Bait, Fish, and Reel Report for June 2015!

As per usual, I feel like I didn’t accomplish much last month. But upon reflection, I realize it wasn’t as bad as it feels, really.

Here is what I accomplished in June:

  • Completed the second chapter of Hound of God  (2601 words) and started the third, plus wrote a 700 ish word segment for Hound during our retreat SIAB.
  • Wrote about 2000 words toward the LOTR fanfic.
  • Listened/read the entire 350ish page book Write.Publish.Repeat.
  • Set up and paid for a mailbox for Wordwraith Books use.
  • Bought my own domain name.
  • Read more of fellow Wordwraith’s novel and sent feedback on chapters 2-4.
  • Attended the 1st Wordwraiths writing retreat!
  • Uploaded retreat Story In a Bag to Patreon for my paying patrons.
  • Wrote 3 posts for Doctor Who Watch.
  • Wrote 1 blog post for myself.
  • Submitted “Gray” to A Murder of Storytellers “Broken Worlds” anthology, received email saying they were keeping it for a second read.
  • Further researched self-publishing and launch strategies etc, bought lots of craft books, joined a few important mailing lists, chatted with other indie authors.

And that’s about it …

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Giving Myself Permission to JUST. WRITE.

You may have noticed I am blogging significantly less than I used to. At the very least, I used to be pretty good about my Writing Prompt Wednesday posts. But not so these days. These days I can scarce keep up with my monthly goal posts and monthly what-in-the-crap-did-I-actually-do-this-month posts.

Part of this is due to me now writing on a weekly basis for Doctor Who Watch (thus, less time for my own blogging). Part of this is due to the fact that blogging takes up a great deal of energy for me. And it always has. Those of you who’ve been around here for awhile probably picked up on the fact that if I blog, it’s usually about some realization about myself or my writing I’ve recently had, or about some lesson that’s finally clicked into place in my head.

I express myself better through writing, and always have. I like to write self-revelations down so that I remember them. When something unfolds in my head and I finally GET IT, I want to jot it down as best I can, for Future Me. That’s what I’m doing even right this very moment, with this post.

But this means that my posts are not often light and short and quick. They are long and involved and generally heavier. Thus the high energy and high time commitment to writing them. Thus my not writing as many lately. I’ve been concentrating on other things, things I put a higher priority on than keeping up with this blog. Sometimes … a lot of times … I would think of this blog, sitting here gathering dust, and feel guilty for not making myself post more often (which would, essentially, also require me to change what this blog really is for me).

And then, just last month, I started listening to the audiobook of “Write. Publish. Repeat.” (I have since finished it.) There are a few moments in my life as relate to my writing career that crystalize everything into a wonderful moment of clarity. Usually these moments get blog posts. If I were to look back in my timeline of my writing career, these moments are the pillars. The lynchpins. The spring boards. The moments I can clearly see as being vital to my advancement as a writer. (And luckily most of them are preserved here, lol.)

Listening to “Write. Publish. Repeat.” was one of those moments. I can already say that hearing that book has changed my life. Not only because it set forth a sound self-publishing strategy among a sea — a roiling, unruly SEA — of varying self-publishing advice, but because it did so in such a simple, straight forward, inspirational and motivational way.

I am nearing the moment when I will self-publish my very own book for the first time. And realizing this, I panicked. I knew nothing. (Like, less than Jon Snow.) Researching in an attempt to find help made things worse. Even asking other indie authors was a challenge. Everyone has a different strategy that works for them. I felt like I might be losing my mind.

Then, desperate, I bought a handful of self-publishing How To books recommended by Jane Friedman. “Write. Publish. Repeat.” was the one I read first, and solely because it was offered on audio book. I am SO GLAD I did this.

I am calm now. I have a plan. And yes, I will still adapt the suggested strategy to best fit my own needs, but at least I have a solid FOUNDATION that is PROVEN. The authors make a full-time living (all three of them) at self-publishing. It CAN be done. I don’t want or need millions, I would just like a living, someday, eventually, please.

It’s not easy, but I never asked for easy. I just wanted some advice. Some pointers. The tiniest of visible trails in the mad JUNGLE that is indie publishing.

“Write. Publish. Repeat.” did that in the best way possible. It was EXACTLY what I needed at this point in my writing life. And it reiterated what I’ve heard several authors state before: Just write your books.

