#ROW80 Check-in 1/6/19

It’s my first check-in of the round! Yay!

This week was pretty productive. I was able to knock a few things off my list. I also had a great conversation with my accountability partner on Friday. 🙂

So, here’s how I did:

~Loosely plot Immortal Faeborn
~Book ads for Gain with Pain, Reaper Girl, and Fey Touched. Put together a tracking system. ~Created a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
~Start manifestation journal (first entry: 1/5/19)
~Put together modified Kanban board for Q1 ~Turned it into a journal instead; also added a section for Tarot readings.
~Purchase Energy Oracle deck. Start pulling cards daily and journaling.~Started last night as planned.
~Progress on Oubliette or finish
~Do All The Things related to TDP Anthology (to be released sometime in Q1)
~Begin rewrite of Survivor. Continue working on it on Sundays.
~Catch up up on ARCs ~Finished and reviewed #1 of 7
~Take Sundays off work when possible ~Today I have to work on one thing, but after that I’m done!
~Start back on MyFitnessPal. Log food 5x a week minimum. Need to fix a password problem first.
~Water 5x a week ~So far, so good!

Here are some pictures of my Kanban and Manifestation journals:

kanbanj   kanbandone manifestj tarot r

 

Chocolate consumption report: I am currently attempting to diet again, so I may end up eating less chocolate. 😦 This week I had a few dark chocolate minis, which I love, and also s’mores flavored hot chocolate. Oh, and a few chocolate-peppermint cookies.

2018 Year-in-Review and Q1 2019 Goals #ROW80

ebookGWP-RSSo here I am with my end-of-year review and a new goals post. I have switched to quarterly planning, which works so much better for me than yearly goals. Thank you, Sarra Cannon, for showing me the way!

This year was HUGE for my virtual assisting/freelance editing business. I landed several new clients in very quick succession which was absolutely awesome. My workload increased a lot, which required adjustments and better planning. However, I am ecstatic that I was able to make this happen. That was my biggest goal: increasing my client base and by extension bringing in more money.

I have also learned so much from my clients, stuff that I can apply to my own publishing efforts. So it’s a win-win.

Health wise…ugh, a lot of stuff went wrong this year. Not going to get into it, but suffice to say it was tough and stressful. However, I’ve survived it and I am looking forward to a new slate.

Since it’s my intention to jump back into ROW80 again, I figured I would put everything into one, handy-dandy simple post.

But first, let’s look at what I did (or didn’t do) this year:

~2nd round of edits/release secret project (early 2018) – DONE. Except it was delayed by unavoidable issues until 12/7. Very happy to have it finally out in the world! 
~Revise and release Fireborn – DONE. Released August 1st.
~Get serious about exercise and DO SOMETHING – Nope. I remain a couch potato. 😦 
~Take pictures regularly (once a month, 1 a day for x amount of days, etc) – Nope, and I really wish I could have.Fireborn final
~Get moving with dictation again – DONE. Not dictating currently, but I did purchase the latest version of Dragon Naturally Speaking and I also bought a digital recorder for transcription. Just need to actually start doing it.
~Progress on Covenant – DONE. I don’t have the exact figures handy, but I think I got it up to around 25k.
~Progress on When She Sleeps – This has been put on hold.
~Start Survivor Rewrite for reals this time – Nope, but one of my goals for Q1 is to JUST DO IT.
~Do something with Death Dancer/Pirouette – Nope. But as soon as I can, I’ll start working on this. I have Plans. 
~Get better with planningMy mom bought me a planner for Christmas last year, so I used that for deadlines/appointments/modified bullet journal. It worked great, so 
I asked for another one. And got it. Also, Sarra Cannon’s quarterly planning system worked wonderfully as well. I believe this planning system is the only reason why I was able to release the secret project this year. I was focused in a way I haven’t been in awhile. Being that I am a head planner (that is, I do all my planning in my head), this is a HUGE accomplishment.
~Start writing every day again, even if it’s 100 words – Nope. Time seems to get away from me sometimes.
~Figure out Reaper Girl #3, Faeborn – DONE. I have a premise. And apparently I’d forgotten that I’d called it Faeborn. Oops.

