Blog Post #23: My Daily Schedule as Someone Who Rarely Leaves the House

Juggling work, housework, and leisure is essential to all workers, but especially those working from home or managing a business launch.

I rarely leave the house, it is the reality of my life now that I don’t have a job to go to everyday.

My days as a housewife consist of three main duties: cooking, cleaning, and writing. Once I have a baby life will be thrown into the utter chaos of love, baby feet, and poop, but for now it’s simpler. My husband and I have always had the goal of me being a stay at home wife and once Covid hit I’ll be honest, I wasn’t exactly hitting the pavement trying to get a job in the middle of a pandemic. My husband, through his hard work and conscientiousness received a very big promotion, and he began working overtime weekly as an IT manager, requiring me to manage the house.

This means that all meals and cleaning falls on me, something that I enjoy. I had many jobs as a housekeeper at hotels in my young adult years, and thus I know how to clean a house rather quickly. It’s just getting the motivation to do it, heh. In turn, I try to plan the meals out for the day, as my husband and I are working on getting in better shape before we try for a baby again. Once I have my surgery, I’ll have to wait a month or two for my hormones to stabilize and then I’ll be able to get pregnant and carry a full term baby.

My medical conditions, as well as various other experiences that happened during the year has depleted our emergency savings, and now we’re working to stash it back again. That’s achievable by me cooking basically everything.

My mornings start with coffee and fasting. I fast a lot. Generally, I fast between 16-20 hours a day, only drinking coffee, tea, and water in that time. I avoid carbonated drinks, but I have a soft spot for Truly’s on the weekends. Generally, I’ll bring my husband breakfast between ten and eleven, lunch around two to three, and dinner at six to seven. Then I do the dishes and shower for the night. Twice a week my friends come over to workout the makeshift gym in my basement. We’ll be going on a bachelorette weekend getaway in a month and we plan to look as good as possible!

As for writing, from approximately 9AM to 5PM I’m at the computer trying to write. According to my writing tracker spreadsheet (which I will be uploading for download here at some point) I have averaged 2500 words a day during this manuscript. My highest day was 5600. I hope to hit 10K at some point, but I doubt that will be consistent on a daily basis. Maybe one day. Hopefully. In the early morning I’ll check my social medial pages (as of today I only have a twitter) and post some positive and feel-good content. My goal is to never talk about politics or anything negative; I imagine people are readying dark fantasy romance to ESCAPE reality and to ESCAPE the negativity of the world.

My average writing sprints are 25-55 minutes but I don’t keep a timer, I just try to get myself into flow and don’t stop until I am done with the scene or I get stumped at what should happen. I have a few tricks in my back pocket now if I get stumped, including backing up the previous interaction and sending it into a different, more interesting direction.

I hope in the following weeks to get more a stable schedule with everything in my life. At the very least, I have begun to write and schedule my blog posts, so that I do not just blip off the map for a two year stint again.

Also, I finished my first draft (YAY!) at 45K words. I am working on brainstorming scenes to bring that up to 65K. Then it’s editing and completed! I will keep you all posted on my plotting and editing systems.

See you all Monday!

picture credit: “person holding yellow plastic spray bottle photo” by JESHOOTS, published on


Blog Post #22: Under Pressure

Caught between plans and executions. Also details about my current manuscript.

I’ve been re-reading Jewel Allen’s Rapid Release (attempted to link below) and it’s been inspiring, yet intimidating.

In the writing-craft book, Allen explains how she pens 50,000 words in the span of a week, allowing her to push out romance books on a monthly basis. She writes escapism romance, a niche that is both in demand and fairly simple to write (in terms of research, concepts, etc). She explains how marketing plans will still need to be devised by authors as rapid releasing is only one marketing strategy.

If I were to say my goal, it would be to take dark fantasy/sci fi romance and mimic what Allen is doing with escapism romance. I want to launch long series consisting of books which are about 70,000 words. I am not able to write 50,000 words in a month yet, but on my current manuscript Silver Blood I’ve written over 17,000 words in August alone. That manuscript is at just over 40,000 now.

17,000 isn’t enough, though. Even with this last remaining week in August I’ll need to push myself to write as much as possible to finish my draft before September.

Silver Blood, the working title of my current manuscript, is about a new kind of vampire. Today I will, hopefully, be powering through 5k words to finish the final chapter. Then the rest of the week I will add additional content needed to calm the fast pace of the story in its rawest form. It is a fantasy concept based on an old roleplaying forum board my best friend and I made back in 2002 on a website called which doesn’t exist anymore. (Back in the heyday of free website hosting for no explicable reason, where I, and many other people, cut teeth on HTML.)

