Summer Break

Hi Everyone,

So, I know last week I said I’d write about plotting, but time went all wibbly-wobbly, and I don’t have a post ready.

Rather than try to scrounge something together last minute, I’m going to take the next couple of weeks off blogging to enjoy what’s left of the summer (in a pandemic-safe manner, of course), and finish up the home improvements I’ve been working on, before starting five hours a day of helping my kids with distance learning.

I wish you all a safe, happy, healthy end of summer, and I’ll see you in September!

Now What?

My Adult Urban Fantasy manuscript is officially out in the querying world, which leads to the question: Now what?

What do I write next?

So far, I’ve been filling my time with more deep cleaning and minor house repairs – not to mention preparing for Back-to-(remote/virtual)-School. I’ve even thoroughly cleaned and organized my desk (Hooray for procrasti-cleaning!)

What I really want to write is the next book in the series of the manuscript I’m querying, but I *know* that’s a terrible idea. Since there’s no guarantee I’ll land an agent (let alone publisher), there’s absolutely no point writing the sequel to a book that may never exist.

I did put some time into writing a rough synopsis for the next book, and I have an idea of where I want the series to go, just in case an agent asks, but starting in on the next book is just not a good plan.

So instead I’ve been pouring over my file of story ideas.

And I think I’ve found something.

It’s actually an idea I came up with for my Mage-series, except I’ve never been able to figure out where it would fall, or how it would work with those characters. But I kept it, thinking maybe it could be a short story one day (despite my absolute inability to write short stories).

And now I think it’s taking on a life of its own.

So, it looks like the next book I write will be a YA (Contemporary) Fantasy about a haunted forest.

I’m a little worried, because right after I made the decision, I saw someone on Twitter remark that haunted forests are going to be the next trend (based on book announcements), but I’m hoping my idea has enough differences to make it stand out.

So now I get the very fun job of plotting out my characters and storyline. It’s great, because I can brainstorm while cleaning (although it does mean I’m paying less attention to my audiobooks).

I’m already itching to start writing. The first paragraph dances in my head at night (don’t worry, I will write it down. I’m not going to risk it evaporating before I’m ready to start writing for real.) But I know from past experience, the manuscript will be stronger if I approach it with a plan.

And so I plan. (More info on what that looks like next week.)

What about you? What stage are you at in your writing? What are you working on? Are you a plotter or a pantser (or somewhere in between – a plantser?)? Let me know in the comments…


August Check-In

Wow, August already.

Writing a check-in post for this month feels weird, because, to be honest, I’m not exactly certain where July went.

The stress of the pandemic is definitely getting to me. As our city opens up more and the schools prepare to reopen (with only the barest minimum of “plans”) it feels like it’s only a matter of time until cases start ballooning again (more than they already are in my city).

We’re still waiting to hear details from our school board, but it’s looking likely we’ll be choosing the distance learning option this year. Since there’s no plan to reduce class sizes, it feels like not only the best way to keep our family safe, but the best way to help reduce the number of kids physically present at our school.

There are no easy choices this year, for school or anything else, and I feel like I’ve turned into Chidi from The Good Place agonizing over ramifications of every little decision. (For instance, I haven’t had Starbucks in almost 5 months, because it feels like such a selfish decision – since I’m the only coffee drinker in the house – to expose our family to the possibility of Covid, just so I can get my peppermint mocha fix.)

As if that wasn’t stressful enough, I’ve also been dealing with a sick dog and the discovery of mice in my house. The necessary cleaning required by those things sparked a major cleaning/home repair binge, which is somehow both an outlet for, and creator of, you guessed it, stress.

And, of course, on top of all that I started querying again.

So, uh, yeah. I’m wound a little tightly these days.

But I’m trying to do better. We drove 5 hours without stopping to visit my family for the first time since March, which provided a nice change of scenery. We’ve arranged a few socially distanced get-togethers with friends over the upcoming weeks.

And I’ve been continuing to up my baking game (this week’s experiment was a Genoise sponge with a mirror glaze – not perfect, but at least I think I know what to do better next time).

Well, I guess that’s it for this month’s check-in. Hope you’re all hanging in okay out there.

July Reading Stats:

  • YA Contemporary (3)
  • YA Fantasy (2)
  • A Mystery (2)
  • A Urban Fantasy (2)

July Total: 9

Year-to-Date: 103 (+ 11 Re-Reads)