Tag Archives: effort

NY – kill me know

I just realized I missed posting yesterday. I spent the evening trying to wrap a WIP that’s coming due SOON. Because being left to finish my task is simply not part of the agenda around here, I spend the last of the evening fighting with the youngest about college. hooray.

I have covers to reveal yet, and things to share, but as I’m running late…here’s a little piece of the WIP. It’s unedited and I’m sorry ’bout that. Crossing my everythings that next week posting goes smoother.

love & light

From Black Guard
(the counterpoint story to Rogue)

I know it was fortunate that I was fighting alongside the king that moment. The Demspay war was well into its sixth or seventh century then.  Only Tonnemar could defend so many. He risked everything to become that day, exposing himself as a true Dragon before the entire host of opponents on the battlefield. Not only that, but in Dragon form, his mark was easily seen. He was not only a true Dragon, but he was the King. He might as well have painted a target on his back. But, even knowing the risks, he did not hesitate. As I and a handful of others watched on, he laid waste to scores of opponents, clearing a path for our escape. How many of us were saved from the killing blows that could easily have come by our compromised positions, I never stopped to count then. Today, I count one, me.

 

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NYNE 4th and 48

I suppose I could have counted to make sure there were actually 52 Mondays in 2018. Since we began on a Monday, there could well be 53, but who’s counting?

I am.

This year has mountains of possibility, and an equal share of obstacles. I’m still working on the realignment, but I’m keeping up…so far. I know what I’m doing is good for me, and in the interest of preventing a repeat, but man is it overwhelming too. I know the gym, and the cursed treadmill, are for the good. I do. I also know that I’m full of plans before I go, and exhausted afterward, making my progress on the things I NEED to work on writer-wise exceedingly frustrating. It’s a lot like running in Jell-O…messy and lacking yardage.  (No, I’m not going to elaborate on experience to justify the comparison. Just take my word for it) 🙂

I will persevere though. I will. Quit has never really been in my vocabulary. I’m not willing to give it page-space now. Essentially, the sum of the parts right now is I’m pushing, while trying not to push myself beyond the threshold of what I should, and spending way more time than I’m used to on the tasks that up to now have been thoughtless to get through. Now, I plan more, and I was a planner before…each day, each activity, leaving room to allow myself to fall short of where I want to be. It’s aggravating to know that a month or two ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice, I’d have pushed through to the end, no matter the hours or insanity…which is how I got where I landed. I’m learning…and soon enough, I will again be where I can push to the end, without pushing beyond myself.

I will.

This isn’t NYNE whiner edition though…I’m not going to do that. This was my update on the path to success, and the last one of its kind, I hope. Barring a major curve…I am putting my head down and charging. The Rhino in me is restless.

As promised, it’s still January, which means you get to see another cover. This week is the re-mastered cover for The Custos Book 3 – Book of Mysteries. I’m in mad love with the changes. The original cover, while striking, felt too clean and polished for the set. Like it needed to have that same shadow feel to fit in with the others…and now, it does. See for yourself.

Original.

 

Reworked.

The images are still the same, but the twilight feel to the cemetery and Ramsby (Cover model Eric Jacob) on the cover waiting and watching for anything is more to the vision of it I had when that part of the story was written, and the overall series of light vs. dark and what lies between. I am so pleased with the revision and the effect.

In other news, Amazon finally acquiesced and price matched. Book of Time – The Custos book 1 is now permafree & on all channels, the big four and probably a few others you haven’t heard of. Book of Revelations, book 4 in the series, ((and possibly Book of Prophesy, book 5 & the last,)) will be out this year. If you haven’t started the journey, why not? Now is a great time as the first novella that introduces you to the world of White Diamond & The Custos…is FREE. Take it for a spin on your favorite E-reader. (Then of course, tell me what you think. It’s a bumpy introduction, but the two worlds that are colliding kind of are too.)

Next week I’ll be sharing another cover or two…from an upcoming set, or my solo work from a set…who knows what it will be – there are a lot to choose from, so stay tuned or check back for the next reveal on the 29th.

Have a great week. Read something amazing. And, as always, tell your friends.

