June 2019 Stats

I’m really embarrassed to share this information because I did really, really bad this month. But this is how life works sometimes.

Days I didn’t write:

Almost all of them.

How many words:

I’d be surprised if I hit 4,000.

Projects I worked on:

Moon Shine

The Heart of the Forest Cycle

What I actually wanted to work on:

Resonance

Goals for next month:

Draft Havoc’s Moon

Submissions sent out:

0

Submissions accepted:

1

Submissions rejected:

0

SO this month was terrible for my productivity. Mr. J drove up from Alabama in the first week and we stayed in Arkansas for a few days before driving down to the Florida panhandle to visit my aunt for a week. Then further down the state to visit Mr. J’s grandfather for another week. And then a few days in Mr. J’s home port before I flew back to Arkansas.

But even thought I didn’t do a lot of writing (I gave up tallying my word counts and days after the first week) I did a lot of outlining and brainstorming. I fleshed out secondary characters and sub-plots. I worked on motivations and story arcs. It was a productive time in every other aspect of writing except actually writing.

My two other main projects, Resonance and The Heart of the Forest Cycle, are progressing more slowly than I would like but they are progressing. The biggest news there is that instead of being a trilogy of novels, The Heart of the Forest Cycle is going to be at least two volumes of short stories and novellas. I have a lot of characters in that series and tying all of their story lines together was becoming increasingly difficult so I’ve separated nearly everyone’s stories and things are flowing more easily. I might be able to publish the first volume sometime in the fall but I’m still not going to make it a priority. The Slaughter Chronicles comes first.

July is Camp NaNoWriMo. I will be participating this year. I didn’t win camp this past April but I also had unrealistic expectations. So for July, I will work on finishing the first draft of Havoc’s Moon and polishing Moon Shine for publication in October.

Here’s looking to a larger word count in the future!

Moon Shine: this is the last schedule change, I promise!

A few months ago I said that I would publish the next novella in my Slaughter Chronicles series in May. And then one of my beta readers (Mr. J, who is supportive and loves me) asked for more time to go through my final draft and I pushed the publication date forward to the end of June.

And as I was running through my final edits I came to the realization that this book wasn’t going to be a novella. It’s a novel. It’s over 50,000 words long. But I can live with that. It wasn’t part of the plan but it’s fine. Whatever. Story happened. It’s fine.

Well, it is now the end of June and Moon Shine is still not ready because–and this is the truth–I was 99.9% done with the edits and going through my beta reader’s final notes and as we were talking (because he is supportive and he loves me) he suggested that one of the characters I had planned to introduce much later in the series (Book 6) be here, in this book, and here in the series from the beginning.

And then that character spoke up in my head saying: “Yeah, I’ve been here the whole time, actually.”

And I said, “Oh really? And what have you been doing?”

And he said, “Gardening.”

Gardening.

Yep.

Gardening. (Physical and Psychological 0_0)

So now I have to make this work. And it’s not hard. It actually makes sense. There are a lot of good things about this decision. And from this decision I was able to add better layers to the plot holes that I made. Further, moving this character from Book 6 to Regina’s prequel novel has helped me outline one of the possible (and my favorite by far) endings to the entire series.

So it was a productive and positive decision but it also means I have three new paragraphs to sew into the manuscript and more editing to do.

Therefore I am moving the publication date of Moon Shine forward to October 31, 2019. I am going to have a Halloween book baby this year, goddamnit!

Havoc’s Moon, Book 1, will hopefully be released in December this year. I’ve actually got the outline almost done for this one so I’m feeling positive about completing it without any surprises.

To anyone who cares: Thank you for your patience while I work all this stuff out. This is the joy of self publishing.

May 2019 Stats

Warning: I did not do so well this month…

Days I didn’t write:

11

How many words:

14,428

Projects I worked on:

Moon Shine

The Heart of the Forest Cycle

Havoc’s Moon

Resonance

What I actually wanted to work on:

just Moon Shine

Goals for next month:

Publish Moon Shine

Gear up for July Camp NaNoWriMo

Be more active on my blog

Submissions sent out:

0

Submissions accepted:

0

Submissions rejected:

1

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!

