2020 plans

Trying to Fit One Week into Two Days

What? Liz, why are you trying to fit a week into two days?

Because on Wednesday, at an ungodly hour of the morning, I leave for the RWA Summer Retreat in Nashville. So before I leave, I have to get all the other things done that are usually done in a week. And pack. And finish up things for the retreat. And… probably something I’m forgetting. There’s always something I’m forgetting.

So there’s not going to be a lot of writing done, at least not today and tomorrow. There’s a dedicated Writers Room at the Retreat, so I’ll get some work done there.


Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)
122957 / 150000 (81.97%)

And… I have come to a decision. See that total number there? And the percentage?

Yeah, Heir to the Firstborn isn’t going to be one book. It’s two. (Which, yes, I know. I said that with Wings of Air.) There’s still a lot of story left. This isn’t an issue with the serial — it’ll take as long as it takes to finish. But when I go to make print books? There’s a limit to how large a print book can be before it self-destructs under it’s own weight.

So, we’re looking at two books. Right now, I’m calling them Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads, and Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home.

On the upside? This means that there will indeed be a November release, because Crossroads is almost done!

Today has been more than a little “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, because my brain is going in fifteen directions at once.

For example — I got a new fitness tracker today. I have screen protectors for it, so I left this post unfinished to that I could go into the bedroom to get the package. While looking for the package, I realized that when I’d packed this morning, I’d forgotten to pack jewelry. So I went through and picked out some things, including a pair of statement earrings that I haven’t worn in ages. Packed them away and went to put them in my carry-on. Realized I’d forgotten something else, and went back to the bedroom for it. Found the package of screen protectors and took those out to the kitchen. Realized what time it was and that I had to start dinner.

Nearly four hours later, I’m back at the computer to finish the blog post.

In other news this week, I’ve gone and done something I should have done years ago.

I now have my own logo. And it’s GORGEOUS!!!

I mean, seriously. Isn’t that pretty?

New business cards and other marketing paraphernalia have been ordered, and I’m working on figuring out what new swag I’ll be getting for Orlando Reads Books in August. I don’t want to get something cheap, or… well, ordinary. Remember, I’m the one who brought naughty dice to my first RWA National convention. I need something different.

Hrm… I had an idea….

See you when I get back from Nashville!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, conventions, edits, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Orlando Reads Books, Swords of Charlemagne, Ta-da, to-dos, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments

Busy, busy, busy!

John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland
38005 / 50000 (76.01%)


And here I thought that I’d be able to start baking soon. Umm… not this week! This is a busy week for me!

Today starts the Erotic Romance contest over on Booksweeps. 30 books (including Chains of Light!) and the grand prize winner gets a brand-new ebook reader. No, I’m not sure which one. But hey, naughty books for the holidays! SOOO much better than coal! You can enter here.

This week, I’ll also be recording a couple of Two Minute Tips for the RWA University, and I’ll be teaching a class on using Zoom for RWA University. The class is free to RWA members.

Now, I did not realize when I agreed to record a Two Minute tip that it would take me most of a day to get a clean copy. Or that two minutes is REALLY SHORT. (The clean copy I finally recorded ended up being nearly 8 minutes long. I’ll be redoing that, and breaking it into two shorter videos.)

I have two writing group meetings this week (oddly enough, not through Zoom), and a social gathering (Zoom). I have a training to take (also Zoom!), and the winter RWA Board meeting is on Sunday the 13th (and if you’re a member, you can attend by registering here.)

I’m working on edits this week (initial edits on Wings of Air, and incorporating edits into John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town.) And I’m working on John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland. I’m slightly more than halfway through that, and the words are flowing nicely. But… I might be still writing when Cookiepocalypse starts.

I’m still working on having a draft by the Solstice, though.

Preorders are going well for Hidden Things, and I really can’t wait for it to launch.  One of my long-time readers (hi, Ian!) commented on an ad about how happy he was to see this finally coming to print. Me, too!

I’m going to a very ambitious 2021. I have six releases planned — one every two months.

