rhienelleth: (Default)


So close to the midpoint!

Favorite bit:

“Did you know he once swore to kill a Queen, if we ever came across one again?” Treon asked.

Mercy didn’t say anything. She felt a sudden chill, and her hands tightened on the edge of the table in front of her. Odd, how real it felt, the metal digging into the palms of her hands.

“From a Killer," he continued, "such a vow is particularly binding. I can’t think of any one of them who, after committing to such a thing, would have taken the time to think it through and not kill you at the instant of your meeting. In fact, as you say, he rescued you. And when I suggested seducing you, as a way of coercing your connection to us as a people, for a moment I thought he might kill me.”

Mercy stared at Treon.

“You suggested what?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.

But he ignored her, continuing on in an aggrieved tone, as though she hadn’t interrupted him.

“Do you know he hasn’t looked at me like that since I was six years old, and he was eight?” Treon looked away from her for the first time, his gaze distant. “He used to practice his Talent on me, until our mother realized what was happening, and told him one didn’t stalk family, or plan out how best to murder them.”


rhienelleth: (Default)
 I read a pretty intriguing blog post today, from a pretty successful indie author, regarding the midlist. For those who don't know, the midlist used to be this kind of sweet spot, where authors could sell moderately well, enough to make a living without having to be in the top 1% (i.e., bestselling). It was where the mass market paperback lived, the place where someone browsing through a rack at the airport or wherever could pick up a book for $6.99 that sounded interesting. The rise of the ebook reader and massive changes across the publishing world due to people reading more on their phones/tablets/e-readers/et al sang the death knell of the midlist. People saw it coming for years, and eventually, it happened. 

Now, the mass market paperback is pretty much no more. The midlist is no more. They have something called "digital first" these days, where a first time author often will be published first in digital only format, and then if that sells well enough, an actual paper book will be printed. But that has not resurrected the midlist, or so say many of the industry blogs I read.

Today, I read a post by an indie (self published) author, regarding the numbers she and another pretty successful indie author have regarding money and the sale of their books. Basically, she theorizes that indie authors are the new midlist, and that even a non-bestselling, but just good, middle number selling indie author can make a living. Her friend, who was the focus of the article, grossed $500,000 over the past three years on her indie books, of which she has published 12 novels, 3 boxed sets, 2 novellas, and a short story.

It certainly isn't the norm among indie authors to make that much, but it is interesting that they can, without even being considered a "bestseller". 

I am certainly not saying I am going indie instead of the traditional NYC publishing route, but it is food for thought. In order to be that successful, one has to have several books one can market and publish, be able to successfully market them, etc, etc. It isn't without its downsides. 

Aaaand I'm sure this isn't very interesting for about 90% of then 10 or so people still around reading this journal, but it was interesting enough that I wanted to post about it and just kind of think about it. 
rhienelleth: (Default)
Writing update:





Almost to the halfway point. Well, realistically I think the halfway point will be happening slightly after 50k words, more like 55-60k. 

Most of my favorite bits are spoilery. But since it's been awhile, have a whole snippet, that mostly isn't:

Snippet )





rhienelleth: (Default)
 So, after all of the excitement and training around getting the new job, and then having a houseguest for a week, I am finally back at it working on the novel. It continues to move forward, which is a good thing.



Officially a third of way finished. 

Favorite bit:

“Such a pleasure to have everyone together,” Vashti said aloud. “The family, and Nikolos, of course.” She gave Reaper a chastising shake of her head. “I keep telling you to visit me more, boy.”

rhienelleth: (Cannon)
 Super tired tonight, but officially over 1/4 done with the book. Not 100% sure the last chapter will stay in its current form, but we'll see when the alpha readers and critique group get back to me. 



Ironically, it was really tough to choose a favorite bit for this one (ironic given I'm not sure the chapter does what it needs to! Ha ha.). You can check out yesterday's snippet if you like, or here's another (smaller) favorite:

“I understand why family might be the most difficult for you to trust, at least at first,” Cannon conceded. “That doesn’t change the fact that you need training, and someone to keep an eye on you as you recover.”

“Reaper.” Mercy leaped on the name, so fast it startled even her.

Cannon stared at her. He couldn’t have looked more shocked if she’d pulled out a disrupter and stunned him. He looked over at Doc and Vashti. The latter shrugged.

