progress

Partial Eclipse of the Heart?

Partial Eclipse of the Heart?

If you’re supposed to fall apart during a total eclipse of the heart, what do you do during a partial eclipse of the heart?

We’re only at about 57% where I am, so the light got a little weird, and now it’s pretty much back to normal. The next time Florida will be in the path of totality will be 2044, I think. So… I’ll get to experience that when I’m in my 70s or so. Something to look forward to?

I’ve finished my readthrough of Morrigan’s Heir, and I did a quick read of Morrigan’s Wrath (for the first time since I wrote it, so there was a lot of “Oh, I’d forgotten about that scene!”) Now I’m reading for edits, and questioning some of the stylistic choices of Past-Me. See, Lorcan speaks Gaeilge in Eire (ancient Irish in Ireland) and he learns Latin in Rome. So Past-Me thought that it would make sense to italicize all the words in Latin when Lorcan was speaking Gaeilge, and all the words in Gaeilge when he starts speaking Latin.

Now-Me is wondering just what Past-Me was thinking because dear BOB, is that confusing and I am changing it RIGHT NOW.

Needless to day, there are a lot of editorial marks in my manuscript. I’ll still get it in by the end of month, though. My goal is to have everything complete before the Indie Bazaar. And then…

We picked up someone’s cap and gown today. May is coming at us at high speed, and Graduation will be here before you know it. The fun part of Senior year has started — prom was last week, and this week starts the Universal Orlando celebration of high school seniors known as Grad Bash, where the park is closed to the public and the seniors get the entire place to themselves overnight. I think EVERY high school in Central Florida participates, and it takes about two weeks for them all to have their turn.

So many things happening, and all of them wonderful!

Promotions!

I’ll be part of the Narratress Indie Book sale this weekend, from April 13th through the 15th. Grab a copy of Hidden Things for 99 cents, or any of the other books on sale! A quick look at the promo graphics showed some good ones, so don’t miss out!

Appearances

Join me on April 27th at Spellbound Books for Independent Bookstore Day! I’ll be part of the Indie Book Bazaar from 2 – 3:45PM, but Independent Bookstore Day is a full day event. If you’re not in the area, check out your local independent bookstore to see what they’ve got planned!

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, Blessed, edits, forthcoming works, progress, promotions, The White Raven, WIP, writing-mom, 0 comments
What Am I Forgetting?

What Am I Forgetting?

I know I’m forgetting something. What is it? What am I forgetting….?

Oh.

So now you know why today’s blog is so late. I plain forgot it was Monday. To be fair, I’m a little distracted. Edits for Morrigan’s Heir came in on Friday, and I’ve been going through them. The initial edits are minor — mostly house style changes and a couple of corrections. The actual work I’ve been doing has been making the the small changes I need to make with things that came up during the writing of Morrigan’s Wrath. That’s going nicely.

Right now, the plan is to make all the changes and updates. Then I’m going to go back through Heir from the start and transition right into a first read-through for Wrath. Why first? Because when I finished writing Wrath, I printed it out and put it aside to wait. I haven’t reread it since I finished it, which means that any edits that need to be made will jump off the page. I hope. Once I reread it, then I’ll update Wrath for any changes I need to make. Then I will send both manuscripts in to my editor so that he can read them both back-to-back.

And once those manuscripts are sent, and after the Indie Book Bazaar at Spellbound Books on April 27th, I’m off until mid-June. Except I might still keep working on the worldbuilding for “Frog and Fae are Friends,” at least until I know what the title REALLY is. But starting at the end of April, it will be all prep for graduation and vacation — cleaning and getting things in order for house guests, then packing and getting everything in order for a long-postponed vacation.

It’s been a while since I took an extended time off. I’m not sure I know how to do it anymore. I’ll report back in mid-June as to how I did.

Appearances

Join me on April 27th at Spellbound Books for Independent Bookstore Day! I’ll be part of the Indie Book Bazaar from 2 – 3:45PM, but Independent Bookstore Day is a full day event. If you’re not in the area, check out your local independent bookstore to see what they’ve got planned!

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, accountability, appearances, edits, Frog and Fae, Planning, progress, Revisions, silly, The White Raven, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, Worldbuilding, writing-mom, 0 comments
Monday, Monday…

Monday, Monday…

Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day…

I have to admit that I like Mondays best when they’re not quite so… Mondayish. And today Monday is being an overachiever. Nothing I can share, mind, but beating my head against the wall would be a welcome respite, if only because I could STOP.

Needless to say, today has been a heck of a long week, and most of that was before noon. Some of it was even before coffee. It will hopefully all be resolved before dinner.

Hopefully.

