Courting Darkness Second Draft

Summer is drawing to a close, and with its passing I’ve moved on to the next stage of my book! I’m happy to announce I put the finishing touches on the second draft of Courting Darkness today and am moving on the the critiquing phase. This means, for the first time since its conception, my manuscript will be in the hands of readers other than myself. Hopefully I’ll get lots of great feedback so I can continue to strengthen my story as I polish it up in round 3 of the editing process.

On that note: If you are interested in critiquing this manuscript, shoot me an email. I’m always looking for good critique partners with whom to exchange work. 😉

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July Recap

I can’t believe July is gone already!

My month has been a blur of hiking, camping, swimming, play dates, classes, bike rides, music, writing, reading, and editing. I joined my father for his birthday on a trip to inaugurate his new camper. It was an interesting experience. Apparently there’s a lot to know about a camper before you get it running smoothly, but everything worked out fine and a good time was had by all. I also got to catch up with some friends that, despite living an hour away, I only see about once a year. My early mornings have gotten slightly less early as my fatigue increases, but I still manage to work for an hour or two before the rest of the house wakes up. Once school starts again, we’ll *all* be waking up early.

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CURRENT PROJECTS

Magicsmith Book 2: Courting Darkness- I’m a quarter of the way through the second draft of Courting Darkness, and happy to report the editing is going smoothly. I should be able to finish the current draft before the end of August, at which point I will be looking for a critique partner to work with before the third revision.

The Price of Tomorrow – I’ve made the necessary changes to Price of Tomorrow based on beta reader feedback, including writing an all-new epilogue that I feel ties up the ending much better. I have one late comer to the beta group whose input I should hear soon. Otherwise, this book is good to go! 🙂

Magicsmith Book 3: (Title TBD) – I’ve completed the outline for book three and wrote down about a million title ideas, none of which have stuck. I think I may pick my favorites (and hopefully a few I haven’t thought of yet) and post them in a poll to see what you all think of them. Other than that, I sketched out a few scenes and have been fleshing ideas about how the conflicts in book three will carry over into the remaining books of this series. There are a few triggering events that snuck into my outline that make me really excited to see how they play out in books four and five. Yeah, I know, I’m getting ahead of myself.

 

WORDS WRITTEN AND/OR EDITED THIS MONTH

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The most interesting thing I learned this month:

The second part of the Russian Wedding Dance on piano. Never been much of a music person, but at 35 years old I’m learning the piano in my spare time so I can help my daughter audition for a duet. Funny where life takes you sometimes.

REVIEWS

As promised, I finally finished Infected and managed to post the review. Obsidian Son had been popping up on my radar for a while, so I decided to give it a whirl. I’d been eager to read Etched in Bone ever since it came out, but I was saving it for when I was in the right mood. I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve also been reading a lot of craft books, as well as spending a lot of time reading my own work since I started editing Courting Darkness.

To see reviews as they come out, as well as other posts, follow my blog at Ramblings from an Alternate Reality.

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ON THE HORIZON

Currently on my TBR shelf:

August is another busy month. Honestly, is there any other kind? We’ve got a lot to cram into the next three weeks before my daughter heads back to school, a big first-grader this year. I should have more uninterrupted time to work on my writing once she’s out of the house on a regular basis, though our evenings will still be filled with dance, music, and gymnastics classes. We’re also supposed to have some house guests this month, though we haven’t finalized plans for that visit. My birthday is at the end of August. As such, it’s often drowned out by all the other busy happenings, but I think I’ll invite my family over for a taco bar and some ice cream. I’ve earned it. 😉

June Recap

Happy 4th of July!

June has been a busy month. My little girl turned 6 years old on June 1st! We celebrated with a whole weekend of birthday parties. The second weekend was taken up with a three-day backpacking trip to the Great Sand Dune in southern Colorado. You can read all about that and see pictures here. There were dance recitals, barbecues, play dates, bike rides… Yeah, summer is definitely here. 😉

Despite all of these many distractions, I am ecstatic to report that I have FINISHED COURTING DARKNESS!!! By finished, of course, I only mean the first draft, but still. The story exists somewhere other than my head, and I’m very excited to free up the extra space for MORE STORIES!

