I really want some dull


This is basically where I live these days. Now. I’m not really thinking more than a week in advance, because so much can change in a week. So, I live in the now. The future? That’s Future-Liz’s problem. Now-Liz has enough to deal with.

As you might imagine, this makes planning anything… interesting. I’m still sitting down with my planners on Sunday, but I’m not looking any farther out than the following Sunday.  Meal plans? Those are suggestions that may or may not happen (especially since my oven has decided it’s going on strike, and replacing a gas oven? That’s an interesting undertaking…)

On the upside, I’ll have an all new oven for Cookiepocalypse, when Future-Liz gets to that point. On the downside, I won’t have a new oven in time for next Sunday dinner. See why meal plans are suggestions?

So what’s happening in the now?

I’ve finished my read-through of the first four Heir to the Firstborn books, and passed them on to Darling Editor. New editions of the books will be going live in the next month or so, leading up to the release of Children of Dreams in November. I’ve updated the covers on the website, but I won’t be updating the covers in Goodreads or on any sale sites until the new content is available. Then I’ll do them all in one swell foop.

Today I start the read-through and rewrite on Visions in Smoke, which means that I should get into the read-through and rewrite of Children of Dreams sometime next week. At that point, I’ll probably set up the preorder for Children of Dreams. I’ll keep you posted on that.

Also in the now, I’ve confirmed that I can’t package and sell a book of compiled Vella episodes until 30 days after the last episode goes live. So that means that The Chronicles of John Zebedee will be an early March release, and I need to engage my cover designer at some point soon.

I’m doing another newsletter builder giveaway this month, with copies of Written in Water up for grabs, along with 30 other titles. Click the graphic to go over and see what’s available, and enter to win a $25 gift card.

I’ve gotten back into researching Imaginative Anthropology, but it’s hard to focus on even non-fiction at the moment. And I’m working on new edits on Swords of Charlemagne for Book View Cafe,

At some point, I may tell you what’s going on behind the scenes on this end, and WHY I’m so distracted. But right now, I don’t have permission from the others involved. Until that happens? You just get to know that there’s a lot of things happening here, and even vague good thoughts are appreciated.


Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, 2023 plans, accountability, Heir to the Firstborn, I really want some dull, Imaginative Anthropology, John Zebedee, Newsletter, promotions, Swords of Charlemagne, Updatey things, Written in Water, 0 comments

May we please have some boring now?

It’s been an interesting week, hasn’t it?

Are we all completely fed up with interesting weeks? I know I am. I’d dearly love a solid week where there’s nothing in the news but feel-good stories and kitten videos. Heck, I’d settle for one solid DAY of nothing but feel-good stories and kitten videos!

Now the weather only impacted my week indirectly. Most of my team on the Super Secret RWA project are in areas hard by the weather, which meant that for most of last week, I was the only one with power. Sort of puts the kibosh on group work, but that just meant that I focused more on words.

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

32677 / 150000 (21.78%)

I’m currently building up to one of those scenes that I’ve been waiting to write for months (there are four or five of those in this book.) And, because I really needed to get those words out so that I could write the other words, I’ve already written the ending. Now I just need to get from here to there.

I also worked on edits for Ashes and Light, and I’m almost done with the page proofs for Wings of Air. I should finish that tomorrow, which means that the final formatted manuscript will be uploaded by Wednesday at the latest, and we’ll be ready to go for March. Once I finish Wings of Air, I’ll start the page proofs on The Lady and the Sword.

Page proofs are usually the last thing that a writer does before the book goes to print. You’re checking layout, making sure the book looks good, and that words didn’t get left out. By this point, the book has usually gone through two or more rounds of edits, so there’s very little to do other than say “Hey, this looks good!”

Unless, of course, you’re me. And you just reread the first three books because why not, and you realize that you made one HUGE continuity mistake right in the middle of book 4.

Umm… oops.

So that was fixed, and I cleaned up all the stray periods that showed up in the middle of the manuscript (did I spill the punctuation bucket? I think I must have, for there to be odd periods in the middle of sentences. Weird.)

