Leveling Up – Whether We Want To or Not

This week at the SFF Seven we’re asking each other: do you look for new skills to try each year? Or with each book?

My first reaction is that this isn’t an annual process for me, but an ongoing one. Because it’s absolutely something that happens with every book. And not because I plan it that way! Quite the reverse. With 65 published titles, I often go into new books thinking something along the lines of “This one will be a fast and easy write because x, y, z.”

I am, inevitably, always always wrong.

That’s not to say that some books don’t write easier than others, but they all pose unique problems. It seems to be the nature of the beast, that the creative process goes to a new and more challenging place every time.

I have two caveats to this:

  1. I do kind of look at this on a yearly basis because of my agent, Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency, who sets up annual chats with all of her clients at the beginning of each year. (She jokes that she has to dig some clients out of their caves once a year for this. You know who you are.) I really love this about Sarah because it’s part of what she brings to the table: long-term career strategy. She says she keeps a goal book for each of her clients and we revisit those goals and set new ones each year. For me, a big part of this conversation is always how can I grow and expand? What do I need to do to level up?
  2. The second caveat is that I save some ideas for when I have the chops to execute them. Writers often talk about (and are asked) where they get their ideas and how we choose what to write next. (See above for that.) For many of us, ideas arrive all the time, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to write them. The second novel I ever wrote was like that – only I didn’t know that I didn’t have the chops to execute the concept. So, over the years, I’ve gradually been adding skills as the stories demand them. In Shadow Wizard, book one of the Renegades of Magic trilogy, I added extra points-of-view (POVs). That was the first time I wrote in more than two POVs. In book three of that trilogy, Twisted Magic, I had five POVs. Who knows where it will end??


Except that someday (maybe?), I’d like to go back and rewrite that second novel. I bet I could pull it off this time.


Best Laid Plans and Magical News!

I had Plans for today’s blog post here at the SFF Seven. But we know what the poet said about best-laid plans…

Yes, my day has gang agley.

All in a good way, though. I got a lot done. Important stuff, just not quite the several steps required to post what I hoped to post today. So the short and dirty update is:

  • TWISTED MAGIC will have a release date and preorder link soon!! (Though you can already preorder it on my website.)
  • Of my new book that I’ve been writing, the one I wasn’t supposed to be writing, but that insisted on being written, which I’ve been calling ONEIRA, Agent Sarah said: “You’ve crafted your very own fairytale, Jeffe and it’s magic.”
  • We strategized today, so look for more news on ONEIRA soon! And on TWISTED MAGIC!



Resisting the New Shiny: How to Decide What to Write Next

I’ve just returned from Nebula Conference and this moment was a highlight: the photograph of SFWA past-presidents in attendance. From left is Gay Haldeman, SFWA Ombudsman; Joe Haldeman, SFWA Grandmaster and past-president; Michael Capobianco, past-president; Karen Silverberg, novelist; Robert Silverberg, SFWA Grandmaster and past-president; and lil’ ol’ me. Quite a heady experience!

This week at the SFF Seven, we’re talking about the Picking and Choosing—how do you decide which idea to write?

This is the eternal question, with many factors affecting the answer.

Some factors are practical, especially if you make your living as a writer, as I do. To keep that income flowing, I have to think about the next book in the series – both for the sales and to keep my readers happy – and I have to look at what’s selling best for me. Likewise, in working with my agent – the fabulous Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency – I coordinate with her on what she thinks she can sell for me, along with her schedule, balancing me with her other clients on reading, editing, etc.

Then there’s the creative side…

As we develop as writers, one of the primary skills and disciplines we must learn is how to *finish* a work. There are a lot of would-be authors out there with a few to dozens of unfinished manuscripts. It’s a thing and you HAVE to learn to overcome it. A big piece of learning to finish a work is setting aside the New Shinies – the ideas that turn up, alluring as fae lights in the darkness, luring the unwary writer into a merry chase that leads nowhere. By the time the writer returns from the wild pursuit of flickering delight, their work in progress has aged and they have nothing to show for their efforts.

