The Dragons are Gone

It’s gone. You can’t get it anymore. It’s unavailable.

Dragons of the Ashfall was the first book of the War of Leaves and Scales. The series is a YA steampunk fantasy epic featuring different young women struggling in a terrible society with an invisible dark influence. Book one came out last December, and book two, Dragons of the Clockwork City, was set to come out this coming December.

Maybe you noticed the tenses of the verbs there. If you read the book, maybe those tenses make you nervous. Maybe you should be nervous.

Dragons of the Clockwork City will not be coming out this December, and Dragons of the Ashfall is no longer available.

But why?!

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How to Use Your Business Skills to Improve Your Personal Life

image via Pexels

Today we have a guest-post by Stephanie Haywood of I’ve written in the past about how writing is a businessor at least, if you want to get paid, it’s a business! Those business skills also help your personal life, though! Without further ado, here’s Stephanie!

Task management is a critical skill for small business owners. These skills can also be useful in your daily life. These are a few ways you can use the skills you have learned running your business to make your day-to-day life better.

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When Words Won’t Come

I’ve got a blank page. It’s supposed to have words. Lots of words, in fact. I’m supposed to be almost halfway into the rough draft of my next novel, but I’ve not typed a single word. Granted, the soonest this book would be out is February 2024. My editor won’t get to it until October at the very earliest, more likely November or December. So I’ve got time, but still. I want to get moving on it.

The problem isn’t the plot. I outlined the book some months back. I know the characters. It’s book five in a series. I know the setting well.

It’s not some missing magical muse. I don’t need to wait to be visited by the imagination fairy. That’s not how writing works. Writing is a muscle; the more you work it, the easier it becomes. (I kind of laugh when people give me story ideas with good intentions. I have plots worked out for fourteen novels past the series I’m currently writing. Write the ideas yourselves. You can breathe them best into the world!)

No, it’s not writer’s block or lack of inspiration.

The problem is me.

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I’m Ruined!

Apparently I’m not allowed to enjoy media anymore.

Well, that’s not entirely true. This week my kids and I are watching the Lord of the Rings. Yes, the extended versions. I’m still enjoying that. I just started reading Elle(s), a fantastic comic dealing with a girl with multiple personalities… maybe? I’ve backed a bunch of projects on Kickstarter that are starting to arrive, and I’m itching to read them.

But then I watch a movie and… I notice how this storyline never tied up. Or I notice how the protagonists didn’t earn that emotional victory. Or I notice how the author is overusing certain words.

I’m constantly evaluating my own writing. How does this emotional arc work? Does the protagonist actually protag? Do the plotlines all converge nicely? I need to evaluate so I can make my stories the best they can be.

And then when I take in other media… I continue to do the same thing. And more and more, I’m finding myself disappointed.

There’s two sides to this. First, it means that I’m enjoying other media less.

Second, I’m thinking that if those things can get popular or find an audience… well, I should be able to do the same, right?

So just a quick note today to warn you: If you pursue writing, you may find yourself being one of those bitter people saying nothing good comes out of books or movies or whatever anymore. Please, don’t become that person. I do still enjoy plenty of media, just not as much as I used to. It takes reminding yourself to find joy where you can. Laugh where you can. You don’t have to be bitter!

But what you find yourself not enjoying something… analyze it. Figure it out.

And then use those lessons to strengthen your own writing.