As for how many words I wrote this year: 75,000, which was my modest goal. I was hoping to write more, but given how busy I was and how awful my health was at times, I’ll take it. 🙂

Alrighty, so what’s on tap for Q1 and #ROW80? I’m glad you asked.

~Loosely plot Immortal Faeborn
~Book ads for Gain with Pain, Reaper Girl, and Fey Touched. Put together a tracking system.
~Start manifestation journal (first entry: 1/5/19)
~Put together modified Kanban board for Q1
~Purchase Energy Oracle deck. Start pulling cards daily and journaling.
~Progress on Oubliette or finish
~Do All The Things related to TDP Anthology (to be released sometime in Q1)
~Begin rewrite of Survivor. Continue working on it on Sundays.
~Catch up up on ARCs
~Take Sundays off work when possible
~Start back on MyFitnessPal. Log food 5x a week minimum.
~Water 5x a week

I think that’s it for now. 🙂

Links to the books:

Gain with Pain on Amazon
Fireborn on Amazon 

The secret project is here!

ebookGWP-RSLadies and gentlemen, I am proud and excited to reveal my secret project! Finally. After two years, I have finally been able to publish this.

It’s called Gain with Pain: Chronic Illness Productivity Hacks. I wrote this book to help people live their very best lives with chronic illness. I wanted to give them hope, comfort, and actionable steps to take to start the process right now.

Mostly, I wanted to show that having a chronic illness (or two) does not mean your life is over. It’s changed. But it’s still there, ready for you to grab it.

Here’s the info:

Sometimes life gets complicated.

Your doctor has informed you that you have cancer. Or fibromyalgia. Or perhaps lupus. When you receive a serious health diagnosis, you can do one of three things: act as if nothing happened and try unsuccessfully to muddle through, shut down completely…or find your new normal.

In Gain with Pain: Chronic Illness Productivity Hacks, Erin Zarro shares her daily struggles with multiple serious health conditions, and how she found her new normal. She gives you exercises to do to mentally prepare yourself for the day, shares how to plan activities so you don’t completely exhaust yourself or worsen your condition, and suggests ways you can get past the grief of your diagnosis and move on with your life.

Even if you don’t have serious health problems, you can use the list-making techniques outlined in this book to help organize your time so that the rigors of a busy schedule no longer get in the way of your productivity and happiness. To allow you the kind of time to enjoy friends, family, and the life you deserve.

Gain with Pain: Chronic Illness Productivity Hacks is Erin’s first self-help book about coping with the daily struggles of chronic illness. You may also enjoy Life as a Moving Target, a poetry chapbook that explores what life with a chronic illness is really like.

Buy links:

 

I also have a website/blog set up for chronic illness warriors called Gain with Pain and also a Facebook community. They are both a bit sparse at the moment, but soon I’ll have some great content to supplement the book.

Where have I been?

Dang, it was August when I last posted. Fireborn’s release.

Usually I’d be in #ROW80 and posting away, but these past few months have been crazy. I want to jump back in, but there hasn’t been enough time. I hope to get back into it in the new year, or later this quarter if things slow down a bit.

Oh my God, check out what I’ve got on tap:

Writing: Been trying to carve out time to finish the 2nd round edits of my secret project. I have it on this quarter’s schedule. Just need to, um, do it. I also have Oubliette’s final 15k (if I can hold myself to it) and Reaper Girl #3, tentatively titled Immortal. I am also writing a short story for an anthology, due on the 15th. I’m about 3k in.

