This is going to sound bad, but

Aaaahhhhh, so excited.

  1. New-old-new title for THR2, The Healers’ Home. That’s the theme; that’s the title; I cannot be more crafty than that.
  2. New almost-final cover for it, too, now in the sidebar. Cover art by RLSather; typography by my sister, who is so dang talented, seriously why did we not do this earlier.
  3. Relatedly – we have a new cover for THR to harmonize better with the second book, and I am positively gleeful about that one. I am restraining myself from switching out the covers as a bribe to myself to finish the second book. When that’s done, then I can launch both at the same time.
  4. Two beta readers “lined up” for THR2, by which I mean they have said something more or less like “send it when it’s ready.” I am not going to be a jerk about that, but hey, you open that door and I’m going to send it.
  5. Short story / novella between 1 & 2 is going well, and should be ready by the time THR2 is ready. Of course, that’ll need a cover and title too, so cue proverbial screaming and crying.

NaNoWriMo Every Day

The NaNo train is pulling up to the internet, which I always find exciting, even if I’m not participating in a particular year. People are trying new things! Taking the plunge! I miss the forums and talking about writing. It was like summer camp for word nerds.

These days, my primary goal is to write at least 500 words a day, every day. That’s 1/3 NaNo speed, sustained year-round. More is always nice, but the goal is at least 500 words every day. Doing that, I was able to finish the first (incomplete) draft of THR2 within 45 days, and the fill-in chapters/sections continue steadily now.

You can break this down a few different ways. “Every day?” Each and every day, no exceptions. Some days it sucks. Most of the time it’s not that bad. I can hand-write 500 words in a half-hour to 45 minutes if I know where I’m going with the scene. I’ve only had maybe two days when it was seriously pulling-teeth awful, out of 80 days so far. Those are pretty good results.

“500 words?” Yeah, that’s not a lot in a world where 5000 words an hour (and dictation software) are required to keep up with the Joneses. But a stupidly low bar makes it possible to hit every dang day, even if I’m sick or depressed or busy or traveling or, or, or, or, and without quitting my job, outside socialization, other creative pursuits, or anything else that’s important to me. Lots of people love the idea that you need to suffer and die for your work, but meh to that. You don’t need to. If you want to, knock yourself out, but it’s fully optional.

NaNo is fun, and I would never dissuade anyone from doing it, but… you can do this every day, in your real life, without rearranging your entire being around it. You can be a multi-talented accountant-barista-student who also writes books. Seriously, you can. If I can, you can. It’s doable.

Otherwise: working on a new cover for THR to match THR2; asymptotically approaching the decision to rename THR2 The Healers’ Home; resisting because that sounds like a retirement village. (It’s always something.) Also working on an interlude short story between 1 and 2, to tie up a particular plot thread.

Quick update post

  • We have been a little displaced while our bathroom is being rebuilt from the water-damaged mess it used to be. We’re depending on the hospitality of some very patient friends. I’ve been writing entirely on paper these days, though not by candlelight! Catching up should be…interesting…
  • Because of this (mostly), September and October’s reading lists will be glommed together.
  • THR2 is back from the alpha reader with extensive notes on pacing, which I resist but respect. I am now writing more material for the second draft. (We had this same dance with the first book: I cut out several chapters because nothing happens in them, he says “it seems choppy,” I sigh and put them back in. Ha.)
  • THR will have a Countdown Deal sale – 99c in the US & UK – on Oct. 5-12, 2015.
  • Attending Tsubasacon, a science fiction, fantasy and anime con, in Huntington, WV on October 9 through 11. This is for the crafting biz, though I will also have paperbacks and bookmarks, along with the sale on ebooks. We haven’t been back to Tsubasacon for several years, and we’re really looking forward to it.