Writing Is Hard, Except When It’s Easy, And Then It’s Still Hard

This writing gig is not getting easier.  I have flashes of brilliance where the words just flow like wine, but for the most part, it’s torture getting the idea in my head down on paper and trying to describe the scene I can picture clearly in my imagination.  When I think I’ve gotten it done, a read through shows that a huge amount of detail is missing and I have to go back and try to layer it in.

There are times when I just write the dialogue between characters, just to get the story moving, but then I have to go back and create the context for the conversation.  Going backwards is tedious and soul-sucking, and you feel like you are in a riptide: constantly swimming towards shore and never getting any closer.

I’m assured that this is normal, and that very few people write in a linear fashion, from start to finish.  One frequently has specific scenes that will tie the story together, and it’s not unusual to focus on those scenes, then flesh out the rest of the tale.  I started out linear – I wrote my first four chapters this way, then got mired down.  I jumped to my plot point scenes and wrote them, then went back and started stitching it all together.

I’m also assured, not just by my writing partners, but by anyone who has ever written a book, that despair and dismay are a part of the process.  Being convinced that you’ve written drivel, that you are failing your writing partners, or editors,

I still haven’t gotten a finished product to my writing partners.   I’ve got to finish my stiches on the second half.  To be truthful, I had it nearly done, and lost my work.  It’s somewhere in the cloud I think but I can’t get my work back.  So, another trip backwards is required.  It shouldn’t take this long. They’ve seen the first half and gave me their edits and suggestions, and now I’m going back and re-writing it, which trying to place my pieces in the correct order on the second half and making sure it’s not just random scenes with no rhyme or reason.

The thing I’ve learned is that ideas are easy to come up with. Even creating the world and the characters is easy.  I have a talent for it.  But telling the story?  That’s a craft and it’s one that’s difficult to grasp and hold.  It requires dedication, and will, and practice.  I’m determined to master it, but it’s obvious that I’m going to need to work much harder if I want to move forward.

Life gets in the way.  When your craft is something you do as a hobby, or in your spare time, it’s way to easy to get distracted.  This last year has been a bitch, on a personal level, and I’ve let my woes wear me down.    it’s hard to be creative when all you can think about is what’s going wrong and trying to come up with ways to deal with it.  But like anything, you have a choice: you can drown under the weight of your problems – real and imagined, or you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and start climbing.

Well, it’s time for me to start climbing!

James says:  Mickie encapsulates the life of a writer pretty well.  It’s a form of emotional and psychological masochism that we voluntarily engage in.  Well, voluntary as in we don’t have a choice once an idea gets hold of our brains.  It is, as Mickie says, easy to come up with ideas, worlds, and characters.  Writing an actual story is harder than nine kinds of hell!  And, yet, it is one of the things I enjoy most in the world.  And I think most writers feel that way about it.  Which means we could probably all go in together and get a discount for group therapy.  Although, honestly, knowing how the three of us operate, I’m fairly sure the therapy group would just end up with a new collaborative series to work on.

Sid says: LOL – what James said! Definitely sure we’d end up with a new project; after all, that’s close to how this one got started!

Now for the serious bit: writing is hard, and not everyone can do it, though everyone thinks they can. Writing is even harder when the world is going up in flames around you. Everyone – from people who write fanfic* as a hobby to people who make their living writing – have talked about how hard writing has been this year. Doing anything creative while the world burns seems like a waste.

But it isn’t. Art is rebellion, especially art that is inclusive when the world seems bent on being exclusionary.

Art is easy when everything is groovy. Making art when everything is falling apart takes courage. Not everyone has that courage. So, it’s no bad thing to let people see just how hard it can be.

*Fanfic is a whole ‘nother beast and should never be disparaged as “not real writing”. It takes skill and dedication to make your work meld seamlessly into a world you didn’t create.

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Writer’s Something

I love trying to be a writer.  I have all kinds of ideas, but getting them on paper (or on screen, these days) is not always my forte.  I have a blog post I’ve been working on since April. It’s more history about the witchery of the Americas, and specifically Central and South America witchery. I’ve got a pretty clear idea of what I want it to say, but I can’t get make the words work, and it’s very frustrating.

I was very inspired after seeing Iron Maiden earlier this month.  (First to the Barrier!)  Anyways, Eddie (their mascot) is Mayan this time, and their stage is pyramids and jungle and just very cool.  So my head is full of the imagery and it’s very in line with what I’m trying to write. Alas, the concert afterglow did not knock any words loose.  (Picture attached to show the some of the set – not to brag about how close I was.)

