Whirlpools

Years ago when I was first starting my writing career, I used to read Dean Wesley Smith a lot, and I attended one of his workshops at a writing convention. One of the words he used that stuck with me is the concept of “whirlpools” that writers can fall into. These whirlpools represent situations or issues that stop all progress forward and can suck a writer down into oblivion.

I seem to be stuck in a whirlpool right now.  A bunch of monkeys on my back dragged me into it–monkeys with names like “Laid Off” and “Major Paycut” and “Sole Breadwinner.” Not to mention “Chronic Pain,” “Buried By Debt” and “Medically Untreatable.” It’s rather dark in the whirlpool, and it doesn’t help that I’m also trying to support a partner who struggles with anxiety and depression, and a soon-to-be-graduating child with issues of her own. When I try to write, all of that crap invades my head, and I can barely get a word out.

I know this whirlpool is temporary. I’ve already let go of the worry and despair I felt last year while battling the chronic hip pain, and settled into a sort of acceptance of “Okay, so this is the new me. I hurt most of the time and I can only do a few activities each day. Oh well.” And then I try to celebrate each little thing I manage to get done. And the financial situation will also be temporary, because I’m already moving up in the mundane call-center job and one way or another I’ll fight my way back up to a livable wage. Or I’ll sell enough crap to make a dent in that fucking debt. One way or another, I’ll survive.

All of this doesn’t change the fact that I feel bad about not getting the books out faster. It pains me to know there may be readers waiting for Book 3 of the Oddities . . . and it’s not even close to done yet. I’m sorry. I’m working on it, and eventually I will finish the book and get it out there, but I truly regret the delay.

So anyways, here’s the current WIPs as of 4/30/2018:

  1.  A Conspiracy Uncovered (Book 3 of the Oddities series), at 65,850 words, moving into the steady climb toward the climax, and still estimated to be about 95k when complete.
  2. Fae Fortunes (YA M/M paranormal), currently at 64,689 words, just about at the climax scene, maybe ending with 80k??
  3. The Gang’s All Here (Deena and the Professor Part Nine, BDSM serial romance), currently at 8584 words, estimated to be 12k total.
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Struggling

Still here.

Still in pain. And it’s amazing how much chronic pain can suck the life out of you, drain away your energy and your drive, and make even enjoyable activities dead and lifeless. I had two procedures to hopefully fix the issue, but the relief was short-lived and I’m back to struggling every day to simply haul myself to the EDJ, put in the hours that won’t even pay enough to settle all the bills, and then rest.

I’m still writing. But wow. So slow. Sales of course have tapered off and I know I need to get things turned in, get that next book written, but it’s hard to concentrate, let alone be creative. Having a financial crisis on top of things doesn’t help either. I have to pretend to be upbeat and energetic in interviews in order to get a job that will dig me out of this hole, and that’s draining too. I have to dig deep simply to find the energy to spend any time with any of my friends at all.

This isn’t meant to be a ‘pity poor me’ post, however. There have been a few great reviews that I’ve come across which help encourage me to keep going. I’m committed to finishing the Oddities series and I still have plenty of passion for the boys.

I apologize to readers that I’m not getting these books out more quickly. I sincerely hope you’ll hang in there with me.

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Status of WIPS as of 10/10/2017:

  1. 3rd Oddities book is now at 54,417 words. I have about another 1800 words needing to be typed in. Estimated total length:  95k.
  2. YA m/m paranormal currently at 60,030, and about to head into the climax. Estimated total maybe 70-75k?
  3. Deena and the Professor Part 9:  Currently at 4096 with another 400 words to type up,  estimated total 10k.

 

Monthly Writing Report

Yikes, it’s after the 15th of the month already? Boy does time fly when your life has become totally chaotic. A month ago, everything was hunky dory, and on track. A month ago I was working a steady schedule and writing a lot. Then I lost my job. I’ve found freelance work that will take me into January, but beyond that things get fuzzy and uncertain. I’m working from home, which actually makes it tougher to writer, because my schedule is all over the place. Not only that, but I have an SO who is home due to health reasons and who demands a lot of care. So now I’m worried about getting all the things done by the end of the year that I’d planned. Anyways, here’s my monthly update on my works in progress.

  1. Forest of Thorns and Claws. (M/M weretiger novel). This one was originally supposed to be 50,000 words and I wanted to get it out by Christmas. Currently it’s at 43,077 words, but I’m only STARTING to get to the climax, so I’m thinking the total will be 60-65k. At least I’ve finally written the first sex scene. The boys took forever to get together!
  2. Vice and Exploitation (The Oddities Series, Book 2, M/M paranormal suspense). Currently 18,500, target length 90k.
  3. Fae Fortunes (new title, YA M/M paranormal novel). Currently 35,400 words, target 65k.
  4. Murder One (First book in the Oddities Series):  Written. I’m still waiting for word back from the publisher on the R&R. If I don’t hear back by next week, I’ll be contacting them for an update.

I have two other project in progress under other pen names. One of them I’ll be promoting on this site, and I should be starting to publish parts of the serial soon, in a few weeks. If you read M/F and would like to be a beta reader, please let me know!  I’m only putting under another name because every writer says I shouldn’t be mixing the M/F and the M/M. Personally, I don’t care, but I’ll bow to others’ wisdom. I’m hoping some of my regular readers like it as well, so I’m not going to make it that secret.

  1. Deena and the Professor. (M/F BDSM romance). Currently 4 out of 10 parts written, each part is about 8000 words. I will be publishing them once a month and then bundling the first five and then the second five parts, for a total of about 80,000 words. Part 5 is currently halfway written at 4000 words.

and last,

  1. Epic fantasy that’s taking me epically long to write: 75,600 words, target length 110k.

Oh lord. Another plot bunny.

Edits are nearly done on Juliet’s Orders, and I should have copies out to critiquers in a day or two. The last chapters of Murder One are really coming along–I wrote 1500 words yesterday!  And I’ve written the first 1000 words of my new M/M weretiger novel, Forest of Thorns and Claws.

Now I have another plot bunny tugging on my shirt.

This one’s a YA M/M paranormal, with two boys in high school who don’t fit in. I see them in my head–the first is blond, tan, a surfer. He’s also half human, half sea nymph–his dad came from the sea. He’s got the power to talk to creatures who live in or around the ocean, including seagulls, dolphins, whales and larger sea life. He’s not a merman, can’t live in the sea, although he can hold his breath a really long time. He feels like a freak, not really of the fae, but not of humans either. And he’s lonely. I’m calling him Lucas, which means “light” in Greek.

The second guy is from New York, recently transplanted to Los Angeles. He’s dark in more ways than one–black hair, grey-green eyes, olive skin, and a fascination with dead things. His parents are Romanian, and his mother was Romanji, a gypsy. He likes to draw, and he hates his life. Since his mother’s passed away, his dad had to move to California for a new job. He misses his friends in New York, he hates the clear sunny weather, and he’d rather be in a cold drizzle with some real New York pizza. He has a talent for reading Tarot cards and precognition, which he usually tries to suppress. He’s also an outsider. I’m naming him “Adrian” which means “dark” in Romanian.

I plan for this one to be about 20k to 40k. The real question for me will be their ages, and what is acceptable as far as sex in YA fiction. I haven’t done “sweet” with M/M romance before.

Something new!

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