Then again…

Sometimes an idea descends and demands to be written. It’s only happened to me a few times, but it’s happened recently and – though I have lot practice, skill, and discipline at resisting the siren song of the New Shiny – I finally capitulated to writing it. We’ll see what happens.


First Cup of Coffee – February 24, 2022

A bit more on organizing large reader events and how scaling up gradually is super important for all small businesses. Also, how to tell if an agent is legit, or – if legit – the kind of agent you need.

When to Ditch Showing and Just Tell


This is a novella in the Heirs of Magic series and occurs after THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING. It’s Jak and Stella’s wedding on the longest night, the Feast of Moranu. I think I’ll release it on Monday, November 21, 2022. No preorder this time. I’ll post when it goes live!!


At long last, Jakral Konyngrr—lowly sailor, gambler, and sometime rogue—has won the heart and hand of Princess Stella of Avonlidgh. Never mind that Stella’s mother is determined to make their wedding the event of the century, he’s happy to endure any trial to marry the love of his life and his guiding star. Very soon they can sail away together into the rest of their lives. Unfortunately the wedding becomes delayed for several months, until midwinter.
Stella—sorceress, empath, and bearer of the mark of the Tala—has been through great trials. But nothing has tested her as sorely as her passionate and flamboyant mother planning their wedding. Even Jak’s steady love and companionship isn’t enough as Stella finds herself crumbling under the pressure of being snowbound in a castle with the press of so many minds and emotions. When she lashes out, she hits the worst possible target, jeopardizing her chances for happiness.
With several kingdoms and a former enemy empire bearing down on them, Jak and Stella’s wedding on the longest night of year might not happen at all… Unless they can create their own happy ever after.


This week at the SFF Seven, we’re talking about Telling vs. Showing, particularly we’re examining when some narrative exposition is needed.

It’s an interesting question, and one very much focused on genre fiction. Many of you know I began my writing career in creative nonfiction. For many years I wrote and sold essays. My first book was an essay collection. At no point in that time – in classes, in critique groups, in discussions with editors – did anyone bring up Telling vs. Showing. It was only after I began writing fantasy romance (etc.) that the concept was introduced to me. I had to learn not to use the narrative exposition that had worked so well for my creative nonfiction voice, but to “show” instead.

Why is this a thing?

The oft-cited example is attributed to Anton Chekhov: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” It turns out this exact quote is probably apocryphal. A passage from the article I linked to says:

In May, 1886, Chekhov wrote to his brother Alexander, who had literary ambitions: “In descriptions of Nature one must seize on small details, grouping them so that when the reader closes his eyes he gets a picture. For instance, you’ll have a moonlit night if you write that on the mill dam a piece of glass from a broken bottle glittered like a bright little star, and that the black shadow of a dog or a wolf rolled past like a ball.”

It’s salient to note that he’s talking about description here. When my genre-fiction editors and critique partners introduced the concept to me, they framed it as a way to deepen the point of view (POV). In genre fiction, in particular, readers love to be immersed in the characters and world, thus the incentive to deepen POV.

I worked diligently to learn to show, not tell.

Fast-forward to my current agent, the insightful and incisive Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency. One day, after reading one of my manuscripts we planned to take on submission to traditional publishing, she said, “Jeffe, I know you work really hard to show, not tell, but sometimes we just need a line or two telling us what the heck is going on.”

And she was right. I was so busy describing the glint of light on broken glass that I was failing to explain that this world had three moons.

In the end, as with all things, it comes down to balance. We need both in order to tell effective stories: immersive description and deep POV, along with some clear narrative exposition to ground the reader in the world.

I’m getting better at it!

First Cup of Coffee – October 3, 2022

How I handle self-published projects vs. trad-pub targeted projects with my agent, my sugarplum of a midwinter holiday novella, and shaking my cane at publicists these days and how they’re promoting books.

