May 2019 Stats

Warning: I did not do so well this month…

Word Count:

14,428

Days I didn’t write:

11

Submissions:

1 rejection. Nothing sent out.

Project Notes:

So you can clearly see all the things I didn’t do this month (mainly write). But here’s what I did do:

I attended the Arkansas Writer’s Conference and met some extremely lovely local writer ladies.

I am working hard to study for the College Algebra CLEP exam so I can enroll in Biology and Chemistry classes this fall.

I moved all my furniture from our apartment into my house in Arkansas. I have a new writing space and everything! And with that move came the re-introduction of Mr. J’s cat Tiny Rick into our family. Titain and Leela are not pleased.

Also quit smoking AGAIN and withdraw has killed my productivity.

June is going to be no less busy. I’m taking a vacation to Florida with Mr. J next week and have to do a few more home repairs for my mom before we leave. I’m working on the final edits of Moon Shine and hope to be ready to publish it when I get back.

I’ve also been working on my urban fantasy series: The Heart of the Forest Cycle. At first I thought it was going to be a trilogy with each book focusing on different central characters but now I am thinking it needs to be a two-volume collection of short stories and novellas set in my magical universe. Because I’ve woven so many plot threads and am having a hard time connecting everything.

Whenever I find myself in a plot jam like this I find cutting things down is the best thing to do. I’m a poet first, fiction writer second, and I utilize a lot of my poetry skills to fix my fiction. I like to think they give me a unique perspective.

So what was going to be BOOK ONE of the HOTFC is now three stories about modern fairies set in the same universe. I’m working on adding two additional stories to give the collection more meat.

I’m not going to plan for it but if I can stay on task with my work in The Slaughter Chronicles I might be able to keep my original August deadline for the Heart of the Forest Cycle.

So far I have published one novella and two short stories this year. My original plan was to publish two more novella, one more short story, and three novels. So that’s five things I have not published yet and we’re already half way through the year. And I want to go back to college in the fall…

My new plan is to publish at least the two novellas and one novel bringing my total publications this year to 6 pieces of fiction, which isn’t bad. If I can maintain my self-discipline and stick to my plan the short story collection will come out as well but, again, I’m not going to push it, I have too much going on.

See you on the other side!

Cuddles

It’s late at night and we’re snuggling in bed.

Me: I love you. I’m so glad you’re my best friend.

Mr. J: You’re my best friend too. You and Tiny Rick. Except for when Rick sneezes in my whiskey. Which happens more than it should.

(Explanation: Tiny Rick has feline immunodeficiency virus so he coughs and sneezes a lot. In spite of this he’s an amazingly friendly and loving cat. But he also loves torturing Mr. J by sneezing in his alcohol.)

Going to Work

Mr. J (opens the door to go to work): Hey there’s a new cat outside!

(We live in an apartment complex with lots of stray cats.)

Me: Yeah.

Mr. J: Yeah!

Me: Yeah (Not the happy, enthusiastic “yeah” but the uncomfortable, defeated “yeah” of a person who all cats know will do anything for them and will ultimately suffer the displeasure of her inside feline overlords because the outside cat made big eyes at her yesterday and she doesn’t know how long she’ll be able to go without paying homage to the outside cat by giving him/her the inside feline overlords’ treats. And once they find out I’m giving an outside cat treats there will be HELL TO PAY!)

Me (again): Yeah.

Cat=Food

Disclaimer: Mr. J loves my cats. But he came into my life many years after they did. They were here first. They don’t understand why he’s here now. They hate him. He does not understand why they hate him, or rather he does but he doesn’t care. Also, we are both vulgar people and swear at our pets just as much as they swear at us in cat language. No cat feelings or human feelings were harmed.

We were watching Master Chef.

Me: Describe the spirit of Tiny Rick if he were food.

Mr. J: A really good stew that you crack a raw egg all over at the last minute.

Me: What?

Mr. J: Because he sneezes all over everything.

Me: Okay, what about Leela?

Mr. J: Tiramisu but you dumped the entire jar of cinnamon over it.

Me: Why?

Mr. J: Because the core is good but if you scrape away the top it’s just overwhelming and slightly annoying.

Me: Okay, Titian?

Mr. J: Chocolate pudding. Because she’s a fat piece of shit and slightly runny.

Note: Titain weighs 18.5 lbs. which is big for an American shorthair.

Half Cat, Half Xenomorph

Mr. J: I remember what Titian reminds me of! She’s like a fluffy version of that half human, half xenomorph the queen gave live birth to in the fourth movie. You know, the one that got sucked out the crack in the window!

Me: What?! She looks nothing like that! It doesn’t even have fur!

Mr. J: I said a fluffy version. I mean, look at her face.

Me: That is terrible! Do not say that!

Mr. J: And they are both mostly toothless…

Me: Shut the fuck up!

Valor

This is a post about pets. About cats. If you have cats, you can probably relate.

My cat’s name is Leela. She is a Russian Blue and also goes by the names: Pooks, Pookatron, and Spawn Of Satan (that was when she was younger and enjoyed jumping on fine ladies backs to attack their corset stays). Lately I have been calling her Leeks becasue that is what my text message auto correct changes her name into because, apparently, Leela is not an actual word.

Leela woke me up at 1:01 a.m. this morning. She usually waits for my alarm to go off before squeeking at me incessantly. She wants treats. And before you ask why I reinforce bad behavior with a reward, let me just say: she gets treats. She always gets treats. When I don’t get up with my alarm she bites my arm and jumps away before I can grab her. Wash, rinse, repeat. Meow, bite, evade. That is my morning routine.

Today the meow, bite, evade began WAY earlier than usual. So after I tried telling Leela that I really didn’t want to wake up at 1:01 a.m. when my alarm was scheduled to go off at 5:30 a.m. I reluctantly emerged from my cocoon of blankets wiht many tiny bite marks on my arm.

I gave her and her big sister, Titain, treats and noticed that the food bowl was empty. That, obviously, was her motivation for waking me up. I filled the bowl and went back to bed.

5:30 a.m. rolls around and I am greeted by both my alarm and Leela screaming at me to get up. I hit snooze until about 5:49 a.m. Then I get up and give Leela, Titain, and Tiny Rick this time, treats. Yes, two of them got treats twice. Tiny Rick has FIV and doesn’t care if he’s missed out. Priorities.

So then, as often happens in the early morning when I want to be asleep but am not, I have random thoughts. I thought of all those times when cats randomly look at blank spots in the world and stare.

Mr. J: How’d you sleep.

Me: Leela woke me up at 1:01 a.m.

Mr. J: Yep.

Me: Hey Mr. J, what if Leela and the others are in like a union and have been fighting demons and evil spirits all night and Leela is the one out of the group who makes sure they all get fair wages but in this case the wages are treats?

Mr. J: Or Leela is that lazy son of a bitch who does the least amount of work but expects to get the most pay.

Me: That’s mean!

Mr. J: It’s true.

Me: (Walks into kitchen. Leela follows, meowing.) What if Leela and the others fought a really tough, bad ass evil spirit at 1 a.m. and they got a monthly bonus?

Leela: jumps up on the counter and meows.

Me: (Smushes Leela’s face.) You always work hard killing the things we can’t see. No one can question your valor!

Leela: Meow.

Me: Yeah, you don’t give a shit, do you?

Leela: Meow.

Me: If anyone in the world deserved to not give a shit, it’s you. Well, really, it’s me but if I can’t not give a shit then you don’t have to.

And that has been my morning so far.