Ashes and Light is almost done as well, which means that I’ll be going in and redoing quite a lot of Table of Stone. The editor who read through the series to check my continuity pointed out a lot of problems with that manuscript, and since I have that one on the table as coming out in September, I have time to fix them all. (Depending on how Heir to the Firstborn goes, I might even be able to push Table back to November. We’ll see — I’ve been saying since I set the publishing schedule for 2021 that the last two books might switch places, depending on how things fall out.)

Not much else is happening here. I’m waiting (sort of impatiently) for the state of Florida to open up vaccinations to the 1C group. I’m hoping it will be before the summer — I want to be fully vaccinated before I have to to to Nashville for RWA Nationals. Until then… I’ll just keep on writing.

Stay safe, everyone.

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, Ashes and Light, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, I really want some dull, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, The Lady and the Sword, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Heck of a Start!

Boy, that was a heck of a start to the year, wasn’t it?  And we still have the rest of the year to go!

I would very much like some boring now. Anyone else with me?

Unfortunately, it’s likely to get more interesting before it gets boring. So I’m going to hole myself up in my writer cave and try to ignore the outside world. I have edits to work on, and a new book to write.


Heir to the Firstborn
(Heir to the Firstborn, Book 5)
3083 / 150000 (2.06%)


Heir to the Firstborn is going to focus more on Del, Treesi and Aria (as much as the boys will allow. I need to wrestle the focus of the books back from Owyn and Aven. They keep trying to take over.) It’s been slow getting started, but I’ve also been working on edits. The edits on Wings of Air are done, and I’ll be getting the preorder up this week. I’ll be starting the edits on The Lady and The Sword today, but I’ll be taking those more slowly. The Lady and the Sword isn’t scheduled to come out until May. I have a little bit of time there.

Focus is… challenging at the moment. (for example, I’ve been staring at this blog post for over an hour, trying to find the next word.) There’s been doomscrolling, and stress eating, and rather a lot of yoga to try and offset the effects of doomscrolling and stress eating. I’m trying not to engage with conspiracy theorists online, for the good of my heart (remember, the block button is your friend!). If I didn’t have books coming out that need promotion, I might go on a social media hiatus… or, you know, not. Because let’s be real — all my friends live in my computer, and social media is how I talk to them.

How do you maintain focus when the world around you is chaos? I know this has been a real issue with a lot of other creative people. After ten months of quarantine, a lot of us have found workarounds. But now things are going even weirder and focus is gone.

I think the first thing is to be gentle with ourselves. Things are so far from normal that we can’t even see it from here. And honestly, there’s no way back to that normal. Nor should there be — normal is what got us here in the first place. We need to redefine normal, and we really can’t do that until the chaos factor eases up a bit and stops acting like someone mixed their Jumanji cards up with Cards Against Humanity.

So, here’s hoping that soon normal will be something other than a setting on our dryers.

Preorder now on Amazon!

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, I really want some dull, Swords of Charlemagne, The Lady and the Sword, this-is-why-we-can't-have-nice-things, upcoming books, upcoming work, Waiting-for-the-other-shoe, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, writing, 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

Well, that was a non-event…

That, of course, being Isaias. I know it’s not going to be a non-event further up the East Coast, but usually it’s Florida that gets all the hurricanes. This time… well, I did say I wanted some dull. We got it. And this morning, after yoga, I swept the porch, moved all the plants back into place, and put the porch furniture back out.

But really, it was an “I shaved my legs cleaned the gutters for this?” kind of storm.

This year, it’s been interesting in a odd fashion. Storm season has been an afterthought for me. Usually, when storm season starts in June, I get all our storm supplies laid in so that we’re ready. I have a spreadsheet with expiration dates, and I rotate the supplies as needed.

This year, I was in the natural market on Friday, and I thought “I really should get a couple of loaves of shelf stable gluten free bread. And the emergency ice cream.”

That was the extent of my storm prep for the season. (And before you ask, emergency ice cream is a thing in our house. If the power goes out, eat the emergency ice cream FIRST.)

In talking with other area moms about storm prep (and the lack thereof — I’m not alone in this), I said the following: “My crisis management brain is currently occupied. All other crisises need to wait in line.”

