Tag Archives: progress

Late update and #WIPpet for Wednesday (Thursday …)

Can you say tomatoes? That’s one of the reasons I’m late this week. Big fat tomato harvest and the need to make stewed tomatoes and spaghetti sauce and tomato consomme and freeze a bunch so it won’t all go to waste! Add to that the fact that I’m on my own little personal writing roll, and yesterday I just didn’t feel like interrupting that for an extended blogging session … So far this week I’ve written 2300 words on Facets of Glass. For about the last month, I’ve been consistently writing at least 4000 words a week, even taking a day off for marketing each week — AND with a glut of tomatoes. 🙂

I know that for some people that’s a daily word count, but I’ve been stuck for so many years at 500 words a day, five days a week, that for me this is starting to look like the beginning of a breakthrough. I’m not going to celebrate too much yet. First I want to see if it really does become a habit — and maybe even something I can improve on!

Anyway, on to your WIPpet for Thursday. WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

This week I’m going to inflict another book description on you guys. Today I’ve been working on getting Book II of Yseult ready for publication, so that’s how it relates to the date. *g* Here’s the cover I have:

Yseult, Part II: A Man and a Woman

And here’s the blurb:

The second book of Yseult, a #1 bestseller in Arthurian and Historical Fantasy!

Drystan had imagined his homecoming very differently — not returning to a father who is breaking treaties and sleeping with his niece. In order to save the family honor, Drystan fights a duel and is seriously wounded. His only hope lies in the mysterious land of Eriu, with the famous healer and queen, Yseult the Wise.

When he sets out for Eriu, Drystan does not expect to survive the journey. Nor does he expect to fall in love with the queen’s daughter, Yseult the Fair. If only the man he had killed in the duel had not been Yseult’s uncle and the queen’s brother.

Yseult is a retelling of the tragic love story of Tristan and Isolde, an Arthurian romance with roots going back far into the realm of legend and the undying tales of King Arthur.

So what do you guys think? Is it too much reciting what happens and not enough suspense to intrigue the reader? Please do rip it apart! I was very happy with your critiques last week and completely redid the description as a result. Thank you all so much!

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Part I of Yseult published – and a request

The last few days have been all about marketing, and I haven’t gotten much writing done. But I did have a fairly successful week last week, with a total word count of 4100 words. Oh, and if you haven’t seen the interview with our own Kate Sparkes that I posted on Monday, check it out!

The marketing activity this week has to do with the experiment I wrote about in my last blog post, splitting Yseult up into four parts and uploading each individually. I started on that yesterday, publishing Part I to Amazon and Draft2Digital. It is now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Kobo (hasn’t published to B&N yet).

Yseult, Part I

That is where the request comes in. Amazon doesn’t allow you to set the price to free, so I have to get them to price match. Which means I need people to tell them about a lower price. Some of you guys have helped me with this before and will know how this works. For those who don’t, here’s how it goes:

– Go to the Amazon page of Yseult, Part I here: http://www.amazon.com/Yseult-Part-I-Two-Women-ebook/dp/B00NFPE1T8/

– Scroll down to the links beneath the product details and click on “tell us about a lower price”

– In the box that pops up, click on “Website” and enter this URL for the iTunes store where the book is free:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id917430003

– For price and shipping cost enter “0” and click on “Submit feedback”

Thanks in advance!

On to WIPpet Wednesday — and another request. I’ve been messing with the description for this first installment and I’d really like some help, which is why that’s what I’m posting today. On the one hand, I need to make it clear that this is part of the novel that has already been published. On the other, I have to get something in about the main plot line of this episode. Finally, I have to let potential readers know that this is not all going to end happily — or else those who get to the fourth book might be inclined to hunt be down and shoot me, despite the fact that in all the versions I know of the legend, either one or both of the lovers dies at the end. (See some of the angry reviews I’ve gotten for Yseult if you don’t think this is necessary. *g*)

Anyway, here’s what I have right now. (It’s not the same as on Amazon, since, as I said, I’ve been messing with it.) Please tear it apart!

The #1 Amazon Bestseller in Arthurian Fantasy for 14 Weeks!

