Category Archives: WIP

What a Difference

medication (or the lack of it) can make! We’ve started tapering my already low dose prednisone and I’m feeling a lot less … boom. I’m not exactly sure how to explain it. It’s like I was feeling things too big if that makes sense. It couldn’t come at a better time as I always get weepy in December and this year, Thanksgiving is already going to be difficult. I’m a little more sore and achy than I was before but I’m definitely willing to push through that in exchange for not flipping out over everything or feeling like I want to cry all the time.

I’m definitely not going to win NaNoWriMo this year but I will have a draft for Leilani and Blake’s second book before the end of the year and I’m really happy with that. I have a lot of projects in my head, it’s just a matter of putting them on paper. It used to be I could work five projects at once but my brain is not working with that right now so, I’m going to have to focus on just one. If I can write a minimum of 500 words every day – which isn’t really that much when you break it down – I can get all of my projects finished. I’m really excited for some of them to get out of my head and into the hands of readers. I expect to have Hunter’s Hell finished by the end of the year and Eldercynne Knight by Valentine’s Day and Gods of the Fallen by my birthday. In that order. If I keep it in that order, maybe I’ll get done a little faster because I am super excited by Gods of the Fallen – some of the ideas are just so neat to me. I’d also like to get back to my poetry a little more but I have to figure out how that will fit into my writing schedule.

I think there’s more of my anxiety and depression rearing up than I usually like to admit to. I don’t think all of my sleepiness is just RA related and I know my inner critical voice is just going bananas over every misstep I’ve ever made in my life. It’s not like this part of things is new, I should be old hat at this by now and have it under control already. Except we all know that’s not how these things work in the real world.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’ve got plenty to be thankful for, even if this year has been just a gaping hole of I’d really rather not. The kids are awesome, the husband is awesome, they’re all healthy and that’s enough for me right now. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend some time with family and eat some yummy stuff. Tomorrow, I make pumpkin pie and a veg and that’s all anyone is expecting of me and that is glorious.

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Filed under Health, Interesting, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, WIP, Writing

Upcoming events and other things

I’ve got four events coming up, three local in person things where I’ll have my books and some of the things I make and one online Facebook party sort of thing where I’ll be giving away a book and maybe something special. The more I do these real world sort of events, the better I get at them. I’m not quite ready for the big events yet but I’m getting there. One of these days I shall get myself to Parsec and Steel City. Then I’ll think about the not so local – when my youngest is a little older also.

In July, I’ll be at the Follansbee Den on the 6th for lady’s night from 7-9pm and participating in a Facebook party on the 19th. My slot is scheduled for 6:30pm and I’ll have presents for some lucky individual. I’ll have more information on both of them as we get a little closer.

I haven’t been writing as much as I want because I’ve done something to my right arm and it hurts and by the time I’m done doing my “day” job, typing my own stuff doesn’t work so well. It’s slowly getting better and I probably just pulled something but it’s seriously annoying when I have things I want to get finished!

Gods of the Fallen is coming along really well. I’ve basically got my outline draft done – it’s certainly not readable. It’s basically a very loose sketch of how the story is going to work. There’s a lot that the draft is missing of course but this is the closest I’ll ever get to doing an outline of any kind. I don’t count this as an outline because it’s a series of the important scenes that I have to tie together and smooth out. It does give me a path of sorts to follow but I’ll veer off it likely as not in the rewrites.

Getting ready for the local events, I’m making more stuff that might fit a little better in the place where I live – less artsy and more functional but not a bit boring. It’s a little more difficult to work in the summer with all the kids wanting to go places, do things, see people. I should have worked harder to raise hermits (not really, it’s good that they don’t want to be like their mother in that regard).

Yesterday was a little rough. It was the first father’s day without him. It just sort of felt like a wrong thing for me. But, it is what it is and I’ve just got to get used to it.

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Filed under Convention, Crafting, WIP, Writing

Projects, Playlists, & Purple Hair

I’ve got a new project I’m working on – the working title is Gods of the Fallen. I’ve put about 2650 words into it this weekend but there’s a lot of worldbuilding going on in my head. I’ve got some pages full of notes on the history of the planet, the science of the planet. I like thinking about how people would deal with specific things that we could find if we did colonize other worlds. How would we deal with a planet where you either never got to see the sun or never got to see the dark – both of which we humans seem to need. I’m having some fun with the mythologies but that’s always my favorite part of world building. I make the rest up as I go. I’ll note geography and characters and all of my little checkov’s guns along the way so I can keep true and make sure all those guns go off by the end.