From the reactions, this is apparently a deeply profound statement. But it’s true. I’m so focused on the pandemic and the crisis response to it (and Florida’s distinct LACK of crisis response to the pandemic) that the news that there was a Cat 1 hurricane heading for Florida? Please, don’t bother me with trivials! Oh, it weakened, and now it’s just a tropical storm? Turn off the sprinklers, we don’t need to water the lawn this weekend. Better barbecue tonight, it’s going to rain tomorrow.

Now, there was writing and writing prep this weekend.

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

56448 / 120000 (47.04%)
John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town
0 / 30000 (0.00%)

Wait a minute, Liz! That wordcounter says zero! Yes, it does. That was the writing prep. I have the writing plan all ready, and I’m starting the synopsis for John Zebedee Meets the Witch Queen of Elfland.

The plan is to have EVERYTHING done by December. Which will make this the busiest writing year of my career — I’m hoping to finish 2020 by completing three novels, three novellas and one short story.

Last week was the busiest release week of my career — four releases in one day!

Under the Cape includes my short story Time for No Mercy.

Fools Rush In, Her Captive, and To Market are all reprints, and are all enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.  We’ll see how that works for the next 90 days. Then maybe I’ll go wide with them.

Not much else is going on here. We’re getting ready for school to start (we took the full remote option — refer to previous statement about Florida’s lack of crisis response.) And part of getting ready for school is a deep clean of Teen Boy’s room, something that we’re taking in small bites so as not to overwhelm him (or me!) Yesterday was the bookcase, today was the desk. Tomorrow is under the desk, and under the bed, and getting the menagerie of stuffies under some semblance of control. Curtains and bedding will be washed later this week, and everything vacuumed. At that point, I think it will be easier for him to manage, and to find things (there were several instances of “Oh, THERE that is! I was WONDERING where that went!” over the past two days.)

Hope things are boring your neck of the woods. In a good way, anyway.

Stay safe.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, Boosting the signal, deep thoughts, Happy Book Day, Heir to the Firstborn, Hurricane, I really want some dull, John Zebedee, new books, progress, publishing, Under the Cape, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, writing-mom, 0 comments

“I’d Like Some Dull Now…”

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

51671 / 120000 (43.06%)

So, can we stop living in interesting times now? I’d really like some dull now.

Granted, the whole “staying home and not interacting with people  you don’t live with” thing is getting really old and boring. But the reasons that we’re doing that haven’t gone away, so we’re going to keep on staying home and not interacting as much as possible.

And, in my case, I’m going to keep focusing on writing. Because I know everything will be all right in the worlds I’m creating — they’re romances, after all. The HEA is guaranteed.

Wings of Air is progressing nicely. I’ve FINALLY gotten them out of Terraces, and I’m heading for a scene that I’ve been waiting to write for a while.

The synopsis for John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town is done, and I’ll start putting together the synopsis for John Zebedee Meets the Witch-Queen of Elfland once I’m not with something SOOPER SEKRIT and very exciting.

I was honored to be part of Wordier Than Thou’s Night of Paranormal Stories this past Friday. I read from Heart’s Master, which was fun to revisit. (and, of course, reread over the weekend!)

(Yes, that’s my office. Yes, that’s Super Grover.)

Not much else is happening. We’re having a quiet anniversary — 23 years for me and Mister M. (Well, today is 23 years observed. We were actually married by a Justice of the Peace on July 11th, 1997.) Apparently, we mark 23 years with manual labor — M and I got out in the garden this morning, and it’s looking good. Well, better than it had been. I’m still not sure just where those tomatoes came from, because they’re not the ones I planted. None of my other seeds started — well, except the peas, and they’re done.  So I went out yesterday and picked up started plants and potting soil. We may have the repeat of the Year of the Eggplant — I got two Black Beauty eggplants and two orange bell peppers.  I potted a couple of pineapple crowns, for when we redo the pineapple bed in the back of the garden. (That’s going to wait for cooler weather.)

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It’s thundering at the moment — not unusual for a summer afternoon in Florida. So I’m going to go off and get some offline stuff done.

Stay safe, everyone. Wear your masks and wash your hands

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Elemental Project, Heart's Master, Heir to the Firstborn, I really want some dull, John Zebedee, public displays of geekery, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Monday, Monday…

And boy, is it being Monday-ish. It’s not even 11:00 here, and I’m already done!

