Jeanne: January Progress Report

So I had one goal for January: Finish the book.

I am sad to report that I did not meet that goal. The book is currently 293 pages, around 75,000 words, but I still have eleven scenes to go.

In case you’re wondering what happened, it’s the same thing that always happens to me. I think up all these cool bits and pieces as I go along, but when I get to the end, I can’t get them to fit together.

Hell’s encompassing goal in this book is to eliminate the influence of Rachel Blackmon, my protagonist’s mother and famous inspirational sculptor, from the face of the earth. Rachel left behind a body of work that included crosses and crucifixes in churches all over the world, along with four small statues representing Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which she created for her four children. She also left behind some leather-bound journals, where she detailed her thoughts and emotions on her work and her life. And I want all of that stuff to mean something.

I think I’ve got it pulled together now where it works. It will be up to my beta readers and my editor to tell me I’m wrong once I get those last eleven scenes written.

Things I did manage to accomplish this month include:

  1. Engaged a cover designer. I’ll be working with Trevor Griffiths of Spark Creative Partners. Trevor designed my website, which I love. I plan to use the same branding (font, graphics, tone) for my book covers, so Spark is the logical choice.
  2. Hired a blurb writer, Kat Sheridan. What she sent back was really good. Hoping to be ready to share by next week.
  3. Hired a copy editor, Arran McNichol. Arran was recommended by Sarah Andre (see my interview with Sarah here). The sample pages I submitted came back looking solid, so I engaged him.

Completed book or no completed book, it’s been a whirlwind.

Goals for February:

  1. Finish Book 2, The Demon’s in the Details, and send it out to my beta readers. Like, soon. It’s due to my editor on March 12, and I’d like to clean it up with some outside input before I dump it on Karen Harris.
  2. Get a proof copy of the cover. I have no idea how long this usually takes, but I’ve already settled on a font and cover graphic. It’s just a matter of fitting all the bits and pieces (Golden Heart badge (definitely), series title (maybe?)) onto the cover. Also excited to see what Trevor does with my spiffy new blurb.
  3. Send Book 1, The Demon Always Wins, off to Arran. She’s fast, so I may even have it back by the end of the month.
  4. Brainstorm the acts, turning points and scenes for Book 3, The Demon Wore Stilettos.

A lot of work for a very short month, but with the wind at my back, I just could manage it!






8 thoughts on “Jeanne: January Progress Report

  1. Wow! You are kicking butt and not wasting time with taking names. I’ve got a great feeling you’ve got this! Congrats. Look forward to seeing and reading more Jeanne! 😀

  2. That’s so exciting! LOL, it might feel behind-schedule, but . . . it’s like construction projects, isn’t it? What’s the word I’m looking for? Run-over? They always run late and cost a bit more than expected. But sooooo worth it!

    • In the project management class I took in college, they told us about a project. One year in, it was running 10 years late and was a million dollars over budget. We had to judge whether that made it a failed project. Most of us did, only to learn they were describing the interstate highway system here in the U.S., which completely changed transportation and made the country more accessible. I still kind of think it’s a failed project because of the impact on railroads and global warming, but I agree that you can’t judge projects strictly on timeline adherence.

      • Oh, wow. That sounds like a failure in planning, but not a failure in execution (I don’t have the vocabulary to talk about this!). The interstate didn’t really cut much time off from my tiny town to my university town (until later when the speed limits went up), but I think it made at least one childhood vacation a possibility. I can barely imagine what it would have been like if we had to rely on crappy little county roads — detours, bumps, wear and tear on cars that translate into environmentally unsound early replacement. Plus the toll on the human spirit.

        I’ve never really contemplated roads, but I often think about bridges. Tokachi has rivers running through it like the veins of a heart muscle. In my time here, I’ve seen at least one major bridge built that changed my driving patterns, and I’ve seen three bridges collapse in a typhoon, which inconvenienced me when I went to one tiny country school. The impact it must have had on people living in that country village, though! Not to mention all the crops that had to be hauled via alternate routes.

        I guess our writing is a lot like this. It’s very hard to estimate its impact. If it diverts one soul stuck in a dark night, it’s been useful and good. Although, I’m very reluctant to say art causes anything — people may be triggered by art for good or bad, but it’s the people who actually take action.

        (-: Trying to wind back up on scheduling, and just getting more and more lost in detours.

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