I put all writing on hold after I finished the first draft of Daisy’s book. That was close to the end of May. I’ve been having to clean up a lot of non-writing related stuff.
This is what I’ve been up to:
Making a family friend’s life story into a book.
I have been working on a paperback for a family friend. This is a book about his life, and he has a ton of pictures. All I can say is that formatting a paperback with a lot of pictures is a nightmare. Typing the text in from the pages of the binder and scanning the pictures into the computer were easier. I broke down and hired out for the formatting, and she had trouble, too. We went through about three rounds of “does this work?” before we came up with something that passes for a proof paperback copy. The cover artist I usually work with has been gone, so I’ve had to deal with this cover myself, and I’m currently on the third round. This morning, I got another “rejected” email. (I’ve been messing with making this cover on and off for two months.) This time it was the text being too close to the ISBN thing on the bottom right of the back cover. I hate making paperback wraparound covers. I’d rather just do the ebook cover on the front and the generic back cover, but since this book is uniquely special, I’m hoping to make this work. I think I finally have it. If not, I guess we’re stuck with a generic back cover.
I have no intention of being the publisher of this book. This is just to give this family friend a physical copy of the book so he can see it and point out anything else he wants to add or delete from it. My plan is to help him create his own D2D account where I will upload the files for him. From there, he can go directly into his dashboard to order any author copies and handle the copyright and tax stuff himself. There is no way I want to be a publisher for other people. I have enough problems managing my own work. I don’t want to take on someone else’s.
Teaching my deaf kid to drive.
I’m in Montana, and you need 50 total hours in the car before you can go to the DMV for a license. Now, I don’t know if this is only for those under 18, but all of my kids were under 18 when then got their licenses, and I had to tally up those hours for all of them. Fifty hours doesn’t sound like a lot, but by the time you’re done, you feel like you’ve been in sitting in that car forever. This is the last kid I’ve had to do this with, thankfully. Since he’s deaf, it’s been more of a challenge. I can’t just scream out if something goes wrong. I have to rely on hand signals or taking control of the wheel. Some things happen within seconds. Even with a hearing kid, this part of parenting is stressful. I held off on doing the bulk of the driving with him until school was out so I could put in some 2-3 hour chunks of time for the drives. He did take the class at the deaf school, but nothing really prepares you for driving like doing lots of driving. My goal is to get him a driver’s license by the time school starts.
One thing I did successfully accomplish getting done was the Google AI audiobooks.
I finished getting the AI audiobooks put up on Google, but it’s going to be SLOW going on Kobo. I have almost 100 romances, so this is not something that takes a day or two. Kobo requires a chapter to be uploaded at a time, and this looks like it’ll take about 2 or 3 hours per book. I’m waiting until I get back to writing so I can upload them while I’m typing away. Google took the epub file, let you edit the text, and converted the whole book pretty much right away. I could get a book done in 15-20 minutes. I got to say, I’m very impressed with Google Play’s system for making AI audiobooks. I was unable to get Eye of the Beholder or the Virginia Series up on Google Play because I signed contracts with a narrator at ACX back in 2020. Those books are locked in over there, meaning they can only be on Audible and iTunes. All of the other books are on Google Play and will (eventually) be on Kobo.
Radish is going to take forever.
I was working on getting my backlist up on Radish (again with almost 100 romances in my catalogue), but that is also time consuming because I have to break the book up into 1500-2500 word episodes. I had fun with it, but it takes up so much time that I had to cut back on it. Plus, something about the site bugs my eyes. I don’t know if it’s switching from the internet screen to my Word document screen, but when I finish uploading the episodes that make up the entire book (typically 20-30 episodes), my eyes get worn out.
Working on Daisy’s book.
The editor got it done, and it’s back to me. I haven’t had time to format it yet. I have no idea when this will be ready.
Making the most of the time with the kiddos.
I’ve been taking time out to walk with my kids since it’s summer and we can take advantage of the parks. I have a treadmill, but I prefer to be outside. I like the change in scenery. My oldest will be 20 in August, but he’s going to the local community college and working at a fast food place. My second is 18, has graduated high school, and has a full-time welding job. His goal is to save up the money to get his teaching degree in high school history. To cut on expenses for these kids, my husband and I agreed to let them stay here so they don’t have to rent. The third (that’s my deaf kid) will be a senior next year, and the fourth will be a junior. Anyway, I’ve been putting some of the “writing time” on hold to spend time with the kids because once they do move out, I don’t want to look back and say, “I wish I had spent that time with them when they were still here.” I heard that a lot from my father-in-law when he mentioned his own kids. I might not get everything right in this life, but this is one area I want to get right. I also spend time with my husband, but he doesn’t like to go for walks as much as the rest of us do. Plus, a lot of his time is spent helping his mom out now that his dad is gone.
Which brings me to another topic. I think each spouse needs to know how to manage and run a home in the event the other spouse dies. In my case, I pretty much run things. My husband was in South Korea for two years, and I’ve had to do everything myself. That was good training grounds. I know I’ll be okay if he dies. I think he’ll be okay if I go before him. But his mom is at a total loss. Her dad used to make all the decisions for her. Then her husband came along and did the same thing. This has been to her detriment. She panics over a lot of things that shouldn’t be major issues. As a result, her health has gone down, and it’s looking like she won’t be able to live on her own for long. I’m just the in-law, so I can’t intervene. All I can do is watch while her two sons pick up the slack. Anyway, it’s been eye opening on how important it is for both the husband and wife to know how to manage life if you have to be on your own.
When will I get back to writing again?
I wish I knew. I thought I’d be able to get back to things this week since I am officially done from my “writing break”, but there’s more stuff that keeps popping up. Then there’s the question of if it’s even worth it to write anything with inflation skyrocketing the way it is. Will people even want to buy books when they are struggling to buy groceries and gas? I can’t make all of my books free. I have bills to pay, too, and I need to put a price tag on my books to do that. Plus, I pay for edits and covers. It’s not even free for me to make books. I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem like there’s much of a reason to get back to it. I might just finish up Heiress of Misfortune and be done with it. That way I will have completed all of the series that I started. Everything will be wrapped up. There will be no loose ends. I hate loose ends.