Friday, June 16, 2017

I Finally Graduated!

Ya'll I finally did it. I finished my last two classes for my Bachelor's of English on Feb 28 and I'm graduating with honors, Magna Cum Laude. I walked for my diploma on May 9th in Arizona. It was totally worth it, aside from all the crazy. We had to do a flight there and back because of the monster child. Of course the airline messed up our flights and I almost didn't make it, but we managed somehow. Drinks were had as we waited for our super late flight home. Thank goodness for my sister-in-law for keeping him overnight.

I am planning on getting my teaching credentials as a friend of mine has a professor position at a community college waiting for me as soon as I do. It'll be part time, and online so it'll be a perfect addition to my writing schedule when I finally get to it.

What I'm really excited about is that I talked with my partner and we decided we could afford for me to take a year off from teaching credentials and an 'adult' job to focus on writing as much as I can to try and make it into a full career. I'm starting a new pen name for sci fi romance. There will be a starter novella and then five full novels. Per my writing schedule three of them will be written by October. For the Wolfegang series I am releasing the fifth book on the 16th of March which I've already mentioned before. I will be writing in the order of which comes next in the publishing schedule. I also have three more Wolfe shorts outlined, and the next novel in the Wolfegang series has been outlined and they are all ready to be written. Publishing will be every three months for each name. It's a lot to do but I'm really hoping it'll push me up to an income level that justifies continuing to write full time.

If you like romance go ahead and find me on social media and message me :) I'll direct you to my romance profile. I will also be sending out a newsletter with an opt-in for the romance so if you're interested go ahead and subscribe to my Ashe newsletter.

A lot of people asked how? Well, I average about 2000 words a day pretty regularly. The romance won't be much more than 70,000 words per novel. My shorts are around 10,000 and my novellas are about 20-30,,000 words. The Wolfegang novels are averaging 100,000 words. So based on some very easy math I should easily be able to do two novellas, three short stories, five romance novels, and one Wolfegang novel this year. Even with a toddler.

Then on the money front I have a goal set my partner and I agreed on. I'm already making my minimum consistently. It's been six months now and I only dropped below once. With more books the goal will move up as well :) I figure minimum wage is a good start. Thankfully I am able to do this.

I know exactly how lucky I am and how hard it can be for most writers to do this. If my partner didn't have fabulous health insurance through his company I'd be required to work. If we couldn't manage to carefully live on one income I'd have to work. Then there's the whole daycare issue. After paying for full time daycare, gas, and factoring all the time to drive, get us all dressed and ready and then being somewhere on time...the stress just doesn't make sense when the profit after taxes and daycare are factored in. It's not easier to stay home with my son, but it is beneficial.

Staying home with the monster has been an experience. Someone requires you literally all day, nearly every second. He still needs me for so much and it can make keeping a schedule nearly impossible, but it's something we're both working towards. He's finally sleeping more consistently which is a lifesaver. There is a rough schedule and compromises for both of us. I'm sure it'll get easier as he starts understand the concept of time more.

Feels Like Falling was released yesterday, so I'm on track so far and my romance novella is up for pre-order which I just finished formatting yesterday. I'm going to finish the second book in the space opera fantasy romance series this month and then start on the Wolfegang shorts.

I hope you're all doing well and that you have a fabulous summer!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Season

I'm definitely basic.

It's the first time Pumpkin Spice has come back that I've been more excited for the new drink, the Spicy Mocha (I think that's what it's called.) Yes, I'm white and I wear Uggs and leggings, and I pretend Southern California ever has sweater season. The one thing I really miss about Colorado is the seasons. If I were there right now I'd be pulling out my boxes of sweaters and snow boots. Here I'm like oh, t-shirts instead of tank tops, cool.

I'm too far east for the pacific ocean wind to hit us, so we get desert weather. Hot/warm during the day, and then down to thirty at night when it's finally 'winter.'

It's been two months and obviously I suck at sticking to a schedule. It's kind of the beginning of September and I had a cool blog post all figured out and outlined, but it never maybe next month?

