WIP: January writing schedule summary / February writing goals

Dear Internet,
Italicized is the original list. Regular text is add-ons. Bold is completion and totals.
Projects for January (apparently I was overly ambitious):

  • Plow through current library loans and ARCs from NetGalley and get reviews written
  • Collate notes on the Edwardian mystery, continue with research, and get most of the structure sorted
  • Collate notes on the 45th parallel project and continue with research
  • Research (aka read) stream of consciousness novels
  • Finish or shelve in-progress short stories and submit completed ones; submit at least one a week
    • Total submitted: 3
      • To be fair, I had forgotten about this particular goal, but, I did do it and finished three in a week and submitted all three!
  • Get most of Vol 1 of secret Kindle project formatted and edited – Completed January 31
    • Huzzah! Finished this on time and started the print version. Thank the gods this first bit is over.
    • Vol 2 (year 1999) and Vol 3 (2000) started.
  • Continue note carding ideas / quotes / etc for future projects
  • Query/submit non-fiction pieces
  • Continue shilling to get more submissions for so glad is my heart
    • Launch is planned for February 16!
  • Outline and begin 3rd Triangle novel
  • Blog writing count for January
    • Words written: 7,633
    • Number of posts: 13

February projects:
The above, plus!

  • Print proof The Lisa Chronicles Vol. 1
  • Finish organizing The Lisa Chronicles Vol. 2

Previous WIP


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

daily entry: January 31, 2015

Dear Internet,
HEY! My eBook is officially now live on Amazon and you can LOOK INSIDE (that part cracks me up):

  • Morning ritual: Wake up, use the facilities, pop contacts in, take drugs, turn kettle on for tea, figure out breakfast. While the kettle is heating up, fill last nights Bopple and also the humidifier. With tea and breakfast in hand, check email, Facebook, Twitter. Respond as necessary
  • Started prepping for the trip for Toronto by booking my flight (it was cheaper for me to book 1st class ($950) then economy ($1700)), upgrade my phone to work internationally (we all know Canada is the 51st state), locate passport, start calling credit card companies and phone company to notify I will be out of the country
  • Do some updating across my websites
  • Meditate for 15 minutes
  • Start packing for the trip
  • Shower and get dressed for the day. My brother called to invite me over for dinner that night at his place
  • Eat lunch
  • As promised in ThePlan, I built out a daily todo list for the week, breaking up days I’ll be at the coworking facility, gym, and etc.
  • Worked more on updating the websites and cleaned up a short story which I submitted to an online magazine.
  • Had dinner with my brother and his girlfriend; hung out for the evening
  • Came home, depanted, watched Banshee
  • Bed ritual: refilled humidifier, grab Bopple for the night, take contacts off and wash fash; use the facilities
  • Woke up at 5:30AM to one of my neighbors shoveling the apartment parking area, which is basically just my car. Thanks neighbor!


This day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2011, 2001

daily entry: January 30, 2015

Dear Internet,
HEY! My eBook is officially now live on Amazon:

  • Morning ritual: Wake up, use the facilities, pop contacts in, take drugs, turn kettle on for tea, figure out breakfast. While the kettle is heating up, fill last nights Bopple and also the humidifier. With tea and breakfast in hand, check email, Facebook, Twitter. Respond as necessary
  • Planned on going to the gym and co-working space but ended up working close to three hours doing prep for so glad is my heart. (SUBMIT! Please.)
  • Showered and ran errands: Bank (quarters for laundry), Kohls/Macy’s/Penney’s/H&M (futile search for dress shirts for next week), Yankee Candle, LUSH, CVS, post office, dry cleaners. Took about three or so hours
  • Came home, depanted, lunched, and then napped
  • Worked on this entry and prepped Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for January 31
  • Prepped for my trip to Toronto
  • Prepped the next issue of Skaldic Press Presents
  • Filed DMCA take down notice because some twat is stealing my work
  • Bed ritual: refilled humidifier, grab Bopple for the night, take contacts off and wash fash; use the facilities.
  • Read Fool by Christopher Moore before having a pretty good physical anxiety attack.

This is where the catch-22 comes in, right? I’m feeling not at all anxious, the anxiety hits as traveling pain that feels like I’m on the verge of having a heart attack. So then I actually start getting panicky and the pressure increases. None of my old tricks were working, so Klonopin it is! When I finally conked out, holding teddy of course, it was around 2AM. I then woke up at 4, 5, and 7. That part has been the same since October — waking up every couple of hours. I’m not dreaming because I’m not falling into REM sleep (not the band), but in the first few hours of my waking up for the day, I feel rested. Then I start to fall apart as the day progresses because I’m so tired.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2010, 1999

and with that, it is done

Dear Internet,
My deadline for completing the book for Amazon was January 22 at midnight. I made it with 1.5 hours to spare. It felt like I was back in grad school all over again! But the book is finished and ready for pre-orders.

