february status update

Inconstant Moon - photo of gibbous moon - Laurel L. Russwurm

My beta reader @larryrusswurm made a small suggestion which means I’m toying with adding a few little scenes.

I’ve a lot more to say about copyright & freedom, but I’ll not be able to find time ’til later in the week, as I’ve some last few tweaks to make to Inconstant Moon. Don’t look for anything new in any of my blogs before the first weekend in March.

As for the cover photo, I’m going with the one I liked, rather than one of the more conventional ones. But definitely Inconstant Moon will be ready to launch in March:

woo hoo!

Oh, I’m so excited!



interesting times

I’m writing this post on the antique IBM Thinkpad I love to write on. There is a satisfying feel to the keys when I type. The problem today. though, is the horrendously slow Internet connection. Actually, that’s not correct, strictly speaking. The connection is fine, it’s my laptop’s ability to connect that is a problem. It takes a loooong time to do stuff online. This problem is actually a very good thing when writing a novel, because there is zero temptation to go online.

Right now I’m in Toronto to attend a few days of Byron Sonne’s preliminary hearing. There is a judicial gag order restricts what can be published, so I need to be very careful what I write. I hope to have something about Canada’s G20 political prisoner posted soon in the Oh! Canada blog.

We certainly live in Interesting Times

ACTA, WikiLeaks, Egypt, Canadian Copyright Law reform and Usage Based Billing are all hot topics at the moment. There never seems to be a shortage of things to blog about.

Jason Koblovsly has a good blog post about UBB: “Thoughts on Today’s UBB Developments.

my novel on my desk

But I am most excited about the fact that my debut novel, Inconstant Moon, is almost ready to release. Because the first 50,000 words were written as part of NaNoWriMo, it was an excellent idea to publish Inconstant Moon with Create Space, and I intend to blog about the process of self publishing. I’ve been very impressed with the quality of my first Create Space proof, especially their support staff, who have been exceptionally helpful.

Having been convinced that I >had< to have an author photo, my initial inclination was to bypass the photo I liked best in favor of a more conventional pose, until Lance and Mary reminded me the point of self publishing is to publish it my way. <<Thanks! 🙂 So, that's what I've done. My (hopefully) final edit is done, my re:proof is on its way, and the serialization blog is almost ready to launch.

Woo hoo. 😀

In the Can: Inconstant Moon

I began writing my novel, ‘Inconstant Moon’, last November.

National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo Crest: November
November is National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo is so successful it’s gone international now, but they haven’t changed the name. Possibly because InNoWriMo doesn’t have the same zing to it. I went to some local NaNoWriMo write-ins back in November, as well as finding some support during and after through the Identi.ca  NaNoWriMo group. After NaNoWriMo concluded a couple of us continued there through finishing & editing.

Although my intention for the last few years has been to get back into writing, specifically with novels, something always seemed to come up. Which is why having the deadline provided by NaNoWriMo was important for me. It gave me something to shoot for. I even told my family I intended to ignore my birthday and everything else during November so I could get it done.   And I did.

CreateSpace logo

I was a NaNoWriMo “winner” which means that I fulfilled the NaNoWriMo objective of writing 50,000 words in the month of November.   But one of the coolest things about NaNoWriMo is that a company called CreateSpace gives all NaNoWriMo “winners” the opportunity to collect a free printed proof of your novel. Even if you don’t plan to publish it, or even ever read the thing, it’s a lovely memento.

But I’ve been planning on self-publishing for a while, so it was an ideal situation for me.

I realized about half way through the month that there was no way that my novel would be finished at a mere 50,000 words.  During NaNoWriMo I wrote 58,681 words. After that, it took until April 11, 2010 to get the first draft finished. It came in at 103,289 words. And that was just the first draft: getting to the end.

That’s when the first editing started. Because my novel has a cast of thousands (not really, only twenty or so) and because I wrote it in bursts, just smoothing out the rough stuff took much longer than I thought it would. Instead of having a single main character, the group of students that I follow are all roughly equal in importance. Which is kind of interesting, but it made extra difficulty for me having to choreograph the characters throughout.

Unfortunately, it was already into the month of June when I got it to the point I was comfortable giving it out to Beta Readers. In order to claim the free proof from CreateSpace, the novel needed to be submitted by their June 30th deadline.

Wanna know how nasty I was?

Essentially I dumped a 400 page novel on my poor Beta Readers, and they had to read it and give me feedback on it in a week.

A week.   (I needed the last week of the month to make the changes needed.)

What is truly amazing is that they did it. I got really great beta feedback from all of my my readers under the impossible deadline I gave them.

Ruby balloon

Drum roll Please:

Thank you Beta Readers:

(and you’ll all get an acknowledgment in the book too: woo hoo!)

I got different things from the different beta readers whose input helped the novel.

Spelling and grammar and culture – oh my!

The most difficult part of self publishing is not having an editor. If time wasn’t an issue, I could do it myself, simply by setting the novel aside for a while.   Like a year… or maybe two. After I’ve written something I need at least that much time to be able to look at it with fresh eyes. But I’d rather not wait that long.

The most editorial feedback came from Nienke, and if I can manage not to be so under the gun next time, perhaps I’ll be able to entice her into being my editor.

Honorable mention goes to my sister Nicole Russwurm. I waved a couple of pages under her nose before we headed out to our nephew’s stag & doe (which, naturally, fell in that last week of June). If I was more conscious or organized she’d get a book mention too… alas, I am not 😦


Although I had front cover art, I had to do the back cover and spine as well. You don’t know how big the spine will be until you know how many pages there are.

Which means you can’t finalize the cover until the page count is frozen.

So on the 30th I was alternating between adding the spine and back cover and skimming through the text formatting. Although I was a wreck at the end of the day, I got the files uploaded.

Final Wordcount: 109,850

Here’s the back cover:

Inconstant Moon back cover

Although I like a good vampire story, the title is, and was always, from ‘Romeo and Juliet’. My worry is that the moon will make people will think it’s a vampire book, when in fact it is not.