One Book Down, 4 Left to Go!

When I wrote the Welcome to 2017! post I mentioned that I thought that I’d have to extend The Warlord’s Daughter to 100,000 to finish the story. I figured that it would take me another week to do this, but the second I started the new scenes everything went downhill. I ran headlong into a big problem: I really wasn’t happy with the results.

Okay, so that is putting it lightly. I hated the new scenes. They felt all wrong. I think I scrapped the first scene I worked on twice, possible three times before I took a step back to really think through the scene and what I wanted it to do for the story. While outwardly, The Warlord’s Daughter seemed to need it, it really didn’t. All I really needed was to add a few lines to a scene I already had in the book and done!

The second scene I wanted to going to add was more needful, but I was having trouble with it because it’s from a secondary characters point of view and I knew it was going to open a small subplot thread that I couldn’t close without returning to the characters point of view again. The solution was once easier then I thought it would be. The scene ended up turning out better than I thought it was going to.

I scrapped the entire third scene as it would be similar to a scene I wrote for book 2.

Writing the end scene became a problem that has kept me from being done with The Warlord’s Daughter already. Strangely, the perfect solution to my problem occurred the day I watching my girls crash and burn on the sled for the umpteenth time. Not sure why watching them was necessary for my creative brain to realize that I splitting a scene in half and rewriting it a bit would work very nicely.

I finished The Warlord’s Daughter today!

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This scene was one of those that makes a perfect ending. I had moved it from the front of The Scout’s Captive to end The Warlord’s Daughter a few weeks back. Now I have taken the first part of the scene and made it the end of book 1. The rest of the scene can go back to the beginning of The Scout’s Captive.

It was a simple solution with an easy fix that worked out so much better than what I had been attempting to do with the end of The Warlord’s Daughter. I couldn’t believe how much better the end of the story worked out. It tied up all the threads while not leaving the story on too big a cliffhanger (it really couldn’t be helped) or giving away the next book in the series.

So now I’m off to pick up my reward for finishing The Warlord’s Daughter ahead of schedule before starting The Scout’s Captive.

My Reward: Miracle Morning for Writers

What is that? you ask. Well, The Miracle Morning for Writers is:

Need to find more time to write–without sacrificing the important things? Looking to consistently discover great book ideas? Wish you could generate a steady income from your words…or increase what you already make?

The solution to these questions is to change what you do first thing in the morning. And that’s why you should read The Miracle Morning for Writers: How to Build a Writing Ritual That Increases Your Impact and Income (Before 8AM).

The Miracle Morning for Writers combines Hal Elrod’s global phenomenon with Steve Scott’s proven writing habit techniques (which helped him get on the Wall Street Journal bestsellers list). You learn how to take charge of your morning and maximize “the rest of the day” for your writing efforts.

Here’s what you’ll discover in The Miracle Morning for Writers:

  • How a morning routine can change every area of your life (Including your health, happiness, finances and relationships).
  • The proven strategy for “finding the time” to write–even if you have a full-time job.
  • Our method for selling lots of books (and the 8-step process to build it).
  • Steve’s favorite app for tracking your great ideas and researching your next book.
  • Hal’s process for overcoming the limiting beliefs that hold you back from success.
  • “Flow state” and how it can forever eradicate writer’s block.

You will also learn:

  • 4 business models perfect for writers, how to get started, and which one we recommend.
  • The 10-step process for publishing a book that readers love.
  • 6 tools for improving your writing skills.
  • 2 techniques for doubling (even tripling) your daily word count total.
  • How to find the “80/20” of your book-based business.
    The Miracle Morning for Writers is your key to building a writing habit that will increase both your income and the value you provide to the world.

Planners Are So Not Working for Me!

2017_writers_notebook_plannerWell, it’s the second week of using my 2017 planners for work and life. I bought both planners this year to check them for any printing issues before placing them on Lulu for those who didn’t want to print them to buy.

Since I absolutely hate wasting stuff, I tried to figure out a way to use them both. By week one (December 25 to January 1), I already saw a problem with how I was going to use them. I tweaked the system and tried it for a second week (January 2 to today).

The system I devised looked something like this:

  • 2017 Project & Task Planner was to be used at the beginning of each day to show what I want to accomplish each week, to plan out my projects for the week and year, to record deadlines/events/appointments that will change how I plan my week, and to give me a good overview of what I wanted to get done.
  • 2017 Writer’s Notebook Planner was to be used at the end of the day to track how I used my time (using the time tracker), to show what I actually accomplished each day, to record my scheduled posts, to write down my day reflections (work journal and goal for 2017).

