Whirlwind of a Summer

Friends,

This summer has been one full of change, things to do, and a lot of fun. I haven’t posted on this blog since May, when things in my life were so different, and so I’d like to fill you in on a few things.

Why there were no blog posts over the summer…

You may be wondering why I haven’t blogged over the summer. On some days, I wondered that myself. Part of it was that we spent the first many weeks of summer settling into our new home, which has been quite the experience in and of itself. But the main reason why I didn’t blog was because I didn’t feel the drive to do so. When it comes to writing, not having the drive to do certain things can negatively affect you if you try to push those feelings aside and do it anyway. In this case, it was blogging.

However, the flipside of that coin is a pretty good one: I did have the drive to write out of my mind, pumping out 30K words in roughly 8 weeks, which is something I’ve never done before. So I guess you could chalk up me not blogging to the fact that I was busy writing. I produced text at a crazy rate, which turned out to be the rough draft of my next book. The grand total for the word count currently sits at 46K for the second draft. I intend on keeping it around there as best as I can. Over the next few months, I’ll be getting the last chunks of feedback from my editor and making the appropriate changes around Halloween. Now here’s why…

Master’s coursework beginning in September

I made the decision to start my master’s coursework in September, taking the first two courses of the 15 I’ll need to obtain my MA in History with a Certificate in WWII Studies. These first two courses will last from September 5 until New Year’s Day, then I’ll be taking a break for a few months. I’m getting some tuition reimbursement through school, so that’s a big part of why I’m doing this now. Speaking of school…

My first year was great, and I’m about to start what will hopefully be another

I ended my first year of teaching in June, although classes ended in late May. We as a teaching staff had a lot of things to tend to in June in preparation for this upcoming year, as well as for a few things from the previous year. All in all, it was a great first year and one that I’ll never forget as part of my initial experiences.

With a new academic year ahead of me, I’m excited to be coming back and having the opportunity to teach the year from the beginning (I was hired partway through the fall semester last year). There is also going to be a change: I’m teaching financial literacy and US history this year, as opposed to World History as I did last year. Even though WH is my favorite, I’m looking forward to getting to work in this part of social studies. After all, it’ll help round me out as a teacher and will add to my experience.

There is, and will continue to be, some degree of stress with all of this going on because…

Sarah and I are expecting our first child in January!

Basically, everything that’s been happening since mid-May has revolved around where the subsequent nine months would take us. I made it my goal to finish the bulk of the work for Book Four before the start of the school year (*check) and to plan for knocking out my foundation courses in my MA program before the baby arrives (in the process). It’s a very exciting time for us and we couldn’t be happier that we get to start this next phase of our life together. There’s just a lot going on!

As for the baby, we are having a boy. From the handful of appointments we’ve had so far, the baby is healthy, as is Sarah. The due date is January 5, but you never know – we could have a New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve, or maybe even a Christmas baby! We’ll just have to see as things move along. But as long as it’s healthy, we don’t care when it arrives 🙂

We have ideas for names that we like, but I doubt we’ll be certain on the one we’ll choose until either the arrival gets closer or the baby actually comes. We’ll just have to see. We’ve started to get quite a bit done with the nursery and gathering things (diapers, toys, etc.) either on our own or from family and friends. I have the feeling that as the school year starts, things are going to go by so fast with all that I’m doing…the baby will be here before we know it!

So where does this leave us at the moment?

That’s a good question. Since I’ve been out of the habit of blogging every week like I was before May, I don’t know how I’ll do in these first weeks of school. With teaching and master’s courses taking a lot of my focus, and because I’m not writing anything new right now, I don’t know how often I’ll be blogging, at least about writing. I have thought about blogging about my education life since that will be more of what’s happening in life for the foreseeable future, but I haven’t decided for sure.

As the final phase of getting Book Four published goes on from now until Christmas (though Christmas isn’t the release date, keep in mind), I’ll give updates and details along the way. But I doubt there will be a blog every Monday. It’s just the way of things at this point. I would like to blog at least once a month, so please do check back periodically for that. The tentative (being 99.99%) release date for the book is January 5, and I plan on having a pre-order period occur before release. Again, I’ll give more details as the next couple of months go on.

That’s about it for this post. I sincerely thank you for reading all of what I had to say, because all of it is very important to me and explains things more clearly for anyone who didn’t already know. Your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated, and I hope that you can continue to follow my work and that I can impact your life somehow, whether through writing, giving writing and education advice, or whatever else presents itself.

Until next time,

-Eli

Getting Closer to the End

Friends,

A new week has arrived on the calendar, which means that we have yet another opportunity to seek and achieve great things – be it goals, ambitions, passion…whatever you set your heart to! I am in the process of working toward achieving my own goals, and I’ll share some news about those goals with you now…

The Faces of the War Collection

I’ve sent my second round of changes for the book cover for Imminent and am currently awaiting the designer’s next draft as I write this. This is a very exciting part of the publishing process because it’s the first tangible sign that your project is coming to life!

Just last night, I eclipsed the 10K word mark for Part II, and finally completed the writing of that part, with the first draft word count coming to just over 11K. With about 15K more words to go, I am in the home stretch of writing the first draft…and that is very exciting too! Hopefully in just a few weeks, I’ll have the first draft completed and can then move on to the next step: editing.

YouTube

If you haven’t yet subscribed to my channel, I encourage you to do so! You’ll be able to stay up-to-date on my writing projects as well as get a glimpse into my life behind the writing. In my vlogs, I share my thoughts about writing, indie publishing, and other topics, as well as give advice to newer writers based on my experiences in the industry so far. I also have done a series on my writing process, so if you’re new to the game then I encourage you to check it out. Keep in mind that all writers are different, so everything I say or do might not fit into your style of writing and working. But that’s the beauty of it: we can learn from each other. It’s a journey that I want to take with others interested in what I do or who like my work, so please join me and let’s connect!

Short Story

As you may be aware, I submitted a short story to a historical fiction contest on the website Inkitt. The contest ends in late September, but the time to read it is now! Why? Because in order to win the contest, I need votes from you, my readers. But it’s more than winning a contest; it’s about sharing new content with the world and providing good stories for others to be entertained by. I’ve been told my story is a good one, so if you have 15-20 minutes that you’d like to put toward reading a short story, please give mine a look. Don’t forget to vote for it by clicking the heart icon at the bottom of the screen!

Indie Writing Advice

When you write your first draft, it’s easy to get wrapped up into trying to perfect it as the words first fall onto the page. Though it’s a good habit to make – editing and reworking the words as you go – it’s not something that should be a make-or-break sort of thing. You should ground this thought into your head as you write your first draft of any project: it’s not going to be perfect.

I’ve published two books and am working on my third, and even now I can think of ways that I could’ve made my stories better. And that’s after I read through the manuscripts each a handful of times, had them edited by others, and gave myself time in between self-editing so as to approach the drafts with a refreshed eye (all of those things, by the way, are practices I advocate in my writing process videos)! So it’s wise to live by the idea that you can always improve a story, so there’s no sense in bothering with trying to make it perfect on the first go.

Just focus on getting the story in your mind onto the page in it’s rawest form, then go from there with a fine-tooth comb to make it better down the road. And if you’re in the same boat with me, you’ll want to write for the sake of writing because you lack the freedom of time, and you know that editing will come later. Take a deep breath. Relax. And write on.

That’s all I have for you right now. Keep an open eye for news of my book cover, whether it be in social media or in next week’s blog post. Either way, it’s coming, and it’s going to be great!

Until next time,

-Eli