AUTHOR’S LOG: In Which High Adventures And Word Counts Ensue (#ROW80, #amwriting)

Weekly Stats (Sun-Sat):

Words Drafted: 14,297 (Yowza!)
Best Word Count: 5,920 (Sunday)
Daily Average Needed To Finish Draft: 1,121

As you can see, I got waaaaaaaaaay ahead in my word count this week. There are some days when the joy of writing, back before I was doing it as an escape every bit as much fun as reading rather than professionally, that just picks you up and takes you away like the Ah-Ha video for Take Me Home.

This happened to me on Sunday. After a week or two of pecking away and pushing ahead on my daily word count, something broke loose. I had been previously worried that Book 1 of Blood & Steam might be coming out a bit too light-hearted, but then it occurred to me: it’s High Adventure. It’s supposed to be fun and a little over-the-top, so I kicked my Infernal Editor overboard and just got on with the hi-jinkery.

Also, there was a scene I was really looking forward to writing, and a conversation between Acacia and Drew that just sort of downloaded itself into my mind at some point, and I really wanted to get to that point. So I did, to the tune of 6K unexpected words later.

Sometimes it just happens. And when it does, you just need to go with it. Take unfettered joy in those days, because they’re often rare and most definitely gifts from On High. If you disrespect those gifts, or take them for granted, then they might get their feelings hurt and not come back.

I love those days, the ones that remind me of why I would continue doing this, paid or not. It’s euphoric, and liberating, and danged good fun. And that comes through in the writing, of particular niceness when you’re writing High Adventure. In this case quite literally, because the Blood & Steam series is Steampunk. Flight cap and goggles, anyone?

Also, I wrote a kraken scene. 😀

What I’m Reading:

In keeping with my Steampunk mood, I’ve dived (ha) back in to Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series, with HEART OF STEEL. I adore Yasmeen and have mixed feelings about the charming, but unlikely, hero Archimedes Fox. But I’m enjoying the story like gangbusters thus far, so I’ll let you know what the final verdict is once I’m finished. It is definitely filling my storytelling well with much refreshing goodness.

What I’m Watching:

I don’t watch a lot of Network TV (I’m a hardened Netflix addict), but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying GOTHAM. I love that the actor playing Detective Jim Gordon is a normal looking guy obviously not chosen for his abject gorgeousness, but that he’s a good guy trying to do the right thing, despite fierce provocation. It’s gritty, and the pacing is really well done. Also, they’ve employed some of the best, unknown character actors ever to play the burgeoning villains (MUCH more interesting than the actual, cardboard cutout gangsters they’re using otherwise.)

In the last episode I saw on Hulu, I was so charmed by Morena Baccarin’s character and the introduction of the Graysons, that I wasn’t at all expecting the revelation of the Joker. The kid did it like turning on a dime—he saved everything he had for that perfect, stunning, game-changing moment when he turned the dial from 0 to 11 in the space of a line mid-dialogue. It was chilling, yo. I would have Squee!’d the roof down, as I am want to do, but the fact of the matter is that it was so subtly done that I wasn’t certain, at first, what I was seeing—and then when I realized what had happened, I was actually rendered speechless. Even the kid’s face changed when he revealed himself, like Jekyll turning into Hyde without the aid of stage makeup. It was mesmerizing.

Also, I am unapologetically cheering on Penguin. That kid is fascinating to watch, and I want him to WIN. Because he’s that good in the role, and makes the character that likeable. Watching him and Riddler meet in the precinct was a delight to watch.

Quickly—To the Goal Mobile!


  1. Draft 30K Words/Month


A week to go this month, and I’ve already hit my mark, thanks to steady progress and a kraken-sized word count early in the week. I’m already over 36K words, with one draft ore or less complete, and three chapters left on another. Then I get to kick into a lower gear for a spell. *whew*

Origins #3: 14,295/15,000= 95% Complete.

 Cover art has been officially revealed (YAY!), and I’m writing my wrap up scene this weekend. I read-through for editing (I think I might have Soggy Middle syndrome on this one), another for polishing, and then it will be released out into an unsuspecting world on February 28. I also have to get everything out to my list, so they can leave the appropriate reviews. But then it’ll be done, done, DONE! WOO-HOO!!

Blood & Steam #1: 22,152/30,000= 74% Complete.

I love Acacia. I love Drew. I absolutely ADORE these characters together. They’re fun, and funny, and equally stubborn. Acacia tends to tweak the Deserving (or, at least, those that annoy her, and therefore ask for it), with delightful results. She’s clever, and bold, and doesn’t give a good gorram what society thinks of her, because she doesn’t think much of it. But she likes Captain Drew, and tweaking is destined to become her version of flirting.

For his part, American Captain Drew thinks she’s magnificent and aggravating all at once, because that’s what happens in good adventure stories, especially when the characters are equally good shots and both partial to whiskey.

I wrote the jacket copy this week, as I was trying to disentangle a plot bunny from the trap it got caught up in. But now we’re okay and hopping along again at a nice clip. I also pulled some photos from Shutterstock for potential cover art, because I’m trying to figure out how to brand the series. I want enough possibilities that the covers for all three books actually look like they go together.


  1. Prepare Power of Three #1 For Drafting:


I’ve got a workable plot structure map on this one, and the first three chapters are fully outlined in deep detail. Basically, I’m telling myself the story at this point, so I don’t have to wonder What Happens Next if I hit a snag along the way. This is also my way of working out the world-building and mythos. I think I’ve pretty much settled on New York for the setting at this point, barring any last moment strikes of inspiration.


  1. NEW GOAL: New Cover Art/Branding:


The Tech Monkey was generous enough to get me a copy of Photoshop for Christmas, so I’ve been learning how to use it the last few weeks. There’s definitely a steep learning curve, especially if you don’t have an artistic background (thankfully, I do to some extent), but it’s getting there.

I’ve now decided I need All! New!! Covers!!! My first order of business is to get the Keepers: Origins covers to look like they actually belong to the Keepers of the Flame series from my publisher. So I’ve been studying what my wonderful cover artist did, and trying to replicate the style. This means I’ve been obsessing about things like light sources and saturation, and basically speaking in tongues as far as my husband is concerned. But the Ninja Katz are satisfied, because now they can loll about on my computer desk without me trying to slay dragons around them.

As the new covers are completed I’ll reveal them here. Stay tuned!


2 thoughts on “AUTHOR’S LOG: In Which High Adventures And Word Counts Ensue (#ROW80, #amwriting)

    1. catemorgan says:

      Thanks, Bev! I’m a little exhausted and exhilarated at the same time, which is a very strange feeling indeed. But I hope I was able to provide a little inspiration for my fellow ROW-ers this week. 🙂

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