a-writers-life-is-never-dull

Brains empty.

And today is a day when the words just don’t want to word. Occasionally, those happen to everyone, so I’m not too terribly worried about it. It probably as something to do with the fact that I’m a little under the weather today. So for today, I’ll take it easy, which is something I tend to forget to do for myself.

I think that’s a problem we all have these days — we take care of everyone else, and conveniently forget that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we CAN’T take care of others. And then we fall over and nothing gets done.

Oddly enough, this is the topic of one of the panels I’ll be on at NecronomiCon, which is happening in Tampa September 22-24th. I have two panels on Friday night, and two on Saturday afternoon —

Friday, 5:00 PM — Make, Remake, Reboot
Friday, 7:30 PM — Writing Sex ( the earliest I think this panel has ever been scheduled…)

Saturday, 2:00 PM — Don’t Panic! Balancing the Two Worlds of of Life and Creativity
Saturday, 3:15 PM — Let’s Structure Your Story.

In addition, I will also have a table at Writer’s Alley, so stop in and see what I’ve got for sale. I will have copies of Princes of Air on my table for the first time EVER, and they’ll be discounted because there’s a formatting error in the book that’s being corrected on later copies.

For my local fans, you still have a couple of days left before Written in Water leaves Spellbound Books. The bookstore is moving in October, so Written in Water isn’t being renewed for another consignment period, but it may be picked up again once they’re settled in their new space (which will be sometime in November.) So you have until Friday to get a copy locally and support a small business!

Written in Water is still in the running in SPFBO, but the end of the first round is coming up soon. It’s been fascinating to see the blogs coming in with their reviews, their cuts and their nominations, and the SPFBO Discord has got to be one of the most amazingly supportive writing environments I’ve ever found. I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in a contest that’s been quite this rewarding. But there’s still the waiting…

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

53017 / 120000 (44.18%)

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

23636 / 90000 (26.26%)

There isn’t too much else going on in this neck of the woods. Just getting words down, and getting ready for the convention. And trying to take it easy.

Catch you all next week.

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Balance of Power, consignment, contest, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Necronomicon, Princes of Air, The Sea Prince, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, Written in Water, 0 comments

Back to Work!

Today is the first day of college classes, which means that I am now seriously back to work. Even though I’ve sort of been back to work for two weeks now. Now I’m serious! I mean it!

Yeah… it’s past 2PM and I haven’t written a word yet. So maybe not quite?

I’m learning more about the characters in Balance of Power as I write. One of Aeris’ Companions has hayfever. In the books, they say that they’re flower sick. But it led to this delightful little scene:


“How long have you been awake?”

“Who says I’ve been asleep?” Tiras opened their eyes and sat up.

“You drooling on my sleeve says you were asleep.”

“And snoring,” Aeris added. “You were snoring.”

“I was not!” Tiras protested. “I don’t snore!” They looked up at Gannet. “Do I?”

“Not much,” Gannet admitted. “Except when there’s Maiden’s Lace blooming. Then you get all red and blotchy, and you snore at night.”

“And Maiden’s Lace is in season now. There must be some growing along the road.” Dyna set down her stitching and held out her hand. “Let me see.”

“I hate Maiden’s Lace,” Tiras grumbled. “My head gets all foggy and my visions get weird. Owyn says he’s never heard of a Smoke Dancer whose visions are controlled by their nose before.”

Aeris frowned. “But Smoke Dancers used to train in the vents of the Smoking Mountain, and they were breathing in the smoke. Owyn was one of the last trained that way. So why is smoke different from the scent of flowers?”

Gannet looked thoughtful, then shrugged. “Because Smoke Dancer sounds more impressive than Perfume Dancer?”


I have to admit, the whole idea of Perfume Dancers makes me smile. According to Gannet, they use fans. And… well, I’m not sure if it’ll come up again later in the book, but it’s fun when something like this comes out of my fingers, because it amuses me.

Work on The Sea Prince continues, and we’ve moved into writing new content instead of fixing the content that already existed. There were a lot of changes to the existing files, which adds up to changes for the direction of the story, and I think I like where this is going a lot more the original. It means that we may not get to use one scene I’d planned for, but maybe we will. We shall see.

