A Decade of Fiction

So. September, eh?

That was the last time I checked in with y’all. I’m not sure how I managed to let a whole season pass without so much as a “hey, I’m still alive” post. But then, it’s not like I’ve never done that before…

Fall was very busy for me with freelance copywriting, which was generally a good thing. I did manage to blog a little more over at Story Junction, so maybe I used all of my blogging abilities there instead of here.

In any case, I have many updates…

Bloodbonded: THE PRINT VERSION IS FINALLY DONE!! Finally! I struggled getting through the last read-through, largely because I was marking continuity things as I went. I tried to upload a picture of how many flags I used in the book, but the Internet wouldn’t let me. I think my continuity issues broke my Internet.

I uploaded the final version of Bloodbonded this morning, and the Amazon POD gods say that it’s “In Review.” I will publish a note when it is live so you can all go order it. I will also very likely order some copies for signing, so if you want one of those, watch for a post about how to get one. It’ll be pretty much just like the way I offered signed copies of Ravenmarked.

Unquickened: I have not made any significant progress on editing Unquickened, largely because I wanted to make sure to gather all my continuity notes first. Now that I have two print books full of continuity flags, I’m going to work on compiling some notes to make my editing of Unquickened easier and consistent with the story I’ve already told. The good news is that I have managed to get the whole beastly thing moved into Scrivener for my high-level content edit, so that’s something.

Soultainted: I am happy to say that an incredibly messy, glorious, first draft of Soultainted is DONE! But let me emphasize the “messy” part… It’s extremely messy. I have a feeling much will change as I edit Unquickened. Still, there are some really good bones there, and I discovered some really good things about the world, the characters, and the whole general plot of this epic story.

Wisdomkept: I will probably regret it, but starting tomorrow–January 1, 2020–I’m going to attempt to start the final book in this saga by restarting my “1,000 words per day” writing habit. I say that I will probably regret it because I know much of it will change with all the cascading edits that’ll come down from Unquickened. However, writing new fiction every day is good for me, and I do discover things as I go that tend to end up in the final version. I’m hoping the good will outweigh the bad and that writing this first draft of the last story will help me tie all the threads together to make a reasonably satisfying series.

Other news from the fall… It’s been quiet around here with the two oldest children mostly out of the nest, and now that my horrendous school drive is done, I’ve had more time and space to work than probably ever before. It still seems to be tough to balance my time, though. Maybe that’s just… life. Or work at home life. Or something.

In any case, I’ve been mulling over my goals for the coming year, and I keep going back and forth on what my focus should be. I restarted freelance copywriting largely to get enough money coming in to help my kids with college or whatever post-high school goals they might pursue, save a little more for retirement, and maybe give us some of the extras we want. And I’ll confess: It’s tough not to be lured by the gurus who keep promising that it’s completely conceivable to make six figures as a freelance copywriter. I’m sure it is–for some folks. I’m not sure I’m one of them.

And here’s the thing…. My life is still rather complicated. I still have two kids at home and one who’s only partly gone. I have dogs, cats, and a husband who require periodic care and feeding. And let’s face it–if I don’t clean and cook, basically no one will. I have a high tolerance for messy houses, but it gets to me LONG before it gets to anyone else, so even to maintain my low standards requires my own hand.

But here’s the really big thing….

My heart is in fiction.

I confess–I wish it weren’t.

I was thinking last night that if I had to do it over again, I would not have let all my copywriting die off in 2009. Yes, there was a recession. Yes, it was tough to find projects. But if I could go back to that point and restart, I would just push through and keep focusing on copywriting and never start the fiction in the first place… (There are a lot of other things I’d change, too, but that’s the work-related one.)

Because the truth is that if I hadn’t opened the door to this beastly muse, I could have avoided an assload of heartache, and I’d be in a much better place now as far as my copywriting career. I wouldn’t be stressing about finding clients, and I’d probably have a lot more money in my retirement account.


If wishes were horses, as they say…

I did open this door, and I’m here now, and God help me, I love these weird, crazy worlds and the obnoxious, wonderful characters who won’t shut their freaking mouths and give me a moment’s peace.

It’s been ten years. TEN. YEARS. I’ve had these people in my head for ten years.

And I am convinced and convicted that it is time to finish their stories.

So…. at the end of this decade, as I look at 2020 and the years to come, I intend to focus my writing efforts as follows:

  1. Get enough clients/freelance copywriting work to cover the oldest daughter’s tuition (whatever she can’t cover through scholarships/her own work) and pay for my own writing projects (and maybe cover my yarn addiction).
  2. Spend the rest of my time working on The Taurin Chronicles. Unquickened WILL be published in 2020, and I’ll make every effort to finish Soultainted as well.

When I get book five finished and published, then… well, then we’ll see.

Maybe I’ll write more in this world. Maybe I’ll go back to the world of the dragon western that I started some years ago on a lark. Or maybe some new story will arise. Who knows?

I’ll be candid–it would be amazing to make a living writing fiction.

I don’t see that happening, but it would be amazing.

But the bottom line is that when it comes down to it, I would rather write books–especially my own books–than do almost anything else.

So… That’s where we’re going. Cover the tuition, work on the fiction.

That’s my nifty little mission statement for 2020, I guess.

I have some other goals, too. I haven’t entirely given up on the habits I started last year–some are firmly in place, others not so much–but I’m focused a little more on specific goals this year. Here, in no particular order, are a few of the things I want to achieve by the end of 2020:

  1. Run a half-marathon: I wanted to do that last year, but between my hamstring injury and various travel obligations, I kind of got derailed. As of right now, there’s nothing preventing me from doing this. I’ve recovered my strength, speed, and endurance, so I have no reason not to train for a half-marathon.
  2. Finish one yarn project per week: Honestly, this isn’t that hard. I can knit a hat in two evenings. Last year, I kind of lost my zeal for yarn, and everything got side-lined for a variety of reasons. This year, I really want to be intentional about doing a little knitting every day. It’s good for me in too many ways to count, and I can really tell when I’m not doing it.
  3. Read fiction 30 minutes per day: I have massively slacked off with my reading in the last several years. I need to get back to it, and I need to read more than blogs, news sites, and copywriting books. I would love to actually read 52 books this year–one per week–but I don’t think I can do that in half an hour per day.

And as far as my daily habits… I just want to be kinder to myself this year. And also kick a little ass. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

As the year comes to a close and we start another decade (yes, I know–technically we start the new decade in a year ending in “1,” but I’m going with the popular perspective… though aren’t we always kind of starting a new decade?), I wish you and yours a year full of blessings, peace, and prosperity.

May you end 2020 a little richer, a little wiser, and a little kinder than you start it.

See you next year!

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