Patterns, Sanity, and an Author’s Mind

So, guess who forgot that they needed a blog post until an hour before midnight again?

*Raises hand*

Yep, me. I’m such a ditz when it comes to remembering these things anymore. Or, rather, I remember I need a post for all of five minutes and then POOF! Suddenly the thought is gone and the next thing I know I’ve either missed it or I’m scrambling to get one in on time.

Didn’t I say “later” was a word I wanted to stop using, too?

Part of my problem is work, of course. The other part of the forgetfulness is the fact I hardly ever know what the hell I’m writing about until it becomes another rambling post, such as this one is turning out to be, because I’m running out of time to think of something concrete to talk about.

Are you seeing a pattern in this? Because I am.

Hmm… Patterns…

Maybe that’s my issue, and also my solution.

Perhaps my problem of never knowing what to write about stems from the fact I have no patterns to work off of. And by patterns I mean the struggle of getting myself moving on the things I want to do so I can create a habit or pattern. If I was more consistent in my work and writing and all that good stuff, I bet I would be stumbling across all sorts of topics I could talk about and I wouldn’t have this issue.

So perhaps my problem — a lack of patterns — is also my solution:

Finding a pattern that works for me and sticking to it.

Easier said than done, I know, but hey, it’s a start at least.

In other news, I did get my butt moving some more the past two days and managed to write. I think I’ve added about 1.8k to Clockwork Heart over the last two days. I was hoping for a LOT more — considering I was off yesterday — but I just kept getting really distracted in completely odd ways.

(I’m quite sure on a scale of 1 to 10 in hyperness — 1 being completely meh and 10 being a puppy on speed — I was probably a 20. I’m also quite sure my friends thought I was a lunatic yesterday for the fact I was laughing hysterically over saying one simple word, or one simple thought, or even just one simple look, or even over nothing. Hell, I was seriously questioning my own sanity for a good couple hours, and I’m an author! I know I have very little sanity to begin with!)

So I didn’t manage to get to the end of Chapter 2 on the story like I had hoped for, and I’m not even done with Chapter 1 — though I’m close. On the bright side, I had two little bits of scenes yesterday that had me laughing my ass off for a good five minutes each. (I hope they weren’t just funny because I was cuckoo crazy off life at the time.)

Picture this: a character who can’t feel or understand any kind of emotion and who is pretty much just robotic in the terms of living because they aren’t human trying to explain the “death” of their kind like it is simply taking a walk in the park.

It came out both eerily disturbing and completely hilarious in my opinion. I’m not going to spoil how though, and I’m not going to spoil the other bit that had me laughing. Wait, the other two bits that had me laughing. I forgot about one.

I’m thinking this story is going to shape up quite interestingly, and it’s turning into a lot of fun, which makes me want to write more. And more. Then work gets in the way, and GAH!

I’ll figure it out, as long as I can fend off the new idea jumping around my head from a description a Sleepy Hollow character gave me tonight.

Seriously, is there ever an off switch for the writer’s mind?

Rough Starts, Outlining, and a Cackling Plot Bunny

I can’t believe it’s already the 10th of January. Time is already flying by, which is a scary thought for the rest of year, and for all my plans.

The first week of January was pretty brutal on me. Mentally and emotionally at least. With my history, that combination is a rather large detriment to accomplishing goals and staying on top of my plans. If my mindset just isn’t there and I can’t shake something, I go nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. That was my entire first week for the most part, which is not a great start for my attempt to reclaim my life this year.

I think I made it through the first four days of the New Leaf 30 Day Meditation Challenge before I gave up under everything going on. I haven’t sat down to meditate for probably about a week now. My will to either work out or do yoga once a day has also gone down the crapper pretty quick. I think I managed to do it twice so far this year, and that was really only because I got lucky enough to have the house to myself so I could use the living room.

As expected, I’m beating myself up over letting them both slip so quickly as well. I’m trying to tell myself “you had a rough week, now turn your chin up and push forward to try again” but that’s not always the easiest thing to do. I may not be good at practicing positive thinking, but when I can manage it, I do see the difference it makes.

Which, now that I’m thinking of it, I do have a serious question for anyone and everyone willing to answer. I could use all the insight provided.

How do you keep yourself motivated and hold yourself accountable to the things you wish to accomplish? How do you get yourself moving on goals or to-do lists or even daily tasks? How do you keep yourself from wasting time away and saying “I’ll do it later”?

Any answer is a great answer to me, for I just simply need to find something that works for me that will keep me going. The more ideas I get, the better chance I have at finding something that works for me.

I know for starters my goal of working out in some form every day will become easier when the weather warms up and I’m able to go outside to do any kind of work out, but until then it’s going to continue to be a struggle on me. I’d almost be better off getting a gym membership, but I do not have the want to be going somewhere almost every day. I would rather be able to do it in the comfort of my home and on my own whacky time schedule. What would be really great to have would be a treadmill, but…unfortunately I don’t have that. Yet.

So, yeah, so far 2017 has pretty much tanked, but it’s starting to look up a little bit again.

After hitting rock bottom at the end of the week (part of the reason there was never a Friday blog post) I’m beginning to claw my way back out of the darkness. Things have been worked out and a shred of motivation is starting to return. Yesterday I managed to straighten up my room and get caught up on a lot of things. Today I kept that momentum rolling and got the Sunday Snippet blog hop out of the way and continued catching up to the things I ended up neglecting last week.

It’s not much yet, but it’s a start. There’s only two things I need to finish to be back to where I had wished to be.

Okay, wait, maybe three.

I need to get at least two Sunday Snippet posts scheduled for the rest of the month since my next two weeks after this one will be nightmares with inventory. (I might as well do all three for the rest of January.) I need to finish writing out my goals in my secondary planner and update that for this week. And lastly I need to finish outlining Clockwork Heart so I can hit writing hard on it.

The first two are easy enough to finish, it is the outlining that may take a bit of work.

But wait!

In all the darkness that was the first week of January for me, I did manage to have a brief spot of light Wednesday night!

With a couple of friends we revamped our version of NaNoWriMo without the NaNo and had our first virtual sit-in writing session. And do you know what I used that writing time for?

Yep, you guessed it! (I think.) I used that time to begin the outlining for Clockwork Heart and so far it’s coming along nicely.

