A Quick Note on Pirated Books, UNCHAINED Update – October 17

If you see UNCHAINED available for download anywhere, no, it is not a legit copy from the future. It’s not even a leaked copy, because there’s no way the written part of it could have been leaked.

My books are only available from well-known booksellers or from libraries, and right now the only free book is THE ALIGNMENT. Any ‘download for free’ copies on random websites are pirated. If you’re short on funds and would like to read my books, please request them from your local library.

Speaking of UNCHAINED, I’ve written a rough bullet list of everything that happens to the end, and it’s under one page long! Now I just have to expand it to about 30,000 words. Easy, right? ;)

Progress of UNCHAINED
First draft: In progress (74,035 words, about 74% complete)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: Not started

Recommended Reads: ONCE THERE WERE WOLVES

I started this book in a secluded cabin in the Missouri wilderness where the absence of light pollution at night allows one to see the band of the Milky Way. Like any book that opens with a hunting scene, I almost put this one down after the first pages. I read to escape the violence against animals too common in the world. But I felt a deeper message here, and being unplugged from media and away from the press of human civilization I felt prepared to take this on.

It’s rare to find a book that so closely validates my beliefs about nature, animals, and humanity’s troubling place in it all. I come away from the experience of this book feeling sad but moved, and pulled very far out of my comfort zone. I don’t believe the violence, especially at the climax, is justified, even in this fictional world–but I think that’s the point.

Oppression of women and animals and the connected violence go hand in hand here, as they often do in reality. Even though I really broke two rules of my reading for escapism here, the comparison was satisfying … even as it filled me with grief. I feel changed by this book, that someone here gets it, not just me. Maybe a lot of someones get it. And even as the story progressed into the awful things men do to women and animals, balanced on the other side was such a poignant expression of compassion for nature. It made me sad at the reality we’ve created, and hopeful that someday there might be enough people who follow this understanding to tip things for the good of all who share the earth.

ONCE THERE WERE WOLVES
by Charlotte McConaghy

Amazon | Goodreads | Charlotte McConaghy’s website

UNCHAINED Update – August 1

1,535 words added today to UNCHAINED, after 6+ hours spent yesterday recovering my focus by skim-reading this book from page one, reviewing all my messy notes, and digging through my brain.

Write every day. There is so much truth to that.

Progress of UNCHAINED
First draft: In progress (50,546 words, about 51% complete)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: Not started

UNCHAINED Update – May 18

Over 10,000 words added to UNCHAINED in the last month, which is pretty good progress considering my level of distraction right now.

I haven’t even scratched the surface of what needs to happen. And it’s kind of making me nervous.

Progress of UNCHAINED
First draft: In progress (36,937 words, about 37% complete)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: Not started

Recommended Reads: DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD

I have never identified so much with a character. Her thoughts were my own, long before I picked up this book. Writing it must have been an act of catharsis for the author, because that’s what it was for me as I read it. Some might call the ideas in these pages thought-provoking, esoteric, unconventional, maybe even antisocial. But to me, it’s validation of an obvious truth that so many cannot see.

DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD
by Olga Tokarczuk

Amazon | Goodreads | Olga Tokarczuk’s website

UNCHAINED Update – April 1

I’m writing slowly but diligently. Also slowly. ;)

That’s my only news. Here’s a picture of my pretty new pot with some spring flowers. It’s mostly about the pot, though, ’cause … oh, that color!

 

 

Progress of UNCHAINED
First draft: In progress (26,917 words, about 27% complete)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: Not started

Momentum

I’m struggling to find my momentum with this last Unquiet book. I wrote over 1,000 words last night, but most of those were put down past midnight. Lazy days this week allow me to do that. When my normal schedule returns after the new year I won’t have that Easy Writing Window of Time, which seems to be 11 p.m. onward. Late night writing is how I wrote the entire Alignment series. It’s a schedule I’m no longer physically able to do.

Doesn’t really matter, though, does it? Books must be written, so the time will be found… somewhere…

Cutting back on reading time might be necessary, but not that easy right now because I’m 50% into THE KING’S MAN by Elizabeth Kingston and enjoying the heck out of it. It’s a bit of an enemies-to-lovers story set in medieval Wales. Broody hero with a violent past meets a Welsh warrior princess who is tasked with dragging him home to England to answer to his king. Lots of unexpected movement in the plot and great romantic tension. Can’t quite recommend it yet because I have no idea what’s in store, but the first 50% is excellent.

I also just started THE HATING GAME by Sally Thorne. I know I’m late on this one but after seeing it pop up everywhere and never seem to go away I figured I had to do it. It’s a library loan, so I have to put THE KING’S MAN on temporary pause (boooo). The first few chapters of THE HATING GAME are delicious. I’ll probably devour it in days. It’s a nice change from the dark dramatic stuff I usually read. :)

 

Speaking of dark and dramatic… you gotta check out THE GLASS WOMAN by Caroline Lea. Chilling, desolate, mysterious, romantic, a perfect winter read. Kind of like REBECCA in Iceland. Certainly one of my top five reads in 2020.

 

 

I hope you’re enjoying some lazy days full of books, good food and drink, pleasant family time, and all the nice things at the end of this bizarre year. Happy New Year and best wishes for 2021. :)

 

Recommended Reads: WHERE THE FOREST MEETS THE STARS

This book’s cover hooked me, but its characters kept me reading. They came alive on page one and never relented. The plot was unique in a quiet sort of way. Straightforward, poignant writing and excellent dialogue. There was wit on every page even with the dark subject matter. Exactly my kind of book. Added bonus: it was set in my neck of the USA! Rare to find in fiction and very cool to read!

WHERE THE FOREST MEETS THE STARS
by Glendy Vanderah

Amazon | Goodreads | Glendy Vanderah’s website

(Please read the reviews for trigger warnings if you’re sensitive to certain things. This story features the worst of human nature, but it’s not graphic.)

Arkansas, You are Beautiful

Here are some photos I took during an October road trip to Arkansas. The drive led straight through the part of Missouri where the Unquiet books take place. For those of you unfamiliar with the Ozark Mountain region, here’s a good taste. Every morning our mountaintop cabin was surround by fog … and unquiet creatures returning to their hiding places.