Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And I got paperbacks! Both of the Ghost Bus Riders and of Crunchy with Chocolate! You may notice the paperback covers of GBR are not exactly the same as the ebooks. You can check the series page where they’re in the same image. The difference is in the positioning of the ghost bus, the image had a limited reach for the wrap cover, hence I had to move it around.

And a reminder of where you can find Crunchy with Chocolate, that includes my short story Dragon Life: publisher’s site + ebook universal link (paperback available on publisher’s site and Amazon). And yes, I’ve added it to the Other Publications page as well. Stay tuned for more, it’s not over yet this year! 🙂

For the second week in a row, I wrote more than 10K, so I might reach those 400K after all. Especially if I start on the second novel right now, with the first still fresh and out to a beta reader (and most faithful adviser – she was my offline beta before she moved back to the US). Still short of the original aim, but it’s been a weird year, and I’m not complaining at all.

Stay tuned for the Halloween Spectacular 2021 – did you subscribe to it yet? It’s coming really soon! More good news are coming, including a new title out at the end of the month, so stay tuned. I’m off Day Job so I’m working on multiple projects at the same time, LOL!

Now I’m going back to my neverending TBR pile of books (both ebooks and paperbacks) and my next writing project… have a great week!

Sunday Surprise


“If you are going to devote your life to a music career, you also need to devote your life to having fun with it as well.” Mariah Carey on The Voice.

I know many of you get tired of me constantly saying over and over to have fun with your writing. I know that goes against the myth that sitting alone in a room and telling stories is “hard work.” And that many of you have issues from your past about needing something you make money with to be work.

I got all that.

But making your writing work, making it special, making it difficult to do just leads to the critical voice eventually grinding you down to a stop.

And making writing work never allows the real you to show through your writing. And that real you is what makes your stuff different. Original. And sell.

The real secret to being a long-term successful artist is what Mariah Carey said. Devote your life to having fun with your art, be it writing or music or painting.

Dean Wesley Smith

Money isn’t enough. It never is. You have to START with connecting to your own heart, and telling the stories you hold dear. And if you need your “adult” self to hold down a day job so that your “child” self can play, then DAMMIT, DO THAT. Do NOT make the creative child pay the bills. The child’s job is to play. It is the ADULT’S job to pay the bills.

And…if you are lucky enough that the output of that child finds an audience? Embrace and nurture that connections,a nd be true to it.

And…if you are smart enough to set your “adult” to learning marketing, such that it handles the Outer world with the “child” safe in the Inner? Most of the most successful people I know either split themselves into Artist and Marketer, or find an agent or manager to handle this “adult” role.

But they do NOT whore the children of their hearts. They just DON’T.

Steven Barnes

Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.

~ Alice Koller

There’s no map but the one you draw. No process of anyone’s you can borrow. You gain your groove by wearing it into the floor one micrometer at a time. It’s erosion. Water on stone to find its path. It makes it harder in times like these because we want it to be math. PERSIST.

You don’t know you can do it. You don’t know that you belong. You can do it. You belong as much as anybody. You’re an impostor, sure, because we’re all impostors, we’re all here unasked for, unbidden, uninvited, wearing our masks.

Persist anyway.

Chuck Wendig

Creators on social media can feel as if they are expected to present a positive, successful image at all times—and to churn out a steady mix of self-revelation, irreverent commentary, earnest activism, and a smidge of self-promotion. It creates the impression that all of us are doing great, that things couldn’t be better, that we’re all on upward trajectories of success and enrichment.

Unfortunately, for quite a few of us at any given moment, that’s not entirely true.

Creative professions, especially those connected with publishing, are difficult and often low-paying. For persons without other full-time occupations, trying to survive in a gig economy can be brutal, exhausting, and demoralizing. Sometimes we get depressed. The entities some of us rely upon to help advance our careers let us down. Things sometimes don’t turn out as well as we had hoped. Promises made to us get broken; opportunities get rescinded.

Most of us can’t talk openly about such setbacks. In some cases it would do us more harm than good to air our disappointments, so we shield our fans and friends from our bad news.