Both versions of this system ended up being too complicated, too time-consuming, and just plain old annoying. I really, really hated using both planner throughout the week. Also decided that I’m never going to be one of those writer’s who journal and dropped the work journal idea from this year’s goals.

2017_task_plannerThis morning I decided that it was time to return to the drawing board and figure out how I could utilize both planners. I even did some internet research and read article after article of how others used multiple planners.

After about an hour of reading I knew that the multiple planner idea wasn’t going to ever work for me. Having two different planners to keep track of things just isn’t feasible for the way my brain works or for how I work. Also I just don’t have that much stuff going on now that I’m not designing covers any more and I use a wall calendar to record my family’s schedules.

So I’m scrapping my planner system and trying something else.

I wish that I had someone I could give one of the planners to so as not to waste it, but everyone I know that wanted one bought one and I’ve already started writing in them and I doubt anyone would want either of them now. So instead I’m going to use one planner at a time, possible for a few months before switching to the other one. This way I can see which features I like better for when I design another one for 2018.

That said, I’m curious to know if anyone has any suggestions for how they use their planners? For those who bought one, how are you utilize your planners? Do you have any suggestions for next years planners?

The Covers for The Queen’s Rebellion Revealed

My girls’ school was canceled for today. Yay! Oh, Hell…

Due to my girls being home all day and hubby home by noon, I’m not really expecting to get a lot of writing down later today. So I’m writing as much as I can this morning in the hopes of finishing The Warlord’s Daughter today. I’m so close to the end and I really want to start the next book in the series.

So why am I writing a blog post? Well, I’m not. I took a small break from an hour-long writing session to look through my list of unpublished posts to make a game plan for later today and realized that I hadn’t posted my cover reveal for The Queen’s Rebellion Series before the Welcome to 2017! post where they were featured. So not cool! 😦

Now I’m only writing an introduction to this post and publishing it. So even though it’s a little late in coming, here are the covers for The Queen’s Rebellion and descriptions for the series of books based on the life and adventures of the Lady Laramina Khynal and her husband Lord Cynel Maelti.

The Warlord’s Daughter, Book 1

the_warlords_daughter_1_webWhen Warlord Darton Khynal accepted the mission to end the bandit threat and train the next recruits for the Baryano army, he accept, but his reasons have nothing to do with career advancement and everything to do with his daughter. The Lady Laramina Khynal has come of age and the power flowing through her veins is becoming stronger and harder to hide. It’s only a matter of time before she is discovered and enslaved by the Council, undoing everything Darton has done to protect her. Forced to play a dangerous game with Laramina’s future, Darton accepts the Council decreed marriage between Lord Nyden Farlon and Laramina, a union that could have terrible consequences for everyone, if he allows it to take place.

The Scout’s Captive, Book 2

the_scouts_captive_2_webCondemned to death and hunted by Baryano for being Nyfeli, Cynel joined a rebellion he didn’t believe in for three meals a day, a warm place to sleep, and a chance to survive. He become a legend among the Rebels as a lethal warrior without mercy. But the ruthless Cynel is ill-prepared for the Lady Laramina Khynal, the woman who saved his life and whose life he swore to protect, for she is far more dangerous than any foe he’s faced. She is the one woman he cannot have, and the only one he wants.

Dodging Council Soldiers scouring the land for her, Laramina must make a terrible decision. Will she let events play out and willingly go with the men who abducted her? Or will she attempt to save the ones she loves by escaping from the man she is coming to love and return to marry the disgusting Lord Nyden Farlon?

The Lost Heir, Book 3

the_lost_heir_3_webCynel has always played his part, be it servant boy, thief, warrior, scout, or killer. Now he’s being asked to play the part of Laramina’s husband or protector until the Rebel leaders are ready announce the return of the Lost Heir, the only hope they have of rallying those who hate the current state of politics to their dying cause. They will do anything to gain and hold the advantage, including end the relationship between the Lost Heir and a Nyfeli killer.

Rocked by the truth about her heritage, the Lady Laramina Khynal doesn’t want the responsibility of ruling the three races. She doesn’t want the power to start a war. She doesn’t want the man she loves to hand her over to the Kydeloi Prince she’s been promised to since she was four years old. She doesn’t want the destiny chosen for her if it means losing Cynel. But to stay together, they will risk everything and defy the most powerful people in the land.

