Author’s Log: Onward and Upward (#ROW80, #amwriting)

Still recovering from the flood tides here in Tampa Bay—the rain has only stopped within the last couple of days. Still bummed I missed the last day of Comic Con, and all the photos and autographs I meant to get, but at least I got to meet Matt Ryan of TV’s Constantine, who is as lovely as he is talented. YAY!!

I created a new web page dedicated to Project Insanity, for those equally Mad Hatters interested in seeing what I’m working on for the year.

THE MINSTREL’S DAUGHTER is till waging battle in the Query Wars. Based on some feedback I received from a very generous, very top agent who I have enormous respect for, I’m going to take another look at the characters and some additional polishing for the next round. She did say she could see this project selling, but it didn’t end up being right for her because of problems connecting with the characters. But it sounds like I got reeeeeeeally close my first time out, which I find encouraging rather than discouraging.

This is one of those times I feel fortunate for my background in theatre, where you soon learn that 1) You get better from criticism, not compliments, and 2) You have to learn to love audition, because that is at least 80% of the reality of craft. I now know where to focus my improvement efforts, so I’m ready to try again.

And, hey—if I get through my list of 100+ and still no takers? Or if I get an agent, and we don’t end up selling to a publisher? I’ll rent the editorial services of The Pink Hammer, invest in a cover and formatting, and pub it myself. I have options.

Onward and upward, my friends. Soldier on!

Project Insanity


Project Insanity is my mad scheme to publish one novella per month for the next FIVE years, beginning in 2016 (which means I have to draft like a crazy person NOW). Behold! As I apply lightning to The Monster of my Production Schedule, and probably fall flat on my face whilst so doing.

*dons fez*

*blows noisemaker*


The List (3Q2015):

The Mysterious Adventures of Becca Carlisle (Blood & Steam #2)

Sweet Home Oklahoma (Sweet Home #1)

The Innovative Adventures of Lucia Carlisle (Blood & Steam #3)

Tess (Keepers of the Flame: Origins #4)

(Keepers of the Flame: Origins #5)


Sanity Check (August Edition):


  1. BLOOD & STEAM #2: In Production

I’m finishing this up over the weekend, and then I get to put it away for a bit and let it marinate to work on other things. After the non-stop action of Book 1, however, I’m concerned about the lack of hard core action in this one—it doesn’t come up until a really great shoot out scene in Vauxhall Gardens. But I won’t know what I’ve actually got until it spends some time off my radar. Becca is a much quieter heroine than her swaggering, gun-toting sister, so we’ll have to see.

I don’t have a solid word count as of yet, because most of the story’s in my notebook, written in longhand. I should have final count at next week’s check-in.

  1. SWEET HOME #1: In Pre-Production

Plotty Plotness ensues. I expect to begin drafting later this week. I find it interesting that all my characters want the essentially the same thing, but they’re handling their circumstances differently. My heroine (who I still don’t have a name for—eep!) will become the catalyst in their midst, blowing into town and then blowing out again leaving everyone else changed.

  1. BLOOD & STEAM #3: Begin Pre-Production

Readers will meet the third and youngest sister of the Carlisle clan toward the end of Book #2, to set up her starring in Book #3. Lucia’s story will take place in the American west, and I’m looking forward to writing it (I’m a fan of Hell On Wheels and Deadwood).

My first order of business is research, and figuring out where Captain Robert Carlisle actually is—I have an idea, but no specifics. I think my hero might be of Asian descent, so I’m looking forward to getting into that culture, of that time.

BONUS GOAL: Lose Some Dang Weight!

Up a bit this week, but still down overall. I think I’m reaching a point where I’m toning up more than anything, and I’m starting to build muscle. I did a lot of walking over the course of Comic Con (not to mention the sprint around hotel room when I discovered that massive bug on my neck *shudder*), and I certainly did a lot better than I did last year. I was up 2.4 lbs. last week, and .43 points on my BMI.

I’m going for losing ten pounds during the month of August.


7 thoughts on “Author’s Log: Onward and Upward (#ROW80, #amwriting)

    1. catemorgan says:

      Whenever I forget, I watch Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares–he drives this truth home pretty much every episode. “If your plates are consistently coming back with food still on them, the problem is YOU, Chef!”

      This, only with more swearing. 😀

  1. Cindy says:

    As a theatre person as well, I have come to loathe and then respect, and finally enjoy audition. I look at it as a challenge, and challenges are somethings that usually spark something within me. Like I am going to audition for Lady MacBeth in a production of MacBeth next year, I am going to get it (or at least try really hard)! 🙂

    Also sounds like even with the rejection it was a good experience. Your positive attitude is a great things to hear about and have. Just think 1 rejection down, it’ll get easier now. 🙂

    Hope your upcoming week is a productive one!!

    1. catemorgan says:

      My theatre director used to say something like “Learn to love it people–because you’re going to be auditioning a lot more than you’re going to be working!”

      That being said, you should check out James McAvoy and Keeley Hawes as the MacBeths in Shakespeare Retold (there are four modern retellings). Their performances are CHILLING with inevitable tragedy.

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