Friday, January 29, 2016

My Editing Process

Since I've been in the editing cave, to the exclusion of pretty much everything else, I thought I'd share a little bit of the writing process for this upcoming release.  (In Deep Wish - due out mid-March.)

1 - 5) Do all the things to write a book and make it coherent enough to not send my editor into grammarly convulsions.
6) Send it off to my editor. 
7) Wait a month.  Preferably working on something else while she has it.
8) Get the manuscript back, copiously marked up in pretty pink.  (Because that's how my editor rolls.)
9) Gnash teeth.  Tear hair.  Write a long letter to my editor arguing over some point. 
7) Delete letter without sending.
8) Quit whining and get to work on addressing her notes.
9) Once her notes are finished, read through entire manuscript making my own notes.
10) Fix that crap.
11) Find every instance of my crutch words... just, like, though, even, thought, knew, said, only, well... and pare those down considerably.
12) Make sure all my ellipses and em-dashes are in the right places and necessary to the book.
13) Send it back to the editor for further pinking.
13) Wait three weeks. Preferably working on something else.
14) Get the manuscript back and fix those notes.
15) Read through it all again on the Kindle, checking for typos I may have made during my last 'fixing' and anything either of us may have missed.
16) Fix that crap.

At that point, one hopes the book is as ready as it'll ever be for public consumption.  Which means formatting and other junk.  Every writer's process varies, so what's true for me, might not be true for the other Killer Chicks or even any other random writer. 

As of yesterday, I'm in stage 13.  I'm waiting. 

If you're waiting right along with me for my next release, like I said, this book will be out mid-March.  I hope you're as excited as I am.  Meanwhile, all my books are currently 99 cents at Amazon - but only until tomorrow night for certain titles.  So, if you haven't jumped on the B.E. Sanderson bandwagon, now's the time to hop aboard.  =o)



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Met, Faltered, Failed

One of my goals for 2016 is to practice accountability, so I thought I'd share my progress...or lack thereof, regarding what I wanted to accomplish this month.


My writing goals:  Goals MET!

Published THE HITWOMAN AND THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB

Finished writing Hitwoman 13. 

Started writing the sequel to UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.



My health goals: To install the habit of drinking 20 ounces of water BEFORE my coffee every morning AND to resume my habit of walking around the lake every morning (unless it's pouring).

FALTERED.

I had the water thing down until I went away for a bit. I've restarted the practice after returning home.

I slacked on the walking while away too, but am back to it!



My creativity goals: To start a new secret project that I'm excited about, but haven't had the courage to start yet and to do 3 pages of morning pages (something I tend to struggle with) most days.

FALTERING AND FAILING.

I've been giving a lot of thought to the project, but I haven't put pen to paper yet.

My morning pages practice is sporadic at best. I really hate them and some days I just don't bother to force myself.



My happiness goals: To maintain my happiness/gratitude practice (you can find it here)
and to perhaps buy a piece of art at a craft fair I'll be attending later this month.

FALTERING

I haven't been publicly posting my daily list, but I've been keeping it.

Didn't end up attending the craft fair, so no art.  But I do have my eye on a piece...



MET, FALTERED, FAILING

As you can see, I'm not one of those people who accomplishes her goals right off the bat, but I am making progress by trying.

Tell me Killer Friends: Do you tend to meet, falter, or fail at meeting your goals? How'd you do this month?

Monday, January 25, 2016

January's Fab Five

January is an interesting month for me. I don't live north of 60, I live just far enough south of 60 to ensure we have four distinct seasons. We're in the middle of winter here. That means snow, ice and cold temperatures. And while January is a new year, it has more of a hibernation feel to it for me. That doesn't mean there aren't great things about the month of January. There are!


Be part of the funky sock movement and a keep toasty warm at the same time. Also, if you love reading and Instagram you can combine your love of books, photography, and socks and use the hashtag #socksunday. And always remember #readingisfun.

Soup is kind of self explanatory. This is one of our favourite soup recipes: Creamy Curry Butternut Soup.

Books! Also obvious. And those of us who blog here write them. JB Lynn, B.E. Sanderson and Me!

Netflix. What did we do before television marathons?

Writing. Writing keeps me sane. And winter in Canada is the perfect time to write. Also, in January my writing group hosts a writing challenge.

Here's a sample from Mike and Grace's story, the third Aspen Lake book.

