Spring is pupping

So spring has kept me busy, as usual, with horses to ride and dogs to pet-sit. Plus I’ve been working on edits for HARD TRUTHS, an M/M contemporary that’s 75% sweet, cute nerds (one of whom is a tattooed biker) and 25% feelings. That’s nearly done, and I hope to be able to share more soon.

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit of writer’s block. Every time I finish a project, it seems harder to get started on the next. In January I finished writing The Miracle Man and between edits, I managed to start and stop a few pieces, and eventually took two months to write (and submit) a 17K short story for an anthology. It didn’t get picked up for the anthology (which has limited space) but is going to be published as a standalone. Then I had a month where I barely wrote 1K. I was a bit of an emotional wreck, so I’m giving myself leeway there!

Then, after some discussion with my writers’ group, I decided to write a short story, which was what I spent May doing. That’s done and with the group for review. It’s only 6K, and it’s not the normal stuff I write (it’s the closest I’ve ever been to literary fiction), so if it gets published, it likely will be under a different name.

Then it was June and I was head off to pet-sit these trouble-makers. The mini-dachshund is Guiseppe and the corgi is Lillibet.

Meanwhile I struggled to come up with my next story, told myself I didn’t need to write immediately, but I wanted to! And so I just started writing a story (involving a dog, I can’t imagine why) and am letting it take the wheel. I’ve also been starting some brainstorming for revising (and adding a fair chunk) to a story I previously finished involving shifters (surprise, surprise). It’s part of a series (maybe), and I’d like to beef up the first in the series before continuing on.

So hopefully you’ll see some more of that as the year progresses. I can’t believe we’re almost halfway through!

Dogs, Snow, and Marketing

For those of you not following my Twitter and Instagram account: I’m dog-sitting. They are an adorable geriatric corgi and a puppy mini-dachshund (though old enough that he’s at his max size). This means there are a lot of little messes to clean up, but thankfully they are tiny! And when they’re not BARKING NONSTOP at each other, they’re rather sweet (and quiet and also asleep).

Of course, sometimes they are barking nonstop at each other while circling my feet. It’s been a bit up and down.

We also got about five inches of snow, which meant shoveling a little so the dogs wouldn’t get lost in the snow (or so that they’d go out to do their business). Thankfully these people have moolah and have a service to plow their driveway and clear some of the steps. So the snow wasn’t that big of a deal.

In between work, dogs, snow, and watching season one and two of Voltron: Legendary Defenders, I actually was able to write a few thousand words so far this month.

Which really is a miracle, because my writing confidence has taken a pretty serious hit. I’m working hard on the “writing because I love writing” and “write what you love, no matter what” but I still want people to read my books. I know I sometimes write a little off the beaten path–trans college guy with surprise space alien and frog menage, hi!–but my last book was a straightforward M/M romance that was sexy and sweet and a lovely holiday read (if I do say so myself). Now, it came out the week before Christmas and it’s only 20,000, but it has 19 ratings on Goodreads. Not even review. 19 ratings.

That’s…depressing. So in addition to writing and editing and working full-time, I want to do more marketing. So if you have any tips, feel free to pass them along!

1/12 of the year is done…

I spent the last week of January pet sitting, which involved caring for a geriatric dog and a horse, and I’d like to blame that for why my productivity slipped, but it’s more likely because I had access to TV. And fast internet.

So much TV. I watched all of Jessica Jones, all of Gangsta., and few episodes of Sekku Boys, which is just for fun because Japanese idols that are actually sculptures is kind of amusing. It seems.

I still got just under 10k written for January, a rough set of edits done for HtPD, and a book read. So pretty productive. Except for that whole “take care of health” goal.

Coming home after a week away is always a wonderful thing, because I get to sleep in my own bed, where I sleep better, and my responsibilities are half of what they are at the pet-sitting gigs. The horse is about an hour each day, which isn’t much, but is still an hour. And then this little thing.

She doesn’t look like much, but she can be a needy thing  🙂

Anyway, I got home and depression hit me hard, and then my muscles all tightened and made my head/vision wonky. Which really knocked out any productivity. I think I may have been pushing myself a bit too hard and putting a bit too much pressure on myself. So I’m trying to take a break this weekend (at least a little). If things get done, they get done. But otherwise I need to breathe and not freak myself out.

I KNOW I just did a post about “slow and steady” but I’m really bad at listening to myself. 🙂

The Summer Goes So Fast

The past month has been hectic, as I flew from helping move the Riptide warehouse, dog-sat for my brother’s family, went on vacation, and now I’m cat-sitting. And in two weeks I’ll likely be dog/horse/house sitting.

Cat sitting is easy. Especially with this sweet girl. Of course I also have to tend to the swimming pool and the gardens, but I’m used to it. On the other hand, it still throws my routine completely out of whack. I don’t have an ideal place to work (my mom has an office, but I feel like everyone tries to make their offices as uncomfortable as possible or something. Or maybe it’s just people who don’t actually USE their office.)

Despite being insanely busy, I’ve been hitting my 5K monthly word counts. Last month was a bit of a cheat because it wasn’t actually original words, per se. Part of the word count was writing up a summary, which I’m totally counting just because those things are time consuming. Or at least they are for me. And this one was wordy!

Hopefully for August I’ll be finishing my YA trans* piece (WCR). Right now it’s a novella, but I’m hoping that a re-read will enlighten spots to develop things more. Or I’ll risk taking it to my writers’ group. Undecided at the moment.

I’m also working on a story idea I’ve had written down for ages. It’s a play off a Grimms-like fairy tale, except the majority of the story takes place AFTER. My original plan was for it to be a romance, and it still would be, but I’m trying to brainstorm more plotty things rather than always having the feelings be the conflict.

Of course, as soon as I sit down to do that, I think of nothing. But who doesn’t want to see a river guardian and a sacrifice child live happily ever after (Um, with time skips, of course O.O).

All right, time to put the nose to the grindstone. Or fingers to the keyboard, whichever will be more productive….