Hidden Things (Swords of Charlemagne 1) – January.
Wings of Air (Heir to the Firstborn 4) – March
The Lady and the Sword (Swords of Charlemagne 2) – May
Ashes and Light (Swords of Charlemagne 3) – July
Heir to the Firstborn (Heir to the Firstborn 5) – September
Table of Stone (Swords of Charlemagne 4) – November.

The last two might switch, because Heir to the Firstborn is the only book of those six that hasn’t actually been written yet. (Before anyone asks, the John Zebedee series is slated for a 2022 box set. 2022 might also see the return of the Rebel Mage books.)

Don’t expect anything this ambitious in the future, now. This is me being EXTREMELY bullish.

So that’s the state of the Liz this week. Busy!!!!


Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, 2021 plans, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Draft by the Solstice, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, John Zebedee, new books, presales, publishing, Rebel Mage, Release date, Self-publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

RWW: Holidaze

Welcome! If you’re here from Clair’s website, nice of you to pop on over.

I realized the other day that I might just be in trouble with the upcoming holidays. Mostly because I realized that the holidays are upcoming and I haven’t given them any thought at all. It’s not like they snuck up on me — Thanksgiving comes this time every year, after all. But they totally did sneak up on me. I realized just this past Sunday that it’s November, and that I really should start thinking about Thanksgiving.

Part of my problem is that we’re still in quarantine, and there’s no sign of that letting up any time soon. So it’s really easy for me to lose track of what month it is. As far as my brain is concerned, we’re on the two hundredth and something day of March. It’s not time to plan Thanksgiving, we havne’t evne had Easter yet! Or your birthday or…

Wait, we did have those. Remember? Easter Zoom breakfast with the family up north?

Right. But school hasn’t started!

<interrupts writing blog post to help with freshman history assignment>

Oh. Yeah. School not only started, we’re in second semester.

Well, we haven’t had Halloween… wait… we did that, too. And Election week. Did that.

Well, heck. Thanksgiving really is in… what… wait… what do you mean SEVENTEEN DAYS????

Ah… wow. Anyone else in this boat? The “I haven’t even thought about Thanksgiving and now I have to figure out what I’m cooking?”

I suppose the question now is why bother? It’ll just be us. It’s not safe to have the family over. Why do the whole blowout for three people?

There’s an answer to that — because the little things are what makes the big things more endurable. Because the celebrations give us something to look forward to. And even though we might not be able to share with our loved ones in person, we can look forward to the celebrations once we can be together again.

Until then… we have Zoom. Skype. Facetime.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make a shopping list. From here, you’ll be hopping on over to Jenna’s blog. 


Coming soon:

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, 0 comments

Focus? What’s that?

<deep breath>


<deep breath>
<resume composure>

So… how was your weekend? Mine was fantastic but unfocused. There were exactly 369 words written on Saturday. The rest of the day was devoted to the polar opposite of doomscrolling — joyscrolling.

Spider Robinson wrote that shared pain is lessened, and shared joy is increased. There was an amazing amount of shared joy on Saturday! And tears. There were tears.

And now, I’m trying very hard to focus and get back to work. I’m behind on my Nano word count, but only by about 900 words. I can pick that up this week, no problem.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

112629 / 150000 (75.09%)
John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland
6516 / 30000 (21.72%)


I’m starting to feeling that Wings of Air is wrapping up. I’m through the big reveal, and on the downhill slide to the end and starting Heir to the Firstborn. I’m not sure how many more chapters there will be in Wings — I need to see what loose ends need to be tied off here, and which can get woven in to the next book.

And John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland (I might shorten that to John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen) has gotten off to a good start. Had to make some changes in Monstrous Town because of reasons, but they weren’t major changes.  And, as usual, I keep having to stop and looking up details about the area. Did you know that Texas has records of all their land-grants going back to the 1800s? And you can pull them up and read them online? It’s very cool.

In other news, my last convention for the year cancelled this morning. Not surprising, since KeiserSupercon was a smaller event that would have been held in-person. It’s been a strange year, and I’m really glad we can see the end of it from here.

