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Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice.

Yeah, I know. It’s October, why is Liz being cheerful? I’m trying to be upbeat about it, because the only way out is through.

I can’t think when the last time I was in a Starbucks was, but their Pumpkin Spice Latte creamer that you can get in the supermarket is surprisingly tasty. And, since I don’t LIKE the PSL you get in Starbucks, this is saying something!

I used to like a PSL. Then they started putting pumpkin in it, and now… the only time I get one is when I’ve forgotten that I don’t like it. Then I take a sip and go, “Oh, yeah. Right.”

(I mean, come on! It’s not Pumpkin, it’s PUMPKIN SPICE — you know, the classic sweet spice mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Maybe if they’d just called it Sweet Spice, then no one would have fussed over there not being pumpkin in it, and they wouldn’t have changed it.)

I digress, but I’m sipping my ACTUAL PUMPKIN SPICE COFFEE while writing this.

Things are slow on the writing front, because I’ve spent a lot of time doing things that I needed to do for the RWA, and things that I probably shouldn’t be doing while I’m on deadline.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

94421 / 150000 (62.95%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
29845 / 30000 (99.48%)

The things that I needed to do for the RWA involve the task force i’m running, and which I really can’t talk about here But there’ been a LOT of good discussion on the RWA forums, and we have a lot of good ideas, and our first proposal will go live next week. (eep!)

The things I shouldn’t be doing when I’m on deadline are all related to genealogy. I’ve been working on my family tree for years now. On my mother’s side, I can trace things back to Italy and to the mid-1700s, which is amazing.  And we have documentation, thanks to the branch of the family that I never knew existed, but whom I discovered while doing this (I have cousins in ARGENTINA! How cool is that?)

My father’s side? I’ve discovered two uncles and an aunt I didn’t know about, and I know my great-grandmother’s name. That’s it.

Cemetery records? Non-existent. I know where the cemetery is, and I’ve been to my grandmother’s grave. But there’s nothing online on any of the ridiculous morbid databases of gravestones under any permutations of the names I know.

Birth records? Done by hand (that’s how I know my great-grandmother’s name — she was listed as a witness on my father’s record of birth.) The only trouble is that what I thought was an incredibly unique name (Maximina) was apparently the late 1800s equivalent of Olivia (the number one name for a girl in 2019). And my grandmother? Her name was Maria. You try to single out one particular Maria in Puerto Rico in the early 1900s! Surname? Even more common!

Military records? Did you know that there was a massive fire in the military archives in 1973, and that some ridiculous number of military records prior to that date were lost completely? Yeah, me either, until I hit the National Archives for Korean War records.

I’ll crack this someday. But for now, it’s a rabbit hole that occasionally sucks up all time time and leaves none for writing.

Need to stop that. For now, anyway. I can always go back to it later.

 

 

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, progress, public displays of geekery, research is fun, RWA, why-the-writing-is-slow, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Busy, busy, busy. Did I mention busy?

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

26414 / 30000 (88.05%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
26414 / 30000 (88.05%)

I talk every so often about how I juggle chainsaws. (Figurative chainsaws, not real ones.) I juggle being a mom and a writer and being an RWA Board member, with all the little things that come with those titles.

This past couple of weeks, I added three new ones.

Way back when I was a baby writer, I wrote a gaming manual. Psionics for SkillSkape was written for Chivalry and Sorcery, and my first outing as a writer was to present and promote it at Gencon 2004. The book went out of print in 2015 when the publisher closed, following the very untimely death of one of the owners.  Late last year, I think, I heard from his widow, who told me that there was a Kickstarter to bring Chivalry and Sorcery back into print, and that the new publishers were interested in bringing Psionics back out. Was I interested?

Sure!

So last week, I got the new files for Psionics for SkillSkape, which needs to be re-read and re-edited.

I haven’t played Chivalry and Sorcery since 2005, so this is being interesting.

Also in the past couple of weeks, I was asked to present a class to RWA University, based on a tutorial that I put together for the Virtual Conference (and that we subsequently didn’t need to use). I have to lengthen the tutorial into an actual class, and we need to set a date for that class. So I’ve been working on that.

And THEN… I was asked to take the helm of a task force exploring the benefits that the RWA can offer to our unpublished members. This includes taking on the design of a major RWA program. But no pressure!

When asked to take this on, my response was “You all trust me a whole lot, don’t you?”

So, between writing (1 and 2), editing (3), re- releasing one of the books from Forbidden Fiction (4), designing a class (5), I’ve been doing outreach to members (6),  brainstorming ideas of my own(7),  and recruiting members for my task force (8).

