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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

From Keeper of His Soul

No, I don’t mean that I’m up to no good. LOL. Just what I’ve been doing.

I FINALLY finished Keeper of His Soul. I figured while I was on vacation, I would just bite the bullet and do it. I’ve been struggling with the last chapter or so because the ending I had in mind was kind of lame. It would have been a satisfying HEA, but it didn’t feel right. But the ending finally came to me, and it kind of threw me. I was like “do I really want to do this?” But I had to. Now for all you romance lovers out there, don’t worry. It has a HEA…sort of. It wasn’t all rainbows and roses, but it had to come with some pain. I don’t see how it could have ended differently. It just wasn’t possible. I’ll see what my beta readers think, but I can’t change it too much. The pain had to be there. The characters had already been through too much, and for it to end up as a perfect HEA wouldn’t have worked for me.

The next project will be under my other pen name. I have to make some hard decisions soon, and the biggest decision is whether or not to stop writing under Lauralynn Elliott. There’s a lot of competition in the paranormal romance genre, so it’s hard to get noticed. I have a few hard-core fans, but they can only buy so many books. My other pen name writes cozy mysteries, sweet romances, and soon, I hope, a historical romance. First, I have to finish the trilogy, then the historical. This all comes down to the business side of things. If I can’t make a decent living under Lauralynn, I HAVE to focus on the other pen name. Neither is selling well, but the other one sells a bit better, and I RARELY post anything on FB or do anything else to promote that name. Yet is still sells better than Lauralynn, although sales have picked up a tiny bit lately. But not enough. So, if Keeper of His Soul doesn’t do well, Lauralynn might die off for awhile. Not on social media because I would miss everyone. But as far as anything pertaining to writing.

So here’s the deal. When I release Keeper of His Soul, I need your help to spread the word. Word of Mouth is the best advertising. And, by the way, Soul of a Vampire, the book to which Keeper is a sequel, is in an anthology that’s FREE right now. Yep…free (except on Amazon, but not for lack of trying). So pop over to your favorite retailer and grab your free (or .99 on Amazon) copy of Paranormally Yours.

Amazon (It’s still .99 on Amazon since they still haven’t lowered it. Be sure to go there and click the link to report a lower price.) Update: It’s now free on Amazon!

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Or you can search it on your Apple device in iBooks!

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I think it’s time for me to get back to blogging. One reason I haven’t is that I haven’t had that many likes or comments lately, and everyone is saying they just want to communicate on Dramabook Facebook. But I miss the days of blogging where this is my space where you come and visit. Or that’s your space where I come and visit. And you can say so much more. So I’m going to try to get back to it. I have a couple of people who regularly comment on my posts, and I appreciate that so much. So maybe, if I start doing this more often, I can get my following back.

So what’s going on in my life?

1. I’m writing again. It’s going slowly as I get back into it, but it’s going.

2. I’m editing for clients quite a bit, but it still seems to be feast or famine. Since I haven’t had too much editing work for the last month, I’ll probably suddenly have four people wanting an edit RIGHT NOW. LOL. I want to thank Ruth Ann Nordin for always giving me plenty of time. She always plans ahead. 🙂

3. This is third on my list, but certainly number one in my heart…I have a brand new granddaughter! This makes two for the oldest son and one for the youngest son. *eyeing my baby boy*

4. I’m trying to get fit again. I think I might have mentioned, at least on Facebook, that I fried my Fitbit fitness tracker in the ocean when I was on vacation in May/June. Fitbit offered me 25% off a new one, which they didn’t have to do since I was going to buy one anyway. Great customer service! Anyway, the new one does a few more things, including telling me to get up and walk if I haven’t done at least 250 steps in that hour. And I’m doing it almost every time. You can’t argue with your Fitbit! 🙂 I’ve been tracking my food faithfully with the Fitbit app. I’ve been getting on the treadmill at home, and I finally bit the bullet and joined the gym again. My insurance will pay for it if I go at least 12 times per month. I have more energy, at least on the days I get enough sleep. That’s something else I need to work on. The Fitbit tracks my sleep; it even tracks what sleep stages I’m in and for how long. One thing I’ve noticed is that I wake up several times during the night. I usually average about 45-55 minutes awake per night. I don’t know what’s up with that, but I think I’ll try to start going to bed earlier.

Anyway, that’s my life right now.

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So am I back on track now? Time will tell.

Saturday, I sat down and wrote 2120 words. That’s the most I’d written on Keeper of His Soul in a really long time. This book has been the bane of my existence lately. Not because I don’t love the story; I really do. But for some reason, I’ve been afraid of it. I’ve been experiencing really bad “page fright”.

Here’s what I think is going on. I wanted this book to be a novel since it’s a sequel to Soul of a Vampire, which IS a novel. So then when the story moves a little too fast, I panic because it won’t be long enough. But what I need to do is let each story be what it will be. Some are meant to be novels, some are meant to be shorter. When I first talked to Susan Bischoff about this story, she even said she thought it would make a better novella than a novel. But I wanted it to be longer. When I try to force a story to be longer, though, I end up with words I don’t really need. I tend to write lean. I write short and to the point. I like things to move fast. That’s the way I like to read, too. So that’s why I do better with novellas most of the time.

Right now, this book is at about 35,000 words. It’s getting close to the last scene of the story. So it’s going to be a long novella or a very short novel. (There’s a lot of controversy about what’s considered a novel. I say 50,000 words. I’ve been to conferences where they say 40,000.) At this point, I’m going to stop worrying about it. I just need it to be long enough to warrant making a paperback. At about 35,000 is where I kind of draw that line. I know some people will do shorter paperbacks. I’ll just see how it goes. At least I worked on it a lot Saturday and again at lunch today. I’m kind of back on the horse.

I hope all of you are doing well and are enjoying this holiday season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s is like one big fun time for me. Maybe it’s all the Christmas movies. And the food. Yeah, the food. 🙂

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Discouragement

I’ve been struggling for a long time with writing (actually lack of), and I’ve tried some of the things that have been suggested. I’ve tried to get enthusiastic about it again. I actually sat down and wrote a little bit on my WIP (it’s been in “P” for a long time now!), the other day, but I didn’t get much done. Every little bit is important, though, right?

Anyway, I’m beginning to realize that the main problem with me is lack of sales. See, here’s the thing. Everyone says to just write for myself. To forget about the publishing part and just write. But here’s why that doesn’t work for me. I’m a businesswoman. My writing is a business. Yes, it’s something I love, but it’s also how I would like to make a living. And that’s not happening anymore. It WAS happening back when I only had a few books out. Now that I have more, and much better ones at that, I can’t sell worth a flip. I’ve had a lot of other authors tell me this same thing the last few years.

So why can’t I just write for fun for awhile? Because I don’t have time. If I can’t make it with writing, then I need to find something else to spend my time doing that I CAN make it with. Editing is a little more profitable, so I’m not giving that up. I love editing. The problem is with editing is I’m not getting enough jobs. If I didn’t have my main client, I would probably give that up, too. One of my other clients decided to stop writing with one of her pen names, so that cut her work in half.

I’ve been trying to follow the Dave Ramsey plan to get out of debt then start saving money. He always says if you aren’t making enough at the job you’re doing, then you need to find something else. This isn’t really feasible for my full time job because I’ve been here 35 years and am just a few years away from retiring. But I need a good part time job that brings in a steady income. I have readers who beg me not to stop writing. But all of these readers aren’t out pimping my books (although I have a few that are so good about that).

Another option I have is to focus almost entirely on my other pen name. I’m actually selling a little more on Amazon with that pen name. And I have some ideas in genres that sell well. Genres I can’t really write under the Lauralynn name since Lauralynn books are too dark.

I’m almost tempted to try NaNoWriMo again. Almost. I said I would never do that again. My husband never wants me to do that again. And, honestly, I just don’t think I have that much time. But I remember the excitement of the two times I did it (and finished it!). I want that excitement back so badly!

