Progress – 2018 official

Last year I gave a report for the 2017. I thought I’d do the same this year, just to wrap things up, even though I feel (as I’m writing this sentence) that it won’t be nearly as impressive as last year’s post. I did a lot in 2017, considering it wasn’t a very good year personally with my dad passing away. I’m sure that bleed into 2018, but maybe as I look back, I will find something to surprise me. So, let’s reflect now on 2018.

I’m running this a bit late so that I could get in all my numbers for the 31st. I wanted the year full and complete. I was going to add that I usually write during the turning of the clock to the new year, because I was told many years ago that you should be doing what you want to come in the new year at the striking of 12. Because of that, there might be a few words that I’ll transition into 2019, but actually I probably should be editing. 2019 needs to be the year of reviewing what I’ve already written. I have a lot of work to do there. So, let’s move on.

Let’s start off by talking about the numbers for the last full week of 2018.

Words written in the last week of December: 6,668 words of both fiction and non-fiction. Sorry, I forgot to write these down the breakdown before I set the sheet up for this week, so that’s all I’ve got.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,354 words today, because today all I’ve been doing is writing blogs. No fiction for you today!

Writing month to date total:  28,761 words

Drawing/painting last week: I continued working on those dang space paintings which I keep swearing I’m done with. I started playing with some acrylic fluid medium and am really enjoying how it enhances the depth of them. We’ll see how it looks when they dry. I really wanted to finish them in 2018 since that’s when most of the painting was done. I’m hoping I’m there. I also have been repairing the canvas of my lotus painting. It’s almost done. I’m thrilled because I’m not even done and the scar has nearly vanished. Pictures coming; I’ve been documenting the process.

Audio: I spent 6.6 hours last week recording and editing audio and just over 2.6 hours today. I did manage to get Fall’s Confession uploaded, so even though it won’t come out until 2019, it’s a 2018 complete. Check that box off! I have started recording the voices for Manifest the Magic and I’m ready to get started on editing the first couple of chapters.

So how did the year turn out overall?

Let me start by saying that it’s been another not fun year. In fact, I kept trying to hire an assassin to kill 2018 in its infancy. Toward the end of the year I was commenting on how fast it was going and my son replied with a comment akin to, “Well, Mom, you kept saying that you wanted to throw 2018 back and the universe knew that it couldn’t do that, so it just fast-forwarded the year for you.”

Timey-whimy, whibbly-wobbly. That’ll teach mean to wish the years away!

Of course, it certainly didn’t help matters when my websites were hijacked by the hosting provider who refused to give them back. Fortunately I still had access to my dashboard, which allowed me to at least buy new domains and redirect my websites with forwarding. But because I wasn’t sure I’d get my websites back and that my forwards would one day stop working when the websites were taken offline, I had to go back through my books and get everything pointed toward the new websites, which also had to be built on a different platform away from my original host. I had to set up new email accounts and get all my accounts all over the Internet as well as newsletters I wanted to make sure I continued to get. Honestly, I got quite a bit of all that done, but not all. I made phone calls to the registrar of the domain and to ICANN, all who had their hands tied because of the privacy settings on my domains so my name wasn’t associated with them. I wrote letters, sending them certified. I went looking for an attorney to start suing to get my domains back.

Then one late night in October, I decided to do another Google search on the company and found a post from a guy who was experiencing exactly the same thing with the hosting company, but he reported that he’s called the registrar and after about 10 minutes on the phone, got his domains back under his control. Needless to say, the very next morning, I call the registrar, found out they were authorized to return the domains to those who could provide the invoice for the domain purchase, and, well, it wasn’t 10 minutes but maybe more like half an hour, I had my domains back.

I swear that was the first thing in 2018 that went right. That same week other things started falling into place. I think I had finally turned around the series of unfortunate events that had started in 2017.

Lesson: DON’T EVER LET SOMEONE ELSE CONTROL YOUR DNS RECORDS!

Now I fully understand why I had to become an indie author/publisher. I had to have control of my copyright — the publishing industry is rampant with intellectual property thieves. Whether it’s your domain name or your copyright, it’s your intellectual property and it can be taken from you if you don’t keep control of it. Don’t ever think a contract is going to keep you safe, especially if you go with the one that is offered; it’s not written for your benefit. I learned that when I was fighting for my domains and really dug into the contracts I had with the hosting company. I had literally tied my own hands. Only because of the hosting company’s non-response did I have any leg to stand on. Literary agent and publishing contracts are not for your benefit; they are for the agent or publishing house. Let that be your final warning.

Because of this whole fiasco, I initially bought 4 extra domains, not including the .net versions of my domains so that could move everything over. Three of those domains are something I had been thinking about for a couple of years, but I hadn’t taken action. I still didn’t get to do anything with them because of the time needed for rebuilding and relinking everything. But I hope that in the next year, I can do something with them.

I currently have 10 domains. My previous webhost lost out.

And the DNS records are under my control!

Sorry, that was kind of long winded, but it took a lot of my time and energy, which meant things didn’t get done. When I’m writing and sending emails or certified letters (for which I don’t get to take the word count on!), rebuilding websites on a new platform so I could establish redirect links, or I’m having to update the web addresses in my books and republish, new words aren’t getting written and the words that have been written aren’t getting reviewed.

