Updates and a Review….

Good afternoon!

So today I wanted to update you on my progress as far as my novel is concerned.

A while ago I was editing my book and re-reading it. After the last NaNo I took a month off and needed to re-read the story to remember exactly where I was and how to proceed. So during my reading I was editing what I had.

After a while I had my novel in my backseat in a folder and it got blown around a bit, but all is still together. (That gave me a mini-stroke!)

As of right now I haven’t picked it up since, which is terrible! I’m no quitter! What am I doing? I need to edit and finish! I am a writer! No dice!

I could make excuses all day (cancer caregiver, work, etc.) but everyone has a life and it’s all filled with ups and downs. And I would be lying if I said I never had a free minute. Obviously, I have enough time to post something each Monday and Friday. And being a writer means actually writing when you have the chance.

So, I should be editing right now but…. let’s just chalk this one up to building a brand! Got it? I mean Kristen Lamb does say……oh well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Anyway, I also wanted to hit on one of the manga novels I picked up. Firstly, let me say I HATE when a series ends and you weren’t aware of it. I mean, am I the only one who doesn’t check before hand to see how long a series/manga is? Secondly, I fell hard and fast for this story.

Millennium Snow is an amazing manga! It is a first and has a few flaws. But Hatori does an excellent job of using that to her advantage. My only frustration is that I felt as if the ending was a little too hasty. A little “dio ex machina” was used. (Don’t worry no spoiler.) I would have loved to have seen a little more of the very end because I thought it was a beautiful story. I also would have liked hearing more of the other character’s stories. For, as much as the first three books really brought you into the story and held you there the ending was very quick and left a few loose tails. So be warned, this series only has FOUR books and makes me sad.

Other than that, have a good one!

Winds of Change

So, this week I’ve learned a couple of things. Number one, buying a house is hard. Number two, the buyer’s opinion is all that matters. Number three, I will never buy and rent out a home. Number four, reading is excellent medicine.

We’ve been through the ringer this week and have decided to take a step back and rest. So the best way I can do that is by going back to my restful, enjoyable activities. Reading, writing, and drawing. It’s time to get back to my roots, and I don’t mean my dreads.

In order to be true to my amazing fans (aka you guys) I have taken on a long abandoned task. One in which you will finally receive a certain review you’ve been craving. Next, I am planning on doing even more editing in my novel.

On the editing note, here’s something I really want to advise you guys on. When you have finished writing your story print it. I had picked my story up time and again on the laptop and tried to reread it. But I noticed I began doing something I’m sure you may do as well. You know the story so well you begin skipping, or glancing over sections. When you have the hard copy in your hands it is not only uber exciting but it also makes you pay a bit more attention. In my novel I copy and pasted materials from my other works, or my other variations (which is why you should keep everything you write). From those previous excerpts I had to change some of the POVs from first person to third person. While reading it on the screen it looked great. But once I picked up that hard copy I saw a few ‘me’s and some ‘our’s. I have also noticed some timeline issues, and a few characters that knew things they weren’t present to have experienced. So, always print those many pages before doing any editing.

Another thing is spelling. Generally, a bunch of people type on their PCs now-a-days where word tries to correct everything (whether or not it should is a different post). But on the off chance you choose to use the old and wonderful technique of writing with pen/pencil and paper I have something for you as well. When I was in college my lit. teacher (it was tech school) had a really great way to identify those misspelled words. Read your paper backwards. Sounds crazy right? Okay, not read the words themselves in reverse, but read the paper backwards. For example:

“Sally then walked up the hil tword Jack and joined in the scene.” Would be read “scene the in joined and Jack tword hil the up walked then Sally”.

Sorry for the NMBC reference. Did you notice the misspelled words better forwards or backwards?

So, for the next two days it’s going to be me and my tablet on the couch deep in the world of literature. And what a wonderful world it is! Have a good one!

Step One (And a Half)

Good afternoon my nerdy worms! I hope you are still sticking to those resolutions. I am and they seem to be making life a little sweeter.

Anyway, after taking a month long break from the novel I decided to pick back up and press on. (On my new awesome tablet! The hubs got it so I can now write easily anywhere!) But seeing as how it has been a month I needed a bit of a refresher. So instead of just re-reading the last couple of pages of my 143 page novel I decided to take on part of the editing process.

