June 2017

It’s June. It’s hot. It’s two weeks out from the school holidays. I am nervous. My children hate their school more than each other right now, but even so, I may not survive this summer. 😀

This month, I’ve gotten some work done on the Harbinger trilogy. I have a beginning, middle, and end in each book (I know, slow clap), and I’m about to get stuck into hard-core editing. For some reason, the second book is what’s slowing me down, which is weird because I like it best. I still have to go through the original Cursed series and deal with details that need to go into a series bible, but I’m starting to feel like I’m actually getting somewhere. Edit: I wrote that part yesterday. Today I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, so…

I’m about 35k into the first draft of a weird new story that veers a little too close to reverse harem territory. It’s loosely inspired by Slavic mythology, and like most stories I’ve written this year, I have no idea who would want to read it because it’s not like any of my other stuff. Woe is me and all that. 🙂

Right now, I have no plans to publish this summer. With the kids at home for the next two months, I won’t have any uninterrupted time, so there’s no point promising anything. I might (might) look for beta readers for Sleepwalker in the summer, but I won’t be releasing that until all three books in the trilogy are ready to go. I don’t feel comfortable with this trilogy, and I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m getting too old to be writing about teenagers. 😀

Speaking of getting old, my kids aren’t toddlers anymore, so I desperately need to write a new bio. (My baby is going to be seven this summer, and my eldest will be a teenager. I am officially ancient). The only thing worse than writing a synopsis is writing a bio. Just. Yuck. It’ll have to be something like Claire Farrell writes every day and yet magically never manages to finish anything. 😛

Just checked the time and had a mini heart attack. The kids will be home soon. I seriously need to stop using this blog to procrastinate. By the way, does anyone have any recommendations for a new series to obsess about? I’m overwhelmed whenever I try to look for something. Fantasy or urban fantasy, preferably a finished series with a female POV (or joint if it’s not too cheesy/sappy – black-heart here, and second-hand cringe has been destroying my life lately).

Ooh, or gothic romance if you really want to spoil me. 😀

May 2017

It’s probably a bit early for an update, but I can’t see me magically doing anything of note for the rest of the month *cough* new Fire Emblem game *cough*, so here we are.

I’ve been editing Sleepwalker this month, mostly adding new scenes based on changes to the rest of the trilogy, but I wanted to write a bit to break up the day, too. A couple of years ago, I had a dream that inspired a story (loosely connected to Chaos), so I got up, went Yaaas, let’s file that in our folder of random ideas that we never look at again, and tried to forget about it. The idea never went away, but I couldn’t figure out the ending, so I didn’t touch it. Because I didn’t have an ending, I thought the story would be a quick novella that I’d blast out whenever I got stuck on editing. That was three weeks ago, and I now have the longest first draft I’ve ever written on my hands. Thanks, brain.

And I’m not the only one writing in the house right now. My kids always write stories and stuff anyway, but kid #2 is taking it very seriously right now. It’s a werewolf novel, with chapters, and word count targets, and she’s completely devoted. She gets extremely irritable if anyone disturbs her because she’s desperate to know what happens next. It’s adorable. She came home today all excited because there’s a writing competition at school. “I don’t really want to win first place because you only get a trophy. But if you come in second, you get book vouchers. Book vouchers.” She’s so my kid.

Kid #4 is about as sad as I am over Chris Cornell’s death, (Can’t Change Me is one of his favourite songs), so we’re going to spend the rest of the day listening to his music.

Stay well, and enjoy your weekend.

April 2017

Sunday:

It’s been a weird month so far. This is week two of the mid-term break, and we’ve managed to lose all sense of time and routine.  The whole Hobbit/Lord of the Rings marathon  we had here last weekend (in hindsight, not the smartest idea we’ve ever had) didn’t help with that. (Although, I was already a month late with my indieversary post, so not being punctual is sort of a running theme around here). Last month, the youngest trio of loons fell in love with Harry Potter and ran around with sticks making up spells. Now they’re all fighting over who gets to be Legolas and who gets to kill the most orcs. Luckily for our pets, orc costumes for dogs aren’t readily available here. 😀

I’ve been devouring books lately, which is a good sign, and my imagination has started to work again, which is an even better sign, but my ability to focus on one thing at a time is extremely broken. I’ve written a lot of scenes this month, but no more than two in any given story. My brain is just flitting from one thing to another, like old files from nine years ago that I suddenly desperately have to update on the off-chance I find a way to stop needing sleep so I can write backburner books for kicks.

I think I’m just restless in general. I’ve been itching to move house again for a while now (but we’re kind of stuck here for a bit). When I was a teenager, an older co-worker told me about finding her dream house, how she knew it had to be hers as soon as she stepped through the front door, it felt like home immediately, etc. I’ve moved around a fair few times in my life, so the idea of settling into one place and knowing it was The One was fascinating to me. I’m more of the, “okay, we’ve been here for too long, it’s time to pack now” sort. This is why I love renting. I could never be trusted with owning a place. 😀

Monday Edit:

The kids are in school. They were outside in the garden playing at about six this morning, so I won’t be surprised if any of them nod off in class today. This is how I know we can’t homeschool. We need the routine of an actual school day to make us act ever so slightly normal. 😀

I’m going to look for a cover for Crossroads this week, and as soon as I have everything sorted, I’ll send a free copy out to newsletter subscribers. If I’m lucky, it’ll be before the end of the month, but don’t expect it until May.

I feel like I’m forgetting something. Again. Oh, well! Enjoy your week. 🙂

Belated Seven Year Indieversary

Previous posts:  one, two, three, four, five, and six.

I completely forgot about my little indieversary! (Does it count if you didn’t do anything of note in the last year?) I was so confused, I thought I’d already gone through this year’s post, but as it turns out, that was last year, and my memory sucks. I can’t even blame pregnant brain anymore because I haven’t had a kid since way back in the day. Ageing will just have to take the hit from now on instead. 🙂

So, yeah, a year in review. On the surface, I’d rate the last twelve months (well, thirteen now because I’m perennially late for stuff) as embarrassingly poor. No novel to be seen. That makes me itch. (That could also be the crappy ironlicious hard water in my house though). I’m pretty sure that this time last year I told himself indoors that I had no words left. (Er, again). *Iz still dramatic*

Here’s the thing. When I looked through my notes and files and the work I actually did, I realised I wrote a lot. I wrote novels and created worlds and planned new series. A bunch of them. I just didn’t, you know, do much of anything else with them. Our lifestyle has changed, as I keep harping on about, and apparently I got too used to undistracted time for a while there because even though I started when I had four kids under six (my womb just gasped in horror), a baby on the way, and zero quiet time, now I can’t lose myself in a story if I get interrupted even moderately frequently. It’s been scarily easy to stay in the real world (for the first time in my life because I am a known spacer).

The other day, I told myself I was going to book in editing slots for the Harbinger trilogy, but I chickened out because I convinced myself I wouldn’t be ready. And that’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not helped by the fact I partook in too many writing courses due to an obsession with improvement that’s worse now because I overanalyse everything to a disgustingly over the top degree and can’t enjoy reading… anything. (This river I’m crying, it’s all for you.) Other people chase sales and fame and a rock and roll lifestyle, but I’m like “My kingdom for the perfect sentence.” I never said I wasn’t boring, okay?

I released some novellas as a means to give back to the newsletter subscribers, but honestly, each and every one of those gave me So. Much. Stress. because they weren’t Perfect. And I felt guilty firstly because I didn’t publish those for about an eon because I endlessly tweaked every freaking sentence (you know, just to make sure I sucked the fun out of every scene), and then even more so for actually releasing non-Perfect stories, which, let me tell you, is not the path to sanity. (The epic level of run-on sentences in this blog should be a clue).

So there are things I need to work on this year. Stop waiting for ideal working conditions, stop aiming for the Perfect story that will never exist in anyone’s reality, and stop being a big cowardly baby. Not being insane would probably work, too. 😀

Seven years on, and I’m still learning. (And I’m sorry if this blog is particularly rambling and nonsensical, I’m just super tired this year week). Onward!

March 2017

I don’t have much in the way of an update this time. March wasn’t the most productive month of all time.

Sadly, our rabbit died suddenly earlier this month. She was the best bun, and it was the first time the kids have really experienced the death of a pet, as well as it being a shock (because rabbits hide their sickness), so it was extra hard for them. 🙁

Last week, it snowed, more than I’ve witnessed since we moved here, then two days later, the kids were running around in shorts, milling into ice-cubes, finding random sticks to use as wands (the smallest three recently discovered Harry Potter – send help), and complaining of the heat. Raining today though, so back to normality.

One of my kids was out of school for two(!) weeks, and there’s been Paddy’s day off and stuff, (next month, they’ll be off for another two weeks for mid-term – seriously, send help), so we’re all driving each other crazy. I had a birthday and Mother’s Day this month, so we let the kids pick out a cake for me. They came up with an Assassin’s Creed one then proceeded to spend two days arguing over who got to eat Ezio’s head. I’m waiting for the sugar withdrawals to kick in so the madness fun really dials up a few notches!

I did some work on Crossroads and Sleepwalker but the going has been slow because I’ve let everything distract me, and I miss my little furball, and… excuses, excuses, excuses. I’m going to focus more on the Harbinger trilogy next month. I’m finding it harder to jump from adult characters in one series to teens in another. Not sure why. Maybe I’m getting too old. 🙂

March Updates

Just a couple of timely things I wanted to mention:

I’m sending out a newsletter with a free copy of Secret Self next week, so if you want it, make sure you’re subscribed. Probably later in the week to give people a chance to sign up. I currently have no plans to write more of these VBI stories.

Starting today is Smashwords Read An Ebook Week event. Check it out for freebies and discounts all week. Use the RAE50 code for a discount on all of my books over there.

The Cursed bundle will go on sale everywhere at the end of this month.

That’s it, I think. I don’t have much of a “work” update since the last post. It’s a bit early in the month, but things have been good. Mostly editing, but the kind that makes me feel like I’m making progress rather than just sucking the life out of everything. 😀

One of the cats who likes to drop in on us every now and then appears to be pregnant and has decided our house is the place to be. I would have thought the three bouncy dogs we own would be a turn-off, but apparently not. She keeps hunting the slow one. :/ Not sure what I’ll do if she gives birth here!

I’ll do the usual update later in the month. I’m hoping to squeeze in some writing starting tomorrow because I’m feeling unusually inspired. Fingers crossed there will won’t be a kitten distraction.

Have a good one!

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.