Thursday, September 3, 2015

Done, Done, DONE!

That's right. Book four of the current series is DONE!

*does happy dance*

I feel accomplished, but considering how long it took me to write this book, I'm not shooting off confetti cannons. It's more like, "Ah...finally..." I started this book back in November of 2012. At the time, I wrote somewhere around five thousand words. And then it sat there. Then I upped it to twelve thousand. And then it sat there. Then all the way up to nineteen thousand.
Three years later...

*throws confetti*

On one hand, I'm a little annoyed with myself. I wrote the first three books in as long as it took to finish this one. On the other hand, I only really wrote like three months out of those three years, so it's still an accomplishment. And 90k in three months is an accomplishment.

Alas, it's not over. And I'm not talking about editing. There's at least one more book in this series before I can get to the one that's been nibbling at my brain almost since I started. It will involve some of the same characters, but take place way in the future (that's where aging ridiculously slow comes in handy) and deal with a whole different side of the story. I'm excited about that. But now I have to get through another novel first. Silly characters. Don't you know when enough is enough?

There were some deaths in this book. One had to happen. Another was rather unexpected and when these get published, will probably piss off a lot of people. My favorite character was granted a reprieve, though, so there. Sometimes you have to make the author happy and give them a cookie before chaining them to their computer for another three years.

It's really good timing too, because I'm having surgery next week and I won't be able to sit at the computer for a while.

Yay me!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Butter My Butt

...And call me a biscuit!

It would seem the book I thought (and have thought for several years) was going to be the last in this series is not the last in this series. Don't look at me, it wasn't my idea. I was all set to finish this chapter and put my characters to bed, but apparently they've had too much sugar and don't want to settle down. So, as I find myself just shy of the 70k mark, I am now at a loss for what happens next. I mean, I sort of know what happens. Or I knew what was going to happen. In a very basic sense. Now, I'm not so sure.

I'm sure all writers have had this happen. It's happened to me before, but not to this extent. I more or less knew there were going to be four books in this series when I started it back in 2009. But now it looks like there will be five, which means the spinoff series is going to have to wait.

Sorry, Mae. You won't be stuck as a toddler forever, I promise.

Unfortunately, that poses a problem in the Death category. I came to terms with the fact that I was going to lose one of my favorite characters in this book, but I might get a little more time with him. Someone has to die, though. And the person I wasn't planning on killing will probably be killed instead. One person is going down, but maybe not everyone. I'm so confused.

Silly characters...


Monday, August 3, 2015

Just Like Granola Bars

I've come to the conclusion that writing is much like a granola bar. Sometimes it's crunchy and dry and leaves you desperate for a drink. Sometimes it's sweet and chewy and just enough to satisfy your cravings. And sometimes, you're not paying attention and you eat the whole box and wonder what the hell happened.

What happened? Writing happened.

So, I've been spending a lot of time over at Alexandria, and, as a result, not much time here, but my sudden surge of manuscript-fueled creative energy left me a post short of my quota this month and I've been demoted. All in all, my time as a Resident Author was an enjoyable experience, but I guess when you're running an enterprise, you can't make too many allowances. Rules are rules.

The reason for my failure to comply is a good one. I've added upwards of thirty thousand words to my manuscript Changes in the last few weeks. I've also taken up guitar. Though, as things tend to happen in my life, as soon as I shelled out the money on an instrument of my own, the voices in my head got the better of me, and I haven't been practicing all that much. Still, I can't complain. This is the fourth novel in a series, and it's been sitting here for so long, I think it's turned into wine.

To celebrate my new-found determination, I wanted to share will you a scene I wrote today that made me smile. For those of you who have been in this situation, or know someone who has, it might make you smile too.

