Posts Tagged ‘Bound in Smoke’

What I’ve Been Up To

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

Sheltering In Place

California extended its Shelter in Place order to May 3, 2020, so we’re in for another month. I’ve been working from home since March 16th so we’re into day 19 here at Jewel HQ. We don’t take my dad anywhere except for his necessary medical appointments. He misses his shopping trips but, as a retired physician, he understands exactly why this is necessary.

The California DMV has cancelled nearly all in-person appointments, which is great. Since the RealID deadline is now extended to 2021, I don’t have to worry about my now cancelled appointment. I have no travel plans on the horizon so this is fine.

My local grocery store now only lets in 30 people at a time, and they have a taped physical distancing line outside for those waiting to go in. They have signs limiting the purchase of staples like flour etc.

The Days Are Blurring

I confess I am really enjoying my commute to the living room and being able to get up at 7:00AM instead of 5:30AM, but I keep losing track of the days . . .

Freddie the Macaw loves having me home all the time. As my twitter followers may know, he imitates the dogs when they start barking out of control because of a delivery truck or a squirrel. He barks like them dead on but can’t maintain and his escalation devolves into macaw screeching. I have successfully de-coupled the barking from the screeching via click training. Now he understands that barking like the dog gets him a treat, so he’ll sit on his play stand and bark at me to get a treat. I’m bridging that to the question “What’s the dog say?” We’re now at about 70% success rate with him responding to the cue. Eventually, (I hope) he won’t bark every time he wants a treat and will only bark when I ask him the question.

Once that’s done, I want to work on getting his meow on cue. He already meows like a cat, in addition to saying ‘Kitty, kitty, kitty!” I think it will fun to have that on cue as well.

Writing News

I’ll leave you with writing news, which is that I am doing that last pass through Bound in Smoke before it goes back to my editor. I’m about halfway through.

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The Times, They Are a Stressful

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

Hello, all. I have a suspicion I may be posting more often here because, like most of the world, I daresay, I am a bit stressed and looking for ways to deal with that while maintaining Shelter At Home.

Bound In Smoke

Today, I finished the remaining changes to the manuscript. I went through my reader’s notes and ended up with a ist of 10 things I want to confirm are addressed before I send the MS to my editor. In general, I legit teared up a couple times toward the (HAPPY!) ending. I went with my gut on a couple of other changes that I think really solidified things.


Which is to say, the book is in the final stages.

Pandemic News

Also like most of us, I’ve been stressing out. I’m grateful and relieved that my county and state issued some of the earliest Shelter In Place orders, though potentially not optimally soon, and really glad that I started working from home prior to any of those orders.

For those who like their Pandemic news science and data rich, I recommend the UCSF YouTube channel which is making medical staff information and panels available to the public. The videos are long, but you will not regret watching. I found my anxiety decreased in significant ways once I heard for myself that the world’s leading experts are working on this and that they are results and science focused.

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News for The Times

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

In writing news, I am closing in on the Bound in Smoke edits from the trusted reader and expect to have the MS back to my editor shortly.

I have good news and bad news on the flower front. February’s lack of rain and summer-like conditions has made our tulips a total bust. Normally by this time we have hundreds of tulips in full boom. There are two. That’s it. Many didn’t come up at all, and those that did are stunted. This is so sad.

In happier flower news, I recently planted a variety of flowers from seed and thought those were a bust too because the packages mostly said 5-10 days and there was nothing but a few weeds. But now, a couple days past 10, I can see seedlings. Hopefully they will survive to bloom. Expect pictures if that happens.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy in this time of global pandemic.

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News! Bound in Smoke

Sunday, February 9th, 2020

Hello! I have sent Bound in Smoke to a trusted reader before it goes back to my editor.

You can read the new chapter 1 here.

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Street Witch Series

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

I am going over the MS for Bound in Smoke before it goes back to my editor. I’ve been going through the “Action Items” list I use to keep track of details or items I need to double check.

Also, today I saw the comp for the cover of book three in the series.

I can’t wait to show it to you!

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Progress Report

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

I do have a progress report on Bound in Smoke, which is that I have four chapters to edit before I send it back to my editor.

It’s been slow going. 2018 was a challenging year for me. I needed a lot longer than I thought to recover from a long period of disrupted sleep while I helped care for my ill mother. And, as many of you know, I’ve been on the Board of RWA since 2014 and am currently the President, and that takes quite a lot of mental energy, so things are slow.

But Bound in Smoke is really truly coming soon! I hope to have the updated Chapter 1 posted soon, and an expanded excerpt in the members only section of my website. If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ll get access!

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General Updates

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

A few updates for everyone.

I am in the final, final stages of editing Bound In Smoke. I expect to post the new chapter 1 shortly and send this version to my editor. It seems like forever that I’ve been working on this, and I know that the initial versions went slowly for a lot of reasons, including my mother’s illness and then her passing.

The current version is, in fact, a ground up rewrite and that has been going very quickly, all things considered.

Here’s the cover, just so you can see again and get as excited for the series as I am!

Cover of Bound in Smoke, Book 1 in the Street Witch series. Cover features a tough looking witch admd a fiery, dramatic, urban gritty background.
Cover of Bound In Smoke

It’s fitting that on the weekend the US celebrates Labor Day, I am laboring on writing this awesome story.

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Positive Thinking?

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

Hello! The RWA National Conference is over, and I’m recovered from the jet lag since the conference took place in New York and I am in California. Next’s year’s conference is in San Francisco, so that will be a no jet-lag conference for me. I’ve been really busy, but believe it or not, I am getting a lot of work done on Bound in Smoke.

You said Positive Thinking!

Yes, I did. I will get that that.

My editor had a suggestion for Bound In Smoke that was spot on and the strangest thing happened when I started working on that issue. Which was that I switched from third person to first person, and the entire story just broke open for me in a way it just hadn’t while it was in third person. I’ve done this before with a story and have found it a useful exercise for a chapter or two, but this is the first time I’m going to leave an entire novel in first person.

Every book is different with a different set of challenges and approaches to the writing of the story, and I am definitely going with the approach that made this story open up to me in a way it hadn’t. It’s the same plot, the same story line and character arcs, but now it doesn’t feel like a slog.

Where is the Positive Thinking Bit?

Right here! About a month ago or so, I decided I needed to personally celebrate my successes, small or large. Nothing huge, just a mental note to myself that hey, you did three things on your to-do list! Mental star for passing up a dessert when I felt like stress eating. The times I did not aren’t the point. What I found was that those small personal celebrations reinforced that behavior and improved my mood in general.

I recommend it unhesitatingly. Give yourself credit for your successes the moment they happen. Reflect back on the things that went well for you.

Carry on.

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Revision Updates

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

Yes, I am still revising Bound In Smoke. Although the story retains mostly the same plot events this is a do-over of the first half of the book. But it’s also a do-over of the entire book with respect to some authorial choices about the writing.

It’s been a rough few years with writing because of the demands of taking care of my mother while she was increasingly ill, getting my son through college, etc. That said, I did produce a complete first draft of Bound In Smoke, a story and world I really love.

Every book presents its own writing challenges, and Bound In Smoke is no exception. But this book served me up a major surprise in terms of what broke open the story for me, and that was changing the story from third person to first. The minute I made that change, the story world opened up for me in a way the 3rd person version did not.

Years ago, I rewrote an early draft of a novel as first person, had some great story insights as a result, then rewrote into 3rd person again (because that story was strongest in 3rd person anyway) , which is the version that was published. I have also written several first person stories, so this isn’t entirely out of the blue.

That said, I am excited about Bound In Smoke. I suspect this story will stay in first person, but I guess you never know.

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Revisions!

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

I have Bound In Smoke back from my editor and I am doing revisions. After thinking about it for a few days, I am redoing the beginning. But things are going pretty well.

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