Week One of Vacation… sort of.

Week one sort of because it wasn’t a full week — school was out Thursday. So it’s been about four days of vacation. And in the past week, I’ve finished up all of my planning and all of my worldbuilding. Things are ready to roll in the fall on completing The Sea Prince, and I even finally remembered how I was going to make this thing actually work.

It turned out that I had already done quite a bit of worldbuilding on The Sea Prince, but it was all over the place. Some was in the Scrivener file. Some was on my hard drive. Some was printed out and was in a notebook, and some was in another notebook. So completing the worldbuilding for The Sea Prince was largely compiling all of the existing worldbuilding and seeing what I was missing. Which wasn’t much.

Now it’s time for me to really start working on Imaginative Anthropology, which means that I’ll be reading a lot this summer, and taking notes, and making an outline. I have a very basic one already, but I need to tweak it and maybe move things around. Right now, the idea is to give a intro to cultural anthropology, a second intro to worldbuilding basics, and then bringing them together and making them play nicely. This is the first time I’m trying to put into words how I building the worlds in which I play, so it may end up being very similar to asking a centipede how it coordinates all of those feet…

I’ve filed one of the short stories I was working on in my “Unlikely to Develop” folder. It was a vague idea, and it refused to come together into more than a dozen paragraphs which had no ending. I’ll revisit it at some point in the future and either figure out the problem or let it go back into hibernation. So that leaves one short story to work on over the summer, which will go into Morrigan’s Wrath as bonus material. Working title is Broken Feathers.

And that is the current state of the state I’m in. Mental state, I mean. Physical state… well, I’m in Florida. If you have a vacation you’re planning, plan to vacation anywhere else. Literally ANYWHERE else. Because Florida: It’s not the humidity, it’s the hate.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, accountability, crap-writing-is-crap, Imaginative Anthropology, research is fun, summer, The Sea Prince, 0 comments

Productive Downtime

Productive downtime sounds like a contradiction in terms. Like jumbo shrimp and near miss (if you’re not familiar with George Carlin’s routine on contradictions, go see if you can find it.) It’s a contradiction, but it’s where I am right now. I’m not actively writing, but I’m being very productive.

The synopsis for Book 7 of Heir to the Firstborn is done, and all that needs is a title. I’ve also finished the synopsis for The Silken Courtesan (Iron and Silk, book 2), and am about to start worldbuilding for that series, while thinking about what book 3 might be about. I think that The Iron Virgin (Iron and Silk, book 1) may by my Spring 2024 book, but we’ll see where things lie when I we get closer to the end of Winter 2023.

I’ve also pulled together all of the little bits of worldbuilding that I’ve done on The Sea Prince, and realized that there was more than I thought. It just wasn’t organized. Now it is, and there was very little that needed to be added. So I’m ready to get back into working on the book, and this time I’m going to finish it!

I mean it!


Back to summer stuff. I’m rereading a manuscript that’s completed but unpublished, with an eye toward submitting it to a new imprint that’s opening up for Fantasy Romance. (Bramble Publishing, a Tor imprint.) I attended a webinar with the acquisitions editor this past weekend, and she says that they’ll be reading unagented submissions. I just don’t know when, so I want this ready to go when they announce. And I’ve started a bonus short story to go with Morrigan’s Wrath, because I left some loose ends for a character who needs his HEA, thank you very much.

Once those are all wrapped up, I’ll be spending the rest of the summer reading and outlining Imaginative Anthropology. I have an idea as to format, but I need to see if it’ll actually work the way I’m thinking. I should know by the end of the summer.

And just regular reading. I have a stack as tall as I am of books I’ve been meaning to read. Time to get to it! First on my list? Babel, by R.F. Kuang.

And that’s my plan for the next two months. Productive downtime.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, Heir to the Firstborn, Imaginative Anthropology, Iron and Silk, post novel ennui, Reading, Revisions, summer, The Iron Virgin, The Sea Prince, The Silken Courtesan, The White Raven, Worldbuilding, 0 comments

Thirty. Finished. The End

Well, I guess that clears up any question about the topic for this week’s blog, hm?

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology, book 2)

106550 / 106000 (100.52%)

I finished the draft a week ago, after writing over three thousand words in a single day. (That’s a lot for me. But I was SOCLOSE to being done!) and it occurs to me that I wrote last week’s blog post AFTER finishing the book! So this is not news, unless you missed last week’s post because I was so late in posting it.

The manuscript is now printed off, along with the editing notes that I made for The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir, and I have put them aside to wait for the edits to come in on Morrigan’s Heir. Once I have those, I’ll make my changes to Heir, then start my personal edits on Wrath. Once I’m sure both books agree with each other, then they’ll both go back to my editor. But I am now done for the summer.

Sort of.

