Don’t Stop Believing

I actually had something really cool happen recently 😊

So, the series I’m known for *cough the only one I’ve written cough* (and displayed here on the right panel for your viewing pleasure) is my Sci-fi Romance thing that I haven’t touched in—eh—maybe a year. The fourth book was published in 2016 and I still haven’t written a word of the fifth and final one (sorry Batman, Jolene, and now Shelby). I’m telling you all of this because I’ve been so wrapped up with BTT that I kind of forget about pushing the series, so when a mutual friend discovered that yours truly pens fiction, she bought them—and has been texting about them non stop 😉

I know that sounds like, who cares, right? GUYS. When someone is consistently gushing over something YOU did, asking questions, making predictions and overall pulsing with excitement, it’s great. It’s like, validating. Like, maybe I don’t totally suck at this writing thing. Maybe. (Probably still do, but it’s nice to have someone disagree.)

Second cool thing? That sad, sad little 0 units sold record I had going was SHATTERED with 4 sold units. Yeah. Four! All to the same person, but still. Someone is PAYING to read my stuff. IS there anything cooler than that? (The answer is no, by the way. No, nothing is cooler.)

*HAPPY DANCE ENSUES*

Seriously. I’ve been so caught up in loving/hating BTT and wondering at what point do I stop torturing myself with the same few paragraphs and finally shove it into someone else’s hands that I’ve completely put my main project, Arizal Wars, on the back-burner (for like, a long time now. Probably too long).

I started writing it in 2011 and needed a break around 2015, when I wrote Rozmarie & Josiah. I had one (semi) fan ask about the fourth book and I got right back to it. After that, it’s been all BTT, developing this series since I couldn’t stop writing it, but I need to get back to my first one—my baby—and finish the fifth and final book.

If someone could just give me endless time or the winning lottery ticket, I promise only to use it on provisions so I can keep surviving long enough to do all the creative projects I want. Okay? Please? Genies and fairy godmothers are also welcome. Nothing shady, people.

ALMOST There, IWSG

I’ve started spot-reading the last version of BTT. Big deal, guys. BIG deal.

So, I finished reviewing my latest draft in record time (Yay!) which means it’s onto the next phase: spot-reading. Picking an arbitrary passage and just reading it from there. Not worrying about what came before or what comes after, but paying attention to how the section reads. How it sounds. If it sounds polished or if it sounds like it’s writing. And guys, *so* many times I find that my writing sounds like writing during these spot checks. It’s embarrassing. To be this far and still hear my ‘writing’ voice and not my ‘reading’ voice. But that’s why we go mad reviewing our work—we always find ways to improve it.

Since I’m planning to show this thing to people sometime soon, I have to make it as polished as possible. Even if that means starting to hate the thing because I’ve read it so many times that I know the damn thing by heart. That’s when you know you need to push it away and work on something else for a while (like when I took a break to write the second book) because you go cross-eyed reading the same passage for the forty seventh time and then wonder if, maybe on second thought, the thirty fourth version might have been better.

I’m hoping to get this out of my hands—and into others—by the new year. I started a tradition of doing my resolutions in October (and apparently it works because I haven’t missed a single post since then) but I know everyone will be more focused once the holidays are behind us. It’ll give them less of a stress on time and me a bit more opportunity to hunt down all the ‘writing-sounding’ passages and rework them.

December’s Optional IWSG question!

As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

I don’t think anything. I worked my butt off on this (and other) projects and yeah, if I had limitless hours, I would’ve submitted to a few contests. But I made the most of the time I had working on a project I love. Why would I change that? 🙂

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

This Post is About Burps. And Food.

Today I listened to a coworker belch for over an hour.

This is my life.

I don’t just mean he burped, pardoned himself, and I went on living my life in relative peace. No. No that’s not at all what happened. There was a mighty drum of epic grossness and it bellowed—literally bellowed—like a stomach troll hitting a gong. Loud and wet and sloppy. Over and over and over again. And by the seventh—eighth? Ninth?—mega-belch, I was done. Totally—and justifiably, I think—grossed out. I’m not sure why the belch-fest had to occur the ENTIRE HOUR BEFORE MY LUNCH, but it did, which meant I was only able to pick at my pre-made salad instead of diving into it like I should’ve while gorging over Harry and Megan engagement details. All because someone made the wrong decision on a late breakfast.