But pffft, when you hear that from a big name, it’s easy to sluff off. Sure, THEY can just worry about writing, but my situation is different because I’m publishing myself, and I need a website, and I need social media, and I need a blog, and I need a badass cover, and I literally have to do all of this and I mean everything all by myself …

But no. That’s not true at all. All I really need to do is the same thing every other author really needs to do.

JUST. WRITE.

Just write the books. That’s it.

*breathes massive sigh of relief*

For some reason, hearing this stated over and over again from Johnny and Sean (and Dave) made it finally sink in. Throughout the course of their book, they made me like them, and trust them, and that’s probably also a big reason why it finally stuck. They weren’t someone unreachable I’ve never met, so to say. They were “real” people. And if it worked for them, it could work for me.

Just write.

So now, when everything else starts crowding around in my brain, everything I feel like needs attention related to my writing career, I simply take a breath and remind myself to just write the story, and don’t worry about anything else right now.

Blogging is not what I want to do in life. It is helpful to me, for sure, and I hope helpful to any other writers out there, and I also hope it’s interesting for any readers (you never knew we writers were so neurotic, did you?), but it’s not my *thing*. My THING is WRITING BOOKS, damnit, and that’s what I’m going to do!

Don’t be surprised if you don’t see me around here too often, aside from the monthly updates and random EUREKA posts. I will be adding a mailing list to this site shortly, which will be much more fun for me to send out regularly, and which will include updates and excerpts from my in-progress projects, as well as possibly a special small serial fiction just for my subscribers. So if you’d like to keep hearing from me regularly and stay apprised of progress, that would be the way to go!

Otherwise I’ll pop in every now and again to chronicle my discoveries and goals. But I’m not going to feel guilty about not consistently throwing up content anymore, because I’ll be too busy WRITING MY BOOKS.

Remember, my dear fellow authors …

JUST. WRITE.

My First Official Publication! (and a few other BIG announcements!)

All right, *technically* it’s not my first official publication. I *did* have those scientific research papers that had my name on them, published in peer-reviewed journals. And I *did* have a blog post as a Friday Feature article in the online Woven Tale Press magazine.

But I count *this one* as my first official publication because, after plugging away at this original fiction writing thing since October 2012, I will finally have something of mine put in a book that is available to the general public to buy and read for entertainment!

*pauses to do another happy dance*

WHEEEEE!!!

Okay, so … yes, on to the official announcement. Ahem.

My 300 word flash fiction story (you remember that one, yes?), entitled “The Bloodrose Venture”, was accepted for publication in the Queer Sci Fi’s 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Anthology “Discovery”, available for pre-order RIGHT NOW, and due for official release on July 10th, 2015!

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My story is on page 138, to be precise. But you won’t be disappointed by the other stories in this anthology, either. They are all great reads, and the brilliance of some of them gives me goosebumps. There’s something about flash fiction I just love, especially when the author can really leave you with a punch right at the very end, and a lot of these stories do that.

They end, and you’re like … *blink*blink* …. “DAMN!”

Great stuff all around. But that’s not all! Oh no.

My second announcement is that, if you will so kindly glance up there to your address bar, you will see that I now officially (and finally) have a real domain name! It took long enough, right? Well, that’s just the first of some major changes that will be going on around here. Over the course of the next several weeks, I’ll be whipping this website into professional shape. Bear with me as this happens. It might get messy! But in the long run it will be worth it and so much better.

And last, but most certainly not least, my third announcement is the unveiling of the new and improved website of The Wordwraiths, my writing-group-turned-so-much-more. We now comprise an independent publishing group: Wordwraith Books. You can learn more about us over on our website, as well as view the biographies for each of us. You will hear from one of us every week over on the Wordwraiths blog as we talk about all sorts of writing and reading related subjects, so follow along to be included in the fun! We will also be releasing a series of short stories beginning a little later this year, with an anthology available at the end of this year. If you are an author and are interested in contributing a guest post to our blog, or would like to schedule a blog tour stop, drop me an email from here or leave an email from the Wordwraiths site and we can talk opportunities!

Lots of stuff happening around here, folks! The ball is really starting to roll, and I’m going to hang on for the ride!

Stay tuned for more!