So maybe I should just forget this little pity party and just DO IT. Anyone willing to kick me in the behind and tell me to stop whining? 🙂

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I almost didn’t check in this time, but after the post on the ROW80 site that Eden Mabee wrote, I felt like I need to get back to this. This is a community. We are here to help each other. So I’m late, but I’m here.

Since my husband’s hospital stay and the subsequent financial situation, I’ve been nearly paralyzed with fear of the near future. Would he have another incident? Would he be able to go back to work before we started having to choose which bills to pay and which to let go? Would things ever get back to normal? Or would there be a new normal for us? I just couldn’t write during this time. I just didn’t want to. I had no motivation.

So…he went back to work last night. He called me this morning (he wasn’t home yet when I left for work) and said they had a busy night, but everything went fine. He has a fairly physical job, so I was a little concerned. I’m hoping things will be okay, at least for a long time. We have to live with the fact that he’ll always have heart problems. It’s hereditary; it has nothing to do with his habits. I’ll just pray that God will continue to take care of us.

I had just started the Dave Ramsey plan when all this happened. The first baby step is to get $1000 in an emergency fund as soon as possible. I had just saved $130 when hubby went into the hospital. Oddly enough, I didn’t have to touch the $130. We had some unexpected help from a couple of people. Plus, some people made food for us, so we didn’t have to buy many groceries. The strange thing is, we were able to actually make a budget that balanced out. Even with less money coming in, it somehow worked. I’m convinced God’s hand was in this. So I’m going to really work on staying on the budget and doing the baby steps. After we accumulate the $1000 emergency fund, the next step is to start attacking our debt. There will be less eating out, no unnecessary expenditures, and things WILL get sold on eBay.

The good news is that I’ve been writing again. My WIP is called Keeper of His Soul, a sequel to Soul of a Vampire. I’m a little concerned that it’s going to end up a novella instead of a novel, but I’m going to stop trying to force a book to be longer than it wants to be. So we’ll see what happens. It’s going in a totally different direction than I originally had planned. So that’s getting interesting.

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ROW Update 8/3/16

I know I haven’t been around much lately. I’ve had a lot going on.

Hubby was in the hospital last month. I thought I was going to lose him. He went into AFib, and his defibrillator went off four times before he was able to call an ambulance to come get him. He was at work and was able to drive to his mom’s (just down the road) to call the ambulance. He should have called from work.

Hubby is much better. He’s not been able to work, mostly because his doctor can’t see him until Aug. 10. He feels much better and is anxious to return to his normal routine. Out of boredom, he’s cleaned just about every inch of the house.

I had a good cry this morning because I don’t know how I’m going to pay the bills with only my paycheck. But I trust that God will take care of us, so I put on my big girl panties and went on to work at a job I’m beginning to hate. Because you know what? There are people a lot worse off than we are. I should be thankful for what we have.

So, no more whining. I’ve let this whole thing be a big excuse for not writing. Many authors write better when they’re upset or depressed. It’s like writing lets them get everything out. I’m the opposite. I write better when I’m on top of the world happy. Yeah, I’m weird. So I actually got some writing in tonight. This story is going in odd directions I wasn’t expecting. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. LOL

Hopefully, I won’t be so absent from now on. I have a lot of blogs to catch up on, and I know some of my FB friends think I’ve gone into exile. I just haven’t felt very social. I’ll try to do better! 🙂

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This whole round has pretty much been a bust when it comes to writing. I’ve done a LOT of editing for clients, though.

Here’s what I need to do. Yes, I still think I need to put my clients first because that’s what they’re paying me for. However, I shouldn’t put my writing at the very bottom of everything. I think I’m maybe doing it on purpose because it’s been so long since I’ve written anything that I’m afraid. I don’t know for sure what I’m afraid of, but I FEEL afraid when I think of my WIP. I need to get over that and get back to work.

So, having said all that, I want to be ready to get things done next round!

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