Tag Archives: Grave Touched Rewrite

2014 Year-End Review and 2015 Goals


2014 was a busy, productive year for me.  It was also my (first) Year of No Fear, which went pretty well.  I know I’m slightly late with this, but hey — better late than never, right?

So, first up: Year of No Fear.  I did a review on the Turtleduck Press blog recently and rather than repeat myself, I will point you to that post here. In summary, I did pretty well.  A lot got crossed of the list, and other things weren’t done.  But overall, I’m happy with my progress and will be carrying it forward this year (*points to 2015 Manifesto above*).  As always, you’re welcome to join me. *grin*

Okay, next up: 2014 goals.  How did I do on them?

~Rewrite and revise Grave Touched by deadline (Sept/Oct – we’re not sure yet) ~It turned out to be January 1st and I’m happy to report that I’ve turned it in to my editor and am (*twitches*) waiting to hear what she thinks.
~Continue working on another draft of something (Flamebound is the top contender) if it doesn’t interfere with GT ~This did not happen as such.  I ended up starting an erotica novella as part of my Year of No Fear, which is on the backburner for now, and also wrote a novella for a TDP anthology.  So, yes, new drafts, but nothing from the revision pile yet.
~Continue the Flamebound revision (ties into the draft above) ~Not done for the above reasons.  But I have been doing a massive amount of thinking about it and that is progress. *fierce look*
~Make some type of ruling on Survivor – when to work on it and COMMIT to it ~Yes!  I’ve decided to poke at it on Sundays, which is what I did back in 2004 when I started the draft.  I can probably handle another book on one day, and this gives it a separation so I don’t mess myself up.  It’ll be slow, for now, but I hope to increase the pace sometime soon.
~Plan/plot/figure out Ever Touched ~ Eh, been working on this.  I’m sure of a few things, but not of others.  The main players have changed, however.
~Write more flash stories/poetry ~Done.  Wrote 10 poems and edited 2 drafts.  On flash – wrote and posted to TDP this year: Changeling, part 1: The Faerie Lights, Warped, The Contract, and The Penitent. More to come!

And now, finally, 2015 goals.  I have so much I want to accomplish this year, but don’t want to put myself under too much pressure.  So, here goes:

~Publish Grave Touched, pending approval, in May (tentative)
~Write Fireborn, Reaper Girl novella
~Figure out a plot for Ever Touched
Start writing Ever Touched
Poke at Survivor (my book, not the TV show) on Sundays
~Start rewrite of Flamebound
Write 1 poem per week minimum
~Do something with darkroom

Annnd I’m stopping there, as that’s enough to wrap my head around.  I’m hoping to do some of that writing stuff simultaneously so it doesn’t look so daunting…yeah, I will be busy!

Your turn!  What are your goals for 2015?



This blog is not dead.

:waves to everyone:

Hi. I thought I’d do an update, as it’s been a loooooonnnng time since I last posted.

What have I been up to? Well, I finished the second draft of Grave Touched, took a day off, and started the revision. I’m 158 pages (of 251) in.

The second half is a bit of a mess because I kept losing track of my characters. I’ve got two groups, one in one location and one in another. I kept finding the wrong characters in the wrong places! I also forgot a few so they seemed to just disappear. Not good. Bad, bad writer. No cookie.

This is really the first time I’ve dealt with such a large cast. I will get it right, I swear!

So it’s looking like I’m on track to make my Jan. 1st deadline. However, I had one person beta it within a week (yes, I’m that crazy!) and her feedback is helping me with all of my lovely typos and confusing spots. I have another one coming in two weeks, which should help, too. Both of these people are awesome for helping me out and wading through what is essentially a first draft (and I have never had anyone beta a first draft, so it’s been kind of scary).

As for future stuffs…first, I’ll be taking a break after I turn in Grave Touched. In June, it will have been THREE YEARS since I started Grave Touched. I feel like I need to move on, desperately. I have taken a few breaks here and there (and three months because of my eye in 2013) but for the most part, I’ve only worked on Grave Touched.

