we’re not all lost, IWSG

I’m going to do something I haven’t done in a while and actually answer the monthly question for IWSG. Shocking, I know:

When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Force myself.

There’s really no magic recipe other than that. I write to escape anyway, so it’s never been much of a problem to dig down to do it. The hard part comes when I need a break from writing and that’s when I take a day or two off and then force myself back into it.

Wow. That was easier to answer than I thought.

Let’s see…what else is going on in my life? Still unemployed (and rapidly running out of money), so there’s that. Oh! I did get something pretty cool recently 😊. There’s this place called 2nd And Charles that sells books and video games and movies and toys, and basically all the things that Batman and I love and have based our relationship around. Since he collects retro video games, he ended up selling a bunch back this past weekend and got a ridiculous amount of store credit. Because he’s amazing and (I guess) in love with me or something, he told me to pick out whatever I wanted in the store—his treat. So, say hello to this beautiful baby:

“Not all those who wander are lost”

It’s one of my favorite sayings since I constantly accuse myself of being lost since I don’t have a “career” and therefore, am a piece of shit. Then I remember, oh yeah, I’m not meant to have a typical “career” and just because I don’t doesn’t mean I’m screwing up. Maybe I’m a job nomad who needs these life experiences to write about. Or something. Either way, thanks, Tolkien for reminding me that everyone’s life is different and that’s more than okay. It’s necessary. 😉

Also, I collect journals because I’m journal freak. But again, who of us readers/writers isn’t?

How’s your day going? What do you do when the rain is pouring or you (like me) get down on yourself?

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.

****Also – Don’t forget to check out my Patreon! (I can say that because I’m on there now. THAT’S RIGHT. I did something on a place that does things.)

AND, I have a YouTube channel now which is not letting me post the link because it’s weird or I’m stupid or it’s a combination of both. But probably the latter.

What Happens When You Pay Attention IWSG

Friday morning I had a Saturday post all mentally scribbled about the woes of car-ownership because I finally picked up my car from the shop only to have it stall out on me on the way home. I turned it off and back on again and it was fine. Then, on my way out to see a bestie who now resides in CT and was down for a wedding, the Check Engine light came on and I spent the 45-minute trip out to see her praying that the shaking car wouldn’t stall on me since I forgot to renew my AAA.

Thank God it didn’t stall and everything was fine (and my bestie and I had a lovely time—thanks for asking). Car still shakes but maybe it’s just as hyped up on caffeine as I am. You know what they say about cars and their owners 😉 I came home all ready to write and strategize and market and Patreon-brainstorm but even the mid-afternoon iced coffee didn’t help and I ended up watching Friends on the couch with Appa, which is somehow exactly what I needed. (I think I overworked my brain or something because I sat and stared at the computer for almost half an hour before I decided my muse or energy troll or whatever fuels the creativity box was out on its own coffee break and I was starting to go cross-eyed..)

I guess this post should really begin with Saturday’s event which included the Jax Book Festival! Last Tuesday, while working *cough checking fb cough* I found that we were having our very own book festival (sort of) right here in downtown Jacksonville. The headliner caught my eye because I actually read Everything Everything (although I wasn’t a huge fan) but the chance to hear an acclaimed author speak was just too much to pass up. So, in lieu of having our scheduled garage sale, it took Batman very little convincing** to have him drop me off at the Public Library so I could listen to Nicola Yoon talk about her journey of writing the bestseller and all the inns and outs of writing/publishing.

What I learned about the shy author is that she’d been in finance for fifteen years, and it wasn’t until the birth of her daughter that she realized she wasn’t following the advice she would give her baby girl: follow your dreams. It took having a child to realize she wasn’t living the life she wanted and decided to change that. Afterward, she woke up early to write from 4-6 before her day job (I think – she has a soft voice and didn’t speak directly into the microphone) and from there she wrote Everything Everything.

It was great listening and learning and I even asked my own question amidst the auditorium of people which is HUGE for me since I have a ridiculous amount of stage fright/anxiety when it comes to public speaking/being the center of attention. She’d talked about the writing process and I asked about the number of drafts she went through (6) because I’m always slightly weary that I’m not going through the ‘right’ amount of drafts. But I was surrounded by a lot of writers and it was awesome to see that they struggled with the same issues and had the same burning questions as me.

Managed to remember to snag a photo!

I couldn’t *not* take a pic when I’m so obviously fan-girling over here.

On the way out, one last pic to capture the event!

Besides the speakers, the halls were *lined* with tables of authors (both traditionally and self-published) and all kinds of cool swag and stuff. I even won a keychain from Tracie Roberts It was awesome to see my fellow authors strutting their stuff because I know this is what I need to be doing. Once the swag is obtained and I have *some* clue how to get a table of my own there, I think I could rock it. A few Zanax beforehand and why not? I can do this. Know why? BECAUSE I GOT THIS. Do I have any clue how I have this? No. But still, I got this.