I’ve spent the past week planning out the first two books in a new series tentatively called Iron and Silk (to be honest, the synopsis for the first book was already written — it’s that Pirate and Princess thing that came out of my trip to Nashville.) Book one is The Iron Virgin. Book two is The Silken Courtesan, which I just finished planning out today. This might be a trilogy, and book three is tentatively titled The Iron Queen. I still have to plan that one.

I’m also planning out book seven of Heir to the Firstborn, and trying to think of a title that fits the existing title patterns. The synopsis for this one is about a third of the way done, but I got distracted by The Silken Courtesan. Once this one is done, then I’ll dive into the worldbuilding for Iron and Silk, and for The Sea Prince.

And there’s research to be done for Imaginative Anthropology, which has been on the shelf for a bit while I finished up The White Raven. Time to get back to that.

Honestly, though? All of these are playtime. I am now off for the summer.

There are still five days left in the Red Hot book giveaway, where you can grab a copy of Hidden Things (or some twenty-five other books) FOR FREE! Click the image above to check out what’s available. I’ll have another giveaway later in the summer — keep an eye out for a Written in Water giveaway in August.

But for now, I’m giving myself a brain break and deciding what I’ll work on once August rolls around and school starts again.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Imaginative Anthropology, KermitArms, Planning, post novel ennui, summer, The Iron Virgin, The White Raven, thirty, Worldbuilding, Written in Water, yippee, 0 comments

Late Post, But A Good Reason….

This is posting rather late on Monday, but there’s a very good reason for the delay…

That’s the final wordcount on The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath. That’s a draft, folks!

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology, Book 2)

106550 / 106000 (100.52%)

So, now what? Now, this manuscript gets read over quickly, to make sure I didn’t forget any scenes that I meant to fill in later. I’ll compile it from Scrivener, and print it off… and then put it off to the side for a bit. I’ll be sitting on it until I get the edits back for Morrigan’s Heir, and then I’ll read both of them one right after the other. That way, I can be sure that the details in both agree. (and there are some edits that need to be added to Heir, because of things that changed in Wrath. And one character name that needs to be changed because the name Owyn is now retired.)

Once that’s done? I’m off for the summer! Which means… well, this house needs to be cleaned. And I have worldbuilding and research to work on. And SO MUCH READING to catch up on.

And I have a short story to write. There’s one thread in Wrath that didn’t get tied off, and one couple that’s getting their own short. But I’m in no rush.

In other news, Hidden Things is currently part of a giveaway, and you can check out the other books here. The giveaway runs until May 20th. Just in time for beach reading!

Since it’s late, that’s all there is. I’m going to bed now!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, accountability, giveaway, happy-happy- joy- joy, Hidden Things, kvelling, post novel ennui, SQUEEE, summer, Ta-da, The White Raven, thirty, WIP, wordcount, yippee, 0 comments

I Win!

Camp Nano, that is.

For the record, this win was for 30,612 words in 30 days. However, the book is still not done.

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology, book 2)

92924 / 108000 (86.04%)

Based on where I am, I figure that this book has about five or six chapters left. Yes, I know I said that last week. No, these are not eldritch chapters where you write a dozen and you still have a dozen left to go. Honestly, there’s nothing eldritch about that. That is totally normal. Really. I’m still on target for finishing this book by the 19th. I think. I did leave myself some wiggle room before the end of the school year, though.

And then? This house will be CLEAN!!! (Yup — the ritual “I finished a book, time to deep clean the house.”)

And then what? Well, research for Imaginative Anthropology. Worldbuilding for The Sea Prince. Synopses for the untitled Adavar book, and for a new thing that my brain fed me because it’s bored with ravens already and wants something new and shiny. Courtesans and merchant princes and intrigue, oh, my! Possibly set in the same universe as The Iron Virgin, which came about because of that trip to Nashville I took two years ago (the Gaylord Opryland had a Pirates and Princess event going on, and it percolated into something interesting…) The synopsis is written, and I’ll actually write that one of these years. The feel of the world is the same, so perhaps they are set in different kingdoms or something… I’ll figure it out once I know more about both of them.

It’s funny — I’m actually looking forward to taking the summer off. I haven’t in a few years, which I suppose was the downside of doing the serial. But that means I haven’t really had a chance to reset and refill my creative bucket. Now I’ll be taking that time. I’ll still be working on things, but I won’t be actively writing. And I’ll start back up in August with… something. Either jumping back into The Sea Prince, or picking up one of the new projects that are sitting on the back burner. We shall see what yells the loudest in August when I ask myself, “What am I working on next?”

Once more into the breech… this book isn’t going to write itself!

Posted by EASchechter, 0 comments

Wordy. Very Wordy.

