Monthly Archives: November 2012

Looking ahead to 2013

As a disclaimer, I should say that I’m not done with NaNoWriMo yet, and won’t end up finishing the novel this month as I’d planned. I’ll win, probably on Wednesday (my son has a basketball game tomorrow, or I could get there sooner!), but I’ll have to keep writing in December to get the first draft done. Then it’s on to editing Where the Ducks Went for its late January release. So that’s 2012…

But on to 2013. This isn’t the traditional “New Year’s Resolution” blog post, because first of all, I don’t usually do those, and second of all, those would go on my personal-stuff blog. But it is a list of where I see my writing in 2013. I was journaling about it this morning, and thought I’d throw it out there and see what your goals are, as well.

As I said, I’ll be releasing Where the Ducks Went in late January. It’s (surprise!) another new genre, so I will have to do a lot more marketing than if I were writing (like a sane person) in the same genre where my books are currently selling. But the beauty of being an indie author is that I can go from action adventure to Christian romance to YA dystopian sci-fi fantasy (and back again), and the success or failure will depend on my ability to get the book in front of readers. I’m willing to take that challenge in order to write things that interest me! (Plus they all have historical elements, which is really my “genre”.)

Darian’s War, book two in the YA series, will probably be released in late March or early April. I’ll be out of the country from mid-February to early March, so that will give me time for editing.

I think it’s probable that there will be a third (and final) book to this YA series, so that will get written probably in April (since there’s no Script Frenzy this year!), and be released in the summer. (May and June will be nuts in the Wright household, with a son graduating from high school, a daughter graduating from college, said daughter getting married, and probably putting the house on the market!) If there’s a book 3 I will definitely do that one next, as my daughter hates waiting for new books in a series.

I will most likely do another Quinn adventure, featuring Mac more prominently than Rei and Gideon Quinn this time. These two books are selling better and better, so another one would be a good idea, and I’ll have a built in audience for them. I’d like to say I’d do it for June Camp NaNo, but that’s doubtful with a June 22 wedding in the works, so probably August Camp NaNo, or I’ll just start writing after the wedding stress has worn off. That would be a December release…

Then there’s the non-fiction. Yes, I am contemplating jumping the dividing line! I wrote a non-fiction book in May of 2011, which needs a bit of reworking, editing, and the addition of a “things to think about” section after each chapter. It could be ready for release (ebook only, most likely) with only a few weeks worth of work. It’s already been beta-read and gotten good feedback, so that’ll probably be the first domino to fall.

The second will most likely be a fairly short (40-50k word) ebook on homeschooling. I am in my thirteenth – and final, sadly – year of homeschooling three kids, and I used to do “so you’re thinking about homeschooling” seminars all the time. I would like to write a book on how to decide to homeschool, how to know what to do once you decide, and how to do it all the way through high school. I don’t think it would take too long – as I said, I’ve done seminars and talked to people for many years about it, so it’s just a matter of getting that on paper. This would need to come out in the summer, as people are exploring options before the school year starts.

And finally, because I’ve gotten such great feedback on my NaNoWriMo advice here, I think I will do a NaNo Survivor’s Guide type book to come out in September or October. A lot of that will be expanded blog posts, mostly for newbies or WriMos who haven’t been able to complete the challenge yet and need some new ideas on it.

So. Editing three already-written books, writing four books and editing those, and publishing seven. Yikes! But I’m putting it here, in print, so we can compare next year and see how it went. After all, writing is now my job. If I had a “regular” job, I’d be working all the time, right?

How about you? What are your writing goals for 2013? Are you doing NaNo in November? Maybe one or both of the Camps? Will you mourn the death of Script Frenzy with me in April?? Will you be making your debut release, or your fifth, or even a “best of”? Let me know – we can cheer each other on!

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Time out for Thankfulness

This month has been crazy – and not so much with NaNoWriMo. (I’ve only written 13 days, and one of those produced less than 500 words – but I have about 35,000, so I’m still ok!) It’s hard, in the midst of life’s craziness, to stop and be thankful. Even on Thanksgiving, especially if you are responsible for the cooking and decorating and cleaning up, it’s almost anti-thanksgiving.

So today, I’m stopping to be thankful. Truly thankful. I hope you will, too. Here are some of the things I’m most thankful for:

  • A wonderful husband, and wonderful, generous kids.
  • Warmth in my house, food in my fridge, clothes on my back, and cowboy boots.
  • All the people who’ve taken the time to read the words I manage to put down on “paper”, whether here or on their Kindle, or with a paperback; and for their lovely support and encouragement.
  • My grandmother, who will be 99 on December 1, and still lives alone, walks her dog, cooks her meals, follows baseball, and laughs.
  • Freedom.

What are you thankful for today? I hope, whether you are here in America enjoying our holiday, or elsewhere in the world, you will take the time to hug your family, laugh with your friends, and make it a day full of gratitude.

As always, thank you for reading, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Writing when you don’t feel like it

This has been a really strange month, not including the self-imposed craziness of NaNoWriMo. My son’s been sick (we’re headed to our 3rd doctor’s appointment this afternoon), I’ve been tweaking things to manage migraines and my post-eye-surgery, I’ve traveled, both of our kids have had car issues, my husband has moved the publication of his book way up so I’m looking at days of frantic editing next week (on top of Thanksgiving), and we’re going on a couples retreat this weekend. Not to mention regular crazy life stuff. Yeah.

I didn’t write on Monday. I felt really wonky from my whirlwind trip to Houston, which was really good, but didn’t involve much sleeping. Yesterday, I didn’t feel a whole lot better, but obviously I couldn’t take another day off writing. My son wasn’t feeling great and it was raining, so I decided to drive him to basketball practice. He wasn’t sure if he was going to play, but felt like he should be there since he’d already missed some. It’s 45 min from home, so I was there for the two hours, giving me time to write. Theoretically.

And I did, much to my surprise. Again, no internet, which is a challenge due to the nature of my books (broad geographical range, not to mention history, etc), but I really got rolling and cranked out about 2200 words, even with shoe squeaks and whistles and fighting siblings, before one of the dads started talking to me. I did another 900 when I got home, so ended with 3121 for the day, and crossed the 30k mark. I felt pretty good about it… I think the story is hanging together, and some threads are starting to be drawn in.  And I felt good about just pushing through and doing it, even though I didn’t want to.

I’ve never really had the NaNoWriMo week 2/3 blues. It’s never been the story that’s kept me from writing or slowed me down. Rather, it’s just life. Stuff happens. Then more stuff happens. Sometimes that’s all, and life returns to normal, and sometimes even more stuff happens. In August, I didn’t write for 9 days because of stuff… So far this month (and it’s only, what, the 14th?!) I’ve missed 4. I know I won’t write Saturday or Thursday. If I get hooked into the editing, I’ll miss at least another day or two. I could easily get very discouraged and frustrated by that.

What I’ve decided is to do what I had to do in August. (Okay, I got discouraged and frustrated in August… But then I figured out what to do!) That is, move my goal back from finishing the novel in November, to getting the 50,000 words. If I finish it, that’s great. With Thanksgiving so early this year, that’s definitely possible. But I can’t let myself get discouraged about it, because it is what it is. Not one of the things that has happened or that is scheduled to happen this month has been optional. Not one of them has been something I could just say, “Thanks but, no thanks” to. Life’s like that sometimes.

I don’t have a lot of important qualities, like organization and patience. But what I do have is tenacity. Stick-to-it-iveness. If I sign up for NaNo, I’m going to win, even if it’s by 37 words like in August. And if I’ve started a book, I’m going to finish it. So, here’s my plan.

  • Get as much as I can between now and November 30, as long as that’s at least 50,000.
  • Keep writing into December until I finish it.
  • Get the comments back from my beta readers and get working on Where the Ducks Went as soon as I’m done.
  • Keep going.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

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Writing on a jet plane – NaNoWriMo

Last night I flew to Houston, because I have the privilege of sharing my experiences with Hospice Jinja (Uganda) at a fundraiser here tonight. It’s a long way to come for a short thing, but anything I can do to help the great people at the hospice is worth it.

The flight from my city to Houston was three hours long. The day had been that weird sort of day it always is when you have a later flight: you pack, you pace, you do some errands, you check that your family will have food, you check that you didn’t forget anything, you panic when you realize you did forget something, you check Facebook and the weather report a million times. I finally left a bit early for the airport, thinking I’d have time to sit down in my airline club lounge and write.

Well, the line at security was the longest I’d ever seen it. It took me forty-five minutes to get through, so by the time I got to the club I had less than an hour. By the time I got my Diet Coke and cookies (because they cancel each other out, you know), I had less than thirty minutes. When you’re starting a new chapter, that can be a difficult amount of time to try to squeeze some writing in. So I didn’t.

Another long line to get on the plane. I’m spoiled by having an “elite status” with Delta due to all my flying, but I was flying United. In some sort of strange airline math, they called group 7, then group 1, then group 3 (there was no 2), then 4 (there was no one in group 4), then group 5 (me), and finally (I presume) group 6. More line in the jetway, then the usual jockeying for your carry-on bag’s position in the overhead bins. Then the “no electronic devices” period, because, God forbid, we crash the planes with our Kindles.

So finally, I got my laptop down when all danger of triggering a dire airline disaster was past. I was on the aisle, and another guy with a laptop was by the window. The poor college student between us just sat there, unentertained. The guy was doing math problems and waving his arms around… Best not to watch, lest we be diverted to Chicago with an F15 escort. Anyway, I got to writing, finally. NaNoWriMo waits for nothing! (Okay, not totally true, but at that point, I was determined!)

Because I had no internet access for maps, and I had two groups of characters off on adventures, I just had to let bad things happen to them where they were. Bad things are good when you need lots of words, so, in less than an hour and a half, I had about 3300 words (for a total count of 23,725). One group was safe, and one woman’s life is still hanging in the balance. It was quite fun, actually, but I’ll have to resolve all that today and move along.

At almost 25,000 words, since this is a Young Adult novel, I’m probably 1/3 of the way through the story. I may have to change the title, which has been Darian’s War, because I have somehow managed to have very little to do with Darian so far. But otherwise, I’m pretty happy with it, and with my NaNo progress.

How are you doing? We’re in the dreaded Week 2 – are you struggling? Are you flying with wings of pegasi? Keep plowing through, even if you don’t make your word count… Remember, this week and next are the hard ones. You’ll get a second wind once the end is in sight and you’ve had your turkey and pie.

Here’s my mandatory disclaimer – this isn’t an official NaNoWriMo site, and the opinions are my own! Happy writing!

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Wonderful article. As I get older, I find my pet peeve collection growing, but as a new (by thoughtful, researched choice) indi author, I am both amused and frustrated by the “you’re killing the industry!” mantra, along with the “all indies are crap” mantra. I especially hate when it comes from traditionally pubbed authors, like someone somewhere writing and publishing crap (it happens in traditional publishing too, btw!) effects them in any way at all. Ugh.. don’t get me started! I’ll just reblog this and shut up now!

David Gaughran

There’s a lot of talk at the moment that cheap books are destroying the industry.

In traditional publishing circles especially, fingers are being pointed at self-publishers (and their chief enablers, Amazon), who stand accused of encouraging a race to the bottom, of devaluing books, and training readers to pay ever-cheaper amounts – making the whole book business unsustainable.

Today, I have a guest post from Ed Robertson – author of Breakers and Melt Down – which takes issue with that view. His logic is compelling, based on a historical look at book prices. This is really worth the read:

Self-Publishers Aren’t Killing The Industry, They’re Saving It

I’m a self-publisher. An indie author. Whatever you want to call me. I’ve read many articles about how self-publishers are killing the book industry. I’ve heard it from big publishing houses. From the president of the Author’s Guild. From traditionally published novelists and agents…

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