The adventures of a Witch who writes nonfiction and fiction.
Author of 9 books from Llewellyn, including Everyday Witchcraft (2015) and The Baba Yaga, Broken Rider, and Veiled Magic series from Berkley Romance
I know that non-writers and writers at the beginning of their careers are often interested in (or have no concept of) a writer's daily life. Since this topic goes well beyond simply writing, I thought I would start to share the occasional behind the scenes look at my life as a writer.
To start, I decided to post a copy of the calendar I recently made up for writing-related obligations for May-September. Keep in mind that a lot more items will be added to the later months as they get closer. And if you want to be depressed, look at how few of these items have any payment attached ($ sign). Most of them are things I do to spread my name, create a platform, boost sales of existing books, or help out others in the writing community.
Let me know if you have any questions. Which ones of these look like the most fun to you?
Calendar -- Writing Obligations
Write REVIEW of Embers for Debuts & Reviews (Tia Nevitt) Write REVIEW of Shade for Debuts & Reviews (Tia Nevitt) AD for Witches & Pagans (Anne Newkirk Niven) -- Llewellyn? Redo illustration "Goddess Eye" for Llewellyn/Shoestring (Becky Zins) Finish edits P & P 2 MAY 31 Send to Elaine Spencer, Candy Havens [AD for UCCCA and magazine -- ARTISANS GUILD] Article on Agent Search to Guide to Literary Agents Blog (Chuck Sambuchino) Enter names for online NEWSLETTER Talk to Llewellyn editors re: Annuals assignments Promo new column in Witches & Pagans General: Blog, Creativity Cauldron, Read CP's chapters and comment
Write REVIEW of All Devon Monk books for Debuts & Reviews (Tia Nevitt) Write Column #2 for Witches & Pagans (Anne N Niven) 1,200 words minimum "Magick on a Shoestring" Samhain/Yule issue JUNE 30 ($) June 8 MINI-WORKSHOP "Editing as You Go" on Creativity Cauldron JUNE 8 Guest Blog on FFnP Blog/Loop (Sharon Pickrel) JUNE 21 Promo info to FFnP Blog/Loop (Sharon Pickrel) Write "12 Spells" for Llewellyn Datebook ($) Write ARTICLES (various) for Llewellyn Annuals ($) [To be arranged] Do PROMO for workshop on blog, FB, Twitter, MySpace Do Promo for upcoming release of Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook JUNE 28 thru JULY 14 WORKSHOP Online FFnP Loop "Beyond Fangs" ($) Write and send out online Newsletter (Promo for Everyday Witch Spellbook General: Blog, Creativity Cauldron, CP's writing
RELEASE OF EVERYDAY WITCH A TO Z SPELLBOOK!
July 6 Guest Blog on Fang-tastic Books Blog (Roxanne Rhoads) July 22nd Podcast Guest on The Parafactor (Bett Hamilton) 10 PM 1hr Promo for Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook General: Blog, Creativity Cauldron, CP's writing
August 9-15 MINI-WORKSHOP "Editing as You Go" on Savvy Authors Write Article & Guest Blog for Llewellyn Journal (online) "Witchcraft on a Shoestring" Promo upcoming release of Witchcraft on a Shoestring Promo Saratoga appearance September 2010
RELEASE OF WITCHCRAFT ON A SHOESTRING
September 11 Author Appearance "A Magical Buffet of Authors" Saratoga Barnes & Noble (multi-author event)
This week I finished the first draft of PENTACLES AND PREDATORS (Pentacle & Pentimentos 2), found out I am going to have an ongoing column on "Witchcraft on a Shoestring" in the Witches & Pagans Magazine, got offered a small gig on one of the Llewellyn Datebooks for 2012 (doing 12 spells, one for each month) and read two books that I have to write reviews for for the Debuts & Reviews site.
Did I mention I'm kinda tired?
On this weekend's to do list: work through the bulk of the edits on P &P, write both reviews, write next column for W&P, and organize my writing-related obligations, which are starting to get out of hand and kind of overwhelming.
Also, work in the garden, clean the house, and attend the college graduation party for Alex, mu circle-sister's daughter (who I adore).
What is a writer's second favorite word? "Done" (The first favorite is "contract" of course.)
Just wanted to pop in and let you know that I finished the first draft of the new novel this afternoon! YAY! *does happy dance*
Still have to work on edits with my CP for a few days, but it ought to be ready to go out to my agent before the end of the month.
And I got some good news yesterday: I will be having a regular column in the Pagan magazine "Witches & Pagans" put out by BBI Media [used to be newWitch and PanGaia]. The column will be called "Witchcraft on a Shoestring," based on my book coming out this September. I'll post more details about this later, but I just wanted to share the good news.
Thanks to all of you for sharing this journey with me!
Sorry I've been a little scarce lately. After all the whirlwind of birthday celebrations and the Spiritual Arts Fair, I buckled down to finish the first draft of PENTACLES AND PREDATORS--aiming at finishing by June 1st in order to get it to first reader Candace Havens when she said she'd have a window to read.
I'm almost there, which is why I haven't been here.
Hit 83K words yesterday, aiming at about 88K as a final word count (that's what the first book was). I should be done with the first draft by the end of the week, or maybe a bit sooner, depending on how smoothly things go and whether or not the characters have any more surprises for me (*grins*). Then another week or so of integrating the edits from my wonderful critique partner Lisa Didio [another one of the Witchy Chicks who blogs with Candace], one more run-through, and it is off to my agent Elaine, Candy, and my other two first readers.
Assuming this all goes as planned--which I never assume--I will easily make the June 1st goal. I'll keep you posted.
I have been putting a lot of time and energy lately into being on the committee for a new venture in Oneonta: Fabulous First Fridays. The idea here (which has been done very succesfully elsewhere) is to have a number of arts and culture related events on the first Friday of every month to draw people downtown.
The kick-off date was last Friday, May 7th, and it went pretty well. The Artisans' Guild (the shop I run and have my jewelry at) held a "Meet the New Artists" reception, featuring the seven artists and craftspeople who had joined the shop in the last year. Here's a pic of me chatting with a few of the other artist-members of The Guild.
The next day, Saturday the 8th, was the 6th annual Spiritual Arts Fair, held at the local UU Church. I took a bunch of books to sign, and did mini-tarot readings all day long. That's a fun activity--but a lot more draining than you might think, especially when you run into a streak of people with real issues, as I did this year. Still, at least I could help.
The highpoint of the day for me was getting to hang out with Pagan author pal Gail Wood [check out her books, if you haven't already and you're interested in Witchcraft--they're wonderful!] and blogger Rebecca Elson from the Magical Buffet http://www.themagicalbuffet.com/. Both ladies live just far enough away that I only get to see them on rare occasions. So this was a real treat.
That's Rebecca on my left, and Gail on my right. The next time we'll be together will be at major multi-author booksigning event that Rebecca is putting together for the Barnes and Noble in Saratoga, on September 11th. I can't wait!
Of course, the downside of all this activity was that it seriously cut into my writing time.
Luckily, I made up for it with an unusually productive burst on Sunday, ending up with 5K words by the time the day was over. That's possibly a personal best for me (I usually average 1,500-2,000 words in a day). This puts me well over the 2/3rd mark on the manuscript at 68,500 words. I'm aiming for about 88K, which should take me about 2 weeks to hit, if all goes well.
Last Saturday I had the final installment of my extended (and amazing) 50th birthday celebration. Blue Moon Circle (minus some folks who had other obligations) met at Robin's house near Binghamton and went from there to share the collected local covens' Beltane celebration. We try to go every year, although we don't always make it. Although we love our small group, sometimes it is nice to share a holiday ritual with a larger gathering. And these folks are a great bunch of people.
I got to help chop down the tree for the maypole (usually the guys do this, but part of the ritual had to do with role reversal--very enlightening and empowering) and then we all did the Maypole dance.
Beltane celebrate fertility and sacred sexuality, for those of you who didn't know--it is always a riot to dig a hole and put the pole in it...much smutty merriment always ensues...
Here is a picture of the beginning of the dance:
Afterwards, we returned to Robin's house for Blue Moon Circle's feast, Beltane bonfire, and part 3 of my birthday celebration (combined at this point with circle member Bobbie's birthday, which was the following day). My adorable goddess-children Sophia and Nate joined us, as did Robin's wonderful hubby George. [I married Robin and George and was there for the birth of both kids, so as you might guess, we are pretty darned close.)
Robin made an amazing cake, which tasted even better than it looked:
Sophie was very excited by my mystery present, which was a huge heavy box...
The box turned out to be a CARTON of printer paper...for printing out my prospective best-sellers. Apparently, she Robin and George expect me to write very fast! No pressure...
At the end of the evening, we relaxed by the bonfire and talked about those things in our lives that had already come to fruition, and that we were grateful for. I was grateful for my new agent, of course! But also for all the people who had been so wonderful, and gone out of their way to make my 50th birthday so memorable. You know who you are, and you all rock :-)
Check out my review of the urban fantasy BLACK BLADE BLUES on @TiaNevitt's Debuts & Reviews http://www.tianevitt.com/weblog
Tia Nevitt has kindly invited me to be her go-to reviewer for Urban Fantasy (since she doesn't like most of them, and I do). I'll be posting a link here whenever a new review is posted.
Many thanks to all who helped to make my birthday so memorable. I have a stack of books to sign and send out to all those who ordered/preordered. You guys rock! I'll probably do something special when the next book, Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook, is released in July. [OMG--that's only 2 months away!]
Would people prefer a contest giving away a copy of the book, or a straight "buy a signed copy from me for a couple bucks off" deal? Let me know, so I can start plotting and planning now...
Up next, the 50th Birthday Report, Part Three! With more pictures, a May Pole dance and the coolest cake EVAH.
And if you happen to live anywhere near Oneonta, NY please stop by and see me this Saturday at the 6th annual Spiritual Arts Fair at the UU Church 12 Ford Avenue. I'll be there from 9:30-5 selling and signing books, and doing mini-tarot readings at my table. Sitting right next to me will be fab Pagan author Gail Wood, who will be doing the same. There are also great workshops, vendors, readers & healers. Come say hi!