#ROW80 Final Check-in 3/26/15

I’m a day late, but I’m here!

I’ve been working on the final edits on Grave Touched. I’m up to page 16, but I may need to backtrack to tweak a few things. I hope to get a decent amount done this weekend, however. ;)

Tomorrow is my birthday. My beloved hubby is taking me out to dinner, and I will have a nice, relaxing evening at home afterward. Will probably edit, because I’m insane, but hey — I need to get the work done, and I want to get the work done, so there you go.

How did I do this round?

~Start writing first draft of Fireborn (Reaper Girl #2). YES, I started it and up to almost 15k now. I had hoped to end the round with 15k, and I’m less than 300 words from that, but I really needed to focus on GT edits. It’s a win.
~Settle on a plot (loose) for Ever Touched (FT #3) YES, pretty much settled. I still may tweak it some, but the basis is there.
~Work on Survivor one day a week (“work” loosely defined as: plotting, planning rewrite, brainstorming, actual writing, poking at it with a sharp pointy stick…) YES, I did this every week I wasn’t on a deadline. It’s been slow going, but I hope to speed up once I get further in. Right now, I’m still cringing at the awful writing and planning to rewrite it completely. We’ll see how that goes once GT is released and I have less swimming around in my head.

So, I’d call this round a success! I will be joining Round 2 for sure, so I’ll definitely be around.

(As for chocolate consumption…through the roof, mostly due to stress. Oops?)

I’ll also be revealing the Grave Touched cover and blurb on April 6th, so stay tuned for that!

#ROW80 Check-in 3/22/15 – Almost to the end

I haven’t been feeling so hot this past week. I had some really bad eye pain that kept me from doing anything useful. I did finish the teaser of Grave Touched I’ll be posting to the Turtleduck Press website on April 1st and the cover for the digital edition and a banner I will use for my Author FB and on the TDP website as well. Very happy with all.

Tomorrow the first half of my final edits are hitting my inbox, so that will take priority over everything else.

April will be CRAZY.

Today I went over the first few scenes of Survivor (again!) and realized that I don’t like the way things played out. I was hoping to just tweak it, but I have a sneaking feeling that this will end up being a full-blown rewrite. So that’s my next step. Rewrite the first few scenes.

On the Ever Touched front, still noodling. I want to start writing it sometime after I release Grave Touched.

And on Fireborn, I wrote 370 words today! So that leaves less than 300 to make my goal. Yay! (Still a bit unsure how I want it to go, but I’m being careful not to scare my muse away. This is more than enough to start, and I’m happy with it).

So, yesterday was my family birthday party. (My actual birthday is March 27th, but due to my sister’s work, we decided to have it a week before my actual birthday). And naturally, I got a triple chocolate cake. Lemme tell you, it was sinful how good it was. It was divine. So that was my chocolate fix for yesterday. Today I’ve been snacking on Chex Mix Muddy Buddies which are basically chocolate-flavored Chex Mix. Will probably have some leftover cake later.

I’ve also started on my housewalking (basically, walking inside your house instead of outside) using the new activity tracker I got for my birthday. So…I hope do more walking and maybe burn some more calories of all this chocolate I’m consuming!

We’re almost to the end of the Round, and I’m pretty happy with my progress.

Survivor: An Interview with Amber

Amber is the main character, and Survivor is the story. I’m having trouble with the first two scenes. So, I interviewed Amber. Found out some interesting things. (I do this occasionally when I’m stuck. It works wonders.)

So here’s the interview, as it came from my fingertips. You might get a kick out of it.

NOTE: A is Amber, blank is me.

Why are you being so difficult?

A: I’m not being difficult. You’re being difficult.

How so?

A: You won’t write. You’re confused. You can’t be confused with this.

Okay, why do you think that?

A: How long have you worked on this book? 11 years? You should know it. Really know it. And me.

I really don’t know you. Not as you are now. Time has passed between then and now.

A: I’m the same girl you sat down with back in 2004. I haven’t changed.

But your beginning feels wrong. Why?

A: Distance? You’re more sensitive now? Less sensitive? I dunno. You’re different.

I’ve grown as a writer, for sure.

A: Have you grown out of this book?

HELL NO.

A: Okay, then. Let’s work together to solve this.

Okay, let’s do that.