Ultimately, my end of year goal is to:
1) Finish Silver Blood first draft and editing
2) Finish Americana Wasted first draft and editing
3) Finish Americana Wasted 2 first draft and editing
4) Finish Dark Requiem editing

Successfully completing these goals will give me four completed books and set me up with 2 continuing dark fiction series and 1 stand alone series of horror/thriller books which will be released annually in October.

I forgot to mention, I have another manuscript I wrote in the summer of last year. It’s a fantasy about a demon hunter who’s possessed by a grim reaper in exchange for help in executing revenge against the entity that killed his family. It is VERY rough, and at this point I’m holding back on it because this character is going to tie into Silver Blood, just not yet. In my mind they are two protagonists, and their story will begin with Silver Blood and end with the other series. They just haven’t met yet.

That’s about it for today. I have more thoughts about potentially having a second pen name for straight up feel good romances that write easy and sell easier. I just don’t know when I’ll have time for that. If I can juggle two writing projects at once, though them being entirely different (outside of the romance subplot) may actually allow me to pursue something like that. And then, what kind of romances? Contemporary? Regency? Western? Historical? All of them?

I don’t have a real job anymore, so how much can I write until I burn out?

Also, enjoy the rebrand. This blog is gonna be looking different as I decide how to design it. I need to figure out how to get dark fantasy romance across in my site design. So for now you’re getting Mucha flowers!

Jewel Allen’s Rapid Release:

(I tried to link the book from amazon but wordpress blocked it so…. search it on Amazon, it’s definitely worth a read if you’re looking into self-publishing.)

Blog Post #21: I’m Back

Hey, it’s been a while. A lot has happened. A lot is still happening.

I haven’t returned to work; at this time I am a homemaker and an avid gardener.

My husband and I were working on creating a family. That didn’t go as planned, and unfortunately I was diagnosed with a disease affecting my endocrine system which will require surgery. That surgery is being held up by genetic testing which I can’t get into any earlier than November. I was pregnant the very end of last year, and unfortunately I lost that baby.

When I lost that baby, I lost a very real piece of myself. I lost my ability to be carefree and believe that everything was going to work out. I spiraled into a deep depression, of which I’ve crawled out only recently. Even typing this out now I’m still reduced to a mess of tears; it’s just that I can pull myself back together in a matter of minutes rather than experiencing a revolving panic attack.

That depression had completely wiped my creativity. My muse wasn’t gone, she was just drowning in sorrow with me. Everything felt like it was halted: my dreams of being a mother and my dreams of being an independent author.

Time doesn’t heal, it just numbs, and as of now I’m numb enough to return back to what I was doing before.

I’m currently working on my fourth manuscript, a fantasy romance. I was hesitant to write romance, I am not a rom-com type of gal. I always preferred dramas, horrors, or suspense to romance. However, almost every story has a romance component to it, and I decided that I needed to strengthen my skills. It doesn’t hurt that romance sells the best as well.

The post-apocalypse western is still happening, it’s just that two years later I realize that I need to pull the story down the middle and make two books by changing the climax and making large fundamental changes to the world. Less sci-fi, more western.

The horror story that I believe I had mentioned is also still happening. I just need to revisit the manuscript and polish it up. It is coherent, I just remember feeling as if the story wasn’t actually fleshed out the entire way.

Oh, yeah. I also earned a certification in copywriting from Poynter University. It felt really good to earn that cert.

My big goal is still to stash back 12 books to publish my first year, I’m just now playing with the idea of having two pen names: one for dark/fantasy/horror novels and the other for historical/western/contemporary romance.

I will be consistent. I know that was the mantra of my previous posts but I’m serious. I’m beginning to write a lot faster and I need to amass an audience before I can publish. I need to have people ready to review!

Thank you anyone still here. I did not forget about you. The pangs of guilt from leaving you hanging the last 2.5 years was not lost on me, and I hope that you all made it out of the pandemic.

Blog Post #16: Merging Notes into a Book Bible, Fleshing Out Character Stories, and Filling the Creativity Well

Hey everyone!

I spent today going through my story notes and organizing them into a book bible for my current horror story (first of a series). It’s been a little exhausting, but it’s making me feel more in tune with my story. I had spent about a month avoiding the project at the end of November, so burnt out from failing Nano and feeling the holes of my story as I tried to craft it, and now that I’m coming back to it and re-working it from the ground up, it’s feeling more cohesive, giving me more to elaborate on.

