Now, I’m pretty much sure a majority of y’all spent a HUGE chunk of time doom-scrolling last year, so I’ll save the 2020 recap post to dwell on everything the DUMPSTER FIRE of 2020 brought upon our world.
I would like to hold myself accountable, however.
Just so I can hold myself accountable and emphasize the fact that I am, indeed, the furthest thing from a psychic or future teller/predictor, here’s a screen shot from my blog post [Reflections: New Year, Here I Come!] that I wrote on here back January 2nd this year::
Well, I did say to “Assume Nothing,”, so I wasn’t ENTIRELY wrong. Just mostly.
But, knowing what is in store for my future, starting next year in 2021, I’m going to try being (naively) positive again, and hope those positive thoughts and hope and dreams actually soak into the world and make 2021 a year to remember.
But, as I always do in my New Year’s blog post every year, I will first reflect on my personal journey in 2020, writing AND personal, then move on to my vague/half-baked plans to try and make 2021 the best year of my life.
If I’ll be able to sleep starting halfway through.
I’ll get to what that means in a minute.
For starters, writing life.
And, because those of you that have read my posts before, you’ll understand that a screenshot of an Excel spreadsheet is always a given.
But, seeing how incredibly STRESSFUL 2020 was, here’s MORE than one spreadsheet, just to annoy those of you out there who HATE NUMBERS.
ANYWAY, here’s my numbers for a Quantitative look at my writing journey in 2020:
These ones are hopefully self-explanatory, so I’m not gonna analyze, to spare y’all the agony of deciphering if this isn’t the part of this blog post you care about.
I hope this one is readable once I post. This show y’all my word counts per project I worked on in 2020. As you may notice, there are no KINETICS or CHAOS ACCOUNTS projects in this list. This is because my final 2 KINETICS books are currently in editing/post-production, and THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS… Well, I’ll be getting into that news later.
Now, for comparison, here’s my Wrote/Didn’t Write percentages of 2020 compared to 2019 (by month):
YIPPEE!!! WROTE ALMOST 0.7% MORE OFTEN THIS YEAR!!!
OKAY, I know that’s not huge, but with working from home driving the ambiverted empath inside me, and another little thing inside me punching at my bladder constantly-
. . .
Oops, guess we’ll move on to the qualitative achievements of 2020, since I pretty much just gave it away.
As some of you may know, I got married in September of 2019. Amid pandemic Chaos, on Labor Day 2020, we learned that I’m pregnant. Our little bundle of boxing joy will be due to arrive late Spring 2021!!
All my life, people have doubted what I could’ve been capable of. And, all my life, I’ve proved almost all of them wrong.
“A specialty center high school, when she’d have to leave the few friends she somehow made in middle school?”
“She’ll probably go to community college for a year or two first. She can’t handle mving far away from home, right?”
Those are just the beginning. I have also published multiple works, gotten to be a speaker MULTIPLE TIMES at Ravencon, found an AMAZING group of writers and creators I am proud to call my friends and allies.
I found the love of my life, lost the friend of a lifetime, and am now headed toward one of my first ever dream jobs that I’ve had since I was a toddler: I’M GOING TO BE A MOM!
Now, not entirely sure if I’ll be a good mother, but I’m gonna try.
On top of pregnancy/baby on the way, I’ve got a number of ideas when it comes to my writing, my publishing, and my branding. I’m not going to go into HUGE details. Actually, just one for now, and more will come down the road. Not gonna jinx stuff right now, with life on wobbly and scary steps as it is.
So, to address that, I’ll tell you my plans for THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS. I’m planning a rebranding for the series, for titles, covers, and pen name. I’m currently in fierce edits for the first 5 stories, as well as trying to find the perfect cover designer for the series. I might be jinxing myself here, but I’ve got this YA paranormal/fantasy/superpowered novella serial loosely planned to encompass about 20 stories, sectioned into 4 5-story chunks.
For this series, soon-to-be-titled “ACCOUNTING FOR THE CHAOS”, I am planning on a rapid re-release under the new covers and pen name hopefully soon. Once edits are done and I have the covers in hand. But, on top of that, I want to help the world out, no matter how small of a way. Keep in mind, I did something similar with the original release of the first CHAOS ACCOUNTS story, where I donated sales to a charity that was important to me at the time.
I’m doing that again, with a charity that is important to me as I prepare for birth and motherhood.
There’s a charity called “Reach Out And Read,” where pediatricians all over the world give away books to little babies and children at their check-ups and encourage their parents t read to their children every night if they can.
For my rapid re-release of Stories 1-5, starting whenever each is released, and completely stopping on 8/31/2021, 50% of my royalties from these re-releases shall be separated, and at the end of this campaign, I will donate all that money to Reach Out And Read!
Stay tuned for the actual planned release dates for them!
Until then, wishing y’all the best for 2021!
Keep Faith, Vikans.
And, as always, Assume Nothing. Make an effort to make this year yours.
Hiya, Vikans!! Nice to see you all again since the last time I was…
. . . . .
Goodness, I’m really not the best at being active here, am I?
Well, hopefully, I can change that. With y’all’s help, of course!
Since I last checked in here, lots has happened. To keep it brief, I’ll just mention the biggest one:
I GOT MARRIED!!
Yep, never thought I’d get a happily ever after, and still not sure my husband knows what he’s gotten himself into. Guess he’ll find out eventually. 😉
Now, to get into serious writing-related business in this post. Ready? Cuz I’ll need y’all’s help!
So, here we are, in November of the Year 2019. Though only 1 month until the new decade of 2020, most people probably haven’t even thought about their goals for the New Year. Me, I refuse to make a New Years Resolution. I was inspired years ago by buddy and fellow author Tee Morris. Find his blog and website [here], to support him: one of my mentors and an amazing role model.
Anyway, as we are nearing the end of one year, it’s time to plan for another. So, that means… UPDATING MY SPREADSHEETS!!! YAY!!!
. . .
What? A Fantasy Author can’t get a thrill from Microsoft Excel? I work in IT, for crying out loud.
. . .
DON’T. JUDGE. ME.
Anyway, if y’all remember, I made a New Years goal to try and write every day for an entire year. Here’s what resulted::
Out of the 335 days that have passed since beginning of 2019, I wrote for only approximately 46 days. OUT OF 335 DAYS!!!