David Mack

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And the last Ghost Bus Riders book is out! Again sending to the publisher’s page for the blurb and everything. I also uploaded the paperbacks for all three, although you might want to wait for me to tell you they’re fine! 😉

I noticed I had to put a higher cover price on Amazon.AU and I’m using this to warn my Australian readers that some of my books are on sale on eBay Australia at a much higher price. Even if you hate Amazon and don’t want to buy from them, I don’t see why you should pay 50AUD for a paperback on eBay… just saying!

Last week I had written 6k+ when I realized this story and another I already wrote needed to become a novel. So I’m happily back to a longer work, which means my wordcount should increas in the coming week(s) as I try to fill in the blanks and make it a nice, gripping story (hopefully).

It will be published next year, but it’s a good start! I will probably write another novel for that mini-series as well, exploring that world, so it’s another long title to write next (along with a couple more that I have in mind, one spawned by a short story, the other a serial novel or something).

So even if this year is less productive than the last, I’m not being too hard on myself. If you feel you’ve hit a writing wall, check Kris Rusch‘s take on it.

Be kind to yourself. If you would tell a writer friend to take a day off in your situation, then take that day. Figure out how to treat yourself fairly and well.

Because that’s the thing that will get you writing again. Not pressure, not mentally cracking a whip.

Kindness.

Just a friendly reminder, in these tough times.

And that’s why I’m not berating myself if I won’t reach my 500K. I know I can do it again, when I’m not grieving for my life in shambles (and I’m lucky, I shouldn’t complain, but the sudden changes were really a trauma for me) and my health improves.

Just keep writing and reading and take care of yourself. I have plenty of books with all the Kickstarters I backed in the past months, but I’d like to suggest you one more, in case you don’t have enough. Thunderpaws & The Tower of London is about a cat and some British humor. Have a great week! 🙂

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


That sale I had last year at the anthology workshop? It’s one of them! I have no idea of when it will actually land in your inbox, so you better go grab your Halloween Spectacular Calendar! It makes a great gift too!

Here’s how it works:

Every day, starting on October 25, 2021, and running through November 2, 2021, you will get an original short story sent to you (or the recipient of your choice) via email.

Each seasonally themed tale is accompanied by an introduction by the editor of the Halloween Calendar of Stories, Mark Leslie.

You will get each story in ebook format (epub and mobi), so you can read them daily on your own device, anywhere, anytime you choose. Or you can store them up and binge on a weekend.

Your choice.

As an added bonus, all subscribers will receive the Halloween Harvest anthology, which includes all nine stories, plus two bonus stories! Halloween Harvest will be released just two days after the calendar ends, on November 4.

Stay tuned for more – and the announcement of my story in the calendar! 🙂

click on image to go to site

I think I realized what changed in my writing and why I’m no longer having fun. I used to write stories based on “movies” streaming in my head. I started losing that “sight” some time ago, in theory to learn my craft, add setting and so one.

Result: now I write prose in my head and it’s not as much fun. I should try to get back to writing movies but with the depth and setting and all the other stuff. Except currently I can’t even see those stories that I used to tell myself (not for public consumption because, hey, not everything we do creatively is for public consumption! 😉 ), so I’m probably burned out somehow.

That’s why I’m taking it easy this year. I want to get back my inspiration – I don’t even see Da Muses anymore! So, I want them back in my mind to create more awesome stories. Although I’m also changing topics and veering into historical time travel, there’s still room for them.

Clearly taking inspiration from still pictures is not the same thing as having a real person in mind! About the Ghost Bus Riders, I still have a virtual cast, although I couldn’t put them on the cover, but for other stories/series it was no longer the case. So, back to my roots!

This week I wrote only a short story for an anthology and the weekend was busy. I’m mostly done with physiotherapy (feeling better, thank you), so hopefully next week I’ll have more writing time and will start the next project.

It’s still short works for now, but I want to complete another Themed Collection before I move on. You will get one at the end of the month and one in December, but I need one for the new year as well! 🙂 Then we’ll see.

