As a self-published author, I’ve long been thankful that KDP is pretty easy to use, but I was always sad that there wasn’t a hardcover option. But now there is! And I’m so happy to have a hardcover of my first novel!! I’ll eventually have one for the sequel, Outcast, but it’s a slow, somewhat costly process to get one ready and make sure it looks good. For now, I’m ridiculously thrilled to have this in my hands!
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I won’t say too much as an introduction, since I posted about this same thing only last Saturday. In this post you will find 4 more recent additions to my notebook collection, and if you want to see more, you can click on the links directly below this.
This is one of the very few notebooks in my collection that came from a thrift store, because as you can imagine, used notebooks aren’t particularly helpful. But now and then apparently someone donates a notebook that they never wrote in. This is actually more of a notebook cover, with a magnetic clasp. Inside is a plain spiral notebook that can be replaced, along with a slot for papers, a clear slot that looks like it’s for a business or ID card, and a pen holder. I like simple covers like this so that I can put my own notebooks in them and keep them safe when they travel in my purse or luggage. Also, it only cost 50¢, so you can’t go wrong with that!
In a nearby city, there’s a store that is only open during Christmas shopping time. They spend the rest of the year gathering things to sell, like overstock from other businesses, things like that, and they sell most of their inventory really cheap. So what they have is very hit-or-miss from year to year. I was a little sad at their selection of notebooks this year–a lot of very plain things, repeats from last year, or oddball notebooks like one with Benjamin Franklin quotes all through it. The notebook above, however, was an immediate grab for me, because I knew it would be absolutely perfect for me to write my character interviews in. After all, what says “split personality” more than talking to myself as a writing exercise?
I watched Jurassic Park in the theater as a teenager. My parents took our whole family, thinking it was going to be more of a light-hearted comedy (what trailer did they see?!). I don’t remember what I thought about it then, but I do remember watching it at my friends house shortly after it came out on VHS. We watched it at least 2-3 times into the night, determined to watch until it didn’t scare us anymore. Maybe that’s why I’m such a huge fan of the whole franchise now. I love them all, even the cheesy ones. I have also read both books, though it’s been a while, which is why I will be reading them again sometime soon.
This was a Christmas gift from my husband last month, a leather journal cover that he had custom-made for me. It’s the name of my first full-length book, as well as the name of the book series, and also the name of the country most of the series takes place in. As you can see from the spine of the book on the left, it’s in the same font as the title on the book, too. It’s basically a refillable travel journal, which means that there are multiple smaller notebooks inside, held in by elastic bands, that can be replaced as needed. It looks beautiful, smells wonderful, will hold up to all sorts of use and abuse, and can be reused forever. Words cannot express how this cover makes me feel.
Stay tuned for one more post with 4 more notebooks, at which point I will be caught up (for now).
Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!
Guess what! Today is my book birthday! One year ago today, my first full-length novel, first in a series I’ve been working on for many years, was released out into the world! Eleven months later, I did it all over again with book #2, but nothing will ever be quite as exciting as the day that Pithea was released. (Go here to see what the book is about.)
I know many people were looking forward to the end of 2020 and the beginning of a new year, but let’s not be too quick to dismiss last year. I have a feeling that, despite the mess the year became, each of us could find something to celebrate from 2020. What’s yours?
I’m not even going to pretend that I did much work on book #3 in the series this last week. I put the new order of scenes that I came up with the week before into Scrivener, and then I started writing one of the new scenes I have planned. I didn’t even get that scene finished, as various things, mostly related to preparing for Christmas, took up much more of my time than I’d expected. Plus, I’ve been having headaches more often lately, which makes focusing on writing difficult.
This coming week, of course, will hold even more Christmas prep, plus the day itself. I will attempt to spend at least a little time in Pithea, even if it’s not official revision. I have a character interview in mind, so maybe I’ll do that in little snatches of time throughout the week.
I worked on book #3 in the series this week, and I think I have figured out the best way forward. I’ve cut off the last 15k words from the previous draft to be part of book #4, which basically means I’m going to be making the main story goal for book #3 different than how it’s been for many years now. This means that I need to revise a lot to make sure the new story goal is coming out enough. It also means I can put back in some longer scenes that I’d removed to shorten the story and to allow the old story goal to come to the surface earlier in the book.
Actually, this book has been giving me trouble for quite a while. I always worried that the last 1/3 of the book was such a different plot from the rest, and that the plot that is set up in the first 2/3 sort of goes nowhere. But I kept moving forward, thinking I just had to live with it. Then when I had the sudden realization that those 15k words would be better off as part of book #4, it gave me the chance to fix all of that. It’ll be a lot of work to fix, though.
So I started by doing something that helped me a lot during revision of Outcast earlier this year–putting all of the existing scenes onto little slips of paper, color-coding them by story arc, and then filling out new slips for new scenes I think should be added.
This allowed me to play with the order of the scenes and move some forward when I realized a plot arc was getting started too late, and that starting it sooner could help avoid monotony in the earlier scenes. Now it’s pretty much time to get to revising, which I think will start with a read-through to refresh myself on the story, cutting down bloated scenes and writing the first draft of some new scenes along the way. I’ll also need to make the scenes flow in the order I’ve changed them to, but I’m not sure if I’ll do that now or later.
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I’m back to other writing work. Well, sort of. I spent most of this week doing preliminary work on my NaNoNovel before filing it away for now. Sometimes I’ll spend the first few days after November ends doing a quick clean-up of what I wrote–mostly removing things I marked as NaNo fodder and at least doing a quick spell check. This is usually better to do while the story is still fresh, and then it’s good to let it sit for some time.
I did start on revision of book #3 in the series today, but didn’t get very far. I have some large structure changes to figure out, but first have to decide how to figure them out.
I have finished the revision I was doing with one of my sisters, and any further revision of “Outcast” is up in the air right now. I may be completely done with revisions, but it’s difficult to know, and I’m not in a huge hurry to make that decision. I have started on line edits, though, because I don’t anticipate any large revisions from here forward. By the end of this month, though, I think I’ll know for sure what I have left to do, and be able to set a publishing date (or know if I need to push it back a little instead). I don’t like being so up in the air at this point, but such is the life of a self-published author with no budget.
NaNoWriMo starts in a week, and I think I’m as prepared as I’m going to get. I finished the character interview I started last week, and though it didn’t lead to any wild “Aha!” moments, it still helped me get a firmer handle on a character that has only been in one book so far, but will have a prominent role in what I’m writing for NaNo (first draft of book #4 in the series). I also got my outline, which had been only in the notes sections of Scrivener, into a printable form, so I can have it with me wherever I may write next month. I’m ready and excited to start!
My progress toward publishing “Outcast” has not been as swift as I would like, but it is progress. I’m hoping one more session with my sister will get us to the end of her notes. After that, I will start on a final line edit, but take my time to give my other sister time to possibly send more notes. I hope to have as little work on for publication in December as possible during November, since NaNoWriMo will most likely take up most of my free time.
And speaking of NaNoWriMo, though I already feel ready for it, I didn’t want to pay no attention at all to the story I’m planning to write during this prepping month. So yesterday I started a character interview with one of the main characters in the book I plan to draft next month. Unfortunately, I haven’t done any writing by hand for at least 9 months, and apparently it’s going to take some time to get used to again. I didn’t get nearly as far in one session as I have been able to in the past, because my hand hurt too much. I look forward to continuing it today though.
After a few months off for a variety of reasons that culminated in just not caring enough to work on my book, I have dived back in with enthusiasm. I’ve actually been working on the near-final revision of “Outcast” for a few weeks now. The majority of the work I’ve been doing involves using the notes made by one of the other members of the TCSTB (I love being able to use that acronym again). The exciting thing is that, once I had her notes in my hands, I realized that, though there was plenty to work on, it’s a very small fraction compared to what needed revised in Pithea when we spent over a year working on it together. I do have another sister (the one that wasn’t able to be part of the TCSTB) who is planning to make some suggestions for revision as well, but I daresay, based on what she’s sent me so far, it still won’t be an overwhelming amount. Now I just have to be patient while I wait for time to discuss notes with one sister and for the other sister to have time to send me her notes.
In the meantime, NaNoWriMo looms ahead. My plan for this year is to write the first draft to what will almost definitely be book #4 in the series. The outline has been done for over a year, but I’ve spent some time already reading through it and refreshing my thoughts about it. And during that time, I already had a new “Aha!” moment.
Though I’ve already shared my thoughts about how the joy of discovery is my absolute favorite thing about writing, this is a different kind of discovery from what I talked about there. It involved the realization that a chunk of the end of the current draft of book #3 might actually belong in book #4. I’ve been considering this ever since–not letting myself be completely sold, while being pretty sure it will solve a lot of structure problems I have with book #3. I’ve decided to wait and see how long the draft for book #4 comes out to be, because it will only work if it can handle another 15k+ words without being too long.
Sadly, this means that I can’t really work on revision of book #3 until the end of November, even though that’s what I’d like to be doing while waiting to move on in my revision of “Outcast” until others have time to continue helping me. So…I can’t really say what I’ll continue working on this week–hopefully another session with one sister, and outside of that, maybe some writing practice just to keep myself immersed in the series.
It has been a little over a month since I wrote one of these updates, and that is due to the sucking void of an online game I fell back into last month. However, I have recently realized that part of the reason I let myself ignore my writing for so long is because I was waiting for feedback from a couple of beta readers for “Outcast,” and without that, I was unable to do much more. I had figured I’d just keep working on the story myself, but the truth is, there wasn’t much more I could do without their feedback.
One is now done, and I just need to get her notes from her. What she’s told me so far is that she really liked it, more than Pithea, and that a few underdeveloped areas stuck out to her, because of how good the rest of it was. I’m happy with that, considering that as soon as I thought much about one of those areas, I could see exactly what she meant. I’ve already started thinking of ways to make it stronger, and will begin working on that this week.
Because the date I had planned to publish “Outcast” was pretty arbitrary, and because I can see now that it needs more work than I’d hoped, I am not pushing for the publish date I’d originally hoped for. But I should still be able to have it out by fall.