November 14, 2021 · 11:15 am
I may have mentioned that I have a time travel series idea that’s been knocking around inside my head for about … four years now.
I never claimed to be a fast writer.
Or thinker, as the case may be. I pondered season four of Coffee and Ghosts for a good four years before I sat down to (seriously) write it. True, I did do a trial run in 2020, but I jettisoned it because … 2020.
When I tried again this year, it only took me six months to write 100,000 words. That’s not a bad pace, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. The entire story includes pondering and note-taking and letting it all simmer.
Instead of being frustrated by this, I’ve decided to embrace it and make it fun. Because it’s not changing. How do I know this? I’ve tried. Oh, how I’ve tried. I have learned that I’m not one of those zippy writers who can write a book a month.
I’ve attempted to adhere to the pithy writing advice of Don’t think, write.
Guess what? It doesn’t work for me. What I get is a mess of a draft or a story that’s anemic.
I also don’t outline. I take lots of notes, create a framework or a roadmap, but I don’t go beyond that, either. And yes, I’ve tried to meticulously outline as well. When I do that, I overcomplicate the story.
So here I am, plotters to the left of me, pantsers to the right, stuck in the middle with me.
Only now, I’m owning it.
November 7, 2021 · 11:10 am
I spent this week doing a bit of clean-up. I finished adjusting my prices on Ingram Spark (for their price increase). I’ve been adding print book URLs to all my Books2Read links.
This is a manual process, and while I’m thrilled about having print links, It. Is. Tedious.
I’m really pleased with the release of The Ghosts You Left Behind. Early reviews are in, and the response is heartening. One of my biggest fears with this season was making things interesting and fresh while keeping the promise of the series.
What’s next? I’m not sure. I have several projects simmering on the stove of my mind. I visit each one, stir and taste, maybe add some spices, and set it back to simmering. (I’m not sure this makes sense to anyone but me.)
I’ve come to accept that I’m not the sort of writer who plans books and series in advance, with a calendar and project management software. One of those simmering stories will come to the forefront and let me know it’s ready to be written.
In the meantime, I have books to read, Photoshop tutorials to complete, and any number of writing-related things I can do.
October 31, 2021 · 8:00 am
Yes, at long last! The release of The Ghosts You Left Behind: Coffee and Ghosts 4.
If Katy and Malcolm want a future, they’ll need to survive the past.
When Katy and Malcolm discover a secret stash of Springside ghosts, they can’t tell if they’re on a rescue mission, walking into a trap—or dealing with something far more sinister.
But the simple act of freeing the ghosts sets the past on a collision course with the present.
Katy has always known the past can haunt. Usually, that’s something she can fix with freshly brewed coffee and some Tupperware.
This time, old enemies lurk in the shadows, pulling strings and weaving inescapable webs.
When she falls in, survival may be impossible. But to escape, Katy must navigate threads from the past, deal with capricious spirits, dubious allies, and ruthless adversaries.
And if she fails?
No one she loves will have a future.
Coffee & Ghosts is a cozy paranormal mystery/romance serial told over multiple episodes. This series bundle contains all three novella-length episodes of Season Four:
- Episode 1: The Ghosts You Left Behind
- Episode 2: Misty Sandborne and the Vampire Husband
- Episode 3: The Necromancer’s Nephew
What now? Well, now I have a Little Free Library and Halloween table to decorate. And maybe a nap to take.
Filed under Books, Coffee & Ghosts, Publishing, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing
Tagged as Coffee and Ghosts, Ghosts, Halloween, Pre-order, Speculative fiction, The Ghosts You Left Behind, Writing
October 24, 2021 · 11:03 am
Almost more there for the release of The Ghosts You Left Behind: Coffee and Ghosts 4:
- Print versions all set up.
- Newsletters sent out.
- Sale on the Seasons 1 – 3 book bundle on Smashwords (for those who need to catch up). 50% off!
This slow and steady approach seems to be working. Pre-orders are trickling in nicely. (Yes, I know. No one’s more surprised than I am.) This is definitely the way to release a book–low key and low stress.
October 17, 2021 · 12:21 pm
So, do you know what I have this week?
I mean, other than a pre-order?
Print books (in process) and pumpkins!