April 2019 Stats

Days I didn’t write:

3

How many words?

48,035

Projects I worked on:

Moon Shine

Here and Away

Morning and Evening

Havoc’s Moon

What I actually wanted to work on:

Here and Away

Goals for next month:

Publish Moon Shine

Work on Havoc’s Moon

Submissions sent out:

1

Submissions accepted:

1

Submissions rejected:

N/A

March 2019 Stats

Days I didn’t write

6

How many words

35,274

Projects I worked on

Morning and Evening

Roadkill: a Slaughter Chronicles short story

Changeling: a Heart of the Forest short story

The Firebird’s Daughter: a Heart of the Forest short story

Moon Shine

What I actually wanted to work on

Just Moon Shine

Goals for next month

Finish final draft and edit Moon Shine

Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo and finish the final draft of Here and Away

Submissions sent out

2

Submissions accepted/rejected

1 accepted 🙂

Notes

So the daily micro poem thing was severely impacted by traveling in March. I’m hoping to continue it but as the launch date for Moon Shine draws near and more traveling/moving on the horizon for May and June (nothing exciting, I promise, just time consuming) I’m going to be a lot less strict about missing days than I would like to be but right now the fiction has to come first. Writing good micro poems is harder than it looks and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve now been writing fiction non stop for over a year now or something else but poetry isn’t coming as easily to me as it was back in 2014. Go figure. But those will keep happening one way or another, they’re good mental exercises.

Poetry Audiobook

Public Service Announcement: a few of my favorite poems from Lupercalia are now on audio!

This audiobook is available for FREE download on Bandcamp.

There is an option to pay what you want if you’d like to toss a dollar my way but only if you really, really want to. I want you to have my poems more than I want you to pay me for them.

The tracks themselves are decent but they are not digitally mastered or made with any kind of professional recording equipment. I always try to put out the best possible product but right now I can’t afford a microphone or rent a sound booth so don’t judge too hard.

I tried to keep the cat and traffic noises to a minimum.

After I finished recording my poems we had a French drain dug in our back yard and replaced one of the walls in our den so there was too much construction noise to record anything else but there will be audio versions of a few of my short stories coming soon.

LUPERCALIA TRACK LIST

1. Lupercalia

2. How to Build a Nest

3. Wife of Lot

4. Mermaid Songbook: A Boat Alone

5. Mermaid Songbook: The Witch’s Song

6. Mermaid Songbook: Dead Mermaid Singing

7. Mermaid Songbook: Redemption

8. Little Girls

9. Wormwood

10. After the Flood

11. Orpheus

12. Twisted Myth

13. Mirror Angels

14. Home

15. Things Tourists Love

Wander through the nameless city full of rebellion, desire, and viciousness. Jessica Halsey’s Lupercalia guides readers through the ruins of stories as they smash against reality. 

The city is born, slippery and feral, and then it grows, collects and rejects a multitude of denizens that break and reshape the boundaries of mythology. 

These speculative and fantastical poems represent the search for identity and purpose in a world that challenges the endurance of the human spirit. From the fall of Icarus to the loneliness of abandon, these poems represent how every mythological hero and trial are reflections of our daily lives.

HAPPY LISTENING!

February 2019 Stats

Days I didn’t write:

8

How many words?

34,368

Project I worked on:

Here and Away

Lupercalia audiobook

The Promise

Resonance

What I actually wanted to work on:

Here and Away (mission accomplished, sort of)

Moon Shine

Goals for next month:

finish Draft 1 of Moon Shine

more Here and Away

more Resonance

more Havoc’s Moon

*

So I wrote 4,000ish more words than last month even though I wrote for less days. One of my goals was to write every day this month but I had a lot of home repair projects that were more time consuming than I originally thought and Mr. J came to visit me and while I thought I could write and spend time with my significant other, I put writing on the back burner to spend more time with him.

For March I plan to write every day.