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Category Archives: On Writing

5min- Publishing

It’s been a wild ride this year. I’m getting ready to publish my fourth real book. When I say “real” I just mean that it has more than 50k words in it and qualifies as a full novel. Most of the books I have up are short stories and novellas with the three main books that are full novels.

But I looked today and I have actually published 40 short stories. Not all separately, some are in anthologies. But, dang, that’s a lot of short stories.

Trying to figure out what I should be doing with those short stories. They don’t sell a lot of copies, but I give them away a lot. I get some reviews, and a lot of comments from people that read them. I am considering giving them away as a Patreon reward, or a reward for subscribers to my newsletters. Or both, maybe?

It’s the little things, though. Setting up the publishing details. Starting to do the print book set up. Considering where/how I might advertise it when I finally get it done. But! it’s at the editors now and I’m all set to go from here.

Of all 46 stories I’ve written over the years, and publishing so many books, I am so happy that I’ve continued on this journey. It isn’t always easy, it’s a lot of time, energy, and sometimes tears getting out all of those words. But the stories are worth it. Having the books on my shelf, or having something to show to others, or even the audio books, are all worth the trouble it took to get here.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Word Counts

It’s August, and I thought it was time to take a look at my writing for the year. It’s easier now, right after I’ve finished a big writing project, (YAY, completed book one in Half Blood Sorceress Series) to look back and see what I’ve been doing.

I keep stats of every days writing, and I keep track of actual story word count separate from things like blogs, newsletters, and other writing media that I do. I don’t keep track of every word I write, because I love social media, but I do keep track of things that matter to me.

So how does this year stack up to previous years? Well, it’s now the 8th month of the year and I have only written 50,000 words. For the past four years I have written about 230k each year, which includes the NaNoWriMo 50k write in Nov. So if I manage to get through NaNo this year I’ll be a lot closer to my usual yearly goal, but still much farther behind then usual.

Why did this happen?

If we take a look at my monthly word count for just this year we see that I started okay in January, then in February everything went down hill, and didn’t pick up again till July. That’s because I was going through a bunch of changes at the end of last year, beginning of this year. Mostly moving to a much more involved, and stress filled job. I couldn’t write at work like I use to and had to make sure I took time out at home to actually write. I also had to make sure I made time with Gregg, who now works from home.

Overall, it feels like I’ve finally sorted that all out, and I’m able to work on my next novel with a bit more confidence, but still, I shouldn’t take my writing for granted.

And that’s my five.

 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min- Finished! 

Back in April of 2015 I got a fantastic idea for a story by looking at a lonely piece of art. The art was looking for a book to be a cover for, and it would be a fantastic cover. Unfortunately it was a pro artist and I can’t afford his rates. But that didn’t stop me from writing the story. 

So in. May of 2016, a year later, I started outlining the series. Five books. Five complete stories, each one with a valuable part to play in making one girl, Sybel, who she needs to be to save everyone from an unknown danger. I started writing  it during NaNoWriMo 2016. 

And tonight I’ve completed the first novel in that series! 

It feels so good to be done. I wrote the first draft, went through line by line to clean up any plot holes and add descriptions to some areas, and I’m finally satisfied that it’s ready to go to the editor. 

So happy! And I  can’t wait to share it with all of you. 

And that’s my five. 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – The goal is right there!

It’s 3:30 in the morning and I just finished editing a few more chapters of Dragons’s Flame. That leaves one more chapter, and the epilogue, to finish. Once I’m done I can send it off to the editor. I almost finished it tonight, almost, but when I started editing the final chapter my brain started rebelling.

Writing is so much different than editing. For writing it’s often helpful to be slightly tired because then it’s easier to let go of that editor trying to fix things all the time, and just write. Sometimes I write my best words while slightly tired at the end of the night. Other times I write the worst. I think it depends on how sleepy I am. Just slightly sleepy with a cup of coffee, great. Ready to fall over on the keyboard? Not so much.

I’m so happy with how the novel has come out. It is currently 49,500 words long. After editing this last chapter I’m pretty sure it will be 50k. That’s perfect. I wasn’t trying to hit that number, but it is a nice number in instead. And the second book is already 40k words long and only about half finished so it will likely be longer. That’s about how the Witch’s Trilogy worked out as well.

Last month, and this month so far, has been the best writing months I’ve had all year. I think this five minute writing page has helped a lot. It’s gotten me to get out of my head, and get onto the paper. It’s also been very good at getting me to write instead of just thinking about writing.

But that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Veganisim

I got into a conversation the other day on YouTube about veganism. My original point had been about coffee: If I, a coffee drinker, sit next to someone in a restaurant that finds coffee offensive, should I apologize for liking coffee? Or should that person just deal with the fact that other people like thing that they don’t and the world is not a safe space?