Normally I don’t outline very far or at all, but since this is a short story and because I have a deadline and word limit on it, I decided I needed to do some sort of planning so I would  both be finished on time and remain within the word limit allowed. If I just let myself run with this one I might have ended up rambling on for too long, or I would end up leaving myself way too many notes that would require way too much editing. Keeping this story below 20k might be a challenge even with my outlining, however.

We’ll see how it goes though.

I’m about half way done with the outlining and I plan to do some more work on it tonight. Last night as I finally laid down for bed my brain became a live wire and start rapid firing answers to questions I had for the story and a lot more. Needless to say I was up and down hurriedly grabbing my phone to jot things down before I could forget for a good fifteen minutes or so.

Speaking of outlining and planning, earlier last night my brain decided to spring another plot bunny on me out of nowhere. I was putting away decorations from Samhain finally — I know, way overdue on that one, blame the holiday season in retail — and I suddenly had the thought “what if Halloween decorations came alive for one night out of the year?” Then…


Suddenly this new, shiny, little black plot bunny was hopping around my head, cackling away madly. At that point I could do nothing but sit down on my bed and follow the little bastard around my head until I found out where the idea was leading me, as well as swearing at it and banging my head off the bedpost because I didn’t need the little sucker. You can bet your arse I wrote down the idea though and have filed it away for my next Halloween short story.

It’s quite amazing where ideas can come from when you think about it. I mean, all I was doing was putting away decorations and staring at a black, glittery plastic spider! But alas, that’s all it takes for an author it seems.

I’m thinking perhaps once I get Clockwork Heart finished and submitted, and I finish writing Fated to Darkness, if I have words left to be written in April’s Camp NaNo I’ll work on the Halloween story because, for a reason I still have yet to determine, it’s nagging at me to be another VTP entry just like Embermyst, and Clockwork Heart.

Really, brain? You do realize I have a novel, a series I’m trying to work on and finish, right?


It doesn’t listen to me, just like my characters don’t listen to me. Although, the new addition of plot bunnies and ideas reminds me of something I saw on Facebook yesterday that I’m not even going to try to lie my way out of. It went something like this…


Here’s my question to that though: Do fictional friends count? Like, the ones in our stories? If so then I might be able to dispute this one with a straight face. LOL. Ah, oh well, we all know I’m an introvert anyways. I guess I better just head back to the drafting board and create some new characters to go along with those new ideas.

Planning A Year


It’s officially 2017. I hope everyone’s New Year so far is shaping up as they had hoped. I’m sure there’s lots of new goals and resolutions and hope out there. Whatever you’re aiming to better or do this year, good for you; and if you have no resolutions, well, then, good for you too.

After talking about my accomplishments, half accomplishments, and failures of last year’s goals on Friday, I spent the last couple days thinking over goals and resolutions and trying to organize myself for the new year. Normally I don’t do resolutions, I just do goals, but this year I seem to have written a few things off as resolutions.

Which brings me to something interesting I saw. The other day I was searching Google images for something relating to goals and resolutions. In a lot of images I found they were crossing out the word “resolutions” and replacing it with “goals”. Or they were simply saying “goals, not resolutions”. That took me a little be surprise and I wondered, “why?” Why do they say goals not resolutions?

Naturally, I looked into it a bit and found that the meaning behind those images were to set goals that you could physically work toward, a plan, not a resolution that you don’t know how to go about. Think about it…

Say your resolution this year was to get fit. Okay, great. You want to get fit. Now if I were to ask you how are you going to do that, would you have an answer for me right away? Would you have a plan? Maybe some of you do, but when you list something so vague and broad, it can leave you fumbling.

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That’s why they say make goals, not resolutions. Goals can be specific, goals can have a path you can follow toward. Goals can make you plan how to go about achieving it in tiny steps so it doesn’t look so daunting a monster to conquer. I’ve learned that over the past year, and now I’m really starting to see why it’s so much easier that way. Even so, it can be easy to overbook yourself on goals if you feed them too many growth hormones. Never forget though that goals can be broken down. Even the most humungous and fiercest of them all can be broken down into tiny little pieces, limb by limb, stage by stage until the monster you built can be seen as tiny little monsterlings that are more easily conquerable.  And each monsterling you conquer you can put back into place, now tamed, and watch how your goal is shaping up and building until you are so close to achieving it and becoming the master.


That gives you motivation. To watch it grow, to watch yourself actually achieving the steps toward that monster of a goal. No matter your goal, it can be the same process, you only have to be careful you make the goal realistic in the time frame you set yourself for it, otherwise your monster will become too scary and seem to grow bigger and bigger day by day until he crushes you instead of you taming him.

And that brings me to the goals I’ve been putzing over the past couple days. I found myself labeling some things as resolutions, but only because they are something I want to make habit in a sense. They are still goals in a way that I have a plan on how to go about them, but for the sake of organization I labeled them as resolutions because they aren’t a one-and-done type of goal. They are constant.

Once I finally had my goals listed out and I had begun to shape out my planner, I tried to work out a timeframe that I could work with for each one. To do that I grabbed notecards — one for each month, and one simply for daily things — and started mapping things out.

While I may have a rough time frame worked out now, I still do not have a detailed, written plan of every goal. That was today’s plan, because it is much easier to type it out as I think in a post and then copy it down to my secondary planner, then it is to write it once on paper — in pen — and be perfect. I work it out in head here and then I’ll be good to copy it all to paper and get to work on achieving things.

So here we go. Down the rabbit hole for a look into the way my mind thinks. Hopefully you don’t get scared off by the monsters that are my goals.


As I said above, I am simply labeling daily things I wish to make more habit in my life as resolutions, but they are still goals I can work toward and achieve in order to make them habit.

This is something I began to try my hand at last year and it never really worked out. That was partly due to the fact I wasn’t entirely sure on what I was doing. I had always believed that in meditation my mind was supposed to be utterly quiet, not a single wisp of thought. In just three days alone since this new year began I learned that isn’t quite true, and it’s already begun to help, because now I’m not so frustrated that I’m yelling at my mind to be quiet and I’m actually getting somewhere. (Yelling at yourself in mediation doesn’t exactly help you relax.)

So this is something I wish to become a daily habit, even if it’s only for a couple minutes a day. It certainly helps to have someone doing it with you, too, both for support and for making sure you did it. It also helps to follow a 30 day challenge to get yourself some instruction — if you’re a bit of a beginner like myself — or to simply remember to do it.