The Empty Throne, Book 4

the_empty_throne_4_webBetrothed to a man she despises, married to a rebel she’s grown to love, and promised to a prince she’s never met, the Lady Laramina Khynal is tired of being other people’s puppet, she’s ready to make her own choices. And while falling into the hands of the Council Soldiers searching for her wasn’t the best choice, she would do it again to protect the Rebels she has come to love. She just didn’t plan on Lord Nyden Farlon presences or his demands to finish what they started so he can seal his claim to the Empty Throne.

Determined to save his wife from the clutches of the Council, Cynel and a few loyal warriors cross into Baryano territory to infiltrate the heart of the Council’s City. Their plan is simple: abduct the Lost Heir before the Council can claim control of the Empty Throne through her. But they didn’t plan on being captured by the enemy or finding a land in turmoil. They didn’t plan on Laramina.

The Rebel Queen, Book 5

the_rebel_queen_5_webThe fate of the Lady Laramina Khynal has always been precarious and uncertain, resting in the hands of those who care not for her happiness but only their own ambitions. Angry and determined to bring an end to the Council’s rule, she must decided if she will become the weapon other’s will wield or if she will take her newfound power and forge her own destiny with the man she loves.


Now I really must get back to writing this next scene. Cynel has just done something and I’m not sure that Mina will be able to forgive him so readily for it. I really need to see what comes next.

Wishing you the best weekend this week,

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What I’m Working On in 2017

This is where I am in my writing related goals for 2017. Updated 01/30/2017

Finish writing The Queen’s Rebellion Series

  1. The Warlord’s Daughter by February 1st (completed 01/5/2017)
  2. The Scout’s Captive by April 1st (in-progress)
  3. The Lost Heir by June 1st
  4. The Empty Throne by September 1st
  5. The Rebel Queen by December 31st

300,000 new words in 2017

  • Jan 1: 943 words
  • Jan 2: 1,269 words
  • Jan 3: 0 words

Read 50 fiction & 5 non-fiction books this year.

  • January 2017 Reading List (4 fiction books)

1 writing craft related ecourse or workshop before the end of the year (haven’t picked a course yet)

Create an inspiring work space (slideshow of inspiration is in-progress) 

Keeping a work journal (merged this goal with the planners)

Use my planners to track what I did that day, plan what I want to get done, set my writing goals at the beginning of every month, and review my goals weekly to see where I can make improvements.

Be a healthy writer through daily exercise, making healthier meal choices, drink more water, maintain my meditation and affirmation practice.

Story Notes: Keeping Mhari

I’ve always loved the story of Atlantis. The technologically advanced race. The beautiful sprawling city with red pillars that sunk into the sea. A city and a people who captured the attention of every archeologist whose ever gone looking for it and thought they’ve found it.

So I had to put it in a story.

Keeping MhairiKeepingMhairi started with two questions, “Did anyone survive the sinking of Atlantis? And what happened to their descendants?”

When I wrote the rough draft Atlantis was on Earth and the survivors were dragged from the sea by a Tribe of wildmen. Later I moved Atlantis into space, to a world called Gatlantis. The major city being, you guessed it, Atlantis.

Because of the destruction on their home planet, some of the people fled into space and they survivors of Atlantis crashed on Earth. Their story survived.

Mhairi is a child of Gatlantis, a mutation in the genetic code, and slave to the Planetary Alliance, although the Council who rules the eleven planets refused to call her and those like her a slave. So starts the story.

Welcome to 2017!

I hope your holiday break was as fun and productive as mine. I spent most of my free time working on finishing The Warlord’s Daughter (both productive and fun), putting together puzzles with my girls (possibly not so productive but it was really fun), working on my latest stitching project (more meditative), and spending quality time with my family (both productive and fun).

Now that our girls are back to school it’s time for me to buckle down for some heavy writing sessions this month. But first, I wanted to give you all a preview of what I’m doing in 2017.

~ Reading 55 Books in 2017 ~

I made the goal to read 50 fiction books and 5 non-fiction books this year. I’ll be making a monthly post about the books I read that month on my blog.  I wish I could say that I picked them all out ahead of time, but since I don’t know what each week will bring I thought the better plan would be to pick them out as I went along. The fiction will be a mix of novels, novellas, and short stories.


