Doings, Writings and Readings

Christmas seemed to speed by in a great, big rush this year. I didn’t have any vacation time left by the time Christmas rolled around, which — sigh — seems to be typical for me despite the fact that I have accumulated three weeks of vacation a year. And now that I have a full slate of vacation days once again, my husband has been summoned for jury duty, which means that I have to take at least one day off for that.

Sigh.

And I have been contemplating my plans for 2014. This year, I hope to finish East of Yesterday, lose 10 more pounds, and give up sweets for Lent so I can try to get off this sugar kick I have been stuck on. My goals for work include moving into more of a leadership position (not necessarily resource management) and get published in the field of Business Analysis (articles only–I have no BA books in mind).

My accomplishments for the last year were more modest, but I did publish another book (although I have not mentioned it much), kept off the 13 pounds that I lost the year before, and reduced my stress.

What I’m Reading


I just finished reading The Wretched of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler, and it was pretty excellent. It is about a girl named Lia who lives at an Abbey called Muirwood, which is a place where learners learn how to read and how to work a force called the Medium, a quasi-religious form of magic. However, Lia is a wretched, or one who has been abandoned, and as such, she is forbidden to learn even though she has great natural ability. Naturally, she wants to learn more than anything else in the world.

Her quiet life at the Abbey is interrupted when a knight drops off an injured squire and tells her that he will return for him in 3 days–all Lia has to do in the meantime is keep the squire hidden from the powerful Sheriff who is after him.

The book did leave a few unanswered questions, especially regarding the knight, but there are two books to go in the series, so hopefully they will provide some answers. I found the first book gripping and engaging, and I’ll get the next book in the next month or so. All the books in the series are available. The cover image links to the book at Amazon.

What I’m Writing

I am up to 81,000 words with East of Yesterday, which definitely means I am rounding home plate. To celebrate 80,000 words, I sat down and wrote my query. I often find it helpful to write a query at some point before I finish writing the novel. It helps me identify any weaknesses in my premise. The same goes for the synopsis, which I did in graphical form a couple of months ago, but which I have yet to do in prose.

The query isn’t quite ready to share, but it did help me fill in a plot hole that I had left open to write at some point. The problem is, it rendered a pivotal scene in Part One as somewhat nonsensical. And so now I have a plot quandary–do I keep that formerly-pivotal scene, or do I trash it? Fortunately I have my graphical outline to consult to see how much I really need it, and I also can use my procedure on removing and replacing a scene (for which I am creating an infographic) if I decide it has to go.

~*~

What about you? Got any resolutions or accomplishments you’d like to share? Read anything good lately?

20 thoughts on “Doings, Writings and Readings

  1. I’ve been reading (and rereading) a bunch of books by one of my favorite Brit writers, Trisha Ashley (a cross between romantic comedy and women’s fiction, I guess–mostly romance with great quirky characters). Sort of like comfort food. And I just started Lisa Shearin’s new series, The Grendel Affair, which is fab.
    I’m working on the prequel novella for my Baba Yaga paranormal romance books, out at the end of this year (Sept & Dec), as well as two books for Llewellyn.
    So what’s the book you published that you didn’t talk about?

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    • Thanks for reminding me about Lisa Shearin’s new book–I’ll have to download it!
      I didn’t mean to say I didn’t talk about it at all, but I have hardly mentioned THE MAGIC MIRROR AND THE SEVENTH DWARF in ages.I suppose I should from time to time, just so people know it is out there. I realized that it was not showing on my sidebar, so I popped it back up there, along with The Sevenfold Spell. I did enter it in The Rita Award, which is the first time I have entered that contest.

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          • Thanks Anne and Chicory! I (finally) signed a 2-book contract with Berkley for a series about an updated Baba Yaga (well, more than one, actually, since it is a job title, not just one woman). The first one, Wickedly Dangerous, should be out in September, with a prequel novella before that. (If I get back to writing it!)

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            • Berkley is publishing you? I think they’re big enough I could order thru a local book-buyer. I do prefer that, given a choice. I’ll just have to remember to order it close enough to when it comes out. {Smile}

              Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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  2. I’m really enjoying The Grendel Affair. I love Lisa’s writing. And I’m kind of sad that my debut book is finally coming out, and there is no more “Debuts & Reviews” to put it in.

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  3. I’m so glad you asked about what I’ve been reading. :) I just discovered this book called `The Crown Tower’ by Michael J. Sullivan, which I really enjoyed. (It’s a caper fantasy.) And according to the front flap he wrote other books that I can also go read, so now I’m all giddy and happy.

    As to what I’m working on, I’ve momentarily retreated from fuzzy mice and am getting a new start on my enslaved teen elf story. I’m really excited about it. I have it just enough outlined to know the general direction it’s going in, but not so outlined that I’m bored before I start.

    Okay, so I’m just excited about everything right now. Must be all those Christmas chocolates giving me a sugar buzz.

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    • Check out the old Fantasy Debut site for a review I did of the original, self-published version of The Crown Tower. I never did read the subsequent books so I am interested in reading what you think!

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      • I’ll have to check it out. :) Sorry I’ve been so very gone. Our internet quit on us for about two weeks -turns out we needed a new router- so I’ve been… getting a lot of writing done, actually. :)

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        • I’m glad you got the trouble with the router figured out. We had trouble recognizing that that was the problem when ours acted up a few years ago. It’s not that obvious, at least to not-terribly-technically-minded folks like me. {wink, SMILE}

          Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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  4. I’m glad to be back! (Though I gave myself a headache yesterday, catching up on every web-comic, fanfic, and blog post I’d missed in the last two weeks. I’m beginning to see why I got so much more writing done when the router was out!)

    Tia, I looked up your review. It was interesting to see your opinion of Sullivan’s first book. I haven’t actually read his original trilogy yet but from the interview at the back of `Crown Tower’ it sounds like he made some changes to it when he went to a traditional publisher.

    As for `Crown Tower’ itself, it does have a strong female character, unfortunately she’s a parallel plot-line that doesn’t connect up with our heroes until the end, so they still don’t really interact with girls. The book is a prequel to explain how two such different characters wound up working together. It’s actually… a little thin on plot if you stop to think about it.

    The big thing for me was that I read it at the perfect time. You know how sometimes you’ll discover a book that, if you’d read it at any other moment would be an okay read, but because it’s right then in your life, the story transforms into something unforgettable? Well, this book is like that. It’s fun and frothy, and that was exactly what I needed. :)

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    • Losing internet is a great way to get other things done, I’m afraid. {wink, Smile}

      It is funny how finding the right book at just the right time can make a huge difference to how I respond to the book. I’ve noticed that too. {Smile, wink}

      Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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  5. It’s one of the reasons I want to be a writer. There have been times God brought just the right book to encourage me or challenge me. I’d like to `pay it forward.’ :)

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