the-end-is-near

Vacation Incoming in 5…4…3…2…1….

Vacation Incoming in 5…4…3…2…1….

I’ve finished the edits on Morrigan’s Heir. And I’ve finished the revisions on Morrigan’s Wrath (well, sort of done — the manuscript is now with my first reader.) Vacation incoming in 5…4…3…2…1…

Now, vacation for me starts with cleaning. That’s sort of always been the way. I have finished a book, therefore it is time to deep clean the house. Which isn’t to say that I don’t clean during a book, but it’s more “pick things up and put them away, and maybe dust horizontal surfaces.” The actual “move furniture and dust the baseboards” level of cleaning only happens between books. Since I’m going to have a house full of people in May, I’ve given myself nearly a month to do the entire house. Why? Because I only do one room at a time. It breaks down large task into manageable bites, and keeps me from overdoing it and spending all my spell slots for the week on the first day.

(I use spell slots instead of the more common spoons. Being a geek, spell slots resonates with me more than silverware.)

What this means is that this may be the last regular blog until sometime in June. I might not get to blogging on Mondays until after everything is over. So if you don’t see anything from me and I seem to drop off the face of the planet? Don’t worry. I’m still here. I’m fine. I’m just having adventures with a steam mop for a bit.

Promotions!

Today is the last day of the Narratress Indie Book sale this weekend. 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. Make sure to check out your local independent bookstore to see what they’ve got planned!

Posted by EASchechter in 2024 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Ta-da, The White Raven, the-end-is-near, Updatey things, writing-mom, 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
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
Back to Work

Back to Work

It’s the first Monday after Thanksgiving, and it’s time for me to get back to work. This book won’t write itself. Valley of Shadows has three, maybe four chapters left. And my incentive to get this done quickly is that December starts Friday, and that means…

COOKIEPOCALYPSE IS COMING!!!

I need to sit down and decide what cookies I’m making this year. There will definitely be three color cookies — there have to be three color cookies or it’s not Christmas. There will be struffuli on Christmas Eve (and if you want that recipe, check out Love at First Bite, which is a collection of recipes available as a free download from the Cavalcade of Authors.) But in between? I’m not sure yet. I need to ask the family what they want. As always, there will be pictures posted to my Instagram — I know there are some of you who wait for those pictures every year!

As I bake, I’m also going to get back to my research for Imaginative Anthropology. I’ve been putting that off because I had too much on my plate, but baking and reading seem to go hand in hand. There will also be the planning for next year, revisiting my business plans and setting up my annual goals for 2024. The end of the year is a busy time for the small business.

At some point, we have to put up the tree, and Hanukah starts next week (blended household, in case you didn’t know.) Fall semester is over next week, and we’re all very much looking forward to Winter Break. We found out last week that Teen Boy has been accepted to his top college, but we haven’t committed yet — we want to hear from the last two and see what they’re offering. But top school has started the process of evaluating the college credits he already has, so we’ll see what they come back with.

Spring semester will be all kinds of interesting and exciting — here’s hoping that senioritis holds off until the first week of May, though!

So much happening in 2024! But I need to finish 2023 first, so back to work!

Works in Progress

Valley of Shadows
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

62071 / 90000 (68.97%)

New Release!

Snowbound dropped today! You can get it anywhere you find ebooks!

Snowbound — because brown paper packages aren’t the only things getting tied up…

Promotions!

Cyber Monday Sale is Live!!!! You can find the first three Heir to the Firstborn books for $0.99 cents each! In addition, Hidden Things and Counsel of the Wicked are also still $0.99!

Posted by EASchechter in 2023 plans, 2024 plans, accountability, baking, Cavalcade of Authors, Cookiepocalypse, Counsel of the Wicked, Draft by the Solstice, Heir to the Firstborn, Hidden Things, Imaginative Anthropology, promotions, publishing, short story, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, Updatey things, Valley of Shadows, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, 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….

Patience….

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

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

Worlds Begin. Worlds End.

And tomorrow, the world of Adavar ends. At least for now. I can’t think of any other stories that will be told in the world of Heir to the Firstborn, but that might change. I don’t think they will involve any of the current characters, though. Their story wraps tomorrow.

(click the graphic to go to the Amazon series page)

It’s strange. When I first started this series, it was supposed to be four books. If you’ve been with me long enough, you’ll remember me talking about how there was too much story for four books, so I was going to add a fifth one. And… yeah. Six books. Characters who REALLY got under my skin — I still say Owyn is my favorite out of all the characters that have walked out of my subconscious.

And it’s all over tomorrow. My part in it, anyway. Now it’s your turn, oh Reader.

(I will say that there’s one character who’s sort of poking at me, but I don’t know what they want yet. If they tell me, then there might be some more Adavar. But until they start doing more than a mental “I’m not touching you!” I’m going to ignore them and focus on Lorcan.)