Edits are coming in this week — I confirmed that. So I’ll be starting work on Morrigan’s Heir soon, and then doing a readthrough and editing pass on Morrigan’s Wrath. Deadline for me is having both back to my editor by the end of April (my target is to have everything done by April 27th — the day of the Indie Book Bazaar at Spellbound Books.) And I should hopefully have a rough synopsis for “Frog and Fae are Friends” done sometime this week, too, and then i can give a bit more thought to the worldbuilding. I’m still not sure if this will be a serial or a novel or a series of shorts. We’ll see what happens when I sit down to actually write it. Which, I have to say, not sitting down and starting either this or Tales from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand is hard! Both of them want to be started right now!

The schedule for the rest of this week is packed solid, but it will end on a high note — someone has Senior Prom this weekend. The beginning of the fun part of Senior Year is starting.

I’d better lay in tissues…

Giveaways!

This is the last week where you can download a copy of my dark fantasy romance Counsel of the Wicked FREE through the On Fire Romance promotion. (Content warning — this book is the darkest thing that I have ever written, and includes on the page explicit sexual violence. Go carefully.)

Image of a flame. Text reads "On Fire. Free Spicy Romance Ebooks. March 1-31"
Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, annoyance, edits, Frog and Fae, I really want some dull, Planning, progress, publishing, Tales from the Arena, The White Raven, Vagueblogging, Worldbuilding, writing-mom, 0 comments
Getting Ready to GO!

Getting Ready to GO!

Here it is, not quite ICFA Eve, and I am getting ready to go. Prep is starting slowly — I’ve gotten some things together to go, but the real packing happens tomorrow. As does the food prep — I usually bring breakfasts, so I don’t have to fuss with finding safe food. I’ll lay out the clothes I’m going to wear so I know which suitcase I’ll need. I’ll make sure the scooter batteries are charged…

Wait, what? What scooter?

This one:

(Yes, my living room was a mess when I took this picture. It isn’t anymore.)

That is Stitch, and he has considerably more character now (stickers. He has stickers). I’ve had a mobility scooter since last October. I had hoped to not need him this weekend, but I’m having a bad arthritis week, so I’d rather bring him just in case, and save my spell slots for actually being at the conference rather than being in pain.

Newsflash — Arthritis sucks.

What doesn’t suck is that in two days, I’ll be at ICFA, and I’ll be back behind the registration table (when I’m not attending panels or hosting them, or reading!) I really do enjoy this conference, although it is weird in a way. I tend to go by myself — no husband and no son. I’m off doing adulty things all alone, and that usually never happens!

Well… as adulty as things get when you put a bunch of geeky academics and creatives together in a hotel, anyway.

As part of my “getting ready for ICFA” prep, I’ve finished the synopsis for The Coral Throne, and yes, this will be a duology. It also may not turn out the way I think it will, but that’s normal for my synopses — once I get writing, the characters that the lead. I’m still working on the planning for “Frog and Fae are Friends,” and I’m pretty sure that they’re going to be MUCH more than friends by the end of the first part. I just haven’t decided yet if this is going to be a series of interconnected short stories, or if it’s going to be a novel. We’ll see how the planning turns out once I actually get to it. This also means that it’s not going on Patreon, because I don’t want Patreon to faint and kick me off the platform. I’m not sure where it WILL go yet, but again, we’ll see.

I also pulled out the synopsis for Tales from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand, and got the Scrivener file set up, including entering the opening scene that I hand wrote months ago. That’s now ready to go, and I have to convince myself to wait to start it until June. (Who wants to open book on if I can do it?)

Edits should be in shortly after ICFA, so Morrigan’s Heir is one step closer to being released to the world, and once I finish the edits on Heir, then I’ll reread Morrigan’s Wrath for the first time since I printed off the manuscript. My aim is to have both manuscripts off to my editor by the end of April, just in time to go offline for graduation prep.

That’s the plan. Let’s see if the universe laughs.

Giveaways!

For the month of March, you can download a copy of my dark fantasy romance Counsel of the Wicked FREE through the On Fire Romance promotion. (Content warning — this book is the darkest thing that I have ever written, and includes on the page explicit sexual violence. Go carefully.)

Image of a flame. Text reads "On Fire. Free Spicy Romance Ebooks. March 1-31"
Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, accountability, Frog and Fae, ICFA, Planning, progress, Tales from the Arena, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, Worldbuilding, 0 comments
Could It Be… The End?

Could It Be… The End?

In my files, my oldest notes on The Sea Prince date from July of 2009. I think that’s accurate to within a month or so, because I distinctly remember getting this idea in the car on the way to Ikea, and going off to sit with a cup of coffee in the restaurant to write down the initial thoughts and characters ideas before going shopping.

I am fairly certain that I will be completing this manuscript sometime this week. There is the current battle scene to finish, then two scenes after that. This may very well be on the last chapter…

Could this be… The End?

