Friday, December 30, 2011

That Man's Got My Gun!

I need a good kick in the pants. Well, maybe not an actual kick in the pants, because that could lead to damage, and for the most part, I like my pants. No, I need a figurative kick in the pants. And I need it in several areas of my life.

So, I quit my job. You know, the one that gave me money for the hours I thought about the novels I wasn't writing. Now that I'm home with hours to spare, I'm not writing. Do I have a good excuse?


Okay, well, I was just in a car accident (several weeks ago) and I got sick (a couple of weeks ago) and it turned into bronchitis (last week), but up until this point, coughing hasn't made me incapable of using my fingers. I'm just being lazy. Or difficult. Or difficult in a lazy fashion. I don't know. Whichever way you look at it, I'm not writing and I should be.

What gives?

It's not that I can't write. I just don't want to. I can sit here and make myself write, but it doesn't end well. You could argue that anything is better than nothing, but I have high standards. I can't write crap. I won't stand for it. And while people have told me that what I think is "crap" is actually better than some final drafts, to me, it's crap. And I just can't have that.

I also want to go back to Colorado. But now that I don't have a job, I'm afraid that if I go, I won't come back. That's a little awkward. I mean, I came back once because I had a job and stuff waiting for me here. But now I don't. And my family has told me multiple times that if Colorado will make me happy, go to Colorado. So, why the hell am I not going?

I have no idea.

And I don't want to write.



Monday, December 12, 2011

Journey to a Standstill

So, I have decided that I have no idea what I’m doing. Not that I decided to get to this point, though, I suppose in a sense, I have. In four days I will be voluntarily unemployed, living at home with my parents for an undetermined amount of time, without a car. And as pathetic as that all sounds, it might be the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

In the last two months, I have taken steps to gain control of my life. And it’s not that someone else was in the driver’s seat. I was. I just wasn’t in my right mind. And when you’re not in your right mind, you do stupid things. Some people drink. Some people do drugs. Some people self-injure or stop eating or eat too much. I’ve done most of these things (minus the drugs- as my life is a little too trippy on its own) and none of it has gotten me any closer to that inner peace people talk about. They’re shortcuts through the forest that get you stuck in a swamp. And once you’re stuck, it takes a hell of a lot of effort to get yourself out again.

At some point in the last two months, I realized I was losing myself; losing myself to depression, to stress, to illness. I didn’t want to write. And even when I did want to write, I didn’t have the energy. Writing has gotten me through a lot of bad things in my life. It got me through an abusive childhood and abusive boyfriends. It got me through back-stabbing friends and cheaters. It even got me through a particularly dark time after my sophomore year of high school when I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house. So, when I can’t write, there’s something really wrong. And when I stop caring I can’t write; something needs to be done.

Going to Colorado was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It was a decision that put me first, even though I knew what it would cost me. And it didn’t fix everything. I came back home and things were still the same. I went back to work and it still depressed and stressed me. It didn’t take long for me to settle back in to the familiar monotony. But just when it looked like things were going to be the same as they were before, I got in a car accident. It was a jarring experience, in more than one way.

Physical pain and an inability to do much about it really gives you a different perspective. Suddenly you’re staring into the eyes of a cold hard truth: no one is going to take care of you, so you might as well take care of yourself. And it didn’t hit me like that Chrysler Town and Country. My family was actually very accommodating. Helpful, even. But when I was forced to go back to work after just one day at home in bed because I didn’t have the PTO to stay home because I’d just returned from medical leave, the reality of the situation started to sink in. And when I got pulled into a meeting and threatened with corrective action because of something I had done while on the medication prescribed to me so I could actually be at work, it hit me. I don’t need this. I need food, I need water, I need air, but I don’t need this. Not when this is killing me. And it was. Slowly.

So, I handed in my resignation. I don’t have another job. I don’t have a plan. I don’t know when I’ll be able to drive my car again. But you know what? I’m writing. And to me, that makes all the difference.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crickets Dig the Friction

So, if any of you have seen Jiminy Cricket around, please send him my way. I need to find a star and dial up the Blue Fairy pronto.

My NaNo project is in critical condition. I have accepted that there is NO way I'm going to make 50k by the end of the month, but now I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to get to 25k. This doesn't depress me nearly as much as I thought it would. I guess the fact that it doesn't depress me, depresses me more. Not that that's dysfunctional or anything.

Truthfully, I haven't been putting a whole lot of effort into it. I know I'm capable of cranking out 2k a day, I just don't. Most days I have good excuses. The rest of the time I wonder if I'm fooling myself about writing as a profession. I keep thinking that I have more time. I'm only 22. There's no rush. I have years to try and get my books published. But I won't always be 22. And the years will probably sneak up on me (much like all of my excuses for not writing) and before I know it, I'll be middle aged and sitting on a pile of unread manuscripts. I can't let that happen.

It probably doesn't help that I've had a lot of excitement (and I don't mean the good kind) this year. Maybe once I figure out where I'm living and working and whether or not my body is falling apart, I'll have more energy to write.

In the meantime, there's always Netflix ;)


Monday, November 14, 2011

Click Your Heels

I clicked my heels and what would you know? It made me trip on the moving sidewalk at the airport. Has anyone ever realized how fast those things go? You just start walking along and before you know it, you're at the end and threatening to kiss the carpet. I must master those in my next life. Or possibly this one, once I've gotten rid of the bruises.

I am home! I wanted to come home because I missed my kitties (you know, and the family, sort of) but apparently they have moved on. They are now sleeping with my mother. Mutiny, I say! I go away for three weeks....

Okay, well, I did go away for three weeks. And they are babies (six months old) so I suppose I can't blame them for seeking a little motherly love. But come on. If you're gonna go to someone for a snuggle, don't go to the mother. Mothers poke injuries to see if they've stopped bleeding before they slap a band-aid on it and tell you to stop crying. Mothers aren't for cuddling. At least, mine never was.

I'm not sure what I was hoping for when I came home. Maybe a warm welcome. Instead I got a shrug of indifference and everyone went about their business. Then again, their business was sleep, and it's sort of nearing 2am.

Damn. That's two arguments I've talked myself out of.

