(personal/writing/updates) The Weekly World Review, 2 weeks version

Sorry that this is late, but I’m getting over an eye infection AND an eye ulcer (in the same eye), so last week my computer use was limited. I even had to take 2 days off of work, which sucked. Oh well. The eye is healing nicely, and it doesn’t hurt to look at anything with a lit screen anymore, which is the important part. Apparently Crohns’ patients are prone to eye infections, which I am just learning about. Yay, compromised immune system! When you get this kind of thing, you get not one, but TWO medications to drip into your eye. I’m a fun person at the moment. At least I don’t look like I’m detoxing from a 4-day meth bender anymore.

 

But it put a cramp in my writing, my work, and pretty much everything other than listening to audiobooks. So I start this week over again, with new goals.

 

This week is also Great Northeastern War, which I will be going to. This is my final vacation of the year (and my only camping event, sadly), so I’m making the most of it. K-J and I are going up mid-week, and taking our time. Bear and Tayla are unimpressed, especially since we’ve actually reminded the landlords that no, they really don’t get handfuls of treats at a time anymore. If you hear howls, it’s from them.

This Week’s Goals:

Morning Pages: Going for all 7 days again. Sunday to Saturday, and not let the vacation derail me. I’m almost done with my first notebook! I’ll have to dig a new one out of my stash.

Writing Goals: Taking a bit of a break to let some noodling about Advent go on in my head. I think this week, I’m going to work on Lily and Spike, and a new Sapph short story. Both can be done long hand, and I don’t need the computer.

Non-Writing Goals: Finish Rachel’s bag, and then bring the cross-stitching for Brewcie’s coat, and washcloths to knit for Kris. I also want to make myself a lunch bag, but I don’t know if that will happen this weekend. It might.

 

I hope you guys had a great 4th of July, and I’ll see you in a bit!

 

Weekly news roundup – The Remicade week in review

This week was a bit of this and that, but this seems to be a good headline for this post for the nonce.

 

My week got thrown for a bit of a loop because I needed to do some hard things this week, but I did them, and I’m very proud of myself for it. Let’s look at last week’s goals.

 

Last Week’s Goals:

 

Morning pages: Going for all seven days (Sunday to Saturday). I made it 5 days again – missed Friday with a migraine and Saturday to just bleahs. Grey days seem to be hard.

Writing goals: Writing will happen on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. I need to re-juggle a bit of the Advent calendar, but that shouldn’t take long. I want 2 days written, and some work on a Sapph or Spike short. Writing did not happen on either Wednesday or Saturday. It will happen today, so yay? Although this goes on this week’s goals technically. And I did the book review for Perils of Prague, which you should check out.

Non-writing Goals:  I need to write up Brian’s page for the EK 50 memorial wall. No more delays. Also, now that the caftan’s design has been agreed upon, I need to get the waste canvas on it and decide how I’m going to do this. I might try doing embroidery on the waste canvas and see how that works. Not sure yet. More progress here! I got Brian’s page done on Saturday, which really hit me harder than I thought it would. But it’s done, and he’ll be in the Memorial Garden at EK 50 if you are going. I also figured out how to do the embroidery for the caftan, and started most of a crochet bag. And I finished the embroidery for the first favor. I also figured out taxes for my father’s companion, and finally called about my car accident.

 

So yeah, in retrospect, I think this was a successful week, even without the writing I wanted to do. So, on to this week’s goals!

 

This Week’s Goals

Morning pages: Sunday to Saturday again. I’m building a good habit, even if I don’t hit the full week yet.

 

Writing goals: I need to restructure Molly for this year, since I’m not trying to do 2 Advents this year. That’s the goal for this week. Today (Sunday), I’m going to do some writing on Sapph, I think. Also, Wednesday, I am putting the two first Molly books into Archivos, so I can start working forward. Before I do any more writing on the Carter’s Cove series, I need to get the bible going.

 

Non-Writing goals: This week, I need to finish my market bag that I am crocheting for myself, and do the test pattern for Brewcie’s caftan. Then I need to measure the pattern, and measure out how much I need to make the actual trim.

 

These are all good goals, and doable. Keeping this weekly post going has really helped keep me on track, and I’m finding that I’m getting stuff done. So thank you, all, for putting up with me while I do this!

Don’t forget, Winter Storms is currently out! Catch up with the second adventure of Molly and Schrodinger!

As always, you can buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi!

 

 

(book review) The Perils of Prague

Recently, I finished The Perils of Prague, by Doc Coleman, and I thought, what better way to kick off my intermittent book reviews (as in, when I finish a book and feel like reviewing it) than by sharing this with you! Disclaimer: Doc is a friend of mine, and I received an e-copy of this book for free in return for a review.

