Quote of the Moment

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

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?

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Dead As Dreams - Excerpts

Though it's taken me far longer than I would have preferred... Dead As Dreams (Saga of Souls & Dreams) is finally out in the world! It only took over 18 years from when I penned the first word in the initial draft - lol.

So many feels right now, I don't know exactly what to say. OK, well this novel clocked in over 115k words, the paperback is about 400 pages long, and I seriously need a break from writing epic fantasy after this (plenty of urban fantasy projects begging for my attention, anyhow).

I'd also love to know that people are also reading this novel. So if you do read it, post a comment, send an email/message, leave a review - something, anything! This story is very close to my heart, and I want to share it with as many people as possible.

If you'd like to purchase an ebook copy of Dead As Dreams, you can do so via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, Google, and Smashwords. You can also use the Books2Read link for ease in choosing your preferred online retailer. The paperback version will be available later this week on Amazon.

Now that I've given you the links, here's not one, but two excerpts from the novel!

First a snippet from Aysa, The Shepherd of Dreams:

Water dripped all around, the source of the droplets an enigma. A bulb of water appeared directly over an inky puddle, then fell, followed by another. Each drop hammered the Shepherd’s mind, almost as painful as the cries of the child.

The child that couldn’t be found. Not now, not ever.

She curled tightly into herself, large cold stones and gravel beneath her body, pressing hard against her side and cheek. Water soaked into her now tattered wraps, the feathers in her hair sticking to her face.

Again, the cries pierced the nightmare, echoing from every direction. An unvoiced sob caught in the Shepherd’s throat, and she covered her ears. No more. Please.

Her nightmare was always the same. Different settings, but always the child bawling, pain and loss infusing the cries. And the water that wasn’t water, the color of storm clouds and rust.

In the past, she’d searched for the babe. Only in the beginning, though.

Hard to believe there’d ever been a beginning. She strained to recall a time when the nightmare hadn’t existed.

Time. No sun or clock to keep track, she couldn’t tell how long she spent in dreams – time here was intangible, not following the rules of the waking world.

But there had been a beginning. She’d searched, filled with hope of finding the squalling child, only to ache more when she failed to discover the source of the cries. Always out of reach.

And oh, the misery, losing her child over and over again.

Unlike dreams, she had no power in nightmares. No ability to shift and adjust her surroundings or call the babe to her breast.

Even forcing herself to wake, to flee to reality, remained evasive. Though she never tried hard to do so, as that was a different kind of nightmare. And it would always come on its own before long, anyhow.

No longer wishing to fight against Muska’s will, she’d stopped searching after a while. Now, when thrown into a nightmare, she remained immobile and endured the wailing.

The Shepherd cringed at every cry, and the water numbed her skin. She pleaded to be released. Muska refused to acquiesce.

Her wrists and ankles throbbed, echoes of events long dead in her real life. Unless her present had changed. What was being done to her, where she was – she’d lost track.

She lived for the dreams and ran from the nightmares.

And so the babe cried, the water chilling the Shepherd to the bone, as expected. But this time, a new worry tugged at her mind.

The man haunted her. He shouldn’t have acknowledged her presence. She was a shadow in people’s dreams. No one noticed the outline on the floor.

Yet he had.

He couldn’t be like her, able to hop from dream to dream, manipulating the surroundings. He was an encroacher, not a Mahlani. Could it mean something was wrong in the dream world?

The decay she’d smelled in the Nexus – it had to be connected. A puzzle to piece together.

An emptiness hollowed out her insides, and she scrambled to find the first piece. The cries hammering her ears hindered her and derailed her thoughts.

Now a section from the spirit seeker Lazarus:

Lazarus swiped his staff down, driving its tip into the dirt. A tremor shook the ground, shot up his staff, traveled along his arm, and then burrowed into his chest. He stumbled from the unexpected power. Too many spirits.

Not all souls lingered, but this town had its fair share sticking around. More than one night’s work. He hoped the chief would be generous. If not, perhaps he’d allow a spirit or two to linger.

Lazarus knelt and laid his staff in front of him. He pressed his palms against the dirt and leaned down, until the charm around his neck brushed the earth.

The purple light flared, and when he closed his eyes, violet spots danced behind his lids. The brilliant color reminded him of the glossy feathers of the dream-woman.

He muttered under his breath, angry for allowing his thoughts to drift. Never before had he allowed such a distraction to intrude upon his concentration.

The small whisper shook the nearest gravestone – the dead were listening.

