Tag Archives: fill the calendar

Susan Speaks: I Love Mondays. Seriously.


Yes, I love Mondays! I have for a long time: it used to be that the house would empty out and I’d get my solitude to work in. But it’s summer vacation and that means the house is rarely empty during the work week right now. The kids are old enough, though, to let me work like they’re not around — although they are interesting people, so I like to see what they’re up to, who they are online with, what games they’re playing, what they’re making me for lunch (hey, that actually worked a time or two!).

In terms of work, because I don’t like to wrap a project over a weekend when I can avoid it, Mondays mean starting a fresh project. A new manuscript, a new set of characters (or some old friends), another chance to spend time shaking my head in admiration of my client’s genius.

Speaking of genius, I just discovered the utter brilliance of the creative minds behind one of my all-time favorite shows: the name of lead character John Crichton. Yeah, I’m behind the 8-ball on this one … or am I? Do you guys get the brilliance? I am blown away.

Know what else blows me away? I checked my Amazon numbers for the books, to discover that someone had paid money for a copy of Mannequin! As you know, for some reason, it’s free everywhere BUT Amazon. That winds up in Mannequin being my most returned book at Amazon–people are pretty clearly making it free their own way, instead of helping me out and reporting it to them as free elsewhere. So to see a copy sold and not returned always makes me happy.

After the Pennwriters Conference last May, I started writing again. I’ve jumped projects — I think I got started on a comfort project until I could get back into the discipline and mindset of writing, and now I’m working on something serious. Not sure when you’ll see it. Definitely not Rocktober 2015, and most likely not April 2016, either, unless I pick up the pace. Which I’d like to do, but evenings this summer have been spent running the kids around. Namely the son. And namely Ultimate frisbee, a game which I’ve grown to really appreciate.

It’s your turn to blow me away: I still have a few spots open in August, so jump on soon. I can’t believe there are still open dates! This is usually the start of my busy season, and I’m hoping that after the best first half of the year ever (except May, for some reason — and yes, the dreaded June is still included in that count!), things don’t slow down. I’m on a roll over here, but I need you to keep it going.


If you needed proof…


I say all the time that I have the best clients. And I do. (Like attracts like, after all!)

Case in point: over the weekend, a newish client wanted me to alter my Word Document Only policy. It didn’t seem to be the sort of issue we’ve had in the past with people asking us to edit .pdfs or PowerPoints, so I was willing to consider it. I know a bunch of my clients use this format, so … I was curious to address this client’s concerns about my Word Only policy.

I sent an e-mail to a bunch of clients. Well, I sent a lot of e-mails; there was no group e-mailing involved.

And here’s the proof of how amazing my clients are. Every single one I sent the inquiry to got back to me, if not that night then the next morning.

I appreciate the speed, especially since I am not always that fast on the uptake (I wish I could be. Lately, I feel like I’m swimming through molasses). And what my clients had to say was enlightening. I learned a heck of a lot from them and once again, I am in awe of the folks who choose to hire me to edit their manuscripts.

So in the end, I turned down the request to edit in something other than Word. I probably lost a client, which means I’ve got room in August for anyone who is amazing, personally, and wants to work with me so their fiction can be every bit as awesome as they are.

And yes, all these superlatives are making me smile. Jett sent me a review over the weekend in which she complained that every single detail was perfect, incredible, amazing, beautiful, and more. I kinda get where that author was coming from, with all that praise. Doesn’t sound like it made for good fiction, but it sure makes for a happy editor over here. And happy editors work better and harder for their awesome clients.


Summer Strains


You all know I’m a music lover, so “summer strains” could refer to some really cool music I’ve been listening to. And go ahead and boo me, but the new Five Finger Death Punch single cracks me up, especially once you know the backstory to it.

But no. Sadly, summer’s a tough time for me. The pulls of being outside, the need to work, the kids underfoot — I sadly live in a place that leaves us almost 100% dependent on cars to get around — and in need of supervision lest they become sucked into their computer screens and the games and manga that are filling their days. It’s tough. It’s very tough.

The good news is that my clients continue to be amazing, and my calendar continues to be full. June was my best ever June, although still the worst month of the year. New opportunities are still knocking and I’m doing my best to fit them all in, but how much can one girl cram into her life? Especially when, this summer, I’m spending three days a week in parks… when it’s not raining. Feeding the troops is a challenge even though we’re all good cooks, and then we have to get out the door. The past two weeks, one’s walking in when two are walking out. Crazy busy. It’s a strain, yes. It’s tough.

And I do love it. Well, not all this rain (can we send it to California please?) or the desire to be outside. But the job, the clients, the fiction. My kids crack me up, and they are smart enough to find themselves good friends. This is the good kind of summer strain: the strain on my pantry as everyone feeds themselves!

So blogging may be scarce. Paying work always takes precedence. The new admin over at The Rock of Pages still needs to get up and running and to pull Jett back into writing the reviews she owes me, you, and the authors she made promises to.

Lots going on… it’s all good. Except the rain.

And in all this, I do have openings in my schedule for August! Leaving them open will mean finishing up some of these in-progress projects but the simple truth is I need the editing every bit as much as I love to do it. It’s hard to get lazy and procrastinate when people are depending on you. But wait until you see what I’m cooking up now! You’re going to like it, especially those of you re-thinking your publication plans in light of the changes Amazon is making.

Stay tuned and keep sending your manuscripts and your friends my way. It all works out, and character is what we gain from the summer strains.


Susan Speaks: Summer Vacation Begins


We made it, the kids and I. Another school year wrapped up, more report cards filled with grades I surely never achieved (unless I remember wrong, which is a possibility), and … time to sleep in, even for an hour.

Just an hour.

It’s the first day of summer vacation. Instead of getting up at 5:30 like I do during the year to provide backup alarm systems, I was up at …


Wait for it.

You know it’s good.


Five freaking a.m.

I may as well put the time to good use, so if you’ve got a manuscript that needs to be edited, drop me a note. I’ve got extra time on the summer calendar, but it’s not going to last. I laugh that my clients like to send me their babies to work on while they’re off having a great vacation, no worries about anything, and they come home, recharged and renewed, ready to go. It’s a smart strategy and I swear, the finished products or the revised drafts that cross my desk again for more thoughts and help are all better for it.

I like that strategy, writer friends.

Of course, that means that summer’s my busiest season of the year. Even though I’ve got two kids underfoot, it winds up being very productive for me. (Guess I’m motivated by the idea of, “Guys, let me hit my page count and we’ll go to the pool for a few hours.”)

Take advantage, especially once I succeed at this sleeping in stuff. Less tired means less cranky means more productive, despite promises of going to the pool. Means better editing for you and paying off my landscaper for me.