 

We already know I like steampunk, and this book is a fun romp through the streets (and underneath) of Prague, which is not your normal setting for a steampunk. This Prague is under the control of Victoria, the Eternal Empress, who has been on the throne of the British Empire for 175 years at this point. Yes, you saw that right. This world is a world dominated by the British Empire in all her glory, complete with lighting rifles and the might of the Eternal Empress. The technology is fascinating, mostly because we are experiencing the world through the eyes of the narrator.

 

Who has a name that apparently is so vile that we can’t know what it is, thanks to a grandfather with a sick sense of human. His Lordship (which is how he is referred to) is stuck with this name, and trying to figure out what to do with his life when he is shipped off to Bohemia to spend some time learning from his uncle, the Duke of Prussia. The Duke introduces him to Professor Harmonious Crackle and his assistant, Titania Bang. The two of them then proceed to turn His Lordship’s world upside down and inside out in a way that had this reader both cheering and wincing for him.

 

I liked this book. It wasn’t the deep, dark, gritty, soul-searching steampunk that I’ve seen before, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have meat. The characters grabbed me, and the story itself was well-constructed. I found myself wishing that I could have seen more of Prague through these sets of eyes, and I can’t wait to see what Doc has in store for us for the next book. If you like steampunk, and you’re looking for something that isn’t the same-old, same-old, I highly recommend trying this out.

 

You can order The Perils of Prague on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback form. If you are a Kindle-unlimited subscriber, it’s free right now!

 

Weekly news roundup – the Father’s Day edition

Okay, so it’s a day late, but hey, I spent Father’s Day with the best of dads, mine. We went and saw Solo, which was super fun and I highly recommend (as one of my friends said, Oscar-worthy it wasn’t, but it was a good Star Wars movie). So I didn’t get to post this yesterday, but hey, I’m at least admitting it! (and totally, go see Solo)

 

I’ve made the decision to not kill myself and try to write two Advent stories this year. I’m going to count last year as a lost year, and publish the story I’m working on in December as usual. I’m sorry, guys, but between work, TAPS, and writing, something has got to give. I just don’t have the time or the energy to do two of them – not and write anything else.

 

Which leads us to goals!

Last Week’s Goals:

Morning pages: Going for all seven days (Sunday to Saturday). I made it 6 out of 7 – I missed Sunday due to Father’s Day. But that’s it!

Writing goals: I have today and Wednesday to write, and I’m going to have 2 days ready to go. The newsletter will wait until I understand MailChimp a bit better. Also, I WILL finish Perils! – I did finish Perils, and I owe you guys a review of it. Here’s my mini review – it’s good. Read it. Go buy it. I also finished Day 0 for Advent (yep, another November 30 start) and started Day 1.

Non-writing Goals: 1 favor embroidered, and I need to write up Brian’s page for the EK 50 memorial wall. Also, as I now have the art, I will send in the submission I have been sitting on. – I almost finished the favor (I finished it today, actually), I got the caftan I need to start working on for a friend, and I got the submission mostly done. Brian’s page is still unwritten, because I keep crying. But I’m going to have to buckle down and do it.

 

This Week’s Goals:

Morning pages: Going for all seven days (Sunday to Saturday).

Writing goals: Writing will happen on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. I need to re-juggle a bit of the Advent calendar, but that shouldn’t take long. I want 2 days written, and some work on a Sapph or Spike short.

Non-writing Goals:  I need to write up Brian’s page for the EK 50 memorial wall. No more delays. Also, now that the caftan’s design has been agreed upon, I need to get the waste canvas on it and decide how I’m going to do this. I might try doing embroidery on the waste canvas and see how that works. Not sure yet.

 

As always, you can buy me a cup of Ko-Fi if you want!

Weekly news roundup

You know, I think one of the things I miss most about Diane Rehm retiring is that now my Fridays do not consist of two hours of the Weekly News Roundup. She used to do an hour of domestic news, and then an hour of international news, and it rounded out my week nicely. NPR, get on that, please. (Granted, I now listen to BBC Worldwide every day, so I get my news fix, but still. I miss the Weekly News Roundup.)

 

It’s Sunday, so it’s time for my personal weekly round-up. Let’s see how I did with those goals!

 

Last Week’s Goals:

Morning pages: I made it 5 of the last 7 days (Sunday to Saturday). Not bad, considering the week. I’ll take it!

Writing Goals: I wanted to have 2 days of Advent 2017 written, finish reading Perils of Prague, and set up the email newsletter. I got part of the first day written, but that’s it. I’ve set up the email list, but haven’t written the first newsletter. And I still haven’t finished Perils. (I didn’t read much this week).

