Shameless promotion

Okay, okay. So, usually I keep the whole read-my-book crap off of my blog but this time I’m breaking my rule. Smashwords is having a site-wide sale and I have added Amelia and Lucius’s story to the promotion. It is FREE for the month of July. At checkout enter the code SW100 and the book is yours free. This is only good at Smashwords so you have to download the book from there. Click the link below and tell your friends. I love this vampire romance and I hope you do too.


Good to Know

Until this morning I had never heard of The Elements of Style, and I can now say I’m glad I never had. Having graduated with honors you can see why I’m glad I’ve never encountered this misinformed piece of text used by many who should burn it. Hater much? Yes. Oh, why might you ask? Well, according to the text those last few lines were incorrect. In researching the validity of the “little book,” as it is referred to by some, after having read it, I found a significant group of haters out there. According to one article the authors of the book were grammatically illiterate and many of their examples went against well established literature of their time. It was a good read so I included a link to it below.

Now don’t get me wrong, some advice was good in it. Gems such as “omit needless words” was good. However, many suggestions were downright wrong or written in a way which contradicted the advice the author was giving. What really got me was the fact even the newest edition had antiquated advice in it, like spelling tomorrow as to-morrow. Who does that?

So, to anyone who writes or edits using this archaic book, put it back on the shelf with the other outdated tomes and get a new bible. Might I suggest The Chicago Manual of Style which many US manuscript editors use? It might read like what it is, a manual, but the advice you get is solid and won’t make you sound like an illiterate buffoon in your writing.

Oh, I get it now

In my mind I have been feeling this churning; things are brewing it seems. Which is odd, considering I have spent the better part of the last two days sleeping…of course, my creative flow might have had something to do with that. Either way, when I am not sleeping I am in a fog, a strange funk of something, and I can feel the characters coming back to life. It’s sort of this strange reverse zombification, or like a space explorer waking from a years long cryosleep, and in this awakening questions of my readiness have been arising.
When this happens I like to skim tips and tricks, read a book, and generally get a feel for where I should go by looking at where others have been, and in doing that today I had an epiphany of sorts. Bogging myself down with all this you should you shouldn’t stuff I read online, ripping through BS I find in iBooks, or with wondering how well received my work will be when things like Fifty Shades of Grey is popular–and for proper author etiquette I will keep my opinion about that fan fiction, because that is what it is, to myself–does just that, bogs me down. Before, I had thought feeling-out my place in the literary world was what I should do, but trying that today has caused me to feel less encouraged to write and has actually been clearing the necessary fog of creation from my mind.
Lucky for me, I recognized what was happening as I was reading a tyrannical rant on Twilight. I thought, “I don’t want to be this kind of writer who spends more time complaining about how others write, or telling others how to write. I just want to write.” Oh, and trust me. I’ve gone off on some Nazi like rants in reviews. Over use of the word “that” eats at me when I read, as well as when people tell you what is happening instead of using descriptive language, so there have been times I lay into someone who has obvious fake reviews to beef reader interest. Am I proud of these moments of weakness? No, I’m not, but they’ve happened and I’m sure they will happen again. As for now, I can see how this behavior has added to my writers block instead of clearing it. The fog is good, I want it there. Maybe this little eye opener will help and the writing train will bore full steam ahead. It seems that is where I am headed, and I am happy for it. Now I just need give in to the urge to start dragging my laptop around with me wherever I go.

Meh and, yeah, whatever.

So I haven’t written on my computer in a while, but I have been carrying around a pad of paper which I’ve been hand writing Ariel in–yeah, so not looking forward to transferring THAT bad boy–so writing has been meh for me. It’s all still there, I can hear the conversations and I know this long sequence of events…but maybe that in itself is where the problem lies. I see this huge road for Annan’s book series, as well as one for my first erotica, Lizzy’s Lesson, and on those roads are offshoots of other stories as well as full detours for work, and kids, and life in general. So now I’m looking at these HUGE stories and am getting anxiety over it. Should I continue and write when I can? Should I sacrifice family and work to write more? Should I throw in the towel and not write at all unless it’s lesson plans and notes to school? These are some of the thoughts rolling through my head and I get all, “yeah, whatever,” about it. I love when writing isn’t a chore, when it flows and comes out faster than my hands can hit the keys, not when I’m all meh about it and I have to shove each letter out like I’m passing multiple kidney stones. 