Anyway, I'm back in Cleveland and I miss Colorado already. If any of you are looking for a fantastic place to vacation (or hide from reality like I did) I HIGHLY recommend Sundance Trail Guest Ranch in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Here is their website. They are all things wonderful. I mean, they put up with me for almost three weeks, so that's about as saintly as you can get without ascending to another plane of existence.

I am now going to try and remember what time on the eastern coast feels like.

Night all!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Real Cowboys Don't Bruise

Yes, I was actually told this by the owner of the ranch I'm staying at. He was joking of course, but it's a common mentality up here. Cowboys are rough, tough, and sometimes flamboyantly gay, creatures that can cook, clean, and generally keep themselves pretty for whatever cowgirls (or boys) happen to be wandering by.

I love Colorado.

I've been here a little over two weeks. I've already changed my flight once to extend my stay, but I will be coming home on Sunday. Sooner or later I have to bite the bullet and merge back into the lane to Crazy Town, right?

I've gotten a lot of writing done in the last two weeks, and even though I'm still WAY behind on NaNo, I feel a lot better. It's been such a long time since I've had the energy and motivation to write. I know that a huge part of writing is discipline, but when you're so stressed that you can't see straight (or your heart puts you in the hospital for a couple of days) there just isn't much left to pour into your characters.

During this little break from reality, I've had the opportunity to 1) Calm the f*ck down, 2) Realize that not everything has to be perfect, and 3) Accept the fact that being miserable and making money are counterproductive, because I've spend most of that money (and all of my time off) on doctors. It's not a great way to live.

I have also noticed that I really don't appreciate people telling me to learn to deal with the stress, because stress is everywhere. Am I crazy for wanting an existence that doesn't land me in the ER? I don't think so. And, yes, I do realize that stress comes with any job, but it doesn't have to be so much stress that your body is literally breaking down, even if you're consciously telling yourself you can handle it. That's not me flaking out. That's a serious problem.

I'll get down off my soapbox now and let you all go back to your daily lives. To all those doing NaNo this year, right on! To those not doing NaNo this year, you're a far smarter person than I am.

Hugs from Colorado.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

They're Coming to Take Me Away

Not to the funny farm, but to a ranch in Colorado.

Okay, well, I'm flying to them and then they're coming to get me, but still. You get the idea.

That's right, I'm headed for two weeks in the quiet solitude of the Rocky Mountains. Home cooked meals, horseback riding, and long days of pondering my existence await me. The reason I'm going is kind of depressing, but at this point I'll take what I can get. And who wouldn't take a medical leave of absence and use it for a little R&R when given the opportunity?

Internet access will be limited (as well as any and all contact with the outside world) so chances are that you guys won't hear from me for a while. The upside is that I'll be there for the start of NaNo. I'm hoping that this year it will do some good (both for me and my unfinished projects) and I'll crank out those fifty thousands words like they're going to evaporate if I don't get them down on paper. And who knows? Maybe they will.

Wish me luck :)


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Going off the Rails on a Crazy Train

It's shameful how little I've been blogging lately. I would like to say that I've been off somewhere, spending hours upon hours writing a great masterpiece. Unfortunately, if there's a masterpiece in me, it's going to need a little coercing to come out.

It's not that I'm incapable of writing. On the contrary, I started book four of my fantasy series recently. And while that series has brought me years of entertainment (and annoyance) to date, and I've been very careful to find the perfect one-word title for each book, it was the title of this book that seems to have been a turning point for me. I know it's cliche (and as a novelist, who isn't bound to use one sooner or later?), but I decided to call it Changes. Upon discovering that this was the title, and the only title that would work, my life began to deteriorate. I can't say that my life wasn't in a serious state of disrepair before now, but there's something about that title (or maybe it's just the fact that I'm creating something) that signaled a change.

Because of that, or perhaps in spite of it, I've been running around for the last week like a chicken with my head cut off. And not in a good way (though I'm sure that for a chicken, it's never good). But I'm hopeful that something good will come of it. It's very possible that in the near future, my day job will be no more, and I'll have days, weeks, and possibly months to figure out a better way of living while I look for another. It may lead to writing being my main source of income. It will more than likely lead to a career change and very possibly to relocation.

But what a story it's going to make.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mystery Diagnosis

I'm alive!
Well, sort of.
I know it's been a while since my last post. For that, you have my apologies. I would like to say that I've been quiet because I've been locked away in a room having a torrid love affair (either with my novel, or one of a more traditional nature). Unfortunately, this is not true. A little over a week ago I was admitted to the hospital for some  health concerns. As of right now, nothing has turned up in the test results, so the doctors are blaming it on stress and anxiety. I do not think it is stress and anxiety. I am therefore putting on my bitch belt and getting ready for another round of Mystery Diagnosis. 
I'll make an effort to keep you guys updated on all that is going on, but if my posts are few and far between, you know why.
Health concerns or no, I'm flirting with the idea of finally starting Book Four of my fantasy series, or possibly finishing Bleed, which is paused at such a tense plot point that my computer could explode at any moment. NaNo is in the air and with the promise of many sleepless nights and the taste of burnt coffee on the horizon, I intend to accomplish something this year.
On a somewhat happy note, my recent health issues have given me ample time to get back into reading. And since my novels are very often inspired by the feeling I get from a good book, once I get going, there's no telling what might happen.
Look out, Library, here I come!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab

So, I've developed a new addiction. Okay, well, it's not really "new" but it's been more than five years since I've been seriously afflicted, so I'm going to say it counts. And what is this new addiction? Anime.

My Netflix addiction was a problem before, but now that I've discovered the dozens and dozens of episodes of anime, well, let's just say I won't be coming out of my cave for a while.

I know there are other things I should be doing. Writing or taming sea lions (do sea lions often need to be tamed?) or curing cancer or something. Not that I know the first thing about curing cancer (or taming sea lions, for that matter) but I do know writing. And considering that I just got back on speaking terms with my novel, I probably shouldn't leave it alone for too long if I ever want to be intimate again.

Wow. I just realized how wrong that sounds.

Oh well.

