The Four Hundred and Fifty-fourth Post: The One Where The Cat in the Box is Reading My Novel…

I can haz review?

Apologies for the lateness, but I had finished the book as far as word count goes – wrote 60,000 words in about 22 days – but as far as the story goes, I need to finish one chapter and then I am completely done. It’s turning into quite the Schrödinger’s Novel – both done and undone. There are a couple of chapters that I might pad, but there is definitely one chapter I need to finish. I don’t know if I want to pad them or not. I might bring them it up to the writer’s group. So far, it looks like the whole novel is going to end up with a fist draft of 62-63,ooo words. After that I need to trim off 10% and then bring it to another group (if it’s still there). I am leaning towards getting trying tradpublishing this so I really want to get the word count down to something that is appealing.

On other news, I think I have a werewolf story to round out the four for the year. I was

going to do something along the lines of “My 300-lb Conjoined Twin” to throw in some body horror and a light poking fun of reality shows. However, this werewolf idea is too good to pass up. The title (taken from lyrics to a Soulfly song called “Tribe) is Your Tribe, My Tribe. I hope I’m breaking some sort of new ground…because I am bored with shifter romance. I want to bring some sense of madness back to werewolves. We’ll see what happens.

There’s not a whole lot going on here to be honest. I’m just trying to finish this book before the end of the month, and me being the procrastinating type will probably not get it done until 11:59:59.99 PM April 30th. Here’s to writing while one’s hair is on fire!

The Four Hundred and Fifty-third Post: The One Where I Looks Like I Might Finish Something For A Change…

I am so close to finishing the novel. I just need to pad the final chapter and write a couple that I skipped over (Candy Coated Freakout and Serve Me Now, respectively) while writing the first draft. After that – I am done with the first draft and I can begin the re-writes and the edits. Hopefully, I can keep this a still tight 60K words. Once all of that is done – I get to do the thing I like the least (even less than re-writes and editing) is trying to design the cover, but I am going to worry about that later.

It feels so good to be near the end of this. The next project is going to be The Show Must Go On. This one is going to be a total re-write from what I had initially started. This one is going to be a first-person, which is my weakest P.O.V. writing. I haven’t written that many, so I am looking forward to the challenge. While I am writing that, I am going to brainstorm for my third horror book called Breeder and it’s my first haunted house story. I have another idea that definitely needs to be fleshed out a little bit more called The Golden Ticket, and we’ll see what happens from there.

I’m hoping that some of my other books will get picked up from these four horror books. I just need to find the genre that I can profit from. I’m going to get back to The Marvelous and Malefic Doomsday Medicine Show since it has both a horror and fantasy vibe to it, but I want to spend 2023 getting a better platform put together.

And that’s all that this year is for me – trying on horror since that’s a genre I love nd have read plenty of. The other one is fantasy…even though I never read Lord of the Rings. Yes, yes – please feel free to clutch your pearls and swoon. I’m just not a fan of the writing. Worldbuilding? Holy crap – I wish I could get to that level of detail. Besides, I’ve seen the movie dozens of times and it’s a source of inspiration for me.

Mostly, I am ready for this book to be done. I’m ready to move on to the next project and start that over again. I have a better feel for the beats, and I’ve been watching enough ghost hunting shows that I think I can fake a good one. I just have to get this one finished. Three chapter, I should get that done by the end of the month. I hope I didn’t jinx myself.

Not helping…

The Four Hundred and Fifty-Second Post: The One Where I Feel Good About Things…

I’m feeling better about Camp Nanowrimo. I’ve settled into a routine, and I am over halfway through the novel. I’ve hit several ice cream scenes (with one I had to re-write because of a guilty conscience) and I am actually close to wrapping it up. Will I get it done by the end of the month? Looks like it, to be honest. If I keep up this pace, I’ll probably finish it before the end of the month. What’s helping? Coffee, early morning writing sessions and slow workdays where I can work on the book during down times. Heck, I did 1500 words today at work before coming home. Nice.

I am looking at my next project: a haunted house book called Breeder. I am going to try to hold myself to the same schedule. I can get this done in a month. Now, when I say I’m getting it done in a month, I am only referring to the rough draft. There is no way I am going to go from first draft to print in a month…well, not if I want to put out a good book. Right now, my writing group is getting the current project I’m aiming for an October release – this is the perfect Hallowe’en book.

As far as anything else goes – the only thing I’m looking forward to is GenCon. Not only is it a vacation for me, it’s going to be three days of gaming. No writing, no plotting, no nothing. I have a feeling I am going to need it once Serve Me Now and Breeder are finished. I think I have gotten a hold of my muse for once.


It’s back to being fun again. Tiring, sure – waking up a 4:00 AM is a thrill to no one, but I have the house nice and still to concentrate on writing, and it makes me feel like I’ve done something, which boosts my mood throughout the day. I do sleep in on the weekends with me waking up at 7:00. Good times, really.

Well, that’s all for now. Still up to my hips in one novel and thinking about the second one. Hope everything is good for you. Ta-ta.

The Four Hundred and Fifty-first Post: The One Where I File an E.P.O. against Calliope…

When someone says ‘muse’, I’m sure the image of gauzy dressed women standing in a perpetual gentle summer breeze whispering little phrases into the writer’s ear (maybe with a light nuzzle or a peck on the cheek) comes to mind. After all, muse is a special thing – a spirit of inspiration for the artistic sort.

This is my muse, and it is not all neck kisses and summer breezes.


As much as I was looking forward to pitting myself against the Camp Nanowrimo challenge, I am only a person. I did stumble a little and took a night and a morning off – I was tired from waking up at 4 A.M. and working until 10 P.M. Was I refreshed? Did I feel better? Am I attacking the assignment with a sense of renewed vigor?

Your word count’s a little low for today…

I felt tired, still. I feel a little tired still the next day. As much as I tried to relax for this little time, I couldn’t. The word count and the guilt hung over me like the keyboard of Damocles. Don’t get me wrong – I love writing, but it’s not the romantic, patient love of a parent for a child, or a spouse for one another. It’s the obsessive love of a fan for a star. It’s the love that burns like a dirty grease fire – water doesn’t put it out, it makes it worse.

Can I stop writing? No. My muse won’t let me. Like a Catholic nun, it wields guilt. The God of writing is the God of the Old Testament. It will not suffer false idols. Fire and brimstone await you if your word count is under 2,000 today. Writing is a grim, cheerless religion.

This is also by no means a healthy view of it. Is this what I have to do to become successful? I can’t not write. I’m always thinking about it. I’m always writing stories in my head. I’m always reading to steal notions. Ideas don’t stop in my head. Writing is as much a part of my being as my hands, or eyes or feet. Does anyone else feel like this? Maybe not about writing, but about anything?

Maybe I’m writing this as a roundabout way to ask for help, but I don’t know what kind of help I need? More coffee? Stronger drugs? Realistic expectations?

What am I going to get out of Camp Nano? Physically? Nothing.  A little blast of serotonin for completing a task, but there is no money (unless this gets published). Bragging rights, but to who? Readers of this blog and my writer friends – other people with their own muses and forces driving them. Will they think less of me if I fall? No. Will I think less of myself?

We all know the answer to that.

In the end, I know I have to step back and take an honest stock of this small event. I know I tend to obsess about things like this, so I just need to re-evaluate my priorities and take a good stiff drink.

I’m typing! I’m typing!