So this past week was the start of March Madness. Every year I participate in the Tournament Challenge by entering a bracket. To be honest, I don’t really follow college basketball, but (and I’m sure some of you know this) I have a bit of a thing for gambling.
The bracket costs $30 to play. Winner takes home some money, obviously, and that’s pretty much why I enjoy participate. Just the chance of winning even though I don’t know anything about college basketball. And hey! It’s all a toss up anyway, and hardly anyone wins with a perfect bracket.
Other than that, I’ve been doing a lot of writing for book two of TheContinuous War. I decided to put down the novella for a bit. It actually served its purpose–kept me writing while my book two ideas simmered–but I’m definitely going to pick it up again once I’m done with the novel.
As for book one–I should be getting some drafts for the cover soon. I might share that with ya’ll to see if there is one you guys prefer over the other. We’ll see how it goes. I’m actually kind of excited as I let the contractor do their thing. I’m interested with what they’re going to come up with without my hovering over their shoulder.
Alrighty, that’s it for me this week. I hope you guys have a good one!
Hello people! How’s everyone doing? Good I hope. I’ll have ya’ll know–Texas is weird. The weather, that is. One day it’s in the 30s and the next it’s 80 degrees. It’s enough to give a lady whiplash–I never know if I need to wear a winter coat or not.
In other news, I’m slowly chipping away at the novella. I re-read a few pages this weekend and I know that I’m going to need to do some extensive edits when I’m done. It just needs to be tighter structure wise. And I’m the sort that hates editing. Like really, really hate it. But it has to be done. “Kill your darlings” and all that. Sometimes I feel like I need to kill the whole thing, but that’s when it’s time to maybe write about something else. Take my mind off of the story for a bit and let it rest.
Other times it takes all my will power to sit down and work on a story. With all the other things going on in life writing is the last thing I feel like doing. And I suppose that’s exactly the time I should be writing. When it’s hard.
But the more I do this, the more I wonder how some writers are able to crank out several books a year. I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those writers. I take too long to get things done, and when I am done, I take even longer with the editing process. And I have a buddy that reads my stuff and helps me out with content. She takes a little while to get back to me as well. So all around, my process is sloooooow.
But I guess in the end it doesn’t matter how slow or fast you are, as long as you write the best story you can.
Hi Everyone! I hope your February is going well. Mine is going pretty good!
So mini update on Dark Sun Rising– I’m now working on getting the book formatted and also contracting for cover design. All in all, it’s pretty much on schedule for the August release. I’m thinking the closer I get to the release date, the more excited I’m going to get to share it with ya’ll. I’m hoping ya’ll enjoy it.
In other writing news, the novella is still in progress, and I’m having lots of fun writing it. It’s a completely different story then the novel, but still very much in the fantasy genre.
So when I’m not writing the novella or preparing for the release of the novel, you know I’m watching TV and movies!
Right now, I’m spending time watching one of the best comedies on TV: One Day at a Time. If you haven’t checked out this show, you really need to. It centers on a Cuban family and tackles all sorts of issues including: immigration, sexism, homophobia, racism, and mental illness. It all sounds serious, yes? But the show has a knack for focusing on all these issues tastefully and with a large dose of humor. It also has Rita Moreno who is amazing! I don’t think there is a character on TV that comes close to her Lydia. She’ll have you laughing ’till your stomach hurts.
Oh! And also, I saw Alita: Battle Angel, and I know it’s getting bad reviews and everything, but I enjoyed it. Yes the story is a bit hammy, and moves soooo quickly, but you know what? I didn’t care. Because it was entertaining and the plot was still interesting and fun, and the effects were excellent! So yeah, I think you should check it out if you’re into fantasy movies. I think you’ll like it.
Well, that’s about it from me this week. Until next time!
When I decided to self-publish my novel I had no idea how much effort it would take. First, I decided early on that I would put out a book that was comparable to something a publishing house would distribute. That meant a professional editor, proofreader, and book cover artist. Also, other expenses as well that popped up depending on my personal preference that not every self-published author chooses to pay for, such as purchasing an ISBN, Copyright, etc.