Freelance stuff: I just got 2 new clients. I am having a blast. I am doing work that I enjoy, and I work with such wonderful people. I am truly blessed. I have been very busy with work and am still trying to figure out a good routine. I am so glad I decided to go this route for a career. Being home has taken off a lot of the pressure I was under before, and I can plan my time and my day the way I want it. And I’m making money, and I’m happy, and I’m so glad I kept the faith. 🙂

I am trying out a new system of planning. It’s a quarterly system. Writer Sarra Cannon recently opened up a 3-day bootcamp to learn her methods. And wow, even though I’m a bit behind, this is already doing me so much good! I can’t even believe it. I will continue to do this in the new year for sure!

Well, that’s my little update for now.

TL;DR I’m still alive, just busy!

 

New release: Fireborn

Yay, today’s the day! I am so excited to finally have this book published. It started its life in 2015 when I found myself with Fireborn finala bit of time to fiddle around and no deadlines. The idea hit me hard, but I I struggled to finish it due to several factors, one being my health. When a publication shot opened up at Turtleduck Press, I decided to expand it (it was only 23,000 words at first—not enough murder, lol) and publish it this year. It is my first real mystery, and I am thrilled to be writing in the Reaper Girl world again. I am in the process of planning episode #3, tentatively titled Immortal. Stay tuned!

Once again, here’s the blurb:

Former Grim Reaper Leliel and her new husband Rick have settled into a routine of normalcy after their life-changing trip to the Underworld. They can finally relax and be married and deal with mundane problems, like money and learning to use all the modern-day technologies that are new to Leliel. But they’re up for the challenge.

Until Leliel starts having frightening visions of people on fire. The fires appear to be suicides—young adults—but something isn’t right. She senses that they were forced to act against their will. This isn’t their time to die. Even though she’s no longer a Reaper, she needs to fix it. Somehow.

When she and Rick investigate, they encounter resistance from not only the police but also the families and friends of the dead. Complicating factors are the Tarot cards left at the scenes, the mysterious happenings at the college that all of the dead turn out to have attended, and the disturbing new abilities that Rick is developing.

And then Leliel’s own Tarot deck turns up the Death card—twice—and she realizes that she’s gotten the attention of something evil…something she must face without Rick by her side.

Meanwhile, the deaths are mounting…

Buy links:

Amazon
Nook
Kobo
iTunes
Print edition – forthcoming

Also, just a reminder: Reaper Girl, Episode 1, is on sale for 99c!

 

 

 

Cover reveal: Fireborn

Fireborn finalI am so excited to show you the beautiful, awesome cover created by Molly Phipps. 🙂 Fireborn releases on August 1st from Turtleduck Press.

Former Grim Reaper Leliel and her new husband Rick have settled into a routine of normalcy after their life-changing trip to the Underworld. They can finally relax and be married and deal with mundane problems, like money and learning to use all the modern-day technologies that are new to Leliel. But they’re up for the challenge.

Until Leliel starts having frightening visions of people on fire. The fires appear to be suicides—young adults—but something isn’t right. She senses that they were forced to act against their will. This isn’t their time to die. Even though she’s no longer a Reaper, she needs to fix it. Somehow.

When she and Rick investigate, they encounter resistance from not only the police but also the families and friends of the dead. Complicating factors are the Tarot cards left at the scenes, the mysterious happenings at the college that all of the dead turn out to have attended, and the disturbing new abilities that Rick is developing.And then Leliel’s own Tarot deck turns up the Death card–twice–and she realizes that she’s gotten the attention of something evil…something she must face without Rick by her side.

Meanwhile, the deaths are mounting…ZARRO3

I really enjoyed getting back into the Reaper Girl Universe and telling more of Leliel and Rick’s story. I have episode 3 mostly planned, so stay tuned for more.

Want to catch up? Reaper Girl is on sale for 99c right now and free in Kindle Unlimited.

Dying for a peek? Check out the Fireborn teaser here.

 

Fiction Friday — “it’s been forever” edition

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these! I’ve been pretty busy. But to make up for it, I have LOTS of books to review today. So let’s get started!

