June 2018 Mid-Month Update

Summer is here. It’s officially the season of evening drinks on the deck and mosquito bites in awkward places. My projects are mostly at the halfway points, garden half planted, chicken coop half built, etc. But the bulk of the worry to get things prepped enough to develop slowly through the summer months is finally over.

Will I be self-sustainable in the next two months? Nope. Not going to make the birthday goal, and I’m okay with that. I made good progress, and I’m happy with the advances, and I know it will get there eventually. This year made some good headway, so the possibility this land will be self-sustainable in the next year or two is a reality.

Writing is sidelined as I work extra shifts at the brewery while the summer tourism is in peak season. The tips are needed and will help sustain my writing through the winter, so I will keep picking up as many shifts as I can for the next few months.

Here’s a view of my deck shift, I can’t say it’s hard to go to work here. Pretty sweet, actually. Then after shifts, I wander up to the bluff for a glass of whiskey at the neighboring restaurant and watch the sunset.

Speaking of writing…The Life Erotic: Nibbles will be released to the public in July 2018. Patrons received it in June for first look, then it will go to digital publication in July for all readers. YAY! Finally. I know it was a long stretch between releases in this series, but it’s finally coming along.

I’m also in the middle of a search for a proofreader for the Scold of Jays manuscript. I’ve already let patrons know I will be skipping the professional editor for the next book. Even at huge cost for Murder of Crows and Sinnet of Dragons, there were typos missed and professional editor snafu’s. Here’s what I wrote to my patrons to let them know about the coming change:

I’m letting patrons know first that I’ll be skipping the formal professional editing process for Scold of Jays. I know. I know. It’s risky, and the story could lose some polish. I’ve agonized over the decision. Ag-o-nized. But it comes down to funds. To take Scold of Jays through the professional editorial process would cost about $2,300-$2,500. (that’s about 9 months of saving Patreon donations just for the editorial). Then another ($1,500 for proofing and layout)

To put it in better perspective, to edit Scold of Jays and Plague of Gargoyles it will cost almost $5K. The same amount as a wood burning stove for heat in the winter. I would rather out of pocket for a wood burning stove so I can have emergency heat in the winter, than worry about a handful of typos. (Can’t type if my fingers are frozen, right?)

It’s indie suicide to skip editorial, I know. But the truth is…I’ve already committed indie suicide in a dozen different ways. The books have not been taking off and gaining traction like I’d hoped and the funds are tied up with the books themselves—getting them on the market is the only way to make them start earning their keep in production costs.

I may lose audience by not sending out to an editor, but I already know I’m losing audience by delaying so long between releases while waiting for development funds. It’s just the nature of the process. However, my work has become less of what my audience could or might be…and has become more about wanting to get my work to Patrons, and to dedicated readers—and I know those folks would rather look past a couple of typos, than wait another year for the book.

So, upward and onward we go.

That being said, I’m still not crazy enough to skip a proofreader. I’ll be sourcing a proofer or two in July (fingers crossed).

Alas, it’s a risk, and I’m not happy about it, but it’s where I’m at for the moment in my development and output. It’s a frustrating enough problem that I’ve even started shopping the series to professional managers and literary agents. If I can’t afford to put the series out in it’s best format, I’m considering other publishing options for it. Tough decisions all the way around as I’m trying to do best by the next ten books, and readers, and my sanity.

So begins the search for a reliable proofreader, and possibly a traditional publishing contract.

With all that said, the journey continues, the characters are still active in my living space (IE: Liam has no sense of personal boundaries and Agatha is making fast friends with the bee colonies I installed this spring) Here’s a clip of my last session with Liam.

“I made some of the black stuff,” Liam said.

I shuffled through the living room, wincing as I rubbed my eyes. “What time is it? It’s so bright.”

“Nine.” He frowned, looking up from his spot by the window. “You usually don’t sleep past seven. Are you unwell?”

“Still got that chill from the other night in the rain.” I wandered into the kitchen. The coffee was prepped and I hoped he hadn’t used three scoops of grounds in the French press again. “Thanks for making coffee.” I sniffed it carefully. It smelled okay (no pepper in it this time) so I poured a mug and returned to the front room.

Liam lounged on the chaise by the wall of windows, wings spread out across the floor to either side like a feathery rug. I squinted at the book cover to see what he was reading.

He turned the book and said, “I picked it off your shelf.”

“That’s actually the middle of a series. I think you’d like it, though. The Wayfarer Redemption Series, by Sara Douglass. It’s good.” I sipped my coffee and sighed. “The characters have wings, like you.”

Liam closed the book and tipped his head back. Morning light reflected on his golden curls and the scruff of beard along his jaw. “Are you awake enough to talk?”

I sighed. So much for a slow wakeup and some much-needed rest. “Yeah, I think so.” I tucked into the sofa, curling my legs up and dragging the throw blanket over my feet.

“I just returned from the Inlicitus, and there are some things you need to know before you sit down to write this week.”

I exhaled, relieved, and didn’t realize I’d been holding my breath.

He quirked his lips. The slight blink was the only indication that he was irritated. “You were worried I meant talk about us.” It was a statement.

I sighed and stared out the window. “Yeah, well, I’m still not ready to talk about us yet.”

I heard him get up, the rustle of his wings, the shift of his bulk on the carpet. Then he was crouching on the floor beside the sofa. His giant hand rested on my knee, and he waited for me to turn and look at him.

He was a beautiful man, only getting better with the years. Blond hair, matching dimples and a crooked grin. But as he gazed at me, he was solemn, sincere, and he said softly, “I know I hurt you. And I know you know I didn’t mean to, and yet you’re still pained by it. I understand. I truly do. Your trust in me is damaged. I know that as well.” He sighed and bent his forehead to my legs. “I will just continue to work toward restoring your trust, and in the meantime, I won’t ask to talk about us…I’ll wait until you’re ready and you can initiate when it’s time.”

It was the first time I felt relief since our falling out. The pressure was off. The understanding, clear. We both knew what the issue was, and he was letting me have the space and time to bring it to terms on my own. It was a peace offering.

So I offered one of my own and said. “In the meantime, we still have work to do; books to write, and worlds to build, you know.”

He nodded and squeezed my knee. “That’s my Athena.” He smiled. “Thank you.”

“So what’s up with the Inlicitus?” I sipped my coffee and resolved to process the exchange later.

Liam stood and paced the floor, his wings lifted and stretched. I tilted my head to the side to miss a feather in the face. “It’s a broken causeway.”

“I know that already. When the gate shattered it broke apart the time/space binding and the veil tor open. Both worlds are held together by a shredded fabric, that frays more each year.”

Liam paused and turned, “Time is mutable in the Inlicitus, it’s not linear.”

I swallowed a mouthful of black brew and said, “Yes, I know that, too.” I frowned, “What the hell? You know I already know this. Why are we talking about the time differential between worlds, when it’s common knowledge that the Inlicitus is a spotty, fraying portal with time dysplasia?”

“Because it’s not only forward time that gets lost,” he said. “Athena, it also goes backward.”

“Wait, what?”

“It reverses stream,” he blinked. “Well, that’s not completely accurate. It occasionally acts like a magnified nexus, looping backward.”

Then I realized he was stiff, frozen. “Liam.”

“I went back,” he said softly and turned to look at me. He was pale, jaw clenched. “I looped backward.”

Suddenly, I was wide awake. I set my coffee on the end table and picked up my notebook and pen, “Like… Back to the Future? Holy shit, Liam. Tell me everything.”

I wish you all a wonderful summer. I’ll keep checking in with progress and updates. In the meantime, here’s a look at the wine tour I attended with the girls from work this last week.

Thank you so much!

Sincerely,

Athena

 

Author: Athena

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