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

49406 / 120000 (41.17%)

Balance of Power
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 7)

11990 / 90000 (13.32%)

In other news of the writer world, Written in Water is still available as part of the Brave New Worlds giveaway. You can enter for a $20 giftcard to your bookstore of choice while you browse the books — over 50 of them!

Image of deep space, superimposed with a woman looking down and away. Text reads "Brave new Worlds. Free Sci-Fi and Fantasy Ebooks. August 1-31. Win $20."

And I’m starting to get ready for Necronomicon next month. I got my shipment of copies of Princes of Air over the weekend… and discovered the formatting error. So the copies that I have on hand will be discounted at Necro while my publisher gets that corrected. I’m hoping to have the anniversary copies of House of Sable Locks, but I’m not sure where we are with the new cover, so while I have my fingers crossed, I’m not holding my breath.

It is, however, a very pretty cover and I will get to share it with you very soon.

Maybe… next week?

Tune in to find out!

Posted by EASchechter, 0 comments

“Time is a concept and I don’t believe in it!”

One of my son’s favorite things to say is “Time is a concept and I don’t believe in it!”

He holds this truth so strongly that he is not, in fact, a high school senior.

He’s a college student. His last high school class was done last May. He’s taking all college courses from this point on, and when he graduates high school this May, he will also be receiving his Associates degree.

I’ll admit, this whole “earn a two year degree in high school” concept is still a little bizarre to me. I mean… he’s starting school ten days after his peers, and won’t actually have to GO to the high school unless he’s meeting with his counselor or attending a school function. What sorcery is this?

And, of course, it’s going to do strange things to my writing schedule. I’ve been writing to the school schedule for ages. And now… that’s not the schedule anymore. So I’ll figure it out.

I have set up the first chapter of Balance of Power to drop on my Patreon tomorrow for Early Access tiers, and on Friday for regular tiers. And that will be the pattern as we go. I don’t have much of a buffer yet, so it’ll be a little hectic going forward. But the story starts tomorrow, and new subscribers can get in on the ground floor.

I’ve also gotten a new cover for Worlds Begin, so that it matches the rest of the series. I saw the final proof today, and it’s GORGEOUS! I should have the files tomorrow, and I’ll get things uploaded tomorrow or Wednesday.

And work should start back in on The Sea Prince this week or next. Some of the work that was done already hasn’t really been touched in 12 years, and… well, it shows.

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

43823 / 120000 (36.52%)

Balance of Power
(Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7)

6445 / 90000 (7.16%)

There are some other things in the works right now as well, but I can’t say anything more until I know more. Just know that there might be some excitement coming down the line.

Brave New Worlds is still ongoing as a promo, and there are 55 books to choose from! Go check it out!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Balance of Power, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Patreon, The Sea Prince, upcoming books, upcoming work, Vagueblogging, Waiting-for-the-other-shoe, WIP, wordcount, Worlds Begin, writing-mom, Written in Water, 0 comments

All the Promos!

This is going to be one busy week for me! I have two Facebook takeovers, a promotion that starts tomorrow, and another one that starts on Thursday. So let’s get that out of the way first.

The Facebook Takeovers are on Friday and Saturday:

Friday, August 4th, 1PM Eastern — Laverne’s News

Saturday, August 5th, 1PM Eastern — One-Click Book Addicts.

They’re only 15 minutes each, so blink and you’ll miss them.

The first promotion, which starts tomorrow and runs all month, is the Brave New Worlds promo through BookCave. Sign up for author newsletters to download over 40 Fantasy and Science Fiction books, and enter for a chance to win a $20 giftcard to the bookstore of your choice.

If you don’t want to sign up for newsletters, then we have the BIG Tribe Called Success promotion, which will be this weekend ONLY. SO MANY BOOKS! All genres, and all free.

Neither of those links are live yet — Brave New Worlds goes live tomorrow, and the Tribe link goes to a sign up for a reminder email.

We’re also getting ready for school this week — Senior Year starts next week. We get the schedule THIS week, and I’m not ready to be the mom of a high school senior. I’m not. He was just five a minute ago.

Once school starts, work starts back in on The Sea Prince, and on Balance of Power (which I have admittedly been poking at since I finally knew the title.)

