Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News

Weekend Warrior: New Year, New You?

Changes

Pastel praying hands with mandala design behind and on them.

All things in life must change. Some are good, some are bad, some just have to happen because things get old and moldy. Every year folks start with a list of changes they are going to make. They raise up their scratch paper full of resolutions and declare “This will be my year!”… and then that enthusiasm generally starts to fade within the first week or two of the new year. I’m as guilty as the next person. Heck, we’re only twelve days in and my resolve is already faltering back to my old, lazy ways.

Bottom line, change is hard. However, it is also necessary.

As I not only share my words but also my life, I have to say that changing to be a better me is not as easy as it might seem on paper. On paper I have a list: Eat better, Be more active, Read more (yeah, I know, I’m a writer that should be a non-issue; mom of 4, people), FINISH projects, De-clutter all of the things. Do you know how many I’ve done? None of them. None. I have no shame either. Life is hard and not always as accommodating to change as I’d like. Oh well.

Baby Steps

So, what do we do about it? Take little, tiny baby steps.

First up on that slab is the ‘eat better’ – well, I went and bought us some nice veggie and fruit selections this week instead of all the carbs we naturally have in our pantry because kids. My stomach appreciates the rabbit food, let me tell you.

So, what about the rest? I said baby steps! Don’t rush me!! I’ll work on the others little by little but, I am finding, that taking decent control of one of my things first helps me to take control of thing 2. This goes for finishing projects on time too. I am, after all, a writer and publisher(in case everyone missed that last bit, yes, I co-own my own publishing company). Deadlines matter and getting things done is grossly important.

Project 1 – Ashes to Embers. It is in revision.

Project 2 – Cold as Death: A Zombie Anthology. It is now in the formatting phase and cover-art is my task. That is also, at 80% completion. Go me!

Project 3 – Formatting for a friend’s personal work. It is around 40% done

And that is where we STOP for now. Why? Baby steps. One thing at a time. When Project 2 falls away, I can then move on to Project 4, and then repeat the same cycle when Project 1 falls away, and Project 3, until all of my Projects are done. Yes, I work on multiple projects at a time; the brain will not always cooperate with what I want so I have to move on to what it will cooperate with or else fall victim to staring uselessly into the void.

The Truth

Resolutions are not about the end result; not really. They are about re-training yourself to think differently, to do things differently so that those goals can be attained. If you don’t retrain your brain (rhyming, it’s my jam) then you’re doomed to fall right back into the same pit of despair that you were in the year before when you made the same resolutions. I’m in several groups that offer support, encouragement, even ideas. Keep writing, keep reading, try this recipe, vacuuming does count as activity, you don’t need to finish everything on your list…

BUT – and it’s a pretty big ‘but’ – if I cannot change how I think, all the encouragement and support or ideas in the world will not change a single thing.

It is time to retrain, rethink, redo me.

New Look

No, I’m not changing how I look. Not really. I think I’ve finally decided to stop dying my hair mostly because it’s just too much dang effort but that’s about the extent of what I will change about how I look. I’m still short, still live in tees and yoga pants despite best efforts from Stitch Fix to make me look more like a grown-up, and I still have a wild mop of curls that refuse to be tamed. Welcome to my life.

But I can change what Taming Chaos looks like. It’s time for a refresh as I launch into more writing, take firm hold of my publishing company, learn new things, and dip my toes into new genres under a new pen name. I will be introducing her a little later once I get the site changed up and pretty but, suffice to say, there will be some new things coming for 2019 so that we can get the new decade rolling with a bang. Yeah, I get it, we just started the final year of this decade but do you know how long it takes me to change things on a website?? I’m a writer, which means I’m poor, and have the most amazing drag and drop skills you’ve ever seen! So, yeah, it’ll take me a while. Don’t freak out if things start to vanish or change or migrate. I’m here, promise.

Retrain, rethink, redo.

Into the weekend we go…

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News

End of Year Reflection

Clock at midnight with confetti

   I understand that we still have a couple weeks until the official end of 2018 but  I will notoriously get busy, the cHaOs that rules my life will intervene, and nothing will get posted. So, I reflect upon 2018 now while I have the synapses to actually do so. This will not be the long diatribes of how awful the year has been, how eager I am to see the turning of the clock and be rid of 2018 for good.

