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My Brains Are Full!

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

75034 / 150000 (50.02%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
11228 / 30000 (37.43%)

I’m really kind of amazing that I got that much done this past week. The RWA held their first ever Virtual Conference, and it was AMAZING!!! The panels went off brilliantly, and I only saw one tech snafu all weekend, and the meetups were fantastic, and the only thing missing was the hugging.

And I came away with a realization that I could be doing more. So… I’m doing more.

I’m starting a newsletter. It’ll probably be a once a month thing, with some excerpts just for newsletter subscribers, and news, and the current state of where things are in Liz-Land, at least in terms of publishing. Maybe recipes. It’ll be fun. There’s a place off to the right (or there should be) to sign up. Or you can sign up at the end of the post.

I’m also working on a logo, which you might have seen rough designs of on Instagram over the weekend. Right now, I have something that looks like an odd Pokemon. I’ll see if I can work it out to be a little less “gotta-catch-em-all.”

Although, if you want to catch all my books, I’m certainly not going to say no!

There was a great informal meeting on swag, and we got to talking about how swag needs to change when conferences are all online. And in talking about digital swag, I got to thinking about my first ever swag — those naughty dice from RWA Nationals in 2017.

It wouldn’t be hard to code a naughty dice roller, now would it? With interspersed book covers and links to my sales pages?

Like the original naughty dice, this idea made me giggle. A lot. So it’s something else that I’ll eventually play with. (No, I’m not farming this one out to Teen Boy. Even though he is better than I am at Java.)

Conference is over now (sadness!), and I’m back to work. Today is sort of a limbo day. It’s the last day of the RWA interim board service, and tomorrow starts the new board’s year of service. But the interim board really doesn’t have anything to DO today except breath. So that’s what I’m doing. Breathing.

And writing. Because I have to catch up on my words.

.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, heeheeheehee, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Newsletter, promotions, public displays of geekery, RWA, Ta-da, thinking thinky thoughts, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

It’s been a WEIRD few days…

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

71367 / 150000 (47.58%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
8626 / 30000 (28.75%)

Pretty much what it says on the tin. It has been a very weird few days in Schechterland.

It started Thursday. Thursday evening, we were doing the very unusual sitting and watching TV. Not actually TV — J had the Switch hooked up to the TV so he could show off his new game (Paper Mario. It’s cute and strange.)

As he finishes up, and is about to shut things down, the TV goes POP — there’s a flash, and we have a 55 inch screen paperweight. Calling the manufacturer reveals that they no longer support this model (unsurprising — it was a 6.5 year old plasma screen, one of the last ones Samsung made. The joke is that they discontinued it before the charge on our credit card went through.)

Okay. No problem. Friday afternoon, the adults in the house ran out to Best Buy to take a look at TVs and screen sharpness. J opted to stay home.

As we pull into the Best Buy parking lot, ten minutes from home, the lightning starts. Hey, it’s Florida, and it’s the afternoon. Lightning happens. No big.

We go into Best Buy. They don’t have the TV we’re looking for, but they do have one of the others of that line. One of the salespeople starting trying to upsell us. Aggressively. (No really, you want this OTHER TV that’s three times the price of the one you just told me you were looking for!)

The thunder rolls, and I look out to see the sky is BRUISE purple. And I hear weather alerts going off on every cell phone in the store.

“Honey, we’re going home NOW.”

Get in the car as the heavens open. M calls J to tell him we’re on our way. J’s response? “Okay. I’m in the closet. It’s LOUD here.”

The ten minute drive took us 30 minutes. By the time we got home, the worst was over.

Stops signs flattened. Lampposts down. Trees and fences blown over.

A flood inside our front door, because the rain was apparently coming STRAIGHT at the house.

And people on Next Door, talking about the tornado that went through the back of our neighborhood.

WHAT?????

We went out again Saturday (nervously), and drove around the neighborhood. Then we LEFT the neighborhood and drove a different way from how we came home the night before. On our street, there are housing developments on either side. And across from our development is one that had a brick wall along the street.

Note the “had.”

About 60 feet of that brick wall was flattened like it was stepped on. And that 60 feet was in line with the back of our neighborhood across the street.

