Onesong – Chapter One

July 19, 2017

I’d been considering what I wanted to run this week and the answer was that I really didn’t have anything I wanted to post right now. I didn’t want to feel rushed to finish a story, even though I’ve got several near completion.

Then, I thought about Onesong. I’ve been longing to get this one done and released, but it always seems to sit on the back burner. Longtime followers may remember this one as being the book I worked on during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – takes place every November and to “win” a writer must complete 50,000 words in a month — great if you need to get out of your own way and write. See nanowrimo.org if you want more details) a couple years ago. Then, I realized I’d actually been working on two books and had to split them apart (that was fun — not!). I’ve completely drafted Onesong, but there are still a few holes that I need to fill in. So, maybe to spur me along, I thought I’d Read the rest of this entry »


Progress – 07/03/17

July 3, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 10.579 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  865 words

Writing month to date total: 53,999 words for June, July to date is 3,472

Writing year to date total: 190,689 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted, for complete paintings, but I did sketch in my sketchbook thanks to one night when I was wide awake from 1:30 a.m. to 4:30-5:00 a.m. I also did get an hour of painting in one evening, which means that I finally destroyed a painting I’ve been staring at for a year wishing that there was some way I could save it and knowing that it was a total loss. Painting over it was the final confirmation that I had failed it. Yeah, that’s okay. The new painting that is emerging is pretty neat so far. Not all of the underpainting is covered yet and in some ways I want it to ghost through. It’ll be fun to see what happens. If nothing else, I’ll have a new painting to stare at for a year wishing I could save it and knowing it’s hopeless. (grin)

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches. Nothing official, since I was practicing in my sketchbook. I was practicing hair.  Maybe someday I’ll show some pictures.

Audio: I spent 8 hours recording and editing audio. This is actually only the time I logged. I spent a lot more tinkering around. Boy do I have some foul news. More below.

Week’s happenings: My writing streak continues. Yeah! I am now at having hit my daily word goal for 26 days. But I will tell you that sometimes I wish I would convert it to a weekly goal, rather than daily because some days are tough. On the other hand, if I hadn’t pushed myself to sit down and get the words done, I wouldn’t have had such a brilliant thing happen in the 5th Sacred Knight book. I won’t go into it now, but let’s just say that cosmic forces really needed to align for this event to happen. If I’d been distracted, I would never have seen it. But my heart said I needed to work on Steigan, rather than trying to kick the words out with Loki (he’s easy to write and I can do 1,000 without hardly thinking). I’d been dinking around with a scene all week, not getting more than 350 words done at a time. I had no idea what was going to happen — I just knew that I had to have one specific character tell Steigan something very important. That was literally all I knew. And, of course, the first think the character had done was walk off the scene, leaving Steigan to deal with everyone else. Argh! No matter how much Steigan begged, pleaded, cajoled, etc., no one was going to tell him. If you’ve read the series, then you know exactly how bad of a situation that is when Steigan asks a question and doesn’t get a reply. Yeah, it’s that bad. But neither Steigan nor myself knew what was going on. Then, the feeling came on that I had to sit down and work on it. No light bulb had gone off in my head, so I hoped that I wasn’t sitting down to lose an hour of time to only getting another 350 words done.

Then the gates opened. The character returned to the scene and started talking to Steigan. None of it was good news. Yet, it all fell in place with the story. I love it when that happens!

Trust the process.

In case you’re curious, I’m currently working on 4 novels and 2 short stories. I rotate between all of them and usually work on pieces of several of them in order to get my words in. A few hundred words here on one story, a few more on another, just keeping building until I have my word count for the day. It always seems that I’m anxious to work on one story or another and that’s the one that runs with it that day. My brain, meanwhile, is sitting back thinking about all the others. Unconsciously working on stories. Then I just get to sit back and play. Yeah, best job in the world.

Now that I’ve shared the exciting part with you, let me break the bad news. I have to re-record Loki. While recording The Last Ant and The Doorway Prince, I just made too many adjustments to my booth that I can’t duplicate the sound for corrections on 1-800-Mischief. I hear every one as clear as day. That’s just not the quality that I want to put out. One chapter is already completely re-recorded and edited — I had to do it because the ending of the chapter was so messy that re-recording was the only option. I got so close with duplicating the sound. But so close wasn’t close enough. I keep telling myself that now at least all the books should be similar in sound quality since I’ve finally got a mic placement I like. Still, that doesn’t help for the last month of working on all the audio, thinking that it was going to be ready soon, then discovering it was an epic fail. I keep telling myself the same thing that I do with writing and painting: trust the process. There has to be a reason that I’m having to do it over. I have to be happy with the work first. If it bothers me more than it entertains me, there’s a problem. Unfortunately, I didn’t uncover all the issues until chapter 7. With an 11 chapter novella, that means the one or two things I had to clean up in earlier chapters could have been overlooked, but when the ending of the book just falls apart, it’s better to scrap it all and move on. So, I’m back to square 1 – record the book. Argh!

Practice, I tell myself. I’m still learning. I am improving.

UPDATE: After writing about that, I went back and listened to it again with a different set of headphones. I re-did so of the earlier corrections I had done, but I haven’t merged them in yet. I am hoping to salvage it. It’s hard when I know what corrections I’ve made; I hear them. My job is to make them as seamless as possible. So, cross your fingers and let’s hope that I don’t have to redo the whole thing. I will if I really need to, but I do like this version and I’d not be able to get it read like that again. Besides, I’m ready to move onto the next recording. 

Last week, I also released Fall’s Confession for Kindle only. If you are an Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read it for free until September. After that, I will take the story to wide distribution like all my other stories.

That’s been all for this week.

I hope everyone in the U.S. has a happy and safe 4th of July.  See you again next week.


Progress – 05/08/17

May 8, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 6,958 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  1,450 words

Writing month to date total: 8,408 words

Writing year to date total: 112,562 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 5 hours on recording and editing  audio. I’m still planning on having The Doorway Prince out on Audible and other platforms in May. I really thought I was going to have it done this week, but I just couldn’t put in the time I wanted.

Week’s happenings:  First, I want to give a big Happy Birthday shout out. I won’t say who it is that is receiving it, but I know that the receipent will get it.

Well, Adrian’s hands are still healing from the bike accident over two weeks ago. He’s almost there. So I’m still walking Merlin in the mornings and evenings. That’s what’s really cut into my audio time, but in some ways, it’s kind of been fun doing that chore. I occassionally even run with Merlin for a block or two and that’s really been interesting. I think he’d be a good dog to jog with. He keeps me inspired and moving. And he loves it. Unlike bicycling ( which according to my app, I rode for 41.5 miles in April — holy cow!), I can’t keep up any distance with jogging. It’s hard on my knees, but I am up to about a two blocks, so I keep reminding myself of the Zig Ziglar method of running (a block and a mailbox) and that’s really what I’m doing.

I went and got my other son from college. I can’t believe it’s summertime already. I know it’ll fly by and I’ll be sending him back in no time at all.

Then, on Saturday, I had a show; it was the Jerome Music Boosters’ Spring Craft Fair. Just one day, but I did set up Friday night, so I only had to walk in on Saturday and start to share my enthusiasm for my stories with people. Then we packed up Saturday after the show. I was tired and went to bed early that night.

For the writing, I’ve been focusing on a story called Mystery of the Stardust Monk and the next novella in The Loki Adventures. I feel like I’m two-thirds of the way done with Mystery and about a third of the way done with Loki.

In other news, I’ve tenatively scheduled Prince of the Ruined Land to be published on June 13th. This is not set in stone yet — I’m waiting to hear back on what I sent out before moving forward on it any more than to close my eyes and point at the calendar for a date.

Well, time to carry on now. See you next week!


Progress – 05/01/17

May 1, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 9,518 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  806 words

Writing month to date total: 27,065 words for all of April

Writing year to date total: 104,154 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent 8 hours on recording and editing  audio. I’m still planning on having The Doorway Prince out on Audible and other platforms in May.