And I’m exhausted. It’s not that hard to do, but it adds up when you’re creating paperback, large print, and hardcover editions.
So, I will keep this short and take the rest of the day off while the title winds its way through all the various vendors and systems.
October 10, 2021 · 8:26 am
You know what I have this week?
That’s right. I have a pre-order.
People, people. It. Is. Done.
Well, almost. I’m currently getting all the print versions. That will take a few more days. But really?
I went with a release date of October 31st. Halloween fits both the story and the entire series. I had hopes of releasing the book last year, also on Halloween. But we all know what happened last year.
So, like a lot of couples, Katy and Malcolm had to postpone their wedding. But now?
And you can find The Ghosts You Left Behind at your favorite e-book retailer.
October 3, 2021 · 12:38 pm
Okay, at this point, I should call these check-ins: Whenever I want writing check-in.
But! I’ve been working on the edits for Coffee and Ghosts, Season Four.
It’s. Almost. Done.
The last episode is with my proofreader (and she does a tremendous job), and I have the Vellum file set up, so all I need to do is drop that last episode in, and then I can generate all the files for publishing.
Before I sent the manuscript for proofing, I tried something new with my listening edit this time around. I made a free account on Amazon Web Services and used Amazon Polly to create audio files.
Then I played the files on my phone and did a “story and sound” edit. I’ve done these in the past, but I’ve been tied to my desktop PC. This way, I was able to move around and pause the audio when I heard something hinky.
Curious about doing that yourself? Joanna Penn has everything you need to know. Check out this post on The Creative Penn.
September 5, 2021 · 10:43 am
For the most part, I am making sense of all my squiggles.
I’m currently working in Word with Grammarly opened in the side panel. This is something new. In the past, I’ve completed my edits and then would open Grammarly to pick up on anything I might have missed.
Note: this is not the way I draft anything. When I draft, spellcheck, grammar checks, everything is off, off, off.
But I find Grammarly a bit tedious. There are any number of things I simply skip (and you should too). And I wasn’t looking forward to running a check after I was all done with the edits. So? Two for one!
It seems to be working. The edits may be a bit slower, but that’s not a bad thing.
Also, I’m pretty sure the only reason Grammarly has “checked” +300,000 words is it runs the check each time I open the manuscript or wake my desktop. I look far more productive than I actually am.
August 29, 2021 · 8:20 am
Oh, look at me doing two check-ins in a row. I know. It’s crazy.
This week, I made it through all the hand edits. I ran out of blue tabs, so I had to use yellow for episode two. Then I ran out of pink for the chapters, and episode three is in purple and green. And I used all the green tabs as well (episode three is the longest).
But the thing with hand editing like this? The updates aren’t going to magic themselves into the manuscript.
That’s my task for today and this coming week (I’m hoping the long US holiday will help with that).
So, I’m going to dive into all those tabs and squiggles I’ve created. We’ll see if they make sense.
August 22, 2021 · 10:00 am
Yes, I know.
I should probably call these posts monthly writing check-in. I’m not going to make any promises about posting more often, except I want to blog more about my new Little Free Library, books, and writing in general. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed, okay?
So, not only have I finished the draft of Coffee and Ghosts, Season Four, I’m well into the revision. In fact, I’m through episode one, the short story, and started on episode two this weekend.
When I draft, I write in block format. I use Cambria typeface (the default for Microsoft Word on Mac), and I only use scene breaks, no chapters. Also? Spell and grammar checks are off.
For the first round of edits, I first do a quick spell and grammar check. Just the big stuff, so the mistakes don’t annoy or distract me. Then, I change the font to Times New Roman, bump it up to 14, and then put it into standard manuscript formatting.
Honestly, I think making it look different does wonders for adding emotional distance (as does time–I haven’t peeked at episode one since I finished it).
I go through the entire manuscript and mark it up by hand. This is also when I figure out where I want the chapters to be.
New for this edit: I decided to mark where all the scenes are (blue) and where I think the chapters should fall (pink). This gives me a good visual for where the chapters should be. Also? I highly recommend a header with page numbers, at the very least. You drop this thing? And the papers scatter all over the floor?
It’s nothing but wailing and crying and gnashing of teeth after that.