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07 April 2016 @ 08:32 pm

I cast on! I cast on! I don’t know what to do next, but I cast on! (I’ll figure out what to do next tomorrow. I felt casting on was sufficiently impressive for one day. It only took three tries and watching a video 15 times. :))


I’m terribly proud of myself. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

06 April 2016 @ 03:42 pm

A city hidden for five thousand years.

A man so ancient his early history is lost to time.

A woman who has nothing to lose…

Lorhen, oldest and most ruthless of the immortal Timeless, put aside the sword long ago for a quiet life. But peace doesn’t last forever, especially for a man whose age can be counted in epochs, and the mortal life he’s built unravels as the Keepers, a society of historians who record Timeless lives, learn that he’s been hiding in their midst.

Then an archaeologist’s claims of finding Atlantis brings back millennia-old memories, and Lorhen is drawn unwillingly into intrigues aeons in the making—and deadly enough that he may yet face the heartstrike blow that will unleash his power on the world….

Atlantis Fallen
The Heartstrike Chronicles: Book One
April 2016


(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

05 April 2016 @ 07:41 pm

It’s taken me about two weeks to do the fourth Elfquest graphic novel coloring book page. I reckon at the rate I’m going, I’ll do about one issue a year, and be finished around 2036. :)

I hadn’t posted page three yet, so here you go. I also hadn’t figured out how to manipulate the levels with Photoshop (or possibly I didn’t have photoshop installed) yet, so the color in it isn’t as representative of the TRUE BEAUTY OF MY WORK as I might like. :)

For page four I had Photoshop for sure and the levels are therefore manipulated and this is actually very close to the colors. I’m going to need an entire box just of green pencils to get through this issue!

This is the best coloring book ever. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

03 April 2016 @ 10:34 pm

So it turns out that in a lot of ways the ATLANTIS FALLEN revisions instigated by my cover artist weren’t as overwhelming as I thought they would be. I revised two chapters completely, retaining necessary information but basically presenting it almost entirely differently, and a third chapter…almost that significantly. Not quite. But almost.

Another 5-7 chapters had much less significant revisions, although in fact the last thing I did tonight was flag five of those chapters in a project notes file to make myself go look at them with absolutely fresh eyes over the next couple of days. They do what they *need* to right now, but the result of the early revisions is I feel like I’ve gone a little soft ball on the later ones and that they could be improved to the considerable betterment of one particular character’s development. I’d just done too much work today to try dealing with any more.

But holy cats, to lend wind beneath my wings, said problem-causing (no not really :)) cover artist sent the rough draft of the ATLANTIS FALLEN cover, and I believe my squee may have been heard around the world. AF is going to be an e-only release at first, the print edition will come later, and I got the cover and went AAAAAH I WANT THE PRINT EDITION *NOOOOOW*!!!!

Ted saw the cover and said to me, “…are we *sure* we don’t want to do the print edition simultaneously?” I was like THAT WAS WHAT I THOUGHT!!! But no, we don’t, and it’s simply a matter of costs: hopefully the e-book will *pay* for a print edition, ideally before the end of the summer.

In the meantime, there oughta be a cover reveal before the end of the week, and it’s looking like things are probably on schedule for a mid-April launch. Yay!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

01 April 2016 @ 12:03 pm

My To-Done 2016 (Work Version) thus far includes finishing the REDEEMER rough draft, revising ATLANTIS FALLEN (twice, and am partway through a third), launching MAGIC & MANNERS, writing 3 short stories, and revising one short story.

Somehow it doesn’t seem like very much when I write it down like that, and that just seems unfair. It’s felt like a huge amount of work. It’s BEEN a huge amount of work. It just doesn’t…look very impressive.

Anyway, that really is quite a lot to have gotten done, isn’t it? (Please, she said pathetically?) April will see launching ATLANTIS FALLS, writing another short story, getting REDEEMER polished up to first draft status and submitted to the editor, and…and whatever bits and pieces I’m not thinking of right now.

Tell you what, though, my big plan to clear the bookshelf of everything that hadn’t been read by the end of the year? That’s going to have to get put on hold, because I’ve read one…two? Books this year. Because I’ve been working so much, and coloring when I’m taking down time, instead of reading. (I find reading, especially new fiction, really difficult when I’m working. My brain is committed to a book already, basically, and it’s very hard for me to engage with something new.) And it’s not fair even to myself to say “to the used bookstore with you!” about the TBR shelf when I’ve been working this much instead of reading.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

30 March 2016 @ 05:19 pm

I apparently have some kind of conviction that I’m going to knit something, because I keep stopping and staring avariciously at yarn. I don’t knit. I mean, I knitted something once. A scarf. It turned out well! But…I don’t knit.

Despite that, today I came across this really pretty inexpensive dark blue sparkly yarn and…folded. I bought four skeins and two of black sparkly yarn and I have vague thoughts of a matching hat and scarf. And then since I was on the road to hell anyway I got some chunky red yarn to make a scarf for Indy, who immediately suggested we get some blue, too, and I could make a STRIPED scarf. *laughs* I said I wasn’t that good a knitter and maybe we could try that later, a suggestion to which he was amenable. :)


I got needles of appropriate size for the yarns and since the whole essentially incomprehensible purchase ran €11.50, I feel that I can probably afford the bonkersness of it. Especially if I actually knit something.

So the first thing I need to do is learn to cast on. Easy peasy. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)


I’d quite deliberately handed ATLANTIS FALLEN over to beta readers who didn’t know the world the serial numbers had been scraped off, in order to see if the worldbuilding held up! Because that was my big concern!

Except I also sent it my cover artist, who did know the old world, and she emailed me in the middle of reading it and said “So how come you didn’t do X with this instead of sticking with the Y you had in place?”

…well, because I didn’t think of that. God damn it.

She said, “You can tell me “No no no, that’s a terrible idea, I am not revising the manuscript, why do you hate me?” and I will not be offended!”

Well, it is a terrible idea. It’s an absolutely terrible idea because it would mean having to revise a quarter of the manuscript. Possibly a third.

Unfortunately, it’s a terrible idea that solves a problem that I’d looked at early on, been unable to come up with a solution for, and had thought, Well, no, I mean basically that’s going to be okay….

And know what? I’m right. Basically it is okay. The beta readers haven’t had an issue (beyond some *very* minor, easy to fix problems) with the thing that flagged bright shiny red for the person familiar with the old version of the story.

But god damn it, it’s a better idea. It’s a better solution. It will be to the book’s betterment. There is a lot of better involved here.

But god damn it, there’s a lot of revision, too.

Honestly, if it didn’t solve that problem I’d been unable to come up with a solution for, I would leave it alone. But it does, dammit, and…this better be a great cover, is all I’m sayin’.

Dammit. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

24 March 2016 @ 11:58 pm

I went out to write today, and wrote an entire Old Races short story, 5700 words, which…pretty nearly did my brain in. I’m going to have to take a revision pass at it in a few days, because I’m not sure how coherent it is. At about 5K my brain dried up and I went to ask Twitter to cheer me on so I could finish it, and cheer they did. Good peeps, are Tweeps. :)

I dropped by Chapters Bookstore, too, to see if they had MAGIC & MANNERS in yet, and look what I found on the shelves, pretty as can be:

I was delighted. :)

I also went and found Easter Things for an Easter Basket, and jeez o flip, when did Easter become a holiday for grown-ups? There are all kinds of exotic high end chocolate eggs and expensive pralines and all sorts of crap, but it’s remarkably difficult to find a damn chocolate rabbit, and let’s not even talk about jellybeans, which generally they don’t understand in this country. I found some “soft sugar fruit eggs” or something like that which are obviously jellybeans, but god forbid they should be called that. Anyway, eventually I found appropriate things, but good grief, it shouldn’t have been that hard.

And lastly, because I’ve done a huge amount of work so far this year, I went and rewarded myself by getting my ear…not repierced, because there was still a hole there. But got a hypoallergenic post of greater size shoved through my tiny tiny ear hole, so that I will eventually be able to wear earrings in it all the time. Probably the earring that got shoved through it today, in fact, as my other ear is now full of similar earrings that I never bother to take out.

I only have one ear hole left to fix, now. I don’t know what I’m going to do for cheap body mod rewards when I’m done with ’em.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)


Part two of my series on all-out self publishing, a project I’ve taken on with MAGIC & MANNERS, a Jane Austen pastiche in which I wondered what would happen if the Bennet sisters had too much magic rather than too little cash. Part One, which focuses on finding and working with a production team as well as developing a work flow (including a Helpful Check List) is here.

This week I’m going to look at the actual publication process. I’ve been working through Amazon and Ingram, who are both doing what’s called Print On Demand (POD), which means the book is printed when you order a copy, rather than having copies sitting around a warehouse waiting for someone to order them.

I assume you know about Amazon. :) They have a couple of self-publishing arms, one for print books (CreateSpace) and one for ebooks (KDP). Bookstores, very reasonably, don’t want to buy print books from Amazon, and Amazon has a captive audience for its ebooks, as they’re the largest distributor of them and have the lion’s share of the market with their Kindle e-readers. I am, largely, not going to talk about Amazon, because it’s such a closed ecosystem the whole process is somewhat different.

Ingram is one of the two largest book distributors in the world; they are, in other words, the people from whom the bookstores buy their books. They have a self-publishing arm, IngramSpark, and it used to be that in their listings (where bookstores order from) they listed the self-published books separately, in an area where they wouldn’t come up for a bookstore unless the store went in there specifically looking for it…which bookstores had no reason to do. A while ago, though, I read that Ingram had changed that policy and that Spark books were now available broadly throughout their system, and I’ve been very interested in pursuing a self-published book with them since, because the theory here was that a self-published CE Murphy book could now turn up in (say, the Barnes & Noble) system and cause them to say “oh sure we’ll order that.”

It’s not actually that easy, because without a reason to look for a new CE Murphy book there’s no reason they would, but in theory, it *allows* them to, at least. I’ll get to promotion in a later post, because it’s going to be too big to bite off here, but in short, right now that’s why it’s really fantastic for readers to go into their local bookstores and ask if they can have a copy ordered in, and suggest short-ordering (which means just ordering a couple of them) some for the shelves.

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

22 March 2016 @ 01:43 pm

maybe if i write it all down i’ll get it done.

– living room
» vacuum
» perhaps wash windows ahahahah
» put laundry away
» deal with random trash
– kitchen
» vacuum
» windows
» put laundry away
» deal with random trash
» wash floors
– library
» vacuum
» windows
» deal with random trash
» deal with random *stuff*
– vacuum stairs
– our bedroom
» vacuum
» clear off dresser
» change sheets
– guest room
» vacuum
» change sheets
» put shoes away
– office
» vacuum
» put things away/tidy
– indy’s room
» fix curtains
» vacuum
» try to cull toys
– put new lightbulb in upstairs closet
– and in upstairs hall
– do laundry
» fold laundry
» put laundry away
» do it all again *sigh*
– tidy sun room
– clean upstairs bathroom
– clean downstairs bathroom
not housecleaning
finish old races short story
– finish ATLANTIS FALLEN edits
go to zoo
get easter stuff
dye easter eggs
– /d/i/n/n/e/r/ /w/i/t/h/ /t/h/e/ /g/i/r/l/s/?/ nope
– send applications

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)