Went to another Best Buy, told the sales guy, “I want this TV in 55 inch.” And, to my shock (since I was a woman along at that moment) he said, “Sure! I’ll go pull one and meet you up front!” No upsell, no questions about why that TV over the other ones. We’ll definitely go back to THIS Best Buy. (If you’re buying electronics in Altamonte Springs, FL, and go to Best Buy, ask for Jason.)

Loaded up, headed out. Stopped at Total Wine because we’re down to our last two cans of cider in the house, then headed home.

Over dinner, we opened one of those cans of cider to split. And I went to pour it… and nothing came out. Jiggle the can, turn it, and get about half a glass of liquid before I hear thump.

Unlike cans of soda, cans of cider can apparently freeze without exploding.  The water in the can froze solid. The CIDER, on the other hand, was high-octane-concentrated-alcohol-this-is-how-you-make-apple-jack GOOD. And what was left in the can, once defrosted, had no flavor at all.

So that’s why Paddy’s not at work today there wasn’t as much writing done this past weekend as there should have been. (also why there was a lot of stress eating between Friday and Sunday…)

There also won’t be a lot of writing done next weekend because next weekend is the Virtual RWA National convention. There’s still time to register, and it’s going to be a lot of fun (and for many of the panels, attendees will have access to them for the rest of the year, so you can go back and refer to especially educational or interesting ones.)

So what this means is that I need to get my weeks words done before Friday. Which means getting off the blog and on to work!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Heir to the Firstborn, I really want some dull, John Zebedee, RWA, why-the-writing-is-slow, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Not Expecting To Get Much Done Today

Today is the FIRST DAY OF HIGH SCHOOL… with all attendant tech issues. And I’m first tier tech support in our house, so I’m not expecting to get much done today. We’ve already had issues, and I’m not expecting those to be the only ones we have today, or even this week. But today will be the SNAFU day, as everyone tries to get into the school servers all at the same time.

Funtimes, right?

So while today, I’ll get my writing in while the electrons behave themselves. I’m pretty pleased with how things are going already.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

67067 / 120000 (55.89%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
5662 / 30000 (18.87%)

 

I’m enjoying writing John and Ethriel again. With the addition of Parsons, who didn’t have a definitive voice in my head when I wrote Heir to Elf-Land, but now is starting to sound suspiciously like Douglas from Cabin Pressure. This happens at times to some writers (but not all, I understand) and the characters that I start hearing usually end up this way have a habit of taking over the story. (See also Owyn, from Heir to the Firstborn, who sounds like Sam Yao from Zombies, Run!)

Wings of Air is ongoing, and I’m about to hit another scene that I’ve been waiting to write. Who this scene happens to has changed twice since I first thought of it, but the scene is going to happen soon, possibly in the next chapter. (Or maybe the chapter after that…)

So, things are progressing, and the tech issues seem to have abated (I hope. It’s now about two hours after I started writing this entry…)

Let’s see how many words I can get on the page by the time school lets out.

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, when technology rebels, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, writing-mom, 0 comments

Works in Progress and New Releases and RWA stuff.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

62110 / 120000 (51.76%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
2481 / 30000 (8.27%)

It’s been a busy week. Which is kind of odd to say, since…. well… (gestures in 2020).

Part of the busy was that we had a week between end of summer courses and starting the school schedule, so we hauled everything out of Teen’s room and deep-cleaned it. It took four days, because we broke it down into smaller chunks that still allowed for Minecraft. Priorities, right? (Seriously, he was in the middle of a major mapart project, which I’ve internalized as “My son is doing digital crossstitch. Far out!”)

School starts next week, so I’m anticipating another busy week, one full of tech support issues and screeching at laptops. Funtimes!

I still managed to get a decent amount of writing done. Not as much in Monstrous Town as I’d have liked, but the RWA Board meeting ate my weekend.  (More on that later.) I’ve hit one of the scenes I’ve been waiting for in Wings of Air, and I’m starting to wonder if this series might not actually be five books. There’s a LOT going on in this outline! I’ll make that decision later, once I see where the story is once we hit my word goal.

In other writing news, I got another short story up into KU.

