#WIPpet Wednesday, #ROW80 and some questions

Hello, everyone. I have been wondering some things lately, and I would like your input.

My first question is to those of you who have self-published your novels. I’m wondering where you all got your lovely covers from. I know some of you have clever spouses who were able to do that for  you, and of that I’m rather jealous (though my other half does have editing qualifications so he’s not entirely useless, though before anyone says anything, no, he won’t be the only person I employ to that end). But for the rest of you, is there someone you would possibly recommend? Or, you know, do any of those clever spouses take commissions? I thought if I’m maybe looking to self-pub AMCF this year, I should actually start scoping this sort of thing now. It’s already the end of January, how is that even a thing?

My second question is actually also a “if I’m looking to publish sooner rather than later” question and it is: how early would you say is too early for a Facebook page? I’m one of those who uses her middle name as her surname on Facebook, and I actually pretty strictly adhere to only adding people I know in person as friends. I’ve been toying with the idea of setting up an author page for a while now, not necessarily to promote my writing, but to provide a place where I can engage with you lovely folks on that site, and using my full name without it necessarily being conflated with my personal account. But would that be weird at this point or something? I’m just not really sure…

row80-2Since I started at the end of my subject line, going on to the middle, I have a writing goals update. You know, we had a long weekend this weekend just past. I could have done so much writing. I didn’t. I did a bit of editing of AMCF, and I typed up a new scene I had previously handwritten, but that was about it. So I would probably only allow myself half an hour of writing so far this week. But that’s okay. Today is my Friday this week as I finished up with my current job and don’t start my new one until Monday. I finished up today because I’m spending the weekend in Sydney; my boyfriend, Edy, has been in Ethiopia teaching English since mid-December, and since he left for his trip before I got back from mine, I haven’t seen him since about the 4th of November last year. So I’m pretty psyched. So I’ve got the bus trip at least to Sydney, and three or four hours before he actually gets in. And that’s providing he gets in on time.

I did miss out on posting a Mirth and Music Monday post, but I blame that on it being a long weekend, and me therefore forgetting it was Monday. I’ll have to try and find double the amount of mirth and music to make up for it. I have two book reviews lined up for the next couple of alternate Fridays, and I finished reading Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere today, so I’ll write a review for that as well. The next thing I’ll be reading is Shah Warton‘s Finding Esta. Which reminds me, I need to actually put that on my Kindle.

wednesdaybannerOnto the more exciting part of every Wednesday post: WIPpet Wednesday! I have this habit of sharing Operation: Sugarplum with you for a couple of weeks and you get all excited, and then I go back to A More Complicated Fairytale for weeks and weeks again. And… this week is no different. 😛 My WIPpet maths goes as follows: 2 + 9 (for the day) = 11 – 1 (for the month) = 10 lines. It was going to be from page 29, but nothing overly interesting happens on page 29. Well, there is a wedding, but it’s sort of observed from a distance, and I like the bit I’ve chosen more. As I think most people are aware by now, Prince Felipe actually spends a large amount of the story married to a princess from a neighbouring kingdom, because he’s a good boy and marries the woman his father tells him to. (Don’t worry, he gets to be with Cait eventually!) This scene is just after their wedding.

Now the prince and princess were off on their honeymoon, though the destination had been kept a secret. Speculation was rife; had they gone to Aufaron to visit Princess Maria’s family as man and wife, or would they have ventured north to the beaches of Brelallan? Perhaps it would be west to the rainforest and bungalows of Koamwen? Though the newspapers continued to debate the issue for at least a week, the truth was no one actually knew. The newlyweds had left the palace under cover of darkness, and even though many papers claimed to have had someone keeping look-out, every one of these look-outs seemed to have seen something different.

You can join in on WIPpet Wednesday at the linky here. Just post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow correlates to the day’s date. A Round of Words in 80 Days is hosted by Kait Nolan here.

And I’m going to leave it there, because this post has taken me far longer to type up than it should have, and now I have a bit of headache from staring at the screen and should go do something else. I’ll catch you all tomorrow!

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#WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Update – In which we get a little bit meta

wednesdaybannerHello! It’s Wednesday and I’m so determined for my WIPpet Wednesday post to go up on time this week that I started writing it last night. Since I posted late and missed the linky, some of you might have missed the news that I figured out a lot of stuff in Operation: Nutcracker and have been working on it again! There is still a lot that needs working out, but I feel like I’m getting somewhere with it again and it’s been really exciting visiting Max and Clara again. Though I did have a moment while I had my Nutcracker on Ice DVD on (my neighbours were blaring techno all weekend, so I figured blaring Tchaikovsky back at them was only fair) and I realised I kept referring to the Nutcracker Prince in that as Max. So that’s a thing.

Anyway, for this week’s WIPpet, I have four lines (2 + 2 for the 22nd of January). I didn’t even actually think about what I was writing when I wrote this, and it wasn’t until I sat back and read it and went, “Wait…”

“So now everyone is waiting for their long lost Prince to return home and save them,” Clara summarised, though Max heard the skepticism still in her voice. “I can’t decide whether your life is the plot of a fantasy novel or a Disney movie.”

“Disney movie, definitely,” Max declared seriously.

Silly Max. If only you knew.

Also, on the subject of meta, I found out a thing the other day and it kind of broke my brain a little. The actress who plays Cait in my dream AMCF cast was in a workshop for a musical version of the movie Ever After: A Cinderella Story. Which might seem like not too major a thing, until I add that the character of Prince Felipe is very, very inspired by the character of Prince Henry in that very movie. So I had a bit of a moment then, though now that I’ve written it down, it’s probably not as mind-blowing for anyone else as it was for me. 😛

row80-2As for writing goals, well, I wrote about a page and a half of Operation Sugarplum on my breaks at work on Monday. When added up, said breaks work out at about an hour. Today I took my print out of the current version of AMCF in with me and have really started working on the edits and the Post-It-Noting. I have green ones for where entire scenes need to be moved or changed, orange ones for timeline-related stuff because I’m reasonably sure my timeline isn’t entirely straight, and pink ones for random little changes, including spelling/grammar/”is this even a sentence?!” issues. Though a lot of those are just being written straight in, in pink pen. So that’s my two hours for the week up already, and I plan on doing more editing this evening if I have some time.

I’ve also met my blogging schedule for the last couple of weeks, so that’s pretty awesome.

If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow correlates to the date (we encourage creativity with the dates) and then link up with us here and check out others’ offerings. As always, thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting us. 🙂 If you are more into the A Round of Words in 80 Days, check it out here.

On that note, I’m going to sign off and go back to drinking the tea I bought from the actual Twinings shop in London and listening to an album of the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir singing Christmas carols and pretending I’m back there for the Christmas concert I attended. Catch you all later. 🙂

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A Late #WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Update

Yeah, so I’m a day late with this. But you see, it’s getting up to nearly 40 degrees (104F, I think) here each day, and so last night instead of coming straight home from work and writing a blog post, I went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. And was totally amused by the fact that Legolas has aged in the prequel. Which is even more awkward than an Elf having aged in a sequel. But mostly I was there for the air conditioning. American friends, may I swap you some of your cold for some of our heat? Not all of it, but if we can meet at a nice, mutually-agreed-upon halfway point, would that work for you guys?

row80-2Anyway, so A THING, YOU GUYS! You know how I kept getting really stuck on Operation: Sugarplum and was at one point considering it mostly-shelved. While I was at the cinema forty-five minutes before my session (well, I wasn’t going to venture outside after dinner, was I?) , I finally figured out the thing that I had been stuck on, namely, what exactly is up with Max’s kingdom and their enemies and why Max is the only one who can fix it. So, y’know, rather big, plotty things to be stuck on. And it still needs to be sketched out further, BUT I FIGURED IT OUT! And that’s SO EXCITING! Particularly considering I think I do need to work on something else for just a little while before diving back into AMCF.

