I’m back at the Evil Day Job again, and that means my December Close Out plan is over. Just like every year I don’t feel like I did nearly enough, this break slipped by even faster than last years. But I did complete the major items on my wish list. I finished the first draft of Dirty Work and revised, and with only a few hours left in the year, I submitted Reunion Makes Three. I’ll keep you in the loop when it gets picked up and when it will be out.
Not a bad amount of work for two weeks, but I always feel like I could do more. I always wish I could write more, faster, better. I don’t know that I’ll ever get over that. If I do it will probably be the end of my writing career :)
When I look back on 2012 I feel the same way. I feel like I could have done more, but I’m proud of what I did do. I had six releases this year, if you count my self-publish work and free read (which followed essentially the same process as any other work I’ve released). And I have two more under contract, Wandering Off the Path which goes on preorder next week (January 7th to be exact), and Jack the Bodice Ripper that should be releasing soon.
Also this year I’ve done a lot to learn about my writing. I took a dip into self-publishing. I attended The Romance Convention and learned a lot about the industry, some great tips on writing and meet some awesome people. I plan to use everything I've gathered from these experiences in the year ahead to improve my writing and be more effective with my time.
Unfortunately I didn’t make my reading goal this year, which makes me a little sad (I hate not meeting any goal, even if it’s one I’ve set myself). But according to my goodreads statistics I did real more pages than I did last year. When I look over some of the books I’ve read this year, it makes sense. I did read a lot more novels than novellas, especially from my fellow Siren sisters. So maybe it all evens out in the end. But with all I had going on this year something had to give, and apparently it was reading.
And not completing Nanowrimo, while understandable, still bothers me a little. Its rare for me not to complete that goal, though I have yet to sell an Nanowrimo work (though Wandering was a Maynowrimo project).
All in All 2012 was a pretty good year for my writing, despite the craziness and distraction of my everyday life, and I think I’m set up for an even better 2013.
I officially threw in the Nanowrimo towel a few days ago. It was a long shot from the very start of the month, but the final nail in the coffin was the cold I picked up at our family Thanksgiving. Further proof that little brothers can drive you crazy no matter how old you are.
Through I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to complete the challenge, when I look back on what I have accomplished I’m pretty excited.
I managed to complete the hardest edits of my writing career, Wandering off the Path
, the first in my new bound by fairytale series. I released Foolish Desire
, the fourth book in my naughty holiday list series, and promoted it to a successful first month (even landing on the best sellers list for a little while).
Writing wise I wrote over 20k on Dirty Work
, the next and final installment in the naughty holiday list series, and another 3k on Regan and the three bears (working title
), a future installment in my bound by fairytales series.
All in all it’s not a bad month’s worth of work. And I do have Nanowrimo to thank for it. If it weren’t for Nano I certainly wouldn’t have written as much as I did. Between the edits, promotion for Foolish Desire, and some evil day job issues, I probably wouldn’t have written much. Due to pushing myself towards that Nanowrimo goal, I’m now about two thirds of the way through
Dirty work, and I’m that much closer to having another release heading towards the door.
So even though I didn’t make my Nanowrimo goal, I’m still going to consider it a successful month. I’m hoping to put in a few more thousand words before the end of the month, the best I can with this nasty bug. Thankful for another year of Nanowrimo.
It’s been an exciting week for me. To start off with this week I’ve expanded into several different mediums. My first print book, Naughty Holiday’s, which is a compilation of my two ebooks with Siren, Midnight Mirage
and Heart’s Ultimatum
, has gone live on Amazon
and Barnes and Noble
. If you’re interested in getting a copy you can order them now, though on amazon it’s currently saying out of stock, that should be fixed in the next few weeks.
I’ve already purchased my copy. Having my own print book, in my own hands, has been my fantasy since I was four years old. I can’t even express
how happy I am to see this day.
Also I received notification from one of my other publishers that my most recent release, Serving Madame
, is going to be released in audiobook. This is my first ever audiobook. I’m very excited at the idea of someone reading my book aloud, and actually hearing what the characters sound like. From the sample clip Romance Divine sent me, the reader sounds fantastic. Though it will probably be a few months before the audiobook is recorded and released. I'll let you all know once I have a release date. I can’t wait.
Also this week I finished my newest work, an MMF ménage geared towards Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand Series. The working title right now is High School Fantasies, but I’m not in love with it, so if anyone has a suggestion I’d love to hear it. Here’s a first draft of the blurb for this work, to give you an idea of what’s coming. Beth has always had one fantasy, to be with two men at the same time, that also want each other. Gifted by her sister Kelly with the services of 1Night Stand dating service for her birthday, her fantasies can finally become a reality. After the month she'd had, losing her job and her fiancée in the same night, she deserved a little fun and to finally live out a fantasy that's been tempting her since high school.