Per my Year of No Fear Manifesto, I’m supposed to be working on revisions. So that’s most likely what I’ll end up doing. I also have a few new ideas for novels (or novellas), one of which is making a series in the Reaper Girl universe. I currently have *counts them* 2 new ideas for new novels that are really gnawing on me so…I don’t know. I may try that whole write-two-things thing for the first time in forever.

I also have Fey Touched book 3 looming. It’s called Ever Touched and I’ve made some changes to it. My new protagonist is Brianna, and her love interest is [redacted]. I’ll give you a hint. They both have big secrets that they’d do anything to keep hidden. Fun times.

This month is NaNoWriMo, and I couldn’t really participate. I miss it tremendously. While I can’t write 50k in a month anymore, I still like to participate with a lower goal (usually 30k). The energy and excitement helps me stay focused and producing. I’ve promised myself that I will do NaNoWriMo next year, come hell or high water!

On the Turtleduck Press front, we have a new novel releasing December 1st called Even the Score. It’s KD Sarge’s latest, set in her amazing Dream verse. I copyedited the book so of course I got to read it and it is AMAZING.

As for my health, I’m doing much better. My back is almost 100% now thanks to physical therapy. My eye continues to be painful. I’ve been trying to chase down an answer, and nothing so far has panned out. I think it’s time for that second opinion.

The holidays are upon us! Looking forward to it. I started my Christmas shopping early this year so I’d be more prepared and it’ll give me more time in case I need it for Grave Touched. I’ve always loved holidays mostly for the family element. I love my family and love spending time with them. Love giving and receiving gifts. But most of all, I’m glad we’re all together. That’s what makes the holidays so magical.

So, no, this blog isn’t dead. I’ve been working nonstop on Grave Touched. I wanted to join in ROW80 Round 4, but I figured between the copyediting and finishing Grave Touched, I wouldn’t have a lot of free time. I’ll definitely join next year Round 1.

If I don’t make it back here before the holidays, have a great, beautiful, perfect, fun, special, and loving holiday season.

#ROW80 Check-in 9/28/14 – Better late than never

My how time flies! I’ve been doing PT and just got back from our 4th camping trip of the year. Next week is the fifth and last. I absolutely love camping. This time, we went to Lakeport, one of the campgrounds where I spent many, many camping trips with my family. Some were even church campouts. There’s this swing set I used to swing on, near the beach. That’s my clearest memory of camping. Well, I wondered if it was still there. And this morning, hubby and I were walking around and voila…we found it! It gave me a little thrill to see that. (They may have moved the location slightly, but it’s still in the same basic spot). It was really cool…like coming home. 😀

On to writing. I did the math and since the last check-in (on Sept. 10th), I’ve written a whopping 25k. In total, since this round started, I’ve written 60k. (!!!!!) I’m at 102k and nearing the end. I have the climax to write and the tying of loose ends. I may be able to use some of the old material, as the very end is staying the same. It’s just the mechanics that are changing. There’s also one aspect of things I neglected to put in, and it’s pretty important so I’ll be making some notes before starting the revision.

I will definitely participate in Round 4 and will probably be revising mostly. The deadline’s coming close. I can’t believe there are just THREE MONTHS left in the year!

Stats! (cuz we all love them!)
Total words written: ~60k
Words remaining: 0
What’s happening: We’re about to enter the climax.
What’s next: Tying of loose ends
Eye report: Been bugging me a bit
Back report: Terrible. Took a pain pill. 😦
Chocolate consumption since last check-in: A whole lot! A few small bags of M&Ms (my favorite!), cookies &cream popsicles (2?), s’mores, WW snacks….that’s all I can think of at the moment. There’s probably more I’m forgetting.

This was a GREAT round and lots of fun! See ya in Round 4!

#ROW80 Check-in 9/10/14 – Still busy and eating chocolate

Here I am, I have returned! I’ve been busy with camping trips and the Grave Touched Rewrite. And PT. And…vacation!