I do have a fun playlist for this one. It’s in two parts because I’m still building up my Pandora station for it and some of the things are so not related that I don’t think Pandora would put them together. I’ve been having fun exploring the music of it though. And I have a whole bunch of new to me rocking women to listen to and you can’t beat that.

Today was more productive than just my writing. My oldest son and I planted most of the garden, I snuggled with my poor little Alfred who has a hurt toe and is absolutely milking it. Then I went to the store and caught up with an old friend and got caught in a super downpour where I discovered that there is a slight downside to my purple hair. Playing in the rain stains my shirt a little. At least it wasn’t a good shirt.

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Music and Writing

I have been listening to the same handful of songs for about a week. I know there is something in my brain that this particular list speaks to. It’s right there, just beyond my fingertips but it’s coming. The more I listen to the songs, the closer it comes. I don’t know yet exactly what it is but it feels pretty desolate and angry which feels about right for right now. I really don’t think it’s a short story. I think this is a new book brewing and I don’t think it’s related to any of the ones I’ve written before. I see big, sweeping battles amidst a barren landscape full of fire and smoke and I’m pretty sure that’s not Earth’s surface they’re fighting on.

This playlist consists of mostly Black Veil Brides with a little Godsmack, Metallica, and Sisters of Mercy thrown in for good measure. I’m looking for more in that vein right now. I’m open to suggestions if you have them, especially a female lead with a sound/feel somewhere between Otep (a little too aggressive for this project) and Myrkur (a little too ethereal for this project).

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Filed under Books, WIP, Writing

What’s in a Name?

I picked up a little snippet of an idea I jotted down a couple of years ago and am running with it. I see it growing up to be a short story, just this side of novelette most likely. It’s a rough length but once it’s done I can muck around with it until it’s a more saleable length. The problems I’m running into are all in the names. I do not like my placeholder names at all. It does not fit this woman at all. It does not fit her boss or her friend. I did get two names right but the rest will not work.

Sometimes names are easy. Sometimes I use a baby naming website. And then there are those other times when a regular name just isn’t going to cut it. I like to use ingredient lists for my fantasy characters. Take a syllable of this chemical and a syllable of that chemical and bang, you’ve got Tenorack (from Eldercynne Rising) and Ketryl (from a story that may never see daylight).

I suppose for this one, I’ll go back to a baby naming website since, even though it’s fantasy-ish, it is earthbound and contemporary. Have to find a name for a bad-ass government agent that doesn’t sound too happy. The name she has right now is much too happy to keep calling her.

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Day Three

For those playing along at home, I’m still plugging along on Crow Queen, breaking through the 5k mark today to wrap at 5144 total. This is definitely my slowest start but it’s moving along and even if I’m currently in a dragging place because I’ve got to set the foundation down somewhere, I’m happy with it. Besides, that’s what rewrites are for – eliminating the drag and pumping up the interesting and, hopefully, throwing in a dash of scary because I would really like a little scary. We’ll see.

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Passion Projects

Some projects have good sales potential and broad appeal, others, not so much. I’ve found it is most hit and miss with poetry. I’ve had a fairly decent number of poems published by various publications over the years and it’s something I write that I don’t necessarily share with everyone.

A few months ago, I got a bug under my skin about a particular project, a linked progression poetry chapbook mostly dealing with anxiety, depression, and letting go of the toxic stuff in life. I don’t know if there is much call for it but I feel like there might be, like maybe there are others who would find it interesting.

I’ve played around all day with formatting, binding options, cover options, and all that jazz. I’m probably going to offer the chapbook in a few formats but initially, it’ll be hand-stitched with a glossy cover. Release day will be soon but I want to make a fair number of copies to have on hand.

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Filed under Books, Poetry, Publications, WIP, Writing

Eldercynne Rising

Eldercynne Rising from Boroughs Publishing Group

Eldercynne Rising from Boroughs Publishing Group

It’s alive! 

My book, she is alive!

I really enjoyed writing this book and am looking forward to seeing what is next for Reina Cahill. She’s got a lot on her plate in this book – searching for some killers, having a face to face with the entire dragon nation, making friends with monsters, and meeting her soulmate.

