First Monday: August 2015

Anyone else ready for summer to be over? No? Just me? Honestly, I’m not ready to let the warm weather go, but it’d be nice if we could have a rainy day or two. Long-range forecasting here in the great PNW is nearly impossible, but the weather people are predicting we won’t see any noticeable rain until late October. Maybe.

Aside from being hot and uncomfortable, July was a pretty good month. I finished the formatting for Hidden Scars and started sending out review requests. I have seen the final cover and I cannot wait to show it off! Crystal did a gorgeous job with it. The official reveal is scheduled for August 20th, but newsletter subscribers will get a sneak peek (that’s a broad hint to sign up for my newsletter 🙂 ) Pre-order links coming soon, too. I just need to stop being lazy and actually make them.

I have started the first round revisions for Broken Down, and I’m about a third of the way through. So far it’s not as crappy as I thought it would be. I always think my stories are varying degrees of shitty on the first (and often second) rounds. Sometimes it’s just a matter of clearing away some debris to get at the shiny, pretty core of it (like with Game of Shadows; I was pretty damn pleased with how that first draft turned out), others it’s like…guh, I wrote that? Broken Down falls into the latter category. Part of it’s because the amount of effort I put into getting just one sentence on the page is still fresh in my mind. And part of it is because of the subjects it tackles. This could very well be a story where I don’t quite hit the mark, and it makes me a bit nervous. I’ve given myself a very, very short timeline to get most of the work done on this book in order to make a review submission deadline. Whether that will happen is still up in the air, with some things beyond my control, but I’m going to try.

I need to get my butt in gear as far as Game of Shadows is concerned. The second book is due to the editor by the end of the year, and I’m two or three chapters away from finishing the first draft. Finishing those chapters shouldn’t take long, but it’s likely I’ll be revising it while I’m working on edits for book one and finalizing some things for Broken Down. If that happens, I’ll need to re-prioritize.

I hit up RWA two weeks ago. I started the week with a quick visit to my aunt in Pittsburgh. The weather was hot and muggy, so we did museums. One of the exhibits we saw at the Carnegie Museum of Art was She Who Tells A Story. Full of photographs shot by female photographers from Iran and other Arab countries, the images were both bleak and defiant, showing little rebellions, bits of stolen happiness, and the shoulders-slumping sadness of defeat. If you’re anywhere near Pennsylvania, you need to see this exhibit. It runs through September 28th.

One of the photos in the exhibit

The conference itself was good. I didn’t spend as much time at the conference hotel as I would have in the past because a) I wasn’t staying at the hotel and b) it was a working vacation for me – I ended up skipping almost a full day of workshops to finish the formatting for Hidden Scars and tie up a few loose ends on Game of Shadows. But I did make it to a luncheon put on by Loveswept, where I learned more about their process, from editing to marketing, which was definitely worth the price of admission. I got to catch up with some friends from my old chapter that I hadn’t seen since October, and I got to see the lovely Anna Richland win Best Romance Novella. If you haven’t read His Road Home, you really should.

I think third time was a charm for NYC. I have never liked the city. Too crowded for my taste. But this time I stayed in the same neighborhood the BF and I stayed in last time we were there, and I hit up some restaurants we’d gone to before. I walked back and forth to the conference hotel on Times Square at least once a day, and I spent most of the day before the conference started with my friend Maggie, and then again on Sunday for a few hours before I left. I had a better sense of place, of neighborhood, and I started to see how all these New Yorkers actually lived in that monstrous city. And while it will never be one of my favorite places to visit, I think…I think I’ve found the way to make it tolerable.

August brings more revisions and edits and (hopefully) drafting, where I can finish off a stage or two or maybe even three of various projects. And if it would rain just ONCE, I’d be happy.

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