So, here is where I’m at, and no I’m not throwing in the towel but I am scared of how huge the task seems and I don’t understand how other indie authors are able to put out a book a week. Do they do nothing but write? No kids, no significant other, no work, no life, just words–and not even that good of words–flowing forth twenty-four-seven? It’s mind boggling to think of. Lucky for me small things show me I should keep going, no matter how slow the progress, and never give up. For instance, a silly quiz saying I should be a writer, or the fact I still get consistent downloads on what I consider mediocre work. Those small things help keep me moving forward and as long as I take it one step at a time eventually I will see the end of that road, even if it is years from now. 

How fictional characters take on a life of their own.

Okay, so this is going to sound odd but…I was thinking about Adventure Time yesterday and how complex it is for an animated series. Now, you might be asking yourself: “What does this have to do with you as an author?” and I will get to that, but first bare with me a moment (I might have used the wrong bare in that sentence, it could be bear but I’m not spending the time to research it right now lol). Okay, so back to AT. When the series first started it was about this kid in an odd world who had a magical dog and they would go on adventures–hence the title–and save princesses who needed saving. (If you haven’t watched this show there is an unusual amount of princesses in the land of Ooo and I have a sneaking suspicion Princess Bubblegum made them all so she wouldn’t be the only one…but that is off topic, kinda.) Anyways, where the series is now there are tons of back stories arising which give depth and meaning to the characters in the story, not just Fin and Jake, and make it much more complex. We have learned that the bumbling bad guy is really a super nice hero stuck in a magically induced state of crazy as though he is permanently this alternate personality created by the magic that has kept him alive for a thousand years. We have learned that the world the story takes place in is actually Earth a thousand years in the future after a massive war which destroyed the planet. We also have learned that Princess Bubblegum is actually a mutated pile of ooz who is also a thousand years old. I’m telling you, the complexity of these characters is outrageous!

So now, what this means to me. Well, this isn’t the first time I have watched a TV series, or read a book, and thought: Wow, did they have that planned? How did that event work so perfectly with that other unconnected event from an episode/book in the series from two years ago?! The answer I have come up with as a writer is that fictional characters become real to their creators. The characters have their own personality, their own wants, dreams, and aspirations which drive them to make the choices they do in their fictional lives. Just like how the Ice King constantly kidnaps princesses in a vain attempt at finding love because he is really longing for his fiance, who he lovingly called “his princess,” from a thousand years in the past before the ice magic made him nuts. This kind of back story makes the characters more real to the fans, they can become invested in these fake peoples lives and wonder what the future might bring them. Such as with the Ice King, we recently learned Betty was actually brought to the future by himself, as his past self Simon, because she chose to go when he used a spell to say goodbye to her while his powers were taken away. Now she is on a mission to find a way to keep him alive and make it so he is not crazy and they can be together. 

Animated series, heck any series on TV, or books shouldn’t make you think about the characters  randomly in the day, wondering what will happen with them, if all will be well or if it will go to hell, right? No, wrong. If it is well written, if the characters have gone beyond the bounds of their creators to become something more, than those characters should be on the minds of their fans.

This kind of thing happens to me with the characters I create. The ones in the short stories always want that tie up in the end, Like Lucius and Amelia seeing her ex husband years later and her reading in his mind how miserable he was being married to the woman he was cheating on her with. Amelia wanted the readers to know her husband got exactly what he wanted and deserved, and so did she; happiness. They no longer live in my mind, speaking to me to write their tale, but Lizzy does. She has more story to tell for sure but that is not surprising since her original story concept was called: Confessions of a Sex Addict. That particular title heading will be making a resurgence, trust me.

As for my main book series, Annan, those people are so wide and varied I have back stories, for back stories, for back stories…no joke. Anyone could ask me any random thing and there would be an answer. There are reasons for things happening in book one that will not be discovered until book three or four, and not because I planned them that way but because the characters have. Saying that, or typing as the case may be, might sound slightly crazy, but it’s so true. If I had my way you all would know everything right from the get go. Why is Annan so pissed, why wasn’t she attracted to anyone before Sean, why does Sean act like Annan is everything in the world, what is the deal with Cesair? I really, really, really want to lay it all out and have everyone know everything but the characters are slow, either in their thinking–not that they are dumb, they just let emotion cloud reason the way real people do–or they are slow to reveal what they know, as is often the case with Cesair. Sometimes even I’m in the dark then all of the sudden, usually when I haven’t written in a while, some tid-bit of information is thrown at me when I’m washing the dishes or taking out the trash then the drive comes back and I have to visit their world again.

It’s like they are REAL PEOPLE whose only connection to the outside world is through me. The whole thing is strange and daunting, especially when I have self doubt in my ability as a writer. A story teller? Forget about it! I could tell stories on the fly until I’m blue in the face, but actually getting them down on digital paper and making them consumer friendly is difficult. There are so many rules and ways to make errors. BUT, the clarion call of all these fake people I made up back in 2008 is being heard and I must answer.