What about you? Ever been to a book festival like this? Ever listened to an author speak and identified with the struggle? What’d you think?

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.

** Want to know why I love Batman? Because when I asked if we could switch the date for the garage sale and he asked why and I told him about the book festival, he looked at me and said ‘baby, if it helps with your writing, then it’s not even a question.’

Let the swooning begin 🙂

Hurricanes and Vacations and comics! IWSG

Here I am again, waiting until the last second. In my defense, I tried writing this last night, but I wanted to scan in this thing I was working on that I PROMISED myself I would put on my blog, and instead, spent half an hour trying to figure out how to scan things to my computer. Yeah. I even had Batman stop playing Cuphead—his long-awaited 1930s animated video game—to come help.

STILL. NOT. WORKING.

The reason I wanted the scanner to work is because of my first Morty & Co. comic!I made a promise to myself (& Ari!) to put it up on the next IWSG post and, like the smarty I am, I waited until TWO nights before to get the images onto my computer. And now it won’t. So…

…I went cavewoman and took pictures! Yay for going vintage!

Here’s how some of my September went  (left to right, you’ll have to click to enlarge. Or skip over. That’s completely cool too):

Just starting off in this comic thing but I’m having fun. And maybe that art degree won’t be for nothing 😉

So, yeah. Hurricanes right? The BF and I did go to Epcot and Animal Kingdom for my birthday, and that was loads of fun. I even got a picture with Flick!

It was definitely the vacation we needed at that moment, so the month wasn’t totally crazy.

ALSO: I got a lot of writing done.

Like a HUGE amount.

Like… maybe…I’m almost finished writing book 2… (Just a recap—no one has read book 1. Like no one. Like, not even my mom. Or Batman. I haven’t read it to Appa, even. Only me and this computer and the ghost I’m pretty sure haunts my office has seen it.) But it’s crazy because it’s helping me look at book 1 a little closer (some of you guys mentioned that in the comments) and I’m loving that I’m re-examining the story based on what I know is going to happen in the future. Plus, I’ve been having a lot of fun writing it.

So. Yeah. Hurricanes and Disney birthdays and book 2 writing. September was quite the month. I’ll go ahead and answer the optional question because I like answering questions.

Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Are we not supposed to? No, for real. I do this all the time. An old street I lived on or four digits of a friend’s phone number. Absolutely. But nothing too important. Trait wise… that’s a completely different conversation. 😉

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.

New Things are Awesome Things, IWSG

Oh yeah.

Guess who figured out how to use the camera on this here computer. Wait for it.

So that’s me. Very strange. Obviously enchanting.

Anyway.

I’m dipping my toe into the video aspect of the internet. Not sure I’m going full vlog, but I plan on dying someday so I figure there’s no time like the lively present to do something I’ve been vaguely curious about. I’ll be dipping an even bigger toe in next Friday at 8 (like, next Friday – 3/10) when I will live stream on Christie’s Coffee Corner, a weekly interview session with authors.

Oh yeah. This is happening. It’s us hanging out while you ask me questions and I answer them or you don’t ask me anything and I end up staring awkwardly at you. Either way. This shit is going down. Stalkers are welcome, but please limit your questions to the appropriate ones. Oh, and um, no math queries. Let’s keep it reasonable here, people.

Other than Christie’s Coffee Corner, I’m still working on BTT, and can’t wait to get some Betas on board. It needs at least one more round of edits before it’s presentable, but every day I feel a little bit closer to that finish line. I’m also working on this super awesome secret project that I cannot WAIT to reveal and when it gets closer to nearing completion—which it isn’t—I will. So, for now, let me dazzle you with how excited I am for Better Than This, my soon to be first YA Contemporary Romance. AND it features musicians. Come on, guys. MUSICIANS.

Now, onto the optional question for IWSG!

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

I guess short answer… no?

I’ve definitely opened old documents and chuckled to myself, mostly at the poor writing. But I never dive into them. At least I haven’t, yet. I think I’m the kind of writer that needs to write in the moment because if I’m excited by something, that’s the time to write it. Of course, if I came across a project I’d forgotten I’d written, something that intrigued me… then sure, why not? Anything’s possible. 😉

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.

 

Stay the Course, IWSG

Current to-do list:

  • Finish (ahem, *start*) the fifth and final book in my Arizal Wars Series. (I’m sorry, Joleene. You’ll read about Reid soon. Promise)
  • Finish (actually finish) BTT which is going through its fourth/fifth/sixth round of edits which I *hope* gets it publishable for later this year. (I will be needing BETAs so…yeah… anyone interested in contemporary romance with musicians? Bookmark this shit)
  • Start/develop this super amazing idea I had to get me out of my cubicle chains and into the CEO position I so clearly was born for. Hard part? Figuring out how to transition the idea into reality. Wish I could tell you more but I have a thing with jinxing myself, so I’ll leave it a big mystery for now. Just know it exists. And is coming. And is going to be AWESOME.