A: I still think my beginning is powerful. All you got to do is fix it so [redacted for spoilers]. Maybe cut away from me screaming incoherently and to me in the hospital, looking at my face in the mirror and horrified at the bandages.

I could see you horrified, yeah.

A: I won’t look like her anymore.

No, you won’t.

A: And I will be…freaked out, I think. I mean, I was manic in scene 1, I was in an almost fatal car crash in scene 2, so I’m a little bit whacked out. Play with that. Bring in the Guardian.

Isn’t it too soon?

A: No, because I need stuff to pile up. It needs to build until I crack.

So I’m torturing you.

A: Bingo. And we know how much you love that.

I do, yeah. But why can’t we keep it the same?

A: The same isn’t working. Your brain is telling you that. Hell, your muse is telling you. You couldn’t even look at it yesterday, you were so confused. And that kinda sucks. I need my story told.

I need to tell your story. I need it out of my head and into the world.

A: Yes, so let’s take care of this problem and move the freak on, okay?

Okay. We will do that.

So…got some ideas. Also, just before doing this freewrite, I did a different one on why I was stuck. I discovered that because I’ve been getting feedback on everything, my muse is a bit beat up. (And I need that feedback, so this isn’t a complaint, honestly!) She’s feeling cagey about just writing and getting words down, and screwing up the story. So I need to step away from that — at least, when writing — and see if I can just write and not worry about anything else.

Things creep in, you know? Bills. Work. Eye pain. The upcoming release. What people will say. Hell, what they won’t say. I need to let it all GO, right here, right now.

And just write.

#ROW80 Check-in 3/15/15 – Stuckity stuck

The hamsters in my brain have decided to stop doing their thing, and I am horrendously stuck on Survivor. Like, I-can’t-figure-this-out-there’s-no-way-to-fix-this-and-everything-I-think-of-sounds-stupid-and-why-did-I-decide-to-work-on-this-book-anyway stuck.

I’ve considered starting the book in a slightly different place, but Grave Touched starts with the MC waking up in the hospital, so I don’t want to duplicate that. It needs to be…ambiguous. It needs to be unclear as to who exactly is in the hospital and what exactly happened to put her there (I’m trying really hard not to give spoilers). So, it’s told in first person POV. I love first person because it’s a way to dig deep into a character’s head, and that’s how I wrote it originally.  Third person isn’t possible due to the aforementioned situation. The narrator is an unreliable one, which complicates things a bit.  And everything I think of isn’t working.

Unfortunately, I need to do this linear. I suppose I could jump ahead, but that’s how this book got so messy — because I kept jumping around and not doing anything in order.

It’s a freaking mess.

The good news is that I believe I may be done with the Grave Touched cover and blurb. Possibly. Yay. Final edits start in April, and I’ll need to work on getting it ready for release. Need also to look for reviewers (hint, hint). It does stand alone so you could theoretically read it before book 1.

On the Ever Touched front, still noodling.

I reread Fireborn yesterday and I’m a bit stuck on that as well. I had a very loose outline I was following, and I stopped in a weird place, so that’s a thing.

(I had a sneaking suspicion that my muse is tapped out. And that’s why all of this is like pulling teeth. We’ll see.)

Other than that, nothing else to really report. Been consuming lots of chocolate (white chocolate too! Yum!) and have been doing a ton of thinking. May do a freewrite to see if anything pops out at me.

#ROW80 Check-in 3/11/15 – Covers, blurbs, and insanity, oh my!

Annnd here's that lovely cover for your viewing pleasure. SM Reine rocks.
Annnd here’s that lovely cover for your viewing pleasure. SM Reine rocks.

I’m still alive. I’ve been busy working on the Grave Touched cover (both digital and print editions). I have the basics done. (In fact, I’ve had the cover stock image bought for ~2 years now). I’m tweaking it some, as I want it to match Fey Touched’s cover so it’s obvious they are part of a series. But it’s a bit tricky because I want to show that there’s sci-fi in it, and the cover artist who did Fey Touched’s cover did such a beautiful job with it. I’m trying to recreate it, and kinda sorta teach myself how to do covers at the same time. Crazy? Nah. Actually, I am a fine art photographer and I have done a ton of digital photography but…book covers, not at all. They’re a completely different animal, and I wasn’t originally planning on doing my own covers. But then I thought, wait a sec. I’m a photographer. It can’t be that difficult.(We’ll see. Jury’s still out on that one).

