February Update

Well. So, 2017 is certainly starting off interesting. I'll save the politics for a specific post sometime. I imagine that most of you who keep up with me in the real world and online know my political leanings, so it won't surprise anyone to know that I'm not enjoying the new regime.

Now, I'd love to be able to blame my lack of writing progress on that, and there might even be some credit to that, but it feels a bit like a cop out. I mean, not everything bad that happens can be blamed on Trump. Doesn't mean I can't try.

That being said, work on Impervious is progressing, though I have to say, I've been a little less enthusiastic about the project since I discovered I'd have a next to impossible time selling it, no matter how good the finished version turns out. Also, its becoming increasingly obvious that its going to need another fairly substantial edit, with a significant amount of world building going into the next draft. I'm having a hard time figuring out if shelving it until my career is at a point where I could have a shot at publishing it is the right move or just cowardice.

It's a good story, I like it…but the ending just isn't giving me the punch that I want. I'm sure that my author friends can relate to those feelings.

While all this is going on in my head, I stumbled back upon my NaNoWriMo project from 2014, a first-person urban fantasy about a novice vampire. Its nerdy, its fun, and (in my opinion) a surprisingly well written first draft. I spent the last week just reading it, wondering how in the world I'd forgotten about it. The project doesn't have a name right now, but I'm leaning toward punching out an ending to the first draft, then smashing out a second draft.

It would be a shorter novel, but something that would be much easier to shop around to agents and editors, or if that doesn't work, something much easier to toss together into an eBook and put up on Amazon to start a little self-published series. You'll undoubtedly hear me talking more about this in the next couple months, because I'm itching to do something with it.

I'm also going to be working on an Edge of December light novel: something the size of a novella that Glenn would then add illustrations to. Like last year, my New Years Resolution is simply to write more than I did last year. So far, that isn't working out so well, but I think if I focus on some smaller projects, things I can get done quicker and not get burned out on, I'll have a decent shot at increasing that word count.

I'm also regularly working on WordKeeperAlpha again. I know that progress on that hasn't been anywhere near as fast as it should be, but the features I'm working on are turning out to be bigger than expected. Still, they'll be worth waiting for. I've got a big update coming soon for Goals and Projects, and then I'll do some minor tweaks to the front page and a couple more small upgrades that I've been meaning to get to.

I've been promising social functions for a while now, and I'm still going to do them, but they might have to wait for version 3.0, which I'm planning to get to next year to really get going. Sadly, I've only got so much time in any given day, and its just really hard to fit in writing and working on WKA. Progress will continue…just slower than I'd like. For the most part I'm working on WKA on the weekends while I write during the week. At least that's what the plan is. We'll see if I can stick to it.

That's about it for me. My goal for the rest of the month is to average 500 words a night for the month of February. Right now, I'm not doing all that well toward that goal, so I'll have to kick it up a notch or two over the next few weeks. I'll check in with you guys in March and let you know how I did. Give me a poke on social media and let me know that you've got your eye on me.


WorldCon and Inkshares

Oif. It’s been a busy couple of months here in the Swanson household. First, with the initial excitement of the Inkshares fantasy contest, then with the even bigger excitement of my first WorldCon. Both of these endeavors were stabs at kickstarting my writing career…and neither has gone off quite as well as I hoped it would. Granted, both were longshots. Still, its important to admit one’s defeats and move onto the next phase. Not only that, but both were valuable learning experiences.

WorldCon

MidAmericon II was an absolute blast. Sure, I went in all starry eyed thinking that I just might run into an editor who would want to hear the elevator pitch for Impervious, or just make some contacts in the industry. Don’t get me wrong. I met some awesome people, and met some excellent authors. Just no magical happenstance that put let me break straigh into the publishing industry. And really, I never expected that to happen.

What I did do was attend every panel that I could squeeze into my schedule without starving myself and dropping dead from exhaustion. I learned a ton of things that I didn’t know before. I attended a couple panels with agents and editors that will give me a big leg up when I’m ready to start shopping Impervious around in a draft or two. I attended a writing workshop that gave a rather staggering blow to my ego, but I have managed to recover from that.

WorldCon definitely put a lot of things in perspective, especially if I’m going to try and make a career out of this writing thing. I’m going to have to do more, be better and probably write a bunch more books a lot faster than I’m writing now. How I’m going to do that, I’m not sure…

Inkshares Contest

After a strong start in the first day, Impervious quickly fell off the top slots. I’ve gained a lot of followers over the course of the contest, but haven’t sold anywhere near the amount of books I’d need to win it, or to achieve the lower of the Inkshares goals that would get me an eBook. Granted, the contest still has thirty days to go, but unless Neil Gaiman or Brandon Sanderson points at my book and says make this happen, it isn’t going to happen on Inkshares.

And really, this isn’t the worst thing that could have happened. While I didn’t learn as much about this contest as I did from WorldCon, I have discovered one thing. I don’t want to go the Indie publishing route. It was fun for exactly one week, before I got tired of trying to think up interesting updates. And I have no desire whatsoever to email people individually to ask them to buy my book. Ugh… No…I have no stomach for doing my own marketing. This is something that I will gladly have some one else do on my behalf. Traditional publishing my be a harder road to walk…but I think its going to be the one that sees me writing more book and not tossing my hands up in frustration, trying to constantly drive people to my book listing on Amazon.com.

If you’re reading this and you’ve already pre-ordered a book, don’t worry. Inkshares will refund your money, probably in the first week of November. If you haven’t pre-ordered Impervious yet, and are wondering if you should…wait a bit. There probably won’t be another Inkshares contest in my future, but there will be other ways to support Impervious coming soon enough.

To everyone who pre-ordered. I can’t thank you enough. Your support has been awesome and even though it won’t be coming through Inkshares, Impervious will be in your hands soon…ish. Which will bring me right into my next blog entry which is going to be all about Impervious. Stay tuned! It’ll be coming soon.

(I promise. I wrote it as part of this blog entry but that just made this way too long and I like you guys. … Most of you guys. … … Yeah, most of you guys. And nobody wants to read THAT much on a book I haven’t completely finished yet.)


I need your help to publish Impervious!

This is something of a flash update, since I’m still busily finishing the second draft of Impervious. Thankfully, that’s coming right along and I’m nearing completion on it. I’m going to finish chapter 38 tonight or tomorrow, then keep on pushing right through till WorldCon.

The real reason for this post though, is that Inkshares finally started their Fantasy contest with partner Geek & Sundry (purveyor of fine geeky goods). Going with the theory that you miss one hundred percent of the opportunities you don’t take, I’m throwing Impervious’ metaphorical hat in the ring! Continue reading…


WorldCon or bust!

Heya folks. I’ve been a little lax in posting last month. This is mostly by design, since I’m in the middle of a two month push to finish the second draft of Impervious.

I’m doing pretty good so far. I’ve gotten about five more chapters finished, with an unknown number left. But I’m coming up on the end, which means the action is really kicking in. I get to finally cut loose with all the characters and plenty of folk are gonna die before the end.

<manniacle laughter>Mwahahahahahahaha!</manniacle laughter>

Continue reading…


Monthly update – WordkeeperAlpha & Impervious

Greetings fellow nerds. I write to you tonight from the comfort of my own home, drinking a nice Blue Moon Belgian Ale and listening to the new Nightwish album, Shudder Before the Beautiful.  Truly, life is good.  However, life has not been entirely productive this month.  Mid-month writing progress is kind of disappointing, as is work on WordKeeperAlpha.

I’ll admit it: I’ve kind of been wasting my free time for the past few weeks.  I’ve been hitting the video games a little hard and its been fun.  Soon enough, time gets away from you and you forget what in the hell you were even working on. Thankfully, last month went pretty well as I clocked in at just shy of fifteen thousand words.  My goal was to write for a total of twenty days, and I made nineteen.  That sort of goal seems to work best for getting my writing done.  You can kind of tell when I got serious about it.

 

April Writing - WordKeeperAlpha April writing – WordKeeperAlpha

 

With that knowledge, I’d have liked to do that again this month, but I’ve putzed away most of the days this month, and the rest of the month is filled with stuff.  I may be digging something of a hole, in terms of my word goals, that it will be hard to get out of.  Right now, I’m doing pretty well for my year goal, only being a few thousand behind total.  This month may be something of a low point for the year.  Speaking of which, here’s how that’s looking:

 

Graph for 2015, Generated by WordKeeperAlpha 2015 so Far – WordKeeperAlpha Graph

 

If you compare that to LAST year, I’m doing pretty good on my goals of writing more.  This is what last year looked like:

 

Graph of writing for 2014 Writing for 2014 – Graph by WordKeeperAlpha

 

Yeah, so if you were wondering, THIS is what’s so awesome about WordKeeperAlpha.  Being able to see that, despite how I feel, I really am doing better, is a huge boon.

So, I might not be making all my goals, but I have been getting much better about my writing.  And I’ve been focusing much better on Impervious.  I wish I was keeping to my one chapter a week goal, but as usual, there are extenuating circumstances.  Most of them are related to my inexperience in writing a whole epic fantasy novel.  Every now and again I come to a problem in the plot that can only be fixed by going back and doing about two weeks of work on worldbuilding and figuring out why something works the way I want it to.

Bah, but enough about that. While Impervious is my main project, I’m also working, if slowly, on WordKeeperAlpha.  So far this month, I’ve identified several areas to improve upon, marked down many new tasks to take upon myself for later versions and mostly played around with the code behind the scenes, making it a bit more robust and preparing it for future upgrades.  I know you, the users, might not notice much, but I AM working on it.

Something that’s really of note though, is that I’m rolling testing for the API.  By that I mean, the first function on the API is live and waiting for someone to try it out.  So, if you’ve got some coding know-how and want your blog readers to see your goals and progress on your blog or website, let me know and I’ll fill you in on what you need to know.  I’ve got another few features to finish before the whole API is good to go, but once it is I’ll work up some examples to make it more easily accessible for the non-tech savvy types.

Now, with my blogging duties done, I think I’ll get some work done on Impervious before I kick off for tonight. Later mi amigos.