I love my cold, black heart

At the day job this week, I was reviewing editorial corrections with a colleague.

He looked at me and said: “Jackie, you’re sucking out my soul.”

“That’s because I don’t have one,” I replied with a smile. “It’s why I am editor.”

He sighed, glanced back at the project, and we soldiered on. 
I feel this picture is an appropriate representation of my editor’s persona. Very gothic. *maniacal laughter*


Beta Readers: Achievement Unlocked!

I survived my 30th birthday unscathed and in good spirits. So good, in fact, that in a fit of joyous creativity I finished the edits to my Viking novella, BOUND.

And now I have sent it out to the first round of beta readers. The few, the proud, the (I hope) grammatically correct! Many thanks to those that volunteered.

I am excited, and nervous, and nauseated, and probably ever so slightly panicky. But, this is the next step in the evolution of the beast. So. Wish me luck.

Also, for those that have been through this process already, if you would like to share some wisdom in the comments, please do.

This is a sign that my Viking heroes need me to continue their story. Obviously.

This is a sign that my Viking heroes need me to continue their story. Obviously.

My beautiful mess of a manuscript

Hello, my hearts!  I’ve been working hard the past week or so to knock out the first round of continuity edits on the Viking novella, insert some new scenes, and start the second round of continuity edits.

Yes, I know, there are a lot of continuity edits. That’s what happens when you decide the back story of a couple of characters needs overhauling and the villain needs to be not only villainous, but also a heinous monstrosity. Things get a mite jumbled.

Basically, I feel like all my words are turning on me in a fit of pointy, grammatically incorrect rage.

But maybe, if we all cross our fingers, MAYBE I’ll be ready for beta readers by the beginning of fall.

My current struggles involve the following:

–       Alternate history fantasy VS. Historical fantasy. Yes, I am aware maybe I should have figured that out at the beginning of the story. Yes, it happened because I was doing research on an as-needed basis. I told you once already, I do things the hard way.

  • Sub-issue: Historically plausible weapons and body armor for men and women. All from the same time period.

–       Geography. Nothing is ever where I think it is, even in my brain.

–       The love story. Kind of needs to be there or else character motivations go all wonky, but I can’t. I can’t even right now, you guys.

–       THE TROPES. Holy God, there was one that just appeared out of nowhere to mock me, I didn’t even realize it was a trope even though it’s a HUGE, GLARING CLICHÉ OF A TROPE. Is there a twelve-step program for this?

  • Twitter led me to discover this. Twitter is the bane of my existence, and my savior.

–       One of the bad guys is, like, superfluous. But the thing is, he is also a fulcrum of the story. Conundrum.

I could really go on and on. I know it sounds as though I should just scrap the whole thing and start over, but I really like this story, and it can work and be excellent. It just has a lot of kinks.

Kind of like when you are remodeling your house, and you start tearing down drywall to put up the new stuff and lo, there’s mold, dry rot, wonky electrical wiring, and possibly a nest of mutant, rabid opossums. BUT. But. Get all those things straightened out, maybe replace a few 2x4s, and the house becomes your dream home. It sparkles.

You can see the potential the whole time even though the mutant opossums are staring at you with dead, hungry eyes.

It’s a beautiful mess.

All the Pies: Make money writing

This weekend I was having a discussion on the Book of Faces with my friend Alyssa, over at Salt Moths, on the price of art.

She was surprised that start-up writers were shocked at her illustration rates, which were completely in line with the professional standards. And for what it’s worth, were entirely reasonable for the quality of work that she would provide.

I understand why we writers would be a little surprised, however. Especially those of us taking the self-publishing route. I mean, we pay for editing services, marketing, publishing, cover design or (and! sometimes it is both) illustration. We would end up spending somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15k if we wanted to do things right, and professionally, before we ever started making any money back on royalties.

We’re putting forth just as much effort as everyone else in the publishing process but the payment is severely delayed.

Is not our writing just as good? Shouldn’t we get paid like everyone else?

Well, of course we should. And writers DO get paid like everyone else.

It’s just we start-ups are conditioned to believe writers don’t make money. And, if we’re not paying close attention, we think there is no other way to make money with our skills except writing books.

Oh, my darlings. There are plenty of other ways.

Freelancing: editing–copy, content, line; journalism; guest blogging; book reviewing. There’s a whole slew of ways to make money.

And there are established rates, comparable to our illustrator friends.

So, while you are writing the next great novel, dabble in the freelancing world. Make some walking around money. Then, you’ll have some extra cash on hand to pay our visual media friends for their services in addition to all the other stuff self-publishing entails.

Put your thumb in ALL THE PIES.

I’m about to provide you with a quick list of resources to help get started. Ready? Brace for pie-related yumminess:

Editorial Freelancers Association General Resources 

How to Become a Freelance Editor 

How to Become a Freelance Writer

Yes, Virginia You can Be a Paid Writer, Too.

Okay, so that’s the jumping off point. Remember, Google is your friend–you can do this. Now, go out there and make some money!