ROW80: Working Through Fear

Ever have that feeling where you haven’t done something for a long time… it’s something you know how to do, yet when you get back to it, it’s downright scary?

That’s sort of how my writing went this week. I accomplished my fixes and release of Time’s Fugitive, no problem. I did Michele’s cover design (she loved it – yay!). And when I could put off my writing workshop no longer, I dug back into How to Write a Series.

It went slowly at first, because it was making me think things through on my series that I frankly, had no idea of. I had to do some brainstorming. Something I haven’t done much of for my writing in the past couple of years.

Fortune's Foe by Michele StegmanThen I got to the last task in Lesson Two, Part Three, and it stopped me cold.

That task was: “Write scene one of the first book.”

I froze. I procrastinated. I played Spider Solitaire. I farted around on Facebook and Twitter. I read several blogs. I downloaded WriteWay Pro, because I’ve been wanting to try it, and it made sense to try it with a new book. I read through some of the documentation, and set up my book.

My husband left for the AMVETS hall, and I dropped my daughter off at a friend’s house. Then I could delay no longer.

I had to do something I haven’t done in over two years: write new material.

By the time I got a few paragraphs down in my shiny new software, my husband had returned from the AMVETS hall, and turned on the TV. So I put on my headphones and kept going. I will admit, it wasn’t all a real scene – much of it is written in “blocking it out” form, a technique I learned years ago from Liz Bemis, and more recently read about on Rachael Aaron’s blog. I stopped for a few minutes to watch a car chase on Hawaii-five-o (hey, it was a Camaro!), but an hour later, I had my scene sketched out.

Here’s how my week’s progress went:

  • Make fixes and re-upload Time’s Fugitive – Done!
  • Finish book cover I’m designing for historical romance author Michele Stegman – Done! Check it out, above…
  • Complete Lesson 2 of How to Write a Series – partly
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts – uhhh, not so good; I wasn’t feeling well a couple days this week.
  • Track exercise and consumption – also done about halfway.
  • Bonus: Cover for Hangar 18: Legacy

Now I’m looking forward into doing more digging with How to Write a Series.

Here are my plans for this week:

  • Complete print layout and print cover design for Time’s Fugitive
  • Complete Lesson 2 of How to Write a Series
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts
  • Track exercise and consumption
  • Bonus: Upload Time’s Fugitive print book to Lightning Source
  • Bonus: How to Write a Series, Lesson 3
  • Bonus: Cover for Hangar 18: Legacy

 


Overall goal progress:

  • Release Time’s Fugitive, in both ebook and print – Ebook done. Print interior started.
  • Complete Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Series workshop – in progress.
  • Bonus: Any planning/outlining of new book, beyond workshop exercises – on hold until other goals accomplished
  • Release Hangar 18: Legacy – OR – release Times Two (Time’s Enemy/Time’s Fugitive box set) as an ebook – on hold until other goals accomplished
  • Bonus: Both of the above – on hold until other goals accomplished

How about you – have you ever stopped doing something for an extended period of time – then found it scary to start back into it? I’d love to hear from you! What kind of goals are you setting for this round of ROW80 – or if you’re not a writer, or not doing the ROW, for this spring?

New Release! Travel back to prehistoric America in Time’s Fugitive

It’s here at last!

It’s been a long time coming. I’d originally planned to release this in December, but that obviously didn’t happen. My revisions took longer than I thought. My readers took a while to read, and my editor took a while to edit – but it’s all good. I’d much rather release late, than release less than the absolutely best book I can. Time’s Fugitive is a long, complex story clocking in at 143,000 words, a length typically found primarily in historical fiction or epic fantasy. It’s definitely historical, and my first readers assure me that it is indeed epic. Here’s what else they had to say. I’ll take their word for it, or better yet, yours!

Here’s what it’s all about:

A past shrouded in mystery

Violet Sinclair remembers nothing of her life before the day she awoke several years earlier, drenched in blood that wasn’t hers. But since she met Tony Solomon, she’s been certain of one thing – sometime in her hidden past, she knew him… loved him… and did something terrible to him.

A present fraught with danger

Time-traveler Tony Solomon is sure he never met Violet before they were coworkers, yet she bears an uncanny resemblance to the woman he loved and lost decades before he was born. After an impulse encounter leaves Violet pregnant with his child, she becomes the target of killers from the future.

A future feared in jeopardy

Framed for murder, Tony will do anything to protect Violet and their child, even if their only escape is to jump into the past, something he swore he’d never do again. But when they jump back much further than planned, they find their troubles are only beginning—and secrets can get them killed.