Since his high school reunion invitation came in the mail, Dell hasn't been able to stop thinking about his sweetheart, Beth. When he and his live-in-boyfriend Marcos receive a mysterious invitation to participate in the exclusive 1Night Stand services he suggest they add a woman to their dynamic duo, and Marcos eagerly agrees. What he never could have guessed is that the woman Madame Eve sends them is the same woman that's been haunting his mind since graduation.
But will one night be enough for Dell to satisfy his craving for Beth? Will Marcos be able to handle having Dell's high school sweetheart between them? Or will adding an old flame to their couple turn their duo into a
The work is a little long, so it definitely needs some editing. I don’t know when I’ll be submitting it, but I’m hoping to get it in this year. We’ll see.
Next on my to-do-list is to revise Foolish Desire
. I want to get that submitted by the end of July to Siren. I really love this book, and Amy,
and I want to get her out into the world. Then I have plans to work on a new Christmas story. More to come on that, hopefully soon.
Now I need to get back to writing, if I’m going to get this all done on this schedule. ;)
January has been a crazy month and as a result I haven’t gotten to blog as much as I want. On top of not having any works I was actually making any progress on. My December close out plan went very well. I sold two stories, both contracts coming in January, Snow Day
and Serving Madame. And I got some really great comments on Wandering that will help me revise it for resubmission. All in all I’m very pleased with the progress, but it does mean the last month has been a little chaotic. Snow Day
will be out on March 15th, and a lot of January was spent on those edits along with the final edits for Heart’s Ultimatum
Now that all edits have been turned in, and promotion is in full swing for Heart’s Ultimatum
, it’s time to start moving forward, onto a new project. I’ve got a little down on several new works. I’ve written a few thousand towards both of the last stories in the Naughty Holiday List series, a few thousand toward a new ménage, and a few works in various stage of edit.
But the story I want to focus on finishing is a BDSM idea I’ve had for almost a year, entitled Chocolate Submission. It should be fairly quick, only 15000 words, and lots of fun. Plus it stars one of my all time favorite foods, Chocolate. I’ve only ago about a thousand words, but here’s a little snippet to get you tempted.
“I never understood why you liked these [chocolates] so much.”
“I don’t know,” Jillian shook her head, a tendril of her hair falling down over her face and obscuring a section of her vision. “It’s the only thing that’s ever made me feel better. Besides…”
Jillian swallowed, the rich milky chocolate truffle melting down her throat. She dropped her eyes to the golden box in her lap, her cheeks heating. She fumbled her fingers around the chocolates not wanting another, but needing to focus on something besides looking up into the eyes of the man next to her. The one that seemed to be able to read her mind. Who knew all her wants and needs before she even had the notion herself.
“Besides what I do to you,” Cole finished. His voice was husky and dark, curling through her like liquid fire.
So my goal for February is to complete this story by the end of the month, possibly for submission as part of an anthology in March. That will require me to write at least a thousand words a day, for the remainder of the month, which sounds like a lot with all the promotion I have going on with Heart’s Ultimatum
, but I’m so hungry for new words I hope it wouldn’t be that hard. We’ll see. Wish me luck.
For the last few days I’ve been enmeshed in a full time writer’s vacation. In an effort to step closer to my goal of being a full time writer, I’ve spent my whole vacation from my true full time job writing/editing at least 8 hours a day, and taking my writing as serious as a full time job. I’ve learned quite a bit from this time. The most important being pacing and other being a new respect for full time writers.
Starting off my fulltime writer’s vacation with a bang, I received my edits for Heart’s Ultimatum. I was thrilled when I saw them in my email as another goal I could get behind me as part of this vacation. I got them on Tuesday (the day before my vacation) and did the easy edits, such as deleting and adding commas, typos and fixing comma splices. On Wednesday, my first day of the full time writer’s vacation, I dug into the edits, but by the end of my eight hours that day I was feeling pretty drained and emotional. It took me a good twelve hours of sleep and a Kathy Griffin stand up special to get back to an even keel.
I learned from that first day the importance of pacing. Don’t do all your edits in one day, because that’s going to make you crazy. Once you get so far into edits you won’t be able to do anything else, you’re brains already drained. Since then I’ve been spending the first four or so hours of the day either writing or revising something new. Writing gives me energy, while revising and editing tend to take it away, so I need to building writing new stuff into the schedule early, to give me energy in the beginning of the day to make it through to the end and then I can end with edits, when I’d be tired any way.
