Tag Archives: deadlines

Dead Computers and Deadlines

My laptop is dead.

We had been through a lot, like the time I spilled half a cup of coffee across the keyboard after only having him for about a month. My uncle had to rebuild him practically from scratch because apparently French vanilla coffee creamer cannot be completely scrubbed off computer part. Well, after that trauma, he survived through the rest of college and two years of grad school, so I really can’t complain about his performance.

The downside is he died before I could download all of my files. As I watched my computer slow down, then freak out, I could feel myself internally screaming, MY FILES! MY SUPER IMPORTANT AUTHOR FILES!

Then, I remembered that I’m paranoid and a bit OCD, so I constantly send myself files as a way of backing them up. The bad news is I didn’t organize them in any form, so I need to comb through my email and flashdrive. The good news is I found most of them and have backed them up… again. The other semi-bad news is they’re a little old, so I need to go back and update them with fixed typos and new links. Overall, the outcome isn’t too bad for suddenly losing my computer and everything in it.

In the meantime, I’m using my mom’s laptop until my new one arrives, and I WILL be meeting the deadline for The Earl and the Artificer, which is coming out January 30th. Take that, entropy!


 

If you’re interested in picking up a copy of The Earl and the Artificer, you can find it here for 99 cents for a limited time.

eata final cover

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Happy Accidents

I did a thing. It was a semi dumb thing and I’m not sure why I did it.

As you may or may not know, my third book, The Earl and the Artificer, is also my MFA thesis project, so I have an advisor who is supposed to look at it and give me feedback along with a class who does the same. Thus far, my thesis advisor has been very lenient with me. Some demand at least a chapter a week or put their students on a strict schedule, but he’s pretty much let me do what I want since he knows I’ll get it done.

Well, I knew he would need to see something before the end of the semester, something substantial, in order to give me a grade. Originally, I told him I would hand in the finished piece (unedited) by mid-October. At the time, it sounded like a good idea. I’d have all the time in the world. I’m only taking two classes, so how much work could I have? A lot, that’s how much.

This is when I did something dumb. Part of my job in the English department is to create a newsletter, so I spend a bit of time emailing professors, harassing them until they tell me what they’ve published this semester or what events they’re holding. While emailing my advisor to ask him about his writing, I wrote, “I’ll be leaving an edited draft of the first act, which is about 80 pages in your mailbox next week.” I sent the email off without thinking much of it until about an hour later. NEXT WEEK?! Was I temporarily insane? At that point, I had only edited three out of the eleven chapters in act one. In less than five days, I would need to edit eight chapters to get them to where I was willing to show my advisor without cringing.

I immediately texted my best friend telling her of the stupid thing I had done. “But you work well under pressure!” she replied. I do, but why did I do this to myself? Why give myself added stress for no reason? If I had told him I would hand it in two weeks from then, he wouldn’t have cared and I wouldn’t have been freaking out. Then again, my best friend is coming from England in two weeks, and I would be worrying about my stupid project instead of getting ready for her arrival.

It’s strange, but it’s as if my subconscious gave me a boot in the ass. I’ve had ample time to edit my story, but I’ve been procrastinating and doing everything but writing and editing recently. Would I have had anything to hand in by the end of the month if I hadn’t accidentally cracked the whip on myself? Probably not.

Over the course of three days, I powered through chapters one to eleven, going over what I edited already and combing through the ones I hadn’t touched yet. Last night at midnight I finally finished. While I was too tired to add any new content to the story, I officially finished my edits of act one and will hand them into my advisor on Monday.

I’m somewhat proud of myself for actually getting this all done before the weekend and that on Monday I’ll be able to present my advisor with the first third of my work. After dilly-dallying for so long, it seems strange that I’ll actually be handing in part of my thesis. Luckily my mistake created this progress. Sometimes all you need is to give yourself a kick in the ass to get going.

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The Winter Garden Proof Came!

Please forgive the narrow camera angle. I forgot that I should have turned my iphone sideways.  Lesson learned.

Anyway, my proof copy of The Winter Garden came Saturday! It looks fantastic, and all that’s left is for me to proof-read it.  It feels fantastic to be nearly done, especially now that I seem to be getting more work at my other job and in my classes.  I will be posting more later in the week about The Winter Garden and about some of the characters within it.

If you’re interested in a copy, you can pre-order it from Amazon UK or Amazon US (check out the “Buy Links” page) for 99 cents.  The ebook and paperback will be out March 31st.

wg proof 1wg proof 2wg proof 5wg proof 4

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January 2015 in Review

I’m starting to think it may be a good idea to look back at each month and see what I have accomplished in my writing and marketing as well as reflect upon what needs to be improved in the future.

The biggest thing that happened this month was that I finished The Winter Garden (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #2).  I’m still shocked that I can now say I have two novels under my belt.  It’s pretty amazing, considering a few years ago I couldn’t finish anything and had plots that meandered for a hundred pages.  So far, I have finished The Winter Garden and gotten through a major round of editing.  Continue reading

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Migraines and Deadlines

As the saying goes, “Even the best laid plans go awry.”

Earlier in the week, I decided to set up the Kindle pre-order of The Winter Garden (IMD #2), and of course, I made a schedule for what I need to accomplish each day for the next two weeks.  Each day, I planned to edit about 5 chapters while finishing up the ending.  Luckily, I built in quite a bit of padding and I figure I will be able to get it done by March 31st (technically the 21st because that is when Amazon needs the final file), but I am sick. Continue reading

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