NEW RELEASE! 2019 Writer’s Planner

It’s that time again! Yay!

Wondering what the Hell I’m talking about. Well it’s the time of year where I release next years planner!

Cover Image Designed by Stephannie Beman with Cover Image by Sadudee Sittichoke from Dreamstime.com

Well, I’m actually a little late announcing the release of my 2019 Writer’s Planner. Even though I uploaded it at the end of September and created a page for it, after four failed attempts to write this post and finally deciding to delete it in a not so adult fit of anger, I decided to grow up a bit and stop procrastinating. Besides, it’s snowing today and I have no excuse not to write this post now. LOL

First off, for those who know they want the planner but aren’t interested in the rest of the post, you may Purchase the 2019 Writer’s Planner at LULU for $13.99. For those who want to know if they can purchase it at Amazon, the answer is no for various reasons. Maybe one day.

Sidenote: While this planner was created for writers, it can actually be used for anyone who plans their projects and activities more by week than day.

Next, let me introduce you to the 2019 Writer’s Planner which is a yearly and weekly planner that allows you to see what appointments you have for the week, keep track of those pesky tasks that you need to make sure you have done daily, and make a to-do list of projects and/or tasks you need to work on but have no specific time or day when it needs to get it done. There are also several sections for projects that you maybe working on at any given moment.

Peek inside the 2019 Writer’s Planner:
Yearly Planning Sheet where you can have a yearly overview of the projects you plan to accomplish for the year

Yearly To-Do List for things you plan to accomplish for the year. There is also one near the back to help with next years planning.

2019-At-A-Glance gives you a place to record birthdays, appointments, upcoming projects, client work, or deadlines.

Monthly Calendars with projects & Goals sheet to record information, plan projects, or write down projects and goals you want to complete that month.

Weekly Calendars with sections for appointments, weekly tracker for goals or word counts, and the week’s projects and goals you want to accomplish.

Project Planner for brainstorming and planning your writing projects, writing lists, and more.

Waiting For section to track of the purchases or submissions you are waiting on.

And there you go, the 2019 Writer’s Planner.

Purchase the 2019 Writer’s Planner at LULU
for $13.99

2019 Writer’s Planner Product Details

Author: Stephannie Beman
Published: September 14, 2018
Language: English
Pages: 198
Binding: Coil
Interior Ink: Black & White
Weight: 1.36 lbs.
Dimensions (inches): 8.5 wide x 11 tall

In Which I Contemplate the Future

Wow! I didn’t realize that I had been absent from here so long until I jumped on the computer this morning to check my emails before starting book #3 in a series of book cover designs for an author friend and found a shout out linked to my blog.  Thank you, Ondeane Lourens, for your kind words, I was glad to help!

I couldn’t believe that my last post was almost two months ago. Sadly, this is also how long it’s been since I wrote anything more than an to-do list, email, letter, or shopping list.

Little writer, child typing

I’m not sure what it is about the Summer months that make all my well made plans swirl down the crapper within the first few days, but it seems to happen every year. The kids get out of school and the beautiful days cause my focus in life to shift. Add all the increased ranch work and the housework from more people being here during the day, and my days change to a different kind of busy.  I guess an added benefit is my days become almost electronic-free as I’m no longer glued to my computer for four or more hours a day to write and I really have no interest in social media.

Yeah, I know I’m living in the dark ages by not having my cell phone glued to my hand or posting what I’m doing all the time, but neither of them has ever held any appeal to me. I only have the cell phone for when I’m working around the ranch by myself or emergencies while away from the house. I believe my daughters spend more time texting on it this past summer then I have. Actually, if my phone or social media disappeared today, I wouldn’t miss them one bit. But that is neither here nor there, or even the point of this post.

This year has been a stranger year of contemplation and realizations, but the ones I want to talk about is the writing aspect of my life. Unlike in years past, I didn’t spend any time feeling the guilty or berating myself for not writing or working on my writing business since sometime in May. I thought I would try to go with the flow and see what happened.

Five years back, when this first started happening, I thought maybe it was a seasonal thing, but as time passed it was harder and harder for me to return to. Three years ago I thought that maybe I was burned out. I started writing 22 years ago and except for a few little breaks, I really hadn’t stopped. So I took break that lasted almost a year before the writing bug hit and I returned to writing. But that break didn’t seem to help.