Do Yoga/Workout Once a Day
Another thing I wish to make a daily habit. Once again, I started doing both yoga and small workouts last year but it’s hard to have any free or alone time in my home to be able to do it. The only open enough space I have to work out is in the living room, and with a constant hovering patron of this house, it’s extra hard to get any alone time to simply do this. If I get lucky enough to score the house to myself, great! Either yoga or a small workout session is the first thing I’ll go to downstairs. If not, then I might be waiting until midnight to have the chance to be alone downstairs.

Granted, I can do some minor things that don’t require space in my own room, but it isn’t much I can do. Also, once the weather turns to spring, I can easily go outside to get away to complete this daily. I think the best thing about this one is I’m giving myself some leeway with it. Perhaps one day I’ll get to do some yoga and the next two or so I won’t be able to due to space constraints, but I’ll still be able to do some easier workouts that don’t require the same space. Or perhaps once it warms up I’ll count my workout as going for a walk, or a run. It won’t always be the same, and that’ll give me flexibility so I don’t get bored with it or tired of it quickly.

I won’t need to join a gym or spend a ton of money to do this either. I could grab a couple things from where I work that I can workout at home with, and there’s always YouTube to look up any kind of workout video imaginable. It’s not the same as a gym, but it’s still better than nothing and easier to fit into an ever-changing work schedule.

Be Awake By 11am
Everyone knows I’m a major night owl. In the past month or so I started to really, really sleep in late. My day wouldn’t really start until one or two in the afternoon because I wasn’t getting up until noon or later. I partly blame that on work and just being exhausted over the holiday season, but it’s also cutting into the ability to manage my time.

To help that, I’m trying to make myself be in bed, lights out, by or at 3am. That way even if I need to be up around eight or nine for work I’m still getting five to six hours of sleep, instead of my two or three I did a lot last year, and the year before. The reasoning behind this is to hopefully have somewhere between six to seven hours a night and still be able to get things done as I hope to since I’m most active at night. That’s the hope at least, we’ll see how it works out, especially if I start getting the ungodly shift of 5am again.

Better Time Management
I royally sucked at this last year and let a lot of things slide until last minute that left a lot of scrambling, a lot of stress, and a lot of weight on my shoulders. I hope to change that this year.

At one point I asked a friend last year how she did it. Her response was a simple one, but it stuck with me.

“It’s easier to stay caught up than to play catch up.”

Alright, so that may not be the exact words of months ago, but that’s the concept. It’s never left my mind, and I’ve realized just how right she is. It’s much easier to simply stay on track than to be running to catch up, especially when you have so much going on.

So this year I am going to try to manage my time better. Part of that ties in with being up a little earlier. As things come, I’m going to try to complete them. For instance… The Snippet Sunday blog hop always happens on Sunday (though it technically starts Saturday with a couple), so by Monday night I want to have gone through all the blogs so I don’t have to worry about it the rest of the week. If I work the long afternoon to close shift on a blog post day, I want to try to complete that post before I go to bed, or at least have a draft of it so I’m not scrambling the next day to write a half-assed one. As mail comes in, junk or otherwise, I want to have it gone through, paid, replied to, pitched and/or filed away within a day or two. If I shop at all, I want to put things away in a timely fashion instead of leaving them sit in the corner of my room as I started doing. Keeping my desk clear is going to be the same concept. Scheduling my Sunday Snippet posts will be something I take one or two at a time, so that doing four or five at a time doesn’t take so long.

In all I just need to keep on top of things instead of simply shrugging them off for later. “Later” is a word I want to stop using this year.

Use My Planner
This is what’s going to help with my time management. I started using a simple, kind of stupid planner last year. After the first two months maybe I just kind of stopped looking at it. This year I bought a new one, a better one, and the hope is to keep at this year.

The best things about this one are I can actually flip to a certain month via tabs, and it has both a monthly calendar and pages of day by day to write things in. The calendar itself will allow me to write down events, birthdays, mercury’s retrogrades, deadlines, what days need posts, and so forth. The day to day pages will help me plan out my week with everything else.

I used to keep a simple lined notebook that I would write down “Week of January 1st” at the top and then list the things I wanted to do that week. I never broke it down further though. Now, since I still use that notebook to help organize myself — and that’s actually the notebook I will copy these goals down into — I can organize even further by breaking that week page down into daily by writing them into my planner.

Now so long as I stick to that and actually open both my planner and notebook, I should be good.

Write Consistently
This was a goal I held last year as well, and pretty much failed on. This year I’m going to try once more to hold myself accountable to writing at least something each week, even if it’s simply a 100 words a day, even if it’s fifty words a day. I don’t care if it ends up being a 100 words a week, I just need to stop letting myself fall off the wagon during non-NaNo months.

This year, I hope that the support of friends will help hold me accountable to doing this. If they are expecting a snippet of something I wrote that week then I have to deliver every week for the group to see my proof of creativity, or be pestered until there is a fire lit under my ass. Even just working with them to make us all write should make it that much more manageable and easy to accomplish.

The goal of this group is to take the NaNo out of NaNoWriMo. That way every month simply becomes a Writing Month, even if the word count isn’t as huge as actual NaNo months. Just so long as I am doing something every week toward my goals of writing and publishing, whether it be writing or editing. And if we can make it more interactive with each other like NaNo then there’s motivation.

The only problem in this is that we all have to make the commitment to not slack off on each other, and then actually stick to the commitment, no matter how hectic life gets.


So while all my resolutions are goals in a way, they are not the one-and-done type of goals as the rest of these are.

Read Two Books A Month
Alright, so this technically could have counted as a resolution to simply read more. However, as I talked of, the goal to simply read more is vague. Which is why I came up with the goal of reading two books a month, at least.

Ever since I started working and writing more the time for me to read dwindled further and further. As an author, reading is a must no matter what you think. This goal will help me get back into reading. It doesn’t matter what the book is, how long it is, what it’s about, as long as I am reading something. For instance, my first choice of this month was a book called Meditation For Beginners.

I did, however, give myself a little bit of leeway again in this goal. During the three NaNo months, I let myself slide on only needing to read one book that month.

