I've been working diligently on The Oracle's Current these last few weeks (in between all the editing) and I've made so much progress. The story went from being stuck at the beginning, with me desperately trying to figure out how to get the characters started on their journey, to almost being complete. I was on such a high with how well the writing was going. Yesterday was a great day for writing. I added a ton and was halfway through writing the final battle scene, and I was getting really excited. This story has waited so long to be completed and all I needed to do was put the finishing touches on one last scene and write the epilogue. Or so I thought.
I looked down at my word count and realized I needed to add another 2k words to reach my minimum. Enter a moment of total despair. There I was, thinking I was almost done, and now I had to come up with another 2k worth of plot! I abandoned writing for the day and put on a movie instead.
Except, as the movie was playing, my nerve started to come back. So what if I needed to figure out another 2k. I just had to write. Finish the one scene I was working on, write the epilogue, and then see what turned out in the process. Well, that one scene I thought only needed a few finishing lines suddenly kept going. And going. I struggled to find a way to actually end it, and when I did, somehow the word count matched exactly what I needed. It's weird that things magically seemed to work out, and I don't know why. If I knew why, I'd replicate it for some of my other unfinished stories.
Because, The Oracle's Current is complete!
After approximately five years of writing (including a long pause while I wrote The Sentinel's Prophesy instead), I have finally finished. I did a little happy dance when I typed the final period. It's an amazing feeling to know the book and the series is complete. Now comes the next steps. I'll put Current aside until June, at which point I'll pull it out again to give it a thorough edit. After that, it's up to NSP whether they'll accept it and the rest of the series, but I'm excited to see how it goes!
I have reached the halfway point in The Oracle's Current! The main love interest has been introduced, and the conflict is about to really get going. I recently came to a realization about this story: I can't have it meander throughout the world; it has to be focused completely on the Monastery. As the final book in the series, I need to tie together all the last loose ends, and I can't do that if they're not in the location where those loose ends need to be tied. I therefore had to scrap my idea of more pirates and heading to Altnoia, but I think the new plan with the Monastery at the center is ten times better. I'm super excited to see how it goes, and to see if I can get it completed in time to submit to NSP with the rest of the series.
As part of my work from home social distancing, I've been auditing some college courses to help my subject matter expertise grow. One course I'm taking is about magic in the middle ages. I promise, it does technically apply to the work I do for my day job, but they had a whole section on Jewish magic too. I took a lot of notes, and some ideas are definitely swirling for Codified. If you remember, Codified has been stalled because I haven't had the time to do the research the story needs. This course has helped with some of that, and has also given me some new avenues to start digging through as well. I don't actually know when I'll be able to return to writing Codified, but I'm happy with the progress I've made.
That's it for writing at the moment, but between what I've added to Current and finishing my Fairy Tales, I think this has been a very productive last few weeks.
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.
It's been a very long February for me. Some unhappy family issues pulled me away from writing for about two weeks, and I'm only now caught up. That said, a lot has happened recently that I want to fill you in on, so I'm going to write another long post full of fun information. Read on:
Submissions to NineStar Press:
That's it for news for February. I know there's a lot going on, and it's probably going to continue being a fire hose deluge of things to do until at least this time next year. I'm enjoying it, though, and I'm so glad you're all sticking through it all with me as we all patiently wait for all my books to become available again.
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:
As the title states, edits are moving along. The second round of edits for Ge-Mi: Nevada; Part One are complete and should be heading to the copy editor right now. There's going to be a surprise at the end, but I don't want to give it away! (It has to do with Part Two, which comes out tentatively in May, so don't feel you have to re-purchase just to get the surprise.) I don't know how long the copy editing will take, but I see no issues with meeting the March release date, at least from my end. I'm expecting to start talking with NSP about covers and other fun things in 2020. I don't know if NSP wants to keep the original cover, especially since they'll have to match it for the rest of the series, but I actually really like this cover so we'll see.
Next on the editing list will be Dragon Consultant and Ge-Mi: Taylor; Part Two. I"m not expecting to see either of them until January at the earliest. As I said in a previous post, Dragon Consultant will likely be a quick job because it's been previously edited. However, I'm expecting Ge-Mi: Part Two to take a bit more time as it hasn't been edited before. I therefore will likely need to see both of them in January to ensure we reach their release dates without issue. I'll let you all know when they arrive.
I've had to pause on the writing front as I had to work flat out to get the edits done with a very quick turnaround. Now that the edits are gone, I'm expecting to have a relaxing next few weeks. I'll get to enjoy some time without deadlines looming over me, which will hopefully allow me to get some writing done. I'm looking forward to that, and to hopefully crossing off one more thing from my to-do list before the year comes to a close.
I just had a moment of realization. It's December! I knew the month had arrived, given Thanksgiving just passed, but somehow it just didn't quite compute. For some reason, I'm mentally still thinking it's early November, but somehow nearly two months have passed since I last posted something! I'm so sorry for vanishing like that. I will try to do better from now on.
That said, I don't have much to share. I'm still in the waiting game for everything. Edits for Ge-Mi: Nevada and Dragon Consultant should arrive any day now. I'm hoping they'll be fairly straightforward, given they're reprints. I am expecting more substantial edits for Ge-Me: Taylor, which should be the third set of edits I receive. Hopefully that process will begin to move forward very soon.
I am eight weeks into the 16 week timeline for when I could hear back from NineStar regarding my submission of my Wizard Wars series. Given how many of my books they have already, I'm glad for the wait, but at the same time I want to know! Fingers crossed I'll hear good news soon!
I have been writing, of course. For some reason, I got a really good idea for how to finally get Yani and Aaron out of the basement and therefore complete the prologue for Codified, the third and final book in my Magnified series. I went ahead and cleaned up Magnified and Justified, so I can submit them to NSP whenever, but I'm hoping to make some real progress with Codified before I submit this series. So far, I'm 1/6th of the way through writing Codified. I still have some planning to do, but now that they're out of the basement I can hopefully start moving forward to the long-awaited final battle with Cain.
Other writing has all been focused on trying to get my fairy tales complete. There's just the last two to finish, both of which are completely planned out. Mina needs a final push to get to the ball in A Heart's Dream, and then I can get that story moving again. The Beast is flowing smoothly, but I had to stop to write down my amazing idea for Codified. Once I have to pause Codified for some time on the planning board, I'm sure I'll return to my fairy tales.
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.
When I sent in Ge-Mi for consideration with NineStar Press, I also sent in Dragon Consultant, the first book in my Supernatural Consultant series. I'm happy to report that not only did NineStar accept Dragon Consultant, they requested to take a look at the rest of the series! I have since signed contracts for Dragon Deception (book two) and Dragon Dilemma (book three). While I won't make any promises, I'm hopeful the rest of the series will soon be accepted as well.
Like with Ge-Mi, all my Supernatural Consultant books will be going through a thorough editing. I don't know what that means in terms of changes to the stories, but I will let you know the second I know. I am hoping that going through the editing process again will help galvanize me into working on Dragon Spy, the next book in the series. There's a lot to write still, but I already know it's going to be a fun story.
I hope to have more Supernatural Consultant news to share with you all in the near future.
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.