Jaden watched as Anika tore dresses from their hangers and added them to the growing pile at her feet. It looked like a cyclone had hit her bedroom. Both dressers had been gutted and their contents were strewn across the hardwood floor like bodies from a boutique massacre. She stood naked, blonde hair stuck to her face with sweat and bare feet trampling nightgowns and evening wear alike. Normally, the sight of his girlfriend naked would excite him. But he had a feeling if he got anywhere near her, he’d be missing a very important appendage.
“No, no, no!” she yelled, throwing a gauzy pink ball gown across the room. It fluttered to the floor in a pile of ruffles. “I can’t find anything!”
“Is there something I can help you look for, dear?” he asked, keeping a five-foot radius around her.
“Nothing fits. I can’t walk around in Orrick’s hillbilly shirt at the Senate.”
“Do you have to go to the Senate?”
She turned on him with fire in her brown eyes. “It’s the principle, Jaden. At some point I will have to leave this house and right now it’s either the plaid rag or nothing.”
His eyes trailed her beautifully pregnant body. “I don’t see a problem.”
“Do you want other people to see me naked?” She yanked another dress from the closet. “Because if I go out there looking like this they’re going to think it’s open season and shoot me.”
“Anika, you look fine.”
“I’m a planet! I don’t know how I fit through the doorway!”
“I know you’re not used to the belly, but I’m sure we can find something for you to wear.”
“What? One of those maternity sacks they’re always forcing on pregnant women? I will not be seen in one of those.”
“Then we’ll get your seamstress to make something.”
“She can’t make me a new wardrobe in one day, Jaden. I’m going to have to wear a bathrobe just to talk to the contractor.”
“You mean to tell me that not one of your thousands of outfits fit?”
She dropped a sweater to the floor. “I might as well find our best bed sheet and make a toga.”
He tried to suppress his laughter, but she was making it very difficult.
“What are you smiling about?” she barked. “Do you think being fat is funny?”
“Honey, you’re not fat.”
“Look at these!” She grabbed both of her breasts. “I could feed a small nation!”
“That doesn’t make you fat. That makes you delicious.”
She turned away with a look of disgust. “Men.”
“Do you want me to get Malia?”
“Like I’d fit into anything of hers. She’s a twig.”
“And so are you. You just happen to be a twig carrying a baby.”
“Well, he should have considered what growing so fast would do to his mother. I’m going to be the laughing stock of Terebinth Hall.”
“I think the Chancellor will understand.”
Anika waded through the sea of fabric toward the bed. “That I grew a baby on vacation? I doubt it.”
“I mean, look at all this.” He motioned to the mess. “Isn’t there something in here we can have altered?”
“I’m enormous. And normally I look skeletal on a good day. You can’t rip a few seams and transform a wardrobe, Jaden.” She took a seat on the bed, looking exhausted. “That’s it. I just can’t leave the house until this baby makes an appearance.”
“Anika, don’t be ridiculous.”
This is ridiculous.” She pointed to her belly.
“He can hear you, you know.”
“Good. Then he can learn that being a selfish child upsets his mother,” she shouted at her belly.
He moved toward her. “Come on, Anika. It’s not the end of the world.”
“No. The end of the world is happening out there and I can’t do anything about it because society frowns on politicians speaking to the public naked.”
“Why don’t you just put on some underwear?”
“Because none of it fits!” She stood. “My boobs are the size of melons! I can’t squeeze them into any of my bras.”
“How about a t-shirt then? I can lend you some of mine.”
Anika’s expression darkened. “Jaden, I love you, but if you don’t get out of my sight, I’m going to murder you and hide your body in this sea of useless clothing.”
He backed toward the door, hands help high in surrender. “I’ll go get Malia.”
“Get Zan while you’re at it. Maybe she can do us all a favor and get the damn kid out now.”
Jaden bit his tongue and left the room. He knew when he was out of his depth. And pregnancy was proving to be rocky waters indeed.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Go for Takeoff

Hello out there to all of my fellow bloggers!
I have been shamefully absent of late. One reason being, I'm currently holding a position as a resident author over at Alexandria, which has me posting a few times a month. Between that, work, and bitchy fibromyalgia, I haven't had much downtime. What little time I do wrestle away from the fatigue monster I've been using to work on various writing projects. I am happy to say I've edited all three novels in my current series and continued on with the fourth. I feel so accomplished! Well, you know, sorta.