The easiest way I’m going to accomplish this goal is if I set aside a specific time to read. I came to the conclusion that best time would be at night. If my goal is to be in bed, lights out, by 3am, then by 2:30am I need to be off my computer, phone, whatever I’m working on so that I can sit in bed for half an hour and read. Doing this might even help me sleep, it’s been proven that reading can help you sleep.

Revamp Blog Layout/Info
This is something I should have done last year. I want to go back through my pages and update any information in the About pages so that it is current and reflecting of me. Since, you know, I haven’t changed any of that since I first made this blog…two years ago now I believe. (Wow… Doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.)

I also want to rework the pages that hold information on my stories and books. Instead of being one long list of books on the page, I want to turn each book into a tab under the page. On top of that, I wanted to create a separate page (and hopefully one day more tabs) for anything that is physically published and available for purchase, not my freebies on Wattpad.

I plan to have this completed by the end of January, so if you start seeing things changing a bit, that’s why.

Finish and Submit Clockwork Heart
This is one of my bigger ones that I’ve broken up into two parts. The first part is to simply outline and write the story; the second part is to edit it and submit it with all necessary information.

I have until February 20th to do this.

If the title Clockwork Heart rings a bell that’s because it was the title of one of my Wednesday Words last month. Just like with Embermyst, the story sprung into a full on plot bunny and I’m going to be submitting this to VTP’s Spring Anthology for another chance at publication. That deadline is obviously February 2oth.

By working out a timeline on how to go about this, if I can outline and write it — including a dreaded blurb — by the end of January, that will give me about two and a half weeks to edit and polish it before sending it in. I plan to have it outlined and begin writing by the end of this week.

Complete 2016 Camping Journal Entries
This goal looks very familiar, doesn’t it? That’s because, like the year before, I failed miserably at staying on top of those entries during the camping season. So once more, I have six entries to write before May, and I think maybe one or two sets of notes to complete in order to do so again as well.

Since I have Clockwork Heart to focus on right now, I’m not going to plan to start these until the week of February 19th. Like last year, I will do one a week and I will complete them just in time for the start of April’s Camp NaNo.

The other side to this goal is when the 2017 season starts I need to stay on top of them this year so this goal doesn’t become something that happens every year. I believe I’ve figured out how I can do that too. The last few years I’ve only taken off work the days of the trip, this year I am going to take off the day after each trip as well. That extra day will allow me to catch up on lost sleep, get organized, and also sit down to write the entry while it’s fresh in my mind, as well as loading any pictures I took of that week to my Facebook. If I can do that, I won’t be scrambling at the last moment to write or finish an entry before the next trip rolls around right quick when they are normally only two weeks apart.

Obtain Driver’s License
Alright… This one was on last year’s list as well. To my credit I got half way to it last year, I got my permit. I just never got out much to practice due to circumstances beyond my control.

It’s nearly certain I will not get that dumb little plastic card by the time my permit runs out, so once more I have myself listed to re-acquire my permit once this one runs out of time. Just like last year, I hope to have gotten my license sometime before the snow falls. Say maybe by the end of October.

Providing schedules can work out better this year, I can hope that this goal will be achieved this year.

Re-edit Rivers of Black
This goal is also quite familiar if you recall my last post. Re-editing this story was a goal I set myself last year and I just never quite started to edit it. I’m going to try again this year and I plan to use the month of May to edit it and re-release it on the Wattpad world.

I figured May would be a good time because it’s coming off a maddened induced month of writing for Camp NaNo and will be a little bit of a break from writing. Granted, I’ll still try to hold myself accountable to writing, but my focus will be on editing that month.

Finish Fated to Darkness
Yes, this was another goal I held last year as well. I got close to completing part of this goal last year, but my lack of follow through in non-NaNo months is what became my downfall on the goal.

Now that I’m only about six chapters away from the end of this book, I can definitely finish it this year. If I don’t, there’s something wrong with me. However, it is more than just completing the first draft that I want to accomplish with this novel this year. I also want to have the concordance completed so that I have something to look over in editing to help keep me straight. Lastly, I want to have this rough draft printed and in a binder by the end of the year to be able to begin editing next year. That print out may also include a print out of a list of notes and questions I left myself within the Word doc for when editing comes along. I haven’t decided if I want to simply print them or copy them to a notebook to have handy. Printing might be easier.

To do all this, I planned to have completed writing the book by the end of May. Honestly, if I don’t finish it by the end of April with Camp NaNo or even before that I’m going to kick myself. The more time I have to work on the concordance and print outs, the better. Because, you know, I only have 500 some pages to read through to make notes of and stuff.

If I finish writing hopefully by the end of April, then I will focus on completing the concordance by the end of October, before the holiday madness begins. That gives me time to worry about nothing else but NaNo in November and then gifts and work for the rest of the year. Printing everything will also be easy to do when I’m already out running errands during that time of year.

That’s the detailed goal, now I only need to stick to it again. I’m itching to get to work on it, but Clockwork Heart is going to take precedence right now with a looming deadline.

Get Rid of Yard Sale Items
This goal is the result of one of my goals last year. I had cleaned out my entire room and held a yard sale to sell what I no longer wanted or use. Unfortunately, the yard sale was less than successful and it left me with more than half the stuff I wanted to get rid of sitting around here with no time to do anything with it.

The goal this year is to simply get rid of it all. Whether it be by donating it, craigslist to try to sell more, a Facebook group to sell it, throwing some stuff out, or trying a thrift shop. This will be a good thing to do in June when camping will start to take up some of my time. Simple and easy, as long as I don’t start cleaning something else out in this house. Like the spare room.

Meet a Friend
I only have this listed as a goal because I have a couple online friends I have never actually met face to face. Well, one I have half met face to face thanks to a lovely thing called webcams and Skype, but I still have yet to meet the other.

It doesn’t help when both of you are such introverts that you talk of making plans to meet but then just never follow through on it. I’m totally guilty of that.

So to put it simply, I just want to finally make that meeting happen sometime during this year. Maybe after the snow stops flying though.


That’s it then. That’s my year in a nutshell. 365 days of planning down to one rather long, detailed blog post. Now I can be held accountable to these goals. They are officially written down in some form. All that’s left to do is copy them to my notebook and start getting to work.

Although, I have one last parting thought. If you were to consider one word as your attainable goal this year, what would you pick? What would you strive for? If I had to choose, my word would be creativity. Simply because it can cover such a wide variety of my goals in writing. Or it would be time management, since that is what I need to work on.