Yep, last week was my second vacation from work, 6 days of bliss. Hubby and I went camping (no surprise there!) where we had the most beautiful view of the lake from our campsite (the beach was literally steps away…and at night? The sunsets? I was in photographer’s heaven!) and where our little camper weathered a HUGE, crazy storm (winds 40 mph) and didn’t have a single leak! It was a lot of fun, a lot of excitement, and a lot of relaxation. Something I needed desperately.

The Grave Touched Rewrite is up to 89k (!). I’m still boggled by this. I did write a bit on vacation because, you know, deadlines and momentum. I also finished the edit of Changeling and sent that off.

So the plan is to try to finish Grave Touched by the end of the month, giving me three months to revise. Crossing fingers. I need a minimum of two months, so I can go over, but I really want that extra month!

Another thing I’ve been giving a lot of thought to is…what’s next? I definitely need a break from the Fey Touched world and a writing break in general, but after that…may work on Soulfire or one of my other revisions. It’s kinda up in the air right now, but I am pondering it.

I also have decided to reopen my darkroom. I’ve had it since 1999 and at one time, worked in there for three to four hours at least 3x a week. Once I got married to my ex, naturally my work output went way down, even though I continued to do photo shoots. When I came back home, I putzed with it a bit, but I was beginning to feel the effects of my age — in my back, particularly. The smell of the chemicals began to bother me when they never did. And the stamina required to stand for 3-4 hours at a time was just not there.

I’d basically given up on it. Whenever I’d think about reopening it, I always thought, well, I can’t stand, I’ll need to replace all my chemicals, I’ll need to set aside the time, blah blah blah. All excuses. My first love, and real passion, is traditional black and white photography. I probably sound like an old-timer, but that’s where my roots are (my grandfather was a darkroom photographer and I didn’t find out about it until I was in school studying it!) and where my soul feels most nourished. I love digital, but there’s nothing like b&w. I’m sorry, but to me, b&w is where the magic happens. I’ve missed it SO much that I regularly have dreams about it. I want to watch the picture emerge from a blank piece of photo paper. I want to spend time with each negative and figure out the best possible exposure time. I want to tone my images again. But most of all, I want to experiment with infrared photography, which is what led to all of this. I did some back in school and it was beautiful (everything glows, green plants and people’s skin is white, contrast is…out of this world) and I tried it again but didn’t have any good results. Tried a pseudo-infrared film but didn’t like it much, either. Then that perfect film was discontinued! Another thing I gave up on (it’s also wickedly hard to use, expose, and develop. But SO worth it). So anyway, a few weeks ago, I said, “Eff it. I’ve wanted to do this forever, obviously things have changed drastically, and I’ll need to put a ton of work into it (oh yeah, another thing — my darkroom area needs to be cleaned, organized, and thoroughly dusted — right now it’s a mess) but wait a sec. I don’t have to spend hours in there. I can buy chemicals little by little. I can still do everything. Just differently.” So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m going to give this a try. I’ve set a goal for myself. By my birthday in March, I want to have a significant portion of the work done to reopen the darkroom. I won’t buy chemicals until I’m ready to start and I’ll have time to get my 35mm automatic camera fixed (for infrared, it’s manual all the way — it’s been decades since I’ve used a manual camera! Looking forward to it!). I also will have enough time to attack it at my own pace.

Time is slipping by. This year is almost over, and it has flown by. I don’t want to go through the rest of my life wondering what beautiful images I could have made if only I’d taken the time to try darkroom again. I miss it, and it needs to be a part of my life again.

So…there’s that.

Okay, stats!

Words rewritten since last check-in: 7,650 (total so far: 35,561 words and I made my second goal!)
Words remaining: 0
What’s happening: The MCs are doing a ritual to ward off possessions
What’s next: MC is going to be very…lost
Eye report: Not too bad, even with a storm today
Back report: A bit better, but progress has been very slow
Chocolate consumption since last check-in: Well…a whole lotta chocolate. Too much to list. 😉

#ROW80 Check-in 8/24/14 – I’m baaack

I have been so busy between camping trips and physical therapy. I’ve finally been able to do a proper check-in post for ROW80.

I’ve been writing like a fiend. I’m up to 77k on Grave Touched, almost 2/3 done! I can’t even believe it. I’m still on track to finish by my deadline (Jan 1st of next year).