Week’s happenings:  I have been taking care of my son still after his bike accident last week. I think I’ll have another week of cleaning and bandaging his hands every night. We’re still picking out gravel. Bikers — always ride with gloves! I’ve also gotten in at least half and hour of walking every day in taking the dog out for morning and evening walks, so that’s been good. I’m the only person who is still bundled up though. Until the wind stops, I won’t find any warmth in the days. I don’t care if it’s almost 60 degrees out now. It still feels like 40 to me. Thank goodness for my “no hat hair cowl” from Stacy, which I’ve been wearing to keep the wind out of my ears. It’s black with flashy gold trim around the face, so I feel pretty when I wear it too (added bonus – grin).

Writing-wise, I had my best week of writing so far this year at 10,324 total words for the week. I finished drafting the manuscript for the second origin story in the Ninjas series titled Space Ninjas Aren’t Real. It ended up being way more serious of a story than I thought it would be. I’d hoped it would be humorous and more along the lines of The Loki Adventures, but nope, it had other plans. I still see an edge of humor in it, so there is hope that by the time I bring the character to the real ninja story, she’ll be my funny one. We shall see. These characters have minds of their own.

So, if you’re curious about how all these things I’ve added up work out considering that you’ve been seeing a word count here but for a long time I hadn’t actually been finishing things, here’s how it goes:

During the end of March and in April, I created:

2 stories under 10,000 words

1 story over 10,000 words

2 novels (1 currenly 89,000 words long and the other at 85,000)

So that’s approximately 204,000 words that have come together in the last month. That’s really not to shabby.

I currently have one story that is coming up on 10,000 words, plus I have a good start on the 5th book in the Sacred Knight series, and I am over 3,000 words into the next Loki story. I don’t expect that May will see quite the same number of completions as I saw in April. I really think it was strange timing that it all worked out that way, but I do want to illustrate that if you keep working at something, eventually you will see results.

Also this week, I redid the cover for By the Numbers. And I prepared the cover for Prince of the Ruined Land (Sacred Knight #4). You can see them here.

I listed By the Numbers online, so it is now available for purchase. Yeah, getting the story ready for publications was certainly now how I imagined spending my Friday afternoon, but it’s what I got done. I now have copies of The Doorway Prince and History of a Dead Man. I’ve ordered copies of By the Numbers which I hope to have by this weekend when I do a show, but we’ll see. I’m not counting my chickens there. I got the first set of books mentioned super fast. I doubt I can be that lucky again. But it would be cool.

The show? For the sake of time, here’s a link with all the details. 

I mentioned that I was working on the new Loki story, right? Well, he’s babbling in my ear now, so I better go and get to work on him. Ever since I told him that he was next in the funnel and actively got back to work on the document, he’s been charging ahead as normal. I fully expect that I’ll be up until 3:30 a.m. again. See you all later after I’ve gotten some sleep!


Two new covers

April 30, 2017

If you’ve been reading along with Ninjas: By the Numbers during the month of April, you saw on each post the picture that I thought would be the cover. I had a thought that I’d try something a little different with it and that didn’t work out. But like Bob Ross, I had a “happy accident” with it. I think it’s definitely the touch I needed for the cover. Here’s the updated cover:

By the numbers cover small

If you missed part (or heaven forbid, all of it!), you can get the full version in print or ebook here.

I also sat down yesterday and made the cover for Prince of the Ruined Land (Legend 4 of the Sacred Knight series). Here’s a peek at it:

Prince of the Ruined Land cover small

I still don’t have an official release date for it, but that will be announced shortly. I’m betting I will figure something out this week. All I keep thinking is that my blue and gold hero is back so Holy Sapere Martias better watch out. (grin) Yeah, I’m a little EXCITED!!!!! Best yet, with the new rate at which I’m writing, it won’t be long until we get Legend 5 in the series. Are we there yet? (Okay, I admit, when it comes to Steigan and his story, I’m unbearable. Sorry, DWS, but Steigan is my special snowflake; I can’t help it.) He just jazzes my world and I am so thankful that I get to share his story.

There will be so much more in my progress post tomorrow, but I just couldn’t wait to share these updates with you. Thank you for being here to celebrate with me! And if you’ve been enjoying my stories, remember to spread the joy of reading as entertainment with all the people in your life.


Progress – 04/24/17

April 24, 2017

Fiction words written last week: 3,345 words

Blogs/Newsletter articles written:  659 words

Writing month to date total: 16,741 words

Writing year to date total: 93,830 words.

Drawing/painting last week: 0 square inches painted.

Illustration year to date total: 131.25 square inches.

Audio: I spent just under 8 hours on recording and editing  audio. I am close to having The Doorway Prince completed — it’s all recorded and I’m down to editing it with only a few tracks left. I hope to have it out on Audible and other platforms in May.

Week’s happenings:  I certainly didn’t get as many words written as I’d hoped I would. However, I got lots of other things done. I redid the covers for the first three books in the Sacred Knight series (again. Last week I showed off the redone cover for the first book, only to do it again during the week). Only the ebooks are done — I haven’t gotten to the print books yet, but I will. I caught up on my bookkeeping because I wanted to review my financial statements when I had my quarterly goal meeting over the weekend. I finished the draft of Onesong (which I had originally started during November 2015 while participating in NaNoWriMo), as well as finished another short story. And, I also had my quarterly meeting as I said above.

If that weren’t enough, my oldest son, Adrian, who has recently taken up biking and loves to ride long distances decided to make a quick stop from 24 miles per hour to zero in a split second. This was his first bike wreck. His foot slipped off the pedal and went into the wheel. Thank goodness he didn’t have a car behind him. Unfortunately, he peeled up a hearty section of each palm, gave himself major road rash down one side of his body and pedal marks up the other leg, and went from needing a tune-up on his bike to needing a major overhaul. All I have to say is thank goodness I had 8 years of veterinary science in 4-H as a kid! I brought him home and got him all patched up. The repairs to the bike will come later after his hands heal, which will probably take longer than he wishes it would. Not something either one of us had planned and certainly broke the stream in the writing I was doing. I’m glad he wasn’t hurt more seriously because it could have been so much worse. Fortunately, he’s already talking about his next bike rides, so I’m glad to see he wants to continue. I’d hate for this to have scared him off. All a mother can do is hope that he doesn’t take any more tumbles like this. I’m sure he will though. Goodness knows I had my share of bike accidents (never at that speed though).

The day after that accident, we drove to Pocatello where we picked up my other son and we took a family trip to Idaho Falls to visit the museum where they are currently having an exhibit on Rome. I took lots of pictures and came out of there with a bunch of ideas. I will share some pictures on this site soon. We took a walk around the river loop (we had been planning on biking around that, but obviously that was no longer an option — next time!). We visited the library in Idaho Falls where they were having a book sale. Two very dangerous words. My boys told me to take all the time I wanted — they soon regretted that! I did walk out of there having spent less than $5 in books and a couple of them weren’t even for me, so I think I did well. We also spent an afternoon at the zoo. A lot of walking around in two days and my legs were sore before we started. We had a great hotel room — it had a kitchenette with dishes and a dishwasher. I felt so spoiled, but the clerk gave us a complimentary upgrade on the room so we could have a roll away bed — two queen beds were perfect when my boys were little but just don’t work now that my boys are now both over 6 feet tall. It was great to have the extra room. It allowed me to spread out my notes for my meeting while my boys played their board and card games — video games weren’t an option considering the condition of Adrian’s hands. We sat around and watched an episode of Doctor Who, which we haven’t been watching in a while, and old, original episodes of Star Trek. Yeah, it was a good weekend.

Overall, last week was a very productive week. I have a lot of things I’d like to do in the next quarter. Certainly more stories to write. Even more to be sharing with the world.


Sacred Knight – Following the legend

April 21, 2017

I’ve completed the manuscript for the 4th book in the series: Prince of the Ruined Land. I’ve also rebranded the covers. I’ve only had a chance to update the covers for the ebooks so far, but I will get to the print editions soon, so if you want the original 1st edition covers, I suggest you buy your print copies soon.

Let’s visit the series so far, shall we?

Magic returns to a planet with deadly consequences. One boy vows to stop it, but discovers it possesses him. Can he overcome the superstitions and demons in order to save his world-

Pick your platform or bookseller!

The Three Books

Manifest the Magic

To Birth A Destiny

Remember, if you’re a book collector and you want the 1st edition covers, you’ll have to purchase it quickly. The covers will be updated soon.