Maiden

So, my apologies for a whiny blog.  If I get this finished, I’ll post it immediately. Because I’m afraid if I don’t, it will disappear into the ether.

 Sid says: Sometimes, the words just won’t come. It doesn’t mean you’re blocked, or that the idea isn’t a good one; mostly it means that it’s just not the right time. I’m with both Mickie and James on this one – I’ve been trying to write the blog about the water supernaturals of PCEarth for six months. As you saw with the May blog, the words just wouldn’t come. Part of the issue may be that we’re wrapping up the first trilogy, so we’re tying off loose ends, cleaning up, doing synopses, dealing with the website, etc. – the business portion of writing – and not actually writing, which means we’re not living in PCEarth at the moment, like we do when we’re in novel-writing mode. Or there’s the fact that we’re putting so much work into these stories, but we’re putting an equal amount of work into creating a rich, diverse, living world for these stories to exist in, and creation is difficult, exhausting work. Even God/Gaia/the gods (pick your pantheon) took a break on the 7th day, after all.

James says:  This resonates so much with me.  I love writing; it’s one of my favorite things to do.  But sometimes the words just aren’t there no matter how much I push the ol’ brain cells.  I have had to step back from the historical witch biographies because so much work on side projects can drain you.  And then, there’s the fact that sometimes writing is just plain hard!

A great quote I read once applies:  “Writing is easy.  All you do is stare at a blank computer screen until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

PC Earth – A Bit of a History Lesson

In my short story “Wakpala”, Charlie Redfeather tells a story about her ancestor and his part in stopping an incursion into Lakota Territory by the U.S. military in the 19th century. One of the things we’ve been conscientious about in our world building has been creating a believable history. It is important to note that the history of the Americas diverges sharply from ours.

In the Perfect Coven world, western expansion by the Europeans was stopped at the Mississippi River, and most of the continent is held by The People’s Confederacy. The People’s Confederacy is a loose joining by the various native tribes, which hold and administer their own territories. There is a central government, with a council leadership and a congress made up of individuals from the separate nations within the Confederacy.

The big difference in this world, of course, is magic. While there was still a technology advantage to the Europeans, in the sphere of Witchery, the People excelled in war magicks.

There are a couple of factors that come in to play:
European Witchery took a serious hit during the Middle Ages. The numerous plagues of those years decimated the Witch Clans as well as the Ortho population. The Black Death, in particular, was responsible for the end of many powerful clans. Also, the Black Death caused the death of the strongest and most powerful Witches, seeming to drive them mad before their deaths. The surviving clans became reclusive, hiding in their enclaves to wait out the sickness and madness of the age. As a result, they lost a great deal of their political power, and Orthos were ready to assume it.

The chaos of the Middle Ages led to internecine war between Witches and Orthos, as both sides tried to position themselves and seize power and influence as the world emerged from The Middle Ages. The sectarian violence lasted over 300 years and well into the discovery of the “New World.”

On PCEarth, the Puritans were Orthos who were looking for a new start and a land with no Witchery. They landed on the North American continent shortly after the eastern seaboard natives suffered a plague of their own. Due to the hexern nature of the illness, the tribes who normally lived in the area had declared the lands quarantined and healthy individuals had withdrawn to allow the disease time to fade and die. This left the northeastern seaboard in particular sparsely occupied and open to colonization and occupation.

As British and French interests began to expand into the West, they ran into the borders of the Quarantine lands, which were guarded by warriors and witches of the indigenous tribes. The French were able to negotiate with the tribes they encountered and expanded into the Ohio Valley, building forts and settlements along the border. This expansion conflicted with claims of the British colonies, and eventually led to open warfare with the tribes allying with the French. The tribes who held territory in the colonized and disputed areas called a council and hammered out the beginnings of The People’s Confederacy. United, the People rallied and with warriors and witches defeated the British and pushed the border back to the east.

The Spanish arrived in the New World full of the zeal of the Inquisition and an anti-witchcraft campaign. In PCEarth, they turned their attention exclusively to Central and South America, and lost what territory they held in North America pretty early on.

The indigenous populations of Central and South American were dominated by the Aztec, Maya and Inca, all of which had a strong tradition of death cults and devil worship. The most powerful nobles of the courts were witches. It appeared that the main Witchery available throughout Central and South America was that of Augery, which was used to summon the powerful devils they worshiped. The efforts of the Spanish Empire to wipe out Witchery in the New World were inadvertently aided by the indigenous tribes, as they sacrificed any person who showed signs of a talent other than Augery.