Britt righted a chair. "Thankfully there's a group of nurses here. Stagette."
Grace let go of Mike. The loss of contact left her shivering in the sweaty, post-fight temper of the bar. Britt wrapped a hoodie around her.
 Nancy Boedel held up her hand and asked, “How many fingers?”
She’d served Nancy three rum and cokes. Grace should be the one asking her. “Three.”
Nancy carried on with her probing, Ian by her side. She brushed at the crushed peanut shells clinging to her top. One of her flip-flops was missing and her hair reeked of beer. Not that it mattered. On a good day no mirror was going to proclaim her fairest in all the land.

And that was perfectly all right with her. She had the ability to look life in the eye and dare it to do it’s worst. Life had risen to the challenge, and so would she.    

Back to watching the X-Files writing! What are you favourite things about January?



Friday, January 22, 2016

3 Days... Or How I Roll When it Comes to Deadlines

I have a deadline.  My edits are supposed to be finished and the manuscript is supposed to be back in the hands of my editor on the 24th.  Probably late in the evening hours.  I could even say the 25th, first thing.  But yeah, that's pretty much the 24th anyway since I don't work in the mornings. 

Currently, according to my Kindle, I'm 9% of the way through this round of making notes.  Notes that have to then be entered into the manuscript. In 3 days.

Umm, yeah.  Exactly.

I'm not always this bad.  Sometimes, if I put my head down and light a fire under my butt, I can work at a steady pace, never get behind, and coast into a deadline.  Sometimes.  Other times, I'm hanging on by the tips of my toes, sliding into home at the last minute.  Most times, I'm somewhere in between. 

I learned this back when I gave myself deadlines for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  30 days, 50K words.  I would start out gangbusters.  Then I'd slack off mid-month.  Then I'd type furiously for the last few days so I could reach my goal. 

Now I have real deadlines.  Someone else is expecting something from me on a specific date. And while I'm pretty sure she'd let me slide, I don't like to do that.  I made a commitment, I stick to the commitment.  Whether I get any sleep in the days before isn't a consideration.  Whether the work is 100% awesome when it arrives at my editor's inbox?  Well... probably not.  It'll be 100% when it goes live at Amazon on release day. 

I could probably point to contributing factors.  I was under the weather this week.  Not really an excuse, though, because if I hadn't slacked off last week, I could afford to take a day for personal illness.  Nope.  It's all on me.  And I'm working on it.

No, really.  I am.

How are you with deadlines?  What's some flaw you know you have that you're working on?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I've never...

Today's post was inspired by the looks people give me when I find myself forced to share one of my "never"s.


I've never seen The Little Mermaid

or Finding Nemo

or Titanic

or that thing with Tom Hanks and a volleyball.

I've never sat through an entire episode of Seinfeld, Friends, Two and a Half Men or How I Met Your Mother.

I've also never gotten through The Davinci Code, The Kite Runner or Wicked....and I've given them all a try more than once. I've also never understand why generations of schoolchildren are tortured with The Catcher In the Rye.

I've never eaten a corn dog, a fried pickle, or those pig things that are sold in bags.

I've never owned an iPhone, a smart phone or one of these phones (and I really wanted one when I was a kid).


I've never attended a professional sporting event (and have no desire to ever do so).

Despite what people think when they read my books, I've never killed anyone.

I've never owned a Sit N Spin -- I vote they make these for adults, I'd buy one!!!


I've never tried skydiving, bungee jumping or zip lining (and never will)

I've never understood the appeal of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, or Tom Hanks.

I've never set foot in Disney World (and I live an hour away).



I've never forgotten pickle scented scratch-n-sniff stickers, my favorite high school teacher, or crossing that first half-marathon finish line.

And I've never taken for granted the support of my blogmates and readers.

Tell me Killer Friends: What are some of your "never"s?


FYI -- THE HITWOMAN & THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB is now available!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Inspiration This Way Comes!

Inspiration is everywhere! Frequently, I find inspiration in the headlines of my local newspaper. Or wandering out and about, visiting different places. Inspiration can come from a quote or a photograph. There's usually a nugget of it in the stories people have to tell. I'm inspired by people, places and events.

Sometimes it finds me while I'm on holiday. You can actually rent a room here. In the middle of nowhere. If you dare. This establishment is totally going to show up in a book one day. We stopped at the gas station next to it for a desperately needed bathroom break on a road trip last summer. Never stop at a rundown gas station next to a rundown motel. They were burning garbage (I hope) out back. Unless you're a romantic suspense writer. Because this kind of stuff is pure gold. 


A lovely old hotel called The Bessborough, dubbed the prairie castle, sits on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River in downtown Saskatoon, Canada. It is surrounded by gardens (in the summer) and is full of history. This was the setting I chose for a short story I wrote for an anthology. 



Maybe it's a poem posted on a bulletin board in a campground, which is what inspired my short story set in the Qu'Appelle Valley about a young woman who finds herself stranded alone in the bush at night. Only she's not as alone as she thinks.

Waiting For Mason by Karyn Good

And then there are times you get caught up playing with PicMonkey!

What inspires your creative pursuits?


Friday, January 15, 2016

Books into Movies or TV Shows

When I was much younger, I had a favorite book and I would dream about seeing it made into a movie someday.  Oh, what a wondrous thing to see the characters I so loved on film.  And they'd look just like I imagined.  And the plot would follow the book exactly.  And I would be so happy.

Umm, yeah.

Flash forward 30-some years.  I still love the book.  I read it again just last year.  From start to finish, I am transported to another world.  When it ends, I cry.  Every time.  And it's now a series on MTV.  Except instead of Elfstones of Shannara, they're calling it The Shannara Chronicles.

I've been studiously avoiding it since I first heard the news.  Oh, early on, I glanced at some of the cast members to see if maybe they came close to the images I have in my head.  Nope.  Sorry.  Wil ain't blond.  Amberle is but now they've got her as a brunette.  I don't even want to see who they got to play Allanon.  I have a sinking suspicion he'll end up looking like a taller Dumbledore.

I caught a commercial for it by accident yesterday.  They kinda got The Ellcrys right, but the effect of her dying wrong.  I changed the channel before I saw any more.  It feels like a piece of my youth being ruined for public entertainment.

Oh, Hollywood has gotten a couple things right.  But it's been a long time since I've seen a book put onto film that even came close.  They did it with To Kill a Mockingbird.  They managed it kinda with The Fountainhead (and they missed only because taking a book of that magnitude and cramming it into a movie length is impossible).

Let's not discuss Rizzoli and Isles, shall we?  I can't watch the show anymore and I can no longer read the books without seeing the A.D.A from Law & Order in my head.  Bones is okay because I didn't read any of Ms. Reichs books before I started watching.  I've read one or two since, and I couldn't merge the two in my head. 

Maybe it's because I'm a very visual reader.  The writer puts the words on the page and I create images in my head from those words.  The image in my head might very well be different from what the writer intended, but once those images are in my head, I want them more than I care about what anyone else's concept is. 

I write the same way.  I have images in my head of what my characters look like and what the scene is like.  I'm not inclined to put an actor's face in its place. 

On the other hand, if one of my readers has a totally different idea in their heads of what Jace or Dennis or Jo or Randi looks like, that's fine by me.  I want you to make up whatever idea you have on your own.  Hell, I hesitated to put Jo's face on the cover of Wish in One Hand because I didn't want to ruin the idea all y'all have in your heads of what she looks like.  (And if my doing so messed with your mental images, I apologize.) 

Maybe it's just me.  So many other authors find images of their characters in the form of models and actors to present to the world.  "This is what Artie Smartie from my latest release looks like."  :shrug:  I can't do that.  Not and keep my imagined idea intact.  Sure, I did find a model who looks almost exactly like my concept of Jo.  But now I have that gal in my head when I write about her.  I've lost the original idea entirely.  Same with the model I found for Zeke.  And the one I found for Mary.  They're all pretty close, but they weren't exact.  Now they're set in stone in my head as someone else. 

I can live with that.  For this series. 

Anyway, it's a thing.  My thing, most likely.  What do you think?  Have you read Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks? Have you watched The Shannara Chronicles on MTV?  What's your take?


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER -- THE HITWOMAN AND THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB

This week's news is that THE HITWOMAN AND THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB will be out on January 15th!

I had soooo much fun writing this story. I hope you enjoy reading it.




Some jobs are more challenging than others. 

Take for example, Maggie’s latest assignment: assassinating a heartless, indiscriminate sniper. He deserves to die, but making that happen is tricky, especially considering that a certain red-headed police detective has been assigned to protect him. 

And that’s not the only job Maggie has. 

She’s struggling to find a way to communicate with her pets and care for her orphaned niece, while searching for information about her sister who disappeared years earlier. An investigation that puts her in harm’s way. 

