Leaving 2016.  DON’T look back! 

This year has been pretty incredible. Good and bad. From all the famous deaths to my difficult personal journey this year, I’m looking forward to starting a fresh, new year. I suspect there’s a few people out there that can empathize. 

I believe happiness is your responsibility. I don’t believe in blaming others for what you’ve chosen to do or how you live. That being said, I’ve come to realize that if I want to finish my novel, raise my twins well and excel at my job…it’s all up to me. 

I have the same quantity of time each day as everyone else. Much as I want to say I need more time, time management is the true answer. 

Unfortunately, being diagnosed with bi-polar and panic attacks years ago, hasn’t helped. I’m not on medication or seeing a therapist. Honestly, I think I’ve done a fairly good job managing my emotions on my own. Until tonight. 

Sometimes I get fired up over something minor, that doesn’t even really affect me and I should let it roll off. But suddenly I over analysis, obsess and end up blowing up. To me, this is unacceptable. 

Going back to my original declaration…this is on me. It’s not my husband, my twins or social media that’s to blame for my frustration. It’s all on me. 

So I’ve decided to consider seeking out a therapist. To make sure I’m “normal” or to hear that indeed I’m a little extreme and need some sort of medication to even me out. It’s a tough decision for various reasons:  money, potential side affects, management of time around the appts…fear.

My number one concern about considering therapy and medication again is what it could do to me creatively. Sure, it may help even out my moods, keep me rolling on the positive side of life and best of all, quiet my mind to help me sleep!  But what if I try a med again, and lose my ability to want to create?

My writing suffered in the past when I was on medication. 

So. Do I try to calm my anxiety and even out my moods?  Or do I do everything I can to manipulate those outrageous thoughts into an amazing manuscript to fulfill my number 1 goal (after having the twins of course 😉 ) of publishing a novel?

Decisions, decisions. 

Adulthood is not easy. But one of my two options above should certainly make it better. 

The question is…which one?

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2017 Writing Goals

This past year has been one of the worst for sickness, death and sadness.  I think everyone is happy to see 2016 coming to an end.  And praying 2017 is a million times better!

I’d like to write out my 2017 goals for the year now; something I’ve heard many writing Vloggers discuss on their YouTube channels.  I realize that at the beginning of 2016, I said this would be the year I was published.  That simple declaration has held me accountable.  Now I didn’t REACH that goal YET.  But just listing it on my blog had that little nagging voice in the back of my head pushing me this year.  I think that if I write out a list of things I’d like to get done in 2017 with regards to writing, that it may help me STICK to that list.  Even if I don’t reach all my goals, I’d be pretty disappointed in myself come Dec 2017 when I follow up to say…I didn’t reach a single one.  So let’s see what I can accomplish in the upcoming year!

  1. Current manuscript FINALIZED and …either sent to a publisher or self-published.  I have not decided yet how I want to go about doing this.  But the novel I have in my hands right now needs to be finished in one form or fashion in 2017.  This is by far my #1 goal for 2017.
    1. If self-publishing, I’ll need to research CreateSpace far more than I have.
    2. Create a beautiful cover and all that goes with it.
    3. Work on advertising/marketing.
  2. I’d like to post at least 10-20 posts on this blog throughout the year.  I definitely put this on the backburner, which isn’t a bad thing if I’m writing.  But if I want a nice following before the novel is out, I need to actively reach out to all of you fine folks!
  3. Start a Vlog on YouTube….this is up in the air.  I’ve started a channel, but do not have anything posted yet.  I’m going back and forth on this.  We’ll see how I feel next year.
  4. Re-create my author website.  I love playing with my various websites, but I get caught up in it and do not write.  I need to remind myself WRITING and finalizing my novel comes first, THEN I can have fun updating my site so it matches the new novel 🙂  I do, however, already have an active FaceBook page!  Come check it out!

I think this is a good start.  These are simply my WRITING goals, not my life goals.  With the twins starting school this year, writing is probably the only constant in my life right now.

Good luck to all in 2017!!  Let’s reach our goals together!

NaNoWriMo Eve

Everyone ready for NaNoWriMo 2016???  Can you ever be truly ready for November’s Writing Contest?

YouTube vlogs, articles, podcasts – I’ve done it all.  And I realized only about a week or so ago, that October is unofficially called “PrepTober”.  I didn’t realize how much prepping you could shove into October for NaNo.  So I crammed it all into that last week!  Makes sense, right?  Strangely enough, I actually did a pretty good job getting ready.  I took last Friday off of work, sent the kids on the bus, and spent the next four hours working on my outline.  It turned into a 5 page, detailed outline of my plot and I’m super pleased with it.

I’ve moved away from working on “category romance” and this story will focus more on mythological fantasy/romantic elements theme.  I’m nervous and excited and ready to go and want today to last forever.  A little of everything?  Sounds like me.

NaNoWriMo is a contest to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  My manuscript is slotted for the 75,000 mark, so I’ll need 2,500 words a day, not the 1,667 that is required for NaNo.  I feel like I’m pushing it, but why not reach for the stars?

How are you all doing getting ready for tomorrow?  Do you outline or jump in feet first on the 1st of November?

I’ve decided to check in here throughout the month.  I’m hoping this will help keep me accountable!  So I’ll see you all soon!

GOOD LUCK ALL!  WE CAN DO THIS!!

nanowrimo

 

You’re never ready…

As I inch closer to 40, I have come to realize something.  I’m never ready for major life changes.  There are many out there that probably thrive on chaos and zero structure in their life.  Not me.  I love getting comfortable, I enjoy my routine.  It’s not that I don’t love to change things up a bit, or try something new.  I’m a writer…I have to get out of my zone sometimes.

