Can't believe it's almost been a year since the release of Four Corners! It's been a wild ride so far and with the upcoming release of the second book and contined edits on book three, it doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon!
I've been lucky enough to participate in some great events over the last 12 months, including school visits. I love talking to student about writing and also the struggles I had growing up with reading.
I'm also thrilled that I will be participating in the first B-Fest teen book festival by Barnes & Noble June 11th in WIllow Grove, PA. I grew up going to that book store (it has since moved locations from where I went as a kid), but the though of actually having a book in there and doing a signing is surreal.
I'm looking forward to the release of Two Worlds. I feel like my writing has improved so much over the years since I wrote Four Corners and think it's even better than the first book. I can't wait for people to be able to finally see it! My readers have been patiently waiting to find out what happens next, just a little longer! And I promise I'm working hard on book three edits so hopefully you won't have to wait another year to see how it all ends.
As always, I appreciate each and every person who has taken the time to read my work. Books truly exist when there are people to read them. Thanks for making mine come to life.
2016 is off and running!
I received exciting news that the Barnes & Noble in my hometown outside of Philly was going to start carrying Four Corners! Even more amazing, they sold out and had to order more books. I am planning on attending an author event there in July and look forward to meeting new readers.
I've done a few school talks and have really enjoyed speaking with students about the importance of language skills and speaking up when you need help. I struggled a lot with reading as a kid, so I feel like it's really important to admit when you need a little extra guidance with a subject. There is no need to struggle and feel dumb and defeated, it's so important to seek out those that can raise you up no matter what your obstacle can be.
I've also gotten back into the thick of things with edits. I did my first read-through of One Earth, and while I do have my work cut out for me, I have to admit I'm really happy with how the story turned out. NaNo was so frantic trying to hit word counts each day, I was worried that none of them would be usable, but I'm glad to say that's not the case. I typically write lean my first go around, and this time was no different. I have a good chunk to add, but I'm optimistic that I can keep on my March deadline for giving an early draft to my fab beta readers.
Outside of the world of Esotera, I am working on some new projects. One is an adult mystery and the other will probably end up being a middle grade novel. I don't want to give too much away (I'm just in my planning stages now), but I'm really looking forward to writing it!
As always, I will post new information and projects here, but if you haven't yet, please sign up for my newsletter. You'll not only get quarterly updates, but also be the first to see the cover of Two Worlds!
Until next time, happy reading :)
Holy cow, what a year! 2015 exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I feel incredibly blessed not only for what I accomplished, but the wonderful people I got to share it with.
I released my first published book this year, which is a HUGE accomplishment in it of itself, but the way it was received was amazing (see, all my gushing posts below ;)
I also completed the second and third books in the trilogy as well as starting on some new projects. Once I acknowledged in myself how important writing was and not to fear the label of "author", I felt free in my craft. For years I was quiet about writing. I may have mentioned it to a person or two, but it was basically a private thing I did. With the release of Four Corners, I had to be vocal about it. I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and let people into my passion. It can be a scary experience! When you share something with someone, it opens them up to like it or not. It's hard not taking it personally when people don't like something you've created. The feedback I have gotten so far has been so positive, but I still doubt myself. I still wonder if I am any good, but I have to make peace with that. With the knowledge that I am my toughest critic and to put myself out there anyway.
I struggled with editing Two Worlds and reaching the point where I thought it was ready for my publisher, but I just had to take a deep breath and do it. The same with One Earth. I just sat down and decided that I wasn't going to let fear keep me from trying. To keep me from putting words to paper (whether literal or electronic). It's not all perfect, but it's there. It exists and that I can work with.
I also started giving talks to writing groups about firearms and talked so some school classes about writing. While certainly not someone who struggles with public speaking per se, it was still a scary thing to put myself out there in another form.
My New Years resolution for 2016 is to keep doing that. To keep putting myself out there, both in person and in my work, and I encourage you to do the same. Is it scary? Yes! Yes of course it is! But those butterflies let us know that we are on the path of growth. That we are stretching from what we thought we could do and pushing the limits toward what we never thought we could. Keep pushing. Surround yourself with people who may pull you from time to time. Who will jump in first and let you know the water is fine. Do the same for someone else. If you see someone behind you going through a similar thing you just got through, tell them. Let them know it may not have been easy, but you did it, and they will too, and you will cheer them on when you do.
I had a lot of people cheering me. Those whose believe in me helped raise me up. I hope to be in a position to do that for someone this year. Are you thinking about writing? Are you wondering where to start? Let me know, I'd love to be on your team.
May 2016 bring you immeasurable joy, just don't be afraid to run out and chase it.
Just write. This is my advice to you. Find a way. Just suck it up and do it. If you don’t think you can get the story out, you are wrong. It will be hard and hideous and wonderful. You will hate it, like it, hate it again, and love it more than anything. It will be the worst and best thing.