Which brings me back to AT. In shows like this, or others such as Vampire Diaries–which spawned from a 1990’s teen book series only to take on a life of its own all together–and the follow up The Originals (I used to watch VD but don’t any more and I have never seen the second series) I have to wonder if the characters do their own thing in the heads of their writers the way mine do. Honestly, from my experience I would have to say they do. This is where fan-fiction comes from, when characters are so real other people know their dreams and aspirations enough to write them in completely different scenarios.

Someday, I hope Annan and the people in her world are alive enough to infect the minds of my readers. It is my dream people will fan-fic my work far in the future and cry out for more, or for blood when their favorite dies or is emotionally devastated. As a writer who has these people in her head every day, playing out their lives in full vivid detail, I can assure you if Annan’s stories were to make it to that level you would see one crazy woman dancing in the streets of Seattle…of course that in itself is not an unusual thing so, oh well. lol

Laters all and go watch that favorite show you thought of when you read this, you know what I’m talking about 😉


Life, Changes, and Consistencies

Here comes another double edged update in life: My boyfriend is now my fiancé. This is double edged because it is wonderful and exciting and I can’t wait for our renaissance festival style wedding…yes I’m serious, that is NOT a joke 🙂 On the other hand, some of my free time is now devoted to wedding plans and not writing. However, I am still setting aside as much time as I can for that. I have allocated, and budgeted time for the wedding stuff allowing me to still focus on Annan and getting those first two books out. Two is going in an odd direction, which seems to be consistent with these characters :/ , but when I work on it and go over what I had most recently written, I’m engaged and excited to see where they go next.

So, though life is being life and some changes have occurred, there are still some consistencies. One of which I’m finding out, is that I am a slow writer lol! Of course, since I am a one gal show right now—no beta readers, editors, or proofreaders as of yet—taking the writing slow is best. After all, I want my stories to sound as good to you in your mind as they do in mine. 

Well, later everyone and check out my new logo created by my talented stepsister. It will be in all future books, in updated versions of current ones, and shamelessly splashed all over the internet wherever you will find me 😉


The Balancing Act

Recently I have gone back to work, which is great for the family’s finances but not so great for my writing. Before working I would write 6-8 hours a day, but now I can’t seem to find a single hour. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my career. I am one of the few people in the world who can say they do not feel like they are at work when they are working; I am blessed in this sense. But, what about my writing?

Writing never felt like work, it’s more like an addition. When I don’t write I get bitchy and irritable. When I do write I want to write more, I hovel away and ignore everyone, completely absorbed in the world I’m creating. This has been a point of contention for me as well since no one seems to understand how much I feel the need to write…but, that is a blog for another day.

For today, for now, how do I find my balance? How do I work my great, fun career and feed my addiction? Some may say, “Write at work, on break.” But, I can not and will not write romance in an elementary school—I may be addicted to writing but I love my job and a school is no place for literary smuttery. When I went back to work I thought I could just write at night, but after 8 hours of working, helping three kids with homework, then cooking dinner I’ve found I am too exhausted to pen a single sentence.

So, grumbles and sighs, I need to play the balancing act. I was able to write all day yesterday but I didn’t get to on Saturday, that other point of contention got in the way and my whole Saturday was usurped by my mother. I did take today off—subbing allows for a lot of freedom—to catch up on chores and to write but I can’t take too many days off, I have to work.
Looking on the bright side, though, it has only been a week and as more of my books hit the e-shelves I will be able to write more and use subbing as a way to generate extra income. Until that day, it will be slow going and books will take longer to get out because I will not sacrifice quality and I also won’t sacrifice my job. It’s all about balance and I know I can do it. Besides, why can’t I have everything in life? The answer is: I can.

Blogs, blogs, who really reads blogs?

Okay, so here’s the deal. As an indi-author I know it is vital for me to build a platform so my readers can find me and share my work easier. One of the resources I can use is blogs. But, who really reads these now of days? I read books, and write books—obviously—and I update my Facebook and Twitter as progress is made, but I don’t scour the net reading blogs.

Of course, as a consumer I also do not use Twitter and it has been a huge help in spreading the word. So, I can not, and will not snub blogs. But, this will not be another update on all things writing, this blog will be a view inside my messed up head.

I have decided to make this my free speech forum where I will write whatever is on my mind so you, my fans, or whoever you are—and how did you find my blog if you are not yet a fan?—can get to know me a little better.

Well, that’s it. This has been blog #1, laters all.