My day job is killing me.
I’m not complaining! My day job is a dream come true. It’s also a frantic sprint from the moment I wake up until I collapse every night.
Writing is not exactly the leisurely, contemplative life I imagined as a kid.
I think last time I posted I was panicking about a deadline for the first third of Faith (Ghost Targets, #5). I made the deadline. It was a close-run thing, but I managed 12,000 words in three days while out of state celebrating my in-laws’ anniversary.
When I got home, I turned in my pages to the professor and then immediately started panicking about my next deadline. That’s the one you all care about, I’m sure.
The Dragonprince’s Heir
I’m attempting to complete The Dragonprince’s Heir (The Dragonprince Trilogy, #3) as the final project for my Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Oklahoma. In April I’ll submit a finished manuscript to a panel of three much-published authors (Deborah Chester, J. Madison Davis, and Mel Odom), and then a couple weeks later I’ll have to go before them and defend it as a publishable work.
If they approve it, I’ll receive my Master’s degree. If they don’t, I won’t. Simple as that. This is my masterpiece, in the original sense. It’s fitting that it’s also the culmination of the series that made me famous.
But given the importance of that project, I hate that I’m having to rush it as much as I am. The book is about 2/3 done at 60,000 words, and I have the rest plotted and outlined, but I’m rapidly running out of school year.
In short, I need to write 30,000-40,000 words (approximately 120-150 pages) in the next three weeks.That will leave me just one week to revise the whole thing up to a standard my judges will consider “publishable.”
The good news is that it’ll leave me seven weeks to publish it. That’s longer than any of our projects has ever had to process through Consortium Books. Again, given the importance of the project, I love that we’ll be able to take it slow.
Into the Flames
And with all this hanging over me, I had to interrupt my writing time last weekend because of a critical deadline at my day job. My other day job, I guess I should say.
This week we published Jessie Sanders’s debut novel, Into the Flames, which is a young-adult urban fantasy with some incredibly engaging characters. I read it as a partial manuscript over a year ago, approved it as a rough draft, and spent the last year waiting anxiously to find out what it became.
That finally happened last weekend. Two days before we took it to press, I finally cleared my schedule and curled up with my Kindle to read the final draft.
It was phenomenal (of course). Halfway through the afternoon Saturday, I looked up at the end of a particularly exciting scene and said, “Is this really my job?”
I love it. I love the writing, and I love the publishing, too. Every bit of it makes me better at my craft and brings better works to the reading public. That’s a rewarding feeling.
Auric and the Wolf
Meanwhile, I’m working on other projects of my own, too. I’m helping develop a new digital book production company, I’m preparing some Dragonswarm short stories for the Consortium of Worlds collections, and I’m publishing the short stories I co-created in the world of Oberon’s Dreams.
“Notes from a Thief” is already out (with a recently redesigned cover that’s just stunning). And in the last week I did a big rewrite on “Auric and the Wolf,” in which I made the kid actually fight the wolf. Much more exciting that way.
That one should be out in a couple weeks. I’ll let you know when it’s available.
I was also contacted out of the blue by someone from the University of Wisconsin who’s putting together an anthology called Live Life. They asked me to contribute a work (or works), with all proceeds going to The American Cancer Society.
And I just happen to have a perfect piece: the literary story “Building Plans” I wrote for Advanced Fiction Writing last fall. It’s about a single mother who’s widowed young and trying to find some way to make her life go on working. Seems pretty fitting, really.
I spent today mostly getting caught up on chores, but tomorrow I’m back to writing on the Dragonprince. Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.