The Writing Sparrow Episode 20: 2021 Goals and January-March Goals

A Sparrow in my reader group suggested I do these updates as podcast episodes, so here you go – this is the first one 🙂

If you want to know what I’m working on, these are a good way to get caught up on my WIPs! I’ll be doing these instead of the previous monthly goals and updates.

Listen to the Episode:

Read the Transcript:

Sarina Langer  00:08

Hello, and welcome to the Writing Sparrow podcast. I’m Sarina Langer, and this podcast is all about writing, publishing and marketing your book. You can find transcripts on my website at sarinalanger.com. Let’s get started!

Sarina Langer  00:27

Surprise and welcome back friends and sparrows. I bet you didn’t think you’d see me again so soon. It’s the 26th of January, this is Episode 20, and today just so happens to be my birthday. And I really hope I’m not jinxing this because I’m recording this back in December, but I’ve debated when to do this episode. It includes my goals for this year, so it made sense to me originally to do it on January the first, but by the time I thought of doing this episode, I’d already recorded the interviews of Elisha and Briana and I didn’t want to mess with the date tag in each episode. And then I realised that if I do it on my birthday, I can have Episode 20, a milestone of a kind, on my birthday. And that also has a nice ring to it. So here we are. Surprise!

Sarina Langer  01:16

As you might know, Elisha and I talked about how to set goals and make things happen at the beginning of this month. So it only seemed right to me to do an episode with my goals. Feel free to join in, let me know what your goals are this year, and maybe we can hold each other accountable. I think I need this especially because, as I think you’re about to see, I tend to set too many goals, and I get really carried away when I’m excited. So I have a feeling that I’ve once again taken on a little bit too much this year. But we’ll see. Maybe if you let me know here and there that I’m doing all right or just check in to see if I have completely buried myself under everything I’m trying to do. I don’t know, it might be helpful.

Sarina Langer  02:03

But let’s start with my plans for this podcast this year. I definitely want to have more guests on because I really, really love those chats. I mean, so much more than I thought I would because I’m really very introverted. But I’m learning so much from all the guests that I’ve had on and it’s so much fun talking to everyone. And I hope that it’s also really helpful for you as the listeners to hear all these different viewpoints and all these different experiences. I’ve also had some very specific episodes requested, for example, how to create an audiobook and also quarterly writing updates, which this is the first one.

Sarina Langer  02:45

So I will be doing an episode like this one once every quarter, and this is going to be instead of doing the monthly writing updates and goal setting on my author blog, which I’ve done for pretty much the entire… well, all of last year. And I realised sometime in December that I don’t actually enjoy blogging all that much anymore. I’ve thought about how often I might be able to do it instead, I’ve asking my reader group on Facebook and one of my sparrows there, Rhianne – hi! – suggested that I do them as podcasts instead. So here we are. You will now get quarterly writing updates from me four times a year.

Sarina Langer  03:29

Speaking of writing updates, all my writing plans for this year… there’s a few of you. Starting with Blood Wisp – that’s the whole trilogy, not just the first book, although I would really like to just publish the first book because I’ve been on it for so long. If you listen to my look back over 2020 in December, I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve been on this trilogy for two or three years now. I think it was in early 2019 that I got the third cover. So I got the first covers for the series even in 2018. So I’ve sat on them for a little while now. And it would be really nice if I could finally share them, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve, I’m nearly done writing the second book, the first book is proofing. I’m hoping to get to it and start editing that properly very soon. And then the second book right now is at 20… 62,500 words. So that’s not too bad going for a first draft. I’m nearly done with it, I have roughly three scenes left to right. And then I can go into Book Three. This is the first time I’ve tried to write the entire trilogy before publishing or even just properly editing the first book, by the way, and I’m not sure I’m liking it, but I’ll do, I don’t know, maybe I’ll do another episodes on that at some point. I can compare how it’s gone with my previous approach and maybe what I’ll do going forward because this has been quite tiring, I think.

