Got it covered #IWSG

…I don’t feel like it lately, but I keep plugging along. There’s a lot happening within the next week alone that has my head spinning. I’m not sure I want to look too much ahead right this second.

However, I’ve managed to get some editing done on book 7 lately. I’m hoping I can get back on schedule somehow. That leads to this month’s question…

IWSG question of the month: If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

While I would love to be able to make my own covers, I don’t have the talent for it. For now, until I get to a point where I’d be happy with something I produce, I do have someone else make my covers.

The person I’ve worked with up until now has been wonderful. The hard part has become the cost. I’d love custom artwork of my characters, but that’s definitely out of my reach at the moment.

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New year, new… #IWSG

Nope. Just nope. Not doing resolutions because things will not happen. That’s how it goes with me. I’ve got personal goals in mind that I’d like to work on, but if I can at least manage to actually work on them, I’ll consider it a win.

The hard part is motivation to do so. Time as well especially for the next few months or so.

Of course, I just had to go think about all of that and how much it’s going to just be one thing after another. x.x

2023 is already shaping up to be a year of changes. Mainly for my daughter, but while I’m not the one bridging up to a Scouts BSA Troop or starting middle school in August (among other things), I’m still involved.

And I’ve still got tasks from 2022 that I need to deal with. My poor beta readers are probably wondering what happened.

We’re only a few days into the new year and it’s shaping up to be a bit crazy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I just might be more erratic than usual.

IWSG Question of the Month: Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year? For instance, in 2021 my word of the year was Finish. I was determined to finish my first draft by the end of the year. In 2022, my word of the year was Ease. I want to get my process, systems, finances, and routines where life flows with ease and less chaos. What is your word for 2023? 

Like for me to pick the word? No, I never considered trying to narrow down everything to a single word. I’m not entirely certain I could ever decide on a single word for a year – I’d change my mind too often.

“Change” is pretty obvious with what is to come, but again, this is not one that I necessarily would have chosen. It’s not a bad one to use and could prove to make for an interesting adventure. I just don’t have any particular goal in mind to tack onto it.

For now I’ll simply roll with what I’m dealt and see where life wants to take me.

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Priorities #IWSG

Needless to say, mine have been kind of messed up as of late and I’m doing my best to recover. Though it doesn’t help when someone pings you in three different places to do something “right this second” that really doesn’t need to be. I spend more time clearing out the pings and being aggravated about it than getting something done.

I’ve got an email that came in at the beginning of NaNoWriMo that I need to respond to. A copy of Phantom Descent to put up for my beta readers. Now short stories I need to start going over from this NaNo. The list goes on and that’s not getting into anything beyond writing.

That fairly well leads into this month’s IWSG question…

IWSG Question of the Month – It’s holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

Usually this is my clean up time before I hand anything over to my alpha reader. Lately he’s been getting the word vomit though so I’m not sure. Looking at my growing schedule, it’s quickly turning into the latter of falling behind.

Right now I’m stuck on one of the stories going into the compilation and I’ll need more to get it to a size worth putting together. Though with the first three alone I’m almost halfway there and that’s before they’ve gone through any editing. And we all know me – I gain word count in editing because I draft so minimally.

Well, I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. I’ll be over here trying to catch up on things while my daughter prepares to give me yet another existential crisis.

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Genre problems #IWSG

I am horribly inconsistent with writing IWSG posts. Really any blog posts, but mostly because I’m not sure what to write most of the time.

As for the last couple of months… I took book 7 through Camp NaNo for edits in July and kind of just stopped. Right there in the middle of expanding the epilogue. Haven’t touched it since then.

Not to say I haven’t been writing. Just on nothing productive. I need to get back on it and finish it out so I can send it off to my beta readers next month and gear toward whatever I’m going to write for NaNoWriMo in November. No idea what I want to do for it this year. I can attempt book 8 or tackle some other (non-Terra) projects that have been waiting for their turn.

IWSG question of the month: What genre would be the worst one for you to tackle and why?

My knee-jerk reaction would be to say romance, but while I struggle through it, it’s surprisingly not the worst. My next thought was anything historic until I remembered that project that’s been glaring at me from the shadows for over a decade waiting for me to try and tackle it again.

