Hey, readers. I haven’t written a WIP Wednesday post in a while, mainly because there was little to share. This week, I’m happy to report I’ve made progress.
Twelve of the thirteen short stories for my upcoming collection are written. All would have been done, but I didn’t like how I’d done the thirteenth story, so I all but scrapped what I’d written and started over. The words are flowing much better now.
Three stories have been edited and critiqued, and I’m working on the other ones now. As much as I wanted to publish this year, I’ve decided to wait until January. I didn’t want to rush through the edits. Not to mention there’s a lot of work to do in addition to writing and editing. Blog tour posts, promotional materials, and formatting just to name a few.
The book cover is done, and I’ll have a title and cover reveal post in a few weeks. Yes, it finally has another title other than A Book of Shorts. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek:
In other writing news, I’m ready to begin the second book of my Legends of Madeira series. It’s been a long time in coming, but I would like to release Blood Red Dawn sometime in the first half of 2023. I’m also planning books three and four, and I might have an additional short story.
As many of you know, music often inspires my stories. While I already had the idea for Blood Red Dawn, the song “Some Velvet Morning” inspired the name of a character. I changed the spelling from Phaedra (as it is in the song) to Faydra, but she will be one of my historical characters.
Connor Hughes and Abbey Lane, minor characters in Cold Dark Night will take the lead in the upcoming novel. Somehow I think this song fits them. A character from House of Sorrow was named Lee Hazleton. I got that idea from the name of the singer/songwriter of “Some Velvet Morning.”
That wraps it up for now. In the meantime, I hope enjoy the video and the song.
Hey, Readers. Last Friday I promised an “I’m Retired” post. It’s a good thing I looked back because I almost postponed this until next week.
I also shared a photo of my new “office” which is really a writing nook. Years ago, I envisioned a separate room with a fancy desk. It would have large windows overlooking a green lawn with woods beyond where wildlife would often visit.
Instead, I have a small writing table that suits me just fine. There are windows where I can look out. My husband’s hobby (one of them) is feeding birds (I swear we may go broke buying feeders and bird seed). We have a variety, including titmice, chickadees, cardinals, nuthatches, indigo buntings, sparrows, and more. We even saw a painted bunting a few times.
Unfortunately, we have to deal with raccoons and squirrels. Don’t get me started on the pesky squirrels (pretty sure hubs has a squirrel feeder as well), but raccoons are opportunists. Using a live trap, he’s trapped and relocated four of them to a nearby wildlife preserve. John stopped doing that when a mama and her four babies were at one of our feeders. He couldn’t stand the thought of accidentally separating a family. So yes, I’m able to see wildlife from my windows.
But back to my retirement. The first couple of weeks has gone fast. I still feel like I’m on vacation. Last week was extremely busy. We ordered a new sofa, had it delivered, and the old one hauled away. For the first time in months, I went to the grocery store with John. He likes to shop (and cook) so most of the time, I’ll leave that up to him.
I shared a photo of my writing nook last week, so today I want to share a few things that are on the desk and wall.
The image on the left is, of course, my desk. It’s comfy and cozy, so that’s what matters. Last winter, when I decided to retire, I treated myself to a brand new Dell all-in-one desktop. Everything’s wireless and there’s only one cord for the electrical plug. We’ve come a long way from all those separate cords for printers, keyboards, speakers, and the mouse. And let’s not forget the phone line for dial-up internet. (Thank goodness those days are behind us.)
The second image was a gift from a coworker. She knows how much I love to read and of course my cats. She couldn’t have found anything that looked more like my Tucker.
The third image was a parting gift from my coworkers at the hospital. Several of them signed the mat and expressed their well wishes. The place I worked was once a World War II Army training base. At one time, German prisoners of war were kept there. The foreground is a photo of the Camp Fannin Veteran’s Memorial. That’s pretty special in itself because my father-in-law was discharged through Camp Fannin.
After the war, the U. S. Government deeded 600 acres and the old hospital building to the State of Texas. The hospital served as a tuberculosis sanitarium for years. In 1977, it became part of the University of Texas system.
A couple of other items on the desk are a small piece of pottery just to the right of the monitor. It was a gift from one of the doctors I used to work with. It sat by my work computer for years, so it’s only appropriate that it sits by my home computer now. The other is a coaster from another coworker (close-up image on the right). It’s raku pottery and came from Chama, New Mexico.
This brings me back to writing. My Legends of Maderia series is set in northern New Mexico. Although my plans to write and publish the second novel this year didn’t transpire, I plan to start writing it next month. The photo on my computer screen will be used in the book cover for Blood Red Dawn. The picture wasn’t taken in New Mexico but at Fort Griffin, Texas. However, it was just what I needed for the ruins of my fictional Fort McKittrick.
That’s it for now. More about writing including my short-story collection and Blood Red Dawn next week.
Hey, everyone. We’re already well into 2022, so this is a good time to list my writing goals for this year. I’ll also tell you a bit about the projects I’m working on this year.
A Book of Shorts (working title) is a collection of thirteen short stories. I’ve shared a couple of excerpts in past WIP Wednesday posts. To date, I have drafts of six stories completed. I’m currently writing the seventh story. The remaining ones are outlined and ready to write. (Yes, this panster is trying to be a better planner.)
The collection is mixed genre—some are ghost fiction, some are mystery and suspense, there is one military/family fiction story, and at least one romantic suspense. Two of the stories will have dual timelines.
Blood Red Dawn is the second book of the Legends of Madeira series. I’ve also completed a loose outline, and I plan to begin writing it as soon as I complete the short stories.
In Cold Dark Night, I introduced minor characters Connor Hughes and Abbey Lane. They’ll take center stage in book two. Like the first book, there will be dual timelines and a legend.
My goal is to publish both the short story collection and Blood Red Dawn this year.
I have a third project that’s been on my mind, but it’s still in the thinking/planning stage. Suffice to say, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but with plans to release two books this year, I don’t want to stretch myself too thin.
Last year, I joined Vocal. While I only submitted one story, I’d like to participate more this year. If you didn’t get a chance to read my submission, you can do so by clicking here. By the way, an expanded version of The Dare will be included in the short story collection.
As far as blogging, I’m continuing the Mystery Monday posts on the first Monday of each month. Those who have followed my blog for a while know that I did a series last year on the Native American names of the moons. To take place of that, I have a new series I’m calling Legends and Lore.
While somewhat similar to Mystery Monday, Legends and Lore will feature urban legends and folklore. I’ll post these on the third Monday of each month.
The first post is scheduled for next week, and the topic is a well-known legend from the city of Dallas in my home state of Texas.
I began sending a newsletter late last year and I plan to continue to write and send one every other month. To subscribe, just click the link on the sidebar.
Finally, a personal note. Big changes are coming for me. While I haven’t formally announced my plans (my immediate coworkers know), I’m retiring at the end of August. Needless to say, I’m getting excited. That means I’ll have more time to write.
Happy 2020 everyone. It’s a new year and a new decade. I intended to write a year-end post earlier in the week, but unfortunately, both my husband and I are recovering from the flu. Not an ideal way to begin a new year and both of us had the flu shot. So, this post is a combo of reflecting back and looking forward.
All in all, 2019 was a much better year for me than in 2018. I was glad to get that one behind me as it seemed there was one thing after another—car problems, changes at my job, and health issues for both my husband and me—to name a few. But even ending 2019 with illness, it was a good one.
Writing-wise, I had a productive year, although I only published one novel. Unclear Purposes, the third and final book of my Driscoll Lake Series, was published in late May.
I began keeping a word count of everything I wrote last year—novels, short stories, blog posts, and even book reviews. Although some of the things I wrote will likely not see the light of day, the word count made me realize what I can do. I finished the year with 228K words. That’s more than three novels!
Beginning in August, I began blogging regularly and learned I could blog every day. I started regular features including Mystery Monday, WIP Wednesdays, and Thursday Thoughts. Because of my commitment to NaNoWriMo, I took the month of November off from blogging and most social media outlets. Due to various reasons, December was also a sporadic month.
Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I made the goal of writing at least 50K words on a new project. I still have about 25K words to go, but that I’ve never completed two-thirds of a novel in a month before.
In addition to writing, I also read more in 2019. I set a Goodreads challenge of twenty books and finished out the year with thirty.
I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but I do try to set goals. This is what I hope to accomplish in 2020:
Publish at least one novel. Cold Dark Night is the first of my new Legends of Madeira series. My goal is to publish it in late spring.
Woman in Black is a short (45-minute read) that is a prequel to Cold Dark Night. Initially, I planned to include it with a group of short stories, but I’ve decided to keep it separate. Look for this one also in the spring.
I still plan to publish a book of short stories—most likely in the fall. The name of the collection is still undetermined.
Ideally, I would like to publish the second book of the Legends of Madeira series in late 2020. The tentative name is Blood Red Dawn.
My reading goal for this year is twenty-five books.
You’ll also find me at Story Empire. We will celebrate our fourth year anniversary in late August.
In regards to blogging, I plan to continue Mystery Mondays. Tuesdays are set aside for book reviews and/or guest posts. Next week I’ll pick up with my Friday links posts. I probably won’t do WIP Wednesdays every week, but will post this feature at least monthly.
I’ll also continue Thursday Thoughts, but as with Wednesdays, I probably won’t post each week. One lesson learned in 2019 is the importance of finding balance. Writing is a priority for me, but I still hold a full-time job. I have some ongoing health issues that I need to see to (nothing serious), and more importantly, is to make time for family and friends.
I’m a natural introvert, and it would be easy for me to hibernate in my house and hide behind the computer screen. That’s not good. Everyone needs a break from writing and social media. It’s also important not to forget to enjoy being around those you love and care for.
So, there you have it. My goals for 2020. What about you? Please share in the comments.
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