Yseult: A Tale of love in the Age of King Arthur is a retelling of the tragedy of Tristan and Yseult, a story older than Romeo and Juliet or Lancelot and Guinevere; an Arthurian romance with roots going back far into the realm of legend and the undying tales of King Arthur.

“Part I: Two Women” is a re-imagining of Yseult’s youth, never part of the legends — until now.

The tragic love story of Tristan and Yseult has been told many times and in many ways, but always Yseult is a princess of Ireland, a land on the fringes of Europe, a land that had never been conquered by Rome. But what would her life have been like in that pagan land before the advent of Christianity?

Yseult the Wise and Yseult the Fair, mother and daughter, are members of the proud race of the Feadh Ree, the Old Race in Eriu. But new ways and a new religion are coming to their land, and despite all their magic, they are powerless to stop it …

Yseult was originally published in German translation with Random House Germany as Flamme und Harfe, and followed by translations into Dutch and Italian.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

Slowly increasing word counts, and another #WIPpet for Wednesday

As you can see visiting my blog, I still have not gotten around to redesigning and adding progress bars. As I talked about in my last post, it took me way too long to just get my free incentive to join my mailing list set up. So be it.

At least my output is slowly increasing again, as I try to develop better habits — which mostly involves spending less time frittering around on the Internet, far too easy to do, I fear. My word count for last week came to 4600. And I largely finished putting together the text and photos for my book on our Hurtigruten trip, Life in the Fjord Lane. Here’s the photo I’m thinking of using for the cover:

Hurtigruten cruise

It was taken at dusk without flash in the Lofoten Islands, and I love the colors. What do you guys think?

In the continued absence of progress bars, here’s my list of WIPs and where they’re at right now:

A Wasted Land
44,300 of 70,000 estimated

Sooper sekrit project
12,600 of 60,000 estimated

Sooper sekrit project II
2900 of 30,000 estimated

Life in the Fjord Lane
2300 — word count mostly done now, still need to check photos, compile PDF and test for CreateSpace

Killing Twilight (short story / shared world)
500 of 7,000 estimated

Facets of Glass (YA novella)
2600 of 25,000 estimated

Starting out as an Indie Author (non-fiction)
8600 (no estimate)

On to WIPpet Wednesday! I’m still posting from A Wasted Land, since Facets of Glass is not yet ready to go public, consisting mostly of notes to myself combined with a smattering of dialog here and there. As I begin to flesh it out more, I’ll probably start posting from that for a while.

This scene comes right on the heels of last week’s scene and explains Kustennin’s angry response — which most of you guys had spot on. *g* Today I give you 8 sentences for the 8th month — plus 2 for reasons of inner snippet logic:

Kustennin didn’t know why he was running away. Wouldn’t Celemon’s complaints of never being able to have a family of her own be the perfect opportunity to tell her she had a potential husband standing right next to her? That he had long thought of her as more than a foster sister? But Celemon had confessed her resignation and disappointment to a friend. She never would have said such things to a man she felt attracted to — she did not see him in that light at all. Which on one level was excellent, since they were such good companions and could talk of so many things.
On the other hand, it made it very difficult for Kustennin to court her. Under the circumstances, how was he to get her to see him differently, as something more than the youth with whom she’d spent many of her childhood years? He could hardly blurt out, “I for one would marry you!”
At least not until she began to see him as a man rather than a foster brother.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

Getting closer to progress bars, and more from A Wasted Land

I want to thank you all for the tips on getting progress bars set up on my blog. I’m hoping to experiment with that in the next couple of days, and do some other tweaking to my blog as well. Hopefully you will see some changes by next week!

Progress on my various projects continues to be slow but steady. Last week, I wrote about 3200 new words. I haven’t made much progress on getting back into the marketing swing of things, however. My Mondays are largely spent writing the blog posts for “Starting out as an indie author.” I may have to take a break from that for a week or two to get the marketing machine rolling again. Besides, if I’m not selling anymore, how can I write about how to sell your ebooks? I have to figure out how it works, in this new marketing environment (which in a few months will probably be completely different). Oh, isn’t life fun in this brave new world we’re living in? 🙂

Another thing I’ll be taking a break from is working on A Wasted Land. I don’t want to publish the ebook of Island of Glass until I at least have the rough draft of Facets of Glass finished — and as you can see from my word counts below, I am very far from that yet. I may, however, continue posting from AWL on Wippet Wednesday, since I still have quite a few words you guys haven’t seen yet.

