Saturday, April 12, 2014

Update!

So, it's been FAR too long since my last post. My apologies. I am disappointed to report that I haven't really been doing much that would keep me from blogging. It's been a bit of a crazy few months--lots of changes going on. I feel like I'm typically pretty good with change, but in reality, big changes are difficult for me. I started a new job at work (back in October, but it's been a wild ride so far), my sister is pregnant with twins, I'm looking for a new place to live, I've put 15 pounds back on and I'm eating everything in the world, and I'm trying to decide what I really want to be doing with my life. What I would give for the financial freedom to write all day long. I'd be popping out a new novel every few months. The last time I wrote a novel I was unemployed. I'm not saying I want THAT to happen again, but I miss writing. What I basically need to do is just force myself to take 1 hour of my 24-hour day and just sit down and write with no interruptions.
  
It's difficult to focus on much of anything with there are so many balls in the air. However, I have been making progress on my edit of A Starter Boyfriend. I finished my hardcopy edit a while a go -and I'm now editing on my Nook (page 147 of 312 pages). After this, I'm printing it out for another read (I hope to give it to my sister, but she's literally about to pop out some twins).

I haven't written any more on KM6.

I also haven't written any more on AROUND THE WORLD TONIGHT.

I haven't written.

My boss sent around a motivational video about leadership last week. I need to take the message here and apply it to many areas of my life. Especially, I need to apply it to the one thing that really makes me happy. Writing.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year, everyone!

I have a feeling that the beginning of this year is going to be a little chaotic for me, but I have three main writing goals for this year:

1) Finish and publish KM6
2) Edit and publish A STARTER BOYFRIEND
3) Write/finish writing another project (either my novella, ARABELLE WILD; or my novel, AROUND THE WORLD TONIGHT; OR my unfinished novel THE JADE BRACELET).

So many choices.

Things with KM6 are going slow at the moment. I've hit a patch of storyline that I don't really like. I'm leaving it in at the moment, but it will likely come out with editing. I thought I knew where I wanted this book (and any future ones) to go, but I'm really not sure anymore. That's probably because I haven't been writing (even though I'm currently on vacation!). Anyway, at this point I can't confidently say when KM6 will be available to read. Hopefully before Christmas 2014!

Anyway, cheers to all of our goals for this coming year.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Some Progress is Good Progress

I'm still working on KM6. It's a little slow going, but at least it's moving along.

I've known for a while that Killing Monsters (KM2) was not available on iTunes. I could NOT figure out what was causing this. I'd gone in and made updates and tried to figure it all out, but nothing I did worked. I happened to sign in to Smashwords yesterday and saw that I had an open ticket on the book (this is a new feature where other retailers can leave you messages). iTunes was rejecting the book because I had something like "killing memories can be purchased at Smashwords" in the front matter. I get it... they don't want me directing their customers to another site. Makes sense. So, I removed this line and hopefully it will be available soon.

I have a day off today (woot woot), so I plan on trying to write for several hours. I did hit a bit of a stall with KM6--I'd taken the book in a direction that I think I need to reverse (bringing Gregory Waller back into things). I think that's the wrong move. So, I'll work on that today and hopefully continue on.

For Adam fans, rejoice! He's making an appearance.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Well... that didn't go so well.

I failed my first attempt at National Novel Writing Month. Epic fail. There will be more attempts in the future, it just didn't happen for me this year. The good news is that now I can start writing without the added pressure of a deadline. I plan to return to KM6. Hopefully I can get into it and plow through a first draft. I kinda feel like editing as well... but I do think I need to give writing more of a go. I've neglected myself for too long.

Good advice, Bradbury!
One thing that I hope helps me out is my Black Friday purchase: Microsoft's Surface tablet. I got the original one (it was cheaper) with a red keyboard. (I think red stimulates something... right. Maybe the creative juices will get riled up and excited.) I like the idea of being more portable. My current laptop is pretty amazing, but it's bulky and heavy. The Surface will be about 2lbs total. I have grand plans of writing during my lunch break or riding on a plane somewhere and writing. I'll admit, it was the commercial with the lady on the plane that really made me sit up and say "ooo, I want that."

Hopefully this isn't something that I'll set aside and not use. It's probably good that I went with the cheaper option instead of the newest model (which I really wanted).

