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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The End

Thanks to NaNoWriMo and my new “resolution” to get up earlier, I have finished the first draft of my Mythological Romance!  During November, any time after about 4am, if I woke up, I got up.  I pushed myself to go downstairs in the dark and start typing away.  It worked!  Not only did I hit my goal for the month (over 50,000 words), but the habit seems to have stuck!  I’ve done it multiple times now through December and Sunday, I wrote “The End”!

As difficult as writing can be, I realize that it’s the easiest part.  Now I have to start the 2nd draft and edits.  I’m excited and looking forward to making this story the best it can be, but I’m nervous because I get distracted so—-squirrel!

I hope NaNoWriMo was great for everyone that tried it this year!  And even if you didn’t hit 50,000, any added words you got onto paper is more than you had in October!

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

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

 

Best Author Vlog…IMHO

I stumbled onto a vlog while trying to search out something related to writing to listen to during my work day.  Her name is Jenna Moreci and the link will take you to her YouTube Channel.  She’s absolutely hilarious and I’ve had a blast enjoying her writing tips and her personality.

In fact, I’ve enjoyed her so much, I purchased her book:  Eve, The Awakening.  A genre I’ve never even tried in the past, but she’s such a great speaker…I had to support her!

Here is her novel synopsis, straight from her:

Eve is an outcast. A chimera.

After years of abuse and rejection, Evelyn Kingston is ready for a fresh start in a new city. The esteemed Billington University seems like the perfect place to reinvent herself—to live the life of an ordinary human.

But Billington is harboring a secret of its own. Interlopers have infiltrated the university, and their sinister plans are targeted at chimeras—like Eve.

Instantly, Eve’s new life takes a drastic turn. In a time filled with chaos, is the world focusing on the wrong enemy? And when the situation at Billington shifts from hostile to dangerous, will Eve remain in the shadows, or rise up and fight?

Again, I’m more of a romance lover, but I *had* to buy her book after listening so long to her channel on YouTube.

If you’re not interested in this type of novel, you should still give her Vlog a try.  She’s got some fantastic writing tips, mixed with her own personal brand of humor.  It has inspired me to push through writers block and get back to writing!

Check out her website and the first 3 chapters of Eve, The Awakening!!

 

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

 

 

LitKit Follow-Up (Review Month 3)

Well, it’s been three months and I received my order in full.  If you recall, I ordered the LitKit: https://litk.it/.  I choose a 3 month option to test out the products.  I immediately reviewed the first month because I was so excited about all the possibilities.  The second month, was a little more disappointing and I was slightly concerned for the last month.

To jump back a couple of weeks, my father suddenly needed open heart surgery, he’s 83 and it terrified all of our family.  It was a shock to our system and we were scared to death.  However, he is one of the strongest and active men I know and even though there was a lot of complications that could have arisen, he got through it.  Fast forward ahead, he’s now in a nursing recovery center and hopefully will be home within another week or so.  Thank you to everyone out there for your prayers and warm comments while my family got through this trying time.

RIGHT SMACK in the middle of this happening, I came home from another long day at the hospital, spending as much time as I can with him…to my 3 month LitKit.  Wow.  Just wow.  If they nailed anything, it was THIS MONTH.  I burst into tears because after everything I’d been through over the course of the week before…this was amazing.

My 3rd month included:

  1. “Novel Teas” Earl Grey Tea
  2. “Between Shades of Gray” novel, by Ruta Sepetys
  3. An adorable and well crafted coffee/tea mug with a ceramic spoon that fits IN THE CUP!  SO FUN!  “Live a life worth writing” printed on it.  My favorite item by far!
  4. “Sugar Books”, by Leafcutter Designs
  5. 2 vintage postcards from Argonaut
  6. And the ever present monthly calendar with writing prompts

This came at EXACTLY the right time for me and the items inside were perfect.  I couldn’t stop gushing about this month.  I’ll definitely be signing up again and looking forward to seeing what they come up with next!  I may have been a little hard on them last month, but 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.  Without a doubt, I would give them 4 1/2 stars!

Thank you, #LitKit for an amazing 3 months!  I’ll be back for more!

Meeting Anna DeStefano

This weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting author Anna DeStefano at my first GSRWA chapter workshop.  First, let me say that the workshop itself was very well put together.  I enjoyed meeting some of the members and everyone seemed very positive to be there.

“Anna DeStafano is an award-winning, nationally bestselling small town romances spotlight family, friendships and the forgiveness that nurtures her characters’ dreams…as they explore the issues all contemporary families face.  She’s the author of more than 27 novels (in more than 7 different languages, with over half a million copies of her books in print) that have garnered numerous awards including twice winning the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion, the Golden Heart, the Maggie Award for Excellence, and finalling in awards such as the National Readers’ Choice and Book Seller’s Best Awards.”~Read more on her website:  annawrites.com

She’s beautiful, extremely intelligent and positively amazing to listen to for hours.  It was sad when it ended, but I came away with so many great suggestions, tips and tools for making my writing better.  And not only the drafting part of writing, but the rewrite and editing as well!

She has all of her workshop notes up on her site, available to anyone and I suggest you check it out:  Free Workshops

One of the most important and SIMPLE things she teaches that “anyone” can do, is the “Beginning / Middle / End” technique.  Whether you’re a pantser or plotter, if you use this basic tool, you can’t fail in crafting a beautiful, desired story.  The idea is to sit down and, if nothing else before you write, figure out the Fear of your characters and their Goal – at the beginning, middle and end.  And here’s a hint…it should be different at each stage.  For example, she used her novel: Let Me Love You Again (Available at Amazon)

Beginning:  Her hero’s fear at the beginning of the story is attachment to a foster family he left behind years ago.  When he’s forced to come home, his goal is to get out of there as quickly as he can.

Middle:  Her hero learns that he’s a father to a daughter he never knew he had in the same town as his foster family.. ..now what?  Stay?  Go?…

End:  Hero now wants to stay, but…heroine wants him to go.

Notice that at the beginning of the story, he’s fighting against his worst fears and his goal is to stay as far away as possible.  In the middle and highest “arc” of her story, you can easily see how he is about to break and head toward the black moment.  How this “middle” incident can pinpoint his turning point.  At the end, he’s realized that what he wanted all along, wasn’t what he needed and ULTIMATELY wants.  Anna says to think about the beginning as giving your character EXACTLY what he wants, in the worst possible way.

She had so much food for thought on writing, it blew my mind and I’ve been struggling to process it all.  Anna made me think, made me feel larger than what I thought I could be with my writing.  I may still have a long way to go, but with the techniques and handouts (again, available to all on her site), I feel that there’s nothing standing in my way except my willingness to write.

Check out her novels now!  See below for a few, and her site for all available.

Thank you, Anna, for taking your time to speak with us!

mimosaanna

betrayalbellevue