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.
Well, guys, another bust week. Only wrote 2 out of 7 days, and not a ton of words, but at least I’m making some progress! Lots of barriers lately, with family members’ health, my new responsibilities at work, trying to kickstart some freelancing stuff on Fiverr and my new layout business here,… Oh and don’t forget the holiday season!
But, I believe this’ll smooth over soon, and I can try to reach a good streak with #productivity2020 when the new decade begins. I feel a lot is going to happen in my life in 2020. Not sure what or when, but good things are coming for me, and hopefully, you readers of mine too!
Anyway, onto the accountability portion of this #summarysunday blog post::
2019/12 – December – Week 51 out of 53
Total WC: 952
Projects worked on: “Cast The First Stone” (First Kingdom Files #1)
Percentage of Days Written (by week):
Current Stats for week’s Projects::
“Cast The First Stone”
Here’s a snippet from “Cast The First Stone”, the only project I worked on this week::
<<< Start Quote >>>
In a flash, her hand flew forward, instinctively stopping a staff of wood swinging for her head. Her eyes opened wider and snapped to the kNightmaster, who now stood just inches from her, putting light pressure against her aching hand. Through gritted teeth, he growled, “You have no idea who you’re messing with, Princess.”
Her own mouth twitching into a small smirk of her own from rising adrenaline, Chrissy replied lightly, “You know what? I think I kinda like it that way.”
Aaaaaand, that, boys and girls, is how NOT to talk to a kNight. You’ll understand why when this book comes out. Hopefully sooner than I can picture right now.
Also, big news within the next week. Just trying to prep a few things on my end before making the official announcement, so keep your screens on watch mode. As a hint, it’s KINETICS related. 😀
Anyway, I’ll be checking in every Sunday, keeping myself accountable and giving you all updates as to my current status for my Productivity Goals for 2020.
If you’d like to take this journey with me, I will be uploading a downloadable Excel Spreadsheet template for you all to download and join in for the upcoming year. Also, if you want to participate, use hashtag #Productivity2020 on social media (Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc, etc), so maybe we can all motivate each other when one of us hits a low point.
Here’s where you can find me, keep up to date on me, and follow my marathon that is writing for a majority of 2020:
So, to keep myself accountable in 2020, I plan on doing these “Summary Sunday” posts, where I post screenshots of progress, talk about the events that either limited my writing time or boosted my inspiration, and potentially give a random snippet of something I’ve written from that week. Sounds like fun! Right?
This month, as it is still 2019, will be my “Trial Run” month, getting me into a rhythm and giving my mind and muscle memory a fighting chance when the marathon of #Productivity2020 begins on Jan 1st, 2020.
Then here we go!
2019/12 – December – Week 49 out of 53
Total WC: 4,933
Projects worked on: Cast The First Stone (First Kingdom Files #1)
Percentage of Days Written (by week):
Current Stats for week’s Projects::
“Cast The First Stone”
Here’s a snippet from “Cast The First Stone”, the only project I worked on this week::
<<< Start Quote >>> “And you didn’t bother to mention your name, jackass,” Chrissy snarled, “So… ‘Well, well’…” She noticed a slight twitch in the man’s jaw as she mimicked portions of what he’d just said in the thickest, most sarcastic way possible. Okay, appeared she could get on his nerves if she needed to. Bonus news. “What should I call you? Because as of now, all I can come up with is the Man in Black.”
His wicked grin twitched a few times, with a dribble of blood slowly creeping from the corner of his lips. The man scooched to sit upright with his back against the tree’s trunk and commented flippantly, “Well, last I checked, that name is already taken by the Dark Tower series and movie by Steven King. Gotta say, Matthew McConaughey was brilliant in that movie adaptation, so I am flattered that would be the nickname you give little ol’ me-”
Scowling, Chrissy swiped her arm out again, sending more Wind at him. She heard a slight crack when the man snapped the tree from the force and tumbled further back. The tree crashed to the ground in a heap. She gazed down at her hands which were flashing between her skin color and bright white. How did I…
“Seeing that strong of power makes me a giddy as a kid in a candy store.”
