What’s Alex Up to Now

Now that spring is finally spinging (aka, having a day of pouring rain for every two of sunshine), I’ll start getting more motivated to do stuff! Of course, I also have more stuff to do… (see picture for a guess on what that is!)

But I hope by the end of April (that’s what month this is, right?), I’ll have finished the rom-com contemporary m/m romance I’m working on.  I’ve crossed the 50K mark and I’m happy with what I’ve got so far. Now it’s just ripping out hearts and stomping on them. Um, lightly, I guess, since it’s rom-com. And then making it all okay again.

My other current project is doing revisions on my trans cowboy story, which is going fairly well. My beta gave a lot of feedback suggesting some heavy additions, and I’ve been working them in. One fear I have is that the scenes will make the story drag instead of developing character and relationship like they’re meant to, but I’m sure a re-read (in a different month) will clear that up. Again, I’m hoping to wrap up the revisions by the end of the month, which is going to mean putting my nose to the grindstone, but I’ve already added 4K-6K words? So it feels like good progress, even if it makes my end goal further away.

I want to say that’s all I’ve got on the writing front, but last night, while mixing up tea flavors at Adagio, I suddenly wanted to write a story focused on a tea shop and then make teas for all the characters!

So now I’m sort of brainstorming that. I love the concept, but it’s not a story that’s jumping fully formed (or even vaguely shaped) from my head, AND I don’t want to get distracted from my current story (plus all those stories I started and haven’t finished yet). So it might end up coming to nothing. But we’ll see!

For now, sexy motorcycle nerd…which desperate needs a title!

Being Busy and Playing Real Life Pokemon

The second-ish week of the month is always hard, as in addition to riding twice and getting together with friends on Friday, I have a 4-H meeting (horse club, go figure), and writers’ group. So it’s super busy, and my scheduled “I need to work on revisions” this week fell through hard. Ah well, there’s always next week, right (you know, the one with two barn trips, writers’ group, and two social nights…)?

I currently have my fantasy novella shipped off to another batch of beta readers (for another set of eyes), so now I’ve (hypothetically) begun edits on my trans cowboy story. Deep breath.

My current WIP is the same story I’ve been writing for the past forever (it feels like). I like the story, but it’s fighting me tooth and nail, and since I’m sticking to “write one story at a time” rule, I’m eagerly looking forward to finishing it. Both characters are sort of angst-muffins, and I love them dearly, but they are a heck of trouble to write!

In other news, all of my friends are playing Pokemon Go, so I started sharing pictures of all the real life pokemon I caught.

Ponyta (aka, my gray pony who rolls after I bathe him)
Meowth (aka black barn cat who is a love muffin)
Pidgey (aka, chicken at the barn)
Real-life Pokemon Go is fun 😛 I encourage everyone to participate.

Updates, Panicking, and Knitting

First off, Sharing a Pond has now been out a week. You can find it on Less than Three Press’s website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance ebooks, etc, etc.

You can also find a short side story on Joyfully Jay. This isn’t in the main story, it’s just a fun little side bit. And there’s a giveaway, so check it out!

Okay, enough PR BS 🙂

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know I’ve been working on a short story, which isn’t my usual stuff. It mostly came about because I said, “Hey, I want to write a short story.” I checked out what pubs had what calls for anthologies, found one I liked, then whipped up 7K to go with it.

I love writing novels, but sometimes the immensity of it makes it difficult. For my writing group, it’s hard for them to see the larger pictures and work with me on plot, pacing, and climactic moments when they’re only seeing 1K at a time. While they aren’t going to see this in its entirety before I send it out (because I picked one with a Jan 1 deadline, because ME), I can easily read through this story and nitpick it (and fix it, hopefully). So it’s not only working muscles I haven’t used in a while, but it’s also a good exercise for getting my brain to look at the plot and fix it.

I’m also not expecting AMAZING THINGS out of the story. It’s not meant to be great literature or high-brow fiction. It’s supposed to be fun and cute and sweet. (Which is the shit I LOVE, so you’d think I’d write more of it 😛 )

So the 7K is written. Now I just need to sit on it a week (while I do the developmental edits that came in that I’m not panicking about at all. Nope. Not at all. Not panicking. Not even a little.) And then I’ll read through and see if it’s utter shit and if it’s not then I guess do self-edits because I’m guessing I won’t get a beta reader.

Oh, and did you know the holidays are coming up? I survived Thanksgiving, so that just means Christmas and New Years. And Amy Lane keeps posting fun knitting patterns that I want to try. AND I’m trying to use up all my extra yarn from the Christmas stocking I made, by making a Christmas shawl.

Oh, and I have 3 beta feedbacks in (with one more coming, not to mention the R&R that’s been sitting around for a year or so…). I may have put too much on my plate. But I wouldn’t be Alex if I didn’t!

Rock Stars and Peter Pan

Last time I updated, I was talking about my River Gods story and the struggle I was having with it’s potential plot (or lack there of). Well, I put that one on the back burner. I know my one writing group buddy was looking forward to seeing more, but I just kind of…flatlined on ideas. I’m hoping stepping away and returning to it later may help. 

Meanwhile, I read two stories vaguely involving rock stars and though I dislike rock star stories, I enjoyed these (Running with Scissors by L.A. Witt and Rock N Soul by Lauren Sattersby). And while I struggled with my River Gods story, I decided to just do a quick writing exercise prompt using a picture of someone who I thought could easily be a rock star. Something to try to work on develop my writing craft rather than just my storytelling. So I wrote some. And then some more, and then I kind of had a story to go along with it. 
So I’m currently working on a story I’m calling Scruples as the WIP title. I’m obviously trying to work hard on meeting my 5k word count each month, but I’m also trying to develop the writing and voice with this story. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but mostly I’ve been describing things (although some days are better than others). It’s hard to fight slipping into my bad habits. 
And while that’s going on, I have a fun idea flirting around of a new adult retelling of Peter Pan in a contemporary setting with an asexual character. That’s just sort of me playing around with things though, so we’ll see. If someone else writes/publishes a Peter Pan-esque asexual books, I’d love to read it and not have to write it 😀

Wake me up when… Shit.

August’s goals

1. Apply what I learned from Code Academy into a website project.
2. 1,000 more words written
3. Review HtPD and see if it can become something. Currently it’s super short so it either needs to get more written for it to stand alone, or I need to hunt down an anthology for it to fit into.

August was different than I was expecting.
1. NOPE. I did absolutely nothing for this. I think because I lost my momentum after June, this goal just fizzled and died.

2. YES. This is actually where all my efforts went. I probably wrote roughly 7,000 words this month (guestimate). I made good progress on a current WIP, and I’m feeling positive about it. I felt since this was going well, I’d go along with it rather than derail potential progress here for Goal 1 work.

3. I sent it to a beta, and it’s currently with another beta, who has offered up some ideas that need development. I don’t know if I have 1,500 words of development, but if I do, that’s going to be awesome. I’m waiting for the final report from the Beta 2, but I’m busy with the other WIP, so I’m not too worried about this.

I looked around at a few places for this one, but the length is going to need to go up first for pretty much any publisher I send it to, so I’m focusing more on the revision than anything right now.

And now…September.

September’s Goals
1. Work toward finishing current WIP (trans* story).

2. Do an editing pass on SaP (shifters).

3. Work on baby blanket (for my second niece). This isn’t writing related, which I’m trying to focus on more, but this is going to suck some time and it needs to be done for the solstice, latest, so I need to give it some serious attention (and it’s going to take forever).

Working on it…

I have 2 short stories I’m working on publishing up for submission. One is a Valentine’s story (not sure if that’s too late for potential publishing), and one is a weird-ass present tense Arabian nights thing. I don’t even know.
But they are both done. And short. Here’s a VERY rough taste of the one story…
It starts with cymbals, a chime to stir the dancers’ blood. Then drums, pounding to wake their hearts. A single player slides into the center of the crowd, his coffee bean-colored skin gleaming. Low-hanging, tightly secured burgundy pants swirl around his limbs with the swish and sway of his hips. Apricot scarves caress his bare torso as he lights across the open space and draws in a lean woman, her skin just as dark, her hair died red, her body sparingly clad in yellow. 


As the new year approaches (faster and faster every year), I briefly remembered the beginning of this year when I decided to make, and made, monthly resolutions. I think that lasted a month or two. But as we start October, I want to begin anew, not with resolutions, but goals.

This month:
1. Finish current WIP.
2. Finish Mom’s birthday scarf
3. Set aside Solstice monies

The first one is probably the most likely to get axed, since I’m going to be gone for a good week and a half. But we’ll see. Last month I wrote a minimum of 100 words for 57% of the days. Not awesome, but not too terrible either. I want to keep up with that as well, which will help with reaching the first goal. The story keeps getting longer and longer as I go, and I’m not certain with the plot I’d planned. But if I can hash that out, then I can happily go forward.

I also think I know what my next project is going to be, for November, so we’ll see.