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne
, Book 1

43823 / 120000 (36.52%)

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn
, book 7

4202 / 90000 (4.67%)

Chapter one of Balance of Power will go live on my Patreon next week. Joining me on Patreon also allows you to go back to the beginning of Heir to the Firstborn and see how it has evolved since I first started this project in 2018, and tiers start at $1 a month.

I started something new last week — I put signed copies of Written in Water into a local bookstore on consignment! Spellbound Bookstore is an absolutely adorable little bookstore right at the edge of historic Sanford, Florida. (If you’re local? It’s across 17-92 from the Firestone on 1st Street, on the corner facing the Burger King. Parking and the entrance are in the back.) Three copies will be there for at least 40 days, so go check it out and support a local bookstore!

(Okay, two copies are left. I know one has already been sold.)

I also entered a consignment agreement with This Bookstore Kills Fascists, which isn’t open yet but it coming to the Tampa Bay area. They will have the entire Heir to the Firstborn series available once they’re open. Those won’t be signed, but I have signed bookplates if you want an aftermarket autograph — just message me!

I’m going to have a chat with a third bookstore next week, so I’ll let you know how that goes.

Now, you can already get my books in paperback at your local bookstore but they have to order them for you. Or you can get signed copies directly from me.

Catch you next week, with hopefully more news!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Boosting the signal, consignment, Newsletter, Patreon, promotions, The Sea Prince, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, writing-mom, Written in Water, 1 comment

A Bolt of Brilliance!

I’ve been talking about the Unnamed 7th book of Heir to the Firstborn for a couple of months, I think? If you missed it, I thought the Heir to the Firstborn books were done. Completely done. No more stories to be had in that universe. Right?

Wrong.

I left loose ends. And a plot bunny named Kaspin came hopping out of my subconscious and said “Where’s my book?” So I plotted out his book. And… it had no title. None. And I told myself that I wasn’t starting until I knew what it was called.

The other day, I was walking upstairs to my office, and I SWEAR TO BOB I walked into the title. Seriously, it felt like something hit me in the middle of the chest and there was the title…

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

1156 / 90000 (1.28%)

I started work on Balance the day after I finished Broken Feathers. There may be something more to that story, too, and I may go back to visit my ravens at some point. But for now, they’re done.

Will they stay done? Hrm…answer hazy. Ask again later.

I’m also working on The Sea Prince, going back and forth with the person with whom I originally started the novel a whole bunch of years ago. We’ve both grown quite a bit as writers since we started this manuscript, so there’s been a lot of bringing things in line with what we know now. And it’s been interesting in that we both write very differently now, so we have to learn how to write together again. LOTS of chat in Discord, lots of “Why did they do that? Where is their head at?” Which… I usually don’t think of these things until the characters tell me, so it’s been interesting. I’ll get a wordcount update on it once we finalize the rewrites on the existing chapters. Then I’ll get started on drafting and we’ll be off!

I wrote a little last week on the upcoming Cavalcade of Authors promotion, which will run August 4th through the 6th.

This is turning out to be a MASSIVE giveaway, and it’s only for one weekend, so click on the graphic to sign up for notification when it goes live. There will also be a couple of Facebook takeovers, so watch my social media for more information on those.

We’re officially three weeks until the first day of school. The first day of senior year. Eek! My son took his senior pictures on Saturday (who is this grownup who was just in kindergarten???), and today was a college tour (a 2 mile hike in 95 degree heat… stick a fork in me…)

I know time goes fast, but it needs to slow down just a little. Just… just give me a second to catch up!

Catch you all next week!


Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Adavar, Balance of Power, children, Heir to the Firstborn, promotions, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writing-mom, Written in Water, 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

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

Weird Like Snow in Disneyland

There’s a story behind that title.

At my regular WW meeting, our Coach (what we call the leaders now) asks us about how the previous week went. Thumbs up or thumbs down? Only two weeks ago, she asked “Was your week Sunny or Partly Cloudy?”

My answer? “My week was snow in Disneyland.” That is to say, weird.

This week is also going to be snow in Disneyland weird, but for an entirely different reason. This week I’m prepping for ICFA, which means packing and baking and doing all the things to prepare for going away for a few days, in addition to doing all the things I need to do regularly. And I need to attempt to get some words in.

