Spring Flowering

Here we are, coming up on the end of the first quarter of 2022. And… I don’t know. Still feels very much 2020-ish in here.

I’ve been saying for years that normal is a setting on my dryer, but really, I’d like some normal at some point. Or at least… something closer to what was normal back in 2019. But… yeah, that’s not happening. 2019 normal is what got us into this 2020-ish limbo. Maybe someday we’ll have a new normal, but it’s still too soon for all the upheaval and the way things are now to feel “normal” yet.

Boy, I’m clearly in a mood today, aren’t I? I’m going to stop now before you all hit the ‘X’ on this window.

Work on The Way Home continues, and I had a really good writing week this past week. I’ll be heading into the final plot arc fairly soon. I think this one will need some heavy edits. I’m realizing now that there are some plot holes early in that need to be addressed. Will it be 170K words? Maybe not, but it may be close. Watch this space and see!

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

115906 / 170000 (68.18%)

We’re in the final days of the World of Fantasy giveaway. There’s still time to go and grab over thirty free books, and enter for the chance to win a $20 gift card.

Starting on April 1st, there will be another giveaway. Love and Romance will run from April 1st to the 22nd, and will offer the chance to win a $25 gift card, in addition to 29 free books. (I’m not sure why the graphic says Contemporary Love Stories, because there’s historical romance and paranormal in the list.) The link will not be live until Friday, but you can take a look to see what is being offered.

On the subject of new work, I haven’t yet gotten back to working on the short pieces I mentioned last week. I spent most of the end of last week working on a new school talk presentation for this Wednesday. Once the talk is over, then Tell Me is on my list for finishing up. I also need to tweak the cover a little. It’s almost there. Almost.

I’m still deciding on the next project. Right now, it’s coming down to Tower of Light (the Metropolis retelling) or Tales from the Arena: Dead Man’s Hand. But neither of those will work for Patreon, so I need to figure that out, too. I might possibly take up The Sea Prince again and see if I can figure out where that one went wrong.

Decisions, decisions.



Posted by EASchechter in 2022 plans, accountability, forthcoming works, giveaway, Heir to the Firstborn, Patreon, progress, promotions, Tales from the Arena, The Sea Prince, Tower of Light, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

Cookiepocalypse Now!

It’s that time of year again!

But you don’t get pictures until next week. Because I only just started yesterday. So far in the containers are Coconut-all-the-way-down macaroons, three color cookies, and carob chip. Baking will go on for the rest of the week, and you can follow on my Instagram.

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

66848 / 150000 (44.57%)
I’m almost to the point of stopping for the rest of the year on writing, too. I need a breather, so once I hit the halfway point, I’m done for the year. I’ll pick up again in 2022 to bring this thing home.
Not much else to say, really. The last show of the year was this past weekend. It’s time to put 2021 to bed. And not soon enough, really. It’s been a busy, busy year.
And my alarm just went off, so I need to head out to pick up High School Boy from school. Short blog post this week. But again, there’s not much else to say.
See you next week with pictures!
Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, Cookiepocalypse, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

Surprise! It’s a Convention!

Guess which romance writer whose blog you’re reading RIGHT NOW will be a guest at a convention starting THIS FRIDAY!

Yup. I was asked last week, and I’ll be a guest at virtual Chessiecon November 26th – 28th. Since it’s virtual, I don’t have to go to Maryland in November (yay! But also boo! because there are people I love in Maryland and doing it this way means no hugs.)

My schedule:

Friday, 6:00PM Eastern — Do Immortals Enhance or Detract From your Story?

Friday, 10:30PM Eastern — Reading. (Hrm… what to read?)

Saturday, 10:00AM Eastern —  How Has Diversity Affected SF/F?

Saturday, 2:30 PM Eastern — Where is the Indigenous American Fantasy?

Saturday, 8:30 PM Eastern — Genre Mixing

Sunday, 10:00 AM Eastern — Your Universe, Your Gods

Sunday, 11:30 AM Eastern — Has Fantasy Lost its Wonder (moderating)

The convention will be held via Zoom and Discord, and panel links will be up on Friday.

In other news, Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads comes out next week. To celebrate, I’ve made Written in Water FREE all this week!  You can grab a copy wherever ebooks are sold.

(And for some reason, WordPress isn’t letting be upload the ad graphic. Sigh… if it’s not one thing, it’s two things.)

Not much else is happening, mostly because it’s been a busy week, and about to be another busy week. Last weekend was the RWA National Convention, which was fantastic. And this weekend… well, there’s something involving a lot of cooking. And cleaning.

There might not be as many words as there should be this week… and definitely not as many in this post as there could be. There were some last week, but not many.

