breathing!

Dec. 14th, 2015 09:00 am
beth_bernobich: Beak Bird (Beak Bird)
Application successfully launched. Department admins can now assigned courses to instructors, create new courses and sections, and run a number of reports. We have made a few tweaks in the past couple weeks, but overall, the new application is working quite well. In my spare time, I am setting up a real test server, creating profiles for automated builds, and converting a second application from ASP.Net to MVC.

All of this is a lot of work, but I am getting so much satisfaction out of making things right, both for the end users and the development environment. My boss hired me because he knew things were a hot mess and he needed an expert. I'm happy to oblige. Plus, he's ordered an ice cream cake to celebrate my birthday.

As for writing? I've completed the Writing The Other workshop, I'm sending out queries for Other Than Honorable, and I'm now reviewing my draft of The Edge of the Empire. Good stuff, satisfying stuff.

I'm also remembering to breathe.

Story Day!

Dec. 1st, 2015 09:00 am
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (nocturnall)
I am very pleased to report that Nocturnall, the coda to my River of Souls trilogy, is now officially released. It's available on Amazon, Smashwords, and will be on Barnes & Noble as soon as the hamsters powering their computers wake up Barnes & Noble.

Speaking of venues other than Amazon, I've also released The Ghost Dragon's Daughter on Smashwords and B&N.

I'm delighted with how both stories turned out, and I'm doubly pleased to share them with the rest of the world.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
Well, I didn't stop breathing, but November has proved to be even more chaotic than October was. I met my initial deadline for the project at work, which led to more feedback from the product owners, which led to more late nights and some frantic code re-shuffling. We then got feedback from our first round of users/testers, which led to some even later nights.

However!

We are now in excellent shape for the December 1st launch. I suspect there will be more tweaks and fixes throughout the month, but the chaos should drop to a more manageable level. I plan to take some time off for my birthday and after Christmas. There will be breathing. There will be writing.
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
...big projects. Now that I've survived the maelstrom that was my October schedule, I need to slow down, catch up on some long neglected tasks around the house, tie up a few loose ends with the Kickstarter, and give myself a chance to breathe.

This is not to say I am not writing. In fact, I will probably do more writing this month than last. First off is Current Novel, which I need to revise with the lessons I learned in the Writing the Other class. After that, I really do need to settle down and finish revising my pirate novel.

But then, oh then, I want to write something entirely new.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (book fin)
...but the end of several projects.

The Ghost Dragon's Daughter was released last week. E-book only for now, and for now, only on Amazon because I've submitted the story to Amazon's Kindles Singles program as an experiment. If that doesn't work out, I'll publish to all the rest of the usual places. I might even release a print edition, but that comes much, much later.

Speaking of print, I mailed out the print copies of Nocturnall to my Kickstarter supporters today (Monday). The ebook itself went out to them last weekend. I still have three critiques to deliver, but the really hard part is done and over.

I also completed the Writing the Other class this weekend. Amazing lectures, useful and thought-provoking homework, lots of links and reading material. I highly recommend it. (Even if the timed in-class writing exercises made me cry.)

So now what?

First of all, there's the follow-up workshop for Writing the Other. We get several weeks to apply what we've learned to a story or several novel chapters, then our teachers and classmates critique what we've done. The results of that will likely occupy me the rest of the year, if not longer.

After that, who knows?
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (squee!)
Guys! Guys! Guess what today is!!

(Okay, the title of this post probably gave things away. *g)

In case you haven't read my posts and tweets from the past couples weeks, today is Book Day for the paperback edition of Allegiance, the third novel in my River of Souls series. The series itself isn't over, but this is the last book for Ilse and Raul in this lifetime.

To celebrate this milestone, I wrote a coda story, then ran a Kickstarter to commission artwork for the cover and interior. It was a lot of work, but I am sooooo very happy with the results. The e-book went out to my supporters over the weekend, and the print copies just arrived here. Once I check them over, I shall sign and mail those out.

