Just Give Me the Wine

I’m sad.

I just calculated the money needed to attend a very awesome, very important-sounding writing conference that I’ve been planning to attend for a few months. I had a rough figure in my head (I must’ve been extremely delusional), but hadn’t gotten the details because I knew it’d be expensive. And I didn’t want to be discouraged. But there was hope: I spent November and December KILLING myself with forced overtime that was super terrible and depressing and I kept myself going by thinking “this will go to the conference. Do it for the conference!” and then, being the RESPONSIBLE adult that I am, I shoved more than half my tax return into the ol’ savings account (other half went to Capital One for fronting money on my root canal. A pinch to myself for clothes and odd items from Ross since that’s where I like spending money when I actually have some.) All the extra savings was supposed to go to this conference, a conference I still really want to attend.

But, shit.

I just checked the numbers. I can’t afford it even if I go by myself, which I don’t want to since I’ll get lost (in NY and the hotel. I have an incredible power to confuse myself and misunderstand directions. It’s a wonder I survived my six week study-abroad program in Amsterdam. And that I actually made it back. Like, with all limbs and consciousness of the entire trip. I think.)

Now I feel like downing a bottle of wine, which is super possible since I have about ten at home. I’m not a lush, just a Wino. And my friends and family gift accordingly. But come on… can I just throw a goat at the situation and call it a day? Why is bartering still not a thing? A commonly accepted thing. Who wouldn’t want my random pieces of crap from Ross? They’re fun – they’ve entertained me. And important conference people, I know you’d benefit from them too!

Trade ya a giant gold key for an economy class ticket to NYC. Oh you like my multi-patterned- fabric giraffe? It’s yours for a two-night stay at the Roosevelt. And I just KNOW this Abby Road Sign would look *fantastic* in your music room, so throw me a registration pass and we’ll be set.

See? I can barter.

Or I can take all that money and buy the dog I’ve always wanted. Appa, I’m coming for you. But a boxer/corgi/shepherd isn’t going to help me network. And meet important folks who know about writing, who like to talk about writing and help me with my writing and, most importantly, marketing.

Which is what I desperately need.

Ah, it’s time to drink. A lot. And think. The two usually don’t go well together, although Hemingway might disagree. But there was normally a typewriter involved. And I have a Microsoft computer from 2008. It’s missing the “S” button due to a severe case of writer’s block and immaturity. But it’ll do.

Come on, let’s bring bartering back. Take my crap and give me an opportunity. It’ll be like donating to charity and getting something awesome in return. Like, in addition to good vibes and tax write-offs. You know you want to.

I'm totally worth a two night stay at the Roosevelt.

I’m totally worth a two night stay at the Roosevelt.

Ah, what the hell. Just give me the wine.

Success! …Sort Of

I wrote a blog post yesterday and was seconds away from clicking “publish.” I’d read over it a few thousand times, checking for punctuation and what not, but my anxiety crept in and I decided to wait. I’ll publish it tomorrow, I thought. Or maybe Thursday. Thursday’s a good day for a blog post. Well I’m glad I put it off because something miraculous happened. I saw the future! Er – not my future. I’m not really interested in peeking behind the curtain; I’d rather be pleasantly surprised when I stumble upon my mountain of wealth in my thirtieth year. But my characters’ future- I’m talking about my endless nameless WIP (which has become quite steamy so suddenly. Probably from all the candy I read. Damn literary sugar).

I know how it’s going to end. Basically. And I knew I would, because light bulbs always come on eventually. Mental light bulbs. Not real light bulbs. You still need to pay for those bitches. So hurray for epiphanies and sticking with things. I’m still not finished writing the damn thing, but at least I understand what’s supposed to happen now, how I plan on wrapping it up (again, at some point in the future). There’s still no name because that light bulb is dead. Not even flickering. I’ve saved the document as “Josh Ritter song.” Original, I know. But the whole thing was inspired by something I heard on Pandora, so I’m sticking with the ever- clever “Josh Ritter song” for now. Hopefully the working title will improve and it’ll be something cool and maybe ironic but I’m a terrible title-er, although I love to name things. So we’ll see. That’s a light bulb for another day. And look, I’m publishing (with anxiety – always with anxiety) on a Wednesday, a day for talking camels and lewd mid-week references. So who knows what’s in store.

It’s an anything can happen life.


I Have No Idea What I’m Writing

If you’ll notice, I’ve installed two kooky word-count bars on the right there. Oh yeah, someone’s learning how to copy and paste code. I’ve been seeing these word-o-meters on fellow writer blogs and thought, that’s sort of awesome. It’s inspirational and gives anyone expecting your newest release some idea of when it’ll come out. But like most things, it takes me 1-2 years to get around to something because I’ll 1.) forget, 2.) forget, 3.) want to learn, start to look it up but notice the minimized word doc at the bottom of the screen and write instead, 4.) make the time but something happens, 5.) forget, 6.) stumble upon it as I close the computer.

I’m supposed to be eating lunch right now. Watching Sex and the City and eating lunch. But I figured I’d catch up on a few blogs first. And then I found the word-o-meter. And Hallelujah it was actually simple. This anti-techo was able to add a widget accurately without the mandatory five glasses of wine and a constant complaining to Batman. Poor Batman.

Anyway, as you’ll notice, I’ve started a new WIP that has no name. Just Current WIP. Which is strange for me because I’ll usually have some running contender in the back of my head. But no. I have no idea what this piece will be called because I have no idea what this piece is about. It was supposed to be a short story. We’re talking 7500 words or less. Then it morphed into a novella. THEN it took the reins and was like screw you writer, I’m pulling into novel-town. For real.

