Deadlines Go Whoosh!

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!

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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

Mondayist Monday that ever Mondayed

Today started with the disappointing news that, because of reasons beyond anyone’s control, production on the Hidden Things audiobook has to be canceled, and the contract dissolved. It’s not anyone’s fault, and everyone is very disappointed.  Back to square one, I suppose. Although I think I’m going to have a hard time picking a new narrator — Mark’s voices were just so absolutely perfect.

Mark and I are hoping that we will be able to work together again in the future. So here’s to that hope, — maybe with Heir to the Firstborn or The Sea Prince. We’ll see what happens once those two are done.

Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 6)

131341 / 170000 (77.26%)

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, book 1)

31308 / 120000 (26.09%)

I may be putting The Sea Prince to the side for the next month — school is out one month from today, and I really want to have The Way Home complete by then. Or I can use it as a carrot — if I get my words in for The Way Home, I’ll get to go make some words for The Sea Prince. We’ll see which works better.

So… for now, I’m going to keep working on The Way Home, getting that finished so that edits can start and we can get the series wrapped up for a November release. I’ll revisit the Hidden Things audio in the fall, once there’s some distance and I’m not hearing the voices that we set up already. I was planning on working on some non-fiction for the summer anyway, so I may just take a total fiction break and pick up The Sea Prince in the fall, too. I think I might need a break. We’ll see.


Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, audiobooks, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, post novel ennui, publishing, Swords of Charlemagne, The Sea Prince, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, 1 comment

New Server, Who DNS?

Remember how I said I was moving the website? It’s officially moved! My website is now hosted by Greekgeeks, and I’m already loving the change.

They said the migration could take up to 48 hours. It was done in under 12.

They said that the DNS change would take a couple of hours. FIVE MINUTES.

SSL certificate? Push a button and POOF!

Makes my geeky heart happy. If you’re at all interested in checking them out, click here. (affiliate link)

I’m in the middle of the 5 Day Author Ad Profit Challenge (taught by Bryan Cohen), so there haven’t been as many words as there might usually have been during a week. And I’m seeing that Sea Prince is going to need quite a lot of tweaking to bring the older chapters up to date and in line with where my writing is now, as well as making sure the characters voices are consistent. But I can do THAT once I have a draft. Right now, the words are flowing, and I’m not stopping! Write first, edit later!

Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 6)

126161 / 170000 (74.21%)

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, book 1)

28452 / 120000 (23.71%)

I keep forgetting to put this out there. If you’re interested in reading my work before the general public, I have an ARC page on Booksprout. In exchange for your review of the book, you can get advance copies of any of my upcoming work! Right now, I have Haven’s Fall and Where Home Lies available, and as soon as I have a copy of The Way Home available, that will go up there as well.

Likewise, if you’re interested in any of my books, but can’t afford them? Drop me a note. I know that not all of my books can be gotten through the public library, so I’m happy to send review copies out. It helps me, and it protects my readers from pirate sites that are loaded with malware.

In audiobook news, there have been some delays with recording (mostly covid related). If all goes well, recording will start this Thursday, and may be done shortly thereafter. I’ve been invited to (virtually) hang out in the booth and listen in, because Mark (my narrator) and James (his engineer) want my real-time input on voice characterizations. I’m very excited about being involved in the project, which I know is unusual (and honestly, if I’d been able to be this involved in the recording of House of Sable Locks, the chapter Gunner’s Daughter would have had a VERY DIFFERENT SOUND!!!!)

Not much else to add. I’m working on business planning, and collecting resources to do research on the non-fiction project over the summer. Working on finishing The Way Home before the end of May, which is a big push because I’m thinking I have maybe ten chapters left? That’s 30K words, roughly. Which means… go write all the words, Liz!

Catch you next week!



Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, accountability, audiobooks, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, Eek!, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Rebel Mage, reviews, Sable Locks, Stop Piracy, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, writing, 0 comments

Back to Work!

Home from vacation! And what a wet vacation it was! There were only two days that we did not get rained on — the first day and the last one! Every other day featured a deluge of Florida proportions — I’m told there is video footage of kids swimming in the flooded pathways at Magic Kingdom. (ewwICK!)