I knew it was having an impact on my writing and art, but until I wrote these words, I don’t think I had really considered how damaging that loss of time was. No wonder I lost my daily word counts for a while and why I couldn’t even manage to get the weekly counts in. In looking back at the data of my spreadsheet, I see that my days started to fail when I first discovered that my websites were having issues and I wrote my initial demand for the sites to be unlocked and transferred. Then, things really crashed as I scrambled to build new sites. My word counts once again pick up once I had the websites and redirects in place.

Seeing the devastation in the numbers, it’s amazing I managed to hit my yearly word goal. And it’s little wonder that my drawing and painting took a side seat.

That reflection was probably good for me. It tells me that I can get back on track all around.

Let’s see what happened.

Writing year to date total: 338,586 words. This is pretty close to what I achieved last year. So even though I had lowered my daily word count, I still hit over my 300,000 goal. I have more on this below in my reflection and goal area.

My best month was January at 36,294 words. My most productive days were Sundays, followed by Saturday. Third most productive days were Wednesday.

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Progress – October 29, 2018

I want to personally apologize if anyone heard my near continuous, mental screams of anguish this weekend.

It has been very difficult.

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Those blurs are my many eraser marks! Writer fortified with much coffee and a chocolate biscotti. 

I finished the plot outline for Tangled Magic and Walk the Path, which meant it was time to sharpen the focus. That’s kind of hard to do when you don’t even have focus. On Saturday, I obsessed over the dang thing so much that I nearly didn’t get my words done for the day. I did, but I totally had to shove the story out of my head and not let in any distraction. I did write about Cirvel, but he took me on a wild ride and showed me a piece of his world from before the time of Tangled Magic and so I was on a thrilling adventure. If Cirvel had turned to me, as character often do, and asked if I now really, really, really wanted Rivic to win, I probably would have sank to my knees, giggled, and said, “No, Cirvel, you are forever the Lord of Gohaldinest. Only a monster would want that wimpy kid to beat you.” **giggle**

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Progress – 06/19/17

Fiction words written last week: 13.243 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  1,021 words

Writing month to date total: 32,296 words

Writing year to date total: 165,514 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 7.5 hours editing  audio.

Week’s happenings:  This last couple of weeks have been amazing for writing. I am currently on a writing streak of hitting my daily word goals for the last 12 days. I feel like

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Progress – 03/27/17

Fiction words written last week: 8,715 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  902 words

Writing month to date total: 23,603 words

Writing year to date total: 70,248 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent nearly 9 hours on recording and editing  audio for the second week in a row.

Week’s happenings: Even with my child home for Spring Break, I still managed to get 9 hours of audio and nearly 10,000 words of writing done. Yes, I got to spend good time with my son and even managed to get 7.5-8 hours of sleep per night. No, I wasn’t on vacation from my regular job either. I just made it happen. It’s funny that when you set your mind to doing something, the way is made.

It did help that I started a new story. No, it wasn’t Loki pestering me. I think I mentioned  last week that I wanted to work on my Dragons of Wellsdeep story (sorry, I’m not really sure if I did or not and I don’t feel like going back to look – bad me!). The characters from that novel came into this new story. It’s the second time I’ve mentioned Moonhunter in a story — the first being in The Doorway Prince. I feel as if I’m writing a timeline of this character without actually writing his novel. I pounded out over 7,000 of this new story in just three days. The rest of the word count for the week came from working on the fourth Sacred Knight story. I really wish I’d discover the title for it. I’ve been trying to do that as well as come up with a cover design. Maybe this last week hasn’t really been a good time to focus on that with so much going on.

The audio for The Doorway Prince is coming along, except for one whole track where I mispronounce a character’s name. I’m debating whether to merge it in or to re-record the whole track. So, I’m playing with Adobe Audition and continuing to learn new tricks. I’m always amazed at what it can do.

I’m hoping to get some drawing done this week. Something about spring always makes me want to start sketching. I’ve been reading Terry Goodkind’s Debt of Bones this week and enjoying the sketches in the book. I have plans for what I’d like to do with the Sacred Knight series, but it feels like I’ll never get there. If I don’t get better at drawing, that will certainly be true. I don’t want it to be true. I want to succeed with my ideas for it.

I did also finish up reading Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle. I’m in the middle of listening to Enchanted Glass, also by Jones, and it reminds me more of the Chrestomaci series.

There were a lot of things I didn’t get done this week. I have a lot of corrections to make to books, but that hasn’t been happening. Again, I hope to get to it this next week. There always seems to be more work to be done and more things I want to do. I keep reminding myself that the writing it the most important. I am a storyteller and that’s what I do. That’s what makes me happy. As I’ve been writing the longest, it is the easiest form for me to use to tell a story. Audio really is next on the list. It’s a lot of work, but I love where it has made me explore and stretch my skills. Drawing takes the longest for me, which is probably why I don’t find the time to work on comics as much as I’d like — again, something I hope to change very shortly, but we shall see what really happens. I still have a great desire to tell great stories and draw beautiful pictures to go with them. That was a goal I realized a decade ago and I’ve never quite been able to let it go.

No matter how productive one can be during the week, when someone loves what they do, it still never feels like quite enough. There is always more to be done. That is why the journey must be enjoyed and celebrated. Thank you for joining with me on my journey and sharing my experiences. I hope that my weekly progress entertains and inspires you. The path is always better with a friend along to walk it with you.