Focusing on the dangling orb, he directed the purple light with his mind. It plunged into the dirt and spread out, like the rays of the sun, or the roads springing from the city of Tyrrnah. The light touched several corpses that still had spirits tarrying in the waking world.

Then the first drop of rain struck the back of Lazarus’s neck.

So entangled in his thoughts, he hadn’t smelled the storm rolling in. The drizzle built to a steady rain, and he was drenched in seconds, his cloak clinging to him.

His power was more volatile during a storm.

At least the crowd outside the graveyard remained silent. If they ran for shelter, the ground would quake. Thankfully their fear contained them.

Lazarus recentered, stabilizing the threads of power weaving through the ground of Hambrea. The number of souls took his breath away. Even if a spirit seeker hadn’t visited here for years, it shouldn’t have reached anywhere near this amount.

The deeper he traveled into the Outskirts, the higher the spirit count. But this time... the quantity had leapt considerably compared to the last town, more than was logical.

So many. How?

Another burying ground. He hadn’t seen signs of a second one. Spirits lingered at the edge of his senses, though, out of reach.

He’d pry the location from the chief tomorrow. Nothing he could do from here, so no use worrying about those souls now.

Lazarus wrapped the tendrils of power and light around as many bodies as he could – not even a third of the lost ones in this graveyard. Then he called to them.

“Come. Seek your bodies where they rest. Come.” Though his voice remained a mere whisper, the ground trembled. “Come. Join the bones you left behind. Come.”

And they came, all faded shadows only he could see. One by one, the restless spirits sank back into the earth and curled up in their rotting bodies. When all the ones he’d called rested in their empty husks, he twined the threads of energy around their necks, anchoring them.

Some struggled, attempting to escape. Their wails reverberated in his head, and shook him to his core. His repulsion over the required violence churned his stomach. Always.

No matter the hope for a peaceful send-off, only pain persisted. Once, he’d tried to be gentle, before he knew better. If his mentor hadn’t been there to fix his mistake, loose, angry souls would have rampaged the town.

Lazarus tightened the threads around the spirits’ necks, choking off their ambition. Lightning flashed overhead, paired with thunder, and the tombstones rattled.

Souls chained to the earth scream for release, and nightmares devour dreams.

Aysa, the Shepherd of Dreams, hides in the dream world from a past she yearns to forget. But when the scent of rotting flowers wafts through the Nexus, and multiplying nightmares nip at her heels, she realizes it’s her responsibility as the goddess Muska’s chosen to protect her realm. And then a dreamer notices her for the first time...

Lazarus hates the power the god Lokahn cursed him with – as a spirit seeker, he’s tasked to wander Bodhira, sending off lingering souls to the unknown. In one town, he stumbles across a mass grave and fails to free the spirits, as they’re bound to the earth by another spirit seeker’s magic. Determined to liberate the souls, he seeks help from an unlikely source. A woman from his dream, with blue eyes and feathers in her hair...

Aysa and Lazarus reluctantly make a pact to restore the balance between dreams and nightmares, as well as life and death.

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

NaNoWriMo 2023, Dead As Dreams Update, And A Halloween Pic

It's November! Yay! And I can't do what I originally planned to do for NaNoWriMo. Booooo.

As of this morning, I had two scenes left to revise in Dead As Dreams (Saga of Souls & Dreams). Right now, it's one (mind you, the scene I worked on today ended up being over double what I estimated it would be...). So, I need to finish that scene tomorrow. I'll be counting the revisions for both scenes on my NaNo word count.

But once I'm done revising, I need to dive directly into editing Dead As Dreams, as I FINALLY intend to publish it on November 29.

This means no drafting fun this month for me. Sigh. I've been wanting to get back to Magic Morsel, add to Gemini's Echo, and draft the next Fortunes of Fate story. All that will likely have to wait until 2024, as if past Decembers are any indication, I'll get no writing done this December.

However, that doesn't mean no NaNo. I'll be counting every hour of editing as 500 words. NaNo Rebel! Forever and always. And I probably won't hit 50k, but do I ever?

So that's the scoop with NaNoWriMo 2023 for me. I won't be keeping track on my blog at all for NaNo progress either. Life has me a tad overwhelmed right now. Good luck to all those undertaking the NaNo challenge (rebels or not)!

Oh, just for some fun, here's a picture of my fairy garden decorated for Halloween. =D

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Tiktok Time!

Yes, it's been almost three months since my last blog post. Sorry about that. I promise I've been diligently working on revisions of Dead As Dreams. I'm getting so close to the end! But now it might get to 110k words. That's epic fantasy for you.

