February was another off month for me, featuring a bit of nihilistic defeatism that made me question why I even bother with writing and publishing anyway. I go through this on occasion, especially when writing is particularly hard or publishing is in turmoil or a little bit of both. I have a tendency to be a pessimist (shocker, I know), especially toward publishing, but even with all of my doubts and insecurities, I had an idea for another book yesterday (an old idea from 2010, revisited), so there’s that.
I did manage to start working on the rewrite for BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL again, though I spent several days just staring at it in annoyance and frustration, trying to figure out why it wasn’t working. My husband thinks I am too hard on myself, and no one else is ever going to overthink each plot point and worldbuilding detail to the same degree that I do, but I can’t help it. I’m always pushing myself to produce my best work, and I know I can do better than what is in front of me. I’m not necessarily pushing for perfection, because that is impossible, but I am trying to make it right, so that the story on the page ends up as close to the one in my head as possible, and it’s just not there yet.
I ended up deciding to revisit the outline I had constructed, rearrange a few things, and slow the story down a little bit in the beginning. I think I was trying to do too much all at once, and it just wasn’t working the way I wanted. I had some early reader feedback a couple months ago from a fellow writer whose opinion I trust, and they also thought I was trying to rush too much too fast. (I didn’t initially agree, but I see it now.) Because I started over again, I don’t have a definite word count for the project for the month. I’ve just been rearranging and rewriting what I had already started, so there’s not much quantifiable progress at the moment. But I am making progress.
I also spent a lot of time working on my D&D campaign, which is going well so far! Everyone seems really interested and engaged in the story I’ve set up. Hopefully, the interest continues.
I still haven’t returned to regular updates on my game blog or writing talk livestreams. Maybe I will start back up this month. I promise, you should be thankful to have been spared my defeatist attitude this last month.
Word Counts in February:
BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL: ?
Total Words Written in February: 10,548
Total Words Written in 2021: 18,973
Plans for March:
Now that I’ve finally started working on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL again, that’s my main priority for the month. I’m not particularly concerned about word count at this point. I just want to get the story right, and then worry about cleaning up the prose. My overall goal is still 135,000 words for the finished second draft, but I don’t have a daily or monthly word count goal I’m trying to hit. As long as I’m making progress, whatever that looks like, I’ll take it.
I’ll also be working on the D&D campaign week to week, writing up descriptions and building out NPC dialogue, quests, and that sort of thing. I’m going to probably focus on that one day a week, or more, depending on how writing the novel is going.
January was a weird month. I had intended to start working on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL and return to my usual blogging and writing streams once kiddo returned to school, but as it turns out, my brain needed a longer break than originally thought. I did work on a...
Writing went rather smoothly in December, though my word counts were lower than I would have liked. I was able to write every day before the holiday break, except for one day when I was sick (probable food poisoning). Some days, I netted a negative number of words,...
Well, we have finally made it to the end of this weird year, and that’s saying something, all things considered. We’re still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, obviously, but we managed to make it through a momentous election, too. Between Biden’s win and the...
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 Johnson is an avid tea drinker, nonprofit co-founder, amateur seamstress, tabletop RPG enthusiast, and dabbling artist, in addition to all her 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 two roguish cats that somehow rolled high enough persuasion to join the party.
They currently reside in Northwest Arkansas, and 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.