I hope your summer is off to a great start as well.  🙂

 

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CURRENT PROJECTS

Magicsmith Book 2: Courting Darkness- Draft one is DONE! It was a lot of early mornings, but I managed to do it. *Happy dance*

The Price of Tomorrow – I got back responses from *most* of my beta readers, so it’s time to tackle a few more changes and polish it up. I’m debating whether or not I want to start querying this book while I’m so busy with my other series or not. We’ll see.

Magicsmith Book 3: (Title TBD) – I didn’t manage to work on this book in June beyond stray thoughts and daydreams, so July is going to be all about pinning down the outline. Hopefully, come August, I’ll have a solid framework for the story.

 

WORDS WRITTEN AND/OR EDITED THIS MONTH

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The most interesting thing I learned this month:

It’s illegal to carry a blade longer than 3.5 inches, or any ballistic knife, in the state of Colorado. I also learned a ballistic knife is a knife where the blade can be detached and shot from the handle. Crazy!

REVIEWS

The first two books I read this month were a breeze. I finished both in a few days apiece. Then I started on Infected and, well… Let’s just say it broke the pattern. The review for that one will be out next week.

To see reviews as they come out, as well as other posts, follows my blog at Ramblings from an Alternate Reality.

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ON THE HORIZON

Currently on my TBR shelf:

July brings fireworks and backyard barbecues, as well as another camping trip. I’m looking forward to taking a little breather now that the first draft of Courting Darkness is done before I jump into editing.

Courting Darkness, draft 1

It was a lot of really early mornings, but I did it. I’ve completed the first draft of Courting Darkness!

I made a list of stray thoughts and details as I wrote, things that need to be tweaked or added, and I’m going to start right in on that, but I wanted to take a moment here to jump for joy. (It’s hard to dance and shout when the rest of the house is still sleeping.)

I’m excited to get right back into it, and to continue the story in book three. Here’s hoping July is as successful as June!

May Recap

Hello Fellow Dreamers!

May brought about a BIG change in my writing career. For those of you who haven’t seen my social media posts (and weren’t called at work in the middle of the day because I just couldn’t hold it in any longer) I SIGNED A PUBLISHING CONTRACT!!!

That’s right, I finally made it to the next stage of my journey.

For me, working toward publication has been like a long-term RPG. Create a character, i.e. an author persona and social presence. CHECK. Complete a range of missions that graduate in difficulty, i.e. write a book, query said book, get an agent, sign with a publisher. CHECK, CHECK, CHECK, and CHECK. Time to level up!

The contract is for the first three books in my Magicsmith series, two of which aren’t written yet, and the idea of writing to a deadline has my stomach in ropes. It doesn’t help that my daughter finished kindergarten this month, and so is home with me. All the time. For three months. Yeah, don’t know how much I’ll be getting done.

I’ve always been more of an “as the mood strikes me” kind of writer. I’m plenty productive, but I tend to jump between projects. I have four novels in various stages of completion as well as the short stories I write and tweak when I need a break from the larger projects. But, when I signed that line I promised to deliver, so I’m going to be focusing most of my energy on the Magicsmith books for the foreseeable future.

Also new this month: my nephew. Thomas Christopher was born May 2nd at a whopping 5 lbs. For those of you who don’t know babies, I’m being sarcastic. He’s a tiny little thing, about half the size of Alice when she was born.

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CURRENT PROJECTS

Magicsmith Book 2: Courting Darkness – As noted above, most of my efforts this month have been focused here. I’ve completed about 65% of the first draft and I’m feeling pretty good about it.

The Price of Tomorrow – I’m still waiting for responses from a couple straggling beta readers, then I’ll be ready for a final edit.

Magicsmith Book 3: (Title TBD) – The third book in my Magicsmith series is still in its pre-writing phase. That means I’m laying out the outline, figuring out which characters I need and what rolls they will play, finding the main character arcs, and choosing secondary plots lines to weave into the story.

Hannah – Hannah’s first draft is done, but with deadlines on the Magicsmith books I think I will need to set this aside for now. I’ll put it back on this list when I have enough time to start editing it.

 

WORDS WRITTEN AND/OR EDITED THIS MONTH

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The weirdest thing I learned while researching:

It’s easier to gouge an eye out of its socket whole than it is to pop it.

 

REVIEWS

This month I finally got around to reviewing the audio books from my Seattle road trip. I also jumped Altered Carbon to the front of the line because I wanted to read it before watching the TV adaptation now available on Netflix.

To see reviews as they come out, as well as other posts, follows my blog at Ramblings from an Alternate Reality.

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ON THE HORIZON

Currently on my TBR shelf:

 

The beginning of June is always a hectic time for me, and this year more than most. At the moment, life is taken up with sorting out our family’s new schedule and planning my daughter’s birthday parties (yeah, that plural was intentional). We’ve got plans for camping the second week, and then I’m hoping things will settle down for a bit. Somewhere in there, I need to find time to finish the first draft of Courting Darkness, read through the beta reader responses for The Price of Tomorrow, and finish the pre-writting portion of the third Magicsmith book. Wish me luck!

Magicsmith: Under Contract

Exciting news! I just signed a contract with Bell Bridge Books for the first three novels in my Magicsmith series!

The plan at this point is to publish the books in quick succession starting in 2019. That means I’d better get writing… and editing, revising, and all the other time-intensive activities required to bring words into the world.

I’ll keep you posted as the process gets farther along and we get more things pinned down like final cover art and release dates.

Thanks to everyone who has lent me support on this exciting journey!

Price of Tomorrow: Looking for Beta Readers

Well, it took a little longer than I’d hoped, but I’m finally puting out the call for beta readers for Price of Tomorrow.

If you think you’d enjoy a young adult science fiction adventure, you can finish a book in a timely manner, and you’re willing to complete some survey questions about your experience, let me know and we’ll talk about making you a beta reader.
I encourage anyone who’d like to participate to read the first three chapter, available here, to see if the book is a good fit for you. (No point reading it if you won’t enjoy it)

Thanks for your support!

Hannah Cover and Writing Update

In between writing short stories and editing Price of Tomorrow, I found myself wanting to do something a little more visual. As a result, I now have a first draft of the cover art for Hannah!Let me know what you think. 😉

The photo credit goes to Dominik Dombrowski courtesy of Unsplash.

In case you haven’t heard me talk about Hannah yet, you can get an idea what it’s about from the trailer I made (during another visual mood). You can find it on the Hannah book page.

I also created a concept sketch for the character of Rhiovannara in Price of Tomorrow that I made with my awesome new Prinsmacolor markers. Once I scan it and add a background, I think I’ll post it on the Price of Tomorrow book page, so look for it there.

Another thing to look forward to: I’ll probably start looking for beta readers for Price of Tomorrow next month. I’m going to post the first three chapters here on my site so people can get a feel for the manuscript and decide if they’d like to be a reader. I’ll be sure to post when they’re up, so keep an eye out.

 

Writing Update

My third novel is done, yay!
Of course, by “done” I mean I got to the end of the first draft, not that it’s anywhere near ready to publish. 😉

With that milestone reached, it’s time to buckle down and do the third round of editing on Price of Tomorrow. Once I get through that, I’ll be looking for a few beta readers to help rip apart my work and make it stronger, so let me know if you’d like to volunteer.

Drop of Magic is still being read by publishers. I’m mostly trying not to think about that, since this process seems to take a painfully long time. With Hannah done, I need to decide if I want to finish the first draft of Courting Darkness — Drop of Magic’s sequel — or start on one of the many other projects floating around my writing folder.

I continue to write and edit short stories. I have two submitted to contests right now, but won’t hear results until December. Again, everything in this business seems to take such a long time! I’ve been researching magazines that take short story submissions, and once I do another pass on some of my earlier stories I’ll start sending those out.

I think that about catches you up! Thanks for reading 🙂

Where to Find Me

I can’t believe summer is almost over!

Next month, right around the corner now, I’ll be attending the annual Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Colorado Gold Conference. (That’s a mouthful!)

For those of you who don’t already know, the conference is Sep. 8-11 at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver. RMFW does a great job of organizing and hosting, with a terrific lineup of speakers, authors, editors, and agents. There are always so many amazing classes, I’m sad there isn’t enough time to attend them all. There are also a great many social events, and of course, the book sale which is free to attend and open to the public. (For a list of participating authors, check out this flyer)

You can find all the details about the conference here.

To all you local authors, and authors-in-the-making, I hope to see you there!