Looking through Wikipedia’s list of genres, religious/inspirational would likely be the worst for me to write. I get too twisted/dark to be able to carry a story like that the entire way through. Pretty sure I’d be run out.

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Player is on Another World #IWSG

It’s July, it’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and that means I’m neck deep in editing. I write/edit all the time, but I tend to do a much tighter focus during NaNo events. A few people caught me at Gem State Gaming Con this past weekend editing book 7 while it was quiet (and silently cussing the overhead lights and my lack of external keyboard – not sure where that thing went).

It was a fun weekend. Was able to reconnect with a lot of people and learned a lot. I was pretty sleep deprived and over-caffeinated so it may take me a while to process it all. The business part of writing has always had me insecure and I’m grateful for the advice I was given.

IWSG Question of the Month: If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

Does it have to be a book world? Asking because I’m pretty obsessed with the story for Final Fantasy XIV. And yes, I’m fully caught up on main scenario.

There’s a lot of worlds I would probably enjoy living in so the choice becomes near impossible. Some books I’ve read, I doubt I’d see much difference from the current world. Others it would be so drastically different I wonder if I could even fit in. I suppose even my own is on the table as an option.

I don’t know. There are far too many tempting options. Plenty I would quickly turn down as well.

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Keep chipping away #IWSG

Since I don’t have much to share from the month, I’ll jump right into the question.

IWSG question of the month: When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

The answer to this varies. Sometimes I’ll jump ahead. Sometimes I’ll grab my side story file and hash out if I’m getting stuck. A few times a story will get shelved and I’ll let it sit before coming back to it. But a coach I had would often yell out for the class to keep chipping away (because there felt like no end to wall ball shots). It’s kind of stuck with me.

Eventually it comes together. Keep in mind, I am a notorious pantser.

With the exception of Twisted Magics, I’ve made a playlist for every book, which helps, but that’s me. Constants are anything for battle music. Then there’s others that I’ll have for just general emotions through certain parts. Usually I’ll add something I just feel like listening to. Even while working on a project, I’ll make adjustments to the playlist.

Though I have a lot of projects that I haven’t touched or that have been shelved for years. Terra takes up most of my time and I still haven’t figured out what I want to do with these other things. There’s one that I’ve been wanting to expand upon that might be the size of a novella by the end of it, but it still sits and haunts me.

For now, back to Terra stuff.

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Rollercoaster ride #IWSG

What happened to April?

In between the chaos that is now my schedule, I managed to get some heavy lifting done on book 7. Added a few new scenes and increased the overall word count. Just not to where I want to be for a minimum.

Strangely, I do have a minimum for the books. If I fall below that, I know I’m missing things. I didn’t finish the pass through I was on before I tossed it at my alpha reader hoping for another perspective (he wanted some reading material for in-flight). We’ll see what he has to say when he gets back, though I’ve gotten some feedback already.

But before I get to the IWSG question of the month, I want to give a huge shout out to everyone who stopped by my table at Gem State Comic Con. You are all awesome and you have no idea how much I enjoyed seeing some returning faces! I’m looking forward to seeing people at Gem State Gaming Con in July.

IWSG question of the month: It’s the best of times; it’s the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

There are tons of highs and lows. I kind of touched on some above, but I think my favorite high is when a scene just comes together. Especially if it’s one that I had been fighting with.

Though giving my alpha reader (a welcomed) mental whiplash was fun also.

Lows? Probably when the words won’t come. When I can’t get the scene to play in my head. These are usually times that I know I need this particular scene, but damned if I can get it to come out.

Granted, book 7 overall nearly getting canned was a pretty big low. My first attempt at it was a spectacular disaster. While I salvaged quite a bit from it, things I had wanted to introduce got put on the back burner in favor of being able to keep the overall story.

Art of any medium is a rollercoaster ride. While you’ll likely not be getting me on an actual rollercoaster anytime soon, this one I’ve ridden for so long that getting off seems strange.

