August has been an ... er ... interesting month.
The day job hasn't improved. I'll leave it at that. Beta readers went through The Dragon Wore a Kilt (DWK) and Willow and Pure Iron. I am waiting for the cover for DWK: who doesn't like beefcake in a kilt? DWK is due to go live on August 31. Yeehaw! Willow will be coming out next, scheduled for October. Pure Iron should go live in November.
And maybe, just maybe, I'll get my butt in gear and finish the sequel to The Barbary Lion, which will be called Tiger in the Snow. This novella tells Dmitry's story. Tiger shifter Dmitry wouldn't let me rest until I agreed to tell his story and let him find redemption. You got it, buddy.
Maybe I'm being too ambitious, though. For the last couple of weeks, the well of creativity has run dry. I've hardly written a paragraph that hasn't involved rewriting in one of the other aforementioned manuscripts.
Rowan and Cassia both received some very nice reviews, for which I'm grateful. It's heartening to know that some folks do enjoy my stories.
I'm running a special offer. The Mighty Finn will be offered as a free e-book from Amazon for three days: September 1 - 3. This is a contemporary romance: no werewolves, no vampires, no fae. Just a good story. Please read it with my compliments and leave a review. (A positive review, I hope.)
I took last week off. Six glorious days of vacation. I did not go to work. I wrote very little. In fact, I slept a lot. A whole lot.
That all ended with Monday's dreary commute back to the office. All the stress and tension left behind rolled right back in. One of these days, I'll figure out how to relax and stay that way.
So Monday also brought me back to hours in front of the computer screen where I use my day job to work on my dream job. I finally have a beta reader who was generous with her time and insight in reading The Dragon Wore a Kilt. Per her comments, I am now revising.
Well, we all know that no book is good on the first try. Revision is ALWAYS necessary.
She had a few compliments mixed in with the critique, which lessened the sting. I always like compliments: who doesn't? But the honest sting of criticism spurs reflection and consideration. In some cases, the reader's insight does indeed result in change--sometimes major change--to the manuscript. In others, I'll acknowledge it as honest and decline to act because that's what I want it to say, damn it.
Overall, honest criticism isn't comfortable, but it always results in improvement of the story. For that reason alone, I welcome the sting. It keeps me from being complacent. (Is that spelled correctly?)
Back in the saddle ... or, more accurately, on the keyboard. I hope to finish DWK this week and get the cover and book summary finalized. Then we will upload and return to other unfinished works. The Dragon Wears a Kilt should be published by the end of August. Fingers are crossed.