Posts Tagged ‘projects’

What the Heck?

Man, I am having such issues with the Changeling story. It’s like pulling teeth, and I can’t figure out why. Yes, it has problems. Lord, does it have problems. Is it more problems than usual? Bigger problems than usual?

Maybe? Not sure. Middles are often difficult but they don’t normally drag on like this one is.

It’s especially frustrating because I should just be able to push through to the end. It’s close. We should be downhill from here. But it’s not going. It’s trickling along frustratingly slowly.

I’ve been trying some tricks to see if that helps. Yesterday I loaded up my dictation program because sometimes switching how you write frees up any mental blocks that may be happening.

However, all that happened is that I discovered that my version of dictation program does not work with my version of Microsoft Word. Good times. I did try it out on a short story I’m doing in Google Drive, which worked, but it turns out I haven’t quite figured out the flow for dictation anyway.

I suppose I could try handwriting. That’s helped me out of a weird spot before.

But part of me is starting to wonder why this is going so poorly. Perhaps the story is irredeemable. Perhaps my time would be better served working on something else.

And, then, you know how your brain gets. Or how creative types’ brains get. You’re working on something, yet over here is something else shiny, something more exciting, and it’s always very tempting to switch, especially when things aren’t going well on what you are working on.

So MY brain immediately supplies me with something else to work on, providing all sorts of useful information that I will no doubt forget before I actually switch projects, even if I try to write it down.

Or…should I switch now? I don’t want to–I’d really like to have a first draft done on Changeling before November–but maybe everything is tell me I should.

Or maybe, you know, the world is falling apart and I’m not going to be able to focus on anything. Maybe I should just give up, focus on getting things ready for Nano (working on the assumption that I will be doing Nano, after last year’s success), and come back to things later.

I dunno. I feel a little untethered, like there’s so many possibilities and yet nothing concrete to do.

How are you feeling, squiders? Mentally and emotionally? Anything you’ve found helps lately?


Project Overload

I’ve reached that point in the project where you starting wanting to write other things than what you’re writing. Which is ridiculous, for a couple of reasons.

  1. I’m not that far into any of the projects I am working on.
  2. I’m already working on a ridiculous amount of projects.

(Also, I have two library books which have just…disappeared into the ether. I seriously have no idea where they’ve gone, and the library wants them back.)

(Also we have a ton of books out right now because our branch reopened two weeks ago after being closed for four months, and we went a bit wild. I myself have four novels and six nonfiction books out, and that doesn’t count the two novels I have since read and returned.)

Two ideas are vying for time on top of the nonfiction books/workbooks, writing class, picture book, and writing class/fae novel projects.

The first I talked about briefly before, a YA fantasy novel I worked on and queried way back in the 2008-2011 time frame, and the second is a paranormal mystery series I have been slowly planning over the last year.

(Planning in this case includes pinning things to a Pinterest board and occasionally writing ideas down in the notebook I put aside for it. And reading old–1990s time frame–books about writing mysteries which are probably out of date, but which I got for free from my mother.)

I just finished a historical mystery this morning, and I tend to read a lot of mysteries, and whenever I do so it reminds me of my own series that I am not writing because there are not enough hours in the day.

Actually, I’ve got a lot of stories in planning for not actually planning to work on any of them in the near future. Aside from the Landsquid books, I’ve got three other potential children’s series in various stages of planning. There’s the mystery, and also the steampunk mystery, series. The prequel to the fantasy trilogy. A scifi horror novella on a space station.

It’s times like these that I wish that I worked faster. And stopped getting distracted by horror mystery podcasts.

But don’t worry, squiders! I’m being good. The current projects (and, quite honestly, probably a couple of them) will be finished before I chase the next shiny thing.

I think, anyway.

PitchWars, Tours, and Miscellany

Oh, Squiders, what a week I’ve had. Did I tell you that my stove caught fire? I think I did. It looks like we might actually get some money from the repair company, though! (We had someone out to check a burner on it–then the next time the burner was turned on, the entire electric system went up in flames.) But I also had to get the brakes replaced on my car, get a radon mitigation system installed, interview painters because we had a whole bunch of hail damage, etc. But in somewhat positive news, I’ve finally had the trim taken off the car so at least I never have to deal with that madness again.