It was fun, though. Our first time back in the parks for a vacation (as opposed to a day) in nearly 8 years, and our first vacation in 4 years. Introduced to Feather Bowling (or, as we called it, drunk curling), and Pandora (the planet, not the jewelry or the streaming service. James Cameron is an insane genius, the immersive technology in Pandora is AMAZING, and I want to have a talk with him about evolutionary tracks and his rationale for having his planet have hexapedal fauna while the dominant species is bipedal with a prehensile tail. Either that, or I actually have to see the movie. Maybe it’s explained in there?)

Enjoyed a couple of things at Food and Wine, and saw the neat little exhibit on Kawaii culture in Japan (and had fun after both Spaceship Earth and The American Adventure — turn to Teen Boy and ask “So, what did they get wrong?”)  And we spent half a day in Black Spires Outpost on Batuu, had blue milk and a spherical Coke, and built a lightsaber (which is not cheap, but SO WORTH IT!!!)

It says Coca-Cola in Aurebesh — the written language of Star Wars.
We found the FUN Photopass spot — the photographer provided the sabers.
Protection and Defense — one of the four hilt options offered at Savi’s Workshop. I opted for a purple kyber crystal.
Not lighting it up because it is LOUD!

I forgot to get pictures of the blue milk — it’s a rice and coconut milk base, with pineapple and dragonfruit, and colored blue with spirulina. And it would make a killer pina coloda — they actually do offer it with rum! There’s also a green milk option, which I’ll have to try the next time I go. Whenever that happens.

Got home in time for the Vivian Awards, which meant dressing up to sitting my office.

I didn’t win, but I’m okay with that. Just being nominated in the most diverse contest class in RWA history is enough, especially when it’s with the book that I pulled from RITA consideration in protest of the board shenanigans in 2019.

Now I’m back on Earth, though, and back to creating my own worlds. I did carry a notebook with me all week… and I think I opened it once.

Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)
126114 / 150000 (84.08%)

I have an idea where this is going to wrap, though. And I’m shooting to have a draft complete by the end of the month, or by Orlando Reads Books, so I can dive into the revisions that it’s going to need since it’s not the last book. The book will drop quite a bit in wordcount when I finally call it a draft — there are three chapters, the epilogue and some bonus material already written that will be moved to the last book.

I’m also thinking on a new thing — working title is The Iron Virgin, and I’m blaming the Gaylord Opryland for it. Why? Because there was a Pirate and Princess event running when we were there, and I came home with a Pirate Princess in my head who wants her story told now, thank you very much. The worldbuilding is being interesting — it went from a steampunk setting with airships to a fantasy setting with living ships (which… I’m not sure why the ships are alive yet. They haven’t told me. There is more worldbuilding to be done.)

That’s a song cue right there — “The ships are alive, and I don’t know why yet…” (ttto The Sound of Music.)

If I want words on the page, I need to go get to writing them. Catch you all next week.

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, fickle-muse-is-fickle, Heir to the Firstborn, Orlando Reads Books, slow-writer-is-slow., summer, thinking thinky thoughts, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, Writer on the Go!, Written in Water, yippee, 0 comments

On Your Mark…

This week starts the race that will be July. I have just over a week before I leave for the RWA Retreat, and I have THINGS that must get done between now and then.

Things I need to do:

  • Finalize the presentation that I’ll be giving at the retreat.
  • Save presentation to a thumbdrive  and put it in my travel purse.
  • Email the presentation to the office (just in case)
  • Finish the video logs for Unit 11. (These will be DONE before I leave, durn it.)
  • Write the Unit 11 quiz
  • Decide which knitting project I’m taking with me for the Fiber meet-up I’m hosting.
  • Decide which research materials I want to bring (Hrm… Tower of Light or SooperSekrit Edwardian-era project?)
  • Write up a packing list
  • Pull out my suitcase
  • Pick out clothes

And in and around all of that? Working on Heir to the Firstborn, prepping for the Ashes and Light release on the 20th, and maybe going out for dinner (to an actual restaurant – gasp!) for our anniversary right before I leave.

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

118734 / 150000 (79.16%)

Heir to the Firstborn proceeds nicely, if slowly. I sincerely doubt that the 150,000 word target will stand for another week, which will then lead me to the question of… one book or two.

