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Restarting The Writing Business – ACK!

mohamed1982eg / Pixabay

There are plenty of blogs out there charting the course of a new endeavor in writing and releasing fiction. No real need for me to duplicate what has already been done unless I have something special to say (which isn’t very often).

But from someone who was making several hundred a month in book royalties who then lost a few years and is now in the process of getting going again? There aren’t that many of those.

Why did I lose a few years? A major life-roll. Mother Hen was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013. I became one of her full-time caregivers. She passed away in 2016, and it’s taken until now to really come out of the fog. I still miss her terribly, but I know she wanted me to keep writing (she said it many times during those last years). It made her so happy to see me reaching out for that dream.

It’s time to do that reaching.

So that’s what I’ll be talking about on my little blog here for a while. Who knows, maybe a few out there will find it of interest and my rambling will help them along with doing the same thing.

So, here are the first steps I’m taking:

1. I’m back to writing! I’m not doing it daily, as I’m working a seasonal job at the moment and have had some fatigue issues. But, I’m definitely making progress! One of the goals is to start recording the progress over at Writing Groove. Oh, and thanks for all the support the writers at Writing Groove and Forward Motion have given over these trying years!

2. Over the winter I took a 6-week writing workshop that I had a lot of fun with. I’ve been reviewing my notes on a few past workshops. I’m also reading writing craft non-fiction books, just to get my mind back into the game (very much picking and choosing what I want to take away from those books). If I find anything of interest, I’ll post here.

3. Creating a new business and writing plan, starting from this point and looking forward. This means setting goals on such things as how much I want to write per week, month, quarter and year. Setting new publishing deadlines. Setting deadlines for getting print editions out there for works that do not have any so far.

4. I’m also investing in myself. This October I’ll be heading to Lincoln City, Oregon to participate in the upcoming Master Business Class for writers, hosted by WMG Publishing. I’m hoping to learn how the industry has changed over these several years, and hopefully learn a few things to better my writing business.

5. Find the new baseline for my publishing business. I am no longer selling at the rate I used to. Not with no new releases in a long time. Using my old baseline as a measurement against the upcoming months would only lead to disappointment and depression.

We don’t need that!

I’m in the process of downloading sales reports across various distributers and retailers, and coming up with an average of how I am selling. I’ll post a detailed report of this baseline when I have it finished. I can then use this new baseline as a reference to see how I’m doing as I get back into the game. I think it would be fun to track on this blog the build-up from that baseline to a new and improved baseline!

All of the above takes time, and yet it feels like it all needs to be done RIGHT NOW. And that list doesn’t even scratch the surface! ACK!

…take a deep breath…

I’m trying hard not to overload myself with everything that needs to be done. That would only set myself up for failure. I don’t need that. So, I’m trying to do what I do at work: Keep my head down and focus on only one task at a time. Finish that task. Feel good about it! Then, and only then, look at the next task that needs to be done. Rinse, repeat.

So, join me on this journey. Let’s have some fun getting back into the groove of things!

August 2015 Goals

Cue life-roll!

I won’t even post about July as I’ve spent the entire time in hospitals after Mother Hen had a bad chemo reaction. The only thing that got done were new words: 30015 (and that was a huge struggle)

My mother is still in the hospital, and even when she gets out she has a lot of physical therapy to do. So, not a month for anything ambitious. Going for conservative goals this August!

  • 25,000 New words
  • Publish “The Legend of Crazy Uncle George (Salmon Run – Book 8)”
  • Finish putting in copyedits of “Celestial Fire (The String Weavers – Book 7)” and then pass the book to the second copyeditor.
  • Prepare one outline for the November Nano.

June Summary

Oh my. What a June.

First the external wireless keyboard went out. More on that in a blog post (with pretty pictures!).

Then the first chemo appointment ended up with it all getting cancelled and Mother Hen ending up in the emergency room to find out why she was bleeding. Which turned out to be a bad bladder infection.

We went home with meds and she recovered. All good! I got in some good writing and art in (with restrictions. See post about the dead keyboard). So, we go back 2 weeks later for chemo. She’s doing well, other than we’re all hot from the heatwave going through Arizona.

Aaaand, the chemo knocks her for a loop. All of a sudden she not only can’t walk, but she can’t even stand. She starts pushing away water, refusing to take it in her mouth even when she said she wanted it. I finally figured out she would take it from a spoon (maybe it seemed like eating). Only, it wasn’t enough.

So, on a Sunday in the middle of the first big thunderstorm of the season to hit our area, we somehow wrestle her into the car and take off for the emergency room. Turned out that yes, she was dehydrated. She’s on blood thinners, and the lack of fluids had caused the levels in her blood to go high. She was admitted into the hospital, and that’s where we’ve been ever since while they get her stabilized.

And where I still am as of July 1st when Camp Nano starts.

Okay, June. Glad to see you gone. Don’t let the door hit you on the…


BK1RC-350HSo, out of the June goals not a bunch got done. As the medical issues are still ongoing, I’ll be severely curtailing the July goals. Goals reached:

Outlines for books 4, 5, and 6 of The Enigma Watchers are finished! Good thing, as I’ll be writing on them this July.

19807 new words in June (goal had been 30k). Considering all that happened, that’s not half bad!

Finished copyedits of “The Legend of Crazy Uncle George (Salmon Run – Book 8), and started the formatting process.

All considering, not too bad for what June threw at me.

June Goal Update

6841 new words this week, which is a great start to the month! It started out slow but built up as the week went. I’m now in the last 1/3 of the third “The Enigma Watchers” book. Also managed to get about half of the fourth “The Enigma Watchers” book outlined. I’m really hoping to finish that up this coming week, as I need to get writing on it the moment I’m done with the first draft of book 3.

Finished putting in the copyedits of “The Legend of Crazy Uncle George (Salmon Run – Book 8)”. Now need to get busy formatting and publishing the thing. 😛

June Goals

OpenClips / Pixabay

Something new. Each month I have a set of goals, with the goal to update where I am with them at the end of each week. Hey, this section is called “Writing Blather”. I think this qualifies. 😛


I cut down the word goal for this month, as I already know it will be a busy month and I need to get a few things done before July. The July words will make up for it. 😀

  • 30,000 new words
  • Finish first draft of the third “The Enigma Watchers” book
  • Finish the outline of the fourth “The Enigma Watchers” book
  • Finish the outline of the fifth “The Enigma Watchers” book
  • Finish the outline of the sixth “The Enigma Watchers” book
  • Finish putting in copyedits of “The Legend of Crazy Uncle George (Salmon Run – Book 8)”
  • Finish putting in copyedits of “Celestial Fire (The String Weavers – Book 7)” and then pass the book to the second copyeditor.
  • Publish ebook of “The Legend of Crazy Uncle George (Salmon Run – Book 8)”
  • Format and publish in paperback “Aurora Equinox (Salmon Run – Book 6)”
  • Format and publish in paperback “Breakup – Alaska Style (Salmon Run – Book 7)”
  • Format and publish in paperback “The Legend of Crazy Uncle George (Salmon Run – Book 8)”
  • Republish the four “Children of Jad” stories with new covers and updated front and backmatterr.
  • Republish the “Children of Jad Omnibus” stories with new covers and updated front and backmatter.

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Mom (A.K.A. Mother Hen) Cancer Fund

Yes, our very own beloved Mother Hen is now struggling with a GBM tumor. The family is struggling because of no insurance and we are desperate to get her the life-saving treatment she needs. If you have a little extra and would like to help out this very deserving person, please consider giving a little donation to help her along the way. Thank you!

GoFundMe Help For Mother Hen

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Writerly Progress

2015 Yearly New Words
47.15%  188600 of 400000
2015 Yearly Revision Words
9.53%  38100 of 400000

Free Serial: Zerralon

Available Ebook Formats

The works of J.A. Marlow are available in a wide number of formats including DRM-Free. Below is a list of a few of the retailers the various formats can be found at.

Mobi (Kindle compatible): Amazon, Drive Thru Scifi, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

Epub (Nook compatible): Barnes & Noble, Drive Thru Scifi, Google Play, Kobo, Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii, iBookstore

PDF: Omnilit/All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Xinxii

Palm DOC/iSolo (Palm compatible): Smashwords

RTF (Rich Text Format): Smashwords

LRF (Older Sony Reader format): Smashwords

Plain Text: Smashwords

Online Reading (HTML): Google Play, Smashwords