Also, they tend to like cats. Shocker

Yep, medieval spies/assassins to fill the gap until Book 2 comes back from the betas. Taking place a couple hundred years before the main continuity, so it doesn’t affect anything, but I have to keep reminding myself that movable type doesn’t exist at this point in the timeline.

So this week’s Well, Yes link is: Introverts Are Pickier, More Judgmental About Typos & Grammar Errors

Has anyone considered that we, y’know, read a lot of books? But it’s true that we don’t have to be jerks about it. I try not to. I try to keep my overwhelming rage on the inside. 😀

We’re just neat freaks about words, people. That’s all.

Moving on, let’s go for some more substance:

Kate Elliott: Writing Women Characters Into Epic Fantasy Without Quotas – essentially a long list of interesting historical figures, meant to challenge the idea that the only realistic roles for women in fantasy are Hero’s Mom or Random Prostitute.

As for me, I’ve given up even engaging the mainstream POV. It’s too frustrating. I won’t read your books if they take place on Defaults To All Dudes Planet, no matter how awesome people tell me they are. And no one has to read my books that take place on Dudes-Ladies-And-Everybody-Else Planet. Something for everyone.

 

And the rest of my bookmarks are intensely old. That’s a wrap.

This is all going to be stalling and animation, apparently

Fighting through a mild fever to transcribe as much handwritten stuff as possible while I’m home sick. Right now, that means plot ideas and research for THR3, short stories on the side, world-building encyclopedia entry-type stuff, and the eternal other-pen-name novel project.

Meanwhile, this has been stuck in my head for days:

Which means that this is also stuck in my head, from mournful string cross-pollination:

Actually, since I’m scrambling lately to meet my self-imposed quota of 500 words a day,* maybe I’ll finally spin off the swoony creepiness of “Perfection” to write a short about in-universe assassins. Been meaning to do that, just for fun.

* Writing itself isn’t hard most of the time; it’s just that I am between projects. I’ve finished everything I wanted to do with THH for now, and THR3 isn’t quite solidified yet. The challenge lies in what to write, not how much.

Chronology notes and the New Year’s story

The sidebar / progress bar has said “THR 1.5, New Year’s Story, not sure what to do with it” for several weeks now. I think I’ve figured out what to do with it: hang onto it until a few more books are out.

This is probably a bad idea business-wise, but it’s what I think is right story-wise. 1.5 is a long short story / short novella-length interlude between The Healers’ Road and The Healers’ Home, when Agna and Rone meet up over New Year’s (the vernal equinox, in their world) to hash some things out. It’s the closing of the arc of their friendship as it exists in THR, all messed up with ambiguity and misunderstanding and all that dramatic stuff.

Verdict: It would work a lot better after we’ve seen Rone’s story. And while Rone’s story has been outlined for a while and a couple of chapters were included in early releases of THR, I really think the way to go right now is to finish out Agna’s story before jumping tracks. At the very least, THH needs to get out there. Considering the potential events of THR3, we may have to jump back into someone else’s story (Agna’s sister, most likely) and set some groundwork for larger world events before moving on, but the end result is: now is not the time for this particular story.

This is another How Not to Do Indie Publishing, but to be honest, it will happen how it happens or not at all. Someday, the chronology of these stories will be complete, they’ll all gain volume numbers, and one can start reading at the beginning and sail through to the end. In the meantime, we are in a Discworld situation, with arcs following various characters semi-separately from one another. I can live with that.

Overthinking things! Squee!

You know, someday I swear I’m going to empty out my ever-growing temporary bookmark list. For now, though:

The Mary Sue is doing an episode-by-episode rewatch/recap of favorite-anime-ever Revolutionary Girl Utena, which led me to this utterly glorious, longer-than-some-novels set of essays on every single episode. Sooooo happy. (Header images become super spoilery a couple of posts down, be warned.)

Ahh, so awesome. So ready to either refuse or smack down the industry’s shallow, pandering BS. It’s been too long.

And it’s on YouTube, subtitled*, by the localization/licensing company, i.e. legally. Seriously: best news all day. I’ve got the shiny re-release box set, of course, but this makes it so much easier to throw at people!

Of course, it usually takes 2+ viewings of a 39-episode-and-movie series to achieve the levels of slavering you don’t get it, it’s AWESOME that fans like me tend to dish out. And I know that’s a time commitment. But. Sogoodyouhavenoidea.

* I’m not categorically anti-dub, but I do not like this one. More’s the pity.

So that’s my link for the day/week/something.

Three hundred books, five hundred days, lots of words

According to my calculations (?), between ebooks, paperbacks, and the two versions of Kindle Unlimited so far, 300 copies of The Healers’ Road have been purchased and/or read as of this week. (As the owner of a towering TBR stack, I do not expect everyone who’s bought it to have read it already.)

Woohoo? Maybe. Sure, why  not.

Coincidentally, as of yesterday the book is now 500 days old. That feels like forever, in some ways. I’m several weeks into edits on its sequel, and I’ve finished two and a half drafts of another novel* and a few short stories and novellas** since then, along with a boatload of test run / futzing around scenes – “well, this doesn’t fit into a real outline yet, but what would happen if I threw these characters into this situation?”

* as yet unfinished / ** as yet unpublished

Back when I listened to other people, I was told over and over that an indie book has no more than 30 days in its life cycle. You absolutely must hit a particular Hot New Releases chart on Amazon, immediately, and once you slide off it, you better have another book out or nobody is ever going to want to read your stuff again. Because that’s all there is, that one chart. That is the world in which indie books live, and there is no other. Just that chart.

My book is 16 times that age now. It’s apparently a Galapogos tortoise of a book. The weird thing is, though, out of those 300 copies, you know how many were in that magic 30-day window? Ten. So… I don’t know.

I’d still like to write faster, if I could. I’m aware that since I work so slowly, the first year’s worth of THR readers are going to have no memory whatsoever of me or my book. I built that uphill climb with my snail’s pace, and I’m going to have to live with it.

But hey, consider that I started the first proto-drafts of THR in 2006 and finished it in 2014, then wrapped up THH in roughly a year and a half (fingers crossed). That’s over five times faster. If that pace kept up, I’d have another book out in three months. And yeah, that probably won’t happen – but I learn something every time that gets applied to everything that comes after. I guess the goal is to take <1.5 more years to wrap up the trilogy, and then <1.5 years to start the next part, whether that’s Rone’s story or someone else’s.

Where was I. 0.6 copies a day. It’s nowhere near the New York Times list, but it’s still tortoising along.

I am excited and grateful for every blip on my sleepy little graph. I hope every person who takes a chance on my two cranky jerkface characters has a good time, whether they found the book 2 days or 250 days after it was released.

I’m not in any hurry. The books will be there. The journey starts over and over. That’s one thing I love about books.