Anyway, though I haven't posted much here, I've finally dipped my toe into Tiktok! You can find me there under alexagravewriter.

I'm posting three videos per week for now, one every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Editing the videos have been rather fun - it feeds that visual creativity itch - lol.

The videos also don't just revolve around writing. I decided it would be best to post about anything related to me. So writing, reading, fantasy (unicorns, of course), cats (oh, yeah, we got a new kitten in September), gaming, crocheting, witchiness... I even posted a video with all my DOOM boxes.

The range of videos will likely upset the Tiktok algorithm, and I won't get many views due to that. Which means not much help with promoting my writing. But I don't want it to feel like a chore. My goal is to have fun with it. Or I know I'll stop doing it.

I have a couple writing related ones below, if you'd like to take a look! And please follow me if you're on Tiktok as well.

@alexagravewriter About Me in sprarkly gel pens and colored pencils. I wanted my first Tiktok to be creative and colorful! #writertok #booktok #aboutme #writer #author #creativity #drawing #fantasy #fantasyfiction ♬ People Power - CK
@alexagravewriter Dreams In Shadow is the first short story in my Fortunes of Fate series! Interconnected but separate stories. 7 of a planned 78 titles currently published - one for each tarot card! #writertok #booktok #fantasy #fantasyfiction #shortstory #series #writing #book ♬ Aglow (Intro) - Slowed Down Version - Karamel Kel
@alexagravewriter September daily word count progress! #writertok #authortok #writer #author #writing #revision #wordcount #fantasy #fantasyfiction #book ♬ Anywhere (Road Trippin') - anamÄ“
OK, OK, I'll also post one of the videos with our new kitten, Orion. The Trio of Terror have dubbed him The Interloper.

@alexagravewriter Fuzzybutt Friday! Orion vs. The Track Ball. #writertok #kittentok #kittensoftiktok #kitten #tabbycat #tabbycatsoftiktok #cat #catsoftiktok ♬ Harpoon - Whales

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Fairies - Fractured and Uncut - Excerpt

Not only is it a release day - it's a double release day!

In preparation for the Fractured Fairies collection, I revised and expanded Immortal Woes. And it's now available as a single ebook for FREE! You can snag your free copy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, Google Play, and Smashwords. Or for a full retailer list, take a look at Books2Read.

And then of course, I have the collection of all my current Fractured Fairies stories in Fairies - Fractured and Uncut: 7 Humorous Fantasy Tales. All of the stories have been tweaked a bit since they were originally released. The collection includes: Immortal Woes, Ode to Buses and Libraries, S.O.L. Air, Monster in the Room, A Very Grinka Christmas, Bytes Bite, And So Do Fairies, and Nymphs Need Love Too.

You can buy the ebook for Fairies - Fractured and Uncut from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, Google Play, and Smashwords. And the full retailer list is at Books2Read. Current price is $3.99 USD.

A paperback version will be available next week from Amazon for $10.95 USD. I had a lot of fun splattering the cover art for the print version! ;)

If you read either title, please leave an honest review on your retailer of choice or at Goodreads (links: Immortal Woes and Fairies - Fractured and Uncut). Reviews help more than you can imagine!

I do have an excerpt for you, as always. This is from that new expanded version of Immortal Woes. Happy reading!

Syndago staggers around the living room, a huge hole where his face used to be. It’s not supposed to do so much damage, at least not according to all the crime shows I’ve watched. But that whole not human thing tends to come into play. Weapons wreak more havoc on immortals.

The shiny, silver handgun lies discarded on the floor. I’m not sure where he got it, and I wonder how hard it’ll be to get rid of. Maybe I’ll toss it into the Immortal World. Let the dwarves, elves, and goblins play with it.

He stumbles into an end table, and the lamp teeters. It succumbs to gravity and shatters on the ground – the true victim of this incident.

I sigh. Typically I only need to replace broken furniture after the fairies visit.

Syndago’s knees buckle, and he thuds onto his ass. His burly, thundering form shakes the entire apartment, and the windows rattle. If he still had a mouth, he’d surely be blubbering.

Poor, big lug. I miss his face, even if it has a frown affixed to it most of the time.

The crater shrinks slightly, flesh and bone regenerating. Who knows how immortals survive fatal injuries. At least half his brain is gone, if he had a whole one to begin with. Humans would kill for our secret, and Syndago would happily give himself over for experimentation if it meant finding him a cure.