 

 

Project List for June 2015

And now it is time to publicly declare what I intend to get done in June! It’s going to be a busy month, folks. I love it when I set ridiculous self-imposed deadlines! O_o

  • Finish at least the rough draft of Hound of God and order test proof book through CreateSpace using NaNoWriMo winner free copies.
  • Commission and pay for the main illustration for Hound of God (and possibly order prints for swag giveaway later!).
  • Attend our 1st annual Wordwraiths writing retreat!
  • Fix Patreon posting problems and upload a free work for patrons since they got screwed out of the last one. (Done! 6.2.15 And if you would like to consider becoming a patron yourself, you can visit my profile here! Patrons get sneak peeks and exclusives!)
  • Continue to read fellow Wordwraith’s novel and offer feedback notes per chapter.

And that should be enough for now! WHEW!

Bait, Fish, and Reel Report for May 2015!

Well, here it is. My progress report for the month of May 2015. I can’t believe this year is basically half over already. Ridiculous!

Since my previous way of listing everything out was cumbersome and slow (not to mention full of zeroes, which ended up being depressing and not particularly an accurate representation of what I’d been doing), I’ve now decided to do a much more informal type of recap. The Wordwraiths (my writing group) post our accomplishments and goals each month internally, so I thought I’d just copy the format there, rather than reinvent the wheel.

Without further ado, here are my writerly escapades for the month of May:

  • Edited first chapter of Primus. Stopped editing Primus.
  • Recruited artist for Hound of God illustrations.
  • Booked cover designer for Hound of God and received/approved cover concept proof.
  • Wrote and submitted 300 word flash fiction for QSF contest.
  • Submitted “Gray” to A Murder of Storyteller’s Broken Worlds anthology.
  • Attended ConQuest 46 and wrote another short “The Case of Moonvalley Manor” (for the Story in a Bag challenge). (782 words)
  • Read first two chapters of a fellow Wordwraith’s novel and made content notes (which I need to send him!).
  • Began researching and reading up on how to properly self-publish, self-market, and manage Amazon author page and sales.
  • Wrote entire outline for full plot of Hound of God. (1848 words)
  • Edited and fleshed out Chapter 1 of Hound of God. (~1800 words)
  • Began writing Chapter 2 of Hound of God. (~1000 words)

And there you have it. So bring it on, June!

Win a Copy of Chaos Station!

These two lovely ladies have written an awesome book, and you can win a copy for your own by commenting on this fun post! 🙂

Kelly Jensen

What’s Your Ashushk Name?

In LONELY SHORE, book two of Chaos Station, the crew of the Chaos visits Qekelough’s home planet, Ashushk Prime. We had a much more convoluted name picked out for it. Well, I did, but neither Jenn nor I could reliably spell it, and no one with a human mouth could say it. So we decided to give the planet a human designation and leave the unmentionables to the ashies. We did, however, have fun naming the other ashushk.

So, what’s your ashushk name?

Pick a letter. It can be from your name, or totally random—this is for fun, after all! Match the letter with the list and post your result in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of CHAOS STATION, book one of Chaos Station.

ashushknames2

Small print: Competition is open to the U.S. and internationally, and closes midnight (EST) tonight…

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Jane Friedman on Getting Traditionally Published After Self-Publishing

For a very long time (considering I’ve been meaning to be published for about 16 years now), I had been told by industry professionals and experts that self-publishing your work meant you would never be traditionally published.

Self-publishing got you blacklisted, is how it came across.

It wasn’t until just a few years ago, while attending one of the RT Booklover’s conventions, that I learned this was no longer the case. You could actually be a “hybrid author”, as they called themselves, and make a good living, and be happy.

And no one would blacklist you.

Imagine my relief! That’s exactly what I had always wanted as an author, even 16 years ago. I guess I just had to wait for the publishing industry (and technology) to catch up to me.

Then you hear all the few and far between (but highly popular) stories about authors like Hugh Howey, and suddenly everyone tries to do the same thing, but without the proper preparation and learning beforehand.

Sigh. Oh well. It was bound to happen.

Still, I love to find articles by industry professionals on this phenomenon, and today I found another great one by Jane Friedman. If you think being a hybrid author might be for you, you’ll probably like this post. Good points to keep in mind!

Enjoy!