“For some reason, she trusts him.”

rhienelleth: (Vashti)
Hello everyone! I will be posting a word count update later tonight, but suffice to say things are moving along very well, indeed. I am nearly 1/4 done with the book, and I thought it was time I posted a snippet. (Note, words encased [like this] denote items that will be in Japanese. I am waiting to hear back from my language consultant.)

Snippet #1 )

rhienelleth: (Default)
 So, the last week and a half or so has played hell with my time to write. It is always chaos here leading up to the husband's annual trip to Japan. There is a lot that goes into traveling to another country for three weeks, let me tell you. Plus, I always get kind of cranky and depressed before he leaves, so that didn't help.

But now he is over there, and I have a quiet house all to myself. what to do, but write? So here is the latest update:



You guys, I am almost 20% done! Only 80% more to go. Ha ha. 

Favorite bit: Emotion swept her, the same feeling she had watching a solar storm erupt on the surface of a star, as though she was looking at something as terrifyingly beautiful as it was powerful and deadly. 
rhienelleth: (Default)
 

Chapter 4 was difficult for many reasons. One, it switches to and introduces the other POV character for the book (Reaper), which in turn introduces the pirates and their whole identity, as well as the five specific characters who are with Reaper. Two, it begins the catalyst of the story, which will culminate in the next chapter. It took me a couple of days and several "thinking breaks" to finish it, to make sure I was doing justice to all of those layers of complexity. 

My real favorite bit is super spoilery, so my next favorite bit: 

When we go in, said Reaper, speaking telepathically to all of them, Zion and I will take point. Then Knox, followed by Mateo and Jax. Titus stays here. They needed their pilot in place for a fast extraction, in case anything should go wrong. Once we’ve dealt with any immediate hostiles, Jax will lead us to the target.

What if you need a medic? Titus did not sound pleased at being left behind.

Reaper gave everyone a long look.

Don’t need one, he ordered. 

rhienelleth: (Default)
 Yesterday was an awesome day of writing accomplishment, which carried into this morning. Weekends will be tougher, I think, because the husband and I are often busy, but my weekdays are pretty free for the next few weeks at least, so these should start showing a lot of progress.



I will say that having my storyboard done is really helping things to roll very smoothly, indeed. I had the catalyst happening at 12k words, and I am right on the precipice of it now, so everything is proceeding as I had it paced, and I am not having any moments of being stuck with where the story is going. Instead, I get to do scene planning in my head. How I want to lay things out, specific things I want to make sure and include, how I want to approach it through my MC's POV. So far, so good. 

Favorite bit:

It felt exactly like that time she and Atrea got into the old Wolf’s private stash of Bennethan rum, and drank the whole bottle between them. When he’d caught them, too late, Captain Hades took one look and said the morning would be punishment enough.

He wasn’t wrong.

Summer

May. 29th, 2015 10:17 am
rhienelleth: (Default)
 So, yesterday was my last day of teaching for year. It is frightening and liberating at the same time staring into summer. Frightening because, three months without pay. Plus, I have to do everything necessary to get my license for next year in that time. Liberating because, more time for writing! July. I want Nemesis finished by July. 

Totally doable. That's only....approximately 3k words per day. No problem. Eep.
rhienelleth: (Default)
 I expect there will be a lot of these in the coming weeks. 



Favorite bit: 

She spent a pleasant few moments visualizing herself stuffing him out the nearest airlock. Watching the pretend version of Will float into the cold dark was one of the more satisfying things she’d indulged in lately. 

rhienelleth: (Default)
 After all of that storyboarding, the first chapter went nice and smooth! I am very pleased so far.

Current word count total:



Favorite bit: Whenever Mercy woke, her mouth dry and tasting faintly metallic and gritty, something would be different. Her clothes. A fresh tube of water. A new stock of nutritional bars. One time, her hair was cut. The heavy, dark length of it, threaded through with hints of red and gold without the necessity of a nano-treatment, was gone. The air prickled her skin, blew a cool shudder over her head and down her neck. She reached up with a tentative hand and found a short, prickly stubble covered her crown. 
rhienelleth: (Default)
 I need help.

There is this particular pirate family in my novel that has a tendency to name their children in rather unconventional ways. Examples:

Mercy
Cannon
Reaper (Although this is a nickname.)
Pallas
Brutus
Lilith

Basically, there is a running joke amongst the characters saddled with some of these names regarding  being stuck with them. But I need more! I need more names that sound, you know, like a family of violent pirates wanted the very names of their children to have meaning! They obviously draw from a whole variety of myth and legend, and also pull words like "cannon" into the mix. Please comment with any suggestions you have! 
rhienelleth: (Default)
 World building has taken a lot more time than I anticipated. So has rewriting the opening sequence...let me see, three times. Technically, I've written more than 6,000 words since the last update. Unfortunately, most of them will probably never be used. 