And naturally along with that is the blurb. I suck at writing any kind of blurb. I think it might be because it’s so new to me. And I know the story inside and out, but what will hook the reader? That’s where I have issues. Or, things I think might be important may not be that important or worthy of note. So…it’s kinda like shooting a target I can’t actually see. And that makes it tough, too.

(Especially since the Fey Touched books are multi-POV books…so the main characters need to be at least mentioned.)

So I’m a bit frazzled, but I’ll make it through. The nice thing is I can redo stuff if it’s not working, and nothing’s in stone yet. So, I’ll try not to drive myself crazy. Much. ;)

I’ve done a huge amount of thinking about Survivor. Because the first few scenes set up the situation and one character dies, but I need it to be ambiguous. (Or else I will give away the twist in chapter 2). So I’ve been trying to figure out ways to do that. It’s first person POV — I believe it has to be, in order for this to work (and it’s more immediate IMO). I’m also considering changing a bit of the plot to bring in another character (and her machinations, winks) sooner. But because this story takes place in our world, in our time, I don’t think it’s going to work. So…still noodling.

Also been thinking about poetry, even #badpoetry. Been so inspired lately, but lose it when I want to write it down.

Had a caramel cupcake after dinner. It was SO GOOD. (And yes, I’m still eating a lot of chocolate).

#ROW80 Check-in 3/8/15

I’ve been busy proofreading and haven’t had the time to do a proper ROW80 post, so please forgive me. I did finish the proofreading, but I was a few days late. I’m having some stress/eye pain issues that have made it tough to concentrate. My editor was okay with it (I’d worried about that). But now it’s done and I can breathe again.

My #1 goal is to RELAX. So I haven’t done anything writing-wise. It seems my brain and body need a break after intense writing/editing/deadlines and the last thing I want to do is stress myself out too much. So yesterday was a “free” day. I worked on Grave Touched’s cover because I need to give myself enough time to get it done properly (first time doing a cover! Wish me luck!) and I binge watched Game of Thrones. I also ran a backup, which I promised myself I’d do once the book was sent off to my editor. (I’m very OCD about my backups).

So…what is on the horizon?

~Today I will poke a bit at Survivor. I was rewriting the first chapter when I started the edits on Grave Touched, and I don’t want that to be left hanging.

~Some point soon, I will get back to Fireborn and write those 661 words I need to make my goal before the end of this round.

~Ever Touched plotting

~Poetry. I have several poem drafts to weed through, and some old ones I discovered by accident, so that should be fun. (And maybe some more #badpoetry. *winks.*)

As for when, just gonna say soon. I have a really hard time taking breaks (as much as I need them) because my brain is ALWAYS spinning with ideas and I feel a desperate need to get them down. And, I’m just used to writing every day. The last day I wrote anything was January 27th. Yikes! Two months ago. Granted, I was editing and proofreading, but that doesn’t count. My Inner Slave Driver has to relax. *rolls eyes*

So that’s what’s going on. I hope to make some progress, even a bit, before the end of the round.

Also, chocolate consumption: through the roof. Stress = stress eating. Enough said.

#ROW80 Check-in 2/22/15 – Finis

Yep, you read that right! Just a few minutes ago, I finished the Grave Touched revision! It will need another pass for proofreading and such, but I will make my March 1st deadline. I’m ecstatic!

The plan for today is to rest. I’ll start the final pass on Monday. After Grave Touched is turned in, I will resume Survivor on Sundays and Fireborn. And maybe play with some poetry. And start the cover for Grave Touched! I’m doing it myself this time, and I need enough time to get it right! I already have the stock photo purchased and the special fonts my wonderful friend SM Reine used for Fey Touched.

And now for the stats!

Pages revised: 261
Pages remaining: big, fat goose egg!
Scenes finished: 129
Scenes remaining: big, fat goose egg!
What’s happening: A lovely happily ever after for my Hunters.
What’s next: Proofreading! Fireborn! Survivor! Cover creation!
Eye report: Terrible this morning, but a bit better now. I’m also a bit sick, so that’s a factor.
Back report: Holding up okay after walking around the Sea Life Exhibit yesterday.
Chocolate consumption since last check-in: Ye Gods. Chocolate-caramel thingies, Twix bars, WW mini sundaes, Samoas (my favorite Girl Scout cookie), chocolate/mint pudding.

Annnnnd that’s it!