As a reminder, here is my rating system:

Double yay – Astounding read! Perfect in every way! Get thee to a bookstore NOW.
Yay – I recommend with no reservations. Guaranteed good read.
Maybe – Read at your own risk. A mixed bag
Nay – DNF (Did Not Finish) or sucky or both. I do not recommend.

And all links in this post are affiliate links. If you buy a book using my links, I will get a tiny little commission from it.

 First up is Die For Me by Dan Rix. A double yay for sure. I am a HUGE fan of Dan Rix because his books are so amazing. They are mostly sci-fi, and this one kind of is too. There is a big mystery. A girl commits suicide and she leaves TWO suicide notes. Her best friend and boyfriend race against time to find out what really happened and why she did what she did. This book had me in such a stranglehold that I even put off dinner (which I never do) so I could finish it. The ending has quite the twist.  Link to my review.

Next is the Nashville series by Inglath Cooper. A yay.  I actually read the 10-book boxed set, which was the entire series. I can’t find it on Amazon so here’s the 4-book set. I’m not much into contemporary romance, but my mom was raving about how great it was so I decided to give it a whirl. It’s about these four people who are trying to make it as singers/musicians in Nashville. In the opening scene, the main character for that book, Cece, ends up with a car on fire and nowhere to go. She’s picked up by two guys (also musicians/singers) and they form a kind of family by choice type thing. There’s romance, heartache, crazy stuff, and fun stuff. I enjoyed it a lot.

Next up is Blood Fury by J. R. Ward. A solid yay. I have been a fan of J.R. Ward since the beginning (2006 or thereabouts). This book is part of her Black Dagger Legacy series which is a spin off of her amazingly awesome Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I really enjoyed this one. It’s about this guy (vampire) who’s an aristocrat and a girl who is one of his fellow classmates in the training program. I really loved their romance because it started with wild monkey sex but then they had to catch up to what each other was feeling. And the female lead gets injured, and he’s there for her, but as always, there are complications. Of course! But it does end happily.

And now we have Queen Takes Queen by Joely Sue Burkhart. Double yay. Vampire reverse harem, sexy as hell, and bloody! This is book 3. The series is about this young woman who’s part vampire but doesn’t know it. But she’s also a queen, and she has several yummy, sexy men guarding her and feeding her and doing other things with her. She is trying to gain more power because The Triune (all the most powerful vampires) has caught wind of her and will want to kill her. This book also features her first female/female pairing. There isn’t a lot, but it is there. I personally like that so it wasn’t a problem. But some may not, which is why I’m mentioning it. A great book and a great series. Link to my review.

Next we have Shattered Memories by V.C. Andrews. A maybe. This is the final book in her Mirror Sisters trilogy. As I’ve mentioned before, I was a fan of hers in the 80s and 90s but drifted away for a long time. When I saw book 1, The Mirror Sisters, I was intrigued. This series has been pretty good overall, but I almost felt like it could have been two books instead of three. This book deals with the aftermath of what one of the twins did to the other. And the synopsis says something like, “…but her twin isn’t through with her yet..” and I was gearing up for something epic. I was a bit let down when that epic thing did not happen. But a good book overall.

And now we come to Painless by Marty Thornley. Double yay. This was a horror/sci-fi book and it was just dark enough to catch my interest. It’s about this scientist who is experimenting with eliminating pain. Like, for example, if someone has a back injury, or a bad knee. He brings a group of people into his remote compound for treatments and finally surgeries, but something goes really wrong and…well, I’ll just let you read it. It’s a bit gory, so be warned.

And finally, we have The Treasurekeeper by Joely Sue Burkhart, which is part of the Shamrocked anthology. A yay. It’s a reverse harem, but it’s really unique in that it’s based in Irish lore. This woman wakes up after a night of partying and finds this statue of a gargoyle in her room. And it talks to her inside her mind. It wants her to find it (there’s an extremely sexy man trapped in another, larger statue) and also find four other “treasures.” They are also sexy Irish men. The one in the gargoyle has been cursed and must be released or the world will fall to demons. No pressure, right? She’s the treasurekeeper which is a big deal. They are destined to love her and have wild sexytimes with her. After the gargoyle is released, of course. Loved it. It’s the beginning of a new series so stay tuned. Link to my review.

