Progress – November 12, 2018

I can’t believe we’re almost halfway through November now. When did that happen?

I’ve been reviewing where I’m at and all I accomplished (or didn’t) this year. It feels strange to not have my next publication date at least in mind — the calendar right now is barren, at least in that aspect. I do know what’s coming, I just don’t know how long it will take to get there; more on that in a moment. Right now, I’m about 10,000 words away from hitting my yearly word goal that I’d wanted to accomplish. I figure I’ll be there by the end of November. There is a part of me that’s tempted to take a month off. Don’t worry, I won’t — I fully plan on breaking the tape and continuing beyond, mostly because I’m curious how far I can go. Last year was too much of a push, so I had backed off some this year and still wanted to make it a challenge. I think that challenge has pretty much become norm for me, but I might want to shift my goals a little next year, so I need to take good stock of what I can do.

Next up on what I plan to publish is Tangled Magic. I’ve been working that over this week and am finally getting to a place where I’m satisfied with it. If you read the whole thing here on my blog, you are in for some wonderful changes. I hope you will be as delighted by the arrangement of scenes (it was getting a bit fragmented there at the end) and new scenes that have been added as I am. I do still have a lot of work to do on Walk the Path, but I hope it comes together just as quickly. Obviously there is also Dragons of Wellsdeep which is getting close to… well, I feel as if I should be three quarters of the way through, but I don’t think I am. But I know the direction I’m heading. I don’t know if I’ve ripped out a scene that will be coming up in the next couple of weeks or not — in trying to structure as I go, I can clearly see that this scene doesn’t fit, at least now where it’s at. I really liked the scene too. But maybe another book. Maybe it’ll be a book where I write the story around the scene just so I can have it (then I’d probably end up tearing the scene out of there too because it wouldn’t fit –writers are weird creatures).

That’s three books I plan on having out next year.

I know, I know. I hear you! There’s no Loki or Sacred Knight in that list. I know already!

Have I mentioned Stonecharmer? I’m hoping that I have the next two in that series done enough that I can work at releasing that as well next year.

Yes, still no Loki or Sacred Knight.

Okay, I hear you huffing. I’m feeling a little stuck on the next Loki novella. Chalk it up to Loki going and whispering in the ears of the authors of the new Disney tv show rather than mine for a bit. I have no doubt he’ll be back, probably recharged from messing with their minds for a bit. As for Sacred Knight, I have a whole mess of scenes and no structure. Worse, I need certain things to happen and I don’t know how they happen. Steigan hasn’t been talking to me. That generally means that something is way too painful for him to discuss. Which tells me I’m not going to like it either. I have been trying to kill characters off since Quest for the Three Books, but they keep pulling a Prince of Persia and saying, “Nope, that didn’t happen.” This time, with The Missing Thread, characters might not be so lucky.

So, Loki and Sacred Knight are on the list and I’m certain that I’ll get back to them soon. Stay turned. There’s always more to come.

I’m also hoping that next year I can really get caught up on my audio. I’d like to start releasing audio about the same time as the novels, but I don’t know if I’ll quite get there since I still have three very large volumes of the Sacred Knight series to read for and edit. I am shifting around my production schedule in hopes that I’ll be able to do more faster. And with better quality. I’m always striving for that.  I’d really like to finish the next three Loki novellas, Manifest the Magic, and To Birth a Destiny next year, but that’s going to be a lot of audio work.

And you wonder why I’m really examining my word goals. *grin*

I haven’t even touched on the art side of my goals (and for that, all I have to say is, “sigh!”).

Aside from me ruminating in my head a lot this last week about my goals and what I figure I’m going to accomplish and what I want to get done next year, I’m also thinking about all the shows that are coming and what marketing I want to do.

When I use to dream about being a writer, it was simple: I’d type all day making things up in my head, send it off to an editor who would lovingly publish my work, and then I’d shake hands with people while collecting money and movie deals. Yeah, that was nice little bubble.

Never did I once think that being a writer would also include: being a publisher, cover designer, web designer, web master, marketer, bookkeeper, secretary, roadie, narrator, audio engineer, etc. Not complaining because I love learning and I love the control I have, but it’s a lot of work and not for someone who thinks that the first dream is still a reality. Truth: it never, ever was a reality — there was always more to the job than sitting around writing.

But, speaking of web mastering (and what made me think of it), I got my domains turned over to me this week. I certainly didn’t know what I was doing back in 2005, or I would have seen the warning signs much sooner. I had learned some things about DNS, MX, and A records over the years, but this experience has really put them all together for me. Let me say that if you have a website and you don’t understand what I’m talking about, you need to find them on your domain dashboard and figure out what they are. If you don’t have them, you need to transfer your domains away from whoever is holding them, like now. If you can’t see them and change them, you don’t control them. Don’t be fooled. It could be a very costly lesson. I spent months trying to fix links that I had spread everywhere as well as building new websites. Now, I have to go back and switch many things back because I prefer the .com to the .net. Yeah, don’t have your domain names being held by the same company doing your hosting. Learn what you possess with your domain name and how to manipulate it. Don’t have over control to anyone, not even someone who builds a website for you. Temporary is fine, but then change the password so that you once again have full control. Or, if the web designer is going to make changes for you on an ongoing basis, you make sure you are set up as the admin on the account and set the designer up as a limited user. If you don’t know how to do this, figure it out.

It’s because of this control issue that I know I need to spend some time with the various platforms I distribute through. I have spreadsheets I need to build in their regard and contracts to re-read. Yes, if you’re a creator, you need to be reading those Terms of Service agreements and know what they mean. Keep an eye on what you control at all times.

Sorry, I know I’m boring the average reader right now. I probably should shovel this all off onto another blog post, but I don’t think I will. It’s probably only writers reading these progress posts anyway. *grin*

Well, that pretty much sums up my week anyway. Just a lot of mental musings. Let’s go see the numbers.

Fiction words written last week:  4,604 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,899 words.

Daily word goal reached for 93 days – that’s three months over writing every day. Weekly word goal reached for 16 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  11,425 words  – yep, if I keep this up, I’ll reach my year word goal by the end of the month.

Writing year to date total: 291,970 words

Drawing/painting last week: I did paint last week — I worked on learning watercolors. Yeah, we all have to start somewhere.

Audio: I spent 5 hours recording and editing audio. I also rearranged my booth — again. You know, I hate rearranging furniture. It’s not something I enjoy and I’m not good at it. My booth is a 3’x3′ space — there’s not much you can do with it. Why do I keep tinkering? The world may never know.