Now, I’ve been promising a cover reveal, haven’t I? The Hidden Things cover went out in the newsletter last Friday, so now it’s time to share it here.

In 773 AD, Roland, a young man of King Charles’ court, was gifted with the sword Durendal. That sword was one of four swords of rare power, three of which were held by Wardens, mages charged with protecting the sacred bloodline of the Merovingian kings. The last sword was held by their mentor, the mage known to history as Turpin. That same year, a Saxon priest seeking retribution against Charles enlists the aid of a mage who seeks the swords for his own purpose, setting into motion events that lead to the battle at the Pass of Roncevaux, and to Roland’s death.

A thousand years later, a research group doing excavations in part of Aachen Cathedral uncovers a collection of books and scrolls, a ring, and a sword. As they uncover the sword, they are attacked. Summoned to the site by the power of the magical attack, Yael Mystere and his apprentice, Warden-in-training Doctor Douglas Keith discover the sole survivor – Margaret Prentice, the daughter of the man leading the excavation. A second attempt on her life fails, sending Yael, Douglas and Margaret on a quest for the power behind the attacks ─ a power that has been waiting a thousand years to win the swords at all costs.

Hidden Things (Swords of Charlemagne, Book 1). Coming in 2021. Preorders going up soon.






Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, 2021 plans, accountability, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, cover art, forthcoming works, happy-happy- joy- joy, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, KermitArms, kvelling, Nanowrimo, politics, promotions, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, yippee, 0 comments

Busy, busy, busy. Did I mention busy?

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

26414 / 30000 (88.05%)
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
26414 / 30000 (88.05%)

I talk every so often about how I juggle chainsaws. (Figurative chainsaws, not real ones.) I juggle being a mom and a writer and being an RWA Board member, with all the little things that come with those titles.

This past couple of weeks, I added three new ones.

Way back when I was a baby writer, I wrote a gaming manual. Psionics for SkillSkape was written for Chivalry and Sorcery, and my first outing as a writer was to present and promote it at Gencon 2004. The book went out of print in 2015 when the publisher closed, following the very untimely death of one of the owners.  Late last year, I think, I heard from his widow, who told me that there was a Kickstarter to bring Chivalry and Sorcery back into print, and that the new publishers were interested in bringing Psionics back out. Was I interested?


So last week, I got the new files for Psionics for SkillSkape, which needs to be re-read and re-edited.

I haven’t played Chivalry and Sorcery since 2005, so this is being interesting.

Also in the past couple of weeks, I was asked to present a class to RWA University, based on a tutorial that I put together for the Virtual Conference (and that we subsequently didn’t need to use). I have to lengthen the tutorial into an actual class, and we need to set a date for that class. So I’ve been working on that.

And THEN… I was asked to take the helm of a task force exploring the benefits that the RWA can offer to our unpublished members. This includes taking on the design of a major RWA program. But no pressure!

When asked to take this on, my response was “You all trust me a whole lot, don’t you?”

So, between writing (1 and 2), editing (3), re- releasing one of the books from Forbidden Fiction (4), designing a class (5), I’ve been doing outreach to members (6),  brainstorming ideas of my own(7),  and recruiting members for my task force (8).

Eight! Eight chainsaws in the air! Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! (Thunder! Lightning!)

Wait… new release?

Yes. I got a wild hair last week, and found several pieces of stock art that I felt fit Chains of Light. And then couldn’t decide, so I crowdsourced a decision on Twitter and Facebook. Did the cover design, got the novella up on Kindle Unlimited. It’ll be KU only until January, then I’ll throw it wide.

I also came to an executive decision last week. (Being my only employee, I suppose that means all my decisions are executive decisions.) Since Wings of Air had turned into a MONSTER of a book, and it’s not even to what I had envisioned as the halfway point… there will be Heir to the Firstborn, BOOK 5. The working title of Book 5 is Heir to the Firstborn, because why not wrap it up with the series title? Also, I have no spare brain cells to think of something better at the moment. (see above, eight chainsaws). This means that Wings of Air may be out in print by the end of the year, but I won’t swear to that yet.