Unfortunately, when I got into working on the fourth book, I remembered why it's been sitting here for four years. That's right. Four. YEARS. I know that might not seem long to some of you, but considering I wrote the first three books in as many years while also working on other projects, the delay in completing this manuscript is shameful. This is the part where I make all kinds of excuses about life being difficult and (literally) crazy, but the truth still remains. This book needs an ending.

Okay, it needs more than an ending. It needs at least another 70k, which I don't think will be a problem if I can get over my issue. I have to kill a beloved character. And in true six-year-old temper tantrum style, I don't wanna!

It's his time to go, and he will go out in a blaze of glory, but it's still a sad thing. He's been fantastic comic relief throughout this series and has grown tremendously as a person. Alas, all good things must come to an end.

I am also dealing with the fact that one of my main characters is telling me her story is almost over. I hadn't anticipated that. I'm not one for outlines, but I usually have some idea of where it's all going. And this came as a complete surprise to me. I see how it happened though. It may be for the best. But, damnit, someone has to survive!

So, I will try to be a better host and keep things relatively up-to-date, but for those of you who know me, you know I'm fairly inconsistent with things like that.

If you need me, I'll be at my keyboard, thinking of inventive ways for my characters to kick the bucket.



Monday, April 27, 2015

Sample Freely

I have a dilemma. What are you supposed to do when someone you don't know very well, a new friend or potential partner perhaps, wants to read some of your work?

It's unusual to find true support for the crazy authors of the universe. And while I share my work with old friends and complete strangers, it's different when you're trying to make a good impression. It's also a dangerous game. Because not everyone has to like what I write, but if you lie and say you like it and you don't, or tell me the truth and say it's not your cup of tea, you're going to lose points. It has nothing to do with my ego. You're going to lose points if you don't like cats either.

It's not that I'm not proud of my work. I'm just not sure which project to choose. They're all filled with characters somehow rooted in my life. That's not a shocker. But it suggests my life is more than a little screwed up. Most of them also make a reader question my sanity. And I suppose this person would figure these things out even if they didn't read my work, so I shouldn't be worried, right?

I don't know. Humans are weird.

I like imaginary people better.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015


I've been braving the online dating world for years, but the last year has been particularly difficult. After the way my last serious relationship ended, I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to truly trust anyone again. But, being the stubborn individual I am, I plowed on. I've gotten past the first few rocky months of being back at sea and I am now comfortable enough to laugh about it, if not enjoy the ride.

Unfortunately, when you're introducing yourself to someone new, the topic of What You Like to Do undoubtedly comes up. This is how the conversation usually goes...

Me: I'm a writer.
Them: A writer? Cool. What do you write?
Me: Sci-fi/Fantasy novels.
Them: Wow. Are any of them published?
Me: Not at the moment.
This pause makes me cringe because they always ask why I haven't published. And there are a number of reasons for it. It's not that I can't get published. I haven't tried. But the fact that I identify myself as a writer automatically translates to publication in their mind. If I'm not published, there must be something wrong with me. Or something wrong with my writing.

It makes me want to scream. I have had this conversation countless times and it always ends in me trying to explain the process of publication and how time consuming subbing can be and how with everything going on in the past few years I haven't had time to breathe, let alone do serious writing, and their eyes glaze over and I know I've lost them. They nod and smile politely and tell me it will happen one day. If I were a dog, they would pat me on the head and say, "Good girl. Now go play."

It's my choice when and if I want to sub for publication. I am well aware of how much time and effort goes into these things and I feel if I'm not prepared to take it seriously and devote the necessary effort, I shouldn't bother. It's a waste of everyone's time.

Do I want to publish? Yes.

Do I need to do it now? No.

Do I care if that bothers you? Definitely not. So, shut up about it.

I think I need to have a t-shirt made.


Friday, February 20, 2015

A for Alexandria

I have accepted an invitation to become a Resident Author in Alexandria. My posts will appear two or more times a month and I have no idea what I'll be writing about. Feel free to check it out! My first post was published this afternoon.

They also have an opportunity for guest authors to submit, so if you're interested, check out the Guest Post Policy tab and join me down the rabbit hole.

Hope to see you there!


P.S. I finally bowed to social pressure and joined Twitter. I know, I know. Follow me anyway...