I’ve been unusually silent these past few weeks, so I have quite a bit to talk about.
First, I’d like to explain why I haven’t been writing. After that, I’ll tell you what I’ve had boiling in the back of my mind, and let you in on a few secrets I’ve been keeping (and I don’t mean the gummy bears I keep hidden in my desk drawer).
The reason why I haven’t been writing is simple. I couldn’t.
Over a year ago, I learned that I had several issues with my right shoulder. I posed for Xrays and MRIs, but nothing except a little swelling was found. So I went to physical therapy for several months. It still didn’t improve. Finally, I had a surgeon say he was going to take a look.
Long story short: he removed a bone spur, reattached a muscle that had torn loose from the bone, and loosened things up because I had two bones rubbing together.
The surgery went fine, but the post-op recovery was a nightmare. Coming out of the anesthetic made me extremely ill. They gave me three different meds to prevent me from vomiting, and none of them worked. I threw up so hard so many times that the capillaries in my eyes ruptured (my eyes are still bloodshot) and I practically blacked out.
Now that my intake of meds has been reduced, I am able to actually stay awake long enough to get some work done. I won’t be able to use my right arm to its fullest for months yet, but I am glad to be back at work writing.
And now that we’re on the subject of writing, let me fill you in on what I’ve been doing this past month.
A few, select beta readers already know this, but I once again skipped around on my timeline. Instead of starting work on The Sovereign Flame (AEON 5), I wrote the prelude for The Tainted Soul. And there is a very special reason why I did that.
I believe I mentioned earlier that my mother got me access to James Patterson’s MasterClass on writing as a Yule present. Through this class, there is a writing competition where writers submit a hook and 1000 words. From all the entries, there are 10 selected as semi-finalists. Of those 10, three are chosen as finalists (a status which can land them book deals of their own). One lucky writer, chosen from the finalists, gets to co-author a book with Mr. Patterson.
The prelude of The Tainted Soul was submitted to this competition.
I chose TTS as my entry because, though affiliated with The AEON Files and still within the confines of its universe, it is a separate saga capable of standing on its own. April 6th is when the 10 semi-finalists are announced, so I’ll be pacing a hole in the floor for a while yet.
Even if I don’t win, it’s still a great head start that has quite a few intrigued readers already.
If you haven’t heard of Pitch Madness, it’s a type of “elevator pitch” competition. Writers have just 35 words to pitch their books to get the interest of select readers, and the 250 words from the manuscript to completely hook them. From there, 60 submissions are chosen to go to agents, which will then go through various critiques that will help the writers enhance their queries, thus increasing the chances of getting a publishing deal.
There’s a limit of one submission per writer, so I entered The Demon Within with:
I’ll find out March 6th if I’m one of the 60 selected to move on.
But contests aren’t the only things I’ve been working on. I currently have quite a sizeable To-do list. Here’s what’s on it:
I’ve just been given the job of inventorying, photographing, and writing the copy for several hundred items to be listed on eBay. I haven’t really used eBay for anything before, so this will be an interesting learning experience.
I’m also co-managing a craft project that needs some writing done, in the form of a short story for children about a faerie. The project itself has to do with collecting faerie dust, so it’s quite fun.
And I still have five art commissions to do, two of which are quite large (a camper-trailer and a bird mansion).
Then I have to re-script a website and update the cover art for The AEON Files (to which I’ve added another two book ideas to Season 2).
As of this moment, I’m finishing up the outline for The Tainted Soul while modifying a few things on the The Sovereign Flame outline.
Ya gotta admit, that’s quite a lot of work for someone who can only use one arm for the next several months.
I have just two words for my To-do list: Challenge accepted.
By the way, if you’re interested in becoming one of my Beta Readers, or receiving advanced copies to review, I invite you to join my VIP club. All you need to get started is your name and email address, which can be entered in the form below.