I’m running behind. 

In my “entity” as M.A. Lee, my current mystery The Hazard of Secrets was supposed to be finished on the last day of June. Here it is 25 days later, and I’m still not finished. I’m running behind.

For HoS, I have 5 to 7 more chapters to write. My expected word count was 55,000. I am currently at 50,000-plus.

When I look at the scenes that are necessary to finish the mystery and solve the crime and close the other threads, I think that word count is going to be closer to 70,000 than 65,000. Those extra words are part of the problem.

However, the main problem with running behind is TIME. Writers can’t find the time to catch up.

Throughout July and the tail end of June–the reason that I am running behind–I’ve only managed two days of creative writing each week. As I am looking ahead to the end of July, I see no time to write on Friday or Saturday or Sunday, and maybe a little time on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  This is the kind of thing that drives me crazy!

I’ve had tons of disruptions–and have used the time crowded around those disruptions (when the brain won’t settle to creativity) to work on revisions–and I have been contending with a back injury at the end of May. I just found out that the back injury is actually a broken rib. No wonder I’ve been hurting and not able to sleep the night through.

12th rib. A floating one. It’s the bottom-most rib. Right there at my liver. Yikes!

When I launch into a year, I have a plan, the Yearly Plan, of what I hope to accomplish. For most of my teaching career, I over-scheduled. That helps when you’re dealing with teen-agers: Idle hands and the devil’s workshop and all that.

So~

Based on my plan at the start of the year, Me as M.A. Lee should be in the middle of my 11th Hearts in Hazard book, The Hazard for Spies. Well, no.

That plan also had me nearly finished with a writing craft book, Discovering Your Characters. I was supposed to be working slowly through that nonfiction book (5th in the Discovering / Think like a Pro Writer series). Nope. I have about 21,000 of an expected 35,000 guidebook. I know what needs to come next. I’ve got words roughed out, some merely sketched out, and the vaguest of ideas for the rest.

At the start of June I re-adjusted by Yearly Plan at the start of June. I knew I was running behind on HoSecrets;  H4Spies should start around July 20. I knew I was running behind on DiscChar; I figured I would finish it around July 30.

That ain’t going to happen.

Yes, I said ain’t.

Now my whole Yearly Plan is thrown off. Gee whillikers.

Mysteries by M.A. Lee ~

I may not have anything written, but I have the H4S cover!
Hazard of Secretsnew deadline: August 15.

Hazard for Spies, new deadline: October 15.

That will finish the 12-book Hearts in Hazard series. I’ve enjoyed Regency mysteries. I’ve discovered that I’m really not happy writing “suspense” and “scary” and that I prefer mysteries and vintage gothics a la Mary Stewart and Phyllis A. Whitney and Victoria Holt.

One of the things that I have wanted to do for this series is to turn them into real paperbacks. Holding the book (rather than the electronic device), flipping the pages, dipping in and out–that’s a reader’s true joy. So, converting the manuscripts to paperback is the plan for 2020.

As for the Rest of my Writing Year

Writing Craft Books ~ also Me as M.A. Lee

Discovering Your Characters, new deadline: August 15 (half-a-month behind)

Discovering Your Plotnew deadline, September 30 (30 days behind). 50% is already roughly written; the rest has notes and ideas and sketched points that should speed along.
Discovering Your Author Brand, new deadline ??? About 15% is roughly written. The rest will have to come from scratch.
Discovering Sentence Craft, new deadline ~ ??? May not make 2019, so early in 2020.

Fantasy ~ Me as Remi Black and Me as Edie Roones (Oooh, two for one).

I have two fantasy novellas that I want to write. I really, really enjoyed the one that I published in early May. Writing To Wield the Wind was inspired and inspiring. I’m going to enjoy returning to this world with parts 2 and 3 of this Enclave World series under my pseudonym of Remi Black.

These two novellas to finish the series will happen, even if it means the Writing Craft books are pushed back into 2020. That’s okay. I want to bundle all five of the Discovering / Think like a Pro Writer books as ebooks as well as put them into paperback form. The paperback form wasn’t going to be possible until 2020, so I’ll just combine those projects into one big focus.

Poor Edie Roones is just sitting there, hanging out, waiting for her turn. I have the Sansward four-part series to finish, with Spring Magicks. I have ideas but nothing written. That’s on schedule for 2020 as well.

2019 Becomes 2020

I need to finish the Isabella Into Death series with Portrait with Death. That’s M.A. Lee. Maybe it will happen in 2020, maybe not.

M.A. Lee has 14 novels (as well as 4 nonfiction books) under that pseudonym. Finishing the Into Death series will put that number at 15. Ideas are popping up for the next series already. Geez, brain, slow down a little.
I need to devote more writing time to Remi Black and Edie Roones. Under my Remi Black pseudonym I have two novellas that I am desperate to write as well as the last 3 Alstera / Enclave books. I have more ideas for the Edie Roones pseudonym, remaining focused on Medieval–fantasy and mystery as separate lines.

When I look at 2020, I see so much that I want to write already, and this is not even an official plan!

Heavens,

so even if I’m running Behind,

LIFE IS GOOD!

Scary October needs a scary witch, and the fantasy Autumn Spells by Edie Roones offers us Neehla.

Eager to re-embody herself in a younger woman, Neehla builds her sorcerous spell.

Prologue

In this life her name was Neehla.  Over many lives, she had lost some things, gained others.  Through them all, her sorcery remained tangible evil, woven from the elemental air and the incense of her spells.

Her fingers flew across the loom, weaving a snare for the unwary.  She snatched a spiral of smoke from the air and twisted it deftly before joining the sorcered strand to the thread on the shuttle.  As it shot across the warp threads on the loom, the gray smoke deepened, becoming as darkly hued as the power that shaped it.

Continue reading “Scary October & Scary Witch: the fantasy Autumn Spells”

The first book in the alternate medieval fantasy by Edie Roones:  Seasons in Sansward

Summer Sieges

Honor and death? Or cowardice and life?  Stark choices, and not that easy.

Beren, a warder at Caldew Keep, swore an oath to defend her lord and lady.  The

Summer Sieges by Edie Roones

arrival of the Watrani horde, allied with the Gitane Witches, changes the world she has known.  The Witches are sorcerers who have been exiled from Sansward for generations.

Beren’s keep lady orders her to protect the Eye, a magical crystal that increases a wielder’s power.

Besides the magnification of power, the Eye has two other important purposes: 1)  It can remove the curse that transformed the fighting Prica warriors into wolves.  2) It will free sorcerers who were trapped in stone at the end of the Great War between the mages and the witches.

And the Gitane Witches are searching for the Eye.

Lady Treasache intends to steal away with the Eye in a desperate bid to keep it from the Gitane.  The Prica Storr thinks to use the Eye to shift back into man.

Will Beren sacrifice herself in a futile attempt to guard the Eye?  With only a sword as defense against sorcery, can she survive a battle against the Gitane?  Or will she discover that the road to death is littered with people who chose honor over life?

Available now

 

The third Fantasy in an Alternate medieval World,
part of the Seasons in Sansward

When a Gitane WitchMaster pursues two Frenc spies who stole a sphere of power, can a half-trained mage and a simple temple cleric help them escape?

 

Just as their cover is blown, the spies Rolf and Catal stumble upon a greater secret:  the Kaerrefiorne, a blood-fed globe that will connect every Gitane Witch.  They steal the last orb that will complete the connection and escape into snow-smothered Arlas.

When Catal is severely wounded, two clerics at a Protectorate temple outpost become the Frenc spies only hope.  Legeeta and Niijai, a Green mage with unschooled powers, do not know they harbor Frenc spies.

Rolf takes the orb to the border to keep it from the pursuing Watrani.  He is not an hour from the temple when the troop arrives. 

With the Watrani is Keipven, a WitchMaster.  He recognizes Niijai’s magic as a potent replacement for the orb.  If he can bend her power to his will, his own puissance increases.  If he can twist her to sorcery, the Gitane become

Will Catal be discovered and killed as a spy? that much stronger against the Mages.  If he can neither control her nor twist her, then he will kill her.

Will Rolf stumble into the Watrani when he returns?

And will Niijai be destroyed by Keipven, alive and enslaved to his plans or bloody and dead on the snowy fields of Arlas?

The second Book
in the Season in Sansward Quarternary

by Edie Roones

The Green mage Saisha and Hethan, a master swordsman, find themselves entangled in a dark dame’s spells.

They are drawn together at a harvest festival.  They free a wounded Prica, a man cursed in the shape of a wolf.  Yet neither expects to see the other ever again.

Yet when Hethan returns to his home keep, a dark dame ensorcels him to track down a mage.  She wants to reincarnate herself in the mage’s younger body.

The dame’s dark spells bring them back together.  Can Saisha disentangle Hethan from the sorcery?  Or will she be trapped and turned into a wraith while the dark dame inhabits her body?