Make it Better

I finished the first draft of my third book yesterday.

I gave myself until the end of March to finish it and I made the cut so I celebrated with a big glass of Riesling left over from my parent’s visit a few weeks ago. Definite time for celebrating. Except now that the first draft is done, it’s back to the beginning to start rewriting and then it’ll be onto the next draft and the next and the next. I’m not sure how other authors do it—if they just keep combing through their stories or if they focus on one part and rework it until it’s perfect. I’m sure there are *tons* of different ways that you can build a story but personally, I just keep going back and making it better.

Just make it better.

That’s what I have to tell myself.

For a long time, I had to get past my own negativities when I would write something and then look back and realize it was complete shit. Okay, maybe not COMPLETE shit, but it definitely had an odor. Why did I think it was good? It was *terrible*and I felt *terrible* for writing something so not share-worthy when I’m supposed to be good at it.

It’s so easy to give up on yourself in the beginning. To take a look at something and think it’s incredibly subpar so it’s obviously not worth it. Or not for you. Or some other excuse to make yourself feel better because you’re not proud of what you did. That’s the dangerous point. Right there. Because you’re holding a gun to your dreams and it’s so damn easy to pull the trigger. Especially if wounded pride is involved. There were *countless* times I thought about giving up and trying a new story or even something different with my life. Yeah, I love to write—it’s my favorite thing on the planet—but I could also be good at interior design. I like hanging things. And picking out paint pallets. That could work.

It’s also incredibly easy to keep switching directions, to keep trying new things because the last thing you did didn’t quite work out. I’m not saying it’s bad to find what you want or what you’re skilled at—that’s a good thing! I totally encourage people to find their passion. But it’s when you know what it is, you know what path you were given and it’s just such a challenge at first that you give it up for something way easier that you don’t like half as much. That’s the death of the dream right there. And it’s a commonly sad, sad story.

The trick is jumping the hurdles. Because that’s all they are—little shit blockades used to deter you from the end. But they’re short for a reason: so you can jump over them and get to the other side. Life is FILLED with hurdles and they’re masked in every different camouflage available. For artists, a lot of it is doubt and fear. I don’t think I’m good enough/I’m afraid to put this out there. What if it sucks? What if I suck? Or maybe that transcends to everything and everyone. But if everyone gave into doubt and fear and tripped and fell over those totally jumpable hurdles, we’d still be back in cave times doubting that a wheel could be of any substantial value. Hurdles are GOOD. Hurdles mean there’s something on the other side. And once you’re there—aha! You’ve done it. You’ve made it. How awesome is that because now you know you can do it. Again and again if you have to.

Picking up the pen or opening the laptop to keep writing after you produced shit the day before is the best thing. Because that’s you jumping high in the air and soaring over your own doubt. Maybe yesterday wasn’t the best day for your work. Today will better. And next week or next month when you come back to it, even better then. Because you keep coming back to it. You keep working on it. You keep making it better.

I will say that when I was writing my first book and really struggling and wondering if it was something I could actually do one day, I would look up a lot of quotes. I get a sort of high when I read inspirational tidbits. It’s like fuel to the passion-o-meter. And there were so many from Ray Bradbury and Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein that I simply *loved*. And still do. The one though, that I think kept me going the most is by Thomas Edison:

Our greatest weakens comes in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try just one more time.

Bam. Now I’m a believer in my own success.

It’s your turn.

Born a Tapestriest

I’ve been on a Jennifer Armentrout binge.

You know how sometimes you remember a certain scene you always liked or a bit of dialogue you enjoyed and you find yourself reaching for that book again and start rereading that scene or the few lines of dialogue and then, before you know it, you’ve committed yourself to the entire story or series, starting from the first page and sucking up ever delicious morsel like you remember it? Except you don’t really remember everything because it’s been a while since you read it, so everything is sort of new, but you know you’re going to love it because you already did?

Yep, this is what’s happening to me.

It’s AMAZING.