Maggie struggles to do all her jobs, while contending with her nutty family, vague psychic predictions, an unexpected chicken, and a complicated romantic relationship. 

Is she up for the challenge? Or will one mistake cost her everything? 

Available for pre-order on AMAZON and KOBO.

It will available for sale on Nook and iBooks on release day.

Here's a little peek!

You know it’s going to be a bad day when your happiness depends on your ability to catch a chicken.

My name is Maggie Lee and I’d never caught a chicken in my life. (Unless you count the time in the supermarket my mentally unstable mother decided that a bird would make an excellent projectile to chuck at the butcher’s head. But that bird was dead and wrapped in plastic, which, you can trust me on this, makes catching it easier.)

Despite my lack of barnyard expertise, I found myself running around a backyard in a neighborhood where there are more needle tracks than chicken tracks trying to catch a ball of black, brown, and red feathers. Every time I got near the bird, it would flap its wings and race away, squawking at me indignantly.

I’d already performed a triple sow cow, or Salchow if you want to be technical about it, but since I was chasing a farmyard animal, I’m calling it a sow cow.  Said move had resulted in me sprawling headfirst into the dirt. Now my knees are sore, my palms are scraped, and my dignity is dinged.


There would be no perfect 10 for me. The score so far was Chicken: 5, Maggie: Negative 3.

Monday, January 11, 2016

National Clean Off Your Desk Day

You may not be aware but it's National Clean Off Your Desk Day. There's a big push these days to declutter everything. I've been doing a lot of it over the last year. That and organizing. I find it makes me happy. But messy doesn't have to mean disorder. There is a method to some people's stacks and piles. Stacks, they say, can be as efficient as a filing system.

They say sometimes messy allows for more creativity.

They say it leaves a person open to new ideas. Inventive problem-solving.

I say this way lies anarchy.



My desk is organized. Mostly. Tidy for sure. Not sure where to start? Clear everything off your desk. Put back only what is necessary. File what needs to be filed. Tedious, I know. But doesn't take as long as you think it will. Put what's left in a box. If you need to take something out, deal with it. If there's anything left at the end of the month, throw it out or recycle it. 

In other news my romantic suspense, Off The Grid, is on sale for 99 cents!

Off The Grid by Karyn Good


A committed doctor to Vancouver's inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary and claiming the baby's father is one of the city's most influential businessmen. Sophie is in over her head and thankful when aid shows up in the form of an attorney who's a little too confident and a lot too sexy. 
Family Law expert Caleb Quinn just wants a date, a chance to prove he isn't the elitist jerk Sophie assumes. Helping deliver a baby is not what he has in mind. But before long protecting a traumatized teenager and her son become his first priority. Even if saving them pits him against the baby's father, a childhood friend. A man who will do anything to keep his dark side private.
But justice never comes cheap. Will doing the right thing cost Sophie and Caleb their reputations? Or their lives? 
Excerpt:
Caleb settled into the opposite chair, shifted on the hard surface to find a comfortable spot and, if he was honest, to take a second to strategize. It was clear she was in her element. And that he was out of his. No surprise to her since she’d counted on it.
Smart lady. Good thing he relished a challenge. He let the slow burn of hers heat and simmer. Let the hint of smug and the triumphant slide of her tongue over her bottom lip slap at the urges he was keeping locked up tight. She was here to prove a point. He was going to let her. So he raised a brow. “Rough looking crowd.”
“Maybe on the outside.” Sophie kept busy taking off her coat, stuffing mitts in pockets, placing her pocketbook just so. “But they’re simply folks like you and me.”
He shot her a look.
“Mostly. Minus the designer suit. And ridiculous watch.” She gave his customized Breitling a pointed look. “And the drinks are super cheap.”
“Last year’s Christmas gift.” He shrugged out of his car coat, folded it, and draped it over a chair. “I take it you come here often?”
“Would you think less of me if I said yes?”
“If I admitted it makes me uneasy? Are you going to think less of me?”
She leaned in to point through to the very back. “There’s a police station out the rear door. Cops, judges, and clerks have been known to stop in for the occasional beverage.”
“Stopping in for a pint at noon is one thing.” He dipped his head to the left to study a group of men walking through the door. He recognized gang colors when he saw them. “Ending up here at closing time is another animal entirely.”
“Careful, your biases are showing.” She signaled a passing waitress then settled back in her chair. “Watch and learn.”
What's the state of your desk? Do you like a clean and tidy desk? Or are you a stacks kind of person?