Ballin’

I am in a funk. I haven’t written anything since 11/30. I finished my NaNoWriMo’s 50,000 words at just almost the minute my Dad was breathing his last breath. I haven’t worked out the exact timing but it’s at least close enough to be spooky.

Since then, aside from not writing I’ve also been flaky. Things out of nowhere set me off and I’ll rail into a crying jag. Out of control. The opposite of me. I normally don’t rail unless a mood altering substance has been applied.

The jags aren’t an often thing but when they happen they’re pretty comprehensive. I had one today and it put me into a genuine funk. My lovely wife can generally bring me back fairly effectively. Today, not so much.

“I’ll watch ‘Emmet Otter’ with you” she says. Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas is one of my favorite movies of all time, one of the three I see every year to make Christmas complete (the others are the Rankin/Bass ‘Rudolph’ and one of several versions of ‘A Christmas Carol’ (Patrick Stewart’s is my current fave). Emmet is not on her top anything list.

“I’ll watch ‘Emmet Otter’ with you” means she sees I’m in trouble and is trying to help. I know she offers this only because of her love for me. She doesn’t see Emmet the way I do.

This doesn’t matter. I don’t care about Emmet right now any way.

“No, I don’t want to watch Emmet” I say. I’m moody. I feel … goth. I let her fade off. I’m fine, just need to work things out.

She’s undettered.

A half hour later she returns. “So I’m watching a Sports Illustrated special about the Buffalo Bills in the Jim Kelly era. It’s really cool. Would you like to watch it with me?”

My college ball loving, ACC centric bride has gone and found a special presentation celebration for a team she knows nothing about, because she knows it’s a thing for me.

One hour and one sportsball narrative later, the funk is blown.

The moral of the story: Choose your mates wisely! They know what ticks inside you.

Also, I started writing tonight. Probably not a coincidence.

Planning all the things

Working on a multi-book series with four of them in process at the same time I find it critical to have a plan. There’s no better way that I’ve found to keep things sorted and focus my time where it most needs to be. As a project manager this should be pretty easy for me but I am finding it to be very difficult due to my ignorance about publishing and the editing process.

I don’t know how long a lot of things are going to take.

Estimate draft time is fairly easy. I know I average around 1,000 words an hour for fresh content. That includes on the fly research, spot editing and re-reading for context and vocabulary. I know about how long each book should be. A little math computes these times nicely.

But how long will it take me to do my second edits? At the moment it looks like I will be doing my own development edits and possibly copy edits as well. I know that’s not ideal but financial reality is a thing. How long will those edits take? I have only the fluffiest target clouds at this point.

Taking the later stage estimates with a grain of salt (or a tablespoon of it, we’ll find out later), here’s the summary of where I am and where I hope to be getting:

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When is it coming out? Can I get it for free? Will it be printed?

Some questions I was asked frequently during my recent trip to the Great Surprisinglygreen North:

When is it coming out?

I am not quite sure. Since this is my first time publishing there is a lot of new stuff I have to educate myself about as I go. The writersphere makes that much easier than it would be otherwise but it’s still a lot of learning. I am hoping to take as great advantage of y’all as I can in order to avoid mistakes.

All that said, here is my current loose launch plan for the first four books:

  • Weavers, March 2016
  • Ninja at Law, May 2016
  • Unseen, July 2016
  • Makers, November 2016

Can you just send it to me? Can I have it for free?

These were generally said jokingly, but yeesh it was distressingly frequent.

There will be opportunities for ERCs and ARCs for each book. Early Readers help after the first draft by giving basic feedback on the story, plots and characters. Advanced Readers give an honest review of the pre-published manuscript. Both groups receive a free digital copy of the manuscript as well as my thanks.

I will also be trying various marketing tools and promotions. It’s pretty likely that some of those will be free.

Will it be printed?

Maybe? This is a whole big ball of question for me at the moment. I know I will commission at least a limited run for myself and to promote the books but whether they will be generally available in print depends on things I am largely ignorant about now.

Time for some scanning

My return to Atlanta yesterday had a nice side bonus. I mean besides the puppy going ape over seeing me after a several day absence. Is there anything more filling for the heart than seeing a creature so happy to see you that it can’t stop wiggling? If we could bottle puppy wiggles we could have world peace tomorrow.

The side bonus was that the lovely Mareta Pettigrew dropped off the completed Weaver’s cover and two finished chapter art illustrations. OMB, you guyz! It looks fantastic.

So lunch today will be figuring out how to get the scanner working on my borrowed lappy. The colors in the cover are so much more amazing that what I’ve been able to show so far off of snapshots.

UPDATE: Time to call up a photog. My painting exceeds my scanner size. I can get most of it though…

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