week, between 2/9 and 2/15. Except that I’m challenging myself to write two stories next week. The first will be the story of Sir Wilfred, as he attempts to get home. The second will be about Fionna as she begins her squire training. I’m currently plotting that one in preparation for next week. I plan to write them all, and see which ones I like best.

I’ve ran into a snag on my “Persnickety” cover. The ebook cover is great, and I love the way it looks. But the artwork doesn’t wrap around the print cover quite so well. So I will need to work on this problem, tweaking the artwork, or possibly considering other options. I also need to write the copy that goes on the back cover and make sure I have all the inside pages ready while I wait to hear back if I need to do any rewrites or revisions on the actual stories. And then I need to come up with something to use as a giveaway in connection with “Persnickety’s Book of Bedtime Stories.”

The plan is that I will be giving away free copies of the book to readers on my mailing list. Then, as a thank-you for those readers who take the time to post an honest review (even if it’s one star because they hate it), I will also give away copies of the follow-up stories. These stories will be available only to those readers, and will not be made available anywhere else.

Then of course, there’s always more coursework. I’m working through several courses and workshops through Holly Lisle’s website, www.howtothinksideways.com, depending on what I think I need to learn at the time. My goal for the year is to get through all of the courses I’ve already purchased, except for possibly “How To Revise Your Novel.” That one might have to wait for next year. So far I’ve only gotten through “How to Write Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck” (which is a free course, by the way) and “Publishing While Broke.” And that coursework is on top of my writing and publishing goals for the year. So I’ve got my work cut out for me. The good news is that it is currently going rather well.