Infernal Machines was originally published in Carnal Machines, under the name Elias A. St. James. It was released as a standalone story by Forbidden Fiction, and it came back to me when FF reverted my rights last month. It took me a little longer than the others to find a cover image that I liked, which is why it’s a week behind the other three.

This past weekend was the last RWA Board meeting of the interim board. Over the past five months, we did a job of work. But I’m pretty confident that we’ve set a firm foundation for RWA 2.0, and I’m running for reelection as DAL, so I’m ready to keep on working. Given the number of people of running (exactly twelve), it’s pretty much a given that I’ll be serving again — the only question is will I be serving for one year or two?

How much did we get done? Well, in five months, we redid the Code of Ethics so that it actually made sense and was enforcable. We revised the bylaws so that more people were eligible to run for office, and to cover contingencies and disasters such as the one we just went through. The Chapter Affiliation agreements have been reworked so that they’re more equitable to our chapters. We’ve shored up the financial side of the RWA. And, last but certainly not least, we built an entirely new contest from the ground up, one based on objective literary benchmarks, not on “didja like the book?” The inaugaral Vivian will launch in the Fall, I think (I don’t have the dates in front of me).  Having worked on that Task Force, I’m really kind of proud of the job that we did there, but the proof will come next year in Nashville, when the first Vivians are awarded.

(I hope this works!!!)

Last week I also recorded a panel for the RWA National Convention, which will be held virtually August 28th through the 30th. Authors to Know will be part of the Librarians Day slate of panels on Friday the 28th. For the record, my authors to know are Jen deLuca (Renn Faire Romance!), Janella Angeles, Martha Waters and Farah Heron (BARBERSHOP SINGING ROMANCE!!!!)

There’s not much on the schedule this week, which means absolutely nothing anymore. I can have a busy week without ever leaving the house! So I intend to make this week busy by writing all the words.

Stay safe, everyone.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Elemental Project, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, progress, public displays of geekery, publishing, RWA, Ta-da, to-dos, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Another new short

Took me a bit to get this one up and ready for sale, but I’ve added another short story to KU.

Student-Artificer Elijah Saloman discovers what he thinks could be a lost masterwork of the greatest Artificer ever born. He is determined to make it work, even though he has no idea what it is or what it is supposed to do. But when everything that can go wrong does, Elijah finds himself caught in an interesting predicament—trapped within the machine, and at the mercy of the whimsical plaything of a long-dead Artificer with a taste for the exotic.

***

Infernal Machine is interesting. It’s set in the same universe as House of Sable Locks, and involves Student-Artificers who are friends of Dieter, and in the same year of study.  Dieter’s not in this story, but Elijah is mentioned briefly in the sequel to House of Sable Locks (Bonds of Blood and Steel, currently under consideration at Circlet).

Elijah and Sasha may get their own book, eventually. But it will involve heavy research into the Russian Revolution, so not any time soon.

Posted by EASchechter in Blood and Steel, research is fun, Sable Locks, short story, Ta-da, 0 comments

Well, that was a non-event…

That, of course, being Isaias. I know it’s not going to be a non-event further up the East Coast, but usually it’s Florida that gets all the hurricanes. This time… well, I did say I wanted some dull. We got it. And this morning, after yoga, I swept the porch, moved all the plants back into place, and put the porch furniture back out.

But really, it was an “I shaved my legs cleaned the gutters for this?” kind of storm.

This year, it’s been interesting in a odd fashion. Storm season has been an afterthought for me. Usually, when storm season starts in June, I get all our storm supplies laid in so that we’re ready. I have a spreadsheet with expiration dates, and I rotate the supplies as needed.

This year, I was in the natural market on Friday, and I thought “I really should get a couple of loaves of shelf stable gluten free bread. And the emergency ice cream.”

That was the extent of my storm prep for the season. (And before you ask, emergency ice cream is a thing in our house. If the power goes out, eat the emergency ice cream FIRST.)

In talking with other area moms about storm prep (and the lack thereof — I’m not alone in this), I said the following: “My crisis management brain is currently occupied. All other crisises need to wait in line.”