Anyway, it started with Fullmetal Alchemist. Fifty-two action-packed episodes got me through round two (or maybe it's three?) of mono. Now I'm on to Chobits. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, they're polar opposites (Fullmetal being a drama and Chobits being more of a comedy), but I read the manga version of Chobits in high school, so it's nice to be able to see the animated version of it now. There are also a lot of other series available that I read in high school (not that I was a geek or anything...) so regardless of how many flash drives or software upgrades I'm going to need to buy my novel when I'm done, I don't see this affliction going away any time soon.

Hard to believe this all started with Sailor Moon back in junior high.

I'm starting to feel really old now....

For those of you that I've been ignoring lately, I'm sorry for the lack of activity on your recent-ish posts. I'll try to make more of an effort in the future. I did try to hit up some of your blogs today. Feel free to poke me with sticks if I fall off the wagon again.

Happy Holiday Weekend!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let it Rain

The dry spell has lifted. I wrote today!

Not too much, mind you, but enough to get excited. And not only only did I write, but I worked on my novel, Bleed, so I'm not in the doghouse anymore. Things still aren't back to normal, but I've apologized and dedicated quality time, which usually gets us back on speaking terms.

I wrote a chapter and a half. In that chapter and a half, I did something horrible to most of my characters.

I'm back! :)


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Please Send Flowers

My novel and I aren't speaking at the moment. It's my fault. I admit it. But there were these circumstances, and, well, things just kind of got out of hand.

We're sleeping in separate rooms.

I try not to think about it. I stay away from the things that remind me of all the good times we had together. I try not to imagine what could have been. I know we can fix it, but that takes time. It takes energy. More energy than I have to spare right now.

I'm sorry, Novel. I'm sorry I neglected you. I'm sorry I haven't put any time into our relationship in the last six weeks. I'm sorry I haven't given you the attention you deserve. There's no one else, I swear. I've just been busy with work and doctors and family. I'll get back to you soon. We'll go away somewhere, just the two of us, and spend some quality time getting reacquainted. You'll see. It will be magical. We may even spawn a sequel.

Until then, you have my apologies.

Please don't give up on us.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Final Countdown

It's Sunday. Do you know that that means? That means that tomorrow is Monday, and Monday ends my so-called vacation.

This depresses me for a number of reasons. One, because it's work, and who hasn't been depressed about returning to work at the end of the weekend at some point or another? Two, because I did not work on Bleed at all this week, as my last post said I intended to do. But I did start a new story, under rather trying circumstances. I'm writing it by hand, which is something I haven't done since I was in grade school. It's a change, but not a bad one. I was able to take my notebook to the duck pond and to a restaurant after and just scribble away while I ate my onion rings. It was lovely. But I wish I could do more of it.

A week away from work has brought a few things to light; the most important being that I think I'm in the wrong profession. I know that the vast majority of writers need a day job, but at the moment, I have a day job which prevents me from writing most of the time. There is the precious spare moment when things are quiet enough for me to write through lunch, but not usually. And by the time I get home, I'm exhausted. The weekend is spent doing everything I couldn't fit in after my late hours at the office, so I seldom accomplish anything literary then.

Unfortunately, I live in the real world, where up and quitting your job with no replacement to become, quite literally, a starving artist, isn't the greatest idea. I wouldn't say that it's not an option, but it's certainly not a good idea.

On the other hand, it's a perfect idea. I can see myself with my notebook tucked into the corner of a coffee shop, writing away. And I suppose that any level-headed person could reason that I can do that now. That I need more discipline. That I need to be more determined. But it's difficult to force creativity when you feel like your job is sucking you dry.

I know I'm not the only person to feel this. I know that it's fairly common for people to feel "burned out" by their everyday life. But I'm in a position to change that. It might not be the smart thing to do, but I can do it. Maybe I'll be happier. Maybe I'll be miserable. Maybe I'll never accomplish anything or never get back into the administrative world again.

But I might just be willing to take that risk.


Friday, August 5, 2011

And the Winner Is...


That's right. I'm officially one of those super lucky individuals with recurrent mono. I'm so excited. Okay, well, not really excited, but I get a week off (more for my sanity than my illness, as the doctor thinks I'll be fine to go back to work Tuesday), so I won't have to venture into the office until August 15th. I haven't had a vacation since Christmas.

Right now I'm sleeping a lot, but I expect to be climbing the walls within seventy-two hours. I'm not very good at "taking a break". I don't do well with resting. Though, I do have a lot of missed episodes of my favorite shows to catch up on.

Sick or no, I hope I'll be able to get some work done on Bleed in the next week. I don't have to go all mad scientist and blow through 15k in a week (but how awesome would that be?), but I think I'll be a little disappointed if I go back to work without accomplishing anything.

But I must remember: sleep first, work (even writing type work) later.

We'll see how long it takes for me to throw that rule out the window....


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sleepy Time Masterpiece

August seems to be following July in the respect that I'm writing, but not on any sort of a schedule. Last month I set a goal to write ten thousand words in thirty-ish days. I succeeded. This month I think I'll do the same. If I keep that up, Bleed might actually be finished before the cold weather sets in. Then again, if I'm home next week, I might get a head start.

I thought about writing today (more that I knew it wasn't going to happen), but I spent a good portion of the afternoon at the doctor's office. I lost a fair amount of blood in the name of science, but there will hopefully be a diagnosis sometime tomorrow. Recurrent mono is still in the lead, with a possibility of hypothyroidism. Oh, and it looks like I have chronic hypertension. You know, just to make things more interesting.

Depending on how the tests come out, I've decided to take a week off work to rest up. I didn't the last time I had mono, and it didn't work out so well for me. So, there may be writing. There will certainly be sleeping. If I can somehow manage to write in my sleep, my problems will be solved.

Unless my sociopathic tendencies come out in my sleep. That might not be so good for my characters.....



Friday, July 29, 2011

Letter to My Love

Dear Novel,

I'm not ignoring you, I swear. I know I haven't seen you in a few days, but it's been a rough couple of weeks. You'll be happy to know I met my goal of 10k words for the month of July, and it was all with you. I wouldn't mess around with another novel behind your back. Sometimes I think about flirting with a short story or a having passionate fling with couple of poems, but I always come back to you. I love you, Novel. I've loved many before you, and there may be others when our time is through, but they'll never have our story.

You and me, we've got something special.

I promise to go the distance this time. I'll take you all the way to the publisher. I'll get you the book deal you deserve.

