This week I’ve been working on Valentine’s Ultimatum (which may be renamed as Heart’s Ultimatum) the third book in the Naughty Holiday List Series.
For the last few weeks I’ve been having trouble focusing (hence the lack of blog posts) and the pressure of a looming deadline for Ultimatum is only making it more difficult. I never work well on a deadline, something I really need to improve if I’m going to be a professional write and quite my day job (which lately I would really love to do).
Some of my lack of focus might be due to evil day job, since our company was bought out by another about three weeks ago, the EDJ has been very stressful. Not knowing what was happening, who they’d keep, what changes would occur with benefits. I believe that might all be worked out now (though it will be a few months before I feel completely comfortable).
Maybe it was also due to my new diet. I’ve been in the process of dieting and losing weight for a month and a half now as part of the Romance Biggest Winners. On top of promoting my new release, Whatever You Want, Sir and trying to write it’s been really hard. The limit of fatty foods, probably means I need to get more sleep to refuel, but that’s not really how my life works. I’ll sleep when I’m dead (hopefully that won’t be too soon).
I’ve been trying to finish this one scene in Ultimatum for almost a week (a very long time for me) and though I tried all weekend I just never made any progress. I couldn’t focus. On Monday when I woke up I felt awful, my head ached and my stomach was upset. So I decided to call in sick to the EDJ. I’d been playing with the idea for a while and it just never seemed to work out. Now I was honestly sick and had no big meetings scheduled, so I finally pulled out the trigger.
It was the best thing I could have ever done. After a decent sized nap and some cuddling with the cats, I sat down and looked at my WIP and the words started to flow. I didn’t get as much done on Monday as I wanted but at the time any progress was feeling good. But then yesterday was even better. Not only did I finish that scene, but completed another further along for a total of 1800 words written and I revised another chapter and sent it off to my critique partner. I’m feeling confident that the rock is finally rolling the right way. I am going to get this WIP done by Labor Day as planned.
One of the great things about this book is I’m still learning about the characters. They’re still with me, even through edits, (where we all know I would ditch if I could). Even though Krista has appeared in every naught holiday list book, and she may be the only character to appear in all five, we’ll see, I’m still learning about her. Yesterday Amy revealed to me an important aspect of her family life that I didn’t know before but makes so much sense for forming Krista into the woman she is today. My only wish is that I could go back to previous version and add in a few more details hinting at it. But such is the plight of a series author.
My favorite line from what I’ve written this week (unedited):
“I could never want anyone the way I want you.” His [James] voice was low, primal, demanding and her body surged with life from his rough words. If only he could say words of love instead of lust, they could do this until they both were too old and gray to care who saw them.
It shows so beautifully the conflict and lust between Krista and James. I hope soon you’ll all get to read so much more about their future.