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?

Seeing is Believing

I’ve stopped visualizing which is a big no-no when you’re a dreamer. The key is to visualize. Always, always visualize so you know what your goal looks like. So you recognize it when you get there. I’m not sure when I stopped visualizing all the things I wanted. Feels pretty recent, like the past couple of years, probably when social media blew up and my confidence took a backseat to fear. Or maybe I stopped visualizing when I had no (or very little) sales on my first book. And my second book. And my third. And my fourth.

It’s hard to keep the image of sitting on Ellen’s couch (yes, I imagined this. Shut up) discussing my widely popular novel and laughing over all the trials of getting there when literally no one is buying it. I had this whole idea how everything was going to happen and when it didn’t, something shifted. Me, I guess, and with my lack of readers it became harder and harder to picture myself there, on that couch.

Which is BAD.

I need to start up again. If I have any hope of actually making it, I  need to picture myself next to Ellen,  being my charming and witty and wonderful self (and not having panic attacks. Stupid anxiety). It’s the only thing that’s going to get me there, imagining the future I want.

And you need to keep it up too. Whatever your dreams are. Visualize it. See what it looks like so you know where you’re going. It’s VITAL and I haven’t been doing it as much so I’m going to start again.

What about you?

Do you visualize your dreams?

Engines Ahead?

I’m writing this (YA) contemporary romance and it’s proving harder than I thought. I think it’s because I can’t rely on major action-packed events to build the romance like I did with my series. I have to depend on smaller exchanges and a lot of conversation and I keep thinking a lot of conversation is bad thing. But how else do characters get to know one another? They talk.

Right?

In times like these, I deflect to the classics. My classics. Eleanor & Park and The Sea of Tranquility, obviously. Love stories that I love, love, love! Love stories that I pocket for rare occasions: the how-to’s of good romance. Not harlequin. Not BSMD. I’m not into punishment or alphas or how tattooed of a bad boy asshole he is. Yuck. It’s not real. I like real. I like genuine.

E&P is real. TSOT is real.

I believe their stories, probably because they’re written with authenticity. That’s what I’m trying to do with Autumn and Alex. I’m trying to be really real with it but I feel like I’m just jumping from scene to scene with them chit chatting around the central ark. I don’t know. I guess I’m not used to writing a straight romance without aliens and monsters and threats getting in the way. So why the switch? I have no idea. The heart wants what it wants and I guess this is it for now.

Anyone else try a new genre having a wee bit of trouble? Or extra doubt?

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.

First Day, First Paragraph Tag

first-day-first-paragraph-tag.jpgJoleene Naylor tagged me like, weeks ago, but sometimes I’m forgetful and I remember things at the last moment. Like that I was tagged to do the First Day, First Paragraph Tag for January. But WOOP for being #1 of 2017, bitches!

Anyway….

 

 

Those who have been tagged have to:

  1. Publish your own post on the first day of the next month.(If I tag you now ((Loni)), you will post February first. )
  2. Use the graphic above
  3. Thank and link back to the person who tagged you. (Thanks, Joleene!)
  4. Explain the rules, like I’m doing now.
  5. Post the first paragraph of a story you’ve written, are writing, or plan to write someday.
  6. Ask your readers for feedback.
  7. Finally, tag someone to do the post next month and comment on one of their posts to let them know the good news.

I’ve decided to tag Loni Townsend because she’s brilliant and funny and creative and I dug her book, This World Bites. You should check it out too.

This is from my current WIP, Better Than This. I finished it like, yesterday (last minute, remember?) so I’m still not sure if this is how it’s going to go… but, well. Take a look:

I hate Leo Warskowski.

Correction: I hate Leo Warskowski with a passion.

Last week he took a Sprite from Amber’s lunchbox and poured the whole thing into her back-pack. The whole bus watched and no one stopped him. No one said a word. The week before he made up a song about Carrie’s weight and sang it at the top of his lungs, over and over again until we got to school. We had to listen to chants of ’fatty, fatty, can’t you see/cookies and donuts are not fat free’ for over twenty minutes. Carrie cried the entire day.

Thoughts?

This is like the seventh or eighth revision. I’ve lost count. And after another comb through the WIP, it’ll probably change again.

 

Anyway, thanks again for tagging me, Joleene, and for forcing me out of my introverted cave of shyness. I owe you one. 🙂

 

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.