Archive for the ‘Carolyn’s Writing’ Category

Greetings and Writings

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Gold Medal: Worst Blog Title Ever!

Yes, I am still working on Surrender to Ruin. I’m in the weeds with the machete. This is a normal part of my process. The middle is solid, and per usual, I haven’t written the last chapter yet. Those closing chapters will go very very quickly when I get there.

The good news is that I believe I have finally made all the tweaks/adjustments that will get me past chapter 5 without asking myself the question all writers seem to ask themselves: Why WHY did I ever think I could write? Also this one: THIS is the book that will prove I’m not a real writer.

I go through this every time. And every time, those feelings are real. I tell myself I’ve done it 35+ times before I can do it again. I will.

To everyone waiting so patiently for Surrender To Ruin, it’s actually coming along nicely. Circumstances beyond my control mean it’s going slower than I would like, but I am writing/revising every single day. It will be off to a trusted reader fairly soon.

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In Defense of Pantsers . . . Again

Friday, July 29th, 2016

I’ve posted before before, before, before, about being a seat of the pants writer and how often people who plot get pantsing wrong. Sigh. Understandably, of course, since it’s not something that works for them. But I’m pretty tired of hearing the same old “If you plot in advance, you’ll save so much time and write so much faster!”

Let me explode that myth.

Plotters need that pre-writing work, the outlines and charts and notes. But that work takes time and words.

Pantsers (typically) do very little pre-writing work. If that work exists, the outlines, charts and notes are minimal. That work takes ZERO to LESS time than the outlining.

Supposedly, pantsers discard more words and therefore plotting is superior because they’re not discarding whole chapters. But that does not withstand scrutiny. Outlines and charts and notes etcs are words that count in this comparison. They count because the pre-writing of plotters and the discarding of a chapter that proved a new direction is necessary is all part of the working-it-out phase of writing.

It really doesn’t matter when or where that occurs. If you need to do it up front before you’ve written any part of an actual chapter, awesome! If you need to wait until you get to that part of the story and then write some words, and then some different words, awesome!

Honestly, I’m just so tired of hearing people who write in more structured ways that non-structured ways are wasteful, I’ll just cry.

More important, if you’re a writer who thinks you can use any process instead of figuring out what works for you, well, that’s why you’re having trouble. Or your book is done and dead on the page.

Sadly, there’s no way to make it easy.

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How’s it Going?

Monday, June 27th, 2016

The writing revising is going well! I’ll be posting Chapter 1 to my website shortly. Very likely I’ll post  chapters 1-2 in the subscriber only section.

To be more exact, I  have been revising Chapters 1-9 as per the usual angst and I don’t even know what I was trying to say there. But now I’m on Chapter 11 and it’s going faster, which is also per usual.

And so, I will wave to you over the internet and get back to it!

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Progress Report, Covers, and Complaints

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Progress Report!

I’m doing a paper read-through of Surrender to Ruin, which is going about as expected. It’s a little unusual that I’m at 82K words without a final chapter and with all but chapter 1 to read and revise. That’s because, per usual, I have heavily revised chapter 1 three times and then got all the way to chapter three when I realized I needed a whole new chapter before the then current chapter 3, which I then wrote and then I started over and revised chapter 1 twice more and now I’m moving on to chapter 2… Which is more or less how it usually goes with the paper revisions.

At this rate, I’ll end up at well over 100K, but I expect to find chapters that require deletion. I’m almost ready to post a first chapter to read, so look for that!

For those who care, I am currently revising my paper version with a Kaweco Sport fine point fountain pen with “lilac summer” ink. It’s very pretty! The Kaweco Sport fountain pen is a great pen. I enjoy writing revising with it.

Covers

As my blog readers know, I have the final cover for Surrender to Ruin which I love love love. I asked my cover artist to match the look and feel of Lord Ruin, which is why I went with a custom shoot for the image. There was nothing out there that was perfect and I didn’t want to compromise. Then I realized that A Notorious Ruin, which is Book 2 in the series, was going to look very out of place. I didn’t even bother looking for stock images. If there was anything out there that would work, I’d have used it for Surrender to Ruin. And so….

I did A/B testing for the  cover. In the first round, my preferred image (Looking Straight Ahead pose) lost by a statistically significant amount — though not overwhelmingly. So then I A/B tested Sideways Pose with the green background and the purple background, and that was more or less a tie. There was an insignificant edge for purple. On social media, the green vs. purple choice had a slight edge for green.

!

I SO SO appreciate everyone who weighed in. By the way, purple was my favorite. As was the Straight Ahead pose. But I could see why the sideways pose had the edge.

Now what!? Well, I put the three covers up in order across my 27″ monitor screen and swapped between purple and green for Book 2. I asked my sister to look. My preference was for the green, and so was hers and so … the green background it is. It goes better with Books 1 and 3. When it’s final, I’ll post all three so you can see for yourselves.

Complaint Department

Is anyone else having trouble finding books to read at Amazon? I used to be able to browse and find books and authors I wanted to read or try out. And now? It’s awful. Apparently, there are only 5 books they intend to show me, and if I don’t want any of those, too bad. The books they show me aren’t even remotely close to something I think I’d enjoy.

My last 10 book purchases were all at iBooks.

How about you?

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And Then THIS Happened

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

Some of you may have seen my post about gaming hells over at the Risky Regencies or seen me tweeting about some of the research. One of the things I came across was a reference to maggot racing and how to cheat at it, and Meljean Brook and I had a hilarious twitter exchange about the story I said I was going to write: Miss Fiona Harper’s Night of Passion, in which Miss Fiona Harper’s brother accidentally kills his racing maggot and loses his sister to the notorious Lord Hawke.

I’m totally going to write that story as soon as I finish Surrender to Ruin. And so…

An embracing couple in Regency clothing. Tots romantic

The Cover

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Here. Pretty Flowers

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

While I’m working on finishing up a completed first draft of Surrender to Ruin, Sinclair Sisters Series Book 3, here are some flower pictures I took.

picture of jasmine. If there were smells this would smell awesome

Jasmine

Yellow Freesia close up. Also would smell great if there were smellorama.

Yellow Freesia

A closed new pink tulip with bits of orange.

Pink tulip

Pink Pearl Apple Blossom from the side. It's pink and very delicate.

Pink Pearl Apple Blossom

This is a purple flower, possibly clematis only mostly i have no idea. Kind of Passion Vine ish. It's light purple.

Clematis thingee? I don’t know. Flower names are not my job.

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Miscellaneous Updates

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

I guess first I’ll mention that Emily and Devon’s story is going well. Last year’s decision to rent offsite office space has made a huge difference in my ability to get words written. There is nothing I can do about the situation that made this necessary, but now I’m able to meet word count and stay on track.

Another bit of news is that despite my poor production in 2015 (see paragraph above) my writing income was up significantly. This was about 50% due to the anthologies I was in.  They did very well.

At the end of last year and through now, I was concentrating on covers for the individual novellas from the anthologies, the covers for My Demon Warlord, covers for three special projects, managing the coding work for a data-management project, and getting ready to outsource all my formatting.

Yes, I can do the formatting myself. I absolutely have the technical skills, but I need to concentrate of maximizing my writing time, and that was one of the things that I decided needed to be outsourced. I’m in the process of sending all my books to be reformatted so they’re all the same visually. Several are done and ready to upload.

Why yes, I DID say there are three special projects that needed covers. I guess stay tuned!

 

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I Survived the Ides of March

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Life has been busy here at Jewel Central. I attended the RWA board meeting this month. We got a lot of important work done plus I got to spend time with some really smart women and men. The RWA staff is just amazing. The Board meeting was the weekend of the time change, so Sunday was super fun, getting up extra early. I don’t know what I’d do without espresso in my veins.

Then I came home from that and was tired the entire following week.

On Saturday the 19th, I was on a panel on behalf of the EFF with some of the authors from the anthology the EFF put together.

side shot of Dave Maas of EFF at a podium

Dave Maas of EFF getting ready for the panel

name tags at the EFF panelist table. Carolyn Jewel, Annalise Newitz names are readable. EFF banner too.

Yes! I was there! Next to Annalise Newitz omg

My adventure with arriving at the location of the panel at the Internet Archive in San Francisco began with me locking my keys in the car while I was getting gas. Fortunately, the gas station owner let me use his phone, and CSAA came really really fast and got my car unlocked. This used up all my time allotted for being lost so I was worried I’d be late. But I DID NOT GET LOST! It was a miracle. (No worries! I took two wrong turns on the way back.)

The panel was really fun and interesting. What a great group of authors. I got to shake Cory Doctorow’s hand and he was so, so gracious. As were all the panelists. They were so fabulous that I was just hoping to hold my own as we answered questions etc.

There was Romance in their midsts and everyone was fine with it, which as Romance authors and readers know, is often not the case in the mainstream. We talked about speculative fiction and civil liberties, and answered questions from the audience and everything everyone said was fascinating and thought provoking.

I did feel I had to apologize for my boring hair. I’ve decided to go purple-tinted platinum and in preparation for that, my hair was not dark purple, but a dark, dark, brown because that will be easier to bleach than the purple. So much colorful hair among the attendees!

By Sunday I was sick but needed to pick up my son who was home for Spring Break. Naturally, traffic was terrible and I got lost. Again.

I was sick most of the following week but it was great having my son home. Friday was a holiday from the EDJ. I got to make calls to the RITA/Golden Heart finalists which is pretty much the best thing ever.

My son went back to school today. I did get a little behind on my word count for Sinclair Sisters Book 3 because I was sick, but I’m coming up on the halfway point which is pretty exciting.

In writing-related news, I’m having all my books reformatted because I need not to spend time doing things that aren’t writing books. Ironically, this requires some work that is not writing, but as soon as everything is ready for Formatting Version 2.0, I’ll spend much less time obsessing over it.

And this means I can hint about some upcoming Exciting Things for Readers that are dependent on certain books being reformatted first. All that work went out Saturday and it’s in progress.

And so, March has been very busy, including writing.

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Preorder A Seduction in Winter

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

A Seduction in Winter, Available for Pre-Order

It doesn’t have to be the holidays or even winter to enjoy my Regency novella about Honora and Lord Wrathell. I promise! This novella originally appeared in the anthology Christmas in Duke Street.

cover of A Seduction in Winter, 3D. Pretty Regency Lady in a blue gown against a snowy--ish background

Cover of A Seduction in Winter – in 3D

 

Pre-Order A Seduction in Winter Now!

All Romance | Amazon | Barnes&Noble | iBooks | Google Play | KoboM | Trade Paper

He’s an artist and a duke’s heir. She’s sheltered and scarred. Can he show her by Christmas that love can be theirs to share?

As the holidays approach, Lieutenant Leoline Marrable, now Lord Wrathell, travels to London where he’s expected to fulfill longstanding expectations and propose to his former commander’s daughter. Wrathell longs to ease the strained relationship with his ducal father. The key may be an unfinished portrait of his late brother.

Honora Baynard has a terrible facial scar as a result of a childhood injury. She has never forgotten Leoline, who came to her defense when other children tormented her. Now, her over-protective artist father keeps her indoors, creating the beautiful detail work that makes his paintings so sought after.

As Wrathell and Honora spend more time together, mutual interest becomes mutual attraction. Can Wrathell convince Honora that for Christmas, he’d like to give her not only passion and pleasure, but his heart to keep for her own?

Read Chapter 1

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Upcoming Releases

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

I’m going through all my books and sending them out for reformatting by someone who isn’t me because I’ve decided it’s not a good use of my time. The changes will be exceedingly minor — basically just the formatting. I’ve got some pretty custom dingbats for the interiors and a nifty newsletter icon to include in my books.

In the next two months I’ll be releasing two historical romance novellas that previously appeared in anthologies and uploading new files for the two novellas already on sale. All four will have print versions. In addition, I had all four re-edited/copy-edited/proofed so they’re consistent as to punctuation etc. There are no changes to the stories, but they all went through slightly different editorial processes and I wanted to make sure everything was consistent.

I’m planning a boxed set of these, to be priced competitively compared to purchasing all four individually.

The four novellas are below.

A Seduction in Winter – April 2016

Pretty Regency Lady against a dark blue wintery background

A Seduction in Winter

An Unsuitable Duchess – March 2016

Regency Lady with reddish hair gazing pensively at a fan

An Unsuitable Duchess

In The Duke’s Arms

Regency Couple. Woman's dress is falling off. Man in open necked shirt and breeches. Shennanigans.

In The Duke’s Arms

One Starlit Night

Pretty Regency Lady in a dress that is unfastened down the back. She's not wearing proper undergarments and she's outside with stars.

One Starlit Night

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