But my twins started kindergarten this last week and LET ME TELL YOU, it’s not easy.  It’s never easy to adjust your entire life, but it’s even worse when the only two kids you’ve ever had…wander off in search of new experiences.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fantastic.  I hope they love school, make new friends and have a smile on their face every day when I get them off the bus.  Doesn’t make letting them go any easier 😦

Maybe I can absorb some of the emotions to eventually use them in my writing, but at this point…I’m just trying to make it through the day without crying.

Any readers with kids will understand, life changes that involve them on their path is scary, exciting, thrilling and horrifying all at the same time.

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I want to, but I can’t…

My writing process over the past few years can be best described as an out of control roller coaster.  I can sit for an entire month and hash out a first draft without blinking.  Maybe a little blinking.  But then I hit a low point.

Unfortunately, I seem to be at that low point right now.  I finished a first draft, set it aside, tried to go back…set it aside.  Then I thought, maybe starting something new will refresh me and I’ll enjoy going back to write a 2nd draft on the last one.

I fleshed out about half of the next story, I even jumped in with both feet and I’m in the second chapter now.

Hit the wall.

Now I can’t make myself open the rough draft of my finished story or my 2 chapter current draft.  I open it, look at it and shut it again.  This has got to be the most frustrating time in my “process”.  I’m struggling to make myself sit down and focus on writing, I’m irritated with myself because I’m not writing and I’m listen to just about every vlog, pod cast and writing lectures I can.

My current favorite is a vlog by Jenna Moreci.  She’s hilarious.  If you want to listen to writing advice, while laughing?  Check her out here:  Jenna Moreci YouTube Channel

I’ve already listened to her entire set of video’s twice and I’m on the third time.  She has her novel out and you can find that here:  Eve, The Awakening.

I’m trying to keep my head “in the game” with listening to her and also, my all time favorite writing podcast:  The Dead Robots Society.  These guys keep me completely submerged in the writing atmosphere, even if I’m not writing.  Check them out!

All in all, I love writing and have a fantastic time living in “my worlds”, but struggling during this “down” time is rough.  Do I go back to one of the two drafts that are waiting for me?  Do I set them both in a drawer and try something else?  Am I getting bored with the type of writing I’m doing and do I try something completely different?

I’m not sure what the answer is, but hopefully it’ll come to me soon.  I hate waiting 😦

girl waiting

 

 

The Man Himself

2016 UPDATE:

I originally started this post early last year when I was able to meet Nicholas Sparks in person.  As with about everything else in my life, things got in the way and it remained a draft.  Never to be read by others.  Until today.

Working around the house on my day off, cleaning and taking the tree down…I decided to start a movie to listen to “in the background” and thought I’d try The Longest Ride  (novel can be found here: The Longest Ride).  Needless to say, halfway through, I stopped everything I was doing and sat …crying of course, through the second half of the movie.  In TRUE Sparks form, he made me laugh, cry my eyes out and feel my heart bloom with love.

Dare I say…this one was better than even The Notebook.  If you know me at all, you may have just fallen to the floor in shock.  Just remembering the story is bringing tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.

For those of you that have not had the chance to see it yet, the premise is basically this:  The lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love.  The young couple brought together, then torn apart and finally realizing they couldn’t be complete without each other.  The elderly gentleman pulls at your heart strings as he tells his past through love letters to his dearly departed soulmate.

It’s nothing short of absolutely beautiful.

I realized I had this original post and decided now was the time to finalize it and publish.

Nicholas Sparks, you may be the greatest love story teller I’ve ever read, watched and idolized.  You deserve all the happiness in the world.  Thank you for making me want to improve my writing with every single word I put down on paper.

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ORIGINAL POST:

Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Nicholas Sparks.  As some of you know (or damn near all of you), Nicholas has written 18 novels, most known – The Notebook.  A good friend and I got to sit in on an interview with him, after the interview, we got to meet him.  He’s an amazing person.

I’m always curious how a writer is in person.  I mean, I know who I am and how introverted I can be.  I tend to assume some of the great authors were quiet, introverted, shy people.  Nicholas is exactly what I would have expected him to be.  A real storyteller, even during his interview and random questions from the audience.

He was asked how he decides the endings of his stories.  His answer was he tries to think about what we would expect…and do the opposite.  Bittersweet, that’s how he described his “type” of writing.  Being interested in romance writing, a bittersweet ending is exciting to read.  But it’s too difficult for me to write.  My stories will probably always have that happy ending, the couple has to end up together.  Perhaps one of these days I’ll attempt a sad ending.  I don’t mind killing off my darlings 😉

Nicholas was asked what was that defining moment in his life that had started him into writing.

Some of his other notable mentions would be:

Safe Haven

The Lucky One

 

A Walk to Remember

The Longest Ride

Most recently:  See Me

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“Lost” Excerpt

As the blade sliced through her skin like a knife through warm butter, red pain seeped slowly from the small gash.   She felt the cool hand of an invisible force press back against the flames of hell that threatened to engulf her.  Take her and bury her in the dark depths of an unforgotten cavern where no one could reach her again.

She watched as the trickle of blood started to ooze down her wrist and pool in the palm of her hand before overflowing and dripping to the crisp, white carpet at her feet.

Sinking to the floor, she studied the cut while a losing battle raged behind her crystal blue eyes.

This cut, unlike the many before, would never close.

Deep and shallow cuts.  Scars and fresh scabs.  Wounds that had long ago damaged the porcelain skin, but never truly healed, disappeared beneath the scarlet essence of life flowing from her body.

He’d never change…

But she’d never again have to feel the agony from it.