First Cup of Coffee – September 16, 2022

Updates on my next projects and on the state of trad publishing – spec is out, full mss are in – and thoughts on being hybrid & the “middlest” author. Also info on how/why trad publishing only counts print sales.

First Cup of Coffee – August 9, 2022

Some more figures of what some authors are NOT making in traditional publishing, along with thoughts on agents – how to tell the good ones from bad (and there ARE good ones!), red flags, and how the business works.

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Delicious. Ah today is Tuesday August Ninth Eight Nine sounds like a good date to me. Um, yeah, so I’m wondering. What I have to say today some mornings oh look if you’re on video. You’ll have an Isabel sighting in the background Isabel’s out here in the secret garden with me is it. She pretty. She’s a blue smoke Maine coon cat I love how she’s got that. Faintest hint of blue to her fur. So yeah, she’s feeling sprightly this morning. She’s the the queen the main Coon Queen cat she’s sixteen sixteen and a half now and she loves going out and messing around in the garden. So um, yeah, you know some mornings I come out here I have my notes some mornings I have lots of thoughts in my head other mornings I’m sort of like a a nice mellow blank today’s a nice mellow blank I’m feeling. Nicely relaxed. Got more stuff done yesterday kind of catching up on my list. Ah I’ve noticed how the lists have been creeping into the books. Ah, they always have so I suppose that’s just like one of my things. But I notice that they are in the covenant of thorns books they’re in the bonds of magic books. Not so much the one I’m writing not so much in shadow wizard but I got my two k on shadow wizard yesterday I got it in. Reasonable amount of time. Got it early in the day so that was great. Um I’m let’s see doing pretty well I think um, little shy of 48,000 words which I know.

That’s like I’m past midpoint I still have half the book to go but it’s feeling downhillish at this point I’m also reading a book I’m really enjoying ah and I’m hoping that I will be able to recommend it to you? ah. I need to get back on putting reviews on good reads Amazon book bub. Ah I kind of fell off of doing it I don’t know why I don’t know maybe I just sort of ran out of time but I would like to get back into doing that. Because I’ve read several good books lately and I say them on here but I feel like that’s fairly transient so I would like to go ahead and get that going again. Um I did have some um reaction to yesterday’s podcast a few different people asked me if they had heard correctly when I said that um and and it’s it’s really ebooks. That I’m talking about where an author can earn $3 a book $5 a book maybe depending on the price point. Um whereas yes from trash ah print books. We don’t earn nearly so much from ah and they’re already. They’re so expensive to produce. That’s the thing about being a self-published author is the print books are expensive because we can’t do it in bulk. We don’t have access to a printing press the the pod cost is fairly high. Ah, the like Amazon or Ingram delivery cost is fairly high so we are not able to get as much of a percentage from those not without pricing the book even higher and I think none of us wants to do that. It already feels like a. Egregious to charge you know like $18 for a trade paperback. But even when that happens a lot of times like I’m only making ¢50 on the book or something like that. It’s um, it’s fence service. It’s having print books is because. Some of you still want print books which is fine. That’s no problem at all. It’s just um, where you where you make the bulk of your income is on the ebooks if we didn’t have those we probably wouldn’t be able to do it. We wouldn’t be able to make sell enough books to make an income to live on.

But but yes, um, for tread publishing whether it’s print or ebook a dollar per book. Maybe that’s that’s good If you’re getting that much a lot of people are not getting that much and um. Yeah, it’s just a. It’s the way it is. It’s just a sucky cut. Um.

