Category Archives: About Me

Onward into 2018

It’s late morning the first day of 2018 and there are a thousand things I should be doing other than this. But, I really love my yearly wrap-ups.

The past two years have been so hard, but also very lovely in their own way. 2017 had its share of ups and downs. For a year when the downs always seemed to follow an up, or stand in the way of progress, I’m really proud of what I did accomplish and very much looking forward to 2018.

This time last year, I was still recovering from an ulcer and digestive issues were a problem for half of 2017. Thankfully those seemed to have improved. Though, I did have some additional health issues in the fall. In October, I managed to cut off a tiny piece of my finger while cooking. (I recommend not adding that to your 2018 resolutions. Trust me.) November was full of mostly the wrong type of excitement. A deer ran into the side of our 4Runner while my husband was driving us to the gym. I ended up with some tooth/face injuries and the 4Runner was totaled. Unexpected car shopping is always great fun, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. After a long search, we’re now the happy owners of a Subaru Outback. RIP 4Runner. Long live the Outback!

I also struggled with repetitive stress injuries in both hands forcing me to switch from typing to dictation. Learning an entirely new way to to process the story and push it into words had been both interesting and challenging.

But, even with all of that, I wrote:

Flash Fiction Words: 6,319

Short Story Words: 53,381

Novel Words: 202,300

For a grand total of 262,000 words!

Those were hard words. They were words to fix things I did while very sick in the second half of 2016. They were words that came from learning new writing methods. They were words that happened around pain, fatigue, and days when my best seemed far from good enough.

However, because of the work I put in throughout 2017, I have five books in progress. Earth Born is going through edits right now. Earth Born 2 is being written, as are two other books, and Earth Born 3 is slowly getting a plot. Plus, I have more short stories waiting to be published.

Today, I look at my 2018 to-do list and feel behind. The holidays have a way of making everything pile into January. So, for the next few weeks I’ll be digging deep to see several projects into their next stage. After that, I’ll be doing my very best to make 2018 a fabulous year for writing and publishing. And, with a lot of hard work, and a little luck, I’d like to break 350,000 words written in 2018.

~N

North Georgia is Burning

North Georgia is burning. The Rough Ridge Fire is destroying the Cohutta Wilderness area. If you read my Witch’s Path books you may recognize that name. That’s where the majority of A Witch’s Rite takes place. I have good memories of the area, and it’s very dear to so many of my friends and family.

Every day the numbers go up, but more than 21,000 acres are involved. The Cohutta Wilderness is only 37,000 acres. With no measurable rain in recent weeks, and none on the forecast, odds are the entire Cohutta will be consumed. I know when I go back it won’t look the same.

Even where I live, miles and miles away, smoke has settled over the city, making the sky hazy and breathing difficult. There’s been so much smoke around the greater Atlanta area that fire departments here have been fielding calls. The news picked up the story to inform citizens that they weren’t smelling a fire, but smoke from Rough Ridge that had settled here.

In the news it’s a fire, a bad one, uncommon in this area, and the result of a very dry summer and fall. To those of us who’ve lived in those mountains and love those mountains it’s so much more. We’re losing something beautiful, unique, and precious.

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5078

Photos from the Rough Ridge Fire in Georgia

The Noveling Time of Year

In November people all around the world spend 30 days doing their very best to write 50,000 words. National Novel Writing Month, or as most people call it NaNoWriMo, is what started my career. Both Witch for Hire and A Witch’s Path started out as NaNoWriMo projects.

I’ll be doing NaNoWriMo this month and encourage anyone dreaming of writing a novel to make their way over to http://nanowrimo.org and join in! One of the best part of NaNoWriMo is the fellowship. Often writing is a very solitary event, and this is one time where it’s easy to find other writers and make new friends!

Late August Update

The past two weeks, and the entire summer if I’m being completely honest, have been difficult. I’ve been ill with mysterious stomach issues, which have made being productive and happy difficult. While I’m confident this will get sorted out, my health isn’t the focus of this week’s update, the impact on my work, however, is pertinent.

The prequel to Fey Hearted, tentatively titled Human Fey, is in the works. If you’d asked me in July how long it would take to write, I would’ve told you two weeks for the first draft (20,000 words in two weeks means average 2,000 words for 10 work days which is well within my abilities when I’m healthy). Add another week to tidy it up before it went out to beta readers, then two weeks for the beta readers to get back to me. From there, anything from a day to a week of additional work to get it looking good before it could get scheduled for edits (the editing process has its own timeline). Basically, three to four weeks of heavy hands on work. Two of those weeks I’d be working on the beginnings of another project (Witch’s Path Book 6 in this case).

That hasn’t how things have gone. I first got sick back in June and it was all I could do to get A Witch’s Rite to the editor in anything remotely resembling a timely fashion. When A Witch’s Rite finally went to an editor, two weeks later than I’d initially intended (basically the time I was going to use to write Human Fey), I figured a week off to rejuvenate, rest, and read would do wonders. Then I would jump into Human Fey and knock it out in two weeks.

I was wrong.

When I’m sick I don’t feel creative. In fact, I often can’t create. I can’t picture worlds. I can’t see characters. I can’t do what writers do. All I can do is be sick.

All of this has been to get to one very simply point.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry because it feels like it’s taking forever to write a relatively short project. I’m sorry because I know you want books to read and I want to write them. I want to be more productive than I’m capable of right now. In June and early July, I could be tough. I could push through. These days I’m not feeling so tough. I’m tired, I’m worn out, and I’m sick.

It pains me to say I’m still working on Human Fey, but I’m proud of the work I’ve done. Right now I’m more than a quarter of the way through the first draft. For the 6th book of the Witch’s Path Series I’ve got the skeleton of a rough outline and an idea for the title.

If these updates sound repetitive, be patient with me. This isn’t the summer I wanted or the level of productivity I expect from myself. There are big plans for cool and awesome things. As soon as I’m back in fighting shape I’m going to attack all of them. Until then, slow is the expected pace and I’m sorry for that.

~N