A few people said coffee wasn’t that great an example, how can anyone be offended by coffee. But I’ve met them. They are out there. My ex MIL tried convincing me to switch to tea, and while I do like tea it does not do it for me. Have to have my coffee.

So I decided I’d add veganism to the argument. If I want to eat a cheese burger at a restaurant should I apologize to the vegan next to me because they are offended? Is it okay for them to call me a murderer? And of course I got a lot of responses from vegans about how much better veganism is, and how I should try it.

I did try it. In fact as of now we have a freezer with a little hamburger, and a lot of chicken in it. But mostly burritos. And that freezer of meat will last us a few months because we don’t eat meat very often. We don’t have steak anymore, and pork has been off the menu for years unless we get it at a restaurant occasionally. Mostly I subsist off eggs. I eat tons of eggs. Eggs are the best thing in life because if I have an egg every morning I don’t feel sick later that morning.

And that’s the problem I had with veganism. It made me feel sick. I often got the shakes, felt weak and tired, couldn’t concentrate. My mind would wander more then usual, and I even started having some blurry vision. As soon as I started eating meat again I was fine.

And I tried it all. I tried tofu, eating all the nuts, lots of peanut butter because I LOVE peanut butter. I tried fake meats, and beans. I tried everything. Nothing helped as much as having an egg, or a piece of chicken, in the morning.

Things are a bit more complicated for me because I can’t have much rice or pasta since I’m also pre-diabetic and I’m trying to not go full diabetic. Eating only veggies and some meat with the occasional pasta dish is what’s working for me to be healthy.

But I’m still a murderer according to some vegans. My health isn’t important. I was doing it wrong. What about the animals?

It’s just another instance of “my beliefs are better than yours, and if you disagree then you are worse then Hitler.” I respect vegans for following their beliefs, and I wish them well. But I do wish respect went both ways.

And that’s well past my five.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Half Blood Sorceress

Today has been a good day. I’m writing this at the end of the day, instead of the beginning, because I’ve been doing a lot of writing and editing. Mostly editing of the first book so I can get it to the editor.

I hate estimating these things. I’m almost always wrong. I have these big ideas that I can just ‘edit one chapter a day and get it done” but something else comes up. And I know some of it is excuses, and other times it’s legitimate things. Like being sick for the last week because there are forest fires going on and my asthma is not making life easy.

Regardless, I have grand ideas that I don’t end up doing it. Another big reason is that I end up spending time on other things instead of the main project. I have been trying to get the editing done for this book, but I admit that I hate editing. I have taken a lot of “breaks” to write major plots for the third book so that I can start on it soon. On the plus side I have a lot of that story already figured out. On the minus side…book one isn’t finished yet!

But after this second pass I’m actually happy with the story. I had been thinking the main character was too ‘whiny” when I first wrote her. But no, she isn’t. She’s the right amount of upset that a large portion of her life goes south really fast, and nothing she seems can fix it. And it’s okay to be upset when that happens. That’s life, and that’s how it works. We can’t control everything around us, even when we really want to.

I guess I should take a note from my characters at this point.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in On Writing

 

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Does Gender Matter? – 5min

If you’ve been on social media lately you’ve probably heard about the man from Google who just got fired for an “anti-diversity manifesto.”

If you watch the main stream media you’re probably convinced that he didn’t site his sources, his sources were mostly Wikipedia, and that his entire goal was to make it look like men are better than women.

Or you could read the document. He does say that men are better at women for some things, but he also said that women are better at some things then men, and that if you want to get the most out of your employees you’ll take into account these differences so that you can get the best people into the best jobs, and they will work their best.

The biggest argument against this manifesto I’ve seen is “men and women are the same” from many people, including Laci Green who was pretty blatant about it. You shouldn’t use stereotype to judge people, they say.

Alright, then here is my question about that. Does gender matter? Is there a difference between men and women? Because I’ve seen plenty of feminists say that men are more violent, and men are rapists. If that is true then would the opposite also be true? That women are less violent and less likely to attack? That’s not called a stereotype (and it isn’t true of course, men aren’t more violent than women they just happen to have higher incidents of different kinds of violence for each gender. And men fail to report it more often.)

Regardless, if gender isn’t important, if there is no difference between men and women, then why are we pushing for transgender rights? Why do we call people male or female for anything other than reproductive purposes? Why are there genders at all?

But maybe that’s where they are going with this argument…

And that’s my five.

 

PS, these five minute writes don’t give a lot of time to go in depth on a subject, just hit the highlights most of the time. But the question is still a valid one. I do want to say that I do believe there is a difference between men and women (with some over lap of course) and that there are specific things that most men and most women do. And 51% is most. But regardless of gender, individuals learn and work better in different ways, so increasing avenues in a work place for those different mentalities to be more comfortable in a space isn’t a bad thing.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2017 in On Writing

 

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