~ Writing 5 Books in 2017 ~

When I posted my writing goals for 2017 in December I mentioned that I wanted to finish writing 5 books in 2017. Those books include the entire The Queen’s Rebellion Series. They are: The Warlord’s Daughter (#1), The Scout’s Captive (#2), The Lost Heir (#3), The Empty Throne (#4), and The Rebel Queen (#5). This is where most of my focus will be for the next 12 months. My hope is to have all 5 book written, edited, and on pre-order so that I can publish them throughout 2018.

To accomplish this I had to rethink my entire writing game plan. I’m going to have to be focused, organized, and disciplined in my writing. Which is code for “stop goofing around on Pinterest and playing Solitaire or Sudoku on the computer during writing time, Stephannie!”

So I started 2017 by erasing all the games from my computer, weaning myself off Pinterest (started this in December), downloading the new version of the Cold Turkey app (December 31st), and making my writing schedule for 2017. While I don’t want to push myself too hard and burn out, I also like to aim for the moon, maybe then I can land among the stars (LOL). So while I made my goals attainable, I decided to challenge myself with an added bonus to inspire me. If I finish these 5 books before my scheduled deadline then I get a prize. Incentives are really great for people like me. 😀

I will be writing a post at the beginning of each month to let you all know where I am in my goals.  This is where I am so far in the books…

The Warlord’s Daughter (Book 1)

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Click on the picture to read the description

I was about 70,000 words into this book in December 2016. My word goal for the book started out at 85,000 but I as I reached my goal I realized that the story wasn’t done so I changed my word goal for the books to a 100,000. During the holiday season, I started on the complete overhaul of the scenes in The Warlord’s Daughter and even got around to writing some new scenes that I needed.

As of January 1st, I have around 93,000 words done and about 8,000 to go. I should be done with this book before my deadline.

Deadline: February 1st
Status so far: 92,974 words written of my 100,000 Word Count Goal
My Incentive for finishing this book: Buy Miracle Morning for Writers. I love the idea behind the Miracle Morning Routine, however, what I learned about it didn’t mesh with my kinda chaotic schedule. I stumbled upon one for writers and figured it would be a good incentive to work

The Scout’s Captive (Book 2)

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Click on the picture to read the description

I’m not as far along in this book as some of the others, but mostly because I took more than half this book away to create The Warlord’s Daughter.

This book will take more fleshing out as most of the big scenes are already written, although I have a few ideas for new scenes that I will be adding.

Deadline: April 1st
Status so far: 32,755 words written of my 100,000 Word Count Goal
My Incentive for finishing this book: Buy that Tibetan Singing Bowl I’ve been eyeing for the last two years to add to my meditation collection.

The Lost Heir (Book 3)

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Click picture to read the description

This one should pretty much write itself as I know where this book is going and as with The Scout’s Captive all the big scenes are written. Side Note: If I finish The Warlord’s Daughter and The Scout’s Captive early, the deadline for this book will shift to compensate. It wouldn’t be much of a challenge if I had an extra month to three months to finish this book.

Deadline: June 1st 2017
Status so far: 50,905 words written of my 100,000 Word Count Goal
My Incentive for finishing this book: Buy three books from my wishlist.

The Empty Throne (Book 4)

the_empty_throne_4_web

Click on the picture to read the description

This is one of those books that I don’t have much done on. The scenes in this book are where I stopped because I had written myself into a corner and needed to figure out some plot holes. I have a better idea where the books are going so I’m hoping by the time I get to writing it it will go fast.

Side Note: Even if I’m ahead on my book writing goals the deadlines I will probably not change the deadlines for The Empty Throne or The Rebel Queen. I going to be writing these books during the Summer and Fall months when my girls are out of school and there is a lot going on around the Ranch. I’m pushing it with the deadlines I have already.

Deadline: September 1st 2017
Status so far: 3,233 words written of my 100,000 Word Count Goal
My Incentive for finishing this book: Wacom Digital Graphics Tablet. I’m not sure what model as the one on my wishlist is now years old and out of day. I have to do some research.

The Rebel Queen (Book 5)

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Click on the picture to read the description

I have a vague notion of where this book is going but other than the opening chapter that refused to go away, I have nothing else written. I’m hoping to have several ideas for scenes ready by the time I write this book.

Deadline: December 31st 2017
Status so far: 9,167 words written of my 100,000 Word Count Goal
My Incentive for finishing this book: Buy a new tablet as my old one died at the end of 2016. Yeah, I know. Why am I waiting a whole year? Because I still have a Kindle I can read my books on for the moment.


Wishing you all the best for the New Year!

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