Quote of the Moment

"What's Past Is Prologue." - William Shakespeare

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Everyone Needs More Cat Pics In Their Lives

I just realized, I haven't posted any pictures of the Trio of Terror since 2019! What is wrong with me?

Well, this year Rikku, Sylph, and Nightshade will turn 9. It's scary to think that we've had them so long. The girls have gotten fatter, and Boo Kitty has lost weight (he unfortunately has chronic kidney disease - we think he got into something at the end of 2022, and we're really lucky he didn't die from whatever it was then). Of course we still love them lots.

Last September, though, we added a new family member into the mix - The Interloper, Unraveler of Toilet Paper and Dreams, Orion. He's a zoomie silver tabby who likes to snuggle us in bed. He's now 10 months old, but he's still wide-eyed, big-eared, and long-tailed.

So, I'm just going to fill the rest of this post with cat pics. I hope they make you smile!

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

2024 - Just Chill

It's 2024, and I'm bringing lessons from 2023 with me.

Both publications last year were pretty stressful - I put in too many hours some days just to meet my deadlines. I really don't want to do that again.

So this year, if I have to move a deadline for my sanity, I will. I'm also not going to push myself to surpass last year's numbers. Just chillin' in 2024. Yup.

Now that doesn't mean I'm not going to be writing! Still plenty of projects to work on, and I'd probably die if I didn't write. ;)

I'm also sticking to the same three mantras. I like them. At this point they might be permanent.

2024 Mantras

❦ Just Write.

❦ Trust My Instincts.

❦ Focus.

2024 Upcoming Publications

Intricate Agony (Fortunes of Fate, 8)

Magic Morsel (New Kindle Vella Episodes, Plus Revising into a Novel)

Hey, look! No dates! Completely intentional. Though right now, the next Magic Morsel episode will go up on Kindle Vella on January 12, 2024. Four episodes are ready to go.

2024 Writing Goals

❦ Draft Magic Morsel and post new episodes to Kindle Vella until I've reached what I feel is a good ending for the first serial.

❦ Revise, Edit, and Publish Magic Morsel as a novel. And think of a good title because Magic Morsel will be the series name.

❦ Draft, Revise, Edit, and Publish Intricate Agony - This story has been simmering in my mind for a while, but I kept having to put it off. I can't wait to continue the Fortunes of Fate stories!

❦ Draft Gemini's Echo (Zodiac Aegis, 1) - Yes, this is getting pushed off a bit again, as I'm not touching it until the previous tasks are done.

❦ Newsletters - 8 scheduled for the year, 5 of which will include SHU-WPF Book Spotlights. If you haven't signed up for my newsletter yet, please consider doing so. A free novel and three short stories just for joining - Sign Up Here!

❦ Born to Write - I'm hoping to write one blog post per month at least, but I'm not going to pressure myself into that. I'll at least keep you all updated on my writing progress!

❦ Social Media & Networking - I'm going to Capricon in February! It should be fun, as a couple of my writer friends are presenting. I've also narrowed my social media attention down to Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok (I do post my Tiktoks to Youtube, too). Just casual usage, though. Not going to try to use it as a marketing tool, as social interactions are a weakness for me, not a strength - heh.

❦ Marketing & Promo - I'm experimenting with Facebook Ads! It kind of feels like gambling to me, and I hate gambling. But the Ads for Authors courses at least made it all less daunting. So, testing, testing, testing.

Per usual, I have more writing goals planned if I happen to get all of the above done. But since I'm chillin' this year, I doubt I'll get to those.

How has your 2024 started? What do you have planned for this year? Are you going at a chill pace, or are you trying to push yourself to greater heights?

Obligatory pic of my bullet journal below. I felt I needed some rainbows in my life this month. XD

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

2023 - Frazzled But Fortunate

This was a rough year. I felt like I was rushing and pushing to get tasks done, which sucked. However, it was still a successful year.

This blog post is my last official writing task for 2023, and then I'm taking a two-week break (aside from working on my Bullet Journal, but that's more meditative than work-related). I need it. I'm exhausted. =P

Let's see how I fared with my goals overall...

2023 Publications

Fairies - Fractured & Uncut (Fractured Fairies Collection)

Dead As Dreams (Saga of Souls & Dreams)

Yes, I published both titles I'd intended to this year! Dead As Dreams being complete is the accomplishment I'm most proud of, though.

2023 Progress

Go ahead and pop over to 2023 - Year of Death and Dreams, if you'd like to compare this year's goals to what I actually completed.

❦ Revised, Edited, and Formatted Dead As Dreams (squee!).

❦ Revised/Expanded Immortal Woes.

❦ Edited and Formatted Fairies - Fractured & Uncut.

❦ Yet again, no words added to Gemini's Echo - this novel is going to turn into the new Dead As Dreams isn't it? You know, where I keep intending to work on it, but it keeps getting put off while I focus on other writing projects.

❦ Newsletters - sent out 6, but not all when I'd scheduled... Had to do some rearranging - heh.

Born to Write - I kind of dropped the ball on blogging once per month. Other tasks and situations took precedence, though.

❦ Social Media - I've pretty much completely cut Twitter (sorry, not calling it the stupid new name) from my time and attention. Good riddance. But I've started posting videos to TikTok - this is way more satisfying, as I love the creativity that goes into making videos.

❦ Marketing - Yes, I got through more Ads for Authors courses! That was earlier this month. I did the Facebook Ads courses, and then I was ready to start some good, targeted ads, when Meta decided it would add a new "feature" that was preventing me from choosing an option on how to run my ads. I'm still waiting for them to fix this "feature" (they said by the end of this month - I'm not holding my breath), and then I'll be running a couple ads, including one to build my newsletter subscribers.

Guess what time it is? Number crunching time! Some hate it, I love it, so I'm throwing the numbers at you no matter what.

❦ No drafting done, since I spent my time revising and editing (though at the end of Dead As Dreams the amount I had to rewrite made it feel like I was drafting!).

❦ I revised a total of 73,687 words.

❦ I edited a total of 255,415 words (yikes!).

❦ 245 hours spent writing, revising, and editing (yes, I did double that number from last year).

❦ 53.75 hours creating cover art, formatting, and publishing.

❦ And the final total is (excluding reading and Haunted Unicorn jobs)... 424 hours spent on writing and writing related tasks! Last year I almost hit 190, so I more than doubled my time. No wonder why I feel frazzled. Also too many writing tasks that weren't actual writing, revising, or editing.

I honestly didn't realize how much time I put into writing this year until I typed up the numbers for the post (I hadn't even glanced at the totals on my handy spreadsheet before starting this post). I mean, I know it's not full-time hours, but I'm pretty amazed at all that I accomplished. Now to find a better balance, so I don't feel like I'm running as fast as The Flash to complete some of the tasks - lol.

How'd everyone else do in 2023? Writing or other goals?