Anyway, it’s been rough. I mostly want to burrow under my desk and read trashy romances and old Star Trek novels but, alas, I am an adult and have adulting to do. I mean, not that it’s getting done in a timely fashion, but I’m at least pretending.

In writing news, here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • I’ve got a new City of Hope and Ruin related prequel short story up for free over at Turtleduck Press! So if you liked CoHaR and would like more, there you go! And if you haven’t picked up CoHaR and would like a taste, tadah, free story! There’s also a free excerpt available.
  • So, apparently the application window for PitchWars was the 3rd thru the 6th. I like the idea of Twitter pitches and so have had the schedule open since January, yet have somehow managed to miss every event anyhow. PitchWars is a little more complicated–you pick four mentors and send in your first chapter and query letter, and if they pick you, they’ll help you polish your manuscript and query, and then in November they’ve got a panel of agents that look at the submissions, and I guess there’s been great success at people getting traditional publishing deals through it. Since there was a multi-day opening, I actually heard about it in time to get an application in for my YA paranormal novel, which I’m planning on going more traditional with.
  • I did, however, send in my application about 3 hours before the window closed. I guess if mentors are interested, they’re sending partial/full requests, and you’ll know you were selected before the official announcement on the 26th. I’ve heard nothing. It could be that I’m at the bottom of the queue and people haven’t gotten to me, or it could just be that I was so late into the game that people already had their eye on favorites. Or my submission could suck, but I’m trying to be optimistic.
  • I’ve finally got some momentum on editing the first book of my fantasy trilogy. It needs so much work. But I’m starting to see what it could be, and that normally helps on the motivation front.
  • But seriously, it needs so much work.
  • I joined Wattpad! You can find my profile here but I haven’t done much as of yet. A very nice author (whom you can find here) has been a doll about taking me under her wing and telling me how the site works.
  • We’re doing a space princess anthology for Turtleduck Press this year, so I’ve been working on that. I’m rather pleased with my story for it. I had a lot of fun doing science fiction instead of my normal fantasy–and space adventure science fiction at that.
  • Our long-term blog tour’s on right now. We’re giving away a $50 gift card again, so stop by any of the stops to enter. Thus far we have:
  • All stops have excerpts and blurbs and what have you, as well as tons of ways to enter the contest for the gift card.

I think that’s it in a nutshell. How are you, Squiders? Have you gotten up to anything fun or exciting lately?

Progress! Kind of.

Last week we talked about focus, Squiders, and my lack of it lately. I am pleased to say I am getting somewhere now! Well, sort of.

I was somewhat waylaid bad a nasty bout of vertigo over the weekend, which was not fun and seems to be lingering a bit, though it’s mostly gone at this point. I’ve also got a bit of headache, but I’m not sure that’s related.

But other than that, progress! But not necessarily related to writing.

As we talked about last week, I had four goals for June, only one of which got done while the other three had minimal progress. As a recap:

  1. Write and edit a short story for an anthology, due July 15.
  2. Get to the conflict remapping stage of the edit/revision on the first draft of my Trilogy book one.
  3. Finalize the new description for Shards.

You might also remember about three weeks ago when I said the sewing bug had come a-biting. You might also also remember that the larger, mobile one is out of school and we are all going insane.

That’s important.

So, where have I made progress? Well, I have made some writing progress.

  1. I’m at about 7K for my story, which is probably about 60% done. I’ve been writing about 1K a day on it, so I should hit the deadline on Friday.
  2. One of the first steps that I do on the revision stage of a book is to look at all the characters and make notes for tweaks/identify issues that need to be fixed. This is a high fantasy trilogy, so there are a lot of characters. I am finally done with that. I’m now ready to start tackling plot issues (of which there are many).
  3. I sent the hopefully final version out to the two people who have been helping me. Unless they come back with something major, this is probably done. Yay!

On the sewing front, I took the smaller, less mobile one to the fabric store on Friday, where we bought patterns, fabric, and necessary accessories. The larger, mobile one and I have been doing crafts, trying to do it daily for our own sanity. So today we finally put our fairy house out in the garden (we’ve been working on for about a month) since we got the furniture in the mail, and we also made fabric bracelets, which was a bit of a fail, since mine are too big and his is too small. Alas. Here’s pics, though.

Fairy House

Fairy House (hard to see furniture, but it’s there)


Space and Trees, two of my favorite things

Man, the captions look terrible on this platform. Blegh.

Gotten anything useful done lately, Squiders?


Good news, Squiders! We got a cover artist all picked out and set up and our book description finished AND you can go read our excerpt here! (I’ll wait while you do.)

Now it’s on to the more mundane (and less visible) marketing stuff. Again, if you’d be interested in hosting us for a cover reveal or the book launch, let me know! Or if you’d like to review.

So that’s a heavy weight off my chest.

Although, now that’s done with, I am reminded that I need to do final edits and check copyedits and all that lovely stuff.


Pre-orders should go live later today or tomorrow, so I shall retroactively come back and post those as well, and mention them on Thursday.

I have not moved on to other projects and find myself mostly unmotivated to, which is, of course, the issue with marketing. It kind of drains all your creative stores, and because I write/edit for my real job as well, there’s not much left at the moment. I hope to move on to Camp some time today. Not the space dinosaurs, no–and probably won’t get to them until later in the month after the edits are done–but the nonfiction books.

In non-writing news, I’ve got a triathlon coming up in a little over two months, so I’ve got to start training for that too. I don’t think I’ve been swimming in over a year.

What’s up with you, Squiders? How’d you like the excerpt?

Obligatory Nanowrimo Post 2015

Ah, Squiders. It’s October. Best month of the year, of course, for many reasons, but it being October means it’s almost November. And November means Nanowrimo. And so October, these days, also means getting bombarded by Nano everywhere you look if you are a writer.

I do mean everywhere. Oy vey. And I apologize for adding to the madness, but I’ve had a bit of a headache and blog post topics are scarce at the moment.

(I got an email this morning from a woman who runs writing groups out of the local library about Nano prep, and she mentioned she’d done Nano five times, and I was like, “Well, I’ve done it eleven” and then I figured it was time to get off the internet.)

(If you’re interested in previous Nano adventures, feel free to search the “nanowrimo” tab here on the blog.)

(Also, the reason why there’s a year in the title is because I suspect I’ve already named a previous years’ entry this.)

(Help! I’m trapped in parenthetical phrases!)


Anyway. My Nano news this year is that I’m not doing Nano, so if you are sick of Nano stuff, after this entry you’ll be safe until next year.

Unlike 2013, where I waffled back and forth about whether or not I was going to participate since I had a book release on Dec 1 (2013 was the first year I missed since I started in 2003), I’m sure about this point. 2013 taught me that it was okay not to participate if it didn’t align with my current writing goals.

I’ve got a completed draft due to editors on Dec 1, so while I might feed off Nano to make sure things get done (I’ve got ~25K left to do, though I hope to have less by the time November hits), I’m not going to do it in any formal sort of way.

What about you, Squiders? Nano, yes or no? Sick of seeing it everywhere, or does that get you raring to go?

Now What?

Happy May Day, Squiders! (The expression in of itself amuses me. I am easily amused.)

Well, April went quite well. I got all four projects done (including my novel draft which I am apparently still hung up on) and wrote over 35K, which means it might be worth it to go for Nano again this year. Depending on what November brings. And I realized I’m over 85K for the year already, which isn’t too shabby.

But now I find myself with a conundrum. What do I do now? The trilogy can’t be touched until I get beta comments back (and I got betas crawling out of the woodwork, which was a bit of surprise but gratifying) and I don’t want to start a new novel (I’m trying to not have a giant backlog of first drafts even though I got the best idea yesterday).

I should go into editing, but I am doing something later this month that will essentially eat half this month and make it impossible to edit (writing might be doable if I take a notebook along and handwrite) and I hate to leave off in the middle of an edit. Editing requires so much focus, and you have to keep track of everything, and I almost feel like I’ll have to start all over again if I start now and then take a two week break.

I have my scifi serial that I suppose I could get ahead on, but that kind of defeats the purpose, which is to make sure I’m writing regularly at least once a month.

