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Uncontrollable Burn [Covencraft # 5] – status update!

You guys! I am THISCLOSE to finishing primary writing on book 5. My first draft is usually pretty close to my end draft [which is good or bad – take your pick!]. I’m just about to start chapter 17 [as it is numbered right now] and I think I need about 5000 more words to wrap it up. Then we’ll see what gets added/deleted during edits.

As I posted earlier, I have clinical depression and I just changed meds. Me finishing this book couldn’t have happened without it. Or rather, I could have done it, but a June release? Dude. IDK. I was working all of January and February to be on time and I’m a little behind, but I’ll make it! But if I hadn’t felt better? I would have still been back at 250 words a day, which is how I wrote book 4. Like, it can be done. But it sucks. Writing a book like that feels like chiseling out of marble with a teeny-tiny chisel. You can do it. Your exhausted and defeated most of the time, but it can be done.

But! I’m AM feeling good, and writing faster so that didn’t happen!

I’m happy with where the book has gone, emotionally and action-wise. It’s always a nailbiter to see if other people like it, but at least if they don’t, I know that I like it. [and if you don’t like it, I hope you tell me GENTLY why so I can review and learn! But if you post a review, you should know I make my sisters read them for me, lol. See my page on reviewing for why]

I will be in contact with the cover artist shortly and hope to post that as soon as it’s ready! I’m EXCITED. I don’t have the back blurb written yet, but will post as soon as I do. This book, generally, is a straight continuation of book 4, Dry Spells. Jade is continuing to deal with Lily being her own person, her feelings about her past, and her feelings for Paris. And then while she’s working on that, a Forest Fire happens! DUN DUN DUN.  Stay tuned!

 

 

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IT’S COMING UP ON SQUEE TIME!!

Since 2012, I’ve had the INCREDIBLE FORTUNE AND LUCK to be a part of SQUEE WEEKEND!!! [which is now a week long event].

It all started with my obsession with fanfic [at the time, Supernatural, and then branching out to Stargate Atlantis, and now Teen wolf and Marvel]. I happened upon a post on Live Journal talking about Squee Weekend – a time when anyone in the SGA [Stargate: Atlantis] fandom, could come and hangout with other fans. I hesitantly asked if anyone was welcome (I knew these people by their user names – reading their work online, but nothing else) and was HEARTWARMINGLY told YES – ALL ARE WELCOME.

all-are-welcome

Feeling really nervous, I booked my ticket.

BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE.

I had the BEST times at Squee! I’ve never felt so immediately at home, at peace with a group of people. I want to cry with happiness thinking about it. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to participate for the last 5 years. (okay, I think it’s 5? it may be 4, but no matter. LUCKY TO PARTICIPATE.]

These people are my people. My tribe. They GET me. And I hope they feel that I get them. Some are writers, some are readers, some are crafters; All are wonderful, genuine human beings. I LOVE squee weekend. Yes, we talk about writing. We talk about fanfic [a lot], we watch sci fi [STARGATE ATLANTIS – our one shared love that brought us all together – but also other things], and we eat and drink. And talk about more things. And go shopping at craft stores. And get overly excited about pens and ink and washi tape.  And sometimes you want a break, so you say to the group “Hey, I need some alone time. I’m going to go shower and nap.” and instead of what normally happens (WHAT? WHAT’s WRONG?? NO STAY, Are you okay??? NO, DON’T LEAVE, IT’S ALL GOOD – so you stay and feel weird and tired), the group says, OKAY SEE YOU WHEN YOU COME BACK, WE MIGHT EAT ALL THE CANDY WHILE YOU’RE GONE. There are no judgements or expectations. You just… leave. and have a shower and a nap. or go shopping by yourself and then have a coffee. and you come back and no one is sad or angry or mad you left. Only happy that they have your company again, but completely respectful of your time away AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

I legit get the post-squee blues when I come home. I MOPE. I SIGH. I stare longingly at my computer and think of my online friends and how I’m so so so lucky to know them and how I wish that every weekend was squee weekend.

