January has simultaneously been the longest month of my life and a whirlwind of not having enough time to do what I need to do. I managed to plot BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL, my “The Little Mermaid” meets “The Beauty and the Beast” in Medieval Scotland fantasy novel, but I still need to type all of my plot cards into a proper outline.
The rest of the month was spent working on a personal project of mine, which I can now share with everyone: The Ozark Book Authority, a non-profit organization with a mission to spread literacy by bringing readers together across Northwest Arkansas. We’re still in early stages, but we’re in the process of filing all the proper paperwork to get 501(c)(3) status. We’re currently trying to schedule events for the 2019 calendar year, all while trying to gather as much information as possible from local authors, book clubs, and writing groups to fill out our website. It’s been a lot of work, but I’m so excited to see things come together and become what I dream it will eventually be.
Also, I turned 30!
Word Counts in January
BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL: 1740 (plot/query)
(Plus about a thousand emails and website pages that I’ve written this month that I don’t have word count for.)
Total Words Written in January: 7246
Total Words Written in 2019: 7246
January Patreon Round-up
Here’s a list of everything I posted in the month of January!
For $7 Patrons:
ARTWORK: Sylpha, Firbolg Druid Sketch
For $5+ Patrons:
POEM: “Thirty Years on this Earth, A Blip Among the Stars” – A poem about turning thirty years old and looking forward.
For $4 Patrons:
VIDEO: Plotting BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL – PART 1 – a look at how I come up with scene cards when plotting.
VIDEO: Plotting BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL – PART 2 – the follow up to Part 1, I take the scene cards from Part 1 and organize them into three acts, adding and changing scenes as I go.
For $3+ Patrons:
Writing a Mock Query Letter / Back Cover Copy – a look at how I take a rough draft of a query to a more polished version.
A New Printer! – You guys made it possible for me to buy a new printer this month, so thank you!!
Note: There were no excerpts for my $2 patrons this month as I did not work on a written draft, but I’ll make it up to them next month!
Plans for February:
I expect another month of too much to do and not enough time to do it. Ozark Book Authority is taking up a lot of my time, and will continue to do so for a little while longer. Once we’re established and get some events scheduled, things should slow down quite a bit, but until then, it’s go go go. Thankfully, we have a little bit of funding to get us started, but there is so. much. to. do.
Writing-wise, I want to get an outline put together for BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL soon and start drafting that next week. I have a goal to write 20,000 words by the end of February, which is ambitious with everything else going on, even if it feels to me like a low number to shoot for. (My first thought was to aim for 40,000 words, but with everything else I have to do, I really doubt that I’ll be able to write that much.) 20,000 words will put me that much closer to the end, so I’ll take what I can get. I’m going to try something a little bit different with this draft and really really try not to edit as I go. I’m going to use every damn trick I can think of to get the draft down as quickly as possible without going back to edit, in the hopes that I can finish the book more quickly than my usual process (AKA 6-9 months of agonizingly slow progress). So, we’ll see.
Of course, I have Patreon to update throughout the month, so I’ll be producing content for that as well. I’m enjoying the work I’m doing , and I hope that others will choose to support my work through their platform.
I’ve been thinking over my plans for 2019. Originally, I planned to finish Draft 4 of REBEL ENGINEER by the end of December so I could start the new year fresh with a different project, but December came and went and I didn’t finish the book by the time winter break...
December was a relatively lax month for me. NaNoWriMo left me with burnout (I am really not equipped to write every single day), and I had a hard time bringing myself to work on anything, even though I had wanted to finish REBEL ENGINEER by the time winter break...
Today is the winter solstice! Earlier, me and my family went scrounging for a Yule log in the woods to burn tonight and celebrate the return of the sun and longer days ahead—something new we’re going to add into our winter festivities going forward—and later we’ll...
Chroniker City #1
Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl. But when Emmerich Goss—handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild—needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she’s been waiting for…
Chroniker City #1.5
Petra Wade’s older brother, Solomon, has always dreamed of being an actor. Instead, he works grueling shifts in the clockwork city’s boiler rooms to help support his large adopted family. When Le Theatre Mecanique holds an open call for their upcoming performance, he decides to audition, but the only role he is suitable to fill is that of the theater’s custodian…
Chroniker City #2
It has been six months since clockwork engineer Petra Wade destroyed an automaton designed for battle, narrowly escaping with her life. But her troubles are far from over. Her partner on the project, Emmerich Goss, has been sent away to France, and his father, Julian, is still determined that a war machine will be built. Forced to create a new device, Petra subtly sabotages the design in the hopes of delaying the war, but sabotage like this isn’t just risky: it’s treason. And with a soldier, Braith, assigned to watch her every move, it may not be long before Julian finds out what she’s done…
Brooke is a stay-at-home mom, amateur seamstress, RPG enthusiast, and art hobbyist, in addition to all that book writing. As the jack-of-all-trades bard of the family, she adventures through life with her fiercely-bearded paladin of a husband, their warrior-princess daughter, a cowardly wizard of a dog, and a roguish cat that somehow persuaded them to let him join the party.
They currently reside in Northwest Arkansas, but once they earn enough loot and experience, they’ll build a proper castle somewhere and defend against all manner of dragons, goblins, and whatever else dares take them on.