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.

 

How Was My Weekend?

We went to Chicago!

And made it back safely which is AMAZING because the ride home was shaky and terrible and I found myself wondering what kind of eulogies people would give me. But we landed in one piece and I’m home and writing this while it’s all still fresh (and because I’m kicking ass at this October Resolutions thing). But to answer your burning question: YES! My weekend was awesome. Thanks for asking 😉

Let’s start with our flight out:

Oh yeah. Rows apart and still stoked. Little bummed Batman and I couldn’t sit together, but I had a nice view out the window. Kind of made up for the 3:00 alarm to make it to the airport on time:

I totally forgot to take pictures of the hotel, which I probably should’ve done. It was gorgeous. Really gorgeous. Like, no offense La Quinta, but this hotel has long hallways with nice carpet where two creepy girls wouldn’t look out of place at the end of one. Just saying.

I did, however, remember to take a picture or two of our Architecture Boat Tour. It was good, and would’ve been a lot more educational if I’d been able to hear the guide, a fine older gentleman who didn’t understand the correlation between his mouth and the device used to amplify it. But it was still nice. Batman and I enjoyed the view and the not-having-to-walk-part since we speed-walked fifteen minutes to get there. So, the hour and a half cruise was a great cool down to the fifteen minutes of actual exercise I’ve done recently.

After the boat ride, there was some more recouping at the hotel, followed by the rehearsal at an AWESOME Mexican restaurant with delicious margaritas. This is where I would post those pictures but it was open bar and I already mentioned the margaritas.

Saturday, we played tourist and went to Millennium Park. Look, the Bean! (This is the part where I’m just going to post some random pictures that I took. Here we go:

Lots of fun. 😊

After a quick trip to a retro video game store to scratch Batman’s collector’s itch, we headed back to the hotel to prepare for the big event. Then there were lots of drinks and yummy appetizers and toasts and not knowing where my phone was. Again, the open bar was-a-calling, and I’m pretty much a dance whore at weddings, so there wasn’t a lot of picture-taking at the reception either. But we had a blast and I only fell once, which in my book is a win.

We left on Sunday, but not before seeing the Navy Pier!

So, it was kind of chilly and *shockingly* very, very windy. I didn’t go on the Ferris Wheel because, let’s face it, I was out of money by that point and I have a thing with heights and not wanting to fall from them. Batman and I took a walk around the Navy Pier and I think I got some decent shots. What do you think?

After that, it was saying goodbye to family and heading back to the airport for our flight home. Delayed an hour due to maintenance, and then another half  of sitting on the runway, we were *finally* off the ground and FL bound! We got back at midnight on Monday only to find someone stole Batman’s totally awesome Yoda tag (that I bought for him) so that was a bit of a bummer.

But other than that, Chicago was a blast. 🙂

How was your weekend?

Windy City Bound

We’re going to Chicago!

Like, for a wedding. Not to move. Although I’m sure that was obvious went I said ‘going’ and not ‘moving’ but I wanted to clear that up from the get-go. Batman and I are visiting Chicago this weekend for my cousin’s wedding and I am STOKED.

Vacation. FAMILY. Drinking. Family. WEDDING. Not working. Fun. DRINKING. Family. VACATION.

This has been on a loop in my head for the past few days. I need it. I need a break to explore a different city and enjoy some actual fall weather. We’re doing an architecture cruise and visiting the Bean—not to mention the actual wedding which is the highlight of the whole shebang. Some people hate them, but I love them. Weddings rock. Even being that single chick at the table with all the weirdos—it’s free food. It’s free food and (usually) free drinks and a dance floor with a drunken sea of people not going to give a damn when you bust out your seventh-grade moves and start doing the Worm. (Not me. Just… saying.)

We’re flying back on Sunday so it’s going to be a short trip. Still. It’s not here and not here is awesome because I’ve been here and I could use an over there. (Although we did go to Orlando last month but that doesn’t count. Same state. Shut up.) And I feel I’m growing in my adulting phase. I’m actually—get this—already thinking about what I want to pack. I started thinking about it weeks ago. Even thought for Batman, too. Because normally, I don’t think about the existence (or cleanliness) of things until right before I need them, even given prior notice. I just didn’t care. And I still don’t. But it’s nice to not panic the night before and question if I’m really an adult or an adult-looking child who somehow manages to fool everyone. So there’s that.