Sav

In case you missed the others being shown in their updated statuses, here are the three Custos series books together. 🙂

 

 

 

New Year – New Everything Part the Third

The year is flying. It’s only the 15th and this is already the 3rd part in the NYNE posts. GOSH!

I was going to post over the weekend and have it pop up this morning, but life happens. An electrical fire at the daughter’s apartment had us doing rewiring work, sure…the apartment people should…but since they are already upping her rent 1 month in, and we have the ability and pieces…why give them cause to raise it further? It didn’t take long…just details. A lot like writing work is…details: They make or break the job being done.

Then there was the ongoing writing work that I’m not happy with and trying to wrap since the first of several deadlines is approaching. Those pesky things will sneak up and bop you on the head if you don’t keep at it…so, I’m keeping at it. I did a re-read of the other part of one story, to make sure I have the nuances and details straight in my head. It’s been awhile since I wrote or reviewed the first part, so again, DETAILS…they matter.

Next up is a not so new thing. A year ago I got a promotion. I became the compliance chairman for my state, which has a lot of responsibilities for managing federal reporting for a number of locations. This position was supposed to rotate to someone new for this year, but as things go, that person is no longer available, and thus I am likely retaining the job. Which translates to some two-step shuffle to my signing schedule if I can’t finesse the details early. I’m hopeful, even as the realist in me knows what is probably going to happen. 😦

All this as I’m waiting to hear on another promotion that will translate to a cross-country move. Until there is more to know, it’s a waiting game…one my recent personal challenges are making difficult to remain calm for. An answer, either way, would be good in the short course instead of the long, but we all know how that works…or doesn’t when you’re waiting. Watched pot & alla that.

So…I have lots of things in transition, and more that haven’t entered the fray of my crazy yet. I have managed to finally get the added bits into something of a routine, though they effectively manage to throw my regularly scheduled writing work for a loop several times a week. I’m still morphing. I’ll get there…hopefully before I crash & burn.

Last…as promised….here’s the next Custos Series updated cover. Book of Change, book 2, got the logo like book one, and a minor tweak to make the cover image fit the scene from the book more precisely. I’m tickled. Can you spot it?

The Book of Mysteries updated cover will be revealed next week and I hope you love it as much as I do. It feels more like it belongs with the first two and I cannot wait to see what books 4 & 5 look like, now that we have the logo and a clear sense of where the series is headed before it wraps up.

Enjoy the week. I for one will be indoors mostly I think. The snow has been falling all day and the roads are a map of ice-covered thoroughfares. Not good for prolonged travel, so I’m not. If I don’t have to be out, I won’t be…but maybe that means I’ll get ahead, or at least back on track in my word-work. It could happen.

Til next week, read something good and tell a friend!

Sav

 

New Year – New Everything continues

2018 is going to be full of changes for me, as previously mentioned. Some of it I’m planning and some things will happen as they happen. 🙂

One new thing is that my titles are going wide. It’s a HUGE learning curve for me and I have no real idea what I’m doing, but I’m going to learn as I go and hopefully, like with other things, be better for the adventure. With this, one thing that needed to happen was to get The Custos series covers adjusted so it is easier to know which one comes next. For the next couple weeks, I’ll reveal each of them in turn.

This week is Book of Time, which isn’t much different, just has the series logo identifier added…but, by Mysteries I’m excited to share the new wash over with you. I feel like the cover finally goes with the others better. I hope you’ll agree.

Once we get these shared, I’ll start sharing the new stuff. I’m doing my last 2 boxsets this spring and can’t wait to share them with you. One, coming in March is going to be a fun PNR set called Magic Rising. That set has a single cover that I hope you’ll enjoy.

After that is Once Upon a Twisted Time…a collection of re-imagined fairy tales that you know, with twists you might not see coming. My contribution is based on The Twelve Dancing Princesses and is called Twelve. I’ll reveal my individual cover soon, but here’s the overall for you to gaze upon.

Next on the crazy train of ’18 for me is a regrowth of my street team, The Zapatistas. This group is who gets to see new covers first, helps with promotion of my work and shares back with me sites, events, and other places where my work would be a good fit, but hasn’t been found yet. Do you have a few minutes each week to share my work and get the 411 early?

If you’re interested in joining my Street Team and getting the sneak peeks at what’s coming before everyone else…you can do so HERE. We’d love to add you to the group. My VPA Jennifer runs the group and keeps everything tracking, so there’s no inventing the wheel going on…just sharing and sharing.