Um, yeah, it’s you know they they hold all the cards basically and you know and even then you know you’re almost certainly paying you know 15% of that then to your agent. So. That that could come before or after the dollar a book but you know a dollar goes down to ¢85. It’s um, unless you’re selling a whole lot of books. It’s just hard to make money to live on in trad. And so it goes and I’ve recently learned of a major publisher. Not one of the big 5 or big 4 um, it’s sounding like the merger is going to be improved. People are sad about it. But. And our current um climate of corporations running the country. It seemed almost inevitable running the world. Maybe so yeah, a lot of writers were lamenting it yesterday on social media. Isabel’s down next to me here. Isabel’s not concerned. She says cats don’t worry about acquisitions and mergers know course Pat cats are also arguably parasites is that right. She says as long as the cat food keeps coming. You know that’s why I write the books is to feed the cats. Yes yes, Minerva Spencer says that Isabel has a smoker’s meow. Ah she does kind of she. Um, she’s totally deaf now. So she has to be very loud to be assured that she is meowing and it’s hell on the vocal chords. Yeah, so um, so yeah, those are the breaks. What was I saying about the oh this other publisher. So. So those are the big ones and that’s why we say the big but then there are other like midsize presses or smaller presses. So you know like there other ones are like source books Kensington um. Oh I think the mosquito candles making me sneeze.

Who I tried to pause and then at impa. Sorry let me scoot this away I was clever this time and came out and lit the candle before I got out here and gave it a little while to drive the mosquitoes away that seems to be the effective method. So how? yeah like Tachyon there used to be other ones you don’t like skyhorse and all these others anyway, those are not the great big ones. That people mean when they’re talking about the big houses Isabel’s checking out that candle now. Yeah stinky here now she’s sleeping leaving in a huff we haven’t had um cat wrangling. On the podcast in a while. So um, so yeah I recently learned of another publisher that’s not 1 of the biggies. But that’s well known, especially in romance publishing that is offering a terrible percentage on ebooks and. 1 of my friends at Apollycon who has a very successful series told me that last year and she was sad about it that she made about $1400 in the whole year and I told somebody else this and they were like. That author but her books are doing amazing and I was like yeah um and her agent says that she doesn’t really understand the contract. Um, when my friend asked about well shouldn’t I be getting. Royalties for like the audio books or the foreign rights and stuff that our agent was like oh well I don’t know um and and I said to her friend I said that’s a really bad sign you know and it’s like. I love that people come to me for advice but I think sometimes people regret coming to me for advice because and you should all know this I’m happy to talk to you like at conventions or you know over drinks are many things I will say to in person that I will not say on the podcast. But. You know if if you do ask me for advice I’m I’m going to give it to you pretty straight and I told her you’ve got to leave this agent if your agent doesn’t understand your contract then this is a problem. It’s a problem.

Red flag and she says oh I know but you know she’s stuck with me. She took me when no one else would and you know I owe her and you guys I hear this story so many times and in its. Hard I know it’s hard because we love our agents. We do feel that um, it’s like the first love we. We are grateful to them and they it does feel like they took a chance of us when no one else would. And I definitely felt that way about my first agent and I don’t know why if I would have left her if she hadn’t gone into like a total spiral and left the agency and went to an agency where I couldn’t sign the contract. Um. I don’t know what I would have done I’m glad I didn’t have to make that choice leaving my second agent was a really hard choice even though I was terribly disappointed in him and I had gone through a couple of um, like performance improvement plans with with him. Which is that’s why yeah so I spoke too soon on the mosquitos that one went right for my nose. Um, that’s my corporate America coming out but it’s like okay you know I’m not happy with how this is working and so we’d come up with these things that you know for him to do. And then he didn’t do those things I was working with the senior agent in the firm. That’s the other thing about this from that I’m talking about is that her agent just has her own agency. There’s not even a senior agent to go to and so which is the first advice I would give is is if you are. Maybe not the first but still if you are unhappy with what your agent is doing or if you’re wondering if you should be managing expectations in some way you go to the senior agent at the agency and say here’s what I want and this is not what’s happening. And you know what do you recommend and and the senior agent in mine was very receptive but my agent still didn’t still didn’t do it and and break and that breakup felt like it felt like a divorce. It really did it was um, hugely emotional. My friends got sick of listening to me but it had to be done and and I feel like I’m still seeing echoes of of the ways in which he messed up my career.

Um, and and it’s very true and I’m sort of going off on this whole agent tangent I didn’t mean to but it’s probably worth revisiting. You know the the old adage that a bad agent is worse than no agent at all is really true and I feel like spending several years with my bad agent. And still seeing effects. But I’m still digging out of that and I love my current agent Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost literary agency who is unfortunately not taking more clients I I even asked her at Apollycon when ah. Because I was thinking maybe I could get my friend to move over to her if I could get my friend to give up this loyalty to this terrible agent and I I feel very comfortable calling this agent terrible if your agent says they don’t understand the contract I mean that’s literally their job. So I asked Sarah oh are you still not taking new clients or I said are you taking new clients and she actually physically flinched. She’s like and she said she’s just not able to keep up with all of her current clients and she’s still sort of digging out of that pandemic hole on that as well. so unfortunately and me someday but um so yeah why is my friend only making $1400 a year. She got paid twice in you know every six months and she said it was about $700 each time. And yeah yeah I mean she’s not gonna be out on the streets because she has a salaried spouse which is great but it’s disheartening when you have a very successful series. I mean I’m not kidding when I say this is a successful series. It’s it’s gotten amazing reviews and it’s very well known and how is she only getting this much money. Ah, it’s it’s criminal really. So. Um, I’m never going to be 1 of those people and there’s one in particular I can think of who like in in SFWA on discord and so forth or the forums every single time someone says something about an agent. This guy has to pop up and. Do a blast against how horrible agents are and ah it’s just like dude but he’s also I don’t know um, unpleasant in his opinions in many ways.

So I don’t think that all agents are terrible I think that agents are very helpful to a career particularly if you’re dealing with things like print and foreign rights and I don’t believe that hiring a lawyer is the same thing but um, but there. There are bad agents out there and they they gave give the good agents a bad name and so there it is um otherwise let’s see what’s going on I I feel like this is this is exciting news for me and not important to anything else. But I got my nails done yesterday and we may have gotten I’m trying to show you. It’s kind of better there. We go. Ah, we may have gotten a green that I really like since this is why birthday month and green is my favorite color I was trying to get a good green and. For some reason. It’s really hard to find a good green nail polish so much good green in nature. Not so much. It must be really hard to reproduce a green pigment because it’s hard to find good greens and clothing too. So I’m very happy with my green nails small things. Right? Ah, yeah, so I went long yesterday. So I think it’s okay to go shorter today I will um yeah, talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

LONEN’S WAR Now in Audio!

On my mind this week is the audiobook release of LONEN’S WAR!
A little while back, I sold the audio rights for this self-published series, Sorcerous Moons, to Scribd. Megan Frampton is my editor there and she’s been great to work with. Many thanks to Agent Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency for negotiating the deal. I feel like I should give Sarah a special shout-out because it’s really great to have an agent who supports the indie side of my career, too. She invested a lot of time and energy into getting me the best possible contract with Scribd. Another plus: Scribd gave me a free subscription for a year! This is pretty amazing since other audiobook publishers of my books have refused to provide me with copies of my audiobooks. If I want to listen to my own freaking book on audio, I have to buy it.
Not so with Scribd! I’ve been super pleased with the process of working with them. There was a SNAFU in the original recording and they fixed it by re-recording the first three books. It set the production schedule back but they did it without complaint and I was impressed by their professionalism.
The ensuing five books will be out on the following (tentative) schedule:

#2 ORIA’S GAMBIT August 16

#3 THE TIDES OF BARA September 13
#4 THE FORESTS OF DRU September 27
#6 LONEN’S REIGN October 25
Also, LONEN’S WAR is now wide and should be available on all retailer platforms. Print is coming any day now and just wait to see how super cool the set is together with the new covers!
Very exciting to see this rejuvenation of my first entirely self-pubbed series.
In other news…
Look for the cover reveal and preorder link for SHADOW WIZARD, Book #1 in Renegades of Magic, the trilogy that picks up after Bonds of Magic! Look for SHADOW WIZARD coming September 29, 20222! Here’s a sneak peek of the cover:


First Cup of Coffee – June 24, 2022

A firedrill from my agent had me going back through really old writing files, so I’m reflecting on what I observed – how my file organization has changed, how my writing has changed, and how what I once thought was SO CLEVER… isn’t.