And, don't worry. No matter my emotions when we part; I'll tell the next editor who sees your exposed secrets to be gentle.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Just a Little Dead

I'm not dead! I'm sure this will comfort some, if not all of you. But, in not being dead, I have also not been very active with my blog of late. Here's why:

1) I'm in writing mode. And when I'm in writing mode, I'm very bad at keeping deadlines. This might seem like a bad thing, as I someday hope that I'll be important enough to have writing deadlines, but I think that when I get to that point, I'll make it work. Come on book deal!

2) I've been dealing with an abundance of personal issues that are difficult, but also beneficial, because they're going straight into my WIP. Personal turmoil for me = personal turmoil for my MC. We're both experiencing character development, which can only lead to good things. And possible best sellers.

3) I'm sick. A final diagnosis is pending, but the front runner right now is a mono relapse, which makes me very sad. I didn't like mono the first time, so I'm probably not going to like it the second time (if it is the second time, which is also up for debate, as it might not be a relapse so much as recurrent symptoms). But even I would be silly to turn down a chance to sleep when I so desperately need it.

I'm trying to be better at keeping my status updated on Facebook (link in the sidebar, if you're interested!), but Google Chrome saves my passwords and web pages, so my personal account is usually open. This means I have to actively sign out and sign back in as myself (if that makes any sense) and with as little time as I spend on the computer at home, that generally doesn't happen. So, if you happen to be a friend of mine on Facebook, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. Though, when I do, I'll be sure to tell you what it's like ;)


Friday, July 15, 2011

The One You Love to Hate

As I don't believe I have posted anything from my current labor of love, Bleed, I think I shall. I didn't have much time to work on it today, but I recently ventured over the 50k mark; safely putting me in novel territory. This is very exciting.

Here are a few paragraphs in celebration.

To give you a bit of an idea what's going on here, Max is the MC, and the head of a company that deals in the unexplained. They recently lost a team member, and Max has been putting off hiring a replacement. So, her coworkers decided to take things into their own hands....

It’s no secret that I’m not a people person, but I try my best to be at least pleasant when I meet someone. If they haven’t caused a problem that’s directly affected my life in some way, I give them the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes I just get a feel for someone and they rub me the wrong way. Sometimes I’m looking for something to be wrong with them. And the second I saw this girl, I was praying that there was something wrong with her.

She was a classic kind of beauty. She was tall and thin, and when she stood to greet us, I felt like I was talking to a gazelle. She had straight, shoulder-length blond hair that I assumed was natural, because her skin was pale and her eyes were a grayish blue color that kind of disturbed me. Jake had eyes like that. His were hazel, but some days they were green and other days they were brown. It always made me feel like I was looking at a different person.

Her smile revealed straight white teeth, but when she held out a hand for me to shake, I noticed that her nails were bitten all the way down. It was the only hiccup in her perfectly tailored image, complete with an expensive suit and four-inch heels that I knew cost more than I made in a month. She was the kind of person you love to hate, but the fact that she tripped on her designer heels as she tried to get across the room made me like her a lot more.

I hope you enjoyed it :)


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I wonder where we, as humans, draw the line on natural instinct. I've personally been known to ignore a gut reaction or find a way to reason my way around it when I didn't want to think about what it might mean. I've been doing it for years. And no matter how well I talk myself out of something, or how long the illusion lasts, eventually it comes back around to that first feeling. And then I want to kick myself.

How I feel about something when I first wake up seems to be the most unbiased opinion I can muster. I'm still groggy, I've had dreams all night, and for a few minutes, my brain doesn't kick on. My subconscious has the upper hand because my conscious mind is still yawning. Sometimes it's a beautiful thing. But usually, I don't like the impression I get.

That feeling can be great, though. I've gotten up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea for a novel or a poem. I've had dreams that make fantastic stories.

It's a feeling I would like to have some control over. I'd like to be able to tap into that creative power at will.

Unfortunately, that also means that I'll have to pay attention to the negative aspects as well.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So Long. Farewell.

I am in love with myself.

Well, sort of.

I have been absent the last week or so (I know it's been more than a week...please forgive me) because I've experienced the throes of passion- writer style. No, I'm not talking about romance or erotica, though with proper motivation, I can write those too. I'm talking about the raw thrill of writing. I'm talking about getting down and dirty with a project. I'm talking about baring myself and diving into a situation with fervor. I'm talking about total immersion in emotion; letting the tension build until I'm trembling and begging for release.

I've gone off the deep end, breathed in the darkness, and I'm fading fast.

It shows no signs of stopping.

And it feels good.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Extra Special Something

Do you ever just have one of those weekends where a combination of small events throws you off in such a way that there's nowhere to go but down? And on the way, all of those small, seemingly insignificant things knock into you, slowly beating you down until they seem more terrible than they really are.

That's the kind of weekend I'm having. The crap started piling up Saturday morning and it keeps getting deeper. The details aren't important, at least, they won't be to you. Nothing personal. I just can't stand to hear myself explain it again.

It hasn't all been bad. I started writing again on Friday. I've been working on projects on and off the last few months, but most of them have been revisions. Revisions are necessary if I ever want to pursue publication, and sometimes they're just what I need, but there's nothing like creating something new. It takes something out of me, but in a good way. It gets me to a place in my head where all of the small stuff doesn't bother me anymore. I like that place. I think I should visit it more often.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

*Flips hair*

Every once in a while, I come across someone who "gets it". And by "it" I mean writing. Most of the time they are a fellow author, so it's to be expected. But sometimes, I'm pleasantly surprised by the general public.

As someone who gets a little too excited when she talks about her characters, I can understand why I look like I forgot to take my medication. Get me on the subject of writing and I can ramble for hours. Show a remote interest in my work, and you'll get a rundown of the last ten years of creation. I'm fanatical. I freely admit it. And this is why most of my friends are writers.

This weekend I spent time with someone who isn't a writer, but sympathizes. He let me rant and rave and ramble to my heart's content about plot twists and character flaws and the ins and outs of the publishing industry. I didn't tone it down. I didn't censor myself. Ten minutes into the conversation I was waving a plastic spoon (thankfully, the ice cream stayed on the table) wildly and explaining why the song 'I Whip My Hair Back and Forth' goes through my head every time I think of one of my favorite characters.