Eight! Eight chainsaws in the air! Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! (Thunder! Lightning!)

Wait… new release?

Yes. I got a wild hair last week, and found several pieces of stock art that I felt fit Chains of Light. And then couldn’t decide, so I crowdsourced a decision on Twitter and Facebook. Did the cover design, got the novella up on Kindle Unlimited. It’ll be KU only until January, then I’ll throw it wide.

I also came to an executive decision last week. (Being my only employee, I suppose that means all my decisions are executive decisions.) Since Wings of Air had turned into a MONSTER of a book, and it’s not even to what I had envisioned as the halfway point… there will be Heir to the Firstborn, BOOK 5. The working title of Book 5 is Heir to the Firstborn, because why not wrap it up with the series title? Also, I have no spare brain cells to think of something better at the moment. (see above, eight chainsaws). This means that Wings of Air may be out in print by the end of the year, but I won’t swear to that yet.

The second issue of my newsletter went out Friday. Did you get it? Do you want to get it? (You missed a really REALLY, good cake recipe if you didn’t get it. Next month will be something for Thanksgiving. Not sure what yet.)

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So that’s everything in my neck of the woods. Time to go top off the coffee and get back to work!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, 2021 plans, annoying-muse-is-annoying, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Chains of Light, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, new books, promotions, RWA, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Oh, No. It’s Almost October.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

88415 / 150000 (58.94%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
23714 / 30000 (79.05%)

October. Why did it have to be October?

Yes, I know. It comes every year at this time, right after September.

I am not a fan. The only thing October has going for it is Halloween, and you have to get all the way through October to get there! (And who know if it’s actually going to happen this year? Which sucks, because Saturday+full moon+extra hour = epicly epic Halloween).

Okay. Enough complaining.

Today I am just off my last virtual convention for the year. (At least, I think it’s my last. I may be wrong — there are still virtual conventions happening, and I may see about getting involved.) Necronomicon/NecroNOTacon was a lot of fun — it was held on Discord and Zoom, and it was very well attended. I’m liking the virtual conventions — it opens access to people who can’t travel for whatever reason. The only thing missing is the hugging.

I miss the hugging.

Now, I do have one more convention on my schedule, but it’s not virtual. KeiserSupercon is supposed to be in person. I have no idea what’s going to happen with that one.

Since I was virtually at a convention all weekend, there wasn’t a lot of writing done. Which is par for the course with me — I can do one writing related thing at a time. Two, maybe. But actively writing at the same time I’m being Public-Writer-Lady? Not happening.

I think I’m still on target to have both Wings of Air and John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town finished by December, though. And possibly be a good way in to John Zebedee Meets The Witch-Queen of Elfland. 

December is coming. Cookiepocalypse is coming!

But first we have to get through October.

Right. Stop that, Liz.

Here, have an excerpt from Monstrous Town:


“Then give me your right hand.” She held her hand out, and John put his hand into hers. He looked at his palm and frowned. “Mister Zebedee, how did you manage to misplace your lifeline?”

John coughed. “What?”

She tapped his palm with one finger. “It should be here,” she said. Then she held her right hand out, showing him a line on her palm. “It shows how long of a life you’ll have.”

John chuckled. “My hand isn’t big enough,” he answered. “I’m immortal. But you’ve noticed that.”

“How old are you?” she asked.

“Over eighteen hundred years old,” John answered. “Prudence, I was one of Joshua’s apostles.”

Her eyes widened. “No wonder there’s no lifeline,” she said with a laugh. “All right. Just stay there. I need to get something.” She stood up and walked away, going through an inner door. She came back a moment later with a small box. She took a seat again, and took a deck of cards out of the box, handing them to John. “Shuffle these.”

“Are we playing poker?” he asked, starting to shuffle the cards. “I’m terrible at it.”

“Cartomancy,” she answered. “Telling the future.”

“You can do that?”

She smiled and took the cards from him. She shuffled them again, then took the topmost card from the deck. She looked at it and smiled, laying it on the table. “The King of Clubs,” she said. “A man of dark complexion. He is upright and true to the bone. This is your card, John Zebedee.” She dealt more cards — a column of three to the left of John’s card, one above and below, and a column of three to the right. She set the rest of the cards aside. “The past,” she said, touching the left-most column. “The present, and the future.” She touched the center and the right column in turn. Then she turned over the card at the top of the left column. “The Nine of Diamonds. Traveling. You never did settle, did you?”

