Friday, December 30, 2016

What's Going on in the Neighborhood

Yes. Yes the light is bright. Much different than the blue light from your screens.
How did NaNoWriMo go for you?
Any of you succeed?
I'll tell you where I ended up...somewhere between 8-9k. Way further than I anticipated yet not nearly close enough to be finished.
*high fives for those who participated* NaNoWriMo is a huge commitment in my writing career. Some may not think so but it is. I may not have a finished novel to hold but do you know what I do have?
A spark. NaNoWriMo ignited a spark for writing, again. Any writer knows the ups and downs of writing. It's been extremely difficult for me. How do I balance the day-to-day operations, challenging toddler & writing?


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Day One: NaNoWriMo

Quick and easy for the first day of NaNoWriMo.
Be prepared for short little posts of nothing but a word count.
Such is my life as things start to pile around the house. Oops. Sorry honey if you can't find your socks!

Word count for today:

Yay! Let's celebrate! That's about 1,043 more words than I thought I would get accomplished.

Good luck all!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Please Excuse the Mess; Within the House and Within My Head

Hello again!
Glancing at the calendar hanging on the wall behind my laptop, I had an urgency hit me like none other. This day is the 26th of October. 26TH! (I so desperately wish there were capital formats of numbers as there are for letters.) The countdown for NaNoWriMo is less than a week.
All these "mini-projects" I promised myself I would get done...yeah, not even close. I'd say 10%.
YIKES! I know right.
I have made more progress than expected in some ways. I've briefly outlined small sections of my NaNoWriMo project. Being a pantser by nature it feels like a huge accomplishment when in reality it isn't even close to my goal. (Say it with me; over-ambitious.)
Now, off the rabbit trail.
Among my impending looming possible doom of NaNoWriMo, I've opened up to a family member about writing. More specifically accepting then embracing the fact I am a writer. This pivotal moment lead to some underlying disappointment about my first novel, my first love of writing.
(Hang in there I'm getting to my main theme.)
I have revised my first novel, which I believe is totally necessary. But it was how I revised it that is causing my grief. I've dreamed about my first novel turning into a trilogy. I have always wanted that for my character's story. However, while keeping in the "loop" of trending things in publishing I discovered the general audience didn't want to commit to such an undertaking of reading. With many big name series out there, the whole "series thing" was old news. What did I do you ask?
Crammed what is suppose to be a trilogy into one book. Escalating situations in certain chapters, skimping in others to allow it all to be accomplished within 100,000 words.
Cue the advice section, listen to your gut. I should have never condensed my novel. I see now it has strengthened my novel tremendously. But I got caught up in the moment of what some expert was saying I lost sight of my true intentions. Isn't that why any of us write? To show our true intentions.
I will revise yet again for the umpteen time then expand my novel into the original format to let somethings fester, simmer, and turn out amazing. All of this work will have to wait. NaNoWriMo is coming as sure as winter does in GOT. I want to be as ready for it as possible.
Please excuse me as I will be boarding myself away for NaNoWriMo, maybe I'll check in on all of you, maybe not. There are endless possibilities.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Topic That's About To Get Old

NaNoWriMo kids is right around the, book end.
Let's talk genres & potential novel starts. I have so many seriously I can't stop!
Just to throw a few out there for you:

  • Urban Fantasy based on cultural meths and legends featuring meek & mild protagonist young adult.
  • Urban Fantasy based on current culture trends and may or may not have been inspired by the election. Features strong willed rebellious twenty-something woman caught in vicious realm. 
  • Full bodied Fantasy based on a dream of a friend. (This one can go many ways) could be young adult or new adult. Shy and introverted young adult. 
See what I mean. Lots of possibilities, lots of out comes. Now I have other starts but these are my top picks. I'm leaning toward the middle one. It has the most meat so far & taking on a challenge like NaNoWriMo, I want as much fleshed out start as I can get!

What are you considering for NaNoWriMo?


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Maybe Next Year, Maybe This Year, Maybe I'll Die Young

So I've been thinking a lot about NaNoWriMo. (Anyone have a countdown?) I've decided this year is not my year to participate. As I'm typing, I'm making a mental list of all my projects. Over-ambitious as I am, well I could fit NaNoWriMo in somewhere! Maybe this year. Having an imagination is good as a writer, right?!
What if I die young?!
What if I write a slamming novel during NaNoWriMo?!
What if I never get published because I didn't write said novel from the previous question?!
Okay, the last part is way out there, but still.
Here's the bottom line.
Who cares if you work forty or more hours a week. Who cares what your home looks like. What matters is pursuing your dream of writing. I have let my love for writing fall, soar, and die at times in my life. But if I only dream about it, it won't ever happen. Doesn't matter what the "it" is.
I'm not sure how I will do participate in NaNoWriMo, but I will.
I'm not sure which started piece of scrap novel I should choose, but I will.
Hey there you should too. Best of luck to you as well.