Anyway, here’s how my ongoing projects stand now:

A Wasted Land
44,200 of 70,000 estimated

Sooper sekrit project
12,600 of 60,000 estimated

Life in the Fjord Lane
1500 of 3000 estimated (travel, mostly pictures with little text; work largely formatting)

Killing Twilight (short story / shared world)
500 of 7,000 estimated

Facets of Glass (YA novella)
1200 of 25,000 estimated

Starting out as an Indie Author (non-fiction)
7600 (no estimate)

On to Wippet Wednesday. This snippet follows immediately after the excerpt from last week. Celemon and Kustennin are examining the hill-fort of Sarum. Celemon has just thanked him for giving her a new purpose in life as Master of Horse, since she’s certain she will never marry now — to which he reacts very strangely. I give you 20 sentences for the twentieth day of the month:

Celemon shrugged. “I would not want to be a dependent in my brother’s family, and I see little chance for me anymore of starting my own.”
“No!” He pulled his hand away and crossed his arms in front of his chest. “You are talking as if you no longer have any chance of finding a husband. I do not believe it!”
At Kustennin’s brotherly defense of her, Celemon was tempted to smile, but given Kustennin’s wrought up mood, she suppressed the impulse. “Kustennin, I am over twenty,” she said instead, reasoning with him. “My father, who had much influence over Arthur, once the most powerful man in Britain, is dead. Without that influence, there is little reason for anyone to ally themselves with the sister of the man holding the modest fortress of Caer Gai. Not to mention that so many men died in the recent wars, there are many women in my generation who will be left without husbands. But at least I am not left without a task, and I have you to thank for that.”
“You value yourself too little,” he said, his voice sounding strangely angry. “Not only are you an excellent horsewoman, with a knowledge of the training and breeding of horses that is itself a prize, you are young and comely. You could surely have your choice of men. If you were to leave my service and start stables of your own, you would have customers the length and breadth of Britain. Do not let Aurelius’s disloyalty define your image of yourself. Think on it.” With those words, he turned on his heel and stormed away in the direction of the inner defenses of Sarum.
Celemon gazed after him, disturbed and flattered at the same time. But where did his anger come from?

And since last week I shared the cover art, this week I give you the cover:

Cover for A Wasted Land

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

Progress but no progress bars, and #WIPpet Wednesday

My writing goals got a little waylaid again last week, but I’ve mostly managed to catch up with myself again. My total word count for the week was 3100 words. I posted the latest installment of “Starting out as an indie author” a day late, but at least I didn’t give in to temptation and put it off even longer. (*patting myself on the back*)

In my continued battle to keep myself honest, I also looked into adding progress bars to my blog, but I couldn’t figure it out without spending sh*tloads of time on it. If anyone has done it before and has tips for me, do leave me a note in the comments!

In lieu of progress bars, I have put together a list of my works in progress, word counts, and estimates (I *hate* estimates! *g*):

A Wasted Land
43,700 of 70,000 estimated

Sooper sekrit project
10,600 of 60,000 estimated

Life in the Fjord Lane (travel, mostly pictures with little text; work largely formatting)
1100 of 3000 estimated

Facets of Glass (YA novella)
1200 of 25,000 estimated

Starting out as an Indie Author
6500 (no estimate)

I will keep posting the list until the day, when and if, I learn how to add progress bars to my blog. 🙂

On to Wippet Wednesday. The day’s math: 8 + 13 = 22 — 22 short sentences from A Wasted Land. In this snippet, I am returning to where I was two weeks ago, before I wrote last week’s scene of loss to deal with loss of my own. Kustennin and Celemon are inspecting disused military sites on the border to Cerdic’s lands with an eye to setting up a new base of operations:

