Posts Tagged ‘writing’

(personal/writing/advent) 2018 – my first full year alone

I swear this year is going to be better. I won’t let it be the same way it was last year. I won’t.


But things are going to have to change. I’m realizing how hard it is to do things on my own – not just in terms of emotionally (because it IS hard, even if you are okay with being alone, which I am), but in financial terms. My hat is off to all you folks who have been doing this all along. I thought it was hard with two incomes. It’s so much worse with one. And it doesn’t seem like the bills get any less.


There are a few silver linings for the year coming up: I can work from home when I need to, which means no more real days missed due to weather or illness. My Crohns’ disease is under control, and I’m getting healthier every day.


I start my Whole30 food program today, so there will be random posts about that. I’m still trying to figure out how to post automatically to Facebook from here, but I’ll just have to do it manually until I can get into the guts of my website. Which I will have to do anyways, because I’m going to redesign the entire site.


In writerly news, I did cancel my Patreon. I’m contemplating several things, including maybe putting a tip jar out here on the site for right now. I don’t feel that I give enough right now to make a Patreon practical for me or fair to my readers. I might also get a Ko-Fe page, but I don’t know right now.


I’m working on the new Advent story – I will finish it by the end of January for you all. I promise. Then there are the proofs of Winter’s Storms to go through, the cover to finalize, and that will be out by April 20, which is RavenCon! And I’ll be there that weekend, with calendars and copies of both books, and Schrodinger, of course. He might even get a new hat or vest for the occasion.


I’m also now accepting new clients for proofreading only. My rates are:

-Up to 10k is $25

-Every additional 5K is $10

I do fiction, non-fiction, whatever. Poetry might be weird, but I’ll give it a shot. Here’s what I do for proof-reading:
I go through and pick out any misspelled words, missing words and/or phrases, and make sure your heroine’s hair hasn’t gone from blonde to brunette without a dye job in the middle of the story. I also tend to correct punctuation, mostly commas and things like that.


If you’re interested in that, please drop me a line at and we’ll talk. Turnaround is based on how big your project is.


I guess that’s it. Happy New Year folks.

(personal/writing) Why I’m saying goodbye to Patreon

I deleted my Patreon page tonight.


I did it because with the new fee structure, and the changes going on in my life currently, I didn’t feel it was fair to my patrons (most of whom were at the $1 a month level) to continue. I don’t disagree with why Patreon did it – they have a business to run. But it’s not one that I feel I should be a part of right now.


I just don’t produce enough to ask people to spend money on me every month. I have a day job, and my writing is definitely secondary to my day job. I’m not going to stop writing. I’m not going to stop posting stuff for people here. (In fact, I knew there was a reason I was loathe to get rid of this blog)


I’m also looking at maybe putting up a tip jar, or a Ko-Fi page (I need to look more into it). I’m going to be make some changes in the coming year to this site as well, but in the end, while I wish Patreon and those who continue to use it luck, it wasn’t a good idea for me. Maybe it will be another time. I don’t know.

Thinking about changes

Most people think about changes this time of year. It’s the turning of the seasons, I guess: as the world settles down to renew itself during the cold winter months of the Northern Hemisphere, thoughts turn to what we could do better. I’m helping Dad adjust to the new hip (he’s a terrible patient, but he’s trying), and thinking about my own life.


I recently interviewed for a new position at my day job, and one of the questions that the interviewer asked me that struck a nerve was “Where do you see yourself in 6 months?”


My honest answer was “I don’t know.” A year ago, I could have told you guys exactly where I was going. I was going to continue writing, working at my day job, and saving for retirement. Brian and I were going to spend a year following the Red Sox after we both retired, and then we were going to buy a used bookstore and open a combination bookstore/gaming store to run in our twilight years.


And then Brian died. Now I have no idea what my plans are. I’m kind of adrift in a sea of possibilities, and not all of them are pleasant. While I’m lucky that I have an amazing roommate who is perfectly willing to fulfill the Red Sox/bookstore plan (and let’s be honest, I probably will run a bookstore, and I’ll probably call it CrossWinds Books), I’m not sure I’ll be wanting to do it the same way. A lot of those plans were tied up with doing it with Brian, and it hurts to think about them now.


I am working on the Advent story for this year, which will start going up on December 1. This year is a special treat as well, since my lovely friend Kiaya is working on something for you guys to enjoy. I’m not going to say more (yeah, I know, tease, tease), but I promise you, it’s going to be awesome.


And Winter’s Storm is in process, so yes, the second book should be out in time for Christmas! I’m working on the final stuff with that, and to celebrate, I’ll be doing a giveaway. A very special one.


More later. I’m still processing things.

Learning to live in a new normal

It’s been a difficult year. I feel like every time I sit down to write something on this blog, it’s a variation on that theme. I used to not understand how people who had lost someone could keep living in the past. Now, I’m finding it hard not to stop myself from saying things like “Oh, Brian would have…” or “I wonder what Brian would have thought of…” It’s like it’s not even consciously done. He’s a part of me, more than he’s ever been.


At the same time, I’m finding it hard to deal with my father doing the same thing. I’m not sure why, except that some of the things he’s sharing are things I don’t need to hear. My father’s filters are pretty much zero, and he doesn’t seem to understand that I really don’t want to discuss his and my mother’s sexual escapades. And before you guys say anything, I’ve told him this. He forgets on a regular basis.