This month I want to catch you all up. I had set a goal to finish the first draft of the next book in the Wolfegang series, Feels Like Falling by September. Well, that didn't happen but I am very close. So my new goal is to finish it by the end of September. I wrote 2600 words yesterday on top of life and schoolwork in general so I'm pretty excited about that. I only have two more chapters to write out per my outline. Then the madness of the second draft happens. I already have a list of notes I know I need to add in or take out.

School is making this goal difficult. I'm in my last year and as anyone who's attended college or university knows, the last year can be a nightmare. You have a very set, specific set of classes you need to take and somehow they make it very difficult to take them. It ends up getting spread out, or requiring you to take a bunch all at once. My classes are 8 weeks each, so I have two sets each semester. I had 3 classes I could/needed to take in the first 8 weeks, and when I tried to move one to the second half it wasn't available then. So I'm taking 3 accelerated Upper Division English classes from August to October. Then I only have one from October to December. And my last two (with any luck I can take both at once) will be from Jan-Mar.

The reading load is pretty heavy (Magical Realism Literature, The Future of English, and Intro to Creative Writing Literature). The creative writing class is an easy elective, but it's not creative writing really. It's more studying different creative writing styles. Last week it was on blogs. I enjoy the readings, but it is very time consuming. As such I have arranged for the little monster to be watched by his great-grandparents on Tuesday's and his Nana and Grandad on Thursdays. It's so weird to be apart from him for 6+ hours. I've forgotten already what it was like before and it's oddly lonely.

Four more weeks of this intensity.

My husband's 30th is in October so I want to do something fun which requires planning. And then Nanowrimo! I want the book done by then so I can do some more Wolfe shorts and get started on the next in the series, or hey, even a new series I've had simmering on the back burner. We'll see how that goes though. Worse case scenario it's my saving grace to make sure this one is finished and ready to start the editing process. I'm thinking a Feb release date since the last one I released in Feb (When Elements Collide) did really well then. Far From Safe did okay in Jan. I just needed it published, lol since the little monster arrived the day after his due date.

That's pretty much my life right now. I've been slowly reaching out more and more on my platform and it's been pretty great to find and talk to new readers.

The little one just fell asleep so I'm going to take advantage of it while I can and go get some writing done.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Ramblings of June

Well it's not the first of the month but it is the first week of the month. That counts for something right?

I'm so terrible at keeping up with blog posts I told myself I'll do it on the first of every month. It's really easy to remember and I don't usually have much more to say than that. It updates everyone and gives me a chance to talk about something that might be on my mind.

For June I don't really have much going on but I am proud to say I've written over 30,000 words on the next book in the Wolfegang series since April and that's quite an accomplishment. Just today I wrote a little over 3000 words in just two hours and I'm just really happy and grateful that having a child hasn't completely ruined my writing. It was one of my biggest fears about this huge life change.

I am going to try and participate in Camp Nano for July this year but I do have a 5 week summer class starting on the 28th of June so I might not get much done. I am so close to done with my BA in English I can taste it. Only a few more classes and then I graduate in the Spring of 2017. It's a bit later than I wanted due to the whole pregnancy/child thing but it will be done. Thank goodness otherwise I think I'd lose my mind trying to balance it all.

Editing is a job I've considered doing part time after getting my BA in English. It really sucks though that there are no real classes that teach you how to edit in the way I would need to learn. I am pretty good at it, but there are a lot of nuances and rules that can be ignored or not when it comes to editing. Then there are the different types of editing. Editing for fiction versus editing for business and technical writing. Then line editing, developmental editing...why are there no classes to help us learn this? It's all about literature which is really annoying.

I've also considered getting my teacher's certificate but I would rather teach college than middle school or high school. Therefore I've looked into getting my MA in English and I think I'm going to do it a little at a time. It's expensive and I don't want to go into debt doing it so one or two classes a year seems doable. My monster child won't be in school until he's four or five anyway. I have the time.

But yes, I have a huge pet peeve with University not teaching you what you actually need to know to get a job in your field and then do it well. I'll have to teach myself if that's what I really want to do and after spending all this money on school I don't feel like I should have to.

Then there is also the conundrum of being an editor and a writer. It can be difficult to edit without layering your style over another person's work. Best to stick to the basic rules of writing at that point. I've edited for money a few times now and I've noticed a lot of it is reliant on whether you and your writer mesh well together. Text is difficult to convey emotions and such and people's feelings get hurt.

I'm totally rambling at this point but I'm exhausted. My son got his 4 month shots today and has been utterly inconsolable. He just went to sleep and my fingers are crossed he's in a better mood tomorrow when we go vote for the presidential primary.

Go vote California!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mornings Are Not My Thing

So tired, and the cat gets jealous.
Since becoming a mom I've become an early riser, and believe me it's not because I want to. At first it wasn't so bad because as a newborn the monster generally slept a lot so we both napped all day and night. Now that he's three months (THREE MONTHS HOLY SHIT) he only naps a few times during the day, goes down at 730p which is too early for me so I'm in bed by 930, and then gets up twice to eat, and wakes up bright and early at 630a. Most days it's around 7a, today I was lucky and we slept until 730, two days ago it was 530a, so yeah. Early as shit.

Now I'm naturally a night owl, and sleep best from 3a-11a but that won't be happening again until he's at least in his teens lol. I kind of fog through the day on 5a mornings and try to pull myself together to write a bit or turn in a homework assignment.

He's about 6 weeks here and
loves his baths.
I have come to the nasty conclusion that I will just have to adjust and somehow make mornings my thing because by the time he's old enough to sleep until 9a we'll be getting up at the crack of dawn to go to school.

Regardless it's been way too long since I posted and honestly three months went by really fast. I know I kept everyone mostly up to date with releases until my son was born, but I've failed recently.

We were really lucky and I am grateful for modern medicine every single day since there was a large chance neither of us would be here today if we hadn't been so closely monitored.

Which honestly surprised me because I had the most chill, normal pregnancy ever. Never had anything wrong, no high blood pressure, and nothing out of the norm except for normal symptoms. So yeah, I was miserable and had my own gravitational pull by the end of it all, but it was all par for the course.

2 months! So big, gained almost
5 pounds and grew 5 inches
since his birth.
We were admitted to the hospital on his due date because of heart rate fluctuations and low amniotic fluid. Everything went well for about eighteen hours and then we had an incident where his heart rate dropped and a thousand people were suddenly in the room. They got him stabilized and we continued on with induced labor until about 4p when I was told we were regressing in cm and I needed a C Section. They found out he was face up instead of down and got stuck. He was born Jan 23 around 5p at 8 pounds and 14 ounces, my chunky little monkey. Unfortunately he was born with low blood sugar so we were forced to supplement with formula which caused him to refuse to nurse for about 6 weeks. With some training he overcame the trauma of being force fed at the hospital and moved on.Thankfully it coincided with our first day alone and I was able to pump less, making the whole thing easier.

Since then I've gotten three infections, rejected a stitch in my incision, one emergency room trip, all while trying to recover from major abdominal surgery. Luckily my husband got 6 weeks of paid family otherwise it would have been even worse. Since then I started my one spring class and just finished it last week with a B+ in a subject I'm not familiar with at all: History of Ancient Philosophy. So I'm happy with that.

Also our old car threw a rod and we
had to get a new one, and
we chose this family friendly car.
Fun right?
3 months and so handsome!
I also participated in April's Camp Nanowrimo and managed to write around 12,000 words which I consider pretty miraculous since I had school, and a son who insists on growing too fast. Teething at three months? I swear you were born last week.

It's taken some time to try and find any semblance of balance. I can cook now, clean occasionally, and write or do homework with him awake and napping. It's been a process though and my social media habits died in the process so I'm trying to get that back into the habit.

It's crazy to think I gained 50 pounds with this kid and only three months later I have 10 pounds left to lose. I'm really very lucky because I haven't exercised or even dieted yet.
38 weeks, but stayed around
this size, just got heavier.
3 months postpartum
3 months postpartum, side view
still have a ways to go
So what do the next few months hold on the off chance that I'm terrible at posting on G+ (don't even get me started on Twitter)? I have at least one summer class, maybe two depending on the workload, and I will be participating in July's Camp Nano as well. In the meantime though I've started on the next book in the Wolfegang series and plan to keep at it, even a few hundred words a day is better than nothing.

At 6 months postpartum I will have the okay to start doing some more serious exercise other than walking and swimming so gym membership with childcare here I come!
We had family photos done, cause why not?

We have family from Colorado visiting this summer which I'm excited for, as well as teaching my little monster to swim, and his first beach trip! I've sprinkled in some photos for reference and I really hope I get better at this whole 'online presence' thing.

I think that's pretty much it, I mean I had my birthday on St. Patrick's Day which was very lackluster due to a newborn and lack of sleep. I'm 28 now and thought being closer to 30 would bother me, but honestly I thought I was 28 most of last year so I feel like I got a bonus year, ha!

I hope you all have been doing well and I hope to get back into contact with everyone!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Release Date for the Fifth book in the Wolfegang series - Far From Safe

Far From Safe is now available for pre-order!

The last few months have been insane. After the worst first trimester and the busiest second trimester ever, I managed to get my ass in gear when it came to my books. Sure the 24 hour a day morning sickness had me wishing for sweet death, and then buying a house and having to move in the middle of everything together just in time for school to start...

I feel like it's a miracle I got anything at all done the last 6 months. Wrote the first short story about Capt. Wolfe and got that published in October after 8 weeks of trying to balance writing and school. Luckily my classes are 8 weeks long and I only signed up for one from Oct-Dec. It allowed me to win Nanowrimo for the first time ever! I even finished on day 30 with almost 10,000 extra words.

First week of December I turned in my finals and walked away from the Fall 2015 semester with 2 A's and a B. Starting the 7th of December I went straight back to the fifth book in the Wolfegang series and managed to write another 20,000 words while periodically turning in chapters to my editors that I first had to edit and fix myself.

I really didn't think I would be able to get the whole book done by the 22 of Jan, and I was just sure he was going to be a little turd and arrive before I could finish. But it seems we both agreed he could come join the world as soon as I have the book done and ready to go. Currently taking bets on his arrival date, lol.

This book is over 100,000 words long. To give you an idea, the fourth book When Elements Collide is a little over 80,000 words long. I really don't know how I did it, but I guess a deadline really is the best motivation.

I'm going to take a break from writing for a bit, get my house back in order, and all the millions of things I've been putting off for the last three months. I have a to-read list I'm excited to get back into, and then I'll probably write again after my brain relaxes. I don't have another class until March 14th (graduating in Spring 2017 Woot! If I didn't need just one more class it would be Fall 2016. Oh well.)

I may be getting a little too ambitious here, but if I can write 5000 words a day during a school semester with holidays, I'm hoping I can do 1000 words a day after we get our schedule figured out. If you're a writer and a parent of little ones at home, please don't tell me the horror stories, lol. I can dream for a little while longer.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Release Date for Wolfe's First Short Story - Oct 30th

Wolfe is finally getting the beginning of his story told in the short Access Granted. The release date is Friday, October 30th, 2015. Yes, I love Halloween and I thought it would be good to get it out of the way before Nanowrimo begins.

Currently I have six chapters with my editor and should have the rest to her by the end of this week. Now Access Granted will be listed for 0.99$ but this is a reward story! Have you written a review for book one My Delicate Destruction, and book two Shadows in Darkness (assuming you've read them)? Awesome! You get this for free! Extra brownie points for posting those same reviews under the combo book here. All you have to do is contact me through my website with the link or reviewer name you posted as (I'm trusting you guys to be honest!) and I'll email the .mobi file to you.

It's been a while since I've released anything I know, and I feel obligated to inform you all of some new changes I've decided in regards to the Wolfegang series. The series will no longer be ten books, but instead I will lengthen the words and story of each novel and complete the series with the same story line as originally intended, only in fewer books. Because of this and my soon to be here son, there will be fewer books published per year unfortunately.

I did finally pick a new, tentative, release date for the fifth novel in the Wolfegang series, Far From Safe. I should have it completely finished by end of December and hopefully most of it edited by then. The rough dates are December 2015-February 2016. It all depends on how quickly my editor can get the chapters back to me, and how soon the little monster arrives. He's not due until Jan 22nd, but we shall see how that works out.

Next year will be a whole new ball game as I try to finish school as well :) Updates and a newsletter will be sent out soon!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fear as Writer's Block

Fear of the future can be paralyzing.

I've never had this problem before, but a few months ago I found myself freaking out and wondering how I was possibly going to manage everything I needed to and still continue with my book series as I had originally planned.

The stark truth of it was that there was physically, and literally no way that I could. That realization put me in such a state of denial that I immediately froze and tried to come up with a thousand different ways I could make my writing my priority.

That's where I've been floating for the last few months as I've upended my life while spending a small fortune on our first house (technically town-home, but whatever. I own the property I live in which is a huge deal in Southern California.) After finding out I was pregnant after the doctors had told me medically it wasn't naturally possible, I was terrified that jumping up and down too much would ruin everything. So I kept telling myself that once we passed 12 weeks my life would get back to normal.

It didn't, because in the back of my mind while I visited with one of my best friends who came out from Colorado, while I picked out paint samples for the second bedroom, and unpacked, and organized, and grew out of my clothes (so much more depressing than I anticipated), and realized truly that in five months from now I will be forced to go through a very terrifying and painful process and then handed a life form I'm supposed to be responsible for a weight hung over me. It's a very....."The Point of No Return" moment.

Don't get me wrong, I am eternally grateful and happy for this surprise, but I have a very difficult time with change. I thought my own kids weren't in my future. I kind of loved the idea of being able to plan on picking up a small child from adoption in a few years I didn't have to birth and were preferably already potty trained lol. This is probably the best surprise ever, but hey, when am I going to have time to write? To get all my homework done, and still do all my chores, and I dunno bathe?

For whatever reason, I've observed that new mothers love terrifying pregnant women. "Yes, everything changes. You won't have time for anything, all of your priorities will change, and giving up on all your previous life goals is a give-in. Nobody got time for dat," while I sit across from them with my mouth open in horror. Sounds like every feminists' nightmare. Then of course you ask, how bad was labor? Knowing you don't want to know. Just hoping if you can mentally prepare yourself so it won't be so bad. "You'll tear from end to end...." "Oh yeah if they cut open your stomach all your guts just sit in a bowl next to you while you're awake." What the serious f***. I shouldn't have asked, lol.

So where will writing go? How behind am I going to get? I'm already months behind now. How many fans am I going to lose? "Nobody wants to know about a woman writer and her mommy issues, go write another blog for that." I mean I guess I could but....why? This one is titled 'Life and Writing' for a reason. "Oh readers don't want to hear about your personal issues." Sigh. I'm a professional, but I also feel my readers and general followers deserve to know why I've been avoiding social media. Mostly out of the vicious cycle of guilt and fear.

So the point of this post is to let you know that I've finally come to terms with just doing what I can while I can and not giving up. If I can still write everyday, whether it's 100 words, 1000, or 5000 I'm going to get it done. Yes, my publishing schedule is being thrown out the window. I'm going to shoot for one or two books a year instead of three or four.

Those writer momma's out there (and Dad's. I'm talking about you Andy Goldman.), I'm so incredibly impressed and in awe. If you have any tips I'm all ears, because between school, a tiny monster child, and still trying to finish a book all at the same time is my own personal nightmare.

Since I have finally accepted this, I have been able to write again starting last week. It's not what I would like, but it's something. And I will not get anywhere if I write nothing. So here's to one more year of my BA, a new monster child, and hopefully releasing a few books too.