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

Ah, delicious. Um today is oh you know what today is say it with me friday! June Twenty Fourth one more week left in June then we’re halfway through the year how did this happen to mystery.

Um, so um, yeah, things are going well here today’s an exciting day for me taking my friends Charlie and Megan to Santa Fe airport to go on their trip to Italy lucky them and picking them up at 11 so I’ll have a little bit of a strange morning. Not quite my full writing day. But it’s a special occasion and then I pick up. It’s funny because their plane goes out and. My friends playing come in Alyx Dellamonica and who is also L.X. Beckett and Kelly Robson ah arrive at um, like 11:45 in Santa Se a very small airport. Um, so um, it’s it’s exciting. What’s funny is is they’re going to do the same thing on the return departure. Um, so I’m beginning to wonder if maybe they’re like. Superhero alter egos of each other that they can’t be in the same place at the same time. And um, probably take Alex and Kelly out to lunch because I think they’re not going to have time to eat. They got up very very early toronto time Kelly messaged me a good morning at one thirty my time so three thirty Eastern time but they were at the airport and left at um 7 my time the plane departed they have a pretty tight connection in Denver and then it’s just a real short hop from Denver to Santa Fe so I suspect they will not have eaten except for airplane food which probably doesn’t count remember when they used to like serve you full meals on the airplane like you’d get those kind of like what was even before microwaves so it was like I don’t know how they did it like steam. Heat or something that it was um yeah like those sort of Tv dinners. It was like being microwaved but you’d get the meal on the plane is that dating myself this last time flying it was um.

It was a bit more like normal times it was um, you know you could get alcohol on the plane you could drink and it was um it was american. And both of them were fairly short flights so we just got like cookies, cookies or pencils. Um, I wonder if they will go back to offering things like the you know the box lunches and that sort of thing in July I am flying to um, um, to to Reagan national airport. Via atlanta I think on delta so I’ll be interesting to see um, all it some resuming travel again seeing people right? kind of cool. So um, it’s a pretty morning here. We’re supposed to have a relatively sunny day and then more rain coming in tomorrow. My allergies. You can hear um my allergies are going crazy with the um desert. Pollen kicking into bloom it’s the ah the up and downsides of monsoon love to get that rain? Um, but then the grass pollen really kicks him.

Was trying to get this to pause but it won’t I have weird connectivity this morning I was just going to clear my throat a little bit so you guys didn’t have to hear it. There. That’s better.

Ah, all right? So um I made progress on shadow wizard yesterday I’m nearly at the end of scene one. It’s a lot of banter. But ah, but there’s adventures to adventures plus banter. Can’t go wrong there right? Um, judgment jeron is pretty hunted and tormented I haven’t quite figured out what all his deal is but yeah and I got to do a scene that um. I’ve never gotten to write before and it’s it’s a somewhat cliche scene we’ve seen it in various movies. Um, and I asked to rinda I said this is this too cliche the scene I just wrote and she’s like no I love it and I’m like It’s a classic for a reason right? and she said yes, absolutely.

So um, the other thing that happened yesterday was I got a message from agent Sarah on a quick turnarounding seriously quick. Um, quick like she needs this from me next week and I don’t normally I try not to check my email but everyone’s well I check it on my phone because I only get one kind of email on my phone. It’s one email address and it’s um. Only some people have it and it’s it’s for important stuff like that. So I saw the email from Sarah saying quick turnaround so I went ahead and read it. Um, and it’s kind of a cool opportunity. Course I cannot tell you about it? Um, but it’s um, yeah, it’s a work for hire thing and I needed to pull a pitch together for her and it involved going through like a lot of old material. So that was really interesting. It had been a long time since I have gone back through the dregs of um, it’s not the drugs. The archives doesn’t the archives sound happier the archives of when I was a baby writer I mean we’re talking. Mid late 90 s people people is also a good alternative to you guys? Um, so um so yeah it’s funny because. Back in the day. Um it the way that I organized my files on the computer and this is someone who you know I’ve been using computers most of my life I started learning how to program and dos when I was a sophomore. And high school I think so on ah those little boxy mac computers and we could program the pixels you know pixel by pixel to create graphics. Um, it was really um, it was terrific experience. I learned a lot about. Computer logic and how to assemble a program. Um, in some ways I really miss I mean I know I can still go to dos command but there were ways that we could manipulate the computer then that windows actively prevents us from doing now.

Um, so I am ah oh well, the way that these files were organized because my um I worked for my career type job right? Sorry I’m coughing so much. I did take an at homeme covid test and it came out negative I think this is just allergies I don’t have a um I don’t have a fever or anything like that. It’s just just a little croupy. So for a whole lot of my early writing career I also had my environmental consulting career and I would use the same computer for both um later I got my own computer. But especially because um, well we’re all aware of you know, like the ah the day job subsidy on your ah passion career right? Where you you know you send in reply to emails. During the workday and during slow times at the day job I would do writing stuff but I was very careful to keep those files separate and so I had um you know like ah. It’s funny because I created um a folder that was called like work file only I called it a work file so it would be at the top of the sort because back in the day you couldn’t do like reverse alphabetical sort so it was called a work file. And that was where I kept all of my personal files and then I had jeffie personal and within Jeffie personal was writing and within writing I had subfolders and it’s. Funny to see this now because of course now I have things organized by by like series. So my current file organization is you know, like generally by series. Um. And then I have subfolders for the various books and now I have for editions. Um, so like for covenant of thorns I have the 2022 editions because we’re going to be releasing them I think I’ll put the rogues pawn cover on today’s

Show notes I think I haven’t yet. Um I’ve been having fun making reels though I’m getting closer to to Tik to land. It’s fun to choose the music for Them. So. Then I thought of things differently and it’s interesting to me to see the shift in how I thought about my work So back then I had these folders that were like um. Have to think of what they are now they were drafts.

Published and ping pong were the 3 main folders published is obvious as soon as something got published I would move that subfolder into the published folder. Um drafts had a couple of subfolders that were um. In progress and finished so finished were the ones that I’d actually completed it whereas the inprogres were fragments or things that I felt like I needed significant work on and then ping pong. Which I’ve talked to a lot of mentees about and I’ve probably mentioned on here was I got this advice very early on with sending stuff out was to treat it like a game of ping-pong so you ah send out a query or a submission and when it came back and this was. Days of snail mail very much later and and then it merged there was this sort of transition where there was some via email and then it moved entirely to email but there were like still a few holdouts. There were still some places that would only take place things by snail mail they’re all gone now they dive out with the dinosaurs. Deservedly so um, but. The the way that ping pong worked was it. It took away that um, playing going by. It took away that onus of or the it’s not really an onus. It was. I don’t know that burden that terrifying burden of like having to send stuff out again. You know it’s like oh my god I got rejected instead. You treat it like they fired the ball back you got a volley it back and so I would have things ready to go. So. A lot of things in the ping pong folder are were never published. They were finished and never published so when I went back through all of this old stuff I I belatedly thought to look for ping pong because there was one night that I was thinking I know I have this somewhere and I remembered what it was called and it was ah an essay that was a series called grooming lessons that was actually a series of poems which one of the few poems um that I wrote professionally you’re like.