“When people notice you don’t age, things get complicated.”

She smiled and turned over the next card down. “The Ten of Spades. Imprisonment.” She looked up again.

John swallowed and nodded. “I was a prisoner of war. At Camp Sumter.”

She gasped, but said nothing more, turning over the last card in the column. “The Two of Diamonds. A secret engagement.”

John smiled. “It has to be secret. It’s illegal. But if I could openly propose marriage, I would. In a heartbeat.”

She nodded and turned over the topmost card of the middle column. “Eight of Spades. Danger from imprudence.”

John considered it, and nodded. “I wasn’t as careful as I should have been. I can agree with this. This is fascinating.”

“Thank you,” she said, and turned over the base card of the column. “Five of Clubs. Danger from a capricious temper.” She met his eyes, and they both spoke as one. “Wraith.” She nodded, and turned over the top card of the last column. “The Eight of Diamonds. A happy marriage.”

John smiled. “In his world, men can marry. I can wait.”

She turned over the last two cards, and her brow furrowed. She touched the middle card. “The Nine of Spades is a horrible card for your future. It means ruin and death. Which makes no sense with this last card.” She touched the final card. “The Ten of Hearts. Health and happiness, and children.” She looked up. “Death and ruin, and they all lived happily ever after?”

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, appearances, Cookiepocalypse, Elemental Project, excerpt, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, Necronomicon, progress, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Nibbled to Death by Ducks

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

84536 / 150000 (56.36%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
19806 / 30000 (66.02%)

You know that saying, right? About being nibbled to death by ducks, where all the little annoyances and irritations just seem to add up and up until they’re one big collective frustration?

You’re probably looking at your screen right now and thinking “Liz, it’s 2020. OF COURSE I KNOW THIS FEELING!!!”

We all know this feeling. We’ve been living with hypothetical carnivorous ducks for six months now, and it’s HARD!

I have my coping mechanisms to deal with the stress. One of them is exercise — getting the endorphins flowing. It’s why I exercise like a beast — I tell people it helps control the brain weasels.

Another one is my writing. I will take my frustrations out on my characters. It’s cathartic, but it also means that I would not want to meet any of my characters in a dark alley!

And… well… chocolate. Can’t lie. There’s chocolate.

What do you do when it gets to be too much?


Writing last week was slow. I got a chapter finished in both Wings of Air and John Zebedee, which is my new goal for the week. One chapter is a win. More than that is gravy.

Did rather a lot of RWA stuff. We’re getting the new Board up to speed. It’s weird being one of the experienced Board members, when I’ve only been on the Board five months.

And we had our other weirdnesses — last Monday I ran out to pick up groceries. When I left, the house was FINE.  When I came back…

 

That piece is called fascia, and it’s thin aluminum. We’re not sure what exactly happened there — it looks like someone tried to rip open the roof the way you rip into an envelope with a pull-tab. I made some calls, set up some estimates… and we discovered the problem with dangly,  thin aluminum.

It swings.

Not into the window, thank goodness. It swings laterally. Now if you look close at that picture, you can see the edge of the window well that sticks out of the house, right behind the tree. That window well is the Teen’s room.

Now imagine, if you will… a quiet Sunday morning. A tropical disturbance pops up just off the coast of Florida, right about between Titusville and Daytona Beach. Marches inland. High winds…

WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM.

It’s stopped banging against the house now. But that’s only because it twisted in the wind, and is now sitting on the roof. Not entirely sure how that happened either. Also not complaining, because it’s not banging into the house anymore!

We’re getting this fixed, because it needs to be fixed. But really….

Carnivorous ducks. Carnivorous ducks EVERYWHERE.

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, deep thoughts, John Zebedee, thinking thinky thoughts, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

What Did I Come in Here For?

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

81714 / 150000 (54.48%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
17845 / 30000 (59.48%)

 

So I’m sitting and staring at the screen, and trying to remember just what I did over the past week. And I can’t think of a single thing. Not one. I mean, I know I did stuff. I wrote — my totals changed. I went grocery shopping. I exercised. I did my daily tarot pull, and I cleaned. My daily bullet journal shows I did all that.

I just don’t remember any of it. The past week is a blur.

I imagine it’s because I did much the same thing last week as I did the week before that… and before that… and before that. It’s been a long, weird pause, and it’s all blending together in my head. Things are all soft and smudgy and indistinct, like trying to see through the fog we’d have some mornings on the way to school.

No fog these days. At least, not so I would notice. My commute these days is up the stairs to make sure someone is in class on time, and down the stairs to exercise, then up the stairs after breakfast and shower to get to writing.  My house is too climate controlled for fog.