Time’s Fugitive is out and available in ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. Other retailers and print version coming soon.

What do you think? Would you willingly travel back to prehistoric America? What if it was the only way to save your child? I’d love to hear from you!

ROW80: Two Steps Forward…

First, last week’s progress:

  • Make final edits, format, and release Time’s Fugitive in ebook – Done!
  • Bonus: Anything on Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Series workshop – No (but it was a bonus anyway)
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts each week – two intervals, one short
  • Track exercise and consumption each week – uhhhh…. similar to the above.

As for that first goal, you know how the rest of the post title goes…

“…two steps back.” Yup, I finished proofreading, made the changes, formatted, then uploaded – then found a couple of mistakes. Not typos, but technical details, revealed by a writing workshop I attended yesterday. Luckily, I wasn’t sure how long it would take for the book to publish on the retail sites, so I’d waited to make a formal announcement. So I’ll be making those changes today, and uploading, then I’ll announce when it’s up. If you’ve already purchased, no worries – this stuff isn’t something that most people are likely to even notice. But now that I know it’s wrong, I want to fix it – because I can.

So for this week, here are my plans:

  • Make fixes and re-upload Time’s Fugitive
  • Finish book cover I’m designing for historical romance author Michele Stegman
  • Complete Lesson 2 of How to Write a Series
  • Bonus: Cover for Hangar 18: Legacy
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts
  • Track exercise and consumption

 


Overall goal progress:

  • Release Time’s Fugitive, in both ebook and print – Ebook done, but needs a couple of changes. Print interior formatted.
  • Complete Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Series workshop – on hold until TF out
  • Bonus: Any planning/outlining of new book, beyond workshop exercises – on hold until other goals accomplished
  • Release Hangar 18: Legacy – OR – release Times Two (Time’s Enemy/Time’s Fugitive box set) as an ebook – on hold until other goals accomplished
  • Bonus: Both of the above – on hold until other goals accomplished

How about you? I’d love to hear from you! What kind of goals are you setting for this round of ROW80 – or if you’re not a writer, or not doing the ROW, for this spring?

Last Minute Edits, and Awesome!

That’s mostly what’s going on around here today. I spent last week doing a final proofread of Time’s Fugitive before uploading it to Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble, and now I’m making those last edits. It’s important to me that I produce absolutely the best product I can for my readers! So, I have not had a chance to write today’s post.

Scroll down to see what my first readers had to say about Time’s Fugitive. I’d also like to give a shout-out to Prudence MacLeod, who read and reviewed Time’s Enemy last week. Here’s what she had to say:

5 Stars – Awesome

Last weekend I read Time’s Enemy by Jennette Marie Powell. I really recommend you read this book. It is a great tale of time travel and the consequences of messing with the past. Jennette is a fine writer with a master’s touch at keeping up the tension. (You have to remember to breathe)

Time’s Enemy is Jennette’s first novel, or so I believe. This bodes well for the future for she will surely get better and, I for one, can’t wait for more adventures of Charlotte and Tony. Great work Jennette!

Thanks, Prudence! The wait won’t be long now!

ROW80: Measuring Up

Time’s Fugitive is very close to release! All I have to do is type in the changes from my proofreading, format it, and upload! My primary goal this week is to accomplish that.

Here’s what my first readers (beta readers) said about Time’s Fugitive:

- I could not stop. Very fast paced. Such a convoluted plot. I don’t know how you kept all those threads from tangling! Whew! I feel like I just got off a roller-coaster! What a ride! And I certainly enjoyed it–a lot. Although at times I was thinking what an evil woman you were throwing all that stuff at your poor hero and heroine! And more than once I worried that there was no way you could get them out of the fixes you had gotten them into!

– I am in love with this book! I converted it so I could read on my kindle and I’ve been sneaking it into the bathroom at work to read. LOL! As soon as I finish, I’m going back to read Time’s Enemy. Really, by 1% I was hooked.

– Talk about a roller-coaster ride. And having a baby in prehistoric ohio? It CAN’T HEAR YOU over how awesome it is! This one reads like a thriller–the romance does definitely take a backseat, though it’s still pretty strong in places. This reminds me of the old-school 70’s romances a little–where the heroine went on incredible adventures and went through shipwrecks, strandings, and sometimes multiple partners, and a lot of cheese (it was the 70’s you know) but damn if it wasn’t EPIC CHEESE. Time’s Fugitive doesn’t have any cheese in it, epic or otherwise, but I love the characters, and the settings are aMAZEballs.