Friday, September 16, 2016

My Promise to You

So you know all those websites that boast free stuff? You know. Books, e-courses, meal plans, & DIY-ers. Beware!
Now most of these places have good intentions, & I'm not trying to discredit them in any way. I enjoy reading some of the emails I receive from the mentioned sites. WHAT I cannot stand is this...every other email is SELLING something. I get it. Self-promo & all the things that come with it but lay off. I guess my big beef is don't claim you give free advice, help, and projects then pitch me all the items you need, want, or worse yet 'get a percentage' of a sale item. It gets better! The original sites/people first off promise to never "spam" you. Expect for it turns into that. Second, they start these other promotions "you would be interested in" so not only are you receiving one email 3x a week, it's 2 or 3 emails 3x a week. Oh added bonus emails: when the sale is ending, "hurry to get your copy now!" Seriously stop. You're starting to sound desperate. Trust me I'm unsubscribing from these pests. With my rant over, I promise you, my readers, once I do 'make it' not to email you more than once for any item. I will stay true to my reason for blogging in the first place. Sharing my journey & encouraging others on their own writing journey. Anyways, #keepyourpenup & have a great day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Query Letter for my latest Sci-Fi

As I promised, here is my query letter. I'm tweaking it here and there so feel free to tell me what you think!
I'm still plugging away typing it all out. I might, just might try NaNoWrimo this year but I already have plenty of irons in the fire. Anyways...

Dear Agent,

Sassy, brassy and gritty, Losi's reputation is one of her greatest assets. Once you break enough bones, snap enough cartilage, and twist enough tails others begin to notice.
She's got the  set up: find the felons and turn them in for a paycheck. It all goes wrong just once. It's a meteorite shower from there.
Losi's high-ranking military father is murdered by Kos, the most wanted felon in her galactic realm.
She does what any revenge filled alien would do and tacks him down to the newly opened ETP156.
The slim thickens.
Losi is assigned protection due to circumstances beyond her control. As if she needs the protection!
One of two things Losi doesn't trust is hired help. It's just extra baggage for her to keep alive.
Losi doesn't find Kos on ETP156. She finds something bigger than the star in the solar system; a conspiracy. The same which killed her father. The same which will destroy the last stability in the universe if Losi doesn't stop him.

The Intergalactic Adventures of Losi: ETP156 with 165,000 words is offered for your consideration.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Hardest is Yet to Come

So exciting news! I've finished my novel! That's right. Finished. Now comes the hard part. Reformatting it into a neatly typed font. Trying to find time to write was hard enough so finding time to type it out is harder yet. I'm focusing all my engery to simply typing. I'll edit and re-edit after the typing is done. Query letter is complete. I'll post it once I've read over it.
Feel free to give me your thoughts. I've matured in my writing, I'll be able to take criticism much better than when I was a fresh writer.
Anyways! I hope you all have a great day!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Every Day Matters

<What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.>
                         - Gretchen Rubin

Guilty party of one. The realization hit me the other day. I've been working on my WIP for two years. Yes. TWO YEARS. Many thoughts crossed through my mind as I begin to question why/how this has happened. First, I'm surprised I stuck with a story for so long. (Inconsistency is my key!) Second, why?! I've read countless articles on, "How to Write Daily," taglines screaming, "GET YOUR WORD COUNT UP", "Daily Rituals to Get You Writing". I've even read, "You Better Write Daily or Else You Will Fail in a Fiery Inferno."
What did I "learn" from all these 'tried and true' methods?
Having good intentions is for not.
Yes it took me all those years, all those articles to come to this final conclusion. I was trying to motivate myself by reading all these self-helps but I was missing out on the ultimate self-help.
Only I can force myself to write. No one else. None of the authors with success. None of the tried and true methods work. Heck none of that even matters! What matters is what I'm doing on a daily basis.
How many of you have heard the "Write Daily" speech? I'll raise my hand. I've heard it so many times its truly exhausting. I'm a first time mother. I have a dog. I have a semi-demanding family (in a good way). I have a hard working husband who works over 90 hours a week. Once all this is added together it equals I'm tired. It's not an excuse. It's my life.
It baffles me how people find two extra hours to write. It really does.
So I've changed my approach to "writing daily". Physically, I write when I can. Otherwise I'm plotting (*gasp* It goes against all pantser rules). I'm thinking about what will occur next in my MS.
I figured thinking, plotting,  and planning about my novel is just as good as writing it at this point. Maybe it will lead to more progress and lets face it; I've been wallowing in this story for long enough. Part of my lagging behind, I'm pantser. Because I don't plan I have a harder time figuring out all the nitty-gritty details needed to tie the end of the book up.
Maybe I'll convert to a planner.
Anyways, I've ranted long enough. Good luck out there!