So, I’m in the process of writing the first draft of the third book in my Arizal Wars series and a lot of the first draft process is thinking. Just thinking. Planning and questioning and visualizing and basically staring up at nothing, trying to sew the tapestry with only balls of colored yarn. You know what it’s supposed to look like, what the end result will be, but you still have to put it all together. It’s definitely a challenge, but hey, you took up tapestry sewing for a reason, right? Or were you born a tapestriest? Is that a word? It should be.

As I was taking one of these moments to evaluate Reid and his strengths and weaknesses, one of my newly favorite heroes came to mind. Not that they’re particularly similar, but I kept asking myself what I liked so much about Dameon Black? Is it his bad boy attitude? His hot, take-me now looks? Or that he’s so much in love with Katy Swartz, the Lux series heroine? And then, for some ridiculous reason, I couldn’t remember the first exchange they had which was EPIC because she pretty much told him off. I think the bird was flipped too, which made me remember what a baddass she is. But I couldn’t remember the exact details, so the only logical thing to do was reread it.

So I did. And the next scene and the next. Damnit. I’d reread the entire first book in a few hours that was SUPPOSED to be used for writing. Hence my blog-lacking. Lo Sorrento, amigos.

But I couldn’t stop there. I’d had a taste and I needed more. So the second book was devoured and so on and so on. And really, I’m just torturing myself because the next one, book 6, doesn’t even come out until next year. Or maybe the end of this year. I’ll have to ask Mrs. Whatever because she was the one who introduced me to this reusable crack. Thanks.

So that’s where I’ve been. Not writing. Well, some writing. Mostly reading. BUT I have been moving closer to the end of the first draft of book three in my series, which I’m really excited for because you get to find out all sorts of new things and meet new characters. And I’m always down for new adventures.

Well anyway, I’m off to write again. Or *cough*…read…*cough* No, no, no… I’m writing. For real. There will be words typed and plots planned and tapestries being sewn… all good things. I’m excited.

You should be too.

I Never Wanted to be a Golden Corral

The bugs are still on me.

It’s got to be a thing right? Scratching, looking down and finding absolutely NOTHING on your arm. It’s probably a tick. I’ve got enough of them so this is probably number twenty seven. But even if it is, TECHNICALLY there ARE bugs crawling on us right now. I heard that somewhere. In science class or anatomy or biology, or maybe I saw it on T.V. Or maybe Batman told me. I can’t remember. But it doesn’t change the fact that they’re there… crawling on us—AHH! Those little miniscule bastards are gorging themselves like obese people at a free buffet. I never wanted to be a Golden Corral. And here I am, giving myself up for the price of nothing while my body is slowly devoured.

I feel used.

Here’s a thought:

If the world was one giant person… that would make us the bugs. No, I’m not on anything, just my third or fifth glass of wine. But it makes sense, right? We could be the Earth’s little bastards, soaking up the land and sea for our selfish feasting needs. Total Men in Black locker reference, when Earth was just part of a galaxy in a marble. It could happen. It could be happening right now. It explains tidal waves and earthquakes and other unknown issues. Unless you want to be a geology jerk about it and claim it has to do with plate tectonic shifting or whatever it is I didn’t pay attention to in class. But you probably don’t think that because I doubt a bunch of geology jerks even read this blog. And if you’re one of the others that think the mermaids are somehow responsible for all the earth’s natural disasters, then I TOTALLY agree with you. Because mermaids exist. Not leprechauns, not Big Foot, not even Santa Clause (spoiler alert!) but mermaids ARE real. Like a hundred percent singing in the ocean, swimming around Atlantis, mother fucking real.

I don’t understand why people don’t believe this. Isn’t the earth covered by seventy five percent water? And haven’t we only explored like, a handful of it? I may not be great at math here, but doesn’t that leave… several more handfuls? And what’s there? Shit we haven’t discovered yet, that’s what. Or shit we have discovered, made a Disney movie about and then mocked those who actually believe it. That’s right—I’m talking to you geology jerks. And logical people.

