Reviving the Children of Khaos Series

Yep! I’m bringing the Children of Khaos Series to life in a way that I didn’t really plan on.

Children of Khaos Series, Series Banner

Early last year, I was ready to throw the series into a drawer and start over with my writing in every way possible. By December 2017, I realized that the series deserved more respect then that. And, there are a few fans who have written me letters asking where My Lord Hades went and when is it coming back.

(I will email those who have been asking me about the book when I republish it.)

I want to take a moment to thank all those who have send emails of encouragement. You guys are the greatest! You’ve also inspired me to not only bring the Children of Khaos Series back, but write another book in the series.

But that isn’t all. I also plan to add more books.

Why did I decide to do this after swearing to never write another Children of Khaos book? Well, it wasn’t just because there are readers out their wanting more stories.

As I was working on my plans to resurrect a few books and breathe fresh air into others, I made the mistake  of starting with Death’s Lover. Even though it is the third book in the series, it had the least amount of work that needed to be done as it was the first that I had edited by one of the best editors I’ve worked with.

Reading Death’s Lover made me fall in love with the series all over again. I will confess that it is my favorite book in the entire series and it really made me want to bring the other two books up to the same level.  Plus I found a ton of teasers for future books hidden inside its pages that only add fuel to the creative fire.

That means I needed to add a few more to-dos to my ever growing to-do list. Over the next few weeks I’m going to:

  • Finish my read through of My Lord Hades (Lauralynn Elliot edited this book last year for me and I went through the edits at the time, but still felt something was a little off.). I will be tweaking some of the scenes for better clarity and removing a few that don’t need to be there.
  • Work on the rewrites of Loving the Goddess of Love and send it to my favorite editor to clean up. This book will not only gain several new scenes, but will also get a new book cover and title. I was never a fan of the original title and have wanted to change it for years now but I really didn’t have an idea what to name it. Now I do. And no I’m not going to share it with y’all yet.
  • Make notes for more stories while reading through the books, including scenes and notes for Beloved Kora.
  • Put together the front and back matter for this series so that it has an uniformed look.
  • Redo the interior formatting of Death’s LoverMy Lord Hades, and Loving the Goddess of Love, because for some reason the formatting for My Lord Hades is a little wonky.
  • Plan and design the look I want for the Children of Khaos book covers and redo all the covers. Some are getting a complete makeover, while others more of a upgrade.

I’m not sure how long this will take me, but they are near the top of my to-do list for my writing just below actually writing book #1 of the Sara Greenway Series.

Wishing you all the best!

Stephannie Beman

Changes & my Focus for 2018

Hello and welcome to the New Year!

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I know mine was. I spent a few hours each day reading with my girls, writing a book with my eldest daughter, playing games with my lovely family, watching TV with hubby, and creating several handcrafted items to stock my handcrafted shop (more about this later).

Now that the new year is finally here, I’m both excited and a little apprehensive. I’m excited because so many things in my life have changed and there is more that I plan to change before I’m done. I’m excited because in many ways I’m starting over and doing something new, which is also why I’m apprehensive. Doing something new can be scary, especially for someone who wants everything to work out perfectly the first time around, and starting over doesn’t mean that it will work any better this time around then it did the last time. I’m apprehensive because I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past, and because as much as I love a challenge and taking risks, I don’t want to fail.

Yes, I know that failure is full of opportunities to learn, to move forward, to start over, and to make changes, but it can be a painful process.

I spent most of 2017 re-evaluating of my life and my writing career. And I’ve finally had to admit to myself that I failed at my writing career, and that I failed spectacularly well.

YAY me! LOL

I was once told hat I’m a doggedly determined person, and at the time I thought that was a good thing and it can be. But I’ve also come to realize that being doggedly determined can be a bad thing. In the situation I found myself in, it was a really bad thing because I pushed forward well past the point that I should have quit, when most people do quit.

The last few years writing has become a daily struggle and more times than not I failed at the goals I gave myself, not because I couldn’t reach them, but because something in me resisted. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I’d become so focused on my writing career that I never stopped to ask myself if I wanted the life that I was creating for myself? I never stopped to ask myself if I was enjoying what I was doing and how I was doing it? I never stopped to ask myself if I still loved writing?

The answer to those questions is no, no, and sort of.

Everything I’ve done since I published that first book 8 years ago has brought me to this point. And it was time that I took a long, hard look at the life I had created and change what I didn’t like about it.