I think I’m doing okay with committing to this post-once-a-week-thing. Course, this is only the second week, so I have plenty of time to fall off the bandwagon. Plus, I’m stalling. I’ve written myself into a scene I’m not into. And I should be because my characters are about to go at it (the good, sexy at-it, not the violent, fighting at-it). Like, for a romance writer, this is supposed to be the HALLELUJAH of scenes, the Hot-Damn-We’re-Finally-Here moment. It’s supposed to be what all of the tension has been leading up to and… I’m not feeling it. Not sure why. I took a wrong turn somewhere and have to back pedal but I like what I’ve written, so I’m not sure where to veer. Sometimes this happens and sometimes I have to sit and read and think and read and think some more and read some more. Then I get tired of reading the same few paragraphs and decide to write a post instead.

Ta-Da!

Look at me, still being productive 😉

We’re leaving Friday for Chicago and something–maybe logic–is telling me next week’s post may be filled with pictures from the Windy City. But you’ll have to stick around and find out. 😉

They’re Real and They’re Spectacular

This may be an inappropriate post, but I have to brag a little. I should’ve last October when I made the most AMAZING costumes for me and Batman (we went as Helga and Arnold from that classic 90s Nickelodeon, Hey Arnold!) but I wasn’t blogging much then—like now—and I didn’t post any of my costume picks. But I can keep my October New Year’s goal and show you what I’m working on now. Ready for this?

Cartoon testicles! Yes! I made Batman a pair of nuts! And I am *oh so proud* of myself because up until a couple days ago, I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it off. There’s more to this costume than just the family jewels, but I had to get this part out of the way first. And to answer your question: yes, I did research different ways to make cartoon testicles on Pintrest. It wasn’t quite my search topic, but… I took a stroll down other peoples’ imagination on the subject and man, people get creative.

This has nothing to do with writing other than I keep taking a break from my WIP to look over and see the pair. I mean, come on. Is this not distracting:

So, I’m at a critical part in the second book (again, no one’s read the first) and I have a bridge to jump from where I am to the cloudy ending I see. I’m a Panster, so I have no outline, so I keep looking up and thinking. Then I look over to this part of the room. Then to that part. And then my eyes land on Batman’s prized possession and I smile. Even if I never become the fabulously amazing author it’s obvious that I will be, look at what I accomplished.

If only my A.P. teachers could see me now.

October’s the new January

My New Years resolution was to post once a week. You probably don’t remember that because I probably didn’t post that. I think I thought about making it a resolution and then thought, nah. I’m pretty sure I won’t keep to it. Just like I won’t keep to that stupid not-eating-Oreos thing. But it’s October and I think I’ll give the one-post-a-week thing a try. I mean, why not at this point? I only have two and half months left to keep it up. After that, it’s new resolutions and I can try again for twelve straight months next year.

So, let’s see if I can do this. I’m interested in the result just as much as you. Because I also said I’d be doing a lot more vlogging and look at all the vlogs I’ve posted. Don’t see them? Because they’re not there. Because I haven’t posted a single one. Look at them. Sitting there. All in-existent like.

Yeah.  That’s more of me saying I’m going to do something and then just kind of not doing it. But I want to try for the next two and half months. One post per week. I can do this. I can write about writing or the  things that happen in my life, like my adventures with breeding Appa. Which may or may not happen, but hopefully does, because that’s some pure German Shorthair Pointer ammo doing nothing. Not being utilized. He could use the release and I could use the money (seriously, Sire fees are like in the couple hundreds. COUPLE HUNDREDS. As in, $500 for Appa-juice? Hell Yeah.) So maybe I’ll talk about that, keep you updated.

I’m just trying to push myself because I definitely give myself enough slack. Like, all the time. Like, oh…I swept the floor-ish. I deserve ice cream. And then I get ice cream. And then I eat and realize I didn’t sweep the floor; I just moved the dust and bits of Appa’s mutilated toys out of the way where I can’t see them. You know, adulting.

Not sure what else to say so here are some recent pics from my life. Make of them what you will:

I probably should’ve put them in order, but we’re past that at this point. What’s been going on with you? Are you too easy on yourself? And have you kept up with your resolutions?