This is what I’ve got planned for this year and I’m really aiming to make all these happen, even if RTD (AW book 5) is only an outline. There’s so much I want to do and only a finite amount of days to do them in, so I figure, why wait? Just do them all at the same time. Overlap them bitches. And that’s what I’m doing 🙂  A hand in this project. A hand in another. You may see some posts about writing BTT and others about this cool idea thing I have that I can’t tell you about yet (jinxing, member? you member) so, stay tuned for that awesomeness.

Other than an AMAZING TRIP PLANNED TO SAN FRANCISCO in a few months, nothing’s new with me. With that said, onto this month’s optional question:

How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

At first I answered this question Yes. Absolutely. Then I reread it and saw that shitty little ‘how’ at the start and felt an essay coming on, so I’ll thesis-size it for you and just say this:

I’m conscious of what I read—everything I read—and everything I read is dissected into things I should and shouldn’t do. Things that work and don’t work. Once a reader becomes a writer, they see behind the scenes, and that’s something that can never be undone.

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.

P.S. – Anyone have suggestions for things that I absolutely HAVE TO DO while I’m in San Fran?

A New Year, IWSG

Well hey there, 2017 😉

*Sexy growl*

I’m excited for this year because I think I’m going to publish something new. Something outside my Arizal Wars series which yes, I will be finishing. At some point. Just not in the next twelve months. I have to put it on hold because my muse is still rioting for Better Than This, a project I’ve been working on since last May and in this fourth (fifth/sixth/seventh—I’ve stopped counting) round of editing, I’m finally seeing the shape of things and it doesn’t totally suck balls. Hallelujah!

I had no idea what I was writing before. One book. Two. Three novellas. I was all over the place, not even sure I planned on sharing it with anyone (still not—always on the fence until I get all Eye of the Tiger and press submit.) Anyway, last week I realized the book I was writing is actually three books and everything sort of fell into place which is awesome because now I can focus on the first one, the one I’m *hoping* to publish later this year. So, any YA Contemporary Romance readers/reviewers out there, try to remember this awesome blog that you stumbled upon and the possibility of a kickass book coming out this year that you know nothing about. Yeah. Get stoked.

Now on to the optional question of the month!

What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

That would be to outline.

I read something (somewhere at some point in my life) that before you write even a SINGLE WORD you have to have a detailed outline of the events in the story and how it’s all going to end. This is bullshit. Okay? Let’s say it again. Bullshit.

I think that maybe yeah, this will work for a certain group of people, but I struggled with having to outline stories I didn’t even end up writing. I forced it. I solidified events and when I tried writing them, I went off script and ended up frustrated. Mad at myself. Blaming myself for not keeping to the outline. Blaming myself for not writing correctly.

Well sorry, you stupid essay I once read–that’s not how I write. I’m a full blooded panster because I don’t believe my stories belong to me. They belong to the characters so it’s their shit to tell. I’m just the vessel that does it.

So anyway, yeah, I don’t do outlines. That’s not to say that if you do, you’re in the wrong. People write however it works for them. I just wish I wasn’t told there was only one correct way.

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.

Not Giving Up Yet, IWSG

This is super last minute but I didn’t want to get kicked out of the IWSG club. I should’ve written this post on Sunday but I was at a losing football match and then in a game store for way too long waiting on Batman to add to his NES collection so by the time I got home and played with Appa, I only wanted to sit down and wait for WestWorld to come on. Which is what I did. (PLEASE watch Westworld. Let’s talk about it. I need more people to talk about it with.)

And here we are. Tuesday night.

As far as writing goes…I’m fine. I guess. I almost didn’t write this post because I don’t want to jinx the not having depressive thoughts over writing/being a writer/living a writer lifestyle. It’s pretty much a daily battle, but if I at least get a little writing done (even if marketing / reading / networking / EVERYTHING ELSE goes out the window) I consider it a win. And I have been writing each day—same thing that’s been in my head since the beginning of this year.

Sometimes I look at my WIP and think “psshh—you’re NEVER showing this to a living soul.”

Other times I’m like “THIS BOOK WILL RULE THE BESTSELLERS LIST.”

So, I’m not really sure how I feel about it. But each day there’s progress and I’ll take that over falling into the pit of depression and self-loathing and wishing I was something straightforward like a teacher or nurse or whatever real adults do for a living.

The IWSG question this month:

In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

Oh, geez, I don’t know. I’d planned on being a bestselling author by now, but maybe 36 is more my year. I have absolutely NO IDEA where I’m going to be in five years, but I hope I’m still writing.

No. I KNOW I’ll still be writing.

Will I be making any money from it? I sure hope so. I also hope I won’t kill myself between now and then working away at a string of dead-end jobs waiting for my Colleen Hoover moment.

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.

P.S. I’m only kidding about killing myself. It’d just be a serious maiming.

P.P.S. I’m kidding about the maiming. NOT kidding about the depression or occasional suicidal thought. But we all get those. I’m pretty sure Bill Burr covered it in one of his skits. God I love Bill Burr.