So here is the "real" count, of words I am keeping:



Favorite bit:

Mercy’s memory of him was vague, now. More of an impression, one of towering size and the smell of fried food and engine grease. His thoughts were dark, malignant things that made her press hard against her mother’s leg. So young, she had no words to describe the things he imagined, but they filled her with a wordless terror. Pallas knew. She took his coin and his darkness, and left him a dazed shell of who he’d been, missing all memory of the woman and her tiny daughter, and what he’d meant to do to them.

rhienelleth: (Treon)
 There should be a word count meter update later today, but the last couple of days have pretty much been used as world building time. I needed to nail down some stuff that will have a huge impact to the entire series, and I think I've got the bare bones taken care of. Needs more fleshing out, but some of that will happen outside of writing, and some will happen organically as I write. 
rhienelleth: (mercy1)
 Hmmm. I may have to make new Mercy icons when I have time. 

Anyway, today's word count:



All new writing. Not sure if it is stuff that is going to stay with the final draft or not, but for now it is part of things and working for me. 

Favorite bit:

Choosing which ship to catch a ride on was complicated. It couldn’t have too much security. It couldn’t be too official, too wealthy, too criminal, or too desperate. It needed a Captain reluctant to turn her over to the authorities, if she was caught, and it couldn’t be someone likely to sell her off to slavers.
    
rhienelleth: (Cannon)
 So, some exciting things are afoot these days. One, the new job is going really well. I kind of love it, and while the teaching part is mostly fun and makes me feel like I'm using that expensive education that I will owe money on for the rest of my natural life, yes, the schedule is a HUGE part of my happiness. Why? Because it matches my husband's, and because...it LEAVES ME PLENTY OF TIME FOR MY FIRST LOVE, WRITING. (No worries, the DH knew that when he married me, and besides, he has a first love, too. We have often joked that his was actually part of our wedding vows: "...and I promise not to interfere with your soul deep need to continue training in the martial arts and go to Japan every year to train with people better than you." No, really.)

Anyway. Yes, the job goes well. The writing goes well. It makes me happy, and there is stuff that I'm SUPER excited about that I cannot talk about on social media, even a locked LJ post social media. Suffice to say, I have more incentive than ever before to get my butt into gear and whip this manuscript into shape. 

And while yes, I can take as much time as I like to do that, I am giving myself a self imposed deadline to finish the first draft by mid-June. I already have around 40k words, but I had an epiphany last night about the beginning that means I am going to have to rewrite some of them (but it will be so much better! I am excited by this, rather than put off.) So, my goal is 100k words (about) by June 15th. This should be pretty doable, given my schedule and the fact that my current job ends on May 30th, so then my schedule will be really open.

In the meantime, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays are my lightest "work days", which means they will provide me with ample opportunity, and I plan to write every single day. If I look at it as a whole block of words (disregarding what is already written, which will give me a nice jump start anyway), I will have to write 2,325 words per day. This is totally doable. Back when I was writing all of the time, some days I averaged 5k words or more. Obviously, some days were less, but that's okay. That number isn't really accurate anyway, since like 30k words are very likely already written and won't be changing much. The point is, I've done the math and I know I can do it, and as long as I do my word count thing here and keep reasonable track, holding myself accountable, I have pretty strong faith that it will happen.  

So, be prepared for lots of daily word count updates to return. There may be small snippets. There will be pirate icons and such. I don't even know how many people are still on LJ who would remember the first time around. Hopefully it won't be too obnoxious having me post about the same thing all of time. :)

This is what they will look like:




rhienelleth: (Default)
Hi LJ! Long time, no talk. *sigh*

Lately, I have really missed you. Like, really, REALLY missed you. There are things I can't talk about on Facebook, because, well, on Facebook everyone knows who I am. My boss and co-workers have me friended. I post something about a scary life change on Facebook in vague enough terms to be appropriate, and people I forgot could read it are texting my husband asking if everything is okay. (It is. Except that my husband believes Facebook is THE DEVIL, won't have anything to do with it, and then asks me things like "why for-the-love-of-God would you post anything about our lives on Facebook??" A serious introvert, he does not understand the need to talk things out when facing terrifying choices that literally effect your entire future. He's like, "but we talked with each other about it, that should be enough." *pets husband* I love you, baby, but I'm a writer. Sometimes I just have to write things out into the void, even if I get no response back.)