Keep your pen up!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Creativity Bleeds

<Creativity bleeds from the pen of inspiration.>
              - Anonymous

Let's talk inspiration today. What inspires us writers to do what we do anyways? Is it good? Is it bad?
My poetry is inspired most times at random. It literally could be anything that I happen to cross any given day. It isn't hard to channel my creativity into poetry. Writing a novel is totally different. I find myself grasping at times. Sure I have ideas but lots of writes have ideas. But where do they come from? I've taken a little piece of advice from an article I read about a very famous author. He stated a good deal of his novels came from his dreams. So what did I do? I kept a notebook and pen by my night stand and if I woke up in the middle of the night I jotted down anything good, different and/or obscure. Mind you not all of it turned out legible or even coherent! But I did find a few nuggets of gold among the rubble. One dream has unfolded to a nearly finished novel. Another I have started extensive research on the subject. I'm not quiet sure how it will progress or even who my protagonist is! All I have are bones. I'm pretty excited to Frankenstein this novel once my current ms is finished.
Anyways there is my take on inspiration and I imagine every writer is different. If you find yourself stuck on ideas, maybe try another method. Good luck!

As always, keep your pen up!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Killing Dreams

<Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.> 
                          -Suzy Kassem

Let me pour my heart out to you just for a minute. I know some of my posts seem crazy, a little out there, kinda goofy even, I have a purpose to all of the scattered-braininess (partly because I have a reputation of being easily distracted but lets put a pin in that). There are tons of negativity in our day-to-day lives. You can't help but hearing, seeing, reading some of it. I blame the media in part, the other is just people making bad decisions. With all this chaos running among your life I wanted to write something to distract you from the pain and sadness. Even if and only if my post for a millisecond makes you think, 'Whaaaaa'; I consider my job done. I'm an encourager and up-lifter by nature. I may not be front and center, but I'm there cheering you on every step of the way. I know what it's like not having support. More importantly, I know how it feels not to have someone believing in your dreams as you believe in them. They're real to you. If you could take that last step to...maybe if you stand on your tippy toes to brush the edge, of that magnificent aurora in the sky while balancing on the edge of the cliff.
I know this one is long & I promise to wrap it all together shortly.

The quote above reminds even me to strain every muscle I have to brush that aurora. In the moment of my fingertips touching the cooling, dancing colors, I won't be thinking of those who said I'm 'not good enough', or 'writing isn't a real job.'  No. I'm going to be thinking, "I've made it. I always knew I could!" Deep down my pride was waiting to raise, as long as I kill my doubts. Please don't listen to your doubts nor the doubts other people give you. They will defeat you long before you will finish what you started. Let them spout all they want. Smile kindly to their "words of wisdom", but in your mind tell them, no. Then, then raise with me.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Finding Remedies

< Don't find fault, find a remedy >
               - Henry Ford 

So I read, a lot, as any writer should. But there was something missing in the stories I would read. This didn't compute right. Too much mushy stuff. Not enough of this. The character tried too hard. I literally could fill this blog with my angst over books I have read. This is was one of the reasons I began writing stories. (Although I could rip your heart out with poetry if I had too) But it's not the same. I found fault in almost ever book I read. So I wanted to create my own. Then I did. My remedy was to create the perfect novel! Ha! Looking back I realize all those novels where perfect in their own way. They were published after all and my novel wasn't. My remedy led me to where I need to be. Writing. So I encourage you, in all your endeavors, to find a remedy. It might unearth the best in you.

Keep your pen up!

Monday, March 28, 2016

What box?

<Instead of thinking out of the box, get rid of the box>
         -Deepak Chopra 

What happens when we get rid of the box? I can see some panicked faces already. Don't worry the box wasn't important anyway.
To be truly unique as writers we must, we must, we must, get rid of the box. Be out of the ordinary from out of the ordinary. Don't be like all those writers who say they aren't like those "other" writers. (I don't have any more of those cliches; you're safe for now). So what if the essence of your novel has been done a million times over. It's the details that make it YOUR novel. It's YOUR writing style that make it different. Take a little risk. Do something spontaneous! This is a call to action! Just kidding.
You don't need to lose yourself or your novel to changes you make to the story. But you do need to make it shine in a way only you can, differently than those other writers. Make sense? Good.