All three sects were decimated by epidemics of Old World diseases introduced by the Spanish – measles and small pox. The Aztecs, in particular, were affected by hexern ridden hemorrhagic fever. It is believed that the populace exposed themselves to the disease in hopes of becoming one with their gods, as a person who was hexern ridden was considered to be a holy prophet possessed by the gods. By the end of the 17th century, 80-90% of the indigenous peoples of Central and South America were dead.

James says: Wow. This world of ours keeps getting more and more complex. Not only are we creating stories set in a setting comparable to the world in which we live, but we are building a rich history for our world and its people. Plagues, wars, religious uprisings, invasion of foreign lands, insanity….. We’ve got it all. This world is becoming a beautiful tapestry.

Sid says: The history of PCEarth is as deep, rich, diverse, and complex as our own. We are working to build a living, breathing, vibrant world for our witches, orthos, and supernaturals – so much so that I don’t know how we’re going to leave it when this series is over. Perhaps I’ll get my wish, and M. and J. will agree to do a historical series next!

That said, this piece on the colonization of America has me wondering about the Roanoke Colony. What could have happened to them in PCEarth? Or is it a mystery even there? Perhaps someday we will find out.

It’s not as easy as you think!

So, here it is, mid-July, and I’m still struggling to finish my book.  So far, I’ve written a really great scene that doesn’t actually advance my story and changed my heroine’s personality in the middle of the story and had to fix it.  That doesn’t even touch the stuff that is probably just filler and will have be removed in the editing process.  

I wrote about 5 chapters in a linear fashion, and got stuck.  Sid and James suggested I write the major scenes that I already had planned out, then fill the gaps for the rest, and that’s where I am.   You would think that it would be simple to just link these scenes together, but no.  As I mentioned, I turned Charlie from a strong and independent young woman to a giggling twit in one scene, and completely changed the nature of the story.  I caught it when I tried to link it to a pre-written scene and realized it did not work at all.  Luckily, I think I’ll be able to use a few paragraphs in later scenes, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.  Anyway, the point is, it really is a lot of work to put together a coherent story that you hope will interest someone other than your best friends and family.  I’m going to keep trudging forward and make this thing come together!  

James says:  And thus we have a nice little cross-sample of the writing process.  It’s a weird little thing where you rip pieces of your heart, soul, and mind and try to put it into words that will mean something other people.  Don’t let Mickie fool you, though, her story is really good, and Charlie is a compelling and interesting character.  And this is going to be a great book for the foundation of our series.

Sid says:  Mickie is learning by experience that every writer’s process is different. James and I both write linearly, but we are the exception rather than the rule. Some people write the ending first and work backwards; some, like Mickie, write the major scenes and string them together like beads on a necklace. Whatever works for you, do it, and get the story down. Finish first; beta readers and revisions are for polishing, arranging, grammar checking, and all that fun stuff. Mickie is doubting her process right now (as everyone does at some point), but rest assured, even the stuff she’s cutting is really good and is being saved for outtakes to be used elsewhere.

Wakpala

Charlie leaned back in her seat, listening to Professor Rifkin’s lecture about 19th century warfare between the American Army and The People.  She had chosen this history class because she was curious about the American version of their shared history, and wanted to compare notes with what she had learned in high school, which she’d spent in the Lakota Confederacy.

The Battle of Wakpala took place in the late 1800s between the Santee tribe and the American Cavalry bent on infiltrating and establishing a foothold in Confederacy lands.

Charlie frowned as Dr.  Rifkin described the events leading to the conflict, stating America’s pressing need for more land, and the numerous tense and occasionally violent encounters between American settlers and the native population, as the settlers tried to stake a claim in what they considered unoccupied land.  It was definitely a one sided history, as it was implied that all the violence was on the part of the People, and that the People were unjust in refusing to let these people settle in their land.

The American government decided to send a Troop from the 7th Cavalry to defend settlers living along the agreed border.  The cavalry soldiers, led by Captain Gary Thompson, pushed past the designated border, and a group of settlers followed, intending to stake a homestead.  Dr. Rifkin went on to describe a chance meeting between a band of Lakota warriors and the aforementioned Troop at Wahnkala Creek at Wakpala, which rapidly disintegrated into an all-out battle.