From the reactions, this is apparently a deeply profound statement. But it’s true. I’m so focused on the pandemic and the crisis response to it (and Florida’s distinct LACK of crisis response to the pandemic) that the news that there was a Cat 1 hurricane heading for Florida? Please, don’t bother me with trivials! Oh, it weakened, and now it’s just a tropical storm? Turn off the sprinklers, we don’t need to water the lawn this weekend. Better barbecue tonight, it’s going to rain tomorrow.

Now, there was writing and writing prep this weekend.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

56448 / 120000 (47.04%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
0 / 30000 (0.00%)

Wait a minute, Liz! That wordcounter says zero! Yes, it does. That was the writing prep. I have the writing plan all ready, and I’m starting the synopsis for John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland.

The plan is to have EVERYTHING done by December. Which will make this the busiest writing year of my career — I’m hoping to finish 2020 by completing three novels, three novellas and one short story.

Last week was the busiest release week of my career — four releases in one day!

Under the Cape includes my short story Time for No Mercy.

Fools Rush In, Her Captive, and To Market are all reprints, and are all enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.  We’ll see how that works for the next 90 days. Then maybe I’ll go wide with them.

Not much else is going on here. We’re getting ready for school to start (we took the full remote option — refer to previous statement about Florida’s lack of crisis response.) And part of getting ready for school is a deep clean of Teen Boy’s room, something that we’re taking in small bites so as not to overwhelm him (or me!) Yesterday was the bookcase, today was the desk. Tomorrow is under the desk, and under the bed, and getting the menagerie of stuffies under some semblance of control. Curtains and bedding will be washed later this week, and everything vacuumed. At that point, I think it will be easier for him to manage, and to find things (there were several instances of “Oh, THERE that is! I was WONDERING where that went!” over the past two days.)

Hope things are boring your neck of the woods. In a good way, anyway.

Stay safe.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, Boosting the signal, deep thoughts, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, Hurricane, I really want some dull, John Zebedee, new books, progress, publishing, Under the Cape, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, writing-mom, 0 comments

Fly, My Pretties!!!

Today, I have something happening that I rarely do — I actually don’t think this has ever happened to me before.

I have four book releases today!

One of these is an anthology appearance, my first with Riverdale Avenue Press. Under The Cape is a sexy superhero anthology edited by Rachel Kenley, and it was fun to work on.

My story in this anthology is Time for No Mercy, and yes, that’s a Doctor Horrible reference.

The other three all re-releases of short stories. I’m starting them out in Kindle Unlimited, to see how they do. So in 90 days, they might go wide. Or they might not. It’s an experiment.

First up — my erotic retelling of an already erotic poem.

To Market.

Do not go to the Goblin Market. Do not try their wares.

 

Second release was inspired by Tom Smith and his song Kidnapped by Pirates is Good.

Her Captive

What do you do with a kidnapped sailor…?

 

And finally, my action romp through an ancient temple.

Fools Rush In.

When someone tells you that something cannot be done, proving them wrong might just be interesting.

 

(I’m really very pleased with how that cover came out.)

EEEE!!!! New books!!!!

Posted by EASchechter in happy-happy- joy- joy, kvelling, new books, publishing, Release date, short story, SQUEEE, Ta-da, Under the Cape, yippee, 0 comments

“I’d Like Some Dull Now…”

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

51671 / 120000 (43.06%)

So, can we stop living in interesting times now? I’d really like some dull now.

Granted, the whole “staying home and not interacting with people  you don’t live with” thing is getting really old and boring. But the reasons that we’re doing that haven’t gone away, so we’re going to keep on staying home and not interacting as much as possible.

And, in my case, I’m going to keep focusing on writing. Because I know everything will be all right in the worlds I’m creating — they’re romances, after all. The HEA is guaranteed.

Wings of Air is progressing nicely. I’ve FINALLY gotten them out of Terraces, and I’m heading for a scene that I’ve been waiting to write for a while.

The synopsis for John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town is done, and I’ll start putting together the synopsis for John Zebedee Meets the Witch-Queen of Elfland once I’m not with something SOOPER SEKRIT and very exciting.

I was honored to be part of Wordier Than Thou’s Night of Paranormal Stories this past Friday. I read from Heart’s Master, which was fun to revisit. (and, of course, reread over the weekend!)

