What a Week

Last weekend, I polished three more chapters of book three to send to my alpha readers. It kicked off a busy bunch of days for me, most of which subsequently had little to do with my writing. Work has been long hours packed with deliverables and meetings. 

If you don’t know much about working in finance, the first two weeks of the month are usually busy. In the first week, accounting is closing out the books with all the final transactions coming in. This week, week two, is when the data makes its way to us finance analysts for performance analysis.

I spent much of the week working through variances and presenting performance to various people in the organization. The rest of the week, and my long workdays, were driven by some capstone project presentations. These are fun because I get a chance to work with new company leaders kicking off a new role, but they are also draining.

Each one lasts one and a half to two hours, and I attended four this week. 

That all adds up to a lot of people. I am exhausted, and it is shaping up to be another busy weekend. Tonight is a Sounders game, and tomorrow a Reign game. I will be having fun watching soccer this Easter, and I will have to take my mom out later for missing lunch. 

The Sounders won their game on Wednesday evening, which means they are heading to the CONCACAF Champions League Final. The second of the two-game series will be played in Seattle, and I’m excited to attend with some friends in early May. It should be a great game. 

With all of this going on, I have two updates for you before I sign off for the weekend:  

  1. The book cover for Hidden Sanctuary is done! I will be sharing it with my newsletter first (probably tomorrow or Monday), so sign up on my homepage today if you don’t want to wait a month to see it on the rest of my accounts!
  2. The Hidden Sanctuary manuscript is with my beta readers, and my editor is lined up. If my current progress holds, I will release the paperback around the same time as the ebook. Fingers crossed!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter Sunday!

Cat Loaf

I recently learned the term “cat loaf,” and it makes me chuckle every time. I waited diligently for one of my cats to assume the position so I could take a picture for you. It took a while because it was sunny today, and cat loaf is not a sun-lounging pose.

Little Cat is now officially out of the kitten phase. She is still high energy, but she has taken to more lap-sitting over the last month or so in the evenings. Big Cat has no problem with her using him as a full-body pillow—after all, she can serve as a heated blanket for him—but he grumps at her when she starts grooming him while he tries to get his 23.5 hours of sleep a day.

My husband calls her “the president of the Big Cat fan club.” She will be playing with us, and all of a sudden you can hear his collar move in another room. Little Cat tears off, completely forgetting about us and whatever toy was in play, to find her best friend in the whole world. We think it is adorable. Big Cat probably still wonders why we thought it was a good idea to bring such a pest into his domain.

I’m glad we had friends who stopped by to help watch the cats while we were in Florida last month. Big Cat’s old-man digestive system means he needs more than just a dish of kibble left out for him. They both survived our absence with no issues other than an odd litterbox complaint, and we are cruising along.

My nephew plays outfield like my sister did as a kid: playing with dirt piles.

This weekend is all about sports and working on the next book. We stopped by my niece’s soccer game in the morning and then my nephew’s baseball game in the afternoon. Tomorrow we attend an OL Reign game with some friends. Between all of that, I’m working on the rough draft of the next book. Next week I submit book one for pre-order. I have the backmatter all set to go in the draft that will be uploaded, and I will be seeking ARC (advanced review copy) readers toward the beginning of November.

Next weekend I will share more publication information (I hope), as I believe once I have a book available for pre-order, I will be able to have my Amazon Author, Goodreads, and Bookbub pages as well because I can claim my “live” book. If all of that goes smoothly, I will share some details. If it doesn’t then I might end up sharing problems and having to just tell you “I’m working on figuring out what went wrong.” Fingers crossed!

Busy Week

I started the new job this last week. With all of the training, access requests, and new names and acronyms, it kept my brain busy enough that I stayed off of the computer most evenings rather than working on the book edits. Trying to push past a certain threshold for computer usage means sloppy or slow work for me, so I listen to my brain fatigue. 

I did complete one more chapter on Friday, and that only leaves two or three more before the book goes off to beta readers again. I plan on reaching out to copy editors at that same time to coordinate the schedule on that. I think I have a fair idea of how long the final revisions would take me. 

Saturday was a fun day with my D&D group playing Mad Mage. I was not pulling my punches, someone even took the bane of an elder rune – that is 20 six-sided dice worth of damage – to the face, and no one even dropped unconscious. This obviously means I need to up my game or they will start to think the dungeon is no challenge at all! 

With the one cursed sword picked up in the last game, they were a little more careful of additional magic item finds this time…well, some of them were more cautious. I’m pretty sure the rogue swore off caution for the day. He now has a ticking clock in his chest due to a beating heart in a box that is bound to something still in the dungeon. I hope they discover what that something is in time. Mwahaha!

That is for another week. Right now I’m getting ready to watch the Sounders play this evening. I hope they can have another amazing showing as they did on Thursday when half the starting lineup was about half my age. Kids these days are so impressive!

Go Sounders!

Soccer, Heatwaves, and Editor’s Block

I will keep this week’s post short as we are going through a heatwave in the Puget Sound area right now. To help our AC out a bit, I am trying to keep as many electronics turned off as possible. We are supposed to hit record temps today and tomorrow. This will likely be the hottest we have ever reached here on record.

Even with the heat, I managed to go to two soccer games in Seattle this week with the Sounders back in action after the international break. We stayed hydrated and braved the heat to watch the Sounders win four of six points between the two games. It is exciting to spend time in Seattle again and support local businesses before spending the time in the stands with our fellow supporters.

My niece toughed out a COVID test to make sure she was eligible to join Grandpa and me for the game!

These things are not helping my editor’s block. As far as my book goes, I’m working through the final major edit before it will go to a copy editor and back out to betas. Even before these convenient – but probably not helpful – distractions, I was slogging through it rather ponderously. I have more distractions in store for this week, but I should make some progress in between. If I don’t make progress in that time, I’m promising myself I will dedicate time on the fifth of July to knock out a couple of chapters at least. Maybe that will shake off the dust and regain momentum.

Stay cool out there!

Introducing Tiffany

My name is Tiffany Shearn, and I am an author.

The published part of being an author is still in-work, but I’m getting so close to jumping the last hurdles and putting my work out there. I started this blog to share my journey.

I have a full-length novel written, so what is next? I will admit I am still learning this part, but my list right now is:

  • Beta readers.
  • Copy editor.
  • Cover art.
  • Publication

This is where it gets scary. You put so much of yourself into work that you love, it is difficult to receive the constructive feedback you need to take your work to the next level. I love my story, and I love how it has evolved as I have grown, but it is at the point where I want to share it, and I want it to be good enough to share.

I have always had an active imagination, drifting off into worlds all my own. In college I started writing these ideas down simply so they would not keep distracting me from the much less interesting lectures. That is all they were at first. Ideas. Vague concepts that floated on the pages without much substance holding them together.

I don’t know the moment I decided to weave in the threads of a story, or when that story became a world with people I wanted to know. Now here we are, ready to move forward one more time.

As this is about introducing me as well as my work, I should share some of my background. I was born and raised in the Puget Sound (Washington State, USA) and have stayed here all my life. I love traveling, but this area has so much variety to offer and limited poisonous creatures, so I always want to return home.

I work in Finance and have now worked at two of the big employers in the area. The numbers and problem solver are my favorite parts of the job, and I have worked with some great people over the years. Big business office politics can drive me bonkers, but no job is perfect. You try to focus on the parts you love.

Some of my hobbies other than writing:

  • Reading. I am a fan of the fantasy genre primarily, but I also dabble in mystery, romance, and science fiction.
  • Attending soccer games – Go Sounders!
  • Playing Dungeons & Dragons with our friends. I play in my husband’s game and he plays in mine.
  • Ziplining. Okay, this one is not exactly a hobby, but we try to go once on every vacation if there is one locally.

Right now, I have two aspirations. One is to publish my book, so I’m working on sharing my personal story and working through the steps to sharing my literary story. A second is to go in to finance counseling. I love numbers and budgeting, and I would love to be able to offer these skills to people who can benefit most from them. Helping someone get out of debt or buy a first house would be as great as seeing my name on the cover of a book.

I will keep you in the loop on all of this as the weeks fly by, and I hope more people join along the way.