An Article About ME!

I recently went to my hometown of Columbus, IN to visit my family and to attend a local festival. We had a lot of fun, both with the family and the festival, but I also took a little time out to be interviewed by a writer for a local publication that focuses on women in the community. The publication is called SHE Magazine, and features articles about how women from the Columbus area are doing their own special things. My special thing, of course, is that I write and have published two novels!

The article came out earlier this week, and I thought I’d shamelessly share it here with all of you. Because I’m awesome, of course, and everyone deserves to know that!

The article about ME starts on page 26. You should check out the rest of the magazine, too, since it’s pretty cool in general.

Obviously, this means that I have achieved “famous” status. The money should be rolling in by the truckload now, right? I’ve “made it,” now, right? RIGHT?


I’m chugging along on a new short story, having achieved 1,000 words on it so far. The finished product should be no more than 6,000, so this is good progress. I’m really enjoying this story, and I’m excited to figure out the best way to tell it. After all, often times the way we first envision telling a story is not the best way to go about it IT ALL. This results in frustration, of course, (especially in longer pieces) but it’s a good kind of frustration, the kind that lets you tear your hair out for a little while, but then sits you down and makes you work to turn something that’s good into something that’s really great (or, at least, better than what it started out as, right?)

And, even though there is frustration, there is satisfaction, too, once you know what needs to be fixed and have an idea of how to go about it. After the hair has been torn and the head bashed against the wall.

Writing is fun! Remember, I’m famous now. You can trust me.

 

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Wearing the Publisher Hat

I’ve been working for the past week or so on things to get ready for publishing The Southern Dragon. It’s getting really close now! I’ve got the proof copy in my hands, and am pouring over it to make sure it’s up to snuff before hitting that ‘publish’ button. I’m hoping to publish in time for Detcon next weekend. I already have some tweaks I want to make to the cover, and we’ll see how the interior goes as I read through it. Hopefully there aren’t too many mistakes!

In the mean time, I’ve also been working on some other business-y things, such as getting more organized with my finance tracking and putting together some promotional plans. I’ve got these snazzy little business cards that I’ll be handing out at the convention. They have information on my two books and my publisher website, including a QR code to it. They’re meant to be easy hand-outs, and I’m hoping to get them printed up sometime early this week. I’ll also be running a sweepstakes, I guess? I’ll have a sign-up list and be giving away three free e-copies of Singer and The Southern Dragon to randomly selected participants. The hope there is that these lucky people will read and review my books, thus bringing me more publicity.

I’m considering doing something similar on twitter, once I can figure out how the logistics will work.

I also have plans in the works to set up a newsletter soonish. Still working on that, but would like to have it set up and the first issue out this week if possible.

I did manage to get some bits and pieces of writing in during this time, and actually finished the first draft of a short story yesterday, but to be honest, the publisher stuff can be distracting sometimes. It’s got its own sort of fun-ness to it, and it feels hella productive, but when it comes down to it, doing your publishing duties is necessary, but not a substitute for writing. I’m still learning how to balance my time between the two. I’m in a scramble to be all publisher, all the time right now due to the upcoming con, which I think is okay, but once it’s over, I’ll be returning to more focus on writing for a while. I had been hoping to start on my next novel earlier this month, but it will probably end up having to wait until after the con just because I’m so busy getting ready for it.

 

In other news, it’s the last game of the season for Detroit City FC today, unless we make it into the tournament… I dunno, I’m not the knowledgeable one on soccer in my family. But we’re going to the game and screaming and shouting to push them to a win today. I know a lot of people who aren’t ready for the season to be over yet.

 

Finishing

Today, I finished the first draft of The Fount of Magic.

Yay!

This one came with a five-week long hiatus, a segment of the “mid-book blues” as some call it. That time was painful, because I felt like I just wasn’t being a good human being. I wasn’t writing, so I felt like a failure in everything else I did, too. Like I was just wasting time.

But I got over it, and got back to the writing. Those first few days back at the keyboard were painful. I had pitiful word counts. I hated everything I wrote. But I did it.

Eventually, the pace picked up, and it became easier, because it was fun again.

And now, I’m finished with the first draft.

While I’m definitely glad to be finished (it means I can move on to all of the other projects I’ve got stacking up in my to-write list! Yay!!!) a part of me is not looking forward to NOT having the novel to come home to after work. It had gotten to the point that I would walk in the door, pet the kitty, and then sit down to say hello to the novel. Sure, there’s still editing to do, and that’s fun, too. But it’s not the same as when you’re sitting there, pushing yourself to just put thirty more words on the page. Only thirty, and you’ll break 3,000 today!

Obviously, since I’ve already stated I’ve got more projects, new novels will come along in the near future.

But now this one is done, and I will miss it.

We had our laughs and our hard times, and in the end we came out with a pretty good draft. But now it’s time to move on.

Sometimes Writing is Not Easy

I seem to have finally managed to get myself back into the swing of writing regularly on book three of the Songbird River Chronicles, but it has been a chore, let me tell you.

