Dream Big, Right? IWSG

Well, my car is squeaking now. Or squealing. Or screaming. Noise. It’s making a loud screechy noise that even Freddy Mercury can’t tune out.  I discovered it the other day, after hearing the annoying sound and feeling sorry for whoever was driving the crappy car. Turns out it was me. I’m the crappy car girl (which has been obvious for a while) but I don’t need a shame bell announcing it everywhere I go. No one needs to see that Georgie has missed a few washes or that her paint is about fourteen years faded. It’s fine, except now she’s got a target on her back, which means I should stop breaking the law and slow down. Brakes also sound a little off. I should really think about getting a new car.

*sigh*

So, someone at work called me a “cog” the other day. He was introducing a new employee and referred to me as a “cog in the machine” which immediately made me think of Into the Badlands (ever watch it? You should!) and how the Widow started out a cog before working her way up to a Barron, which I started explaining, but they walked off and I was left mumbling to myself. I only mention it because I can’t get the phrase out of my head. “Cog in the machine.” I’m not sure if I’m offended or angered or what. He didn’t say it with any malintent or to be rude or bitter. There was absolutely nothing negative in his description, which was what it was: a basic description of my role in the company: a cog. A fucking cog. That’s what I am in every cubicle.

It may have hit home because I thought I would’ve graduated from cog by now, but, apparently not. It’s okay. Because once I make it big, I’m going to write an autobiography and call it, “Who’s the Fucking Cog Now” and send him a copy. Just so he knows I’m okay.

This segways perfectly into IWSG’s December (optional) question:

How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. But who doesn’t fantasize about the future? This is what I’ve got so far:

Batman would come on my book tours with me since we’re travel bugs, and so he can coach and support me on public speaking, since it’s right up there with my love of spiders and small spaces. That would be the tough part. The talking to a group of people and not fainting, but I would get through it. (Xanax may be required)

Other than that, I would have an amazingly loyal fan-base to support the books I want to write. And there might even be a movie deal in the works. Why not? Dream big, right? Honestly, the dream is to be able to write fulltime. Wake up, coffee, write. Walk the neighborhood, write, lunch. Write, laundry, dinner, write. The rest are just details.

What about you? What does it look like when you make it big? Ever been called a cog before? And is your car on its way to hospice like mine?

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.

Good Times and Pinched Skin

Raise your hand if you’re dumb.

*raises hand*

If you’ve read this blog for even the last few weeks, you’ll know my level of intelligence rests somewhere around not knowing which knob to turn for AC in the car and nearly passing out because of it. It’s also the same intelligence that’s led me into establishments with my clothes on inside-out and mispronouncing *longitude my entire life until Batman looked at me like I had to be joking. But I wasn’t. Because, yeah…I can be dumb.

But this particularly unintelligent moment occurred on Sunday morning after checking the closet for Christmas presents. These were ones I bought, and I wanted to remind myself of the awesome gifts I’ll be giving because yes, I’m that person. Maybe since I was congratulating myself on a job well done, the universe took a moment to slap some humility into me because when I closed the closet door—because I’m dumb—I closed it on my arm.

And it PINCHED THE EVERY-LOVING SHIT OUT OF ME.

It’s one of those closet-bending-doors and my skin got caught at just the right time. I don’t even think I screamed. I gasped, threw my good hand over whatever mutilated stump I had left and held on. Like, I’m either really pain intolerant (despite having four tiny tattoos…) or I’ve just discovered a new physical fear, so, watch out characters! Guess what I’m throwing at you next. You thought tiny spaces, whips and deep-water exploration were bad! Muahaha! But seriously, ouch ☹

Writing:

I’ve been writing the same night in my WIP for a couple of weeks. Mind you, it started at a pre-evening (4-5) timeframe, and is currently pushing past midnight. And my main characters are being invaded, so this battle is taking a while, but I’ve just about reached the part that’s going to ignite the climax and then, the second part of the book will be done!

