Is it me?

May 5, 2021

Is it me, or is Urban Fantasy, Erotica, and M/M Romance trashed now with the horrible stories I’ve seen on Kindle Unlimited?

I’ve been hanging out on Twitter to look at what some of the new authors are peddling. I’ve gone and looked at their stories–most are on Kindle Unlimited.

They’re horrible. The first chapter! They’re either info-dumps or prologues (I HATE PROLOGUES). I ditched ones that look like Canva covers or the modern literary fiction cover of WORDS ON WALLPAPER. Out of all the authors I followed, I only selected a couple of books to put on my Kindle Unlimited, but if they don’t keep my interest in 50 pages, they’re dumpable.

And I don’t feel bad doing it.

I have learned that it’s okay, not against any religion, to toss books out. I have way too many Nazi books because I was into that time period years ago. Now, there’s no way that story will ever see the light of day any time soon, so I have all these books that have even a tiny mention of the Waffen-SS. I sold the ones on eBay that made me money, and what’s left is a bookshelf full of thick tomes on the Allies in the latter part of the war, Rommel, the Warsaw Ghetto, books on Nazi uniforms and insignia, Mussolini, and OMG way too much about uniforms and the Afrikakorps.

I’m tossing two books per trash-bag that leaves my house. The bags are a little more heavy, but the Nazi books find their way out the door without me worrying if the FBI would end up at my house thinking I’m a white supremacist.

I don’t know if it’s me, or if it really is that Kindle Unlimited (and soon to be presented, Kindle Shorts) are taking anyone with a pulse and no editing skills whatsoever.

Muse: WRITE SOMETHING!!!

April 29, 2021

Ok, so I want to write. But I have so many ideas. I have a brainstorming notebook that I’ve been scribbling plots and ideas in.

I have A Rook Given that isn’t going to be out until 2022. Because it’s so long to wait for it to come out, I’ve lost interest in writing it. (I like writing under deadlines. Call me crazy.)

I’m trying to resurrect Maxwell Thomas. I don’t know whether I should go back to the Brothers of the Zodiac and re-explain what Ishtar’s role was meant to be and do more stories in that world, or should I redo/replot Iron Butterfly as an M/M romance instead of a heterosexual romance?

Meanwhile, the Muse is demanding me to write something. Anything. Please. Just something.

So I pulled up this blog. Hi there!

I have fallen into the trap of, “My writing needs to have purpose.” Years ago, I had a discussion with my publisher (before he was a publisher). Why do we write? Oh, said my starry-eyed self then, “I write because I like it.” He said something to the effect of, “Don’t you want to be paid for it?” Oh, no, said my naive self. “Write because it feels good.”

What a unicorn-and-rainbows thought. Now it physically hurts me to write too much (carpal tunnel and arthritis are THINGS people my age get), so I have to be cautious. That adds to the “Writing needs purpose” command. I try to rest my hands, but I need to rest them by NOT playing games or scrolling through Twitter. #1stWorldProblems

I take three Tylenol every four hours and hope for the best.

Nothing new

April 23, 2021

Well, this week was a bust. I’ve written a total of 300 words, for a grand total of 15,800 words. Pretty sad on my part.

Slightly depressed, to tell you the truth. First, I found out that I’m my job and I have a “mutual separation” due to medical issues. They can’t fire me, and I can’t work, so they said if I come back in a year, I regain my benefits. To tell you the truth, I don’t want to work for any more corporate companies. They want to be the center of your life and culture, and I’m sick of that.

Second, A Rook Given probably won’t come out until next year. Which is bad, because that is way too much time for me to get it ready. I think I unconsciously blew it off once finding out that the story doesn’t have to be finished for about a year.

I mean, it’s good that the Press has many more authors. I’m happy to see other books and stories come out by such a diverse group. All we have to do is sell the books.

That’s next.

“A Rook Given” – 13,000

April 14, 2021

I’m going along pretty well with the plot, writing this shitty first draft. I already can see things that I need to fix and they’re bothering me as I write. I want to go back and fix them now.

My kid read some of it over my shoulder one day. “Ugh! God stuff!” Well, there is an angel and a jealous Old Testament God at the center of the story. I don’t put God in a good light here.

Did some more editing on War Mage. It’s really not that bad. I sent it to the wrong editor when I first did it; that editor didn’t like speculative fiction that much (I don’t think). Plus it does have a few typos and grammar issues. But the research is solid so I don’t have to fact-check everything. I have a habit of researching while I write, which ends up as info-dumps. I need to remember to spread the information out.

I purchased a World Building notebook (from Australia, no less, so it’ll take a few months to get to me) which was also a digital download (I’m a sucker for FB ads). Because A Rook Given is set in contemporary times (magic is considered miracles or coincidence) a lot of the questions aren’t pertinent, but they make me think. Maybe I’ll develop War Mage‘s world in a little more detail. I noticed I need to come up with different magic systems than the Ceremonial Magic that I’m familiar with. A Rook Given discusses Hoodoo and Conjure magic, considered “low magic” because it uses common, everyday, easy-to-get items to perform, along with a little bit of “high magic”. Magicians in my world are specialists, elitist, and don’t share secrets with each other.

A Rook Given is probably not going to be published until next year, which gives me plenty of time to write it, edit it, and polish it up before I present it to the editor. I don’t usually submit to critique groups, mostly because they all have their own agenda. I can’t present it to people who don’t read my genre. It’ll get ripped apart. I don’t need that.

Back to it!

“A Rook Given” – 8000 words

April 4, 2021

My newest novel is tentatively titled “A Rook Given”. It’s about a magician who makes too many familiars and God is jealous. So God sends one of his angels to destroy the magician and his familiars.

I’m already up to 8000 words with it. My plotting is out to three chapters so far, and I’ve written two. I do have the overarching plot already written out. I decided to use a notebook to keep track of all my ideas, and then transfer them to Scrivener 3’s index cards. Scrivener 3 has a way of keeping track multiple POVs by coloring the index cards.

The good news is I now have disability starting July 1. No more worrying about whether work cares if I write or not. No more worrying about whether I have a job (I don’t have a job to go back to–I was notified last week). Just two more months of TDI (six weeks, actually) and then I’m on the dole.