writing

Writing & Goals: Weekly update

I’m in a funk.

Last Monday my supervisor retired leaving our IT department to fend for itself. Mind you, I can handle my job just fine, but there are things that come up now and then that I like getting his input on before acting. Last week was going fine, then one of those things came up on Friday.

I was 99% sure I knew how to handle the issue, but I needed that assurance, because the data I handle is critical in communicating with our business partners. So, I contacted one of my coworkers to discuss it and was on the phone with him for over two hours before coming to the same conclusion I’d already come to. Before last week, it would have been a couple sentences in an email, wait no more than an hour for a response, while, in the meantime, working on other things. I love productivity! But those two hours felt wasted and when it was over, I had no energy to do anything else. And I still don’t.

I wrote over the weekend, but not as much as I wanted and I’m not happy with what I wrote. This is not normal for me. Even when my writing is crap, I’m at least happy I wrote it.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do to get over this. Taking a break usually helps, but only when I don’t feel like writing. That’s not the case now. The desire and drive to write is there. So, not writing is only going to frustrate me more.

I think it’s time to write something else for awhile. Maybe a short. Maybe on one of my other WIPs. I don’t know yet.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever wanted to write, or do something else, but struggled to focus on it? What did you do get out of that funk?

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General · writing

Writing & Goals: Weekly Update

Last week is hardly worthy of an update. There was just so much life stress this week, writing took a back seat.

We had a scare with our car. The engine light came on and when we had it checked out, the shop claimed we needed a $2000 repair. After a night of WTF are we going to do, we called another garage for a second opinion and they told us it wasn’t a necessary repair. The car will run another 100K miles and at worst, lose a couple MPG along the way. Hopefully they’re right and that will give us time to save up for a new car.

If you’ve been following along, you know my father in law fell and broke his back, among other things, about a month ago. How that happened, he was messing with his security cameras in his storage unit facility after a break in. Well, we went down to visit him this weekend and while we were there, there was another break in. So, all day Sunday, my husband and mother in law spent the day boarding up windows and chaining doors and dealing with the police.

Before all of this happened, I wrote about 800 words on book 2 of The Seven Stars Series. Nothing since. I’m hoping this week will calm down and I can get more done. I’m so ready to be done with this first draft! It’s never taken me more than about 6-7 weeks to complete a first draft and I think I’m going on 9 weeks. I know. I know. It’s not that bad, but I have NO patience.tumblr_inline_n9s7jbmirh1rxc9kj.gif

Anyway, how was your week? Did you get accomplish your goals?

 

Monthly Updates · writing

Writing: Monthly update for February

It’s the first of the month, or close enough lol Time for another writing update!

Querying:

While I’m deep in the revising trenches preparing to publish, querying will be on hold.

Current WIPs:

From Stars, Come Dragons (The Seven Stars #1) – Round 2 with my content editor is done! If no other changes are needed, it’s off to line editing. So close to having a release date.

What revisions did I make?

Too much distance in my POV. I had a lot of “I think…” “I feel…” “I look…” Not so great in first person POV. It creates distance between the character and the reader. I read my MS out loud after making these changes, and WOW, it makes a difference.

 

Title coming soon (The Seven Stars #2) – If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I had hit 20K words on this, then hit a giant plot hole that forced me to start over. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to use anything I’d already written, but fortunately, changing the POV and tense of a couple of those chapters, I was able to.

I’m now over 10K words on this WIP again! Hoping I can power through the first draft this month.

 

Reading:

Read two books in February, which means I’m still on track with my 2018 reading goal!

Below, I included my reviews of the two books I read in February. TBH, I wouldn’t say I review books as much as I give my initial thoughts after closing it. Anywho, here they are!

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Goodreads rating: 3 stars

RedQueen-HC-C.jpgThe middle of this book was 5 stars. It lost one for the slow, unclear beginning and the other for the multiple endings and unnecessary twists.

