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So many things!

I finished a book yesterday. Well, revisions on a book. But I cut more than 10,000 words out of the old book and wrote 12,000 more, so it's BASICALLY a new book.

I also have a (different) book coming out on Wednesday, Shifting Sands book 8. (What?! Eight already?! How crazy is that. And I'm already a quarter of the way through book 9...)

I am also on the final stretch of an art project I've been working on for THREE years. SOON! Soon it will be out of non-disclosure! I am SO excited! I may cry when I have a copy in my hands.

There's a Muse Fusion this week: https://www.tornworld.net/musefusion.php

Come leave Torn World prompts, questions, and inspiration. I'm looking forward to doing some little things for it, since I finished my book and I because I know that launch week generally leaves me too scattered to focus on bigger things.

For now, Monsters, Inc. with the daughter, and hot tamales while I lie on the couch avoiding doing taxes.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1634757.html

Book review: How to Be a Normal Person

I picked up this book as a matter of research while I was writing Tropical Leopard's Longing, because a major secondary was asexual, and I was curious to see how other people handled that topic.

Reader, I loved this book.

I did not expect to, and it's more than I usually pay for an ebook. (I am cheap.) But the sample hooked me, and once I started, I absolutely adored the characters, from the damaged gay POV character, to the Vespa-biker possibly-lesbian senior gang. I teared up in a few places, and I laughed out loud in more. It made my three-hour fog delay in Mexico City entirely bearable. (And that is saying something, with an exhausted six-year-old cry-sleeping in my lap, and my husband passed out on our luggage following a dreadful red-eye flight.)

If you're looking for something different, utterly human, wonderfully frank, pick up a copy. There are plenty of swears, casual pot use, and lots of honest discussion of sex, but nothing on-screen.

https://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Normal-Person-Klune-ebook/dp/B015VOHR0K/

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1634283.html

Looking back at 2018 and forward to 2019

Last year was a roller-coaster. Definitely a roller-coaster.

It was the year I finally realized I could call myself a writer. I published six books, and I wrote five books, plus four short stories. And some of them made me money, astonishingly.

I printed a new solo coloring book. It also made me a little money.

I lost my beloved cat, Velcro. That did not make me money.

We had septic problems that make me appreciate my flush toilet greatly. That cost a lot of money.

I actually did a fair amount of artwork, too! I finished 9 sexy shifter coloring pages, plus Gizelle, two full color pieces: The Gathering and Seven of Cups for 78 Tarot Mythical. I did 30 unicorns for #junicorn. I painted a whole lot of ornaments for #inktober. (Plus an illustration that I still need to scan and submit to an anthology and two complete pages and two sketches for an NDA project.)

So what are my goals for 2019?

I have NDA artwork to finish, and I am hopeful that the project will be completed and released in March. I want to do some artwork in color. I want to do #junicorn again, and #inktober, and #NaNoWriMo. I want to write 5 books. I want to publish 5 books and a collection of short stories. I want to put Shifting Sands out in hardcopy. I have amorphous ideas about a unicorn oracle deck collected from my #junicorns.

I want to blog more.

I want to be healthier and more fit.

I want to be brave and honest and kind and creative.

Look out, world.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1634022.html

Health, writing, etc.

Oh, man, I feel run over by a truck.

(And as an aside, no, I was not at all affected by the earthquake here in Alaska - I live 300 miles north and was driving at the time, so I noticed nothing. Nothing in the house seems to have fallen over.)

Husband gave me his illness last weekend, and I battled it back pretty well until last night, when it bloomed into conjunctivitis. Horrah. I saw the doctor today, and was warned that it could be a virus, given the timeline, but if I'm not feeling better in a day or two, I have a prescription of antibiotics already filled. I'm on eyedrops and have laundered everything in the house. I'm still pretty miserable.

It's the last day of NaNoWriMo, and sadly, I have failed. It's still a good writing month - I have a good solid start of a book, at 35k, and I really like the way it's coming together.

In nail-biting news, I have a Bookbub featured promotion tomorrow, and I have no idea what this will mean, but every time they send me a reminder email, my brain-lizard insists they've just figured out that they made a mistake selecting me and are canceling the promotion. Stop it, brain. Just STOP.

The promotion is for the first box set of Shifting Sands, which is free today through Tuesday: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079NRNTH2

(Grab it! Enjoy it! Review it!)

Must go fetch daughter from school and try not to sneeze on anyone.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1633584.html

Chopping Block 2018: The quick version

Way back in 2010, I sat down and analyzed all the many parts of my business "empire," deciding which were financially viable or otherwise rewarding, prioritizing my time, and taking a good hard look at what still brought me joy, and what had run its course.

I am doing this again now for many of the same reasons I did it in 2010: I am spread too thin. I am suffering a mental exhaustion wrapped up with the business that has resulted in an art block the likes of which I have never faced before - I have skipped three Sketch Fests in a row! And I find it important to be practical about financial and emotion drain, and to reevaluate frequently.

These are hard to do, because... well, it's been twenty-five years. Twenty-five years of incredibly hard work, big disappointment, rewards, and dreams. I've spent a long, long time working my ass off, thinking that the next thing would be my big break, that now, at last, I'd be solvent, that the hard work would pay off, that I'd finally have something that matched my vision. There's a lot of emotion and feelings of worth tied up in a business like this.

My lizard-brain wants to insist that it was all a waste of time, that I've failed spectacularly when you compare the effort to the monetary reward. Engineering was far, far easier... shouldn't I have given these dreams up sooner? Why did I bother?

For the most part, I recognize that lizard-brain for the liar that it is. I have plenty to be proud of, and every failure I've earned has been a stepping stone to something better. I am utterly unstoppable.

But I'm also sensible enough to realize when it's time to shed some of the dead weight that I've been dragging along with me sentimentally. So, today, we evaluate!

I'm doing a more limited chopping block look than I did last time. If you'd like to see the full one from last time, boggle at this: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1109188.html

But this still got lengthy, so have a cut!Collapse )

And there we have it, chopping block done. And I've got a book to go write, because this doesn't count towards my NaNoWriMo count (1886 words, darnit!)!

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1633328.html

Brief Catch-up, New Book, NaNoWriMo...

Goodness, when did I last post? I won #inktober, but only by virtue of counting the ornaments I painted. (They were paint pens. Close enough.)

I put out a new book, Tropical Christmas Stag: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KDTW6P2

It is probably my favorite book that I've ever written, and arguably my best. It's not doing nearly as brilliantly as Tiger Next Door, but the reviews make me mist up happily, and I utterly loved writing it.

I have the sequel to Tiger Next Door drafted, but it still needs a pretty heavy round of revisions before I pass it on to first readers, and for NaNoWriMo, I'm working on the next Shifting Sands book, Breck's tale. I'm at 28,000, which is not up to speed to win NaNo, but I had to stop and work out several plot kinks (huh huh, kinks...) and I'm really liking how it comes together. It's a pretty bold premise for the romance genre, with a bisexual hero and a major asexual side character. (Plus magic and destiny and doomed duels, oh my!)

And in really exciting news, I got a Bookbub feature for the first box set of Shifting Sands scheduled for Dec 1 and I am trying not to think about it too hard. (Shut up, lizard-brain. I do so deserve this.)

I am taking a few moments off from building my wordcount to do a 2018 Chopping Block. It's long overdue, and has been weighing pretty heavily on me mentally. Look for that... soon, because I think it's going to feel like a pile of bricks off my brain.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1633239.html

Old favorites

I'm re-watching Stargate SG-1... only 3 episodes so far squeezed into the bits of time I can spare, and wow. So much nostalgia, and these first episodes are SO rough. I had forgotten how much Carter still felt she had to prove.

And yes, all planets look like Vancouver.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1632485.html

Crawling back to health

This flu kicked my butt.

But I kick back, and my ears are mostly equalizing again, the coughs aren't enough to keep me up, and my energy is gradually returning.

The Girl Nest Tiger Next Door is only $0.99 for a few more days - the price will be going up this weekend, so grab it now!

I'm also pleased to announce that Two Mates for the Dragon includes my short story THE NEIGHBORS MIGHT TALK, written as Elva Birch. This is a charity anthology, with benefits going to OutRight Action International. It is MMF, aka a threesome, and it contains explicit content, just so there are no surprises.

I've gotten VERY little writing done this month so far, but I still have ambitions to finish Dandelion Spring before October. Cross fingers for me. It's at 14k now, and I anticipate adding about 20k.

Still not much to report for art, but I've done a little sketching, and have some ideas. This is better than where I was a month ago!

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1632056.html

Looking over August's list...

I was fairly lax with my August goals, because I've been face-down in burnout and barely smart enough to recognize that I needed a little time off. I also traveled for a week to see my folks (GREAT visit), and school started for Guppy.

And I did okay with those goals! Girl Nest Door only didn't come out this month because of technical difficulties out of my control, and anyway, it's scheduled for this weekend so I'm counting it as a checkmark for August.

X Release Girl Nest Door - queued for Sept 2 release
X Release Shifting Sands Box Set 2
X 1 Torn World short story
X 1 shifter coloring page (finished and scanned, but not yet released)
o Finish NDA art stuff (caribou and 2 translation pages) - caribou is about 3/4 done
o 15000 words on Dandelion Spring - 12k
o 1 print volume of something
X Get Scarlet and the Christmas Kittens in for revisions
X Get #junicorn out

I'm wibbling about the print volume. I'm thinking maybe Rails, but it would be pretty much for vanity only - I wouldn't expect to make a lot on them. Maybe that's a good enough reason? I don't think I'll do anything fancy or include illustrations.

Goals for September to follow. It will include finishing Dandelion Spring. And the NDA art stuff. And some legwork for the 25th anniversary of EMG in October. Look for more on that topic soon!

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1631629.html
https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1069289.html

The 25th anniversary of the accident was last week.

I will still never run. But good luck stopping me.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1631390.html

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