I also wrote part 1 of a serial short story called Changeling, about a 17-year-old girl who accidently enters a portal to Faerie and discovers she’s their long-lost princess.


Words rewritten: 10,761 words (total: 27,911 words! Made my new goal of 20k!)
Words remaining: 2,089 words*
What’s happening: Burials (sniff)
What’s next: A character is about to make a huge sacrifice for her people
Eye report: Not bad today
Back report: Hurts like hell today 😦
Chocolate consumption since last check-in: Oh God, a ton. WW snacks, Chocolate zucchini bread, ice cream, Twix bars (my favorite)…yeah. Quite a lot.

*Revising my rewriting goal to 30k now.

Year of No Fear – 2014 Manifesto – July Progress Report

This one’s going to be a bit sparse. I’ve been working on the Grave Touched Revision like a fiend.

In July:

~Revision: Wrote 16k on Grave Touched
~Diet: Have been working toward eating healthier, watching my dinner choices when we go out to eat, which has been a problem for years. I also have been adding 1 low-cal meal a week to our dinners at home.
~Poetry: Ah, have been thinking about it again. Need to find the time to write some!
~Gratitude: Been thinking of 3 things daily most of the time, just can’t keep up with the journal. May switch to monthly posts instead of daily.

And that’s really it. I hope to get more done as we go.

#ROW80 Check-in 8/6/14 – Movin’ and groovin’

Under Her Protection ebookFirst up: “Under Her Protection: Stories of Women to the Rescue,” our new Turtleduck Press anthology, released on August 1st on all platforms. Basically, we turned the “damsel in distress” trope inside out and had the women save the men. Wicked fun to write. All of the stories are awesome. Mine is “Reaper Girl,” which I’ve discussed at great length here. Check it out. Proceeds go to UNICEF, as always.  You can find out more and purchase it here. /shameless plug

Now on to the ROW80 check-in stuffs. Been moving pretty well on Grave Touched. I’m up to 68k. I’ve had to backtrack a few times to incorporate some new stuff I wanted to add.  New ideas, as always! So I’ve been doing that for the past few days. I feel pretty good about how it’s going. The ending will most likely stay pretty much the same. It’s just getting there using a different route.


Words rewritten: 3,270 words (total: 17,150 words!!)
Words remaining: 2,850 words
What’s happening: One MC is trying to save her mate.
What’s next: Burial. *sniff*
Eye report: Not too bad.
Back report: The same.
Chocolate consumption since the last check-in (gotta add that because my mom read the last one and thought I meant my chocolate consumption for THAT DAY. No way, Mom!) : WW snacks mostly. We’re on to lemon zucchini bread now, by my request. Maybe I should change it to “Lemon Zucchini Bread Consumption”? 😉 Nah, chocolate is better.

#ROW80 Check-in 8/3/14 – Rocking and Rolling

Wow things have been super crazy with Grave Touched, but a good crazy indeed.

I’ve implemented the changes I was talking about at the last check-in, and it’s going very smoothly. I also had another twist come to me as I was writing today, so that’s always good!

Tomorrow I start physical therapy on my lower back. Should be interesting.

Well, without further ado, here are my stats!

Words rewritten: 6,639 (total of 13,880 words so far!!)
Words remaining: ~0
Pages edited: around 10, maybe more!
What’s happening: Pain and suffering. 😦
What’s next: A burial. 😦
Eye report: Okay. Today it’s been twinge-y.
Back report: Surprisingly not too bad.
Chocolate consumption: Oh God. Homemade chocolate-chocolate chip zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini brownies, Twix bars, raspberry/dark chocolate ice cream bar, WW snacks (several), chocolate-chocolate chip cookie at lunch today. Lots of chocolate! Most of it WW friendly.

I’m going to do away with the editing goal for now. Most — if not all — of what I’m doing is straight rewriting. If/when I start editing again, I’d add it back in.

