Saturday, November 22, 2014

Goings on

It's nearly Thanksgiving here. I have a few things to be thankful for.

I've been working steadily on Shadow Realm Saga Book 1. As you can see on the series page on my website, I've updated the brief description with what type of setting it is--urban fantasy / contemporary epic fantasy. Yes, there's a love triangle in this first book, but I'm planning 3-4 books and each will take on a new stage for the main characters, which will be changing throughout the series. This will take place over a twenty year period. So, although the first book is largely romantic, that won't continue in the other books. I say it's a contemporary epic fantasy because it is epic in scope and features a fantasy world in a contemporary setting but on another world like ours. I'm experimenting again, and I like it. :)

I've written a traditional epic fantasy (Legend of the White Dragon). For this current WIP, I wanted to imagine a world in the future that had passed the medieval period in their history and moved on. But this is more similar to urban fantasy as an alternative explanation of heaven and hell.

I'm so thankful that I can bring these ideas out. I've finally come full circle to doing what I want and not thinking about the market. Having a job and not relying on ebook royalties has given me that freedom. Whether it succeeds or flounders isn't an issue. I'm happy writing what appeals to me. I'm sure there are at least a few people out there who will like it.

And after I finish this, I'll jump back into Nemesis. I promise.

I'm sure I speak for all writers in saying this: Thank you for your support. We write to express ourselves and we hope that we can touch others in some way. I'm grateful that you give us a chance. Entertainment is such a subjective industry.

To other writers, thank you for writing the books I, my husband, our kids, and our friends and family enjoy. Thanks for all the variety. I'm proud of my kids for their reading habits that we've pushed on them through our policy of 1 min. reading = 1 min. digital device (usually games) time with a 1 hour minimum. Because we pushed, they had to work and that led to them finding books that engrossed them. They now often have their noses in books more than their eyes glued to a screen. Among all the choices, they are never without something that interests them. Both kids score very high on standard tests in all categories and perform very well in school. I'm a proud mom. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Finding my pace

I'm not a fast writer. I can't "sprint". I've learned that my writing becomes flat and mechanical when I do, because I don't feel any more. Everyone has their own pace and I admire (and am more than a little jealous of) those who can write 2,000/5,000/10,000 words a day. If I can get 500 words a day, I'm good. If I get more, great. If not, I don't sweat it anymore.

I was actually burning out over the last few years while also maturing in my skills. It was a struggle. I've learned the many reasons why and made changes that are helping me. Part of that was finding the pace of writing where I was comfortable. Another part was having a terrible weight lifted from my shoulders that was increasingly pressing me into the muck of despair. Freeing myself of that burden has freed my mind and my creativity.

While these changes can't save the slipping sales of my present books, I'm no longer dependent on those sales for paying my bills. I have a part-time job where my skills are challenged, I can use my creativity and experience, and I can make mistakes without feeling miserable...not that I want to make mistakes, but I don't have to be hard on myself when it happens.

It all adds up to a happier me and that means a freer mind, which translates into having more fun writing again.

I've also been blessed to recover my family time and that has me feeling even more fulfilled. It's the little things in life that make it worth living. We don't have time to suffer in misery. I'm not worrying about ebook sales any more either. Rather, I've been able to appreciate what I have and stop trying to be competitive once and for all in trying to do what other writers with lots of sales were doing. THAT was the final thread holding me back. I can finally be myself again.

I have rediscovered who I really am.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cat concerns

We have a problem. Our oldest kitty, Padme, was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. We tried felimazole crushed into her food and she took it for a few weeks with great results. Padme was playing again and perked up and her weight and coat were looking wonderful too. Then, she quit eating. I refuse to shove the pills down her throat because 1) they're dangerous to those of us with healthy thyroids and 2) she's a sensitive soul. So, we did some research and called the vet back and asked for alternatives that they would recommend.

One of those was putting meds in her ear. I was wary of this with good reason. She's a smart girl and doesn't like being forced to do anything. I was right. After the first treatment last night, she's already avoiding me. This makes me terribly sad, because she's very sweet but also timid to start. Giving her a reason to be more timid is heart-breaking. I like her cuddling with us and seeking attention when she's happy. Meds aren't going to work for us, which was why I didn't want to force her to take whole pills.

There are other alternatives, but the one we're considering involves being without our old girl for a few weeks. However, in the long term, it would be worthwhile. I've read positive results about the radioactive iodine treatment of I-131. The closest facility that does this is the University of Minnesota. The main campus is a good eight hours from us. That's a long trip for a sick cat who hates being in a car for 5 minutes to the local vet, and it would involve returning after 2-3 weeks, but she's worth the trouble. And it would most likely eliminate the needs for meds (95% positive results) to carry through with the treatment. The only negatives are the costs short-term and the chance that she would require a second treatment or thyroid meds if the thyroid doesn't stabilize (small chances). In the long run, however, the costs are less than life-long meds, which also have consequences to the rest of her body and risks to us. She's only eleven years old and could live another ten years in good health.

If anyone has any input about this procedure, please comment here. I'd like to hear from those who have had hyperthyroid cats. I'd especially like to hear from those who have had this treatment done of their feline friends and the details of your experiences.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

To my fellow authors


First, Kathleen Hale posted her reveiwer-stalking story and now a reviewer friend of mine (not the one mentioned) posted this article: Richard Brittain Violently Assaults Book Reviewer.

This is not cool. This is illegal behavior. Seriously, people, chill out. You're entitled to your opinions, but not to hurting anyone, whether you're a writer or reviewer or anybody on the street.

Reviewers are entitled to their opinion ABOUT YOUR WORK. Once you let even one person read it, it's out of your hands. We all come from different backgrounds, which is the joy of reading, because one story has the power to affect a million different people a million different ways. No one is going to agree on everything.

Quit taking things personally that aren't meant to be personal. Reviews about a particular work are simply one person's opinion. As Elsa sang, LET IT GO! In case you haven't heard it or forgot:

And in this, you can follow the words. The meaning is clear-- "I don't care what they're going to say." That says it perfectly right there, along with this --> "It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small." Get away from it all and be your own person regardless of the condemnation of others. Just write and don't worry about what others think of it. Don't prove to people that you're a monster. Take your frustrations somewhere away from everyone else and let them go. Don't dwell on them.

Don't read reviews of your own books, and keep in mind that every writer gets negative reviews of their work, even the classics. We've all been there. It hurts, but you'll get over it. (A tub of your favorite ice cream or a glass of wine can help ;) )

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Writing Status

I have been writing away on an old-is-new WIP that I started a few years ago and left off when it wasn't working for me any more. For some reason (the whim of my muse), I jumped from Nemesis to  this one. The last time I looked at it--last winter--I had some idea to redefine it as a four-book series, the Shadow Realm Saga. I'm still hammering out some details *coughincludingthetitlecough* but overall, I'm getting into it like I didn't when I started it. I guess the time is right.

I also made some changes in my life that have given me more peace of mind, allowing me to rest better at night. My creativity has blossomed like it hasn't in a long time. I am finding renewed life in my writing and my family.

Last of all, I'm awaiting a new cover for Fireblood by fantasy artist, Paul Davies. I hope to have a new cover reveal by Christmas. And maybe by then, I'll have a title for Book 1 of the Shadow Realm Saga.