Writing Round Up – Taking Stock of the Year #amwriting #2013

Over on LiveJournal, under my fandom persona, I’ve always done an end of the year round up of writing meme. I decided to transfer that here this year.

Number of Books Published in 2013
1. Ascending Hearts with Keira Andrews
2. Love’s Nest with Keira Andrews
3. Training Season

Words Written in 2013
1. Training Season – 60,000 new words
2. Love’s Nest – hilariously, I had 51,900 at the end of 2012, but didn’t actually finish the book until February of 2013, and, after edits, it was down to 51,061. So, I netted no words there. – 0 words
3. Binasco Bakery – 5,630
4. ’90s Coming of Age – novel – 24,000 new words (at least, but I don’t have a good ‘before’ count)
5. Falling – novella – 10,000 new words
6. Smoky Mountain Dreams – novel – 0 new words
7. Everything Is Yes – novella – 10,000 new words
8. Trans* Story – novella – 11,242
9. Sheriff Jackson – novella – 951
10. Lost Souls – novel – 0 new words
11. Bucket List – novel – 1,034
12. Ask Jungle Jason – novel – 2,314
13. Always Naked Men – short – 2,648
14. Heist – 457
15. Stalking Dreams – novella – 9,986
16. Leuka – original novel – 0 new words (poor Leuka)
17. Lost Sea – original novel – 0 new words
18. HertClub – original novel – 0 new words
19. Stalking Novel – novel – 44,777
20. For Reasons – novel – 3,158

Subtotal: 186,197 <–Wow, that is totally not enough! Not even close to enough. I have to do better this year.

I also wrote 75,000 words of pure smut under a different pen name. Nope, not sharing it here, but I did write it and it’s out there bringing in smut money. 😉 So, I’ll count those words toward my total count. (And also make note to decide if these words paid off monetarily in terms of focus, time, effort, etc.)


I’d like to hit 350,000 new words in 2014.

Overall Thoughts:

Looking back, did you write more than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you’d predicted?

I always overestimate what I’m going to get done, so I’d go with less. I’d have wanted to break 300k word count, at least.

What did you write that you would never have predicted in January?

I finished Training Season. That was never in my plan for the year. It hit me in August that I had an old draft of a book about an Olympian and that, hey, the Winter Olympics were coming up. If I wanted to do something about that, now was the time. So, when I started the year, Training Season was not even in my plans.

What’s your own favorite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest?

Training Season, actually. It is the kind of book I want to write and I’m proud of it.

Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them?

I decided to finish and self-publish Training Season. I learned that I love, love, love self-publishing. I love having control over when the editing happens, when it’s released, how the cover looks, etc. I love being able to make coupons for the book to provide discounts for special occasions. I love the freedom of choosing if I want to go to print or not. I love it all. At this point, I might need to be sold on why I should return to a publisher. The last one I dealt with offered very little in exchange for their 60% of profits, and they were often rude in correspondence, didn’t seem invested in getting my book out there, and sales were abysmal. So, yeah, I’m not sure where the benefit is, necessarily, except perhaps in access to readership. For that reason, I’ll probably submit a few books to publishers, but I will have to be won over whole hog before I’ll submit every book.

I’ve decided to take a huge writing risk next year. But I’ll save that for later!

From my past year of writing, what was…

My most popular story of this year:

Training Season, for sure.

Story of mine most under-appreciated by the universe, in my opinion:

Ha! Well, I guess it would have to be poor Love’s Nest. I’m not sure what the problem is with selling the book, because, though the other two fairy tales didn’t fare very well either, they acutally did better. I suspect it’s the pricing, but I have no control over that, since it’s not self-pubbed. (Oh, hindsight!)

Most fun story to write:

I loved working on Stalker Novel [half-finished]. It was a blast. I loved finishing up Training Season. I had fun with the expansion of Coming of Age Novel [also half-finished].

Story with the single sexiest moment:

I write so much sex that I have no f’ing clue! LOL!

Most “Holy crap, that’s wrong, even for you” story:

There’s a lot of that going on in Everything Is Yes [submitted to a press].

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters:

Everything Is Yes.

Hardest story to write:

Love’s Nest. I am very happy with how it came out, but there were parts that were like pulling teeth, and we knew sales would be abysmal, so feeling inspired to finish it was quite hard, to be entirely honest.

Biggest Disappointment: Everything about the publishing experience prior to self-publishing. Though, as I said, I’m willing to try another house and see if things are different. But, wow, I didn’t anticipate the complete lack of investment from the house we were with.

Biggest Surprise: Training Season‘s reception! What is this madness!?!?!

Most Unintentionally Telling Story: Oh, hell. They probably all are very telling. I’m sure the way I had to approach the kink in Training Season or Everything Is Yes is the most telling of all, though.

Do you have any goals for the New Year?

I want to put out ’90s Coming of Age Novel as a serial. I want to finish ’90s Coming of Age Novel, Stalking Novel, and Trans* Story. I also want to start the Bill/Angus companion novella to Training Season. Though, if you look above, I’ve got twenty-one works in progress, so I’m always wary of starting a new book. But, I think if I finish the three I mentioned, then I would be in the clear to go forward with Bill/Angus. I really want to get my het novel, For Reasons, mostly finished, too. I just opened it up to see the word count earlier, and, oh my god, I love it! Ahem. Anyway, that’s what I’d like to do, but I have no idea if that’s possible.

Wow! Training Season Declared One of Jay’s Best of 2013 — Joyfully Jay #mmromance #bestof2013 #gay

Wow! My head is still reeling from Training Season having been declared one of Joyfully Jay’s best gay romance books of 2013! There are many great books on her list, and I’m honored and touched to have written one that is among them! Thank you, Jay, for reading! Totally honored and amazed!