What I realized this years was I hate my writing career. I hate all the little things I’ve done to gain even a small measure of success. I hate what I’ve had to sacrifice because I thought it would make me successful. I hate that somewhere along the way I’ve lost sight of all my other dreams. I hate that I lost that spark that started me writing in the first place.

Now don’t panic, for those who love my writing, I’m not quitting altogether. Not writing is not an option for me. You see, writing is in my blood. Even when I try to take a break from it, it creeps into my subconscious mind and eventually my fingers will itch to write. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that even contemplating not writing doesn’t feel right.

What I should have quit is how I went about creating my writing career. What I should have quit was the thinking that writing had to be everything for me. Writing isn’t the only thing I love.

So now I’m doing what I should have done years ago. I’m taking a break from writing and doing something else. I’m giving myself that time to healing the damage done to my poor writer-self so when the time is right I can rebuild a writing career that I can be proud to claim as mine. A career that I can manage with everything going on in my life. A career that allows me to to do all the things I love while still spending time with my family. Because nothing is more important to me then my hubby and daughters.

Note: Two articles had a big impact on my decision about my writing this year: Business Musings: Burn Out & the Indie Writer (outside link) and Business Musings: Quitting (outside link ). Both were written by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and I’d like to thank her for all the articles she writes as they are always helpful, even if I don’t realize it until 7 years later (I’m talking about another article by her that I read years ago and which finally made sense to me now but I was unable to find to post here.).  While they are written for authors, some of the points she makes in the articles can relate to anyone in any career. At least my 11-year-old daughter seemed to think so when I read it to her.


My Year in Review

Much of what I did this year is balanced with living my life, spending time with my family (this has become my #1 priority), and working with Hubby on the Ranch (this is my #2 priority in life). So while it might appear that I’m not getting a lot done during the months, there is a lot of personal stuff going on behind the scenes that isn’t mentioned here.

January – June: Writing

I wish I could say that I got more accomplished in this six month period, but my writing took a sharp downward decline around February and by June it had gotten so bad that I finally stopped writing anything. I can honestly say that everything I tried writing this year stalled out within a few days and nothing went as planned.

July – August: Woodworking + Crocheting

I spent much of the Summer assessing my writing career and realizing just how much I hated it. Since I’m not one to sit still, I threw myself into other projects I’ve neglected over the years, mostly craft items.

This year I decided to return to wood working. This is something I’ve been teaching myself every Summer for the last 2 years. This year I cut several wooden disks from a large cedar branch that we cut away from the house. The wood grain was so beautiful that I wanted to make several coasters from the wood.

During the drying process, the wood split, ruining any chance of using it the way I wanted to. I guess I’m going to have to do a little more research on drying wood so that I can try again on the next branch that we have to cut down.

Rather then toss the wooden pieces, I pulled out my Dremel tool and created several pieces of jewelry. It wasn’t just fun but I learned a lot about shaping the wood. At this time the pieces are unfinished. I plan to make a trip to a friend’s house to use his belt sander and find the best way to treat the wood.

I wish the red grain of the cedar came out better in the picture so you could see the rich red and red-purple of the cedar. Maybe once I varnish them it will help, or maybe I should have brought them outside to photography in natural light. 😀

My other project was crocheted covers for the back and arms of our new couch. This is practice for an afghan that I will shortly be making for Hubby. He loved the pattern. 😀

September: Craft Shop + Book Cover Design

I was also contacted by two lovely authors that I’ve worked with in the past (Ruth Ann Nordin and Janet Syas Nitsick (outside links)) and asked if I could design their book covers. I believe they turned out beautifully. What do you think?

After a suggestion from a friend that I should start selling my excess handcrafted items, due to this tendency I have to love an idea so much that I create it without thought to what I’m going to do with it when I’m done (like with the scrubby dishcloths that I created. I’m pretty sure that it would take me years to use the ones I made), I have been looking into opening a small online shop.

I started by doing a little research on how to sell crafts, where to sell them, and creating a website for my shop. What I found was oodles of information on running a craft business, but very little about the hobby crafter who just wants to sell a few things. As much as I love creating things, I really don’t want to run a craft business. For the foreseeable future, running any business is off the table.