But other than that, all food things have been okay. In fact, I ate a lot of it last week for Thanksgiving 🙂 Free food and time with family (and booze)—how could anyone not enjoy themselves? I made a tomato-feta salad and a “noodle pudding” which is actually a Jewish dish but I’m drawing a blank on the name. They go over well whenever I make them (and Batman and I gobble up the leftovers) so it’s a win-win.

What about you? How was your Thanksgiving? What did you make? And have you ever wanted to strangle your coworkers? #youarenotalone

A Happy Gobble To You

I meant to write a post yesterday but fell asleep before I could make it to the computer. In my defense, the sheets were freshly washed (mostly—Appa does sleep in the bed so ‘freshly washed’ still means lightly sprinkled with dog hair and particles from outside. I know. Gross.) and I’d only planned on lying down for a few seconds. That multiplied to two hours somehow and then there was laundry and watching The Flash and a holiday cranberry sub and even more sleep.

And here we are.

I try to write my Wednesday posts on Sundays because starting the work week with a healthy dose of self-inflicted anxiety is always fun. By the time Monday comes *cough today cough* I’m freaked out if I haven’t at least started a few sentences. A thought. Something. Thankfully, during a particularly slow moment at work earlier, I lost interest and started to write this instead. My Thanksgiving post 😊

There’s not much to it except – I hope you have a great holiday! I will be spending mine with Batman and the family eating yummy things and consuming several, several glasses of wine (as is tradition in our house). I hope you do the same, but with your own family (it’d be weird if you came to my sister’s house. We’d still welcome you, but it’d be cool if you brought pie).

Enjoy!

P.S. – it’s December next week, guys. DECEMBER.  Anyone else feeling the anxiety chills of Christmas rapidly approaching?

This is Me Doing Things

You know how sometimes you read your stuff and you’re like, God, this is so stupid?

*Smacks head against keyboard*

*gets drink from kitchen*

*puts drink back because hangovers are evil*

*stares at the computer*

*questions life choices*

*eats Oreos*

*watches HGTV*

I’m at this part of the cycle when I can either go forward or stop. Stopping doesn’t seem to do anyone any good so I might as well keep going even though I’m pretty sure the whole thing is crap. I know it isn’t, but parts of it are and I’m focused on them.  Also: this is my first contemporary YA romance which means the structure is extremely different than the sci-fi/fantasy I’ve written. Those have tons of action while this piece moves at a slower pace and now I’m questioning it’s boring-level. There are no monsters, evil dictators, spies, or wild centuries-long secrets that come to fruition. It’s just (mostly) two people in a strange situation that find love.

Which is like, every YA story minus the love-triangle and the exciting dystopian/paranormal background. I’m not even sure why I wrote it. I didn’t intend to. I was actually starting to write this really awesome fantasy thing (and will probably still) but I kept switching documents to write this other thing and somehow I’ve got it fully fleshed. I don’t think I was even planning to show it to anybody. But it’s two years later and now I am and I’m at that shit-yourself-stage because it’s so unlike what I’ve written and I’m terrified that it’s stupid/boring/lame/just like everything else out there.

But I’m going to do it, guys. I’m going to look for some BETAs  soon and just do it. I could totally not, leave it on the computer and be done with the thing, but where’s the fun in that? As terrifying as this part is in the process, I’ll feel like a real tool if I did all the work up until this point to just stop now.  Carpe Diem, right? Life is made for us to do things.

So I’m doing things.

All About That WIP

This is a writing post! 😊

Sorry—not doing Nano but I applaud and commend and totally admire you number-fetish freaks out there taking on this crazy and intense challenge! Bravo! I am sticking to my usual 7:30-9:00 writing slot. I wish I had more time, but alas, my never-ending-energy-dog demands constant attention and with him, my boyfriend who wants to know what I’m doing in here. (He knows. He’s just lonely, which makes me sad and so I stick to my strict stop-writing-at-9:00 rule so that everyone in the family has adequate attention. *Cough *Appa* Cough *Batman*)

But back to writing! Yes. I’ve been doing a lot of it lately and I figured I should share some updates with those of you interested in how the process works. How my process works, at least.

