Lets Talk Projects: March 2020

Decorative Header with Typewriter

Greetings, my fellow taskers. It’s time for my monthly project update. These list-y blog posts help me keep track of where I am against my goals, and for anyone following along they provide a realistic look at the work of an independent author.

Short Stories

I’m making progress on my next short story: The Gig Economy.  It’s a horror story.

Novels

Oh no! I’m behind schedule on The Case of the Floating Funeral. Partly that’s because we took an unplanned 12 day road trip earlier this month and partly it’s because our global pandemic has been.. distracting. I’m sure plenty of other folks are in the same boat. HA HA. In the same BOAT. Get it?

#terriblejokes

As of right now, I have twelve chapters left to edit plus another 3-4 chapters to write.  My best guess is that’s about 2-3 weeks worth of work at my current somewhat-distracted pace. The book is a hoot and I’m enjoying it.  My favorite scene in the novel so far is an action scene, and I think I’ll be incorporating more action scenes into my mysteries. Because they’re a blast.

Business Projects

Trying out Kindle Unlimited: I’m still gathering data. And I should probably shut my mouth until I’ve got all the data. But what the hell – I’m just going to say it – I really dislike having my books exclusive to one retailer. I feel like I’m flipping my non-Amazon readers the bird! And I know this is all subjective, but KU just feels off to me.  It feels like whole ecosystem is built upon chasing algorithms, and I worry that the longer I stay in KU, the less I’ll be a writer and the more I’ll be producing “keyword-driven content to feed the algos.” Ugh.

On the flip side of the KU equation, I signed up for six months of KU to try the service out as a reader. And I’ve had a hard time finding KU books that appeal to me.  I’m still getting most of my books from the library or via direct purchases, so that’s another data point.

All in all, KU feels like a bad fit even though my income has gone up. That’s why I’m leaning toward resuming a “wide” publication strategy where my books can go out to all retailers, even if it’s a slower road financially.  But if you’re reading the cruise cozies in KU, don’t worry. I’ll leave the series in the program for a minimum of 90 days past publication of the final book. I won’t leave ya hanging.

Personal Projects

Road Trip: If you’ve been reading the blog you know we took a road trip earlier this month. Good times!

Coronavirus Anxiety: Well, my burrito security plan paid off. We entered the pandemic with a full freezer and an adequate supply of toilet paper. But like everyone else I’ve been watching the news  every night and bracing for impact. And I suppose the thing I’m bracing for is hearing that a loved one has gotten sick. But there’s no need to borrow trouble, so I keep tearing my eyes away from the news to write, and read, and watch Spring coming to life through the window. We’ve been able to get outside for  a few minutes each day, and it helps.

Imagining That I’m a Hermit: I’ve always been intrigued by hermits and recluses. Especially reclusive writers. There’s something about being left the heck alone for weeks on end that deeply appeals to me. So I’m embracing this odd moment by imagining P and I as a pair of hermits living in a carved out room inside a rocky cliff. We pursue our individual projects. We share meals. And we exchange (text) messages with the other hermitages.  It’s all very serene. You’ve heard the saying ‘make hay while the sun shines.’ And perhaps my new version is ‘Embrace solitude while you’ve got it.’ The seagulls have been helping out my hermit-imagination by screaming outside our window all day.  Now our little hermitage-cliff is up against the sea!

Anyway, that’s what I’m up to. How is your work going, blog buddies?

PS: Keep washing those paws.