But this wasn't enough, I decided. I wanted to do something for the day itself. So....

I've spent the last few weeks on a different story, The Ghost Dragon's Daughter, which is set in the same world as Fox & Phoenix, but with an entirely different set of characters. This is my geek girl story, about Jun, Mei, and Lili, and their senior year project, which they call the monstrosity machine. To quote from Delia Sherman's shiny blurb:

"There's magic and mathematics, spirit animals and science, and an intelligent young girl who is finding her path to university and love both longer and rockier than she’d expected."

So one novel, two stories. Both Allegiance and The Ghost Dragon's Daughter are available for purchase even as you read this. Nocturnall comes out in December, but you can pre-order it now.







beth_bernobich: red mushroom (moon whale)
...but that doesn't mean I'm not busy.

The print edition for Nocturnall is now well and truly done. Mostly. 99%. I made one last proofreading pass through the text. The artist just sent me the final version of the interior illustration. We just need to enter those final edits and add the illustration into its waiting slot. Next weekend, I can start work on the e-book version.

I've also printed out The Ghost Dragon's Daughter for proofreading this week. With classes back in session, the Student Union is perpetually crowded, so I need to find another refuge where I can read and mark up pages.

And next weekend, the next session of Writing the Other begins. Six classes, with homework and critiques and exercises. I am so excited!
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
...so I can send two copies to work, assign chores and errands to a third, and have at least one copy to handle the administrative overhead and general flailing that comes along with publishing. The real me would get to have fun. (That includes the writing itself, of course.)

I don't have a cloning device, alas, but I do the best I can. So, things accomplished since I last posted. The latest editing pass for The Ghost Dragon's Daughter. The acknowledgments, cover design, and interior design for Nocturnall. I'm also talking to an artist for cover art for The Ghost Dragon's Daughter.

And at long last, I have resumed edits for The Edge of the Empire. One chapter reworked, and a few pages of the next. Twenty more to go.
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
The final version of Nocturnall's cover art arrived this weekend, and it is omg scrumptious perfect. As soon as I have the completed cover design, I will share.

Meanwhile, I have finished entering the proofreading changes for my geek girl story. On the one hand, the story is now too long for most markets. On the other hand, I have the option of publishing the story myself, which means I can release it a couple weeks before Nocturnall.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (nocturnall)
Nocturnall just went through copyedits. (Yay!) Yet another step on the road to publication. Over the next month, the final artwork will arrive, and my designer can get started with the interior and cover designs. I've also contacted a number of people about possible blurbs, and a number of reviewers about possible reviews.

In other news, one of my interns quit, which saved me the task of firing him. That meant I had to take over finishing his work, which was in even worse shape than I feared, so this past week has been one of late nights and much grumbling over the ex-intern. I foresee another week before I can put the new version into testing, then I can get back to the other project I was working on.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (girl and balloon)
Geek girl story edited (again).

Copyedits for Nocturnall received.

Cats wrestled into their carriers and taken to the vet.

And a hike to the top of Case Mountain to watch twilight fall over the city.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (arrow)
Work could easily take over my life. The interns need constant supervision. The junior dev needs to be kept focused. The finance director needs the occasional reality check. The general chaos needs to be managed. My goals are to 1) get the huge list of outstanding tasks down to a manageable size, and 2) get the necessary tools and procedures into place so that we can keep track of things.

And yet, on Friday, I picked up a tasty lunch from the Student Union, and sat outside on one of the many patios, where I could enjoy the sun and mark up the rest of the geek girl story. So, yeah. Life is good.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
Nocturnall Kickstarter: Things are going very well with this project. The cover artist and I worked through a couple rounds with rough sketches until we had the right look for both the story and the series. She then sent me a detailed drawing that had me dizzy with delight. We've now moved on to the color sketches. I've picked a color scheme from the three she sent me. The next step is the final version.