October: Websites & a New Planner

I started creating a website for my book cover design services, as this was something I have been thinking of returning to for months. But it didn’t take me long to realize that I was falling into an old trap of mine. If the past has taught me anything, it’s that I can’t manage several websites and blogs along with everything else in my life. It only leads to stress and burnout.

Since the book cover design and handmade crafts would be hobbies and not businesses, they don’t need different websites. So I scrapped all the websites and placed all three of my loves in one place. I guess if someone has a problem with how I’m doing this, it’s not my problem.

I also released my new planner for 2018, about a month later than planned. The 2018 Writer’s Planner is a different take on planners and is more for the weekly planner then the daily planner. You can read more about this planner here (opens in a new window).

November: Gathering Crafts

After scouring the house for the craft projects that I’ve created over the years and haven’t used, I came up with a good-sized pile. It kinda surprised me at how many things I had lying around the house and didn’t know it.

I tried my hand at crocheted placemats for the craft shop in November, but loved them so much I decided to keep them. The left one belongs to my oldest daughter, the right one to my hubby, the middle one was mine, and the orange one for my youngest is in the wash. I have plans to make more of the tan ones because I love the look of them.

I made a few craft purchases this month, added a few more projects to work on, and started creating more items. By the time this posts I hope to have a few more items on my list.

December: Sold Out & Writing Again

I contemplated opening the Handcraft Shop for Christmas, but tossed the idea out because I’m nowhere close to ready and  a friend (the same one who suggested the store in the first place) ask me what I had for handcrafted gifts for Christmas. I gave her my inventory list and she bought almost all of it. The only item she didn’t want was the Lacy Pink Infinity Wrap, and only because it was pink and her relative doesn’t like pink.

Crocheted Lacy Pink Infinity Wrap

 

About the end of December, I was came to a few conclusions: 1) if I do open a handcrafted shop it will be to support my crafting habit, but it’s not looking promising, 2) while I felt the writing itch again, it couldn’t sustain my interest for long, and 3) I need time to find my passion again and heal from creative burn out.


Things I’m Focusing On for 2018

Crochet Scarves & Hoods

I have a few skeins of yarn that I bought years ago for a baby blanket that I never made because relatives sent me more blankets than I could possibly use or store. I boxed the yarn away and waited until I found a project to use them with. The other day I pulled them out and decided that a heart pattern would work with the hot pink yarn.

This is my current work-in-progress, a heart infinity scarf.

I also bought several skeins of gorgeous yarn on sale a couple of weeks ago that I thought would work up beautifully into scarves and hoods. The hardest part will be picking out the right pattern for each color. 😀

Status: In-Progress

Scrubby Washcloths

These cloths are of my only design and at 4″x4″ they are perfect for my smaller hands (I wear kid’s large or women’s small gloves). I love these cloths and I have requests for more. I guess I’m not the only one who isn’t a fan of huge washcloths for dish washing.

Since all the 10 sets I made are now gone (either given as gifts or sold) and I still have some leftover cotton and scrubby yarn, I plan to make some more and sell them in sets of 3. My grandma is a big fan of using these on her skin. She loves the feel of her skin after using one. Silky smooth. 😀

Come in three colors or a set of three. One side is soft and the other side is scrubby.

Status: Waiting to be done

Beanies for Babies/Kids & Cocoons for Infants

My girls bought me a loom set for Christmas and I’ve been trying my hand at loom knitting. Something I’ve wanted to try again for years. With the birth of a second grandbaby, I want to make beanies and cocoons for the little ones.

Status: In-Progress.

Website + Blog

There are some more things I need to fix on this website and pages that need to be posted or created, although not right at this moment. I’m also looking into how I want to do the blog, because while I’m no longer writing this blog for business, I really don’t want to abandon it. So I’m rethinking my focus and what I’ll be writing about here. I guess you could say that I won’t be abandoning writing at all.

Status: Research and development stage

Book Design Services & Returning Clients

I have a few more to-dos on my list, but for the most part I’m ready to start working on book designs again. While I’ve been looking into some places to post my services, I think for the time being I’ll just stick to posting them on my website and  working with returning clients.

Sometime this year, I will be designing the covers for two different returning client of mine. The first wants to redo her older book covers and have new covers created for her books coming out. The second wants to redo the cover and formatting for an older book and possibly a new one.

Status: Mostly in-progress, but some things are on hold until I have further details

Writing the Sara Greenway Book (Series)

As my oldest daughter has been asking me to write a book for her for the last two years now, I’m going to try to focus on writing this book/series. This is a story that we’ve been working on together and that I’m writing under a “pen name” because of the stuff I mentioned in this post.

Okay, so it’s not really a pen name. I decided that rather than writing under pen names (it goes back to what I can and can’t manage), I’m going to use a shorter version of Stephannie. So my YA books will go under Steph Beman and everything else will go under Stephannie Beman.

Since most kids I know aren’t interested in reading huge tomes, despite what the publishers put onto shelves, I promised my daughter that we would keep each book around 30,000 words. I’m not sure at this point how many books will be in the series and when I will actually get them done, but they are on my list of things to focus on.

Status: In-progress

Children of Khaos Series

While I’ve been debating a complete overhaul of the series and the possibility of more stories under this series, in the end I decided not to. Mostly because it will create significant changes that will anger the readers who love them the way they are. And yes, I’m talking to you mom. 😀

As My Lord Hades and Death’s Lover are basically ready and other then being proofread for mistakes, haven’t changed, they will be the first ones I release. Loving the Goddess of Love needs a little more work. I will be adding a few extra scenes before sending it to my favorite proofreader, change the title, and update the cover before I send it out.

After that, the plan is to write Beloved Kora to end the series. I know there are a lot of people who loved this series, but I don’t have the passion to write any more on it for the time being.

Status: In-Progress

2019 Planners

Sometime this year I will publish two blank planners that can be bought anytime during the year and be used throughout the year. I will no longer make the dated ones as I’m spending too much time doing it without enough reward for the effort.

Status: Haven’t started yet


Conclusion

I know that this looks like a huge list, but some things are already in-progress, others are almost done, a few haven’t even been started but they’re smaller projects that I can stick into the nooks and crannies of my day, and some aren’t too important to finish. Also I work in waves. Most of my writing and design work is done during the winter months while most of the crafting is done turning the warm months.

Thank you all for your patience. I love you guys.

Wishing you all the best this year,

Listening to my Inner Writer

You would think after twenty years of writing, I would learn this simple lesson: Listen to your Intuition, your inner writer knows what it is doing. But apparently I haven’t, or maybe I should say, that it is harder than I thought to listen to the whispering voice that is telling me that I have to do something differently with the story.

the_warlords_daughter_1_webShortly after finishing The Warlord’s Daughter in January, that small niggling that something was off in the story intensified. As I worked through the scenes of The Scout’s Captive, that feeling grew stronger. By the first week of February, the niggling that something was off had become a shout to “Stop!”

Unlike last time, where that inner voice was telling me that there was something wrong with plot of the story, this time it was making a suggestion that I completely ignored. Why? Because I’m frugal with money and I didn’t want to waste paper or ink printing off everything.

So I had this burning desire to write the next part of the story and every time I sat down to do it I totally froze up. My inner writer was refuses to let me go any farther until I paid attention to it. Which is why I took the time to print out all the books, spent the last five days not writing so I could reassess the elements and structure of my stories, and making any structural changes. I got the idea for this from Twin Creatives.

I might have lost a few days of adding new words to the books by debating the merit of every scene I’d written or that I planned to write in all five books, but in the end it was worth the time I took away from writing.

the_scouts_captive_2_webThe story structure really needed to be assessed because there were more than a few scenes that needed to be moved, added, deleted or merged. There was an entire section of scenes in books four and five that needed to be moved, merged, and deleted that made me glad that I hadn’t started writing them.

The unexpected changes that I made helped tighten and improve the story plot of each book, and reading through a hard copy of the stories also helped me understand the main plot of each book better. However, the changes to The Warlord’s Daughter shortened the books significantly, but I prefer a shorter story that moves the story along then a longer one brimming with filler scenes that don’t progress the plot. The Scout’s Captive, The Rebel Queen, and The Empty Throne gained quite a few scenes that enhance the plots of each story instead of taking away from them.

One change that I really didn’t expect was that I realization that the order of The Rebel Queen and The Empty Throne may have to be switched, but I’m going to wait until I’m a little further along before making that determination. I believe the only book that didn’t change much was The Lost Heir.

The small drawback won’t affect my goal to finish writing all five books in The Queen’s Rebellion Series this year. If anything it will help me finish them before their deadlines and get them ready to be published next year.

Wishing you all the best this February,

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!

the_warlords_daughter_1_web

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.

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,

stephanniebemansignature

 

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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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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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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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)

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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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