And that’s it. 🙂

#ROW80 Final Check-in 3/18/18

Round 1 of #ROW80 officially ends on March 22nd, but because I will be busy on that day, I am ending a bit early.

This round went pretty well for the most part. There are things I couldn’t do due to things beyond my control. I also had a ton of freelance work, and that was wonderful, but not so good for other things. All in all, I did okay and I am happy with my progress.

I will be participating in Round 2 for sure.

So here is my final rundown:

~2nd round edits on secret project. ~Final update: still waiting for betas, but did start editing it. Finished 37 pages.
~Revisions on Fireborn ~ Update: I should be receiving them on April 1st. So nothing done this round.
~Covenant words ~Don’t have wordcounts handy at the moment. Maybe 1,000 new words? I’ve stopped working on this book due to being stuck. I am working on an older novel, Oubliette, and it’s up to 25k now.
NEW GOAL ADDED: Get to halfway point on Oubliette ~I’m at 31.9k right now; 37k would be halfway.
NEW GOAL ADDED: Get to 50k by the end of the round  ~Update: up to 57k!
~Survivor Sundays (Survivor my book, not the TV show) Have not started yet. 
~Poke at Fireborn cover?~Yes, although it’s not working as well as I’d hoped.

Non-writing stuffs:

~Read 1 book a week ~Finished Blood Fury by J.R. Ward. Finished Painless by Marty Thornley. Final update: Did this mostly, but missed a few weeks here and there.
~Water 5x a week
~Print out test roll pics in darkroom Nope. But have been pondering this.
~Poetry, maybe? Nope. 
~Housewalking 3x a week Nope. 
~And everyone’s favorite, chocolate consumption reports YES! Final report: Dark chocolate bar, mini Kitkats, and hot chocolate!

How did you do this round?

New Release: In the Forests of the Night by KD Sarge

IFN ebook cover resizedIt is my sincerest pleasure to announce that KD Sarge, my fellow Turtleducker, has released the second book in her Seize the Fire trilogy, In the Forests of the Night. I am slightly biased because I copyedited it. But still—grab it. It is amazing!

Here’s the blurb:

#ROW80 Check-in 3/4/18

I have been swamped with freelance work, which is a good thing. However, I haven’t had any time to post till now!

I’m doing okay. I’m still amazed that it’s March already, and my birthday is coming too! (March 27th).

Here’s where I am at:

~2nd round edits on secret project. ~Update: still have not received the last two betas, which is fine. I still hope to release it sometime this year. Releasing it this month is not going to happen.
~Revisions on Fireborn ~ Update: I should be receiving them on April 1st.
~Covenant words ~Don’t have wordcounts handy at the moment. Maybe 1,000 new words? I’ve stopped working on this book due to being stuck. I am working on an older novel, Oubliette, and it’s up to 25k now.
NEW GOAL ADDED: Get to halfway point on Oubliette ~I’m at 31.9k right now; 37k would be halfway.
NEW GOAL ADDED: Get to 50k by the end of the round ~Update: up to 55k!
~Survivor Sundays (Survivor my book, not the TV show) Have not started yet. 
~Poke at Fireborn cover?~Yes, although it’s not working as well as I’d hoped.

Non-writing stuffs:

~Read 1 book a week ~Finished Blood Fury by J.R. Ward. Now reading Painless by Marty Thornley
~Water 5x a week
~Print out test roll pics in darkroom Nope. But have been pondering this.
~Poetry, maybe? Nope. 
~Housewalking 3x a week Nope. 
~And everyone’s favorite, chocolate consumption reports ~ Hot chocolate, KitKat minis,  and Hersey’s chocolate kisses!