Monday, December 1, 2014

One more hiatus for the year...

Yeah... This one isn't one I have a choice about, though.

Remember when I said I'd move house in November? Well... that move is coming up tomorrow. And I'll be stuck without a reliable internet source for a while.

I say a while, because it's unclear as to how long it will take for me to get internet again.

No matter. This girl is planning on getting a TON of writing done this month.

Being me (and knowing that I'll have more time on my hands than I've had in almost six months), I've set myself the slightly insane goal for December of rewriting two novels (y'know, to get them on the computer) and rough drafting over 60k words. (Daily goal: 2k per day.)

The idea behind the 60k goal?

Well... I estimate that's what it's going to take to finish the five rough drafts I have left before year end. And then in January, I'll have a glorious time editing.

Also, if I can only finish two or three projects now, it can have a huge impact on what my next writing year will be like.

So wish me luck!

I hope to see you all again before Christmas.

X

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Update Day

Hey all. I was going to do the update yesterday (as we're supposed to), but I only got home at around midnight, so the update would have been today whether I liked it or not.

For those of you who don't know, this post is a part of a monthly bloghop (hosted by me and Beth Fred) where writers get to post their weird, huge, or hugely important writing goals and talk about them. It's really a nice way to see if you're making any progress toward that goal. If you'd like more info on how to join, click here.



I'd hoped to get to about 30k this month (even though I was taking part in NaNoWriMo), because that would have been equivalent to 1000 words every day.

But, I haven't made 20k yet. I'm almost at 19k.

It's not all depressing, though. I finally finished the rough draft to the western that I had to redraft. And I think the story will be awesome. Then I also found the beginnings of a space opera that I will be adding to my five year plan list for next year.

Also, after many many times of promising that my schedule has opened up, I do believe it truly has.

Which means I'm going to do some catch-up.


If you look at the green bits in the December Column, those are all the rough drafts I have in progress. Those are the ones I technically want to finish by the end of this year. I suspect, though, that this won't be possible. Ideally, I'd like to finish two of these projects. 

My projects are listed here according to priority. My mystery project is the highest priority draft I have unfinished at the moment. After that, it's SS1, which I'll give a catchier working title, I promise!

I'll be pretty happy if I can finish those in December. I'd be ecstatic if I could do so while finishing a rewrite to either VD or ES1 (which is the above-mentioned western). But I'll see. In theory, I'll also be editing the three yellow projects, but as I mentioned, I won't be able to publish this year. So now it's more me sitting around waiting for various people to send me things. Which is good. Gives me time to clear my to-draft list a bit. 

As always, I'll let you know how I'm doing. 

How are you? Did NaNo? Did you win? 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Three things I liked about Brandon Sanderson's Pep-talk

It's so funny really. Pretty much ever since the incident of the light, things have been happening. Big things, small things. Nice things... shit things. The strange thing about this, though, is that it's as if there's one theme to all of it.

PROGRESS.

Yes, after spending most of this year with wheels spinning, things are happening. And whether they're good or (almost bone-crushingly) bad, it feels like all of it is heading somewhere. Almost like all my blessings have been dammed up somewhere, and now they're flowing over.

Yes. Even though there have been some really bad moments. Especially last week. And no. This isn't me putting a bright picture on things. Not after I came to this realization.

This isn't to say that everything that's happened this year has been undone. But that pin-prick of light I'd been glimpsing down the tunnel all this past year does seem to be growing. Which is telling me that set-backs aside, I'm moving forward more than anything else.

Then I read this NaNo Pep-talk today (see, I'm still in the writing related zone), and thought that it might encourage you all as well. Go ahead and read. I'll wait.

Back? Good.

So the things I adore about this pep-talk:

1) To know that Brandon Sanderson used to struggle to sell books. It just makes me feel like publishing really is just a matter of luck and not giving up.
2) Knowing that, no matter how long we've struggled to get ahead, everything can change for the better with zero prior notice. (Which was nice, because I actually experienced a version of this at work today.)
3) Just generally thinking that although I'm still to (re-)publish anything this year, I might be working on the one that garners me a million readers. Nice thought, isn't it?

And that's really the beautiful thing about life. Yes, things can be difficult, but lucky breaks often seem to come from nowhere. We only have to keep going so that we can be there when they happen.