So I found a caregivers support website this week, and I’m going to be exploring that over the next few weeks. I’ve also decided to go out on a limb and try for a new position at work. I’ve had the interview, and now we’ll see where it goes. It’s a change for me. I realized that I’ve been trying to figure out my new path for a while when the interviewer asked me what I thought I’d be doing in six months, and I said, “I don’t know anymore.” I’m not sure what I want to do. I know what I thought I would be doing this year. I know what I had planned on doing in the future. Now it’s all kind of up in the air.


Two things I do know I’ll be doing: I’m going to be a guest at both RavenCon and BaltiCon next year. I have at least one book coming out soon. And there’s a new Carter’s Cove story coming in December.


But after that? Your guess is as good as mine.

(writing) More Advent, of course

It’s getting to be that time of year again, after all. Yes, there WILL be a Carter’s Cove story this year. But I’m doing other things as well. I’ve just sent out a short story to a magazine for consideration, and I will be doing more short stories in the future. It’s an interesting exercise, and I think I need to hone those skills. First drafts will be posted to my Patreon, and then revised and sent out. And yes. I’ll be sure to announce if any of them get sold. 🙂


It’s my way of coping with depression. I’m realizing how unhealthy I’ve been lately, despite all my efforts. I need to concentrate on me. It needs to get better.


Christmas will be hard. I’m totally going to hide in Carter’s Cove for a lot of it. Besides, Molly has tea.

(writing/personal) Sunday updates

Today is the first day of October. This year has seemed to fly by, and yet it’s been the longest year of my life. I’m told that grief is like that.


Today is also the 10th day in a row that I’ve written on Advent. I’ve got an accountability buddy, and it’s really working. And taking a note from one of my favorite authors, I’ve loaded Word on my phone, and I’ve been writing on that. It’s surprisingly easy, and soothing. I actually wrote my words yesterday while I was seated at a bonfire, listening to bards tell stories, sing songs, and recite poetry. I even gave a poetic recital, of one of my favorite poems that I haven’t read in a long time: Siege Perilous, by EA Robinson.


This year’s Advent is off to a rocky start. I’ve already scrapped one outline. But it WILL be written. And this year, there’s going to be an actual calendar with it (as long as I get everything to Kiaya soon). Keep a look out for the information here soon.


I’m working my way through a lot of conflicting feelings. I need to write. I need to mope (to be perfectly honest). And I’m tired. I’m bone-tired, because of everything that’s going on. But I’ve survived this long, and I plan on surviving a lot longer. And yes, I’m doing NaNo again this year.


(advent/writing) The times they are a-changing…

The leaves are starting to change again. Normally, I hate the shorter days and longer nights, the cold of the mornings, the dying of the year. But I’m actually not hating it this year. While I’m not looking forward to the holidays as much as I used to, I’m still working on getting both a new Advent story out on this blog, as well as finally getting Winter’s Storms, the second Carter’s Cove book out. This year’s Advent takes us out of Carter’s Cove, at the moment, although that may change. The outline is fighting me, and I’m not sure why. But I do know that I need to get it done, so I might just start writing it and see how it goes.


I’ve finished my first short story in a while, titled “Requiem for an Unknown,” which is out to beta readers at the moment and then will be shopped around. I’m looking at getting some short stories into professional markets, so I can join SFWA. That’s the next career goal.


I’ve also restarted my 100 Days of Words. My 100 Days of A&S sputtered and died again, but this one I have a writing buddy that I am accountable for, and we have agreed to text each other each day. 100 words a day is something I can do.


So stay tuned. There will be more stuff coming soon, both to here and the Patreon.

(writing) Day 2 of #100daysofwords

Day: 2
Starting Count: 2511
Ending Count: 3823
New Words: 1312

Opening Line:
The ring of the doorbell woke me from a half-confused state, somewhere between research and sleep. For a moment, I thought the book in front of me, open to a confusing swirl of stars and what I think might have been a cross between an alligator and a spider, had moved in my hands, jarring me. There were too many legs either way.

Closing Line:
Afterward it had left the room, I waited, listening for the front door to close. Once it did, I rose and went back to my room. Tomorrow would be soon enough to call Tallin, and by then, the stranger would have joined his god.

Day 1, again

Day: 1
Starting Count: 2989
Ending Count: 3380
New Words: 391

Opening Line:
Sapph filled him in quickly. “So if we take her words at face value, there’s no reason for this place to be haunted,” she finished. “But I can feel the Ghostwind here, a lot stronger than if there were no ghosts.”

Closing Line:
“How do you know?” Sapph said, following his gaze. The main room they were in had a large oak card catalogue and three desks, each of which had a typewriting and a stack of books on them. There was a microfiche machine in one corner. And on the air was the scent of old paper and the faintest trace of mold.

The building they were in now was not the building she and Scottie had entered. It was smaller, and Sapph could see water damage creeping down the walls. It lay like old mold over everything: almost decorative, not interfering with the books she could see in the old bookcases, but definitely there. The books were large, substantial looking, but the titles were missing. She wondered what she would find if she opened one. “Do books have ghosts?”

Starting the new project officially

Started the novel over again today, mostly by cutting some words I’d put in before. The net gain for the day is 303. Slowly but surely. Time to get to the grocery store and the pharmacy before I head home and work on some kumihimo and reading and getting ready for work tomorrow.

Word Meter for Blue

676 / 50000