Epub number four

Ellie’s responsible for her job, her little boys and the old man she helps when she can. Until now, she’d never realized that her responsibilities are what make her strong.

Yesterday, I epubbed my fourth short ebook to Amazon and Smashwords. It’s a short story that originally appeared in Ellery Queen’s® Mystery Magazine under one of my previous names (I’ve had too many of them).

Last night I was hoping to epub another, but I’ll take the time to go over it once more. A few points can be developed to make it more fun to read.

There’s the temptation to submit it somewhere, but at this point I feel that would only hold me back. Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, but it seems that would be moving backwards, marking time, and I can’t do that anymore.

Having these five epubs available was one of my goals, and it’s almost done. Just in time, too, because I’m in Candace Havens’ comprehensive writing course and any minute now we’re going to #fastdraft. Time to clear the decks! I haven’t gotten as much done on my WIP as I’d wanted during this ROW80, but it is up to 30k. Surely I can get rid of it–I mean, finish it–in another two weeks if I don’t freeze up.

I refuse to grow old and die with all these stories trapped in my head! Isn’t that how ghosts are made?

By S.J. Driscoll

Some failure, some success. Surprisingly, more success

Time to look back at my original real and fantasy goals. Some that I thought would be easy still seem impossible but, to my surprise, some of my fantasy goals are going strong. Some are turning out better than I’d anticipated, like the one on the left.

1) Real goal: Health: sleep (lights out at 10:30 p.m.), move (get up from desk every hour, spend at least 20 minutes outside morning or evening, gardening, walking or looking at forest).

Fail! I do get outside to water the garden, which counts as exercise since I haul the water in 5-gallon plastic buckets, but sleeping seems like a lost cause. If I want to do more, I have to sleep less. After I stop work, I go to work. If anything’s going to get done, that’s the way it has to be.

Some things to keep in mind: As long as I hold to a modified primal/paleo diet (modified to include unsweetened soymilk, which seems to do me good) and eat almost no grain, sugar or dairy, my strength holds up so I can maintain a strenuous schedule. I’m chafing right now because I found a new CrossFit gym ten minutes from home, and I yearn to try a stand-up paddleboard. My budget’s holding me back more than my lack of sleep.

2) Real goal: Work my job only 8 a.m.-5 p.m., 1 hour for lunch, no evening or weekend work. Fantasy goal: Maintain the quality of my science editing and other job obligations while meeting my deadlines and not stressing out. Continue reading

Magic how new habits take hold

1) My eyes now start to close as 10 p.m. approaches. Stayed awake in bed until 11:30 last night, though, playing with the new electronic toy. Made me remember reading LITTLE WOMEN by moonlight when I was little, while the rest of my family slept. Gorgeous weather and I’m not getting out as much as I’d like, but my office windows open onto our huge live oak so it almost counts as being outside. Still keeping up the garden and doing a few minutes on the elliptical, just not yesterday. Seems like I can do every other day. [Real goal: Health: sleep (lights out at 10:30 p.m.), move (get up from desk every hour, spend at least 20 minutes outside morning or evening, gardening, walking or looking at forest).

2) Worked about 24 hours in the last two days to make the monthly issue deadline while fitting in other work odds and ends. Surprisingly, that left little to do toward it this morning, though I thought I’d be jammed. Happy! Now to get a head start on the Continue reading


Adjustment and discovery as I begin to work my goals.

Since one of my underlying goals is to become more aware of time but wearing a watch is too galling when I type all day, I spent some time (too much!) looking on line for a device that would chime softly every hour without constant resetting. Ended up ordering an iPod Touch because some apps look like they may help with goals and time management. If not, back it goes.

1) Sleep started off with a major fail. I went to bed at 10:30 on day 1. Spent an hour staring into the dark, got up, read until 2:30 and was up at 5:30. But last night I slept 9 hours. This must be evened out. Got outside for 15 minutes this morning to check and water garden, which should really be listed as a “fun” goal. It’s snake boot time! And there was an 8-inch centipede in the kitchen this morning, which my husband kindly took care of. Continue reading

Two for Wednesday: Fiction by Clark and Singh

Bri Clark: Scent of a WitchMaeve da Paer has lived her life free from the Board of Witchery, protected by powerful clan magic—and by a lie. In desperation, she casts her most powerful spell, one that will end the pain before it begins on All Hallows’ Eve…. Immortal tracker Fionn Hughes is on a mission to restore his honor. But, following the scent of gardenias and honeysuckle, he discovers Maeve, the last Scent Witch. Will Fionn be strong enough to stop Maeve when he finds she plans to cancel her own existence?

From Astraea Press      Kindle US

Bri Clark grew up in the South and learned street smarts while caring for her brother in a broken home. She moved on to a series of bad choices. As a teen, her wake-up call came from a judge who gave her the choice of shaping up or going to jail. Bri ended up co-owning a successful construction business but lost everything in the real estate crash. Now she writes, blogs and shares her Southern culture in Boise, where she’s known as the Belle of Boise for her Southern accent, bold demeanor and hospitable nature.


Robert and Elise are strangers who meet at a bar. After one unique conversation, they find that they’re at a similar crossroads in their marriages. The decision they make that night will change their lives forever.

Kindle US   Amazon UK

Hardit Singh was born and raised in Southwest England. He rediscovered his love for reading at university, which sparked his desire to write. The author of crime fiction, Hardit believes that the most important aspect of a book is character. Often this is ultimately what the reader thinks about after closing a book. Mere words can create inspiration and empower an individual. The power that stories harness is what compels him to write.

Two sides to my head

I was elated when Daily Science Fiction accepted “In Vivo,” one of my speculative fiction stories.

That’s my third pro level spec fiction publication since I had a story in Asimov’s and one in Interzone under my previous name.

For the last few years, I’ve been learning to write novel-length contemporary romance. I’ve garnered helpful editorial rejections that taught me to focus on strengthening my plots. Selling this little story in my old genre came as a delightful surprise.

I was uneasy to return to the quicker pace of short story writing after the long, slow haul of writing at novel length, but my mind’s boiling over with spec fiction ideas and there’s now a sheaf of drafts/ideas on my writing desk.

Which to concentrate on is the question, isn’t it? All I can do is write both spec fiction and romance, and see where it all leads.

So these days I’m getting up earlier. If the birds have started twittering, I’ve stayed in bed too long. (And sometimes I do.)