What do you do when you find a devil in your trash can?
This fellow decided to feed him. But nothing comes for free when dealing with demons, and you should always check the fine print.
What do you do when you find a devil in your trash can?
This fellow decided to feed him. But nothing comes for free when dealing with demons, and you should always check the fine print.
I just finished the first draft of Steel Heart, book two in my litRPG series.
I finished the first book, Steel Soul, in June, and the second book today. That’s two months of writing. I’m getting a little faster.
Both books would be in the novella category at the moment, about 100 pages I think. Each is a full story on its own, but part of a bigger story. I’m going to go over them one more time, add in some details, some foreshadowing, and other plot things that I can add now (since I haven’t published them yet) which will add a few thousand more words to them both. I expect they will both still fall in the novella range, but I’m okay with that. A story should be as long as a story wants to be, and each of theses has a definite end point.
I’ve already started book three, which I might be calling “Steel Trap”, I haven’t decided yet. I also know this isn’t the final episode in the story. They are finally going to meet someone pulling all the strings, but it won’t be the end of the matter by any means. In fact…the game might start falling out into the real world. We’ll have to see. I’m still discovering the plot as I go as well.
Also, I wanted to let you know that The Ring is free this weekend. I won’t be putting short stories, or any litRPG into KU anymore, I’ll be taking them wide, so this will be he last time this particular story is available for free for a while. I will probably make a few of my short stories perma-free just because it might a few more eyes on my books, but for now I’m just writing more, and saving releasing them all at the end of the year. Look for that!
Currently ready to be edited:
Half Blood Sorceress book 2
If I can get everything done….I’m working on it! I know that Costume Shop needs to come out on October 1st since it’s a Halloween story. I would like to release a book a month every month after that. I’ve got three so far!
Yesterday was a busy busy day. I’m in the middle of updating everything in my catalog, and…that’s a big job.
Currently I have 25 books out, most of which are short stories. I’ve been updating the back-matter, authors notes, and just about everything else, then republishing them. Plus…I’m finally going wide. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, at least with my short stories, but it’s been a task since there are so many of them. Now that I have a couple more books ready to be edited so I can publish them I think it’s the right time to get this done.
So, over the next couple of weeks that’s what I’ll be doing. Editing, reformatting, and uploading my books as they drop out of KU. If you are in KU and you want to read any of the short stories you should do that now while that is an option. I know some of them are dropping off the beginning of next month, and the rest will be out in the next three. So by September all the short stories will be out of KU.
As for the writing, I put in another chapter or two of the second book in my litRPG. I figured out the rest of the plot. And I started work on the third book. This is going FANTASTIC! Expect to see them starting to appear in another month. I want at least two and a half books complete before I start publishing. This, along with Costume Shop and another short story will give me a chance at getting a lot of new books out there for you. The last month and this month I wrote more than 11,000 words. That’s double what I was doing before. It’s good to feel creative again.
Also, Small Bites 1 is free this weekend. I’ll have a few short stories free during the next few weekends to take advantage of their last bit of time in KU. This will be the first one.
Also I will be streaming occasionally. If you’d like to come over, chat, ask questions, or see what I’m doing stop in and say hi. I will be drawing, painting, doing different crafts, or writing. I might even do a few small games here and there.
Till next time, happy reading.
Yesterday I finished writing Costume Shop, which I’ve been working on for a couple years. It’s a Halloween story, so I always worked on it in the fall. I’d write a few paragraphs then Halloween would be over and I’d move on to something else.
This year I had the beautiful art done by my daughter to spur me on. I really wanted to get it done, and out, so that everyone could see it. So I finally finished it.
Which brings us to the next part; editing. And I only have one more day to do that before we get in a car for a week long journey to LA, and twitchcon.
I’ve already done a bunch of editing, so it’s only a matter of going back over it once or twice and cleaning it up, but still…. I have to actually do it.
If I manage it Costume Shop will be available this weekend. It is an RL Stein style chapter book for younger readers. I might even do a few more in this style…. We will see.
For now I am mostly packed for twitchcon. Gregg has a few finishing touches to do tomorrow, and then we start driving. Well I start driving. I’m sure he’ll take the wheel after a much needed nap.
Last night I finished editing two more chapters for Dragons Flame, and wrote the last chapter. That last chapter had gone incomplete for a while. But this get’s me even closer to the end of the writing.
I also did a bunch of newsletters to let people know about the free short stories this weekend. If you’re interested you can find them here: Small Bites 1 and Hidden Treasures for free this weekend, and Witch’s Sacrifice is back on sale for 99 cents, along with most of my short stories being 99 cents.
But no progress on the declutter front yesterday. Life is about balance, trying to find that sweet spot of work, chores, family and everything else you have going on in your life. And so I’m trying to do that. I know I work from 12:30 to 10:30 five days a week, including the commute to and from. I know that I have some time in the evenings with Gregg. And I know that in the morning I am carving out five minutes for this blog post. The other things, like writing and reading, and playing a game, or decluttering my life…those all take second fiddle to the facts of keeping a roof over our head, and spending time with my boyfriend so we don’t feel like we’re ignoring one another.
Some days I wish I could go back to being a house wife. I had a lot more time then, and would sometimes spend weeks just doing spring cleaning. Sometimes you have to spend a lot of time to find all those little nooks and crannies where soup or spaghetti found their way. Especially when you have toddlers.
Maybe I don’t have toddlers anymore, but I do have a house filled with stuff.
And that’s my five.
A few weeks ago I announced on the Bradbury Challenge that I would be finishing, and publishing, Witch’s Sight. I finally finished writing it tonight, now it just needs a bit of an edit. However, I wanted to give everyone here a quick peek behind the scenes. You get to read it before anyone else.
As you probably know, the Witch’s Trilogy is now finished. While finishing up the last book in the series I started thinking about the origin of the Little Mother, and how she made her own escape from the acolytes. That tale is here, in Witch’s Sight.
I love this world, and I’m going to keep coming back to it with new books down the road. It is such a wonderful world to write in. However, the other stories I have planned for the world of Peyllen don’t take place in the Sea of Tears. They are in the far distant realms beyond the edge of the sea. I will eventually be making a website specifically for Peyllen with a timeline, maps, and some more information about the world at large.
For now, I’m off to write in a different direction, taking a short break from Peyllen to see what other mischief I can get into.
And, as promised, here is Witch’s Sight.
~~Witch’s Sight ~~
Katrina sat in a sea of people, all of them moving at once. They were big as trees, towering over her. Though she clung to mama’s hand, Katrina shivered. The big people were screaming at someone, shouting and calling names. Names she’d never heard before. But she didn’t need to know what they were to know they were bad. Just the way they screamed them out told her so.
The bodies pressed in, jostling her against mama, and she clung with all her might as the sea of people tried to sweep her away.
“Mama!” she screamed, but no one could hear her above all the voices, the screaming. The crying.
Mama grabbed her, and pulled her up into her arms. Safer, Katrina sunk down into mama’s embrace, feeling mama tighten her grip, keeping her safe from the crowds.
“Look away, Katrina,” mama cried. “Don’t look!”
It was an order. Mama gave so few orders, and Katrina tried to obey them all. She did now, shutting her eyes tight as she lay her head against mama’s shoulder. But the commotion outside her mother’s embrace was too enticing. Katrina wanted to look, wanted to see what the people were yelling at, and wanted to see what angered them so.
She blinked, catching glimpses of people towering over a small figure at their feet. Another blink, red blood covering the small figures face, hair a mess.
It was a girl with short hair lying on the ground. The girl tried to scramble to her feet, slipping on the wet stones. She wasn’t much bigger then Jamie, Katrina’s neighbor who came to watch Katrina when mama was in the fields. But Jamie was always smiling and happy, this girl was crying. Dirty tear tracks ran down her face, and she pulled herself away from the crowd, clawing at the stone to get away.
“Why are they so mad, mama? Did she do something bad?”
“Look away, Katrina. You’re so young. You shouldn’t see this.”
Mama pushed through the crowd, elbowing people to get out of the way. Katrina watched as the tiny figure got swallowed up by the crowds, and still she could not understand why they were hurting the girl.
It’s here! The Scarab Necklace
A prima donna pop star. Her mousy assistant. And a cursed necklace that slowly changes their personalities.
It is longer then the other Illicit Gains Saga shorts and qualifies as a “novelette”, but who actually uses that word anyway? So i guess it’s a really long short story. All I know is: it’s good. I love it, and I’m so happy it’s finished and out for everyone to read.
The next one in the series is going to be a little complicated. It’s about a pocket watch and involves time travel. I’m going to need a timeline and a lot of notes. Thankfully I already have a basic plot.
I also have “Mirror” which was sent to my newsletter a few weeks ago. That is episode zero of this series. I’ll be editing that and publishing it May 27 or Jun 3rd.
And I think I should mention that Prophecy by Barlight and Potion Shop are free this weekend. If you haven’t picked them up yet now is a great time to do so.
Even more exciting news! Witch’s Stand should be out in two weeks!!!!! I’ve got the edits back and I just need to do my revision, and send it back to the editor (which takes less time the second time around) and then a quick revision before uploading it. So excited!
Plus, just look how great these covers look together:
A quick update, i just sent the final Witch’s Trilogy book to the editor. It will, hopefully, be published in a few weeks!
Now on to the main event, the Bradbury Challenge.
Last week Maya gave a great writing prompt. I can’t remember exactly what it was, and it is only on the audio podcast so I couldn’t look it up yet, BUT it did revolve around a stone wall.
Her prompt about the stone wall got me thinking of The Wailing Wall in Isreal where men and women put little notes and prayers on paper into the chinks in the stone masonry. Then I wondered…what if it wasn’t a prayer they were putting there, but a medal. A military metal, one earned in a great battle where nothing is left but the wall.
This story is a bit more experimental then I usually write, but I like the consept. I might redo it later to make it better though.
And now… The Wall.
The rough stone bit into my fingers as I ran them down the wall. Chips where bullets peeled out sections. Names carved into the loose concrete. Larger holes left behind by pocket knives, broken bottle shards, or daggers. Each line, wrinkle and pit told a story in the wall.
I found a name, Judith Gavin, etched in a flourished handwriting only slightly jagged from the use of a knife on stone instead of a pen on paper. Beneath it a medal had been embedded into the stone. Rank first class gunnery. A tiny brass star gilded the center. Elite marksman. Judith had been the best of the best in her devision, and she left her medal here as a reminder.
Other medals for foreign service, combat action, organizational excellence, and commendations littered the wall, their enamel paint glittering in the low sunlight. Here a purple heart fit inside a deep well carved by a bullet. Another a badge for a medic with a long cut through the center, possibly done by a knife. Little flecks of red marred the caduceus. Blood?
Each medal, each badge, each trophy a memento that told a story. But what story?
To read the rest SUBSCRIBE HERE
We will be recording our next episode of The Bradbury Challenge in two days. It will be episode 11. That means 11 short stories should have been written. Currently I’m at five finished. Five out of 11, and one novel finished, and a few really close to being finished, seems to be a great place to be right now.
That’s right, I finished writing Witch’s Stand.
I’m satisfied with the cover yet, so I can’t revel it at this moment, but it’s getting there.
So what’s in store now that Witch’s Stand is finished? Editing, lots of editing. Plus I have more time to spend writing short stories for the Bradbury Challenge, and I have a few other projects I’m writing plot-lines for right now. I am going to try doing one of them in a complete plotter mode. I haven’t tried doing a really detailed plot-line before, but I think it might help my true goal, getting faster.
As for the stories…
I said at the beginning of this thing that I would write a short story every week and send it to my newsletter. Excuses aside, I didn’t do that. It bothers me that I didn’t do that. More importantly, it bothers me that I haven’t been keeping some sort of writing schedule and getting books out there. What kind of a career can I have if I don’t actually publish anything? Not much of one.
So, no promises. I should promise anything I can’t deliver on. But I am promising to do better.
However, I have written SIX stories, and I am sending the FIFTH story to the list today. I have one story that I never sent out. This was partly because I have been neglecting my news letter, and partly because it’s a really darn long story. All of the other stories have been about 2-3k words. “The Scarab Necklace”, the one I haven’t sent yet, is over 8000 words.
I am also planning on publishing Scarab. I still need to do a final edit, and make sure everything is in order before doing so, but I do want to have it up in a month. So I will probably be sending it as a freebie to my list at some time, and not including it in my regular mailings. I haven’t decided. Let me know if you think of something else that might be more fair.
On to tonight’s story.
I don’t want to tell you much about this story before I share it with you. Let’s just say, I was thinking about the future, and the past. That, combined with a few interesting news articles about biology, lead to this story. Cryptic enough for you? Read on.
“I want to have a baby,” Nancy said.
There was no emotion on her face just a simple statement of truth. I knew this day would come. I saw the signs a long time ago, and chose to ignore them for the sake of her companionship. I loved her, I loved being with her. But you couldn’t stop nature. For decades she had been working in child care, learning about horticulture, and taking night classes for advancement. She was putting herself in the perfect place to have a child.
“Have you already applied?” I asked her.
“No, you’re my husband,” she said, “I wanted to talk to you about it first.” But she was looking down when she said it. She had looked into it even if she hadn’t applied.
“First? Then your mind is set,” I said. “You’ve decided.”
“I have. I would prefer to take this step with you.”
“That’s asking a lot. I’ve always loved you, and stood by you in everything you’ve done. But this is huge.”
Today was the second day of the new podcast, and my newsletter was just sent the first short story, “The Mirror.”
This short story is going to eventually be the Zero episode of my “Illicit Gains” series, a series of short stories revolving around items that have paranormal properties. This includes “The Ring” and “The Camera.” I will be writing a couple of the stories during the Bradbury Challenge.
I still think we’re a bit crazy for trying to write a short story every week, but at the same time it’s encouraging me to write more, and that’s awesome in and of itself. And that also means more stories for you! You just have to sign up for the newsletter to get them.
Here is a short sample of “The Mirror”.
Judy rubbed a hand over the frame, polishing a floret in the engraved design. Aunt Tracy didn’t overlook much, but she hadn’t noticed the ladder up to the attic space, so missed the mirror. Perhaps she thought her mother had been too old to go up there, or that the crawl space wasn’t big enough to hold anything. Most of the items in the attic had been junk; old Christmas ornaments, craft magazines and a box of flower vases. Things most people would throw away or donate to a thrift store. It was likely Tracy only saw the trash, never venturing far enough into the attic to find the mirror.
It meant Judy could keep one thing of her grandmothers, even if she didn’t remember her grandmother ever having the mirror.
She stepped back admiring her handiwork…and froze. She blinked, clearing her eyes. Surely they were playing tricks on her. A shadow seemed to pass over the image in the mirror, something that twisted her own face into something
Judy squinted. What was that? A trick of the light? A shadow?
A shiver ran down her spine as she took a step back. Her mind was playing tricks on her, surely, but something did seem off about the mirror.