And he was fine with it.

Not to insult the general public, but I often try to talk about what I do (as writing is a big part of my life and people tend to ask, "Oh, what have you been up to?") their eyes glaze over and they quickly change the subject. Or they offer me advice that really doesn't fit with the situation, which they would know if they'd been listening to the last five minutes of conversation. So, it's refreshing to find someone who not only doesn't mind the incessant rambling, but seems to enjoy it. He was interested.

And that's just fabulous :)


Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I have a new adversary. Its name is tendonitis. I could have gotten it anywhere. But it struck in a foul place: my right elbow. I'm right-handed, so this is not only inconvenient, it's painful pretty much all of the time.

It could have been prevented, but I'm stubborn. I work all possible injuries into medical emergencies. I don't do anything in moderation. It's all or nothing. And I blame writing.

Well, not really writing. Writing, more specifically the way I write, is just a symptom. I have that kind of personality. Sometimes that's great for writing. I can sit down and edit half a novel in one go. But there is the other side of that (the nothing portion of the 'all or nothing'), which frequently means that that novel I'm editing has probably been sitting there for three months.

So, it looks like I need rehab in multiple areas.

And that life is certainly interesting when high doses of ibuprofen are involved.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Getting My Tech On

Okay, so I've been watching far too many episodes of Dollhouse. It is wickedly delicious in all things mad scientist, and as a sci-fi writer, I have to tip my hat to Joss Whedon.

A conspiracy theory based on brainwashing might not be a new idea, but it's always nice to see a different take on it. I'm a big fan of this because I wrote a novel (okay, it's technically a novella until I add three thousand words), about it. Well, sort of. It was before I saw Dollhouse (which I started watching this weekend- thank you Netflix for sucking up hours of free time that could have been better spent writing a masterpiece that will earn me millions someday in the near future), and there aren't all that many similarities, but still. It's a good topic. Maybe it's not original, but there's nothing wrong with putting a little shine on old reliable.

I bring this up with a purpose. Dollhouse (and all shows like it) are all about technology. I am embracing technology. How am I doing this? By putting a new "follow me" link in the sidebar, that's how!

I admit it's shameless advertising, but how else am I going to do it? So, yeah. Click it, follow me, say nice things. Or don't. Say nasty things (though I'd prefer if you didn't), or maybe just friend me to prevent further posts such as these. It might save you from the rambling.

But probably not.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Bad Blogger!

Okay, I admit it. As of late, I have been a very bad blogger. I havent been posting regularly and I certainly haven't been keeping up with anyone else's posts. But I have a reason. And that reason involves mortgage companies.

I know, I know. I should make a posting schedule and stick to it. But let's be real. I have barely worked on a project in weeks. And we all know how seriously I take procrastinating.

So, what have I been up to?

Contemplating pen names, that's what! No, not my own, but pen names in general. How many of you write under a pen name, or will when the book deals come rolling in?

There are so many things to consider. One, whether or not the name is already in use, and not just by another author. It's important to know whether a certain picture or face will come to mind when someone uses your pen name. If that image belongs to a particularly limber member of the adult film industry, you might want to rethink your choice.

Two, it needs to be a name you can write with ease. We've all pictured those long lines of people crammed into your local book store, all waiting for your John Hancock. You know they'll throw a dust jacket on it the minute they get home and start planning the ebay add. They'll look at your signature on the title page of your first edition and see dollar signs.

But how awkward would it be if you couldn't sign your pen name, or worse, it took forever? Short names can be scribbled with ease, meaning your work will get to your adoring fans faster. This is always a plus.

Third, and possibly with the greatest chance of embarassment, it should be a name you respond do. There's nothing more terrifying than the idea of standing backstage on Oprah (or whatever show you choose) and missing your cue because you forgot your own name. This is obviously an exreme example, but there's the potential for red cheeks in lesser situations. It would be equally horrifying if your agent tried to get your attention at a dinner party in order to introduce you to someone important, who otherwise might have loved you and promoted your work had you shown a little interest, and you totally miss it. It's not really like you can say, "No! It's not you! I just forgot who I was." Not the best impression.

What's the verdict? Google. Practice signing your new name (as I'm sure we all have) when you're satisfied that you won't be confused with serial rapist, and choose a name familiar to you.

Keep that in mind and you can't go wrong ;)


Friday, May 20, 2011

Comedic Interlude

So, I haven't posted much this week. To make up for it (or perhaps I'm just being lazy) I'm going to share an excerpt from my current labor of love, a revision of the novel Runaway, which is a sequel to Chosen, the novel I posted a bit from last time. This piece once again features Jaden and Thor, best friends and trouble makers. 
This piece takes place in a cell, where the two buds are being held captive and slowly starving to death. I know that sounds depressing, but it really isn't. At least, they still manage to find a little humor in it.
“Hey, Jay-Jay?” Thor said, breaking the silence.
“I have to piss.”
Jaden scoffed somewhere beyond his line of vision. “Congratulations.”
“No, I mean I have to piss.”
“So, piss.”
“I can’t.”
“Why not?”
“I can’t get up.”
“Have you tried?”
Thor ignored the condescending tone in his friend’s voice. “Of course I’ve tried.”
“Well, what do you want me to do about it?”
“Help how?”
“Thor, I’m not helping you take a piss.”
“If I was drunk, you’d do it.”
“If you were drunk, you’d already have wet pants.”
“Jay-Jay,” he whined.
“I hate it when you do that with your voice.”
“I need you to help.” Thor hoped his tone expressed complete desperation. He didn’t feel far from it.
“Oh, fine.” Thor heard Jaden grunt several times as he got up from his own pile of dirty hay. His dirt-streaked face appeared above him moments later. “You’re such a baby,” he said, taking hold of Thor’s bony arm.
Thor tried not to look at the skin stretched too tightly over his limbs. “We have to get out of here.”
“What are we going to do?” Jaden asked, supporting his friend as they shuffled toward the stinking bucket in the corner. “Make a break for it?”
“The thought crossed my mind.”
“You can’t even take a piss on your own. How the hell are you going to run for your life?”
Thor’s breathing was already labored and they weren’t quite halfway across the cell yet. “I’ll ride piggyback.”
“On who?”
“On you.”
“Ha. We’ll never make it out.”
“I have faith in you, Jay-Jay.”
“That’s wonderful, but you better be able to take care of business once we make it to that bucket.”
“I’m not that tired.”
“I never know with you, man. Sometimes you make me wonder if all those accidental nude sightings were really accidental.”
Thor pushed him away. “That’s it. I’m peeing on my own from now on.”
Jaden laughed. “You’re such a drama queen.”
“Yeah, yeah, turn around, buddy,” Thor said as he approached the bucket. “No free shows for you.”
Jaden obliged.
“Ahh,” Thor sighed as he finished. “Much better.”
“Don’t forget to shake.”
“I got it, thanks.”
“Just making sure.”
Thor ensured that all things were tucked in their proper places before turning around. He wrapped an arm around Jaden. “We need to get out of here.”
Jaden crinkled up his nose. “You didn’t wash your hands.”
“What do you think this is? A luxury hotel?”
“Well, you don’t have to touch me.”
Thor rubbed his hands up and down Jaden’s arms.
The dark-haired man jumped back, shrieking in disgust.
Thor roared with laughter. “Oh,” he said, wiping his eyes. “That was priceless.”
“That was disgusting,” Jaden said, trying to wipe off the germs.
“I so needed that.”
“Glad I could help.”
“Oh, Jay-Jay,” he said with a happy sigh, “You make me want to love you, man.”
“All right,” Jaden said, rolling down his shirt sleeves as if to ward off future attacks, “But next time you have to buy me dinner first.”