After a cup of coffee and a few emails I now have my first printing of my hard work. (Thought you were going to get a title, didn’t you?) So now I have been sitting down doing one of two things. I am either editing or reading. Finally, I’m reading again!!! This is kind of a big deal to me because I’ve had a few personal issues that put me off kilter a bit, that and the holidays.

But after a lot of prayer and good advice I’ve gotten my groove back!

I have a very special review coming your way here very soon as well. Work has been slow and that has given me the perfect amount of time to get something accomplished I think you guys will enjoy. 🙂

Anyway, I want to wish everyone a very exciting year filled with new adventures! And I’ll share some of my good advice with you guys, enjoy life. Take some time for yourself. We tend to be so busy now a days that we don’t seem to take time to just go outside and smile. So when you finish reading this, put aside some time to take a day off. The world won’t end if you take a short vacation, so learn to say no. Just for a moment.

Have a good one!

Good Morning!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

I’ve been taking a personal break myself. Since November was such a rough month I didn’t want to follow it with even more stress. So what have I been doing?

Well, firstly I picked up a copy of Rise of the Machines- Human Authors in a Digital World by Kristen Lamb. I’m only a short ways in but I do highly recommend it. I swear this woman lives in my head, it’s scary.

Secondly, I’ve been doing some leisurely reading, which doesn’t really exist anymore for me. Not that I don’t thoroughly enjoy reading, only now I’m absorbing how each story is written. Why it works, how the characters present themselves, etc.

I’ve also picked up a manga. It’s been a long time since I’ve read one instead of watching it. Maybe I’ll pick up a thing or two there as well.

Anyway, I plan on getting back to the old novel after the first. So don’t panic, I’ll be back in the saddle giving you the ups and downs of being a writer very soon.

For everyone who has continued to write through this hectic season my advice is to keep up with Kristen Lamb. It’s where I go when I need a kick in the pants!

Have a good one and a happy holiday season!

Letting Go to Move Forward

I’ve been MIA for a couple of days, which really shouldn’t be a surprise, in order to regroup after the NaNoWriMo trek.

After a few days of rest and relaxation I’m back and ready for action. But as a writer what does that really mean? Allow me to explain.

During NaNo I gave you guys my most honest view of the whole event. The good, the bad, and the ugly. (Can you say Earnest Scared Stupid?) After a while I began using more cliches than anyone I’ve ever met. My brain went into survival mode and I couldn’t come up with new material. (That, and I lost my index cards.) So I began to feel like a hamster in a wheel, not going anywhere significant and staring at that same scenery. I felt that in order to hit that 50k goal I had to finish my story. That simply wasn’t so.

I had lost focus on the main goal. Yes I wanted to hit 50,000 words, badly. Yes I wanted to order my t-shirt from the NaNo sight. I wanted cake and balloons!! But in the end I had lost what my main goal was. To write a good story.

My reason for writing got lost in the sea of goop that is NaNoWriMo. I wanted to write an amazing story to share with those who enjoy reading fiction. I wanted to take you away to a new place that still feels kind of familiar and let you bask there. The same way some of my favorite authors do.

Looking back I see now that I should have realized this sooner. But once there is a line in that darn record the song just keeps skipping. And, hindsight is 20/20 anyway.

After having put many hours into my novel and feeling like it’s utter crap (yep I finally hit that wall), I have finally figured it out. That if I want to be a writer then that’s what I should do. Write what I love. Write what I enjoy. Take the time of day and just go at it. Right now it’s not about quality, nor is it about quantity. It’s about doing what you love.

Anyone catch the second Mulan movie? Remember “my duty is to my heart”? Well with writing that’s how it should be. Take an idea and run with it.

Now, I also want to say this: if you have finished writing your novel, let it rest. It’s kind of like a good steak. You marinade it, grill it, and let it rest. You need it to sit a while before delving into it again. With a novel you need to leave it be for a week or so. In Scott Bell’s novel he says to walk away from it for some time. Then, when you are ready, PRINT it out and read it. Yes, PRINT. Because that gives you a different model to work with.

Create a system to edit with, different symbols to mark so you know to look back there later. But sit down and actually read your story from beginning to end. It’s like being a chef, you don’t let that dish leave without tasting the sauce first yourself.

