Monday, January 9, 2012

A Week Off in the Life of a Writer

I took last week off from my job to try and get through some of the enormous piles of WORK that I have to do.  Book sales are phenomenal, but not quite at the point where I can give up my day-job and focus on it exclusively.
My goal, for those of you who don't know, is to make one million dollars this year.  I will settle for a quarter of that, but that is my stated goal, and the one I intend to pursue ruthlessly.  
Last week, my fiance was also off, so it made things a bit more difficult.  I did not accomplish all that I sought, because she was under the assumption I'd taken the week off to spend time with her.  Not that I hadn't, mind you, but she believed I'd taken the week off to ONLY spend time with her.  Negotiations ensued, needless to say.
So, with this week off as well, and the Woman back in school, I have laid out several goals for myself which WILL be accomplished come hell or high water.

Goal One
Finish, Format, and Publish the new Ancient Rituals collection.
- Done!  I received the last edits from Laurie this morning, and was able to sling though the formatting with little difficulty using Mobipocket Creator.  What a nifty little program.  I've been paying substantial amounts of money for formatting and cover art on all my books, but this time I decided to give it a go by myself.
Well...not completely by myself.  Keri Knutson was kind enough to send me the cover art for Ancient Rituals long ago when it was just a short story on Wattpad.  Through the magic of iPad Brushes and Microsoft Paint, I was able to alter the cover enough to make it suitable for this collection.
Also, I simply MUST give a shout-out to David Barron.  I know nothing of David's work, but he published the single greatest blog on cover art formatting that I've ever seen.  I lost the link and spent DAYS trying to recover it, because there was simply nothing else out there that could compare to his information.  If you have a photograph or drawing you desire to use as a Kindle book cover, I implore you to click this link.
It is nearly eleven o'clock here in Pennsylvania, and Ancient Rituals is not live.  Looks like I'll be anxiously checking Amazon throughout the remainder of the evening for it.

Goal Two
I earned enough money via my Amazon Affiliates license to received a $10 gift card from them.  I used it to purchase Hell House by Richard Matheson.  The book is the absolute scariest thing I've ever read.  So good.  Surprisingly, the formatting of the Kindle book sucks.  There are multiple problems throughout the manuscript, the kind that I would raise holy hell over if they appeared in mine.  If I would not settle for it, Richard should not have to either.
I doubt Rich is actively monitoring how his books look on Kindle (The guy's 85 years old, for Chrissakes) so the people looking out for him should be.  Hell House is a masterpiece, and deserves better.
After three days, I'm almost done the book, which says a lot given how busy I am.
The second book I'm trying to make a dent in is The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruis Zafon.  I loved Shadow of the Wind, and am enjoying this book, but it has been over a year now and I'm still only halfway through it.    The novel is like an enormous gothic abyss.  It is labyrinthian and big.  That being said, the writing is beautiful, and I cannot abandon it.  Thus, my efforts continue.

Goal Three
To complete the second rewrite of Superbia: Different Shades of Blue.  I want to have this draft done within the next four days.  I did the On Writing thing.  I took a nice little break and went and worked on something else.  Now, I'm going back into the depths of what may either be my finest novel or the one that puts a stake in the heart of my police career.  Maybe both.

Additional Goals
Not to play too much Modern Warfare 3 (PSN Handle: BtheEnemy) but just use it as a way to unwind in between writing sessions.
I was given Skyrim recently, but have yet to fire it up.  I'm still having too much fun going pew pew pew at all the little campers and sissies who jump when you start shooting at them in MW3.
Also, my son bought himself an Xbox Kinect with his Christmas money.  I've been trying to make use of it as well in the mornings to get the blood flowing since it's too cold to go walking around here lately.

Just checked Amazon again.  Ancient Rituals still isn't up yet.  Sigh...

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