Maybe I Should Take Up Pickle Farming…

So, I’m in the process of formatting Solist At Large for KDP (having a serious debate about Kindle Unlimited vs. straight KDP, I’ll have to look at if I can do both or something), and I’m looking for problems as I go. Because, of course I can. I was saying earlier “I think I’ve gotten most of the big bugs out of this novel.” And, this is pretty much my version of Storm Front-a freshman novel that I’m hoping will let me work out all the kinks in my stories, survive the crushing blows of Amazon Review comments, and give me a touch of additional income. Enough to make it easier for me to write The Winter Solist and go through the revision process.

(If I sound down on myself, maybe 70/30-it’s a mixture of “I want a successful novel, but I’m afraid of being a one-hit wonder/series that really doesn’t go anywhere” and “I don’t want to have this novel be a version of Empress Theresa, that exists as a massive internet meme to be lampooned.”)

I get through about a third of the formatting process and I catch some minor bugs, a few things that could be phrased better, that kind of thing. And then, I catch that a “B-” plot that I pulled out of most of the novel (it’s been moved “off screen” for some purposes and later in the story)…has a major segment still in the book. Despite using search to try and find these things.

It’s a freshman novel, I know. First time I’ve gotten this far with something other than fan fiction. And as long as you’re not involved in the shipping wars, most people will be kind about your mistakes in fan fiction. But, this matters to me more, I don’t know why. Maybe the money, maybe the risk, maybe just the sheer crazy of it.

I’m going to use my first full amount of money from this books for a Scrivener purchase, because I think I’ll need that for the next novel. I’ll keep working on it (and, I might have to redo the entire first few chapters, as it is not working how I’d want it to come out), but if that helps…

Still on schedule for finishing on Saturday. Fingers crossed.

Coming Close To Publication

I’m hoping that I’m not going to jinx myself by saying this, but…

I did one final look-through for Solist At Large and if there are any soft spots in the novel, a freshman author like me can’t find them. This means I just need to do the last little bits, assemble and prepare for KDP, and put it up for sale. I’m aiming to upload it on Amazon on 9/20, so I can make it past the self-imposed deadline of having published something before my birthday.

I have to thank Sarah Hoyt for creating the cover-

And, of course, the title blurb-

Adelaide Taylor is the newest Solist to have gained her powers. A magical warrior of the ancient and lost Dawn Empire, she moved from California to New Jersey in secret. Enrolled in a very Catholic high school, she has to find her Companions-five teenagers that will help her to defeat magical threats to the human race. But, in the process of becoming a Solist, Adelaide has to hide the truth of her past from everyone else. Including the five people that she needs to trust the most.

And, there are secrets that Adelaide still has to discover about herself and the world she has become a part of…

And, who she truly is.

So far, so good…and fingers massively crossed…

Date on the calendar set for next Saturday for me to finish everything up.

And, after this? I’m probably going to junk and redo a good quarter to third of The Winter Solist, the sequel (the plot outline isn’t translating into story the way I wanted it). Learn how to use Daz3D to make the next cover. And…survive the harsh indignities of Amazon reviewers.

Going To Get Somewhere, I Hope

There’s probably some author that will tell me “you’ve got it easy. You’ve got stable Internet, a roof over your head, food on your table, and no dangerous issues coming up. Yes, the smoke from the fire sucks, but you have air conditioning and unless they shut the power grid off that powers the nearby Kaiser, you’re good.”

Got that. Agree with you, even.

My problem? I’m stuck in a house with three adults (this Labor Day, when I was hoping to be at DragonCon again), and we’re…civil with each other. Yea, that’s a good word…civil. We’re all under stress, nobody is happy, I’m currently unemployed, all that fun stuff. But, my situation could be worse and I am grateful for what I have.

Unfortunately, my work space is exactly ninety degrees to starboard of the main house TV and my parents (who I live with) are CNN junkies.

Seriously, CNN has their programming built to work as a Skinner Box. It’s all breathless, provoking, demanding production values that make you want to watch to see what particular scandals and disasters and chaos are happening and you can’t help but to watch and see what is going on. And, the language used is breathless and reinforces the precious narrative that they’re trying to tell.

And, you can almost tell they have it timed down to the second on their stories to give people watching it an incomplete cortisol hit. It’s almost like getting half a hit of cocaine-you get part of the joy and you want that rest of it, so you’re there watching…

It doesn’t help when you’re trying to write a fight scene and you’re hearing “ripped from the headlines” blurbs that drag you out of your immersion. Seriously, you’re writing up the best way for girls at a high school cafeteria table to snark about how one of them is positive that your character isn’t a murderer-


(I swear, I almost hear that one time.)

I can’t ask them to change the channel, it’s their house, their TV, and they’ll suggest that I go to my room and work there. I have a laptop, I can work there! (Please ignore the sarcasm, I know they mean this in the kindest of ways.)

I need a desk. I need a real keyboard, a real monitor, and a real mouse. Laptops never seemed to be the right thing for serious work for me. I need to sit at a chair and work.

Get to my desk early? Parents wake up at 5-6 AM to get my sister off to work.

Work in the evenings? My writing brain pretty much starts going bad after 9 PM. Which frustrates me because I used to be able to bang out stories until 1-2 AM not that long ago.

Stuff is getting done, this really is more just of a “frustration venting” posting. It’s not getting done as fast as I would like. But, it is getting done.