And, finally, because we can all have some Star Wars fun:

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Listening #IWSG

Ack! It’s Camp NaNo and I’ve taken on likely more than I can manage. I’ve got a table at Gem State Comic Con this weekend that I need to make sure I have everything prepped for. Signed up/paid for two more events this summer this month. Pinewood Derby for my daughter’s Pack was earlier this week (sorry, no pictures – I was running around with my iPad and a list of racers and their numbers which made me look official enough or something to get ALL the questions). And there’s still plenty more on the calendar that I don’t want to think about right now.

Doesn’t leave much time for other projects to try and get to at the moment. Though book 7 edits is the project for Camp NaNo so at least there’s progress there.

IWSG question of the month: Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

Not yet. I’m exploring options still, but unless I can bring that cost much further down, I cannot afford to make any of them into audiobooks. I have a decent mic and the program to do it myself, but I’m not certain I would be the best person to be the narrator. I don’t have the training as a voice over actor. Though I could probably muddle through what I vaguely remember of audio production.

That and I have a pair of noisemakers in the house even when I’m the only human there and a surprisingly busy neighborhood. I’d have to invest in some soundproofing.

So, I am still looking into doing audiobooks when I have the chance, but for the moment it has to be set on the “I’ll get to it eventually” pile that is ever growing. The thought of running a Kickstarter or something with Patreon or Ko-Fi has crossed my mind to help with the cost, but I’m not sure I would make it for one book to be produced (and having six out currently that could be done as audiobooks makes those numbers look even more insurmountable).

For now, it’s back to getting ready for the con this weekend. I can definitely say I’ll also be at Gem State Gaming Convention this summer (I’ve missed this con!). The other one is always weird to try and announce early because I’m never quite sure I have my spot until I start getting responses closer to the event. I’m very much hoping other events return or are able to run fully again.

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Just because you can doesn’t mean you should #IWSG

I should start this post with some progress. Yes, I’ve finally gone back and started editing book 7. It was in a much better place than I feared it was (post NaNoWriMo chaos is always questionable). I’ve got plenty of editing still to do and possibly some scenes to add since it’s a bit thin for my liking.

I’ve put it back down for now with the chaos of life. Though I’ll pick it up again soon. When I have two of them going at the same time, the newest one kind of goes on and off hold for these first few months of the year anyway while I prepare the other for publication. It’s enough of a routine that I’m unconcerned at the moment.

The major reason for putting book 7 back on hold is my calendar is filling quickly this month and most of it belongs to my daughter. If it was merely taking her to drop her off and wait, I’d likely be poking at Scrivener on my phone if I didn’t take my iPad with me. However, my attention will be required.

IWSG question of the month: Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

So many times. Especially when it’s adding scenes during editing. Does this fit? Is this just for my own entertainment? Does this help the story at all?

While I ask those questions, I also look to see if it there’s a way to work it so it’ll fit/help. Most of the time I can get it to play nice. I’m not sure if I’ve ever really trashed a scene after writing it (excluding when I’ve done a complete rewrite of something). This may be more because I write so minimally when I draft that I’m constantly having to add.

That and overthinking things before I start is a specialty of mine.

As for being conflicted about writing a whole story, absolutely. Every time I start something, but if I don’t write it, I won’t know. If it doesn’t work out, no one else has to see it.

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Paralyzing fear #IWSG

You know that rough of book 7 I was talking about? Yeah… I still haven’t looked at the file again. Why? I’m scared.

And that’s not the only thing lately. I’ve been trying to pick up some new skills or returning to things I used to do, but stopped because… well, I sucked. I know I’m fighting myself on the “if you’re not immediately good at this why bother?” part that I grew up with and knowing it takes time and practice. A particular line from Firefly comes to mind:

“She understands, she doesn’t comprehend.”

Firefly “Objects in Space” River Tam

Writing escaped a lot of that because I kept it secret and private. It was my little playground for a long time where I could be as messy and as bad as I wanted. And most importantly, no one could tell me how bad I was.

It’s not like I haven’t been writing at all. I’ve been toying with other projects that will never see the light of day. My scratch pad where I can play to my heart’s content. I just need to figure out how to apply that to other things.

Anyone else ever hesitate or pause on a project because of fear?