Not that I’m about to give him that idea. The last thing I want is for him to succeed at his suicide attempts. And it’s best humans remain oblivious of our existence.

Maybe the wound will cause him memory loss, and he’ll forget he wants to kill himself.

Wait, no. He tried a guillotine once – it sheared his head right off. It thumped into the basket whole, thankfully no longer animated. A human-sized giant with one mouth is enough to deal with. Can you imagine a second tucked under his arm bemoaning life? I shudder at the thought.

Well, when he chopped his head off, I actually dreaded that he’d succeeded for a moment. Then the regeneration kicked in, and he grew a new head, spiky black hair and all. He remembered everything then, so he will now.

The bullet worms its way out of Syndago’s flesh and tings on the hardwood, then his face completes knitting itself back together. He struggles to his feet and slumps onto the couch, tears dripping from his reconstructed brown eyes. "Nothing works, Grinka. What am I going to do?"

Take one grouchy sea nymph, add a woeful human-sized giant, and mix in two lewd, drunken fairies.

What do you get?

An unsavory blend of immortals attempting to live together in the real world.

7 Humorous Fantasy Tales in the Fractured Fairies series, including:

Immortal Woes

Nothing like having a suicidal not-so-giant giant as a best friend. Unless you also have a couple of drunken fairy pests tormenting him about his small stature.

Grinka's the lucky sea nymph who has both. Between comforting her friend and stopping the lewd fairies from taunting him with a death powder, her temper gets the best of her.

And when it does, things explode.

Ode To Buses And Libraries

A maddening itch on the back of Grinka’s neck drives her to seek answers. Unfortunately, the information about her skin condition can only be found at the Immortal Library.

Getting to the library proves difficult, especially when riding the Immortal Express bus line. Between a lackadaisical centaur and the drunken fairy siblings, it's a wonder Grinka hasn't exploded them all.

Oh wait, she has.

S.O.L. Air

That whole “life’s a journey, not a destination” nonsense doesn’t hold water with Grinka. Especially when she books a flight to Vegas to get away from the two fairy nitwits.

She fails to consider the aquatic ramifications of a sea nymph in the air. And a chance encounter with her goblin ex-boyfriend, Hrelm, threatens to delay her even further.

Seriously, what’s it going to take for Grinka to get to Vegas and gamble away her meager savings?

Monster In The Room

What does a sea nymph do when she comes home to find a monster filling her entire living room? Find out in this bite-sized gulp of Grinka.

A Very Grinka Christmas

Grinka's main goal for Christmas: survive without celebrating a damned thing. Between playing an elf to her mopey human-sized giant friend’s Santa and contending with the fairy siblings’ holiday revelries, she’s got her work cut out for her.

When uninvited guests appear on her doorstep, she’s forced to face a party of all the people she ran from when she left the Immortal World. No thanks to that torture!

Grinka plots to avoid the party, until she meets a handsome tree nymph who agrees to attend. Maybe, just maybe, this year Grinka will have a Merry Christmas.

Bytes Bite, And So Do Fairies

As usual, Grinka the sea nymph can’t catch a break. She simply wants to publish her novel. Unfortunately, the two fairy thorns in her side mess with her computer. Too bad they’re immortal and can’t meet the same demise as the innumerable fairies in her book.

If that isn’t enough of a plague, Grinka’s sister Raina pops in from the Immortal World, bringing the first immortal virus with her. And now, Grinka is quarantined in her room with the two fairy nitwits.

Will she survive to hit publish, or will the rainbows and fairies win?

Nymphs Need Love Too

What do you prescribe a depressed sea nymph? A handsome tree nymph, of course.

Grinka can’t stop dreaming of Bello, the hunky tree nymph she met a couple years ago. Unfortunately, sharing her bed with her drama llama teen nymph sister has put a damper on her love life.

Who’s she kidding? Her love life was nonexistent even before she took in her runaway sister. Well, aside from the incident with her goblin ex-boyfriend and his dwarven girlfriend – an event that continues to haunt her in the form of the stalker dwarf.

But Grinka’s not-so-giant giant best friend brings her the gift of Bello’s phone number. Can she summon the courage to call him for a date? And if so, what will her sister and the fairy brats do to ruin it for her this time?

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Writing Update - June 2023

Yup, it's June. And every June, I wonder how the year is zooming by so fast. I'm also amazed at how quickly plans can change from one week to the next.

