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BlackWolf and Yin-Yang

So… yeah.

I’ve been madly and obsessively working on a heavy-duty edit of BlackWolf roughly since my previous blog post. First a detailed comb-through by myself and repairs on all the things I flagged, then reading it aloud to my patient Jackie and repairs on all the things we noticed that way. It’s now reached the point where anything else I try to do myself will be more harm than good, so I’ve sent it off to my wonderful test readers. Based on their feedback, I’ll make whatever further changes are needed, and I’ll release it this summer – in July sometime, if all goes well. While its in their hands, it’s time for me to switch focus to other things. Writing-related things, of course. Housework? Don’t be ridiculous! I don’t get a massive creative adrenaline high from housework!

Something interesting happened in the process with BlackWolf, but it’s long enough and sufficiently different from the rest of this post to deserve its own, which I’ll do in the next couple of days.

Several other books are clamoring in my head to be the next on the list for “official” release. I believe Renegade gets that honour. Even though I originally wrote it rapidly and simply as an experiment, I’m actually too pleased with it to leave it to languish in the shadows. I’m already working on editing that, and finding that it’s relatively easy to do compared to the older works. Why? Because it’s all new and clean and shiny, written based on an old-old idea but otherwise entirely with my current skills. There’s much less repair work to do because, well, it’s put together properly the first time! That’s making me feel rather optimistic, actually, that perhaps the process of editing will be less exhausting once I get the old ones cleaned up and released and can move on to newer ones. Read the rest of this entry

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Self-publishing updates

It’s been a tiring few days, but I think it’s been reasonably productive. šŸ™‚

I’m happy with Smashwords and the response so far. At this point, the combined sales and sample downloads have doubled what I had through this blog alone. The sample downloads of the first 30% are at least giving it a chance; if someone tries that much and dislikes it, fair enough, but I’m hoping at least some will get that far and want to see what happens. Whether I make any money off it is irrelevant; the whole point is simply to be more visible. I do find it interesting and amusing that a number of friends and family who had no interest at all while it was simply here and on my other site, suddenly want copies of exactly the same text that has now been uploaded to a self-publisher. Read the rest of this entry

Project Inventory

With Yin-Yang finally finished, and the year wrapping up, it seemed like a good idea to sit down and do an inventory of current writing projects.

The cliche remark about creativity is an exclamation or a question about coming up with ideas. In my case… I’m unable to not have them. The world is filled with them on all sides. Does that make it easier? Um, no, not really.

For me, there’s a fairly consistent progression as far as how much effort is going into a given phase and what the payback is.

Usually there’s a bit of a spike in the required input at the beginning, while I’m digging around on name websites and through books for character names, trying to work out what they do with themselves in very broad strokes that will be refined in the next phase. At that point, I’m so excited about having something new to explore and seeing so many possibilities that I barely notice the cost. More energy is being generated from that excitement than I’m using. Read the rest of this entry

Priorities: Blogging vs Life

I’m going to be dropping the frequency of blog posts, at least for the foreseeable future, to once a week.

This isn’t arbitrary, and I don’t much like it, but it’s better than the alternatives. If I don’t, I strongly suspect that I’ll be posting lower quality before long, and then stop altogether, quite possibly for several months. The reasoning is all tangled up with priorities that strongly include writing, so I figured it might be worth explaining.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m unable to work because of a depression/anxiety combo. (Yes, I’m aware, there’s intense social stigma against even admitting, let alone discussing, mental health issues. Guess what? It happens. It’s a medical condition, it’s real, it’s extremely common in varying degrees. Get over it.) One of the key things it does is undermine my ability to cope with stress – including the stress of too many projects on the go.

I had hoped to get my novel YinYang through the final rewrite and some formatting and make it available by the end of the month. I’m also trying to find time to work on a new urban fantasy novel, finish up a 25k word/60 pg Moonblood story to post, and add more to my Gaia series which is a combo of rewriting existing material and filling in holes now I’ve redone the format. Two blog posts a week aren’t the main reason why YinYang isn’t going to be out on time; much of that falls to a necessary and overdue switch between webhosts and trying to get everything set back up on two domains. However, while trying to deal with the unexpected complications, I realized just how much and how fast my stress was ramping up, which means it was starting from an elevated level to begin with: not high enough to have much impact directly, but high enough that it would take much less of an unanticipated crisis to knock me down hard. Read the rest of this entry