Second, which is the largest effort other than writing the book itself, is the marketing. This includes self-promoting my book. For me, this will be the biggest learning experience since I have very little experience with marketing, and to be honest–I really don’t want to shell out the cash to hire a professional. So I’ve decided to keep things simple: I created this website to grow my readership, and to keep those that are interested up-to-date with everything going on with me. I’ve linked it to other social media like Facebook and Twitter so that my posts are displayed on those sites as well.
I’ve also decided to send my book off to get reviewed by bloggers a few months before its release. I’m planning a budget to pay for a few promotions when the book releases to urge a successful book launch. And I’m hoping to have a few book giveaways as well.
So that’s pretty much my plan. We’ll see how it goes.
Writing is hard. I’m in the middle of writing book two and it hasn’t progressed as far as I would hope. But I suppose it’s to be expected. Interest wanes for me, especially this time of year when I have the holidays to distract me. Every weekend is pretty much something festive to do with the family. Whether its decorating, baking cookies, putting up the Christmas tree–it’s pretty much all the things I want to do that take priority over writing.
That’s not to say I don’t try. I certainly do, I just don’t get much done. Maybe a few pages here and there. And my attention is a bit divided so that when I reread the copy I don’t remember it all. That ever happen to you? You reread something and you have no recollection of writing it in the first place? That’s where I am right now. I re-read a chapter and thought: “Damn, who wrote this? They sure are good!”
Okay, that only happens sometimes. And when it does happen I spend a lot of time laughing at myself. Because I’m just a jolly person. And that’s what this time of year is about, right?
I’ve been going through the proof-read copy of my novel. It’s been awhile since I have read it that the whole thing seems new. Well, newish. Which brings me to a new topic when it comes to writing: resting.
There are some writers out there that are so quick with their writing–so full of ideas, that they develop their stories with immediacy, and then release them just as quickly out to the public. I am not one of those writers. It takes me forever to finish my stories, and then once I do, they sit for a little while.
There are many benefits to letting your story rest. The most significant is it gives you time to put distance between you and your work so that you may look upon it with fresh eyes. It’s only when we’ve put that distance that we can recognize what needs work and what doesn’t.
Personally, it helps me pick out the aspects of my prose that doesn’t match the tone I’m shooting for. It also helps with dialogue and plot, because many times, something that made perfect sense while I was writing could actually be quite confusing when I re-read it after I’ve rested my story for awhile.
So what do you guys think? Are you fans of resting your stories as well?
Fall is finally here, and I have to say, so far I’m loving it. Texas is hot. Like fry an egg on the sidewalk hot, and the cool weather of autumn is always welcome.
But with the nice weather also comes one of the best times of the year for readers and authors: Halloween. Now let me just say, I’m not super into Halloween. I don’t dress up, nor do I go to many parties. Some years the most I do is pass out candy in a mask, and do I end up eating most of the candy? Yes, but that’s beside the point! The point is it’s Halloween time, people! And you know what I love? The stories!
You see–I can be a scaredy cat. There are very few scary movies I can watch and to be honest, the ones I do watch I spend most of the time with my eyes covered. But I love a good scary story, especially when they’re told orally.
Growing up, this was the only way stories were told. No one wrote down their tales about La Llorona or the Chupacabra. Everyone just shared the ones they had, face to face from across the table. Or under a blanket fort with the lights off and a flashlight. I can tell you that everyone had an grandpa, uncle, aunt, or cousin that saw La Llorona when I was a kid. Was it real? Who knows. But it was fun hearing the tales. All different, yet similar.
One time, my grandma told me a story where she came face to face with La Lechusa, and you know what? I believed her. Was I able to sleep that night? Hell no. Do I still ask her to tell that story now years later? Of course! It’s my favorite scary story of hers.
The story where my grandma, the badass, survived an encounter with a monster. Talk about heroes right?!
So does this time of year have you guys excited too? I hope so.
Inspiration is a funny thing–at least to me. The oddest things will inspire me to write. Sometimes its something mundane, like taking a walk outside. Something in the air will just put me in the mood to grab my laptop and type away.
