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, General Updates/News

Published

IMG_20180405_165136_840It has taken a full week for me to process the fact that I am now, truly, a published author. Hellfire hit the virtual shelves of Amazon (and the Kindle store) last week. Sales have been steady – few, but steady. The fact that there have been sales at all surprises me. I know, it shouldn’t, that was the whole point, but somewhere in the back of my mind I still see the slightly awkward weirdo writing things down for fun during the blessedly quiet minutes of the day rather than the author, the publisher, the business woman I’ve become.

Yet, here I am, finally published, finally living my dream. It is one thing to see my name on a book with other authors and quite something else to see it on my book, all alone.  I’m still coming to terms with it, still feeling the giddy butterflies in my stomach and the gasps of awe when people reach out to me or the publishing company I helped found for book signings and appearances. It’s thrilling and overwhelming all at once.

Naturally, I share this with you, my readers. The work continues. There is a sequel in the works, a third anthology to submit to, a fantasy novel being written for Camp (finally!), marketing to handle, events to plan for. I’m sure the elation will wear off eventually, but, for now, I’m riding that high for as long as I can.

Hellfire is now available for purchase through Amazon. You can find it on my Current Works, through Corrugated Sky Publishing, or directly through Amazon.

Check it out, leave a review, a comment, or just follow along as I expand my world of published pieces one little book at a time.

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News

April CampNaNoWrimo 2018

Camp-2018-Writer-Facebook-Cover-1

April approaches. Can y’all even believe it?? I can’t!

As cHaOs continues to revolve in massive poop storms around my real life existence, my author/publisher life… erm… also revolves around a few massive poop storms. Looks like they’re finally meshing together! Growth.

However, in all seriousness, the final steps for the release of Hellfire are underway. There is a second novel being released by Corrugated Sky Publishing (for which I am co-owner) at the same time that I have been assisting with as well, and a new anthology planned for the end of the summer based around zombies that also requires a good deal of my attention.

We add to this a new position as marketing manager of a local restaurant that I’m finally settling comfortably into, a new web design project for my husband’s business, and mothering of 3 children and one recently minted adult-child (yes, the oldest turned 18! He survived!!) which makes for quite a bit of cHaOs roaming around the house; that we are about to purchase; at the end of April; when it’ll be time to do some much needed painting, upgrades, and landscaping.

Naturally this means I must take on yet another project, right? Right?? Of course it does, because that is how we operate here at cHaOs – with too many things to manage at once. It makes for some interesting days, long nights, and unique mixtures of alcohol.

The new project in question is, of course, the April version of CampNaNoWriMo. I’ve done Camp a few times now, not always consecutively. July tends to be a little more crazy at cHaOs than April because the peace of school-aged children tucked away at their institutions of learning is shattered during the summer months. Last Camp I did was the first time I ever finished the set goal. It was sort of a big deal, though I never actually finished the novel in question and, to this day, it remains at about 50% completion before edits. I’ll get to it eventually.

This April, we shall kick of with a holiday combo of Easter (which we don’t really do here except to make the youngest believe that a giant bunny still comes to deliver plastic eggs full of chocolate and coins into our back yard for him to find) and April Fool’s Day (which we also don’t do because I am liable to cut someone for pranking me). There is already a plan in place for achieving word count on the first day and the novel is loosely outlined so I don’t start chasing bizarre rocks down a murky path halfway into day three.

This particular novel is the novel. THE ONE; the one I’ve had in my head and attempted to write many times over for the last twenty years (yes, this book idea is older than my oldest kid). I’d honestly written it off as a loss for, surely, I would never be able to properly wrap my mostly pink wrinkles around the ginormity of this undertaking. I’ve run the campaign (D&D for you non-geeks out there) three different times; written countless stories; written and re-written the novel seven times, easily (probably more) and watched at lest four of those novels burn in digital hell when my electronics have bitten the proverbial dust at the worst possible moment ever. In fact, iteration number one sits on my shelf, printed with a cover, as a reminder of why that didn’t go anywhere. It’s awful, people. Like… cringe with a desire to light it on fire as tribute to the muses, awful. But, as will happen with writers, there I was in the shower singing my fav tunes when BAM it hit like a bolt of lightning to the brain. I very nearly ran downstairs in a towel to write it all down before it vanished into the ether (I lost the pencil to my AquaNotes *sad panda*). Instead, I dashed through the rest of my shower, dressed, and ran down with towel still on head to scribble into the Giant Notebook of Ashes (shortened name for the book). Twenty-two chapters later (the last four may need to be redone, we’ll see), the book is now outlined with a beginning, middle, and end-for-now (it has always been planned as a series). Hooray! April will be the month for Ashes to spring to life!!

The questions are bouncing in your head, though. I can see them. I feel them reaching out to me, asking: ‘How?’ ‘Are you crazy?’

With everything else happening in my life, it is often the question I get asked the most: how? How do I do this while still managing a home, several miscellaneous jobs (not all of which are paid, I might add), working on so many projects and still find time for sanity and sleep?

It’s a simple answer really: I’m not sane. Not even a little bit.

Beyond that, however, it is a matter of time management. I am not the best at it. Far from it. I’m convinced that underneath the masks of fibro, bi-polar disorder, potential RA and/or MS and whatever else is happening in this busted frame of mine, I am also totally ADHD and just not diagnosed. I bounce from idea to idea, thing to thing until all of the things or ideas are done. Some I abandon, but most will, eventually, get finished. I’ve also learned to focus on one task until it is done which, for me, means that I only do three other things instead of five or six. I have children that are old enough to take over the chores which frees up time.  All of them are now in school so I can find peace in the early morning once they’ve gone away on the bus, as well. I’m not particularly active in community things cuz I’m just kind of a hermit like that, and I’m ok letting the laundry pile up a little in favor of getting just a few more words on the page. I also don’t exercise nearly as much as I should (or at all) but when I do get that wild hair, I take the phone with me to record my thoughts (because, like the shower, the ideas pelt me in the wrinkles at the most inopportune times, including the treadmill).

So, if you’re feeling a little creative but also a little intimidated, give Camp a try. It is not as stringent as regular NaNoWriMo which, I find, to be more in-your-face get-her-done writing (which I totally need by that point and look forward to every year). Goals are more flexible from only writing 30k words (or less if that’s your flavor), to edits only, to the full 50k and beyond. It is whatever you make of it. Don’t let those ideas rot away unused, even if you are the only one that sees those words hit the page. They are still words that need to be written.

And, don’t forget, Hellfire will be available for purchase mid-April. Cannot wait! Can you?

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News

Life, Interrupted

farragut-tree.jpgNever again will I take my hot water and music for granted. I love both, need both, and missed them dearly during the Great Power Outage of 2018. I am, of course, speaking of Winter Storm Riley who tore through northern Virginia like the beast it was.

The tree pictured fell at the end of my street, taking out power for a grand total of 81 hours. Yes, you read that correctly, 4.5 days of NO POWER. My children nearly died. Their withdrawal from technology was great, their attitudes less than stellar. It was cold, everyone was stinky, food was lost, too much money was spent on eating out or buying more gas and firewood and very little got done.  All of the things I wanted to do or had to do were dashed because wind. WIND. Not pleased.

I very nearly clipped all of my hair off cuz I’d rather do that than take a cold shower and there isn’t a dry shampoo on the planet that will help the wild mop of curls on this head. We did take a very long, extended visit to our local library. The kids were stunned to find that books do not require a power cord! To my great pleasure, the library was having their monthly book sale so I got a lot of cheap entertainment to survive the Great Power Outage of 2018. We also indoctrinated our youngest two and the neighbors into the vice that is Pathfinder (D&D for those not hip on the new things) which helped to pass the time.

However, now that power has, blessedly, been restored what was once interrupted now must resume. All of those things I could not do over the weekend have now piled up like my mountains of unwashed laundry. Deadlines do not care if we suffered through the literal dark ages for 4.5 days. Additionally, all of my hobbies took a wild break because one cannot paint, draw, or hand crochet in the dark (or with four very bored children around), nor can one use the sewing machine for doll clothes or make armor for tiny resin humans. It just doesn’t work!

All those guys up there require attention! They each have their own story and provide a great deal of my inspiration for my written work. In fact, I have planned photo stories for each of them – – none of which can happen in 80+ mph winds or without power!!!

Life was interrupted, folks. I know I can survive any impending apocalypses now, but I’m really ok being a modern girl with all her geeky things and hot water. Life will get moving again, I suppose. We’ll just push things back some and take it one day at a time cuz, you know, we’ve got another storm heading our way later today. Aren’t we lucky?!

annoyed emoji

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News

Go Home, Winter, You’re Drunk!

Drunk WeatherSo, this was us this past weekend. We had weather in the 70’s straight up to Saturday and then BAM! Sleet. Further north of our little overlooked city it snowed. Snowed!! Then, as if nothing at all had occurred, back up into the 50’s and low 60’s on Sunday. We’ve since been enjoying the lingering warmth, with temperatures predicted to be close to 80 today.

Uhm… Winter does realize it’s February still, right?

No, I don’t think he does. Way to go, Winter!

Outside of the incredibly bizarre (and annoying) weather patterns we are experiencing on the east coast, life continues on in a mostly normal fashion. The annual Corrugated Sky face-to-face meeting took place over the weekend along with the absurd sleet. Many things were discussed, much wine was consumed (cuz, what else is one supposed to drink when discussing marketing strategies, upcoming publications, and projected sales), and cookies were eaten. Result: we gon’be busy!

Yeah, I know, a little self-indulgent to operate a small publishing house, but that’s sort of what indie-publishing is all about. Besides, a lot of the work is trying to figure out what pretty pictures we want on book covers and how to sell more books. It’s harder than one might think, let me tall ya.

Along the lines of books to sell, Hellfire is coming up on the ‘edited’ status which will then plant it firmly in the ‘throw out to beta readers’ realm. There are steps to publishing, folks; lots and lots of steps. Lots of planning, lots of deadlines to hit and, yes, it is still February despite the flip-flops and short-shorts that were making their debut this week.

The season will change soon enough, however, no matter what that Pennsylvania rodent says, and it will be time to gear up for the April edition of CampNaNoWriMo. I’ve got zombies on the slab for that as well as a planned trip to Williamsburg for RavenCon at the end of April. I’ll be the weirdo with the wagon. You’ll see me. And, watch, the weather will be just as ridiculous in April as it is now. In fact, if it’s anything like last RavenCon, we’ll be seeing temps in the 90’s right before a nose dive into the 40’s with lots of rain cuz, why not? No global warming here… *headdesk*

There’s a piece of terrifying fiction for you: a place with actual seasons!! The humanity!! Stupid weather. Oh well, back to work! Stay… toasty? Cool? Adjust accordingly to the messed up weather patterns, everyone! Welcome to cHaOs.

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News

Chocolate!!

chocolates

Oh yeah, that needs to be a big picture. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate?? A lot of people, actually; weirdos. No, not really. They’re not weird. While I have a fondness for chocolate, I am not one of those ‘eat all the chocolate all the time’ folks. A piece or two here or there is good enough for me.

BUT…

Today is Valentine’s Day! Today is, arguably, the single most chocolate-infused holiday in the U.S. I can’t speak for other countries but, if Valentine’s Day is celebrated in other places, I’m sure it is also chocolate-infused. Why? Well, chocolate is an aphrodisiac; sort of. You have to eat a stupid ton of it for any of those kind of feelings to kick off in the brain and, by that time, your stomach has decided to stage a coup against you for the abuses you’ve enacted upon it’s soft tissues. Honestly, I don’t know why chocolate is the candy of the season. Every other holiday seems to get a nice mix of sweets and fun treats. The BIG RED, however gets CHOCOLATE.

Uhm, yay?

Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good chocolate covered strawberry or one of those little boxes of Godiva truffles as much as the next person, but unless that chocolate comes with a bottle of good red wine and a coupon to stay in my jams all night long while cuddling on the sofa, then I’m not all, like, ‘oooooooh chocolate!!’. It’s just not my thing. Slight lactose intolerance might contribute to that (thanks a lot mid-thirties).

I will tell you what chocolate is good for though: words!

What?

Yeah! The days after Halloween and Valentine’s Day are two of my favorite days ever cuz all their candy goes on sale! Halloween offers a little more variety than just chocolate, which is nice, but the stockpile of sweets is necessary to get through NaNoWriMo with some semblance of sanity. Valentine’s Day is also good for this, though admittedly more chocolate-flavored than Halloween. Sugar gets the brain synapses firing off at a rapid pace and helps those words just flow right out of you. Or, at least, it does for me.

No, I don’t have to wait for post-holiday sales to buy my candy, but when I can buy a whole bag of tiny sweet goodies for the same price as a single bar, you better believe I’m gonna wait for the after-holiday sales! Budgeting, people; I have four kids to feed!

This run of on-sale candy will (hopefully) get me through the entire doldrums of editing/rewriting Hellfire. That will then put me firmly in the Easter range of Holidays (and thus another rush of candy sales) just in time for the April session of CampNaNoWriMo where I can work on polishing up Clockwork Gods.

See, I have plans, y’all; plans, I tell you!! But all these plans require sugar (and usually some kind of caffeine and/or booze and no a combination of the three is not the answer; that’s just plain cheating).

However, while y’all are waiting for these plans to come to fruition, feel free to take a little stroll over to my Smashwords page and pick up one of those little gems waiting there or head over to Corrugated Sky’s landing pad to grab one (or both) of the anthologies featuring me! You know you want to. Books go great with chocolate and wine, by the way. True story.

Until next week – have a very happy Valentine’s Day in whatever capacity you may enjoy it!

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News

When cHaOs Reigns

agefoto_rm_photo_of_child_waking_in_nightYou thought this was going to be about dreaming, didn’t you? Fooled you! Dreaming requires actual sleep, which I get very little of.

No, these are all the little thoughts that happen right in that blessedly odd moment just before sleep hits; when my body says ‘stop’ and my brain says ‘but wait!’. New ideas crash through the curves and turns of my little pink wrinkles, prolonging my pathetic need for sleep until finally, I simply give up and let nature take its course (which usually means I stare at crap TV until 3am with my Kindle in hand to type out notes when they hit me). There are ‘moments’ of sleep – time that can be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours – and then BAM! just like that, I’m awake again with all of those chaotic little thoughts rushing to the surface in the tiny moments right before my eyes pop open (or my alarm goes off, whichever comes first).

Many people cannot recall dreams, let alone thoughts they had the previous night before sleep. I like to think of it as hitting the play button just before I wake. My brain won’t let me drop what I had going. Instead, it immediately jumps to the last thing we thought about. Recently it has been all the projects building up on my desk whether those are self-imposed or handed down by someone else. Everything from zombies to elves to paint choices, taxes, or what kind of font to use on the next flyer I need to put together. FONT! Why do I care about these things at 11p or midnight when I know I need to get to sleep or become one of those zombies running through my head the following morning???

*sigh*

Because cHaOs. It is the only explanation. It reigns supreme not only in my house, but in my mind as well.

So! What does this mean for the things coming down the pipeline? Well, a lot actually, because I have a lot going on in this squishy matter between my ears. Ready?

  • Zombies: The next anthology for Corrugated Sky (to which I regularly submit to) is all zombies, all the time. The dead will rise again and become the UNdead! *gasp* Which, of course, means I get to dig deep into my binge watching sessions of TWD and FTWD to find a suitable plot for this next piece going in for publication. Naturally I have everything from a revamp of Zombie Babies (which I never finished or posted more than a few blips of) to a strange idea about the evolution of a populace after the zombie-apocalypse hits (but that might just be a little too much science for me). This lovely piece of work is due out to the public roughly Fall 2018.
  • Superheroes: Another project percolating right along (now at the editing stage; hooray!) is Hellfire, a novella about a world in which super heroes are real, and they’re not always nice to people. If I can get my little fingers and toes in order with the brain synapses, then I might actually get this done by March. Maybe. It’ll be pushed through my own self-pub services (aka Amazon and Smashwords) so it’s a self-imposed deadline but, all the same, March 2018 would be nice. I’ll keep y’all updated on that.
  •  Dreamworlds: And elves, and shit. Yes, I cursed, I do that. Anyway, this particular project which has no title just yet deals with a DreamWalker and his misadventures. He meets some elf-types, meets some not elf-types, nearly gets eaten and… and I still haven’t written the ending so it is definitely a work-in-progress. However, the aim is to work it up to a novella like Hellfire and release it for queries sometime in late Spring of this year.
  • Aliens: As with all things that explode out of my mind in November, eventually they need refinement. This past NaNo was no different, producing a wild world of weird aliens and lost colonists. In fact, the title of it is Colony and with a bit of fluffing, some editing, and a decent tag line (which I have yet to come up with), this lovely little piece of science fiction should be ready to go by Summer 2018.
  • Ashes to Embers: Yes, this horrendous beast has reared its ugly, gigantic head again. A great deal of my internal struggle recently has been because of this massive undertaking that likes to try to drown me in details and enough characters to fill a cruise liner. However, since the crazy thoughts that attack just before sleep have been about how to fix some of the insanity of this massive project, I’ve been writing them down like a mad woman. Post-its and napkins are, once again, my friends (tissues were, but since I’m still battling this lingering cold, that quickly changed back to napkins). There is still no release date for this since it is a planned trilogy but, suffice to say, it is resurfacing.
  • Steam: While all of the shorter pieces are underway progress continues to be made on Clockwork Gods. We are nearing the end! Hooray for an almost completed draft!! There are also some ideas percolating for a follow up story to Heart of the Matter which was published last year in Corrugated Sky’s steampunk anthology. If all the stars align properly, Clockwork Gods should see our intrepid twins getting more screen time by the end of the year along with the follow up story that has no working title yet because the ideas only just started.
  • Smut: Yes, I write that too. I mentioned as much a few posts back. I write it under a pen name, but I write it nonetheless. It has not left my radar. There are unfinished pieces that still need finishing but I will kick that information over to Noa’s blog if anyone is interested.

There it is, the grand list of all the things. Plus, I am painting the furniture in my office, hand-knitting a blanket for the Tyrant, and working part-time helping a friend with marketing.

cHaOs. All day. All the time. My life.

Ain’t it great!