So, in that scene, we are introduced to the mysterious kNightmaster, a young man not too much older than my protagonist Chrissy. He’s both a sadist and a masochist, and loves toying with his prey. Unfortunately for our heroine, in this moment of time of her story, Chrissy appears to be this vicious, twisted man’s new prey. Will that turn out to be true? And why would he want her as his prey? And how long was he on Earth to be able to see “The Dark Tower“, as it released in theaters in 2017. And, you might be asking about the timeline. Trust me, it’s a knot of interweaving stories that I’m still trying to untangle, but I knw it’ll be worth it in the end. Look out, world. I might have just started working on an intertwined universe that could rival Marvel and the MCU at some point.
… A stretch, you say? *shrugs* Eh wishful thinking. Can the chronically depressed author be psitive every so once in a while?
Anyway, I’ll be checking in every Sunday, giving updates as to my Productivity Goal for 2020.
If you’d like to take this journey with me, I will be uploading a downloadable Excel Spreadsheet template for you all to download and join in for the upcoming year. Also, if you want to particpate, use hashtag #Productivity2020 on social media (Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc, etc), so maybe we can all motivate each other when one of us hits a low point.
Here’s where you can find me, keep up to date on me, and follow my marathon that is writing for a majority of 2020:
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.
What happened? 2018, gone just like that? Where’d the year go?
When I realized what that meant, I felt like I’d barely accomplished anything of value in my life. Had I written stuff? Yes, I had.
However, the kicker for me was this…
I hadn’t published much of anything.
Granted, three works got published, but without really any noticeable success, either reader-wise or sales-wise. “Account of Secrets” and “KINETIC MEMORY” both were released in January 2018, with the 5th CHAOS ACCOUNTS story (“Account of Risks“) released in July 2018. Yes, these are published works, but my mind believes that even with those releases, there is a lack of accomplishment or fulfillment. Especially because the last two months, as 2018 started coming to a close, my inspiration and motivation to write weakened, due to anxiety of holidays, day job, and prepping for my wedding in Fall 2019. (Getting engaged was one of few high points in 2018, let me tell you.)
I feel a bit weird about all of that in general. Think about it for a second. 2017, after I lost JV, was my most productive and active year of my writing career thus far. I wrote the first 4 CHAOS ACCOUNTS stories and published 3 of them. I also published a prequel ebook (“KINETIC TRAGEDY“; only available on Instafreebie) and the first KINETICS book (“KINETIC REBIRTH“), as well as written that whole first book, its sequel, and the fifth CHAOS story, rounding out that series’s first Arc.
Move onto 2018. I wrote as much as I could, but the inspiration and motivation started to wane and weaken. I ended up transferring to a merger company that my day job joined with, a company that started business early 2018. Since I had to learn a completely new system and way of doing day-to-day activities, plus having to interact with people of lots of different personalities and work ethics. That was a HUGE learning curve, and I think that stress and elevated anxiety was probably a root cause for lack of activity.
Now, like I said above, I got a LOT of writing done in 2018, at least in the first half or so. Highlights:
— Finished writing AND personally editing first drafts to the third AND fourth KINETICS books, as well as written 1/3 of the fifth and final installment
— Wrote a couple thousand words for CHAOS ACCOUNTS #6, as well as began formatting for the first CHAOS ACCOUNTS collection, for Accounts #1-5 (Aiming for physical copies of this as well)
— Worked on editing old WIP projects
— Started writing new WIPs – one that I’m presently working on in hopes of traditional publishing (hopefully)
However, still hardly any publishing credits for most of 2018. I have a good amount of finished projects, as well as dozens of WIPs. You want proof?
Yeah, looking at that makes my head spin too.