Has anyone else noticed that they’re more tired these days? And busier than they were when we were all going out and doing all the things? I think it’s because we’re trying to fill the gaps with distractions, and exhausting ourselves in the process.  That, and we’re exhausted just from the sheer weight of the uncertainty surrounding us.

I’m hearing from a lot of creatives that it’s been really hard to write/draw/do anything since quarantine started.  Even if you have time to sit, and no immediate distractions, all of the Muses seem to be in their own quarantine, and they’re not sharing our bubble.

How do you keep the creative juices flowing, when there’s so much going on?

For me? It’s one word at a time. Some days, it’ll take me all day to make 200, 300, 500 words. Some days, I won’t make that at all. Some days — usually the days I have Circlet Writing group — I might just make 1500 in two hours, because peer pressure is a thing, and it’s a thing that can actually work to your advantage if you use it right.

I have found that I have to keep writing or the demons win. The demons in my head, that is. It’s the same reason I exercise. It calms the brain weasels and allows me to function. So if I exercise, I’m more able to focus. And if I write, everything else will be okay. Because I know that the characters in my books are guaranteed that happy ending. So if I give it to them, maybe I’ll get one, too? Maybe we’ll all get one?

Sympathetic magic is also a thing, after all.

I’m not the only one thinking this, or something like it. Romance sales are going gangbusters. Because right now, we all need that happy ever after, even vicariously. We all need to escape.

We all need that little bit of magic. That little bit of hope.

49 days to the election. Vote Blue. We need the hope.

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Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, deep thoughts, fickle-muse-is-fickle, forthcoming works, John Zebedee, politics, progress, reality-is-stranger-than-fiction, thinking thinky thoughts, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Things and Stuff

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

78694 / 150000 (52.46%)
***
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
14387 / 30000 (47.96%)

 

It’s been a strange week. Not a bad week. Just a strange one. Not as many words as I’d have liked, but that’s largely because of the strangeness. I don’t normally feel like I’ve been hit by a truck for no reason, but there you are. And it’s not the “I’m sick” truck. More like “I’ve been hit by a pillow and must now nap” truck. I’m tired. Which makes it awfully hard to focus on making words.

It doesn’t help that yesterday, on what was supposed to be my rest day from exercise, we had to move our compost bin because the HOA is cleaning and painting the wall that runs behind our property. Compost bin was against the wall, so it needed to be moved. Which meant emptying the compost bin And also meant clearing half of the weedy bed where the pineapples have taken over, and where we’ll be moving the compost bin so we don’t have to do this again the NEXT time the HOA decides to maintain their bloody wall (seriously, the last time was over five years ago, and was before we had the bin.)

Thank goodness we saved the old kitty litter buckets. Five of them were filled with compost which was then spread into the vegetable garden. Six more are full and waiting to be returned to the bin once the bin is settled into its new home after the wall is painted.

On the upside, we’ve got the best turned compost in the state.

Once the wall is painted, we’re going to redo that entire bed, and the only reason we only cleared half the bed is because we have ANOTHER pineapple fruiting in the middle of the summer. About half of the pineapples we grow never make it into the house, because raccoons love them some pineapple. With the last one, they must have heard  M thinking “That needs to come into the house,” because it was fine when he was out there mowing the lawn, but an hour later when he went to pick it, it was half eaten in the middle of the mowed lawn.

Raccoons are passive-aggressive goth corgis.

I have been writing, and I did get words in last week. I’m almost done with the synopsis for John Zebedee Meets the Witch-Queen of Elfland — I just figured out how to resolve a corner I backed myself into. Work proceeds on Monstrous Town, and on Wings of Air.  Which, if you look at the numbers up on the tracker, is going to be a monster of a book. I really am thinking that there might be a book five in there. We’ll see what happens.

The first newsletter went out last week. I’m going to keep it to once a month for now, so the next one will be sometime the first week of October. Plenty of time to jump in and see what shenanigans I’m up to. (There will be a recipe in the next one!)

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Necronomicon (or NecroNOTacon!) is coming up in two weeks. I’ll be on a few panels (Steampunk and Writing Sex on Saturday, and moderating The Best Advice on Sunday. I will also be part of the annual Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me game on Sunday.) The fun is going to be that the first RWA Board meeting of the new board is the same weekend.

And that’s about all, I think. Back to making words!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, conventions, forthcoming works, From the Writer's Kitchen, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Necronomicon, Newsletter, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

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