Operators are standing by! Pre-order me now!

From the forward,

Dear Internet,
In May of 1997 I moved, for a boy, to California to gain riches and fame. In July of 1998, having ditched the boy and gained neither riches or fame, I started putting my diary online. I named it The Lisa Chronicles for who better to tell my life story than me? While I didn’t think I was extraordinary, I seemed to continually get into extraordinary circumstances. What I also wanted was the ability to connect to others who were like me: the scared, the frightened, the unsure, the outsiders, and any other group that felt rejected by society. Adding in 1998 I wanted to eat the world, what better way to do that was through the Internet?
What can you expect from the first volume? Love, conflict, obsessions with people, places, and things. Rotating cast of characters and adventures. Sprinkle of song lyrics here and there. Pop culture references galore. Sex. More sex. Profane words and a bipolar girl desperate to connect with a world she did not understand.
While this work has been edited for grammar, clarification, and the obvious typo, it remains largely unchanged from when it first appeared online nearly two decades ago.
And lastly, every word here is true.

I have been asked by several people on the process, editing, and WHY I decided to go to Amazon first.
Why Amazon
I’ve been following the self-publishing world for about 10 years (probably longer actually). I wanted to do a chapbook or something along those lines.

  • What persuaded me to go with Kindle (as the first step in the world publishing biz) and ebooks is because:
  • Your book is pubbed immediately across ALL of Amazon’s global sites
  • You can set the price and have control over royalties
  • You have complete control over everything
  • You can use Amazon’s print service, CreateSpace, to make print copies
  • Kindle ebooks is available on all devices via the app, so it’s not necessarily proprietary unlike ibooks or nook. iBook is available on Apple devices only and Nook is now defunct. HOWEVER Kindle ebook format is proprietary while iBook/Nook use non-proprietary ebook formats so you can use any app for those books.
  • Amazon’s reach is bigger
  • It’s super easy to EXCEPT the cover creator. I ended up spending $10 for an image from iStock and following Amazon’s guidelines to make the one that I thought was far better.

Now that it is safely up in Amazon’s cloud, I’m looking into adding it to iBooks and other eBook locations.
So that describes the whys, now for the process.
Because all of these were journal entries from my online journal, I cut and pasted them into a Word document. I was pleasantly surprised to find the book was 117 pages NOT 50 as I originally thought. 1998 has 51 entries while 1999 has 88, which means the second volume could well go close to or over 200 pages. Yowza.
After the entries were in the Word document, I began the process of creating a style guide for me to follow. This included everything from how to format dates to whether or not I was to use AD or CE when speaking of years to how to format images. I wrote all of this down to refer to as I worked.
While I was working, I also created a separate list of To Do items as the book got nearer to completion, including book bloggers, writing an introduction and so forth.
On the document itself, with a style guide now more or less in place, I started line editing. Line editing, to me, was to read each line out loud to catch missed words or wrong spellings, correct them and also grammar. As you can image, this took forever. I corrected a lot of mistakes but if you go through it again with a fine tooth comb, you’ll find more I’m sure. The reading out loud is an old trick I was taught in grad school since my brain processes faster than I type, so I drop a lot of words.
I did a massive spell check, which took several hours, to correct all common spelling mistakes and to add words not found in Word’s dictionary. I also did a search and replace function to make sure there was consistency across spellings such as cd’s became CDs and so forth. For images, I decided to use tables to place them and decided on a width of each image for singular and multiples. Additionally, I broke each month out like a chapter to make it easier to read.
All in all, I probably spent close to 50-60 hours doing the line editing, proofing, prepping and other work. Now that I have a process of sorts in place, time frame for next volumes will be more based on length of the volume rather than figuring out style guides.
I learned a lot about the process of writing and editing a book, which I’ve more or less outlined above. What was more interesting to me was the comparison between 26 year old Lisa and 42 year old Lisa. I discovered a lot of things about myself that were embarrassing, depressing, enlightening, comedic, and shocking. Some things never change, while others, change was definitely a good thing.
While there are a lot of things about 26 year old Lisa that 42 year old Lisa would never stand for, much of who I am today still shines like a diamond after all these years.
I found that,

  • 26 year old me was a classist, racist, abelist, and other -ists that make me cringe today. I decided not to erase those words because I’m not going to white wash my history.
  • I could clearly see the patterns of mania vs depression in my writing. When I was manic, it was a hot mess of grammar and spelling mistakes, while I was stable or depressed, my writing was a lot more measured.
  • A lot of my problems then (instability, unable to commit, etc) are still prevalent today. Now that I see the triggers and patterns, I can easily work on them where I’ve been struggling before.
  • After reading nearly 118 pages, the startling realization that I’m everyone’s favorite crazy ex-GF smacks me across the brain.

With that, now on to volume two!

This Day in Lisa-Universe:  2011

Moving Part Deux

Dear Internet,
Well, here we are again: I’m moving. This time Two Men and a Truck put what I pillaged from Throbbing Manor (thanks to the generosity of TSTBEH) into storage for a month while I’m out on the east coast; then they will move me into Valkyrie Estates (name may change) in mid-January. Then, THEN, work will start on my book(s).
My pillaging helps TSTBEH out as he would have had to either donate, sell, or take with him the remaining furniture he decided he did not want after the split. With the exception of a bed, I’ve almost completely furnished Valkyrie Estates. I’ve got a list of smalls I need to pick up when I get back (like laundry soap and toliet paper), but really, that is it.
This manic last two months, easier to give it a simple explanation when the explanation is really much more complicated, has been financially AND mentally expensive. Truth be told, if I wasn’t counting on the settlement from the selling of the house to pay off my debts, I may have reigned the spending in but that’s an excuse for my own folly. I must accept the responsibility of what I have done financially.
It’s now mid-Sunday afternoon and I’m camped out at a hotel. Again. This time the only thing I’m running from is sleeping on an air mattress in a house that is freezing. Between the consignment shop swopping in on Thursday and my movers on Friday, all that is left until Monday is an air mattress, a 50″ TV and related stereo equipment, dining room table and chairs, TSTBEH’s boxes, and the art deco hutch. In 3200 sqft. We attempted to sleep on the air mattress every night until the closing of the house on Tuesday but I just couldn’t do it. I gave in to my inner diva, left late Friday night for a hotel, and here I am.
And yes, I’m keeping track and earning points with all of this hoteling, flying, and other travel.
My entire life is now split between two suitcases and my messenger bag of electronics. There are a few odds and ends in my trunk but my worldly possessions are now in those two suitcases; it’s a freeing feeling and an exhausting one. Now that my mind is finally clearing and I’m starting to put things into better perspective, I want to nest. Now.
I have to learn patience, I have to learn that waiting is okay and things will still be there when I’m done waiting. Not everything is gossamer and clouds but water and dirt. Things are tangible, holdable, and lovable.  These are things I need to remember and need to not forget ever again.
So let’s move on to something other than my mental geographical quandary.
Part of ThePlan is bundling the previous years entries into an ebook volume and publishing it on Kindle and other eRetailers.
Today I finished the first draft of volume 1 and it clocks in at roughly 114 pages.
The plan is to take previous years (beginning, well, at the beginning) of The Lisa Chronicles, bundle them by year into an eBook version and see if I could shill it on Amazon (and maybe Apple) to make some passive income.
The idea was pitched to me about four years ago when a library school friend offered to go through these entries, edit for clarity and grammar, and help me format them for the Kindle. I was a bit trepidatious at first, for I often do not find myself to be that fascinating, I just happen to get into fascinating circumstances. But apparently there is a market for this type of writing and I had oodles of it already written at my disposal.
But I stalled, as I do, on the project when I was working full time; I started nibbling at the idea again when I started planning for my sabbatical. The process seemed simple enough: get the back entries of The Lisa Chronicles up online on EPbaB for completist sake. Then move the content over to Word for formatting and editing. Find a cover. Set a price. Write a forward and a description. Upload and BOOM. Book is on the Amazons.
But it wasn’t that simple, rather, it was much more complex than my simple plan. Two things were happening in parallel. First being I had to set up as a business entity to help with writing off things related to my sabbatical AND to properly handle any income coming in from the sales of the eBooks. Second, that I had to find the content (easy enough as I kept multiple copies), get it on to EPbaB so the archives were complete, then move it to Word. I knew how prolific I am, so I figured I’d break it down by year and each year would be roughly 50 pages of formatted book text.
Did I mention that year one is at 114 rough pages? And only from April to December 1998? So I was obviously wrong in my page prediction.
I consider 1998 to be the very beginning for the sheer amount of content, though I have pieces that were published much earlier. I have gotten 1998 and 1999 into the EPbaB archives, so the first two volumes of the eBook project are going to be easy to do. I’ll have to work in tandem with getting the later content up and editing the current project and writing the fiction book.
I’m going to be a very busy girl.
Getting it up on Kindle was not that difficult: I opted out of the KDP Select option which means the work would have only been sold on Kindle and I opted out of having DRM on the eBooks. I was able to, with the help of TheBassist and cmmrb, figure out the cover design (Amazon has a free cover creator). I have my EIN and LLC name (Skaldic Press), so everything on the business side was ready to go. It was just a matter of getting the content up, formatted, and edited.
So basically the hard part.
You know where you can find me for the next month.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 1999, 1998