Yeah, I know, shocked me too.
That’s when I realized what happened. My drive, my fuel, my inspiration had been shot down. My most recent release was back in 2018, with the first CHAOS ACCOUNTS collection book my only release in 2019. And that was back in February. My goal to write something – ANYTHING – every day of the year got balled up and thrown in a corner. My annual Smoky retreat gave me the closure I needed over JV’s death years ago. Once I got home, my desire to write faded. I even tried MANY times to crank out the words, but they either never came, or I never even loaded the laptop to write, because I felt small, and almost scared of writing. I didn’t think I could measure up. And, between no recent releases, wedding planning, little sister graduating college, and my family having health problems ALL over the board… Yep, I was preoccupied. But, even when I had the time to write, my mind convinced me to do other stuff instead.
I am going to take my writing productivity as a serious endeavor. I have updated that GIANT spreadsheet I’ve shown you all before, and found that a lot of my projects are 50%-90% complete, according to my Target Word Counts. I’ve also got a good number of short story/novella series on the docket as well.
On this Form, I have listed a bunch of unfinished projects, ones I’d like to pursue in 2020. I want you all to go to this form, and tell me if you think each of the projects deserves to get a higher priority on my productivity chain. Obviously, I’ll be checking results throughout December to prep all the projects that I’ve listed. But, the answers I get from all of your Vikans out there on the Interwebs will help me plan, and, more importantly, create personal deadlines and/or word count goals for me to get my writing mojo back, once and for all!
So, I can’t believe I’ve spaced out so much lately. I thought about this blog this week, loaded it, and gasped when I saw my most recent post on here was from New Years this year.
I know I said I’d do better, so I’m going to be more diligent when it comes to anything author-related.
That being said, first step was getting into writing again because, unfortunately, haven’t written much since Smoky Writers back in February/March. During which, by the way, I finished the draft to Kinetics #5, the fifth and final book in my KINETICS saga. For the entire story behind my KINETICS saga from start to present day, check out this separate blog post [PENDING POST] for the whole history of it. It’s a long, emotional roller-coaster of a journey, so it deserves its own post.
Needless to say, when I was deciding which project to pick up again, I did what I always do, and review my spreadsheet. For those of you that are unaware, or just didn’t pick up on it, I am a very organized, task-oriented person. My messy room would have you fooled, but when it comes to computers and digital content, I am more OCD than out in the real world. I also work in IT for my day job, and I’ve even had managers in my career that say I am the most task-oriented person they’ve met, and applaud me for it, saying they could never have the persistence to record and organize my tasks and projects so detailed, so creative, and so flawlessly quick.
As example, I will go back to the original point: my writing spreadsheet.
Here’s a few photos of the many tabs that make up this spreadsheet::
Didn’t think I’d be that digital OCD, did you?
I warned you.
Oh, and it gets WAY worse. Just keep going! (*insert laughing with tears emoji here*)
The un-colored tabs are for my productivity records, which I’ll cover in a bit. The highlighted tab colors signify their use/status. I’ll list them in order, skipping the purple one to cover later (and trust me, your brain will explode at what’s in that tab).
Here’s the color guide::
Light green = Current WIP (works in progress, for those of you unfamiliar with that term). These are projects I am currently working on. These could also be projects I’ve just started a bit, presently writing a few words here or there, while getting deep into nitty-gritty research and profiling and mental plotting for the story as a series and as a whole.(Spoiler alert: I can’t do one-off/single books. I’ve always been a series/serial kinda gal.)
Yellow = Projects I’ve started recently that are my backups for if I get writer’s block / LOI for my Light Green projects. (To learn the term LOI that I created, see [this blog post] to see if you agree with the differences). These ones are projects and/or series I’ve gotten a decent amount into, and can still feel a flame of inspiration in my heart; barely there, but waiting for that fuel to truly flame.
Red (both shades) = These are projects and/or series I’ve put on hold for now. Ones that have caused my lack of writing in recent months, or ones that tormented me months or even years back that I still want to attempt someday. Light red projects are hopeful ones to pick up; the dark red tab is the one currently in question on what format to output, due to reasons I will NOT be getting into.
Blue (both shades) = The blues are ones barely started, not touched in ages, and can’t be considered for the Red “Hold” highlight due to the length of time they’ve been on hold. I might revisit them someday, but those can wait a good amount longer without breaking my inner college writer. The darker blue one already has stories published, but there’s 1 or 2 more stories I want to write for it. However, those 1 to 2 stories haven’t been worked on since 2014, and still not urgent to feed my inner imagination and inspiration as an author.
Dark Green = These ones are series in which every book/story is completed. Could be all first drafts, could be all edited drafts, could be partially published works, or a combination of the three.
Now, to really make your heads spin.
This is what is on the purple tab, labelled “Overall Index”. Don’t hurt your eyes trying to read. (Again, *insert laughing with tears emoji here*)
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
This tab lists every project I’ve worked on since Spring of 2011. As you can probably tell, there seems to be more projects than what the number of tabs suggest (Just kidding, your brains are already mush by this point; no one assumes that). But, if you are sane enough at this point to think that, you’d be correct. I do have projects on the Overall Index that do not have their own tabs. Yet, at least. Planning on adding them eventually, then hiding them until I might want to pick them up a few years from now. You know three years… five years… twenty years…. something like that.
Now, to cover the painful proof of my LOI (again, here’s my [blog post] for LOI comparison).
Here’s my current Word Counts for the year 2019 thus far, broken up by project and month:
I know, I know, 64k in less than six months is nothing to sneeze at. However, I made a goal for myself at the beginning of the New Year: a goal instead of a resolution, something to try your best to achieve and not give up when you mess up once. My goal was to write every day, no matter whether it was 5 words, 500 words, or 5,000 words. Wouldn’t matter, as long as I got something written down, some progress, however small, is still progress.
These next two photos show why I’m slightly disappointed in myself.
Here’s a screenshot of a table I made which shows my productivity by week, making an average that compares the number of days each week that I wrote (the “Y” column) verses the days I didn’t write anything at all (the “N” column)::
(This is as of today (6/9/2019), and I wrote today, which is why Week 24 shows 100% “Y”, because Sundays are the start of my week counting)
As you can see, some weeks are 100%, meaning I wrote something each day of that week. Some also have partial percentages, meaning only wrote a few times that week, less than 7 days, but at least 1 day of that week.