I'm of course talking about the publication of Dead As Dreams. May was a horrendous, anxiety-ridden month. And I'm glad it's in the rear view, but it forced me to change my plans. Again. That plan I had posted back in April? Boom.

I'll survive, though, and so will my writing. I just ended up juggling this year's plans a bit. Seems like this always happens. Maybe I should stick to making a 3-Month Plan instead of a 1-Year Plan. It might save my sanity slightly if I do - lol.

Anyway, if you'd like to see what the original plan for the year was, take a look at 2023 - Year of Death and Dreams. Otherwise, updates below!

2023 Publications

Immortal Woes (Fractured Fairies, 1) - Revised and Expanded - July 12 - This ebook will be FREE at all online retailers!

Fairies - Fractured and Uncut (Fractured Fairies, 1-7) - July 12

❦ Dead As Dreams (Saga of Souls & Dreams) - Fall 2023 - So this pretty much swapped places with the Fractured Fairies Collection.

2023 Writing Progress

❦ Revise Dead As Dreams - I've revised 45,256 words so far, and I'm estimating about 14,000 left to go. See, I just need a little extra time, so unless my world completely implodes on itself, fall of this year is a totally doable publication window.

❦ Revise/Expand Immortal Woes (Fractured Fairies, 1) - As of today, I've revised 3,071 words of this. My hope is to finish tomorrow, adding at least another 500 words. The original word count for this story was 2,500, so it'll be about 1,000 words longer!

❦ I've sent out 3 of the 6 Author Newsletters as well. But I haven't kept up with one blog post per month, sadly.

So I'm chugging along, even though not everything has gone as planned. After I finish the Fractured Fairies Collection and the revisions of Dead As Dreams, I'm likely going to shake my drafting plans up a bit as well.

We'll see what I tackle once I'm done with the revising and editing! Heck, maybe I'll even post about it once I decide. That 3-Month Plan idea is looking more and more tempting...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Dead As Dreams - Update and Cover!

I'm nearing the end of April and I'm not done with the revisions of Dead As Dreams. The main revisions were supposed to be completed in the middle of this month. Clearly I was too optimistic in planning my release schedule with this novel!

That said, I'm still making great progress. I'm approaching the 90k mark, which is 3k more than the draft was before I started revising it (with at least 10k left of that initial draft to wade through). The back half of the novel is getting a major overhaul, though, and that's slowing things down. More like a rewrite, actually - more often than not, the old words are getting chucked into the cut document, making way for fresh storytelling. It's looking like I might exceed the 100k word goal, possibly by 5k or more.

And I don't want to rush through it. This novel has been in the works for so long that I feel it deserves the time and attention before it sees the light of day.

This isn't a gloom and doom post, though! I'm focused and determined to finish. My original goal was to publish Dead As Dreams at the end of May. However, it's looking more like mid to late July now. So a couple of months delayed. Not too bad, right?

Anyway, I would like to leave everyone with a teaser. The cover! It's mostly finalized, but if I get any suggestions for tweaks between now and when I put up the pre-order, it might change a bit. Enjoy the cover, and happy reading!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

1001 Reason Not To Clean - #61 through #65

Welcome to 1001 Reasons Not to Clean! The main goal of this series is to see if I can actually reach 1001 reasons, 5 reasons at a time (the final post, if I get there, will be 6 reasons). I'm sure I can. It's not just my crazy brain being unrealistic, right? Links to previous posts are below. And feel free to share your excuses, and they might get added to my list (with credit, of course)!

#1 through #5 ~ #6 through #10 ~ #11 through #15 ~ #16 through #20 ~ #21 through #25 ~ #26 through #30 ~ #31 through #35 ~ #36 through #40 ~ #41 through #45 ~ #46 through #50 ~ #51 through #55 ~ #56 through #60

Welcome to the craft edition of 1001 Reasons Not To Clean!

61. After not having attempted to crochet since well before your grandmother died (she's the one who initially taught me, though I hadn't progressed very far - lol), you decide to pick it back up again. But instead of crocheting things like blankets, scarves, and hats, you decide to dive into another branch of the craft - amigurumi! You also realize that the first couple amigurumi you crocheted weren't done properly, so you feel the need to make more to prove to yourself that you can get it right.

62. You're having fun with the amigurumi, but the holidays are upon you, and you feel the need to make some new ornaments for the tree. Plus you have this pretty, sparkly yarn that would make perfect snowflakes! How hard can it be? Actually, pretty easy. Maybe I should start making sparkly doilies.

