I was all giddy to see the cover for Platinum on the Carina Press banner at the RT Convention. I go home tomorrow, fortunately – running out of steam!
I’m over at the newly launched Contemporary Romance Cafe today, talking about inspiration in general – and, in particular, for Ruby.
Regular readers know I’ve been plugging away on the Phantom e-Serial. I’ve got another month to finish it, which sounds like a lot that way, but when you realize that’s 31 days, it sounds much worse. Still, I have it in hand, I believe. I’ve been working fairly steadily at about 1,675 words/day. That puts me finishing around March 24 – with a week to spare for revising. Fortunately the CPs all took a look at the first half – while I took a week-long break and wrote a new Facets of Passion story for a Christmas anthology (I hope) – and they all liked it! They really liked it!! (Cue Sally Fields Oscar gif.)
For you math whizzes out there, that rate is, yes, around NaNoWriMo levels. A while back, I never thought I could steadily produce at that rate while working full time. Amazing how things change! Last month – ooh, on February 1, even! it’s like a recurring THEME – I posted my cumulative wordcount numbers. I’ve been tracking my weekly and monthly numbers lately, to better understand how I work.
Here’s the chart of my weekly wordcounts. The first and last “weeks” of February are a bit artificially low, as they were partial weeks. Still, that second to last week of February, I hit 20K, which might be a personal best. (I haven’t been tracking weekly counts long enough to be sure.) I got there via a vacation day and a holiday, plus a solid weekend of work, to write that new Facets of Passion story. I like how I can see my rate increase through the month, however. This week was down, due to dealing with family illness and travel. I was feeling kind of bad about that, until I saw my monthly stats.
Yes, I just made 50K for February, which I’ve only done once before. Plus, as the lovely Laura Bickle generously pointed out, it was a short month. It will be interesting to see what March and April bring. I predict March will be another high month and April will drop considerably, because I’ll be revising two novels in that month. Editing time makes for poor metrics – even if you count pages revised and you’re clipping along at 30/day, that looks kind of pitiful. I need a way to weight that. Hmmm…
Oh! And the other fun news is that a spin-off story from the upcoming fantasy trilogy (The Twelve Kingdoms) has been accepted to a sword and sorcery anthology! Former Word Whore James R. Tuck is editing. CP Marcella Burnard will have a story in there, too, so it should be loads of fun. Turns out they’ll do two volumes of the anthology. She and I, of course, wrote very female-centric stories (not usually the thing for sword and sorcery), so we’re curious to see if Tuck divides the volumes by male/female, which would be interesting. It should be out in June, so we’ll keep you apprised!
Since it’s release week for Platinum, I’m in a few places today. There’s a post up at Harlequin on my Top Ten Reasons to Love a Dom Hero. I’m also at the Carina blog, talking about the fun research I did for this book.
If you don’t feel like you already know everything you could possibly want to know about me already, stop on by!
Also, just to be a little braggity, I have to show you all this. Yesterday, Platinum was #1 on Carina and Sapphire was #5. There’s MY 15 minutes!!
I know, I know – you know already. But, just THINK – this post means I won’t talk about it anymore!
(Well, pretty much. You know how I am. I might have to refer back to it. And what if there’s an AWARD or something?? Still, for now, this pretty much wraps up this particular book’s debut. She has her dress and her escort. I fully expect her to stay out partying for a LONG time.)
I mentioned last week that we were traveling up to northern Wyoming to visit family. Yes, it’s cold here, with snow and blizzards and so forth. I’ve lost all my Wyoming tough and I don’t miss it. But it’s been a good visit and we’re glad we came. Seeing my father-in-law struggle with his health and fighting the pain meds to string a few thoughts together really brings home how dependent we are on these fragile bodies.
All these things we want to do – books that we want to write or read, places to visit, even bathroom remodeling fantasies – they all depend on the flesh holding out. It makes feeling like I don’t have enough time to write seem pretty silly. We always go through this, the “remember the small blessings” bit, but it’s easy to forget, in the hubub and tumble of all the juggling.
Being thankful here.
I’m in several places today, what with Platinum coming out tomorrow. Magical Musings has a lovely review here. I’m talking about sex magic over at the Here Be Magic blog. And at Word Whores, today is the first day of our serial story, Six Thieves and a Ringer.
The lovely Amy Remus is hosting a giveaway for Platinum over on her review blog today. Stop by and say hi!
Carina Press sent me a lovely Valentine’s present yesterday – the cover for Ruby. That’s book 3 in Facets of Passion, so very fun timing with book 2, Platinum coming out in ten days. Isn’t it gorgeous? I think I might need to find gloves like that. Maybe to wear to the RT Convention, since Ruby releases a few days after that (May 13, I’m pretty sure).
I may have to also distribute Good Sex magic wands, given some of the feedback from Friday’s post.
In fact, I’m adding that to my To Do list right now.
So, this is a long weekend for me, made longer because I took a vacation day today. Of course, that all pertains to the day job. I’m taking the time to crunch on this story I want to submit to an anthology. The due date is 3/1. Once I got my Phantom serial past the midway point (yay!), I sent it to the CPs for crazy check and am seeing if I can get this story done.
Phantom is due 3/31 and that’s a contractual deadline, doncha know. Thus, I can’t really screw with it. But I really want to write Oro. (See if you can guess what series that falls in line with.) So, I made a deal with myself. I have to switch back to Phantom by 2/19. That gives me four days to finish this story. I can do it if I make 4,550 words each day.
Can I do this?
I think so.
I shall certainly find out!
So, if you will, light your candles for me, say your prayers, think good thoughts.
Or just send chocolate.
I’m sure you guys knew this already – I mean, what else do you have to keep track of?? – but Platinum is coming out February 25.
It’s up on Net Galley now, if you’re a reviewer type. So, because it is up for reviewers, I’m starting to get feedback on it – which is always fun. People seem to be enjoying the story in the ways I hoped they would. But it’s kind of difficult for me to get as totally revved as they are. It’s several stories ago for me now, so it’s kind of old news.
Which is a weird place to be.
It makes me think of this interview I saw with Barbara McClintock when she won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1983. She was 81 when she received the prize and I remember the interviewer was someone much younger and full of enthusiasm. The interviewer asked if Barbara wasn’t just SO EXCITED about the award. For Jumping Genes! (Transposable elements in DNA) Everyone was just *so* interested in this amazing discovery!
And Barbara looked at her kind of funny and said something along the lines of, “Well, it’s always nice to be recognized, but I did that work forty years ago and I was excited about it then. What I’m working on right now is what’s most interesting to me.”
Which deflated the interviewer a bit.
Interestingly, she had stopped publishing her work on the transposable elements in DNA back in 1953, because she encountered so much skepticism about it. I could really see how being awarded an unshared Nobel prize (the only woman to ever receive an unshared Nobel prize in that category) thirty years later might be a little…anti-climactic.
Not that the incipient release of Platinum compares in any way to the magnitude of McClintock’s discovery. I just think it’s important to remember that the joy of creation – or discovery – remains forever a separate thing from other people’s validation of it. Usually it comes much later and often after they gave you all kinds of shit for doing it in the first place.
Then, later, when they tell you how great this thing you’ve done is, they never remember that they were skeptical, just that they love it now.
Which is okay.
After all – enthusiasm is always to be treasured.
Exciting, yes – but the above pic truly encapsulates how we celebrate around here. Ahhh….
It’s so interesting to me how creativity works. We often talk about it like it’s a well, where the water flows at a certain rate, can be drawn down, needs time to replenish, and – horror of horrors – could maybe run dry. But I wonder if this is really an accurate metaphor? After all, creativity is a kind of energy, but it’s not subject to the physical laws of the universe. It almost belongs to the spiritual realm. My physical body might tire – the brain that translates the story, the hands that type it – but it seems to me the creativity itself should be endless.
Yet, it never feels that way.
Here it is, October 26, and I haven’t put up my Halloween decorations. I *love* Halloween. I have two great big bins of decorations sitting in the garage. I’d thought maybe I’d put them up last weekend, but I spent my time writing 10,000 words on Rogue’s Possession.
I know that’s not my usual thing, but I was experimenting. David was out of town for the weekend and I really wanted to finish Possession so I can get started on Ruby (book 3 in Facets of Passion) which is due to fabulous editor Deb at the end of November. So, I tried writing five 60-minute blocks each day. In between, I walked the dog, cooked meals, did dishes, that sort of thing.
Did not put up decorations.
It just felt like too much. Though it would have taken very little time, really.
And I did it! I wrote a little over 5K each day, did not feel exhausted and it let me finish the book early. The ending can be like that for me – I just have to keep going with it, because if I stop, I can lose the threads. Somehow, though, that extra bit of tangential creativity, putting up some decorations, seemed absolutely impossible.
I’ve done this at other times in my life, when things going on just absorbed so much of my personal energy that other stuff just had to be dropped, totally and completely. Shut the door and sever the cord. I used to quilt and loved it, but finally faced that I had to stop and divert that energy into writing. That choice made a huge difference in my writing productivity.
Now that the book is finished, I feel that energy bubbling within. Which is great news for Ruby!
Maybe I’ll get those decorations up this weekend…
Also, if you’re online this weekend, I’ll be participating in Coyote Con – an online free writing conference. I’ll be on a panel for Fantasy Romance, 6-7pm Eastern Time tonight. Tomorrow, 2:30-3:30pm ET, I’ll be on a panel with some fab friends “THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE GIRLY & THE MANLY” and another panel tomorrow night (Saturday 10/27), 9:30-10:30pm ET, on erotica and erotic romance.
Next weekend, I’ll be in Toronto for World Fantasy Con – provided Frankenstorm doesn’t raze the city. And, while I’m in Toronto, I’ll be signing cover flats at the Ellora’s Cave booth at the Everything to Do with Sex Show on Saturday evening, November 3, 7-9 pm.