Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another One Down

I've set some challenging goals for myself this year, but I'm having some trouble deciding the order in which I should attack them. Two major goals have already earned the 'finished' moniker and now I'm taking a day to decide what to work on next.
To Tame a Tiger finally has found a home with TWRP. I'm thrilled about that. That company is super organized and constantly striving to improve everything about themselves from their customer service and what they do for their authors.
The second book in my fantasy series with Medallion Press, Beyond the Gate, is finally traversing cyper space to their docket with the expected edits completed. In the past three weeks I cut nearly three thousand words to make the writing tighter and do more showing and less telling. I think it's the best book I've ever written to this point.
Now what should I do next? The choices are varied and I want to have them all done before the end of 2009. Here are my choices in no particular order.
Book three of my fantasy series with Medallion Press, Beneath the Mountain, is about half completed. I had to set it aside to work on other projects. This is the thing I most 'want' to work on but it's also the one I probably have the least need to get right on. My editor at Medallion probably won't look at it until fall at the earliest as we work on getting the first book ready for its January, 2010 release.
Book four in my Solonian Chronicles with New Concepts Publishing is finished. That is the first rough copy is done. Unlike some of my writer friends, my first copy always needs tons of work. This is probably the one I should get right on because I'm sure they'll work to get it out as soon as possible since it's another book in a successful series. This is the last book in that series and I'll probably be pitching another series to them next fall. But for some reason, I'm feeling little inspiration to get started on this, perhaps because I know I have to major revisions to the first part of it.
My 'Tigers of Salubria series,(I hope it ends up being a series with TRWP) also has a second and third book completed and waiting for revisions. I hesitate to start work on that because I don't know how quickly TRWP press moves on looking at a second book when I don't even have a release date for the first one.
The last option is my newest fantasy book, First Dragon, that I completed a few months ago. I've been querying agents who like my writing and give my kind words but no contract. They want urban fantasy not sword and sorcery type. They think they can't sell it. So after months of frustration with those replies, I'm going to try and find a home for it on my own. Wish me luck.
Those are all my choices. I'm giving myself today to decide. Suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Where Have All the Hours Gone

So many of us are juggling jobs, kids, household chores and still daring to call our 'real' job as being a writing professional. Despite my determination to be an author, in high school and college, my academic strength was math and science. And I have to say when looking at all those jobs I listed above, the numbers just don't add up.
Let's start with a big time drain, that dreaded day job. Even if you love that job, it interfers with your writing time. Let's give that job at least ten hours if it's full time. An hour to get ready, half hour to get there, eight hours on the job and another half an hour home. So, 10.
Now, you probably have to spend at the least another hour in the morning getting the kids ready for school or the sitter and if they're very young, get them breakfast. So now the total is 11.
Once home from work you have a variety of things to do. Fix dinner, dishes, perhaps laundry, help the kiddies with homework or spend some good family time with them. If they're older, you may be spending hours at athletic endeavors, dance practice, music lessons or just on the road as the family taxi service. This is going to take no less than three hours and likely more. 14
The evening would be deeply upon you by now and you might think you have time to do some promotion, but it's time to put the kids to bed, read the little ones a story and do that softball uniform for the older one she has it clean for tomorrow. 15
Finally the kids are in the bed, the spouse asleep in front of a basketball game on the telly, and you can sit down in front of your computer. You visit a few blogs and update your status on facebook and twitter. Finally you open up your WIP and read the last few pages you wrote the day before. Probably it was only two pages at the most. You gather up the threads of your plot and finally find the emotion you want to instill in your prose when your jaw cracks with a might yawn. Three more hours so you're at 18.
You fall into bed and get up at 5:30 am to start all over the next day. You glance at the morning paper and see a health article on the minimum requirement for a good night's sleep is seven and you've been averaging five and a half to six. Geez, who didn't know that?
As a former math whiz, I know I don't have enough hours in the day to be all I want to be. But I won't give up and neither should you. There are days when I want to put it all aside because I have so many other things I could fill those precious couple of hours I spend at the keyboard. But I don't. I squeeze in every minute I can including writing this post while my favorite show, Supernatural is playing. When it's over I'm going to get back to the edits on Beyond the Gate, the second book in my fantasy series from Medallion Press. After I do at least twenty pages, I'll go get my six hours of sleep for the night. How many hours do you average?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My To Do List

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me on my to do list this past week. I nearly made it.
First the things I didn't accomplished. I failed at the squidoo page. Seems like it was a simple thing to do, but I didn't quite get it done. Sorry to all my friends whose blogs I didn't visit despite the best of intentions. Third failure was more personal as I skipped the treadmill twice.
I did manage everything else. It's such a relief to have my edits on To Tame a Tiger, done and off to TRWP along with all the other paper work. So it was a good week though very busy with long hours. I cut over 1000 words from Tiger without deleting any scenes. Hopefully I cut the right ones.
This week I'll be working hard on edits for Beyond the Gate, the second book in my series with Medallion Press. BTG is the second book in The Chronicles of Futhark and takes up the epic fantasy adventure in the moment following the end of the first novel, The Keepers of Sulbreth.
I also made a new list and some of it involves promoting A Ruthless Good. I've fallen behind in that.
So I'm going to go visit some blogs and then get to those edits.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What I Will and Won't Do This Week

I have so much stuff piled up on my desk there's barely room for my coffee. I keep writing reminders, lists, and stacking things into meaningly piles. I need to catch up, but I also need to finish up some other things. So I writing a public list reminder to myself of what I will accomplish this week and what things I will set aside until later.
#1. I will finish the edits on To Tame A Tiger for The Wild Rose Press.
#2. I won't waste any more energy or emotion complaining about my books being on all those pirate sites for free download.( But it makes me so mad).
#3. I will take the time and do the paperwork to join PAN.
#4. I will set up my squidoo page.
#5. I won't start reading the third book in Brent Weeks' shadow series because I can't seem to put his books down once I start.
#6. I will send all that paperwork off the TWRP and join their yahoo groups.
#7. I won't visit Facebook twenty times a night to see what interesting things my friends are up to.
#8. I will visit all my favorite blogs once a day and leave comments. They're so funny and informative.
#9. I will not under any circumstances visit Borders or any other bookstore this week including and not limited to online booksellers.
#10. I will get on the treadmill each day and run instead of walking no matter how many other things I can think of that I need to do.

I intend to stick to this list and complete all ten by this time next week. Wish me luck.