I made a mistake, see, and took a break for a day. That day turned into a weekend, which turned into a week. Before I knew it, a month had gone by with no new words created.

It sucked. I felt awful, like I was being a waste of a human being because I just couldn’t get myself to do some productive work on a project that I enjoyed. I read back over my chapter outlines to reaffirm that, yes, I was still excited about the story and I wanted to tell it, but I still couldn’t make myself sit at the keyboard and put letters together. Every time I thought about doing it, all of my energy would just drain away, until I opened up Facebook or Imgur or some stupid browser game and wasted three or five hours of my time.

Ugh.

Finally, I managed to feel so loathsome and disgusted with myself at my lack of progress that I FORCED myself to sit in the chair and write a pitiful word count of what I’m sure will be seven or eight hundred of some of the most garbage words ever created. But I wrote them, I did not delete them, and I called myself successful for a day.

This week hasn’t been perfect. I’ve had a few days here and there where I couldn’t get anything done, either because I was genuinely busy or because the energy drained away again and I whiled away more of my life pissing about on the internet. My word counts for the first few days were much smaller than I generally like to report, but I refused to let myself feel defeated by them, instead focusing on the fact that I had generated infinitely more words than I had on the days that I scrolled through Imgur.

Seriously, I should probably block that site.

Anyway. Today, I’m sitting so far at a little over 2,000 words. I may write more this evening, but I’m not sure. I’ve hit a few good winds, sections where the words flow out nice and easy, and I’m not struggling to figure out what I’m trying to say. I’ve also hit some snags, where I DO have to sit back from the desk and stare at the ceiling for five or ten minutes and make my brain come back around to focus on the keyboard. Those are frustrating, and are the parts where I’m most likely to deviate back to the internet.

So I’m making slower progress on this book than I wanted to. It’s a horrible cycle, actually, because part of the problem comes from the fact that I have other books that I’m waiting to write, that I’m VERY excited to write, but I CAN’T write them until I finish this book. But because I’m excited to get to those other books, I lack the excitement for this one, making it drag on and on.

Basically, it’s hard. It’s very difficult  to do something creative when you’re not feeling inspired, when every word that you pull out of your brain digs its fingers in and claws and scratches to stay inside.

Sometimes, writing is easy, but not this week.

Talking About Writing to Non-Writers

I’ve mentioned on here that I do a lot of writing at work, using a notebook. This often prompts people to ask me what I’m doing. Usually, that is exactly the question.

“What are you doing?” I’m taking a short break from writing to ring up your groceries.

“What are you writing?” A plot outline of a novel or short story.

But I also get some other versions:

“Are you writing a story?” Yes.

“Are you writing a book?” Usually, though sometimes I’m working on a short story.

“Are you writing a journal?”

This one makes me shudder, because, to me, a journal is exactly the same as a diary. You know, that thing tweenage girls lock themselves in their bedrooms to write, pouring out their angst and the unfairness of the world. Dear Diary, today, the boy in geometry with whom I have never spoken but am totally in love picked up the pencil I dropped and was all like, “hey, you dropped this.” He totally likes me!

So my first reaction when someone asks me if I’m sitting in public, at work, writing a journal is “Um, no, I’m a grown woman. A mature, professional writer. I’m writing about magic and dragons and awesome shit.”

I say it a little more politely than that, of course. Usually I go with a “No. I’m working on a novel/short story.”

My regular customers, who know what I’m doing, will ask me “How’s the book going?”

And I’ll be like, “Which book have I been talking to you about? ‘Cuz I’m working on like three right now, and while my publishing schedule is only just about ready to churn out book two, I’m writing book three and plotting book 8.”

Again, I am more polite than this. My customers, who are non-writers, do not need to hear my whole complex, twisty writing schedule. “It’s going great!”

I do feel, weirdly, like I need to uphold this image of writers for the non-writers. The image of working on only one book from start to finish and not starting a new one until the first one is published. I know some writers probably do work that way, but I feel like it’s such a waste of time. I mean, I can write narrative manuscript at work if I want, but then I have to spend time when I get home typing all that up, time I’d rather be using to generate new words. I need to dedicate some time to plotting out new stories before I write them, so it’s ideal for me to use time at work for that ahead-of-time plot work. It’s just a setup that leads to my plotting being so far ahead of my narrative manuscripting, which I feel could be confusing for the uninitiated, shall we say.

I really started thinking about this today when I made my facebook status update of daily word count. I realized that I’ve been constantly referring to the project as “the novel” which really just confuses me. Well, not ME, I know which book I’m working on, but it FEELS like it should be confusing to everyone else. I’d like to be clearer with these updates, so I’ve decided to start including the title of the project. And, I’ll possibly try to do something like that with the customers? Although, the majority of them don’t really care, they’re just being polite and conversational.

I don’t know, but more clarity makes me feel better, so that’s reason enough to do it, I suppose.