Okay, so I’m on official edit/revision 5. That means that this is the FIFTH draft I’m comfortable with saying I’ve re-worked. There were two or three previous drafts—the ‘inceptions’ I call them. That’s when the story was first forming and there were different conflicts and names… almost like it was a whole different book. BUT it isn’t! That’s what I want to scream at baby Pansters to understand. Even if something drastic changes, it super doesn’t matter. Things will always change and typically for the better. So, I’m really on my like, seventh or eighth draft and I’m finally getting there. To a place where I wouldn’t mind someone else reading it. This is the part when plot and conflict and every other piece is present and accounted for, so I’m paying attention to sentence structure. How am I going to make it sound?

I’m at the sound part, guys. The SOUND PART. Big deal. That means all the big stuff is taken care of and all I’m focused on is the sentence structure. So… after this draft, the WIP will be in the ready-for-someone-to-read stage. AKA: the shit-yourself stage.

*my least favorite*

Life of a writer, am I right?

P.S. Posting once a week isn’t terrible, although Wednesday seems to come around really quickly. I don’t get how people do this multiple times a week. And have a job. And have a significant other/dog/both AND have an actual WIP to get done AND have a social life. I’m tired just thinking about you.

Halloween & IWSG

Happy Halloween!

I only say that because it’s currently Halloween and I’m still in the ghoulish spirit. I know you’re reading this tomorrow, November 1st, but you should hop in your DeLorean and come back a day because I have to mention Halloween for a second:

Clearly, I’m shit faced—but Yes! We were Sharon & Randy Marsh! You know, from South Park 😊. We didn’t go the extra mile and make the cartoon faces but I blame that on the fact that I was putting together an ENTIRE PIRATE HALLOWEEN PARTY and had to throw creative amazingness all over, so it’s okay that I skimmed on our costumes a little. But look at those awesome testicles! Still super proud of my handy-work, and I should be, because every lady went in for a feel at least once 😉 (if you’ve never seen the episode, Randy gives himself testicular cancer to get medicinal marijuana. The joke is that they were so large he was able to bounce them down the road.)

I was really planning on taking a ton of pictures during the ho-down but the extrovert in me was busy chatting it up so I didn’t. I snapped a few the next morning before I cleaned up:

I hope you had a good Halloween and that you got the good candy you like. I hope the kids don’t take all our candy and that Appa doesn’t lose his shit every time the doorbell rings (but that’s wishful thinking.)

Okay! Onto writing stuff 😊

October was another great month of writing the second part of my trilogy and I’m still jamming to the New-Found-Glory soundtrack that’s been inspiring me during this entire creative endeavor. At some point I know I have to Cowboy the Fuck up and get a few BETAs to read BTT. I’m REALLY excited about writing the rest of the story… but I guess I am very nervous about the first being read too, which is why I keep putting it off. Like, I know I’m going to go through it at least once more and make some changes (thanks to discovering things from book 2!) so it’s a good thing that I haven’t let anyone read it yet. But even when I feel *really* good about it, I still think I’ll be nervous. I know that’s normal… but I don’t want to let my fear keep the story—or me—from growing.

Enough of that and onto the optional November Question:

Win or not, do you usually finish your NANO project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I… have never done NANO. Like, ever. It doesn’t appeal to me one bit, and I think it’s because I associate it with stress and don’t need stress ANYWHERE near my writing. I get why people do it. The challenge and holding yourself accountable and all that but I do that anyway. Like, every day. I don’t know… it feels like I would be doing the same thing but being harder on myself about it.

After a few years of consistent writing, I have my own schedule that allows me to get immense amounts of work done while not feeling guilty if I’ve missed a day or two. I think everyone has a system that works for them and if some people thrive on the time-challenge—that’s great. I’m just not one of those people.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.