*wipes brow*

Then the third and final section will remain, and that one will be a beast. I can’t even think about it right now. I’m too focused on my key players and the rough outline in my head of what’s supposed to happen in this second section. I’ve jotted down some notes (as in wrote a brief paragraph at the end of the same work document) and refer to that from time to time. But, it’s how I write all my books, and the process hasn’t let me down yet.

Once I’m finished with the third section (next March/May-ish?) I’ll breathe a brief sigh of relief… and then I’ll have to plunge back into the thing from the start. Round two – in my opinion- is always worse than round one.  But that’s all then. And we’re still here, in the present, and I’m almost finished with section two! Woop! Good times and pinched skin: it’s all I’ve got for you this post.

Until our next Wednesday date 😊

*I’ve been pronouncing it long-di-tude. I kid you not. It’s what I was taught in seventh grade geography and I’ve never questioned it. And yes, I’m from Florida. Not that that has to do with anything.

Write the Books and Find the Readers

I missed last week because I spent the majority of it re-reading Rozmarie & Josiah. 😊 I know, rude to ditch on our date, but silly me thought I was going to just submit the book to fresh.ink without even looking it over. Rookie mistake. It dawned on me somewhere a few paragraphs in that it was *probably* a good idea to look over the story, and, well, I did.

All last week. I read every day as soon as I got home, and FINALLY on Sunday, I finished the thing. Because, I didn’t just read. I re-edited it as I went, and apparently, I missed some major typos and errors first go around. Am I going to win the contest? Probably not, but that’s okay. It’s slightly more polished, and I’m not so nervous about turning in a total piece of crap to these would-be-potential readers.

Because that’s my goal: FIND THE READERS

That, and write the books. But I feel both are equally important. Write the books and find the readers. Someone want to make me a banner I can hang above my window? I only have broken Christmas lights and an awesome writing picture my mom got me last year  (thanks, ma! Still love it!). For all the curious/stalkers:

There’s a perfectly good blank space right there. I could put a big plaque: Write the Books and Find the Readers. I feel like that’s all I need in order to break free from cubicle hell to write independently. A product I turn out to customers eagerly awaiting it. Speaking of…I really need to get back to MailChimp and figure out the whole newsletter thing. Where is my team of smart people to do this for me? Urrg. I wish parts of my brain weren’t so dumb, like the kind that deals with technology and understanding things that can’t be explained to a ten-year-old.

In better, simpler, easier news, I have a driver’s-side door handle! Look at it! Look at it in all its glory and magnificent awe:

It’s been very nice these few rainy days not having to run around the car like an idiot. I can go straight to one side and only be half-soaked instead of fully-soaked. Life is good 😊 I really do need to retire Georgie at some point, but until she completely craps out on me, she’s still my girl. And with her latest upgrade, I think she’s earned herself another year or so. That, or until something else vital falls off, or she retires to her days of seizuring which, if I’m being honest, are the most exciting.

Things to do:

  • Research Mailchimp. Again. Don’t get confused and distracted and decide no one cares so it’s not even worth it. And stop playing on your phone.
  • Be more social (stalk more) and keep putting my stuff out there.
  • Probably buy another car
  • Laundry

There’s more to the list, but I’m tired, so this will have to do. Back to writing RTD and reading other people’s books. And guys, I can FINALLY say I feel like I’ve tipped past the halfway point in RTD. I think I said this a while ago, but I mean it for realizes this time. And that means good things are coming. Good things 😊

Have a great week!

See My Dilemma? #IWSG

Here’s my dilemma:

  • Focus on one project (work is done quicker, but reaches fewer people)
  • Focus on multiple projects (takes longer for each piece to finish, but reaches more people)

Focusing on one thing (like, say, writing an epic saga of a book) can still take forever. I should know. I’m still writing the first draft of RTD, and I started late last year. I should be around done with it by now (or at least close to it) but I’m not. Because it’s a monster and there’s sooo much to it. I’m focusing all my creative energy on finishing it, but in doing so, I’m not entering any contests, writing short stories or extra pieces. I’m not getting other work out there. See my dilemma?