 


As for my ROW80 goals, I forgot something last week when I posted last week. When setting goals, it really helps if you set some means of measuring them! And breaking them into doable chunks. I posted the goals for the overall challenge, but I forgot to break it down to the goals for this week. So I’ll just review the results as they relate to the overall goals, and whether or not I considered them to be met for the week:

  • Release Time’s Fugitive, in both ebook and print – finished proofreading
  • Complete Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Series workshop – on hold until TF out
  • Bonus: Any planning/outlining of new book, beyond workshop exercises – on hold until other goals accomplished
  • Release Hangar 18: Legacy – OR – release Times Two (Time’s Enemy/Time’s Fugitive box set) as an ebook – on hold until other goals accomplished
  • Bonus: Both of the above – on hold until other goals accomplished
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts each week – Got the interval workouts, one short workout
  • Track exercise and consumption each week – Done!

And for this week, I’ll break them down:

  • Make final edits, format, and release Time’s Fugitive in ebook
  • Bonus: Anything on Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Series workshop
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts each week
  • Track exercise and consumption each week

How about you? I’d love to hear from you! What kind of goals are you setting for this round of ROW80 – or if you’re not a writer, or not doing the ROW, for this spring?

Snooki, the Wright Brothers, and Time’s Fugitive

What a combo, huh? It’s my turn to get lucky and answer some questions! I figure my writer friends were saving the best for last, because the Lucky 7s meme has been going around for a while. There’s also an Eleven Questions meme. I thought I was going to get out of it – then I got tagged three times, by Prudence MacLeod, Coleen Patrick, and Lynette Burrows. So, I’m going to mix up the questions, and answer a few from each. Also, that lets me avoid the questions that pose some horrible future where I’m only allowed to have one series, or three books – the horrors!

So here are the rules:

  1. You must post the rules.
  2. Answer the questions on your blog. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
  3. Tag eleven people and link to them.
  4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

And here are my answers!

  1. What is the greatest thing you’ve found under your sofa cushions?
    Cleaning the couch cushions is always an adventure around here. One time we found Jimmy Hoffa – no, wait, that was under the couch. But the cushions hid all kinds of good stuff, like money (mostly quarters), two-year-old Cheetos, about five pounds of dog hair, and the occasional Nintendo Gameboy or DS game cartridge. So yeah, that last one.
  2. What TV show character do you hate and why?
    I think this one’s pretty universal among writers, especially those of us who’ve worked on our craft for over a decade (or more!), been rejected dozens if not hundreds of times, and have never been offered any book deal – and Snooki gets a huuuge deal, for that???
  3. What song is stuck in your head right now?
    “Emerald Lies” by Marrillion – been there for the past week. Good thing it’s a good song, but I’m getting tired of it. :)
  4. What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
    The usual – a banana, and a granola bar.
  5. What was the worst job you’ve ever had and why?When I was in high school, I had a summer job assembling little electrical parts for satellite TV receivers. Talk about a struggle to stay awake! But it was regular, steady hours and sure beat working fast food, so I was thankful to have it.
  6. You wake up in a strange room with a stranger in bed beside you, what’s the first thing you say?
    WTF??? (Or scream, depending on how scary the person looks)
  7. Ballet or pro wrestling?
    I’ve gone to the ballet and really enjoyed it, but I love WWE! Lying, cheating, and scheming, all laced with comedy, and men in tight pants! What’s not to like?
  8. Oh yeah, I’d totally go to see this if I could!

    If you could go back in time for one day, what time would you revisit and why?
    I’m assuming you jump in time, not space (which is how it works in my books), so if I was at work, that would put me just outside of Dayton, Ohio, at the world’s oldest air base. I would jump back to October 5, 1905, walk down the road a little ways, and watch Orville and Wilbur Wright prove that powered flight can be practical by flying their Wright Flyer III in circles for over a half hour. Awesome!