 

*wipes away tears*

 

BUT NO TIME TO BE SAD RIGHT NOW FOR THE TIME OF SQUEE IS UPON US!!! I’m so ready for it! I’m ready all year long!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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Machu Picchu!

Internets. It’s been a while. I’ve been, ya know, around.

I finished book 4 and got that up, and then suffered when it turned out due to an update error, the copy I approved wasn’t the correct one [ps, if you got a copy riddled with typos EMAIL me – mgakis@hotmail.com and I’ll send you a clean copy]

Then, I had some real life stuff.

But then, I finally crossed something off my bucket list! MACHU PICCHU!!

I’ve had a dream to go to Peru for a while. I don’t even know when it started, only that it’s been years. I finally made that trip! I was fortunate enough to be able to go with my sisters. We get along well and know what buttons need to be left alone, and which ones can be PUSHED.

I MADE IT TO MACHU PICCHU!!

AND I HIKED UP TO THE SUN GATE. Which, wow! At that altitude [and I’m in okay-ish shape] it was QUITE the hike.

Because of reasons, my sisters and I ended up hiking it alone – we were all there the same day and the same time, but Ann wanted to see how fast she could go, and Jennifer was sight seeing as she went and pausing with another tour-member to take pics, and so we ended up each on our own journey.

As I hiked, I had time to think about the hike. AND THINK ABOUT THE HIKE. AND THINK ABOUT THE HIKE. it’s all uphill, and though it may look like a mild gradient, I’m no athlete. But as I hiked, I started feeling/thinking – wow, this is like a metaphor for life.

You’re on this journey. and when it starts out, you’re like, okay, so this looks fun and cool.

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And you’re having fun

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And then you realize, wait. All I’m seeing is dull grey shit. I have to keep my head down to know where I’m going, but this view kind of sucks.

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So you look up and you realize, I have no idea how far I’ve gone, or how much is left.

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But then! All of a sudden, YOU CAN SEE HOW FAR YOU WENT!! [although you still have no idea how much further it is]

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But it’s FUN AGAIN! and you take some time to appreciate it.   img_6104

But then you turn the corner and you’re tired and this is hard and suddenly up in front of you, you see something and you think ARE YOU FOR SERIOUS?? LIKE…. WHY WOULD YOU PUT THIS HERE. img_6105  But you’ve got no choice so you keep GOING UP. And the view is kind of the same, but also different. img_6101  THEN YOU MAKE IT [and your sister may or may not already be at the top waiting for you and you may or may not just chillax for your other sister – individual results may vary ;)]

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img_6133And in those moments at the top, it doesn’t seem like it was all that hard [BUT IT WAS]. But you did it!

 

 

Status Update – Covencraft, Historical romances

Hi all!

To keep the momentum of my writing, I decided to jump right into the next Covencraft story as soon as I finished book 4, Dry Spells. The next ‘story’ is Uncontrollable Burn and it deals with Jade’s feelings for Paris and a wildfire burning out of control.

OH THE SYMBOLISM

Le problem is I don’t know if Uncontrollable Burn will be a full length novel [80-110,000 words] or novella length [45-75000 words]. I thought it would be a novella, but as I work through the beginning, maybe it will be long, IDK.

Le struggles.

It will be done, no matter what the length. I just don’t now if it’s a novel or a novella. You’ll find out as I do!

That also means, I don’t know when I am returning to Margaux Gillis realm of historical romances. The next story will either be a sequel to Ravenwood, featuring Charlotte, or a new story – either a ghost story or a Jekyll and Hyde bit. STAY TUNED.!!

 

 

Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo!

Hi all!
The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo was this past weekend and, as per usual, I attended with my bro-in-law and my nephews [and a friend of my bro-in-law].
I’m getting so old. I was exhausted after only 5 hrs, lol.
My nephew and I decided to try for costumes this year! While I think they definitely need some work, I’m quite proud of our first attempts! My nephew went as a Warlock from the video game Destiny and I went as the Winter Soldier [BECAUSE EVEN WHEN STEVE HAD NOTHING, HE HAD BUCKY and also, Sebastian Stan].

As usual, I picked up some arty type stuff –  some pins this year and some Funkos.