“The entire encounter was a series of bad luck for the American troop,” Professor Rifkin proclaimed. “First, there was the initial encounter:  in miles of empty land, 100 American soldiers ran into a band of 35 Lakota warriors.  Then, the Americans lost nearly 50% of their number in the first exchange of fire.  Even then, they rallied behind Captain Thompson, and began to advance across the Creek, pushing the warriors back from the banks.  However, the soldiers lost their cohesion when a stray arrow hit Captain Thompson in the eye, knocking him from the saddle and killing him.”

She paused in the front of the room, where the image of said Captain Thomas was shown on the whiteboard, along with a few smaller pictures of the battle scene.

She continued, “The Lakota were galvanized and pushed back to the banks of the Creek, at which point the Americans broke ranks as they retreated to the border.  The Lakota followed, finding the settlers and taking them hostage.  This action forced the American government to the negotiating table to attempt to gain their release, and resulted in the Treaty of Wakpala, which banned settlers with American citizenship from gaining permission to homestead in the Lakota Confederacy until well into the 20th century.”

Professor Rifkin stopped in front of the room, and Charlie met her eyes as she scanned the students.

“Charlie, you look a bit perplexed.  Any thing you’d like to bring up?”

Charlie blushed at being singled out.  She was not the only student at GLU with native heritage, but she was the only one in this class.

She addressed the professor. “I’m just surprised.  I was expecting more detail.”

One of her classmates scoffed, “What details?  We came, we got our butts kicked. What more do you need to know?”

Charlie turned to look at the class.  “Okay, how about the fact that the ‘warrior band’ was comprised of 6 adults and 30 youths ranging in age from 13 to 17?  And that this ‘unoccupied land’ was basically a summer camp?  That the American government intentionally sent troops into a camp of children with the intent of committing an atrocity?  That the American government intentionally sent civilians behind said troops, knowing what would happen to them after the Cavalry murdered 30 children, in order to create an excuse to take further action?”

Silence filled the room.  No one liked what they had just heard.  It had too much truth to it.

Charlie turned back to the professor and continued. “I’m also surprised that the Lakota victory is dismissed as pure luck. The Lakota version of this event is definitely much richer.  It seems to me that American history is very dismissive of The People’s ability to defend the border, even though any attempt to push the line has been stopped very decisively.”

Professor Rifkin leaned against the desk, gazing at Charlie.  “You know the People’s side of this event,” she stated. Charlie nodded. “Have you ever been to the reenactment there?  I’ve heard about it, but it’s difficult to get permission to observe it”

Charlie smiled. “I went to camp at Wakpala for 4 years, and I worked as a counselor for two years.  I’ve been part of the reenactment.”

Staring intently at Charlie, the professor asked, “Would you share the tale with us?”

“Is this a formal request?”

Still staring intently, Professor Rifkin replied, “Yes.”

Charlie reached into her book bag, and took out a small rattle.  She rose from her chair and moved to the desk at the front of the room. She looked to the back of the room where a few of the familiars were gathered.  On his perch, Aldric stood at attention, and opened his massive wings as she took her position.  Professor Rifkin watched wide eyed, and moved to take Charlie’s seat, leaving her the floor.

“Hear now the story of Little Crow, a youth of the Santee.”  Charlie shook the rattle, and followed its rhythm into the story.

“Little Crow was born into a family of witches and showed the potential for great talent.  Much was made of him as a child, and as he grew, he became bold and confident and a trifle arrogant, knowing he was the best of his tribe and would be a leader of his people.

Little Crow, at the age of 14, was chosen to participate in the Great Games between the tribes.  He and other promising youths of the Santee were trained and taught by the most skilled and knowledgeable warriors and witches and soon came their turn to travel to Wakpala, the camp near the Eastern border of the People’s Nation. This is where the Great Games were held, and all of the selected teams were given the opportunity to train on the actual terrain.

The band of youth warriors numbered thirty between the ages of 14 and 17, and their six teachers consisted of Warriors both witch and ortho.  During their two weeks at the camp, Little Crow excelled, winning the red feathers to decorate his hair, the only exception being in archery, where Wi-Sapa was always the champion.  Little Crow, unaccustomed to losing anything, devised a working intended to give him the victory, but was found out by the Elders and his arrows were confiscated, and he was ashamed.”

Thus, on the 18th day of Canpásapa Wi, did the band of young warriors in training advance to the woods to test the skills they had learned, their teachers leading them to the creek where they would be tested.”

Charlie began to move, a slow dance accompanying the story. Aldric flew to the desk, holding his wings high as he landed.

“As the trainees approached the waters, the trees moved without wind, and the animals fell silent.  The adult warriors moved the front, shielding the children, as soldiers of their sometimes enemy approached the creek from the opposite bank.

Teetonka of the adult warriors advanced to the water’s edge and called out to the invaders in their tongue. “What do you here, in the lands of the Lakota? You have strayed far from your camp and should return there immediately.”

On the other side of the table, Charlie knelt, as if aiming a gun.

“In response, the soldiers in blue, numbering nearly one hundred, opened fire, shooting down the Lakota warriors gathered at the creek’s bank.”

Aldric clapped his wings, producing a low rumble, startling the listeners. Charlie rose and continued to circle the desk.

“The Lakota youth were shocked as they watched their teachers fall to the unprovoked attack.  And at this moment, Little Crow stepped forward, putting his feet on the path of destiny and greatness.

He ran to the fallen warriors and quickly noted that while there were severe injuries, none were dead.  He pulled a bundle from Teetonka’s belt, and as his bonded landed on his shoulder, he activated the embedded spell, setting off the defense for the camp.  However, such was the depth of his fear and the strength of his will, that his spell set off the defenses for not only the nearby camp, but for the entire eastern border, which was only a few miles away, putting the military forces of the People on alert and closing the border and the enemy’s line of retreat.

While the enemy was reloading their weapons, he shouted to his companions, still hidden in the trees. “All of you!  Arm yourselves!  Warriors with fire talent, direct your fire to the weapons of the enemy.”

He heard the enemy chief give the order to fire once more, and then the screams as the weapons misfired.  At that time, the archers moved out of the trees and fired their arrows.  The newly blooded warriors set new arrows to their bows, and fired again, striking the enemy again.”

Charlie drew and fired an invisible bow, then continued her slow dance around the desk.

“Little Crow focused on defense, as he had no arrows to fire.  He crafted a shield of earth and air around the injured warriors to protect from stray bullets and arrows.  From Teetonka’s belt he pulled more precast spells, these for healing, and began to apply them to the most grievous wounds.  Most of the adults had several bullet wounds, but Little Crow only needed to keep the warriors alive until help arrived from the main camp.

During the lull between firing, he looked above the barrier, and saw that nearly half of the enemy were down, but the remaining soldiers were crossing the creek as their leader exhorted them.

Little Crow looked back to his band, and saw them frozen in place, despair showing in their faces as the enemy approached.  As he stepped beyond the barrier, he heard the words of the enemy and understood them as he was trained in their language.

“Advance, soldiers.  They are just a bunch of kids, and they’ve got no fight left in them.  You are members of the US Cavalry and the best trained soldiers in the world.  Soldiers, prepare arms.”

Little Crow felt himself taken by despair as he heard the man’s words. Then his bonded, a great black crow called Shota, landed on his shoulder and bit his ear, drawing blood.  Thus did Little Crow’s mind clear and he realized that the worlds of the enemy were themselves a weapon, stealing hope and strength from the Santee youth, and feeding it to the soldiers who were about to set foot on their side of the creek.

He stepped back behind the barrier and at that moment, he saw his bundle of arrows, which had fallen loose when the adults were struck down.  He grabbed them, pulling out an arrow and setting it to his bow.

He stepped out of the protection of the barrier and the enemy’s words struck as a blow, but Little Crow’s will did not falter, and he did not fall prey to the despair. Instead, he pulled the bow, looking to the enemy leader and meeting his eyes.

The enemy spoke directly to him. “Now Red Feathers, let’s have none of that.  It’s a lost cause and will only end in your death.  Lay down your weapon and surrender, as you have already lost.”

Little Crow stiffened as the enemy warrior’s words attacked his mind, but continued to draw the arrow back.  He shouted at the enemy warrior, “Invader! THOKA!  Red Feathers will be your death!”

Finally he shouted, ‘Wahkan, guide my arrow!’, and let the arrow fly.”

As she spoke Little Crow’s words, Charlie positioned her arms as if drawing a bow, a pointer she picked up from the desk in her right hand as the arrow.  She released her “arrow”, throwing the stick towards the students at their desks.

“The arrow flew true, and pierced the enemy warrior’s eye, killing him.”

Her classmates nearly rioted as they watched the stick reverse course, and shoot towards the picture of Captain Thomas at the front of the room.  The pointer hit the picture in the eye and stuck there, not falling.

Professor Rifkin stood and walked over to the picture, looking all around at the pointer in Captain Thomas’ eye.  The class was in an uproar and it took a minute for her to get them to settle down.

Charlie smiled at the professor, and put a hand on Aldric’s head as he finally let his wings down.

“There’s more to the story, but it’s not really relevant.  Once Capt. Thomas was dead, his forces fell apart and made a run for the border, which they couldn’t get through.  The warriors from the camp followed them, found them and the prospective settlers and took them hostage.”

Professor Rifkin returned the smile. “Is Little Crow – that’s Kanghi Red Feather, isn’t it?”

“Little Crow did become known as Kanghi Red Feather.  He took the name “Red Feather” when he became a diplomat to remind the American Government who they were dealing with.”

One of her classmates called out, “Charlie Redfeather.  Are you related?”

Charlie grinned, “You bet.  He was my grandfather, with a few greats in front of it.  The spell he put on his arrows, even though he did it with the intent to cheat, is the pride of my family.  That is the first spell that all of us who share his talent learn on our own.  We always get caught trying to use it but it’s a kind of rite of passage now.”

Sid says: This is a glimpse into the alternate history of the Perfect Coven world. It’s rich and deep and diverse, and this glorious tidbit gives me so many more ideas…. I’m already trying to talk James and Mickie into doing a Perfect Coven historical series next. (Every time this happens, new PC books appear in Morpheus’s library….)

James says:  I think Mickie has just upped the bar for our short story excerpts!  This is an amazing story, and shows how much work we have been putting into building a coherent history for Perfect Coven Earth.  We are trying to keep the majority of the world’s history in line with that of our own world, but adjusting events for what the presence of openly acknowledged and known witches would do to them.  There will be more matters like this to come, not just from Mickie.  

Poll! Tell Us What You Think!

We will soon be pitching the Perfect Coven series to agents and publishers, and we are looking at various ways of presenting it. The series is thirteen stories, each a paranormal romance, but the entire series contains one over-arcing plotline that will not be resolved until the final book.

We have two options under discussion:

Option One: thirteen novels, each published separately. The books would be put out at the publisher’s pace, with each group of three forming a trilogy, and the last book wrapping up the ongoing story.

Option Two: four omnibus books, each containing one trilogy, and then a final capstone book.

Let us know which option you’d prefer.

Happy New Year!

Well, not so happy, as quite a few people who have been pretty influential in my life have passed away in the last few weeks.   Here’s hoping the Grim Reaper has satisfied himself with his recent acquisitions, and that the rest of the year will be cheery. 2015 was exhausting, so I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.

2016 is going to be a pivotal year for Perfect Coven. We have 2 out of 3 first drafts completed, and since my book is the hold out, I’ve got a deadline to have it finished in the next couple of months. As a group, we’ve hammered out our timeline and plan to have our stories edited and ready for submission later this year. We’re going to spend the summer setting up the next trilogy, and hopefully start writing in the fall. We also need to start the process of looking for agents to query, so it’s going to be a very busy year.

That’s the plan for the group. On a personal level, my plan for this year is FINISH MY BOOK, followed by FINISH MY BOOK, with a bit more of FINISH THE BOOK ALREADY! I’ve carved out my writing time and I’m trying to stay on schedule to have things ready per the agreed upon timeline. I have high hopes that the experience of writing this story will make the next one come together faster. I’ve allotted time to go see Ace Frehley in April, but other than that, I’m all about Charlie’s Web.

I’m keeping an eye on the weather, and hoping it will snow this weekend, so I can pretend to be Jack at the Overlook Hotel. Except for the part where he goes crazy and terrorizes his wife and kid.  Hm…let me rethink that. What I mean to say is that curling up on the couch to write with some hot chocolate and maybe a pastry while the snow falls would be a nice way to spend the weekend. J

Someone go do a snow dance!

James says:  One thing we’re hoping to do this year is convince Mickie to FINISH HER BOOK!!!!  LOL  Seriously, we have a lot on our plates for 2016, so far as Perfect Coven is concerned.  If all goes well, we could have agent representation by the end of the year.  And after that comes publication of the first trilogy and a contract for the others, and then comes fame and fortune, and….here comes the panic attack of anticipation.  Every now and then I look at our notes and plans for this series and all I can think is “Oh good gods!  We’re actually doing this!”

Sid says: It has been a dismal beginning to 2016, but I hope that the rest of the year turns out better, especially for Perfect Coven. I’m currently taking a hiatus from Cursebreaker’s Dance while James and Mickie do a read-through; when I get their comments, I’ll start my edit pass. While doing the editing, I’ll need to start working on a synopsis and begin plotting out PC5: Siren’s Secret, while researching agents and editors so we can begin querying. Yeah, 2016 is going to be very busy indeed.