  9. If you could tweet a warning or encouragement to one person in history, what would you tweet to whom and why?
    @WilburWright: Don’t drink the water! (He died of typhoid at age 42.)
  10. Tell us about one thing on your bucket list.
    Hot air balloon ride!
  11. If you could tweet to your 13 old self, what would  you say?
    @JennetteAge13: Get OVER him! He’s boring! You deserve so much better! :D
And now, it’s your lucky day! Several people have been asking me, when’s Time’s Fugitive going to come out? Soon, soon! As in, by tax day for sure! I’m going over it one last time, just to make sure it’s the best it can possibly be, because my readers deserve no less. Hopefully it’ll be worth the wait! For now, you get the Lucky 7 Meme, which I was tagged for by Lynn Kelley. Here’s how it works:
1. Go to page 77 of your current manuscript/WIP.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 authors, and let them know.
From Time’s Fugitive, where Tony attempts a heroic rescue from a fire:

Grabbing Violet under her  arms, he dragged her to the head of the bed, beneath the window, then hefted her from behind to shove her through the opening.

He got her shoulders almost up to the window when a coughing spasm overtook him. She started to slide from his grasp. It was only a few feet to the window, but would Violet fit?

Hell with it. Adrenaline buzzing through his body, he hooked one arm around her belly.

 

Now I get to tag people… bwa-ha-ha! You can answer my 11 questions above (I’m too lazy to make up new ones), post your 7 lines from page 77, or both! I’m also too lazy to tag 11 people, so here are seven. If you don’t have time, no problem. :) But I’d love to see what these talented writers are cooking up!

Athena Grayson

CD Hersh

Maria McKenzie

Stacy McKitrick

Michele Stegman

Jim Winter

Christina Wolfer

100,000 Books Sold! And ROW80

Cool post title, huh? Unfortunately, it’s totally… well, check the date. :D

That’s about the extent of my joking. But it’s also the start of a new round of ROW80, the “writing challenge that knows you have a life,” and that’s no foolin’. This round ends June 21, and here’s what I’d like to accomplish by then:

  • Release Time’s Fugitive, in both ebook and print
  • Complete Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Series workshop
  • Bonus: Any planning/outlining of new book, beyond workshop exercises
  • Release Hangar 18: Legacy – OR – release Times Two (Time’s Enemy/Time’s Fugitive box set) as an ebook
  • Bonus: Both of the above
  • Three interval workouts and two shorter workouts each week
  • Track exercise and consumption each week

I received edits on Time’s Fugitive from my copy editor last Wednesday, and I expect to finish them today. So then it’s a matter of proofreading, formatting, and publishing! I’m planning to get that done this week, so look for an announcement soon.

My third goal is an “OR” because it’s dependent on others. Hangar 18 is out with beta readers right now, some of whom are new, so I don’t know when I’ll get that back. One thing I learned last ROW, is to be sure and build flexibility into our goals, especially when they hinge on others.

How about you? I’d love to hear from you! What kind of goals are you setting for this round of ROW80 – or if you’re not a writer, or not doing the ROW, for this spring?

ROW80 Recap

Quick ROW80 update, since I don’t normally do mid-week updates, but today ends the round.

My primary goal was to release Time’s Fugitive.

That didn’t happen. But it’s close! Here’s the breakdown:

  • Finish revision of Time’s Fugitive – Done
  • Send to beta readers – Done
  • Make changes based on beta reads – Done
  • Send to editor – Done
  • Prepare front matter, back matter, product description, and everything else needed before release – Done
  • Format book – nope
  • Develop marketing plan (preferably before release, but probably after) – Mostly done
  • Release Time’s Fugitive – no, but soon!

So what hit the wall? Well, some of those goals were dependent on other people: my beta readers and copy editor. My revisions also took a little longer than I expected, so that set me behind by about three weeks. Then the beta readers also needed more time than I expected – this is a looooong book. So it’s now with my editor. The good news is, she says she’s not finding much! So look for Time’s Fugitive soon!

The next round of ROW80 starts April 2. I’m definitely in! How about you? How did you do this ROW? Will you be joining us for Round 2?

ROW80: Slight Change in Plans

Another good week! And that was with adding a task I hadn’t planned for – but it’s all good!

A few weeks ago, my friend Michele Stegman put out a call for guest posts on her blog. She wanted to celebrate Valentine’s Day by spending the month of February featuring the real-life stories of how romance writers met their real-life heroes.

So I wrote up my story, sent it to her, and pretty much forgot about it until the day she’d scheduled my story to post. Oh, I went to her blog and commented some of the others stories – there are some good ones! – and tweeted a few, but that’s about it.

A couple weeks ago, she asked me if I’d like to be in an anthology – not a new story (thank goodness, since short stories are something I haven’t really mastered!) but my real-life story, “Looking for Mr. Goodwrench.” It turns out her husband had read some of the stories, and suggested she collect them into an ebook.