More New Year – New Everything to come in the weeks ahead. Thanks for sticking around for the journey. Til next time, read something great & share with your friends!

Sav

 

 

 

Stirring the water

More ages ago than I could accurately quantify, a speaker made the comparative reference to personal growth as ‘all in’ or likened to a stagnant pond. I think about their comments occasionally, using them as a metric for myself, based loosely on the ‘smell factor’ for the scum on the surface.  There is a great body of water I know for the mental imagery as well…if the spring warms faster than the aerators are activated…there is a lovely green, mossy blanket that covers the surface of the water. While pretty – it is clearly out of place.

The same can be true for notions about writer things. I’d much rather have my life pond look like this…colorful, peaceful, but also…scum free.

(Image source unknown. No copyright infringement intended.)

Why do I mention any of this? Well…I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I have a professional career outside of writing and publishing, one that I don’t always enjoy, but never fail to be proud of. The idea with that work is that we are always innovating, always growing, reaching out to serve the customer in new and different ways. For that position, I am also on a short list of folks for a chance to move up and be a deciding factor for a team, a location, a region, and my company. It’s daunting and exciting at the same time. There is no moss growing. There’s no time.

That said, I’ve often been fond of the notion that those who forget history, the past that brought us to this present, are condemned to repeat it. Consequently, I spend a fair amount of time learning, and sharing the past practices as we reach for new, better, or innovative ones to replace them for my non-author me. Interestingly enough, I’ve gotten an opportunity to do it for the writer side of the equation recently…and I’m submerged in the idea of how much publishing has changed.

Moreover, I’m shocked to see how some things have returned to the fore, often with the user none the wiser for the point. The dialogue and discourse of the industry has changed expansively, and divisively. I’m not saying anything new, I realize that…but in learning about where we have come from, to seeing what we’ve become…I understand better the confusion so many are experiencing. The sheer number of charlatan experiences is mind-boggling. And, I don’t believe that it’s on a course to turn away soon.

There’s another adage I know about filling many roles, but mastering none – I think that’s where publishing is right now. With the floodgates open to allow publication of works that have been neither edited, or reviewed, put into the mix by writers who don’t understand or know the history, the market has flooded. And, continues to run over. Unfortunately pooling in places that don’t get stirred.

There are pros and cons to this. Writers who the ‘gatekeepers’ withheld once upon a time until they were better positioned to be published, either by writing education, or storytelling instruction, etc…are out and in the market…and what early bard didn’t have a few bumps in their stories? At the same time…they are in the market without the benefit of firm guidance on those factors, nor the expanded circle that used to be the path. In my head I see a fish on land…

What I mean to point out is this…once upon a time, the work went through so many hands before getting to public consumption, the village worked together. Now, we have individuals who are author, editor, art designer, marketer, publisher, and media rep. How many hats can we wear well? I think it is far fewer than most believe. And, I would argue that running for the sake of running doesn’t eliminate pond scum, it only churns it up to smell as each task takes a turn on the bottom.

I further believe, that just because we are seeing someone do something, doesn’t make it responsible or an accurate practice. I think most of us NEED others in our circle of influence. I think it reveals a large scale problem with publishing right now…One we need to get ahead of and back down before it destroys us all. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the past. Innovation should be moving the bar farther…not bringing it down. We collectively need to be doing better. I think that includes reaching out to others, and clasping the hands of those who reach for us.

That said…we also need to know and understand when in the timeline it is time to regroup and right our own ship before we align with an armada that isn’t where we’re trying to go. At the end, balance is everything. It’s what keeps us moving forward without letting the moss grow. For me, after the recent learning curve, I’m more convinced than ever that I need to take some time to stir the water. The surface may be clear, but I’m not sure what’s lurking underneath. I can’t accept that.

Last – don’t forget about the Crossword puzzle blog hop…there have been hiccups, but I’m loving seeing so many new sites and what they have to offer. Hope you will too. Until next time, read something great, and tell your friends.

Sav

Jiminy Cricket

“A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you’re fast asleep…”

Sounds good, huh? It is too…until you get to this line,

“Whatever you wish for, you keep.”

and you realize that this does not apply to writers. I cannot tell you the sheer number of dreaming moments that quilted so beautifully together, weaving the story just so…that even with intentional waking to jot it down, have become completely lost to me.  I’ve resigned myself to the truth that Jiminy Cricket was not an author. So, I’ll just plan to wake up and get my cussing done with first…I’m certain I will’ve lost something through the sleeping part.

With authorship among the many hats that I wear, I find that lucid dreaming is either my staunch ally, or my dire nemesis. Usually the latter. 2017 was an incredible year, even as it was surreal and exhausting. I made a choice to take on a HUGE production schedule. ((I kept it by the way, much to even my surprise)) And…sadistic fool that I am, 2018 is looking to be equally manic, falling essentially even on the production side, but with additional appearances on the signing/convention side. Don’t worry, I’ve already ordered a new ‘hug-me’ jacket in lime green.

What’s a girl to do?

Well, it seems to me that I need to return to a practice that I’ve sort of scooted away from over the last couple years of crazy: guided meditation for goals. I have purpose when I meditate, usually relaxation, but I’ve not used it for my writing production for a long time now. I think that’s good and bad at the same time and it’s coming full circle. To get bigger, and busier, I need to slow down.

I’m thinking this is step one of my twelve step program to personal growth. Acknowledging the problem:

Since I can’t count on a cricket to get me to the goal…it’s probably up to me. *shrug* Somehow it always has been. 🙂

Til next time, read something awesome!
((OH…and don’t forget about the crossword puzzle blog hop in November…it’s going to be EPIC!!))

 

(don’t) Let it Show…

I’m not a big dog in this race…not even close. There are some that think I’m a big deal though, and well versed too…why? Because I learned one lesson in business young and have never forgotten it – Don’t flinch…and I don’t.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a full-blown tornado ripping though my soul at any given moment.

I did something a week or so ago, something I never thought I’d ever consider doing again…I pitched a literary agent to go back to traditional publishing. I LOVE being an Indie…don’t get me wrong, there’s just something about the idea of traditional backing, and marketing funds, and a few other perks that are tempting…though only recently. I’ll give it to you gospel…I was shaking in my shoes and nearly yerked my lunch before I got to the door. All in all, there are some great things on the horizon though because of that meeting…and I did manage to keep lunch in. So there’s that too. I just have to re-evaluate how I’m going to travel the road I’ve endeavored to take.

I’m fully confident of my abilities to write and be in the public eye at signings or conventions. I love the energy in a signing room…not gonna lie, it’s a hard habit to break and I have a fix every chance I get. That said, I also know my limitations. Public Relations and Marketing are easily my predominant Achilles heel, and the aspect of the business I struggle forward every inch to gain ground. I have to consider that I may need to go hybrid at the least to be able to have that front get the attention it deserves. It scares me more than a little, but I know I need help.

 

I did not make the decision to leave traditional publishing lightly. Any consideration to go back must be as carefully weighed. Whichever way this road goes, one thing will hold true…you won’t see my frenzy if I can help it. Composure will be me, if I have to stand on my own feet to accomplish it.

Actively baffled-

A long while back…or at least it seems like a long while back, it really wasn’t, I decided that in 2017 I was going to catch up. ’16 had damn near killed me, and my drive…I wanted a do-over.

The goal: Fulfill the docket from 16, and add 17 to the mix…meaning, EIGHT releases…EIGHT releases of MY OWN. Not counting an edit for someone else, or a publishing job for the house, that would all be extra…eight Savie V. releases.

Folks said I was crazy. Heck, I said I was crazy…I was right. I was, still am.

BUT…I did it. Gravedigger releases this coming Saturday. I confirmed it with the final upload around 12:30 this morning. I’ve been sussing over it for weeks now, not happy with little pieces here or there. I was seriously debating killing my ability to do a preorder for the next year…and push it back or cancel the preorder all together. I was that irritated with pieces. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it though.

I’m glad I didn’t. Gravedigger has shown me something that I needed to see, and while it was enlightening…it has also left me actively baffled about where I’m going next.

I’ve called myself a Contemporary Vagabond for a long while now, and I think that will hold true…but, I’m seeing a few things shift as I’ve been writing this year; my tendencies narrowing, my tastes…refining perhaps, and my choices…they don’t surprise me as much as they used to. I am enjoying writing certain genres and twists more than others, and I’m harder-pressed to turn down some things than others.

The biggest shock is that a piece I wrote to stand alone…I believe is going to launch a series. I fell in love with a character who, even though the story is done and in print, won’t stop talking to me. I’ll tell you more about them soon. right now…I’m here to tell you that release #7 of the year, Gravedigger comes out this Saturday. The preorder is live for $0.99 but that price will not last. The change date is on my calendar already….don’t wait.

Release #8 of mine for the year is Veil Break. It comes out in the Haunting Savannah set on October 10th. I am thrilled to share that story in a set with other awesome writers…great all 8 stories at once…just in time for Halloween!

‘Til next time…I’m taking a day to maybe sleep normal, then packing for Penned Con in St. Louis. The writing parts may be done, but the adventure always beckons.

see you soon.

 

Tangled webs

I want to take some time today to talk through a few sticky situations. Why? Because left untended, they become monsters and the tangled webs are too strong, even for ninjas then. I’m no ninja, so venting them openly is the best I can do.

I’ve been gunning HARD lately as many of you know. It’s meant long days, short nights, an ass-ton of coffee, and raw emotions. The combination can be lethal…but I’m holding the tiger by the tail…so far. I know that’s not how we maintain control, but at this point, any grasp is better than none at all. Right?

I’ve noticed that when I’m in this odd euphoria of sleep deprivation that things jump out at me that I might not otherwise notice. Rather than poke the bears, I thought I’d offer some friendly advice without naming names…with the best of intentions and a smile on my face while the caffeine has continued dominion.

Let’s start with the person on social media who posts every hour or so about the same thing…or an update on something that will obviously not be resolved for days…or what they are doing at any given moment. Let’s face it, over-sharers exist. Most of the time, I can ignore the behavior, or there is always the ‘unfollow’ to click if it gets to be too much, but let’s talk about some self-regulation on social media. I’d like to point out to those who feel compelled to share such finite changes in your day…there is a difference between quality and quantity in sharing too. If your audience can fathom when you are ‘on the throne,’ based on your lack of posting for those 4 minutes, you’re doing it wrong.

Next, let us take a lesson from Yoga about breathing…there are going to be things that come up that will fluster us to no end, and when that happens…let us stop, and take a good, deep, cleansing breath before we react. The cursing, screaming, spittle-dripping tirades that some have come to favor are so unattractive…live and virtual. Personally, I think one of the rapid killers of civilized society right now is the immediate gratification of responding before having to think. What ever happened to taking a few minutes, or overnight, to process information before spitting out the first, often worst, thoughts that come to mind? We are not showing ourselves very well.

Third up on my list of ‘OhMyGoddessWhatAreWeThinking?’ is the matter of If you ask for it…guess what? I recently suggested a new writer who wanted to publish, work with an editor I know. They write outside my comfort level of what I can edit and have ability to offer good feedback for…so I referred them to someone else. I learned that they got the edits back and have ‘poo-poo’d’ the comments as being too picky, and that it isn’t fitting with their writing style. Also, that a NYT Bestselling author most of us have heard of doesn’t do it that way. Here’s the thing…One, you are not said NYT Bestselling author where you can take license with the hard rules.  Two, grammar rules ARE picky. Three, YOU ASKED FOR AN EDITOR because you didn’t know what you were doing wrong or how to remedy it…guess what? They gave you comprehensive guidance on how to fix what wasn’t working. If you didn’t want to know…you shouldn’t have asked.

Four…and mercy let me slurp some coffee before I begin this one…IF you KNOW the answer, please don’t ask the question just to get attention. I’ve seen recently…seasoned authors, with a year or more under their belts, asking first book, newbie questions. Questions that I am seeing first book/newbie authors answering with ease and confidence. I am floored. That’s all I’ve got. Well…that’s not completely true, and it goes to a larger, pandemic problem that should be addressed…If you ask a question – BOTHER TO LEARN THE ANSWER. there are TONS in the Indie author community that are so helpful and will go out of their way to assist anyone…respect them enough to take in the answer and make it work, not just hear or read the words. You’ve taken their time, return the courtesy by at least trying to apply the response. If you require repeated exposure to the same information, get a notebook.

Four segued nicely into five which is ditch the excuses. LIFE HAPPENS…to all of us. We all get sick, have babies or fur babies who need us, want to take a day away from the keyboard to decompress, have parents, or play-dates, or appliance mishaps, or any other myriad things that happen…at the end…if you made a commitment – keep it. It’s that simple. your best is not the same as anyone else’s…and guess what? It’s all you’ve got to give. Don’t bungle it up with excuses about how you didn’t go as fast as someone else, or whatever…leave the excuses for the quitters. If you’re going for it – RUN!

Lastly, if you’ve just learned it, you are not qualified to teach it and CHARGE for the lesson. There is sharing and information swapping that happens all the time, but I’ve noticed a trend that makes me nervous…young authors who had a good book do well, who jump from that to the ‘teaching class about it for $50 an hour so you can do what they did.’ It reminds me a workshop I attended at RT several years ago about learning the Amazon algorithms to maximize exposure…which translated to sitting in a class waiting in pain to get to the subject, instead of how amazon was like the presenters dating life. Many of you know just how pricey RT is…so I paid for that. I can never recover those funds, not the hour and I learned NOTHING. Welll..I learned I’m not going to that presenters class again. Basically, there is a wide range of information out there and often it doesn’t have a price tag…so Buyer beware.

I’d like to say this is everything, now squarely expunged and I’m good to go…but we all know it isn’t. These are just some examples of the sticky things that are out there…the ones that are easy to get tripped up in and off-track. It’s too easy to lose our way, and get caught up in the crazy of others.

There used to be a meme on my desk that I haven’t rediscovered since moving the office that said: “Don’t let others pull you into their storm, pull them into your peace.” It’s good advice.

All of these things are detractors, and false roads that take us away from the golden path to productivity…so let us now make an agreement to lift each other up, and offer positive reinforcements as we each try to grow, and to put helpful things out in the paths of others, and not to ask for things that we don’t truly need as we try to be a bit better than we were yesterday.

It’s my goal…how about you?

I’m a wild one

It’s Labor Day. First and foremost let’s all take a moment to thank those who make our every day existences possible!

Thank you!

I’m in the midst of a new brand of crazy, and to top it off I’m wearing two different flavors of deodorant. Why? Because the one decided it was time to bust off and drop on the floor…which makes is persona-non-grata now. Open a new one, because only one pit protected doesn’t work for me, but it’s a different scent because I didn’t do the shopping. I’m a wild one I tell ya.

Things here are clicking right along…almost right on time too, except my UPS shipment with the copies of Book of Mysteries which comes out the 12th is tracking to arrive too late go take to the signing  I was hoping to sneak peek release it to the readers who came to see me in Destin…*shrugs* oh well…The copies will be here when I get back, and by release day, so it is what it is.

Gravedigger is creeping through edits between packing, and the rest of the world is hunky & dorie as the necessities condense down to fit in the car for four people. The watchers for the house & the baby will be here shortly to go over the last of the what’s what and spend some more time with the fur baby before they are here with her without us…socializing a cat is weird. She’s all over them one visit, and the next won’t come out from under the bed.  *shrugs*

Beyond that what can I tell you? The insane production schedule I took on for 2017 is drawing to an end and the ‘enjoying the spoils’ part is begun already. Please have a peek at the myriad titles for the year and watch for the new releases coming soon.

Here’s my 2017…How many have you read?

CASE Revelations -March 2017
NA Dystopian

Immortal Alchemy in Prowlers & Growlers -April 2017
PNR

Immortal Deflagration -April 2017
F/F PNR

Imposs-i-Bella -August 2017
Flip-Flopped Fairy Tale

Book of Mysteries -releasing September 12
UFS – The Custos book 3

Rogue in Cimmerian Shade -releasing September 12
PNR

Gravedigger -releasing September 30
Crime/thriller/suspense

Veil Break in Haunting Savannah -releasing October 10
PNR

Lastly, I’ll be in Destin Florida September 9th at Book Obsessed Babes Author Event, Penned Con in St. Louis September 28-30, and Glass City Author Event in Toledo October 28th…Where will I see you?? Shout out and let me know!

Sav