Category Archives: The cat

Weekly writing check-in: round one, done

They look like they’re about to drop an album … or take a nap.

Somehow (and I’m not sure how), I made it through the first round of edits on The Trouble with Necromancers. I managed to cut ~6,500 words in the process as well.

Yesterday I printed the whole thing off, and I will do this next edit on paper. While I’m doing that, I will also revisit the series structure, because changing up the first book means all the others change as well (like so many falling dominos).

I also managed to get the second Coffee and Ghosts book into large print. This coming week I hope to finish up the third, and then I may just tackle hardcovers. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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Weekly writing check-in: turkeys and world building

This week, I finally finished getting all my books uploaded to Ingram Spark and into KDP Print. Whew. One task off my list.

I also did some extensive world building. Lots and lots of notes, notions, and ideas. I think I’m ready to move into the actual manuscript revision. I may revisit The Emotional Craft of Fiction while I do so. I really enjoyed working through the exercises a few months back with The Trouble with Necromancers.

And that’s about it for this week. I’ll leave you with this picture of turkeys in and around our crabapple tree.

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Weekly writing check-in: solving an essential problem

I did some work on revision this week. I managed to write a “pitch” (although, I don’t pitch anymore, so it’s more of a description of the story), worked on some covers for the series (these just came out of the blue), and made some overall progress on the story structure.

I’m nearly done with moving all my paperbacks into KDP Print and into the Ingram system. Additionally, I also solved an essential problem I was having.

How to share my desk with the cat.

So, after the renovations, instead of moving my printer back to my desk, I decided on one of these:

It’s a Hepper Nest Cat Bed. It’s amazing. Oreo loves it. It keeps her off my keyboard (most of the time). And we couldn’t be happier.

Oreo in her nest bed.

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Weekly writing check-in: a little light housekeeping

So, it’s November, which means many writers are doing National Novel Writing Month. As for me, I’m planning on using November to do a little light housekeeping.

This week, I finished the read-through of a novel I’d written a while back, and I’m thinking it could be something. With some work, that is. The next step is to essentially write an editorial letter … to myself. Then I’ll work on how I want to revise the story.

I need to move my books from Createspace to KDP Print. While I’m doing that, I want to upload the titles to Ingram Spark for extended distribution. I’m selling enough in print that I’m really leaving money on the table using Amazon’s version of extended distribution.

I’ll also search for some markets/reprint markets for some of my shorter fiction as well and fill up my submission tracker as well. It’s looking a little thin these days.

I’m sure I’ll think of other housekeeping chores for the month as well. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

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Weekly writing check-in: more short stories, novella, and Photoshop

Oreo, volunteer editor

I am diligently trying to keep myself out of the Photoshop black hole. Fortunately (or, perhaps, unfortunately), I don’t have a title for the first book or the series it’s supposed to be in, so there’s only so much cover designing I can do.

Yeah. I need a title, especially since I’d like to publish this year.

In other news, not only did I complete the outline for the novella, but I started the draft. I finished up revising/editing two short stories that I plan to send off this week as well.

All in all, it was a good writing week.

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Weekly writing check-in: Hello, July!

Kitty can’t believe the year is half over

A quick update from last week: I did successfully find some cupcakes. The girls demolished the strawberry ones so quickly it was almost frightening.

In writing news, I have somehow managed ~12,000 words of revised/new content while using the exercises in The Emotional Craft of Fiction. This surprised me since I feel as if I’m plodding along and not making a lot of progress. Additionally, I revamped the opening scenes as well.

Sometimes, you have to stop and take stock of where you’ve been.

This week, I’m looking forward to getting some more work done on the exercises in the book as well as some additional brainstorming for the rest of the series. I have several high-level story threads that I want to keep track of as I move through not only this revision but the rest of the series.

I also might follow kitty’s lead and schedule some time for a nap.

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Weekly writing check-in: reading pillows and dictation

So tomorrow is the big day. My BookBub featured deal for the first season of Coffee and Ghosts goes out the door (or through the email server) bright and early.

To say I’m nervous is an understatement. In fact, I’ve been dreaming about the featured deal. I’ve been checking obsessively to make sure that the book is still free everywhere. So far so good.

If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, you should, you really should. Because, again, it’s free everywhere.

To follow up on my cryptic note from last week about productivity, I’ve decided to try dictation.

While I am hoping it will help me write more, I’m not sure if I’m going to use it to dictate actual stories, or if I’ll just use it to brainstorm notes, outlines, and things like that. But the main reason I’m looking into this is that I want to future-proof my writing.

Last year on Mother’s Day I woke up with my upper back, my neck, and my right arm completely seized up—and it hurt like you wouldn’t believe. I could barely move. I really couldn’t write, and I could barely do my job.

We just finished up a huge software update at work, and I was starting to head down that path again, and that’s not a place I want to go. Despite doing all of my physical therapy exercises, it’s still a little iffy at this point.

I did write this week, but not as much as I wanted to. So. Dictation. I’ve been reading up on it. I’ve been practicing. I’ve also made some classic mistakes as well, like jumping into my work-in-progress and trying to dictate that.

Pro tip: don’t do this.

New reading pillow: what’s mine is hers.

I’ve discovered I can’t look at the screen when I dictate, and a lot of the advice on dictation echoes this. Looking puts you into editing mode, and I think it’s even worse than editing while you’re drafting on the keyboard.

I think my ideal set up is going to be to walk and talk. Right now I’m just trying out a recorder app on my phone. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a system that may not work for me. On the other hand, I did dictate last week’s blog, and right now I am dictating the draft to this week’s blog.

True, I need to do a little editing, but a lot less than I expected.

And now, I’m going to go reclaim my reading pillow.

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