The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir
(The White Raven, Book 1)

18418 / 90000 (20.46%)

 

Now here’s an amusing tidbit. I wrote The White Raven: Morrigan’s Heir a few years before I started Heir to the Firstborn.  And there’s a character in Morrigan’s Heir who I now need to give a new name.

That was the first time I used the name Owyn. And he’s nothing like Heir’s Owyn, who is so much of a strong character and strong voice in my brain that the name Owyn is now being retired.

So when you finally meet Bran in Morrigan’s Heir, his name was originally Owyn.

And, with the Heir to the Firstborn coming to a close, I’ve made an executive decision.

I’m taking the rest of the year off. I need to reset and recover from what’s been a heck of a year, so I’m taking some time off. I have books that are piling up to read, research I want to do, movies I want to watch, and my house needs cleaning. I need to plan for 2023, and set my goals. Oh, and Cookiepocalypse is right around the corner! So I’ll be taking my winter break early, and I’ll pick up Morrigan’s Wrath in January.

You may now open book on if I can actually make it to January without writing new words.

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, 2023 plans, baking, Children of Dreams, Cookiepocalypse, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, new books, post novel ennui, Release date, Ta-da, The White Raven, the-end-is-near, thinking thinky thoughts, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, 0 comments

Race to the Finish Line!

Here we are, with two and a half weeks left of school, and… probably about ten chapters to go in Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home. That’s roughly 30K words.

In two and a half weeks.

Ummm… this is going to be a really short blog post! I have to go make all the words!!!

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

140730 / 170000 (82.78%)

I can’t believe this series is almost done. It’s really kind of wild — this is the longest I’ve ever spent on any single project, ever. And the amount of work and worldbuilding that went on behind the scenes — well, I knew it was ambitious to write a serial in real time. I just didn’t know just how ambitious!

And at the same time, I’m really ready for this series to be done. I’ve done just about everything I can do with the characters — including some things that should have been permanent but weren’t (trying to avoid book 3 spoilers…). There might be a short story for some side characters that came into it near the end of The Way Home, but… maybe not.

Once it’s done, I’ll be taking the summer off. Well, as off as I ever get — there will be edits, and I need to finish the last part of my business plan. I have research to do for the imaginative anthropology project I want to put together, and I have so much reading to catch up on!

But first… moar words!!!

Before I forget! Counsel of the Wicked is on Kindle Countdown deal this week, because Haven’s Fall comes out NEXT week.

Now, back to making words.

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, Counsel of the Wicked, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, promotions, research is fun, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, writing, 0 comments

A World of Blurry Dilation…

Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of blurry dilation…

I’m typing this while still dilated from an eye doctor appointment three hours ago. Which means I’m touch typing. This is… challenging. And if any typos creep through, that’s why.

Announcements first —

The Wild West Paranormal project that I was working on has been cancelled, and I have these three novellas all finished and polished and ready to go. So I’m going to get them out into the world, and give Kindle Vella a try. The first three episodes of  John Zebedee and the Heir of the Elvenlands will go live on May 30th, with a new episode dropping every Monday. Link as soon as I have one, and I am really kinda digging the cover graphic I came up with for this.

There are two more graphics for Monstrous Town and for Witch Queen, and I’ll show those off later. And the collected Chronicles of John Zebedee will be my first release for 2023.

Another announcement — I have recently gotten the nod to join Book View Cafe, which is a cooperative publisher. As part of this, and for my first releases from BVC, I will be getting all new covers for the Heir to the Firstborn series, and they will be re-edited and re-released starting later this year. I’m really excited for this, and I can’t wait to show you all the shiny new covers.

I announced the cancellation of the audiobook project last week. I did talk to Mark after, and he’s still incredibly upset (honestly, we all are.) So once the Heir books are republished, I’m going to send a set to him and see if he’s interested and has the time to take them on, and we’ll go from there.

Haven’s Fall drops two weeks from tomorrow, on Kindle Unlimited, and paperback wherever paperbacks are sold. ARCS are currently closed for Haven’s Fall and for Where Home Lies, but I may open them up again because they closed too soon.

I’ve set The Sea Prince aside for the moment. Again. Not because I’m stuck, but because my brain wants to play in the new, shiny world more than it does in The Way Home (what, this old thing?) I’ll pick up The Sea Prince in the fall, and hopefully have that done by the end of the year. And I’m hoping to have The Way Home done by the end of the month.

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

136347 / 170000 (80.20%)

I just need to stop having these characters throw new plotlines at me that I then have to nip in the bud. I mean, really, this is the last book. I do NOT need to add in a new plot thread with all new characters who are NOT IN THE OUTLINE in chapter FORTY!

So those new characters have been squared away, and today is the day I start writing the last, long slide down to resolution. I think. Maybe. Once I can see straight.

 

 

Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, 2023 plans, accountability, annoying-muse-is-annoying, audiobooks, Haven's Fall, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, new books, promotions, publishing, Rebel Mage, Release date, The Sea Prince, the-end-is-near, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writing-mom, 0 comments