October 4, 2020

Your Update: A Shot in the Dark – Part 5

I’m happy to report that as of this post — I’m not planning to take a week off from Flash Fiction. I was able to organize and get everything for this week ready, and I’m hopeful to get into a routine the way I did last year. By the end of January, I was doing most of my work in the classroom, and able to keep my weekends free, and able to write at night. I’m teaching an exploratory course that starts over every three weeks or so which means once I get through this first cycle, I’ll have a better sense of what works and what doesn’t work. I’m not going to do an October status post because I can’t really set any plans or goals just yet. We’re going week by week — this week, I’m comfortable saying that as long as I’m not too tired, I’ll be working on Flash Fiction.

I scheduled Mad World’s chapters today! I did it slowly, a few chapters at a time so it didn’t feel overwhelming. To make sure they post in the right order, they’re scheduled a minute a part, starting at 6:39 AM on Tuesday, and posting steadily over the next twenty minutes until 7 AM.  I’m posting five chapters a day at FF.net and Archive of Our Own, starting Tuesday afternoon, and ending on Saturday.  I also wrote another scene for Fool Me Twice today, so we’re moving along on that.

I’m hoping to get back to the beta draft for Book 4 this week, but it’s lower on my list than FMT and Flash Fiction at the moment, at least for this week.

Note: Something that is not up for debate is the fact that I write a variety of Flash Fiction series. I don’t plan to stop writing any to concentrate on just one. It defeats the purpose of doing the Flash Fiction which was to give my brain regular breaks from working on the same novel for eight months at time. I’m convinced that I was able to write Mad World this summer at the same speed I did because I added Flash Fiction. I never got bored because I had so much occupying me between all the stories I worked on. It was a happy compromise and I have written more in 2020 than I have since 2003. It’s not a coincidence. I love my readers, especially Patreon supporters who make this something I can justify taking so much time to work on, but supporting my work does not entitle you to direct it. I love that you have favorites, I really do, but it puts pressure on me that I don’t need right now. Please do not leave requests when I haven’t asked for them. Thanks!

October 3, 2020

Your Update Link: Signs of Life – Part 3

I hope everyone is having a good weekend 🙂 It’s been a wild few days in the world, huh? I’m getting settled in at the new job, and I spent this morning organizing my lesson plans for next week. One of my assets is my ability to organize and do it quickly — that definitely comes from the last few years of juggling two part-time jobs, full-time graduate work, and writing. I have my structure done for the course, and tomorrow I just have to finalize this week’s project and film instructions for my remote students.

Right now, I’m leaning towards being able to write Flash Fiction this week – or at least having time for it. What I’m less sure about is honestly energy. It’s been six months since I worked in a classroom, and I lost the ability to be on my feet without bathroom breaks or a minute to breath for hours at a time. That’s going to take a minute for me to get back, so let’s say that I’ll keep the schedule but I might skip a day during the week and make it up on the weekend. We’ll see how it goes.

I finalized Mad World, Book 3 today and actually compiled all the chapters. Tomorrow, I’ll schedule them and they’ll go live on Tuesday. I’m so happy to finally show it off to you guys! I also did a lot of work for Fool Me Twice today. Chapter 1 is finished, and I’m happy with how it’s starting. I’ll be updating tomorrow with Shot in the Dark, making up Wednesday’s Flash Fiction.

October 2, 2020

Your Update: A King’s Command – Part 5

Hello! Thanks for understanding about skipping Wednesday. I’ve been literally running around like an insane person for the last three days, and honestly it was all I could do just to get some sleep. I think I finally have myself mostly sorted. I still have an insane amount of work to do this week, but it doesn’t feel as overwhelming as it did on Wednesday. I have a plan for the course, I’ve met most of my students, I survived my return to Zoom meeting this morning, and I can find my way around the building — sort of. It feels manageable.

At the moment, I think I’m taking next week off from Flash Fiction just to get myself truly sorted and make sure I stay on track for Fool Me Twice and Mad World. I love Flash Fiction, and I am obsessed with all my series, so I don’t want to kill myself trying to fit them in right now when taking a week off means I can really get a good sense of everything and set myself up for success. Once I’m through next week, I’ll have created most of the templates I’ll need for the rest of the course. I also might change my mind and keep writing. It depends on this weekend. I’ll let you know on Sunday when I make up Wednesday’s A Shot in the Dark entry.

I’m also going to be finalizing Mad World, Book 3’s release for this Tuesday. I’m scheduling chapters on Saturday and Sunday, so they’ll go live on Tuesday at 7 AM EST. I’m working on Book 4’s beta structure as well. I haven’t touched it in a few days, obviously, but I’m scheduling time to get into it tomorrow.  I’m working on graphics to promote all three books, so see this post for more information on how you can help!

Fool Me TwiceAnd in the best news — I started writing Fool Me Twice yesterday! I use Pacemaker to to track my progress because it lets me set all kinds of writing goals. I can decide whether I want to write steadily (same writing goal everyday) or start small and build my stamina. For the first time, I’m selecting the second one. Yesterday, I only had to write 85 words, lol. I wrote 825! My total goal is 160k, which is 5k averaged over 32 chapters.  I wrote the first scene which is a flashback scene, and it was so much fun. I just wrote for 25 minutes yesterday, really the only fun thing I did all day, LOL.  Earlier tonight, I wrote two more scenes and added another 1300 words.

October 1, 2020

Hello! This is me waving at you from the future, LOL. I’m scheduling this to go live on Thursday morning because I have a huge favor to ask! I’m working on graphics to promote Mad World, particularly the first two books, and I one of the things I wanted to do was use quotes. If you have a favorite line from either of the first two books, please reply below and let me know! Hopefully you guys have been rereading to prep for Book 3! We’re so close!

September 30, 2020

Hey! Unsurprisingly, I’ve decided to postpone tonight’s update for flash fiction. I’m actually not too tired to do it, but I have so much work to do before I go in for my second day of work tomorrow, and I want to get to bed at a decent hour. Basically, there are no lesson plans at all — I have to create everything from scratch and I want to go in for my second day armed and ready, LOL.  I was hoping to get most of it done by 6 so I could relax a bit, but I’m still creating materials for tomorrow.  I’m thinking that I’ll make Wednesday’s entry on Sunday, and I’ll decide at that point if I want to take next week off to get settled into the job or not. It really depends on how the next few days go and how tired I am. Thanks for understanding!

September 29, 2020

Your Preview Chapter: Mad World – Chapter 52

A week from today, I’m releasing the entire book! I’m so freakin’ excited! I’m so proud of this book and this series so far, but even more importantly — this is the closest I’ve ever released any of my books, lol. Usually, I release one book a year and this year, I’ve managed to get two full books done with a third in the wings that might be ready in December if my schedule works out. Definitely my best year ever! Let me know what you think, what you’re looking forward to. I can’t wait for you guys to read it.

September 28, 2020

Your Update Link: Not Knowing When – Part 5

Facelift: Too Dead To Cry & Catch Me When I Fall

Happy Monday! What a great way to kick off a new week. First, I just want to let you guys know that I found out this morning that I got a job I’d interviewed for a week or so ago. I’d almost given up hope! I’m not officially starting the district job (with salary and benefits) until November, but my real start date is up in the air as they try to negotiate with my substitute company to get me in ASAP. I could start Wednesday, or any day after that.

That’s obviously a huge change in my life since I hadn’t anticipated going back to work permanently this year or at all until late October due to Covid closures in my county. Right now, I can’t begin to predict how it’s going to change my writing schedule. I write full-time now, but even that is only about 4-5 hours a day. Until I get an official start date and a look at my schedule and curriculum, I can’t make any changes or adjustments.

The most likely thing that’s going to happen is I’ll be moving Flash Fiction around to better suit my energy levels. I’ll probably take a week off and see how my schedule is and where I can fit an hour. That might mean doubling up on Saturdays or moving the Wednesday fic — I don’t know. That’s the first place I’d take time. The second place I’d look to make adjustments is push out the due date for Book 4 of Mad World from beginning of December to late Dec or early January. I really just don’t know, but I have some ideas ready to go for how to adjust my schedule on the fly.

What isn’t changing is Book 3’s release date, so no worries there. I’m posting the second preview chapter tomorrow with the full novel being released next Tuesday at 7 AM.

In other news — I worked on the Facelift today. I made graphics for two of my oldest stories — Too Dead to Cry and Catch Me When I Fall. They’re both song fictions from 2002, and I was able to embed the YouTube videos for the songs which is better than my old approach to all of that. Both stories have been linked on Alternate History page and had their links updated on my Alphabetical List. I also made graphics for Not Knowing When which you can see on the Alternate History & Flash Fiction Page. I’m gonna show them all off below because, heh, I want to.

Mini Featured Banners for Alternate History page

Full Banners

September 26, 2020

Your Update Link: Signs of Life – Part 2

Ugh. This day, lol. It was going well until I went to my niece’s birthday. My sister has a lot of friends who all apparently had twelve kids each, so the house was packed with small screaming children. I was counting down to the singing of Happy Birthday so I could nope out of there. We get everyone gathered around for the cake, and then we start looking for the birthday girl.

We search the entire house, the kids are sent on search teams — she’s nowhere. We start yelling her name. Nada.

The anxiety starts to set in — she’s the only kid we can’t find, and we start getting close to panicking —

And then we find her. She, along with two friends invited to the party, decided to go across the street to play with the toys in the other yard. Without telling anyone. She’s safe, but now I feel  thousand years old, and I’m gonna chip this kid like a dog so I can always find her.

ANYWAY. That was my day. I also edited another chapter of Book 3 — I had to add a scene and tweak half of it, so I didn’t get more than the one chapter done. No worries. I’ll make up the other two chapters tomorrow. I’m taking most of the day off tomorrow (I promise!) to clean the house and to relax. I’ll do a few hours in the morning, and then leave the office after that.

September 25, 2020

Your Update Link: A King’s Command – Part 4

Happy Friday! I hope you guys had a good week. I was very busy here at CG as you probably noticed, so make sure you check out the Recent Updates page for any missed updates.

Today, I cleaned up Alternate History a bit by moving a bunch of my smaller 2002 Ficlets into a cluster I’m calling Take the Chance. I’m doing that because I looked at making graphics all of these smaller stories and realized — they’re nearly identical. They were all episode tags written between October-December 2002 when Liason fans were still delusionally thinking Courtney was a pit stop on the road to our couple. So it’s a lot of the same concept written over and over again, LOL.

I got a bit distracted in my Facelift journey by thinking I could just organize all my Liason screencaps to make graphics easier, and then work my way through the stories once those were done. The summer of 2002 is really kicking my butt, so I’m going to start moving stories into the History category and leave graphics for later.  The other History change I made was adding listings for all my Flash Fiction series. They’re noted as a Flash Fiction series necessary, so that you can see where they fit in and that you don’t miss them.

My final bit of news for the day is a production schedule change. I was supposed to start planning Damaged in December once the first draft of Fool Me Twice was done, but then I really thought about what writing that project would look like. Damaged is a lot like Mad World and Fool Me Twice. A lot of moving parts and huge ensemble piece. I’m kind of tired already, and I still have to edit the rest of Book 3 and Book 4 and write Fool Me Twice. I’m feeling burnt out just thinking about it.

So I’m going to switch Damaged and Book 2 of For the the Broken Girl. This means Broken Girl 2 will be out in May/June and not September. Broken Girl will be intense, but it’s more narrowly focused and I think I definitely need that after the last six months, LOL.

I’ll see you guys tomorrow for the next part of Signs of Life!

September 24, 2020

Your Update Link: The Ghost in the Girl

Good morning! As promised, I am posting the revised short story, The Ghost in the Girl. I wrote it as the first Sunday Rewrite short story in three parts. Parts 1 & 2 are largely the same — but they’ve been edited and refined–even expanded in some areas. Part 3 was heavily rewritten. I added a lot to the Liason scene in the park and rewrite the ending of the story entirely. Please take a read and let me know how you like it!

I’ll see you guys tomorrow for Flash Fiction!