Next weekend I’ll upload the last Ghost Bus Riders book and publish also the three paperbacks. Meanwhile, you can check out Crunchy With Chocolate – dragon stories that include one of mine… how cool is that? 🙂

Readers can receive a 15% discount off the ebook by using code JS72Q at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1106225

Readers can receive a 15% discount off the physical book by using code Dragons2 at the WolfSinger Publications website: https://www.wolfsingerpubs.com/shop?Collection=2021+Releases

These codes expire on Oct 22nd

And WMG is doing a Fall Special Workshop Sale – their workshops are half price only until Sunday. Check them out! 🙂

And that’s all for today… have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


First big announcement: new title, yay! Book 2 of the Ghost Bus Riders is now out on all retailers! Stay tuned for Book 3… (and again, since the new WP dashboard doesn’t collaborate, head for the publisher’s page to read the blurb, thank you).

Kickstarter chapter is closed, with a hundred more thanks to those awesome backers. I sent out the rewards on Saturday, and being such a small thing, it took me about one hour. I can’t imagine how long it would take if I had hundreds of backers!

I’m getting better at dealing with Kicksarter’s dashboard too – I found unread messages and other stuff I had ignored so far while working on my campaign. I learned to go there and check at least once a week to see if there are other annoucements that don’t reach my inbox.

And they have a neat button to “report spam” which I used gleefully on the first day (someone offering exposure and a backing pledge that would probably never materialize anyway) and even more gleefully when the Kickstarter was done and funded (these people clearly can’t read if the campaign is still going or not, how can they help me with visibility? 😉 )

Anyhow, moving on, maybe I’ll do another next year. This week I have to finish a few shorts to send Mighty Editor next week, but I’m still quite busy. I feel like I’m working full-time again, but it’s actually medical stuff (and renewing my ID) that keep me busy on afternoons. Hopefully I’ll manage to finish whatever I need to finish.

Production-wise, last week was low again, for the same reason as this week. I wrote 4600words and managed to wrap the October project (hints in the newsletter coming out tomorrow, you still have time to subscribe to it) so I can send it to Mighty Editor next week along with the story I hope to write this week.

Then I’ll probably go back to Otherside and write a few more stories for that one… or maybe I’ll start the new project. We’ll see! 🙂 Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And the Kickstarter stress is over, yay! And it funded at the last minute, thanks to a very special person! Now I’ll be busy preparing the rewards, so even less time for writing this week, but I’ll catch up – I’m between projects anway, LOL!

Maybe next year I’ll do another, for a different series. I certainly learned a lot with my first attempt, and I thank again all backers for believing in me! 🙂 And if you’re a backer, your reward is on the way as soon as I figure out how to do it! 😀 (and if you didn’t select a reward, I have already thanked you)

Last week I wrote a little over 9K and this week I probably won’t write much, since most afternoons are busy with the above, physio and going through the next Ghost Bus Riders book that just came back from Mighty Editor. Gotta hit that “publish” button in the weekend, it will have to be ready, LOL!

The rest of the month I will write more short stories to submit to various anthologies – actually, for the rest of the year I’m probably writing short stories, and will start on the next long-form project in January. Maybe. We’ll see.

I hope to announce an anthology I’m part of soon, the editor sent us the proof and the cover and both look great, so stay tuned! 🙂

This is quite short, but not much else is happening, so I’ll go back to my editing and wish you a wonderful week! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


With fiction, the reader wants to escape their life and you’re offering them a way into this other world. Those readers often become loyal to your brand over time.

So when this question comes up for you, it is usually at one of two different points in your life.

If you haven’t written anything yet, seriously, go with your heart.

You need to write the book of your heart. You have to. Why would you do this otherwise?

Writing is not a get rich quick scheme. You write because you can’t not write. You love it. You love reading. You love words. You just want to do this, and even if it never makes any money, you’re going to do it anyway.

Joanna Penn

There’s no use, after all, in beating yourself up for desiring more from your craft than the confines of one small box. The truth is writers write. Sometimes in one vein, sometimes in another.

While others may tell you that you fit this mould or that, it is you and only you that knows what is best. Trust your gut. Accept it’ll change.

At the end of the day, what really matters is not your label but your craft. Write well.

If you do feel like you want to leave one box for another, know that you can. It goes back to number one: set that goal. Learn what you will need to do. Start to take those steps.

Baby steps, dear writer.

Great things take time.

Mackenzie Belcastro

I am prolific for the following reasons.

1… I love to tell stories.