Then look at the 0.00% rows.
Nine weeks of 23 (still ignoring Week 24), I didn’t write ANYTHING at all.
And, here’s the comparison between “Y” days and “N” days for the full year::
Not good enough.
Not gonna cut it.
So, after looking into all my older projects, I decided to pick up a series I’ve been working on since early 2017; a story saga which released its first 3 stories in 2017, 2 more in 2018, and the first collection of those 5 stories releasing March of this year (2019).
A series I hadn’t touched since mid-2018, when I finished the first draft of the fifth story.
A series I haven’t written new words for since this past April.
A series with an entire TWO more story arcs.
Figure it out yet?
Yes, Vikans, I have picked up THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS short story serial once more! [This Page Link] will take you to the links to all the published stories thus far in this hidden war between the MRC and ChaosBlaze.
The fifth story left off at a slight hangover, with Division 3 promising each other they would regain the friend they lost: a friend who gives himself up for the rest of the team’s lives.
Not spoiling any more than that, but trust me on this::
The story is just beginning.
I’ll be publishing my post on my KINETICS journey sometime soon, and once I do, I’ll link it in the appropriate locations on this post.
**Read whole thing for news, as this post is a straight running faucet of the mouth, if you know what I mean**
So, I’ve been dark on my blog for a while, and I apologize for that. There are multiple reasons for this. One, I’ve been querying agents for an old series of mine. The first 2 books I’ve polished up a ton of times over the last four years, with the 3rd partially written and a chapter here or there for the final 2 books. If you know math, that adds up to a five-book series. I started it in college, and that first book’s writing consumption comes close to how fast I cranked out KINETIC REBIRTH, both only took about a month to write from start to finish.
Those are the main preorder links for Accounts #5. This one finishes the first Story Arc, with an ending that will keep you tense until the next installments, desperately wanting to know what happens when Division 3 plans to-
Oh, almost just spoiled the ending. Glad I caught myself.
Anyway, another announcement on the CHAOS ACCOUNTS front. As I mentioned above, Account #5 is the end for Story Arc #1, collectively labelled as the “Priming” set. The PRIMING set includes Accounts #1 through #5. I’m aiming for a late summer/early fall release of this collection set.
The best part?
IT’LL ALSO BE IN PAPERBACK!
Yes, you read that right. PAY-PER-BACK.
So, stay tuned for more news on that collections preparation progress over the next few months.
Moving to the writing front, or at least the craft part of it, I’ve finished me and JV’s first book in our 4-book series, but I’m putting it on the back burner for… well, reasons. I have also edited the first two in another series I’m in the process of pitching to agents, and hope to pick the third in that series back up. That series’ #3 currently sits at about just under 38,000, with a minimum goal of 65,000 or more.
I have also started CHAOS ACCOUNTS #6, the first in the next collection set. Both the story and the set are currently untitled, and my word count is very, VERY tiny, but hoping to continue the journey with Division 3, and I hope you all will too.
Finally, the other project I’ll be working on will be KINETICS #4. I don’t think I’ve publicly announced this yet, but the draft for KINETICS #3, tentatively titled “KINETIC HISTORY”. It’s been through my preliminary edits multiple times, and is now a polished draft.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that KINETICS is a series in homage and dedication of my best friend JV, who died a year and a half ago in a deadly car accident. I finished the first draft of KINETIC HISTORY months ago, and I’ve been itching to get that one published, for both my peace of mind, and for you all – my readers- to enjoy as the adventure continues and the plot thickens. There’s just one factor that stands in my way of getting the third KINETICS adventure to publication.
Now, I know what y’all are thinking: “Save up!” It’s not that simple. For starters over the last two years, I have racked up quite a bit of debt. Secondly, sending to my editor and my cover designer ends up spending money as well. Luckily, I cut costs, as I do decent interior layouts myself, but between editing, covers, copies, and marketing/promotion costs… Yeah, it gets pricey.
Add onto that the fact that I’ll be getting married a little over a year from now (yeah, I know I never announced that here, but YAY, I’M ENGAGED!!!!), and money is scarce.
If any of you all like my blog, my writing, or just want to help an author out, here’s ways you can help me:
Pledge to my Patreon
–> Patreon is a platform that allows you to support content creators such as Youtubers, musicians, and authors like me, etc, etc. For my pledges, it’s only a once a month pledge, and the prices and rewards vary. Rewards include anything from getting into a selective group on Facebook that will hopefully help me out with ideas or feedback as I find it needed, to free books, etc. You can change or cancel your pledges at any time, but even a pledge for a handful of months would help. If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that every little bit helps, because little bits add up FAST. [Patreon link]
Buy my works
–> If you go to [this] link, you’ll be directed to the “My Works” part of this blog. You can also navigate there by the tabs at the top of this website. Each story or novel I’ve published is listed there, with short summaries and hyperlinks to various eBook platforms, or Amazon for print versions. Though I don’t get much from KDP or Createspace when it comes to royalties, it’ll add up.
Donate to my Tip Jar
–> Digital Tip Jar allows you to donate a ‘Tip’ of your choosing, to help fund my projects. Any amount helps. This is also a one-off payment, meaning not recurring/repeating every month like Patreon. This is a one-time donation, unless you want to do more tips for me down the road. The link to my Tip Jar is [here].
–> This is just a general piece of advice, and applies to any authors in the world that you love reading. Go on Amazon or other platforms where my stories and books are sold, and leave a quick review. Only one or two sentences needed. Reviews are an author’s best friend, and a quite decent motivator to keep chugging along and doing what we do best: writing adventures for you to enjoy. Reviews also improve visibility for the little guys like myself. So, if you like my stories and want to help without breaking the bank, leave a brief review for me. Please. 🙂
Spread the word
–> If you like my stuff, TELL PEOPLE! You could send them a purchase link, give them a borrow from Amazon for the stories that have the capability to lend, or even just loan them your copy. The more people that know about me, the better my visibility will get. Hopefully, I’ll get
a few more fans.
