As the clock runs down and the finish line appears in the distance, I wonder… “Will I make it?”
The short answer is “No.” Am I sad about it? Another, “No.”
“Well, why not?” you ask.
(Can you tell I’ve been writing dialogue today?)
This has been a busy month and even though I won’t be completing my word count, I accomplished a ton. I started a new job, ran a 13.5-mile race, celebrated a holiday, a birthday, and made progress on my latest draft!
Of course, it’s not as much progress as I was hoping for, but progress is progress. I am still plowing through the connective tissue for the remaining two big scenes… err three big scenes. Those I will fly through. Then it’s taking this hot mess of a storyline and lovingly craft it into something worth reading. So, the future is looking pretty good!
Now I have to get back to this bit in the story where Barney does the thing and Jacquie doesn’t like it and…
How are things going, you ask? Well… they’re going, but not as fast as I would like. It’s strange how the brain reconfigures depending on what it’s needed for, isn’t it? I pushed to get into the ‘Con Consciousness’, then the ‘Music Mind’ (more on that later), and now I’m pushing to get into the ‘Writer’s Brain’.
Each one (for me anyway), is different enough that it’s jarring to the system. It can take days for me to connect properly. Which finally happened this weekend! I made some decent headway into the story!
It felt like I was at the base of a mountain but knowing that I was close to halfway up. Clouds obscured the path behind me, and fog dogged my every step up. Hooray for valleys of clarity! I could see the path for a while and progress was good.
Did I mention that I have kittens? They just hit 7 weeks old and have decided that we are people and not just warm furniture. The little buggers are so adorable and I can watch them do kitten things for hours. I beheld the power of the ‘Kitten Wit’!
This turned out to be a bit rambly. That’s enough of that. For those struggling their way through Nano, I salute you and cheer you on from afar!
This year has been an odd one, incredibly busy with periods of nothing. And right now, I’m in a massively busy cycle. Not only did I finally get to attend Cons as an author, but I’ve been to a few music shows, actually watched some movies in a movie theater, and competed in a few obstacle course races! The last one was a 13+ mile run just last weekend with a 5k this weekend, and I have another 13+ mile race coming up in mid-November!
With all that going on, I’m also looking into getting audio versions of my books made and working on another project with an author friend too! Which brings up Nanowrimo. With all of that going on, (never mind the ole 9-5) will I get anything done? Well, that’s the quest for the month!
I’ve given myself a more achievable goal for this Nano and that’s to finish the first draft of the final book in the Matilda series. And by finish, I mean write the first version of the part that is missing, not the rewrite of the end that is needed (if I have the time, I’ll hop into that too but that’s more a December gig). It should only be about 20,000-30,000 words so huzzah and all that nautical talk!
In the meantime, I’m taking a wee break… Well, apparently I’m not. Just realized November is on Monday. Did I mention that I was immensely busy already?
Yes! Whew! Two Cons in the bag and they were back-to-back. Am I tired? You better believe I am. Was it worth it? Every minute of it.
First off, I must give huge props out to WhimsyCon 2021 and Mile Hi Con 2021 for making a newcomer feel welcome. An enormous thank you to the staff and the volunteers to both Cons for a fun time! Two Cons with completely different focuses for me.
Considering how nervous I was up to the point that the panel, each panel started, I think I did pretty well! I had a couple minor hiccups on the “About Me” portion of one, but smooth sailing on the rest! I’m not sure if this works for other people but focusing directly on the questions and the person asking while using my ‘outside’ voice definitely worked for me.
Mile Hi Con was my first time running an Author Table. I was all set for this back in 2020, but the world exploded and um… yeah, everything was delayed a bit. Set up was quick and easy. I thought I’d be nervous the whole time, but I wasn’t!
I got to talk to a lot of potential readers about my story, my characters and what drove me to write. I also got to speak with other authors (Jason Henry Evans, Lou J. Berger, Jim Henderson, and J.D. Jorissen, to name a few!) about the craft, swapped lessons we’d learned about the Con process and where we might come across each other again.
Oh, by the way, I had an amazing table mate, Alison Kimble, author of Strange Gods (you should check it out). She killed it at the Con panels and I can’t wait to read her book!
I am really excited to be a part of the Mile-Hi Con experience! This will be my first convention running a table on Authors Row and I am beside myself! (Not literally… well, I hope not anyway). You better believe I will be posting about my involvement over the whole weekend. This is a big step in my writing career, and I want to preserve the moment.
I’m hoping that I’ll have a bit of free time to catch some of the panels, the Guests of Honor, the cool rooms, and the cosplay! The convention will be happening in Denver, CO from October 1st to October 3rd.
Today is the day! Secret Matilda is available at Amazon in both Kindle and Print!
After getting attacked by the ship that has been chasing them across all known space, can Jacquie and the crew find a way out? What are Mr. Leon and his soldier genorgs up to? Will Dr. Wyeth finally get her hands on Lieutenant Galena Chadov? All I know is that there is something strange afoot on the M33 destroyer and even stranger things in store for our intrepid crew!
There is only one more book to go and the story will be done! Woo! 2022, I’m looking at you!
Sometimes listening to music makes the writing process easier. I really find that it helps with the editing process. For this series, where music is integral to the story, I’ve created Playlists. If you missed it, here is that post again. Well, I did it again on the ole Spotify! Do you want to give it a listen? Here ya go!
When I first received the lengthy corrections from my editors, I wasn’t too concerned. At a glance, it looked like there was less red ink than there had been in say… The Matilda. Some sections looked like an absolute breeze to get through while others indicated more of a knock-down-drag-out fight. But with it in hand, I can make progress!
And progress was made…
It took a while (some were an absolute fight… I’m talking tooth and nail here), but all those corrections are done! By the way, can we give some love to the editors? No matter how many times I’ve read my work, I still miss things. Some things are as simple as a missing letter (on vs. one), others are more involved from beginning to end (why is everyone sighing? Why, Jon, why?). I can’t thank my editors enough for the time and focus they take to help my little stories move right long.
Timing is everything…
After all that, I found some spots that need a little more and I have plenty of notes on how to fix this. And, lo and behold, my last beta reader sent me a pile of constructive criticism! Some of it hits on bits I found while others are new and shiny (like diamonds). I’ll be going through the story with a fine-toothed comb and making the last alterations and corrections and then prep it for print.
Secret Matilda is so close to being ready!
Oh! Last but not least, I just found out this morning that I will have a table at Mile-Hi Con! I’ll post more about that as the date gets closer.