2… I spend more time making up stories than other people do.

3… I don’t waste time writing stories ahead of writing them or going back over a story after it is done. Into the dark one draft clean and I have been doing that for thirty years now.

4… I have set up systems to get my work to readers quickly.

5… I have been at this for over forty years now.

I would love to be able to type faster and over the years my speed has increased slightly. But that has nothing at all to do with me being prolific or selling millions of copies of my books.

Dean Wesley Smith

Write something meaningful to you, regardless of imagined commercial implications

This one is hard. As I began putting this book together, with its unusual structure and its potential for being categorized incorrectly as an anthology, I couldn’t help wondering: Who will buy this? Could a publisher get behind it or will it be too odd? Is this what I “should” be writing? Will this be a waste of a year?

I stopped asking. Or at least I tried to. Because the thing is, there aren’t valid answers to those questions until you’ve written the book. Unless your name is so huge that your publisher is going to buy whatever you pitch them, no matter how vague the idea, isn’t it better (I asked myself) to simply write the story you want to write? Then you can show people a completed novel. And it will speak for itself.

So that’s what I did. Because the simplicity is this: every publisher in every country of the world, and every reader who has ever existed, wants the same thing: a good book. That’s all. I don’t think I can write a good book if I’m writing to chase an idea of what people might want. And besides that, who wants to spend time on something that doesn’t make you want to jump out of the bed in the morning so you can get to work?

Happy writing to all of you!

Arwen Elys Dayton

Write what you love. Set up a solid business model of the kind that you want to build. Focus on a slow build, and concentrate on providing books to anyone who wants to read your work.

If you do those things, and stay true to yourself, you will still have a career five years from now. Will you be rich? Maybe. If you figure out what works for you. Will you be successful? Depends on your definition of success. Will you be happy? Ah, hell, how do I know? I don’t have a crystal ball.

But I do know this: You’ll be happier if you do what you love than you will be if you’re just blowing hot air around a room as you try to impress people you look down on.

So shut out the hype as much as you can. Take what little bits of advice that make sense to you from the gurus out there, and apply those bits to your business. But avoid “systems.” Because they don’t work, often not even for the person who developed it.

Do your thing, and you’ll have a greater chance of being around five years from now than that supposedly super-successful person “everyone” is talking about.

Remember that, and you’ll be just fine.

Kris Rusch

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


This week’s big announcement is… publishing news! Please welcome my latest baby, first of three that will come out in the coming weeks! And since the WP dashboard is fighting me, check the blurb on the publisher’s page, sigh.

For now there’s the ebook only, I’m waiting for book 2 and 3 to come back from Mighty Editor, then I’ll prepare all three paperbacks and they’ll come out with the last ebook in October. Oh, and I made a new series page for urban fantasy if you want a preview of the other books and what’s next.

And we’re approaching the end of my Kickstarter campaign – next Wednesday it will be over – with not yet 50% funding. Check it out one last time, even 1euro will do, and share it with your friends. I’m happy it was a short one because the stress was… interesting! 🙂

Now, since you can see how many Kickstarters I’ve backed on my own, let me give you a rundown on the ones that are still active at this time. Check them out and possibly give them some love. Good reading stuff all over the place!

Relics of the Ancients: a space opera adventure trilogy because what’s not to love about space opera adventure?

Spade/Paladin Conundrums: A Kickstarter Campaign I normally don’t read mystery, but I’ve been to a number of sci-fi convention… imagining a mystery at the next Worldcon tickled my curiosity (I do hope to get to Chicago next year, 10 years after my first worldcon, same place)! 🙂

The Gripping Fireheart Fantasy Series because who doesn’t love some fantasy? A smaller project that needs your help, much like mine! 🙂 Also, the author is European like me! 😀

End of the Line Another European author (or at least based in Europe) rebooting a disaster novel set in the Arctic. So check them out and give them some love, especially the European ones! 😉

Last week I did some writing (a little over 7K), but again, a lot of non-writerly stuff, trying hard not to get used to no-DayJob schedule. It was only two weeks after all. Plenty of time to reschedule my life in a couple of years or so – hopefully.

I also did a lot of thinking on what to do next, but I’m clearly not ready for Very Important Decisions yet. So I’m going to finish the year by writing shorter works, and will publish a couple more themed collections of originals, then next year we’ll see.

The next longer work can be serialized, but Kindle Vella is still US only at this time and I’m not sure Patreon would work as a subscription place. I will have to research how to bring it to you regularly before I start publishing it. I have also considered starting my own magazine (best way to serialize that project), but I’m not sure I can keep it going for longer than my old, photocopied stuff yet.

Maybe I will try to figure out what my strength are. This podcast was enlightening on many things. Maybe I will take the CliftonStrengths assessment next weekend.

This week is back to work with physiptherapy Mon.Wed.Fri afternoons, so probably less time to write. I’m just going to take it easy on myself, since my body is getting old and achy! 😉

Last announcement: my Jedi twin has a collection of short stories out! Check it out – you might have already read him in my curated anthologies, but this is all him! 🙂 Who doesn’t want to know what happens in The Record Store at the Edge of the Time Stream? 😉 Have a great week! 😀

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Big announcement first, right? Well, my first Kickstarter is now LIVE! Go check it and give it some love, or share it with your friends! 🙂

I’m quite excited about this new adventure and I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed preparing it. It’s a new experience and I look forward to seeing how it pans out!

Last week I managed almost 8K between the Kickstarter prepping, the workshops (all done now) and some errands (including doctors visits).

This week is quite busy too, but hopefully I’ll manage my 10K this time. After all I’m at the office in the mornings, usually, so it’s not much different. And I have a book to format and publish as well.

After all those workshop, I’m now happy again to write and publish. I have fun writing and I enjoy making covers, hitting those “publish” buttons isn’t that hard anymore. So it doesn’t matter if I’m publishing into the void for another year or ten, I’m doing it for myself.

Please read Kris Rusch’s post on International Growth, but mostly the article she links to in her blog – one of the reasons I write in English even if I’m not a native. The USA has just 6% of the world’s 5.2billion internet users… so hello readers from other countries! 🙂

I still read fiction on Kindle (because I can change the font size and it feels like reading on paper, I can’t read on a phone or computer screen) and non-fiction on paper, but other people might have different reading habits.

I still print out my manuscripts to edit them (or when I get them back from Mighty Editor), because I can’t read on screen for long. And I try to read my own paperbacks because often I find more typos that escaped both mine and Mighty Editor’s eyes.

But I’m an elder reader with sight problems. I used to be short-sighted, now I’m also slightly near-sighted, sigh. That’s why I’ll probably never go back to my beads jewelry and I will give all the material I still have to a younger woman (I already found her, so don’t ask! 😉 Eventually she’ll get all my crafts materials).

Now I better go back to the writing desk. Those stories aren’t going to write themselves! Have a great week!

Wednesday Weekly Roundup


Last week I wrote less than 6K, only one story instead of two, and spent the weekend working on the strip, so I can get it out of the way and give the laptop to Techie Bro and see if he can fix the printer problem. I have reached 300K this year anyway, so I’m not worried – besides, I did mention that if I didn’t reach my goal I wouldn’t berate myself.

It’s almost as if back in January I already knew there would be life rolls coming along during the year, LOL! Well, it’s also the 10 years anniversary from my start in indie publishing, which means this is probably a year of assessment, more than production.

This week I’ll be busy with those online courses, so if Tori wants to do the virtual writing week with reciprocal accountability, I suggest we do it next week, after I send off the two books of the trilogy still to be edited to Mighty Editor and might be more in a writing mood.

I might write a story this week anyway, but again, I won’t berate myself if I’m not as productive as I used to be. It’s been a really shitty summer this year, but hopefully the worst is gone and things will get better from now on. Welcome to September, LOL!

Monday was spent with the Kickstarter Best Practices free workshop and trying to set up my first Kickstarter. Still under review, though, so I won’t say much at this time. The learning curve is steep, but eventually I will jump. Stay tuned.

Yesterday I wrote more than 2K on the new story and went to see the doctor, today I have an appointment for my right arm that still hurts, I’ll probably have to do more physiotherapy. We’ll see.

The weather has cooled down at last, so it’s easier to do everything, including a morning walk. Wishing you all a wonderful week! 🙂

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