Sarina Langer  05:00

And the next work in progress I’m hoping to be working on is The Silence of Magic. It’s one of the first books where I’ve had the title really early, I normally really struggle to name things that’s, you know, whether that’s books or characters, especially surnames, who do characters need surnames names. Anyway, um, yeah, it’s going okay. I’m hoping to get the first draft of that done this year, but we will see. It’s, it’s kind of this book that I’ve been wanting to write for quite a long time, I suddenly had the blurb and the first sentence and title and an idea for the cover just very quickly, all in one go one Christmas, not 2020 Christmas or even 2019 Christmas, this has been coming for a little while, it’s been sitting for a little while. So I’d really like to get a move on with that, and actually really immerse myself in this world because I’m really excited about that.

Sarina Langer  05:56

And then there is Dreamer, which is a temporary title, I haven’t named it yet, so don’t get too attached to that, it’s not very good as a title, obviously, which is part of why I’m not keeping it. But I have a feeling it’ll end up being pretty different. I’ve written the first draft of that during NaNoWriMo 2019. That sounds right. So it’s sat for about a year. And then last month in December 2020, not to get confused with all these dates, I decided to come back to it because I really needed a break from writing the Blood Wisp trilogy.

Sarina Langer  05:59

As I said, I’ve been on it for a little while. And just looking again at the first draft of Dreamer I’ve felt excited to work on that. And I thought it could be quite a nice thing to do, whereas I’ve just felt a little bit tired of spending all this time for the Blood Wisp characters. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, I love them, but it’s a lot of time to just spend with the same people and Dreamer has, it’s a bit different for me. Because I normally write dark epic fantasy. So I’ll make up my own worlds and, and the magic system and all that. And it’s normally in third person, or normally have more than one point of view character. And in Dreamer, it’s, well it’s mostly set in our world, but to be honest, I’m still changing all of the names. So as opposed to you could read it as an urban fantasy, if you want. Really that’s what it is. But it could equally, could equally read it as an epic fantasy, if you like, I suppose, because I’m changing all the names. And it’s only got one point of view, which is quite different.

Sarina Langer  07:35

It’s the strongest… no that’s not right. It’s the character in it is the most based on me of any characters that I’ve written and her best friend is the most based on my best friend. So I feel like I’ve put the most of myself into this book. But I’m not sure yet if I’ll publish it, so it could be wasting your time talking about it. But um, yeah, I’ve revisited it in December, I’ve done a quick first edit on it, I’ve sent it off to my editor to do just a quick manuscript critique and really just to see if she thinks that it’s got a potential future at all. I’m half expecting her to get back to me and say, Sarina, no, this is rubbish, burn it, no one must ever see this. And if she tells me to burn it I’ll burn it, but by the time this episode goes live on my birthday, I should know, and hopefully, it’s not anything quite as bad as that. But let’s see what she comes up with.

Sarina Langer  08:30

And then there’s also is based off of my Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy. And that’s, that’s very, it’s very early days, I’ve pitched the idea to my editor on Instagram, and she’s really into it. And I mean, I’m really into and I think you might be really into it, but it’s really, really early days. I haven’t done any plotting on this. I have no idea if it’s got any future at all to be honest, it could be absolute rubbish. But… let’s see, To be honest, the main reason I’m recording this episode right now, still on the last few hours of December is because I really want to start plotting it. I have a few– well actually, no, that’s a lie. I have no ideas at all for it apart from some really fun things. And ,but I want to, I feel like I can’t start plotting it while I still have the Episode Notes for what I’m doing right now saying that I want to plot it if that makes sense. Although it’s just occurred to me talking myself through it that I could just have changed the notes. Oh, well. So this is how organised I am at the end of the longest year in history. But yeah, let’s move on from that.

Sarina Langer  09:44

There’s also my Facebook reader group. I really want to spend more time there. I set it up, well, I think it was last year. I think it wasn’t 2020. I have to check that, but I really want to do better posting there every single day apart from Sunday because we all need a break. I really love my reader group, it’s a really fun place to be, I think we’re having a lot of fun and I’ve been pitching some, you know, some early ideas, I share excerpts of my books, and, but it’s, I don’t know, it’s Facebook. You know what I mean? Facebook is always such an afterthought for me, and I feel bad about that, because it’s my reader group, it shouldn’t matter that it’s on Facebook, it just so happens that Facebook is a great and easy place to do something like that. So I want to spend a lot more time there. And I have some ideas of what I might be able to do there and how we might be able to shake things up a bit and have even more fun.