I’ve also been spending an hour or two a day, doing promo. Setting up blog spots, emailing people, even discussing writing on some loops and facebook groups. That’s an important part of writing full time too, making sure people know who you are and where to find you when they want to buy your books.
Once I started to get the pacing down, I’ve been having a much better time on my full time writer’s vacation. I revised and submitted another work and I’m almost done with my edits for Heart’s Ultimatum, I hope to get them sent back within the next day or two, which is still way ahead of the January deadline set by my publisher.
For the remainder of the vacation (which will extend through January 2nd) I have one more short to revise and possibly submit (but it’s not ready I won’t push it, since I plan to submit it to a big publisher) and to write more of Foolish Desire and my superhero novella. I’d also love to make some progress on heart’s trailer, but we’ll see. That’s really at the bottom of the list as far as I’m concerned.
The biggest thing I’ve learned so far this week, is that being a fulltime writer is not as easy as it appears. It’s a lot easier to put in eight hours at my day job than my writing one (though there are definitely a few hard days at the EDJ too). It’s more emotional than I would have though and draining. While I still want to work towards being able to live off my writing, and open up more opportunities for myself for my future, whether it is writing full time, or with a part time EDJ or being a full time mom and part time writer, the future is pretty unclear. But I plan to keep working hard, pushing through and enjoying my writing the best I can.
We’re at the half way point of my December Close Out plan, so I thought I’d let you all in on my progress so far. I finished revising and submitted one of the three shorts I wanted to push out the door this month, Snow Day, and I’ve made great strides towards revising the second one. I completed my character profiles for my superhero novella. And I completed the Midnight Mirage trailer
I’ve been working on and off for months.
Here’s my results--
I’m very pleased with the progress. Though now that the month is partially done I realize some of my priorities need to be changed.
I had hoped to do a book trailer for Naughty List
. And while I still want to build one someday, I think now that we’re so close to Christmas, my time would be better spent creating a book trailer for Heart’s Ultimatum
so I can use it for promo during its release (February 2012).
I also had another great surprise this month. Amy and Will from Foolish Desire
started to talk to me, and since I’d really like to get this book released during the spring/summer time (which means subbing it in January/February) I definitely listened to them. Not only have I completed all the character profiles for these two, and have a good handle on their personalities. I’ve even started writing. I have about 3k, and I’m only picking up speed. But this will probably keep me from finishing Hunter and Madison’s story for a little while longer.
Tomorrow my plan kicks into high gear, as my fulltime writer’s vacation starts. I’ll be focusing for at least eight hours a day on my writing for my entire vacation (besides Christmas day). In that time I should be able to revise and submit the other two shorts, as well as work on some of my other projects. I hope to have a very merry Christmas of writing and revising. And take a few steps closer to making my full time writer status not just a vacation, but a lifestyle.
I often talk about how important it is to push through the pain, to keep going, to force yourself to work when you’d rather take a nap or watch American Idol. I do believe that’s a gigantic part of being a writer, and especially for being a successful writer, but there also comes a time when you have to quit as well. There has to be a balance between pushing past the pain and driving yourself so crazy you don’t have time to sleep or think of anything beyond your work.
This week I decided I had to quit a project, not the project entirely, but the original conception of it. I had planned to finish my WIP I’ve been calling Post-Apocalyptic NYC and submitting it by the first for an anthology call. I realized it wasn’t a goal I could complete to the level I wanted to submit. I decided regardless of my goal of submitting something every month, I only want to submit works that are ready for publication, regardless of this resolution. Getting rejections is hard enough, no one wants to set themselves up for it, and submitting something you don’t like or doing think is ready is only asking for such a rebuff.
For right now I’m still able to accomplish my goal. I have a few more works in the shoot ready to be submitted, so I’ll just be calling another one up to action sooner. But it may mean I can’t make my goal later in the year. But I’ll get there when I get there.
As a side note, my work on Post-Apocalyptic NYC will continue, and I hope it will be ready for submission quickly. The work is a dramatic departure from some of the other things I’ve done, but a really interesting and stimulating turn. I’ll keep you all posted on its progress.
I had another moderately successful week. I was able to meet my goal five out of seven days, which isn’t all that bad. But with a big deadline looming it doesn’t feel like enough. I even took a day off of my Evil Day Job to get more work done, which is completely unlike me (can you say workaholic :P).
However I have new hope for getting this WIP done. This week I saw the light, that dazzling light that shows you to the end of the story, past whatever’s blocking you. I can now see it all. I know I can write it, I can see the whole path. All I have to do is make the time.
There are a few things I learned this week that have helped in my productivity.