Anyway, this seems like a great time to resurrect LJ. I keep coming back here, meaning to be faithful, and then I'm not. But I'm making all kinds of life changes right now. Why not here, too?

So here's the deal. I finished my degree about eight months ago. That would be the soul-sucking graduate degree that I insanely decided to do after finishing my BA in English, resulting in a grand total of four years of higher education that literally sucked the creative energy right out of me. Writing for myself? Forget it. Jewelry? Eventually that had to go, too. (I believe I already posted here about the crazy/scary high blood pressure issues that required me to remove stress from my life. My BP is doing much better now, thank you.) Anyway, I finished my degree, and two things happened: 1. I found out that because my degree did not include a certification track, I could not use my newly minted MAT to actually, you know, teach in Oregon. 2. I was so paralyzed by self doubt after four years of not writing fiction, I couldn't make myself write something. I literally crippled myself creatively.

These two things led to months of unhappiness and depression, not helped by the fact that my job had become a place of constant negativity chipping away even more at my self worth every single day.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Two things happened. 1. After trying unsuccessfully to really write for months, I opened up the space pirates novella and read through it. Along the way, I tweaked things here and there, and then I started adding whole new scenes. And they didn't suck. I had a "light bulb" moment. If I could read this thing I had written at the height of my previous writing ability, and find things to edit and make better, I was obviously at least as good at writing now, as I was then. Maybe those years of writing literally hundreds of acamedic papers hadn't ruined me forever! (Hey, I never said my self-doubt made sense!) 2. A teacher friend of Mark's who has since moved on to administration, and administrates at one of the two virtual k-12 schools in Oregon came to us with an opportunity. He could hire me as a sub and get me a restricted sub license, so I was at least using my degrees. The catch? I still need to figure out getting fully certified in Oregon sometime in the next couple of years, which means finding a program that will let me do as little actual classes as possible and give me the needed student teaching and certification recommendation pieces. He also gave me some names at local universities to talk to. The huband and I spent three long weeks waffling about whether or not to take this opportunity. I didn't want to just make the decision emotionally because I am so unhappy at my current job. We need two incomes, so the idea of working the rest of the year at teaching and then suddenly having no income over the summer is REALLY scary. But, summer would be the perfect time for me to enroll in a cohort of whichever program I need to finish my certification, so there is that. There was lots of talking and tears. Eventually, we decided to take the chance. Next Wednesday is officially my last day at the negative job, YAY.

In the meantime, I have been writing again, and it has been glorious. I've started cleaning up the studio to do some jewelry again. I have remembered what it feels like to be doing something I love that makes me happy. I posted something on Facebook about that, about how just the act of writing creatively again was making me happy, and a friend said "Of course it is. Writing is your natural state of being."

I also started an online writing group, and as soon as I finished adding about 10k words to the novella and editing it, I sent it off to them for critique. And then I unearthed my email to and from the wonderful agent who read Nemesis way back in the day and spent a couple of very generous hours on the phone with me telling me what she felt it needed to make it better. I sent her an email, explainging why I'd disappeared off the map and failed to send her a rewrite. I explained that I was writing once again, the state of the novella, and that Nemesis would be next. She responded and said (to my vast joy and relief) that she would be happy to look at either of them when I finished.

This was my other great fear. That by taking time away from writing to finish my degrees, I had wasted an opportunity that I had spent so much time working for. Luckily, that does not appear to be the case! Words cannot describe how I felt when I read her reply, they really just cannot do it justice.

So now the novella has been e-mailed to her, and I am working on Nemesis. Full circle, f-list. Full circle. And now, here I am. Writing about it to all of you. I think LJ will be the next great thing I resurrect into my life, along with writing, jewelry, and oh yes, happiness.

Finally

Nov. 19th, 2011 02:30 pm
rhienelleth: (Default)
Well, I've officially received my prompt to apply to graduate. After the many stops and starts school has had over the years for me, this is something of an accomplishment. In a couple of short months, I'll have my BA in English! To that end, I have begun applying for jobs, mostly working as a freelance writer. 

*fingers crossed* Wish me luck!

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