The last day of July.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, "summer" is just about over; for those in the Southern Hemisphere, summer is about to begin. Those of us of a Pagan persuasion are celebrating either the first harvest, or the first planting (or something in between, depending on exactly where in your hemisphere you live.)
But no matter which way you cut it, today marks a day of change.
For me, I am celebrating the impending publication of my first novel, Heart's Home (unless my publisher, Dreamspinner Press, changes the title for some reason, which would be fine with me; they know better than I do if that title is going to be too similar to something else on the market, or if something else would sound better. I decided a while back no to pet the sweaty things... oh, wait, I write erotica... hmmmmm...... ;-) But how cool is that? I get to call myself an erotica writer... I mean, I could call myself that before selling my book to Dreamspinner, but it just feels a little bit more real once someone asks you to sign a contract and sends you a check. Dreamspinner was at the absolute top of my list of publishers I wanted to work with; they have published all of my favorite erotica books and turn out beautiful products (I have ebooks, print books and a couple of audio books by them; I found them looking for an audio book for a road trip... although I'm no longer allowed to chose the audio books for family trips. My husband just doesn't enjoy m/m erotica the same way I do. So sad.)
Of course, now the pressure is on to write something equally good, so they'll want my next book, too.
I have also signed a contract with Clerisy Press to write Ghosthunting Michigan, part of their "America's Haunted Road Trip". I'm totally geeked about starting. Basically, I get to travel around Michigan and visit different (open to the public) haunted locations, talk to folks, take photos (one can only hope for orbs!) and then write about the experience. My plan is to start travelling after Dragon*con.
In less than swell news, I'm still job hunting. Blegh. I've been starting every morning spending three to four hours combing through job boards and help wanted ads, filling out applications and still nothing. Worse than not having a job yet, by the time I'm done, I'm usually feeling brain dead with zero creativity left.
So it's time to set some goals. I need to keep looking for a job, it simply isn't an option, but I also need to keep writing. I desperately want to update a couple of my fanfiction stories, I'm hard at work on a special project to celebrate Ianto Jones's birthday (later on this month), and I really need to finish the sequel to Heart's Home. The critique group I belong to is helping me keep on track, every time I'm up to submit something, I feed them the next chapter, which pretty much forces me to keep writing.
But back to setting goals, which means changing my daily routine a little; I tend to do my best writing in the morning, when things are quiet around the house and the air temperature doesn't make me think I've stepped into a convection oven. Which means I need to move my online job hunting to later in the day, and go back to writing in the AM. It also means I go back to setting word goals.
My word goal for this week is 10,000 words... and that's no small fete. I won't have next weekend to write, my coven is celebrating Lammas next Saturday, and Sunday I have class with my "kids" (that would be my coven.) But when you break it down, I'm only shooting for 2000 words a day; anyone who knows me well, knows that that isn't such a huge goal at all, since 2000 words is my average for a good day. I just need to make sure I have five good days ;-) Wish me luck?