Did you smile just a little? 

- Liz

Sunday, May 15, 2011

....Something Completely Different

So, apparently I'm a freak. This doesn't come as a complete surprise, as I already knew I was strange, but now I'm officially in uncharted territory.

My best friend is home from school for a few days. We got together yesterday, did a little shopping, went out to lunch, and caught up on all of the horrible things that have happened since we last spoke. We went back to her place around 7:30p and she invited another friend over, someone I went to high school with (though she was a few years ahead of me), but hadn't seen in quite some time.

It was a little awkward, but I can deal with that. My best friend had mentioned this person was working on a book (she's going to grad school so she can teach creative writing) and I thought, "Ooo! Common ground!" She had done a reading just the night before. Upon learning about this, I thought that maybe this reunion could open new doors for me. Perhaps she and I would get along and I might meet a few more creative people. She's always been into the art crowd. I figured this could be good.

Unfortunately, she and I are both writers, but that's where the similarities stop. I write fiction; she writes nonfiction. I've completed a decent number of manuscripts; she's still working on her first. I never really had formal training; she's getting her master's. The list goes on and on.

She spoke about how unmotivated she is to finish her project. How she keeps making deadlines that never pan out. She'd spent the entire day writing. And I tried to sympathize. But the problem is, I don't really have those issues. I don't make deadlines because I don't need to make deadlines. If I'm going to write, I'm going to write, and I'll produce several thousand words in a matter of hours, and have them edited before I close up shop. I have no problem coming up with story lines that span multiple books. And I'm fairly young, so I'm not all that worried about rushing to get published right now.

The more we talked, the more I realized that those great ideas I had weren't going to pan out. And that's okay. Everyone is different. I might not click with her, but I click with plenty of other people.

And then I had a few drinks and started commenting on comma splices in what my best friend was saying.

So, maybe not plenty of other people....


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Slush You

So, I'm beginning to doubt my ability to spell. With all of the spell check and auto complete programs on the market, you could have a terrible vocabulary and a fifth trade education and send an email that makes you sound as though you've just left finishing school.

I've only noticed this because I have a new cell phone. It's an HTC Thunderbolt with an auto complete text function. When I first got the phone, I thought it was amazing. I mean, I've never had to text on a touch screen before. I'm terrible. Find the apostrophe button? I'll need a few minutes. It turned my sloppy, mispellled, incomprehensible sentences onto exactly what I wanted to say. And then it didn't.

Here's the thing. Auto complete/correct programs do just that. They complete and correct automatically. And they don't often recognize slang. So in what might have been an otherwise endearing moment, "Shush, you" became "slush you" and the conversation deteriorated from there.

I'm not going to get up on my soapbox and give a speech about kids today. I'm not going to talk about how the coming generations are practically going to be illiterate if something isn't done. You've undoubtedly heard it before. I just have to wonder what would become if us if our electronics where disabled permanently. What would happen to authors? I don't know about you, but I would have a hard time editing (not to mention writing) 400+ hand written pages.

It's something to consider.

Especially since I'm writing this on my phone, and without my auto correct function, it would look like it was written in Klingon.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Regularly Scheduled Programming

So, I haven't posted anything in a while. Here's why:

Aren't they adorable? Boy and a girl, two months old. We've named them Fred and Ginger (hopefully you like old musicals and get the reference) and our current feline is mad, mad, MAD. The new additions to our family are currently living in the bathroom (with a pretty nice set up, if I do say so myself) and we've been introducing the new to the old a little bit at a time. Today was the first day our old lady cat (though not so old, at five years) didn't sound like she was turning on a garbage disposal. They even mingled (from a safe distance) in the same room without any major mishaps. So, yay for expanding the family!

I've also been working to finish my 2010 NaNo project, Bleed. It's a sci-fi/paranormal piece that I haven't devoted enough time to lately. But this week, I figured out a few big things that I want to happen in the second half of the book, and guess what? I seem to have known all along (at least subconsciously) what I was going for. The foreshadowing is there in a truly perfect way that I can't really claim the credit for, though I suppose I must, as no one else has worked on it.

With the (roughly) three thousand words I added to it this week, the rough draft weighs in at a little over 38k.

I must say I'm quite excited.

Maybe I should share a preview? :)


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Man's Best Friend

So, I've noticed something. Well, I've noticed a lot of somethings this week, but this something has inspired a blog entry. Yay for important somethings!

I've noticed that a lot of fiction doesn't include domestic animals. At least, nothing I've read lately. If they are included, they're generally in the background somewhere. A black cat might run past on a rainy night or the MC might hear a dog barking in the distance. It's not often that the MC has a pet, and if they do, they aren't a main focus.

