Tag Archives: effort

Not so new

I’m a habit girl. I know this is supposed to be my ‘New Year  – New Everything’ year, and in many ways, it is. But then there are the things that I’ll be fighting tooth & nail to remain status quo. I’m losing many of these, but dang it’s a battle.

This week, it’s learning a new phone. I want…desperately want, not to do this. I didn’t get a choice though. The cell that I’ve coddled and carried for the last 5 years decided that it wanted to play games – games like, did you have a call, or not? Did you send that text, or didn’t you? Did the call you missed leave a voice mail, or not? Maybe I’ll share it with you tomorrow…or not. It mocks me.

I know…in today’s climate, 5 years is an exceptional life for a cell phone device to function. And, for some things, it is still working just the way it always did. Unfortunately, for the communication things that I carry it for most, not so much. Begrudgingly, I made the trek and took the plunge into a newer model over the weekend. It’s painful folks. Sincerely, pain-filled.

I want the old. I want the familiarity of the feel of it against my hand. I want the ability to key in that mid-slumber muse without having to look at the screen and be blinded awake. I want the not so new sense of it being just as it has always been. That’s not going to happen.

No, I have to learn a new phone, new icons, new short-cuts, new pretty much everything. I’m not a technology person to begin with. This…is akin to being flayed alive for me. I’m still worn and bloodied from the first twenty-four hours. I have 15 days to decide if I like it…but to what end? I can’t get my old one to work, and there isn’t a newer model that is close enough to fool this old habit girl.

SO…if you see me cursing a bit more, or angling for sanity…it’s Savie-speak for I hate the NEW part of this particular adventure. Down the road, it will lessen I’m sure, but not yet. And, I don’t think anytime soon. How ironic that I’ve left a piece of my soul with a bit of technology. One that I don’t know that I ever truly mastered the potentials of.

For all the ‘New Year – New Everything’ I’ve got going on. Today I want the old. I’m going to grab a fresh tablet and see if some long-hand word work will compensate. Maybe…at least until the next text or something happens. Then, like earlier, I’ll wonder absently at just how much I really need that in my life…because if not – I can have the old one back…right? A girl can dream.

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New Year…New lesson

As you may recall, I’ve been a busy beaver lately. With 4 releases in roughly 8 weeks, it’s been a bit helter-skelter. BUT, without it, I would not have the latest “Oh” moment, thanks to a reader.

Baiting a Berserker came out last week…and woahmygosh Y’all blew me out with the numbers. So far up to #3 in category AND on the Hot New Releases charts… I’m stunned silly and speechless…but let me say THANKS!

Anyhoop…one of the readers, who noticed that Fynn is a bit long-winded, made a comment about paragraphing in dialogue, which forced me to do what I always do…hit the books and research it. I’m tickled for the lesson. I was right to break the monologue into paragraphs, but there is a better way to distinguish it in the larger body. SO THANK YOU! I learned something new because you read my work and made me look. I love that.

A writer is never more than the reaction of a reader who enjoys the story. You guys have sent me flying. I’ll never have enough words for that.

Read something great til we meet again.
MWAH!!
Sav

New Year – Monday feels the same

Monday…just the word is menacing and foreboding, eh? This Monday is month end, quarter end, surgery for my father, wrap the to-do list, and pack for another signing day…which may spill into Tuesday at this rate.

I cannot possibly tell you about the last two weeks…but they’ve been manic, to say the least. I was asked last year about doing a Kindle World. No way that was going to fit into the agenda, so I begged off to wait for 2018. Guess what? 2018 arrived while I wasn’t looking and WHAM…here we are. I was supposed to do the KW in the summer and fall, but some other projects shifted and I thought, “Why not?”
Yeah…I’m just that crazy.

SO, I spent the 30+ total hours of road time to the coast and back working on the verbal manuscript…and a couple of other books via plotting and outlining techniques. Some schedule shifting is probably imminent…but now, so is a Kindle World release for Paranormal Dating Agency. Might I introduce you to Baiting a Berserker…joining the lineup for the April 10th PDA KW release group? 🙂

Addian Hevir doesn’t want a mate, he needs one…to save his clan, and himself before the beast within consumes what’s left of his humanity. As a berserker, it’s only a matter of time before one, or both happen. Time is perilously short.

Fynn Barrow has had more than her share of Mr. Wrongs. A strong, independent Mer-woman, she’s not going to be content with just any man. She needs to be wanted by one who can meet her challenges in return. She’s not interested in playing the damsel in distress, or the dutiful housewife, to anyone.

Gerri confidently pairs them, but it only takes one meeting for them both to have doubts. Can two dominant personalities find balance to come together before others interfere and send one to their death, and the other back to square one? Or, will it take the imminent threat to drive them where they need to be?

There you have it, and it’s the test…because I’m still tapped for summer and fall KW releases, which honestly is a weird idea to me. I’m used to writing around the literary world wherever the muse goes…this sticking in one place will take some adjusting. Let me know how I do.

Mental Vacation

My story, Breathe Me to Life, is off my desk! “What are you going to do next, Joli?” you ask. I’d like to say Go to Disney or, better yet, Going to a warm beach…but alas, neither one of these scenarios is the case. I am, however, going to give myself a mental vacation.

One week to read, watch tv shows, movie marathons (LOTR is my favorite). Just one week to give my creative faculties a chance to recharge. I admire the heck out of everyone who can go from writing one story and dive into writing the next one right away. Oh, and those who can write multiple stories at the same time….geniuses! Because I normally write dual pov, I think I would truly end up with multiple personality disorder, if I tried to write more than one book at a time.

This week I’ve read Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs and Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop…oh, and I watched the Voice. This is not to say my next story isn’t percolating in my brain…it is. The next story will be Celine and Cóipeáil’s.

Ooooo….I created a new reader group on Facebook. It’s a group for readers who like my book and want sneak peeks at what’s to come. If you’d like to join…click this link. https://www.facebook.com/groups/227577044455746/

Until next week…Happy Reading!

 

~Jolanthe~

New Year – same retreat week

It’s here!

Writing retreat week has finally arrived and I’m almost ready to go.
Yeah, you’re not buying that either, are you?

No…I’m not packed fully. Nor am I ready to roll out. There are a landmass ton of things left to do before I take the road south. Some from the list, others brand new, not even inked to be crossed off yet.

So…here’s the skinny, quick and dirty style.

First off…I’m totally jacked to share that my website has been rebuilt.
THANK YOU DRUE!
It’s beautiful and still in my style and colors. I love that this project came together. I never fully embraced what my website was, or could be. It’s so far off my collective forte of activities…but, I realize now, a vital piece of the New Year – New Everything that I’m embracing.
Check it out!!  HERE

Next up, because who doesn’t go away on release week to a place that they have no idea what their connectivity will look like. As mentioned before, Magic Rising releases this Thursday for everyone who reads kindle. You can find Ciannait’s side of the Rogue tale  HERE

Don’t worry if you didn’t get a chance to read Rogue. It’s coming back out in the sister release Dark Rising May 1st.

Last up, while I’m away I’ll be polishing the latest addition to the schedule…a Paranormal Dating Agency Kindle World release that’s coming out April 10th. Watch for the cover reveal and blurb about…

Baiting a Berserker

…when I get back from Mississippi. I’m quite excited about this. I was asked to participate last year but couldn’t make it work into the already jam-packed agenda…so, though I had signed on for later this year…this one is coming early. Addian Hevir will have his hands full once Gerri Wilder gets involved.
Stay tuned!

Before I get back though, I’ll be signing on the 24th at the IP Casino in Biloxi Mississippi with the Crazy Cajuns. It’s the last year for this event…so let’s make it massive. Hope you can join us.

The next post is coming from the beach…or maybe just a more leveled out me.
HEY! It could happen. See you then.  ~Sav

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.

 

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