Anyone else catch a lucky break lately?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

This self publishing thing isn't as simple as one would think...

I realized this weekend that I’ve now passed the point where I’ll be able to publish this year. There’s simply no way for me to edit, format, get the cover and register for copyright before the end of the year. Or maybe it’s possible and I don’t know it yet. But for now, I don’t think I can be practical and say that I’m still going to get everything together.

Sure, I can still rush and get it done. But where’s the point in that? I know that in order to stand even a tiny chance of success at my big goal, I have to deliver high quality goods. Given that this will be my first attempt at self-publishing, I simply don’t think I’m capable of pulling everything together in less than six weeks.

Which means that once again, I’m having to postpone. But you know what? I’m okay with that. The way I see it, I’ve tried my best to get everything done with the time and resources I have. Beyond that, though, things happen as and when they’re supposed to happen.

No amount of planning, worrying, working or stressing will change this.

I’m not giving up, though. I’m still editing. I’m still writing and I’m definitely still putting together the grand plan of how I’ll be writing and publishing somewhere between 12 and 25 books in the next five years.

I still think it’s doable. And missing this first year in order to get everything in place isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Because really I’m close. I’ve basically got to wait on editor’s feedback on Birds vs Bastards. Once I apply the necessary edits to that, there’s only formatting left. The Vanished Knight is basically ready for formatting, but I’m waiting on the cover. (Which I could have had, but I got thwarted by the shoe biz yet again. So I have to wait for my cover designers to return from vacation.) The Heir’s Choice is the furthest from finished, but it’s still not impossibly far from done. I’ve got a few more CPs needing to finish the last few chapters. Then it’s the editor’s final pass and then formatting. Which, given that I can do edits to a book of THC’s length in a week or less, really isn’t an impossibly long time. And I can start registering all three for copyright as soon as those last edits are done.

No point to panic or anything though. However, this has told me the value of planning ahead a little more than I have this year. Which I will definitely do for 2015.

How’re your writing/editing/publishing endeavors going?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Oh look! Another finished draft.

Although I'm still way behind on NaNoWriMo, it has had an interesting effect. Although I haven't touched one of my books since July, I finished it today, because when I read it to continue writing, I actually realized that I could actually start rewriting it now. (In fact, I already have the plan for it as well.)

Which is great for me. I've finished two rough drafts out of seven. Would be great if I could maybe finish one or two more before the end of the month. We'll see, though. 

Anyone else doing NaNo? How's it going? 

Before I go, just want to give a shout-out to Cathrina Constantine.

**Happy Release Day** **GIVEAWAY**
Wickedly They Dream
Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Fantasy
Publisher: Black Opal Books Grab it today for only 99 cents!  HERE How Far Will Jordan go to rescue her mother. It will cost her everything--even her angel, Markus!
Buy Links: Amazon
Author Cathrina Constantine resides in Western New York. When not with her family, you'll find her in the forest behind her house walking the dogs and conjuring a new tale.
You can find Cathy Here:

Friday, November 7, 2014

In which a light becomes a message and miracle.

So... in case you missed it, this really strange thing happened on Wednesday morning.

And... well... I thought about rather not posting this, because I know it's controversial, but I'm going to anyway. Why? Because it's the truth and I realized how damaging it can be to a blog when the author lies, even when it's by omission. This post will contain religious overtones and more than just a little testimony. So if you're not interested, you might find reading one of my Wattpad stories more interesting.

Okay. Taking a deep breath here. While crying like a baby.

What I didn't tell you on Wednesday:








You know how Job felt when everything got taken away from him? Well. I can safely say I think my family and I got a great taste of it. Except for the bit where his entire family died. And where he lost everything basically in a day or two.

I'm not going to go into the costs for everyone in my family, but to give you an idea of my score card for 2014:

1) Publishing deal went SPECTACULARLY wrong by January.

2) My and my mother's business, which had taken a hit at the end of the year, didn't bounce back thanks in a large part to some laws our government wanted to pass.

3) The farm we'd moved to, which had been such a huge source of hope, despite the business taking a hit, soaked up our savings and offered pretty much nothing back. I am not going to talk about what had to be sacrificed as a result of this, because it's not pretty.

4) All of my hopes and dreams have basically been shelved until such a time that we could bounce back from all the spending on the farm. A farm, incidentally, that we were led to by God. 

5) Sacrifices and dream shelving aside, the person with whom we'd signed the buyer's contract basically sold it out from under us in September. Yes, we could have fought this, but after already spending so much and still getting nothing back, we just couldn't see a point to fighting for the farm. Besides which, we kinda realized that if God could open doors no one could close, and close doors that no one could open, it's pretty dang obvious from the way these doors were closing that God did not in fact want us to stay on this farm.

6) We'd spend to the tune of $200 000 on the farm, which we ain't getting back. To give you an idea of the magnitude of this amount. Until my salary went into said farm, my monthly salary, which put me in the upper-middle income class, was about $1500 per month.

7) Then... the shoe biz, the source of hope we all so desperately needed, went pear shaped due to actions taken by others. Actions completely beyond our control.

You know about breaking points? 

On Tuesday, 4 November, I'd officially reached mine.

The result was that I... well... I lost it completely. I had some seriously strong words with God. Testimony one: That He didn't strike me down for at least a quarter of what I'd said, is more than proof enough that yes, He does love us as much as He says.

Anyway. So I get into the car and me, my mother and four of our employees go to Cape Town to unpack and count 5000 pairs of shoes.

God has sort of fallen silent as I left the room. (Yep, ours is very much a two-way conversation. No, that's not at all an insane thing to say.) Then suddenly out of the blue, He says:

"Friday."
Me: "What happens on Friday?"

Silence. With me sort of growing carefully optimistic that maybe something'll get sorted for us before the weekend came. But even so, I had some niggling suspicions. Why now? After a whole freaking sucking year. Why now?

After dinner, we spoke and I sorta carefully ventured what I'd heard, then found that both my brother and uncle had gotten the same message. And my grandmother, that something would turnaround soon, but without a specific deadline.

Despite this, by Tuesday evening, I was doubting again. Not proud to say it. But there you go.

I didn't doubt that something would happen on Friday. I just didn't really think that any of it would really have a bearing on actually helping us get out of all this... well... crap.

So... yeah...

Night terrors. Waking often. Sorta, half lucid, half delirious praying... Yeah. I sometimes do that, if I drift off while praying.

Problem with this is that with sleep comes lowered inhibitions.

As such, I suspect (no way that I'll ever really know) that I said something like: "It's like You're not here anymore."

Because honestly, it's something that's been in my thoughts for some time, but that I haven't actually been brave enough to actually put into words.

Nope. That isn't when God turned His back on me forever.

That had to be the moment when He quite audibly said: "I'm here."

And just in case I didn't buy it this time: 


HE
TURNED
ON
THE
LIGHTS


Which, needless to say, more than got my attention. But of course, I didn't think it was Him, because why would He? 

Except, the more you guys commented and I thought and prayed about it, the more certain I became. And you know what? There's a reason why He'd do something as outrageous as defy the laws of physics and make lights burn without being "switched on." He loves me. And He didn't want me to worry for a second more that we were alone in all this. 

So what made me post this today? Well... It's Friday, see. And I realized that I have an amazing Holy Father, who I don't always understand, but whose love for me and everyone else defies understanding. 

Because starting at around noon today, EVERYTHING turned around and although we aren't getting the farm, we've been given a chance to move on. Which, given that I can only assume it's what God wants, is probably going to be only a million times or so better than anything I can come up with. 

So today, this seventh day of November, 2014, I proclaim in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, that this year has officially been turned around thanks to His profound love and mercy. 



You might wonder why I'm sharing all this? The answer is simple: I know that 2014 is a rough year for MANY of us, and it's my hope that this post will bring you to a place of peace, comfort and blessings as well. And a place of knowing that, no matter what, God does love us, and He always will. Even when we say stupid stuff in our sleep. 

Thanks to those of you who read this! 

I'm feeling the need to pray for some of you, so if you have any needs that you think needs some prayers, please feel free to let me know in the comments. Or mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(dot)com

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IWSG: What. The. Hell.....?!

Aaaah yes... It's that time again. The Insecure Writers' Support Group gets together every first Wednesday of the month to share our writerly insecurities or support for insecure writers.

Any writer is welcome to join, so if you want more info, click here.