That’s me in a nutshell. Wordy. Even my short stories are long. I once sent a short story that was about a 1000 words over the wordcount limit in for a call for submissions with a note saying “I have cut this to the bone, and if I cut any more, I will break the story. If you accept this story, I’m willing to do whatever edits are necessary.” (The story was not only accepted for the anthology, they did not cut anything!)

What this means is that the 90,000 word goal on The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath? That was a ballpark.

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology, Book 2)

85466 / 90000 (94.96%)

There are, I think, about five or six chapters left in this book. That’s roughly about 15 to 18K words? So that puts my actual target at 100K words or thereabouts. Which isn’t too terribly long for one of my books, and I should have it done in advance of my May 19th deadline. If I can keep the distractions to a bare minimum.

There’s one distraction staring at me on my screen right now — a new synopsis. And not for any project that I’ve been talking about. This one came out of left field, because I got a new laptop. Yes, this makes sense — I was moving old files from the old laptop to the new one, and I noticed the character bios and the beginning of a story that was meant for a shared world project that never happened. (If you’ve read my short stories, this was the story that Foster was reading in Raise the Dead, which appeared in Like a Circlet Editor.) Then I saw some old Kushielverse play by email files that I save from Yahoo when Groups when pfft. And I had written this one bit:

“I have saved lives. I have brought down men who believed they were above the law. I have played a role in stopping an atrocity and I will do so again and again until I am murdered in my bed for it, or until no child need must fear being stolen away.

And I thought… that’s a good bit. I’d forgotten about that. I wonder… hey, that would work in the Jack and Lucretia thing, wouldn’t it?

So… new synopsis. No title yet. And I’m not sure when I’ll write it. We’ll see.

First I have to finish Morrigan’s Wrath. Then we’ll get to play in other worlds.

(By the by, if anyone reading this used to be involved in the Kushiel play by email game The Night Court? I managed to save all the files before Yahoogroups went away. I have, I think, ALL of the five years of the game.)

In other news, I’ve been accepted for programming at Necronomicon! So I’ll be heading out to Tampa in September. More information on that as I have it.

And that’s about all on this front. Back to making an excessive amount of words!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, conventions, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments


There’s thunder rumbling outside my window this morning, and some good soaking rain. We need the rain — Central Florida has been bone-dry this spring, and things are turning brown. So I’m not complaining about the gray Monday morning (okay, not complaining much.)

Camp Nano is going really well. I’ve missed one day of writing since April 1st (my birthday — I’m allowed!), but I’m still on track to finish the book on time. And then… it’ll sit and stew for a bit, so that when I go back and reread it, I don’t fill in things that I thought I wrote but didn’t.

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology, Book 2)

78492 / 90000 (87.21%)

The story is coming along nicely, even the bits that weren’t in the outline (because there are always bits that weren’t in the outline in my books.) There may even be at least one related short story, but we’ll see if these characters want to tell me their courtship stories the way Oscar and Muirenn did in The Ice Raven.

The school year is starting to wind down, and that means I’m going to start to shift to planning mode fairly soon. Which actually works well for me because I’ve been hyperfocusing on finishing The White Raven, so the worldbuilding for The Sea Prince, and the research for Imaginative Anthropology have both been shelved for the nonce. I’ll pick them both up again in May, as well as getting more serious about the untitled seventh Heir to the Firstborn book, for which I’m still trying to find a title. Nothing seems to work. I’m leaning towards just calling it Heir to the Firstborn, but that doesn’t flow with the previous titles. (all of which are three words and either something OF something or something IN something.) Considering I haven’t even written the first word yet, I have time, but I hate starting with a working title and changing it (even though I totally did that for book 5 of this series.) What little work I’ve done on the synopsis is showing me an odd issue I don’t normally have — bits of the story keep shifting as I keep running into “That’s a good piece, but it won’t work that early.” I suddenly understand my friends who plot out their books using large sticky notes!

Hey… I just put Notezilla on my computer. I’ll have to play with that, see if it helps.

In May. Once I finish this book.

Back to making words.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, accountability, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Imaginative Anthropology, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, Write Faster!, 0 comments

Race to the Finish Line!

It’s Camp NaNo! Every April and July, the people behind NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, aka November) run Camp NaNo, which is a slightly more relaxed version of the November madness. More relaxed, in that you can set your own wordcount goal. Going in to April, I noticed that I was short about 30K works in The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath. So, I pulled up the Nano website, set up a project in Camp Nano, and set my wordcount goal at 30K words.

In nine days, I’ve written 9062 words. (I haven’t written yet today.)

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology
, Book 2)

71379 / 90000 (79.31%)

Since my primary goal is to have the book finished by May 19th (one week before the end of school), I’m not too worried about getting all 30K words in my the end of April. But if I do, then yay!