Truth be told, there are a couple of other ideas and manuscripts in my files that are older than The Sea Prince, but they’re all in a folder entitled “X — Unlikely to Develop.” (Surprisingly, the novel I wrote in high school is in there. You know how they say you have to write a million words of crap before you get good at it? Those were the first of them. It was…not good. And I’m not even sure I can still open the file.)

Once I finish The Sea Prince? I’m putting it aside until either edits are done on Morrigan’s Heir and I’ve cleaned up and submitted Morrigan’s Wrath, or until June, whichever comes first. I’ll be working on the synopsis for The Coral Throne (book 2 of this series), and I’ll be working on the worldbuilding from Frog and Fae. I’ve started it, and it’s looking like it will be a fun thing to write. Between all of those, that should take me to May, which I am taking off for graduation reasons. The Sea Prince will be there in June, and that’s when I’ll read through it again and decide what direction I want to go — put it out on sub, self-publish immediately, or put it on Vella and self-pub it next year.

And in the meantime, I’m still trying to convince myself that yes, after however many false starts and restarts and rewrites and revisions, that this could finally be the end of The Sea Prince.

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

96813 / 105000 (92.20%)
Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, accountability, Frog and Fae, Planning, progress, The Sea Prince, the-end-is-near, WIP, wordcount, Worldbuilding, wow, 0 comments
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
Smooth Sailing

Smooth Sailing

I’m always a little hesitant to use a phrase like smooth sailing — it usually ends up being anything but! But right now? Things look good. Valley of Shadows is out in the wild, and doing reasonably well. The Sea Prince is coming along nicely, and may be done by the end of the month (and then what am I going to do???) Edits for Morrigan’s Heir will be along this week or next (oh, that’s what I’m going to do.)

So… yes. Right now, we have some smooth sailing.

I honestly thinking I’m going to celebrate when I finish The Sea Prince. This book has been in my queue for so long, and has had so many false starts, that actually finishing it feels like an accomplishment. I do know that I need to revise the synopsis for The Coral Throne, because it was based on the book that I thought The Sea Prince was, back when I first started it however many years ago that was (2009? I think?)

Which, I suppose, answers the question of what am I doing when this book is done. Edits, and a synopsis. Oh, and deciding just what I want to do with The Sea Prince once it’s ready for prime time! Just publish? Shop it around? Vella? Patreon? I hesitate to make it a Patreon project, because I’ve set the pattern there of the book being written in real time, and The Sea Prince will be fully complete by the time I started posting it there. So perhaps Vella, with an eye on releasing as a book late this year. We shall see. I should start looking at stock photos for cover models, though…

There isn’t much else going on here — this is my quiet time. I’ll be attending and reading at ICFA next month, but that’s next month. This month? I’m writing, reading, and waiting for news and edits.

What am I reading? Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner, Death by Silver by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold, and a book on Edwardian England whose title escapes me, but may very well be Edwardian England. I ended up having to buy the ebook of Swordspoint, because I couldn’t see the tiny, tiny print in my paperback! Sigh…

And that’s where we are at the moment. Surrounded by words, listening to the quiet.

New Release

Now available at all your favorite bookstoresValley of Shadows (Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7)

Works in Progress

The Sea Prince
(The Coral Throne, Book 1)

83458 / 120000 (69.55%)
Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, accountability, ICFA, progress, publishing, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, Valley of Shadows, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments
Lofty Goals

Lofty Goals

Lofty goals, I have them. I have perhaps three chapters left to finish in Valley of Shadows (which drops my wordcount from 90K to 75K.) I am saying this to the public at large, and with my WHOLE chest!

This week I am going to finish this book!!!

As I said, lofty goals. Doable lofty goals, but lofty goals. I’ll be posting my daily wordcounts on Mastodon and Blusky, so you can follow along as I race to finish.

Then… COOKIES!!!

I’m honestly looking forward to the break this year. Although getting me to actually stop doing ANYTHING will be… challenging. I’ve been going at a fever pitch since I started Written in Water in 2018, and I’m not sure I know how to do downtime anymore. Even my vacations are high energy (I vacation at Disney…which means I have fun, but I don’t necessarily relax.) So I’ve decided that once Valley of Shadows is done, I’m taking time away from the laptop. I’m not going to get back to The Sea Prince until January, and I might not even blog! (We’ll see if I hold true to that!)

So what are my plans for the break? Because it’s me and of course there have to be plans? Reading. I have multiple stacks of books to catch up on, and I just added more. There is SO MUCH TV to catch up on — I still haven’t watched season 2 of Loki, and there are about a half-dozen Star Wars shows I need to binge. I want to go down to Disney to see the holiday decorations and do the gingerbread crawl (I’m not sure when that will happen — our park passes black out the 19th.) And I have knitting projects I want to finish.