Other times, it’s when I’m eavesdropping on conversations (Don’t judge me, but eavesdropping is one of my favorite things to do. And hey! If people don’t want to be overhead, then they should have their conversations somewhere private). Sometimes the dynamic people have–the camaraderie between good friends, that’s something that moves me to write as well. Because that’s actually something I try to capture with my characters. I want them to strike a chord with readers. I want my characters to feel real, and their conversations authentic.
When it comes to emotions–well this is going to sound basic, but I get that from real life. My life. I try to remember not only how I felt, but those around me in certain situations. Weddings, funerals, vigils. Church, holidays, get togethers. All the good, the bad–those are the kind of situations that I pull emotions from, and I try to transfer them into my characters.
For settings–well, it’s usually places I’ve been. I recently took a trip to DC and Virginia, and just being in Old Alexandria put me in the mood to write. If you’ve never been, it’s really beautiful. So beautiful I decided to write a novella that takes place in Virginia in a town a lot similar to Old Alexandria.
So there you go. Just a small list of the things that inspire me to write. So what kind of things inspire you?
So like a lot of people out there, I really love the Marvel Universe movies. But recently I was speaking to someone and they mentioned how the movies are all the same, regardless of who the main characters are. So that got me thinking, is Marvel really cranking out the same plot with different characters and settings? Well let’s see.
Although Avengers: Infinity War is the most recent release–for this post–I’d like to focus on Black Panther. Personally, I love Black Panther. I loved Wakanda and the whole idea that there was this country that was covertly strong with high tech. Also that Wakanda seemed to have a thriving culture and a monarchy that was just and fair.
But lets take a closer look at T’Challa, the protagonist of Black Panther and King of Wakanda. When T’Challa’s father dies, he assumes the throne, as is his birthright. When Ulysses Klaue, a villain from the past pops up, it’s T’Challa’s responsibility to bring him in for Wakandan justice. Unfortunately, Erik Stevens, the “Killmonger” and T’Challa’s long lost cousin, brings Klaue back to Wakanda dead, and also to challenge T’Challa for the throne. Stevens wins, and brings chaos to Wakanda as there are some Wakandans that want to bring weapons of power to people of African descent around the world so that they may fight their oppressors, and then there are others that don’t. A huge battle ensues, and T’Challa is able to wrestle control back of the throne before the weapons are made available to the public.
So after that quick recap, I wonder, does this story bare any resemblance to other Marvel movies? A hero, a villain, the conflict? Hmm maybe Spider Man? A little bit of Iron Man, too? Maybe some Captain America and Doctor Strange as well?
But you know what? It doesn’t matter. It’s the movie’s differences that set it apart, and make it great.
And besides. It’s Stan Lee’s story. They’re all Stan Lee’s stories. And if he likes to repeat motifs, then why not? It’s not like they don’t work.
Sometimes its hard to find time to read. I’ve been working on finishing book 8 of the Wheel of Time series for years. My brother gives me such shit about it, because I started reading the series before him, was even four books in, and he surpassed me and finished the whole thing. But the truth is, something had to give–there are only so many hours in the day, and so many things we can do with those hours. I choose to write.
Prioritizing your life is hard when you’re a writer and you have a full time job, family, and all the other things in life. But it has to be done. You need to chisel out time in your day to actually do some writing. It was hard for me (and still can be), because my life is so full, but I decided it had to be done. I needed to cut the fat from my life.
The things that I had to spend less time doing were binge watching TV and reading books. Those two things took huge chunks of my time, so they had to go. Not watching so much TV isn’t a bad thing. I hardly miss it. But my books! Oh, I miss them. I miss immersing myself in someone else’s world. It’s the best! Especially when the author does it so well. But with work and life and all those other things, I have to choose writing over reading my epics.
I’m sure there are other writers that have made the same decision, and cut certain things out of their life to make time for their writing. It’s a difficult thing to do, because lets face it, sometimes writing is hard. It’s easy to be distracted and do something else. But you know its gone too far when three months have gone by and you’ve done absolutely nothing. Nothing to move your story forward. At this point, you might as well be in quick sand, trying to pull yourself from being stuck, only to sink further. It happens–you lose interest in your story, and start putting it off, and before you know it, it’s shelved.
So this is the importance of prioritizing your time to write. So many bad things happen when you don’t. So make a plan and stick to it, and you’ll be a much better writer for it.