1. Take breaks. I’m known for working for hours straight. At the EDJ I put my head down and work for hours without anyone even looking my way. I can do that in my writing as well, but it’s not the most productive. I found when I knew I’d be working only a certain amount of time, be it an hour, a half hour, whatever…I pushed through and actually ended up writing more.
The best way I found to force myself to take breaks is by watching television. I always watch TV or a movie while I write. As an alarm I'd watch an hour long television show, and push through for that hour, not allowing myself to get distracted by anything during that time. Then when it was done I took a break to do anything else I needed. I got up and went to the bathroom, got a snack, feed my fur babies. By doing this I could be more productive in the same amount of time, which means I can write overall to make my deadline.
If you don’t watch TV while you work, you could also create a playlist and make sure once you listen to it all the way through take a break, or if you write without any sound you could set an alarm.
2. Set small goals. The calendar method didn’t work for me because the amounts were just too large. It was overwhelming to see how much I needed to write each day. But when I’m actually writing, if I focus on just getting the next hundred words done it moves much smoother. And I didn’t become overwhelmed.
The trick for the next week will be learning how to fit in as much writing into those little times in the day as I can, lunch breaks, waiting in line, the drive home, etc... I don’t know that I can afford to take another day off to finish up this work. But the deadline isn’t going to change, so I need to make it work in the time I have.
Check back next week to hear my progress. And hopefully I’ll have news on Midnight Mirage
by then too. Stay tuned…
My progress is a little stalled. Part of it has to do with submitting a work. Maybe others can ignore the pending acceptances and rejections that are coming your way after you submit, but I can’t.
I’m trying to focus on my WIP 2042, but a part of my mind is always thinking about what acceptance or rejection might be sitting in my inbox waiting for me to read. Though I have so far received positive responses to my submitted work, it’s hard to not worry about what reply might be waiting for you to read, and which will no doubt knock you from your momentum.
What parts of my brain aren’t deviated with what might be in my inbox is considering what to do with the positive remarks I have received. What qualities are important to me in a publisher? What parts of the writing process do I want to focus on, to grow my career on?
I managed to accomplish my goal three nights this week, but that’s nowhere near the kind of production I need to complete my work in time for the deadline. So in order to get myself focused I’ve taken a calendar and plotted out how much I need to achieve each day to finish my work by March 1st.
I use Google calendars, so I can move around activities as I need to. Move up an assignment if I get things done faster, or down if I accomplish them slower L, than I anticipate. It also makes sense for planning out how you’re going to do projects in a longer setting (like the projects I want to do for the next several months).
I’ll check in next week and let you all know if the calendar/list is working for me, and how I’m progressing on my work.
And if you get a chance don't forget to stop by Nocturnal Nights to see my interview of my friend Tina Donahue. She's an amazing writer, with a lot of great advice to share and fun stories to tell.http://tabithablake.blogspot.com/2011/02/interview-of-tina-donahue.html
I had a great week this week. With the deadline of submitting by the end of the month pushing me forward I managed to either meet my three page a day goal or exceeded it every day. I’m starting to feel much closer to the flow. I’m still not back to my regular output but I’m much closer. And I’m enjoying it as well.
I made my goal of submitting a work by the end of the month, and have so far received a positive response. It looks like Midnight Mirage may find a home, which I feared for some time wouldn’t happen (though it may do so under a different name, hold tight on that).
In order to further motivate me, I’ve put together a list a projects I’d like to finish up or work on this year. If I maintain my goals I believe this is a very do able list.2011 Projects
-Finish all the Holiday list
and Midnight Mirage
are done, that only leaves three more).
I’d like to have all these books written, if not published.
-Post Apocalyptic New York – which I’ve so far called 2042 until a better title comes to me
This one is due for an open call by the end of February and will be my project for this next month
-Wandering off the path
– finish edits and submit again
– edit and submit.
-All for my baby (MMF) – write, edit and submit.
-Secret AdmirerProjects I’d like to finish if I have time (may not be actual titles)
-Beau and the Beastress
-Pride and Prejudice and bondage
Only time will tell how many of these projects I will be able to complete this year, but I’ll do my best. And of course there’s always flexibility for any new ideas that comes my way. It seems some of my best ideas come upon quickly and if I don’t take advantage they disappear.
So what idea do you think is the most interesting? Are there any you want to know more about? Let me know what you think.
Also if you have a second stop on by Nocturnal Nights to read my friend Em Petrova’s guest blog. She discusses the feeling of insecurity and unknown that go along with writing. Something I can definitely relate to. Its what I’ve been stuck in for over a month.http://tabithablake.blogspot.com/2011/01/feeling-in-dark.html