Now, with each passing year, I’ve started to wonder if it was time to quitting this writing gig and just write for myself when the bug bites. The passion I’ve held for writing has been fading over the years and I’ve started to wonder if writing has served it’s purpose in my life. Or if I’m going about it all wrong for who I am.

Maybe it is time for me to move on to other things. Maybe it’s time to set up that handmade shop I’ve been dreaming of since last year. Or maybe it’s time for me to put all business related things aside and do something else…

Stephannie Beman

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

Making Changes…Yes, Again

Hey, my friends! I’m glad to see you back here for another one of my “what the Hell is Stephannie doing?” posts. LOL

I feel like these posts are coming too frequently the last two years, but that could just be me worrying that I’m annoying you all with that “I’m doing this! No wait. I’m going to do this. No, sorry, I changed my mind again. I’m going to do this.” and then deciding to do something completely different a few days later. I swear, I never have this much trouble picking out an outfit to wear to a party, but then that could be because I have two choice: formal or casual.

I do want to make a special shout out to my good writing friend, Ruth, who deserves some kind of award or at least recognition for listening to my indecision everyday and helping me decide what I should do.

Anyhoo,  to get back to the point of this post. I’m changing my mind again.

Seems every time I make a few decisions, live with them for a few weeks before announcing the shift, and then move forward with my choices, life throws me a little quirk.

In April, I decided that I would make my Stephannie name into a writer of YA. This was at the request from my lovely little daughter who wants to write books with her mom and didn’t like the idea of putting a pen name on the book with hers. I would do anything for my daughters, unless it’s dangerous and then we’d have to have a long talk about how hospital visits are not considered family fun time.

So I agreed to her request to change my writing course, waited some time before announcing the change, and then started to make talk a reality. However, after I went through the process of unpublishing all my old books, I noticed something that I hadn’t thought about when I decided to make the change to writing for a younger audience. The print books aren’t going to go away.  If I follow through with my plans I will have romances sitting on the digital bookshelf alongside my YA books. After some research, I found out that those print books will forever be there because Amazon won’t remove them.

And this causes a problem for me.

One of the main reasons I decided to divide my young adult fiction writing from my adult writing is that I’m uncomfortable selling books to children and having books with more erotic elements under the same name. Now, I’m aware that there are authors out there that write for both teens and adults under one name and it’s not a huge deal to them. Might not be for the parents either. But I don’t want a child to pick out my steamier romances thinking it would be a fun read. I would hope that parents would supervise their children’s reading books better, but I know from personal, childhood experience that  that isn’t always the case. My mom would be horrified at some of the books I read as a kid because an author wrote for both young and adult audiences.

So I’m going to be making some more changes, or change back what I had started to change in the first place, which is kinda annoying to me and possibly to you. Sorry about that. 😦

Anyhoo, the changes I’ll be making are to:

  1. This website. Until I get everything straightened out in my head, I’m going to be stripping this website to the bones, and then start redoing it. As I’m not sure how I want to handle the pen names and website(s), I’m not going to be doing much to it for a while. As I figure it out, you’ll start to see pages return.
  2. My Stephannie Beman author name. I won’t be writing Young Adult fiction under Stephannie Beman. This name will be returned to my more adult fiction that I was writing before I decided a change would be good.
  3. Pen Name for YA. After much discussion with my daughter, we decided that it will be okay if I create a pen name to go with her name on the covers of the YA series  we’re in the process of writing.
  4. Other Pen Name(s). When I thought I was going to be writing YA under Stephannie, I decided to create pen name for my Urban Fantasy and a pen name for my romances. I might or might not still do a pen name for my romances, I haven’t quite decided.
  5. My old books. Since I have all my old books unpublished already. I’ve decided to go ahead and rewrite, add some scenes to, or have them edited by the best Editor and Proofreader I’ve found to date before redoing the covers, blurbs, and in some cases re-titling them. This could take me awhile as summer as it is the busiest time of the year for me and I still want to write new books.

Sadly, many of my older books reflect my bad grammar and some of the editors I have hired in the past had worse grammar than I do.  Not only have I’ve been working on improving my grammar for a few years now,  but my Proofreader Lauralynn Elliott is really good about pointing out my grammar mistakes and why they are mistakes. If you’re looking to hire editors, proofreaders, or even  book formatting, check out The Forge, their work is impressive and affordable.

