Stars and Cards

I’ve published TWO things this weekend!

First, Stars End. A collection of science fiction short stories that you can read in bite size pieces.

The four short stories contained inside explore what life might mean in a distant future when space travel and longevity are things humanity take for granted.

Second, I’ve been working on Vertigo, a card based litRPG, for a while. I decided I wanted to publish it on Royal Road and Wattpad as a free title. So you can find the first to chapters there right now.

New chapters will be uploaded every weekend.

This is an experiment to see if it encourages me to write more. I’m hoping that writing in such a public way will force me to stay accountable to myself.

It also makes me happy that my daughter drew the figure on the cover. I gave her a basic idea of what to draw and she went with it.

I already have several chapters of Vertigo ready to go, I’m just editing and cleaning them up before posting every week. That doesn’t mean the other writing stops, it just means fora day or two a week I am devoted to one chapter from Vertigo. But it’s been fun, and I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.

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Virtual Card Games?

I started writing a side quest for my LitRPG series. This is Cas’ story, and how she builds her own strengths and self confidence.

You didn’t have to read the litRPG series in order to understand Vertigo. This is a self contained story, with only minor references between the two.

Vertigo is a virtual trading card game. But trading card games are completely different inside a virtual world. Here Cas will have to hunt out the creatures she wants to add to her deck, and earn the right to their assistance.

Because this is a side quest I am releasing Vertigo for free a chapter a week. It is available on both Wattpad and RoyalRoad for free. The first chapter is already available. A new chapter will be released by Saturday every week. Bookmark, rate, and review please!

Hello Seattle!

I’m out and about in the world again.
Yesterday morning we boarded a plane from Houston to Seattle. It started off with almost being late. Not us, the plane. We were there, in the waiting area, looking at the plane at the entryway waiting for us to board, but apparently it was having some technical issues. First they announced a delay, then they came back and said the plane was being decommissioned for the day and they are looking for a new plane for us. Then finally they said “never mind, the plane is fine, we’ll be using this one, we just had a lot of paperwork to do so load up everyone.”
Ya, that was interesting.
Both Gregg and I were really tired since we hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before, so we dozed in and out on the flight. It was only 4 hours, which is a fantastic length for a flight. Much longer than that and I start getting antsy to just get up and move.
Also on the flight I had my trusty writing laptop. By that I mean my kindle fire and a blue toothed keyboard so that I could write on the go. It’s fantastic in this sort of situation because it doesn’t take up much room, and there isn’t much else I can do on the Fire without internet, and there isn’t any internet at 10,000 feet in the air.
I had been working on The Half Blood Sorceress book 2 for the past two months, but I ran into some plotting issues with timelines, so work on that has been slowed down a bit. For this trip I decided I needed something I could just write and enjoy since I would be gone for a week, and writing all week. And that’s what I did. I choose a random file on my tablet and just got to work.
It’s amazing how much writing you can get done when there is absolutely no pressure. This is a stand alone story, it is pretty straight forward, and it has some fun characters. It’s just fun to write. So even though I was a little tired, and on a cramped plane flying over the middle of the USA. I had no distractions since I couldn’t see out the window. Just writing, and the soft snores of my boyfriend as he tried to get a little rest.
Speaking of my boyfriend, Bjorn. If you follow Guild Wars at all you may have watched the stream where they announced heir new expansion. If you did then you would have seen Bjorn at the end of the stream, all dressed to the 9’s in his Norn cosplay. That is why we came to Seattle, though I tagged along because I missed our family.

He is almost done with it all, packing up his cosplay as I write this, while I get a little writing in at the hotel. Once we are done with all of that then it is off to spend some time with my kids, his parents, and a lot of friends we left back in Seattle.
I’ve missed Seattle. It’s a lovely town, and the weather is so much nicer (read that cooler) than Texas. Don’t get me wrong, Texas has its perks too, but Seattle is the home of my heart. Mostly because it is overcast most of the time, and I don’t feel like my eyes are bleeding every time I step out of the door.
On that note, I’m going to go enjoy the last hour alone in the hotel room before Bjorn gets back from the cosplay show. Then it’s off to family and friends. I hope your weekend is going just as awesome!

Two sides of the same author.

A long time ago I had a silly idea about a self fulfilling prophecy. I wrote Prophecy By Barlight soon afterward, and it’s still one of my favorite stories. This little touch of comedy has a different feel than the rest of my books, but that’s why I find it so charming.

On the opposite end of my writing you’ll find the thiller-esk type of story. The things that go bump in the night, or chase you in your nightmares. But Footprints isn’t really about the monsters outside. Instead it’s about the demons inside of us.

Both short stories are free this weekend. They are short reads, but I hope you find them to be interesting.

Productive.

This week has been really productive.

I spent most of the weekend painting a project for Bjorn. I forgot how physically demanding painting can be. I can’t wait to show pictures of the thing I painted in a couple weeks. I’m really kind of proud of how it turned out.

The rest of the weekend I finished writing my first article for fiverr. I’m trying to start doing a few commissions here and there and make a little extra besides the book sales. I think it will help build my confidence too.

The last couple of days I finished some art work, uploaded it to redbubble and spoonflower, and was pretty happy with that. A few birds, mostly.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a booth at a con, but I don’t think I have anything to really set me apart yet. But I’m working on it. Maybe my fabric, but I’m not sure how to present that.

I have a few designs for resin molding that I want to try, and that could be an interesting direction to go. I just need something to make people come take a look, and some things they might want to buy.

Today I finished a set of bugs. I know, sounds weird, but they’re cute.

And they were fun to draw. It was a nice break from other things.

Tomorrow is back to the novel. I’m half way through the first round of edits, and I’d like to get most of it done by the end of the month. Let’s see how that goes.

A beautiful day

Today the sun is shining, the wind is just a light breeze, and it isn’t ungodly hot. It’s just a beautiful summer day.

Since moving to Texas Bjorn and I have had to adjust to the weather. I admit, we didn’t go outside a lot before but we go out even less now. The humidity just isn’t fun. You’re not supposed to feel like you’ve got your head underwater when you try to breath.

Today is the first day in a few weeks were it actually feels wonderful to be outside, so I am out in the backyard reading a new book. The Crafter’s Dungeon. It’s a unique take on dungeon core mechanics and I’m really enjoying it.

It strikes me that there is so much LIFE here in Texas. Right now I can hear four different kinds of bird calls, a couple of insects, squirrels, and something else I can’t identify. It’s just everywhere! From the squirrels playing in the trees, and on our roof, to the possums crossing the road at night, and even the deer we saw a couple of days ago. I haven’t seen/heard this much wild life since I lived in rural California.

As for the writing, I am about half way into my new litRPG book. This one is taking a little longer because I’m doing a lot more character growth in it. As I discover the story it keeps growing and becoming more. Cas is having an amazing adventure, disguising a new world, and entirely new game mechanics. But sometimes when you have those amazing experiences you learn something incredible about yourself. I’m pretty sure she’s going to learn a lot.

I’ve also been working on editing book two of my Half Blood Sorceress series. I have been stuck in this one for a while trying to decide if it was all necessary, or if some of it should be cut, and instead I decided it just needed some better connections between a few characters. Fleshing them out more and finding out what they wanted as well as the main character. What once felt like unconnected story points now is starting to feel like a whole living city.

These last few months have been incredible. I’ve written more than I have ever written before, my sales are slowly picking up, and I’m getting faster at writing every day. I’m not sure how much longer I get to do the full time author life, but I cherish every moment of it. Even when I’m stuck on a story bit and feeling like I can’t go anywhere with it, at least I have this chance. I am not stressed out by a job that makes me unhappy, or yelled at by customers who blame me for things out of my control.

On the contrary, if something goes wrong the only person I can blame is me. Was I writing or playing games? Researching or goofing off? It’s all on me. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s worth it.

Some part of me thinks that if I have to go back to a day job this experience will help me stick with the writing, and keep going, no matter what happens. I want to be an author. And authors write.

Writing progress

In February I quit my job, packed up my home, and moved to Texas. It’s now May…. so how am I doing? Here are each of my goals and what happened with them.

Write More

I am definitely writing more. Both March and April I wrote 20k words, and I’m on track to doing even more this month. If I keep this up I will be well over a quarter million words in a year, something I haven’t been able to do ever. And because of how I am working things are going well, and I do not see a problem with getting the word count in.
(For those interested in numbers, in 2017 and 2018 I wrote just over 100k. May just started and I’ve already written 66k this year. I’ll pass the last two years of writing by the end of June.)

Publish in April

This one didn’t happen, and while I am upset that it didn’t happen I am also happy with the reason. The novella I had been writing is now a full novel. The first two book Hub Series were around 30k words, and this latest one is 50k making it a full length novel. I’ve also taken the time to make the story better, made the characters a bit more compelling, added some things that I hadn’t tried before. The farther I go in this series the happier I am with it. On that note, I’m sending it to the editor this weekend so expect book three in a week or two.

Draw More

I have not been keeping up with my drawing. I did a few pieces in March (1, 2, 3, 4), but I never really finished them, and I haven’t added anything to redbubble or spoonflower. I’m a little disappointed in myself since I haven’t been gaming either to take up that time, so where is it going?

Stream More

I do have a Twitch stream that I have been known to do a few times, but it was rare. The trouble I found was that when I streamed I might have one or two people pop in, and they rarely stayed for more than a few minutes. This lead me to believe I really wasn’t good at holding peoples interest long enough to stream. I don’t know when or if I will go back to it. I might just try it because I enjoy playing some narrative games, and then I could put them up on my youtube channel. I haven’t decided yet.

Youtube Again

This is another one I haven’t done since being here.  It’s also another one I’m not sure I want to do. I have two channels, one for Writing and one for Gaming. The gaming channel only allows me to post 15 minute videos so I ended up using my writing channel for gaming, which I shouldn’t have done. Honestly…. I need to do this. It would be good for me because I need to learn to talk in front of a camera again. It’s very difficult for me sometimes so… I’ll have to see what I can do.

Overall

So writing is going well, and I’ll have another book to publish soon. Then I should be able to jump in and finish the second Half Blood Sorceress book since I have already written most of it, and that will be book two, hopefully by July. So much to write and so little time. I better get writing!