It’s not going to be the robots that take over. It’s going to be the army of merpeople sweeping along the shores, stabbing us with their tritons to feed their hoards of hungry young because according to math again, there’s three quarters more of them then there are of us. It’s going to suck big time when we become the sushi of the planet. Raw human.Yum.

It’s not like I’m waiting for this war to happen. You should never wait for inevitability. That’s just dumb. Things are going to happen whether you want them to or not. No point wasting your life in the mean time. I’m just saying it’s the most obvious apocalypse. Now, I’m a Walking Dead girl myself, but the Zombies are not our final threat. It’s too obvious. It’s too arrogant. It might be aliens, but why are they taking their time in attacking? If they were going to do it, wouldn’t they have done it by now? Unless they’re those stupid aliens from Signs where they’re taken down by a glass of water… why haven’t they come yet? And if they have (which is totally a possibility) then why haven’t they attacked? I don’t buy the whole hostile alien take over thing. Of course now that I said that, I just jinxed the entire human race. My bad.

I’m telling you, mermaids are it. They’re the threat no one’s looking at. Smart human-fish hybrids. I’m calling it now. Can I make a bet with someone? Or have my great-great granddaughter cash in on this when her whole life goes to underwater shit? Yeah, I really don’t want to be human sushi. I basically don’t want to feed another living thing with my body. Bugs… merpeople…sorry cannibals, you’re out too. But then my thoughts go back to Mufasa’s circle of life lesson about our bodies becoming the grass and the antelope eating the grass and the whole recycling procedure. I have no problem donating my body for food post life—I just have a problem with it when I’m alive.

So that also leaves out vampires.

Especially vampires. Even the hot ones that make me want to be immortal which I would NEVER want to do because I’ve already chosen my death age and once I make a goal it’s hard to deter from it. 77. That’s my death age—if I’m able to decide. If not, then anytime is fine I guess but as long as there’s a cap, I think I’m good. Immortality doesn’t suit me. It’s actually quite terrifying. So every time someone says in that really annoying voice, “you know it’s not good/healthy/smart that you’re…” I just smile, nod and say YEP! Don’t plan on living forever. No one seems to understand this. I DON’T WANT TO BE IMMORTAL. So BACK OFF vamps. I’m not even here for a little appetizer-action. Except maybe Eric from True Blood… he might possess the only set of fangs I’d let near me for a little suckage. And it’s more for the lust involved, not the snacking. Except, why would he want to snack on me? I’ve got an average neck that the bugs have apparently been feasting on and I’m pretty sure I might start giggling if Eric got too close. Total turn off, I know. So picking me would be like choosing trail mix over a bag of Oreos. And who chooses trail mix? NOT ERIC.

Damn. Now I’m kind of depressed.

But still being fed upon.

Oh…life. You make no sense.

Traitor to My Generation

Why is it that when our devices go down, we think it’s the end of the world? Because it is, right? GOD FORBID we’re not able to download an App or access our video games or stream our favorite music. Or do whatever else it is we do, because online devices have now become our way of life. Our forefathers would be proud.

… Wouldn’t they?

As Cher admits at the begining of Clueless, “I don’t want to be a traitor to my generation or anything…” but I’m not a techie. Is that even the right word? I wouldn’t know because I’m not really in the scope of things happening in today’s social media market. I’m more hanging onto the late 90’s or early 2000’s technology wave. Maybe because that’s the last time I really gave a shit. I care—I do—about like, survival. I do just enough to get by and most times it’s not even enough. My mother knows more about today’s happening trends then her 28 year old daughter.

Doesn’t that tell you something?

I remember when she asked me if I knew what Twitter was a few years ago and I was like, “uh, sounds like something stupid.” I don’t tweet. Not that she does either, but it seems like EVERYONE does. Everyone accept me (and her). For real—I’m glad I can use email. And like, set the clock on the microwave. That’s about it. I had to have Batman show me how to turn on the television and access HBO (because we have it now. Score!) Everything else I’m lost. Completely, utterly lost, like a cavewoman-walking-around-Best Buy-looking-for-the-wheel lost. This is so not my generation.

