Finished:

Lists I Left for My Sister: Rosamund Hodge

A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson: H.P. Lovecraft

Ghost Sniper: David Healey

Polaris: H.P. Lovecraft

Hot Head: Damon Suede

Mission: Protect the Ex: Alina Popescu

Penal Units in the Red Army: Alex Statiev: Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 62, No. 5 (July 2010)

Started:

City Infernal: Edward Lee (Re-Read)

The Wise Man’s Fear: Patrick Rothfuss (Re-Read)

Railsea: China Mieville

The Charm School: Nelson DeMille

Kingbird Highway: Kenn Kaufman

Necroscope: Brian Lumley (Re-Read)

The Long Walk: Stephen King as Richard Bachman

Still Working:

Heavy Time: C.J. Cherryh (Re-Read)

Desperation: Stephen King

Lunatic Cafe: Laurell K. Hamilton (Re-Read)

Double Dead: Chuck Wendig

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

Update #1: the publication of Moon Shine, the next novella in my Slaughter Chronicles series, will be delayed a few weeks because one of my beta readers isn’t finished giving me feedback yet. I want this book to be the best that it can be so I have to wait a bit.

Update #2: I have put up all my books (excepting the Prolific Works Exclusives) on Kobo. They were live there before but I was distributing them with Draft2Digital. There are a few pros and cons to using a publishing service to “go wide” as they say, I may discuss them with you later but for now let me just say that Draft2Digital is awesome and I have no problems with the service, I just want to do the distributing myself. So I have. New Kobo links to all my books will be available shortly.

Update #3: TINY RICK IS BACK WITH ME!

Tiny Rick, our Feline Immunodeficiency Virus cat, is living with me now as Mr. J prepares for the next phase of job traveling. I am still living with my mom and Leela and Titain who, excepting my mom, are not pleased by his arrival.

Note: Yes, he’s named after the Rick and Morty episode 🙂

Note the second: We are well aware of the risks of adopting a FIV positive cat and introducing him (in this case) into a pre-existing healthy cat environment. I can report right now that Leela and Titain are FIV negative and have been living with Tiny Rick since 2017 without any problems. We try to make sure everyone is as healthy and safe as possible while keeping in mind that Leela and Titain (and Tiny Rick) are all elderly cats now and they will die eventually from something so FIV contamination isn’t really a big deal for us.

As I’m winding down the final edits for Moon Shine (goes live in 12 days) I thought I’d compile a list of steps my draft goes through when it becomes “done.”

1. Draft/Edit: it can feel frustrating at times but really it’s the most fun part of the process.

2. Finish Draft: then put it down for a week to let it simmer.

3. Proof-read + make notes of repetitive words.

4. Make corrections

5. Copy edit #1

6. Proof-read again + fix dialogue

7. Read draft aloud + Copy edit #2

8. Proof-read #3 + find continuity issues

9. Add to fill plot holes

10. Read aloud again

11. Take list from step 3 and use thesaurus. Use the fuck out of thesaurus.

12. Proof-read #4 fixing problems from notes taken during steps 1-11

13. Read aloud #3 + Copy edit #3

14. Give manuscript to final beta reader (Mr. J)

15. Re-read manuscript specifically focusing on using correct names/descriptions/actions/mechanics of firearms (if applicable).

16. Final read aloud

17. DONE

Note: Reading your draft aloud is the best thing you can do for editing, in my opinion. I catch so many grammatical errors and passive voice issues when I read my work aloud.

Note 2: Throughout the editing process I look for A) filter words, B) repetition, and C) passive voice

Note 3: Throughout the editing process I make notes every time I re-read the manuscript. I write down questions I have about setting changes and character development. I also write down/highlight all plot holes and anything I think is boring.

Note 4: I do not spend money on a freelance editor and copy editor. I have an MFA in Creative Writing. I do all my edits myself because I know how (feel free to argue with me in the comments if you’ve read my work) but I do use beta readers to gauge plot pacing, character development, and identify possible sensitivity issues.

Note 5: As important as it is to work consistently on your manuscript (especially if you have a deadline) it is equally important to give your book some down time. I try to take days off whenever I feel myself getting frustrated with a scene or when I feel myself over-editing. Remember, writing is supposed to be fun. You’re doing something you love, don’t burn yourself out. Also, taking breaks lets new ideas emerge and distance allows you a fresh perspective.

(I’m including short stories in here because I am incapable of finishing a short story collection in a month.)

Finished:

Love in the Time of Global Warming: Francesca Lia Block

The Collector: Titanborn Universe Book Zero: Rhett Bruno

Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

The Laughing Corpse: Laurell K. Hamilton

A friend’s amazing zombie book

The Beast in the Cave: HP Lovecraft

The Alchemist: HP Lovecraft

The Tomb: HP Lovecraft

Dagon: HP Lovecraft

The Big Flash: Norman Spinrad

Circus of the Damned: Laurell K. Hamilton (re-read)

Goblin Slayer vol. 3: Kumo Kagyu

Currently Reading:

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

Desperation: Stephen King

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

Started:

Heavy Time: CJ Cherryh (re-read)

Double Dead: Chuck Wendig

Favorites:

1. Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

2. Heavy Time: CJ Cherryh

Books Finished

Strength to Let Go: Tales of the Werewolf Tribes Book One: Alina Popescu

The Cruel Prince: Holly Black

The Lost Sisters: Holly Black

The Wicked King: Holly Black

Red Queen: Victoria Aveyard

Still Working

Goblin Slayer vol. 3

Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

The Laughing Corpse: Laurell K. Hamilton

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

Books Started

Love in the Time of Global Warming: Francesca Lia Block

Desperation: Stephen King

Hope Nation: Rose Brock

Favorites

Still The Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

Love in the Time of Global Warming reminds me of her other book Primavera.

Books Finished

Giovanni’s Room: James Baldwin

Binti: The Night Masquerade: Nnedi Okorafor

Relic of the Mad Poet: A Journey to the Tree Of Sorrows Story: E. H. Robinson

Battle Angel Alita Vol. 6: Yukito Kishiro (re-read)

Battle Angel Alita Vol. 7: Yukito Kishiro (re-read)

Battle Angel Alita Vol. 8: Yukito Kishiro (re-read)

Battle Angel Alita Vol. 9: Yukito Kishiro (re-read)

Battle Angel Alita Mars Chronicle Vol. 2: Yukito Kishiro

Berserk Vol. 2: Kentaro Miura

Still Working

Arthurian Book of Days: Caitlin and John Matthews

The Laughing Corpse: Laurell K. Hamilton

King Arthur: Christopher Hibbert

Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler

Goblin Slayer Vol. 3: Kumo Kagyu

Books Started

Strength to Let Go: Tales of the Werewolf Tribes Book One: Alina Popescu

Runes for Beginners: A Guide to Reading Runes In Divination, Rune Magic, and the Meaning of the Elder Futhark Runes: Lisa Chamberlain

Favorites

Berserk

Giovanni’s Room

Parable of the Sower

*

I didn’t get a lot of reading done this month for the same reasons I didn’t get a lot of writing done. I spent 2 weeks doing nothing but home repairs. I fucking hate home repair/improvement, whatever you want to call it. Painting, plumbing, electricity. All the small trees cut down in the back yard. I am DONE with home stuff. Just let me do the dishes and leave me alone!

See these pliers? They’ve seen some shit. We are battle buddies. These pliers are my best friend now. If there’s a fire, I am grabbing them before I grab my cats. That is how much they mean to me now.