When I read my stuff later it feels different. Yes, I remember my thoughts I had while penning it down. To me, though, it feels kind of like a dream. I know my characters, but as I go through I am reintroducing myself to them. I am seeing how they present themselves on paper for the first time.

This December take the first couple of weeks and break away from your laptop (it’s okay everybody’s doing it) and rest.

Thoughts? Comments? Let me know! Love reading your posts!

Also, I wanted to share some of my inspiration for this post. It comes from my favorite blogger Kristen Lamb.http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/why-are-we-writers-understanding-the-why-behind-the-buy/

December First! Finally.

Welcome to the last month of the year. I hope everyone has had a great year so far, so let’s go out with a bang shall we?

I want everyone to know just how glad I am that it is finally December. So in order to do that I have one thing to say…
celebrate

It’s over!!!! NaNoWriMo is over!!!!

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be out of November!

I have typed my fingers to the bones and carved deep circles beneath my eyes. My body is so blown out on coffee it’s now part of my DNA. I have read nothing AT ALL this month just to keep up with the goals. I have eaten more junk than I ever needed to and ignored my poor puppy. I have hid out at my job and built my own fort. And where did it get me?

45,086 words!!! I am freaking proud of that figure!!!

And I fully plan on celebrating by sleeping for the next two days.

But seriously, I truly enjoyed every moment spent writing. It showed me so much and led me to many wonderful places. I learned that not only am I capable of much more than I ever dreamed, but also that it can be done with a life to live. Writing is difficult and easy at the same time. You tell a story and you have to work with it.

Congrats to everyone who made or even surpassed their goal!!! You are rock stars! And to those going at it your first year how did you do? Did you make it or did you fall short? It isn’t so easy as you thought is it?

I also want to share that though I didn’t quite make it I will keep writing. I have so much more to tell! This story will continue for a few thousand more words. That fact really shocked me! I figured after about ten thousand words I’d be spent, and to now know that my story can’t just end at fifty? That totally blows my mind!

I hope everyone had as amazing a time as I have, and I hope you picked up some valuable lessons to carry with you. Never give up on a story. It’s like Hayley said, it’s not about where you think you should be, it’s about where you WANT to be. I wish you many wonderful days of writing and a great holiday season. I’ll still be posting for you so don’t worry!

But for now? Get some shut eye, you’ve earned it!

NaNo Day 29

I. Am. So. Tired.

I have reached 41k. This month is hard. I’m tired. I can’t wait until December 1st. I think I may actually cry… *sniff*

As I prepared to do NaNoWriMo this year I felt like I had truly done some serious growth as a writer. I had to. I lost a job I enjoyed and didn’t have many options. So I did the only thing I had access to at the time. I dove head first into writing.

I have always loved the written word. You can effect people so deeply by just putting words in print. It is an amazing idea. You can whisk someone away to an awesome place with just some black and white type. It really is a cool idea.

And I began by emailing an author I admired. I thought ‘what the hey, the worst she could do is not respond.’ Then to my evident shock she did! And not only did she respond, she also gave me loads of great advice! Advice that I took and followed. I read every blog post and book I could find through the resources she had shown me. I became like a sponge absorbing each and every detail I read.

And though I have since gotten another job I still feel like writing has taken up enough space to be a part time job. I felt so strongly about it that at thanksgiving I wanted to tell someone that I wasn’t just a hairdresser, I was a writer too! And that, right there, showed me that I truly am a writer.

I may not be published, yet. I may not have any book deals, yet. I may not have an editor on demand, yet. But that’s only a part of it. I write because I love it. I do it because it is an art. If I don’t write I feel incomplete.

I always used to tell people that I loved doing three things: reading, writing, and drawing. I just felt that those three, along with some tunes, made for a great combo.

This month has challenged all of that. It has taken it to a whole new level. Writing takes a lot of time, thought, effort, study, and heart. It makes you push those mental limits. Stretch your imagination. Even look through another person’s eyes. And through it all I have only come to love writing even more.

These trenches are deep. They are dirty. They are not always fun. But I feel like with National Novel Writing Month you learn to push through all adversity and test yourself. You find out if you have what it takes to finish.

Tomorrow I want to hit that 50k mark. I can see that light at the end of this long tunnel. And while I’m not really sure where I’ll be tomorrow night, I will know I did the very best I could have.