A gust of wind tugged strands of hair out of her thick braid, and she pulled them back with one hand as she turned to her childhood friend. “Have I told you yet how grateful I am that you appointed me Master of Horse?”
“There is no need to be grateful –“
She held up her free hand, stopping him with a gesture. “Yes, there is. You redefined the role in such a way that I, a woman with little knowledge of warfare other than what I hear and experience from a distance, could take the position.”
“I have many men who can lead a cavalry unit,” Kustennin said. “But no one who can see to the purchase and the breeding of the horses needed besides you — at least no one with your knowledge of horseflesh.”
Celemon did her best to tuck the loose strands of hair behind her ears. “Except your step-father.”
“Who begged me to find someone else as Master of Horse,” he reminded her.
“Nonetheless, please be graceful enough to accept my thanks, Kustennin.”
He smiled at that and inclined his head in acknowledgment. “A hit. You are welcome.”
She smiled back. “I feel I’ve done little so far, but I love the work.” She laid a hand on his forearm on the balustrade near her. “Besides, I do not know what I would have done with myself after Aurelius married Bethan — I no longer have a father whose household I could run, and my brother will surely soon marry and start a family of his own.”
Kustennin shook his head, the smile slowly vanishing from his face. “What are you talking about?”

Cover-I-Want-for-Kustennin

Cover art for A Wasted Land

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

* Note: I’m exceedingly p*ssed off at WordPress right now, because it seems to have decided it’s smarter than me and won’t do blockquotes where I want them — it kept adding all the info from the list above my snippet, and I’ve had to redo this post four times. Even when I switched from visual to text and redid the code, WordPress still moved the beginning of the blockquote up! So I ended up italicizing my excerpt rather than using blockquotes.

One thing I hate more than anything is software that thinks it knows what I want better than I do … grumble, grumble …

The turret, and more from A Wasted Land for #WIPpet Wednesday

Since the turret I mentioned in my WIPpeteer interview seems to have been a big hit, I decided to start this post off with a picture:

The turret

It is a rather modest turret, as turrets go, and far from castle-like, but it still makes me happy on a regular basis when I’m walking up the street for home. (For those who were also excited about the parrots and missed that post, I have pictures of them here.)

My progress so far this week is a bit less exciting. I know a number of you caught my post about my friend Jay Lake, who is officially dying of cancer now. Anyway, the latest news had me redefining my priorities a bit, and I started to put together another book of our stuff, this time two connected pieces, one short story and one long novella, about a first and second contact gone wrong. All I’ve done until now is gotten them into a file in Scrivener, but it still took up a lot of my writing time the last couple of days, since I also wanted to have the file formatted right for an ebook once I’m done with a complete editing pass. The stories have had various names over their different incarnations, but right now I’m referring to the whole as “Recontact.”

As a result, my progress on the new word front has been very modest: 400 words on A Wasted Land since Sunday. But I also had the birthday of a newly minted 4-year-old to contend with yesterday:

4!

Have I mentioned before that she’s on the energetic side? AND it was her birthday …

Anyway, on to the main business of the day, WIPPET WEDNESDAY! My math goes like this: 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 4 (1-22-14) = 10. So here you have 10 paragraphs from A Wasted Land:

Kustennin nodded. “I should lead the scouting party.” He glanced briefly at his mother, almost embarrassed at what he was about to say. Normally, Kustennin was reluctant to use the powers he had inherited from Yseult of Eriu, but at the same time, he was well aware that there were times they could be a powerful ally. He knew his hesitance was far from logical. In the end, it came down to one thing: his image of himself as a warrior, not a magician.
“I have some of my mother’s powers of changing,” Kustennin added “I could cloak a small party in illusion, if necessary.”
“And I have the ability to help you,” Taliesin said. “We could travel to Venta as a group of traveling minstrels.”
“Wouldn’t that be dangerous?” Celemon asked. “What if one of you were recognized?”
Taliesin shrugged. “Less dangerous than for a band of enemy warriors in Cerdic’s territories, I’d wager.”
“Who said anything about going to Venta as minstrels?” Kustennin tried to repress the frown he could feel lurking in the muscles of his forehead, but he wasn’t sure if he was successful.
Taliesin clapped him on the back. “Why I did, my liege!”
Kustennin doubted if anyone was Taliesin’s liege — when it came right down to it, he didn’t even know which part of Britain was the bard’s native kingdom. He knew that sometime before entering his mother’s service, Taliesin had been a bard at the court of Maelgwn in Gwynedd, where he had dared to speak a prophecy of the new king’s death and had to flee for his life. But where Taliesin was born and who on the island of Britain he might truly consider his king — of that, Kustennin knew nothing.
“Consider,” Taliesin continued. “If we travel to Venta as players and entertainers, there will be no need to hide and sneak. We can walk around the city in broad daylight, even play for the soldiers — perhaps even Cerdic himself.”
Kustennin saw Taliesin glance around at the others standing near where the soldiers had begun putting up their tents. Yseult, Cador, and Bedwyr were strangely quiet. Finally, Cador broke the silence. “That disguise can be very effective. We used it once ourselves.”

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts. 🙂

Related posts:

A brief update, and Celemon among the horses for #WIPpet Wednesday

Back by popular demand: An excerpt from A Wasted Land for #WIPpet Wednesday

Research, lack of words, and another #WIPpet for Wednesday

More from A Wasted Land for #WIPpet Wednesday

Clarion West Write-a-thon, goals for the next quarter, and a sale on Yseult

I’ve taken a rather extended break from blogging, for a number of reasons, the only one that is relevant being that I had enough distractions and I wanted to get some writing done. And I have made progress on a couple of projects, despite very full days. I mentioned a while back that I wanted to make a stand-alone version of an episode from Shadow of Stone, and I finished a first version of “Gawain and Ragnell” with it’s own chapter breaks and appropriate quotes from Arthurian literature. While writing the episode originally, I took my inspiration both from the tradition of the “loathly lady” as well as “Gawain and the Green Knight” and a few other medieval tales of Gawain, conflating them all to what I hope I made into a coherent whole. None of the readers of Shadow of Stone have complained yet, so I think I must have been at least partly successful. 🙂

I’ve also returned to A Wasted Land, trying to make sense of the notes and scenes I wrote in March. I printed everything out, cut pages off at scene breaks, kept the pieces of scenes together with paper clips, and started reorganizing everything, moving scenes around and writing scene descriptions on separate pieces of paper in long hand (purpose, who, when, where, what happens, decision), and adding those guidelines to the cut up pieces of paper from the original scene. Doing all this, I realized I had some major flaws in chronology, which I hope my current pile of paper will correct. I’ve now started writing the new version, but I don’t have much in terms of words: only 1200 so far. And I have signed up for the Clarion West Write-a-thon again this year, with my goal being 30,000 words on A Wasted Land by the end of July. AND we will be going on vacation in a couple of weeks, so I should try to get most of those words done before that …

For the curious, here’s the cover:

I want to try to some new fast writing techniques this round anyway, testing what works for me, so it’s all a part of the plan. *g* I’ve read a lot of blog posts and Kindle Board discussions on increasing your output, and I’m at least ready to give it a shot.

No matter what I manage for the write-a-thon, my main goal for the quarter will be to finish a complete draft of A Wasted Land. I’m trying to learn from my previous publishing mistakes, and this book is planned more modestly, with fewer sub-plots, etc. I’m shooting for a first draft of no more than 50,000 words.

This quarter, I also want to do another pass of Gawain and Ragnell, make a cover, publish it, and try to make it free on Amazon.

I’ve started posting Island of Glass to Wattpad, and I want to continue testing such platforms. (Island of Glass is another priority, but I’m a firm believer in letting a work sit before rewriting.) This round, I really want to try and make the writing a priority, as long as life allows.

I have a bunch of “maybe” publishing and writing goals, but those really depend on how far I can get on A Wasted Land. Given how atrocious sales of short story collections are these days, I’ve given up on collections of my previously published stories for the time being.

I wish everyone a very successful round!

(For those who don’t have it yet, Yseult is presently on sale for only 99c.)