If I accomplish even half of these goals, I will be happy with myself. If I make nearly all of them happen, I will be ecstatic. If by some chance I am able to check off every single goal at the end of this year, and will proudly be able to say I didn’t give up on yoga, reading, meditation, writing, and working out, I will be without words. My hope is that this year I finally begin to take my life back in my own hands after years on end of struggling, and that in making new daily habits I will no longer be sitting around lazily or scrolling through my phone because I’m bored.

Here’s to a better year than 2016, and a brighter, better, happier me.

Reflecting On 2016

I’ve been quite absent here the past week or so. Last week was a total madhouse of things going on with the holiday season. The week before Christmas is the final and worst Hell Week when you work retail. Since I had my own things I had to finish to be ready for the holiday on top of working I was going non-stop and a lot slipped my mind, like blog posts. I hardly slept last week with the final rush of things.

(I know I’ve said something similar to this before but roughly ten hours of sleep in a matter of three days is not recommended. I crashed for about 18 hours after that little doozy of a nightmare.)

Things have finally begun to quiet down now that it’s over. At least, work has quieted down from the chicken without a head rushing, there’s still lots to do though. Home life, on the other hand, has not taken the memo to quiet down this week. After putting in two weeks of overtime, I somehow managed to score four days off this week and I was so looking forward to it because this introvert needs about three weeks of calm to realign after the last several weeks before she has to hit another two or three weeks of madness due to inventory.

Unfortunately that calm has not worked out.

Monday into Tuesday morning was my sleep for about 18 hours spell. Tuesday was my first day off (other than Christmas, I didn’t exactly count Christmas as off since there was still no relaxing about it) and I had completely planned for it to be a “fuck it all” kind of day where I was simply going to just sit around and relax finally. I didn’t care if I got anything done or not, and I was not planning to go anywhere.

Right off the bat that got screwed because I had to go out to finish an errand that I couldn’t do on Monday since the post office was closed the day after Christmas, and of course, other people wanted me to do things that day. I said no. The relaxation also got a little cancelled by a bummed out and irritated mood thanks to certain events. Thankfully, by the end of the night I was pretty alright though.

Wednesday I worked and upon getting home I began to hear the news about the company All Romance eBooks closing its doors at the end of the year quite abruptly without warning and basically screwing over its authors and publishers. It gave me a mini heart attack because for a moment I couldn’t remember if my publisher for Embermyst had used them or not. I got lucky, but many others haven’t, and just hearing about it is making me reel and shaking me off center a little.

Now Thursday into today has pretty much been an irritating hell in which nothing has gone to plan thanks to uncontrollable circumstances that don’t even involve me but end up effecting me. I even had off today and, yeah, nothing has gotten done.

At this point, all I’m praying for to whichever god or goddess will hear me is that the rest of this night goes more calmly and that tomorrow mellows out into a good day since I’m again off. Tomorrow better be a good day because it’ll be the first time I get to spend one on one time with someone I hardly see. I don’t want anything to ruin it, not the slightest hitch. You hear me, universe? Not one hitch. No ifs, ands, or buts. That’s my one and only warning. I need something good to end this nightmare year on.

Speaking of this nightmare year, it’s just about over. I think a lot of people are saying “fucking finally” and will be jumping for joy when this year ends tomorrow, or they’ll be flicking off the ball as it drops. Myself included. There have been a few good spots to 2016 but there’s also been a lot of bad that has left a shadow of darkness hanging over this year forever. I honestly believe it will be a year that goes down in history as one nobody ever wants to speak of again.

As I sit here with six candles to light my room, my diffuser running with a blend of essential oils to try to ease my stress and relax, and a CD of hammer dulcimer instruments playing softly, I can’t help but look back on 2016. (Can you tell I was meditating before I began this post?)

A lot has happened this year, and a lot also hasn’t happened this year. Some things were amazing, others were horrific. Some things were half started and never finished, others were never began, and others still were huge accomplishments. It has certainly been a royal roller coaster of a year, and not just for me but for a lot of the world.

The world was rocked by terrorist attacks on Paris. Outrage flew out over the Pulse shootings in Florida. The world reeled at the results of the US Presidential Election. So many influential and amazing actors/actresses, singers, songwriters, producers, and authors passed away this year. DAPL’s heinous acts have gotten little media coverage and left many people outraged by greed and fighting back with the risk to their lives by this point. The Zika virus outbreak caused much panic in women and over the Olympic games. Let’s face it, no one was happy where the Olympic games took place either.

There were spots of light amongst the darkness though.

Thanks to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge of oh so long ago, the gene responsible for the disease has been identified, giving us new ground to work toward an effective treatment. Scientists learned how to link robotic arms with the part of the brain linked to intent so that they may use them just as we use our own limbs, just by doing. Endangered species’ numbers are growing, like tigers, and pandas, and manatees. World crime is still declining — even if it doesn’t seem like it after this year. A bank firm paid the college tuition for children of employees killed in 9/11. After the Pulse shootings, the Orlando Shakespeare Festival showed up at the funeral for the victims with angel wings to block the view of anti-gay protestors from the proceedings. The world of Harry Potter has not ended with a new book and movie out.

2016 has seemed bleak and despairing, but if we only look at the bad, we will never see the bits of good that have bloomed out of the darkness against all odds either.

The world has seen its massive ups and downs this year, that much is for sure, but what about for me?

With the year ending tomorrow I have found myself reflecting back on the goals I had for this year. Some I had actually completed, others I tried but didn’t quite get very far. A few fell through, and still 2016 held a couple surprises.

Does anyone remember what my goals were? (No cheating by clicking on the link. Lol) Well, I suppose I’d be surprised if ya’ll remembered what my goals were. Somehow I managed to remember them, maybe because I wrote them all down in a nice little journal entry at the beginning of the year.

And ’tis the season to take a walk down memory lane from the whole year so I might as well start walking to see what I accomplished — or didn’t accomplish — this year. Care to join me?


Write Consistently
I suppose my only resolution of this year was to simply write consistently instead of my jumping around in writing this month and doing nothing the next month and so forth. Unfortunately, I still failed pretty miserably at that resolution. I need more discipline to make it work. Something I’m not at all good at.