The big twist I was fine with, but the other twists, the ones that only seemed to exist so the author could avoid a trope or cliche, were frustrating and caused the ending to drag on in an unfocused mess. It felt like I read one complete book and three alternate endings that all led to the same result. I would say more but I’m doing this on my phone and it’s late and I’m sleepy lol

Here’s the thing though, I still enjoyed reading this. I looked forward to reading it every day, up until the last fifty pages. I’m going to try the second book and hope the twists are tamed. We’ll see! 

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Goodreads rating: 5 stars (This was a reread and I upped my rating from 4 to 5)

This is my original review:

77493_originalAfter TOG I thought I’d never read another SJM book. I didn’t find many, if any redeeming qualities in it. But I thought, at the library the other day, what the hell. It didn’t cost me anything to be curious. Now I’m glad I picked it up. I’ve been struggling to read this year and this drew me out of my slump. It was entertaining as hell, if absolute trash. And I will read the rest, because she so thoroughly entertained me.

My thoughts after the reread:

This second time, it was even better. I still rolled my eyes a couple of times, but I got so much more out of the characters and plot knowing what was coming.

 

Beta Reading:

I read for CK Page last month and provided him with feedback on the third installment of his series Love, Death, & The After. Check out him and his books!

BLOGS:

So, I’ve gotten pretty good at this! Making it part of my routine helped a lot. Thursday and Monday now blog days! I write my weekly update on Monday, then read, like and comment, and follow new blogs. On Thursday, I usually write a thoughts blog and visit the blogs I follow. It’s awesome! Here are a couple of the bloggers I’ve been keeping up with!

Ashley Rae @ Thrifty Bibliophile

Bree @ Perpetual Fangirl

 

Well… I think that does it. Some ups and downs, (let’s be honest, mostly ups) but all in all a great month!
How was your February?

General

Please, I’d love your input!

After From Stars, Come Dragons is published, events and meeting people are going to be a thing. That’s why I spent the morning designing my business card.

This will be my general purpose card. Just who I am, what I do, and where to find me.

The logo is all mine. It’s how I start my signature. I used my Wacom tablet and Sai software to draw it. Then I uploaded the images to moo.com 🙂

I love simple. And I’m not sure I could have done something much simpler than this. LOLbc.png

 

I haven’t ordered them yet, because I’d love to get your feedback. What do you think? Is there information you think I should add or take away or change?

Keep in mind, I’ll also be making a hype card for my debut, so there’s no need to put specific book information on this.

Thanks for you input!

See ya in the comments!

General · writing

Writing & Goals: Weekly Update

The most important thing I accomplished last week was finishing my revisions of From Stars, Come Dragons and returning them to my editor!

I started writing on Book 2 again, but didn’t write as much as I should have. Just a little over 1K words. I suppose though, since I didn’t have a writing goal for last week,  I knocked it out of the park 😛

This week, I’m writing. I’m going back to my 8K word goal.

My struggle is rewriting a scene I’d already written, because the original is from the wrong POV now. As soon as I get through that, I’ll be well on my way 🙂

What are your goals this week?

General · writing

It’s complicated…

What’s your biggest inspiration that led you to writing?

So, Kenneth Howard, a dear friend, asked this question on my Ask Me Anything page and I answered.

The things is, it’s more complicated. It’s 100% true, but there are more layers.

Here’s my original answer to Kenneth’s question:
Biggest, is definitely my husband. When I came to him and told him I wanted to try writing again, but I was scared of the time and energy it would take. Scared of losing myself in yet another time consuming endeavor, he cheered me on. He reminded me that we’re in this together and whenever I get discouraged, he’s there to pick me up and keep me going. I wouldn’t and couldn’t do this without him ❤

Again? You mean you wrote before and stopped? What happened?

220px-RadiolandposterWhen I was kid, I wrote all the time. Mostly on yellow legal pads and mostly about balloons for some reason. Once, pretty sure I was in grade school, but it might have been in junior high, I wrote a murder mystery about a live radio show, where the actors were being killed off during the broadcast. Now, to be honest, I’m pretty sure I just ripped off Radioland Murders (1994). But if you were to ask my memory and not my common sense, my memory would tell you, I wrote my story before the movie came out and they ripped me off, because I swear I remember being inspired by Phantom of the Opera and my story wasn’t a comedy. But I’ll never know, because I have a terrible memory, and that notebook is long gone. Not that there would have been a date on it. Still wish I had it.