And now, before I return to writing, if anyone still wants to know what my pen names will be, please sign up for my pen name newsletter. I’ll only send it out when I’m sure what my pen names will be, and that I won’t be changing my mind on it. I promise. 🙂

Wishing you all the very best,

March 2017 In Review

Yay! Third In-Review post in a row. I’m on a roll! 😀

Just so you know, I’m once more tweaking the layout of the post, so please bear with me as I work toward a format that I like.

My Life this Month…

Since it’s Winter here on the ranch, things are slow and both hubby and I are chomping at the bit to get working on the projects we have around here to finish. It becomes a nice bonding experience for our family and it gets us all our vitamin D. The first cow has finally calved. Yes!

Now that Winter is starting to wind down, I’m looking forward to returning to my twice a day walking routine. I really missed it. When I lived in town over 13 years ago, exercising outside was much easier during the Winter months. Walking in the country during the Winter is liable to hurt as the lane is slick and the meadow has snow drifts to my knees.

I’m still working on cutting back on the electronics and TV during the weekends for the family this month, but as long as the weather is crappy outside I don’t see my goal being very successful. However, with the more Spring-like days, the girls are spending more time outside playing then inside. Lately, their game of choice to outside has been four square, and they always seem to want mom and dad to come play. 😀

The girls are also back to working on the Fort they built with a friend two years ago. It’s becoming quite the project with them finding all sorts of objects that have been trashed over a half a century ago and dragging it back to their Fort. As I look at it, their helping clean up their environment and at a later date we can collect it all for recycling and the garbage, but for the time being they are free to use it.

Now on to my goals…


Finish Writing 5 Books in 2017

March has been a month of deep contemplation in regards to the direction I want to take this writing hobby of mine, the type of books I want to write in the future, and how I want to handle some of the books I have already written. I’ve even started to solidify some changes I decided upon. I want to make a more detail post on this later this month when I have a better idea of what I’ll be doing. I’m only mentioning it here because my plans pertain to my goal to “Finish 5 books in 2017.”

So, yes, I will be finishing at least 5 books this year, plus a  few more if my plans work out the way I hope, but not in the way I planned to when I made the goal. I’m making good headway with this and I’m hoping  to increase my writing output significantly with the changes I will be implementing this month.


Write Everyday & Write 300,000
New Words in 2017

In January I figured that I would have to write nearly 30,000 words a month to reach my 300,000 new words in 2017 goal. Since my best output comes in the winter months before the kids are out of school and the ranch work begins, I have until May to create a good buffer. I had accumulated about 9,000 word buffer before the 1st of March and lost most of it before the end of March due to some bad writing days.

Days I wrote: 26
Days I didn’t write: 5

February’s Word Count for March:  19,495 new words
Total Word Count for 2017:
 85,043 new words

Note: The 300,000 words doesn’t include words written for blog posts or web pages unless it was something creative. I am using a Excel program from Svenja Gosen to keep track of my progress and I would suggest it to anyone who wants to do the same. I’ve used this spreadsheet on and off every year since 2014.


Take 1 writing related workshop in 2017

I know I mentioned that I probably wouldn’t be doing this. Well apparently I lied. Sorry. 😦

Around the first of the month I ran across 5-Figure Author Challenge/ AuthorRemake eCourse  and joined at a discounted price I couldn’t pass up. I’ve really wanted to learn more about platform building because basically I suck at it. Maybe this eCourse will help me become better at it, or at least less awkward.

I’m still going through the course information, but it felt really nice to cross off this goal off my list.


My Plans for Next Month…

I have five main focuses this month:

  1. Keep writing no matter what life throws at me. 😀
  2. Remember to make weekly goals and review them to get shit done!
  3. Solidify my plans for the series I’m working on and write that blog post explaining a few things.
  4. Watch for more calves to drop.
  5. Start walking again as the weather permits.

Wishing you all the best in April,

 

Writer Doubts and Pushing On

The last two weeks I’ve been plagued with doubts about The Queen’s Rebellion Series. The kind of doubts that can be crippling. Things like:

  • Am I going about this character/scene/plot line the right way?
  • Am I doing justice to the character/plot?
  • Should I keep this? Should I delete this? Is this really necessary?
  • Am I making the plot/theme of the story clear?
  • Should I slow down and explain more? Or do I need to explain less and speed up?
  • Is book #1 interesting enough for people to continue to read the rest of the series or will it fall flat?
  • Would the people reading this be confused because I forgot to put something in?
  • Did I start too soon in the story? And should I get rid of book #1?