Jay’s Best of 2013 — Joyfully Jay.

Picked as one of Joyfully Jay’s Best of 2013!

GRL from a Socially Anxious Newbie Perspective

I wanted to reblog Amelia’s post about this, found HERE, but WordPress made that look a jumble mess, so I’m going to post about it with a link instead. So, please read Amelia’s post before reading mine.

As an incredibly new author and one who didn’t necessarily know if she was going to even attempt to attend GRL (and still isn’t sure), I saw one comment that made a lot of sense to me. An author named Daniel (sorry, I’ve forgotten the last name!) suggested that if they’d wanted to give those 30 authors the readers requested a heads-up, they could have sent them all personal messages saying, “We’ve been alerted that readers very much want you at this con. This is the day and time registration opens, it’s first come, first serve, but we and your readers would really love to see you there!” I thought that was a decent comment on a possible solution to this situation.

From the outside looking in, the main problem seemed to be the communication of the changes. The newsletter was so poorly worded that it’s kind of amazing. The clarification was worded much, much better and it probably would have gone over better as an initial communication about the topic. It is kind of a shame that they didn’t release that the wording of the first was so…problematic. (Although, the bit in the clarification post about how important it is to keep the stress levels of the better known authors–who have most likely attended plenty of cons–at a low level is kind of hilariously off-putting, too. I mean, newbie authors are super busy people as well, probably holding down a day job still, running a family, and trying to write/market; not to mention they are also probably a whole lot more stressed about attending a con situation for the first time–much more stressed than a well-known author who has been to many.)

I think they knew quite well that a kerfuffle was going to come of it, otherwise their original newsletter probably wouldn’t have needed a multi-paragraph reminder that they are all volunteers and do this for the love of it and please, for the love of God, don’t crucify us.

I, for one, am not upset or angry. I feel like I’m watching it from a bird’s eye view because I didn’t have a dog in the fight, so to speak. From the outside looking in, they just really bungled the communication side of things, imho. This could have been avoided by seriously thinking through how to present this whole thing. I wonder if the person who penned the “must-have author” line spent the day in bed with covers over their heads yesterday, because I’m quite sure the hurt feelings that came out of that were something he/she never intended.

Anyway, it’s an interesting mess. I’m curious how it will play out. I haven’t decided if I will attempt to attend or not. It’s in driving distance for me which makes it appealing, but as a newbie author who is already a socially anxious person, this kerfuffle has made it look like a pretty scary thing to attempt. Maybe since I’m so stressed about it they could give me a pre-registration time and hold my hand through all the steps of the process? Just kidding.


After their clarification, which can be found here, I have to admit that while some logical part of me understands what they are attempting, I’m still not sure I agree with what they’ve chosen to do. Regardless, being a Libra with social anxiety issues, I very much want to give them the benefit of the doubt and be fair to them, but, like Amelia, my triggers were pushed hard here. Like her, there were tears. Not because I won’t be a special invited person, I already knew that, but because I was able to imagine the grueling, exhausting, emotional let-down of it all so clearly. Like her, I’m anxious about attending now. I had been moderately excited and now I just feel dread–and certainty that if I even try to register I won’t ‘make it’ because there are only 30 spots I qualify for anyway.

It’s pretty disappointing. I’m…at an emotional loss with it all. Though, as I said, I’m still waiting to see how it all shakes out.

Celebrate NYE with a Selection of Free Books Giveaway at Sunlight Sucks


Heat up your New Year’s Eve with a big giveaway of hot books by hot authors at Sunlight Sucks!

Keira’s and my book, Earthly Desires, is up for grabs along with many others! Go comment and get your name in the drawing to win!

Happy New Year! May 2013 bring us all good things!

New Year’s Eve and Tournament of Roses Parade Viewing Ideas?


One of the issues with not having ‘real tv’ in our house–(we’ve got a tv and access to streaming video and Netflix, just no cable or antennas)–is when it comes to certain American cultural touchstones like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Rose Bowl Parade, and New Year’s Eve shows in Times Square. Last year, I found a legal livestream of NYE in Times Square, but it was kind of crummy and mainly showed the Rock of Ages cast doing “Don’t Stop Believing” like 20 times.

So, I’m doing some research early this year, looking for various options. I could try to find an illegal stream, I guess, of NBC, CBS, or ABC’s coverage, but I was thinking that surely there are more legal options than last year’s terrible one?

So far I’ve found these:

1. Earth Cam — it looks like it will mainly be crowd shots and stuff? I guess I could watch the 3D one from last year to verify what it is like, but I don’t want to risk a migraine. Also, will this year’s been in 3D? Because I don’t want that.

2. Times Square Ball App — We have an iPhone and iPad and could possibly AppleTV this app. To quote: ” The 2013 Times Square Ball App lets you experience all of the New Year’s Eve festivities by offering a six-hour live live stream from the scene. App users can watch the ball drop, the party in Times Square and live musical acts throughout the night.” Looks likely to be lame in terms of coverage, but this might be our best bet. Looking more closely, though, I’m doubting that we could AppleTV it, so it’d probably just be on the device, which is less awesome.

3. New Year’s Eve Livestream 2013 — I’m not sure if this is the same livestream as the iPad App, but at least it looks like I could stream it to the tv via the main computer.

Does anyone else know of any other options for New Year’s Eve?


As far as the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, these might be an options:
2. Huffington Post links to livestreams for last year’s parade.
3. My World Webcams

KTLA looks like the best option, but if anyone knows of something better, do hook me up.

What are you planning to do for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? Will viewing Times Square or the Rose Parade be part of your plans? We’ll be staying home with the kiddo and watching the rest of the world party-extreme through whatever webcam livestreams we can find.