I thought I finished the first draft on Friday—even did a happy first draft dance—then heard a character talking. WTF? I knew I’d come back to it—because it still needed a lot of work and the ending was sort of open-ish. And maybe there’d be a second part to it… I don’t know. Okay, fine. Maybe it WASN’T the end of a first draft. I didn’t know because I DIDN’T KNOW WHERE THE HELL IT WAS GOING. And I still don’t. I’m on a rollercoaster over here, taking turns left and right and up and down and this happens and that happens and holy shit what am I writing?

I have no clue. But I love it.

It keeps going and going and this is the first time I have no idea how it’s going to end. When it’s going to end. Usually I start with the ending and work my way back. But this is different. It’s exciting and crazy and every day I go back and forth between, “I’m writing this for me. I will NOT publish this” and “I can’t wait to get this published!”

I even wrote a small blurb for it which I thought would be perfect for its novella stage. Want to read it? Remember, it’s evolved PAST the supposed ending. Okay, here we go. The first blurb which will have to be updated:

When Prava-native Josh meets Lunda-born Marie in an abandoned missile silo during the worst takeover since WWIII, the unlikely teenagers must depend on one another and the contents of a backpack left over from America’s golden era.

Lunda, the last hope for a civilized Province, is not something Josh intends to find, especially three hundred feet beneath the ground. Having lived in Prava, the country’s deadliest ghetto, has left him bitter and hardened and unprepared for Marie, an educated Politian’s daughter who is convinced survival is still possible. Armed with only two bullets, an old-world backpack, and enough food for a month, will thirty days be long enough to overcome their vast differences and find love at the end of the world?


Anyway, check out the word-o-meter. When I have a name—if I get a name—I’ll be sure to update it. Happy February 18th!

Done with Dessert… for now.

I’ve been reading a lot of candy.

Gooey, mushy, happily-ever-afters that are actually starting to rot my brain, like watching too much bad reality TV. With the exception of Rainbow Rowell, I have been force feeding myself literary sugar that is leaving me with a mind-ache and vehement repulsion at any bookcover featuring hand-holding, kissing or cuddling. I’ve romanced myself out.

Just in time to watch Fifty Shades of Grey.

Oh yes, I’m seeing it.

The ticket has been purchased. The concession snacks will be ordered and I, along with a few friends, will gorge myself on the book-to-movie adaptation that, let’s face it, is barely a notch up from the highly anticipated Magic Mike sequel (which I shall also be seeing. I am still female, and what Channing Tatum does with his hips should be illegal. Or enforced. Something.) But I’ve read *so* much of this literary candy that I’m fearful for my writing. I mean, we write what we read, right? If I keep on reading these gooey, ooey candy-coated pieces, I’m going to start turning out the same tooth-decaying words. And I don’t want to do that. It’s just—I like romance. I do. I like it because it’s hopeful and optimistic and it never hurts to fantasize that this scenario could actually happen. Somewhere. To someone. But I incorporate romance into my works so I don’t want to muddy the waters with something I’ll end up rolling my eyes at in a few years. I need to stop. Now.

*takes breath*

*slaps on candy patch*

*looks in mirror and repeats affirmations. I will not read candy, I will not read candy, I will not read candy*

****Disclaimer I don’t think candy’s bad. I just need it in moderation. I have a bag of skittles I keep at work for a little extra treat when I’m stressing or angry or worried or just need a pick me up. And they do the trick. But shoving an entire bag down my throat will probably give me diabetes. And I don’t want insulin for my brain.

In case you’re wondering, candy read thus far this year includes:

Mine to Take by Dara Joy

Wicked by Jennifer Armentrout

Foreplay by Sophie Jordan

But if you’re looking for a solid, good romance that doesn’t leave you rolling your eyes (I’ve placed this in the prime-rib category) I would highly recommend Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments. Or Eleanor & Park. Or basically anything by the woman. She can do no wrong.

I Believe in You

First Wednesday in February already? Yup.

Time for IWSG 🙂

A special thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for starting this amazing support system for writers by writers. Being a writer can be tough. More than tough. It can be a downright struggle but things are always better when you have a family. So if you’re looking for inspiration, help, or just want to know what the rest of us are doing, check us out here. Go ahead, sign up! We’re waiting for you.

So, I’ve made a rather aggressive goal (for me) of reading 30 books this year. 30 would put me at a little over 2 books a month. 2 point something. I didn’t do the math (nor have I ever) but Goodreads is telling me I’m ahead of schedule because I’ve already gobbled up 5. Which even surprised me. But I want to do something else. I want to try something else: new authors. Traditionally published and Indie alike. Because there might be a new favorite author out there… and it could be you!

So this month is a “shameless promotion” post. I want you to give me (and maybe a few others) the next great read. I’ve already had a few suggestions rattling around in my head and added to my Goodreads shelf but I need more. And I believe that something you wrote could be next! I believe in you, Indie authors. I believe because I know you can do it. I’ve read some amazing things from creative people who turned something from their imagination into page-turners. Like PNR? You should check out Joleene Naylor’s Amaranthine Series. Interested in new worlds and hysterical characters? Try Loni Townsend. Or unique Sci-fi more your thing? Look into Delia Strange. All Indie. All awesome.

So give me my next book. Maybe I’ll increase my goal to 40. Or 50 books. Who knows – things just might get crazy.

Alright, Indies – what’ve you got for me?