I know. I KNOW! I said this was going to be one book. But, I also said that about Wings of Air, and look where that got us (hint — 118,734 words into the second book of what was supposed to be one book.) Heir to the Firstborn is going to be massive. And while that doesn’t much matter in serial or as an ebook. In print, that’ll be a problem. Because there are only so many pages you can put into a trade paperback before it falls apart.

So we may very well have Heir to the Firstborn: The Progress and Heir to the Firstborn: <something that has to do with the second half of the book>

(Book one may not be The Progress. I have to decide. Book two will either be The Crossroads or The Way Home. We’ll see.)

But we’ll also get to meet an interesting character in that half of the book. I started writing his scenes already, and I love him to bits. Nope, not telling.

Now, if I do break this into two books, then I will definitely make the November release date that I was worried that I’d miss, because that part of the book is done.  I will need to make new cover art for the second book, those. Not a huge problem there.

I’ll make up my mind about it at the retreat.


Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Ashes and Light, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, cover art, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, deep thoughts, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Planning, publishing, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, thinking thinky thoughts, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, Writer on the Go!, 0 comments

Wait… June? Where did May Go?

It’s June tomorrow. Was it just me, or did May just fly on past?

Granted, I’ve been busy. Between my own writing and Pen to Paper and RWA stuff and every other thing, I’ve barely had time to blink. And now it’s JUNE?

Write faster, Liz! There’s so much left to do!

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

95828 / 150000 (63.89%)

I hit the pivot point on Heir to the Firstborn last night. And there is an entire chapter written that comes after that pivot point, so while this book is going to be another monster of a book, it’s not going to be an 180K word monster.

I don’t think. And we’ll see how much gets trimmed (or excised entirely) in edits.

Gonna be a thick book, though!

My brain knows that this is the end, though. So it’s starting to look at the rest of the “Eventually, I’ll Write This” list and pick things. I may take another stab at The Willow Sword  and rework it as a serial once Heir to the Firstborn is done. And at that point, the question will be do I take it over to Amazon Vella, or keep it on Patreon? And once I rework Blood Bound and get it back to Circlet, then it might just be time to take up that steampunk retelling of Metropolis that’s been knocking around in my head for ages. (That one will be called Tower of Light, for anyone keeping score. And it’s all Lon Sarver’s fault.) Which means my 2022 plans are looking to be recover and rerelease the Rebel Mage trilogy, release The Chronicles of John Zebedee with the rest of the Wild West Paranormal boxset, and get something started for a new serial. Maybe get The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath started, depending on what happens with Circlet.

The Lady and the Sword released last week, with a wonderful release day review and some nice sales. I’m pretty pleased with the release. Ashes and Light in July, and Table of Stone in September!

And on top of all of this, two weeks ago, I submitted my name to run for reelection as a Director at Large for the RWA Board. Last time, I promise! (It has to be the last time — term limits are a thing for directors, and I’m not running for anything on the Executive Board. No. You can’t make me.)

We’ve decided that we’re taking a week off once I get back from the RWA retreat. Which is a good thing, because I think I’ve forgotten how to downtime. It’s been a LONG time since I last did downtime. (umm… last vacation was 2017? I think? Our financial advisor yelled at us. We’re under orders to do something FUN. So, we’re going to!)

I am looking forward to that retreat, though! I’ve never been to Tennessee, except for once when I was in the airport because we had to change planes. I don’t think that counts. And Nashville? The Grand Old Opry is on my list of things I want to see! (It’s a short list. One thing. I won’t have a car, so I’m sticking to things I can get to on foot, and the Grand Old Opry is five minutes from the hotel!)

I do need to finish my retreat presentation, though. One more thing to add to my to-do list!



Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Blood Bound, conventions, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Planning, Rebel Mage, Swords of Charlemagne, The Lady and the Sword, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, Writer on the Go!, writing, 0 comments

How to Get an Whole Week into One Day…

First, start with a Monday…

Today has been a very productive day, in all ways but one…

  • Got Teen Boy off on time to his second to last day of finals. (okay, I made sure he was in front of his computer…)
  • Worked out
  • Had a brief training on how to conduct an interview via Zoom — best video settings, that sort of thing.
  • Scheduled three Zoom interviews.
  • Prepped three different sets of questions for those interviews.
  • Reviewed Units 6 and 10 of Pen to Paper for two of those three sets of questions
  • Sent the interviewees out best practices for Zoom interviews.
  • Scheduled a meeting to discuss (REDACTED)
  • Scheduled three doctor appointments
  • Backed up the computer
  • Wrote the weekly blog (hi!)
  • Picked up groceries
  • Did my daily Tarot draw
  • Wrote this blog post

Notice what’s missing?

