Locked Out (Zombie Bedtime Stories #2) Cover Art sneak peak!

It’s been a busy weekend. I caught some kind of weird flu, but feel mostly better now. Still no appetite, but I could do with some cutbacks in the indulgences. But, in addition to the tentative signs that my muse is returning (I managed 100 words of Deadlocked last night), my boyfriend and cover artist has not been lacking in inspiration. I really lucked out with a guy who used to design video games for a living and had to do his own textures and art.

 

Locked Out Cover

Zombie Bedtime Stories: Locked Out

 

The original concept was supposed to be a brain with a keyhole on it, but it didn’t fit the story as it evolved. However, fire, zombies and mystery liquid always apply.

As always, we would love to hear your feedback!

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Zombie Bedtime Stories #2 Draft Done

That felt so good to say. I’ve been working on it for over a month. It’s novella length, and it will probably get longer as it progresses through edits. There are plenty of “Easter Eggs” for those who read Locked In, but it’s not required reading to enjoy Locked Out. I want the series to be order-androgynous, so that you can come in at any point, in any order and enjoy the universe.

I’m working on publicizing Locked In, so I’m sending it to reviewers, places that announce ebooks and places that post interviews. It can’t hurt. I’m tabulating everything I send out in a spreadsheet, so I can track how fast sites are.

I have a month to get the cover art together, and to generate some kind of buzz. I might even bump up my release date, depending on how well edits go.

One last note. I wrote 2070 words today. An all-time personal best! If I can make that sustainable, then NaNoWriMo won’t know what hit it.

Setting Goals and Challenges

Having realistic goals is important. So is challenging yourself by pushing your limits. I decided that since I’ve never exceeded 900 words in a day, that I would do 1000 words per day this week. This is in addition to blogging and vlogging, and normal work obligations.

Here’s what I’ve learned about goals and challenges:

  • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. (Ripped from my high school agenda) This is so true. Not setting hard word counts for myself has done me no favors in terms of productivity. The same goes with any other measurable goal.
  • Set measurable goals. You can’t plan for abstracts, which winds you back to point #1.
  • Know your limits. Set some solid goals and figure out your own strengths and weaknesses. Then try again. It’s all perseverance and insight.
  • Aspirations are not goals. Go back to the drawing board and create a plan of attack, preferably in goal-oriented form.
  • Work hard, then work even harder. Everything is a function of the time and energy you put into it.
  • Learn some project management principles, and apply them to your goals. Even a simple task keeper/to-do list on your cellphone helps.

Some words of wisdom.

Now, go watch my vlog. I talk about writing, editing, my cats and cooking chili. You’ll love my chili.

900 words in an hour, and I vlog about books

It’s been a productive day. Words just spilled out, everywhere. Some were even coherent. It’s the coherent ones that are keepers.

Running out of steam on the story, I worked on a few other projects that I’ve been neglecting. Then I decided to record a new vlog about books. Specifically, some of my favorite books, the pride and joy of my collection. I might do a “walk of shame” for the books I have that most sane people would be ashamed to own.

Today’s vlog: The Interesting Books of MissTheaIsis

Watch it, and feel awe at my astronomy book from 1919. I’m going to go collapse from awesome overload now.

Inspiration = Walking?

Inspiration is a fickle thing. I can honestly say that I’ve never come across one starting point for an article of a story through simple brainstorming.

It strikes like lightning, then it’s time to go to the drawing board.

I had my idea for Locked In just walking (okay, pacing) around in my house. Locked Out was a similar situation, while writing Locked In. My novel ideas came to me on walks to the Metro station.

It seems walking is the only constant connection. Maybe my legs are connected to my brain. Or, more amusingly, maybe my muse has an issue with my pacing habit and wants me to stop.

Oddly, pacing seems to have no effect on writer’s block. But it sure feels good.

Another Interview, I need to do these more often

This summer I’m interning as a backbeat reporter for The Warehouse, and one of my assignments is to review the play 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived at its Saturday premiere. I managed to score an interview with the girl in charge on the one-woman show. I’m not sure when it will be published, but I am so stoked about the play. I love theater, and I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing a one-man show before.

I’m working on some real content for my blog, other than news flashes and rambling. I’m going to write a little in the upcoming days about how to transition from reviewing to writing fiction. There are many skills and techniques that cross over, and a few pitfalls to avoid. I also hope to get back to podcasting and back on a routine.

 

Nothing like a day off to beat writer’s block

I took yesterday off completely. I didn’t think about writing, or worry about it. I saw my friends, played some games and fussed with my garden a little bit.

I was back with a vengeance today. It seems like if you have writer’s block, to just forget about it for a day and it will come back. I managed to crank out 900+ words today, which is a pretty high daily count for me.

I’m starting to get a feel for the story and the characters. I was still stuck a bit when I first sat down today, so I started describing scenes and characters. Then, I started giving them more traits, more neuroses, more personality. Then I made them just a little more real. And then I made them talk, with extra conflict.

It’s looking good, and it’s going to be much longer than I originally planned.

In other news, day job is picking up again, and Twiter is still way too much fun. However, I wish it would stop recommending fake Portal/Half Life accounts. And everything NASA has ever done. I love you NASA, but you have too many Twitter accounts.