Honestly, I'm currently too tired right now to be insecure in my writing. There's just too much going on in my life. Which means that although I still have goals and am taking part in NaNo, I'm just not going to worry about getting anything more done than what I'm capable of in the last two months of this year.

I'm currently FAR behind on NaNoWriMo, thanks to entering November with a flu/throat infection.

Yes, 2014 is still to stop being a d*ck at every turn.

It did, however, give me THE MOST astounding paranormal experience of my life. Which, coming from me, says a lot. And it was convenient enough to make the date easy to remember, since it happened today at 1 a.m.

Since I missed out on posting on Halloween, I'm going to share this here. Also, because I really want to find out if anyone has experienced something similar and if you have suggestions as to what it could be.

I was sleeping rather restlessly, since I suffer from night terrors. For those of you who don't know what night terrors are: It's basically a condition where you "get a nightmare" in the deepest stages of sleep. Which means that yes, I do see some seriously weird stuff all the time. Hyper real and hyper terrifying. A lot of people don't remember the exact nature of the night terrors. Nor do they remember having them.

I've sort of learned to recognize them as they occur, since they occur so often. Which means that I've been able to remember some aspects of the night terrors. At least so that if they repeat, I recognize them. ESPECIALLY the really creepy stuff.

Anyway. The point here is that I am VERY aware of the difference between dreams and reality, because it's usually the only thing keeping me from screaming like a girl and running through the house like a crazy person.

So at about midnight, two of my cats wanted to be let out, so I walked through my dark bedroom to the front door and opened it by feel. Do it all the time, so I'm not all that bothered with it. I got back into bed and continued with my restless sleep.

In this time, some sort of night terror. One of my recurring ones. And then suddenly, out of the blue, I hear a (actually very nice-sounding) male voice say: "I'm here."

At the same time, my room's lights turn on. As in on-on. Bright on. Enough to wake me up and say "What the hell?!"

So there I am, completely awake, sitting on my bed. There's no one there. And we live in a old house with wooden floors. If someone had walked into my room to turn the light on, I would have heard.

And then... Nothing. No shadows. No cold spots. No feelings of dread. The one cat who'd remained on the bed with me kept right on sleeping. So it was just me, wondering who the "I" from "I'm here." was supposed to be.

I got up and turned off the light, checked the time on my phone and got back in bed. And wondered... and wondered... and wondered...

Because see, I don't think this was a ghost. I know how ghosts feel.

There was nothing creepy except for the pure weirdness of it all.

And nothing as shocking as realizing that sometimes, the unexplained can really be obvious about letting us know they exist.

So... Thoughts? What do YOU think this was?

And in case you're wondering what all this has to do with IWSG: 

This writer is about to go sleep in the same room...


Saturday, November 1, 2014

An (Delayed) Update Day

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH I KNEW I FORGOT SOMETHING.

It's a terrible thing when the thing being forgotten is my own bloghop. I profusely apologize!

There's a good excuse though. Two, actually.

See, you remember I mentioned that we're importing 5000 pairs of shoes? Yesterday we had to start unpacking them. I did this while riddled with flu yet again. So we started at nine, got home at seven.

I ate.

I showered.

I crashed.

And it took me to almost noon today to realize I completely forgot I was supposed to post. It's a disguised blessing for you all, though. Because after I ate and showered, I wasn't all that... how shall I put it? Rational.

But here I am on just enough pain meds (hurts to swallow and... well... breathe. (Yes, I'm pretty sure it's just the flu.))  to actually function, so let me update you.



What I achieved in October:

1) I finished drafting the sequel to The Heir's Choice. 
2) I managed to pretty much do nothing writing-wise for the rest of the month.
3) Unless you count critiquing. I critiqued three books.

My writing break did bring the writing-lust back, though, which means I decided to join in for NaNoWriMo this year. I probably won't win, though, because I have a ton of stuff to get done.



1) Edit The Heir's Choice and Birds vs Bastards once the last of my critiques come in.
2) Sort out formatting. Screw it. Hire someone to do the formatting for me.
3) Write 50k words. Write a nice respectable amount of words and see if I can finish any more of my rough drafts.

Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year? My user name is iceangel if we haven't buddied up, yet.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hi All! Just a heads-up that I'm posting at Unicorn Bell this week, so if you have time, please do stop by to say hi!

Misha
XoXo