I can sort of understand this. I mean, if you're writing a story with a lot of action scenes, you don't necessarily want your MC to break away from some life-or-death situation and run home to feed Fido. But I believe that there is potential for more characters here. False Memory by Dean Koontz features Valet, a grown golden retriever. He is a big part of the story. He has his own expressions, his own personality, and his own routine. His relationship to the MC is important. He's part of the family.

For the fantasy lovers, Calling on Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede features Morwen, a very unusual witch, and her gang of feline friends. Her cats are mentioned in the first two books of the series, but in this book, Wrede takes it a step further and gives the cats speaking roles. Through magic, felines are able to communicate (though only their witches can understand them) and since the book takes place from Morwen's POV, there are countless conversations between her and her cats, some of which help save the day.

I'm not saying that no one out there uses pets to their advantage. I'm sure there are many wonderful books that feature animal lovers. I just haven't seen any recently.

Maybe I should write one :)


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Virtual Memory Low

So, I had this idea. It was a Great Idea. You know the kind. It came to me while I was brushing my teeth (which is almost as good a time to get ideas as showering) and I knew it would make a fantastic blog entry.

Unfortunately, it was late, and I had to work the next morning. I sat at the computer and flirted with the idea of staying up a little longer. I stared at the clock. Actually, I stared at the clock long enough to have probably written the entry. But I ultimately decided that it was too late and that if I didn't go to bed immediately, I would be a zombie the next day.

I went to bed.

On the commute from my computer to my bed, I decided it might be good to write the idea down. But I was several feet away from a pad and paper and seriously lacking in all forms of motivation. So, I didn't write it down. After all, with such a Great Idea, how could I forget it?

As I got into bed, I knew I would forget it.

You know what? I forgot it.

I've learned my lesson. I must make a note of Great Ideas before they escape me. This is uncharted territory for me, because up until now I haven't had a problem. I forget things, sure, but never Great Ideas.

Now I know.

Maybe I'd better write down this lesson before I forget it too.


Friday, April 22, 2011

The Best of Friends

Seeing as how I'm a writer (I'm sure you've noticed by now), and this is (more or less) a blog about things related to writing, I figured I might as well produce a bit of these novels I keep talking about.

The following passage is from my sci-fi/fantasy novel Chosen (more details in the 'Works in Progress' tab, if you're interested), and it sums up the relationship between two key characters in the series perfectly.
Description is vague (this is from the latter half of the novel, when we already know what they look like), but it's one of my favorites.

Ducking along the bushes, Thor bit back the stream of curses that had narrated their journey to Rue Court. “This is so not what I signed up for.”
“Oh, shut up,” Jaden hissed from the close-cut grass behind him. “This is going to work.”
“This is not going to work.”
“Since when am I the one that isn’t afraid of adventure?”
“Since you started getting laid.”
Jaden smiled. “It really does make a world of difference.”
“If the girls were here, you wouldn’t be saying that,” Marlow whispered as they crept along the stone wall that enclosed the vegetable gardens.
“Ilana would slap you silly.”
“She’s not as bad as all that, guys,” Jaden said, his words steeped with disapproval.
“You’re just saying that because you two are bonking.”
“Damn, Thor, don’t call it that. It sounds like I’m sleeping with a circus clown.”
The tall man shrugged. “To each his own.”

It always makes me smile :)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Endings

Sometimes I wonder if there's a place in the real world for revenge. I know that in a novel, revenge always seems somehow attainable. There is always some way to get back at someone for the horrible things they have done, even if it's decades later. But more often than naught, the character that has been hurt, even in some serious way, moves beyond hate to the point of acceptance, and ultimately forgiveness.

Does that work in real life?

In real life, there seem to be an abundance of people who just don't care about the consequences of their actions. There are people who are mean, conceited, and generally out for their own benefit. And, as humans, most of us can recognize those qualities (even if in small quantities) in ourselves. But how often do you run across the widely accepted image of a hero/heroine in real life? How often do you find someone that is truly selfless, even if they openly make mistakes and sometimes lose their cool?

In nine novels (and countless rewrites), I have perfected the ability to produce a main character that can withstand tragedy and still come out on top. There is heartache. There is anger. There is a delicate balance of all things good, bad, and ugly. It is undeniably real. And I feel that most people can connect with those characters, no matter what age or background they come from.

But writing about those things is often easier than finding them in real life. No one is perfect. At some point, every person is going to do something in their own self-interest. There are intelligent people out there who do stupid things. There are assholes who occasionally do something kind. And there is no guarantee that even if you do everything by the book, someone won't come back six years after the fact and hurt you out of spite.

Maybe that's why we write. Maybe that's why we read. Maybe we're all looking for the ending we can't find anywhere else.

It doesn't have to be happy.

It just needs to feel complete.


Sunday, April 17, 2011


They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Hi, my name is Liz, and I am an online gamer.

I have tried to break the habit. I've tried to say "no." But there's nothing quite like the thrill I feel after waiting two and a half hours for the files to download (thanks to my wonderful internet connection), as the file names zip past and install on the computer I spent four or five paychecks building. There's nothing like scouring the forums for information while I anxiously wait for the game to finish patching. I do the research, pick the job, the race, and when I get to the New Character screen, I stop to take in the moment; then spend the next twenty minutes trying to find a character name that someone else in the world hasn't already used.

I have a problem. I have spent days, months, even years of my life a slave to online gaming. I shape the characters, give them the equipment they need, and then take them on quests through mystical worlds of fantasy.

Ironically, I do the exact same thing when I'm writing.

I've spent a considerable amount of my young life dividing my spare time between online gaming and writing. Once upon a time, I thought I was sacrificing one for the other. But today, after several game-free months, I logged back on. And when I did, I realized something: I name all of my in-game characters after characters in my novels. I frequently talk about my manuscripts with people I've met online. And when I'm on these long, drawn out virtual quests, I think about the strange things I could make my characters do.

So, I'm not going to feel guilty about online gaming.

It's an escape that's still close to home.

How can I go wrong with that?


Friday, April 15, 2011


I suffer from Literary ADD. I jump from book to book and change projects like socks. It's a curse. And it's also why I've written so many novels.

So, what's the downside if I've gotten nine novels out of it? I can't stick to a project long enough to get it ready to sub for publication. I have a lot of really great rough drafts. I have several fantastic stories in various states of revision. But the only manuscript I'd be proud to sub, as is, is my novel Chosen. Unfortunately, it's the first in a series of four, so I'm not looking to have that published first.

I don't have unrealistic expectations. I expect my first book (when published) to flop, sales wise. Maybe it will generate interest, but it would take a miracle for it to be nationally recognized. And if it does flop, I don't want to drag an awesome series down with it.

It's not that I'm not disciplined. If motivated (or on a deadline) I can write/edit/revise like the wind. But even when I make a personal deadline, life gets in the way. And I suppose it doesn't bother me that much. I'm young. There's time. But someday there won't be.

I'd prefer to be famous before then.

- Liz

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Add a Dash

I am a wonderful list-maker. I number things with ease, and I have a deep appreciation for bullet points. If so inclined, I can break down any process, map out coherent directions, and organize a hectic day into a concise To Do list. The problem is, I'm generally not inclined to do any of those things.

This becomes a problem when I write. You see, I'm a firm believer in "going with the flow." I like to take an idea and run with it. And for the most part, that's not a problem. I've written entire novels based on nothing more than a general idea of what my main character will look like. But I am also fondly known as the Queen of Twists. And when those twists twist themselves into additional story lines that inspire one or more sequels, my lack of planning comes back to haunt me.

Luckily, I have discovered a happy medium. I embrace my desire to "wing it" for the first few chapters (more if I'm working on a sequel and I need to reintroduce characters and address how much time has passed between novels and where everyone is right now) before I sit down and outline, first, what happened in those chapters, and second, the rest of the book. I've even gotten as far as twenty chapters into a novel (I write short chapters) before I had to stop and ask myself what the hell I was thinking. I find this impressive, because in that same novel, I had upward of a dozen different story lines going, though I did realize what a nightmare it was to tie them all together in the end (which, consequently, was accomplished because I stopped to map it out somewhere along the line).

So, though I was never a big fan of outlining while writing, I do find it useful the more complex a story becomes. I would recommend this process to any writers with an innate desire to fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants who don't wish to later rewrite half of a story because it doesn't all fit together.

All that being said, I don't think I'll ever find it in me to outline BEFORE I start a novel, but I guess I'm at least pointed in the right direction.

- Liz

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Movie Magic

I had a thought in the shower (where thoughts seem to flow like water), about writing. More specifically, about my characters.

There's something my characters and I have in common: we're not perfect. While this might seem obvious (I mean, no one's perfect, right?) I'm constantly surprised by the number of authors who write books and screenplays about people who never seem to have a bad hair day. I see this more often in movies, but since a decent number of movies are based on books, I can't excuse my fellow authors from this generalization.

No one is perfect. It's a largely accepted fact. And yet, I've read entire stories and watched whole movies where the hero or heroine goes to hell and back on some mission or other, and never sees more than a couple of ruined outfits and six or seven stitches. Though, I will excuse most action films because they're pretty much all about someone getting the sh*t beat out of them (hats off to the Die Hard movies here... poor Bruce Willis).

I'm an Evil Author. I take great pleasure in making my characters suffer. But no matter how unrealistic my character's punishment is, I want a reader to connect with them. If I'm sending a group of people on a long trek through the desert, they're going to be sweaty. They're going to be caked with dirt. And they aren't going to smell like a bushel of roses. If a person is throwing energy balls, there is a possibility that someone is going to get burned (if not burst into flames).  Outfits will be singed; furniture will be destroyed. And if they just got out of a fistfight, those bruises aren't going to be gone the next day.

I believe in character flaws. I believe in making the most beloved character do something that you really don't like them for. I believe, in short, in making them human.

Crazy, eh?


Thursday, April 7, 2011

I win!

Take that, writer's block! I am the victor! I went, I conquered, I rule! I am triumphant! So, neener neener to you!

As you might have guessed, I have conquered my writer's block. This is a cause for celebration. I've been suffering from varying degrees of this nasty affliction for several months. The final stage was particularly gruesome, because its affects would wax and wane. I would be fine to write a whimsical short story, but useless when working on a novel. Or even worse, fine for a few paragraphs and then unable to grasp fundamental rules of grammar. This last one is a personal hell for me, because I obsess about having very clean work. And once the keyboard is spotless, I start in on the adverbs.

This horrible affliction caused me to hate what started as a wonderful new novel that I was certain would lead to my first publication. This was my unfinished 2010 NaNoWriMo project that stalled after a few hundred pages. And that was in November, so you can see how long this has been a problem.

I haven't exactly welcomed this project back with open arms, but what I have done is revise a couple of evil chapters in my novel, Chosen, which is the first book in a series of four (though the fourth hasn't been started yet) and my 2009 NaNo project. It isn't the first time I've revised (after all, I AM the editing queen), but it put a kink in what had otherwise been a very successful revision, one I was using as the solution to my previously stated writing problems.

So, you can guess how excited I am.

*throws confetti*

- Liz

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Down the Rabbit Hole

I've never considered myself to be a big fan of blogging, which is funny because I spent a great deal of my adolescence posting things on Myspace and Facebook. I even went as far as to set up a DeviantArt account to post the hundreds of poems collecting virtual dust on my hard drive. These were often accompanied by updates on what was going on in my life, or the equivalent of an online journal. When that wasn't enough, I joined Critique Circle to feed my already insatiable desire to talk about nothing in particular, and while I made great improvements on my writing style and technique, I ran rampant on the forums.

If I had taken any amount of time to consider the number of words I shared with my "friends" on a regular basis, I might have realized that I was already accomplishing what many people hope for when they begin a blog: to share their thoughts, stories, and ideas to people all over the world. Once I realized this was the case, I warmed up to the idea of starting a blog, decided it was an excellent idea, and promptly forgot about it.

Several months and a bought of writer's block later, here I am, doing what I've done every other time I couldn't stand to look at the world of fiction I've created: rambling. There will be a lot of rambling. Whether or not it helps me in the end, or entertains anyone in the least, I couldn't say, but it's worth a try.

I hope you don't mind coming along for the ride.

- Liz