(Yes, that’s my office. Yes, that’s Super Grover.)

Not much else is happening. We’re having a quiet anniversary — 23 years for me and Mister M. (Well, today is 23 years observed. We were actually married by a Justice of the Peace on July 11th, 1997.) Apparently, we mark 23 years with manual labor — M and I got out in the garden this morning, and it’s looking good. Well, better than it had been. I’m still not sure just where those tomatoes came from, because they’re not the ones I planted. None of my other seeds started — well, except the peas, and they’re done.  So I went out yesterday and picked up started plants and potting soil. We may have the repeat of the Year of the Eggplant — I got two Black Beauty eggplants and two orange bell peppers.  I potted a couple of pineapple crowns, for when we redo the pineapple bed in the back of the garden. (That’s going to wait for cooler weather.)

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It’s thundering at the moment — not unusual for a summer afternoon in Florida. So I’m going to go off and get some offline stuff done.

Stay safe, everyone. Wear your masks and wash your hands

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Elemental Project, Heart's Master, Heir to the Firstborn, I really want some dull, John Zebedee, public displays of geekery, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

If you’ve been looking at my book page, or checking out my Amazon listing, you might have noticed that there are some books missing. Like… all of the Rebel Mage books, and Chains of Light, and everything else that was published by Forbidden Fiction/Enspire Publishing.

The reason for that is simple:  after 8 years, four books, a few short stories, and a lot of good times, Forbidden Fiction and I have gone our separate ways.

It was a most amicable parting, and I’m sorry that I won’t get to work with Lon as my editor anymore.  I’ve worked with quite a few editors over the years, and I can honestly say that he’s one of the best.

Now, what does that mean for the Rebel Mage books and Chains of Light? And the short stories?

Forbidden Fiction has reverted all rights to me. So, at some point in the future when I have the time to do so, I’ll be rereleasing my work from Forbidden Fiction.  It will probably happen sometime in 2021 — I just don’t have the spoons at the moment. Which gives me time to decide if I want to rework Counsel of the Wicked and take out that scene. There are reasons to cut it (everyone seems to nope out at that scene), and there are reasons to leave it (it’s easily the most powerful thing I have ever written).

There will be decisions made. Just not yet. I think that when they do come out, it will be Chains of Light first. But again, I have time to make those decisions.

Be well. Stay safe.

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, Forbidden Fiction, publishing, Rebel Mage, Rights Reversion, Updatey things, 0 comments

I Forgot the Title

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

47038 / 120000 (39.20%)

It’s Monday again, isn’t it? How did that happen?

Not much is happening at the moment. That I can talk about, at least. I have a new anthology coming out next week — Under the Cape  is a look at sexy superheroes, brought to you by Riverdale Avenue Books. No cover art yet, but once I have it, I’ll post it. My short story is Time for No Mercy. Yes, that is a Doctor Horrible reference.

I finished the synopsis for John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town. And I’ve pushed John off to the back burner to percolate while I work on the thing I can’t talk about. He’s immortal. He can be patient.

Work on Wings of Air proceeds. I’m finally getting our heroes (the whole lot of them) out of Terraces (comma dammit). I’m really kind of amazed that there were enough things going on before the main things that it took me sixteen chapters to get the main thing moving. Like… what? I know I write wordy, but this seems a lot even for me. And going through the chapters to cut things down? There wasn’t anything I could cut! So, since it seems to be all pretty necessary, I’m just going with it, and we’ll see if anything can be pared down in edits when the story is done.

I’m starting to try and catch up on my reading. First on the list? Real Men Knit, by Kwana Jackson.  Next up? I’ve got a hard choice — I have Well Met by Jen DeLuca (Renn Faire romance!) and The Chai Factor by Farah Heron (barbershop romance??? I hit the Buy button so fast!!!) Also on my list is To Have and Hoax, by Martha Waters. Regency Rom-com is catnip. I think the determining factor on which I read next will be if the romance reading hubby grabs one of them first.  And then…. well….

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I have a few more things to read.

The heavens have just opened up here, and I have a package to go grab off the front porch. So I’m off until next week. Stay safe, everyone.

 

 

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Reading, Updatey things, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments