Busy, Busy, Busy!

If it’s not one thing, it’s two things. Or six. These days, it’s usually six.

I’m working on Pen to Paper, and writing Heir to the Firstborn, and doing the usual Mom things. And it seems like I don’t stop working from the time I get up to the time I fall over. Which… I suppose counts as a usual Mom thing? I mean, I just recently saw something that said that the sob of “stay-at-home Mom” is the equivalent of two and a half full time jobs outside the house. Add in RWA Director-at-large, and Pen to Paper Program Manager, and I think I’m up to six full time jobs. So, yeah… if it’s not one thing, it’s six.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)
79568 / 150000 (53.05%)

Still haven’t hit the halfway mark, but I’m closer. Two more chapters to the pivot, I think. Maybe one and a half. Then the fun really starts, and a scene that I’ve been both wanting to write and dreading will be that much closer.

No, of course I’m not telling you what it is!

The Lady and the Sword drops two weeks from tomorrow. Now, allow me to say, for the record, that I am unlikely to EVER do a rapid release like this again! For one thing, it requires be to have multiple books ready to go all at once, which is probably not going to happen. But for now, you get the entire series in one calendar year.

Preorders are still live! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VS9K7KY

And if you want to preorder the entire series, you can do that, too!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08N3KCL6B

Now, one of my six jobs is head cook, and it’s coming on to dinner time, so I need to leave you with this.

***

The corridor they wanted was right off the main entryway, which was almost empty when they reached it. That in and of itself was odd — there were always people passing through the entryway, passing in front of the ornate double doors that led into the Hall. But now, there was no one, and they passed through and on into the corridor that led to smaller meeting rooms. Again, there was no one there, except for a single person standing before the door at the end of the corridor. Owyn knew it was Memfis, even though he couldn’t see his adoptive father’s face. No one else in the Palace would have the right arm of their shirt pinned up to their shoulder so it wouldn’t hang loose. Memfis was dressed head to toe in gray, and wore a gray veil that obscured his face.

“What is he wearing?” Aven whispered.

“He is the Smoke,” Owyn whispered back. “It’s part of it.” He turned to face them. “This is where I leave you. I’ll see you on the other side.” He forced a smile. “I’ll be all right. You don’t need to worry about me.”

“You realize that saying that only makes me worry more?” Alanar asked. He reached out and pulled Owyn close. “I wish I knew what you were going to be doing. I wish you could tell us.” Owyn felt him shiver. “I wish I understood.”

“I’m sorry, Allie,” Owyn whispered. He hugged his husband tightly, then stretched up to kiss him. “Does it help if I tell you that the last time I did this, it took under an hour?”

“No,” Alanar answered. “Because the time you danced in the caves in Terraces, it took about three-quarters of an hour. This last time, it took you six hours to wake up.”

Owyn grimaced. “Sorry. I thought it might help. I just… I just keep making it worse.” He closed his eyes and hugged Alanar more tightly. “I… I don’t have to. I can… I can not do it.”

“No,” Alanar said. “No, you have to. We need to know how to control the heart visions before they kill you.” He shivered again. “I… I’m not helping at all. Maybe I should have let them get me drunk. Or knock me out. Or… or something.” He laughed, sounding strained. “I love you. I’m scared—”

“I know,” Owyn said. “I know. I love you, too. And I told you my new waking vision. You’re stuck with me for a long time yet.” He tugged out of Alanar’s arms, looking around. “Aven, would you—” He paused, looked up at Alanar. “I don’t need four healers here. Jehan can stay. You and Treesi, you take Alanar back to the suite. You take care of him.”

Alanar looked shocked. “You… I… what?”

Aven came forward and rested his hand on Alanar’s shoulder. “Only if he agrees, Mouse.”

Owyn smiled and nodded. He reached up and tugged Alanar down so he could whisper in his ear. “Let them take you back to the suite. Let them take care of you. And let them help you.”

“Take care of me?” Alanar asked.

Owyn reached up and laced his fingers into Alanar’s short hair, tugging gently. It was enough to make Alanar shudder, and Owyn smiled. “Yes, take care of you.”

Alanar snorted. “I thought you wanted to be there to watch when that happened,” he whispered back.

“I’m patient,” Owyn laughed. “Really patient. We won’t have a chance to do that again until we’re back. So go do it now, and you can tell me about it later. Bedtime stories.”

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Pen To Paper, Release date, RWA, Swords of Charlemagne, The Lady and the Sword, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, Write Faster!, writing-mom, 0 comments

(Insert May Song Reference Here)

I can think of at least three songs about the month of May, and have heard all three references at least once a day for the past three days. So pick your favorite and sing out!

The Sooper Sekrit project for the RWA as formally announced last week on Wednesday and Friday.

From the official announcement:

Pen to Paper: Guide to Writing Romance is an immersive seven-month romance writing program designed to ground you in writing romances so strongly that your inner critic will be forced into the back seat. Here are some program highlights:

  • Engage weekly in a five-person Partner Circle led by two published author Guides. This writing group will stick together throughout the program, creating that inner circle of allies and writing partners that could last long after the program ends.
  • Hear from experts in the romance universe via articles, audio recordings, live events, and exclusive videos developed for this program.
  • Receive and learn how to give the valuable critique that will lift your writing from average to excellent.

My team and I have been working on this for months now, and it’s finally live! Guides can start to apply TODAY, and Participants will be able to start applying in June. Check the link for more information.

And while doing all of that, I’m still working on my own stuff.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)
75515 / 150000 (50.34%)

Heir to the Firstborn is going well, and unless I pick the pace a bit, we’re not really halfway through, no matter what the wordcount says. I’m going to stick to my stance that this will be ONE book, not two. One book. One. If I keep saying that, it might come true.

Right?

I finished the proofreading on Table of Stone at the end of last week, and finalized the presale. You can pick up Hidden Things and preorder the rest of the series here. Hidden Things is now also available at all bookstores, not just Amazon. (Except I think I forgot to put it up on Eden Books, Smashwords and Google. Must fix those.)

There’s not much else to talk about at the moment. We’re coming down to the end of the school year, which means testing. In person testing, and I have to leave in a few minutes to go pick up High School Boy from day one of a two day test. Waiting to see what happens with COVID vaccines for teens, so I can plan for summer possible travel for the family and for school in the fall (our county has already nixed the at home model we’ve been using. So next year it’s off to realspace school!) Planning my own travel for the summer — RWA retreat in July, Orlando Reads Books in August, Necronomicon in September, and Books at the Beach in October! I’m going to be Writer on the Go!

And I still need to have Heir to the Firstborn ready to go for a November release, so it’s time for me to log off here and get to the words.

After I go pick someone up from school.

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Books at the Beach, conventions, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Necronomicon, Orlando Reads Books, Pen To Paper, publishing, RWA, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, writing-mom, 0 comments

WordPress is about as much fun as root canal.

This lovely blog is built on a WordPress engine, which I usually like, because it’s fairly easy (for me, anyway). But sometimes… yeah, sometimes.

There’s something going on under the hood with WordPress, where my desktop site will update, but those same changes won’t deliver to the mobile site if I pull it up on my phone. And if I don’t notice (which I don’t always), there will be weeks where my website goes unchanged if you look at it on mobile, even though I update it at least once a week regularly. And worse, if I look at the mobile site on the desktop (which is a preview option)? The changes are there. It’s only if I look at it on the phone that it breaks.

Caching. Yes, I know. And no, that’s not the problem At least, I don’t think it’s the problem. I think it has something to do with plugins, but I’m not sure what. So my troubleshooting consists of “What’s the last post on the mobile site? Oh, okay. What plugins updated that week? Ah. THAT one!” and disabling that plugin. It usually works, but I’d like a real answer at some point.

I suppose I’ll poke at it when I have time. Which I don’t right now, because writing and proofreading and planning and more planning…

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)
70429 / 150000 (46.95%)

Heir to the Firstborn is going to be massive. Bigger than Wings of Air massive. How do I know? It’s at just a hair over 70K words… and I’m still not quite at the halfway mark. Maybe two or three chapters to halfway. Then things are going to get… well, more interesting and more fast-paced. No, I am not splitting this into two books. I DID that already. Remember? This was supposed to be the second half of Wings of Air.

I’m almost done with the proofreading for Table of Stone, and at that point of editing where I keep having to stop myself from reading because it’s that good. I should be finished with the final proofs by the end of the week, well in advance of the September release.

Hidden Things releases wide tomorrow, and getting it set up was interesting — I apparently tried to do it before it was officially out of Kindle Unlimited, which made Draft to Digital have fits. I had to unsubmit and resubmit for publication this morning. But if everything goes well, Hidden Things will be available in Barnes and Noble, Kobo, the Apple Store, and a bunch of other places (and libraries!) tomorrow.

And… sometime this week, we should have the first official announcement on Sooper Sekrit project. Which is exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Once that goes live, I’ll post it here. And hopefully, WordPress will update on the mobile site, too.

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Pen To Paper, Planning, RWA, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, Updatey things, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, 0 comments

What a Week!!!!

Last week was… wow. Just… whiplash week!

It started Tuesday, when my computer crashed because of an Microsoft update that didn’t go as planned. Yes, that happens. I know. When I finally got the computer straightened out and go everything back up, part of chapter 17 and all of chapter 18 of Heir to the Firstborn were missing.

That’s when I learned that something else wasn’t going as planned.

My automatic saves to Dropbox weren’t saving. And hadn’t been, for about a week.

Now, my editing files are in Google Docs, so I had all of chapter 17, and could replace those missing words into the Scrivener file. But chapter 18 was irrevocable gone, so I started Wednesday planning to get to work on recreating those words.

Yeah… there were no words written on Wednesday, because this happened.

I posted my “where were you when you found out you had finaled?” story on social media (Answer? The shower!) And I’m still just over the moon about this, especially since Written in Water is the book that I pulled out of the 2020 RITA contest in protest. So having it final in the 2021 Vivian contest is just that much sweeter.

(And yes, I’m still giggling when a certain husband of mine comes up and sings “Finalist!”)

And on Thursday, I recreated all the words.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

64313 / 150000

 

So, last week was a pretty wild ride! And I don’t usually like roller coasters!

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, contest, Good news, Grateful writer is grateful, heady praise, Heir to the Firstborn, KermitArms, kvelling, RWA, SQUEEE, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, yippee, 0 comments

OMG!!!!

I had a doctor appointment first thing. Horrible timing, I KNOW. But it was scheduled when Vivian Day was still the 7th.

Got home, handed my phone to my husband, and went to take a shower. Neglected to take off my Fitbit (which is waterproof, so no big). I am shampooing my hair when my wrist goes off. I look at this blurry, wet screen, see LaQuette’s name, and I start crying. Because I know that LaQuette makes NO calls before 11AM, because writing time is scared. So there’s only one reason she’ll be calling me today.

My husband comes into the bathroom with the phone, and says “LaQuette wants to talk to you.” and hands me a towel. And I will SWEAR on a stack of Bibles and other assorted religious texts that I heard NOT A BLESSED WORD after “As President of the RWA…”

Except for the point where she asked me if I was all right. Answer? I am BETTER than all right!

I’m a Vivian Finalist!

Posted by EASchechter in RWA, 0 comments

It’s being a Monday.

I’m not sure why I always blog on a Monday. I mean, they get so Monday-ish and then here is it past 4PM Eastern and I’m just writing my first lines.

BOY, has it been a Monday!

There are days when you feel like the only adult in the daycare. And you’re not quite sure how anyone around you manages to tie their shoes, and you know the only reason that they can walk and breathe at the same time is that breathing is an involuntary reflex. If they had to think about both… well…

Yeah, it’s been a day.

Writing has been going well this week, and I’ve had a sudden case of the real world creeping into the writing. Because suddenly, there’s an outbreak of mountain fever in Adavar, and this was not in the outline. And since it wasn’t in the outline, I’m not sure yet how it will play out. But if you’ve read the early books, you know that mountain fever is something serious… and we’ll see where this goes.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

61458 / 150000 (40.97%)

I’m still working on page proofs for Table of Stone, and trying to figure out why there are blank pages between chapters. That’s an odd layout glitch that, if I can’t fix it, at least won’t hurt anything. The rest of the book seems fine. Hidden Things comes out of KU on the 25th of April, and goes wide on the 27th. So if you’ve been wanting Hidden Things but you buy your books from Barnes and Noble or the Apple store, the wait is almost over!

Tomorrow is two weeks since my second COVID shot, which means I’m about as vaccinated as I’m going to get. I’m hoping that the CDC approves Pfizer’s request for permission to vaccinate 12-15-year olds, because then everyone in my house will be vaccinated. Fingers crossed on that front!

In RWA news, the National Conference has been moved to be virtual, and will happen in November. More information on that as it comes. The July dates will now be a much smaller retreat, in person at the Gaylord Opryland, and again, more information as it comes in.

The SOOPER SEKRIT project isn’t much of a super secret anymore. I spoke about Pen to Paper at the RWA Town Hall last week. However, the marketing starts soon, so I’ll save the big announcement here for after the official announcement comes out from RWA.

And I think that’s just about everything. Time to go check and make sure people are still able to walk and breathe.

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Pen To Paper, Release date, RWA, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

A week has five days, right?

And now you’re wondering just what happened, aren’t you? How did I manage to misplace two days?

I got my second COVID vaccination, that’s how. I am now a full member of House Pfizer. For me, that involved a lot of flu-like symptoms and a LOT of sleeping. Which is how I lost two days last week.

Needless to say, there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot of writing done last week.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

57416 / 150000 (38.28%)

 

But you know what? It’s worth it. It’s totally worth it to be taking that one step closer to being able to go and do and see. Reader events are happening this year, and now, I can be part of them.

(I do want them to hurry up and get the formula together for the 16 and under set. Hopefully before August, so someone might maybe have a high school experience in an actual classroom, thank you. Although getting up at ridiculous in the morning to go to school is overrated, especially for teens who need their sleep! Not to mention Moms who need their sleep…)

Page proofs of Ashes and Light wrapped up this past weekend, so the book is now officially up for presale. I started page proofs on Table of Stone on Saturday, and I may very well have all four books ready to go before The Lady and the Sword goes live in May. That’s… what am I going to do with myself?

(Answer… work on the Spiffy Secret Project, that’s what. Full details coming in… umm… goodness, is THAT the date? Two weeks!!!!)

(Oh crap. Two weeks. Umm…I’ll talk to you all next week. I have work to do!)

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Ashes and Light, Eek!, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Pen To Paper, RWA, Swords of Charlemagne, to-dos, upcoming books, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Spring? Maybe?

The reason I say maybe is that we have 90 degree weather now, and will be going down to the 40s on Thursday. Whiplash weather means spring, right?

It also means allergies, and mine have been awful. I have complete sympathy for all of you out there who suffer through this season with itchy eyes, scratchy noses, and sounding like a pack-a-day lounge singer. There but for the grace of Loratidine go I.

Allergies make this season fun. When I had my first COVID vaccination, I spent the next three days sniffling and snorfling, and I have no idea if that was a vaccine reaction or allergies. Tomorrow is COVID vaccine, part two, and we’ll see how I feel over the next few days. I’ve heard that the days immediately after shot two are not pleasant. But it’s worth it.

I just don’t plan on getting much work done this week. And of course, it’s a newsletter week, so I’ll be prepping that well ahead of time.

I finished my edits on Table of Stone, and the proof copy is on the way. I’m almost done with the proofreading of Ashes and Light, so that means that Swords of Charlemagne is close enough to done that I can see the end from here. There are preorders up for the other three books and everything!

What the heck — have a cover montage:

In other writing news, Wings of Air released last week, and Heir to the Firstborn is a third of the way done! I think. Maybe. It’s a third of the way to my target words, at least,  and you all know how well I hit targets….

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

54267 / 150000 (36.18%)
I think I’ll be close this time. We’ll see.
Not much else is happening here, except that I’ve been bitten by a non-fiction bug that requires research and that may turn into a craft article (writing craft. Not fiber craft). We’ll see if that pans out.
Stay safe,  everyne.
Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Ashes and Light, cover art, except-for-when-it-is, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, new books, plot bunnies, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Release Day! Release Day! Release Day!

Tomorrow.

Wings of Air drops tomorrow(but maybe the paperback will drop tonight on Amazon. Depends on their systems.) If you preorder right now, you’ll have the book on your device in the morning. Amazon is here, and most of the other booksellers are over here. Smashwords is here, Google Books over here, and Eden Books is here.

