Bring it on, 2014

I resolve to be true to myself.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to ramp up for a bright and shiny new year. This cold is going to get kicked to the curb and I am going to kick ass all over 2014.

At least for the first month.

Here are my resolutions, goals, whathaveyous, to keep me on track to accomplishing my dreams this year.

Resolutions

I resolve to be true to myself. This is the only resolution I feel comfortable making and it’s a tough one to keep, when I’ve spent so much of my life swaying to please other people. With this resolution, I promise that I will please other people only if it pleases me to do so; that I will think of my own well-being first and foremost; that I will not forget where I end and another person begins; that I will treat self-care as a primary goal, not something I tack on after everything else and then feel guilty about.

While I am a stronger supporter of the idea of a community of humanity over “self-made” and “bootstraps”, there is no way I can be a contributing member to ANY community if I am not taking care of myself first. I believe anything I give a community is worthless if I am being untrue to my deepest self.

Goals

Unlike resolutions, I have a lot of goals and they fit better into categories…and subcategories.

Writing

Word count:

  • Write 150,000 words in 2014. That’s 411 words a day. Things that count: fiction, poetry, blogging. Things that don’t count: worldbuilding, journaling (any writing I do at my Livejournal or Dreamwidth blogs are considered journaling, unless they’re cross-posted here — which very rarely happens). To help keep me accountable and on track, I’ve joined the communities getyourwordsout and inkingitout on Livejournal and Dreamwidth, respectively.
  • Reach 50,000 words in either Nanowrimo or one of the Camp Nanowrimos. I’m not sure if I’ll make this one or not — I embraced quitting Nano this year and that may be the start of a trend, or it may be a one-off event. I’m setting it as a goal mostly to see if last November was a one-off or the beginning of the end of my relationship with Nano.
  • Utilize the 750words site again. My word count goal every day to make 150,000 words in 2014 is 411. I’m going to try and top that every day by hitting 750, and the 750words site is a great way to do it. Also, there are some badges I want to attempt to get.

Projects:

  • Finish rewrites/edits for The Jade Star of Athering (book 2 in The Third Age).
  • Finish writing From the Ashes (book 2 in The Borderlands Saga).
  • Finish worldbuilding for Dead Transgressions.
  • Get halfway through Dead Transgressions (includes some necessary rewrites).
  • Assuming I find back the files, finish The Man of Bronze.
  • Start work on Anala, book 3 in The Third Age.
  • Start work on Book 4 in The Third Age, as of yet not titled, occurring at the same time as Anala. Outline is a must!
  • Start work on The Moonrunner (book 3, Borderlands).
  • Non-official goal: make real progress on my web serial, Dark Fascination.

Blogging:

  • Postaday: post here every day in 2014. (I am not going to be too harsh on myself if I miss a few days, but the idea here is to post consistently, not once or twice a month.)
  • Find back my blogging voice. This isn’t a goal that’s quantifiable, but it is something I want to work towards in 2014, so I’m listing it here.

Personal Stuff

Reading

  • Read 10 books for pleasure. For pleasure means they’re not for worldbuilding research or school or something similar.
  • Make a real dent in my To Be Read pile. Ideally this would mean reading 100 books; my TBR pile is massive. Instead of giving myself a number that I’ll feel worse about not getting any closer to as time goes on, however, I’m just going to leave the goal as is: make a real dent. I’ll know when I’ve done it.

Cooking and baking

  • Learn to bake bread. Seriously this time. I didn’t do it in 2013 even though I said I would. I WILL in 2014.
  • Start making more things from scratch. There are a lot of things we go out and purchase that I think may be better made in the house — both financially and health-wise. I’m not a huge fan of highly processed food and it seems more and more everyday we just…don’t know what we’re eating. (It also seems more and more that people want to put aspartame into the weirdest things, which means I have to read the ingredients on EVERYTHING or die.)
  • Figure out my kitchen rhythm. When the Ogre and I live together I will be doing the cooking during the week. I need to figure out a way to make that happen so we’re both eating good, home-cooked meals and I’m not bone-exhausted by noon.
  • Bake something once a week. I used to bake about that often, when I was in high school. I miss it, and I’d like to expand my skills and repertoire.
They are SO DELICIOUS #cupcakes #omnom #getinmymouth
I mean, there definitely needs to be more of THIS in my life.