The above and below screenshots are a spreadsheet that catalogs progress on any projects I’ve written for as far back as New Year’s 2011. That means today marks eight years of consistent writing, and hopefully useful words and maybe eventually books / ebooks. I created this Spreadsheet around 2014/2015-ish, and any projects I’ve made progress on since then actually keeps track of my word count each day for whatever project I wrote for. I’m OCD to the max, I already know this. 😉 But, the above is almost all my projects, either WIPs, completed novels, or spin-offs/sequels to earlier projects in the first two categories. Any project since 2011. ANY.
Now, the top right of this spreadsheet made me feel at least slightly accomplished when I did my end of the year WC check:
Yes, you are seeing correctly. Eight years of monitoring my word counts, and in the year 2018, I reached over 1.1 million words written, either in completed works or the word counts in my present WIPs, since 2011.
Then, looking through my project tabs, I mentally remembered plot lines to the WIPs I hadn’t touched in years, smiled slightly. Those 1.1 million words created so many great ideas and so many happy memories. Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to share them with you.
I replacement of a New Year’s resolution (as no one keeps those anyway), I will be even more meticulous when it comes to my writing schedule. I’ve added tabs to that massive spreadsheet, where I will also record each day’s word counts. I’ve added a reference tab as well, where I outline the minimum word count I’d like to achieve each month, and even broke that minimum to how many words per day I’d need to reach the monthly goal. I chose different minimums for each month, varying depending on what activities I know will be going on that month, outside of author-dom existence. Hopefully I can stick to this OCD recording better than I have my blog in recent years.
I will also attempt to save money to eventually roll out KINETICS #3 and #4 in the coming years (as self-pubbing costs money, and I really don’t have a huge fanbase. Actually, to be honest, might only have a handful of them. Wish I was more visible…).
And, as always, I will write. I write for my readers. I write for myself. And, I write for my future, as well as the futures of anyone that cares to grab digital and / or print copies of my books and stories. As an author, the best part about getting your stories out there is to have people take a leap of faith and join your characters on their journeys. And, even with the minimal readers I have now, I will always write stories. Because, maybe one day, I’ll look back and be happy that I took a leap of faith too, hoping people might enjoy my stories. And, hopefully, that dream might become a reality.
Lots been happening lately, both in personal and professional life. With things shifting around at day job, prepping Book #2, and trying to catch back up on NaNoWriMo targets, I am wiped.
Okay, I’ll touch on some of that a bit more.
For those of you unaware, November is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It’s a month-long challenge to writers and authors of all types, all chasing after the coveted 50,000 word mark in the thirty days of November. Some start brand new projects, others work on a previously-started WiP, but only count new words (the latter is me). Essentially, we have 30 days to write a brand new 50,000 words on a project. To break it down, that’s approximately 1,667 words a day. And, when you have a day job, it can be hard to find time for words. Thank God for notebooks and wireless Bluetooth headsets. As of today, I’ve fallen a bit behind. I’m at just over 12k as of last night, and yesterday’s goal was over 13k. By tonight, the goal is a solid 15k. I might not reach it, but I’m gonna try to get there. If not, I’ll have the weekend to play catch-up, and maybe created that ‘buffer’ I wanted to make last weekend.
KINETCS, Book 3.
I know what you’re thinking, so give me a second, alright.
You’re thinking: “Book 3? What happened to Book 2?”
Well, as I hinted above, there is some progress on Book #2 in my KINETICS series. You hear this first here on my blog, as I probably won’t announce on my newsletter list until I get more final products. I got my edits back a little while ago, completely my edits based on her comments, and it is now in process of proofreading. Then, in December, I will hopefully be getting a cover created by the ever-AMAZING Designed By Starla. Starla did my covers for KINETIC REBIRTH, KINETIC TRAGEDY prequel short on Instafreebie, and even as far back as THE PRTOEKTOR’S REALITY. Always amazing, always professional, and always fun to know and talk and coordinate with. To other aspiring authors out there, check her out if you want a cover done. Because she will take your hazy ideas and make it into a cover-come-true.
