Tag Archives: schedule

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. 🙂

 

 

 

Look Who Wants Their Story Told

I think making plans is along the same lines of juggling. It’s all good and great until something or someone throws a monkey wrench at you and all the balls go flying every which way.

As you know, or maybe you don’t, I’ve been working of a fairytale re-telling story for a box set. Next on the agenda was a story that was sort of kind of plotted out with Savannah 3 years ago, but Celine, Daria’s cousin from the Veil series, has decided she needs and wants her story told. And truth be told, I’ve had some readers asking for her story too, which may be why Celine woke up and said, “Hey!” Anyway…I appeased her by starting chapter 1 of her yet to be titled book. Here’s a looksy of the totally unedited and subject to change first paragraph:

The morning’s light streamed through the panes of glass, cutting a swath between the twin curtains fluttering on the current of the wind of the open window. A new day had begun. Laying beneath the multi-colored comforter, Celine found she no longer looked forward to uncovering new discoveries, but the day, and her employees, didn’t care about her current melancholy. The minutes and hours would continue to tick forward, her staff had expectations that she would continue to garner business to ensure their healthy paychecks padded their pockets and checking accounts. She was needed, and yet…she wasn’t. © Jolanthe Aleksander 2018

Keeps your fingers crossed, that keeps her quiet for a little bit. I’ve got a fairytale to finish up.

Until next week…Happy Reading!

~Jolanthe~

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

 

 

 

Only up from here

WOW! 2018 came in with a gut punch.

Around here, temps are hovering in the double-digit sub-zeros with wind chills colder than that. I know this is not unique to my area, the entire country is BRISK today. Some more so than they are used to baring. Welcome to the new year.

I have to admit, I was ready for 2017 to be done. Being a very private person I’ll skip the specifics but, there were too many hurdles in the last months for my liking. The last few days frosted everything, and while I don’t want to go into copious detail…I’ve added treadmill stress test to my ‘been there, done that, bought the t-shirt’ list. Once was enough. I’m not going back, which means change must happen.

2018 was scheduled to be another year of my normal crazy…that has to shift a bit. I’m working to put pieces in play to keep the year mostly on track with the new additions to the agenda that were not by choice. Only time will reveal if I can manage it. I can’t say yet if the writing schedule will have to give, the publishing one, or if things can titrate out to work…I just don’t know. I guess this is the fair warning shot. We’ll learn together.

So, as we all embark on this new year…I hope you have great goals and plans to make it the best one yet. I myself believe after the last few weeks and months that there is no where else to go for me but up. Join me, won’t you?

I’ll keep you posted on new projects and news as it’s available. Until then, stay warm, read something great…and share with friends and family!

sav

Shadows

The holidays are upon us. It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercialism…I just want to take a moment to remember the things that don’t have price tags. The things that now, more and more,  seem to be lost to the shadows.

When I was a little girl…the magic and wonder of watching the house transformed was something I never got used to. One night we would go to bed like the night before, and the next day we’d awaken to a different world. A tree that seemed like it would blow through the ceiling stood tall & proud…flocked, always flocked to look like it had snowed inside, with hundreds of little twinkle lights on it that beckoned. Boxes were buried beneath it, wrapped in colorful paper…but no names…just packages, like great mysteries waiting to be revealed. There was no squabbling over who had more, or whose was bigger…we just knew that somewhere in there was one for each of us. My parents avoided a lot of the sibling chaos this way, and left us to image what could be in each of the packages, regardless of if they were for us or not.

That day, the day of the unveiling, the fireplace was lit for the first time of the season too. Almost before we hit the stairway landing, we could hear it crackle and knew it was “the day.” Funny thing…now that I’m older, I can look back and see that it was actually the same day every year. The perfect memory of it though, is that we didn’t expect it and got surprised every time. I did anyway.

We’d watch as through the days leading up to the holiday different packages would disappear from the stack…with mom or dad to work, or to schools in our pack, or any other number of places…and that too was magical because we got to be an elf for the day and deliver a gift. It was about the giving…not the getting. The simple joy of giving because we could.

I know my mom would say it’s about the reason for the season…and that’s her faith. I don’t diminish it. I only mention all of this to note that there is something that has gone missing from the holidays. The magic of the season, the spirit of generosity for the simple sake of giving…is disappearing, or maybe even gone. It makes me sad. The shadows have claimed a piece that is desperately difficult to reclaim.

In my home, we have packages wrapped without tags…just as my parents did, but more and more…I’d just as soon not have them at all. A grand holiday for me is one where my family is all together and there doesn’t need to be more than that. The world has picked up the pace of crazy to the point that simple things like sitting down to dinner together during the week is impossible. And, having a family vacation is an exercise in planning so far in advance that it seems unreachable. I want to go back and reclaim the simple…pajamas and a book by the fireplace, or matched sweaters and a meal so grand that your belly aches.

For holiday this year I’ve asked for just one thing…Family game night. I want to sit on the floor with finger foods, play games, and laugh my ass off with my family. No phones. No television, No distractions…just us, as we are, with no strings attached wrapped in colorful paper.

I want to see my husband win Pretty, Pretty Princess for the eleventy-billionth time because we girls conspired to make him have to wear the crown and jewels. I want to see the Perfection board blow chunks everywhere because the player was too busy being tickled to get the pieces all in before the time ran out. I want to shut the lights off, and watch the faces around the room as the Cherries Jubilee is lit on fire…because hot brandied cherries over ice cream is AMAZING on a cold night. Most of all…I want to shut off the world for just one night and forget that there are bills to pay, hours to work, and chores to accomplish. I want to leave the dishes in the sink and watch cheesy movies until we fall asleep in a pile.

I want the simple things back…just for one night.

I hope we can accomplish it. Everything else will still be there the next day. Whatever your holiday…this is my wish for you too. Simple joy with no strings. There’s still time…all the holidays are days and weeks away yet. Seek out the shadows and shine a bright light into the darkness. You never know what you’ll find.

Until then…there’s work to be done. If you were playing along with my Crossword Puzzle BlogHop…you have until MIDNIGHT the 5th to get your card in for the drawing. If you’re part of the review roundup going on…thank you for choosing Veil Break or Gravedigger…I hope you enjoyed your selection, and I thank you for the reviews. If you are local to me…we’re moving my daughter out – she’s leaving the nest for her own abode…help is appreciated. The list is longer…but you get the gist.

Thank you for being here.
Thank you for you.

Sav.

 

Leftovers make me happy

November has been manic. Those following along on my Thanksgiving Crossword Bloghop can surely attest as posts have gone into the black hole of cyberspace, and others have come up with missing pieces. No worries…every missing post has been caught up on my personal blog so the puzzlers can finish…but it’s been a busy time making sure everything gets where it needs going. I love doing a big hop and having a great prize…but this might be the last time for the month-long hop with the puzzle, I’m sad to say.

In other news, I got to enjoy a great meal with my immediate family and laugh for a couple of hours on Friday night…a treasure I don’t take lightly or for granted. It is so rare that the 4 of us get to sit down together, someone is always running…so, a meal together is a gift beyond measure. I will have leftovers for a week easily, because I don’t know how to do a family holiday meal small-scale, but I’m pretty sure we won’t hear a complaint. There were enough dishes to give variety for several days, even as leftovers.

As we wrangle our way toward the end of the year, I am blown away by the odd weather pattern that persists too. This year has been so off-kilter that I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. We went from low twenties and snow flurries earlier in the month to 50+ degrees the day after Thanksgiving and the weekend as well. The forecast shows more of the same to come. Weird – just weird. The predictability of the seasons here in the northern Midwest is out the window for 2017. I’m hoping to see some regularity return soon. I like the predictability…but more than that…I want a color filled Autumn again next year. I feel like I got jipped.

November was also, “Mom, I need…” month as my girls made life-change choices. One is moving out, and the other is trying to line up the ducks to return to school, starting college. I honestly never know if the sound of the door is someone coming or going. I can’t decide how I feel about it either.

December is stacking up to be zoo-ish as well. I’ve got a huge stack of ‘to-do’ on the desk, not counting commitments to others. I’ve got 3 editing projects to finish and a blender full of stories that are in pieces. I tried to do Nano, but honestly, the hop had me divided for focus and the story I thought I’d work on, like so many others, is a paper wasteland on my office floor, and every other available surface. I’m also preparing for the next step in my jaw reconstruction. There are 3 or 4 pieces left now, which seems surreal, but they will be wrapping up in rapid fashion as the next surgery happens in December…and great Goddess willing…the whole thing will conclude by the end of January, nearly 2 years after it started.

All in all, things have been crazy, and will continue on that trajectory for the foreseeable future. I’m up to the challenge, just don’t ask me what day it is. It makes the down time sweeter, and personally…leftovers that much tastier as the memory of a family night filled with laughter wafts up with the smells from the plate. Maybe that’s the true magic of leftovers…they are more than reheated sustenance for the system…they are food for the soul.

Holiday blessings to all as we are inundated by the season. Until next time, read something amazing and share with those you love.

Sav.

 

It only grows

It used to be that every other year, we did Thanksgiving with my parents, and the opposite with my in-laws. With my MIL’s passing last year, it hasn’t really had time to shift, but more it became if my sister and her brood would be present or not as they were still on the alternating year plan. Interestingly, this year my parents are taking the holiday to my sister since they cannot get away with school things. As my girls are older, we don’t have that hiccup…only multiple work schedules to navigate.

Which means…it’s just my household doing the holiday together…which is nice on many levels. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I love being with family and laughing…but there’s a perk to keeping the gathering small too. I have no idea how many years are left before there will be plus one’s at the table and it won’t just be us anymore. I can totally enjoy turkey day in my jammies this time instead of having to dress for the travel & company factor this round. We can have our favorites at the table and all the leftovers we can handle. There is a win-win to this scenario.

The challenge is everyone keeps adding to the menu and I think I’m going to need a bigger table soon if we hope to sit at one to eat. I am also wondering if I should make the bird. Our family is not opposed to turkey…I’m happy to make it…but good gracious the sides are getting to be so abundant, that I’m not sure anyone is going to eat turkey anyway. And, just when I think I have the list complete, and most of the ingredients, except the fresh ones, bought and set aside, someone adds another dish to the list. I’m going to be waddling for a week or more…and that’s before seasonal baking.

At this rate also, I’m not sure what NANO WRIMO holds for me. I had thought to use my holiday week to crack out the backlog, but at this rate, I’ll be in the kitchen…likely wearing ingredients and laughing like a maniac. 🙂 see…there was a writer’s reason to mention the holiday odd going on…food & family vs. words? Family wins.

My writing itinerary is getting complicated for 2018. Then again, I’m not sure I’d recognize it any other way. 🙂 manic is me.

What’s your favorite holiday dish? What’s the one you could live without? Enquiring minds want to know…and, s’long as I’m already cooking enough for a battalion, what else can I add to the fun?

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