I’ve read posts on the NaNo site that show some people with over 75k words, and that’s freaking awesome!!! Some of you are working just as hard to hit 25k. And you know what? That’s awesome too!!! I don’t know what your goal was. Like I’ve said before I was glad to report 8 thousand last year. Look at how much you’ve grown this month!

I will continue to press toward that goal. I do know that my novel will have to be more than 50k. And that is so exciting!! To know that my story won’t be complete stopping at that mark is so neat! It means that I’ve built something that wasn’t easy, but was worth the time.

So don’t give up now! You’ve got 25 hours left to go! Give it your all and your best! You’re almost there!

NaNoWriMo!NaNoWriMo!NaNoWriMo!!!

NaNo Day 27!

It’s thanksgiving here in the states and heading into what is commonly known as ‘Black Friday’. For those of you who are taking a few precious moments with your family I hope you enjoy. For those of you going shopping be safe!

So today I have taken a quick break, mainly because I was cooking my first turkey ever. (And let me just say it turned out great!) And since I am only hitting one store in the morning I have big writing plans. I am ashamed to admit my number, but they say the first step is admitting you have a problem. I am currently at ~36k right now. So, I’m not far but not as close as I’d like to be. I will be dedicating as much time over the next 24 hours to my novel as I possibly can.

I want to wish everyone luck over the next three days. Squeeze out those words and scribble them down. Good Luck!

NaNo Day 21!

Wow, it’s already the 21st…

If you’re anything like me you’ve had quite a hectic week. Mine has had all kinds of emotional ups and downs and different new adventures. And while all this isn’t exactly bad I find myself looking at my laptop and not really wanting to write today…

Now to be honest, I did write some and the day isn’t over yet. But right now I’m kind of floating.

But it’s almost the final hour!!! I know! I’m getting to it!

So while I’ve been browsing the web and feeling like I’ll never finish this book in a million years I stumbled on something from someone I admire. She’s another kind of writer, you may have even heard of her. Hayley Williams. In her recent blog post covering the past year I feel like we can all relate, especially my fellow writers. Here’s a snippit of what she wrote:

“The reason I’m saying all this is to show you that even when things look simple or wonderful on the surface, there’s always a battle to be fought. Don’t let it stop you from getting where you want to be. It’s not about where you think you should be, or even where you think you deserve to be. Where do you want to be?”

So, it’s at this moment that I pose the same question to myself and you. Where do you want to be? In one week where do you want to be? Do you want to be at 6k, 10k, 30k, 49.5k? I want to be at 50,000 words. That’s my goal. It’s not easy, if it was then everyone could do it. 50,000 words is hard! It takes discipline, avoidance of editing, speed writing, and TONS of coffee! But when you’ve made it to your goal, that place you’ve been looking to over the past month, you will be so proud to have reached it.

I was recently invited to send in questions to one of my favorite authors, Gail Carriager. She answered not only mine but many, many others. And one of her inqueries was this:

“Which did/are you enjoy(ing) writing more? Finishing School or Parasol Protectorate?

Gail Carriger: I always love the novel I just finished the most (because I finished it) and the one I am working on the least (because it seems like i will never be done. So right now I love Prudence and hate Manners & Mutiny.”

So even as you are staring dead-eyed at your screen dreading this novel just press on until it is finished. It is totally worth the work and sense of accomplishment.

I hope this helps you as much as it did me! Have a great one!

NaNo Day 19!!!

Woah! 30,000 words bro!

I’m super thrilled to have made it over halfway there! This is mega accomplishment zone here folks!

I hope you are doing well in your endeavor. If you’ve become like me you’ve had to find a hidey-hole to retreat to in order to get any words down at all. Maybe it’s a closet or an office. Maybe it’s your kitchen table or your desk. Or maybe it’s a bunker with walls built out of books and a huge KEEP OUT sign glued to the outside.

Where ever it is don’t forget to bring in refreshments and leave on occasion to use the loo.

I wish everyone luck on hitting that 40k mark by the end of the week. With next week being Thanksgiving here in the states you may feel the need to double up on your goals to reach the end on the 30th.

Don’t give up now! You’ve made it more than halfway! Don’t loose hope!

Just remember there are loads of novelists in the same place you are right now! Everyone from the well known to the unknown, we are all with you. Whether you are behind, on schedule, or ahead keep writing!

Have a great one!