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

53431 / 90000 (59.37%)

Just about halfway through, and learning some things about one of the MCs that will require content warnings on this book. I don’t know about other writers, but I learn things about my characters and why the act the way they do right up until I write The End on the last page. Sometimes, a character will develop a personality quirk during the early stages of writing, and I won’t know exactly WHY until much, much later, and it’s usually like a thunderbolt when I find out why. Sometimes, an entire book will hinge on that one moment of “Oh, is THAT what’s going on????” (I was two and a half books into the Rebel Mage series before I knew who was actually behind all the mayhem, and it was not who I thought it was. The Big Bad had actually revealed himself IN BOOK ONE with a throwaway line that wasn’t important… until it was vital.)

That’s how my subconscious works, I suppose. I keep plot twists a secret even from myself!

The Chronicles of John Zebedee has been out for a week now, and it’s doing very well! I’m very pleased with this one. And I should have a date for The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir soon.

And now it’s getting late in the day, and I still have a million things to do, so I’m signing off. Back next week! And if you’re at ICFA, stop me and say hi!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, ICFA, John Zebedee, The White Raven, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments

Civic Duty or Something.

And today, I’m writing this blog in the jury room of my county courthouse. It’s slowly filling up with people (mostly unmasked people because… well… Florida).

Yes, Dear Reader, I’ve been summoned for jury duty.

I’ve been summoned before in Florida, but the last time, I was a homeschooling mom of a child under ten, so I was excused. No excuses here. So welcome to the jury pool.

The last time I was in a jury pool, I lived in New York, where I had the interesting situation of being chosen for a jury, then having to be excused because the opposing counsel was the husband of my Weight Watchers leader. Which had apparently never been brought up as a reason for excusing a juror before because I clearly remember the looks of abject confusion on the faces of the judge and the lawyers. “Wait, you… what? Does that count? I… okay.”

I’m not sure how long I’m going to be here today. Or how many days this week I’ll have to report. But they have wifi, and I can bring my laptop, so there will be words.

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

14424 / 90000 (16.03%)

Visions in Smoke drops tomorrow,  and Children of Dreams next week. There’s still time to get those preorders in!

And that’s about all I’ve got today. This room is now packed, and it’s 8AM. Time to go be a responsible member of society.

Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Children of Dreams, forthcoming works, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, Release date, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, Visions in Smoke, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Time is a concept and I don’t believe in it!

That title is a phrase my son has started saying, usually when we remind him that something has to be done by a certain date or time. At this moment, I’m pretty certain that time is a purely theoretical concept. If it was actually a thing, I wouldn’t have this much to do in a day, and I’d be getting a heck of a lot more sleep!

Preorders are live on Amazon for Visions in Smoke and Children of Dreams. They’re live everywhere else for Visions in Smoke, but I’m only halfway done with final edits on Children of Dreams, so it won’t be live in preorder anywhere but Amazon until next week (I can use a placeholder file on Amazon. I can’t do that anywhere else.)

I realized something this morning. The first four books of Heir to the Firstborn were updated in such a way that people who bought the books could just download the updates. You can’t do that with Visions in Smoke, because it’s NOT Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads. It’s a whole new book, with some major changes. But there are people who bought Crossroads, and who shouldn’t have to buy it again because I edited things.

SOOOO…. what I’m going to do is take care of you. If you bought Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads, email me via the contact me page. Answer two questions, and I’ll send a copy of Visions in Smoke to you. What two questions?

1. The Progress meets a group on the road the day they leave the Palace. What’s the name of the headman?

2. What’s the name of Othi’s horse?

You also have to tell me what format you want. So, three questions.

I’m working slowly on The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath, and procrastinating on The Sea Prince.

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

4909 / 90000 (5.45%)

***

The Sea Prince
(The Sea Prince, Book 1)

39892 / 120000 (33.24%)
Now, it’s still slow going, but that brings us back to the whole “if time were real, I’d have more of it…” There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do everything that needs to be done.
What? So maybe do less?
Yeah, that’ll never work.
I’m tossing around the idea of a writing retreat for the beginning of 2023, so I can do a hard reset. Go off for a weekend so I can do nothing BUT write. And sleep. (Oh, and let’s be wild and maybe get a massage!)
It’s a lovely idea.
Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, 2023 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Children of Dreams, Heir to the Firstborn, publishing, Release date, The White Raven, upcoming work, Visions in Smoke, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments