Posts Tagged ‘Revisions’

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.


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?


My Demon Warlord – Status

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

I have a status! Something to tell you!  I just sent the MS for My Demon Warlord to the copy editor.

It turned out that I did not one but two significant rewrites even after my revisions were done. I wasn’t happy with certain parts of the story. My second paper read-through was a sea of pretty ink colors. Lets, see, I used sparkly green,  copper, sunrise orange, pink, purple, sparkly blue, and sparkly gray. I’d run one pen dry, and either swap out the cartridge immediately and keep going or switch pens until I ran that one dry….  Then I put in those edits and did a third paper read through and…. again massively revised (see list of ink colors above) and then I got in those edits and started reading again, and then I gave up on paper and went back to the digital version and things were finally holding together the way I wanted them to. And then I was mostly catching little stuff like typos and punctuation instead of completely rewriting and now it’s on it’s way to the copy-editor.

After that, it goes to proofreading, then to the formatter.

For everyone who’s been asking about Book 3 in the Sinclair Sister’s series (that would be Emily and Devon!) I can start the plotting/brainstorming pretty much now. I’ve already worked out the basic framework so I may start drafting sooner rather than later.

For everyone who’s been asking about stories in the “The King’s Dragon” world, I’ll be writing the first one after Emily and Devon. That’s a story idea I’ve jokingly called The Dark Elf Series. It’s got elves. It’s dark. There’s a short story set in that world over at Heroes and Heartbreakers. You can read the whole thing there for free. You have to register, but that’s free. MacMillan sells the story for $0.99 at most vendors. (The King’s Dragon, by Carolyn Jewel)

The off-site office makes a big difference in my ability to string together some hours without being interrupted.



The Fork Is Out

Saturday, May 31st, 2014
Fork against a blue sky with white clouds

The Fork

I’m officially calling it. The fork is out. A Notorious Ruin is revised. All the little bits that were sitting there doing … not much are gone or playing their proper role.

I’m sending this to my main editor now.


Progress Report – Not Proper Enough and More

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

I have the edits for Not Proper Enough so I have my head down working on them. They’re actually very light, but this is my best chance to make sure I said what I meant and to make sure there’s emotional punch. This means I’m behind on Dauntless, my story for the Midnight Scandals anthology, but I’m sort of OK with that because I’d reached what I believe is critical mass with that story in that all the elements were gelling and I can now dig in and do yeoman’s work on story.

I also discovered that I have the UK rights to Not Wicked Enough and Not Proper Enough and that means I am currently commissioning new covers for both those books so I can release them in the UK. Not Wicked Enough will be out as soon as I’m ready. Not Proper Enough will, of course, will be a later release.

I’m getting antsy about starting Harsh Marit’s story for the next My Immortals book.

Back to work!


Lost Sheep and Other Matters

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

I am SOOOOOO close to being done with these gol-durned revisions. So, naturally, I am procrastinating.

At the homestead today, my 82 year old mother says to me:

Your father can’t find the sheep. Can you go down to the creek and look for them? He can’t go down there by himself.

Me: Sure.

And off I trot, only usually if the sheep are down at the creek, you can see at least one of them and there are no sheep visible. So instead of walking down to the creek, I walked the complete opposite direction to the neighbor’s field where for the last 30 years our sheep have also grazed. Sure enough, there they are. Happily eating spring grass. I go back to the house and give the good news to my mother who then says:

Can you go tell your father?

Me: Sure!

Off I go to find my father. Only he’s nowhere to be seen. So I go back to the house and say to my mother:

Where’s the last time you saw Dad?

My Mom: He’s probably down at the creek

Me: (to self) But you said he couldn’t make it down there!

My Mom: Can you go down there and find him? (By the way, it’s obvious my mother thinks my father has fallen in the creek or died of a rattlesnake bite, even though there are very very few rattlesnakes around here. It’s like the time years ago when she gave me a weird look when I got home but didn’t say anything at all. My cat comes out to say hello to me and she says, Oh! He’s alive! And I say, What? Why wouldn’t he be? And she says, I saw a hawk flying off with a large animal and I thought it had your cat. So, it’s obvious that to my mom, my father has been carried off by a metaphorical hawk.)

Me: Sure.

And off I go. Only not all the way because I quickly realized how silly that would be. I went around to the front of the house and there’s my dad, walking up the driveway with the mail. (It’s a looooong driveway with trees and a 90 deg turn. The bottom part of the driveway parallels the neighbor’s field where our not lost sheep were grazing. So dad had found the sheep on his way to get the mail.

That was my day. In between revisions.


Quick Catching Up

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Things have been crazy here at Jewel central. I’m so close to the end of my revisions, I can practically taste it. Oh my. But my mom’s been in the hospital so I’ve been a wee bit distracted. She’s home now which is good.

Anyway. Craziness. Carry on.


Never Stop Learning

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Saturday, I drove down to Sunnyvale, California, the heart of the Silicon Valley, to attend Donald Maass’s seminar Fire In Fiction. I hate driving. I particularly hate driving to the South Bay because the freeways there were designed by a sadist. Even with the GPS I still confuse left and right and I sometimes still take the wrong exit. Driving is stressful for me. But I got up at 6:00 am on a Saturday and drove a hour and a half South.

I listened to Maass’s 2009 RWA workshop on my DVD and heard enough in that 2 hours to think I’d really like to hear more about his thoughts. I was particularly interested because I know that in addition to being a top Literary Agent he’s also been a writer. I’ve read his book Writing The Break out Novel and thought it was one of the more helpful writing books. For me. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).

The seminar ran from 9:30am to 6:30pm and what a great experience it was. There was a lot of detailed analysis and explanation. I have pages and pages of notes and examples. I’m so glad I went. This was completely worth the money.

I now have several new and interesting ways to think about writing.

Never stop learning.


Catching up and Stuff

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Things were hopping for a while over here at Carolyn Jewel central.

Sidebar: The border collie is standing at my sliding glass door with her nose pressed against the glass begging to be let in. Normally I’d give in, but she’s obviously been soaking herself in the pond and is completely wet and muddy. Sorry Patch. You’re staying outside for a while!

I had revisions for Indiscreet which were due on an incredibly tight schedule. I ended up doing some major changes – in 10 days with an injured hand. Which is why I pretty much dropped out of sight for 10 days. But now they’re done and my editor is very pleased. Yay! This was combined with some urgent projects at work… Oh gosh. Not a fun 10 days, at all.

Now I’m coming down from 10 days of high tension and sleep deprivation and beginning to relax a bit. I’m starting in on implementing the new website. If you want a preview, check out the blog (if you’re reading in a feed) which has been skinned with the new design. I like it lots.

More later — errands to run.


Bzzzzzz – Rural Living Story

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

All right, so this isn’t exactly about writing, but I’ll get to that later. Late this afternoon, as my son and I were walking up the driveway after taking down the garbage, we met our neighbor High-Bob (to distinguish him from Low-Bob, the neighbor who lives below us). High-Bob was trying to flush a trout out of his water line — to no avail. Apparently later on he’ll need to hook up the compressor and basically blow the stuck fish out of the pipes. In the meantime, he mentioned that he had a big old mass of bees hanging off a tree behind his house. "Really?" I said. "Can we go look?"

So my son and I walk up to his house to look. Sure enough, there is a massive collection of bees about the size of two footballs end to end, hanging off the slender branch of an olive tree. Said branch looks to be in danger of breaking. That’s a lot of bees. We went back to our house where I discovered that the local paper (publishes weekly) had just run an article about The Bee Lady, who has a farm and raises bees. The article talked about bee swarms such as High Bob’s and how she will come and get them, and that quite often the bees die from the cold. Hives that get too big will split off.

I took her phone number to him and about an hour later, the Bee Lady was at his house. She had the whole bee keeper suit and a long cardboard box with a silver-dollar sized hole in one end. She also had an extra hat which she let me put on. Since it was evening, and cooling down fast, the bees were pretty quiet. I was able to get within five inches of this mass of bees. Oh my gosh.

Basically, she just kind of scraped the whole mass off the tree. (She estimated 35 to 40,000 bees) Most of the mass fell into the box, but not all, as you might imagine. The rest landed on the ground near the box. I had a few moments of wondering if I was going to panic as a few flying around bees landed on my mesh covered face, but I didn’t because, they were outside the mesh. Pretty neat, I have to say.

With most but by no means all of the bees in the box with some slats for them to cling to, she put the lid on the box. Once the Queen is in the box, all the other bees want to be in the box with her, and the ones that aren’t already inside go in through the hole in the end. That part took about 20-30 minutes. Small hole, lots and lots of bees. There was (are you ready for it?) a bona fide bee line into the box. Once or twice she took off the lid and scraped bees inside. They were actually very docile.

I learned lots of fun bee and non-bee related facts. Bees have a body temperature of about 92 degrees F, so they’re pretty warm. This time of year Yellow Jackets are our friends because they eat insect larvae. Skunks are bee predators. Who knew? Later in the year, Yellow Jackets are not our friends. They puncture grapes and eat them and they drown in your coke for you to drink — ICK!!!! So glad I don’t drink soda.

Once the bees were in the box, she plugged the hole, duct-taped the lid on and carried the box to her car. The sound from the box was a vibrating constant buzzzzzzzzz.

She was happy to have High Bob’s bees because a box of bees with a Queen costs about $95.00 and those boxed bees are, it seems, wimpy critters, having been coddled and what have you. Bob’s bees are wild and acclimated to our climate and are much more robust. They will make good honey.

We intend to visit her soon and I intend to buy some honey. Also, it turns out she used to be a patient of my father’s, I went to school with one of her daughters, and my son goes to school with one of her grand daughters.

In writing news, yesterday I sent off my two proposals to my agent who will then send them off to my editor unless there are any more tweaks. Today I got most of a The Great Revision chapter done today; all of a first pass and some good work on a second pass.


Oh, weekend, don’t go! I love you so!

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

It’s the weekend end and it will be a long time before the next set of holidays. Sigh

The last of my subrosa tweaks are in. I don’t want to talk about it. But it’s done and there’s nothing more I can do right now.

Now I can read unabashedly. Indulgently. Massively. Which I will do for a darn good while, let me tell you. I will report in on my reading as I consume mass quantities.

Off to do just that.