First Cup of Coffee – December 27, 2022

Introducing our new Maine coon kitten: Killian! There are kitten shenanigans, and also some discussion of writing – my year-end reevaluations, how good (or not) my data is, and thoughts for next year’s priorities.

First Cup of Coffee – June 9, 2022

Insights into getting your rights back on trad-published books and what you need to do from there. Also results of my experiment in read-out-loud proofing, along with random thoughts on data and vaccines.

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. And it literally is my first cup of coffee even though it is almost nine thirty in the morning ah Ah. but that’s in a ah, a very good way Today is Thursday June ninth and um yeah I slept in um, great news. The book is finished. I did Tuesday and Wednesday did the massive out loud proof reading as I had intended and I I was happy with the process I was not happy with how long it took. Um. I found out that I could go I think my max in any hour long sprint was 32 pages I could get through um, slower ones. It was more like 25 I tended to go slow if I a started thinking too much about the story and wanting to noodle it and b started getting into the story and wanting to read it in a you know. I would start doing dramatic reading start reading like I would at a public reading instead of just reading out loud because the whole point – and I did have one – of reading out loud is to make your eyes hit every word and um. Punctuation point so forth because when we read to ourselves we tend to so skim our we get very good at just absorbing up. There’s my mom hi mom I kept my phone out here because we’re sort of coordinating writer coffee still, we’re meeting an hour later than usual. So that was another reason oh my mom slept for over 10 hours hey I’m telling her I’m doing the podcast.

Okay, so I might have to move ah, the way I’m facing this now I think it’ll be all right I just have to position myself under the Greatli Somem kind of dappled today I guess I should silence her. Um, my phone does its weird thing that sometimes if I silence it I can’t get it to uns silence without restarting I don’t know what’s up with them. So anyway, um, book came out at like 108,600 words transcript will hate that. Don’t know why it can’t do numbers and which was about three hundred and ninety eight pages in word and so yeah, it took me about 16 hours to read all of that out loud and. Make fixes as I went but I liked the process I did catch a lot of things I caught a few things storywise which is what I suspected that if I that I would catch both typos not both I would catch typos I would catch errors I would catch. Story things to tweak or correct and yeah, so it was good but I would rather have like four days to do it yeah I could probably do it that way do like um you know like 4 one hour stretches over 4 days I can’t find a good spot here I’m going to move.

Maybe not. It won’t let me pause. Ah well try one more time Now. Zencaster says no pausing I picked this position I must live with it. So. Um, So yeah, it was good, especially considering that I would have had to the um, the grape vine is really raining flowers too. Ah, Fortunately, they’re tasty. They taste like grapes they taste like um, very tart grapes these teeny tiny little flowers. I’ll show you guys for those of you on video to bring it out to the camera. You see that little teeny tiny Green flower. But sometimes it’s a little bit like being onto the um. I Don’t know maybe like the peach blossoms or something this snow of flower petals.

There I got it to pause and let me move a little bit so um, giving it to a proof reader would have taken five days she needs it place least that long so I may keep doing it this way. Um, as long as I don’t do this thing to myself of where I have to do it all in two days because that really was a little much and you could probably hear in my voice that I’m a little bit froggy I was um, one thing I learned as I was doing this too was to say it very quietly. That I didn’t need to project my reading voice but that I could just do it like this because what was most important was making sure I my eyes touched every word. So um I finished like yesterday was a marathon day. Um I did. Let’s see here I can tell you so on Tuesday I did 6 hours of work over about 9 hours and then yesterday I did 7 hours and 40 minutes um over 10 hours and 15 minutes and I didn’t do my morning run I started at 6am I got up at like 5 and got ready and went straight in and had my coffee didn’t do my blog post. Just did that. So so it was lot and I finished at like 4:20 got the front and back matter sent to my assistant along with the corrected text and then we went got our booster shots. Our appointment was at 5pm so and we got there right at 5 so timing was good interestingly enough she ah when we got there. The nurse asked us if we were doing Moderna or Pfizer the eternal question and I said Moderna and she said is Moderna what you got before and I said yeah, 3 the previous 3 shots have all been Moderna and she said well the Cdc is now recommending that you consider switching up and doing Pfizer instead because they’re finding that people get better immunity if they use if they so mix it up. If they you know, get Pfizer if you’ve had Moderna before so I was like oh okay because I thought the common wisdom was or the data was that we were supposed to get same thing every time. So I heard her give the same spiel to somebody else.

