Life is often a balancing act between worry and fear and not giving a shipootie about anything...So you know all that research about how stress compromises your immune system? I lived that the past couple weeks. Evidently our visiting friends brought some kind of toxic stew of germs because both hubs and I were down for the count for a good week, and we’ve been slow to recover from whatever upper respiratory bug we were dealing with. Not that that kept me from worrying any, but at least we caught up on some of our sleep.

Making sure a new release coincided with a review roundup seems to have helped ensure the word got out about having a new book out. Not my best release statistics, but also not bad considering how poorly book 2 had done on the sales front.

Which means I’ve been pondering what I want to write next. I’ve had the good luck to have gotten to talk to Gayla more now that my schedule is a little less constrained, and we’ve been kicking around ideas on another After the Fall story.

But what finally started sinking its teeth into me yesterday was a story about a sentient planet, and Planet Seekers from Earth in about 100 years who are looking for a new home for humanity. For once, I’m starting with an actual list of antagonists and am tentatively outlining the conflicts in the story before I start. It got me excited enough last night that I couldn’t sleep.

It’s been a long time since one of my own story possibilities kept me awake all night.

As frustrating as it was, it was also exciting to let my imagination play. And not just with imaginings about what my dogs might be seeing that I can’t see. Or how the new voice-driven AIs cross the line into creepy-ville. Or even the newest speculation about where crystals might have been mined from.

The big news in the writing world was an author who trademarked the word “cocky”. And then started sending cease and desist letters to people who had that word in titles that had come out before the trademark was issued–and before even that author’s work had been published. I particularly liked Jami Gold’s response regarding the absolute need for a community of authors, so nobody else gets sucked into that vortex of shortsightedness.

Of course that meant that I found Book and Main Bites, and had to set up a profile there. (Though I haven’t yet created any bites of my books…) This, on top of the profile I have at AuthorsDB and the one at Goodreads and the one at Amazon and Wattpad and the one at IAN the one I’m considering setting up at Indie Authors Support Network. I’m pretty sure there’s one I’m forgetting, but haven’t dug through my bookmarks yet to rediscover. At a certain point, while I know it’s SEO best practice to cross-link as much as possible and it’s important to do everything you can to increase your discoverability, there is just a lot of time that needs to be invested in keeping each of those up to date.

I still need to finish the print layouts for books 1 & 2 so the formatting matches across the redesign of all four books in the Red Slaves series.

Hubs and I also got to see Infinity War. In fact, we went twice, because it was so big and overwhelming and well-done, it deserved the repeat. We also averaged 3,678 steps daily the past two weeks. And I averaged 8.5 hours of sleep a night the past two weeks. So I’m doing pretty well on a lot of the self-care bits that had been getting short shrift. I still don’t have anything definitive on the day job front, though. So my days are largely focused on trawling all the various job sites I know of and reminding all of my friends and former colleagues of my credentials and availability. I hope I haven’t crossed into the realm of being annoying, but the new day job requirement deadline is coming up fast, so I’m leaving no stone unturned. Until next week, then, check out what the other ROW80ers are up to.

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