behind-the-scenes sunday

Oops. I didn’t get around to planning, writing and scheduling posts for this week. Life has been busy of late, but in a good way. So, let’s go behind the scenes and see what I’ve been up to lately.


We went back to school after a week’s vacation. That required planning on my part, some of which included:

  • Find copywork sentences and passages for the olders
  • Correcting school work and ordering new workbooks as needed (math for Sir I., spelling for Miss M., phonics for the Baron)
  • Looking over the next few history chapters, picking supplementary books, and checking them out from the library
  • Choosing which science topics to cover and gathering supplies for experiments (current list includes cream of tartar, a head of red cabbage, and graduated measuring cylinders!)

And then there’s actual school time, which takes up all of the morning and an hour or so in the afternoon.


Folks, I’ve been struggling through Ironhand (working title of the Mourning Cloak sequel).

I’m a weird breed of fantasy writer. Barring a set of loosely-related short stories featuring the same character, I’ve never written a sequel. None. Zilch. Nada.

And I realized that I’m terrified of sequels. Yes, I would rather build a whole new world and bring a whole new set of characters to life than write a sequel.

Sequels come with baggage. Other people’s expectations.  The sinking feeling that you might’ve broken the story. The duh moment that you wished you’d added that one detail in book one that would’ve set everything up so well for book two. The feeling that you’re writing yourself into a corner and you can’t do a darn thing about it because the first book is already published!

Working on Ironhand was like being a rabbit running away from a big scary dog.

It wasn’t pretty. One should not get that anxious and sweaty-palmed over a scene in which characters aren’t even being attacked.

So I took some time out to write a very short story, and a few nights ago the right brain and I had a little talk. In which right brain handed me some ideas for how to finish up the Kato/Flutter story in one novella, gave me some truly scary monsters, and some helpful plot guideposts along the way.

I’m calmer now.

In other writerly news, I’ve started a fantasy novel about a girl and a pegasus for 6yo Miss M. and a sci-fi collaboration with 8yo Sir I.


Yeah, that was my reaction, too.

This and That

Things are happening with the Quartz serial! I went through the novel and divided it up into 90 episodes. I’ve polished, proofread and stuck the first four into WordPress. My tech people and I are working on figuring out how to integrate the serial into my site (current plan is to give it its own page and RSS feed). A weekly episode will run on Tuesdays, with Saturdays open for a bonus episodes (at $5 each).

I also have a very tentative production schedule for this year (always subject to change), but it includes Ironhand, a follow-up anthology to Shattered, the completion of a Kai’s book that is sitting (still) at 80K, and a Snow White-inspired novella with electricpunk elements (and no, I don’t know if electricpunk is really a word).


How about you? What projects are you working on?


  1. Projects incl.

    • finish beta reading G. Jackson’s book
    • create lunches and breakfasts for the week – check!
    • create a portfolio to hopefully turn seasonal job into permanent
    • scribble, scribble, scribble, and start finishing stuff again for the 365 Challenge (may be delayed for another month – le sigh!)
    • try writing a quick short for Holly Lisle’s anthology for students (must be logged in to see)
    • get current single titles into print
    • finish compiling a fiction/poetry collection

  2. Miquela says:

    Re what you said about sequels: Oh, yes, which is why I shall finish my trilogy before thinking in the slightest way about how to get it out to readers. There is no way I could have book one out there before finishing the third. My brain just would not accept being “stuck” like that.

    As for what I’m up to:
    - steadily writing said trilogy;
    - making a 5-yr plan;
    - working on a compost bin for the balcony;
    - now that i have my sewing machines, I’ll soon start making a duvet cover and finish my quilt;
    - crocheting an afghan;
    - constantly baking to use up my sourdough starter…

    • Is the 5-yr plan writing-focused or is it broader than that?

      The rest of your list sounds so comfortable cosy and domestic (and I mean that in a good way!)

      • Miquela says:

        It is broader. :D J wants a career change, so we need to focus on how we will generate an income.

        • Fun! (Sorry, I love things like 5-year plans and directing change rather than letting change happen to us :D).

  3. If you write it, I will read It!

Share Your Thoughts