Sarina Langer  10:36

And then there’s also my mailing list, similar story as to the reader group minus Facebook. I want to, I don’t want to spend more time there, because I’m already emailing my subscribers once a month, which I think is plenty. But I want to do even better delivering what I’ve promised, I’ve got some freebies on there. I’ve got some signup incentives, which I think are really cool. If you don’t know, it’s, I’ve got the prequel novella, to my Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy on there, you can get that on there for free. I have a short story that also relates to the trilogy, which isn’t available anywhere else. So I think that’s quite cool. And, but what I haven’t done as much of is giveaways specific to the mailing list and I haven’t been sharing as many teasers on there either. Mostly because I spend so much time just writing this trilogy that I feel that those things that I could share from Book Two and Book Three would spoil book one. And I really don’t want to spoil things, especially not so early when things could still change so strongly. So I also want to do better with that, I want to spend more time there.

Sarina Langer  11:47

I also want to up my marketing efforts by a lot. I mean, I have a box set out now, I have a perma free series starter, I have two books on KU. So I feel like if I can’t see at least some success of all of those great things then I don’t know. I will be keeping religious track of everything that I’ll be trying this year, I promise you. And if I come across anything that really ends up making a big difference, or anything that works well or is easy to set up, anything at all that, you know, sees some kind of positive results for me, I might do another episode on this as well, to share with you what I’ve done, how it’s worked, maybe why it’s worked. And then maybe you can try it and hopefully it’ll help you see some success as well.

Sarina Langer  12:32

The other thing I might come back to, honestly, it’s very undecided right now, is short stories and submitting them to anthologies. If you remember last year, I’ve done an episode with Beverly Lee about how to write short stories and submit them to anthologies, because she’s done incredibly well with that and she continues to do incredibly well with that. Every time I talk to her about it, I get really excited and I want to do it. But on the other hand, I’m thinking Do I have more, do I have the time for that? Do I want to take on even more? And I mean, short stories are quiet, they are very different to write to full length novels. So I don’t know, it still sounds incredibly fun. And I do really want to do it. But it’s then having the time to set aside for it, you know? And I think we’ve just seen that I’ve got quite a few works in progress on the go already. So I’m not sure if doing any additional writing on top of that is really the right way forward. But then again, if I get a really great idea for a short story, I might write it and then see if it fits into anything. And I don’t know, maybe that’ll be how I approach that. I suppose you’ll hear more about if I’ve done anything at all this quarter in the next quarter in April, we’ll see.

Sarina Langer  13:52

And the final thing is something that I’ve been sitting on sort of coming back to here and moving away from again, is Patreon. I’ve never done anything like that before. I’ve seen and I know that it’s worked really well for some authors. And similar to short stories and anthologies, every time I talk to someone about that I get quite excited and I feel like it’s something that I could maybe do quite well. And I’m getting a similar feeling from the idea of doing a Patreon as I did with this podcast. I was really excited about it and I really wanted to try, but I was also dreading it just a bit. As I said, not a people person, so who just sitting in my office talking to myself as I’m stretching my hand right now. It’s a, well, it was very awkward to begin with and I feel like Patreon might also be quite awkward to begin with.

Sarina Langer  14:48

But look at me now, look how much fun I’m having with this podcast and all the people I get to talk to and, and I mean some of the awkwardness is totally still there. But I’m also really enjoying it. And I think maybe I could also really enjoy having a Patreon. So I’ve got some ideas for that. But I think it’s something that I need to research a lot more. And maybe, yeah, I don’t know. It’s, it’s another one of those things where I think, Do I really have the time for that? As I’ve just mentioned, I realised last year that I don’t actually enjoy blogging all that much anymore, or ever, I don’t know. And a part of me thinks that Patreon is just going to be another type of blogging. I could be completely wrong about that. Because, as I said, I haven’t done all that much research on it. So who knows? But yeah, it’s something for me to research, that’s for sure. And maybe by the time I do the next one of these quarterly updates, I have a better idea of what I want to do with it.

