Tea & Sorcery in 2019
So, this week, I formatted all the Coffee & Ghosts books for large print. And if not for that incident at Bowker, I’d have a block of ISBNs, and the titles would already be available for purchase rather than sitting on my hard drive.
I consolidated my notes on the manuscript revision, wrote out questions I need to answer, and now I’m banking it for later. Why?
Well, I’ve gone as far as I can for the moment. Also? It’s been exactly three months since I finished the second draft of The Trouble with Necromancers. It’s time to start again and get this new series out the door.
That’s right, 2019. I’m looking at you.
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.
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.
And … it’s done! The second draft came in at 81,000 words. I added about 13,000 words during the revision, and I’m feeling good about that.
I still need to do a third draft. There are things I want to refine before I send this manuscript off to an editor. I will let it sit for about a week or two before I tackle that.
Because this is going to be a series, I’ll be setting up a series bible so I can keep all my world building information in one place. I’m thinking about using OneNote, but I’m open to suggestions.
I will also work on a few short stories–in fact, I started one yesterday. And I’m planning a companion novella for the series as well, and I will ponder that a bit while I work on building the series bible.
So, I made a discovery this week that the e-book version of The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading is at 99 cents in all the US stores. That was a surprise. I think it started around Wednesday, based on the rank shift over on Amazon.
As I said on Friday, now’s the time to grab a copy if you don’t already have one.
Kindle Nook Apple Kobo Google Play
Edited to add: looks like the price is going up on various retailers (Kobo, Google). Well, it was fun while it lasted.
In revision news, I’ve added ~8,000 words to the second draft. This is moving a little slower than I’d like. Or rather, I think I should be moving faster through the manuscript, but on reflection, I suspect this pace is just right. I’ve rearranged events and moved scenes around, and I simply can’t drop a scene into the manuscript as is. There’s emotional context to consider, story threads to weave in or tug out.
So, while part of me wants to zoom through this revision, another part of me is pleased with my progress so far.
Kitty has no suggestions for a series name
I’m 30,000 words into the revision. That’s almost halfway, or at least, it’s almost halfway through the original draft word count.
I’m still pondering not only a title for this particular book, but a name for the entire series as well. And I’m almost at my wit’s end and seriously considering Tea & Witches (as a complement to Coffee & Ghosts).
But, of course, Coffee & Ghosts started out as simply a shorthand way of referring to the stories I was writing. Then the whole thing bloomed into a serial/series, and by that time, the name was set. Because of this, I’ve had to explain what the heck Coffee and Ghosts actually is, with an essay here on my website and in all the books.
This is not a road I wish to travel with this series, even if it’s a spin-off. That being said, it would be very, very on brand. If you enjoy brainstorming, feel free to read the book’s description here and offer up suggestions.
So, I took last week off and traveled all the way to North Carolina for a family reunion! It was fun, exhausting, and thankfully, I did not have to perform in the talent show (a reunion tradition). I didn’t get much writing done, but I lounged by the pool and did a lot of reading.
I was back at it this week, and I’m closing in on 25,000 words of revised, revamped, new words in the manuscript. I’m pleased with my progress, but I suspect it will need another (fairly quick–or so I hope) revision before I send it off to an editor.
In other news, the results are now official over on the Easy Street Magazine’s website for the Portal Prize.
I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that I’ll make even more progress on the revision this week. The first third needed … help. The next two thirds? Maybe not as much. I don’t know. We’ll see.
Sunrise at the lake
I’ve moved from working on the exercises in The Emotional Craft of Fiction and have jumped into the actual revision. I still highly recommend the book, especially if you’re looking for something to jumpstart your manuscript or revision process.
I’m about 9,000 words into the revision. This isn’t simply going over the scenes I’ve already written. True, there’s some of that, but a lot of it is moving things around, pondering what happens if events occur in a different order, some brand new writing, and so on.
In other news, I found out that my story In a Manner of Speaking was a finalist for Easy Street’s first annual Portal Prize for Speculative Fiction, and it will be published in their print anthology in 2019. For anyone who’s counting, this is the third time I’ve sold this story. The great thing about Easy Street is they accept both published and unpublished fiction.
And … that’s it for this week! I’m off to cook some dinner and maybe add to the revision.
New short (very short) story release this week!
My flash fiction piece, The Potato Bug War, is now available in issue #19 of Pulp Literature.
This is my second historical fiction story, and like The Saint of Bright Red Things, it takes place in France during World War Two.
And it’s so short, that all I’ll say is it’s about insects, Nazis, and resistance.
Curious? You can order a copy from Amazon or Pulp Literature directly.
In other news, I’ve added about 10,000 more words to the revision exercises I’ve been doing, sketched out a few “big picture” ideas, and got knocked in the side of the head with yet another idea I might like to write. I’m resisting that mightily (for now).
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.