I’m a giant plotter, if you couldn’t tell, and while I don’t plot every aspect of my chapters, I need an outline of what I’ll be writing or I’ll lose focus, lose interest, or blow off writing all together. Yay, self-sabotage and laziness!

My original idea was to write this story from an omniscient point of view, focusing on a single protagonist mixed with a few side character chapters, but now I’ve decided that while there is one true protagonist, I’m writing each of the other four characters with just as much backstory and detail.

This tale I’m composing is definitely a stretch of creativity, and I’ve been trying to draw inspiration from my favorite psychological horror stories, addressing central themes like redemption, forgiveness, guilt, shame, letting go, and aligning ones shadow, a Jungian concept while still creating a world that is my own.  The story surrounds five people who wake up in an alternate, timeless dimension between the living and the dead, each chased by their pasts and searching desperately for a way back to their old lives. They all share a common vice, though not immediately apparent on the outside.

This series won’t follow the same protagonist throughout, each book will be its own slice of this dimension, with new characters and new stories, all focused on a central theme which connects it all together. I’m planning on doing seven books total, not sure if I’ll just write them all back to back or intersperse other novels to break up the subject matter, but this manuscript I’m working on will (as of now) be my first publication.

Happy Tuesday!

Blog Post #11: Finishing the Rough Draft, My Editing Plan, and Future Additions to the Blog

On July 16th, after seven and a half months, I finally finished the rough draft of my novel.  

My last few chapters may be fairly short, the word choice not the most eloquent, and the prose might be sloppy, but I finished 25 chapters, wrote 89,000+ words, and finally put to (digital) paper the beginning of the story I’ve been mulling over the past half decade.

It was cathartic in a lot of ways, using a passion I’ve had for writing to actually craft a formal story, following structured plot beats and (hopefully) coinciding with firm character arcs.  This is a personal accomplishment that I always hoped to achieve but never thought that I would have a story idea large enough to build off of, and even if this ends up being the worst book ever written in the history of literature, at least I’ll know I had a hell of a lot fun writing it.

Since I’ve finished my rough draft I jumped straight into editing it.  And yes, I know, I know. I wasn’t supposed to do that. I was supposed to sit on it and marinate on it so that I could come back with fresh eyes and see the mistakes.  I didn’t want to, though. Mind, this wasn’t a I just don’t want to in a petulant child manner; I didn’t want to step away from it and lose momentum and the vision.  I didn’t want to let self-doubt creep in and make me fear going forward with my idea (fear is the mind-killer), which always happens when I stall on an idea, and why I mulled on this for five years in the first place.  I also didn’t want to stop writing everyday, something that I’ve finally worked back up to and I used to do everyday after school from my preteen years through high school.

My editing process has been developed from listening to multiple Author YouTuber’s videos on the subjects (Heart Breathings, Alexa Donne, and Jenna Moreci, mostly), and while I am mainly following Sarra Cannon’s method on her Heart Breathings channel, taking advice from both a traditionally published author (Donne) and an indie publishing author who edited as they went (Moreci) has been awesome as well.

My editing plan consists of the following, the goal being to complete it before the end of August:

  1. Two rounds of developmental edits:
    The first focusing on fleshing out the character arcs and plot beats, and actually writing my two romance arcs! 
    Major focus on dialogue and character motives, their emotions, and reactions to surroundings. Starting at the beginning of the story, my worst writing by far, my main goal has been developing the two main character’s viewpoints in their homes, and as I move on chapter by chapter it will develop into the fleshing out the emotional weight of the plot beats and character arcs as they leave their homes, while beefing up the action sequences, both of which are very brittle in my rough draft.  I realized I didn’t flesh out either of the dysfunctional romance arcs that my characters will experience. Subsequently, I added entire sections to chapters, doubling their page amount, and it’s really adding more desperately needed depth to the characters I’m creating.
    The second focusing on fleshing out the world. 
    The second round will be focused on adding more depth into the world around them, beefing up descriptions of surroundings and settings, histories of various factions that have formed in the wastes, reinforcing class differences, religions that have pop’d up after the end of the world, songs sung and rumors told in bars, urban legends of beasts hidden in the wastes, and subtle hints about future characters to come forward in later books, among countless other attributes to consider when world building.
    Ultimately, I am expecting to add at least 50,000 more words in these two
    developmental passes.
  2. Two rounds of Line Edits. There’s nothing fancy here, two slow, clean sweeps through where I’ll pick apart my sub-par writing and attempt to deliver this story succinctly and with eloquence. I’ll be focusing on word choice, sentence structure, dialect of characters, balancing purple prose with concise explanation, a last review of show versus tell, and generally second guessing everything I’ve ever written.
  3. Two rounds of Proof Reading. The first round will be myself printing and combing through it one chapter at a time, reading it on paper, and marking any errors as I see them, since I’ll have only read it digitally either on my phone or on a computer prior.  The second round will be an automatic proof read, where I’ll run it through an additional spell check and a grammar check, followed by combing through it digitally while listening to a reader online.

After these steps it will be ready to send to my personal group of writer, editor, and artist friends who said they would act as critique partners and beta readers, to let me know if they see any mistakes (And Mr. Frost, of course). After I hear back from them, I’ll hire a professional editor to proof read it.

Then it’ll be time to do it all over again for #2 of the series, while also turning my focus to the beginning stages of true online marketing for my Author career and Publishing House.

This brings me to the announcement for this blog, I’m going to be writing short stories, additional pieces of the world I’m creating for you all and publishing them here.  I’m hoping to publish these monthly, and once I set up a newsletter I’ll be offering sneak peeks and writing samples from my current WIP.  These short stories won’t be very long, maybe 2,000, 3,000 words, but they’ll be small snippets of this world that I want to entice readers with.  My first short story will be published here in August! 

So creatives and artists, always keep striving, even if it feels like it’s the worst piece you’ve ever made, because the journey is what matters, not how bad you are at the moment. Realize that it’s the small, consistent steps that help you reach your goals.



Blog Post #6: 3 Reasons to Write Multiple Books in the Saga Before Self-Publishing the First

For the self-publishers who are writing a multi-book saga, reasons why you should write and prepare multiple books before you publish the first, despite your excitement to push your creation into the world. 

As soon as I sat down to begin outlining TAW: WRP, I knew that this was only book one of a saga that will more than likely end somewhere between six and nine books to fully flesh out the world and guide the story in a meaningful direction with enough time to craft realistic relationships and impactful twists.

When I began researching how to self publish a series, I soon came across a piece of advice which said “We know you’re excited to publish your first book, wait until you have three for your series.”

What?!?! Wait until I have THREE finished?! ONE is already a feat, why wait until I have three???

Well, great things take time and a hell of a lot of work, and holding onto the first two or three of your series can give you lasting success well beyond initial publication. See the top three reasons below on why to hold on to your book babies just a little longer before sending them into the world.

Reason #1: Story Continuity

Don’t you just hate when you’re reading a great book in an immersive series and you come across a dreaded author mistake: a continuity error. Continuity errors are jarring in any storytelling medium, they are easy to spot in movies and shows, hair style changes, food on the plates at dinner, random knick-knack arrangements in the background move (good in horror movies, bad in romances). These errors pull the viewer out of the experience, gets them thinking about difficulties in editing, or how shitty the poor planning was. The same goes with books, if authors gets their characters’ names wrong, inexplicably change outfits, setting, or characters in the middle of a conversation (or anything else of the sort) it rips the reader out of the story and into a place of criticism, though arguably you deserve it for leaving these errors in your work.

Also, if a writer immediately publishes their books once written and edited, they’ve definitively set the parameters in stone for the story, and the standards NEED to be kept so the world stays believable to the reader (deviation from these set standards going forward in your story is the make or break of a good writer).

This rigidity in the story from early on can cause hiccups in long game story development if most of the story’s mechanics haven’t been hammered out in planning.

If an author chooses instead to give themselves the flexibility to take the story two or three books deep before publication, these issues can be straightened out prior to readers catching them and hating your work.

Reason 2: Quality

While continuity is a component of quality, overall quality itself is another beast entirely. This encompasses everything about your writing skills, plotting skills, and the overall concept of your story as a whole.

Once you publish your first book, an invisible clock begins ticking for your next book in the series, which can induce authors to run with the first few ideas that hit them for their subsequent stories. These ideas can be awesome or TERRIBLE, with not a lot of time for the author to differentiate between the two.

Holding off on immediate publication allows authors to brainstorm longer on large plot arcs and character developments, giving more of a guide for their creativity, instead of chasing every bad idea like a rabbit into a hole. (Which is why I HAVE to plot as an author, because I chase all the shitty ideas if I don’t plot and weed through them.)  Giving yourself an adequate amount of time to get deep within your story allows you to hammer out any difficult plot points before they become a huge mess, and allows you to sew in bits of foreshadowing VERY EARLY in your story, which gives re-read value to your readers. Imagine foreshadowing something huge in the beginning stages of book one and paying it off at the end of book three, this gives your reader an entirely new way to see your book’s first two installments. You can also dedicate precious time to crafting b-plots that span over novels when you chose to hold onto the manuscripts: love stories, character arcs, plot pushers, twists and surprises, etc

Reason 3: Marketing

The bane of many self-published authors: Marketing.

Marketing is a HUGE component that you not only need to utilize but you have to excel at utilizing! Marketing is how to turn your book launch into an event, how you’ll hype your fans (and potential street team) for publications, how you’ll connect with readers through giveaways and reviews, and how you’ll tantalize readers, and even book stores, into purchasing your beautiful novels. This all sounds great, but what’s so daunting about marketing is that essentially it is preparation and swift execution.

Everything about marketing starts with planning and ends with execution of the plan: your publication dates and the length between your publications, what your websites look like (all of them, social media pages too), what your covers look like, what schedule you post blog posts or vlog videos, your newsletter schedule, basically everything about the look and timing of your business as an author.

By waiting to write multiple books in the series before publishing any of them you can make sure EVERYTHING about the marketing of these books is COHESIVE. Do the novel covers’ designs match? Do you have your graphics created to blast all over your platforms when you publish a new book/do giveaways/send your newsletters/etc?  Do you have your summaries reviewed and edited? Take into consideration these questions and realize these are only a fraction of planning. Holding off from immediate publication gives you a chance to make a marketing strategy and map out your small steps to your big goals.

Remember to enjoy the process, writers! Self publication is an undertaking, but is less intimidating with proper strategy and time.  I will be writing more articles on writing and marketing techniques in the weeks to come!

Blog Post #2: How to Balance High Expectations for Yourself and Maintain Your Own Mental Sanity

Having high expectations to meet long term goals is something that runs in the blood, and brains, of type A personalities, but how do we learn to appropriately adjust our ambitions when repetitive failures of goals discourage us from chasing our dreams?

I’ve been trying to write the first draft of the first book in a very large dystopian saga since the middle of 2014. The idea has been brewing in my mind, and in the beginning it spawned binders full of brainstorming notes and a few short stories, scenes written mostly to test myself and see if I still had some writing talent left. My brain never shook the idea after five years though, and the wait finally paid off when I had a clear revelation of how to solve a plot issue, which propelled me back into the prospect of writing not only a novel, but an octet. (On the way to work, of course, when I couldn’t write anything down, so I had to repeat the newly formed plot points over and over again until I got to work and was able to jot them down in a four dollar notebook I had purchased to catch these shocks of inspiration).

When I finally began to sit down and write out the first few chapters in the beginning weeks of 2019, I had the entire first book roughly outlined (my outlining consists of bullet-pointing the plot beats and general happenings for each chapter, and then I “pants” everything else.), and the first few chapters came really easy. I figured that I would be able to breeze through all of the chapters as fast as I had the first ones, but I was so fucking wrong, and I laugh at myself now in between kicks. Now that I’m reaching the very beginning of the midpoint and the start of the real twits which correspond between multiple streams of story running congruently, I’m realizing that writing these later chapters, and subsequent books, will take much longer than I had anticipated.

In response, I can feel myself stressing out from not meeting my goals, and I’m left reconsidering my marketing plan and timelines again, something that I’ve already done before, which only bubbles my newly brewed cauldron of discouragement.

However, I have to remember that I am the one who set these standards, and therefore, I can change them. This entire process is in my hands, and I am dictating the timing and schedule of my own writing and publication. I have to remember to be forgiving to myself for not reaching unattainable goals and striving for perfection when it doesn’t exist, I have to remind myself that the only standard that exists is a fixed point where I will diminish my returns and waste hours because I’ve stressed myself out beyond the ability to be productive.

I am not pursuing a book deal, I am pursuing self-publishing and launching a publishing house for myself and other aspiring authors to publish their works internationally. I can do this in my own time, I can write and re-write, and re-write some more, until I polish these books to the best that I can get them. My current (tentative) date for publishing my first book is April 24th, 2020, and I shouldn’t beat myself up if even this date, so far off in the future, is changed as well. Everyone completes their book in their own time, and good things are worth waiting for.

So artists, please remember to be forgiving of yourself when you don’t reach the goals you demand, to be a friend to yourself instead of a tyrant. Remember to check in with yourself, asking if you’re being too hard with your standards, or if you’re stressed from something else and it’s taking energy away from your creative process. Do not put so much emphasis and stress on your art to the point that it loses the luster you loved it for in the first place.