UNBROKEN Update – Homestretch

Here’s how I’m finishing this book:

1. Tuning out distractions with earbuds playing the sounds of grackles layered over forest rain if I’m writing during daylight hours, spaceship sounds or celestial white noise if writing after sunset.

2. Wildly crossing through big chunks of hardcopy notes I’ve been carrying around with my laptop for six months.

3. Rereading a lot of UNQUIET.

4. Gushing new words with hardly any editing. Not my normal thing. It will mean lots of rewriting later on the last 25% of this book. That’s okay. I see the end. I need to run for it.

If my outline holds true, I’m four chapters from the end. Cover art is also in progress.

Here is a shot I took of a real, non-YouTube grackle hanging out in my yard.

Progress of UNBROKEN
First draft: In progress (85,920 words, about 86% complete)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: First drafts due in 14 days

UNBROKEN Update – April 5

I never thought I’d be writing UNBROKEN from inside someone’s game of Plague Inc, but here I am. We’re mostly self-isolated here, only leaving the house for exercise and groceries. Missouri hasn’t been hit too hard, but I’ve read what this virus does, and I do not want it in my household. School is all online for the kids right now. Drum lessons are happening over FaceTime. Jiu-Jitsu practice comes in videos over Facebook. Let’s all applaud the internet for allowing us to still have these things when their physical places had to shut down.

Being stuck in the house means lots of extra time to write, yeah? Sadly, no. We do more cooking now. Three meals a day at home. We’re trying to do more outside, so we’ve been walking a lot, like 3.2 mile stretches with the dog and the boys on their bikes. Our neighborhood sits on the bluffs of the Mississippi, so the streets all around us are great climbs and valleys. Our street has become an alternate version of itself where families spend time on their porches and driveways and talk to neighbors from a yard away, or across the street, all while there’s a constant flow of people walking dogs and riding bikes. The neighborhood is visibly alive, and it’s very retro.

I worry about what we’re not being told about this virus, and I look at maps and read articles when instead I should be writing.

Progress on UNBROKEN is good even with all these strange mods to my sense of normal. First draft done in maybe…one month? I’m writing the climax right now.

Progress of UNBROKEN
First draft: In progress (79,742 words, about 79% complete)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: Not started

UNBROKEN Update – February 23

I’m not ready for winter to end but I am ready to see the end of this book. There’s a lot left to write but I have it all very clear in my head. The work is finding the right words to reflect what’s in there…

Progress of UNBROKEN
First draft: In progress (64,710 words, about 65% complete)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: Not started

UNBROKEN Update – January 6

More words added to UNBROKEN … and a new critter in the house. A good samaritan dropped this little guy off at our veterinarian’s office with a mangled tail. They patched him up and put him up front to wait for a home. We made the mistake of looking into his eyes. He has half a tail and tiger stripes hidden in smoky fur. We call him Zeke.

Progress of UNBROKEN
First draft: In progress (55,225 words, about 55% complete)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: Not started

UNBROKEN Update – October 24

Progress isn’t happening fast, but it’s happening. Yesterday I made a rough outline of the plot for the entire rest of this book (and I normally don’t outline, so I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing). Now it’s just a matter of filling it with life. And death.

Unrelated: There is a plastic human skeleton sitting in the chair next to me, and its head just swiveled slightly to face my direction. I know it’s just gravity turning the head around because we find its head backward all the time, but STILL.

Happy Halloween, y’all.

Progress of UNBROKEN
First draft: In progress (41,810 words, about 42% complete)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: Not started

UNBROKEN Update – August 31

In about fifteen minutes I’m heading to my three-season room to open all the windows and let in this cool 80-degree late summer day. Clouds just rolled in, so if I’m lucky I’ll get some rain. If I’m even luckier I’ll get 1,000 more words added to UNBROKEN.

If you’re in the mood for a book con there’s a good one coming up here in St. Louis on September 12-14. I’ll be there signing books and nerding out with other book nerds. Join us!

Progress of UNBROKEN
First draft: In progress (30,974 words, about 30% complete)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: Not started

UNBROKEN

You can write an entire novel every year if you really write for ten solid minutes a day.

But what if ten minutes is too much?

If you’re ill. If you’re overwhelmed with non-writing work. If you have a bunch of kids and a mountain of laundry and volunteer work and a job.

If you have all those things, asking you to give your art ten minutes can feel like asking you to give your art ten hours. Impossible. Just more than you can handle.

And when you feel that stuck, it can be super easy to just skip the whole thing.

Only skipping it doesn’t feel good. Because writing is your sanctuary. It’s the one thing you do for yourself, maybe. It’s your dream.

— Shaunta Grimes in The Every Day Novelist

And I’ll add one more thing: something about me turning 40 has wrecked my ability to stay up past 11:00 PM. All my best writing for The Alignment Series was done between 11 PM and 1 AM. This simply isn’t possible anymore. So the Unquiet Series will be the series written on stolen time. I just need to find someone to rob.

I can’t imagine what would happen to my brain if I left these stories inside me.

Oh, and this book I’m writing right now is called UNBROKEN.

Progress of UNBROKEN
First draft: In progress (20,116 words)
My revisions: Not started
Editing: Not started
Proofreading: Not started
Formatting: Not started
Final proofread: Not started
Cover art: Not started

UNQUIET is Here


UNQUIET is now available on Amazon! The Kindle version is live now. Paperback version will be live soon. Edit: Paperback is here!

Sample or buy now: Kindle | Paperback

The Unquiet Series is an urban fantasy trilogy with a wholesome small-town hero, a mysterious anti-heroine, and a world of unquiet spirits, razor-toothed demons, and thunderbirds.

Get the Kindle version now for a release price of only $2.99! And please remember to rate, review, and spread the word!
 

Unquiet spirits. A gathering underground war. And a love that complicates everything.

In Mick’s quiet Missouri town, strangers stand out—especially mysterious women who vandalize cars in front of the local grocery store. It’s strange, but none of Mick’s business … until he notices the woman’s busted lip. The right thing to do is offer her a ride and a place to hide out—which is how he ends up with her knife against his throat in his own apartment.

Waapikoona has nearly reached her quota of bodies to raise her sister from the dead. When it’s this easy to take her next valuable soul, she can’t say no. But she stalls killing Mick, sensing another regret she’ll have to carry in her already dark world.

Old bones are stirring underground, changing Mick. Waapikoona has crossed the circle of time, made a pact with a powerful underworld demon, and angered the thunderbirds. Mick can’t escape his new calling: stop Waapikoona and the unquiet she’s dragged into his town.

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