Author: Amanda (page 1 of 84)

Writing: When the Evil Muse Hits — Again

A week from tomorrow, Light Magic goes live on Amazon. As the days and hours count down, it’s time for this writer to start focusing on the next project. Yes, I’ve been writing, but it’s been on several different things with nothing really hitting me. I’ve got rough drafts finished or closed to being finished on a couple of things. I have plot notes done on others. So what happened over the weekend? Myrtle the Evil Muse, who has been suspiciously silent of late, reared her head, adjusted her tarnished tiara and shoved a full book plot into my head. Of course, it wasn’t a book I’d been planning on. I guess the one good thing is it wasn’t a new series.

Oh, crap! I’ve probably just given the evil one something to consider and ambush me with later. Crap, crap, crap!

Because of that, I sat down yesterday and looked at the projects I have in various phases of production. I reviewed the notes and the drafts and tried to figure out what could be done when because this is, after all, my job and that means I need a schedule. So here’s what I have in the pipeline:

  1. Sword of the Gods, book 3. This will be the conclusion of Cait Hawkener’s story but not necessarily the last book in that universe.
  2. Victory from Ashes (Honor & Duty book 4). This should conclude the current story arc but it will not be the last book or story written in this universe.
  3. One short story in the Honor & Duty series
  4. Prequel novella in the Honor & Duty series
  5. An as of yet untitled Nocturnal Lives short story/novella that will bridge between the end of Nocturnal Rebellion and the next book in the series.
  6. Nocturnal ???. This may be the last book in the series. It will definitely be the last book in the current story arc.
  7. Red Witch. This is the book Myrtle the Evil Muse hit me with. Yes, I know it already has a title. Yes, I know everything that happens in the book. It is also part of the Eerie Side of the Tracks universe.
  8. Conclusion of Skeletons in the Closet. I know that plot as well. What I’m trying to figure out is how to present it. It was initially planned as two more short novellas like Skeletons. But it feels more like it will be a single, longer novella.
  9. Eerie Side of the Creek book 3 (Ciara’s story). Plotted but nothing written yet.
  10. Eerie Side of the Creek short story/novella bringing the rest of the O’Donnell family into the picture (although this might become part of Skeletons because these two plots really intertwine)
  11. Dead City — collaboration project with Sarah A. Hoyt that I’m really excited about.
  12. So for untitled romantic suspense novel. Rough draft completed.

So, I’m going to be busy. But the question still is there. What do I focus on next?

Ah, Politics

Maybe I’m getting jaded the older I get. Maybe it’s that I’ve been up since 0400. Whatever the reason, I find I have little tolerance for politics and most political ads these days. One local politician has really gotten under my skin. I can’t tell you what office he’s running for, only that it’s in Congress. Nor can I tell you his name. I do know his party because his so-called “message” says it all. But I have zero clue where he stands on issues important to my district or state because he hasn’t said squat about them.

Unfortunately, that sort of political ad seems to be the norm instead of the exception. I can’t tell you where any politician stands on issues that matter. What I can tell you is how they feel about 1) President Trump or 2) Ken Paxton. I don’t care about that. More accurately, I care but that is so far down the list of important issues that it becomes a non-issue. Tell me what your qualifications are to represent me. Tell me what you think can be done to improve our schools, our roads, our infrastructure, our tax code and the like. Tell me how your plan differs from your opponent’s. If you want to play politics, tell me why you are the candidate I should support.  Continue reading

Publishing sense

Yesterday, I wandered over to The Passive Voice, one of my favorite sites when it comes to finding out what’s going on in the publishing world. One story that caught my eye was a day or so old but it was just different enough to have me clicking through to the original post. It was, one close examination, what could best be called a press-release for smallish publisher. But it was written in such a way it read like news — can you say “fake news” — and it did bring up some good points.

Not necessarily the points the publisher meant, however. Continue reading

I hit the wall

I didn’t blog yesterday or, frankly, do much of anything else because I hit the wall. Mentally, physically and emotionally, I was done in. I learned long ago when I reach that point, the best thing to do is nothing but sleep and stay away from social media. Today’s better, hence the bloggage.  😉 Continue reading

Busy morning

Just a quick note this morning. I’m putting the finishing touches on Light Magic and verifying conversion files this morning. That includes the print files. More on that when it’s done.

