January 2020 Newsletter

Here is everything I’ve sent to subscribers in this month’s newsletter! This is the only time I will post a newsletter on the blog. I thought I’d do it just once so new visitors can see what they’re in for when they inevitably enter their email here:

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This year is gonna be big. Can you feel it?

My hope is the change that’s coming will be positive. January has been quite a ride already, but you gotta start from a low point before you can rise. 🙂

The subject (in the header image) was inspired by this song.

Writing has been difficult this month, particularly after the three-week hiatus I took for the holidays. I left off at a complex point in the manuscript where I have to remember many made-up names and establish deeper political problems to make the situation feel real and the plot progress. It has also been a challenge delving into the POV characters’ minds and emotions once again. Slowly but surely, however, I am inching my way forward. I have finished two chapters and hope to finish a third before the end of the week. Gray Haze is 74% complete with 38.5 chapters left. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it is. Thanks for noticing.

Here is what it looks like right now, featuring the first paragraph of Chapter 1. See the chapter highlighted in dark blue on the left? That is the one I’ve rewritten (in part). I am actually splitting the events of that chapter into two chapters, between two different characters (Malik and Belmya). I am muddling my way through 111, Belmya’s portion. She’s one of the antagonists, but she has many redeemable qualities that I’m hoping will allow readers to connect with her.

So far, Gray Haze is 240,115 words. I’ll definitely reach 300k before the end. Yikes. I swear I didn’t mean for this to happen. It’ll be worth it, though!

Belmya gazed out at the kneeling soldiers, tasting fire on her lips. Heat ignited in her belly, ire in her lungs. “He betrayed me.” How could she have been so foolish? So trusting of the man she had once looked up to as a father?

“He was never loyal to you, Belazon. But it matters not. The cloak shall be yours, provided you open the Door.”

She could not refuse the deal. Belael was her Master, and the cloak was her enemy’s most formidable weapon. With the power of two Masters, all the Realms would be subject to her.

“It shall be done.”

Belael smiled. “Good.” His incorporeal body turned to smoke.

Gray Haze, Chapter 80

I made some new year resolutions:

  1. Blog once a week / Send newsletter once a month
  2. Learn how to make nice graphics
  3. Eat healthy / Exercise regularly
  4. Follow a consistent sleep schedule
  5. Stop feeding the voices in my head calling me ugly
  6. Finish writing Gray Haze and edit the crap out of it

How am I doing? Well enough, I guess. (haha) I have stuck to the first goal. Haven’t yet figured out how to learn graphic design. I have been on the Whole30 diet this month, so I’m eating healthy, and I’m exercising.

I sleep pretty well, and my waking/sleeping hours are fairly consistent. I am a creature of habit. The last two goals I’ve made have been the most difficult by far, of course. I want to like myself. I want to have real confidence, not just pretend I do. And writing, as I said before, has been a struggle. That doesn’t mean I’m going to quit or allow this to demoralize me. I’ll keep trucking on, as you do. 😉

What else is going on outside of writing? Virtually nothing. Lest you forget, I have no friends and nowhere to go. No money. So I’m stuck at home for now. Keep an eye out for when this all changes! That’s what I’m most looking forward to.

My book rec for the month is The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. The world is incredibly well-developed, the characters are likeable and morally gray, and the plot is entertaining. A gripping read, all around.

I tried a Whole30 chicken soup recipe that was well-received at my house. I made it with my new instant pot. It’s flavorful and feels good on a sore throat. 🙂

This section is reserved for future giveaways, release date news, and discounts. For now, I will give you the rundown of how I hope the whole writing/editing/promotional process will go:

  • January-March 2020: Finish the manuscript
  • April 2020: Writing hiatus
  • May-July 2020: Self-edit the manuscript
  • August-December 2020: Edit with my editor
  • January-March 2021: Beta reader feedback
  • April-June 2021: Final polishing, copyright, and purchasing cover art
  • July 2020: Announce release date
  • August 2021-??? 2022: Promotions/Giveaways –> Release Day!

I’ll keep you updated, obviously. All of this ^^^ is subject to change on a whim. The editing process may take longer than I anticipate, so everything after that may be pushed back a few months. We shall seeeeeee, won’t we? 🤔👀

ICYMI from the blog (go to the Blog page to read each post):

I challenged myself to try Whole30 from January 6th – February 6th (I’m over halfway done). This next month, I’ll challenge myself to cheerfully serve everyone around me whenever I can. The cheer has been lacking this month, and I need to rectify that. Starting now. Are you with me?

Reply with a question/comment, or email authormrc@gmail.com! Your comment and my response may be featured at the top of the next newsletter, along with whatever social media you wish me to promote (with your permission, of course).

I hope you learned something in January that you can apply to the rest of the year. I know I did. 😛 Do you have book recommendations for me? I’ll take whatever you’ve got. Drop ’em in an email, or DM me on Twitter. Until next time!

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