Anonymous Dreams Update

On February 26, 2019, my writing program decided that no matter how good a writer I was, I wasn’t finishing Anonymous Dreams by the end of the month and it was correct! I didn’t. I’m about 10,000 words from “finishing.” It’s been a slower paced book. There are 63,000 words on it.

My new completion date is set for March 9th. Good chance I won’t make that one either. Not because I occasionally delete lots of words, but because it has been a stressful and crazy month. February did not go well for my husband’s family. J fell and broke his right arm (his dominant arm and hand) and it wasn’t set for 6 days which was brutally awful. My FIL had to be hospitalized for a couple of weeks. My MIL’s mom had some health problems and spent time in the hospital.

So February was rough on everyone and while I had a lot of really productive days, I had some days when it was a struggle just getting motivated to get out of bed.

A more accurate finish date for Anonymous Dreams is the end of March. I have a couple of doctor’s appointments in early March that are going to suck my will to live, so I’ll lose productivity those days.

Anonymous Dreams Update

As of 9 pm on 2/19/2019 the total word count on Anonymous Dreams was 44,534 words. I had a “delete” day on it. Where I deleted more words than I added, because I decided a few plot lines weren’t going to work.

And after discussing plot points and devices with my internet security goddess/consultant, I went through and changed a few things to make it more seamless, which resulted in a few more deletions. However, I’m happy to report that the route I was going with that, was correct enough for her.

What does that mean? It means I knew and understood more than I thought I did. Oh and yes, the title has been changed. I decided I wanted something more computerish/dark net accurate than Innocent Dreams, plus I still think Innocent Dreams will go a different direction. Hence the title Anonymous Dreams.

I don’t know what my publication plan for it is. My editor is working hard on Ritual Dreams, she says she’s had to look up a ton of stuff which has really slowed down the process. Tomorrow, I will make forward progress.

Off Lyrica

I went off Lyrica in December. After which I finished writing Ritual Dreams. The two Alpha Readers loved the book. I sent it to the editor and then plunged into a different book, that didn’t hold my interest. I was still in Cain mode, so I started work on Innocent Dreams…

And in just 2 weeks, it had 30,000 words. I have been trying to find the words to explain what it felt like to take Lyrica every day. I have failed so far.

I can tell you I had aphasia (forgetting words, occasionally inserting the wrong one) and I can tell you it had a huge negative impact on my memory, but neither of those things do it justice. It literally changed the way I thought.

Often, my own thoughts felt alien to me. I felt like an interloper. It wasn’t just that I felt disconnected from the world around me, I felt disconnected from my own brain. I would do or think things and wonder why. And because of the disconnect, I always felt on the verge of a breakdown. More than once, I thought “this is what it feels like to go crazy.”

I wasn’t suicidal and I didn’t cry all the time with Lyrica like I did gabapentin, but I still didn’t feel like me. Someone recently told me they were glad I was feeling better. But am I?

The short answer is no. I’m still in pain all the time. I still have to drug myself into a near catatonic state to be able to sleep through the pain. And I have more days when my brain is so preoccupied with the pain that it’s hard to think of anything else.

But do I feel more like me? That is a yes. I’m back to retaining knowledge I gather, which was a problem on Lyrica. I’m back to feeling like my thoughts belong to me. I’m back to being able to push myself to focus and write. Sometimes, even when it’s the last thing I want to do.

Ritual Dreams will join Fortified Dreams and Elysium Dreams as among my favorite books of the D&R series. Demonic will join Tortured among the least liked. And so will Flawless. But as I type away on Innocent, I believe it may join Ritual as one of my favorites.

If you’ve suffered through all 13 D&R books, hang with it a little longer and don’t judge the series using Demonic or Flawless. They get better. It just required a serious medication change. I didn’t talk about it a lot, but I was on Gabapentin for the majority of Flawless Dreams. I look at it and Demonic and scratch my head. I had big ideas for both books, big ideas that I failed in executing because of medications. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they are the two shortest in the series.

But I love Ritual Dreams. I love what it became and I love all the work I had to put into it to make it happen and be as good as it is. Even though I had to leave some things on the cutting room floor, because it was just too much for one single book.

I have no release date for Innocent Dreams. I just know I’ll finish it rather quickly. My bestie is going to have to go through at least some parts of it, so there’s that to consider as well.. her schedule is packed as she gets a second master’s degree.

Ritual Dreams Update

I finished writing <em>Ritual Dreams</em>on 1/18/2019.  It is being prepped to go to the editor in February.  Pre-orders are available at nearly all major ebook retailers. 

I’d like to get back to having 2 or 3 months between finishing writing a book and its release, which I’ve managed with <em>Ritual Dreams</em>.  I’d also like to get back to releasing 4 books a year.  I will be taking the next 2 1/2 months to finish either <em>Goddess Investigations</em> or <em>Oh My Wizard </em>(working title for Nephilim Narrative #2).  I think Avenging Reality (working title) will be my October release.  Also, I need to get <em>The Dysfunctional expansion</em> written. 

I actually finished <em>Ritual Dreams</em> earlier than I expected once January rolled around.  Just to help understand some of the delay, it wasn’t all pain or emotional distress that caused the delay.  I had to do a ton of research for it and then I had to double check nearly every killer chapter multiple times.  The serial killer in Ritual has a serious mental illness and I wanted to make it as authentic as possible as well as discovering I didn’t know as much about the condition as I thought I did before I got started. 

Also, there were huge patches X’d out as I went along.  I was going to get into cult deprogramming as well as the mental illness the serial killer suffered from, but all of that made it entirely too involved and I eventually decided against deprogramming being a theme of the book.  I can only force feed a reader so much information.

Onwards with the next book…

Ritual Dreams

Ritual Dreams will be written by the end of January as long as I can write 400 words a day. So far so good on it. I put 2,000 on it Monday night. It is scheduled to go to the editor in mid-February and release on April 1, 2019.

Pre-Orders are available (links below).

A few things to know about Ritual Dreams. It does involve ritualized sexual abuse, nothing that I get into details about though. Even I have my limits and severe mental illnesses beyond ASPD and BPD.

That paragraph above is part of the reason it has taken a year to write. I realized I needed to learn more about cults and broke out the research, even interviewing one of my readers who grew up in a cult (turns out I have 5 readers that were raised in cults, which is kind of unsettling).

The mental illness I picked was incredibly complicated to write, both from the perspective of the person that has it and as someone who didn’t have a ton of experience with it in real life. And since I did pick a mental illness as a complication of my killer, I had to get those parts right. I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I hadn’t given the mental illness every bit of authenticity I could muster.

Every time I wrote one of the Killer’s Chapters, I had read and scrutinize it and then do it again a few days later. And then I had to find ways to discuss the illness without info dumping, which was exceptionally hard as there was a lot of information that needed to be included.

Of all the killers I have created, this one is the scariest and most sympathetic in my opinion. As Ace dealt with her own existential crisis of not being able to just label the killer a “bad guy,” I had to overcome some of my own demons. And I had to struggle to make Ace not feel sympathy towards the killer, since she is supposed to be incapable of such a complex emotion.

There were nights I went to bed and dreamed of the killer. There were days I stared at a killer’s chapter I had just written and agonized over whether it was “accurate enough.” Then there were other times, I just stared at the blinking cursor and wondered “what the hell was I thinking to tackle this?!”

But once the Lyrica was out of my system, the writing was so much easier. And so much more concise or as concise as any Cain novel ever is, she is rather wordy even in her thoughts.

A Look Ahead

It’s officially 2019 which means time to start thinking about all the things I would like to do in 2019, but probably won’t. I didn’t make any resolutions for this year, simply because I’m not a fan of resolutions I feel they set you up to fail before you even really get started because resolutions require dedication and motivation, neither of which are my strong points.

Publishing plans for 2019:

Ritual Dreams

Avenging Reality

The Dysfunctional Expansion

Oh My Wizard (the working title for Nephilim Narrative 2)

Goddess Investigations

I’m terrified of setting a date for publication on any of them, I just know they are my goal publications for the year. I don’t even know which order I’ll publish them in, although I think I may attempt to make Avenging Reality an October release.

And I may open up who I will content edit for. I don’t know that for sure yet, but maybe.

Offering Audio

I am researching how to offer audio, not through one of the audiobook distributors; Audible, iTunes, etc.  It would be me reading my own books, which may or may not be appealing.

I have audio editing software that I never use.  I’ve never had a use for it, but I have played around with it a bit.  Especially since I can make audio clips and save them as ringtones for my iPhone.  

I try to keep chapters in my books around 2,500 words.  Which seems to be a good length for an audio bit.  So I would release them a week at a time, if I go forward.

The problem is, I don’t know diddly squat about offering audio or HTML.  Part of the reason I don’t have a website is I can’t figure out how to do it myself and I’m not sure it’s worth paying someone to do it for me.  

I will admit the idea is not original to me.  An author I know, just finished doing a reading of one of her books on a YouTube channel she created, but I have no desire to be in front of the camera reading from a book.  I think that would be stressful.  

Unfortunately, my research makes it sound really easy, but I don’t believe it would be.  My most recent research on it, focuses on Podcasts, but I’m not sure that’s the answer either. 

If anyone has thoughts, suggestions, or ideas, I’m open to hearing them.  Unfortunately, I’ve been taking a break from social media beyond my blog.  Sometimes, I just have to disconnect from it to recharge my sanity.  I will be making a return in time for Christmas well wishes.  And would value any input you could give or your thoughts on listening to me ramble out a book I wrote (this would force me to read all the D&R novels..).

A Good Mystery

I have no idea what happened with my blog posts the other day.  I try to schedule one a day not three.  I suppose as I got sicker on Thursday night and Friday, I screwed up the dating on them with the new WordPress control options for blog posts.

I need to clean and disinfect my laptop after this round of illness.  It isn’t one of those things I think to clean very often.  I only thought of it recently, because I wiped my screen down with the sleeve of my all cotton jacket.

And since 3 posts went out in one day, I’m now behind for the rest of the week on blog posts.  Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Agatha Christie, it turns out I’m a huge fan of the Miss Marple books.  And while waiting for the next one to become available to me, I picked up the first Lord Wimsey book by Dorothy L. Sayers.  I struggled to get through the first, but not the second.  

Both are set in the early 1900s.  And I’m enjoying the “first hand” look at the time period.  

NaNo Update #4

Tuesday, I didn’t feel like I got much writing done.  I had sat down for about two hours at my computer for actual “work” on Goddess Investigations, my NaNoWriMo book. 

I’d worked on it a few times between Friday of the previous week and Tuesday, but I never felt I worked on it very hard.  I was trying to work on Here Be Dragons by another author, providing historical information needed in the book (like how much armor and weaponry weighs and how tall long boats are… and how jumping from the deck of a long boat into water of any depth wearing full armor and armed to the teeth would lead to drowning).  

Anyway, so Tuesday night, I sat down to write.  I opened the book and checked the total word count: 46,435 words.  Only 3,565 words from hitting the 50,000 word goal with 9 days left. 

When I crawled into bed around 3 a.m. on Tuesday night.  I did so having hit my 50,000 word goal

I’ve hit the goal nearly every year I have committed to doing NaNo.  And I sat down and wrote nearly 80,000 words in a week in August.  Meaning I know I can do it, I’ve done it multiple times.  Why then do I keep signing up?

NaNo reminds me to focus on the important things:

  1. putting ideas into words.
  2. getting words out.

It’s actually something I would recommend to anyone trying to get their first novel written or who needs a refresher course in setting goals and deadlines for writing novels.

However, the novel didn’t get completed in 50,000 words.  There’s still quite a bit to put on it.  But I hit the goal and that’s the important part right now.

Everything on my Work List

I took on more this November than most.  My plate is definitely full.  Thankfully, most of it is going well.

First there’s my NaNo novel Goddess Investigations.  Granted I worked on it in fits and starts this past week, but that’s not uncommon or unusual even during NaNo.  I’m still working on Ritual Dreams as well.  I suspect it will release in the first quarter of 2018.

Plus, I am content editing/history checking 2 other novels by different authors.  Those two jobs are fairly easy. I consider them “afternoon” work.  Meaning I work on them in the afternoon when the pain killers have stopped working and my brain can’t process being creative.  And while it’s “easy” it’s also slow.  I feel they need my critical thinking brain and a line by line read.  I’m averaging 4 chapters a day on one of them.  I couldn’t do this kind of work all the time.  I don’t have the focus and self discipline to do it more than once in a while.

I have The Dysfunctional Expansion on my plate as well.  And the next Nephilim Narrative has been started but it’s going no where in a hurry.  I have too many story ideas and not enough time to get them all out.  It’s not an uncommon occurrence.  But it is an annoyance.  I used to be able to churn out 5 or 6 books a year.  I hate that it’s basically not an option anymore.

Dictation of stories started early this year.  On November 8th, we got 3 inches of snow.  Coupled with a cold front that moved in.  It’s not really the snow that’s the problem, it’s the cold that came with it.  Normally, it’s late November or early December before I have to break out the gloves and hand warmers for use inside my house.

Anyway, here’s the condensed list of November Goals:

  • Goddess Investigations – At least 50,000 words this month
  • Here Be Dragons (not the real title) by C. Patt.
  • Aliens and Cloaks (not the real title) by LH
  • Ritual Dreams (after I finish my 50,000 word goal)

December Goals:

  • Ritual Dreams (Finished by December 31st)
  • Goddess Investigations (Finished by December 31st – while 50,000 words is technically a novel, mine usually run closer to 75,000 words and a lot of my fun paranormal novels run over 100,000 I think Goddess Investigations will be much closer to 100,000 than 75,000)