However, this was the first year I successfully managed a win for NaNoWriMo in November, so I call that an accomplishment. (I tried for it in 2015 too but I had computer issues that rendered me unable to do it.)

After three NaNo sessions working on Fated to Darkness and my short story Embermyst, at the very least I wrote 156,792 words this year. And that doesn’t even include all my Shards of Imagination flash fiction writing or any other writing I did in non-NaNo months. So it’s safe to say I did at least write over 200k this year. (It’d be pretty cool to see what the actual number was if I could ever figure it out.)

*Couple minutes later*

Okay, I did part of the math. If I add in all the words I wrote for Shards of Imagination, I get 203, 177 words. That doesn’t include any of the little bits of writing I did on Fated to Darkness in non-NaNo months so I am definitely over 200k for the year. I wish that number was higher, and I wish I could know just how much I wrote, but I’m not sure I could figure it out exactly. Well… Maybe if I went back through my email to find where I kept leaving off in writing I could get pretty darn close to the exact number. As cool as it’d be to find out I’m not going to try. The 203k also doesn’t include any editing or rewriting I did on Embermyst either.

That’s still a lot of words though.

Re-edit Rivers of Black
This had been one of my “dammit do it already” goals for 2016. I’ve been meaning to re-edit this story for quite some time because I believe it will get some better reads on Wattpad if I clean it up more. (I wrote it years ago at this point.) However, this was one of the goals I failed to get to. I started to get ready for it, I got everything I wanted organized to begin editing it. I just never actually started on it.

Fingers crossed this is something I can actually get to in 2017. (Someone better nag at me to do this.)

Complete 2015 Camping Journal Entries
This goal really should have been completed in 2015 after every single trip I had, as I did the year before. Obviously that didn’t happen in 2015 if it was a goal for this year, and I still haven’t learned my lesson on that one for this past season either, but I did get them done. Almost on the same time frame I had hoped to have them done too: one a week until they were completed. I think I finished about a week late on them but that’s pretty damn good for me that I stuck to it!

Hooray for that accomplishment at least, but I still need to learn my lesson on those entries, because, um, yeah, I did it again this year. Guess who still has all six entries of this year’s season to still write? I’m an idiot.

Obtain My Driver’s License
Yeah… About this one…

This goal had been one of my big, big ones. I’ve only been putting it off and putting it off — for multiple reasons — for a few years now.

To my credit, I got half way to this goal. I did manage to get my permit by the deadline I set myself, which was back in March. However, I’ve only been out to drive less than ten times and haven’t been out in probably five months. Part of that is because I hardly see my dad, who is the only person I trust enough and am comfortable with to teach me to drive; and part of that is simply because the idea of driving on the road still scares the living shit out of me.

Okay, let me rephrase that: it’s not the driving on the road that scares me. It’s the driving with other cars around that scares me. Last night, coming home from work at 3am when the roads were empty I would have been perfectly fine to ask my dad if I could try driving home, even though it was snowing lightly. In fact, he almost thought about asking me that, and if he had I’m 99% sure I would have said yes. But if you ask me to drive on the road during the day… I freeze up.

Sadly, the year limit on my permit will be up in a couple months and I’ll have to go through this whole process again because I know I will not have my license by then. Not when I’ve begun seeing my dad even less than the beginning of this year. Who says next year is going to be any different either with our jobs?

Start Horseback Riding Again
At the beginning of the year, I had really missed riding and had wanted desperately to go back. After talking with a couple friends, I was encouraged to pursue it again because it could have been that one thing that helped me get through each week in a life I was beginning to deem miserable for eternity.

Well, a few months ago I finally took that step and went back to riding at the academy I used to attend. However… While it started out great and I was beginning to gain the confidence I lost three years ago due to my fall, riding rapidly began to lose its charm.

The horse I normally rode switched to a different one that I enjoyed at first but then began to get frustrated with because I was spending more time trying to slow him down from running into the rider in front of me (I ride in a group of three or four per lesson) than I was having fun. I also tended to work every morning before riding and by the time I was getting home I’d have to change and leave. It became exhausting, it became more of a chore than something I enjoyed doing and looked forward to.

Now I haven’t ridden in probably a month and a half between the lesson itself being cancelled or me deciding not to go because I’m exhausted or have had too much to do. I’m to the point now that I’m honestly thinking of dropping the lessons once more, because it really isn’t doing what it used to for me. Perhaps it would be less of a chore if I could get those days totally off work, or if I could get a different horse again, but riding a different horse isn’t up to me, and I had enough trouble the first month or so with my boss screwing my schedule up. I can only imagine how much it’d be screwed again if I asked for Wednesday’s off completely now.

So I accomplished the goal, I went back, but I’m on the verge of giving it up again.

Organize Closet
This was one of my major goals of 2016. At the beginning of the year I didn’t actually believe I would accomplish it. I surprised myself though.

Not only did I organize and clean out my closet, I organized and cleaned out my entire room. I even held a yard sale to try to get rid of the stuff I no longer wanted. To my dismay the yard sale hardly panned out and wasn’t worth half the stress and sleepless nights I put on myself over this goal. Even now I’m still sitting on half the stuff I couldn’t sell because I have had no time to go through it and do something with it since then.

The intent of this goal was so I could finally start to reclaim my room as my own after about four years. Needless to say, it hasn’t really worked out. The only way it’s going to work out is if the spare room is cleaned out as well. Which shouldn’t be a problem since I just did one room, right? Wrong. Not when half the stuff in there is your lazy mother’s who can’t hold a single penny to her word and who is pretty much useless and disrupting if I were to do it anyways.

So while I managed to accomplish the goal of cleaning my closet and room out, it left a mess of things I still have to find a way to work with. I need to get onto either a Facebook group or Craigslist to try to sell the rest of the stuff, and start either donating what I can or throwing the other stuff out.

Finish Fated to Darkness
This… This was my most major of goals for 2016. The one that if I would have completed it I wouldn’t have cared if I accomplished nothing else all year.

Now, this goal included finishing the first draft of the novel and working out the concordance so when I began to edit next year in theory I wouldn’t be so lost. So there was a lot of work involved in this goal.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get all that work done.

To my credit, I nearly accomplished half of that work. The first draft is about six chapters away from being completed after writing feverishly on it for every NaNoWriMo month there was this year, as well as in between at times. I put in over 150k to this story this year, and no, I’m not going to tell you how long it actually is. (I’m hoping editing takes it down in word count a little, the length is even starting to worry me.)