In the meantime, I’ve got a couple of blogs up elsewhere this morning. Over at Victory Girls, I discuss that sad excuse for a teacher, Gregory Salcido, who refused to step down from his city council seat last night. You see, he’s a pacifist with a capital “P” and while he didn’t mean to hurt anyone when he spewed his anti-military comments in class, he wasn’t going to apologize for them either. Instead, he gave that age-old “it was taken out of context” excuse. Of course, it’s hard to make that argument fly when we have a five-frigging-minute video of his ravings. Continue reading

Guilty by media

I didn’t want to write about politics or current events this morning. Really I didn’t. I had to do my MGC blog post and then I wanted to get straight to the final check of Light Magic before moving on to the next project. Unfortunately, the news for the last few days — who am I kidding? It’s been going on for months — won’t let me. I’ve railed here and elsewhere about how tired I am about the media trying to create news instead of report it. Well, they (along with a certain segment of people) have gone one step further. Now they are declaring people guilty, not based on their guilt or innocence but based on the alleged crime.

The latest stems from the allegations against members of the current Administration of spousal abuse. I want to go on the record right here that I think anyone who abuses a spouse or partner should face the full force and penalty of the law. However, we have a justice system for a reason. That reason has been lost in the wave of outrage left in the #MeToo wake. While I applaud women — and men — stepping forward to confront their abusers, we also have to take a very long and hard look at their allegations. I am sure many, if not most, were abused as they allege. However, I have seen too many instances where abuse allegations were leveled when no abuse took place to believe they have all been abused. Continue reading

Writing, pet peeves and more

Ah, Monday, how I hate thee. Or, more precisely, I hate the fact I’ve been up for several hours already and would really like to go back to bed. That’s given me some time to leisurely go through my different news feeds, social media (ack) and think about blogging. One item caught my eye, a post by Melodie Campbell, caught my eye. Campbell is a novelist. Her “pet peeves” as a creative writing professor are things every writer should keep in mind. Why? Because they are pet peeves many readers have about books currently available — and not just from indie authors. In fact, I see more of these peeves being exhibited in traditionally published books than in indie books.

I’m not going to discuss all 10 of Campbell’s pet peeves. Instead, I’ll touch on several that are at the top of my list of “how to piss off Amanda quicker than just about anything.” Continue reading

Dead City Cover Reveal

Just going to leave the cover for Dead City here as a tease. More to come soon. But to say I’m excited as hell by this project is putting it mildly. VBEG

A reminder, a link and trying a new theme

I’m a little late blogging this morning for several reasons. The first is I overslept. Now that Light Magic has been put to bed, my mind went into overdrive last night on a couple of upcoming projects. That meant I spent much of the night thinking about or dreaming about what to write next. Included is one project I haven’t announced here yet and hope to be able to very soon. As a result, once the brain slowed down enough to let me sleep peacefully, I not only did that but I slept deeply — at least until the cats decided I had been in bed more than long enough and it was time to get up NOW!So, for the reminder. Light Magic is available for pre-order. Have you ordered your copy yet? It will be released in print as well the beginning of next month. Continue reading


No, this isn’t going to be a serious post this morning. Or at least it won’t be a long, serious post. I’m still getting back into the swing of things after finishing Light Magic and getting it up for pre-order. (Have you ordered your copy yet? Hmmm?) But that doesn’t mean I don’t have responsibilities to take care of. That means I have to figure out how to kickstart the brain so it halfway functions. In other words, where’s the coffee?

My first goal of the day has been accomplished. I have written and posted over at Victory Girls. Go check it out, please. Basically, I take the Ithaca High School administration to task for missing a great teaching moment. Instead, they caved in to a group of five students who were upset at the casting of Esmerelda in the musical version of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. They had no problem with the girl cast in the role. In fact, they said she was an excellent actress and singer and would be an asset to any play. However, she was also the “epitome of whiteness” so, of course, she couldn’t play Esmerelda because everyone knows she’s a person of color. Except, well, that’s not necessarily true. If the school had take time to teach the source material for the musical — the book by Victor Hugo — they would have seen that Esmerelda was the daughter of a Frenchwoman who had been stolen by the gypsies as a baby. Her father is never mentioned.But noooo, these students, and the adults they got involved, focused only on the Disney movie — and we all know Disney would never ever take liberties with the source material. Continue reading

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