Keep your pen up!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Time Will Not

"You may delay but time will not"  -Benjamin Franklin 

Do you ever have those days where the list of things to do is too long and the day too short?
I believe we all do. This time of year is always busy for us. Tax time gets insane as there is a scramble for the last crumpled receipt stuck between the passenger seat and the console. With the hubs being self employed, there is a lot of extra work (and pressure!) for me. I'm responsible for the calculations of all the receipts and purchases and deductions. Normally as someone who battles with time management in the worst way possible, I would rather suck my thumb in the corner rather than look at all the work ahead. (Fitting for an aspiring author, don't you think?) This year was different. I avoided all distaste, tears and stress while caring for our newborn son! (AH-HA!) How?
The phrase at the beginning is a spectacular example of how we should live day to day.
I beat all my obstacles by putting the tax preparation ahead of daily activities. As soon as a month was finished I entered the numbers into the spread sheet. Let me tell you, busting my hind end to get all that done was worth it. I'm nearly stress free and we have our tax appointment tomorrow. Everything is level. Now if I can apply that to my writing, I'd have another six novels under my belt. I've learned from my situation. If I don't make the time for my WIP it will infinitely be just that. Work. In. Progress. And even though it isn't my first love, it's far. I get lost in trying to keep up with the laundry and the dishes while making meals or sweeping, I delay working on my novel. Now my lovelies I must go and write.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Defeat vs. Resilience

"Defeat is in your mind. Resilience is in your soul."
Keri Murphy

         The power of positive thought, some consider it a way of life while others consider it hokie. Can it really change the outcome of circumstances? I'll leave it for you to decide, ultimately. Just allow me a few minutes of your time. To be honest I believe our self-reflected thoughts have a lot to do with the out come of situations. Why do some authors never make it to publishing while others fade away? Maybe it's because they didn't have the right people pushing lights into their dark thoughts. Maybe Keri was on to something. If we already believe we'll never accomplish our dreams than there isn't really a point to all of our hard work and sacrifice. But, we carry on. We struggle. We cry. We feel crushed. We have pride followed by insecurity. We find that thin fiber of our being that desperately wants out, to write until sundown and then some. It's our resilience that keeps us going. It keeps us reaching for those stars.

          Keep your pen up!

Monday, February 29, 2016

You Only Got Three Choices

"You only got three choices in life: give up, give in, or give it all you've got."
Kim Garst

          Pursuing a career in writing you have to choose one of the three mentioned above. We face each choice at one time or another. Maybe all of them at the same time. Life is weird like that. I've given up, for a period of time. I've given in, to the terms my beloved first manuscript will most likely never make it to a hard back cover. I'm giving it all I've got. Starting right here with this blog. I'm a firm believer in practicing your craft. (It could also be that I simply love writing.) Listen not one person whose "made it" will tell you it came easy.  But what most will tell you is, they gave it their all.

          Keep your pen up! 

Monday, February 22, 2016

All We Need

"Be happy in each moment, that's enough. Each moment is all we need, not more." 
       -Mother Teresa 

Profound words from a profound woman of wisdom. Can you imagine the life this woman lived? I would have loved to sit with her a spell and soak it all in. It would take years to learn just one little thing this person did so effortlessly. 

Lets backtrack a tad before we get into the meat of this one. 
As an American we are taught at a very young age to thrive on instant gratification and surplus. We take a lot of things for granite because of our driven mentality. We are the essence of "more is better". Greedy. Selfish. (I'm speaking in a general sense, just hang in there). 
So the question is how can we apply this to our writing?
Simple. Relish each and every moment you write. Savor it as if you would never again get to write. Be profound. Make the words you spill from head mean more than ever before. Enjoy writing like you did before it became an overwhelming task. We've all been there and we're all on the journey together. Keep your pen up and enjoy the hard work you do in choosing each word.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Big Plans

<Make big plans, but change your plans as time changes>

Welp. We're done here. Time to go back to your regularly scheduled programming. (kidding)  Time changes a lot of things. Things that time changes, changes how we view time.
Maybe you've wanted to be published traditionally but hear the same thing from agents, this topic is dead (e.g. shape shifters, vampires, dystopian), but are confident that your manuscript is so shiny you could blind a pilot at thirty thousand feet then explore self-publishing. Times have changed and technology is progressing quickly. Along with that new avenues have opened for us, writers, to utilize. There are dozens of sites to self-pub.