Current Novel: Out on submission. *fingers crossed*

Geek Girl Story: I've read and marked up the document for the next round of edits. The story grew quite a bit in the last round, and I suspect it will grow a bit more.

Edge of the Empire: Once I finish the GG story, I want to dive back into revisions for this novel. With the change in my dayjob, I no longer have any writing time in the morning, but I do have more time after work, so I want to experiment with short sessions in the evening.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (red sun)
...and the new job is wonderful.

I have a lot of work to do to wrangle our projects into order, but the interns and my junior developer are willing, and my manager backs me up with time, money, and support. Plus the occasional trip to the UConn Dairy Bar.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to Readercon.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Painter Flower)
Agent loves the summaries for sequels to Current Novel. Speaking of which, Current Novel goes out on submission this week. *cue author flailing*

The YA fantasy story has been completely reworked. I need to let that sit a couple weeks before I make the next editing pass.

And hey, Readercon is next week. Here is my schedule, and I hope to see you there!

Friday, 8PM, Kaffeeklatsch

Saturday, 11AM, Dog, Cat, Snake: Predicting Pets with Literary Taste. Panelists will discuss their literary preferences and see whether others can guess their pets.

Sunday, 10AM, Reading. I'll be reading an excerpt from Not!Sherlock
beth_bernobich: Crab (Crab)
This past week was a busy one. I finished up in fine style at the old job, which pleases me. I have (almost) a week before the new one starts, so it's time to play catch up. A bit more gardening. Miscellaneous chores. Writing summaries for possible sequels to Current Novel. Finishing the latest round of edits for my geek girls story. Petting the cats.

misc...

Jun. 15th, 2015 08:30 am
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (umbrella mushrooms)
Last week at the old job. I've finished a number of tasks far ahead of schedule, so I'm using these last few days to tackle some issues that we've always wanted to address.

Latest round of sketches from the cover artist have arrived. In the next day or two, I need to sit down with my cover designer and get his input. Guys, this is going to be such a great cover.

Agent loves the latest version of Not!Sherlock. She has proposed a short list of publishers to me, and the manuscript will go out Real Soon Now. *cue excitement*

And to scratch my writing itch, I am slowly working through my geek girl story. When I first wrote it, I thought it was the best thing ever. I still love the story all to pieces, but I know I can make the execution better.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (girl and balloon)
...I start a new job at the University of Connecticut at the end of June.

I'll still be doing web development, but in a totally different environment. While I like my co-workers at the soon-to-be old job, the company is going through chaotic times. With UConn, I am getting stability, better benefits, and a shorter work day.

Meanwhile, I am poking at various writing projects and doing a spot of gardening.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (book fin)
...and off to my agent.

Just in time for me to dive back into Nocturnall. The artist and I are now exchanging emails about the concept sketches she sent me. (I LOVE them.)

I am also poking at my geek girl story. Plans are to make another editing pass before I send it out again. This will scratch my writing itch while still being low-key. Just what I need after the intensity of Not!Sherlock.

Oh, and I am now back to full-time work as well. More details about that later.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (cat on a wire)
Nocturnall Kickstarter: E-book gift codes all sent. Thank-you tweets all sent. Spreadsheet updated. I've been researching printers for the limited print run, and so far the front runners are Lightning Source and Createspace. LS has a reputation for somewhat higher quality, but Createspace is somewhat less expensive and appreciably easier to work with, according to all my sources.

Edge of the Empire: On the back burner for now. See next item.

Not!Sherlock: I need to make another editing pass to address two minor issues and one medium-sized issue that my agent pointed out. I had hoped to finish this pass by today, but a few other obligations popped up last week. Once the edits are in place, I want to read through the whole thing one more time to make sure they work with the rest of the story.

And at home, my flowerbeds need some attention—we're still rehabilitating them from their years of neglect before we bought the house—but like the pirate novel, they are on the backburner until Not!Sherlock goes out on submission. Once that happens, I shall descend upon the local garden center with visions of annuals and perennials dancing in my head.

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