I’m hard at work on Heir to the Firstborn (the final book of the series. Yes, this time I mean it.) I’m fourteen chapters and about a third of the way into the book.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

47875 / 150000 (31.92%)

 

Yes, I said fourteen chapters and only a third of the way in. This is going to be another monster book. Which may mean that I switch up Heir to the Firstborn with Table of Stone on my publishing schedule, and push Heir to the Firstborn back to a November release. We’ll see how things go as I work, and as things start to open up and I actually (gasp!) start to travel again.

Travel is, I fully admit, not something at the top of my to-do list. There are a couple of events on my calendar, but to be completely honest? If they don’t happen, or if they happen virtually? I’ll be okay with that.  Somewhat. I like virtual events. I like being able to talk to people half a world away without having to fly there. But I really can’t wait for the in person events. I miss the hugs.

It’s hard, not knowing which way is up. Not really being able to plan because we’re not sure if the things we’re planning for are actually going to happen, and if they do happen, what form they’ll take. Prepping for a virtual event is very different from prepping for an in-person event. It’s harder to focus on a virtual event, at least for me, simply because I’m not removed from my regular space — there are still dishes and laundry to do, and all my stuff is right here. At an in-person event, it’s easier to be on, easier to be “Writer Liz” as opposed to “Mom Liz.” The act of putting on the appearance clothes and the makeup (which I usually don’t wear) helps put me into the headspace. But if I put on the appearance clothes and the makeup for a virtual event, it’s more like just dressing up, because it’s out of context — I’m really still in my office.

And I can’t hug the people in my screen.

But, this is the world we live in right now. And, since I plan on living in it for a LOT longer? The hugs are going to be as virtual as the conventions.

Stay safe, everyone.

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, appearances, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, forthcoming works, Good news, Heir to the Firstborn, new books, promotions, publishing, Table of Stone, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

One Year

I just went back and looked at my post from this week one year ago.

One year ago, all we knew about Covid-19 was that it was new and scary and really, really dangerous.

One year ago, we’d just entered quarantine.

One year ago, I had three kids living under my roof because reasons.

One year ago, I said that I doubted we’d be going back to school in person at all for the 2019-2020 school year.

One year ago, all the theme parks in Florida closed down for the rest of the month.

One year ago, the conventions and reader events started to postpone and cancel.

Now?

Well, school is still not in person, not for everyone. My son has attended his first year of high school from his bedroom.

The theme parks were closed for three months, and still aren’t all the way open.

I’m back to one child under my roof. Miss the other two like crazy, but it’s not safe to see them. Not yet. Soon.

I had my first Covid vaccine shot last Tuesday. There’s word of a promising antiviral. As rates of vaccination have gone up, the number of hospitalizations for the 65-and-over age range has gone drastically down.

Things aren’t the way they were. They may never be the way they were. But there’ s hope now.

It’s an odd feeling, hope. I’m not used to it.

On the writing front, there’s been a LOT of writing this past year — since last March, I’ve written:

  • three books in The Chronicles of John Zebedee.
  • Time for No Mercy
  • Wings of Air
  • The first third of Heir to the Firstborn.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

43806 / 150000 (29.20%)

There’s a lot more to come, too. And that’s just new words! I’ve edited and reedited the first three Swords of Charlemagne books and am working on book four, and I’ve proofread the first two once I had proof copies, and am working on the third.

Wings of Air drops a week from tomorrow, on Amazon and everywhere ebooks are sold (and you can order the print books!)

I’m still on the RWA Board, still working my tail off. The Super Seekrit project will launch next month, and it is going to be AMAZING.  (okay, so it’s not really so super seekrit — I’m the lead on the Pen to Paper project, which used to be called Push to Publish. But I can’t tell you anything more until we launch so SUPER SEEKRIT!)

Several of the conferences I was supposed to attend in 2020 are in the planning stages for 2021. I have my hotel reservations for Orlando Reads Books, and Books at the Beach. The only reason I don’t have my hotel reservations for RWA Nationals or Necronomicon is because there’s no hotel block for those yet. And I have my fingers crossed! Things are still tenuous for conventions, and several others have postponed or cancelled their 2021 dates. So we’ll see what happens.

One year ago, I wrote in this blog that the only way out was through.

We’re almost through, folks. Just a little more.

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Books at the Beach, conventions, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Necronomicon, Orlando Reads Books, RWA, Swords of Charlemagne, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments