Oh My Gosh The Last Two Weeks What The Even.

Self-indulgent post, sorry, but here we are.

You GUYS. The last two weeks have been reeeeDIKulous.

Monday: Full day of work, then 11-hour stint cake decorating (see next Monday), meaning I got to bed at 4:30am.

Tuesday: Full day of work, home for an hour to make a batch of buttercream (which takes 30 mins), then split/fill/decorate a small dietary-requirement cake to go with Monday’s epic one, then load both cakes into the car and head into town to drop them off. This took Time, and I ended up getting home around 7pm.

Wednesday: Work, then the usual rigmarole of gymnastics + swimming that sees us all home at 7.

Thursday: Work. Frantic Christmas shopping. Kid 1’s school presentation/performance/graduation night. Home at 8:30pm.

Friday: Work, but got to leave an hour early, which was nice. Additional Christmas shopping. 5-hr cake stint on two different cakes, finishing up at 1am.

Saturday: Drop off cake 1 from last night, drop off husband, head home to pack, take cake 2 to be dropped off, go meet husband and do church stuff for an hour-ish, head home to eat and finish packing, spend an hour driving out to look at a block of land, drive to Sydney. Experience Epic McDonald’s Failure for dinner, swear as a family to never eat there again unless it’s a real emergency, arrive at in-laws at 9:30pm. Kids finally asleep by 11pm. >.<

Sunday: Spent the day in Sydney doing Christmassy stuff with family, drove home (successfully avoiding a McDonald’s dinner, woo, go us), home around 9:30pm.

Monday: Morning drop-off run. 5.5 hours at home to catch up on an hour of lectures + an hour of assignments I was running behind on for some writing courses I’m doing, squeeze in a 1.5hr nap (THANK GOODNESS), pack the car to the gills with all the stuff for 2 x market stalls, go run said market stalls at the school/church Christmas Event Thing until 10pm. Packed up and home by 11.

Tuesday: Spent all morning at Kid2’s language thingo – she’s participating in a longitudinal study about childhood language acquisition and we have to go in for a few hours every 3-6 months. Kids came home and CRASHED, sleeping about 3 hrs each. Then, market round 2. But because it was the final night, SUPER pack-up, so I wasn’t home until 11:30pm.

Wednesday: Frantically deal with an editing project that had suddenly become 24-hour-turn-around-urgent. Discover the entire reason I paid to send Kid2 to daycare today for one extra day is suddenly null and void: cannot go to gym while Kid1 does gymnastics as per usual, as Kid1 has a massive temperature. >.< Skip the gym, work on edits, head to swimming with Kid2 and get home at 7, finish up edits around 11:30pm.

…Which brings us to today, and y’all, I am tired. Like, whoa. I burned the lower knuckle of my left thumb on a hot tray because I was just spacey at lunchtime. And we spent 2.5 hours out this morning socialising (which was awesome, btw) and DH & I are doing Compulsory Work Fun* tonight, so it’ll be another late night. And then tomorrow and the next night we’ll be up late also, and I just, like, wait? This was supposed to be holidays? I’m supposed to be, like, sleeping, and chilling, and remembering how to be human and stuff? Urgh.

Anyway, it’s not terrible, it’s just busy, and after this weekend I should be able to have some genuine holiday time and read some books. I’m super hoping to get through 15-20 books these hols (I’m secretly aiming for 22, but I’m not telling myself that because I’ll freak out at how impossible that is to include in my schedule 😛 For reference, I usually read about 50 books per year, so you know. Over-achieving here, much.) so next week I’ll do a quick write up of what I’ve read so far, I think, and it’s nearly time to do end-of-year wraps etc (WHOA).

Also, Patreon have just taken a MASSIVE dose of humility pie, and have publicly announced that they are NOT making the awful changes to the payment system that they have planned, and they have issued formal apologies and are just generally doing their best to be a Socially Responsible Company, so that’s pretty cool and a nice bright spot: it IS possible to be corporate AND have a soul! Who knew?! So yeah: My Patreon: Check it out 😉 I’ll probably post some bonus stuff for all patrons over the holidays (I might even write a special short story just for patrons, cause I love my patrony-people THAT MUCH), so if you’re considering it, now’s a great time to jump in for as little as $1/month.

Anyhoo. That’s about all I have brain and time for: I have another two cakes I need to get in the oven, like, NOW if they are going to be done by the time I have to go party.

Love you all, and have a happy forthcoming weekend :3 <3

A

* I didn’t say it was bad Compulsory Work Fun, FYI.

General Updateriness, New Releases, That Sort of Thing

It’s been a while since I did a generic ‘HEY HERE’S AN UPDATE ON ME AND LIFE’ kind of post (it’s been a while since I did any sort of content-heavy post, shh) so HA, that is what we are having today. And I’m probably going to ramble, because the brain, she is rambley today.

So. If you are following my books with rabid fervour (ha) note that it will be harder than usual to track a print copy of Where Shadows Rise in the next six weeks, because the files were updated with a bunch of typos corrected. (I just typed ‘typos correctly’. Clearly this was a Necessary Thing. >.< Oy, and also vey.) Amazon should have the update by the end of the week, and you can always grab a copy through Inkprint Press immediately (in the US) or from my site here (for Aus).

In more exciting news, Book 2 in the Sanctuary series (Through Roads Between) is up for pre-order!! You’ll get to know more about both the magics of Sanctuary/the Valley, AND about Scott in this book – which I know a lot of people will be excited about :o) You can pre-order the ebook anywhere pre-orders are had, and you can pre-order the print copy here in the US and here in Australia – and buying through me or Inkprint entitles you to the ebooks in BOTH mobi AND epub for FREE! Woohoo.

Yay book! It is pretty!

ALSO in related news (and speaking of related LOOK THERE ARE TWO MATCHING BOOKS SITTING TOGETHER LOOK THEY ARE SO PRETTY), I’ll promo this more in the coming weeks BUT there will be a giveaway for anyone who has left a review of Where Shadows Rise to win one of multiple ebook copies of book 2, or one copy of the print book. Reviews on GoodReads, Amazon, or any other book retail site all count, you can probably have multiple entries for posting your review in multiple places, it’s open international, and your review doesn’t have to be 5 star, just fair 😉

And also coming soonish is a novella about tigers, religious prohibitions, eating people, and inter-species war – but mostly it’s about redemption, and how no matter how much you think you’ve screwed up, you’re worth redeeming. More details on this in a month or two – it should be releasing around late October/early November, all things going well*, so keep an eye out.

* All things not going well it’ll be out Q1 next year 😉

I think that’s about all the updating my brain can handle right now. I’m doing this super-stringent elimination diet because Health Reasons, and I’m in the middle of withdrawal funk, and although the fog is clearing slowly, I’m really, really sick of the approximately twelve foods I’m allowed to eat 😛

Yay books! Woohoo!

 

Releeeeeease The Unicoooooooorns!!

…Wait, what? The unicorns? Why are we releasing unicorns? And honestly if you’re talking about the unicorns in the Darkness and Good anthology by Amy Laurens and Liana Brooks which is OUT TODAY, releasing the unicorns is SERIOUSLY Not A Good Idea. Like, at all. You do want to *live*, don’t you? DON’T YOU???

Besides. If you died, how would you order your copy of this amazing anthology? YOU WOULDN’T. And then you’d NEVER get to read the ALL-NEW CONTENT that we wrote JUST FOR THIS ANTHOLOGY that you’ll never, EVER get to see ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD!!

Plus you won’t get to see that we really can actually Write Kinda Good and that when we say the Darkness and Good blog is drafts only, we actually do mean it.

Look, the anthology’s actually pretty good, okay? And it has pictures. Pretty pictures. I should know, ’cause I drew them. /nodnod. And these are the fan-favourite stories from the blog, so they must have at least SOME merit, y’know? And, like, the anthology’s on sale for the next month for $2.99, AND if you buy it direct from Inkprint Press you get both the epub AND the mobi files! (Or, y’know, you can buy it in print from Amazon and get the mobi file free if that’s your thing.)

Anyway. I’d better go. Some stupid person set the unicorns loose and now the fate of the world’s uncertain. I, for one, do not want to die a unicorn related death any time today. Or, for that matter, tomorrow. So yeah. Imma go round up unicorns. You… go read a book, or something like that.

😉
A

Darkness and Good: 38 fantasy and science fiction short stories by Liana Brooks and Amy Laurens

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LOST WOLF (Cool Book) + American Travel + Giveaway

Heya! Just popping by on my way to America to–

Wait, what? AMERICA?!?!