Ah, sitting nearby and the gal said well well I asked a doctor a friend of mine and she said it’s better to have a stick with the same one and I was thinking well that was certainly was the data before but here this nurse has just given you new data. It’s one thing that I know has been a problem with all of this is that. People don’t like that data changes. They don’t like that findings end up being different over time. But that’s how science works right? It’s iterative. So the other you know the other thing that’s interesting is my mom. When I mentioned we were going to go get our boosters. She called her doctor. She’s in Arizona and her doctor’s office said oh you don’t need to get another booster shot. Um it. It won’t do it make any difference which I thought was extraordinary statement for them to make and i. Senator the cds latest cdc guidance saying that they are really really recommending that. Especially if you’re over 50 to get that you know fourth shot second booster. So so she can get it. You know elsewhere. But I think it’s very interesting that. The doctors too are wanting to like pick a particular position and then hold to it. Our doctor did the same thing to us on the the first booster shot. We asked about getting it and he said oh you really don’t need to but then he got covid. And changed his tune. So I don’t know people you know it doesn’t hurt to get the next shot very interestingly and and a personal data point. The pfizer shot did not. Affect me like the moderna shots did all 3 moderna shots. Um, definitely hit me hard I got fever I felt really wiped out the next day hanging blue screen. So I’d planned to sleep in this morning anyway, just in case I got that and then um, it’s also not a sore. Which I think is interesting. Um I was planning to just like let myself sleep to sleep off the vaccine and to sleep off the marathon of the past couple of days so so yeah I woke up at like 6:30 but I lingered in bed reading until like 7 and then um and then I puttered I seriously puttered this morning which I figure I deserve so I’m taking it easy I probably won’t get this podcast uploaded till after writer coffee.

Because I am running that far behind so apologize for that. But at least you got one I contemplated not doing it but I knew my mother would have a fit. so um so yeah it’s good to have that book done have that series done I really love my 4 epilogues and I’m anxious for you all to read the book next up in my cue I have the 3 covenant of thorns. Covers we are going to send out a newsletter to reveal those covers and I’m going to put those up for preorder I have to write new back cover copy for them. So one thing that happens when you get your rights back on a book and these three I originally did with karina press and. They retain the rights to their stuff I put that in air quotes what they they like The only thing that reverts to me is the interior of the book is the actual story. The rest of it. They lay claim to and I’ve heard stories about some publishers. Trying to lay copyright to the editing to the developmental edits and the copy edits and so forth that you like can’t use anything that they did which just gets absolutely ridiculous after a certain point. It’s like really you want me to take it back to like what that first thing I sent you. Like before the revise and resubmit in my case, not gonna happen but they do retain all the elements of the cover. So I like she’s like you can’t use the karina press trademark and I’m like new like yeah that incredibly valuable press trademark and I say that still loving the people at Carina Press I mean Angie James was awesome. Kerri Buckley a bunch of other people who worked on the Carina press stuff. But unfortunately I don’t know that. Carina Press brand ever did what we wanted it to do what we hoped it would do so I know that that’s like standard business speak. But.

Okay, it’s gooded once more ah standard business speak but it just strikes me as funny. It’s like really really, you guys is this Um, that valuable. So anyway I have to get to. Write my own back cover coffee. Yeah coffee back cover coffee that would be funny copy and I don’t know if I mean I I keep thinking maybe I’ll look at what it was before the Carina Version and I think maybe I shouldn’t I don’t know I sometimes I think that kind of thing can get in the way it just gets in your head. Um, what would you do I might write it and then see what they had. And see if I want to to tweak at anything in anyway. New covers are so cool and so much better than what the previous covers were as I said reveal will be in the newsletter. Um I might. Do a reveal in the private Facebook group too. So if you are not signed up for either of those places that was a good time to do so I’m also going to do that recipe for the low sugar blueberry pie as requested from Instagram that’s exciting. And yeah, there’ll be a couple other goodies in the newsletter too. So if you do that? do that thing and it’s in the show notes if you want to if you want the link for sign up to the newsletter you can find it on my website. So um. So yeah, I’m going to get the preorders set up for all the Covenant of Thorns books and those will release this summer do a staggered release on those and then um, yeah, I’m gonna do that. Edit. Of the first book Rogue’s Pawn. I may try to do that tomorrow. Maybe it won’t take me very long and then next week I go on a writing retreat. So I’m not sure if I’ll be doing a podcast from there or not um, there’s pros and cons it would be fun to. Maybe get some other people to be on the writing you know on the podcast from ah you know that’ll be there I’m also not sure if everybody involved wants people to know that they’re there and that’s something I have to check I don’t know if I’m supposed to be.

Public about where I’m going and what I’m doing or not so frequently accused of not being discreet here I am being so discreet. So I plan to do that. Um I would like to get at least Rogue’s Pawn handled. Before I go there because then next week I want to start working on the next bonds of magic book and I agree with um, a few of you chimed in with thoughts I think probably of the next trilogy. Which I think it’s just gonna be judgment andully. Um, and I think I’m gonna do all 3 books with with them. It’ll have a new a new series title and I need to figure out what that is. There’s no preorder for it yet. But. Um I will get that done soon. Um I’ll have that preorder up by July because that’s when I can come up with the cover. So that’s where I am with my cover artist. So that’s all the news in my world I feel remarkably good today. Both. Vaccine wise and creative well-wise I’m glad that I get to do just businessy things today. But yeah, all right I’m gonna tick off here for the great white noise old joke and I will. Um yeah, so I can get to write coffee. And I will talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye-bye.

Adjusting Those Variables for the New Year

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re sharing thoughts about the changing of the year.

I like the reflection the end of one year and the beginning of a new one brings. You all know I’m into metrics, so the end of a year – however arbitrary a measure – provides me with a milestone to group data. I can look back at the past year, compare it to previous years, and make plans for the one ahead.

Am I a maker of resolutions? Some years more than others, yes, but mostly I look on the process as adjusting my variables for the year ahead. Life is an ongoing experiment this way. We try stuff, see how it works out, then make changes accordingly. This is how all experimentation works: make a hypothesis, test it by gradually adjusting variables, and keep track of the resulting data.

I know a lot of people react negatively to the concept of new year’s resolutions, especially given the daunting statistics about them. For example, from this article, after 6 months, only 46% of people who make a resolution are still successful in keeping it, and by the end of the year only 9% feel they are successful in keeping it.

Interesting to me, a third of the people who failed to keep their resolutions didn’t keep track of their progress and another quarter of them forgot about their resolutions. This may sound funny – I laughed! – but it’s actually super easy to forget those aspirations in the tumult of daily life.

One year I tried writing down goals for the coming year and sealing them in envelopes to be opened on New Year’s Eve, so I could see how I did. People, I’m telling you: if I hadn’t made myself a reminder to open the envelopes, I’d have forgotten they existed! Reading my goals from Past Jeffe of only a year before was truly eye-opening. It almost didn’t matter which goals I’d met, exceeded, or fallen short of – simply comparing the reality with my aspirations taught me a great deal.

This is partly why I’m a believer in tracking all kinds of metrics about myself. Remember, a third of the people who failed to keep their resolutions didn’t track their progress while another quarter forgot about them! That’s 60% of the failures that might have been successes if they’d had daily tracking and reminders.

So, I’m doing a series on my podcast this week about the metrics I keep – particularly regarding my writing process – along with the how’s and why’s. Feel free to ask questions!

And Happy New Year to all!!