Physical

  • Start physiotherapy again. This is dependent on funds being available, but I have hopes I’ll eventually be making enough money that I’ll be able to start doing physio again (and thus, able to function more normally — normally for me, at any rate).
  • Following that: find some sort of exercise that I can do daily that doesn’t strain my back and gives me a mild workout. Do said exercise.
  • Get my sleep schedule back on track and keep it there. No more of this switching to nights BS every weekend.

Mental

  • Work on finding a therapist. Not an easy thing, but therapy is a good thing for me and I haven’t been in far too long. I have some stuff I need to work through and I can’t fix all my problems via journaling.
  • Create a real manifestation board. I had one of these set up on my vanity mirror for a while, but had to take it down when we were showing the place to people. I’m going to set up one that can be moved from place to place and isn’t dependent on furniture.
  • Do another Good Things Jar for 2014. I did this in 2013 and it kept me going to see it full of pieces of paper, just covered in all the good things that had happened (even if they were as simple as “Still breathing”). I’m doing it again, and being more diligent with it.

Spiritual

  • Set up some sort of weekly practice, and blog more often at the spiritual blog. (The two things are related, as I need something to blog about at said blog.)
  • Spend more time with my dog. If you don’t think that’s a spiritual experience…you’ve never shared your life with a dog.

I think that’s a good list of goals for an entire year. Now to write them out and have them scattered around my house so I can see them as daily reminders of what I want to accomplish.

What are your goals for 2014?

Why Bellica is $4.99, and why my other books will be too

Friends! Romans! Countrymen fellow indie authors!

We are in a crisis. We have been selling ourselves short. Pricing our books at $0.99 just so we can get the impulse buys, driving the market down, forcing our fellow authors to do low prices as well just so they can compete.

This is all wrong.

If you’re publishing your book via Kindle you only get $0.3465 of that $0.99. Yeah. They take $0.6435. Sell a hundred copies and you’ve just made Amazon $64.35 and yourself $34.65 for a book that most likely took you a few years to write and countless sleepless nights.

Price it at $2.99 and your royalty jumps to 70% — $2.09 a book, while Amazon makes $0.90. Sell a hundred copies and suddenly you’ve made 209 dollars, while Amazon has made 90.

Which scenario makes more sense, here? Who should be getting the bulk of the money for your book? Amazon, who, yes, provides a valuable service but hasn’t done as much work on your book as you have and will still not promote it for you, or you, who’s written it, gotten it edited, found a cover design, formatted it, advertised it, sweated over it, lost sleep over it, and obsessed about it from conception to completion?

Bellica took me 13 years to complete. Why would I sell myself short? It’s worth $4.99 — hells, it’s worth more than that, but I had to drop the price to stay competitive.

Writing is now my full time job. This means that Bellica will remain that price for ebook format, and the paperback will remain $26.99. This means that The Jade Star of Athering will be $4.99 after the promo period price of $2.99; as will Dead Transgressions, Islands of Fire and Water, and any other novels I produce. Novellas and poetry collections will be slightly lower, but I will never drop my books below the price of $2.99.

Continue reading “Why Bellica is $4.99, and why my other books will be too”

Fiction Friday: in which I eat all of my mom’s Nutella

What are kids for, right?

This week I am not reading any fiction — all my reads are currently a) serious academic tomes or b) books on paganism and witchcraft. Or both.

However, I did write a short piece of fiction for Three Word Wednesday, now showing at live in demons and absent angels.  Go read that if you like dystopian stories. It’s about 750 words, give or take a few.

I’m also hard at work on The Jade Star of Athering. I may not finish it by the 5th, as I’m also filming a documentary this weekend, but I will finish it soon — never fear!

And my brain is just coughing up plot bunnies like it’s got a hairball problem. I seriously have more story ideas than I know what to do with right now. So I’m hoping that once I finish JSOA and let it sit before editing a bit I can sit down and work on some of these other ideas before they die from lack of attention.

Plot bunnies. So needy, I tell ya.

As well, Dead Transgressions will be getting my attention sometime this summer, and The Man of Bronze will also be tackled this year. So hopefully I’ll have more fodder for my Fiction Friday posts and will be actually, you know, writing them.

(And posting them the night before because that’s how I roll.)

 

Daily Heart Attack

Today I signed into Facebook and saw this:

 

Augh! What do you mean only ninety-eight days? I haven’t finished The Jade Star of Athering, Islands of Fire and Water, OR The Man of Bronze! How the frak am I supposed to start a new novel in 98 days???

Ahh! Ahhh! AHHHHHHHHHH!

*hyperventilates*

*calms down*

Nope, still upset.

Fuck.

Determination

It pays off. I found my notebook!

As I was posting earlier it occurred to me, somewhere in that thing I call a brain, that the notebook may be in my set of plastic, clear drawers, because I remembered setting the notebook on top of the drawers while I was packing.

So I toddled on down to the garage, where all my stuff is sitting until we can get a yurt built in the backyard for me (no lie; I’m living in the library right now), and looked in the clear drawers and lo! my notebook! And the notebook for The Man of Bronze, and my AA batteries!

A good day, overall. I’m going to reward my hard work with some Glee, and then I’m going to write.

Really.

I promise.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day….

2009 was a fairly productive year, writing-wise. I finished Bellica, started and finished Snowbound, and started The Jade Star of Athering. I also wrote a few poems, published a book of poetry, and reached a total of 156,732 for my yearly word count. I didn’t make my goal of 200,000, but I’m not too concerned about the 43,268 difference. It was a difficult year and I think I far surpassed my own expectations; the fact that I didn’t make it doesn’t discredit my valiant attempt. (Also, 70,000+ words in July is nothing to sneeze at.)

I have the same goal for 2010, as far as word count goes, and I intend to make it this year (mainly by being more on top of the word counts early on in the year). I also wish to make more blog posts here, on top of my story goals (listed below for convenience).

  1. Finish editing Parts 2 and 3 of Bellica and upload to site.
  2. Finish The Jade Star of Athering.
  3. Finish The Man of Bronze.
  4. Finish Islands of Fire and Water.
  5. Start that new story idea in November.
  6. Publish Bellica in hardcopy.
  7. Write Snowbound sequel (?).

The last one has a question mark because Dear Gods I am busy this year, and seriously wish to be less insane.

I’d also like to branch socially as a writer more, but I’m such a damn recluse and so intolerant of most people in all groups that I move in that I’m scared this may backfire on me terribly. Or I’ll meet another writer as snarky and reclusive as I am, and we shall become great friends and dominate the world of something. Trufax.

I also want to crochet more, and improve my knitting, but that has nothing to do with writing. Too many projects. Too much creativity. I’m having a small meltdown, I think.

So. Off to bed, and tomorrow is a fresh day that I shall sleep through. As is my wont.

-Katje

Writing hiatus

I am taking a break from writing anything new until September 8th because I have to work on editing Snowbound, preparing for Dragon*Con, going to Dragon*Con, getting together a working props list for Dove In Death (a production that goes off the end of September), getting together my production stuff for Just Shoot Me (the show I’m directing in November), and losing some weight so I can be IN the fall show that goes off end of October (The Balcony).

Yes, three shows overlapping, right after the other. Plus 5 classes (more than  full load), dance classes, morning yoga, and working out at the gym 3 times a week. And then there’s making my GYWO word count goals, which are 10K for Sept, 5K for Oct, 50K for November, and 5k for December. Yay.

Also, I have decided to publish my novels, etc, serially on my writing site. You can start reading Bellica with the Prologue sometime before Sept. 20th, which is the official start date — ie, when Chapter 1 is up.

I’ll be putting up Islands of Fire and Water and The Man of Bronze sometime in 2010, too, provided I finish writing them and then edit them this year. Snowbound is getting turned into a contest (which I’m still eligible for, because NO WAY will I get 5,000 hits before the contest runs through, and I’m not getting paid for these works), so it’ll be a while before that one comes up.

The Jade Star of Athering won’t be up for a while, cause I haven’t written it yet.

So yeah — check it out. And if you wish to continue to see my works online, please consider donating to fund my writing habit. 🙂

See you after Labour Day Weekend (which is just going to be one big party, man.)

-Katje

Monologue

Still haven’t gotten down to editing. After finishing I was up for two days straight, basically. Last night I slept 13+ hours straight, and now I’m up till 4am because I slept too much last night.

I swear I’m not on Earth’s schedule.

Tomorrow is class and gym and hopefully edit. I do also have to work on my three papers for class, though, which are all due a week from now. Feck.

You may notice the synopsis is up for The White Star of Athering. Do not assume this means I know what the feck I’m writing. I do not.

I also need to get cracking on my other stories as soon as possible.

Weekend? Please do not elude me.

-Katje