Anyway… Why did I stop writing? The short answer, school. I’ve always been a slow reader and when I was in grade school, it mattered. I can’t remember the program, but it used breeds of birds to split the class up into groups by how well you could read. I never could get out of the bottom group, because no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t read fast AND retain what I read. Because of this, my 8 year old brain thought I wasn’t good enough and I gave up on reading and not long after, writing.

Of course, I read and wrote when I had to, for school, but it never helped. I was constantly met with a chorus of “not good enough.” One high school teacher, who I respected and confided in, that I wanted to write stories, told me my grammar and spelling wasn’t good enough and I needed to fix it if I ever wanted to make it as a writer. Whether she liked my stories or not, regardless of my technical issues, I don’t know. She only ever focused on the negative.

The desire never left me, but the voices of all the naysayers never left me either. And I thought that would always be the way. Until a pretty big, near life-ending event, showed me I can’t let what other people think about me keep me from doing what I love. And I can’t do it alone.

This is why I stopped writing, and reading, and this is why I have my incredible husband to thank for inspiring me to write. He supports me.

That’s deep. You got a lighter answer?

Sort of… As cliche as it seems, my desire to write was revitalized with a dream. But not so cliche, was that it wasn’t my dream, it was my husband’s.

One morning, in November of 2015, he woke up and told me about a crazy dream he had. I won’t go into detail just because I might still use it someday. When he finished, I told him I thought it would make a great book and he said, “write it!” Well, this wasn’t the first time we’d had this exchange. Over our, then, twelve years of marriage, I’d thought of and told him an idea would make a great book/movie, he’d say “write it!” and that was it. Or I’d develop the idea, tell him all about it and that’s where it died.

This time, in 2015, was no different. Except, I got mad about it dying. It was a cool idea and it was going to just sit in a notebook and no one was going to see it. For the first time, instead of accepting that this was how it was always going to be, I took action.

Research, self-reflection, more research. Round and round I went, until I figured it out. For me, once I tell a story, it’s told and I have no desire to tell it again.

This is where my wonderful husband comes back in. We had just been through a lot in the way of learning how to better communicate. Imagine my dismay when I realized the only way for me to write, successfully, was to not communicate my thoughts and ideas with him.

imagesBut I had nothing to worry about, because when I told him how much writing meant to me, he understood and I moved forward with my writing. And I wrote and wrote and wrote. And I will continue to write until I run out of ideas. All thanks to the support of my #1 fan. My Tebbiebear

Announcements · General

Vero: New social app. Join us!

So I’m going to do this quick and dirty from my phone, since it seems this social app is exclusively mobile. Thanks Bree @ Perpetual Fangirl for introducing me to this. I think, if it takes off, it’s going to be great!

If you join, post your username in the comments so we can all get together 😊

Hope to see you there!

Join me on Vero.
http://get.vero.co/vero

Join me on Vero.
http://get.vero.co/vero

Book tags

The Cake Book Tag

Not directly tagged, but Reading with Jessica (Check out her blog!) tagged everyone who read her Cake Book Tag post, and since I did, I will!

The images are not mine. Credit goes to NATALKA_DMITROVA@FREEPIK

the-cake-book-tag.png

Let’s get started!

chocolate-cake.png

Chocolate.jpg

Since I haven’t read a lot of dark books, my choices were limited. I’m OK with that though because this might have been my choice anyway. Those poor children.

 

vanilla-cake.pngVanilla.jpg

Last year, I was in a reading slump and this book got me out of it. I don’t get to read too often, but I finished this book in two or three sittings and had a lot of fun with it. Can’t wait for my next slump 😛

 

red-velvet-cake.png

51kirZzj7BL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_

The first sentence of my Goodreads review was this: “I’m not really sure what to say.” LOL It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it though. It just left me a little off balance.