IMG_4838 IMG_4810 I have a lot of art around my house from previous comic expos. If you want AMAZING ART that OTHER PEOPLE WON’T HAVE, then GET THEE TO A COMIC EXPO. the artists there are SO talented. It’s STUNNING.

I was super proud of my city! there were signs all around that Costumes did NOT equal CONSENT and that disrespectful behaviour would not be tolerated. AND! they had gender neutral bathrooms for those that would prefer that. I gave my nephews a big speech on why this was important. I don’t know if they ‘got it,’ but they are polite enough to listen and nod.

Also, because life wasn’t busy enough, my sister got two foster puppies from AARCS and we’ve had them for about three weeks. Normally puppies have a week turnaround time [before being adopted] but these guys had to wait a week before being fixed [due to them being  young] and now we’re waiting for some results and some paperwork to be processed. So it’s been busy at home. BUT SO FLUFFY and cute. I step in dog pee about 3 times a day, but then PUPPY SNUGGLES.

I’m almost done my edit of Dry Spells, and then it goes off to Donna for SPAG and another editor. FINGERS CROSSED.

 

 

Spending time with your Tribe

Ah! Squee weekend! That time of year I get together with my fandom friends [many of whom write, create art, do crafty things and/or are voracious readers].

And then we talk. We talk about a lot. The thing is, there are things that you need to talk about with your female friends – things you can’t find on the internet, or if you do, you don’t feel as comfortable discussing. I don’t mean naughty or salacious conversations [although we have those too!] but things that are important to us. Not only do we discuss, we problem solve. I love this group of people. We are committed to helping each other out. We’ve discussed feeling overextended at work, feeling overwhelmed by life, not knowing where this particular story is going, not knowing if this idea we have is better as a short story or a novel. We’ve also talked about dying our hair and finding a good mascara and bemoaning finding a good bra that fits correctly (this actually ended with a bra-buying trip to a department store).

It just makes me feel like I belong and that I’m safe with my friends. I know I can bring up a topic, ANY TOPIC, and it will be treated with reverence and seriousness. We’ll discuss, we’ll solve the issue or come up with some things to try and I’ll feel better. And then someone will utter a double entendre and we’ll laugh pass around more wine.

I just love spending time with my tribe!

Double Sided Witch Update!

 

Yikes! I’m just over 80000 words on Double Sided Witch, book 3 in my Covencraft Urban Fantasy series. I’m hoping to get this story wrapped by 100000 words (upped from my previous estimate of 90000).

I’ve been ‘doing’ Nanowrimo, so aiming for 1667 words a day (to get 50000 words this month). NGL, it’s been tough, but I’ve been sticking to it and clearly, it’s been working! I’ve gotten 28000 words in November! Not to mention, I started early, the last week of of October, and that upped my word count as well!!

Today I have to work through a plot issue before I can get to my words tonight after cello lessons. It’s not so much an issue as… logistics? I need some ‘extra’ bodies to help out with a sitch, but at the same time, don’t want anyone else but my main players to know what’s going on. Must think on this today!

Nano musings

Internets. I’m unofficially doing Nanowrimo. I say unofficially because book 3, Double Sided Witch was already at 50000 ish words before Nano started and you’re supposed to start a NEW project so that doesn’t count. but I thought I could still shoot for the word count. I actually started a week ago because I figured THERE’S NO TIME LIKE NOW AND WHY WAIT FOR NOVEMBER.

So this isn’t just me whining on DAY THREE. I SWEAR. it’s more like whining on day 10. WHATEVER.

The thing is, I changed my whole beginning. I got half way through and was like DAMN I did not set this up well. Okay, let me go back and fix this. so I did and I’m really happy with the new beginning. But now I’ve reached the point where I need to align that with what I already had written.

Which I can do. I’ve done this before.

So what’s the problem? Well, that means I’m deleting words! And that means I’m not going to make my word count! And that makes my Type A STRUCTURED brain VERY UNHAPPY AND SQUIRRELLY.

I’ve just got to get the fuck over it. So! The goal for tonight is to ‘sit’ with this and learn it as my truth. I know that sounds hokey, but it’s what I do. The word count is a great goal, but the TRUE goal is to get a working draft of book 3. And that means some of these words gotta go.

 

Carnival Moon has a cover!

My Covencraft short story,  Carnival Moon, [which is available as part of an anthology with other Fable Press authors] has a cover!

Carnival Moon continues along in my Urban Fantasy series, and follows Jade as she’s invited along to join the local werewolf pack for their Wolf Moon Carnival. It takes place immediately after book 2, Counter Hex, but before Book 3 [Double Sided Witch – which I’m working on right now]. You don’t HAVE to read it, but I would love it if you did!

This story is only in e-format, but if you’re like me, you HAVE to have things match! Paper books or ebooks, it drives me crazy when series don’t match.

So, I contacted the illustrator of my other two covers, Steven Novak, and he put together something for Carnival Moon! I LOVE IT

Carnival Moon

Steven was great to work with! One of the things I’m super sensitive about is I don’t want any hypersexualized poses or images for my heroine. She’s not that kind of person [and neither am I, frankly]. I’m really happy with how the cover turned out, especially since some of my feedback to Steven included things like, “Can you change the shading on her butt? she looks naked” – as articulate as I try to be when I ‘write’, I am NOT that way in real life! But he seemed to ‘get’ EXACTLY what I meant immediately!

Currently, Carnival Moon is only on Smashwords. If I can get it up other places, I’ll keep you posted. This is my first go trying to get something out there. As my nephews used to say, DO IT SELF.

Looking for more Covencraft?

Hey all! For those of you done with book 2 of my Covencraft Series, Counter Hex, and waiting on me finishing writing book 3, Double Sided Witch, I’ve got good news! I have a short story featuring Jade in Fable Press’s anthology, Fable’s Carnival! [via Smashwords]

Fable's Carnival at Smashwords CoverIt’s also on TXTR, and for US residents on Barnes and Noble

The Fable authors got together and decided to try for an anthology and we voted on teh theme ‘carnival’ but, it was up to each individual author to interpret that as they wished. Here’s a little snippet from my short story, Carnival Moon, to whet your appetite!


Jade knocked on Paris’ office door and then pushed it ajar with her foot, spying him at his desk. Paris was on the phone, looking up from his computer and acknowledging her with a quick quirk of his lips. Since her hands were occupied with a tray of coffee and a grimoire, she jerked her head in the direction of the Queen Anne chairs in front of the fireplace and headed there. She saw Paris tilt his head to get a better look at the spellbook she was carrying. It was just one of her regular grimoires, not one of her demon spellbooks. She knew better than to take one of the demon books out of her house – he’d told her several times. Several long, annoying times. There were only three demon grimoires that they knew of at the coven; Paris had one and Jade the other two. Jade wasn’t sure where he kept his, only that it wasn’t at the Coven. Jade’s two were safely ensconced in her cottage. Today it was just a regular spellbook – one from the Coven’s library. There were a few spells Jade wanted to try, but, given her history, she’d been banned from new magic anything until Paris could review it first. You lose control of one or two spells and maybe try a demon rune without asking first and suddenly, you were on the shit-list.

She sat cross-legged on the floor and spread her stuff out. If she was going to have her coffee, muffin and spellbook, it was easier to be on the ground. Paris finished his call and then came over, hitching his trousers up carefully before descending gracefully into a cross-legged pose as well. Jade crammed a piece of muffin in her mouth and simultaneously handed him his coffee (which was sure to be overly sweet – he had such a sweet tooth), as he spoke.

“The werewolves have asked to meet you.”

Jade paused at Paris’ words, coffee cup half way to her mouth. She worked her mouth around the muffin, swallowing the dry morsel so she could speak. “I was sick that day.”

Paris frowned at her comment. “What day?”

Jade shrugged, washing down the muffin bite with her drink. “Whatever day it was the ‘something’ happened that made the werewolves want to meet me.”


I hope you’ll check it out and let me know what you think! It takes place directly after book 2, but before book 3 – right in the middle! Happy reading!