Playing Catch-up

This week has been odd. I’ve gotten a lot done, but not as much on the current WIP, or a contract project, as I wanted. Part of the issue is dealing with real life commitments: doctor appointments, cleaning house, etc. Part has been the on-going sage with the local paper. Part has been getting my brain to slow down enough to focus on a single project at a time. This latter has been the real problem as I’ve been chasing a lot of “ooooh-shiny!” moments this week.

Even so, I’m about to send Jaguar Rising off to the beta readers. I managed to get the updated files and new cover for Nocturnal Haunts uploaded to Amazon. Writing has been happening on a daily basis–with one exception. So why do I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels?

The answer is simple, even if it isn’t quite so simple to overcome. I’ve been spinning my wheels because I’m not in control right now. Even though we now have Mom’s CT results, we are waiting for the referral to a spine specialist to be sent in so we can set up an appointment. We’re fortunate because for all that is wrong, the spinal canal is not involved and the problems she’s experiencing can most likely be dealt with sans surgery. Fingers crossed.

I’ve not been in control where the paper’s involved, although I had more control about that situation than the doctor one. Still, I’m having to wait another couple of days to see if they’ve done as promised. If they have, then I will close out the BBB complaint but without giving the paper a satisfactory rating. They don’t deserve one when they’ve strung the refund process out more than 3 weeks (we are closing in on 4 as I type this) and not when they flat out lied to the BBB along the way.

But, those distractions and the others haven’t kept me from creating. I feel more in control of the long-term writing than I have in a long time. I not only know where I’m going with the current project (Jaguar Rising) but with the next four new titles. If that’s not reason enough to relax at least a little, I also have a good handle on where the fifth new title is headed. There are still some plot points on it to work out before I sit down to start writing but, by the time I get to it later this year, those will be worked out.

What’s been really cool this week is something that happened (now more than once) when I picked up my Kindle Oasis to do some reading. Because I’m cheap, I haven’t paid to take the ads off my Kindle. That means, whenever I wake it up, I get a few seconds of some book ad or recommendation. I don’t currently have any kindle ads going. So imagine my surprise to see Amazon pushing one of my books on the wake up ad. It’s a little thing, but it makes me happy.

What else?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted draft covers for some of my upcoming covers. Here’s what I posted for Blood Stripe. At the time I created the draft cover, I didn’t have more than a vague idea about the plot of the story. (This will be a short story/short novella in the Honor & Duty Universe). In my gut, I liked the cover but knew it didn’t quite say what I wanted it to. Here’s the cover.

I like the image, but it doesn’t feel right, if that makes sense. So I went looking this morning as I was making some phone calls for another image that might be better. I found this. Now, I’ll admit, it isn’t perfect. I need to add another element or two to make the SF aspect of the story clear. But I like it better–I think–than the base image for the first.

(Base cover image and featured image by grandfailure. Licensed through Adobe Stock.) The title refers to the stripe down the leg of a Marine’s dress uniform. In the Honor & Duty universe, the stripe is to honor the fallen–something that figures very deeply in the story.

And now I need to make another couple of calls before getting back to work. You guys have a great weekend. I’ll be back later!

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