Fourth and Goal

No, I don’t watch football. Well, not anymore. I used to, but the last time I watched football really was… well, yesterday, to be honest. But it was the Funday Football on Disney+, where they did real time animation of the football game from London (it was hilariously glitchy.) No, In this case, fourth and goal doesn’t mean how far you have to go in football. It’s how far we have to go in 2023. October 1st marks the beginning of the fourth quarter. I’ve done my fourth quarter planning and my goals are up on my kanban board. It’s time to look toward bringing this year to a close.

Kanban, research shelf and Ink.

My immediate goals? Finish Balance of Power. Keep working on The Sea Prince. Edits on Morrigan’s Heir will be in some time this month, so I’ll be turning those around to get the book out by the end of 2023. And then I have to revise Morrigan’s Wrath to get that in to the editor. The anniversary edition of House of Sable Locks will be coming out soon (how soon? I don’t know!) and there are things to be done for that. There’s research that I really should get back to doing, although that’s lower priority to closing out the year and revisiting my business plan for 2024. I’m also considering pulling some of my short stories and getting them up for sale, but that may be a 2024 goal and not a 2023 goal.

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

30416 / 90000 (33.80%)

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

62124 / 120000 (51.77%)

Work on The Sea Prince has slowed down a little, and will slow down even more once the edits come in. Co-writing is much more of a juggling act than writing a book solo, because my interruptions rarely coincide with Danielle’s interruptions, which means that one of us is usually waiting on the other to look over things. We’ll eventually get the hang of this and get this book done.

The SPFBO judges have to announce their finalists by October 31st. This means that, at some point this month, I will find out if Written in Water will continue on in the contest. I’m surprisingly okay with either option. There are so many amazing books that have been cut already so if I am cut, I’ll be in fantastic company.

Keep an eye out for a special blog post/newsletter post in the next week or so — I’ll be able to show you the beautiful new cover of House of Sable Locks!


A new Cavalcade of Authors promo is coming this month, from October 13th through the 15th. Again, 200 books or more free for download. For this one, I’ve put Forged in Fire into the pot.

There’s also a single day event on October 27th, hosted by Stephanie Freeman. You can find more information on that and sign up here. For that event, you can grab free copies of The Chronicles of John Zebedee!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, Balance of Power, contest, cover art, edits, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, planner stuff, Planning, promotions, publishing, Revisions, Sable Locks, short story, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

A World of Blurry Dilation, 2023 edition

(I used this title last year when I had my annual eye doctor appointment)

I had an eye doctor appointment this morning, and they dilated both eyes. This was at 8:30AM. It’s now 2:30PM and I can almost see. Almost.

Days like this tend to put me off my routine, which leaves me feeling off balance. I’m set in my ways, durn it. Exercising at the end of the day feels weird. But there’s not much to be done over it. First thing appointments are necessary when I’m not going to be able to see to drive myself home.

I’ve been working on Broken Feathers over the past week, and it’s been slow because I’ve been distracted. Remember last week, I mentioned going back to look at the old game posts? Over the past week, I went back and took a look at the first novels I wrote. The ones that I trunked because they were took darned much work to revise and my co-author on them didn’t have the spoons to work on them with me. (Same co-author as The Sea Prince, for the record.) I reached out to her and said “I’m thinking of tackling revisions on our boys once I finish The Sea Prince. How do you want me to handle this?”

Her response was “I’m in. When do we start?”

(A couple of you know which manuscripts I’m talking about, and I can hear you squeeing.)

Right now, the plan is to finish The Sea Prince, then get into revising the first two novels (which were one novel, and we split them. We may put them back together again. We’ll see.) So for right now, my work has been putting all the notes into a shared file, so that we can work on it together. And trying to keep myself from going in and rereading what we had because if I do that, I’m going to want to work on that first.

Patience… patience….

I did print out the synopses of the books we hadn’t written yet (or started), so I can start a series bible. Which totally won’t backfire and make me want to work on it now, nopenopenope….


But, first things first. Finish the short story. Really. Finish it. Stop looking at the shiny thing. Leave it. LEAVE IT.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, annoying-muse-is-annoying, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Planning, publishing, queue, Revisions, The White Raven, the-end-is-near, upcoming work, 0 comments

Thirty. Finished. The End

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

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

106550 / 106000 (100.52%)

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

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

Sort of.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Win!

Camp Nano, that is.

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

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

92924 / 108000 (86.04%)

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by EASchechter, 0 comments


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

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

64046 / 90000 (71.16%)

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

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

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

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

Rabbit, Rabbit!

So… here’s 2023. Let’s see how this goes. Here’s hoping for better than the previous three years.

Back to work for me today. There was a little noodling around with words over my break — it’s hard to stop. But on the whole, I really took time off for the first time in ages, and I feel so much better for it.

What’s in the cards for 2023? Well, I’m back to working on The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath.

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

20875 / 90000 (23.19%)

I have edits to work on for The Chronicles of John Zebedee, which should be coming out in March, and edits for The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir will be coming in at some point.  I’m keeping a list of things that I’m noticing need to be updated in Book 1 as I work on Book 2. Things like… I wrote Morrigan’s Heir before I wrote Heir to the Firstborn. Now that Morrigan’s Heir is going to be published, I really need to change the name of that one character… Lorcan has a friend in book one named Owyn. Nope. Can’t use that name again. Needs to be retired. So once those edits come in, I’ll make the changes. I found some stock photography that I loved for the cover, and sent it on to the designer. His mockups look amazing and I can’t wait to see the finished cover!

In other news, I’m still working on Imaginative Anthropology, reading through various anthropology and folklore texts. The outline is slowly coalescing, and at some point, I’ll actually start writing the book instead of just researching.  Rebel Mage will be published wide next month — I’m taking the ebooks out of Kindle Unlimited and putting them up everywhere. That should happen sometime around February 10th or thereabouts. And I’m still working on figuring out what’s going to happen with my Patreon, and if I’m keeping it open or shifting my serialization over to Kindle Vella. I should check in with my Patrons about that. I’m still not sure what the next serial will be — maybe I should serialize The Sea Prince? I don’t know. I have to get back to poking away at that one. It was moving when I put it to the side again. I need to open the file again. But not yet. I’ll wait until John Zebedee edits are done before starting back in on The Sea Prince.

What else in in the cards? ICFA in March, and I’m not sure what else. I haven’t heard anything from Boskone about being a virtual guest, and it’s too early to plan Necronomicon. We will be doing some traveling this year because Teen Boy has college on the horizon, and there are some colleges that we should tour. And at some point, I should really decide what I’m doing about going back for my MFA (the two real questions are If? and When?) I should nail that down this year.

And that’s my 2023 in a nutshell.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, Happy New Year, Imaginative Anthropology, John Zebedee, Patreon, Planning, progress, Rebel Mage, The White Raven, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Late Post.

It’s late, but it’s here.

There was no post last week because I was on vacation. I enjoyed myself immensely, and got home Saturday. The laundry is all done and put away, and I think everything is unpacked. Now we’re in the last few days before school starts, and before I get back to work.

What work? Well, if things keep going the way that they were before vacation, I might be putting The Sea Prince to the side again. Not because of lack of story, but because I may have something else I need to work on first.

Yes, that’s very vague. But I’m not saying anything more until it’s written in stone.

I have several sets of edits that need to be worked on — I need to edit Forged in Fire for re-release, and edit Children of Dreams for initial release to my Patrons. I also may have new edits on Hidden Things… because BVC wants the Swords of Charlemagne books, too! I was planning on going over Hidden Things again, because working with Mark on the audiobooks pointed out a few things that made it past me and three editors.

I’ve been wildly distracted by things over the past month, so I haven’t done much on the Imaginative Anthropology project. I will hopefully get back to that, but it’s of lower priority at the moment. The research will keep.

So, for the next week and a half, I’ll be making plans and planning things out. On the 10th… we’re off!

And for now… I’m off to BED.

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, edits, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Imaginative Anthropology, Planning, Swords of Charlemagne, The Sea Prince, Vagueblogging, 0 comments

Time is Fun When You’re Having Flies

Hard to believe it’s April already. Coming up on the end of a school year already. Which means I have just about a month and a half to finish The Way Home.

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

120211 / 170000 (70.71%)

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, book 1)

25154 / 120000 (20.96%)

I think I can do it. And… in case it’s not COMPLETELY obvious by having it right up there, I have indeed decided to try and get The Sea Prince moving again, and start serializing it once Heir to the Firstborn is complete. I figured out what the problem was — I’d somehow managed to center the plot on the one romance plot device that I hate more than any other. You know the one — if they actually TALKED to each other, this would be a short story?

I deplore that plot device, to the point that I clearly can’t write it! So I’ve reworked the plot, and now I think this works even better. I’ve rewritten the first six chapters, and am about to start on the seventh, which is the last full chapter that was written before I shelved this the last time. So let’s see if I can get this onto chapter eight.

The question now is… do I serialize on Patreon, the way I have been, take it over to Vella and give that a go, or do both? Vella allows for content to be serialized so long as it is not publicly available anywhere else or previously published. Since my Patreon isn’t public, I should be able to do both Patreon and Vella. Decisions, decisions….

I also have another project in mind, one that’s going to require research. And it’s not a novel — I have an idea for a book on worldbuilding, using the framework of cultural anthropology. Planned title   — Imaginative Anthropology. (There might be a subtitle, but I haven’t thought of it yet.) I’ve often described myself as a frustrated cultural anthropologist (Darn you, college advisor, for not letting me have a triple major English/Secondary Education/Cultural Anthropology!) I just hadn’t realized that I was using the classes I took in college as tools for my worldbuilding. At least, not until I spoke to 150 high school students about being a speculative writer, and the importance of worldbuilding that makes sense. I put the words “Imaginative Anthropologist” on the presentation slide, and somewhere around the fourth or fifth time of giving the presentation (over 6 periods of the day), I realized that I might be on to something. So I’ll be developing that out as my summer planning project, and working on it once I finish up with the business planning I’m doing this year.

Busy, busy, busy, right?

This month has another book giveaway with 34 books free for the download, and a chance to win a gift card. Check it out by clicking the graphic.

In other news, I sat down via with Mark Oosterveen, the narrator for Hidden Things, and recording on the audiobook will be starting quite possibly this week! He’s nailing down the final schedule and will let me know because I will be (virtually) in the recording studio with them! Mark wants to have real time feedback on voices and tone during the recording, and I’m very excited to be included in the process. More updates as I have them!

And that, I think, is all the news this week!


Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Patreon, Planning, promotions, research is fun, The Sea Prince, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, Write Faster!, writer on writing, 0 comments

Things and Stuff

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

38961 / 150000 (25.97%)
I am all KINDS of busy right now. Between writing and Pen to Paper and REI and RWA and business planning and book releases and starting to plan for holidays and one more convention this year and why is there never enough sleep in this house?
Rhetorical question, I know. I know very well why there’s never enough sleep in this house. Also, why I always seem to be running out of coffee.
(looks at empty coffee cup)
Next week is the RWA National Convention (online!) and I’ll be presenting on Friday the 19th, talking all about the Romance Education Initiative and what that means.  When talking about this project to a friend, I made a joke that I needed to get a long coat and an eyepatch, so I could pull a Nick Fury and say “I’m here to talk to you about the Romance Education Initiative.”
Guess what arrived from Amazon two days later? (hint — it was not a long coat…)
No, I’m not going to wear it during the panel! Really. I’m not! (There is, however, a certain slide in my presentation…)
That’s next week. The week after is Thanksgiving, which I think is going to be a small thing for us this year. And the following week is a book release! Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads drops November 30th wherever ebooks and paperbacks are sold.
There will, maybe, be something NEW to announce at the end of the month, too. I hope. Once I know that I can share something, I will.
Then we move into December, and you all know what that means! Cookies for miles!!!! And my last convention of the year — Keiser Supercon. Following which, I shall turn into a puddle. I might even take time OFF!
Stop laughing.
I have my publishing schedule planned out for 2022. A box set, some rereleases, and the final book in the Heir to the Firstborn saga (no, really! This time for sure!) Now, these are preliminary dates (except for the box set), and they might shuffle. Right now, this is what next year looks like for the publishing that I control:
March 8th, 2022 — Counsel of the Wicked rerelease
May 17th, 2022 — Haven’s Fall rerelease
July 12th, 2022 — Where Home Lies rerelease
October 4th, 2022 — TBD
November 15th, 2022 — Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home.
Wait! A full YEAR for the last Heir book?
Preliminary date, remember? If I finish it up quickly (and I’m already a quarter into it), then I’ll shuffle the other dates around. That publishing date also depends on when the chapters run out on Patreon — I’m not publishing the book until after everything is complete for my Patrons. So those dates are written in warm Jello.
Having most of 2022 be rereleases means that I can focus on business planning, which I really should do at some point. Right? I mean, this is my business. It should have plans — both business and financial. I’m also doing research into a Kickstarter. I want to do audiobooks for Swords of Charlemagne. If I figured the costs right, paying the narrator who I really like will cost about the same as a used car for all four books. This is not cash that I just have lying around, so I’ll be running a Kickstarter. Which means learning how to run a Kickstarter, and what goes into making audiobooks for yourself — the only one I have so far was a book acquired by Audible, and I wasn’t involved in the process at all.
So, I have something that sort of looks like long-range plans for both publishing and business.
And I need more coffee.
Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Keiser SuperCon, Planning, progress, promotions, publishing, Rebel Mage, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

On Your Mark… Get Set… GO!

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

18295 / 150000 (12.20%)
I finished edits on Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads, so I started writing Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home last week.
No, I did not write eighteen thousand words in a week. (That would be something, though!) There were five chapters that were already written when I decided that Heir to the Firstborn needed to be two books. Last week, I actually wrote 4,830 words — Chapter One, and part of Chapter Two.
Last week, I also worked a bit more on the synopsis for Blood Price, which will be book three of the Flesh and Blood series.  There was some backstory that had been alluded to in Blood Bound that actually needed to be worked out because they find out the truth in this book.
Pen to Paper is on its first scheduled break, and I’m working on getting a couple of units for the last level finished up. (Specifically, the last two levels). This program… it’s just been a year since they came to me and said “We’d like for you to take on this task force and put together this program.” What a YEAR this has been!!!
For my next trick? Well… I can’t tell you yet. What I can say is that I also need to get to work on the presentation I’ll be making at the RWA National convention. Which is coming up… ah… next month. Okay, I REALLY need to get to work on that!
More on the sooper sekrit project in two weeks.
Back to work!
Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Blood Bound, Flesh and Blood, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Planning, thinking thinky thoughts, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments