We are officially at two months in a row where I manage to accomplish everything on my list of goals (sort of). Obviously the biggest accomplishment this month was the publication and launch of my third novel, book 3 in the Steel Empires series. If you haven’t yet gotten your copy of Steel Blood, it’s available here:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Raw Dog Screaming Press
If you have a copy, awesome! I really hope you enjoy it.
If you’ve already ready, and you did enjoy it, this is my first and only annoying author plea to please consider leaving a rating someplace like Amazon or Goodreads. Even a review as simple as “I liked it!” goes a long way toward helping indie authors published by a small press like me. Thank you.
Now, let’s get to work.
- I completed the first 15k words of Steel Shadows!
- The Steel Blood blog tour was a huge success! If you missed any of the guest posts, excerpts, or interviews, I’ve added a page to my blog where you can find the full round-up of links.
- I did not manage to have a local launch party for this book (that’s the “sort of” caveat from above). My mother was out of the country for most of July, and my husband will be out of the country for most of August, and I’d be sad to not have either of them in attendance.
July Book Reviews
July Speculative Chic Contributions
This month, we celebrated our one-year anniversary at Speculative Chic! Don’t forget that this cool blog features a lot more than the movie reviews and commentary that I link to here. There are also book and video game reviews, a cool monthly column on the history of feminist science-fiction, and much more. For a taste, just search for the #OneChicYear on your social media of choice and check what our columnists shared on for our anniversary celebration.
- Write the next 15k words for Steel Shadows, bringing my total to 30k words.
- Attend Confluence in Pittsburgh.
- Build my Saturn V LEGO set while my husband is away. 🙂
- Organize and promote a fun contest to celebrate Steel Blood‘s one-month birthday! (If you didn’t think I was a huge nerd before, you’ll definitely know I’m one when you see what I have planned.)
Currently reading: Heart of the Dragon (Supernatural #4) by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Currently writing: 15,035/30k words
Every once in a while, I’m totally allowed to have a month where I not only complete EVERYTHING on my list of goals, but also exceed it! (Mostly because sometimes I forget things when I’m writing up the list of goals, but I’m going to take the win anyway.)
- Steel Time was officially submitted to my editor this month! (Wow, it already feels like it was ages ago.) The LEGO Snowspeeder was completed in celebration.
- The epic Steel Blood blog tour has been coordinated and scheduled, barring a final confirmation for one stop (he knows who he is). Events will kick off on Monday, July 17 and go non-stop until July 30. I’m excited to share this book with everyone in so many cool ways (guest posts, character interviews, author interviews, and excerpts).
- And this past weekend (which was technically July) (shhhh), I finally completed the scene-by-scene outline of book 5! I think I’ve settled on the name Steel Shadows for this one.
And for the stuff I totally forgot to put on my list:
- I attended the 2017 In Your Write Mind writer’s conference at Seton Hill University (con report here).
- Speaking of con reports, I finally added some supplemental indexes to my website so that you can more easily find the following things:
June Book Reviews
June Speculative Chic Contributions
- It’s book writing season at Casa Siamese again! My goal this month is 15k words on Steel Shadows.
- Write the posts for and pull off the epic Steel Blood blog tour.
- Organize and host some sort of local launch party for Steel Blood.
See, it freaks me out now when my goals list is so short. But I’ve checked my calendar, and I’m not traveling until August. So maybe this really is all I have to do.
Trust me, I’m not complaining!
Currently reading: Nevermore (Supernatural #1) by Keith R. A. DeCandido
Currently writing: 0/15k words
No matter how many things I crossed off the list this past month, my to-do list keeps getting longer. Since I’m at the point where I’m doing work (writing blog posts) to take a break from doing other work (line edits on Steel Time), let’s jump right in.
- I have printed out a copy of Steel Time to do my final pass through before it gets sent off to my editor for her review. The good news is that it is solidly below 90k words! Based on the recommendations of my beta readers, I cut two and a half scenes (which are saved and will appear on the blog as deleted scenes after publication). That got me down to 92k words, and my massive word search for passive and filtering language took care of the rest. That’s a huge weight off my shoulders (my editor was pleased, too).
- I created a form for anyone interested in participating in the July blog tour for Steel Blood. I’m still looking for volunteers, so check it out!
- I totally forgot to include Balticon on my list of goals last month! I had a blast last weekend, which you can read about in my con report.
- Let’s not talk about book 5 right now.
May Book Reviews
May Speculative Chic Contributions
- Finish and input Steel Time line edits and submit to my editor. I have a the LEGO Snowspeeder set waiting for me in celebration.
- Finish coordinating the Steel Blood blog tour and start writing guest posts.
- Book 5 outline. There’s a heavy sigh there, which is a poor representation of how I feel about the book. I’m excited to write it, but I’m also scared that I won’t do my story ideas justice.
As usual, thank you to everyone for coming along for the ride!
Helpful cats are not actually that helpful.
You know that saying, about how the best way to get something done is to ask a busy person?
Yeah, apparently I need to be that busy person.
Did I get everything done that I set out to do this month? Nope. But I did a bunch of other cool things, like see my little sister’s final college dance performance, attend my first Orioles game of the season with my best friends, escape for a weekend to Broadkill Resort, and participate in the March for Science in Washington, DC! On the work front, I also had the pleasure of beta-reading the next novel in one of my favorite series.
- Alas, there is no fully detailed outline to book 5 yet. Book 5 doesn’t even have a name yet (ugh, I know). I have lots of notes, and lots of crazy ideas. I’m feeling really overwhelmed by this book for some reason, so it’s taken more than usual to scrounge up the time and effort to sit down and COMMIT to taking the time.
April Book Reviews:
April Speculative Chic Contributions:
- Finish final revisions to Steel Time and submit to my editor.
- Start organizing the blog tour to celebrate the release of Steel Blood this summer.
- Outline book 5…?
I may be a medical editor by day, but what else would a fantasy author wear to the March for Science? With friends Karrie and David outside the EPA.
My first time to the Empire State Building!
I’m having one of those awkward moments where I feel like I got absolutely nothing accomplished all month, even though I still managed a lot. Perhaps it’s because everything that did happen was all toward the first 2/3 of the month (such as trips to Ohio for Cleveland ConCoction and New York City for the day job), and for the past week I will gleefully admit to not doing very much at all. Continue reading
I know the month isn’t quite over, but I’m off to Broadkill Resort for DogCon V tomorrow, so let’s do this thing!
- Words were written in book 4! Specifically, 15k of them, so the goal was officially met. I’m in the swing of things now, and doing that thing where I look at the rest of my outline and panic that the book is going to be over 100k long.
- Book reviews were completed! Not many of them, but I think the quality of my reviews is going up as I get more practice at it.
- Speculative Chic was contributed to! This month featured more group participation along with my debut solo post.
- I haven’t yet been to DogCon, but I did get to spend a glorious week with my husband at the not-so-glorious place where he is training! Teleworking and writing with a view of the beach for a few days was so tough.
- Write words! Specifically, 20k words.
- Write book reviews! There are currently 11 in the queue (I also did a lot of reading at the beach).
- Participate in DogCon V! Please continue to keep all fingers and toes crossed for Steel Victory in the Reader’s Choice Award. Less than 48 hours until it’s announced!
- Sell books! I will be in the Dealer’s Room at TridentCon with copies of both of my books (Oct 8-9). I have no panels or presentations to attend, so this is a great chance to come hang out and chat with me about writing and gaming.
- Travel! I’ll be going to Denver for work and spending back-to-back weekends in Pennsylvania and Ohio for two weddings. On the plus side, my husband is meeting me in Ohio for one of the weddings and afterward I get to bring him home for good.
Another slow month production-wise, another stressful month regarding real life. I’m having a hard time living by myself, and disaster struck one of my favorite places in the world earlier this month.
- I aimed for 15k to 20k words drafted for book 4. I am actually impressed that I ended the month with a whopping 10k. Having a detailed outline helps a lot, but there are a lot of really difficult scenes early in this book. The first scene is even already with my critique partners to be shredded, and I’m going to dump another on them this month. (My critique partners are the best.)
- I did write some book reviews!
- I’ve participated in some group posts over at Speculative Chic, which is now officially live and posting new content daily!
- And finally, I snuggled my cats a lot and attended the traditional first day of the Maryland Renaissance Festival with some of my best friends.
Selfie Credit: Julia Vilece
- Write more words! Hopefully 15k to 20k. Will be happy with another 10k. (But I think I’ve over the first major hump and it should come easier now.) (Hopefully.)
- Write more book reviews! I’ve been doing more reading lately, and the back log is at 7.
- Continue to participate in Speculative Chic. This month will even feature my first solo post; make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it.
- Count down the days to DogCon V! Technically, that’s in October, but I don’t know when I’ll get to do my September Wrap-Up post, so let’s start getting excited early. (And continue to keep all fingers and toes crossed for Steel Victory for the Reader’s Choice Award!)
I’m already in mourning for the end of summer, but there’s a lot to look forward to this fall. Thanks for coming along for the ride.