I’m also raising my rewrite goal to 20k new words. 😉

Cover Reveal and Announcement: Under Her Protection and other miscellany

Under Her Protection ebookIt’s time for another Turtleduck Press anthology, and this time we’ve cooked up something really, really cool.  It’s called “Under Her Protection: Stories of Women to the Rescue” and it twists the damsel in distress trope inside out.  What if the men needed saving, and the women were the ones to do it?  What if romance blossomed between them while on their respective journeys?

In “Guardian,” by KD Sarge, what if the warrior who saves the scholar is not what she seems?

In my story, “Reaper Girl,” what if a grim reaper accidently reaps the soul of a man who’s very much alive?

In Siri Paulson’s “The Raja and the Madman,” what if a maidservant befriends the madman in the tower?

In Kit Campbell’s “Drifting,” what if a newly-graduated woman, looking for purpose in her life, answers the plea of a Faerie kingdom and finds herself at the center of a family legend?

Check it out — it releases August 1st on all platforms.  And, as always, proceeds will be donated to UNICEF, as always.

Annnd for what’s new in Erin land, well…I’ve been working like a crazy woman on Grave Touched.  I think this is the toughest book I’ve ever tried to rewrite.  The whole second half needs to be reworked, and I’ve forgotten something really important so I need to backtrack, again.  As for the plot, I’ve decided to go with some new ideas, as the ones in the previous draft weren’t working too well.  But we’ll see.  Maybe I’m wrong.

I’m also enjoying the hell out of the TV shows Dexter and Hannibal.  For those who don’t know, Dexter is a crime show about a guy who works for the police as a blood-splatter analyst (talk about a neat job!) and secretly kills bad people in his spare time.  There’s a very specific reason why he does it, and it gets my writer-brain all atwitter with ideas.  And deep thoughts.  And stuff.  Hannibal is about the backstory of Hannibal Lector, from when he was a psychiatrist assisting the FBI with various murder cases.  And then there’s Will Graham, the poor soul brought on to assist, too, but who falls too far down the rabbit hole.  I LOVE these shows.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been full-blown obsessed with any TV shows, so this is big for me. Weekends are usually my binge-watching times.

Hubby and I have gone camping once so far this summer in our new pop-up camper and it’s been so much fun.  We have another weekend trip planned in August, a week-long trip in September, and possibly another weekend one the weekend of Halloween.  Let the good times roll!

I am starting to get antsy to write other things, as usual, and it’s no surprise.  I have a new direction for Flamebound and a series to develop about empaths and ley lines.  But Grave Touched needs its second half, and I do have a deadline to meet.  Must resist the pull of the shiny.  Must resist…..

So that’s about it for now.  See you on the flip side.


#ROW80 Check-in 7/23/14 – Lots of wordz

I missed both Sunday’s and last Wednesday’s check-ins because I was swamped with preparing for camping and then actually camping. It was wonderful, and the pop-up trailer we bought was a dream. We’re going to be camping in August (a weekend), September (week), and possibly even October, which will be a first for us.

Sooooo I’m finally getting back into the swing. I’ve managed around 1k a day for the past few days, and I’m very close to the halfway mark on Grave Touched. I’m having a slight crisis of faith with my outline. I’m considering veering in a totally different direction and while I think it’s a good thing, I’m not sure what it’ll do to the second half of the book. I think I can still fit certain things in (like the climax, for an example) but I think others may need to be shuffled. For now, I’m writing it as it comes. I’ll deal with the other stuff after I’ve finished this draft.

This will be my third. Hopefully last.


Words rewritten since last check-in: 7,241 words (!!!!!)
Words remaining: 2,759 words (!!!)
Pages edited: 0 (no editing needed yet)
What’s happening: [Redacted] is taking over. Yikes.
What’s next: Bad things. Very bad things.
Eye report: Horrendous for the past two days. 😦 I think there’s a storm coming.
Back report: Not too bad. Twinge-y.
Chocolate consumption (everyone’s favorite 😀 ): A whole lotta chocolate, too much to list. Including s’mores, 3 Musketeers bars, Twix bar, WW snacks…today I get to sample some chocolate cake (and 2 other varieties) that were made by one of our Mediterranean customers. Should be interesting. (This is the benefit of working in foodservice. SAMPLES YAY).