beth_bernobich: cat on wire (cat on wire)
My second round edits for Other Than Honorable arrived late this past Friday. And early this morning...I'm done and the new version is on its way to my editor. (There were no structural edits for this round, and the line edits were very light.) Copyedits won't show up for a few months, so...

It's time to start writing book #2. I already have notes for an end-to-end plot, some of them detailed, and some of them very vague. I have an opening scene in mind, and I have several images for the end moment. Once I have a few chapters written, and more of the plot ironed out, I'll get my editor's opinion.

Meanwhile, my house and garden need attention, not to mention my family.

and....

Apr. 14th, 2017 10:47 am
beth_bernobich: balloon girl (balloon girl)
...the signing check for Not!Sherlock just arrived on my editor's desk.

*happy dance*

*makes plans to buy that new laptop*
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (ballet dancers)
I am delighted to report that my novel OTHER THAN HONORABLE, aka Not!Sherlock, has sold to Harper Voyager in a two-book deal. The tentative release date is Summer 2018, with the sequel coming out the following year. Here is the announcement in Publishers Marketplace:

Claire O'Dell's OTHER THAN HONORABLE, in which Dr. Janet Watson and FBI Agent Sara Holmes, two black and LGBTQA women, must discover who is murdering veterans from America's New Civil War using espionage, advanced technology, and deduction, to Amber Oliver at Harper Voyager, for publication in Summer 2018, by Amanda Rutter (World Rights).

The novel first went out on submission at the end of February last year. After one rewrite request, two phone calls with two different editors, and a lot of anxious waiting, the offer came through last week. (But I had to wait for the go-ahead before I said anything in public.)

And now I have deadlines. Edits are due in May. An outline for the sequel, which I've tenatively named Separation from Service, is due September. And given recent horrible events, I need to rework the political backstory.

I am both excited and daunted.
beth_bernobich: obsessing (obsessing)
I'm working through several health issues these days. There's the stress fracture in my foot, which is healing, thanks to a wonderful podiatrist. I should be in good shape for our vacation in a couple weeks. There's also the matter of a biopsy next week for possible breast cancer. I'll know by Thursday what the results are, and I'll deal with things as necessary.

Work is going quite well. We launched a new version of our financial tracking system. (Which involved tossing the old and horrible version and redesigning/rewriting from scratch.) I'm now overhauling our staffing planning application based on feedback from the department admins and the finance director.

And the novel in progress... There is progress, even though I still have four chapters left to write. The middle chapters, however, just went through another editing pass, with lots of words added, and lots more replaced. (Chapter 10, in particular, has been especially thorny.) I plan to making a polishing pass through this middle section before I tackle the final section.

And in two weeks, Rome. *bliss*
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (mad scribe)
Alas, I didn't finish the draft by the end of July, and alas, I won't finish by the end of August. One reason is that I worked several weeks of overtime at the dayjob, which left me mentally exhausted. The other reason was the troublesome middle section. Four chapters turned into three, but those three still didn't work. So I rewrote them a *second* time, along with a new chapter and...well, you see why I'm not done yet.

Four chapters left. Followed by an editing/polishing pass for the second half. New deadline is...I don't know. I would love to get a finished draft to my agent before October, which is when we go to Rome for our vacation, but we'll see. New deadlines at the dayjob are looming.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (goat)
...or rather brick walls.

I returned to the pirate novel last month, and for a while I was making good progress. But with each chapter, I found myself getting more and more dissatisfied. (Productivity, meet brick wall.) So I took a step back—several, in fact— and spent a few weeks poking and prodding and reworking the plot for the second half of the book. Mind you, I'm still quite happy where the book ends, and the key milestones for the plot still work, but the details of how my characters get from Point A to Point B needed to change.

So I might not finish this draft by the end of July, but what I do finish will be stronger. And that's what really matters.
beth_bernobich: alice (alice)
...the more they change. When it comes to writing and revisions, that is.

Not long after my last post, my agent sent me feedback from an editor for Not!Sherlock. The kind of feedback that makes you go,"Oh, of course!" Which led to three weeks of reading and marking up a ms., identifying which chapters needed what kind of surgery, then making those changes, then reviewing them again. The major edits are done. I'm now in the final pass for the final section. The goal is to have this new version to my agent by next week.

After that? It's back to the pirate novel. (And trying to remember exactly where I was with that.)
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (tea cup)
Chapters 10 and 11 have been spliced and edited into what is now chapter 9. Whew! I am pretty sure I replaced nearly every word. But I am sooooo much happier with this version.

This week, the old chapter 12 is on the revision block. This one is another slash and cut and rewrite exercise. After that, I need to mark up the next five chapters to evaluate how much they work they need. (My impression was "not much," but so much has changed with this draft, I'm no longer sure.)

In between my lovely writing sessions and the dayjob, I have an extra wonderful treat. I'm reading an ARC of Stephanie Burgis's historical fantasy Congress of Secrets. And what a treat this is. I feel as though I am drinking a cup of gourmet hot chocolate, frothy and sweet and delicious, but with an edge of dark.

You can read more about Steph's wonderful book here. Check it out!
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (doggie)
This past month has been extra busy, between novel revisions and the dayjob. In early April, I asked my manager if I could temporarily shift my workday to come in two hours later. I'd say this means my workday ends two hours later, but in reality, I was already leaving later, so what this really does is ensure I'm not working overtime.

There's also the matter of those two hours of writing every morning. What a lovely, lovely treat for me. So far, I've polished the first six chapters of the pirate novel into a submission-ready state, I've ripped apart the next three chapters and rewritten them into two, and I've made a dent in rewriting the two chapters after that. I won't have the new draft done by the end of May, but I will have the major surgery completed.

I'm tempted to ask my manager to extend my shifted hours another month, but I'll wait until the end of May to take stock of my progress.
beth_bernobich: red mushroom (Painter Flower)
Not!Sherlock is out on submission. *makes excited noises*

I'm back to editing the pirate novel, with its themes of agency and friendship and sexual healing. (Also, goats.) I sent a synopsis, proposal, and three chapters to my agent for her opinion, while I continue to revise the rest.

After that? It depends on what or whether these projects sell. If not, I will fall back to writing my NotMansfieldPark novel.
beth_bernobich: Beak Bird (Beak Bird)
Last year, the snow piled higher and higher, so that we had to dig narrow pathways from our door to the driveway. We still had patches of snow until April, and it took even longer for the pond to melt. When the daffodils finally bloomed, my spouse said that March had clearly arrived in April.

This year, we've had some snow, yes. And several bitterly cold days. But we've also had days where the temps rose to 60F, and while the pond did freeze over, it was only for a few days here and there. So, as the title of this post says, we've had a reverse and now April has arrived in February.

I've been so busy with writing and the dayjob, I might not have noticed, except I do work at a University, so whenever I want a cup of coffee, or I need to get lunch, I walk to the next building over, or maybe to the Student Union. Enforced breaks, they are good for me.

As for the writing... I spent a couple weekends addressing some concerns that my new agent pointed out. Those chapters are now stronger and more emotionally charged. Agent has approved the new version, and the book is now out on submission. Luckily I'm so busy, I don't have time to fret. Mostly. :)

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.
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: 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: 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: 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 (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.
beth_bernobich: petal twigs (petal twigs)
It's been a busy, productive week.

I've started to send out rewards for my Nocturnall Kickstarter—gift codes for the trilogy e-books, the signed hardcovers, and lots and lots of thank-you tweets. I've also set up a giant spreadsheet to keep track of expenses and rewards and such.

I also had a long talk with my agent, who had just finished reading Not!Sherlock that morning. She is even more excited about the book than I am, if that's possible. She did have a couple suggestions, which I agreed with, mostly minor things, so while she researches submission strategy, I will make these tweaks to the manuscript. Our goal is to get the book out on submission by early June.

There are also a few interesting developments in the works, outside the world of writing, which I'll share once they get further along.

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