The other thing that I think has helped is the resolution I made with regard to this story. Before, I was trying to be really clever. Every word I wrote had to somehow reflect back to the original Nutcracker story. And that was stressing me out. I’ve convinced myself to relax and just get the general theme. Christmas, magical lands, the name Drosselmeier… that sort of thing.

wednesdaybannerIt’s been so long since I last looked at it that I can’t really remember what I wrote, but I wrote a scene today anyway picking up from where I think I left off, so let’s have some stuff from that for WIPpet Wednesday this week, shall we? But not much. Here are sixteen words for the day plus one for the month that take place after Max explains everything about him being a prince from a magical kingdom.

Clara considered him carefully for a moment. “Do you know how ridiculous you sound?” she finally asked.

In Max’s defence, he did warn her she wouldn’t believe him, and she did say, “Try me.”

To join in on WIPpet Wednesday, simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow correlates to the day’s date, and then link up with us here. A Round of Words in 80 Days can be linked up with here.

I should really go to bed now, as it’s only 33 minutes away from midnight and sadly tomorrow is not the weekend yet. It’s so hot, though, and I won’t be able to sleep! Bahhh…. *wipes brow* All right. Off I go.  See you all soon!

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#ROW80 Round 1, 2014

row80-2So the new round of A Round of Words in 80 Days began on Monday, but I only just got home, so I’m hopping in now. In 2014, my goal is to get A More Complicated Fairytale to a point where I am happy to publish it. Based on the feedback I have gotten from betas, I want to write one more version, and then get onto proof-reading and such.

For the moment, I will make my usual “write for an hour two nights a week” writing goal, though once I know what the hours of my new job are, I might be able to add a bit more to that.

My blogging schedule will be thus:

Monday – Mirth and Music Monday
Wednesday – WIPpet Wednesday and ROW80 Check-in
Every Second Friday – Book review

So apart from blatantly stealing the idea of a book review series from Ink and Papyrus, I am aiming to read as many of the unread books on my shelves and my Kindle as possible this year and perhaps a required schedule will keep me on the ball. I don’t tend to bother finishing books I don’t enjoy, but I do want to look at what I’m reading critically and be able to discuss what I’ve enjoyed or not versus others. I’ve  got two written and another one started already so I’m well on my way to creating a good buffer, as long as I keep it up.

I do have other goals that I’ve set for myself for 2014, but they’re not really ones I feel the need to share on here.

wednesdaybannerOnto WIPpet Wednesday. For those who have not heard of it before, WW is where a group of writers come together to share excerpts from their current WIPs. The only requirement is that they somehow correlate to the date. Then join us at this linky and see what others have on offer. Following on from last week’s post, today I have another excerpt in which Prince Felipe is being insistent and Cait would rather like to bang his head against a wall. In last week’s post, she was being told that His Royal Highness insists on her presence at the ball that night. This next part takes place at said ball.

“Cait, isn’t it?” he said when he reached her.

“Yes, your Highness. Short for Caitlin.”

“May I have this dance, Cait?”

“Your Highness, I’m not really one for dancing, I really think…”

“Nonsense, I insist.” He held out his arm and Cait was left with no choice but to take it. He led her right to the centre of the ballroom and then other couples filled in the space around them. The musicians began playing a waltz, and Cait tensed as Prince Felipe put one hand on her waist.

This post has been in the making for about 24 hours, so I’m going to leave it there. I probably won’t see you until Monday, as my parents are driving back to Canberra on Friday and I’ll be getting myself settled back in before heading back to work. I’ll try and get to a few of your posts, though, when I can. (I said that last week, and then only got to about three blogs, but I’ll see how I go!)

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