Here’s a treat for you all to close out this (Exhaustingly long) blog post:
For those of you who have read the first two books, below is a small snippet of KINETICS, Book Three. For those of you who haven’t, there aren’t spoilers. Well, at least not too many.
Signing off before the snippet, so keep scrolling if you want to get a sneak peek.
Keep Faith, guys.
Snippet from KINETIC HISTORY, “Kinetics, Book Three”::
Jaden heaved a heavy sigh. She fiddled with photos in her hands. Somehow it had ended up in her backpack when they were leaving Hyndon over a month ago. She’d unloaded the large pocket, mainly because that’s where her bag of dirty clothes was. The smaller pockets probably just had gum, or pencils, or feminine hygiene products or other junk stuff. When she decided to clean it out that day, she came across a small stack of photos. Some had crinkles of bad storage for years, others with bent corners.
The photo at the top of the stack of ten-ish pictures had been her focus for the last five minutes. She just stared at it. Her mind flashed between reality of looking at a frozen snapshot of time and the actual scene behind the photo. And no, not just remembering the memories. The memories flashed into her sight, gifting her with re-living those precious moments while not even leaving her bed.
This photo was her at around age eight in third-grade, with her new friends, Lukas and Pip. She just lost Kohei a few weeks earlier, and her eyes still looked a bit puffy. This was their first Fall picnic at their school. The three kids hung off the jungle gym, making nostalgically wild and crazy smiles at the camera. The scene came to life finally, the shrieks of elementary school children making real Jaden wince. She had now been inserted into the scene, with the memory blessing her with a three-sixty-degree view. However, she wondered how much of a blessing this magic really was.
Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath in and let it out. When she opened her eyes, her surroundings had returned to her guest bedroom in the Second Kingdom’s palace. Glancing at that photo, she sighed and slipped it to the bottom of the stack. The next photo showed twelve-year-old Jaden, pouting as her sister took pictures as blackmail. The photo yet again came to life.
“C’mon, geek-a-zoid, give us a big smile!”
The glare and hatred in Jaden’s preteenage brown eyes said plenty. Muttering under her breath, she snapped, “Leave. Me. Alone.”
Dove’s musically-grating voice replied from behind the bulky red Poloroid, “One smile, Sneaks. Just one smile!”
When young Jaden’s mouth opened to form a pissed, teeth-grinding frown, she revealed the colorful braces that had been drilled into her mouth. She then grabbed the nearest couch pillow and threw it at her annoying older sister. “Buzz off, prick!”
Her sister simply laughed louder and said, “Ooh, I’m so scared of the female Inspector Gadget. C’mon, throw out your extendable arm and punch me.”
“Oh, is that an invitation?” Young Jaden roared, leaping at her sister.
Real Jaden closed her eyes, breathed, and returned to present day. She knew what happened next. Jaden had gotten sent to her room, went to Dove’s room once everyone was asleep, and cut off a lock of Dove’s long, blonde hair. Needless to say, the truth came out quick, and furious didn’t even scratch the surface on describing how angry the older sibling had been. Furious was actually a very generous term.
So, we’re about a day or so away from the end of 2017. Looking back at the events the rest of the world dealt with, from losing friends over politics, shootings, some people scared to even cross the street. We lost pop culture icons, some very tragically. So, in the public eye, 2017, in general, sucked.
I look back on my 2017, my personal 2017, and, on the surface and at first, seemed just as sucky and tragic. My regular day job is going through major changes that might have me out of work some time this year. My books, stories, and Patreon supporters had drastically, exponentially less impact on the reading community than I had hoped for. And, biggest hit of all, I lost JV on January 31st. There’s rarely been a day since she passed that I haven’t cried or at least gotten choked up. She was my coauthor, my co-conspirator, my Youtube vlogging partner, my best friend, and, post-mortem, my biggest source of inspiration.
Which leads into the next, and more important, part of this post. I have very strong GAD and depression, which means trying to find things to be happy about is very VERY difficult. However, at the end of every year, I organize my thoughts, reflecting on the year as a whole, both good things and bad. Here’s a bit of happy things I am grateful for:
Went to Smoky retreat again. It was only 3 weeks after JV’s passing, so I was in a dark spot. My fellow Somkies supported me lie I’ve rarely had before, and I cranked out 30+k on my first KINETICS novel.
I finished my Smoky project within a month (End of Feb to end of March), and sent it out for professional editing a week or two later.
I got to kick two bands off my bucket lists of concerts I wanted to see live before I die. AND got to take my sister. Sister bonding time rocks. 🙂
I wrote three short stories that became my CHAOS ACCOUNTS serial saga. Fourth one, “Account of Secrets” is due at the stroke of New Year 2018.
I wrote and completed both KINETICS #1 and #2, titled “Kinetic Rebirth” and “Kinetic Memory” respectively. First one went live in September/October 2017, and the second coming late Winter 2018
I started two new novel projects. One was KINETICS #3, title TDB. Second is the first in my CASTERS series, which essentially is recycling characters from my first series I wrote in high school and creating a story so drastically different than their original one.
I rebranded my short stories, that now all have bad-ass covers. 🙂
I linked all my series into a connected, interlocking universe (KNU), where each one relates to another, so my readers can find Easter eggs and connections and freak out as much as I was when making those very links.
And that’s just the major stuff. This year was my most productive writing year since I started my writing journey in 2007. … Wow, ten years? Hard to believe. But, that’ll be a reflection I tackle in my blog at a later date.
I’ve finished two full-length novel manuscripts, started 2 others, and cranked out 4 short stories. And that’s just the writing bit. I’ve come so far in my day job career, learned so many new things. Plus, the year has rounded out with rebranding both of my short story saga’s. I’ll provide links to everything I’ve published to date, including the New Year’s preorder link to “Account of Secrets“, my 4th CHAOS ACCOUNTS story.
Looking toward 2018, I’m determined to be just as productive as I was in 2017, maybe more so. In addition to CHAOS ACCOUNTS #4 on New Year’s Day, KINETIC MEMORY is due out in a month or so (still working on last minute proof checking), CHAOS ACCOUNTS #5 is slated to release in Spring/Summer 2018, and I’ve got a plan to hopefully have another book released in Summer/Fall 2018 as well, but depends on editing and cover delays. This book will take us back to where my publishing journey started. Hint: it’s a world that I’ve already written stories for. It’s also the namesake for this website. 😉
Now, here’s the covers and links to all of my writing that I’ve published. Some are free permanently, some free only until the New Year (on Smashwords only), and some that cost a little bit.
As of now, in preparation for Book Two discussed below, Book One, KINETIC REBIRTH, is now discounted for Kindle! A cheaper deal to prepare you for the fast-paced adventure to Hyndon in Book Two. Read below for details on Book Two, and get Kindle version [here].
Hey, Vikans! What’s up?
So, this with either be my second-to-last post of 2017, or third-to-last. But, as close as we are to the year’s end, this post has GREAT, long-awaited news.
Yep, that’s right, we now have a tentative release for the second book in my [KINETICS] series, KINETIC MEMORY! If everything finishes as planned, expect an early January 2018 release. 🙂
“The Past is a complicate place…
After bringing Kiran and Jessi back from the dead, Jaden assumed things would get better for her. Even with worries lingering on the horizon, her immediate frustration was dealing with the twins’ deceased father and his arrogant demon who developed a strange fascination with her.
When their friend and companion Shalbriri falls ill, the annoying demon has a plan that might just save the Fifth Kingdom heir’s life. However, it requires returning to the twins’ birthplace, a town outside of the Five Kingdoms. With her sister-mother Dove in tow, Jaden, Lukas, and the twins all venture to the run-down village of Hyndon. The longer they stick around, the more Jaden realizes there’s more to the place than meets the eye, and those shadows offer no comfort.
The answers they seek lead them to the most unexpected place. There is truth hidden in their parents’ past… but it all leads to a man she wishes was merely an ancient myth.”
Curious about where Jaden and crew’s adventure takes them next yet?
But, this book is more of a dedication to JV than the previous one. See, JV and I met through mutual friends and a virtual forum-based roleplaying site said mutual friends created. For more details on that, check out me and JV’s first Coauthoring vlog on my Youtube channel [here]. Anyway, the name of the fictional town the RP was set in was a town called Hyndon. Without Hyndon’s roleplay, I never would’ve even known JV, much less become best friends. Actually, Kiran, Jessica’s twin brother in KINETICS, and his parents originated from this roleplaying adventure.
Book Two is the biggest ode I could muster to honor the reason I got to be in JV’s bight, happy, too-short life, as 2/3 of the book take place in my twisted version of Hyndon. I took some of our friends’ characters as well, but changed their names and tweaked their details a bit per the friend’s request. For those of our friends that shared this adventure in college, there are a LOT of references to our adventures, along with a twist to the biggest adventure we all participated in.
Anyway, this book was a great trip down Memory lane for me (pun intended), as it involves Jaden and crew trying to solve the mysteries of their parents’ origins in the small, charred town of Hyndon.
Part Two to this blog post is an announcement. I am in the process of rebranding my covers for TALES OF [TERRARA VIKOS] and [THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS]. I realized a while ago that the covers I had made, both first round and second, don’t convey YA Fantasy like they should to draw in readers. So, I am enlisting a few helpers, and hopefully will have all eight of those covers done by year’s end.
Here’s a sneak peek. This is my new cover for ACCOUNT OF ANXIETY, Chaos Accounts #1:
So, a lot to look forward to in the New Year! I’ll hopefully have one more, year round-up post closer to the 31st, so stay tuned.
MISSED WEDNESDAY AGAIN! To be entirely fair, though, I ended up having to deal with chest pain from took much anxiety. I’m fine, I swear. So, don’t worry about that.
ANYWAY! Today marks nine days since KINETIC REBIRTH released as a Kindle book.
Can I say, EXCITED?!
KINETIC REBIRTH is also available for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, at least for the next couple of months. So, if you use #KU , go download a copy, because I’m not sure if I’ll renew the KU option when the duration runs out.
However, I have news in the realm of the Print Book’s publication…
I’M BUMPING IT UP.
NO, SERIOUSLY. BUMPING IT.
Instead of the October 19th release, the print version of KINETIC REBIRTH will now be released on OCTOBER 5TH, 2017. Yes, correct, a week from today. Someone very close to me mentioned that you set release dates based on when all your ducks are in a row. My ducks have been in a row for over a month now, and are getting fidgety. I realized that while October 19th is special in my heart, as it was the day I first met JV and became fast friends with her, that date doesn’t mean much to you all as readers. I also realized that it’s more important to me that you all read the story, enjoy it, and get to see JV through my eyes as one of the heroes in this series (sneak peek at her crazy, hyperactive personality in the featured image above! 😀 ). I also know that lots of you out there prefer physical print copies of books (Rock on traditional readers!). For those three reasons, I am now releasing KINETIC REBIRTH two weeks earlier, October 5th, 2017, aka- Next Thursday.
In other news, the fourth Chaos Accounts story was put on hold to finish up KINETICS, Book Two. Once that starts post-production (see below), I will probably pick those back up again.
ALSO, I have been hard at work on Book Two for KINETICS, title and release TBD down the road. However, this past weekend, I breached 50k. FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS. Seeing as my goal was to be around 59-65k, and I’m nearing the climax that introduces a new antagonist, so both timing and storyline are matching up almost PERFECTLY! I’m aiming for an early 2018 release for that, granted I can again get my ducks in a row with post-production. Also, I’ve learned from my current Book One experience that releasing digital and print on different dates was a stupid move. Soooooo, won’t be doing that again!
GET PUMPED FOR NEXT THURSDAY, GUYS! PRINT BOOK’S A’COMIN’!
I am currently panicking. With KINETIC REBIRTH releasing digitally next Tuesday (September 19th), my day job taking a sharp turn on a rocky mountain side, and my creativity monster giving me flack, my mind never shuts off. I have woken up slightly late every day this week thus far, luckily only arriving a few minutes late to day job. My brain has been going a hundred miles an hour as I prep for release day, which makes my body exhausted. If that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve been getting crippling chest pain, which doctor’s tell me is due to anxiety.
No. Frickin. Way. NEVER would have guessed THAT. (Catch the sarcasm?)
Anyway, long story short, lots of stuff going on. KINETICS #2 (Title TBD) reached 40,000 words a few weeks ago, with a total goal of minimum 60-65k. ACCOUNT OF SECRETS, my Chaos Accounts Story #4, is only two or three scenes away from its cliffhanger ending, so close I can taste it.
I haven’t touched either in a week.
My creativity and inspiration has been floating back to the series I was writing with JV. If you want an idea of how we decided to coauthor a book together, that story starts as far back as when we first met in October 2011. Check out the videos JV and I did for my Youtube Channel: [Part 1 here] and [Part 2 here]. Part 1 talks about our friendship, while Part 2 talks writing a book series together. Also, if you want a good grasp of JV’s character and personality (and mine as well), check out [this video] (also below) of us acting like goofballs::
This has happened once before, back in April, where my inspiration for writing always crept back to Lite & Darke (Our series title). It’s a struggle, because, currently, I do not have access to her notebooks. Legal stuff I’m not going to get into. The point is, I coped with it by finishing a few unfinished chapters I’d written, and updated our outline/word count spreadsheet. That gave me enough satisfaction to finally move back to projects I might actually have a chance of finishing, aka, Chaos Accounts and Kinetics.
Well, it came creeping back into my brain lately, probably because of the nearby release date, and the fact that JV would have had her baby around the seven month marker since her death.
Not an hour has gone by every day since January 31st that I don’t think of her. She was my closest friend, practically a sister. I made a promise to her while during the funeral home viewing and at the church ceremony, as well as promised each of her family members and close friends, that I would finish Lite & Darke for her, and her name would be on the covers right next to mine. While KINETICS is my ultimate dedication to her life and personality, Lite & Darke is my way of showing how we helped each other to grow as writers, how we had a chemistry with creative juices and thought processes. In fact, one of us would have an idea for a scene, and when telling the other over the phone, the other would cut the original plotter’s description, but say the exact same thing the originator was going to say. I swear the two of us had some kind of psychic bond between us, which is probably why her being gone is so painful.
Anyway, to conclude, I went into my Lite & Darke folder on my computer and opened my merged file with all of our completed or partially completed chapters, as well as the Book 1 Outline we only partially finished filling out. Don’t think even for a second that was all we’d planned together. No, we outlined the whole series in our heads and words, and I remember every single idea, even without written/typed documentation.
I did some minor editing, finished up a partial chapter, and updated the Outline with the total Word Count so far.
Yup, you read that right: Thirty Thou, baby!
This doesn’t include all the scenes that JV handwrote during her breaks at work. Like I mentioned before, those are locked up until May 2018 at the latest. However, I found a loop hole. In our Outline, we designated chapters to each of us, labeling each chapters as “C”, “J”, or “Toss Up”. While I can’t work on the “J” ones just yet, and I remain wary of the “Toss Up” ones as well, I can still writing the scenes I was assigned, at least until my creativity monster is satisfied with the progress and lets me go back to Chaos Accounts and/or Kinetics.
Oh, and just FYI, KINETIC REBIRTH is currently doing preorders for the Kindle version, which, as mentioned above, released on September 19th, 2017 (Next Tuesday // SIX DAYS!!). I’ve been a bit disappointed at the lack of preorders I’ve gotten, so if you’ve got a Kindle or a Kindle app, PLEASE preorder a copy! Preorders count once release day hits, and every one matters to me. To preorder the Kindle copy, PLEASE click [here]! It would mean THE WORLD TO ME!
If you’re a print-book type of person, [subscribe] to my email list. You will receive an email closer to print release date, which is October 19th, the six year anniversary of when JV and I became friends. You will also receive an email the day of digital release next Tuesday morning, as well as a reminder on Print release date as well. Print might not be perfectly timed for a recorded release of October 19th, as I’ll have to approve it prior to October 19th to ensure it is live and available for purchase by the 19th, but I will send the print reminder as soon as the book goes live.
Also, if you have a Kindle, you can get a taste of my KINETICS series on Instafreebie, where you can download KINETIC TRAGEDY, a short prequel story available only to Instafreebie subscribers currently. You can get that story [here]. Also, by downloading that story on Instafreebie, you are automatically added to the above aforementioned subscribing e-Newsletter list. So, not only will you get an email alert when my books/stories release, but you get a free story out of it too! 😀
Maybe a snippet of the first chapter of KINETIC REBIRTH might give you an idea of whether or not you want to join Jaden, Lukas, Kiran, and Jessica on their journey home.
As a final word before the sneak peek…
Keyboard keys tap-tapped all around Jaden Walker. She ripped her gaze from her computer screen to gaze around the competition room. Her spot sat in the second row from the back, with about ten rows of students and computers in front of her. Supervisors scattered around the rows, keeping an eye out for cheaters. Jaden didn’t see the point in that, as every competitor’s test had been randomized out of a pool of questions. In order to cheat, you’d either need a camera and earpiece or be an idiot. That first option screamed “Idiot” to her too, to be entirely honest. After a quick sweep of the testing room, Jaden locked gazes with one of the Supervisors. His burning amber hair stuck out like a sore thumb as he smiled crookedly at her, as if he knew something she didn’t. That look pointed out the obvious, as he – being a Supervisor – already functioned in an aspect of the business world and obviously would know more than college freshman Jaden Walker. Rolling her eyes, she directed her attention back to her test. Despite the beaming talent surrounding her, she knew she would wipe the floor with them. About twenty minutes later, she closed down the testing browser, grabbed her coat, and scooched her way down the narrow walkway to get out of the square of competitors. Right as she reached the edge, she ran right into somebody. “I’m sorry-” “Shhhh…” the man whispered, “Others are still testing.” Jaden nodded. “Sorry.” She kept her voice hushed as well. When she looked up at the Supervisor, she recognized him as the red-headed man who’d made her feel annoyed earlier. “May I ask your name?” Scoffing, she replied lightly, “Like you need to know.” The smallest of smiles crept onto the man’s face, his green eyes gazing down at her as if analyzing her every move. “I’m sure I’ll know it soon enough.” “Riiiiiiight…” A chill shot down her back, which she shrugged off. As she turned around to leave, she felt his eyes on her the whole walk to the back exit. As the door shut behind her, she relaxed, releasing a heavy sigh. “Sooooooo, how’d you do?” Jaden spotted Lukas, her closest friend, leaning against the wall with one foot flat against the tan wallpaper. “I hope you’re not leaving a shoe print on that wall. The convention center staff might not take too kindly to that.” Removing his foot, he smiled. “Avoiding the question, I see?” Shoulders dropping from exasperation, she snapped lightly, “How should I know? I won’t know until the awards ceremony tomorrow night.” “Jeesh, just asked a question. No need to be harsh.” Rolling her eyes with a small smile, Jaden walked down the testing hallway. Her eyes skimmed the walls, all plastered with promotional “BS” related to this Phi Beta Lambda national conference. She won first place in two state competitions and second in a third, which gave her admittance to the national level of testing. Even placing in the top ten would be amazing. Plus, it looked impressive on a resume when she would graduate in a few years. She’d just finished her final test, so all that was left of her agenda involved networking with business professionals (in her wording, schmoozing the big wigs) and tomorrow night’s award ceremony at Six PM. Lukas suddenly appeared at her side, matching her step by step, completely in sync with her pace and speed. “So, no weird people in there?” “Well there was one guy, but I think other people saw him, so not a figment.” The term “figment” referred to the hallucinations she’d had since she was a child. At first, her parents blamed it on an over-active, childish imagination. Once she’d reached high school and still saw people and animals who weren’t there, her parents worried deeply for their daughter. They employed the help of a shrink, who, for each session, she’d humored with breathing exercises and repetitive mantras and meds until she bolted out to go home and read a book. Rather quickly, she masked her diagnosed schizophrenia from the world, instead diving deep into her studies and avoiding as many social situations whenever possible. “You trust your sight yet?” Heaving a heavy sigh, Jaden responded, “Not entirely. You’re still here.” “Hey!” After whacking him lightly on the back of his head, she finally cracked a smile. Lukas had been her friend since third grade and stuck like glue to her side. In fact, he went everywhere with her. Weirdly enough, he’d frequently show up out of the blue during personal trips and vacations, insisting he wanted to surprise her. At first, his surprises did shock and elate her, but after a couple years of it, it became pretty predictable. His parents tended to be lenient toward him and his antics, and they somehow had the money for him to follow her pretty much anywhere. Part of her thanked God that he wasn’t another one of her figments. People saw him, talked to him, and played with him, so he existed. Since he’d been by her side for so long, she confided her mental handicap to him early on, and only him. Outside of him and her family, no one knew, and she wanted it to stay that way. She’d thought it was strange with how accepting he was with it. He didn’t freak out or get depressed or feel worrisome. He’d pretty much shrugged it off, like seeing imaginary people everywhere was as normal as pizza on a Friday night. Lukas rubbed where she whacked him. “Um, ow!” Her smiled widened slightly as she shoved him with her shoulder. “That didn’t hurt and you know it.” She knew it too, because he possessed a “high pain tolerance”, as he’d reminded her on countless occasions. With a light chuckle, he shoved her with his shoulder like she had to him. “Good, you remembered.” Then, he froze, stopping in his tracks. His icy blue eyes locked on something ahead. “Uh, oh…” Her eyes followed his line of sight and easily spotted two teenagers making a beeline for them. Or, rather her, because she went to address Lukas to discover he’d vanished. Again. He’d done this frequently in her life, and it always annoyed her. He didn’t up and poof away in a puff of smoke, but he always picked the perfect moment to disappear on her, usually moments he didn’t want to deal with. “Freaking kidding me, Wolfe!” The two kids stopped about three feet from her. The girl waved and greeted, “Hi!” Her personality bubbled with childish excitement, like a kid stuck in a sixteen-year-old’s rather bulky body. Jaden stared at her for a moment before weakly raising a hand as well. “Hi?” The boy with her rolled his eyes. “Jess, you’re freaking her out.” The girl’s eyes widened slightly. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to startle you.” “Not startled,” Jaden replied slowly, “Just weirded out. What can I do for you two?” The girl and boy looked at each other briefly before turning attention back to her. “My name’s Jessica, but most people call me Jessi. My twin brother here, Kiran, usually calls me Jess or JV, just randomly picking between four different variations of my name. It’s a good thing I’m used to being addressed with all four throughout my life.” Kiran’s head rolled back as he sighed, “Jess, diarrhea of the mouth again. I honestly don’t think she cares about your millions of nicknames.” Shaking a hand at him, Jaden said, “It’s fine. I don’t mind. My sister’s the same way sometimes. So, Jessi, Kiran… Can I help you with something?” The two teens exchanged looks again before looking back at her. Jessi told her, “We think someone might be looking for you.” Raising an eyebrow, Jaden responded, “Probably my parents. They’ve been wandering around this Gaylord center every time I have mandatory events. I’ll find them eventually, I promise. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” She walked around them, but only made it two steps before the two kids stepped into her path. Holding up a hand, a “STOP” gesture, Jessi told her, “No, not your parents. Someone else. Someone bad.” In her mind, Jaden could only call them crazy kids with overactive imaginations. Right when that thought crossed her mind, she recalled that being her parents’ initial reaction to her seeing the figments. These two probably have been dealing with the same stuff she had her whole life, and she felt a pang of empathy for them. “Look, I’m sure security around here will be able to pick him up like a sore thumb.” Jessi shook her head, her sandy brown hair flying around at the rapid, overly-excited speed she swung it. Jaden caught scattered blonde highlights in the strands of her bob-like haircut. “No, they can’t, because no one can see him. Nobody but you.” Jaden’s heart started pounding in her chest, her skin chilled with goosebumps. Did these two kids, strangers at that, really know that she was a schizo? Shaking her head slightly to snap out of her worrisome, panicked thoughts, she replied, “I have no idea what you mean by that. Plus, I’ve got a seminar at four that I can’t be late for.” This time, Kiran spoke up, “Which seminar?” She hesitated. Clearly these two needed help, or at least needed to stick with their guardian or chaperone. But, she really didn’t see the harm in sharing. “‘Budgeting for Needs and Wants’. Since I’ll be coming out of college debt-free, thanks to my dad’s military benefits, I need to figure out how to budget once I don’t have my parents to help. I graduate in about three years, so it’s better to be prepared, you know?” Kiran’s eyes lit up, his irises a blue-green that reflected the color of the ocean. “Oh, cool! That sounds like fun! Mind if we tag along?” As much as Jaden wanted to get as far away from these unhinged children as fast as she could, she bit back her stress and told them nonchalantly, “Yeah, sure, that’s seems okay with me. You can join me. Make sure you have a notebook handy. I’ve heard the speaker is amazing and gives tons of good advice.” Kiran’s mouth widened into a huge smile. “That’s sounds awesome! Sold! C’mon, Jess, let’s go learn about finances.” Jessi stared at her brother for a few seconds before sighing heavily. “Alright, Mr. Studious Crazy, I’ll come too. Take notes for both of us though. I don’t want to zone out and not have the amazing knowledge this strange businessman has to offer.” Jaden recognized the slight sarcasm in the girl’s words, but Kiran’s excitement blocked him from identifying it himself. “Great! Lead the way…” He faded off, biting his lip. He glanced at her and then at his sister. Mentally rolling her eyes, Jaden filled in the missing blank: “Jaden. Jaden Walker.” With a smile, Jessi responded, “Nice to meet you, Jaden. I hope we won’t slow you down much.” As she held back a laugh, remembering a ton of times that Lukas had said that to her in jest, she told her, “Trust me, I’ve dealt with worse. Okay, I believe that seminar is in room 2B.” “Excellent!” Kiran rubbed his hands together, during which Jaden thought she saw sparks flying out. Trying to snap herself out of those thoughts didn’t work at first. First figments, and now I’m imagining electricity popping out of a kid’s hands. Don’t tell me my problem is branching out more… “Let’s go!” Kiran’s shout of excitement shocked her out of it. Her head snapped up from where it had been angled at the floor to find the two teens halfway across the atrium. Kiran waved at her excitedly. “C’mon, slowpoke! Thought this was your panel choice.” Her face cracked a small smile at his eagerness. As she walked to catch up with them, a question ran through her head that worried her. Did they know? Followed by a second one: How?
This week is only halfway over, but my heart aches. The thoughts of disbelief still swirl in my head, but the unfortunate truth is that she’s gone, and I can’t fix that.
If this is your first venture into my slice of the internet called Terrara Vikos, go through some of my previous posts to catch up, like [this one] or maybe [this one]. The long story short: my best friend, my co-author, and my co-Youtube vlogger JV died unexpectedly in a car crash on January 31,2017. She was my age, low 20s, and she and her husband of just over a year were expecting a child.
A child that was due tomorrow.
August 31st, 2017.
Exactly seven months after her death.
You know, the last seven months without her have been extremely difficult. I received the same message every weekday night, “Heading Home Now”, which was my cue to call her and talk with her during her 45-50 minute drive home. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that it’s been seven months since I got one of those messages. I can still hear her voice, her laugh, her hyperactive shouts of joy. She had a bright future ahead of her, one that was destroyed in a second because someone ran a red light and T-boned her.
You know, I’d been telling her for years that someday she’d make a great mother. She just had that personality and temperament that would have raised an amazingly kind child.
If you have been reading my blog posts and are up-to-date, you would know that I’m releasing my first book in my KINETICS series, titled KINETIC REBIRTH. If you didn’t know that, check out my cover reveal post [here]. If you did, and you read on a Kindle, click [here] to preorder your eBook copy. The eBook releases September 19th, a full month before the Print version goes live on October 19th.
This series is special to me, as every character was one that JV and I came up with to roleplay together since 2011. Except one, which is JV herself. I have written her as accurate to the real JV as I could. She is also in my prequel short for the series, available on Instafreebie only [here]. This series is my ultimate dedication to her, and the friendship with her I so cherished.
If you are a print reader, and want a reminder closer to the release date and/or on the release date, sign up for my newsletter [here].
Yep, working on Account #4 right now, alongside working on KINETICS #2 as well. If you haven’t read my CHAOS ACCOUNTS series, click [here] to be taken to my page with links to the first three stories, which will be updated with each subsequent release.
So, actually a lot has been going on since last Wednesday’s post. Unfortunately, most of it I can’t reveal yet. I will be able to soon, but that information is classified.
However, I can give you a few updates, that hopefully can tide ya’ll over a bit.
1) Kinetics, Book 1, titled “KINETIC REBIRTH”, is now nearing the end of post-production. Thanks to some swift money decisions and management techniques, I can now manage a longer pre-order gap! If you asked me a week or two ago, I would’ve said, “I *might* be able to start preorders three weeks before release day…”, and probably averted my gaze and bit my lip in nervous hesitance and disappointment. NO MORE!!!
I now have the ability to have preorders ready before summer’s end (sometime in August or so). I’M SOOOOOO BEYOND EXCITED!!! This novel is my proudest accomplishment. It is my favorite out of the group of ten manuscripts I’ve finished since starting my writing journey back in March 2004. I am so excited to share this new world I’ve created with you guys! It came so naturally, thanks to the inspiration behind it: my best friend JV. The idea came to me a few weeks after her passing, and the manuscript was done within the next month and a half. So, edits are now done, covers are *underway* (*coughcough* details later *coughcough* I promise *coughcough*), and post-production nears its inevitable completion.
2) Just to tease ya’ll a bit, I’m going to have a short story releasing within the next few weeks, via Instafreebie and Wattpad. Somewhere along the way – not sure if before or after KINETIC REBIRTH’s release – I will be making it available all ebook platforms. Leaning more toward post-Book 1 release. But, keep your eyes peeled on my Facebook Author Page [here] for news in the coming weeks.
3) So, a brief notice about THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS. I know Account #3, “Account of Friendship”, left off at an unfortunate cliffhanger. I have a two-parter story for Account #4, which will resolve the cliffhanger I left before. However, I currently am wrapped up in KINETIC REBIRTH production and marketing, so THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS have taken a back seat. Just wanted you all to know I haven’t forgotten about Blaine, Luz, and Division 3, and that those next two stories will be written and released as soon as things die down a bit.
4) Oh, and Book #2 in the KINETICS series started a few weeks ago. Just FYI. 😀
And, to finish off, below is my #TeaserTuesday for the week.
Keep Faith, Vikans.
And October 19th is less than 4 months away. Just in case you didn’t realize that. : )