So what do I do with myself? I don’t want to just waste the first two weeks here, because I’ve been so productive thus far this year. Do I start a new novel knowing I’m going to drop it come June? Do I do nothing and go mad? Do I do some sort of short story challenge?

Suggestions would be highly appreciated. It’s only the first and I’m already going insane from inaction.

Moving On When a Project is Done

(For those of you who are into mythology, here’s the Bible mythology post at Paranormal Unbound and the angel mythology post at Amalia Dillin’s.)

(If you like interviews, here’s one, here’s another, and here’s a third in which I make silly faces at the camera because I don’t know what I’m doing. And also get distracted about missing quotation marks in published books.)

The past week has been very strange. Friday came around, and I finished up all my guest posts and interviews and sent everything off to their respective recipients, and I made sure Shards was on Goodreads and that everything would go live appropriately and…then, all of a sudden, I had nothing to do with myself.

I mean, I’ve been working on Shards non-stop since last December when Turtleduck Press accepted it for publication. I did research, I did extensive outlining, I edited the heck out of the thing and, once I’d submitted the manuscript to the editor, I alternated between doing additional edits, working on getting the cover ready, and putting my marketing plan into full speed ahead mode (which involved a lot of emailing people. And a lot of reading things). And even when everything was in its place, I still needed to get things out to people and make sure I had avenues for announcing the release.

And now…now…it’s mostly done. I still have a few more things to send out, a few more people to contact, a couple more ads to set up, but for all intent and purpose, it’s done. It’s been released into the world where I no longer have full control of it. I need to move on.

No matter how many times I get to the end of something I’ve been really involved in, mind, body, and soul, I always forget about this weird listless, almost depressed, feeling I get when something has ended. Like the purpose has been drained out of life. And, at the same time, I’m excited to move on to the next thing, yet I can’t quite seem to get up the motivation to do so.

If I could ever remember that I go through this every time, I would remember that it helps to have a new, low-stress project on hand, usually in an area completely unrelated to the one I just finished. Like, I might go work on that Alaska trip scrapbook since it’s been four years since we actually took that trip. Or maybe I will just flail around about Christmas for the next three weeks.

What do you do, Squiders, when you get really into something and then it ends? Wrapped any big projects up lately?

Also! Here’s a Goodreads giveaway for Shards. We’re giving away three autographed copies with bookmarks!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Shards by Kit  Campbell


by Kit Campbell

Giveaway ends January 03, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Working on Multiple Projects

Perhaps you’re one of those sane people who works on a single project at a time.  You sit down and work on a one thing from start to finish and then, when you’re done, you move onto the next project.

This post is not for you (and I will be sending the Landsquid to TP your house later).

If you’re anything like the writers I hang out with, you’ve got multiple projects you’re working on.  If you don’t, it might be because life is trying to eat you and you barely have time for any projects, let alone more than one.  Or you’re in your first.  Good for you!  It all goes downhill from here.

(Note to self: do not read Ian’s blog before you write your own.)

It’s a complication of time, honestly.  Once upon a time, I worked on a single project at a time too.  You write one novel.  Then you write the next, and the next.  Then you realize you’ve got to edit the things, and then there’s reader comments to incorporate, and then perhaps you decide you’d like to sell them…next thing you know, you’re up to your shoulders in stories in various stages of the process, and nothing’s getting done.

So how do you dig your way out?

The answer is simple: compartmentalization.

The real issue with working on more than one project at a time is that it’s difficult to get your brain to switch between them.  It’s hard to work on your horror short story when, the day before, you were writing fluffy romantic fanfiction.  Your brain gets into these grooves and wants to stay in them, leading to frustration.

The solution is to give each story their place.  This can work a number of ways, and you’ll probably have to experiment to see what works best for you.  You can compartmentalize by location: write one novel at home, a short story at a coffee shop, fanfiction during your lunch break.  Or by time: mornings are novel, afternoons are short stories, weekends are fanfiction.  Or by the color of fingerless gloves you’re wearing.  It’s up to you.

The idea is that you train your brain to expect to work on something specific under specific circumstances, so when your brain finds itself in those circumstances, it knows what to do and it becomes easier to get into the right frame of mind.  It’s the same idea behind creating a writing environment.

Any tricks to share, Squiders?  What works for you?