The second issue of my newsletter went out Friday. Did you get it? Do you want to get it? (You missed a really REALLY, good cake recipe if you didn’t get it. Next month will be something for Thanksgiving. Not sure what yet.)

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So that’s everything in my neck of the woods. Time to go top off the coffee and get back to work!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, 2021 plans, annoying-muse-is-annoying, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Chains of Light, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, new books, promotions, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Oh, No. It’s Almost October.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

88415 / 150000 (58.94%)
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
23714 / 30000 (79.05%)

October. Why did it have to be October?

Yes, I know. It comes every year at this time, right after September.

I am not a fan. The only thing October has going for it is Halloween, and you have to get all the way through October to get there! (And who know if it’s actually going to happen this year? Which sucks, because Saturday+full moon+extra hour = epicly epic Halloween).

Okay. Enough complaining.

Today I am just off my last virtual convention for the year. (At least, I think it’s my last. I may be wrong — there are still virtual conventions happening, and I may see about getting involved.) Necronomicon/NecroNOTacon was a lot of fun — it was held on Discord and Zoom, and it was very well attended. I’m liking the virtual conventions — it opens access to people who can’t travel for whatever reason. The only thing missing is the hugging.

I miss the hugging.

Now, I do have one more convention on my schedule, but it’s not virtual. KeiserSupercon is supposed to be in person. I have no idea what’s going to happen with that one.

Since I was virtually at a convention all weekend, there wasn’t a lot of writing done. Which is par for the course with me — I can do one writing related thing at a time. Two, maybe. But actively writing at the same time I’m being Public-Writer-Lady? Not happening.

I think I’m still on target to have both Wings of Air and John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town finished by December, though. And possibly be a good way in to John Zebedee Meets The Witch-Queen of Elfland. 

December is coming. Cookiepocalypse is coming!

But first we have to get through October.

Right. Stop that, Liz.

Here, have an excerpt from Monstrous Town:

“Then give me your right hand.” She held her hand out, and John put his hand into hers. He looked at his palm and frowned. “Mister Zebedee, how did you manage to misplace your lifeline?”

John coughed. “What?”

She tapped his palm with one finger. “It should be here,” she said. Then she held her right hand out, showing him a line on her palm. “It shows how long of a life you’ll have.”

John chuckled. “My hand isn’t big enough,” he answered. “I’m immortal. But you’ve noticed that.”

“How old are you?” she asked.

“Over eighteen hundred years old,” John answered. “Prudence, I was one of Joshua’s apostles.”

Her eyes widened. “No wonder there’s no lifeline,” she said with a laugh. “All right. Just stay there. I need to get something.” She stood up and walked away, going through an inner door. She came back a moment later with a small box. She took a seat again, and took a deck of cards out of the box, handing them to John. “Shuffle these.”

“Are we playing poker?” he asked, starting to shuffle the cards. “I’m terrible at it.”

“Cartomancy,” she answered. “Telling the future.”

“You can do that?”

She smiled and took the cards from him. She shuffled them again, then took the topmost card from the deck. She looked at it and smiled, laying it on the table. “The King of Clubs,” she said. “A man of dark complexion. He is upright and true to the bone. This is your card, John Zebedee.” She dealt more cards — a column of three to the left of John’s card, one above and below, and a column of three to the right. She set the rest of the cards aside. “The past,” she said, touching the left-most column. “The present, and the future.” She touched the center and the right column in turn. Then she turned over the card at the top of the left column. “The Nine of Diamonds. Traveling. You never did settle, did you?”

“When people notice you don’t age, things get complicated.”

She smiled and turned over the next card down. “The Ten of Spades. Imprisonment.” She looked up again.

John swallowed and nodded. “I was a prisoner of war. At Camp Sumter.”

She gasped, but said nothing more, turning over the last card in the column. “The Two of Diamonds. A secret engagement.”