So, based on timing for cover, layouts, and proofreading, we’re looking at an early 2018 release. January sometime, if everything in life flows like it should.
Keep in mind, Book #1 (KINETIC REBIRTH) just released earlier this fall (2017). To be honest, I promoted my buns off, and still didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, not gonna lie. It was better than THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY’s release back in 2014, and I’m glad I put that series on hold for a while. But, even though I’ve watched my eBook’s ranking fluctuate (a sign people in the Kindle Unlimited subscription program are downloading it), haven’t have more than two people read it from KU, one an old peer at college, who finished it (If that person is reading this, THANK YOU!!), and another unknown reader on KU who’s only read about a third of it so far. I haven’t made any eBook sales since three days after digital release, and have yet to make any print book sales in the month of November. My print sales in October were pretty depressing too. But, as I said above, the launch was more successful internet-wise than TPR, just not as many hand-to-hand sales with family and old friends who wanted signed copies.
So, here’s what I’m going to do. To anyone reading this (and come this far down, I applaud you dedicated readers), comment below what your favorite paranormal ability and/or superpower is, and why. I will pick a favorite after two weeks from this blog posting (around 11/23/17, which is Thanksgiving for my fellow Americans), and I will connect with that winner to send them a signed copy of KINETIC REBIRTH, along with a printed booklet for KINETIC TRAGEDY, a story that is currently only available as an Instafreebie short, and is in print NOWHERE ELSE. You’ve got two weeks to comment, and get creative. Jokes and humor around topic will get brownie points toward picking the winner as well.
Well, hopefully I can pick up my weekly blogging routine again.
This is my goal schedule for the next 3 weeks of NaNo:
Weekdays – Day Job, notebook writing, lunch with notebook writing, travel 30 mins home, transcribing with music blasting, extra writing to reach goal, dinner, possible proofreading, sleep
Before finished proofreading – Wake up as early as my brain will function (probably between 7-9 AM), write, caffeine, video editing, writing, video editing, writing, break for lunch w/ Boyfriend, write, possible proofreading, free time, writing, dinner, more possible proofreading, sleep
Post-Proofreading – Wake up as early as my brain will function (probably between 7-9 AM), write, caffeine, video editing, writing, video editing, writing, break for lunch w/ Boyfriend, write, layout, free time, writing, dinner, more layout, sleep
Wish me luck, Vikans. Hopefully more news and advice next week!
I know, it isn’t Wednesday. But my regular blog posts are Wednesdays, right? Why would I switch up my schedule?
BECAUSE KINETIC REBIRTH IS NOW AVAILABLE DIGITALLY ON KINDLE!!
Yes, that’s right, friends. September 19th, 2017 has finally arrived, and I am so excited and beyond terrified at the same time. To me, this book is my greatest accomplishment, and my ultimate dedication to JV (If you don’t know who she is, go read a few previous blog posts. Long story short, she was one of my best friends who was killed early this year, and I have inserted her as one of the heroes, being as true to who she was as I could manage). It’ll give me a little bit of closure, knowing she will be forever immortalized in my writing. She was my beta reader, my inspiration, my co-author (on another series), and my best friend. She was almost like a sister to me, so this is the least I can do to honor her life and memory.
KINETIC REBIRTH is also available for Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscribers as well. Also, for those of you that don’t have a Kindle, there’s a Kindle app for smartphones, tablets, and any other AppStore technologies.
Just for a brief update on projects, I finally beat a week-long writing slump and cranked out almost 2k on my KINETICS #2 WIP, bringing rough word count to over 42,000 words. Chaos Accounts #4 also got hit by that writing slump, so it won’t be out as soon as I had hoped. Also, I dabbled just a tad on me and JV’s series, but can’t work on it too much for a lock-up of JV’s notebooks. No worries; I’ll get them eventually, but it’ll be a while. I’m also considering an attempt to go the traditional route with our co-authored series. When the book nears completion in a year or two, I’ll decide for sure.
You can grab your digital copy of KINETIC REBIRTH off Amazon [here]. If you’re more of a print version, subscribe to my newsletter [here] to be reminded closer to Print release day and on actual print release day on October 19th, 2017.
Hope you all enjoy reading this adventure as much as I loved writing it.
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?
Here you guys go; today as promised! Here’s the cover to KINETIC REBIRTH::
AWESOME, RIGHT! I owe this beautifully perfect cover, and the matching one for the KINETIC TRAGEDY prequel eBook short, to Designed By Starla. She is always a joy to work with, and it’s almost like she can read your mind sometimes!
Alright, so, I know I promised a surprise along with this cover reveal. Here it is::
Yep, you read the hyperlinked-text correctly! KINETIC REBIRTH is now available as an eBook preorder on Amazon! And, if you venture over to that page, you’ll notice the release date says “September 19th, 2017”. No, that’s not a typo. Yes, I am serious. The Kindle version of this, the first book in my KINETICS series, will release a month before the print. Print copies still won’t be available until October 19th, as I have advertised before, as that day is so important for my life and my friendship with JV.
Speaking of which, a few hours ago, my wonderful Boyfriend drove me 30 minutes to the cemetery to visit JV. This will have been the first time I’d been to see her since the day she was buried there. We bought some yellow flowers, as they are the symbol of life-long friendship. As it rained last night, we brought a trash bag to lay under my towel, so I could sit and talk to her, like old times. Boyfriend even just wandered around the cemetery to give me and JV some alone time. I played some new Peter Hollens music for her, showed her my new re-branded covers, and introduced her to JV Jr. I told her that I would give up anything, even my skill and ability to write stories – my passion and life – if it meant I could bring her back. I kinda felt her wanting to slap me for that, because she knows how important my writing is to me, and would never want me to give that up. Lots of tears were shed, but I felt her right there with me. When I headed to the car, Boyfriend (he told me this later) went to her resting place, put a hand on the stone, and said to her, “I know I’m not as great a listener as you are, but I promise I’ll take care of Christine for you. She’ll be looked after, I promise.” Then, he followed me to the car, hugged me, and I proceeded to sob like a baby. I had never felt so close to JV before, but it finally hit me that she wasn’t coming back.
This new series, this new universe of KINETICS and magic, has made me feel so much closer to JV. I’ve gotten a handful of compliments from my select ARC readers, some of them who knew JV, and said she was the best character, and the ones that knew her said my portrayal of her was spot on and perfect. Every compliment I get on JV’s character brings me closer to tears of happiness. Every. Single. Time.
If you are even remotely interested in how special JV was to me and everyone she interacted with, go preorder a digital copy of KINETIC REBIRTH, and, in the meantime, head on over to Instafreebie for the short eBook prequel story (KINETIC TRAGEDY) to tide you over until the Kindle release in September.
If you are a physical copy kind of person, follow me on Twitter, or Like my Author Page on FB, so you can see my posts and be reminded when the print book comes out. Trust me, I know a lot can happen in two months, and I wouldn’t want you to forget about this ultimate dedication to my best friend.
I know she’s still near. I can feel her.
And, the only thing I can say to her, is summed up perfectly in my last words at her grave site today:
“Jessi, you were my best friend, my coauthor, pretty much a sister to me. You made me a better friend, a better writer, a better person. I am so lucky you were a part of my life, no matter how few years our friendship was. I am so grateful God put you in my life, and I will make sure your energy, your personality, your passion, and your life will remain immortal within the pages of my books. And, for everything you’ve done for me, I cannot explain in few enough words. So, simply put, Thank you, Jess. For everything.”
Keep Faith, everyone. And keep love in your hearts, because that is the sole thing that beats despair. Love will always win.