I haven’t written a durned word for Heir to the Firstborn today!

Good thing I had an exceptional writing week last week!

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

91772 / 150000 (61.18%)

I wrote out of order last week. There was a scene that needed to be written, even though I’m not there yet — I just needed to get it down before I lost it. Which means that I wrote two chapters and a bit last week. And I’ll hit the pivot point in the chapter I’m just about to start, and the pace is going to pick up dramatically.

I’m wondering how much of the first half of the book is going to get cut when I get to edits. It’s slow. It’s all necessary, but it’s slow. So maybe I can tighten things up.

Or maybe not. I never made any claim to being concise.

I’m also starting to wonder if I’ll actually make the self-imposed deadline of a November release. It’s the end of May, and I’m only halfway done. Heir to the Firstborn might just end up being  my first book of 2022 at this rate. Which isn’t a problem, really. But it means that I missed out on my feat of publishing 6 books in a year that will NEVER EVER HAPPEN AGAIN I MEAN IT!


Tomorrow The Lady and the Sword releases in KU for ebooks. Print should follow along shortly (it’s in review because I forgot to hit publish yesterday.) And I discovered something. The Term of Service for Kindle Unlimited only cover EBOOK distribution. It says nothing about exclusivity of print.

So The Lady and the Sword will go wide in paperback next week (on June 1st).


Preorders for paperbacks of the rest of the series are loading to all major retailers now, and will release when the ebooks release in KU (In July for Ashes and Light, and in September for Table of Stone.)

And that’s about all here. Time for me to run off to my next thing — making dinner.

Then… maybe some words? Maybe?

We’ll see.

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, accountability, Ashes and Light, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, forthcoming works, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, The Lady and the Sword, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, Writer on the Go!, writing, 0 comments

Things Fall to the Wayside

The other night, my husband asked me if I was going to get started reading the T.Kingfisher books that have been piling up on my side of the bed. He’s read them all, and he wants to talk to me about them, but I have a firm rule about spoilers.

And I realized that my leisure reading has come to a near-standstill. I’m so busy, so being pulled in so many directions that I do not have the attention span for reading. Graphic novels? Sure. I just recently shotgunned the entire Girl Genius series, followed by Buck Godot. Magazines? I have several magazine subscriptions. But my book reading? The books I want to read because I want to read them, as opposed to reading for research or contest reading as a judge? That pile is growing (and I just got the shipping info that another one is on the way!)

This is double-plus ungood for a writer. I mean, if I’m not reading what’s coming out, then I’m not going to be on top of trends, or who’s doing what, or what the current big thing is (which, in the traditional publishing world, means what is the big thing that was being bought two-plus years ago. Indie publishing is more current.) And if I’m not reading, I’m not filling my own creative tanks.

But there is just so much to DO!!!

Pen to Paper is rolling along nicely, but there are a million and one things to get done to make sure that we launch on time in August. There’s coursework to write, and videos to make and interviews to… well… interview. I’m giving a presentation on Pen to Paper at the RWA Summer Retreat in Nashville, so I have to finish that (just some minor polishing left to do, but it still needs to be done.)

The Lady and the Sword launches next week, and I have barely done any promo for that.  There are ads running, and I’ve arranged for reviews and such, but not much else. 

Work on Heir to the Firstborn continues, and we’ll definitely be at the halfway point in the next chapter. Future plot points are starting to coalesce, and things that were fuzzy when I wrote the outline are now much more solid, to the point that I might spend today writing one scene in particular so I don’t lose it (character X is doing this for some reason that will become clear later. That reason is now clear. Mwah-ha-ha!)

Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)
83372 / 150000 (55.58%)

I do need to pick up my pace a little, since this book is supposed to be out in November. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that once I get some more things finished with Pen to Paper. And hopefully, I’ll get some good writing time at the RWA Summer Retreat, which I’m looking forward to attending. I have exactly ONE panel to present (on Pen to Paper), and one touristy thing I want to do (which is going to the Grand Old Opry, a five minute walk from the hotel!) The rest of my time will be writing.

And maybe catching up on my reading.