And then… I wait. I need to let the book settle before I go back and read through for edits, and I need to wait to see what the edits on Morrigan’s Heir look like to see what, if any, changes are needed so the books are consistent. So final delivery on the book will be contingent on when I get edits in on book one.

Speaking of which, I should check with my editor on how things are going with book one.

Once that’s done, then I’ll spend the summer putting together an outline for Imaginative Anthropology, finishing the worldbuilding for The Sea Prince, and writing up a synopsis for the unnamed Heir to the Firstborn book that is percolating. And maybe adding in some of the research I need to do to plot out Children of the Swords. We’ll be doing at least one college tour over the summer, too.

I think I’ve said before that I don’t know how to downtime. Like, at all.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, Heir to the Firstborn, Imaginative Anthropology, progress, research is fun, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, 0 comments


I have no idea what this virus was that hit me like a ton of lead-coated bricks. It wasn’t the flu, and it wasn’t Covid — the tests for both came back negative. If it was a cold, it was a much beefier cold than I have ever experienced before, because it’s been over a week and I’m still dragging. I’m better than I was, but still… the brain fog is real. And the fatigue. There was a lot of sleep last week. And surprisingly, there was a decent amount of words. I can’t remember what I wrote for most of them, but my word counter says I did actually write.

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology, book 2)

64046 / 90000 (71.16%)

I have a month and a half to finish this up before the end of the school year. And Camp Nanowrimo started on the 1st, so I’m observing National Novel Finishing month, and I’m going to get as much of this done in April as I can.

Once this book is in, I’ll be done for the summer, at least until edits on Morrigan’s Heir come in. So I’ll be working on the worldbuilding for The Sea Prince, so I can get a better handle on that book, as well as the synopsis for the book I didn’t think I was going to write — Heir to the Firstborn, book SEVEN. I remember distinctly telling someone that I was done with Adavar. There were no more stories to be told in that universe. And then the main character walked out of my subconscious mind and said “Really? What about me?” His name is Kaspin and he’s just as much of a brat as Owyn. Once I have a story and a title, I’ll start writing and putting this up a chapter at a time on Patreon, the same as the original books. I don’t anticipate starting back with either The Sea Prince or this unnamed Heir to the Firstborn book until fall, but we’ll see how it goes over the summer.

I’ll also be working on putting together an outline for Imaginative Anthropology over the summer, so I can start planning out more targeted research and reading. That’s something I can do while traveling, which we have planned for the summer. This way to the college tours!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, accountability, Adavar, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Imaginative Anthropology, Patreon, Planning, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments


I went to a conference that had confirmed COVID cases, and came home to catch a cold.

It is just a cold — I tested at home, then went to urgent care for a flu test this morning and they also ran a COVID test. Both came back negative, so it’s just a cold. And I’m sure that I caught it at home because both my husband and son got sick last week and shared it with me. We have no idea where they caught it.

I haven’t been this sick in nearly two years (we all got Disney crud when we went right before the Delta wave hit in 2021). I’ve forgotten what it was like!

Now, this means that my brains are soup, and my focus is nonexistent. But I have two-thirds of a manuscript and more words to write, so here we are.

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath
(The White Raven duology, Book 2)

59593 / 90000 (66.21%)

I have just over a month and a half, and I’m fairly confident that I’ll have this done on time. Assuming that my brains stop feeling like soup.

I realized something the other day. June will be the tenth anniversary of the publication of my modern erotic classic* House of Sable Locks. I went and talked to the publisher, and there might be a little something in the works for the anniversary. More as I know more. But ten year anniversary of what may arguably be the best book I have ever written is something I hadn’t expected to get away from me.

It’s a little daunting, to think that your best book ever was your second book, and that every book since then has been trying to reach those heights. I think I came really close with Written in Water. But I’m also the worst person in the world to rank my own books. I love them all! Same with characters (although Owyn will always be my absolute favorite.)

Speaking of Owyn, I got bonked by a plot bunny last week, and there’s more than likely going to be a seventh book set in the same world as Heir to the Firstborn. One of the main characters waltzed out of my subconscious and wants his own book, thank you very much. He’s going to be as much of a brat as Owyn. I can tell already. No title yet, but once I know, and once I get started writing, those will go up on Patreon in the same way that Heir to the Firstborn did.

It’s getting late, and there’s dinner than needs to be made. I discovered a vegan Tikka Masala sauce, and I haven’t had Tikka Masala in a year and a half. Time to go see if I like it! (I hope I do. I bought four jars!)

*House of Sable Locks was named a modern erotic classic by the now-defunct Cliterati magazine, and I found out while on a field trip to Legoland with a bunch of fourth graders!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, deep thoughts, Heir to the Firstborn, Sable Locks, slow-writer-is-slow., The White Raven, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments