plot bunnies

It’s Blursday

It’s Blursday

I had my eyes dilated at 8:15 this morning. It is now 1:41 PM and I still can’t see clearly out of my left eye. The light sensitivity is better, but I had to turn down the brightness on both of my monitors. And I couldn’t see to drive a certain young man to class, but attendance isn’t mandatory so rather than pull Darling Husband out of meetings, we all just stayed in because it’s Blursday.

With everything going on last week, it wasn’t as much of a word week as I’ve had. I still made my target of 500 words a day for six days (words on Sunday are bonus words), so it wasn’t a bad week. It just wasn’t as prolific as the previous weeks have been. But that’s okay.

The synopsis for The Coral Throne is coming slowly. Which, it can come slowly — I’m not in a rush to get to it, and I want to make sure I get things figured out before I get to the scene where X has to attack Y and how does that work exactly? (You’ll find out. I promise. But I have to work out the details.)

There’s also this other project of mine, which currently has the placeholder title of “Frog and Fae are Friends.” I put the excerpt that popped into my head and wouldn’t get out into my newsletter a few weeks ago, and it’s been percolating in the back of my brain since. I think this might be the next Patreon project if the sex stays behind closed doors, and I’m trying to worldbuild without pushing the existing Coral Throne worldbuilding out of my head. If you missed the excerpt in the newsletter, I’ll pop a short sample of it down below. It may turn into a fantasy Sherlock Holmes kind of thing, which would be new for me, but that seems to be the direction it’s leaning. We shall see.

Still waiting on edits for Morrigan’s Heir, but if my editor’s week last week was anything like mine? I get it. I TOTALLY get it. And considering that I’m maybe a chapter and a half from finishing The Sea Prince? I can wait — a delay lets me get this manuscript finished before diving into edits, and gives me the space to let The Sea Prince get out of my head before I go back to reread it for revision. It’s all good.

So, tell me what you think of the excerpt.

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

92468 / 120000 (77.06%)

Placeholder title “Frog and Fae are Friends.” — Excerpt

Desperate times call for truly fucked up measures.

I know better than to mess with mages, let alone steal from them. I know. But I was at the very end of my non-existent rope. It had been a long, hard winter already, and there were still three moons before even an hope of a thaw. The benevolent shelters for the needy were full to bursting, and even I’d had the coin, the cheap inns were full as well. There was not a bed or a slice of floor to be had anywhere in the slums of Alatrea. Not for the likes of me.

What there was, though, was a mage, who’d taken residence in a posh, new, townhouse right before the first snow. He hadn’t been settled long enough to claim the place as his home-ground – that took at least six moons for the strongest mage, and a year or more for the average spell-slinger. That mean that the usual protection spells weren’t going to be foolproof yet.

I just wasn’t usually that much of a fool.

Posted by EASchechter in annoyance, easily amused writer, excerpt, forthcoming works, Frog and Fae, Planning, plot bunnies, progress, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments
Quiet Is Not Supposed To Be This Busy

Quiet Is Not Supposed To Be This Busy

Last week, I posted about how quiet it is for me in February. Well… quiet is not supposed to be this busy!

This week alone? I do not have a single morning where something isn’t happening, and I have booked afternoons on two of those days. And only one of those afternoons involves me being able to write once I get there.

Okay… it’s just one week. It’s not the entire month. Next week it quiets down again (except Monday. I may not blog on Monday the 19th because I will be getting an eye exam which requires my eyes to be dilated so much that I should be able to see God.)

The Sea Prince is coming along nicely. New characters are walking out of my subconscious and fitting in like I planned for them (I didn’t, and I had to go back and tweak an earlier scene to set the stage for them to even exist). And now it’s the “Oh, that character? Yes, I knew that he was an <insert spoiler here.> It’s been a running joke between us for years….”

I’ve gotten started on the new synopsis for The Coral Throne, and I’m starting to think about the third book, which may or may not happen. I know the title, but my original plans for it (again, old enough to drive in this state) are a non-starter. But that’s a whole book away, so I can think on that a while longer.

I have my preliminary schedule for ICFA, and I’ll be hosting at least one (possibly two) Author Readings, and then doing a reading of my own. I’m excited for this — I’ve being doing panels at conventions for years, but this is a little bit more. I’ll be reading Worlds Begin — the conference theme is Whimsy and Worldbuilding. I think my creation myth fits in nicely.

I’m also thinking about the worldbuilding for the new idea that popped into my head last month, where I wrote down the first scene and really had NO idea where any of it was going. Looks like it’s going to be a fantasy detective sort of thing, with heavy shades of Sherlock and Watson. That’s the idea, but the worldbuilding still needs work. Something to play with when I’m working on graduation things in May, I think.

Edits for Morrigan’s Heir should be along presently. I know I keep saying that. My editor had an attack of life, and says I should have things this week. I’m going to try to get that turned around as quickly as I can so I can do a reread of Morrigan’s Wrath and get that in. Once I have a date for Morrigan’s Heir, I’ll let you all know. I’ve seen the preliminaries for the cover, and I can’t wait to see the final of that. More as I know more!

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

89023 / 120000 (74.19%)
Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, accountability, appearances, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, forthcoming works, ICFA, plot bunnies, progress, The Sea Prince, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, 0 comments
Rabbit, Rabbit!

Rabbit, Rabbit!

Welcome to 2024!! Saying Rabbit Rabbit at the new year is supposed to bring good luck. No, I’m not sure where it came from, but rabbit rabbit all the same.

It’s been a lovely, relaxing holiday, but it’s time to start ramping up to get back to work. I’m not going to get back to writing for another week — well, not back to writing The Sea Prince, at any rate. There’s something that popped into my head yesterday that I need to write down so I can see if I need to chase it or bank it for later. But when a really compelling voice waltzes into your head and makes you stop to listen, it’s something that need to be written down. We’ll see where it goes.

That story seed wasn’t the only thing to waltz into my head this holiday season. I had a character start talking to me, and I thought it was for something new. Nope… he’s one of the big bads for the Children of the Sword series, and I think the reason that it wasn’t coming together was that I was looking one way, and the story was really over there. What does that mean? It means that, while Swords of Charlemagne and The Chronicles of John Zebedee all exist in the same universe, the convergence of those two series isn’t happening where I thought it was.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to run out and start writing Children of the Swords tomorrow. There’s too much research to be done — I know nothing about Edwardian England or WWI. That’s currently being addressed, so I’ll say that we can plan to see The Seer (Children of the Sword, book 1) at some point in the next few years.

What am I going to work on this year? Well, edits for Morrigan’s Heir will be coming this month, and then I have to read and revise Morrigan’s Wrath and send that in. Edits for Bonds of Blood and Steel will be along sometime later this year, and I’ll be turning those around as quick as I can. I plan to have The Sea Prince done no later than April 30th, because I’m taking May off entirely (why? High school graduation, that’s why!) Then, come July or August, I’ll be diving into Tales from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand, because it is time to wrap up that series.

But that all starts next week. This week? I’m still on vacation. Still reading, still researching, still resting my brain.


Coming January 30th to all your favorite bookstoresValley of Shadows (Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7)

The print preorder will be set up sometime this week — I am waiting on the wraparound cover art.

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

63623 / 120000 (53.02%)


For ONE DAY ONLY, I’ll be having a Meet and Greet at the Spellbound Bookstore in Sanford, Florida! I will be there for 3PM to 4PM on January 21st, 2024. Come out and support small business!

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, appearances, Children of the Sword, forthcoming works, Happy New Year, Heir to the Firstborn, plot bunnies, presales, Release date, research is fun, Tales from the Arena, The Sea Prince, upcoming books, upcoming work, Valley of Shadows, 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

Goodness, is that the time?

The time, at the moment, is 11:27 AM on August 9th. And in one week, the RWA Pen to Paper program, the project that has been eating my brain for the past year, launches.

You know that gif of Kermit, standing backstage and biting his nonexistent nails?


Yeah… that’s a fair approximation of how I’ll look on Sunday….

That is, when I’m not like this…


Because it’s starting. It’s really starting. We created something from the ground up and people are excited to be a part of it. This program is… well, it’s amazing. Yes, I know I’m as biased as a new mother in this regard, but really, it’s AMAZING.

And it starts one week from today.

In other news — yes, I do have other news — the worldbuilding for this new pirate thing is coming along. I might even have a rough synopsis this week. Which will then get put aside to percolate because I have to finish Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads, start Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home, edit Crossroads for a late fall/early winter release, and edit Blood Bound so that I can get that back out to Riverdale/Circlet. My barefoot pirates (and yes, there’s a reason for them being barefoot!) will have to wait!

Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads
(Heir to the Firstborn, book 5)

115164 / 150000 (76.78%)

Notice how that number dropped from last week? That’s because I moved about 13K words out of this manuscript and into The Way Home. I’m thinking there are maybe another three or four chapters to this one, so I am shooting to have the draft of Crossroads done this month, and I fully intend to try and make the November release date I put into my planner at the beginning of the year. But… it might be December. I’ll see how revisions go and keep everyone posted.

Not much else is happening. I’m prepping for Orlando Reads Books, starting to think on costuming for Necronomicon and  Books at the Beach, and looking forward to two conferences I’ll be attending as an attendee (for the record? Emerald City Writers Conference and Trans/Inter/Cross: A Symposium on the Fantastic Between Genres, Media, and Cultures.) I have RWA Nationals in November, and Keiser Supercon in December.

Still planning on being a puddle in January.





Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, BDSM Vampires, Blood Bound, Flesh and Blood, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Keiser SuperCon, Necronomicon, Orlando Reads Books, Planning, plot bunnies, publishing, Release date, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, writing, 0 comments

Spring? Maybe?

The reason I say maybe is that we have 90 degree weather now, and will be going down to the 40s on Thursday. Whiplash weather means spring, right?

It also means allergies, and mine have been awful. I have complete sympathy for all of you out there who suffer through this season with itchy eyes, scratchy noses, and sounding like a pack-a-day lounge singer. There but for the grace of Loratidine go I.

Allergies make this season fun. When I had my first COVID vaccination, I spent the next three days sniffling and snorfling, and I have no idea if that was a vaccine reaction or allergies. Tomorrow is COVID vaccine, part two, and we’ll see how I feel over the next few days. I’ve heard that the days immediately after shot two are not pleasant. But it’s worth it.

I just don’t plan on getting much work done this week. And of course, it’s a newsletter week, so I’ll be prepping that well ahead of time.

I finished my edits on Table of Stone, and the proof copy is on the way. I’m almost done with the proofreading of Ashes and Light, so that means that Swords of Charlemagne is close enough to done that I can see the end from here. There are preorders up for the other three books and everything!

What the heck — have a cover montage:

In other writing news, Wings of Air released last week, and Heir to the Firstborn is a third of the way done! I think. Maybe. It’s a third of the way to my target words, at least,  and you all know how well I hit targets….

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

54267 / 150000 (36.18%)
I think I’ll be close this time. We’ll see.
Not much else is happening here, except that I’ve been bitten by a non-fiction bug that requires research and that may turn into a craft article (writing craft. Not fiber craft). We’ll see if that pans out.
Stay safe,  everyne.
Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Ashes and Light, cover art, except-for-when-it-is, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, new books, plot bunnies, Swords of Charlemagne, Table of Stone, upcoming books, upcoming work, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments


Today’s blog post is being brought to you by the roofers working on the house that backs up to mine. We had a pretty intense hailstorm down here a couple of weeks ago, and… well… damage was done. (Thankfully, our roof survived it pretty well. Neighboring houses? Not so much.)

How intense? This was a small hailstone.

In the fourteen years we’ve lived in this house, I’ve never seen hail like that. My car has a couple of good sized dents in the roof, but no windshield damage.

My office window looks out into the backyard, so I have the constant sound of saws, pneumatic hammers, and other things emphatically going *thump* as the soundtrack to my writing day.

Echoes of Light
29754 / 50000 (59.51%)
Wings of Air
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 4
28031 / 95000 (29.51%)

Writing continues, as writing is wont to do in my house. Echoes of Light is building to a climax, and I’m hoping to have it done this month. I increased the wordcount, but now I’m not sure that I’ll make 50K. It’ll be 40K or thereabouts. Perhaps a little under, but definitely not much over. Which is well within the wordcount limits for the call for this boxset.

And I’m pretty sure there will be more stories about John Zebedee and Ethriel. They haven’t told me what they’ll be yet, but there will be more.

Wings of Air is already wandering off the outline. I think this is a new record — usually, we get to the first major transition before the characters get headstrong and go their own way. Not this time. They’ve decide on a subplot that is obvious in hindsight, but wasn’t on my radar when I started planning the book.

Still haven’t decided what I’m working on for Patreon after Heir to the Firstborn. I’ll tackle that once I get further into Wings of Air — I’ll need to decide before I finish, though. No pressure! None at all!

Once I finish Echoes of Light, I’ll be planning out the rest of the Flesh and Blood series, too. I have a nifty new Series Bible from Plot Your Work and I’m looking forward to setting it up.

Things are still really unsettled here — we have no idea what’s going to happen in the fall. The Governor says school will start on time and with the regular schedule, but at the same time Covid cases are spiking because the state reopened too soon. We’re being careful, but at the same time, we’re very much aware that there are a lot of people out there who are not being careful, or who think that the whole thing is a hoax, or a joke, or not as serious as it really is.

I don’t understand people sometimes. I just don’t.

Be careful out there. Stay safe.

Posted by EASchechter in accountability, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, plot bunnies, progress, this-is-why-we-can't-have-nice-things, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, writing-mom, 0 comments

Work in Progress: Bones of Earth

Bones of Earth
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 3

90538 / 95000 (95.30%)

I just saw someone refer to this week as “Week Two: Electric Boogaloo.”

Maybe. I’m not sure if we’re all that punchy yet. Some people might be. I’m not.

Not yet, anyway.

If you missed it, I put Written in Water up as a free download until April 1st.  And I finally got Worlds Begin fixed so that it’s free everywhere as well. I’m working on Bones of Earth, and I need to tweak the scene that I wrote over the weekend. It’s not quite where I want it. There are two pages of synopsis for Wings of Air sitting next to me on the desk, which really isn’t much — my synopses tend to run very long.

And I’m starting to consider adding a virus to the Flesh and Blood books, once I get back to them. Something that only strikes the vampires. Because, you know, your output comes from your input. There are going to be a LOT of quarantine meet-cutes or enemy-to-friend books coming down the pipe. I can see it already.

Hrm… maybe I won’t add a virus to the Flesh and Blood books after all.

Today, I’ll find out the election results for the RWA Special election. I’ll post back once I hear that.

My plans for the week? More writing. Exercising. More writing. Finishing a sewing project. More writing. Cleaning up the house. More writing. Tending the garden I just started. More writing. Not stress-buying all the groceries.

I think that covers it.

Stay safe, all. Stay in if you can.


Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, BDSM Vampires, Bones of Earth, Elemental Project, except-for-when-it-is, Flesh and Blood, giveaway, Heir to the Firstborn, plot bunnies, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments

Short story: Myths and Secrets

This popped into my head this morning and wouldn’t get out. If you’ve read my work before, you’ll recognize Daniel and Itami (from Layover, and from their AU versions in Blood, Lust in No Safewords, 2). They’ll have their own book, once I’m done with Swords of Charlemagne.


There was traffic on the George Washington Bridge. It wasn’t a surprise, and Daniel had planned for it. They would still make their meeting in Fort Lee in plenty of time. But for now, they were at a dead stop in the middle of the span. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel, glanced out the window at the river below them, sparkling in the sunlight, then looked the other way at the man sitting in the passenger seat. He knew that Hiro Itami’s eyes were closed behind his sunglasses – it was daylight, and the bright light hurt his eyes even through glasses so dark that Daniel could barely see through them. But that had nothing to do with his being a vampire and everything to do with his being an albino. The whole ‘vampires can’t bear the light of the sun’ myth that Daniel had grown up hearing was, in fact, nonsense. So, apparently, was the inability to cross running water. Daniel looked down at the Hudson River again; polluted or not, it was definitely running water. Which led to the question…



“May I ask a question?”

“You did just,” Itami answered. “What is it, koibito?”

Daniel grinned. “Well, there are a bunch of stories about vampires, about how to keep them from biting you–”

“You wish me to not bite you?” Itami interrupted. “It’s a bit late for that, my slave.”

Daniel laughed. “No! No, I like you biting me just fine. I just wanted to know how many of the stories are fake. I never had anyone I could ask before.”

“Ah,” Itami murmured. “Intellectual curiosity. All right. Ask. It will pass the time.”

The traffic inched forward a bit, then stopped again. Daniel waited until they were stopped again before speaking. “Religious symbols? Specifically, a crucifix.”

“Have I introduced you to Rabbi Isaac ben Miriam?” Itami asked in response. Daniel glanced at him.

“He’s the Viceroy’s lieutenant in Brooklyn, I think?” he asked, trying to remember the local hierarchy. When Itami nodded, Daniel relaxed. “I think so. I think you introduced me to him at the last meeting. Why… oh. Oh, I see. A crucifix isn’t a religious symbol with any meaning to anyone who isn’t Christian.” He grinned. “You’d need to be wearing a whole occult jewelry shop if that one was true.”

Itami chuckled. “Very good. What else have you heard?”

“Well, I know that sunlight won’t kill vampires. You don’t like it, but that’s different,” Daniel said. “And crossing running water isn’t an issue–”

“I could wish it was. Then we would not have to sit in traffic and pay ridiculous tolls,” Itami said.

“Ah… you can’t enter a place without invitation?” Daniel asked.

“Since when are manners only the purview of vampires?” Itami countered. “That one is ridiculous. Go on. What else?”

The traffic started moving again as whatever clog righted itself, and Daniel turned his focus to driving. He’d learned to drive as part of his duties as Itami’s blood slave, but it had only been a few months, and he was still getting used to driving into New Jersey for meetings, and to the handling on Itami’s little sportscar. Learning to drive on a Kia hadn’t really prepared him for driving a Jaguar. So he didn’t ask the next question until he’d pulled into the parking space in the garage underneath the office building where Itami would be meeting his colleagues. Daniel cut the engine, looked at Itami, and asked, “What about garlic?”

Itami turned toward him and took off his sunglasses. He smiled, and Daniel could just make out the barely protruding fangs in the dim, garage lighting. He knew he’d see more of them later tonight, when it was time for Itami to feed. The thought made him shiver with anticipation.

“Garlic,” Itami murmured. “That one… is true, and not true.”

Daniel frowned. “How so?”

“Well, the truth is that it was a rumor started by my kind. No matter what you humans believe, garlic doesn’t repel vampires at all.”

“Then why start the rumor?” Daniel asked. Itami laughed.

“Because do you know how disappointing it is to be presented with a gourmet feast, and have it be under-seasoned?”

Daniel burst out laughing. “Is that why there’s always pizza for the slaves at these meetings?”

Itami smiled. He opened the car door and got out, and Daniel scrambled to follow him. They walked toward the elevators, with Daniel a measured two steps behind Itami. They got into the elevator, and Daniel punched the button for their floor while Itami put his sunglasses back on.

“Daniel?” Itami murmured as the doors slid closed.

“Yes, Tono?”

“Have the garlic knots.”

Posted by EASchechter in BDSM Vampires, inspiration-strikes-OW, plot bunnies, short story, silly, 0 comments