Thus was born How I Met My Husband: The Real-life Love Stories of 25 Romance Authors. I designed a cover and helped Michele with some of the formatting, and guess what – I have a new release on my virtual bookshelf! It’s free on Smashwords, and $0.99 on Amazon (although you can download the Kindle format on Smashwords). We expect it to be available on Barnesandnoble.com, iTunes, Sony, Diesel, and Kobo ebookstores soon. These are fun stories that you can read in a few minutes – great while you’re waiting in line somewhere! And there’s an excerpt of each author’s latest release. Did I mention it’s free? So if this sounds like something you like, go to Smashwords, download your free copy, and read how I met my own, personal Mr. Goodwrench.

With my graphic design background, I’m super picky about formatting and of course, the cover art, so this did take me some time. But I still managed to get my ROW80 goals accomplished, because I’d left them flexible, and allowed room for surprises!

Last week’s results:

  1. Review HTTS Lessons 1-5
  2. Send Hangar 18: Legacy to beta readers
  3. Finish budget for RWA chapter (I’m the treasurer)
  4. Set up reader newsletter
  5. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  6. Track food intake every day (Still missed a meal or two on this one)

I marked my first goal, review Lessons 1-5 in How to Think Sideways, green, even though I technically didn’t do all of them. I actually reviewed Lesson 1 the week before, and didn’t get to Lesson 5. But I marked it green because I decided I wanted to do her How to Write a Series course before going further with the plans for a single book, because the book I want to work on next is indeed the start to a new series, and I want to do this right. I completed Lesson 1 yesterday, so I count that as being equivalent to a lesson on HTTS. What’s awesome about HTWAS? The work I do for the exercises and worksheets will be the start of planning out my book.

Next week’s plans (I can’t believe this round is over after this week!):

  1. View videos 1-3 for Lesson 2 of How to Write a Series (yep, this is the one that has videos. They’re worth it.)
  2. Complete worksheets for part 1 and 2 of HTWAS Lesson 2 (These are very in-depth and will take a while!)
  3. Request two more beta readers for Hangar 18: Legacy
  4. Write content for reader newsletter and start promoting it
  5. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  6. Track food and exercise each day

OR, if my copy editor finishes with Time’s Fugitive, put off items 1 through 4 to get that formatted and uploaded, since that was my primary objective for this ROWnd.

How did you do this week? Have you had to change plans lately regarding your goals? Are you still on target to meet your goals for this ROWnd? I’d love to hear from you!

ROW80: To-do List Balancing Act, and the Weekly Status Report

This round of ROW80 has brought more learning – never a bad thing!

I learned that I do better if I schedule tasks throughout the week, particularly big tasks that need to be broken up into smaller chunks, like read-aloud editing and type-in.

I also learned that too much scheduled stuff is an invitation to get even less done.

It’s a balancing act – schedule what needs to be, without being overwhelming.

It's a balancing act!

I think I pulled it off this week. I scheduled my workouts (which I always do), and some of my writing tasks, since I’m still in a weird, in-between place there. I didn’t get quite everything done. But overall, I’m happy with what I did.

Last week’s results:

  1. Finish Time’s Fugitive beta reader changes and send to copy editor
  2. Format Hangar 18: Legacy for Kindle and send to beta readers (emailed them, waiting to hear what format they want)
  3. Collect remaining tax stuff for accountant
  4. Read nonfiction book for research
  5. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  6. Track food intake every day (missed one day, but getting better!)

So, I am pretty much in limbo for the two current projects, writing-wise. One is with my copy editor. The other is ready for beta readers. So it’s time to – yikes! – work on something… new! To that end, I’m going to jump back into a writing course I bought a year ago, and only got through five lessons before I decided to focus on getting other work out. This is Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways.

This week’s plans:

  1. Review HTTS Lessons 1-5
  2. Send Hangar 18: Legacy to beta readers
  3. Finish budget for RWA chapter (I’m the treasurer)
  4. Set up reader newsletter
  5. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  6. Track food intake every day (keeping this one on the list, because I’m still going back and entering this stuff the following day, which means I’m probably forgetting a few things)

Last week, a few folks asked about my Weekly Status Report. I totally stole this from my day job a few years ago. It’s pretty simple. I list each active project, with a total of how many hours I spent on it the past week, what my accomplishments were, and my plans for the upcoming week. My time estimates are rough, but this still gives me a good idea of time spent – and will further my case that my writing is a serious business, should the IRS ever come calling. I’ve put an example of it here, in case you’re interested.

How did you do this week? Do you keep track of your weekly progress somewhere besides your blog?