Anyone seeing the start of a pattern here? Yeah, I’m having issues with book #1. I know that I finished writing it back in January and moved on to book #2, but I’ve got this niggling feeling that I’m doing it wrong.

Wow! Just had a flashback to the movie Mr. Mom. For those who would like to know what I’m talking, here’s a YouTube clip to explain.  

Anyhoo, right now I’m filled with doubts about this book and really wished I had an alpha reader or several. I’ve been wanting to use that new (for me) term forever BTW 😀 . Because I would really like to discuss the particulars of the story over with someone who reads (sadly, hubby is not one of those people) and see if I’m missing something or if I’m doing packing to many subplots into the story.

But since I don’t have an alpha reader, or beta readers anymore, I’ll just have to push on and hope for the best.

Cross my fingers and pray! LOL


Want to know the difference between an Alpha Reader and a Beta Reader?

The Alpha Reader gets to read the unfinished draft, pieces of the draft, or may even act like sounding board for ideas. They should give you honest, immediate feedback on how the story plays, not line-specific notes. They’re the people who tell you what bores them, what confuses them, what’s cool, and what’s unbelievable.

The Beta Reader gets to read through the “almost ready” for publication draft and give you honest feedback on how the story plays –like what bores them, what confuses them, what’s cool, and what’s unbelievable– typos and grammar mistakes they find, and line-specific notes.

February 2017 In Review

I’m back for a second “In Review” Post, however, I decided to change the layout this time. I might tweak it again next month, so please bear with me as I work toward a format that I like.

Now personally, I’m constantly reviewing my life to see where I can improve, what I can get rid of, and make sure I don’t get caught up in the “you should be doing this” (total bullshit, BTW) rather than the “I want to be doing this”. I’ve learned from my mistakes in writing for business rather than pleasure and it’s not something I want to repeat. (I promise! Really! LOL OK, so probably not so much.)


So, my Life this Month… 

Ran smoothly for the most part, thanks for asking. 😀

No surprise firestorms or hurricanes, although there was a lot of snowstorms  this month, and even a snow day or two. We were even able to make it to the orthodontist for a six-week checkup and back without incident.  Little T, my oldest daughter, might have her braces off sooner than planned. YAY! But Little K, my youngest daughter, still has a few months and should have an x-ray soon to see if she has the needed room for her teeth to come in properly.

I’m looking forward to the braces being gone. The extra time taking care of them and travel to their offices and back is a pain in the ass.

This month I spent most of my mornings hanging out with hubby before he heads to work, writing during the four hours that I have before the girls get home, and hanging out with the girls for the rest of the evening before bed.

Little K came home around the first of the month with a desire to do Yoga. She was inspired by a teacher who showed the girls how to do the “Crow” (outside link for the interested). Ever since we’ve been trying to integrate Bedtime Yoga into our evenings although with less advanced positions. I’m just not that balanced. LOL


My Goal to Finish Writing 5 Books in 2017

This went awesome!

I really want to finish writing all the five books in The Queen’s Rebellion Series (crossing my fingers that I won’t find a reason to write more. I believe five books in a series is my limit.). I started these books in 2014 and due to personal and family stuff I wasn’t able to finish them. Now I’m back to writing and working toward finishing them. I know, “It’s about damn time!”

Now this goal doesn’t include editing or publishing the books, although I’m hoping to get that done this year too. First, I want to finish writing the entire series before I even think about editing them. However, I’m looking toward a 2018 release date for all five books and the series box set.

There was one draw back this month, but it turned out to be the best one so far. When I finished The Warlord’s Daughter and started writing The Scout’s Captive, I had this niggling feeling that something was off with the story and so I finally broke down and printed off all 340 pages (that’s 8.5″x11″ sized pages, not 5.5″x8.5″ sized pages) to look over. I found that I needed to make some changes that I wasn’t expecting but which improved the stories of each book. You can read more about in Listening to my Inner Writer.

Due to these changes, I’m hoping that I will be finishing the books ahead of schedule.

the_warlords_daughter_1_webThe Warlord’s Daughter

Phase: writing completed 01/5/2017
Word Count: 66,715 (but only because I moved two scenes to TSC. I have two, possible three scenes to write.)
Due: February 1st

the_scouts_captive_2_webThe Scout’s Captive

Phase: Writing
Word Count:  78,422
Due: April 1st

the_lost_heir_3_web

The Lost Heir

Phase: Waiting to be written
Word Count: 27,734
Due: June 1st

the_empty_throne_4_webThe Empty Throne 

Phase: Waiting to be written
Word Count: 27,910
Due: September 1st

the_rebel_queen_5_web

The Rebel Queen

Phase: Waiting to be written
Word Count: 43,039
Due: December 31st


 My Goal to Write Everyday &
Write 300,000 New Words in 2017

Part of my writing goals for 2017 is to write every weekday and add 300,000 new words this year. This month has required a little more discipline on my part because Hubby’s work schedule changed and so my schedule had to change with it. So no more writing in the morning after the kids leave. 😦

Most days I’m forced to wait until the afternoon to start writing and by then I’m tired or distracted by other things. I wish I could say that the change is easy for me, but I’m a very routine oriented and the constant back and forth every month screws me up for a few days to most of the month.

Even with the change in schedule, the word count and writing every weekday goals went better than I thought they did. Despite thinking that I would take the weekends off, I usually ended up writing something, even if I did it old school and wrote a scene in my notebook rather than on my laptop.

Days I wrote: 20
Days I didn’t write: 8

February’s Word Count for February: 28,346 new words
Total Word Count for 2017:
 62,979 new words

Note: The 300,000 words doesn’t include words written for blog posts or web pages unless it was something creative. I am using a Excel program from Svenja Gosen to keep track of my progress and I would suggest it to anyone who wants to do the same. I’ve used this spreadsheet on and off every year since 2014.


My Goal to Write in my Work/Writing Journal

After reading Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, I decided that I wanted to keep a writing journal for my works-in-progress. I started this goal in December in my Bullet Journal.

In January 2017, I started to use one of the journals I’ve had lying around forever. So far I like how it is turning out. I don’t always remember to write in it before I start writing but I figure it’s a work-in-progress.

work-journal

I believe I bought this leather journal in 2001 with several refill journals and never used it. Ah, such is the life of a writer.


And My Office Goal

Yet another goal of mine is to create an inspiring work space, which I knew wasn’t going to be easy when I made the goal because even though we are living in a house that is two to three times larger than our cabin, my office area is smaller than ever.

officebefore

My old office in the cabin was roughly 4’x8′ and there was more storage space with my printer stand/shelves & filing cabinet that you can’t see in the picture.

office

My office space now is about 2’x4′ and doesn’t include the filing cabinet which holds other paperwork unrelated to me at all or my printer stand/shelves which was re-purposed for something to do with movies.

Since I’m once more in the living room, which is filled with distractions and very limited on space, and everything I need for writing has to be on the desk, I’ve had to make some changes like:

  • The wire basket on the left side of my desk holds notes for current writing projects, my day planner, and blog notes. Then if I have to work somewhere else, like the kitchen table or the counter in our bathroom, I can take the basket with me. Anything I don’t need for the moment has to be stored elsewhere in the house (which is really annoying).
  • The big black binder on my desk is my story binder for The Queen’s Rebellion. It holds all my notes on the world and characters for the series, plus pictures and maps and timelines. I found the printed version much easier than the digital one. It’s in need of an update though. (My favorite how to create a series binder explanation is on YouTube by author Kami Garcia.)
  • The black book on the right of my laptop is the work/writing journal I mentioned above. It’s where I record all the boring details of what I’m writing, how I feel about what I wrote, ideas for the stories, etc.
  • The stacks of crap in the shelves on the right side of my desk is everything I’m working on making digital or that I need close by. It’s been a goal of mine for a few years now to make my office as digital as possible. I’ve been going through all my papers when I have time and deciding what to keep and what to toss. When I have the chance I type up notes for future books (I love using Scrivener for this. I find it very helpful) and any notes I’ve made while reading books or articles (I like OneNote for this).
  • Since my desk faces the window and I have no walls to hang my corkboard of inspiring quotes, writing calendar, dry erase board for notes, or pictures, I’m creating a desktop slide show for quotes and pictures, and my planner for my writing calendar. So far I have eighteen pictures or inspiring quotes. I’ve been thinking of placing it on this website as a freebie for other writers, but I have to look into copyright issues first.

If I could find another space in the house for my office space that didn’t include me getting rid of my awesome desk or our furniture, I would do it in a heartbeat, but it’s not possible. Trust me, I’ve looked. 😦


My Plans for Next Month…

Are limited to watching for that first cow who is going to calve, feeding the livestock, working toward finishing The Scout’s Captive, and starting The Lost Heir.

Wishing you all the best,