So, knitting and reading and bingewatching and cookies? Sounds like a plan.

Cookiepocalypse will start next week, so you can keep an eye on Instagram for that. So far, I know I’m making three color cookies to start, and struffuli (which Owyn makes in Wings of Air) to finish. In the middle? I haven’t decided, although I did have a request for oatmeal carob chip. (Hrm… I haven’t made molasses cookies in ages. Maybe I’ll make those, too.)

Follow the Instagram for the cookies — it’ll be a surprise!

In other, other news, my publisher said the most fascinating words to be the other day. Foreign rights. As in, they’ll be shopping them around, so they needed some info from me to put into the pitch. 2024 is promising to be very interesting indeed!

Works in Progress

Valley of Shadows
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

66861 / 75000 (89.15%)

This book will be done this week! I have said it!

Promotions!

The Smashwords End of the Year sale is coming up December 15th. My ENTIRE catalog will be on sale for 25% off ONLY on Smashwords!

Now, because of the Draft2Digital/Smashwords merger, I have TWO author pages on Smashwords (actually, I have four, but two of them are from publishers.) The two that I maintain will be combined at some point, but until then, the catalogs that will be on sale are here and here.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, baking, Cookiepocalypse, forthcoming works, From the Writer's Kitchen, Heir to the Firstborn, Planning, progress, The Sea Prince, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, Valley of Shadows, Wings of Air, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, 0 comments

Closing In On The End.

Here we are, closing in on the end of 2023. Halloween is tomorrow, and then we get into November and the slow slide toward a new year. Yesterday, I hit the halfway point on Balance of Power, which means I’m well on my way to finishing the book by December, just in time for Cookiepocalypse. Planning for 2024 has started (slowly, but it has started), and I’m looking forward to closing the book on 2023.

It’s been a good year. A weird year, but a good one. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve come to a lot of realizations that will change how I work going forward. What, you ask? Well, working multiple projects at a time isn’t something sustainable for me anymore, to start with. I have to focus on one thing at a time in each category — planning, researching, writing and editing. If I try to do more than one in each category, then none of the others get done. Time to adjust so I can accomplish more by doing less.

I forget if I let you all know that Written in Water didn’t make the finals for SPFBO. It had a fabulous review, though. You can see the finalists here, and there’s still one more to come (by tomorrow, I think!)

So what’s in the cards for 2024? Keeping in mind that things are still in the squidgy, warm Jello stages of planning, 2024 holds at least one convention (possibly three — I applied to present at ICFA, and I’m in the waiting list for a convention that I’ve never done before), more events with the Cavalcade, at least one but possibly two books from Riverdale Avenue Books (Morrigan’s Heir is still on the roster for this year, but they have Bonds of Blood and Steel, and I will be sending them Morrigan’s Wrath once I finish the Heir edits.) There will be at least one self-published book — that would be Balance of Power, and getting research done for Imaginative Anthropology and for the worldbuilding for Iron and Silk.

So, if I keep with the categories, here’s my 2024 starting lineup.

  • Planning:
    • ???? (at the moment, I have a pile of story outlines ready to go. So this with either stay empty for a bit, or just be business planning.)
  • Research
    • Imaginative Anthropology
      • Iron and Silk research when done
  • Writing
    • The Sea Prince
      • ???? when done (Either Tales from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand or Tower of Light.)
  • Editing
    • Balance of Power
      • Either The Sea Prince or whatever comes back first from RAB.

I’m looking at perhaps a March or April publishing date for Balance of Power, but that will depend on several factors (how long edits take, how long cover creation takes, and what other books I have releasing and when.)

On a personal level, someone who lives in my house and is taller than I am now graduates in the spring of 2024, and starts college in the fall. All the applications are in, applications for scholarships have started, and we do the financial aid paperwork in December. Then we wait…

Oh, and there’s a two-years-postponed vacation in there somewhere. I really can’t wait for that!

Works in Progress

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

47097 / 90000 (52.33%)

The Sea Prince
The Coral Throne, Book 1

63623 / 120000 (53.02%)

Promotions!

First in Series Friday is Coming! Friday, November 24th (Black Friday in the US), the first books in Heir to the Firstborn, Rebel Mage, and Swords of Charlemagne will be on sale everywhere for 99 cents.

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, Balance of Power, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Cavalcade of Authors, Counsel of the Wicked, Draft by the Solstice, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, ICFA, Imaginative Anthropology, Iron and Silk, Planning, progress, promotions, publishing, research is fun, SPFBO, The Sea Prince, The White Raven, Tower of Light, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Written in Water, 0 comments