Non-writing Goals: I finished the cardigan! Sadly, it’s a little small for me, but I know what I did wrong, and I’ll make sure it has a new home. I wanted to have 1 queen’s favor finished, but I got a project at work to do instead of embroidering, so I’m still working on that first one.

This Week’s Goals:

Morning pages: Going for all seven days (Sunday to Saturday).

Writing goals: I have today and Wednesday to write, and I’m going to have 2 days ready to go. The newsletter will wait until I understand MailChimp a bit better. Also, I WILL finish Perils!

Non-writing Goals: 1 favor embroidered, and I need to write up Brian’s page for the EK 50 memorial wall. Also, as I now have the art, I will send in the submission I have been sitting on.

 

As always, you can buy me a cup of Ko-Fi if you want! I’m contemplating another Patreon page, but I’m still working out the details.

 

Have a great week, folks!

 

Life reboot: 2.0.

Life has been weird lately, and I’m not sure why.

Of course, I just got home from Balticon, and I’m sick (again – I swear Maryland is trying to kill me), so that might be part of it. I’m still glad I went -I spent a lot of time going to panels on the business of being an author, which is very different from the art of being an author, and one I’m learning about. I’d love to make a living out of being a writer, if only for the fact that I could share my writing with lots of other folks. I’ll always need a day job, sadly, because of my medical condition. And really, I like having a day job. It means I can pay my bills and not have to stress as much if I go to a con and don’t sell any books.

 

But being an author is expensive, guys. And it’s not just bandwidth for the website, or money for notebooks, or supporting my tea habit (which is not cheap, let me tell you). It’s buying swag to hand out at cons or signings. It’s gas money for conventions. It’s paying my editor, my cover artist and my book designer. It’s paying my artist friend to design the calendar. It all costs, and while I’m lucky that so far, I’ve managed to sort of break even, I really need to start doing things like marketing, which I will admit scares and intimidates me. For all that I’m not a shy person, going out and saying, “I wrote this awesome thing and you should buy it!” scares the snot out of me. Seriously. So I’m going to be very awkward as I figure this out. Consider yourselves warned.

 

I’m starting by getting my email list set up today, and I’ve got a Ko-Fi page, if you want to throw some money my way. I’m going to start blogging once a week (on Sundays, when I know I will be sitting down and have a steady internet connection, if nothing else), and those Sunday posts will include my plans for the upcoming week, and how I did on last’s week’s plans. So let’s get that started now.

 

This week, I’m working the day job on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, because Thursday, I have a colonoscopy scheduled. Yay! (not really) Because of my Crohn’s disease, I get to enjoy one of these every other year. Doesn’t that sound like a blast? Okay, that was an unfortunate turn of phrase. I blame Deadpool.

 

However, because of that, my goals for the week are modest. I’m working on the 2017 Advent story (which will start June 30, just so you know). My goal is to have 2 days written by the time next Sunday rolls around, and to set up my email newsletter. Also, I need to finish the Perils of Prague so I can give you all a review. So that’s in the list.

 

Non-writing goals: well, I’m working on a cardigan for myself, so I’d like to have that finished. For at-work projects, I just got some queen’s favors, so we’ll work on that as well. Time to work on my embroidery stitches! Goal is to have 1 favor embroidered by next Sunday.

 

We’ll see how I do. I’m setting modest goals for the most part, because I’m a great one for making unreasonable goals and then watching them fly by.

 

Also! The next Carter’s Cove book, Winter Storms, is out! I’d love some reviews, if you’ve read it! Let me know!

(cons/writing/personal) The best part about going to a con, in my opinion

Is how much it recharges your creative juices. Not just because you see people you haven’t seen in a very long time, or because you connect with fans of your work, or because you can drink at the bar. Those are all valid points of a con (yes, even drinking at the bar, because you can learn a ton of valuable information, and no one will care if you are drinking soda or sparkling water instead of booze. Seriously. And if they do care, then you’re hanging with the wrong people, so come and find me), but to me, the biggest part of being at a con is people-watching. There are amazing people at a con that you may never see anywhere else, and you may not even know them, and that’s okay, because just by walking around, they release creative energy that you as an artist can tap into. And it’s the little things:

  • Making breakfast in your room with your roommates, because you’re all poor and would rather spend money on books or other things rather than the overpriced breakfast in the hotel, and making it in your room means you can eat in your pjs without shoes.
  • Hanging out in the lobby and knitting/crocheting/writing/doing whatever, and talking about the latest movies/books/tv/anime/whatever has caught your enthusiasm.
  • Watching cosplayers go by with their eyes shining, because they are having fun, and realizing that it’s so cool to be able to dress the way you really feel comfortable/

As I sit here in the lobby at Balticon, having just finished my morning pages and deciding to work on some blog posts, I realize how lucky I am that I have the opportunity to come here. I’ve learned so much this time, and it’s only Saturday. Even though I’m a veteran writer (I guess), I can still learn, and it’s a great thing. When you stop learning, you stagnate, and then you die.

 

I’m not quite sure what I’m trying to say here – my eyes are still full of allergies, and I’m having issues seeing the computer screen – but I wanted to share that cons are amazing. Every time I come, I leave with the knowledge that I’ve grown as a writer and an artist. It never fails. So now, I’m going to go back to the con, and learn some more.

 

Go and learn something today. Anything.

(writing) Of shoes and ships and sealing wax

I’ve been on a poetry kick lately. It’s very odd, since I never considered myself a poet, but there it is – the words are coming, and I’m not going to shut off any of the creative flow that the universe chooses to gift me with. I’m getting more in touch with my spiritual side as well, and I think the poetry is helping with that.

 

I’m also prepping for Balticon, since I’ve got a bunch of panels on writing, and I want to have a handout for the panels, with some of my tried-and-true tricks for novel-writing and some great websites that I use. Anyone have a good website for writing they like? Pimp it in the comments!

(writing/organization) Getting my thoughts in line

I’m in a mood right now. There is so much swirling in my head that all I want to do is take a vacation from everything and just write. Sadly, I’m not independently wealthy, so that’s not happening. However, Balticon is coming up in two weeks, so I’ll get a bit of a break then! A working break, but that’s a good thing.

 

I’m setting up some KanbanFlow boards for myself for projects that I want to get done this year. I’m working on an anthology for Paradise City, as well as the finishing up of last year’s Advent and publishing this year’s Advent. Also, I’m working on writing Resonant Frequencies, so I’ve got a board set up for that. And I’ve got some short stories and poems (I know, weird, right?) that are kicking around in my head too, so I’m going to be working on those.

 

I want to do so many things, and I’m realizing that if I don’t make myself a schedule, I’m going to miss all the deadlines. I’ve already decided that I’m not going to try for Viable Paradise this year, as the book I want to use is not up to my standard. So I’ll keep working on it and try for next year. I’m hoping Kanban will work. If not, I’ll try something else.

 

Advent 2017 is going to be re-released and finished in July of this year (yay, Christmas in July!), so thank you all for being patient. And you don’t need to go back and re-read – I’m going to release all of it each day, just like in December. And I’ll have both Secrets AND Storms, as well as calendars, at Balticon! So cool! Let me know if you want one (I won’t be at a table, but I’ll have stuff). Also, I’ll have copies of the Complete Guide 1 and 2 – I’m out of 3!

 

Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms on my blog! And yes, this is from Tayla and Bear, who wish to inform you that I am the meanest mommy ever, because I would not give them treats before I left this morning.

(writing/poetry/stuff) All the things swirling in my head, like blood in fog

I’m writing again. I’m also starting to venture slowly into poetry, which is weird, because I never thought of myself as a poet. But Amber introduced me to Rupi Kuhr, and I am in love with words again. She is amazing and wonderful and I highly recommend her to all people. Even if you think you don’t like poetry. This, to me, is more thoughts in motion than anything else.

 

I’m also working on books. I’m getting myself back into Advent, and will be re-releasing last year’s unfinished story in July, along with the ending. So this year you get two Advents! Because Molly and Schrodinger will be back in December as well. I’m also releasing Winter Storms, the second book in the Carter’s Cove series, this year. So much Molly! My mother’s smiling, I know she is.

 

I’m working on a few other things too. I’ve got an odd short story that I’m working on finishing up, about ghost helpers and the little shop they run. And I’ve finally started to work on Resonant Frequencies, which I’m hoping to submit to Viable Paradise in a month. If I don’t get it to the shape I want it to by the deadline, I’ll continue to work on it and go for next year. This year is the year of me doing things to push myself. Reconnect with myself.

 

I’m also still playing with Shanna and Talia but that’s kind of on hold. I’m trying to get my world bibles in order (using Archivos, which is amazing and you should all look into it) and so I’m doing more of worldbuilding than anything else. She will be getting her story. I promise. Just not right now. Both of them. And Faerytale Princess as well. I have so many stories, guys. So very many stories.

 

OH! And I’m going to be doing some book reviews too on here! First up, once I finish it, is Perils of Prague by Doc Coleman. Steampunky goodness. I can’t wait. Yes, I will be doing others, but I’m not sure what ones yet.

 

Finally, I’m starting to do The Artist’s Way again. I’ve decided that I’m not going to be online after 9 pm ET most nights, so I can keep my sleep habits healthy. My evenings are going to be spent writing by hand, since that’s something that feels comfortable to me.  More as I come up with it.