It’s been quite a ride with it this year. Some chapters I stared at my screen slack-jawed in shock with what I just wrote. One in particular I did. Others I wanted to tear my hair out. I got stuck a few times and other times I was on fire, but now I really do see the light at the end of the tunnel after almost two years of working on this novel.

I’m oh so close to the end of the first draft.

And while I wish I could have made it — I probably could have finished it this month if not for work madness — I’m proud of how far I came in it. It’s got a long way to go, and I would be much further if every other month was a NaNo month, but I’m proud of how it — and my writing style — have grown over this year.

Not only that, but I can also proudly say while I didn’t finish this goal, I did accomplish something else completely unexpected and huge:

My debut publication with Victory Tales Press for my story Embermyst in their Halloween anthology, Paranormal Pleasures.

This publication quite honestly made up for not finishing Fated to Darkness. It’s a foot in the door on a dream I hold, it’s the beginning of making a name for myself, and it’s also credibility for when I try to publish my series. So it was huge. Beyond huge even.


Overall, I think I came out about fifty-fifty on my goals. That’s better than I thought I would do, and probably better than any year before too. So I’ll take that as not so bad. Other than my publication I finally passed 100 followers on my Wattpad account, and I even passed 100 WordPress followers here. I call those two things accomplishments as well.

Looking back I think the way I laid out my goals and organized them worked fairly well. It could maybe use a little tweaking for how I do next year’s goals, and I also need to set up my calendar and planner for next year, but I think it’s going to be something I try again. Of course, that would work out even better if I knew what next year’s goals were yet. Because I don’t have a list of them yet, maybe a vague idea, but not a list of them.

That’s the next thing to tackle tonight and tomorrow. Well, that and organizing Christmas gifts I got, as well as setting up my Sunday Snippet posts for January. I think I need to just start with making a list of everything I want to do and go from there.

Hopefully by Tuesday’s post I’ll have an idea on my goals and how I’m laying them out. See ya in 2017, folks. Happy Freaking New Year a day early. Let’s hope this next one doesn’t suck as much.

Rearing Plot Bunnies

It’s been an interesting couple of days. Not just with work and life, but with writing as well. My mind has been quite brain dead lately thanks to the holiday madness and the fact I think I burned out slightly after NaNoWriMo. I haven’t been writing because I’ve both been so busy and exhausted due to those things.

Well, the relative quietness that was my plot bunnies for the past two weeks suddenly turned into roaring lions again demanding my every sliver of attention on Wednesday.

As anyone who follows my blog knows, I do a piece of flash fiction writing every Wednesday. Last week I accidentally got a glimpse at this week’s prompt and had already figured out a storyline and all for the word combination. Of course, said storyline then had to wait a week because it was the wrong week, and I told myself I didn’t need to write my idea down because I’d remember it.

You can bet your last dollar I didn’t remember it come two nights ago.

I swear that is the biggest lie a writer ever tells themselves. “Oh I’ll remember this, I don’t need to write it down.” Ha! Yeah, right! Do yourself a favor and write it down anyways, because we normally forget. Maybe it’s the curse of a writer. (Now there’s a plot bunny in that one.)

Anyways! I finally came up with a different idea than what I originally had in mind and as I started writing my flash fiction piece, it started growing. And growing, and growing. It has now turned into a short story idea. Well, the basis of a short story idea with a few choice scenes and instances. It’s still brewing away up there though and developing further.

It’s screaming for my attention now, begging me to write this little steampunk-fantasy-hint-of-romance short story. The problem is I don’t have the time right now to toy with it, and I also don’t have enough to work with just yet. I have a few ideas and questions to answer that I wrote down, and all the little tidbits I thought of, but I have no real rhyme or reason on how to start it just yet. Somehow I know the ending, just not the beginning, or very much of the middle. Go figure.

I want to be sitting down and mapping it out, playing with it and shaping it by some rough outline, but I just have too much to do yet with only a week before Christmas.

There’s still a few gifts I need to get (if I can make it back out to shop since, you know, the weather is shit right now and I work six days next week) and I still need to make a few gifts. One of which will be quick and simple, another few will be easy but will take time, a different one is easy just takes maybe an hour or so, and the last one will take me forever with a lot of hand cramps. Then of course I’ll need to wrap everything, and at some point in the next couple days I need to do my laundry on top of all of this.

So, yeah, right now I really don’t have the time to be working out story ideas and plotting a short story. However, this short story also has a deadline of February 20th. And do you know why?

Because this little plot bunny is turning into a submission for Victory Tales Press’ spring anthology. So not only do I have to write it, I have to edit it and all that fun stuff like I did with Embermyst. And I have two months, on top of the holiday season and inventory.

Granted, I had only twelve days when I wrote, edited, and submitted Embermyst for the Halloween anthology, but still…I was less busy then.

And if all that isn’t bad enough, Fated to Darkness started rearing its head at me on Wednesday as well because suddenly I had the overwhelming urge to be writing something. Anything. So now I’ve got two stories screaming at me, as well as a bunch of gifts and craziness. Which is exactly why my novel isn’t getting done, because everything else steals the spotlight, including other plot bunnies.

I think it’s time to raise the white flag. Or hit big and quit my day job so that I have the time to write all these plot bunnies.

Captive To My Mind

Do you ever get so wrapped up, so lost in a plot or storyline that you just lose focus of everything else in life? Do you ever get so wrapped up in it that you feel as if you are floating in that fantasy land even while you walk through reality? As if you are only half there to the world around you, the rest of you lost in the scenes, sounds, voices, feelings of the world you are imagining?

It’s like it holds you captive and you find yourself staring off with a clouded gaze while you watch it play through your head and listen to the voices. It invades the waking and resting hours of your day, never giving you a break. It’s all you can think about, all you can play out in your head.

It’s like when you become so engrossed in a book that you forget the world around you, and no one realizes the emotional turmoil you just suffered at the hands of a paperback fictional story.

Only this time, you’re without the book.

Does that ever happen to anyone else?

Time just suspends itself and you are trapped in the world in your head. The gatekeeper waits for you to pay the price of your sanity, or perhaps your sleep, or perhaps your focus for days before you are freed back to the land of the consciously thinking.