I always thought I was born in the wrong decade. I figured I was supposed to born around the thirties or forties and something in the cosmos got mixed up, like I showed up late and got deferred to the eighties. I don’t know… there’s just something magical about the thirties and forties. To me, at least. And no, NOT because of their AMAZING fashions (although that has a pinch to do with it), but because the music is also simply FANTABULOUS, and I always really enjoy movies and books set during that time. So clearly that means I belong there, right? I really think it would have been awesome… except for the whole war thing. That would’ve sucked. Put a huge damper on it, actually. Okay, so maybe the thirties or forties weren’t the decades for me—I don’t know. I can’t imagine that going back any further in history would’ve been better. From a female standpoint, at least. The whole voting and equal opportunity thing. And shaving. And women needs. Like, I don’t think I could survive before Tampax pearl. Sorry, but it’s the truth. Ladies, you understand.

I guess every decade, every era, has its own issues. Things it could improve on. I’m not saying technology is ours per say, because apparently it’s the BEST thing. I agree. I’m fully excited to get light by switching on a simple switch. It totally rocks. Especially when it’s the middle of the night and I have to pee. Go Edison. But I’m talking about the over-technology. The please stop staring at your phone and look at my face. It’s right here. Or please drop your God-d*** phone and drive, you fucker! The whole world is happening RIGHT OUT HERE, past your nose and all you’re concerned with is hash-tagging and telling the world what you ate for breakfast. I know that sounds hypocritical because I’m blogging and currently focusing on a screen myself, which I just preached I hate. But this is my online journal sort of thing. If you comment, that’s awesome! I hope you do, really. But this blog is actually more for me than you. Sorry. It’s like my thought bubble exploded and splattered all over this word doc, which is really the sanest way a thought bubble could explode. It’s either that or the ten minute conversation with me rambling on about evil spiders and adorable puppies and how ninjallamas really do exist, like Platform 9 3/4 quarters. You choose. Although both would be awesome for you. 😉 A real win-win.

PLUS this blog is therapeutic. It’s one of the only things that I use this computer for (currently I’m on Batman’s, but the reason for that is an ENTIRELY different story.) I pretty much only use my computer for Microsoft Word. Honest to God. Every once in a while I’ll pull up a game of minesweeper, or if I’m feeling super frisky, Majong. But basically it’s Word. And the web. That’s it. And on the web? I’m one of those boring people who only use it to pay bills, watch some clips on Youtube and check the weather. That’s what I do with my devices. NOTHING. And I’m happy. I’ve never played Angry Birds or Words with Friends (although I hear it’s fun and I’d love it) or even tweeted. I should care, shouldn’t I? Maybe I’m just too lazy to care. That’s probably it. I’m too lazy to be so busy and in my phone’s face all the time. I don’t know. I like staring out the window and daydreaming.

And I’m really good at it.

Waiting for Appa

We almost got a puppy.

I mean, not really because it was never an option—money, you know?—but I came this close to convincing Batman that what our new apartment really needed, besides being able to pay for itself, was the *adorable* brown and beige Rottweiler we were holding.

He.was.too.cute.

The kind of puppy that just melted into your arms and even though you know you shouldn’t, you’re already trying out names for him.

“Are you Appa? Or Zero?” I kept rubbing my nose against his while Batman scratched behind his big brown ears.

Yes, we already know the name of our future dog and yes, you did read that correct. It will either be Appa (from the Last Airbender—my choice) or Zero, (from The Nightmare Before Christmas—his choice.) I don’t see why we need to pick between them; we could solve this dilemma quite easily simply be getting two puppies. Batman does not agree.

He was swayed there for a moment, though. I could tell—I knew that look. Like he was trying to put all the factors in place and maybe, somehow convince himself that a new Rottweiler puppy could make sense even though we have no money to buy it or cage it or feed it or keep it healthy. Also, there’s the space issue and of course, the poor dog would be left alone most of the day leaving our new, totally awesome apartment in shambles. So many cons and yet… such an adorable little blue-eyed face.