   No, actually, most of 2018 has been rather phenomenal. Business is booming, I acquired one of the best little part time jobs a SAHM-Writer could ask for, and I even volunteer at the school regularly. I went to Disney World and Vegas, and I have to make plans to go to Hawaii (no, really, it is part of our time share package), and I have two new books in the works for the early part of next year. My health is actually improving for once despite the Great Fibro Flare of 2018 that struck me recently and sapped all of my will to remain upright for longer than a couple hours at a time. The flare is passing (finally) and the rest of my health issues are now managed nicely. My children are in great schools, I got a new car this year, a new house – life is good.

   The pessimists of the world will now take this opportunity to poop on my rainbows with the inevitable “Ok, now where’s the downer? Cuz if it hasn’t happened, it’s coming!”

   Well, what if it isn’t? That dear readers, is what I reflected upon today while I sat in complete fascination of the ‘dipping’ process being done on my torn up fingernails (a story for another time). While I do believe in balance, karma does not always work in immediates. I have put in my time in the realm of negatives. I have struggled and suffered, worried, been ill, been afraid, been at a point where rock bottom thought it would be fun to add a few spikes to drive that hateful point home. This, right now, what I am experiencing is my balance. This is my positive for all the negative I have been pulled through.

   Reflect on that for a minute, my friends. We are writers, creative thinkers, weavers of the spoken word, artists of the imagination – – and the gods above and below know that we suffer for our passion. Accept your positive. Don’t second guess it, embrace it. If you are riding a high, enjoy it – don’t look for the low that you ‘know’ is lurking around the corner because it may not be. And if you are in a low, please keep going! It will get better and you will have your positive and it will be glorious.

   For now, I say, thank you, 2018. You have been decently good to me. I look forward to what 2019 has. It will be full and busy and covered in all of the cHaOs that I love so much but it will be worth it.

   We will have new books, new pen names (oooh, fun, right!), new adventures, and probably a new blanket to hide in because blankets are always needed. 

   Here’s to 2019 – may it be truly fantastic!

Posted in Chelle

The Month of Insanity!

Official NaNoWriMo 2018 poster. NaNoWriMo is... Everything.Let the insanity begin!! The flurry of action that occurs every year in November has returned. We collect our candies, our snacks, drinks, comfy sitting spots, and tools of creation. We mentally prepare for the onslaught of words, words, words!

I am, of course, talking about NaNoWriMo. It’s here. In but mere hours we, the insane participants of this glorious month, will put fingers to keys or pens to paper in a desperate race to the proverbial finish line. Words will fly from our minds to the keys (we hope). Family members will be ignored, productivity in all other aspects of our lives will fall by the wayside. But, why?

BECAUSE!!

Because without this month of complete and total neurotic insanity we might never get those words on the page. Our ideas remain bound within the curves and bends of our pink wrinkles, waiting for the clock to strike 12 on November 1.

NaNoDeclarationI declared my intent to write last week. As I did so, I realized that I actually have a lot to write. Not only do I have this year’s NaNo project to work on, but I also have another project to finish up, plus edits to Ashes and a final revisit to Zombie Babies. This is in addition to my new albeit incredibly (blessedly) part time job, the work I do as marketing director for both my own business and someone else’s, publishing duties, events, holiday markets, and #momlife.

I know you all know how nuts I am. You know that I tend to do All of the Things despite not actually having any time for it. Example: I have a poor doll still in pieces because he was due for a good soak and a new round of tattoos. He’s still in pieces. He’s very angry with me. But such is my life. I live in cHaOs, I wallow in the insanity that it brings, and I pray to come out mostly intact at the end of the month.

Plus, I can’t let my NaNo streak come to an end. Thirteen years, I’ve been doing this. Should mean I have thirteen books to show for it, but I don’t cuz my brain hates me and the revisions that come after have been atrocious. But, it’s a step in the right direction.

Who else is doing NaNoWriMo this year? Who else walks this path of mind-numbing creativity?

Let the words fly! Bring it on, November.

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News

An Explosion of Chaos (aka Moving)

moving1

No, I have not fallen off the face of the Earth. I have, in fact, fallen into a vortex of chaos unlike anyone has ever seen. The struggle is real, folks. The battle rages on and on – a battle, I fear, that I am losing.

For those not in the immediate circle of ‘All Things Schad’, we have moved to a new house. This, of course, caused an excessively long hiatus on All Things Wordy & Nerdy owing to the fact that I had to pack said house, cram my entire existence and that of five other humans into small boxes, bags, and containers. Then I had to unpack said existence and rearange it into its new living arrangements. That is the battle that continues, the endless war of cardboard and packing paper; of purging the things that no longer fit nicely in our new abode; the endless sea of laundry that mystically accumulated in the few weeks while we stuffed everything else into and out of boxes (how does that even happen, btw?). Even now, as I write this, I delegate to the youngest of my spawn the ritualistic movements of unpacking a box (though how he managed to unpack it in my loft and not in his bedroom, I have no idea…).

Logistically, a great chunk of the unpacking has been completed. Rooms are put together, we have a functional kitchen and dining spot, and I have found a place in which to work on All Things Wordy & Nerdy while I hunt down all the pieces to my desktop (which is still not set up due to the lack of said missing pieces).

Inside my often-times idiotic brain, however, there is a screeching, panicking creature that demands that all of the things be completed right now. I have to bitch slap her from time to time so I don’t push myself too hard. It’s a constant struggle.

I try to view the unopened boxes or tottering piles not as ‘mess’ but as ‘transition’. It isn’t working.

So, instead of looking at them at all, I have now forced myself to take breaks into the realm of All Things Wordy & Nerdy, focusing specifically on the multitude of projects piling up inside of that world with little to no progress since all of this ‘moving’ nonsense started.

Zombie Babies (working title) for Corrugated Sky’s anthology continues to plague me (no pun intended). It shambles along at sub-sloth speeds but at least it’s shambling. Small favors. Especially since that’s due sooner rather than later.

Hellfire 2 is actually coming along a lot better than it was earlier in the summer when I tried to put sequel thoughts to paper/screen. I’m hoping to have draft 1 done by October. We have to be realistic here, people, I’m working on a lot right now.

Edits to Ashes have taken a nose-dive into stagnation because the diva that is my bard has been put in a box and he is angry about it (no, really, the doll based on his character was boxed for the move and it enraged the mental muse in my mind. Yes, I’m weird, but y’all wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t). Freak. Way to throw a tantrum, Reven.

Clockwork Gods has also taken a long hiatus because, reasons. I don’t have any good reasons, other than the fact that not a single one of those little bastards cares to play nice with me right now. I, seriously, have the most melodramatic muses in all of written existence.

On the publication side, there are two projects underway that take up all of my Adobe skills for formatting and cover art. Both will be done by the end of September (which means I really need to find all of my desktop pieces!! Formatting on a laptop kinda sucks). For now, I must maintain a modicum of secrecy on both projects but, rest assured, they will be mentioned later on down the line when things are progressing a little better than ‘where the hell are all my computer wires’, which is their current status. *sigh*

And, while my mind continues to sprint along at three-bajillion miles per minute with an equal amount of tabs open and a dancing fucking cat cuz, why not, the rest of me is like ‘WOMAN SIT THE FUCK DOWN!!’. Yes, body, I hear you. We are sitting, see?

It is unhappy with me. Moving is incredibly physically intensive even if I have been making a concerted effort to not lift too many boxes. Things still need to be stored, and shuffled, sorted, washed, put away, hung, cleaned (omg, don’t get me started on the incredible lack of cleanliness from my boys; not even a week… UGH!!), etc., etc. I am definitely putting my new meds to the test. While I have not completely shut down, I’ve come fairly close and I am gimping along at, roughly, beached whale speeds – which is to say I sort of waddle back and forth a little and hope for some forward momentum in those weak movements. It’s kinda funny (sad and pathetic, but funny). And I have a cough that won’t quit, cuz I needed that one little extra thing to make life that much more difficult.

Where is my mimosa and spa day? Let’s get that scheduled soon, life; k, thx. I hear my washer and dryer singing me the songs of its people now; assholes. For real, they sing. It’s creepy. Laundry should not be that happy about itself. Just sayin’.

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News

Sin City, Baby!!

Welcome_to_Las_Vegas-H

This is where I am, where I have been since Saturday, and it is FABULOUS! Yes, even broke-ass writers need a vacation. The brain needs a dumping ground from time to time or fresh inspiration. What better place to get it than Las Vegas??

If you’re bored, go pick up a copy of one of my published works. They’re all listed here with fun links to Amazon where they can be purchased. Please and thanks – don’t forget to leave those reviews. Stars are your friend.

I’ll be back next week to annoy you with more of the cHaOs that is my life. Toodles, poodles.

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News, Steampunk

Puffs of Smoke

Cloud

Every writer has ideas that look like this. Incorporeal blobs of steam that sorta just ooze out our ears from time to time and drift towards the keys in a sad attempt to become something more coherent.

No? Just me? Yeah, probably just me.

Last week, I spoke of the inspiration behind my story for Corrugated Sky’s Tales of the Black DogThis week will be similar but with a (sadly for you, I’m sure) much longer explanation for my inspiration with a focus on my absolute fav subject: STEAMPUNK. No, really, I dig it. If I could afford to live and breathe Steampunk, my whole wardrobe, house, and tech, would all be done up in the steam fashion. In fact, I have plans to turn my wheelchair (yes, I have one) and cane (yep, got that too) into a steamy version of awesomeness before all my faculties leave me. Baby steps, y’all.

Anyway, I digress. So, the inspiration for Heart of the Matter has a rather long and involved history that began with the living campaign hosted by Wizards of the Coast, Living Greyhawk. For the non-geeks out there, think of it like a total global D&D game. It was amazeballs, truly. My bestie and I came up with an idea for a set of characters based on these guys:

Sam_and_dean

But, with a little more:

giphy

You can imagine how that went. Instead of the brothers being 5 years apart like Sam and Dean, we made them twins (cuz that’s my number one obsession after Eeyore) and threw them in the world of Greyhawk. They were spectacular and awesome and polar opposites and then the game ended and we all had the sad. *tear*

Then, my ridiculously endless imagination thought ‘what would our boys look like if we threw them into the 20th century?’. With my ample amount of time to dedicate to such random musings, I proceeded to write up a scenario in which this was their reality. What I came up with was that Geiger (my bestie’s boy) was a mechanic and Tristan (my boy) was an out of work musician cuz that’s the kind of loser he is. I changed their last name to Fallon (from ap’Fallon and we’re not even going to try to explain that one here) and decided they’d be Boston-Irish as a result. Cool, right?

Then that thing that I don’t actually have a lot of crept up on me and the story fell by the wayside. The twins then got a third revival in a piece that I’m still toying with about psychically linked twins – one of which is a murderer and the other sees it. Weird, huh? But I did not finish that particular round of CampNaNoWriMo and, thus, their story remained unfinished yet again (though there is now potential for a revival on that with some obvious need for changes now).

Fast forward to last year when the call for submissions went out for a steampunk anthology. My brain instantly went ‘WE CAN DO THAT!!’. It’s a story, how long can that possibly take? Longer than you might think is the correct answer. I struggled and poked and tried to make another prefabricated steampunk character cooperate with a shorter piece and he was not having it. Like, not. at. all. (Thanks a lot, Oliver :P). Enter my bestie who always has my back and massages my brain wrinkles from afar with the suggestion that I use our boys in something quick, steamy, magicy, and totally awesome.

DONE! Thus, these guys happened:

Fallon Twins

Geiger and Tristan Fallon, both members of the Union Militia. One tinkers with automatons (G) and one fights with alchemical magic (T) during World War III. Yes, III. This one went further into the future, threw in the steam, added a shake of magic cuz that works better than actual physics in my brain and POOF! Heart of the Matter was born.

You can read it in Smoke and Steamleave a totally awesome review, and be blessed by the glory that is the Fallon twins. You’re welcome.

😉

 

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News

Done! Sort of…

Finally! Part one of this monstrous beast I’ve been working on for literally TWENTY YEARS is finished! FINISHED!!! Sort of…

Draft One is finished, thanks greatly to the push from this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Hooray; bells are ringing; bust out the bubbly. No, don’t do that cuz you know what’s coming. Is it really done? No, of course not. I said Draft One. That means there will be a Draft Two, and probably even a Draft Three somewhere in there before it is ready to go to publication.

Alright, no big, so BICFOK (Butt in Chair, Fingers on Keys) right? Well…

Yes, and at the same time a very resounding ‘NO’. While the butt is in the chair, the focus is not entirely on Ashes (the recently completed Beast of a Book). There are, so far, two planned sequels to Hellfire (available here) that are also in their fledgling drafts. There are works to edit for this year’s upcoming Zombie Anthology through Corrugated Sky. There are other works to format, cover art commissions to do, book signings to plan, conventions and fairs to attend (cuz that is how we, the self and indie published sell books, ladies and gentleman), and then a giant f*ing carrot that a friend of mine dangled in front of my nose in the way of TOR’s open call for novella submissions. WHAT?!

Cuz I need another project to add to my plate. But… but… it’s TOR! Just the thought of submiting to a publishing house that famous and that large makes me a little giddy on the inside (which, of course, means I will be writing the novella). It’s just a novella, right? I can do that in my … oh… oh yeah, I don’t get much sleep. Hrm…

No, perhaps this was not as well thought-out as I originally believed. Yes, I still have an insane amount of adulting that I need to do outside of this relatively new writing career that is, surprisingly, off to a much better start than I expected (which reminds me – GO REVIEW, PEOPLE WHO HAVE BOUGHT MY BOOK!). No, I still can’t pay any of my – – wait, that’s a lie, I can pay one bill with the current revenue I’ve racked up. WOO!!! Success!!!

Now, I need to keep that going and still make sure my house isn’t a total disaster and feed these little mini-me’s that insist on eating me out of house and home; it’s, like, their thing.

I’m sure, by now, I sound like a broken record. ‘All your posts are about the same thing, Chelle, get some new material!’. I’m a mom, people. I am a mother of four who is trying to keep it together long enough to make something out of this writing career or die trying. This is my life. This is my total chaotic existence. Words, kids, house; repeat.

Which reminds me – 20 year High School reunion eVites have gone out. Twenty. Years. If someone had said to me that this is where I’d be in twenty years, I probably would have slapped them for being insulting. Kids? Me??? Full time writer!? Ha! They don’t make any money! I was going places. I don’t know what those places were anymore, but I was certain that I was going places. Now look. I’m going to the laundry room, that’s where I’m going! Be jelly.

Posted in Chelle

Inspirations: Black Dog Asylum

20180520_103529

Truly terrifying, isn’t he?

Fierce.

Fluffy. Wait, fluffy?

Not, really what one thinks of when trying to find inspiration for a story relating to a deadly black dog, but this is what I got. This mop-top, tiny old man of dog that likes to stare at me, just like this, while I work.

In truth, it was a combination of two images that brought on the inspiration for my submission to the anthology Tales of the Black Dog.

The image of the left of this beautiful cane corso just struck my heart. The dog is stunning, regal, and, I’d imagine when provoked, incredibly terrifying to look at. The other image just seemed a little eerie to me and then the thought struck: what if the black dogs in my legend were set to guard the unwanted souls locked away in an asylum?

That was all it took. The idea spawned a first draft that was less than thrilling, comments from beta readers that helped me find better focus for a second draft that worked beautifully with both the legend and the message I was trying to convey. Black Dog Asylum is now one of four short stories featured in Corrugated Sky’s anthology Tales of the Black Dog and my second published work of fiction (the first was a short piece in the October 2009 edition of Bards and Sages Quarterly).

Everyone has to start somewhere, right? This is my ‘somewhere’ – a tale of terror sure to make your hackles rise.

Posted in Chelle

The Muted Voices of Tabletop RPGs

Role Playing Game K20 DiceRavenCon 2018 has come and gone. It is a convention I quite enjoy for a miriad of reasons, not the least of which is getting to see friends that I rarely see anymore. The con offers the opportunity to mingle with like-minded people (GEEKS FO’ LIFE!!) and expand my suddenly growing professional network of fellow artists and authors. As I sat with my crew of geeks and artists, gamers, writers, and fellow cosplayers, we began to reminisce about how things all began. See, there’s been a shift; a change on the winds of convention camaraderie that was hard to pinpoint at first. But then, it struck, the answer to the ‘why’ we’d all been asking for so long.

Why aren’t the conventions we attend the same anymore? Why do they not have the same feeling of epic awesomeness as before.

Don’t get me wrong, RavenCon was a blast! It is one of my favorite conventions in the VA-DC-MD area, but it is different from what it was when it first started.

The answer: the death of organized gaming.  I know, I can hear you asking “Gaming? Why would that matter? It’s a game!”, and you’d be right, it is a game, but the organized RPGs that were so popular 5-10 years ago now no longer exist. Sure there are things like Pathfinder Society and the new Living Arcanis but the two are mere shadows of the grandeur that once was.

So many of the people I know, the people that I reach out to for ideas and inspirations, all sat around a table with character sheets and dice poised and ready to defend against a larger, fictional threat. And if the threat wasn’t being handled at a face-to-face table, then it was being discussed, in character, on forums that encompassed entire regions. Full novels could, and have, been written about the misadventures of these varied games. The largest of them was Living Greyhawk but it was by no means the only one. Instead of sitting behind a screen, people had a vested interest in the comings and goings of the alter egos and commiserated about their real lives right along side their fictional ones. Families and relationships were built with the people at these tables, in game and out. My own children grew up knowing all of these people and their stories. Those I still see now marvel at how much they’ve all grown because they were part of a community, part of the family.

Ok, so what? Things ended. It’s still a game, isn’t it?

No, it isn’t. It is unyielding inspiration. It is years of story told by many voices, voices that are, sadly, greatly diminished.

I think that is why I keep my fingers glued to the keys and my eyes to the screen. Or rather, one of the reasons. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil but much of my current work has been inspired by adventures I actually took . I was the bard or the superhero (still am when I can find a table to sit at). I’ve been a spy and a hacker, a vampire, a thief, even a villain. I have walked in the shoes of all the characters I write about outside of my own mind. They’ve interacted with other characters, characters that were the creations of others. It offers a different perspective to writing when you can be the people you write about.

More and more I find myself aching for that kind of camaraderie again, especially when my brain takes a hateful halt to all things creative and I am forced to stare at my boring walls instead of continuing the planned slew of fiction to be published. I need the out, to speak to others in a voice that is not my own and have them respond without them wanting to lock me away in a padded room.

Gaming in a large community like that is as much a part of me as writing. I miss it. And, I am not alone.

 

Posted in Chelle

What’s Next?

nowwhat1So, I’ve published a book (HOORAY!). Now what?

I could twiddle my thumbs a little. Work on a few of my other three hundred different hobbies, or find a nice semi-gloss paint for my office cuz this puke yellow that it currently is does nothing for my creativity. I could also Netflix and chill for a bit cuz, dammit, I deserve a good binge watching after all the work I’ve put in.

But, that is not how the life of an author goes. The creativity doesn’t stop just because one project has been completed. The compulsion to write continues. In pure cHaOtIc fashion, I now simultaneously write three different projects while binge watching all the shows I have on my list of things to watch, taking breaks to do my part time paying job, and looking over two projects from someone else entirely who has asked for my help in getting their books published.

What does that look like in a normal view?

  • Project 1 is for CampNaNoWriMo. It is my fantasy novel, now 20 years (yes, 20, sue me) in the works through various changes, iterations (including 4 D&D campaigns, several stories and 3 failed attempts at this dang novel), and heartaches. The plan is to have Ashes to Embers (working title) ready for publication by December (if not sooner) of this year.
  • Project 2 is for Corrugated Sky’s 2018 anthology. This year, the theme is Zombies. Naturally, I had this grand idea for something kinda quirky, kinda fun, kinda scary-weird… that I absolutely hate as of… literally7a or so yesterday morning. For real. I was on the treadmill when I went ‘Gods, really?? Why am I writing this crap??”. *sigh* Version 2.0 now in the works, draft 1 is due April 30. HA!! Might need an extension on that one.
  • Project 3 is the thing that (hopefully) everyone really wants: the follow up novel for HellfireRight now, the working title is Hellfire: Time Paradox (yeah, probably not the most creative but that’s why it’s a working title) that will pick up 1 year after the end of Hellfire. If all the stars align, the planned release for #2 will be this July or August.
  • Part time job is marketing for the local community restaurant. It’s fun and I love the staff and it is right up my alley of things I know how to do. Plus, I can do it from home and get free fries. Bonus.
  • Other – I’ve had a few people ask how I did all the things I did for Hellfire. My answer is usually “with a lot of blood, sweat, tears, booze, and selective cursing at my screen”. In layman’s terms, it means I just spent a lot of time doing the formatting before handing it off to a friend to do the digital formatting cuz InDesign hates me. BUT I’ve also had these same people ask if I’d be willing to help them with their formatting and edits and such. And, while I’m not entirely 100% sure I’m qualified for any of that, I’m at least willing to take a look for a friend cuz that’s what friends do.

Obviously, the big ones are the writing projects that are all in progress. See, the ‘work’ for a writer never stops. It continues at all hours of the day or night, even in our sleep. You don’t make it as a ‘big time’ author by stopping after your first success. You don’t even make it as a mediocre author by stopping at your first success.

I’ve published. It’s out there for the world to see (you should go read it). Now I write the next one. And after that, I will write the next, and the next, until my fingers cease functioning and my voice is but a rasping whisper. Because I am a writer and that is what I do. This is how I live my dream.