John smiled. “It has to be secret. It’s illegal. But if I could openly propose marriage, I would. In a heartbeat.”

She nodded and turned over the topmost card of the middle column. “Eight of Spades. Danger from imprudence.”

John considered it, and nodded. “I wasn’t as careful as I should have been. I can agree with this. This is fascinating.”

“Thank you,” she said, and turned over the base card of the column. “Five of Clubs. Danger from a capricious temper.” She met his eyes, and they both spoke as one. “Wraith.” She nodded, and turned over the top card of the last column. “The Eight of Diamonds. A happy marriage.”

John smiled. “In his world, men can marry. I can wait.”

She turned over the last two cards, and her brow furrowed. She touched the middle card. “The Nine of Spades is a horrible card for your future. It means ruin and death. Which makes no sense with this last card.” She touched the final card. “The Ten of Hearts. Health and happiness, and children.” She looked up. “Death and ruin, and they all lived happily ever after?”


Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, appearances, Cookiepocalypse, Elemental Project, excerpt, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Keiser SuperCon, Necronomicon, progress, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

What Did I Come in Here For?

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

81714 / 150000 (54.48%)
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
17845 / 30000 (59.48%)


So I’m sitting and staring at the screen, and trying to remember just what I did over the past week. And I can’t think of a single thing. Not one. I mean, I know I did stuff. I wrote — my totals changed. I went grocery shopping. I exercised. I did my daily tarot pull, and I cleaned. My daily bullet journal shows I did all that.

I just don’t remember any of it. The past week is a blur.

I imagine it’s because I did much the same thing last week as I did the week before that… and before that… and before that. It’s been a long, weird pause, and it’s all blending together in my head. Things are all soft and smudgy and indistinct, like trying to see through the fog we’d have some mornings on the way to school.

No fog these days. At least, not so I would notice. My commute these days is up the stairs to make sure someone is in class on time, and down the stairs to exercise, then up the stairs after breakfast and shower to get to writing.  My house is too climate controlled for fog.

Has anyone else noticed that they’re more tired these days? And busier than they were when we were all going out and doing all the things? I think it’s because we’re trying to fill the gaps with distractions, and exhausting ourselves in the process.  That, and we’re exhausted just from the sheer weight of the uncertainty surrounding us.

I’m hearing from a lot of creatives that it’s been really hard to write/draw/do anything since quarantine started.  Even if you have time to sit, and no immediate distractions, all of the Muses seem to be in their own quarantine, and they’re not sharing our bubble.

How do you keep the creative juices flowing, when there’s so much going on?

For me? It’s one word at a time. Some days, it’ll take me all day to make 200, 300, 500 words. Some days, I won’t make that at all. Some days — usually the days I have Circlet Writing group — I might just make 1500 in two hours, because peer pressure is a thing, and it’s a thing that can actually work to your advantage if you use it right.

I have found that I have to keep writing or the demons win. The demons in my head, that is. It’s the same reason I exercise. It calms the brain weasels and allows me to function. So if I exercise, I’m more able to focus. And if I write, everything else will be okay. Because I know that the characters in my books are guaranteed that happy ending. So if I give it to them, maybe I’ll get one, too? Maybe we’ll all get one?

Sympathetic magic is also a thing, after all.

I’m not the only one thinking this, or something like it. Romance sales are going gangbusters. Because right now, we all need that happy ever after, even vicariously. We all need to escape.

We all need that little bit of magic. That little bit of hope.

49 days to the election. Vote Blue. We need the hope.

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Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, deep thoughts, fickle-muse-is-fickle, forthcoming works, John Zebedee, politics, progress, reality-is-stranger-than-fiction, thinking thinky thoughts, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Things and Stuff

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

78694 / 150000 (52.46%)
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
14387 / 30000 (47.96%)


It’s been a strange week. Not a bad week. Just a strange one. Not as many words as I’d have liked, but that’s largely because of the strangeness. I don’t normally feel like I’ve been hit by a truck for no reason, but there you are. And it’s not the “I’m sick” truck. More like “I’ve been hit by a pillow and must now nap” truck. I’m tired. Which makes it awfully hard to focus on making words.