It was tough.

Alas, we’re too responsible (damn it!)We left little Appa or Zero with his litter of siblings and instead came home with this fine character:

IMG_20140302_184736_743 (1)

I know. Not as cute as the dog but way more affordable. We had to come home from the arts and crafts fair with something and this little dude just hangs on the wall waiting for a hug. I suspect it would pinch and there wouldn’t be any warm snuggling but… at least I can leave the apartment and know its keeping itself company. I’d feel bad for the puppy.

But I do want one. Maybe a corgi. Or a Cocker spaniel. Or one of the shepherd breeds. Preferably something that’s lazy like me and enjoys the couch; something soft and cozy that would outlast all dog expectations and never die and go to Heaven because that movie made me cry. But getting a dog is a big, big deal. You’re adopting a new member into your family and for so long it’s just been Batman and me. And at the beginning of our relationship, a chunky guinea pig named Abner.

Okay, fine. Abner was obese (probably led to the massive heart attack he endured) but I still miss the little guy. Miss his squeaking and jumping with excitement (when he still could) whenever I’d come home. But I’d have to be home a lot more for a dog—otherwise I wouldn’t feel right. Darn society and the way it works!

Someday I’ll get Appa and/or Zero and my llamas and the pen of ostriches for the monthly races. I’ll probably have some penguins and rabbits and in my “China Exhibit,” a big panda I can go and snuggle with whenever Batman’s off fighting crime (he doesn’t think having a panda is a good idea. Well he can suck it because I’m getting one.)

I just have to wait for the day I go to a fair or a pound or a show and find Appa. And because I’ll be a fabulously wealthy stay-at-home author, I’ll nod at Fartswell and he’ll pay the man while I’m scooping up our newest family member. And I’ll snuggle with her and Batman will nod and I’ll finally be able to say:

“You’re coming home with me, Appa. I’ve been waiting for you.”

In case you’re wondering what Abner looked like:

Abner

Abner

Abner still in his younger, thinner days

Abner still in his younger, thinner days

Abner super close up, judging me

Abner super close up, judging me

Abner being shy

Abner being shy

Plague of Mybyncia

I’ve written several posts this past week and none of them are really share-worthy. Not yet. Maybe in a few days when I edit and review, you can hear all about the bitch TV and how my refrigerator sounds like a pregnant stegosaurus. But for now, I’m glad to share some happy news:

I’ll be uploading my second book, Plague of Mybyncia on Smashwords this coming week so if you’re one of the awesome few who read Escape from Harrizel, be sure to purchase book 2 and find out what happens next! Will Reid and Fallon stay together? Will they find Vix, Able and everyone else missing? And will they meet up with Blovid, the Arizal leader that ordered the cease-fire of the Ellae Massacre? Read and find out!

PLAGUE OF MYBYNCIA - 2000

More happy news:

So after fiddling around for a while and, with the help of some much needed wine, I actually figured out how to add a link to my book! It’s about time, right? Yeah, I know. You can find it on the right panel under the My Books! header. Look there for the link to Plague of Mybyncia soon!

Thanks!

*another exciting note: this week (March 2- March 8) is Read an Ebook Week on Smashwords and every book enrolled is subjected to significant discounts! So, for this week only, Escape from Harrizel and Plague of Mybyncia will be on sale for 75% off.

Horray for inexpensive reading!

(And just because I want to…)

Excerpt from my TV post:

I don’t like when commercials don’t advertise their products.

Like Direct TV. I have to sit through 30 seconds of some weird, unrealistic scenario like a gorilla escaping or the power grid going out and then at the end they say their product name again. Direct TV. Like that’s going to save me from this freakish alternate universe. Why bully me into something when it’s not even a feasible threat? A giant gorilla? My dad getting beat up over a can of soup? Yeah right. Take a seat, Direct TV.