Do I stretch myself thin by working on multiple projects so I can reach more people, or keep steady so I can finish the damn book to complete the series? Which makes more sense?

*pulls out hair*

I’m seriously considering doing the NL (newsletter) again. I know. I know. I sort of didn’t follow through with it last time, but I was way overwhelmed, it was confusing to my dumb non-tech brain, and I didn’t see the benefit. What’s changed? Not a bunch, but I think it’s probably pretty necessary at this point. Just being honest. I’m not a big fan of NLs, so having my own is foreign, but as I’ve learned lurking in FB writing groups, it’s a necessity in this business. I have to get one. But it’s okay, because I have stuff I can share. Plus, I like to think my dumb-tech brain has gotten a little smarter (it hasn’t. I just like to pretend).

I’m thinking of doing a quarterly NL—what do you think? Some opt for monthly, or a few times a month. That’s too much. As a writer and reader, too much. A little update four times a year should be plenty, right? Anything more, and we’re on stalking terms, especially since I maintain this lovely blog with fresh content every Wednesday.

In other super-related news, I stumbled upon a writing contest (I get notifications for them constantly, but don’t participate because…read dilemma above). Although there’s a monetary prize, this contest offers something better: targeted audience. Actual BETA READERS in your genre! It’s a new site with a program that connects writers with their intended audience, and potentially permanent beta readers. As a kickoff, they’re launching contests (novels, novellas, short stories) across all genres, and will match readers interested in that genre to judge. HOW COOL IS THAT? It’s called fresh.ink. Check it out! 😊

Please offer dilemma and NL insights—I’m open and welcome to it all.

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.

Maybe There is Hope After All

So, I’m an idiot.

I’m not Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny—or anywhere close to it—but I *guess* I should’ve realized the reason my air conditioning wasn’t blowing is because I had the main knob turned down to the lowest setting. You know, the knob that basically indicates how much air should be blowing out? Yeah.  That one. That sucker was on the basically-off setting while I had each vent and the circulation BLASTING. Batman got into my car to take it to Napa (to charge the AC unit) and before we even left the driveway, he turned the knob and there was instant cooling relief. And then he made a face as if to ask, really?

Like I said – I’m an idiot.

The door-handle is still detached, and I’d still prefer to travel via unicorn, but at least I know I won’t drop dead of heat exhaustion at a McDonalds drive-in (like I did nearly a week ago) since I now know which knob to turn. Mind you, I’ve only had Georgie for ten years, but you know how things randomly change in cars. Don’t they? No? Shut up.

Batman and I booked our wedding photographer 😊

I was smart with that. Read the contract three times to make sure I wasn’t agreeing to be turned into a human centipede (you never know), and maybe only so much intelligence can be used per person in a short amount of time. Or maybe I just have my stupid days/weeks/months. Whatever. At least I used my smarts accordingly with nabbing our photographer. We’re about to nail down our florist next, so after that, all the *main* wedding components will be done, and Batman and I can reward ourselves for all this adulting with our trip to Colorado Springs! 😊

Two weeks and we’ll be walking through Garden of the Gods and checking out Manitou Springs and going white water rafting which I am both excited and terrified for. Believe me,  I want to go. I was the one who signed us up. But I also have no upper arm strength and I’m slightly awkward and definitely non-athletic, unlike Batman who used to be a tri-athlete (true!) So, if I suddenly stop blogging early September, you’ll know the excursion didn’t go so well, and Batman will probably be in hiding somewhere after killing the guide that let me die. (Most likely true!)

