Reading before Revising

It occurred to me yesterday, before pain caused all thought to leave my brain, that I haven’t read Dragon since I wrote it last year.

I’m thinking that Dragon is going to be the first of last year’s novels to get a major revision.  In my world, this means reading it slowly, analyzing each page and mutilating it with the hope of making it better.  As I discovered with Butterflies, this is not an easy task when I get hooked into the book and just want to know what happens next.  It might work out better if I just read it through first, then go on the sentence-mauling spree I have planned.

Dragon just got priority of place in my reading list.  I’m sliding it in after the last H.P. book (which I’m reading now) and before I start another series.  🙂


Writing To Do List

It’s probably only mildly interesting to you, but I thought I’d share my giant writing to do list with you.  Perhaps this way you can help me keep on track.  Maybe it will make you feel better about your own list, if it’s shorter or less daunting than mine…

This is for the entire year of 2012, so you know I’ll be adding to it as we go.

Dragon Pendant – first major revision
Life in Dreams – preliminary revision
Life in Dreams – first major revision
Butterflies-related short story collection – revision and prep for e-publication
Chasing Dreams – write first draft
The Queen’s Butterflies – overhaul??
The Queen’s Butterflies – query publishers (if not overhauling…)
NaNoWriMo – let’s do that again!

The list isn’t very long, really, but most of these are LARGE projects.  The most daunting are perhaps writing Chasing and the possible overhaul of Butterflies.  What do you have on your plate for 2012?

The Website, Not the River

Exciting news!  The Queen’s Butterflies is available for sale on!

It took a little effort, but it wasn’t difficult.  It will be interesting to see if my numbers improve now that the book is for sale on both major e-book retailers.

Anybody have any amazing marketing tips?  🙂

A Quick Butterflies Update

I wanted to give everybody an update on the status of The Queen’s Butterflies.  On Monday it was approved for Smashword’s premium status, which means that it is now in the queue to be distributed to other retailers.  Today it was sent to Barnes & Noble; it should show up on their site for sale in about 2 weeks.  The other retailers are still pending.

As of today, I’ve sold 9 copies.  🙂

I’ve decided to let it ride for about a month, to see how sales go once it’s up on other sites.  At that point I’ll start querying again, although I haven’t decided if I’m going to go for agents or publishers this time.

If there’s still no interest generated by queries by the end of the year, whatever I’ve made on e-book sales I will re-invest into self-publishing for real.

Today I realized that I can say “I’ve been paid for my writing” which is an awesome feeling.  🙂

Hitting the Publish Button

Pressing the “publish” button on a blog post used to make me nervous.  I’d double-check the preview, then check it again.  Does this read well?  Did I tag it and put it in a category?  Should I spell-check just one more time?

Now that I’ve written more than 300 posts, I get a little less nervous about that button.

Today I discovered a new “publish” button to generate anxiety:  I submitted The Queen’s Butterflies to Smashwords.

The biggest thing that gave me pause was my formatting.  If I hadn’t done it right, I would have gotten error messages and had to make changes before it could be put into the “premium catalog” and submitted to other retailers for sale.

Apparently I did an acceptable job, at least by the computer’s standards.  The book is still awaiting manual approval, but so far, no error messages!

So, if you’ve been impatiently waiting the release of my first novel as an e-book, you can get it for $3.99 at  If you’d rather purchase it through your favorite e-book retailer, you’ll have to give me a little patience.  I’ll let you know when it’s been cleared!

Putting Insomnia to Good Use

Last night I couldn’t sleep at all. I watched a movie, which usually helps me fall asleep.  I read, but that just got my mind going more (which is somewhat unusual).  I even tried the trick I learned from a sleep expert: count backwards from 300 by threes.  No luck.

Around 2:30 I finally gave up and decided to put my sleeplessness to good use.  For the next three hours I read the Smashwords guide to formatting and put it to use on Butterflies.

That’s right, my formatting is done.  🙂

I just need to write my “about the author” bio for both the Smashwords website and the end of the book, and get a few links added.  Once I have that and my cover art, I can submit the whole thing to Smashwords for e-publishing.

While it feels good to have accomplished all of that, I am now hoping I can recover that sleep.

You’re an Author? Cool!

When people find out that I am an unpublished author, they are usually intrigued.  (I’ve switched from “aspiring” to “unpublished” because I’ve been told that aspiring authors have ideas but haven’t really written anything.  I’ve completed one novel and started another, so I can legitimately be an author – I’m just not published yet.)  Most people know someone with great ideas for stories, or even someone who has developed characters and a plot but not actually written the book.  (Dad, I’m looking at you.)  The idea that I’ve completed an entire novel and started another, unrelated one usually brings on questions.  These tend to fall into three types.

What’s your book about?

This is a dangerous one.  The quick answer of “it’s a fantasy novel” is enough for some, but if you get me started, be prepared.  I am very passionate about my stories and my characters, and you may have to tell me to shut up when you’ve heard enough.

How do you write your novel?

I get a lot of technique questions, because for a lot of my friends the concept of composing a document that is 200 pages (single spaced) is quite intimidating.  These are sometimes specific (“Do you use an outline?  Do you already know how it ends?”) and sometimes they are general (“Where do you get your ideas?”).  Often I’ll answer the questions and end with “This is what I blog about.  You should check it out!”

What are you doing to try to get published?

These are the questions I have fewer answers for.  If it’s about my personal process, or why I chose the route I did, I can answer those.  Specifics about the publishing industry are challenging, seeing as I only know about it from my side (as an unpublished author trying to break in).  If this is merely a case of curiosity, an “I don’t really know” will suffice.  For those who are truly interested in the process, they’ll have to get a better source than me.

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