Since my angsty high school poems but it they won me a poetry fellowship from wyoming arts council which I always found kind of ironic. Um I never won the fellowship for my essays or my fiction. It was for these poems. And I only wrote these as poems because I’d been trying to write them as an essay for so long and I couldn’t get them to work and a friend of mine who was a poet um Paisley rectall who’s kind of famous now. Paisley and I were having coffee and she suggested trying to write them as a poem instead and it it worked. I mean yeah, it worked so but they were never published. So now I would like what I’m going to do is take them and break them apart and turn them into something fiction because it was one of the ideas that Sarah liked so it was funny. You know like I went back to these to that drafts folder and and I’ve got multiple iterations one of these days in my spare time I need to go back through I’ve got everything in Dropbox and I’ve got to go back through Dropbox because I have things. Repeated like I have that writing folder in like Jeffy personalel and I have it in other subfolders because I was so paranoid about losing stuff, especially when I finally left the day job and everything was going to be on my computer and I no longer had access to. You know, like the well I used to do like those tape backups remember those things before the cloud. Um so i. And sorry got all distracted thinking about the ah ah, it’s such a monumental effort I just and ah, who knows maybe I will never do it I just go ahead and pay my twenty bucks a month to Dropbox to keep multiple copies of all of my files forever. But they came in handy at this time. Um, yeah so I’d gone back and I’d found like the in-progress stuff and the fragments and I have multiple different places where I have like story ideas and so I put all of these down into a document for Sarah and she went through and. Picked out some stuff so it’s kind of kind of cool to resurrect some of these things. It was funny to read some of my early stuff from the mid 90 s um, there was one set of.

It was like these 3 pieces of of flash and I don’t remember if we called it flash then maybe we did but the idea they’re just like 350 words each 3 of them and I thought maybe this would work for this project that I could tweak and expand. Because I always liked it. I remember it having a very fond great fondness for this and it was called um 3 fairy tales showing a morbid fascination with feet I have my themes so it it was funny to see that I was thinking about this stuff even then it was the red shoes. The Twelve dancing princesses and Cinderella. And I remember them as being very witty and snarky and they are kind of snarky um, almost unpleasantly so and I was not nearly so witty as I thought my self ah not nearly so clever as I wanted to believe. And kind of read these and I’m like I thought that these were I’m like at last I can resurrect these things that I you know I was ahead of my time and said all these very interesting things about misogyny and fairy tales and how women are punished punished for their feet and um I don’t know. Maybe the kernel of the ideas there but these were not the jewels that I recall them being alas, so um, but there were some some jewels and it was very interesting to read these things from when I was. Trying out my voice when I was experimenting with different prose styles um trying to show different things. Um, yeah. Yeah, so I’m glad I have multiple versions of all these old files. Um I will be no harper lee where they dig out the manuscripts to publish after I am gone in a brazen attempt to cash in on my reputation. Perhaps someone will but you guys these things are not going to to rake in many um I just don’t see it so anyway. Um I got that back from Sarah and so this morning I need to punch them up a bit I can do it over the weekend but it’s gonna be kind of a. Busy, fun-filled weekend. So I may not have a lot of time. So I’m gonna do that this morning and um at least get them started so that I can go back and punch them up some and also work on shadow wizard. But then.

I’m out of here go doing airport runs and fetching friends so it was actually a good place for me to get this emergency thing from Sarah you know like if she had sent this to me two or three weeks ago when I was in the um panicked depths of trying to finish storm princess. There would have been no way. But right now I’m doing well on track for um, for shadow wizard. What am I doing I like made air quotes really what I want to do is knock on wood so I should do that knock on wood. But um, yeah, yeah. So all right I’m going to go get to work I hope you all have a wonderful Friday hope you have a wonderful weekend I hope you get to spend the time with dear friends. Um I have not seen Kelly and Alyx since August of 2019 in Dublin. As it were I don’t know not as it were ironically enough oddly enough when we were at world con in Dublin. So um, coming up on almost three years since I’ve seen them in the flash. So yeah, it’s really good to be able to. See friends and be with them again and I hope that you can have some of that and I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.