At the moment, I’m working at the dining room table, waiting for the AC Service techs to show up to look over the air-conditioner. No trouble, just annual service. But having someone strange COMING TO OUR HOUSE AND COMING INSIDE THE HOUSE is pegging all the anxiety meters.

Then we have to leave the house, because going out to pick up a certain young man’s new glasses didn’t work on Friday — by the time we left the house, the optician had already closed for the day. And there’s a grocery pickup on the way back. So I have a full day, and I haven’t even figured in the writing yet!

Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4

43247 / 120000 (36.04%)

I might have to do some backwards writing today.  I threw out about four hundred words this weekend, and Wings of Air is better for it. I’m going to go through the last two chapters and see where else I can tighten — we’re meandering way too far off course. There are scenes in there that don’t advance the plot or the character growth, and I need to tighten the timeline.

Writing is rewriting is rewriting is rewriting… and I think I’ll have a better book out of it when I’m done. And it won’t (well, shouldn’t) change anything that’s already live.

In other news, John Zedebee and the Heir to Elfland (final title, darn it) has gone off to the box set publisher. I’m working on the outline for the next one, tentatively titled John Zebedee and the Monstrous Town, but I need the input of someone else who is working in the box set, because I’d like their characters to be part of it.

Not much else is going on here, and focus is at a premium, so I’m wrapping this up. Stay safe, everyone. Stay in if you can. Remember to wash your hands and wear your mask.

I want to see you all on the other side of this.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, accountability, crap-writing-is-crap, Heir to the Firstborn, I really want some dull, John Zebedee, why-the-writing-is-slow, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

It’s alive!!!

Last night, I finally got an answer from KDP.

The answer, of course, was to tell me that they didn’t do anything wrong, that Forged in Fire is going to stay down, that I really should pay attention to customer feedback even though they won’t tell me what that feedback actually WAS…

And that I could resubmit the book as a new book.


Forged in Fire is live!

Now, I’ve emailed KDP and asked them to link the new ebook to the paperback, and to add it back to the series page. I’ve set up a sale for Written in Water for next week, which will hopefully start sales back up again for Forged in Fire, and will help promote Bones of Earth, which drops on the 26th (and which you can preorder here!)

Now, if you have reviewed Forged in Fire in the past, could I ask you to please go and review it again? Since it’s a new book, all the reviews are gone. Thank you kindly!


Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Forged in Fire, I really want some dull, 0 comments

Postponed and Cancelled Shows

Got the word this morning that Keiser Supercon is being postponed again. No dates announced yet.


And I got the word less than five minutes ago that Megacon Orlando is cancelled for 2020. There’s a limited attendance something been announced for Halloween weekend, but I have no idea if the panel on which I was supposed to be a guest will be happening. If it does go on the schedule, I’ll let you all know.

Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, I really want some dull, Keiser SuperCon, 0 comments

Work in Progress: Echoes of Light

Echoes of Light

5795 / 30000 (19.32%)

Today’s blog post is coming to you live and direct from my closet.

(Our area is currently under a tornado warning.)

Things are going apace with Bones of Earth. Edits are being edited. I will, I hope, have the final manuscript uploaded to all the places by next week. Preorders are open at Amazon and everywhere else.

I’m working on the synopsis for Wings of Air, and I keep telling myself that write “stuff happens” and then the planned ending is not a synopsis. At least, it’s not a synopsis in my sense of the word — one where if I get hit by a bus, someone else will be able to finish the series. That being said, I really do want to get this started.

(The storm is now overhead, and the inner doors are rattling. Ummm…)

(Two hours pass)

Back now. We’re fine. Everything is fine. Tornado came MUCH too close to my liking (that being about five miles or so).

My, it’s exciting for a Monday!

Now, since I’ve lost two hours of my day, I’m going to finish this up and get back to work.

Wash your hands, stay inside if you can. Be safe.




Posted by EASchechter in 2020 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Adavar, Bones of Earth, Echoes of Light, edits, Eek!, Elemental Project, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, I really want some dull, new books, promotions, publishing, Release date, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments