February 2017

There’s a drug awareness programme running in my kid’s class (for what seems like ever), which led to my kid thinking I have a life-threatening coffee addiction, which led to me giving up coffee, which led to me being tired, which led to this blog post having a 5% chance of being coherent.

Still a better chance than Donald Trump.

Yeah, it’s no fun when it’s that easy. Anyway, this month’s update isn’t exactly full of splendorous news. I did finish a final edit of Secret Self, which means I just have to find it a cover and a proof-read, and then it’ll be sent out as a freebie in the next newsletter. Hopefully sooner rather than later. (In semi-related news, the first Ava bundle is 99c for the rest of the month). I’d love to write for the rest of February, but I should probably start editing something because the written but unedited pile is starting to resemble a mountain. Thinking about it kind of stresses me out, so I should probably stop, um, adding to it. 🙂

Oh, man, I started counting manuscripts. *Hyperventilates* So I’m kind of glad I’m taking this weekend off. It’s a birthday weekend in our house, which I love because chocolate. But also, it’s an excuse to spoil the little suckers, and I love that, too. My coffee-hating kid is even allowing me one precious coffee tomorrow. So generous. 😀

The gang are supposed to be doing chores right now (prime bickering time), but I haven’t heard an argument in a really long time which is unusual, so I should probably check on… No, wait, there they go. And now a dog is barking. And a bunny is thumping. My bat signal has been well and truly fired. Time to go. 😉

Enjoy your weekend!

January 2017

I swear on my love of all things peanut butter, I am so disappointed in people right now. I wouldn’t normally post an update while I’m feeling this grumpy, but it’s the end of the month already, and the internet is still a bloody minefield. In fairness, even my kids are acting like it’s international arsehole month, so you’d think I’d be used to it. 😀

In better news, words have been a-flowing all month. (Probably because I’m biting my tongue on so many things right now – has to come out somewhere. I’ve also been having this unsettling experience of real life imitating unpublished books, so I’ve been spending some time trying to make that… less so). I ended up finishing that entirely unplanned dystopian-gothic story that I started while the little fella was in hospital. (He’s back in school now – having thoroughly milked the sympathy vote – with only a little scar tissue pain left). Writing for fun helped me remember how much I love to write. Discovery writing is Best. Even thinking of it now gives me all the feels. *Getting tougher to feel grumpy* 😛

Then, (partly because himself kept challenging me to keep the writing streak going using the trusted geeky carrot on a stick method) I started an Ava story. I’ve been working on this forevah, but I’ve been putting off actually writing the thing because I didn’t know how to start it. The shorter stories that are coming out (you know, some day), like Secret Self, Crossroads, and Magic Thief, really feed in to the why of Ava’s next chapter, and I kind of regret that because I have to briefly cover those storylines for people who won’t read them without being repetitive for those who will, and details are hard, m’kay? 😀

Also, Ava’s arc looks like it will span two or three books, so I’m still not sure whether to just call them Lost Souls books (which kind of goes against the point of Lost Souls) or use them as a new trilogy with another character’s POV alongside Ava’s (which might be off-putting to anyone whose sole interest is Ava). Aaaand… endless indecisiveness might be why I get nothing done. 😉

Anyway, I was half-way through the story and realised I was writing the worst, messiest, most out of control first draft of all time (I just kept losing track of the details), so took a step back to reset and ended up writing the ending then various scattered scenes (I never do this!), and it was magical how quickly my brain fixed itself and remembered what the hell it was supposed to be doing. I should finish up this week, then it’ll go to the end of the editing queue where it’ll remain for far too long while I overedit everything else. Yeah, there’s a good reason why this is no longer my full-time job. 😛

And while I had fun writing again this month, my kids hate me (okay, only when I say I’m going to try write for a bit), the animals are even nuttier than usual, my house is a comically epic disaster, my hands hurt, and I have piles upon piles of editing on my desk begging to be touched. So next month has to get back to normal. Which is starting to sound… not bad, all things considered. May February be extra shiny to make up for all of the madness. O_O

Spoke Too Soon

I’m gonna have to stop saying next year *has* to be better because that’s just inviting the universe to screw with me. This month has been, um, eventful so far.

The weekend before school began, we discovered one of my kids had gone and ruptured his appendix. It was pretty bad. Long story short, he came home on Friday evening, and he’s almost out of the risky stage, but it was scary for a while there. He’s recovered well considering everything that happened (because he’s a feckin’ superhero), and I’m mostly concerned with fattening him up because he looks a bit skeletal right now. 🙂

I apologise for not replying to messages and stuff, but I couldn’t deal with anything outside of our little family for a bit there. If I haven’t gotten back to you by now, feel free to send me a reminder.

This month’s plans are just… I don’t even remember the plan. I did nothing, my head’s still all over the place, and I couldn’t give a shit. 🙂 I have piles of editing on my desk that I am currently avoiding. I started writing a dystopian story to keep my mind off things – probably says something about my state of mind this month! – but I probably won’t get much of anything done until the little fella is back at school. He’s currently sprawled in my bed, trying to distract me by making me laugh, so we’re almost completely back to normal around here. 😀

2016 – So Not FTW After All

I think we can all agree that the past year hasn’t been good to the majority of the planet and move on from that. I just read my last hopeful yearly update – poor naive fool. 🙂 And I *still* didn’t go through Hollow. What’s wrong with me? In my defence, there was too much real world sadness to deal with so much of the fictional kind, too. That’s my excuse, and I’ll be clinging onto that for dear life for a while longer.

I shouldn’t complain. My family is safe and with me, and that’s the most important thing. We are lucky. It’s hard to remember through the haze of wtf that 2016 left in its wake, but I know lots of good things happened. Which is why I’m still baffled about all of the random, out of the blue, panic attacks I had this year for no reason at all.

I’ve had panic attacks since childhood (except it was called acting up, being hysterical, attention-seeking, hormones or “just her age” in those days, ha) but as an adult (ahem – yes, actually, I’m totally a grown-up now) I’ve been happy and healthy (I don’t even faint like a Victorian lady anymore, er, mostly). The last time they were really frequent was during my pregnancies (extra hormones + medical phobia = insane Claire’s ultimate form), but my youngest is six now, and life is even better since then – especially since we moved out of Dublin. It’s kinda hard to talk about, but they used to happen for reasons, at least, and they were never this omg will this ever stop kind of frequent. I’m just going to chalk it up to a bit of excessive burnout, too much gawking at terrible world news, not enough reading and creating, and keep my fingers crossed that they feck off back to wherever they were coming from. Ooh, story idea. 😛

This will shock no one, but writing wise, 2016 has been kind of a fail. I’ve written words – I just haven’t, you know, done anything with most of them. My last novel was released a year ago, which is a bit sad and pathetic, but it’s just been a mad year all round. Statistically, 2017 has to be better, right? Right?

Being serious for a moment, I’m still not in a position to publish a worthy novel. (Hopefully sooner rather than later) I’ll be sending out a couple of free stories in the newsletters to keep people going (Secret Self, Crossroads, and Magic Thief), while I work on whatever comes next. I’ll probably try to focus on the Harbinger trilogy just because so much of it is already done, but I’ve been starting to get into Ava’s next book (So. Many. Notes.) too. I’ll most likely send out a free Chaos novella before I get another full-length novel out in that world, too. I’ll continue to update every month at least with how things are going, and thank you if you’re still hanging in there with me. 🙂

Wanna see something terrifying funny? I tidied up my desk, and, uh, these are the notes I need for the above stuff. On paper. Not including all of the other notes on my laptop. Or the million post-its covered in scribbles I can’t make out. *Nervous laugh*

I have been getting a lot of ideas for new stuff lately, so I’m taking that as a good sign for the year to come. Something is still working in my tiny little overly-fried brain. Hope springs anew! Anyway, I better go check on the kids’ progress. They’re licking up being as good as gold and cleaning up – mostly because I gave them a lecture (and possibly because they caught a glimpse of that crazy ultimate form behind my eyes), but still, I’ll take it.

Have a most excellent new year, World. You deserve it.

December 2016

I thought I’d do my December update now because I’ll probably forget I’ll end up with an annual update in a few weeks anyway.

2016 December has not been a fun time so far. Lots of sick days from school carried over from November. One of my babies was so ill that I was afraid we’d end up spending Xmas in hospital (I’m a panicker), but everything seems to be back to normal now, so we have to hurry up and finish getting presents organised. *Invites all the stress around for tea* We haven’t even put up the tree yet. I’m a grinch not exactly a Xmas person – although I’m good with an excuse to spoil the wee shitheads – and if it was left up to me, there would never be a tree or decorations.

But, yeah, all five young ‘uns are back in school today, so fingers crossed we don’t get a phone call to pick one up early. And not only because I’ll finally be able to play music I want to listen to instead of endless requests from the (not so) smallies. 😀

Weirdly, despite everything, I’ve been sticking to my little work schedule. All of those sleepless nights came in handy. 🙂 I just finished a run-through of Crossroads this morning. Still liking it. Secret Self isn’t working for me as well (which delays Crossroads). I kind of wish I had another POV to balance it out, but I’ll work it out eventually.

That little story I was working on for fun last month has taken over my life, on the other hand. I’m super into it right now, but my brain keeps deciding that 4am is the best time to let me know every imaginable back story and possible scene – no matter how weird. Whatever, words are good even when they’re bad. I’m about 60k in of the rewrite (I drastically changed the plot and needed to go back to go forward – it makes sense, I swear), but I feel like I’m nowhere near the end. I’ll be so mad at myself if I don’t finish this thing though!

Himself is off on a mission to caffeinate me (and he already made today’s dinner, the precious little superstar) so I have no excuses today. MOAR words for me. Have a great week!

 

Oh, Brain

NaNo is over, and I (barely) made it to 50k in the end. I missed too many days but caught up in the last week by making lots of insane deals then locking myself away from the family. I didn’t finish the story I was working on, but it’s a long one, so I didn’t expect to.

I stalled out on it yesterday and assumed it was because I got cocky after a 7k day on the 29th, but as it turns out, my brain was merely busy trying to find a way to screw me over. *Sigh* I had a change of plans idea last night that will require a full rewrite. Part of me is like, please, no, but mostly, I’m just happy to be feeling creative. I think the changes will make the book a lot stronger. I’m feeling so good about this story right now that I want to keep working on it in December. I badly need to squeeze in some editing though.

I think people who enjoyed Chaos will probably like Spare Heir, but I haven’t deserted Ava. I’m still working on what has to happen in her next book – there’s a lot to squeeze in. (Speaking of Chaos and Ava, the 99c sale on the first bundles will end after this weekend). I have neglected Harbinger though because I’m waiting to get all three edited close together for consecutive releases, and I can’t do that any time soon. Next projected release is still another short, Secret Self, which will be free to newsletter subscribers as soon as its ready.

I’ll be back before the end of the month with another update – if I survive December. 🙂

 

November 2016

 

Warming up with a blog post because that’s less along the lines of procrastination than my day has been thus far. I’ve been busy and distracted this month, so I’m way behind. My “research” has been overly epic. 🙂

Everything’s a distraction lately, but at least those Joe Biden memes have made Facebook slightly almost tolerable…

In non end-times-ish news (well, maybe), we (finally) brought home a boyfriend for our rabbit. Our original little prince of darkness turned out to be a lady bunny, and after a lot of effort trying to first find a vet willing to spay her, and then a castle big enough for two, we were ready to find her the perfect mate.

Aaaaand, she hates him. She no longer knows how to bunny. She only knows how to dog. Poor Buster is desperate to meet her, but she’s all “As if,” and camouflages herself against the nearest dark surface. He cannot find her. He just… can’t. She stalks him from a distance while he searches the room for her. The first day he met one of our dogs, he was a little worried, so of course she sat next to the dog the entire time and stared at the bunny like “Now what?” She’s slowly starting to accept his presence, but I can see why she’s miffed. He poops in her tunnels, rubs his chin all over her stuff, gobbles the best food up as quickly as possible while she likes to daintily nibble for hours upon hours, and keeps messing up the way she likes to do things.

Anyway, work. Yeah. Uh. Well. I wrote a short story type thing this month in the Chaos world, and I finished an edit on Secret Self, and I’m slooooowly working on Spare Heir which, for a random “for fun” story, (my brain is trying really hard to suck the fun and randomness out of it by over-planning) looks like it’s going to be the longest mofo of all time.  The editing will be an absolute nightmare. Oh, joy. 😀

I should mention a sale on two of my bundles. The Ava Delaney and  Chaos Vol. 1 bundles are both 99c this week if anyone is interested. There are lots of book deals this week, so keep an eye out!

And I’ve spent so long dithering over this post (and taking breaks to help with homework)  that it’s past time to make dinner instead of that whole writing thingy I was supposed to be warming up for. All I want for Xmas is some productivity and maybe a little motivation. 🙂

 

 

October 2016

Happy Halloween!

Just an update to say I don’t have much of an update. October had less editing than I hoped and more writing than I expected because I did a Bad Thing and neglected my editing to start writing a new shiny that’s been trying to lure me in all year. (In my defence, it’s the most fun I’ve had writing in ages). I’m telling myself I’m warming up for NaNoWriMo tomorrow.

The kids are on their holidays from school right now, and the sugar highs will be epic, but I’m hoping to get started on NaNoWriMo with a Chaos story. I have a choice of two, and I’m excited about both, so we’ll see how that goes! During the month, the first Ava and Chaos boxsets will be on sale at one point or another, so watch out for that. And if you see me wasting time online, remind me I have words to finish. 🙂

September 2016 – Upcoming Release(ish)

I’m going to send a free story out with the newsletter next week, so if you want it, make sure you’re subscribed here. I usually send out free codes, but this time, I’m testing out downloads from within the newsletter. I’m scared it’ll go wrong, but if it works, it’ll be much simpler for everyone. 😀

badblood3The story is Bad Blood (VBI #2). I’ve been working on the bloody thing all year, so it’s about time I just shoved it out the door. I didn’t plan on the huge gap between books one and two – it just fit better in the world’s timeline this way. And I’m kind of sick to death of Peter and Val at this point (they existed way before Ava in my head), but they’re up next again with Secret Self (VBI #3). I’m not even going to guess at a release date for that one because we all know I screw up as soon as I do that. 🙂 I’ve no current plans to continue with the series after book three.

Bad Blood isn’t hugely connected to Ava, so it’s not an essential read for Ava readers. (Secret Self is mostly about Ava though, sorry!) The final blurb will be in the newsletter, but basically, (an incredibly irritable) Val and Peter are hired to look for a missing husband -> find a disease that might be coming from the succubi -> have to get to the bottom of everything before it’s covered up.

After this mini-series is done, some more shorts are to follow (that’s all I can manage right now). Crossroads (a Phoenix story which has been annoyingly close to finished for way longer than Bad Blood), Magic Thief, and then Faery Dust. They’ll all come free with a newsletter on release anyway, but I was thinking about bundling all of the short stories (except VBI) in Ava’s world together with some extras like author notes and short stories from characters in the world that Ava hasn’t met. That’s way in the future though.

In other news, I’m pretty distracted right now, and stuff is moving slowly. I did some organising yesterday, but it’s back to editing again this weekend. I think October will be more of the same, but I’m hoping to get some writing down in November. NaNoWriMo is a good enough excuse to try.

The kids have been back at school for only three weeks, and I already hate homework, have been begged to homeschool by at least two kids, have gotten a note that nits might be going around (shudder), and all seven of us have been sick at one point or another. One kid cried the entire first week every time I woke her for school (but she’s delighted with herself this week because she won a writing competition!), two are extremely unhappy with their teacher (not shocked), and one literally uses the schoolyard(!) as a chance to get some peace and quiet from his siblings (which proves my point on how nosy this lot are).

At least the last kiddo is as chuffed with life as always. Although, she’s a bit miffed that unicorns don’t exist. This month, I’ve witnessed her shaking her fist at the sky, shouting, “Damn you, universe, for not making flying unicorns real!” She’s also been telling me all about how terrible existence was for her while she was waiting for me to “born” her. She was in a dark place with lots of stars, and she could shoot fire out of her hands. Awful stuff, indeed. 😀

The twins, usually annoying little gits when they get together, have been making a lot of unprompted observations on equality and prejudice and such that make me think I haven’t completely dropped the ball with them. *Pats self on back* Sadly, that doesn’t stop them from planning my funeral already, so I’ll leave you with this notable conversation from yesterday.

Three youngest kids are playing with my hair because I have no idea why.

Kid #4: Did you see that? A hair fell out. Mom, you’re going to go bald!

Kid #5: Oh, don’t worry, Mom. You’ll be dead waaaay before that happens.

Kid #4: Then we’ll have to put you in a grave. In the ground.

Me: No, thanks.

Kid #3: Oh, so you want to be burned?

Me: Cremated. And, yeah.

Kid #3: Nope.

Me: No?

Kid #3: *Firmly* No. We’re going to put you in the ground, and everyone’s going to have umbrellas, and it’s going to rain. That’s how we’re doing this.

Kid #4: Aw, yeah! That’ll be so cool!

Kid #5: But I don’t want Mom to die.

Kid #3: But you get to have an umbrella.

Kid #5: Sweet!

Me: :/

August 2016 (Also Known As No Good News)

*Inhales*

Okay.

Due to personal reasons, August has been the worst month of all time less than perfect. This last week has been a million times better, so it’s for the best if we pretend the rest of the month never happened. 🙂

*Exhales*

To the actual bad news update then. I intended to publish the first Harbinger novel around Halloween, but that won’t happen this year. I’m just not in a position to fund a series right now. I’m still trying to work on a solution, but if I can’t figure things out, I’ll put it on my blog or Wattpad or something. Not the greatest outcome (those of you who have read my unfinished work can already testify to that!), but I’m stuck in a Catch-22 situation right now. I’m an emotional wreck a little upset. I haven’t published a novel since December, and I don’t know when I will again. In the meantime, I’m going to keep writing and editing in my spare time, and I’m hoping to release a novella next month (free copy with the next newsletter), but I should probably stop trying to predict these things. 🙂

All jokes aside, I am sorry if you were waiting on the series and are disappointed, and no hard feelings if you don’t want to wait on me again. I completely understand.

By the way, this is the cover I originally ordered for Harbinger last year, but it doesn’t work for the series.

Harbinger

That’s it for book-related stuff. Everything else is an epic waffle because I haven’t had much adult conversation this summer. You have been warned. 🙂

The kids are back to school tomorrow (and dreading it). The giddy one has been sick (and eerily quiet) but seems to have gotten better juuuust in time for school (ha). They’ve basically spent the summer playing Minecraft or pretending they were pokemon (all while making a good effort at sounding like at least two dozen kids). Except my eldest, who has spent his time off in a dressing gown (that I’m going to dump as soon as he goes to school) whilst avoiding the rest of mankind. (Definitely my child). The smallest of the smallies is excited to see her BFF again. She’s been telling me the tale of how they first met. It’s full of drama, hyperbole and heroic rescues from bullies. (Also definitely my child).

I managed to get an afternoon away this month to see Suicide Squad. (I know. The cinema twice in one year. Slow your roll, Claire). I was fairly disappointed, but I had overly high expectations going in. I thought it was… a mess (in the same way as a lot of recent films). No structure, no substance, no story. I love me some flashiness, but there has to be more than that. It was just a bit sad to see the wasted potential.

I also jumped on the Stranger Things bandwagon. It was on point in terms of everything the above was missing. (And the eighties are the bestest). I wasn’t going to watch it because people kept comparing it to Stephen King novels, so I thought I’d hate it, but himself watched it and was all, Claire, watch it. It’s your kind of thing. So I watched it for a few minutes, and it was definitely my kind of thing, so I stayed up all night to finish the season. Whoops!

And not to make it sound like I spend every waking hour staring at a screen of some kind (even if that’s mostly true), but I finally finally finally watched Ash vs Evil Dead. Yaas. Army of Darkness is one of my favourite films of ALL-TIME (I just spent way way too long trying to think of what would make it into my top five), so I’ve been dying to see the series. I was not disappointed. (And I might have stayed up all night to finish that, too).

Unrelated to everything else, I got impatient waiting for the pink to fade in my hair, so I mixed (like, five) leftover dyes together and slapped it on. My bath looked like I’d sacrificed a unicorn. It was glorious. 😀

If you made it this far, congratulations. You’re mental extremely well-mannered. 😛 I have to go build myself up to start dealing with boring tax stuff early instead of leaving it to the last minute and stressing out in a panic this year, so I’ll let you go…