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

50198 / 150000 (33.47%)

If you celebrate this week, have a happy. If you’re traveling, stay safe.

In this time for expressing gratitude, know that I appreciate each and every one of you. Thanks for being on the other side of the internet.


Posted by EASchechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, appearances, Chessiecon, conventions, forthcoming works, Grateful writer is grateful, Heir to the Firstborn, promotions, Release date, upcoming books, upcoming work, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, writing, Written in Water, 0 comments

Boom! Christmas Everywhere!

It’s November 1st! You know what that means, right?

Christmas everywhere!!! Never mind Thanksgiving, it’s the official start of the Christmas season!

Which… yeah, hold your horses there. I like Thanksgiving. And I’m of an age where the Christmas season doesn’t start until the Macy’s parade is over (and until the Hallelujah Chorus is sung at Darkover/Chessiecon… but that’s geeky me, not New Yorker me.)

But the Christmas season has been getting closer and closer to summer every year, and today I had my first “November 1st… Christmas EVERYWHERE!” experience outside of retail.

School starts here at 7:25AM. So we leave just before 7AM, and head out (in the dark!) for school drop-off. It’s before dawn November 1st…

And there’s a Santa inflatable outside one of the houses down the street.

Wait… that was NOT there yesterday! And trick or treating here goes until 8PM.  So someone went out last night, when it was dark as the bottom of a barrel and Florida cold, and started decorating for Christmas.

(For the record? Our tree goes up after Thanksgiving, and stays up until Twelfth Night/Epiphany/Three Kings Day/Little Christmas.)

Today is also the first day of NaNoWriMo, and I’m not doing it this year.I have page proofs for Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads to finish, and those words don’t count towards Nano. Preorders for Crossroads are up, and the book goes on sale November 30th (so I really need to finish these page proofs! Then I have to get my presentation ready for RWA Nationals. So I’m kinda booked this month. Good luck to all of you who are writing your fingers off this month! I wish you no typos and ample supplies of the beverage of your choice!

I am writing, though. Just not putting in the words that would win Nano for me. (see above, page proofs).

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

32418 / 150000 (21.61%)

Just finished and queued up Chapter 5, and in tonight’s writing sprints, I’ll dive into Chapter 6. Someone is in trouble, and for a change it’s not Owyn!

Not much else going on, and it’s time for me to run off to get in car line for school pickup. I wonder if there will be more Christmas on the way back?


Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Nanowrimo, presales, publishing, slow-writer-is-slow., upcoming books, upcoming work, why-the-writing-is-slow, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

It’s Monday Again

That just keeps happening, doesn’t it? Mondays, I mean.

I suppose the alternative isn’t very good. So we’ll keep the Mondays, and keep on plugging away.

Work continues on The Way Home, and Owyn and Alanar have once more surprised me. Not saying what yet, but when you get to the “Where did THAT come from???” in Chapter Three, know that I’m asking the same question.


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

22230 / 150000 (14.82%)

I’ll be finished with line edits on Crossroads tomorrow, and I’ll upload the document and set up the preorder so I can order the author copy and proof that. It’s looking like I will make that November 30th release date that I’d picked out when I set my publishing schedule for the year, so yay, me! And since this entire series revolves around choices and consequences, it seemed fitting to pick crossroads for this cover image.

One of the next things on my to-do list is set up my publishing schedule for 2022. I know The Way Home will be coming out, and I’m planning on rereleasing the Rebel Mage books in 2022. I’m hoping for some new from my traditional publishing submissions, too. Which might turn anything I plan on end, depending on when and if they set anything for 2022. I’ve also got a box set of Swords of Charlemagne coming out February 1st, 2022. And I’m going to look into a Kickstarter to fund audiobooks for the Swords of Charlemagne.

There’s not much else going on. I’m working on things for the RWA, and I’ll be able to tell you more about those next week (I think). Pen to Paper just started back up after a week break, and everyone is loving this program. There are a bunch of other irons in the fire, and so many wonderful things in the planning stages. I have a class coming up next week on business planning, because I really should have done that by now. And I’ve been looking at the book on branding that I picked up over the summer, and that’s been taunting me… time to actually READ it!

Sure… that’s not much.


It’s not like I’m writing two books at a time right now, right?



Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, accountability, audiobooks, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Rebel Mage, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, to-dos, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

Best Laid Plans…

So I was planning on having a finished book before I left for Orlando Reads Books…

Yeah, that didn’t happen.


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


124023 / 130000

I’m closer to a finished book. But I’ve got a chapter or two before I can say Crossroads is done.

I said last week I was keeping an eye on my events for later this year? I have one fewer on which to keep an eye. Books at the Beach is still happening, but I have decided that I will not be going. I learned something this past weekend at ORB — doing a large event alone is something of which I am no longer capable. Not with the amount of STUFF that needs to be transported and set up. And the timing of Books at the Beach would require me to go alone. So I talked to the showrunners, cancelled my spot and my hotel, and announced to the attendees.

