Friday, December 5, 2014

Doings at Drakenheath - December

Dear Imps, the time has come to update you once more on the various doings around here. Which are surprisingly few, to be honest!

The reason for this is . . . Poison Crown.
I am in the throes of drafting this novel, and it is absolutely consuming everything. Which isn't unusual during the drafting process for me. However, this rough draft is a little different from others in that it's significantly longer and more complicated than any other story I've ever written save for possibly Golden Daughter. And Golden Daughter I drafted in approximately eight months, while Poison Crown I'm trying to draft in four.

I have drafted novels in four months before. But those novels are usually somewhere between 120,000 and 140,000 words long. This manuscript is already close to that long, but it's only half complete. So yes, the production rate has been exhausting, and I'm starting to realize I might need to slow down a little if I want to keep any sense of sanity. We'll see. Slowing down isn't really my thing . . . and if I can get the rough draft complete by the end of December, I can boast that I've written three full-length novels in a single year, which would be a first for me!

Pride points probably aren't worth sanity though . . .

If you think of it, do please take the time to pray for me as I labor away at this story. It's got the potential to be something wonderful, but I feel as though I am getting in my own way quite a lot this time around. Prayers for grace and guidance would be enormously appreciated!

One way or the other, I still hope to have this book in a polished state by the end of February, which should keep me on track for an autumn release. Oh, and did you know that you can add Poison Crown to your Goodreads shelf already, if you are so inclined?

Other than that, there aren't many doings of which to speak! Oh, except I finished my quilt . . .

Those of you who follow me on Facebook will have already seen this picture, but for those of you who don't . . . I have been "working" on this same quilt for the last fifteen years! Yeah, I'm not a very dedicated quilter. But a few weekends ago, I decided the time had come, and I pulled it out for the last time. And it is now finished, and I feel a bit forlorn without a quilt hanging over my head to be worked on.

The truth is I didn't pull out the quilt and finish it just for the sake of finishing it. You see, I had to spend a good 12 hours listening to a certain audiobook, and I wanted something to do with my hands while I listened. What audiobook you may ask? Why, this one . . .

That's right, dear readers! Five Glass Slippers has been converted to audio and should become available in this format within the next few weeks. We auditioned narrators back in August and found the most wonderful voice for bringing these stories to life. Our narrator, Becky Doughty of BraveHeart Audiobooks, is an artist at her job, reading the stories in a lovely British accent that is certain to charm listeners. I will, of course, let all of you know as soon as the book officially launches. It is under one final review right now, and should be available for purchase in a week or two!

So yes, I had some excellent entertainment while quilting.

If you want a sneak preview, Stephanie Ricker posted a link to the first chapter of her story. Click here to listen to it.

Oh, and what does this mean for Five Enchanted Roses? Why yes, we will be adding the audio version to that project as well! Becky Doughty has already penciled us into her schedule, and I have no doubt Enchanted Roses will be the equal of Glass Slippers.

Speaking of Five Enchanted Roses . . . Though I just said it in my previous blog post, let me remind you one more time that the deadline for the submission forms is December 16th. This is different from last year, when your submission form had to be postmarked no later than December 31st. This year, we're trying to get all of the actual stories themselves no later than the 31st, so the submission forms must be sent in earlier.

This does not cut down on your actual writing time. Just because you get your form in early doesn't mean you don't get to hold onto the manuscript right down to the very last minute on the 31st. Though, of course, we appreciate it if you can send your stories early so that our readers aren't swamped all at once.

I've been so excited to see the stories coming in. So many great titles, full of intrigue! I'm looking forward to January when I'll be reading the stories that go on to the second round (though I rather suspect I'll end up peeking at all of them). I've had excited responses from several of the contest readers so far, which definitely makes me that much more eager.

This weekend, Rohan and I hope to put up our Christmas tree! The first Christmas tree in Drakenheath, which feels momentous somehow. It will also be Mutti's first Christmas tree. (Mutti is our rescued feral kitty, for those of you who don't know. She is the one and only feral adult I have trapped and tamed, and she's now pretty much a typical house cat, fat and happy.) I'm interested to see how she reacts to having a tree in her house. The kitties all tend to LOVE Christmas, Minerva Louise in particular, who spends most of her life under the tree when we have one. I'll try to remember to post pictures . . .

Those are all the doings I can think of just now. Next week, we'll be back to regular Q&A blog posts for a while, I promise! I've got dozens more great questions from all of you which should turn into interesting posts.

So what are your doings this holiday season, dear imps?


Anonymous said...

Your quilt is so pretty! Can't wait for the audiobook! :D Also hope you have fun putting up your Christmas tree! :)

Unknown said...

So far I have been desperately working in an attempt to meet all of my deadlines. It is not the merriest Christmas-- yet.

Oh, and I had another question for the series! How much time does it take you to complete each step of the book, from drafting to rewrites, editing, designing, and publication? What are those steps like?

Sarah Pennington said...

I'll definitely be praying!

I'm really excited for the FGS audiobook- I listened to the sample chapter and it was awesome. :D And I love your quilt as well!

Tracey Dyck said...

Poison Crown sounds deliciously long! But I can imagine the problems it would present to the writer. Praying for you!

Lovely quilt! And what a pretty kitty enjoying its warmth. ;)

That's exciting news about the audio book(s). I love that the narrator is British; often I wish I knew someone with an accent so I could just listen to them talk for hours. Now I suppose I can!

Merry early Christmas, Anne Elisabeth!

Anonymous said...

Lume love me! Anne Elisabeth, I don't know how you manage it! I will certainly be praying. And do please remain sane! I don't know what we imps would do if you didn't! ... Probably go insane with you. ;-)

I think your quilt looks lovely! And I hope Mutti likes your Christmas tree! Are you going to do any particular theme on it, or are you going to do a traditional Christmas tree?

As for my own doings, it is, for the most part, life as usual. A few new things, though.

We already have our Christmas tree up. We're a little bit short on space this year, so we got a little Norfolk Island pine and set him on the dining room table. He really is quite adorable!

And there is something that I intended to share previously, but simply hadn't gotten around to doing. A couple months ago, Mom got me a dragon-scale betta and an orange platty. Instead of taking the traditional and oh-so-very dull route by banning one if then “Bubbles" and some equally unoriginal name, I decided to shake things up a bit. So I named the betta Mherking, and the platty Nidawi the Everbubbling. I know that I named Nidawi aptly, because she's temperamental. Mherking is rather fierce (and I only say that because he likes to bite my finger when I put it near the surface of the water), but I don't know if he was aptly named. Maybe we'll find out later? (And I've also nicknamed my dog Lionheart, but it doesn't suit him as well as it used to now that Lionheart's character has changed.) :-)

God bless!
~ Natasha.

Meredith said...

Oh, Mrs. Anne Elisabeth! An audio version of Five Glass Slippers! Thank you, thank you! I'm so appreciative that Rooglewood Press is working so hard to make their books available in accessible formats. It means so very much. I listened to the first chapter of A Cinder's Tale, and you picked an outstanding narrator! And, I'm picky because I listen to so many books! I love Ms. Doughty's accent and her ability to do so many voices. Very talented. So thrilled that Five Enchanted Roses will be available in audio, too.

You work so very hard, and I admire you so much. Still, please take some time to enjoy Christmas with your family. I shouldn't talk, because when I have a project I'm working on, it consumes me, too. I'll be praying for you.

It's been a busy month so far. December always is for me. I speak at schools and do caroling and other singing events. Also, this year has been different because we've been dealing with some family members in the hospital. But, thankfully, things are hopefully starting to settle down

Thanks again for these wonderful "doings" posts. I always love hearing how things are going at Drakensheath. I love the name for your new cat. Muddy is such a precious name. God bless you.

Tracey Dyck said...

@Natasha: Nidawi the Everbubbling--that's adorable!

Hannah said...

Merry Christmas, Anne Elisabeth!

Wow, three novels in one year? That would be an incredible accomplishment, but your sanity is important! Don't crack; we need you! ;)

That quilt is so beautiful!!!!

That audiobook is awesome, and the narrator's voice is great!


Anonymous said...

Nice quilt! Do you have to buy the audiobook? You'll have to show us a picture of the Christmas tree when you put it up. I absolutely can't wait for Draven's Light and Poison Crown!

Anonymous said...

The second link appears to be broken

Merenwen Inglorion said...

How amazing! I have no idea how you're able to do that; two (or three!) novels in a year?! I'm still having trouble with my B&B entry, and I've been working on it since it was announced! Now I have a better understanding of the love-hate relationship writers have with their manuscripts :). I mean, I knew *about* it, but now I *get* it.
I'll be praying for you, Mrs. Stengl!

An AUDIOBOOK?! Yay! I'll be keeping an eye out for that. (I tried following the second link a few times, and it didn't work...the first one did, though. Sounds great!)
Nice quilt, too. Your cat looks like, "Disturb me and die." Must be comfy :).

Okay, I have a question that has been bugging me for awhile...
Has Diarmid's story been told yet? (I haven't read past Dragonwitch; is it told in the books following?) I really-really-REALLY want to know!

Thanks for all of your work! Looking forward to Poison Crown and other aforesaid projects.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that you're coming out with another book already! I haven't even started reading the series yet, and I'm excited. I've heard such great things about the series and my library finally ordered Heartless at my request, so now I can read it!

Meagan @ Blooming with Books said...

Thanks for the doings update and love the quilt. I could see Una having something like - post dragon-period.

Be sure to take time to enjoy your Christmas holiday in-between writing.

Sarah Bailey said...

Merry Christmas!

What are some ways you've spread word about your writing and books in the past and in the present? (Besides your blog, of course :) ) I currently do self publishing, and the hardest part about it is marketing.

J. L. Mbewe said...

Love the quilt! One day, I will make a quilt, one day! :-)

Esther Brooksmith (wisdomcreates) said...

Hearing you talk about the intriguing titles in this year's contest and the excitement of your panel of readers makes me want to read ALL of the entries!!! :D