63. Since you're on a crocheting kick, you decide a good way to process through your grief over your father's passing is to crochet roses for his memorial service. Lots and lots and lots of roses.

64. You purchased yet another cross stitch kit, even though you have many kits and patterns that you haven't completed. And oh, that might be because you also haven't cross stitched for ages. Since you need a slight break from all that crocheting, you decide to work on one of your new cross stitch kits. It's a cute Halloween kitty. Of course, since you're rusty and a slow stitcher, and the knots that constantly appear in your threads drive you batty (yes, Halloween pun there), you don't actually complete it until November. Plus it's now March and you still need to frame it, as planned. It'll be done by next Halloween, right?

65. Your confidence in your ability to cross stitch has grown, and the holidays are approaching again. Why not cross stitch some cute owl ornaments for the Yule tree and for the parents? It shouldn't take too long to complete all six. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Unfortunately, this thread knots even more easily than the type used for the cat, and you have so many other tasks to get done in December. You definitely don't have time to clean if you want to complete the owl ornament project. At least you manage to get the parents' ornaments done in time, but the ones for your own Yule tree get put up a tad late.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Fractured Fairies Collection - Vote For A Title!

So, I had planned to chat about The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Aside from it being a tad late after the holidays, I decided I really needed more votes on a poll I included in my newsletter last month. Hey, I've at least included a pic of my Guardians LEGO Advent Calendar (why, yes, I do like the Guardians, thanks for asking).

This poll has nothing to do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though. It's regarding my Fractured Fairies Universe (should I start calling it the FFU? - lol).

Immortal Woes will be getting an update, and I'll be combining all my Fractured Fairies titles into a single collection this coming fall. But I need a title! I'd love opinions, as I have several ideas. So please take a look at the poll below and vote for your favorite title(s)!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

2023 - Year of Death and Dreams

Ominous post title this time, yes? Mwuahahahaha!

Enough of that. Nose to grindstone, focus on goals, make progress, etc. I have a lot to get done in 2023, and I'll be pushing myself to my writing limits, especially the first half of the year.

Here's the rundown!

2023 Mantras

❦ Just Write.

❦ Trust My Instincts.

❦ Focus.

Do these seem familiar? They should. I've cut the mantras to three this year, but they're ones that have stuck with me for a couple years. And they might just hang around for many years ahead.

2023 Upcoming Publications

Dead As Dreams (Saga of Souls & Dreams) - Spring/Summer 2023

Fractured Fairies Collection (Untitled Thus Far, 7 stories) - Fall 2023

2023 Writing Goals

❦ Revise, Edit, and Format Dead As Dreams - And here's where the post title comes in. I'm determined to release this novel into the world this year, over 15 years after first starting it. Yikes. I ended 2022 46k into revisions, so I have a lot to go to reach the end (though I've already revised over 6k already this month!). I'll update my tracker to the left every time I have a new blog post.

❦ Revise/Expand Immortal Woes (Fractured Fairies, 1) - This first story with Grinka, Syndago, and the fairy brats feels off compared to the subsequent stories, so it's getting an update! In preparation for that story collection, of course.

❦ Edit and Format Fractured Fairies Collection - Simple enough, right?

❦ Draft Gemini's Echo (Zodiac Aegis, 1) - This will fill my second half of the year. It'll be nice to get some fresh words down, taking a break from revisions. I just need to convince myself not to fiddle with the next Fortunes of Fate story that's been brewing in my head.

❦ Newsletters - 6 scheduled for the year. And in the first one, I'll have a poll to vote on the Fractured Fairies Collection title. So if you want a chance to offer your input, make sure you Subscribe to My Author Newsletter!

❦ Born to Write - 1 blog post per month scheduled. Too much writing and revising to get done to plan more!

❦ Social Media & Networking - I'll be attending In Your Write Mind virtually again this year. I know they're planning to set up something for alums to promote, and I'll post about it once I know more. As for the rest of social media, yeah... Too much writing to do to deal with all that - lol.

❦ Marketing & Promo - I purchased Ads for Authors last year, and I'm hoping to squeeze in the chance to watch more of the videos for that. Then tackle Amazon and Facebook ads. Scary!

I'd love to get so much more done, but when planning my weeks, the time disappears so fast. Completing my list above will be quite the feat already! Of course I have a list of extra goals, just in case I smash the main ones out of the park.

What does your 2023 look like? Aiming to accomplish a lot, or hoping for a calm, low key year?

Quick pic of a bullet journal page below. Nice to have so many squares filled in already for days I've revised!