One other bit of news for today – I’m starting up a monthly newsletter, The Stake and Dagger. It’ll have snippets not available here, information on whatever I’m currently writing, and information on interesting things. If you’re interested, pop over to my sign up page.

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Filed under Books, Interesting, Publications, WIP, Writing

A little progress (and a little rant)

I have almost managed to get all the Christmas decorations put away. I should have everything but the dishes done today and if I don’t manage the switching of the dishes, I’ll do it tomorrow. That’s not too terrible but I do feel behind on it.

I have managed to work a bit on Demonborne on one of the last five days. I’ll make it two today hopefully but if not, then not. I need to get better at keeping track but wordcount doesn’t really work for me – especially during rewriting/editing. I suppose I’ll just consider it a win if I not only open the file but actually go through a few pages. I really need to add about 20k words minimum to the story – which is good as I tend to be sparse with description until I’m sure I’ve got the plots down. Description can always be added, if my plot doesn’t work, none of those descriptions, no matter how awesome, will matter in the least.

On to my tiny rant: oldest child is doing a poetry unit in school. He’s a Freshman in high school so I don’t know what I expected. I remember poetry units when I was in school. I remember that 90% of the poetry we went through was by people we would never hear of again and weren’t even all that good. I am picky with my poetry and I don’t keep up with it as much as I should but my kid could only name a scant handful of poets I classify as Must-Know poets and all of them were men. I admit, most of my list of Must-Know poets are male but only because that’s what I was most exposed to in my youth (I’ve added women to the list over the years as I’ve been exposed to more of them). Dead White Male Poets who were mostly from England, Scotland, and Ireland. There is so so so much more to poetry than that. Most poets that  our children know are lyricists. There’s nothing wrong with lyricists but what about Tennyson or cummings or Longfellow? What about Dickinson, Walker, and Kerouac? Are spoken word poets considered lyricists?

He did a segment on spoken word just before Christmas and the kid has some skill with it. It’s raw now and needs refining but it thrills me that it’s there. I showed him some of my favorite spoken word pieces that maybe not everyone knows about and he wasn’t impressed with most of it. In part because he’s 15 and hasn’t figured out yet that women’s voices should matter to him regardless of if they’re talking about female issues and in part because he has no frame of reference for so much of it. Mid-career Rollins spoke to him some just because he’s a lonely, geeky teenage boy with some level of anger about being so. Waits confuses and interests him just on wordplay alone. My boy is teetering on the edge of his emo phase but I don’t think he’ll tip into goth like his mama did (I do so miss that phase sometimes).

It does, however, make me think more about poetry. I fell asleep last night dreaming poetry and reapers. Maybe this year I’ll go back to poetry a bit and see if the last 5 years since the last time I really wrote poetry have matured me any. Probably not but it’ll be interesting to see.

Who’s at the top of your Must-Know poets list? My favorite poet is still a dead white male poet but my list of ones that everyone should know does include a number of women.

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Filed under kids, WIP, Writing

Progress and admiration

Even with all that’s going on in the land of my father’s health, I’ve managed to get a massive chunk of edits done. My massive may not be your definition of massive but situationally, I’m getting through basically a chapter a day and that’s enough for me. Things are slowly getting better on that front but I really wish we could fast forward the next however many weeks it’s going to take him to get back on his feet.

There aren’t enough hours in the day or, honestly, motivation, for me to do Nanowrimo this year and that makes me sad. The book I’m editing right now started its life as a nanowrimo novel. The novels that are already out there to be read started their lives as nano novels too. I do have books that weren’t started then but it’s just so nice to write when everyone else is writing.

Being pulled in so many directions lately has taught me a few things. First: I need to sell more books so my husband can quit his job because he is so so so much better at the household stuff than I am. Second: anyone who can meet deadlines, produce multiple books and series, take care of family and household stuff and also hold a day job is my idol. Sometimes I daydream about the sheer volume I could produce if I had a househusband… if you want to see what that volume would be, you should buy/share/review my books. We’ll consider it an experiment. How many books could Sarah write in a year if writing was her only job? It probably wouldn’t be a whole lot more than I already do if only because something shiny would catch my eye and I’d get distracted but it is my favorite daydream any way.

Now to get started on my day. I’ve got a chapter to edit, a hospital and stepmom to call, and decorations to put away. I hate undecorating my house but it must be done. Later, if all goes well, I’m taking the kids over to say hello because I think my dad needs that a lot.

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