The Final Stretch

I have had unexpected time and opportunity to write more this past week than I expected. As a result, I am very close to the end of writing the first draft of The Daedalus Enigma. There have been a few unexpected developments in the final chapter that have extended it beyond my original plot points. This means I may have to rethink chapter division points throughout the book when I do my first revisions.

Before I get to that point, however, I plan to take a writing break and work on reducing my TBR pile by a few titles. There are a couple of series I’d like to catch up on. Some of them I’m at least 2-3 titles behind on already.

I will also start plotting out the seventh (and final… in this story arc, at least) book of the Waves of Darkness series; Maelstrom of Fate. That will take place well before I start revisions on book six. I’ll also have to make more time for writing if I hope to meet my goal of one book per year in the series. I’d really like to get this story arc finished before I pick any of my other writing projects back up.

(The exception to that being to type up, revise, and pre-edit my short story Lake Effect for submission.)

In the meantime, enjoy these zombie cats.

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Cover Art Preview

coverart-hellsdodo 001 cover art for Hell’s Dodo watercolor and ink 6″x9″

I think I may ask my husband for a set of acrylics for Christmas. I enjoyed doing this piece, but it’s very hard to get fine details with watercolor. I’m still more used to working with colored pencil; however, it does not scan very well, as evidenced by the cover for Silent Fathoms. I had to play with the brightness and contrast quite a bit to make that one not look washed out. The printed cover looks streaky, like the printer was running out of one of the colors. Since it has looked that way on every batch I’ve ordered, I have to assume it is because of the original scan.

I had to use a pencil and a baby wipe to lift some of the ink from Viktor’s hair to restore some texture to it. The ink on top of watercolor bled into itself and made it look solid black. I’m just glad that experiment/trick worked. I really didn’t want to have to repaint the entire picture. A toothpick to apply undiluted pigment saved the eyes, but I’m still not happy with them. It’s hard to get good detail at that scale without a very steady hand AND the proper instruments.

My husband asked why I didn’t just do the initial drawing and scan it into MS Paint. (I do not have Photoshop.) My reply was that I never have gotten around to installing the software for my pen mouse, nor have I had the time to study any tutorials for digital painting. One of these days, maybe.

In other news:

Since I spent most of my week off working on the painting, I have still not finished writing the first draft of The Daedalus Enigma. I’ll probably finish it early this week.

Hell’s Dodo may be seeing a later release date than expected. My editor, like myself, holds down a full time job. This has put her editing work log behind. Also, she and my publisher are facing a move soon, which will further eat into the time they can devote to the publishing company. Moving is hard work and not fun, especially when multiple pets and books are involved; it doesn’t get any easy as one gets older, either.

So, the tentative date is still around Halloween but is subject to change. As soon as I have a more concrete date, I will announce it. I also plan to contact my local Books-a-Million. (They are closer to me than Barnes and Noble.) They feature a “Local Authors” section, and I’d like to set up a book signing.

Look for more blog building here soon. I plan to add some more character profile pages and an excerpts page. On the latter, I plan to post excerpts I have shared at readings at past conventions. Waves of Darkness is only a couple or so years away from completion, and I’d really like to get more interest in the series built up.

Sneak Peek at Book Six

Dragon (Wereshark by Mauricio Herrera. I did not commission this art, which is about 10 years old. I found it on a Google search for “sea dragon” images. This will not be the official image for the character profile.)

Meet Xandricus, a rare male siren in his dragon form. This is a third form afforded males of the species which females do NOT have. He will play a major role in book six of my Waves of Darkness series, The Daedalus Enigma. I will probably add his character profile later this week.

Attacking the Closet Monster

…not to be confused with “Attack OF the Closet Monster.”

Did something yesterday that has been loooong overdue. We purged our closet. About five large (yard trash size) garbage bags of clothing, shoes, and bedding went to the Goodwill donation trailer. Two more bags of clothes and shoes too worn out to donate, plus two old comforter sets impregnated with cat fur went to the local transfer station for transport to the dump.

The closet has been organized. Costuming and accessories are in one corner. Coats are in the very back. Winter wear currently is close to the coats’ permanent home. (I usually just drape whichever coat or jacket I’m using during colder weather over the back of my chair for easy access.) Summer wear is front and center. Tank tops have been hung rather than the unruly pile they were in on the shelf. Hats, rarely used jewelry, and a pair of his dress shoes take up the shelf now. (I don’t know why he kept the shoes, when he donated his only suit and tie. We never go anywhere that requires that kind of attire.) Almost all the shoes have been moved to the closet floor from along the wall next to the bed.

Oh, and the guitar has been tucked into the other closet corner. I really need to pick up new strings for it and a good tuner. Even with new batteries, the tuner I have is so old it doesn’t pick up very well, and the display is hard to read.

The cats had to sniff all the newly opened floor space in the bedroom, of course. Wally decided the guitar’s former spot was perfect for him to lounge in.

One of these days, I’ll attack the study. …sez the ultimate procrastinator.

It’s Out of My Hands

The manuscript for Hell’s Dodo has been sent to my editor. Now I wait until it comes up in her queue.

In the meantime, here is the official blurb:

Viktor Brandewyne finds himself tasked with finding the most flighty of the Sisters of Power. He tracks her from New England to the ends of the earth. She sets him the task of retrieving three things as the price for a portion of her magic: a dragon’s egg, a dodo’s egg, and a drop of blood from the Daughter of the Dragon, one of the few beings capable of killing him.

Lady Carpathia has her own agenda concerning Viktor. Though she comes to realize just how dangerous he is, she still hopes to seduce and use him to overthrow her master before she ultimately destroys the pirate-turned-vampire.

Fraught with danger, Viktor’s chances of surviving this quest are almost as slim as those of him completing it. How can he acquire the eggs of a mythical beast or of a creature that has been extinct for nearly a century?