(If the show does end up being postponed because of Covid? Then my spot will carry over to the postponement dates. Which means I might have to make another decision down the line, but I’m okay with that.)

So my plans for this week? Finish this book, figure out my show layout and what I need to do for Necronomicon in September, and find a place to put all the things because it makes no sense to put them AWAY when I just need them out again in a few weeks.

ORB was a lot of fun, as usual. I do enjoy this event. They have the best parties, too. This year’s theme was Midsummer Night Faire, so we dressed for the occasion.

Teen boy declined to be involved in the picture. He attended as that most fantastical of creatures — the teenage boy who actually wants to hang out with his parents.

Yes, he heard me say that

And in other news, this lovely thing arrived while I was at ORB.

I need to get a frame for that.

Catch you all next week, with a hopefully finished manuscript!

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, accountability, appearances, award-winning, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, conventions, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, Necronomicon, Orlando Reads Books, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, writing, 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

Home Again, Home Again

And tired to my bones. But so, SO happy! The RWA Retreat in Nashville was amazing! Not just because I finally got to meet AND HUG some of the extraordinary people that I’ve been through Hell and back with, but because of the incredible sense of hope that came out of this past week.

The message of this entire weekend? We are romance writers. We are the RWA, and together, we can move mountains. We are going to come through this. Stronger and better than ever.


And the hotel — WOW! The Gaylord Opryland is amazing. And it’s a really short walk from the hotel to the Grand Old Opry, so like any country music fan? I made pilgrimage. (And I’m not ashamed to say that I was in tears walking up to the building. The sheer weight of history and passion in that structure is overwhelming.) There are too many pictures of the Opry and of the hotel to post here — my server would faint! So you’ll have to go look at my Facebook.  Opry pictures are here, and Hotel pictures are here.

There may be pictures of me from the retreat on someone else’s camera, from the Pen to Paper presentation, or from introducing Sherrilyn McQueen (writing as Sherrilyn Kenyon) on Friday morning.  I haven’t seen any yet. If I do, I’ll share them.

There wasn’t a lot of writing done while I was gone — most of what I did was in a notebook, in and around other things. (I did have some productive time, though. I finished my proofreading of Psionics for Skillskape, and I finished my readthrough of Metropolis and started planning out Tower of Light. That one is still in the squidgy early stages of story — have a vague idea of characters, but not much else. Which is fine, because I have quite a way to go on Heir to the Firstborn.

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

123553 / 150000 (82.37%)


It’s official — Heir to the Firstborn is two books. Heir to the Firstborn: The Crossroads, and Heir to the Firstborn: The Way Home.  Which may mean some major revisions in Crossroads. We’ll see what happens once I get it to a point where stopping this one and starting The Way Home feels right.

Now, on the upside, that means that Crossroads should be out in November, in time to be my planned sixth release this year. And it also means I have a little more breathing room in figuring out what will be coming next on Patreon.

Tomorrow is a book birthday — Ashes and Light releases in KU. The paperback is up in Amazon today, and will be up everywhere else tomorrow… I hope. (There was an issue with Draft to Digital putting the paperback up for sale a month and a half early. They fixed it, but let’s see if it goes on sale tomorrow the way it’s supposed to!)


There’s not much else going on. This week is catch up. Next week is vacation, ending with the Vivian Awards, which will be livestreamed! I may be a mess coming itno that, because we will just be back from vacation. We’ll see.

No blog post next week! See you in two weeks, when I will either be a Vivian winner, or will in complete honesty say it was an honor to even final!

Tune in to find out which!

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, accountability, Ashes and Light, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, new books, promotions, Release date, Swords of Charlemagne, Tower of Light, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Writer on the Go!, writing, 0 comments

Brain Weasels

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

115201 / 150000 (76.80%)

Okay, Liz. What the heck is a brain weasel?

That’s what I call anxiety. The brain weasels.

(Occasionally, I’d call them Dementors, but I haven’t been doing that much recently because reasons.)

Anyhow, brain weasels. This is still a relatively new thing — they moved in a few years back, and decided my brain was comfy and entertaining, and decided to stay. Used to be, the brain weasels were nice and quiet. But over this past year, it seems to be that they’re active a LOT more often.

(As an aside did you know that increased anxiety is a sign of menopause? Yeah, me either. Why do they only talk about the hot flashes?)

Now, for those of you who don’t know what anxiety is like… have you ever ridden a roller coaster? You know that feeling of dread you get in the pit of your stomach, the one where you’re questioning yourself, your sanity, and all of your life choices that led you to this moment that you can get right before you go over the top of the big hill?

