The weather yesterday in New York City was great if you love snow and cold and wind and want a day off from school but terrible if you hate the snow and cold and wind and have to work from home while supervising two small children. I find myself in the latter group, of course!
The younger and I watching the husband and elder son shovel. I didn’t want to let him outside because of the 50-mile-an-hour winds (he’s only 29 pounds)!
Being on a conference call while people are demanding juice and Peppa Pig videos is pretty tough, and trying to get through almost a full day inside with minimal screen time while you are working on your day job stuff is tougher. While I was making dinner, I had them clean up about 50 pounds worth of Legos, race tracks, puzzles, and the like. However, during the day the whole house was a minefield of toys.
But, we got through it, and today schools are open again, and while we deliberately went in late to avoid the rush, getting there was not totally terrible. In any case, I wanted to make my first book, New Blood, free for yesterday for snowed-in reading. But, in the stress and insanity of the day, I forgot to announce it. In the spirit of better late than never, it’s free today as well. Please feel free to download your copy here!
I have previously shared that when I wrote my first two novels, I did so on an archaic device known as paper! The only benefit to that was that it made me really analyze the story and do significant rewrites during the second draft process, which included typing the book on my computer. It probably also helped me figure out the process of writing a book, as it was my first time doing it.
When I got to my third book, I realized the hand cramps were not worth it, and switched to typing directly on my computer. It was a real time-saver too, as I can obviously type faster that I can write. But, I sometimes wrote on my work computer, and sometimes on my home computer, so I ended up emailing myself the file several times a week. Apart from being a version-control nightmare, this was really stressful.
My new book is safe up there in the magical cloud!
So finally, in the year 2017, I have finally realized what everyone else realized a long time ago, namely that if you simply use cloud storage, you will never ever run into these types of problems. I am at home today because my son’s daycare is closed, and I had a moment of sadness that I forgot to save my file of my new book, and would not be able to work on it until Monday. But then! I opened up Google Drive and there it was, right up to the very last word I typed yesterday! Thank you, the magical cloud, for saving my writing!
Apparently 2017 is almost over, and, when it comes to volume of writing, I have done very little this year. After finishing my six-book series of urban fantasy, I wanted to do some personal, reflective writing. I did so, but it took so much more time than I had anticipated.
My children reflecting on their actual reflections in a pond, upstate New York, summer 2017.
The original, finished but as-yet unedited piece was about 12K words, and that took me more than a year to write. Then I worked on editing it. That took about two months and left it at about 7k words. And now I’m left with a piece that was extremely cathartic to write, but I don’t want anyone to read it, because of the personal nature. But I hate to think the year-long process was just an exercise in journal writing, so I may look to publish it in a magazine, under a pen name.
However, all this said, what I need now is a break from this gut-wrenching introspection and get back to something that’s, at times, only slightly less painful, and that is fiction writing. Ten years ago, in 2007, I decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo), and that was when I wrote approximately 60% of the first draft of my first book, New Blood. When December 1 came, I just kept on writing until I was done, and then put it in a drawer for about 3 years. Because I find meaning in symmetry, I am thinking now would be a good time for me to put aside my personal troubles, and start thinking more about the topic of my next series, werewolves!
With the exception of cake, I have an extremely hard time finishing anything that I’ve started. I actually stopped and restarted college twice before finally getting my degree. And that was just the undergraduate degree! And let’s not forget about how I went to massage therapy school for two years, only to not take the licensing test. So when I completed the first draft of my book, New Blood, I understandably felt both a sense of accomplishment and relief. It was over!
Sadly, that feeling was short-lived, as the horror of the revision process set in. When the second draft was finished I only allowed myself a momentary respite while I sent it out to test readers. Then came the revision process, followed closely by sending it to my editor. After that was final rewrites and a painstaking read for what felt like the 37th time. And then, it was over! I handed it off to my husband, who is more wise in the ways of computers than I am, and he formatted and uploaded it to Kindle. Awesome! Done! Right?
No, wait…what about Nook? I should make a Nook version, right? And Smashwords, for people who want all sorts of crazy formats? And CreateSpace, for those who must have a paper version. Okay, all done! Finally! But wait! What’s that? I have to somehow self-market this book?
I feel like:
a) Crying and bashing my head into the wall
b) Moving on to Book Two of the series and letting this one fend for itself in the cruel, harsh world
c) Telling myself to buck up and just market the heck out of the damn book
I know you are all dying to find out which I’ve choosen. The answer is: d) all of the above.
While I iced my forehead after doing a), I managed to research marketing and write for a bit each day. Mind you, I would rather not have to do the marketing bit at all and just emmerce myself in Wild Blood (the second book), but I realize this writing business is very much an ongoing process and you are never truely at The End.