It doesn’t help that yesterday, on what was supposed to be my rest day from exercise, we had to move our compost bin because the HOA is cleaning and painting the wall that runs behind our property. Compost bin was against the wall, so it needed to be moved. Which meant emptying the compost bin And also meant clearing half of the weedy bed where the pineapples have taken over, and where we’ll be moving the compost bin so we don’t have to do this again the NEXT time the HOA decides to maintain their bloody wall (seriously, the last time was over five years ago, and was before we had the bin.)

Thank goodness we saved the old kitty litter buckets. Five of them were filled with compost which was then spread into the vegetable garden. Six more are full and waiting to be returned to the bin once the bin is settled into its new home after the wall is painted.

On the upside, we’ve got the best turned compost in the state.

Once the wall is painted, we’re going to redo that entire bed, and the only reason we only cleared half the bed is because we have ANOTHER pineapple fruiting in the middle of the summer. About half of the pineapples we grow never make it into the house, because raccoons love them some pineapple. With the last one, they must have heard  M thinking “That needs to come into the house,” because it was fine when he was out there mowing the lawn, but an hour later when he went to pick it, it was half eaten in the middle of the mowed lawn.

Raccoons are passive-aggressive goth corgis.

I have been writing, and I did get words in last week. I’m almost done with the synopsis for John Zebedee Meets the Witch-Queen of Elfland — I just figured out how to resolve a corner I backed myself into. Work proceeds on Monstrous Town, and on Wings of Air.  Which, if you look at the numbers up on the tracker, is going to be a monster of a book. I really am thinking that there might be a book five in there. We’ll see what happens.

The first newsletter went out last week. I’m going to keep it to once a month for now, so the next one will be sometime the first week of October. Plenty of time to jump in and see what shenanigans I’m up to. (There will be a recipe in the next one!)

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Necronomicon (or NecroNOTacon!) is coming up in two weeks. I’ll be on a few panels (Steampunk and Writing Sex on Saturday, and moderating The Best Advice on Sunday. I will also be part of the annual Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me game on Sunday.) The fun is going to be that the first RWA Board meeting of the new board is the same weekend.

And that’s about all, I think. Back to making words!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, conventions, forthcoming works, From the Writer's Kitchen, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Necronomicon, Newsletter, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

My Brains Are Full!

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

75034 / 150000 (50.02%)
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
11228 / 30000 (37.43%)

I’m really kind of amazing that I got that much done this past week. The RWA held their first ever Virtual Conference, and it was AMAZING!!! The panels went off brilliantly, and I only saw one tech snafu all weekend, and the meetups were fantastic, and the only thing missing was the hugging.

And I came away with a realization that I could be doing more. So… I’m doing more.

I’m starting a newsletter. It’ll probably be a once a month thing, with some excerpts just for newsletter subscribers, and news, and the current state of where things are in Liz-Land, at least in terms of publishing. Maybe recipes. It’ll be fun. There’s a place off to the right (or there should be) to sign up. Or you can sign up at the end of the post.

I’m also working on a logo, which you might have seen rough designs of on Instagram over the weekend. Right now, I have something that looks like an odd Pokemon. I’ll see if I can work it out to be a little less “gotta-catch-em-all.”

Although, if you want to catch all my books, I’m certainly not going to say no!

There was a great informal meeting on swag, and we got to talking about how swag needs to change when conferences are all online. And in talking about digital swag, I got to thinking about my first ever swag — those naughty dice from RWA Nationals in 2017.

It wouldn’t be hard to code a naughty dice roller, now would it? With interspersed book covers and links to my sales pages?

Like the original naughty dice, this idea made me giggle. A lot. So it’s something else that I’ll eventually play with. (No, I’m not farming this one out to Teen Boy. Even though he is better than I am at Java.)

Conference is over now (sadness!), and I’m back to work. Today is sort of a limbo day. It’s the last day of the RWA interim board service, and tomorrow starts the new board’s year of service. But the interim board really doesn’t have anything to DO today except breath. So that’s what I’m doing. Breathing.