Sarina Langer  15:53

Oh, and I just remembered another work in progress. Because that’s what I really need. It’s fine, though, it’s already written. I’ve had the cover and formatting redone for Darkened Light last year, so it’s got a really pretty new cover, the formatting now matches the second book, they look more like the duology now that they were supposed to be. So I really should launch that, I’m probably, well actually, by the time this goes live, it might already be live on Amazon. I’m not sure yet. Hopefully, I suppose this could be my first goal for it, couldn’t I. Make sure that the new version of Darkened Light is out by my birthday. Taking a note in just a second, as soon as I hit stop. Yeah, we’ll say keep an eye out. If it’s not out today, by the time you’re hearing this on my podcast, if you can’t find the pretty new version on Amazon, make sure you hit me. Yeah, thank you very much.

Sarina Langer  16:53

So, those, those are my goals for this quarter. Oh, my God, that sounds like so much now. Well, not just for this quarter, because let’s, if we’re just focussing for a second, please, on all the works in progress, then I think we can all admit that that’s going to be way too much for just one quarter, this is going to be more of a yearly thing.

Sarina Langer  17:12

So to sum up, on this podcast, I want to get loads and loads and loads more guests and their knowledge and their experiences. I want to do more requested episodes like how to create an audiobook and also these quarterly writing updates. In terms of works in progress I want to finish the Blood Wisp trilogy, I will finish the Blood Wisp trilogy, and I will publish at least the first book. And I will finish the first draft of The Silence of Magic. I will see what my editor says about Dreamer, which has yet to be named. And I will see where that goes and I will, by the time that you’re hearing this, I will hopefully have made up my mind about what to do about this spinoff of the Relics of Ar’Zac trilogy. I don’t know if you know, but Blood Wisp was actually also a sort of, is already a spin off because that’s set in the same world but with different people, although there may be one or two cameos in that. So yeah, quite excited about that. But um, as I said, I will see where that goes. And if I think that I can do anything at all with this, by the time this episode goes live, I may well have decided that it’s rubbish, and not worth pursuing. But will see.

Sarina Langer  18:27

Then in my Facebook reader group, I want to spend more time there and do better at posting every day. On my mailing list I want to do more giveaways and I want to make sure that I actually share a teaser every month like I promised. One giveaway that we can look forward to right now is I had this idea while I was editing Dreamer, there’s someone in there, I have no idea what to name this person. So I think I will do a giveaway where the winner gets this character named after them. Ta daa. So yeah, if you fancy that, sign up for my mailing list and maybe you will have a future character named after you. Wouldn’t that be neat? I don’t do anything terrible to them, at least not in the first book, so don’t worry about that. Then I want to up my marketing efforts. I might write some short stories and maybe try the anthology thing but no promises at all there. That’s more of an do if you have time thing, I think. And I want to make up my mind about Patreon this quarter, and maybe have an update for you on that by April.

Sarina Langer  19:31

And those are my goals for this year, and partially also for this quarter.

Sarina Langer  19:37

So your action step for today is to, if you haven’t already, sit down, figure out what your goals are, and if you fancy let me know what they are and we can hold each other accountable. Thank you very much for listening. Until next time, bye bye.

Sarina Langer  19:54

If you enjoyed today’s episode, maybe learn something along the way, hit the subscribe button. You can also connect with me on Twitter @sarina_langer, on Instagram and Facebook @sarinalangerwriter, and of course on my website at sarinalanger.com. Until next time! Bye!


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Changes to My Blogging Schedule in 2021

Edit: Did I mean to schedule this post for January 4th? Yes. Yes, I did. Did I instead have a moment and post it on December 31st? Mmhmm. Apologies!


First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! *throws confetti*

I hope you had a great start to the new year <3

Last month, I realised I don’t enjoy blogging, so I’m making some changes to my schedule for this year. Under the old schedule, I would have shared my goals for the month and for the year today, but I decided to stop doing monthly goal posts as well as the monthly progress reports.

Instead, I will be doing quarterly updates with my progress from the last quarter and my goals for the coming quarter, and I will be doing them on my podcast The Writing Sparrow. I’ve already recorded the first one, and it will go live on my birthday, January 26th. If you prefer to read my updates, don’t worry – the transcripts will be available right here on this blog and via the podcast itself, so no matter where you choose to follow, you’ll see them. If you want to follow along via this blog, you’ll find the updates saved in two categories: The Writing Sparrow Podcast and Progress Updates.

I also won’t be doing any other monthly posts like the mini updates. Doing all those little posts every month took up a fair bit of time, and I believe I can better spend this time elsewhere.