And more than anything, it will be yours, and you did it, and no one can take that away from you.
If you’ve ever doubted yourself, never thought you were good enough, didn’t think you had it in you, I can tell you that you do. You are good enough. But honestly, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what anything else thinks, much less you. Writing is a primal thing. Having thoughts and putting them down on paper is a blessing that us humans have. It is an amazing thing that we can do. The sheer act of writing is amazing. You will surprise yourself.
You will write a heartbreakingly beautiful line. It will be the best thing you’ve ever written. There will come a time when you have to let it go, when it will break you apart inside to cut it, but we are writers and this is what we do. We must let go of things we love to make what is around it better, and it will make it better. You will forget about your one great line because it will be replaced with many more, some of which you will also have to throw away. It is maddening and you will want to quit. Don’t. Don’t stop. You will come out on the other side and when you do, when you hold that paper in your hand with words that have come from some place in you that you didn’t even know existed, it will be worth it. You will realize that you did it, that you are a writer. Don’t forget that feeling. Keep that knowledge tucked into your back pocket for the times when you don’t think you can do it, when you don’t think you are clever enough, or smart enough, or have enough time. Bring out that memory that you’ve done this before and you will do it again, because that is what we do. We bleed letter-filled blood and mop it up with clean, white pieces of paper and hold them up for the world to see. With each word typed we re-affirm this fact to ourselves. We can do this. This is who we are.
If you’ve only ever been a writer in your head, afraid to put it down because of what it may be, resign yourself to the editing process. Realize that it must first come out to have any sense made out of it. You can’t make something out of nothing. Put it down, walk away, come back and sift through and find the gold in the dirt. It’s there. You will find it. Be patient with yourself and let your mind wander. Always carry a notebook with you and keep one by your bed.
When people remark that they couldn’t imagine writing anything, that they have no talent, tell them they are wrong. Encourage them do to it anyway. We all have a story to tell. Remind people that their lives and their imaginations matter. Don’t lose your ability to dream and wonder.
Tell them to put it down on paper. It will be ugly and beautiful. It doesn’t matter. They will hate it and love it. Tell them it is worth it. Tell them they are a writer.
So I had all the intention in the world on January 1st of writing a profound New Year email...and now it is suddenly the middle of February. Does that count as failing some as-of-yet-named resolution?
I've resigned myself to the knowledge that things will never slow down, so I just need to learn to deal, adapt, and roll with the punches (something very difficult for a Type-A like me!). My writing has unfortunately taking a bit of a back seat, though I did write a little short story for a FWA contest (free entry for members, check it out! https://floridawriters.net/competitions-awards/collection/), but I have set a goal for myself to finally finish my self-edits on the sequel to Four Corners and get it to my Beta readers. I could edit forever, but as some point I really need to just let someone else read it. Plus with FC coming out in the next few months, I don't want to have a huge lag time between books if I can help it.
I also just got back from participating in my first Ragnar Relay. I was part of a team of 12 who ran from Miami to the Keys. It was an amazing (and tiring!) experience. The beauty of running through the mangroves at night with only the small light of a head lamp and the stars to guide you, the sound of the water lapping all around, was worth the entire trip, sore muscles and all. I've been battling some running set-back lately and it was nice to have a reminder that it really is something that I love. I wrote up myself a training plan and now am full steam ahead for training for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in DC with my sister. The cooler FL weather certainly doesn't hurt my motivation either ;)
So while this is coming a little late, Happy New Year! May 2015 bring each of you closer to your dreams and happiness as each day passes, and may you be able to release any pain or stress into the past. I think I will make this my resolution as well :)
So not really sure if editor's block is a thing, but I am making it if it's not. I've heard and experienced the frustration of writer's block before, but I naively thought that as long as I could get words down on paper (or screen) the hard part would be over.
I made the now embarrassing proclamation to my previous beta readers to be ready for a rough draft any day now and to see if their schedules were clear. They all enthusiastically agreed and were eager to get some pages to read.
That was two months ago.
OK, I could make a few excuses. My first round of edits came back for Four Corners, so that took me out of commission for about a little bit. Then I decided to give NaNoWriMo a shot and start book three, I think I wrote for about 14 collective days, so to be generous to myself that knocks a month off, that still puts me a month behind my own goal.
So what is my problem? I've read through the draft a number of times and highlighted the areas that need a bit of work or where I want to include a few characters in some scenes, nothing overly complicated, but then I look at my five 3x5 cards with notes on them and I freeze. It seems like an impossible task. I keep trying to break it into small pieces, but the other loom over me, making it next to impossible to focus.
I've had my word doc opened for an hour. I only succeeded in scrolling to page four, the first that needs attention, out of a total of 254 pages. Only 250 to go? (trying to stay positive over here...)
But I guess with so many things, the only way out is through.
Here I go, wish me luck, and feel free to give suggestions if you've ever struggled with The Dread of editing.