Imagine that on feeling on sustain. There’s no big hill. There’s no scream and it’s over and when can we do that again? There is only complete, total, unending dread, with no release.

It’s exhausting and brain numbing, and because mental health is not a priority in this world, we’re supposed to function through it. Or medicate it away.

I’m not medicating it. Not yet. My doctor and I aren’t sure if this is brain chemistry or menopause (or both) and there’s no clear pattern of triggers that let us say “Oh, it’s hormonal, and we can do HRT instead of anti-anxiety drugs to address it.” So for now, I keep track of the days when it’s bad, and what’s happening around me that might be a factor.

In writing news, I’m plugging away at Heir to the Firstborn, and I’ve sat down to read Metropolis so that I can get started on planning out that queer steampunk retelling that a former editor challenged me to write. I have the audiobook, too, and the restored version of the original movie is available on YouTube. So I’ll have a research day at some point (the restored movie is two and a half hours!)

Pen to Paper opens to participants today, and we’re plugging along behind the scenes with revisions from our valiant team of development testers. The program opens in August, and spots are limited, so if you’re unpublished and interested, go check it out!

And I’m getting ready for the RWA Retreat in two weeks. Not going to lie, this may be part of what’s got the brain weasels riled up. (OMG, I’m getting on an AIRPLANE and I’m going to spend several days in a HOTEL with people I don’t KNOW!)

The retreat will be fun, once I’m there. I’m pretty sure of that. It’s the anticipation, just like at the top of the big hill. And when it’s done, I’ll be asking “When can I do that again?”

Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, appearances, Heir to the Firstborn, to-dos, WIP, wordcount, writing, 0 comments

Wait… June? Where did May Go?

It’s June tomorrow. Was it just me, or did May just fly on past?

Granted, I’ve been busy. Between my own writing and Pen to Paper and RWA stuff and every other thing, I’ve barely had time to blink. And now it’s JUNE?

Write faster, Liz! There’s so much left to do!

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

95828 / 150000 (63.89%)

I hit the pivot point on Heir to the Firstborn last night. And there is an entire chapter written that comes after that pivot point, so while this book is going to be another monster of a book, it’s not going to be an 180K word monster.

I don’t think. And we’ll see how much gets trimmed (or excised entirely) in edits.

Gonna be a thick book, though!

My brain knows that this is the end, though. So it’s starting to look at the rest of the “Eventually, I’ll Write This” list and pick things. I may take another stab at The Willow Sword  and rework it as a serial once Heir to the Firstborn is done. And at that point, the question will be do I take it over to Amazon Vella, or keep it on Patreon? And once I rework Blood Bound and get it back to Circlet, then it might just be time to take up that steampunk retelling of Metropolis that’s been knocking around in my head for ages. (That one will be called Tower of Light, for anyone keeping score. And it’s all Lon Sarver’s fault.) Which means my 2022 plans are looking to be recover and rerelease the Rebel Mage trilogy, release The Chronicles of John Zebedee with the rest of the Wild West Paranormal boxset, and get something started for a new serial. Maybe get The White Raven: Morrigan’s Wrath started, depending on what happens with Circlet.

The Lady and the Sword released last week, with a wonderful release day review and some nice sales. I’m pretty pleased with the release. Ashes and Light in July, and Table of Stone in September!

And on top of all of this, two weeks ago, I submitted my name to run for reelection as a Director at Large for the RWA Board. Last time, I promise! (It has to be the last time — term limits are a thing for directors, and I’m not running for anything on the Executive Board. No. You can’t make me.)

We’ve decided that we’re taking a week off once I get back from the RWA retreat. Which is a good thing, because I think I’ve forgotten how to downtime. It’s been a LONG time since I last did downtime. (umm… last vacation was 2017? I think? Our financial advisor yelled at us. We’re under orders to do something FUN. So, we’re going to!)

I am looking forward to that retreat, though! I’ve never been to Tennessee, except for once when I was in the airport because we had to change planes. I don’t think that counts. And Nashville? The Grand Old Opry is on my list of things I want to see! (It’s a short list. One thing. I won’t have a car, so I’m sticking to things I can get to on foot, and the Grand Old Opry is five minutes from the hotel!)

I do need to finish my retreat presentation, though. One more thing to add to my to-do list!



Posted by EASchechter in 2021 plans, 2022 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, accountability, Blood Bound, conventions, Deadlines Go Whoosh!, forthcoming works, Heir to the Firstborn, John Zebedee, Planning, Rebel Mage, Swords of Charlemagne, The Lady and the Sword, to-dos, upcoming books, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, Write Faster!, Writer on the Go!, writing, 0 comments