So, what’s left on this blog?

There are the podcast transcripts of course, but I’ll also still share all bookish news, like new releases, new trailers, and things like that.

If you have any questions about this new schedule, be that about missing content or possible future content, ask away!

Now, let’s go make 2021 our year *high five*


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December Progress 2020

This’ll be a short update, because as usual, I took it a little easier this December. It’s a good time for reflection and self-care!

If you’d like something more in-depth, I’ve done a podcast episode about how this year has affected me and my WIPs. You can listen to it on your favourite site.

Blood Song

I’m nearly done with the first draft! I’ve continued my still-new habit of writing for 15 minutes every day (although I did take a break for Christmas, and there was one day where I just… forgot) and this draft is shaping up nicely. I’m excited to be nearly done with it though. It’s the first time I’ve written the whole trilogy before starting the edits on Book 1, and it’s taking its toll a little. I’ve spent a lot of time with these characters now, and I’m ready for something different.

Which is probably why:

Dreamer

I didn’t plan on doing the first read-through of this in December, but I needed a break from the BLOOD WISP trilogy and this tempted me. I had as much fun editing it for the first time as I did when I wrote the first draft! I’ve sent it to my editor for a manuscript critique so I can get her thoughts on it, and then we’ll take it from there.

And that’s it! I have a few plans for 2021, but I’ll cover those on Monday–in the new year, if you can believe this one will be over! Because I’m still struggling to understand that it’s December.


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December Goals 2020 | Calm Down and Keep Writing

I hope it doesn’t bode badly for this month that I meant to do this post yesterday but forgot 😐

It’s been a tough year on too many fronts, so my December goals are simple:

  • keep writing for 15 minutes every day
  • make plenty of time for self-care
  • reflect on the year behind me
  • prepare for 2021
  • read all the things

It’s not quite my usual list, but sometimes, less is better *shrugs*

Whatever your goals for this month and whether you celebrate Christmas, Yule, something else, or nothing at all, I hope you get some time to yourself and to recharge <3 Be kind to yourself and to others, and take a breather. We all deserve it.


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November Progress 2020 | Unexpected NaNoWriMo SUCCESS and a Finished Duology

Happy almost-December, friends!

November has been BUSY! I have owned NaNoWriMo, I have published a book, and I feel like plenty of other things must have happened, too, because I’m tired. NaNo always takes it out of me, but I can’t imagine not doing it.

Here are the specifics:

NaNoWriMo

I’m 4k away from winning, and honestly? I can’t believe I’m going to make it! I was so sure I had no chance of reaching 50k this month since I had to juggle NaNo around working at the library, but I did it.

(Or nearly, anyway)

And I couldn’t be prouder of myself <3

Most of those 50,000 words have gone into Blood Song. There’ve been a few developments I did not see coming, so it’s been an exciting discovery journey.

Some of these words went into two separate short stories, one I wrote just because and one I wrote for the collection that will one day accompany the Darkened Light duology.

So, all in all, November was a massive success *high five* I had to set some other things aside (like regular blogging – the podcast transcripts are also available via Buzzsprout and I only read one book this month, so my mini review would have been somewhat bare), and while I don’t want to make excuses, here’s an explanation if you’d care for it:

I have extreme tunnel vision during NaNo *shrugs*

Brightened Shadows

I HAVE FINISHED MY DUOLOGY

*applauds self*

I’m still waiting on the paperback proof (I’ve had one but it wasn’t right), but it’s nearly there *knocks on wood* *throws salt over shoulder* *crosses fingers*

Despite that delay, the launch was my most successful one to date. Thank you so much to everyone who pre-ordered and bought on the day! Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come in the duology’s future.

These few points may not look like much, but I’m knackered. I’m planning on finishing NaNo either today or tomorrow, and then I’m hoping to sleep the rest of the weekend.

Until next time <3


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Happy release day, Brightened Shadows!

My youngest is out in the world!

*throws confetti*

Today is the day: Brightened Shadows is out, and I couldn’t be happier <3 It’s had the largest number of pre-orders out of all my books, which bodes well for its future.

The price is in the process of going up to $2.99, but if you’re quick, you might be able to still get it for 99p 😉

Just like Darkened LightBrightened Shadows will also be available on Kindle Unlimited. Unfortunately, there’s been a delay with the paperback, but such is life. 

Thank you SO MUCH if you were amongst those who pre-ordered. Seeing the numbers go up higher than my previous books has made my month <3 And if you didn’t pre-order but would like to support me on release day:

Buy Brightened Shadows

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go eat my weight in chocolate and gingerbread 😉


Sign up for my mailing list for updates on my books, excerpts, early cover reveals, and the exclusive freebies Shadow in Ar’Sanciond (the Relics of Ar’Zac prequel novella) and Pashros Kai Zo (a Relics of Ar’Zac short story, which isn’t available anywhere else).

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October Progress | A Cover Reveal and The Difference 15 Minutes Can Make

Happy early Halloween/Samhain, friends!

A few weeks ago, I read a book: The Nifty 15 by Honoree Corder and Brian Meeks (if you’re interested, check it out on Amazon – be advised this is an affiliate link, so I’d earn a small commission if you buy it through this post). It explains how to write a book in just 15 minutes a day and is based on the assumption that, while many of us may not have a whole hour to write, everyone can make 15 minutes to sit down and write. It’s not a big commitment, and the time flies once you start. They set the challenge to write like this for 100 days and record your progress.

(Yes, I did create a colour-coded spreadsheet. You know me so well.)

I admit, I always thought I wouldn’t be able to write in only 15 minutes. In fact, I was convinced it wasn’t for me. I like to get into whatever I’m working on, and 15 minutes isn’t enough for that.

But.

This has completely transformed my writing life.

Blood Wisp

Remember how I said I wanted to put the heat on my Blood Wisp rewrites this month? Well, I finished the rewrites (this round – I swear it’s never ending for this book) and I’ve started writing Blood Song.

I don’t write much in 15 minutes – 600-800 words – because the time frame is so short, but multiply that by 7 and I’ve written a decent amount that’s not to be scoffed at that week.

So, if you don’t think you could write in only 15 minutes but don’t have time for more, just try it. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying, and you might just surprise yourself.

NaNoWriMo

I was planning on writing The Silence of Magic, but I think anyone can see that it makes much more sense for me to write Blood Song and continue what I’ve started. I feel like I’ve been on this series for ages, and I kinda have – I’ve had the covers for all three books since August 2018 – early 2019 (depending on the cover), so it’s about time.

(*ignores tempting third WIP waving from the corner*)

It’s been nice to write new adventures and secrets for Yua to discover rather than rewrite old ones. I’ve been on Blood Song since the start of this week, and it’s been a nice change of pace.

So, that’s the plan right now. Watch as I ignore it and write something else after all 😐

But I’m getting into my November plans, and it’s not time for that yet. I’m prepared for NaNo. I just need to choose a project and stick to it.

Brightened Shadows

I love how near the end of a project, everything suddenly happens at once. You go through months of feeling like there isn’t any progress, and then BAM – all the progress.

I have revealed the cover. I have chosen a releases date. I have sent it to my formatter and am about to make the pre-order live.

In case you missed it:

Blurb:

Naavah Ora has found the weapon that can kill the Dread King, but there’s one setback: she is the weapon, and she shares her mind with her patron goddess. Naavah Ora isn’t prepared to lose herself to stop the undead invasion, but when the Dread King makes the fight personal, she might give anything to stop him after all.

Meanwhile, Doran, Levi, and Ash struggle with a prison break and the realisation that Ceallach still wants Levi as his sacrifice. They reach for Naavah Ora while she slips further away, but how can they fight a battle happening in another realm?

To end Ceallach’s invasion and retake peace for the dead, Naavah Ora hopes that her other gods joining the fight will be enough. When Ceallach ends the things and people she loves the most, she must decide: =

Is she prepared to pay the price and surrender her consciousness for good?

Release day: November 20th 2020


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October Goals 2020 | The Blood Wisp Heat Is ON! Also NaNoWriMo Denial/Acceptance

Happy (Almost) Most Wonderful Time of the Year, friends!!

The veil is thinning, spirits are getting more chatty, and – as is tradition – I’m trying to talk myself out of doing NaNoWriMo next month while kinda talking myself into it. I fail at this every year, and I’m starting to accept my participation as an inevitability.

So, that’ll be one goal this month! 😀

What else is happening?

Blood Wisp

With my more-or-less done decision of doing NaNo, I want to put the heat on these rewrites. There’s much to do, and I know I’ll be happier going into NaNo with them done. This will be my priority this October. Fortunately, my NaNo prep should be pretty light, because…

NaNoWriMo

I’ll be writing The Silence of Magic *high five*

(me: ‘I’m considering maybe doing NaNo this year if there’s time.’

Also me: *talks about it like it’s decided*)

I’m very aware that I only just burned out earlier this year and that NaNoWriMo usually puts a lot of pressure on me when I’m also working somewhere else, so I’ll be taking it slowly and won’t stress over the end goal. Having said that, I also know that I’ll struggle to not work on it should I make it within 10k of winning *shrugs*

And I believe that will do! I’ll need October to get used to my new routine of being back at work, so the goals above will be plenty.

What are you up to this month? Are you preparing for NaNo too?


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September Progress | Where Did that Podcast Come From??

Happy autumn, friends and Sparrows! *jumps into leaf pile*

Well, September has been full of surprises! For instance, I didn’t think I’d start a podcast this month. That surprised me.

I also don’t go back to the day job until next week. It was supposed to be this week, but then my manager changed it, so I had a little more time than expected!

I’ve also reshuffled when I post what, effective immediately. As of today, this blog’s schedule will be:

Monday – podcast transcripts; Wednesday – mini book reviews and misc.; last Friday of the month – progress report (unless the last day is a Thursday; in that case, I will post on Thursday so there’s not too much time between the end of the month and my progress update); First day of the month – monthly goals (if the first day of the month happens to be a Monday, I will post on Tuesday)

But let’s get back to the normal layout before this gets any messier *ahem*

Blood Wisp

I’m making progress! It hasn’t been much this month – again, it’s been a confused 25 days – but I’m pleased with how it’s progressing. I think I’ll focus on it next month so I can get this second draft done.

The Silence of Magic

I was excited to come back to this, too, but I don’t think I’ll be able to write both books at the same time. I’m sad about it, but I think I’ll have to set this one aside and focus on Blood Wisp, which has been a longer time coming and therefore deserves priority.

More time to build the world between writing sessions <3

The Writing Sparrow Podcast

This was as much a surprise to me as it is to you XD I’ve been tempted to start a podcast for years but always stalled, and then this month I decided to go for it. It’s terrifying – I’m not used to putting my voice out there – but I’m slowly getting used to it and I do enjoy the interviews.

I’ve spent a good chunk of the last two weeks learning how to record and edit audio, finding the best way to share the podcast, and generally learning as much about it as I could. It’s been a steep learning curve, but I’m an author – I’m used to it *high five*

I also spent most of that time staring at my screen and out the window trying to convince myself to start recording at all *ahem* #introvert #sociallyawkward

I’ll post transcripts of all episodes every Monday, which is also when the episodes go live. You can find them via their category or their brand-new page.


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September Goals 2020 | Just… Write All the Things *shrugs*

This will be the shortest goals post ever, friends and bookworms. It’s September, and that means I’m going back to work near the end–not for all five days like I usually would, but for three days + two when I’ll be working from home. I don’t know how busy with library stuff I’ll be on those days. I’m torn between being tempted to start writing and marketing at the weekend and being grateful for those two days of not needing to go anywhere.

(the little devil on my shoulder is asking me, ‘Why not both?’ Indeed. Why not both.)

Long story short, I’ve no idea how much I’ll have time for this month. This will be a new type of routine for me, but I’m excited to carve out something that works for me and my books.

So, instead of the usual book-specific headers, these are my goals for September:

  • write a lot (The Silence of Magic, Blood Wisp, some short stories maybe)
  • read a lot (all the things!)
  • market a lot (mainly the audiobook once it’s available everywhere)

*shrugs*

It’s not impressive, but it is what I’ve got. It’ll be more specific at the end of the month once I know what I’ve done ^-^


Sign up for my mailing list for updates on my books, excerpts, early cover reveals, and the exclusive freebies Shadow in Ar’Sanciond (the Relics of Ar’Zac prequel novella) and Pashros Kai Zo (a Relics of Ar’Zac short story, which isn’t available anywhere else).

Take me to the Welcome page.