 

cheesecake.png

Cheesecake.jpg

Brandon Sanderson. Nuff said. But seriously, this whole series is extremely accessible. No matter who you are, or where you’re from, you’d have fun with this one.

 

coffeecake.png

coffeecake.jpg

Might need to make this post double as an unpopular opinions book tag. LOL Three times. That’s how many times I tried to read this book and just couldn’t. People rave about her writing style, and it’s just not for me.

 

carrot-cake.png

carrotcake

This book ripped my heart out. I had no idea what it was going into it and I’m glad I didn’t, because I probably wouldn’t have read it if I did. It’s heavy, but it keeps you wanting more as each word, sentence, paragraph, page leads you to the next.

 

tiramisu.png

tiramisu

What can I say? I still want more! Can’t wait for Dance of Thieves! Mary could write in this world for the rest of her life and I would and will auto-buy every one.


Tagging:

Lindsay @ LindsayLNewton.com

Monica @ Torn Pages and Roses

Ashley Rae @ Thrifty Bibliophile

Those I’ve tagged, I searched your blogs the best I could and didn’t find that you guys had done this before. If I missed it though, please post a link to your Cake Book Tag below. In fact, if anyone reading this has done or will do this tag, go ahead and post a link to it below! Consider yourself tagged!

Quick and dirty copy/paste in the comments 🙂
Chocolate Cake: A dark book you absolutely love –
Vanilla Cake: A light read –
Red Velvet Cake: A book that gave you mixed emotions –
Cheesecake: A book you would recommend to anyone –
Coffee Cake: A book you started but never finished –
Carrot Cake: A book with great writing –
Tiramisu: A book that left you wanting more –

Have fun with it! I know I did 🙂

General · writing

Writing & Goals: Weekly update

What a week! But not because I got much done.

If you’ve been watching my Twitter feed and read last weeks update, you’ll know that I hit a huge plot hole on my WIP (the sequel to From Stars, Come Dragons.)

Well, it was so bad, this last week I threw out everything.

I’m starting over.

This decision was not an easy one, but it was the right one. Even though I’m still coming to terms with the loss.

Fortunately, I had a few good distractions to keep me from feeling to down about it.

  1. My father-in-law is doing better. He’s able to stand and sit with his back brace and his pain is manageable.
  2. My dad is getting ready to start radiation and is excited to put cancer behind him.
  3. I beta read for another author, which I love to do.
    1. His name is CK Page and you can check him out on his website and Amazon. BUY, RATE, REVIEW! #supportIndieAuthors
  4. My editor sent me her feedback for round 2 of From Stars, Come Dragons.

Which brings me to my goals for the week!

This week is all about revisions. I’m already almost done reading through and cleaning up some distance in my MC’s POV. A lot of “I feel… I think…” Stuff like that. Next up, I’ll read it on my Kindle, trying my best to put my writer aside and only read, to check the flow.

As soon as that’s done and sent back to my editor, it’s time to jump back in to book 2. 🙂

 

 

General · writing

Writing and Goals: Weekly Update

WELP! This is fantastic…
So, I’ve been going in circles with this MS, book 2 of The Seven Stars Series, and I think I finally figured out why.
There was a GIANT plot hole. Like, EPIC. The question, vaguely, was “How does this character know this thing?” And I couldn’t answer the question without breaking everything.
I think, THINK, knock on freaking wood, I finally worked through it.
The problem now? I have to scrap the last 8K words and find a new path to the ending. Or possibly a new ending entirely.
The upside? It didn’t break book 1. From Stars, Come Dragons lives to fight another day!

 

Always working toward that word count goal, but a lot of those words, this week, are going into outlining.

Still waiting on editor feedback for FSCD. Nothing to report there.

I started beta reading another author’s manuscript. I’m a little over 30% done.

Father-in-law is still in the hospital, recovering. Things are looking up.

Time to get back to work! Have a great week!