I hope everyone had a lovely holiday (whatever you happen to celebrate). I had a nice zeder (zoom Seder) with family and friends for Passover. Social distancing at its best. Please stay safe and healthy out there!
Since my last post, I have been working hard on a number of different projects. Number one is new edits, of course. The first and second round of edits for Dragon Deception, book two in my Supernatural Consultant series, arrived. Overall, there wasn't much to fix, however some small things were changed in order to make this series YA. Next for Deception is copy edits, which should arrive soon, and the first round of edits for Dragon Dilemma should also be on their way.
My last fairy tale story, A Heart's Dream, is complete! This means the anthology is also complete. I still need to put A Heart's Dream through edits to get it ready for submission, and to do that properly it first needs to sit for a month. I'll pick it up sometime in May, get it and the rest of the stories in the anthology completely ready to go, and then I get to wait for NSP's go ahead to resume submissions. Despite the wait, I know those of you that have begged me to republish my older fairy tales will be happy to know they, and some new material, will all soon be available for you again. I'll definitely keep you appraised as this project moves forward.
I have also been working with NSP on some more covers. I have seen the first draft of the cover for Ge-Mi: Part Two and have been in discussion about the covers for Dragon Deception and Dragon Dilemma. I think you're going to like them all, and I'm eager to get them out for you to see too. Hopefully I'll have final drafts to share soon!
I am still planning to return to The Oracle's Current as my next project. I would like to be able to submit it along with the rest of the (newly fixed) series when NSP says I can send in more books, but that means I need to get cracking now. Thankfully the story seems to have stopped fighting me, but I won't know if it will go smoothly until I start writing again. I'm eager to get started.
Social distancing is very interesting. For an introvert like me who prefers my own company, being home by myself has been wonderful. I have been teleworking, which means I primarily get to work from home (interspersed with office visits to keep the place running), and I've found I'm a lot less stressed and tired by the end of the day. That means I have the energy to write on weeknights, energy that has been lacking since I started my current job. I've therefore been working on trying to finish some of the stories you all have waited years for:
I have three (maybe four, if I write an epilogue) scenes left to write in the last fairy tale story for the anthology I've been promising since the day Cleanly Wrong went out of print. I'm hoping to have it done this week, which means as soon as NSP tells me it's okay to submit more books to them, the fairy tales will be sent in first.
Next on my to-do list is to try to finally complete the last book in my Oracle series, The Oracle's Current. It's a series that deserves to have its ending, but I've been stuck on how to get the two main characters to meet. I've finally had the time to figure that out, so now I need to write it. As soon as my fairy tales are done, I am looking forward to turning my focus onto this story.
If the horrible virus continues to spread and social distancing and teleworking continue, my goal is also to make a lot of progress on Codified, the third and final book in my Magnified series. Codified is a slow process because of all the research that goes into it, and also because it's triple the length of the usual stories I write. I haven't had the time or energy to work on it, so I'm looking forward to it.
That said, all my plans hinge on my not getting sick. I am staying at home as much as I possibly can, am washing my hands obsessively, and am keeping 6ft away from other humans. Please, please, please do your part to keep everyone safe by doing the same. I hope everyone stays healthy during these difficult times.
I can't tell you how many blog posts I've written this month where, just before I was ready to post, I got more news and had to rewrite. I think this is my third or fourth attempt to get out a blog post, but there's so much to tell you I'm just going to post what I have, and I may end up writing another blog post tomorrow. Either way, this post is really long, but I promise there's exciting stuff inside. Read on:
Submissions to NineStar Press:
NineStar Press has also accepted the final three books in my Supernatural Consultant series! The two short stories, Dragon Adventure and Dragon Home, will be combined into one book. Right now the working title will be Dragon Adventures (we added the 'S', because we're clever like that), but inside the book "part two" will still be called Dragon Home. We're not wedded to the new title, so if anyone wants to suggest something they think is better, please feel free. NSP also accepted Dragon Lesson, which I'm super excited about. This means the entire series will be republished soon!
In other book news, there have been no new developments. It's too soon to hear whether NSP will accept the two books in my Wizard Wars series. It's also way too soon to get any additional tentative release dates. Edits for Ge-Mi: Nevada could arrive any day now, and once they start, edits for all my accepted books will continue to arrive almost non-stop for the next year. I know that is going to curtail my writing time considerably, but I am still going to try my best to get some new material completed as well. At the top of the list are my fairy tales, which I am sooooo close to finishing, and of course all the sequels everyone has so patiently been waiting for. I will keep working hard, so thank you all for your continued support!
To everyone that celebrates, I hope you have a happy and healthy new year. I'll see you all again in 5780!
I also want to let you know I'm still around. I'm sorry I haven't had any news to share lately. My contracted stories are in the middle of the editing process, so it's a waiting game of a few months. I will let you know as soon as I hear more.
In the meantime, I've been working on Di-Na: Kay and on my fairy tales. Di-Na is a slow process as I need to get everything set up right in the beginning in order for the rest of the story to flow correctly. I think I've finally gotten that down, so now it's time to dig into the meat of the story. I'm looking forward to it!
My fairy tales are a different kettle of fish. I've had to scrap Trip Trop Trail, my Billy Goats Gruff/Robin Hood crossover. It wouldn't write, it wouldn't flow, and the characters all hated my guts. That story is the reason my fairy tales have been held up so long, and, while scraping it was hard, it has allowed me to move forward again. I have finally figured out the last bit holding A Heart's Dream back, so I should be able to finish that one soon. I have also started work on two new fairy tales to replace the one I removed. The first is called The Curse. I just need to finalize the epilogue and The Curse will be complete. The second story is The Beast, which I've just begun working on. I'm hoping to have it completed soon.
The question then becomes, what do I do with my fairy tales once they're complete? First I have to edit them all, and then they'll have to sit for at least a month before I edit them again. Obviously I'm going to submit them to NSP, but I already have so much I still need to submit. Once all the books in my Supernatural Consultant series have been evaluated by NSP (either as a yes or no for publishing), I will be able to submit something else. The plan right now is to send them the two books in my Wizard Wars series next. After that, as long as my fairy tales are ready to go, I'm thinking I'll submit all nine of those. It depends on what NSP says, of course, but I think I'm going to try to stick to that plan for the next few months.
I don't know what sort of crud I've got, but it's been a slow recovery. The fever finally broke, but I've still got a bit of a cough. The problem is, I'm still finding it hard to concentrate. My body just wants to curl up and sleep it off, while I wanted to spend this weekend writing instead. That's just not going to happen. I need this crud to go away so I can get back to a regular routine that includes getting some writing done.
I was able to get a last edit of Wounded Alpha completed and I went ahead and submitted it to LT3. The call doesn't close until the end of January, so LT3 won't take a look until then, but now it's one less worry on my plate. I can instead focus on all the other things I know will be coming, including a lot more edits. Until then, I am going to continue plucking away at all my stories to see if I can get some completed.
One thing I was able to take a look at was Thunderbird (one of the stories I'm hoping to submit with my fairy tales), and I'm concerned about it. Way back when, I submitted it to LT3 and they rejected it. They were kind enough to provide a reason why and after looking through the manuscript again, I can see that they were right. I need to add a few more scenes in order to smooth out the issue, but I'm not finding that an easy task. The problem is, as the story stands now, it flows nicely. The plot and the world building both work as they are. I just need to make a few tweaks to one of my characterizations, and one or two additions to the romance, yet I can't decide where to cut into the story to start adding those changes. Anywhere I try, I leave blatant hatchet marks in the plot and the flow immediately dies. I don't want to scrap this story as I think it's the most unique one in the bunch, but I can't resubmit it as it stands, which means I've reached an impasse. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Aside from fixing Thunderbird, I have two other stories in my fairy tale bunch to finish. A Heart's Dream started out as yet another Cinderella rewrite, but I'm trying to get it to go more of a Sleeping Beauty route. I think that will fit better with the characters, but planning that out has been really slow going. Trip Trop Trail, my Billy Goats Gruff rewrite, hasn't been worked on at all. I was trying to get A Heart's Dream completed first, which has left Trip Trop Trail patiently waiting. Unfortunately, it's going to have to continue to wait as I have a few other things I need to get done first. Only once all three of those stories have been completely worked out can I start looking at final edits and formatting, which is months away.
Despite the constant edits, I have managed to squeeze a little writing in. There are so many stories I want to get complete, but finding time to work on them has been difficult, especially when so much of my writing time has been stuffed full of editing. Here's what I've been able to accomplish the last few weeks:
I added a few more drips and drabs to Dragon Spy, book seven of my Supernatural Consultant series. Mostly I'm trying to figure out the balance between Nickel's role and Lumie's role to the overall plot. They're both big personalities that demand focus and attention, and giving it to them both without losing the essence of the series is going to be an interesting task for this particular book.
I also added about 1.5k words to Ground of Resurrection. I've said this before, but all I need to finish writing this story is time. There's about 4k more to go and it's all planned out, so it's really just about finding a few stolen moments to work on it. As soon as I'm done with edits, I expect this story to be the next add to my completed list.
LT3 also posted a new collection call named Bound by Nothing. It's about shifters and injuries that I thought was really interesting. I've got an idea for it and I managed to write about 3k words, but I don't know if I'll be able to complete the story by the deadline. It's due at the end of January and it's only asking for a minimum of 20k words, but I have so much else to do that this story might unfortunately not get there in time. Which doesn't mean I'll abandon the story, of course. It wouldn't be the first time I've missed the deadline for a call and later published the story anyway, but I would like to try. You can check out my tentative summary on my current projects page and I hope to have a title to share soon too.
But what about Ge-Mi: Part Two, or the fairy tales I keep insisting I'll work on? I fully admit, I've gotten distracted from these two endeavors. Ge-Mi is another story that I just need to find free time to work on, but because the story is so involved, it's got to be more than a few brief moments stolen here and there. Usually that's all I have, which is perfect for all the other stories I've mentioned so far, but not for Ge-Mi. That's going to take a few weekends of no other distractions to really get into and right now that time is being spent on edits instead. As for the fairy tales, I've got two left to complete and one still to rework. I can work on them in the stolen moments, but I'd prefer to finish Resurrection first, so once that story is done I know I'll return to my fairy tales.
There are so many wonderful authors out there participating in NaNo. I see them posting their word counts for the day/week/etc and I am very impressed by everything they've accomplished. I wish I could emulate them, but I've tried and in the end I decided that NaNo just wasn't for me. Being on a specific schedule where I have to write X number of words per day with the intention of completing a story by the end of the month doesn't work for me. Having that much structure instead stresses me out. I see how much I didn't get accomplished the previous day, add that word count to the amount I didn't get finished that day, and it all starts piling up. In the end, all I get out of NaNo is stress-induced writer's block which translates into equally ineffective December writing.
At the same time, I can't say that I've managed to significantly increase the word counts of any of my stories even though I haven't been doing NaNo. I've done some planning for my stories, including the final fairy tale story I need to write. I have also read through my currently out of print story Heart's Tournament. I gave it a minor edit and decided to resubmit it to LT3, but then I came to a dilemma. The reason I didn't immediately resubmit it when it first went out of print is that I had always planned to write the sequel. I still haven't written said sequel, but I have started planning the prologue. The question becomes, do I resubmit now in the hopes that I'll actually write the sequel this time, or do I write the sequel first and then submit them both together? There's pros and cons to both options, but what it really boils down to is that I already have too many ongoing projects on my to-do list. Until I finish a few more stories, I really can't start writing this sequel. Either I have to resubmit and (if LT3 accepts it again) hope I get the sequel completed before it goes out of print again, or I have to hold off for what could be a few years before I resubmit with the sequel attached. I'll let you all know what I decide.
I started working on The Red Apple Witch after that and I was just getting into it when I got an email from LT3 with the second round of edits for Kelpie Blue. Turns out that while some of the things I fixed last time worked, a number of the changes I made either weren't right or didn't change enough. Technically there's less to do this time around, but it's still a big project. The sooner I get it done, the sooner I can return to writing. Please wish me luck.
Ge-Mi: Part Two
May 18, 2020
Mell Eight is an author writing with NSP. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.