And writing. Because I have to catch up on my words.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, heeheeheehee, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Newsletter, promotions, public displays of geekery, Ta-da, thinking thinky thoughts, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

It’s been a WEIRD few days…

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

71367 / 150000 (47.58%)
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
8626 / 30000 (28.75%)

Pretty much what it says on the tin. It has been a very weird few days in Schechterland.

It started Thursday. Thursday evening, we were doing the very unusual sitting and watching TV. Not actually TV — J had the Switch hooked up to the TV so he could show off his new game (Paper Mario. It’s cute and strange.)

As he finishes up, and is about to shut things down, the TV goes POP — there’s a flash, and we have a 55 inch screen paperweight. Calling the manufacturer reveals that they no longer support this model (unsurprising — it was a 6.5 year old plasma screen, one of the last ones Samsung made. The joke is that they discontinued it before the charge on our credit card went through.)

Okay. No problem. Friday afternoon, the adults in the house ran out to Best Buy to take a look at TVs and screen sharpness. J opted to stay home.

As we pull into the Best Buy parking lot, ten minutes from home, the lightning starts. Hey, it’s Florida, and it’s the afternoon. Lightning happens. No big.

We go into Best Buy. They don’t have the TV we’re looking for, but they do have one of the others of that line. One of the salespeople starting trying to upsell us. Aggressively. (No really, you want this OTHER TV that’s three times the price of the one you just told me you were looking for!)

The thunder rolls, and I look out to see the sky is BRUISE purple. And I hear weather alerts going off on every cell phone in the store.

“Honey, we’re going home NOW.”

Get in the car as the heavens open. M calls J to tell him we’re on our way. J’s response? “Okay. I’m in the closet. It’s LOUD here.”

The ten minute drive took us 30 minutes. By the time we got home, the worst was over.

Stops signs flattened. Lampposts down. Trees and fences blown over.

A flood inside our front door, because the rain was apparently coming STRAIGHT at the house.

And people on Next Door, talking about the tornado that went through the back of our neighborhood.


We went out again Saturday (nervously), and drove around the neighborhood. Then we LEFT the neighborhood and drove a different way from how we came home the night before. On our street, there are housing developments on either side. And across from our development is one that had a brick wall along the street.

Note the “had.”

About 60 feet of that brick wall was flattened like it was stepped on. And that 60 feet was in line with the back of our neighborhood across the street.

Went to another Best Buy, told the sales guy, “I want this TV in 55 inch.” And, to my shock (since I was a woman along at that moment) he said, “Sure! I’ll go pull one and meet you up front!” No upsell, no questions about why that TV over the other ones. We’ll definitely go back to THIS Best Buy. (If you’re buying electronics in Altamonte Springs, FL, and go to Best Buy, ask for Jason.)

Loaded up, headed out. Stopped at Total Wine because we’re down to our last two cans of cider in the house, then headed home.

Over dinner, we opened one of those cans of cider to split. And I went to pour it… and nothing came out. Jiggle the can, turn it, and get about half a glass of liquid before I hear thump.

Unlike cans of soda, cans of cider can apparently freeze without exploding.  The water in the can froze solid. The CIDER, on the other hand, was high-octane-concentrated-alcohol-this-is-how-you-make-apple-jack GOOD. And what was left in the can, once defrosted, had no flavor at all.

So that’s why Paddy’s not at work today there wasn’t as much writing done this past weekend as there should have been. (also why there was a lot of stress eating between Friday and Sunday…)

There also won’t be a lot of writing done next weekend because next weekend is the Virtual RWA National convention. There’s still time to register, and it’s going to be a lot of fun (and for many of the panels, attendees will have access to them for the rest of the year, so you can go back and refer to especially educational or interesting ones.)

So what this means is that I need to get my weeks words done before Friday. Which means getting off the blog and on to work!

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Heir to the Firstborn, I really want some dull, John Zebedee, why-the-writing-is-slow, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments