Back to work today: Clearing the decks


Today I made my two Lists of Three: the three projects in fiction and the three projects in nonfiction I will complete before starting anything else.

I also deleted 6883 people from my Holly’s Writing Tips mailing list. I got the other mailing lists cleaned up last year, but my Writing Tips list was my very first list, and I had folks on there from all the way back in 2008. There were names on there I knew from back when I started doing my writing courses.

But I let everyone on that list know that I needed to just talk to the people who wanted to hear from me. Those who opened the email I sent got the option to let me know they wanted to stay, or could click the link to leave immediately. Most of the folks who opened stayed. A few left.

But the folks who hadn’t read anything from me in more than three months, including the notice that I was removing inactive accounts, are now gone. I had to remove them a hundred at a time, and this took a while. And it an emotional process.

But it’s done now, and I know the folks who have stayed are the ones who still want to hear from me. I’m planning some cool things this year, so that’s good.

So what’s on my two Lists of Three?

The Nonfiction List of Three

This first list is all getting all of my existing classes into shape and available. Before I can add new things, writers need to have access to all the existing stuff.

      Completely overhaul How to Write A Series with the help of current class owners, and put that back on sale.

      Reopen How To Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers

      Rebuild the Mugging the Muse / Professional Plot Outline / Writer Crash Tests part of the site and make those classes available again.


The Fiction List of Three

This is about both publishing the fiction that’s sitting on my hard drive and writing the book a lot of folks have been waiting a really long time for.

      Publish Episode Three of Tales from the Longview

      Revise and publish Talysmana, the demo novel for How to Revise Your Novel

      Write The Emerald Sun: Book 3 of Moon & Sun


So that’s the plan.

Also, Sheldon, a.k.a. ShadowChaser, who got The Cat talking to me again…Sheldon ShadowChaser

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

18 comments… add one
  • Julia Qin Apr 17, 2017 @ 2:12

    I remember ordering “The Ruby Key” from a Scholastic catalog when it first appeared nearly a decade ago. I remember losing myself within the text, enchanted by the charming characters, the daring adventures, the endless mysteries. I was nine years old, and I remember devouring your novel in a single sitting. When you released the second book months later, I swept through the pages of “The Silver Door,” hoping to satisfy my thousand burning questions regarding the destiny of those beloved protagonists. I’ll be seventeen soon, and I’ve eagerly awaited the third book for almost a decade. After spending my childhood in suspense – checking this site every other year, rereading the books again and again – I am beyond ecstatic to finally look forward to a sequel!

    • Holly Apr 18, 2017 @ 6:16

      Me, too. I was go glad when I reacquired the rights to the series. And I’ll be so happy when I can bring out the third (possibly final) book.

      The Cat came back into my life (in the guise of this year’s Christmas Present), and told me it was time.

  • Anthony Jan 12, 2017 @ 12:46

    I am so so so happy to hear this news! The Moon and Sun series resurfaces in my mind very frequently (I actually reread both books a couple months ago). Can’t wait to dive back into this world! I remember reading them in high school, looking you up, scouring the free writing tips section of your site, then saving up to buy your clinic bundle and embarking on a writing journey of my own. While my path isn’t set on being a professional writer, writing stories for myself though challenging at times has been very therapeutic and rewarding and I thank you for introducing all these tools I’ll keep with me for a lifetime πŸ™‚

  • Carol James Jan 12, 2017 @ 8:56

    Dear Holly,
    I’m so glad you’re up and running again. I miss your writing tips. Please put me back on. It helped me immensely. I published a children’s book entitled The Tunnel. This was in large part because of you. I purchased one of your classes a few years ago but can’t get it so need to email your daughter for help in that. Point being, even the little bit I learned helped more than I can say. Thank you!
    Carol James

  • Anna Jan 12, 2017 @ 7:57

    As a long time reader, back to Fire in the Mist and bumping into you in the elevator at Worldcon while I was in the middle of reading it, I have to confess that I just read both books of Moon & Sun for the first time within the last few weeks. I enjoyed them very much, but was a little disheartened for the future possibility of more when I saw the publication dates….so I am very glad to hear that book 3 is at least on the horizon. And as a long time cat person (4 departed, 2 around but getting up there at 15 and 16) I appreciate your loss and rediscovery of the joy that is Cat. :> Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Holly Jan 12, 2017 @ 8:48

      You’re welcome.

      And thank you for liking my books.

  • Doug Dandridge Jan 12, 2017 @ 7:30

    Holly: Always good to hear from you. Glad you’re getting back into the saddle of cat ownership (or is that cat owned). Will check out some of your fiction.

    • Holly Lisle Jan 12, 2017 @ 8:43

      I think the little bugger owns me right now. Kittens have two speeds — RunLeapAttackChase … and pass out.

      At this point, by the time he passe out, I’m ready to go with him.

  • Patricia Jan 12, 2017 @ 7:19

    So many exciting things to look forward to this year. I hope this year is a much more restful one for you, goodness knows you’ve been through enough for several lifetimes already.

    I’ve lurked in the background for many years, and honestly, I wouldn’t be where I am without you. I’m prepping my first comic/short story to be published this month, and I’m working to have my picture book ready for publishing by the end of October.

    I’m thrilled that you’ll be diving into Talysmana and the Moon & Sun series again. I loved even the first draft of Talysmana, and I can’t wait to see what it’ll be like when it’s been cut and polished like a precious stone.

    Cat whispers are good. I’m not a big fan of cats myself, but I really like the cat in the series, and I’m eager to see what happens next. The first two books on my shelf have been awaiting their partner for a long while, but I know it’ll be worth the wait. πŸ™‚ So take all the time you need.

    • Holly Lisle Jan 12, 2017 @ 8:46

      πŸ˜€ I’m SO looking forward to TalysMana and Emerald Sun. They’ve both been cooking in the back of my mind for a long time.

      Thank you — and kick ass on the picture book. I send the Internet Success Zap your way.

  • Tuff Gartin Jan 12, 2017 @ 6:11

    I’m super excited about TalysMana! The first time I read about that project and added myself to some email list at the time to keep abreast of updates, I was stoked about it. That book sounded very fascinating to me! Can’t wait to get that one!

    Regarding the Moon & Sun series, are there any plans to to release Nook ebook versions of the first two (and future ones)?

    Here’s to hoping that you finally get to enjoy writing fiction again! We are all pulling for you big time Holly!

    • Holly Lisle Jan 12, 2017 @ 8:41

      Here’s the sad news for pretty much everyone including me on the first two books of Moon & Sun. Scholastic still has the rights and they are unlikely to revert to me in my lifetime — though I will work on this.

      So whatever Scholastic is doing with those two books now is all that will be done with them.

      I’ll put the third book everywhere. FWIW, if Scholastic keeps distribution as limited as it currently is.

  • Natalia Jan 12, 2017 @ 5:31

    Beautiful kitty.
    Good luck with your plans!

  • Julia Mozingo Jan 7, 2017 @ 16:16

    Holly, you are my lifeline. I have trouble getting to my writing because of family demands, but you keep me grounded. Because you go through so much and do so much, I have hope … hope that I can and will do more on my writing. Thank you!

    • Holly Jan 10, 2017 @ 10:28

      Thank you. I’m still dragging following everything from last month, but getting this site fixed up is helping.
      Just hang in, and give yourself ten minutes each day to start with. For what? That’s up to you. New project, old project, whatever. In ten minutes you can make real progress, and move forward a little.

  • Amy Jan 4, 2017 @ 8:39

    Deleting 6000+ people is rough… except if they weren’t paying attention it’s basically like just sweeping the floor. You didn’t need them.

    I, for one, am super excited about your plans. Especially Moon&Sun and Longview. And I know I’m not alone, so, yay for the new year! Onward!

    • Holly Jan 10, 2017 @ 10:30

      I’m excited, too. I’m having a weird, exhausting time right now facing the day, which is really unlike me. But I’ve been thinking almost constantly about Moon & Sun — the Cat has been whispering trouble in my ear. πŸ˜€

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