Oh, yeah. Didn’t I tell you that? I’m pretty sure I mentioned it on Twitter at least (once, or twice – a day… O:))… SO. I’M GOING TO AMERICA. LIKE, TOMORROW.* WHOOOOOOOOOA!!! I’m visiting the glorious Krista Ball for two nights, then heading up to the freezing wastelands of Alaska to see the twinny one, Liana Brooks. I’ll also get to meet up with Thea van Diepen, newly of Darkness&Good fame, as she generously plays airport taxi for me :o) SO. MUCH. EXCITEMENT!!

But in the meantime, I just thought I’d pop by to share a cool-sounding book with you 😉 (ALSO THERE IS A GIVEAWAY AT THE END YAY GIVEAWAY + BOOKS!)

* Where tomorrow = Saturday, because I’m pre-writing this so it’ll go up at the right time for the author, which is while I’m on a plaaaaaaaaaane! So in this case, tomorrow actually means yesterday, or something something something. Time. *wavy hands*. Yeah.

Lost Wolf by Stacy Claflin

lost-wolf
Isn’t the cover glorious?!?!

She’s hiding a dark secret. It already killed her once.

Victoria can’t wait to start college, but there’s a hitch—she can’t remember anything before arriving on campus. Her memories spark when she sees her ruggedly handsome math professor, but she senses something horrific. The shock on his face affirms her fears.

Toby is an alpha wolf who never thought he’d see his true love again—not after she died in his arms. Nothing could have prepared him for her walking into his class. But to his dismay, not only has she forgotten what happened, she doesn’t even know who she is.

He’s determined to do whatever it takes to restore what they’ve lost. Can Toby help Victoria recover her memories, or will he lose her forever?

If this sounds like something that might interested you, check it out in your favourite online bookstore (Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo). ALSO! If OTHER books are things you are interested in, you can enter below for a $50 Amazon gift card, open internationally! WOO BOOKS! WOO INTERNATIONAL! WOO **INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL**!!!!!!!

…Yup, I think that’s my sanity used up for the day. Sorry ’bout that. Still. Go enter the giveaway. $50 of books = yay, amirite? 🙂

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Ye Olde Drawer Novels (Repost)

I read this fantastic article the other day about drawer novels. If you have a minute to spare, definitely go read it – and make sure you check out the comments, where people have to give a 25 word (or less) description of a novel they’ve drawered. There are some hilarious ones there – it’ll make you feel better about your own, I promise 😉

I have two questions today: Firstly, what are drawer novels? And secondly, how do you know you have one?

In other words, when and how can you tell that it’s time to give up on a story, shelve it, and move on?

The term ‘drawer novel’ comes from the idea that we all have novels that are (or should be) shoved in a drawer, never to see the light of day again. They’re often our first attempts at writing, although not always, and they’re often tragically melodramatic, full of plots holes and clichés and Bad Ideas that lulled us into a false sense of security.

That’s what a drawer novel is; but how do you know you have one?

This is a tricky question for me, because I love editing. I can tinker pretty endlessly with a story, which has two implications here: 1) I run the risk of never actually ceasing the editing, and so I never end up getting the necessary time away from the story to develop distance, which is requisite to being able to judge the story’s merit; and 2) I find it hard to write off any idea, because I know that with sufficient tweaking (read: editing ;)), anything can work. 

That said, there are a handful of stories that I have that have ended up in the folder on my computer I’ve affectionately called “The Dumping Ground”. Interestingly enough, this includes practically everything I ever wrote for the creative writing classes I took at university o.O

Mostly, they’re short stories. Stories that are melodramatic, stories that too clearly were addressing the assessment criteria, stories with no point or that are contrived; a novel that was a teenage-angst attempt at recording all the unfair things that happened in my last few years of high school (shudder); a novel where the MC turned into someone I hated. Although that one I’m tempted to pull out and tweak. Anything with editing, right? O:) hehe.

But how did I know these stories were dumpers, not keepers? One word: time. Only time will give you the distance you need in order to be able to judge your stories objectively. But then again, time will only work with another word: practice. If you don’t practice, if you aren’t getting out there and learning what makes a good story, you can leave a dud as long as you like and you still won’t know it’s a dud when you come back to it. You have to have progressed, you see.

Which is where the final word(s) comes in: a second opinion. You can practice, you can improve, and you can return to your work after time – but a second opinion never hurts, especially from someone you trust to be objective but constructive.

So, tell me. How many drawer stories do you have? Is anyone brave enough to share what one of their drawer stories is about?