Non-wedding/car/Co trip stuff: I’m on my third Jenn Bennett book. The first one I read, Anatomical Shape of a Heart, was good, not great (for me, at least). I liked it, finished it, but didn’t grab for her next book. In fact, I forgot her name until I read Alex, Approximately and I still didn’t realize it was the same author. Well, you know how when you think about a story a lot, you realize how much you liked it? I went back to see who wrote Alex, Approximately and started another book by the author – Starry Eyes. I only NOW realize it’s the same author of  Anatomical Shape of a Heart. Huh. I guess I do like her stuff after all. What I’m saying is it took me a while to be a fan of hers. Maybe all my “non” fans are people who haven’t read a lot of my stuff, or even know that I write. Maybe there is hope after all. 😊

Had to get in my little bit of writing-related news in. Happy Hump day to all of you!

P.S. Look what I sent Batman the other day:

He is so going to love being married to me.

Oh, How the Tables Have Turned

Aaaaaaand I’m writing this Tuesday night again. Meh. Obviously, I can’t get my shit together on Sunday/Monday and plan ahead. You know, like I normally do. I don’t know what it is about July but I’m off my game with my blogging. Except…I’m super ON MY GAME WITH RTD 😊 😊 😊

Don’t know what that is? You can leave now. Kidding. RTD is Return to Dellapalania, the fifth and final book of my super popular series, Arizal Wars. I feel like it’s going to be a saga since I’ve been writing it since last November and I am STILL NOT DONE. I only emphasize/shout that because normally I can crank out a first draft (even this series) within that time frame. Typically…6-10 months. Usually. But this is the final book which has to bring everything back together which means more stuff happening, which means more writing. A lot more writing. I’m also planning a wedding too, so there’s that. 😊

Now, since I’m a panster, it’s pretty safe to assume I’m not entirely sure when I’ve hit the middle of my WIP, but I think I’m there. I *think* I’ve just tipped past the half-way point because I’ve got a better idea of what needs to happen instead of letting my characters go wild. They’ve been doing their own important things, but now I have to step in and make sure it all comes together. So, yes, I will still be pansting, but the barely-there lines are becoming sharper, and the WIP has now given me an outline. Oh, how the tables have turned.

Haven’t spoken much about writing here since I save that for Patreon, and this is more of my “I went to jury duty/am planning a wedding/things are happening in my life” sort of place. But writing is still a huge part of it, and I didn’t want you thinking I jumped ship on the whole thing and am now dead inside. (I’m not. Not yet. I have a wedding to plan 😊)

What about you? Any jury duty/wedding planning/things happening on your end?

Taste Testing and Character Traits IWSG

Batman and I went to our first wedding taste-testing 😊

I must say, if I’m ushered into a room with an open bar and a three-course meal (with passed appetizers and a display station) on a Tuesday night and NOT have to pay for any of it, I plan on getting married more often.

This freaking rocked.

I’m not sure what I expected. That’s a lie. Yes, I do: I expected to walk into a plain conference room where there would be a long table filled with couples sitting in front of a plate, waiting to try a sample of each entrée. This is not what happened. Batman and I attended a “fake reception” complete with a cocktail hour and dinner so we could access not only the food, but the wait staff, service, and overall appearance as well. So far, we liked what we saw:

Since the selfie option on my phone isn’t working (and because I can’t figure out how to fix it) I asked Batman to take a picture of us. This is what he sent me:

So, yes 😊 Wedding things are happening. And I’m super into company’s offering me free food and booze to secure potential business.

Now, onto writing things! July’s question for Insecure Writer’s Support Group:

What personal traits have you written into your characters?

Hmm. Probably more than I like to admit. I think—whether subconsciously or not—we tend to write our own traits into our characters, but for me, personally, I think I include a lot of my humor. What can I say—I like writing characters I could be friends with. I’m not sure if this counts, but I definitely write in my fears. I’m not terribly fond of spiders (if you haven’t noticed) and since I’m not keen on drowning either, I had Fallon battle this giant underwater creature—the Gorgen—which is very similar to a giant sea-spider. (Plague of Mybyncia – Book 2). Again, not sure if that counts as a trait, but I use my characters to battle my own fears. You know, writing is cathartic and stuff 😊

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.