So... here's to December being a better month for writing. Until next year's Nano!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

National Novel Writing Month

So, I still have five days before NaNo starts this year, but I created my account! I've also decided to work on the second book of my YA trilogy. Book two is titled VALLEY OF THE SHADOW. I wrote the first book (THE SPIRIT KEEPER) a few years ago now (yikes!). After I finished my MFA program I was unemployed for nine months. It only took a few months to write it and then I spent the rest of the time editing. The first book is 174,803 words (400 pages at 1.5 spacing). So... I might not finish book two with NaNo, but even though it's "national novel writing month" they tell you the goal is to write 50,000 words. As long as I hit that, I'll consider NaNo a success.

I have an outline for book two already, which is allowed. I also have about 3000 words, which isn't allowed. But, I'll just work to 53,000 words. That counts in my mind.

Anyway, I'm not yet sure how to add people as "writing buddies" but if you know how, add me and help keep me accountable and I'll do the same for you.

More updates to come!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Update on KM6

So, I've written just over 11,000 words for KM6 (just started chapter 3). It's been a little slow going, mostly because I haven't been making time to write, but I'm pleased with what I have so far. Like I always say, I just need to find a groove and plug away.

NaNoWriMo starts in 9 days. I still really want to be a part of it this year, but right now, in this moment, the outlook doesn't look that great. I do still think I'm going to start it... if I don't finish, I don't finish, but at least I attempted it, right? The only bad thing about it is that in 9 days, I'll need to stop working on KM6 and pick up something new (according to NaNo rules).


Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Next Project

So, I'm determined to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I was trying to hold off writing this new project until November 1, but I just started a few minutes ago, which means I'll need to figure out something new to work on for NaNo.

I've always said that there wasn't going to be another Es and Moo book until I could come up with an idea that wasn't "writing another book just to write it." It's important to me to be fully invested in a story for Estela and Moo. I think there was always the plan or idea to write one more book for these characters. I even have an old folder saved called "Killing Misery." And I'm pretty sure that it would've dealt with Estela's pregnancy. But I never had a solid idea come to me, which is why I didn't write anything back in the day. Back then the four KM books (rounding off with Hostile Kisses) "arched out" in a way. Meaning that the story lines that thread throughout each book all came to a conclusion of sorts and writing book six at that time felt too forced, which is why I didn't do it.

I think that's a type of selling out, for me. Writing something that I wasn't fully invested in just to write it. It probably wouldn't have been very good anyway. Most things done in that mindset turn to crap.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about possible ideas for more Estela books, not because they are reviewing well and people enjoy them, but because I enjoyed writing them. I love these characters and I think I've finally found a new story line that could open things up for more novels in the future. I think that this new book (KM6) would not only tie off some lingering things (Estela and Caleb and their growing family/relationship), but introduce the setting for the future of the series.

As some of you may know, if you read the KM series back on FictionPress, I wrote the first five books over seven years ago. Sure, I edited the books within the last year, but the hearts of them (ie, the first draft) were written a long time ago. I've grown a lot since the early 2000s as a writer. Needless to say, the tone and writing of any new Estela and Moo book will be different. Hopefully, the books will be even better! That's my goal as a writer, each book should be better than the last.

A couple things that I know will be different:

1) Book Six will likely not have a "KM" title. Because honestly, there's only so much that I can do with that and it's a little limiting (I think "Killing Misery" shows the limitation I'm talking about). Right now I'm throwing around ideas about Magical Babies. You know something like: Estela and the Magical Babies. Okay probably not that, but don't be surprised if in the end I do go with that working title. 

2) It will be told in present tense (like Hostile Kisses). Think of KM 1-4 as Estela telling you about how she came to meet and fall in love with Caleb, while KM6+ will be told in the present moment. This change is basically because it feels a little more organic to move into present tense for a first-person story. This, however, could change as I write--lord knows I changed KM1 from present to past tense halfway through. That was a pain in the ass to edit and showed if you were unfortunate enough to download the first version of the novel when I put it up online. It was a mess. Sorry about that.

So, yes. I've started KM6... we'll see how far I get and if I can even finish it. So, no promises, but I will try my hardest to bring new life into these characters. We all know that Estela can get herself into some trouble, so that won't change, but hopefully they'll be even more rounded, real, and mature. Anyway, I'll keep everyone posted on my progress here (watch the new status bar!).