1. Silent Superheroes, Grimdark Comics, and Alternate Histories: My Most Anticipated Reads
2. Author-in-Training- 5 Tips for Soothing Self Publishing Stress
3. Packing for Camp NaNoWriMo
4. Roundtable: By The Cover — Speculative Chic
5. Author-in-Training: Revising with the Pomodoro Technique
6. Author-in-Training: The Days I Don’t Write
Welcome to summer! I’ve snarkily referred to this three month stretch as the one time of year that Maine doesn’t need to worry about snow, but that’s a little unfair to our seriously abridged (and seriously gorgeous) falls and springs. The weather here has been absolutely beautiful- hot, but not unbearably so-which makes me realize why so many people from other parts of the country flock up here this time of year. As a result of this beautiful weather, summer is also a very busy time, filled with family visits (just experienced one of those) and cookouts (we’ve been invited to two this weekend alone) galore.
Between work, writing, and increased social responsibilities, I’ve been getting really protective of my video game time. This probably sounds a bit odd, but being able to unwind at the end of the day with a game has proven to be really restorative to me, even if I can only squeeze in 20 minutes before I have to start writing a blog post or something. My current game of choice is Super Mario Odyssey, and holy shit is this a fun game. It makes me feel like a kid, picking up Mario 64 for the first time. From what I can see, it’s pretty easy just to zip through the storyline, but I’m choosing to take my time to explore each world a little more. I highly doubt that I’ll collect all 999 moons, but I’ve already surpassed the 124 minimum you need to finish the game.
June has also been a good month for music with my two favorite violinists, Lindsey Stirling and Taylor Davis releasing some very appealing music videos. Lindsey’s are both originals (“Stampede,” and “First Light“) while Taylor has released a duo of covers, “Go the Distance” from Hercules and “Fake Love” by BTS. All are worth watching (hence the links). In addition, one of my long time favs, Utada Hikaru, just put out a new album, Hatsukoi, and boy is it intriguing. Some songs, like “Play a Love Song,” “Anata” and “Forevermore” grab you right away, but much like Fantome, I can tell this album is going to be more of a grower than anything else. And given that I ended up loving Fantome, I don’t think that’s too bad.
Moving onto writing! June has been focused on two things: putting the finishing touches on Red and Black, and revising its sequel. Those finishing touches involved commissioning cover art, polishing my blurb, getting everything set up on sites like amazon and goodreads, and examining proofs. I am SO HAPPY at how the cover art turned out, and plan on doing a more in depth post about the process next week. But you won’t have to wait until then to see it. Red and Black will have its very own cover reveal over at Speculative Chic this afternoon at 1PM EST! (EDIT- Here it is!)
Thinking about transitiong from making a book to selling a book has gotten me a little stressed, so I’ve been pouring much of said stress into my edits for Red and Black 2. I’ve already put about a year’s worth of work into this book, so the first third of it required pretty minimal work (smoothing out dialogue, consistency of voice, punctuation, etc), and the second third only had a couple of speed bumps that tripped me up. In July, I’ll be tackling the final third, which, being the roughest portion of the novel, is going to take me longer to work my way through. To help keep me motivated, I’ve signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo, where I’ve set myself a goal of writing for 30 hours, or roughly an hour a day. It’s a modest goal, but given I’m also going to be putting a fair amount of work into the launch of Red and Black, I feel like that’s smart. Looking ahead is good. Forgetting about the task at hand is less so. This brings me to my…
I did well on my June goals, completing or surpassing every task save for one- creating a list of blogs that I might want to use for a blog tour around launch. So it looks like I’m going to focus on that in July. My goals are as follows:
- Writing– Camp NaNoWriMo- Spend at least 30 hours on Red and Black 2
- Publishing– Contact blogs about doing a short blog tour for Red and Black (currently taking suggestions!)
- Publishing– Contact potential ARC reviewers and distribute eARCs
- Blogging– Post at least nine entries
- Blogging– redesign website using Red and Black cover art
- Blogging– Pre-write some entries for Red and Black blog tour
Looks like July is going to be a busy month! Fortunately, I have a vacation in the middle of it, which gives me more hours to work with. Yay! Only… vacations are supposed to be for relaxing, right? And given that I haven’t had one in over a year, maybe I should do some of that too. Maybe that should be my 7th goal? Relax and recharge?
After all, I need to be rejuvenated in August for the launch of Red and Black.