That has been me for at least two days now, trapped inside this fantasy as if I was caught in a trance. My gatekeeper has refused to open the gates from this land yet, despite the price of my focus, and my thoughts.

And the thing is, it isn’t even my own stories doing it this time.

*Shakes head*

Anyways, that is where I am right now. Trapped in a land that is not my own, and I’m still paying the gatekeeper to try to get out to be able to focus once more. I guess I can only hope that I am freed soon for everything around me is taking a serious hit on the productivity scale.

Then again, when doesn’t that scale take a hit in my life?

POV? More Like Points Of Vexation

Warning: A rant may occur ahead. Read at your own risk for rambling frustration and perhaps spurts of crazy laughable moments.

So on Sunday I got my MS back for another set of edits that mainly involved POV changes and few other minor fixes that were more so agree or disagree to this word take out or this word change, or a few about explaining the reasoning for this happening a bit more. Since I shockingly had Monday off, that was when I dove into blog hopping and sorting out this fourth round edit. (Which is more like edit seven for me at this rate.)

It was all relatively easy edits except for the POV changes, particularly, one section of about six to seven paragraphs of POV changes that I about wanted to rip my hair out with. Correction, I did want to rip my hair out. As well as scream, hit something, throw my computer out a window, and cry.

Thankfully only one of those things happened, and no I’m not saying which.

The problem with this little bastard of a section was it had a couple quick POV changes, and it was only ten pages into the MS. In my head that’s no big deal, you can still understand it, what does it matter if I switch POV? That’s how I write for moon’s sake! But I guess the reviewers are a bunch of critics and don’t like it. Jerks.

So, I was given suggestions for changing a few paragraphs to the other character’s POV.

Now here’s where the hair pulling began. Two of the paragraphs I had in that section I did not want to change. If I changed the one paragraph it was going to turn a matter of fact into an assumption of the other character and I did not at all like that. But if I changed it to stay in the POV that would keep the fact, I screwed up another paragraph of mysterious questions I was not going to cut.

What the hell route could I really go then?

No matter what changes I tried to fit the suggestions, I hated what I was coming up with. I hated the way it sounded, and I hated what it took away from the story. I felt like it was changing my voice and I loathed it. I felt like I was destroying my writing, my voice and style, and I couldn’t make myself do it.

I spent over an hour of frustration, lots of swear words, ranting, asking help from friends for suggestions and support, and the verge of some unpleasant mental break due to stress, doubt, and anger before I finally said — pardon me a moment — fuck it.

I moved on.

I was getting nowhere fast and I just couldn’t keep trying or I would blow a gasket and a half in doing so. So I skipped ahead past that bitch of a section and kept plugging along, hoping later on a friend could help me untangle the mess into something that I still felt was my voice and style but would satisfy my coordinator.

Well, roughly ten pages or so after that, as I hit another POV change, I suddenly hit an epiphany. Staring me in the face was a sentence in the POV I needed in which I could cut and paste part of the problem section with the mysterious questions to that later page and it would fix all my problems. It even worked better by moving it ten pages later or so in the story, it made more sense there.

With renewed hope and glee, I finally went back to that problem section and did just that, then worked out the rest of the section to stay in the POV I wanted so I would not lose the matter of fact I wanted.

And what do ya know, it worked out in a way that I was happy with. I could live with that change in print and not feel like I lost my voice or style. Now I just have to pray my coordinator is alright with the change I induced instead of her suggestions to making it the other character’s POV. It fixed the problem, so I really don’t see why she wouldn’t allow it.

After that I just kept chugging along through the edits, and about seven hours later, I finally finished. My brain hurts.

Considering I did it all in one go — thanks to the fact I knew today and Wednesday would be shot to hell for me in being very productive due to work and riding and I didn’t want to run out of time — I’m deciding not to send it back just yet. I think I’m going to wait until Wednesday night when I can sit back down and give it another read through to make sure I coherently edited for seven hours straight with very minimal breaks, and then I’ll send it back and pray I don’t have to do this again.

But at least I got it done, and at least I figured out the problem section.

Seriously though, what is so wrong with POV changes in the same chapters? If it’s clear and coherent who’s thoughts and actions are who’s, why the goddamn hell does it matter?

That’s how I write. That’s my style. Writing in a double POV like that is how I’m writing my novel, and I am not going to change that. To me that is more in depth and more connecting by knowing both character’s thoughts and actions. It gives you such a greater image and understanding. Yes, I see where sometimes it isn’t appropriate. And yes, I know it’s supposed to stay one POV per chapter.

I’m not saying I’m opposed to learning to write better and clearer, I just want to know what the hell is wrong with POV changes like that? If that is how I write, then why should it matter as long as they are clear?

To hell with the critics and reviewers I say. (I apologize if anyone reading this is one, you may have your opinion, this is just mine.) I’m unconventional in writing and I know it, but I’m not changing that completely when that is me. When that is my style and my voice.

Writing is art, and art is about being expressive and making it for yourself. I will never change that in my style no matter what some editors or reviewers might say. Who knows? Maybe that style will be what makes me best selling one day because it is unique.

(A girl can hope at least.)

This Is It

The moment of truth. The big and scary “holy shit” moment. The “I can’t believe I’m actually doing this” moment.

If you’ve paid attention to the past week and a half of my posts, you’ll have noticed I’ve been talking about a submission I’ve been working on for a Halloween anthology. The deadline for that submission is tomorrow.

And I’m actually ready for it.

I’ve spent the last two days working my butt off on editing and writing for this submission. My brain hurts, but now I’m finally reaching the tail end of all I need to do. And let me just say right now this feels unreal.

I don’t even have a guaranteed chance of being chosen and published in the anthology, but I feel like I’m walking in a daze. I cannot honestly believe that I am giving this a shot. I never thought I would actually do something like this, or at the very least follow all the way through with it. I’m probably one of the least known and not even remotely published authors out there submitting to this, and somehow…I feel as if I have a shot.

I’m terrified. I’m nervous. I’m going “oh my God” every five seconds. I’m staring at my screen like my world has slowed to a stop.

If this is how I feel for simply submitting to the anthology, I do not want to see what my reaction is going to be if I get an email back saying I was accepted.

(I’m getting way over my head here, aren’t I?)

Anyways, getting out of the feelings department, I finished editing this afternoon. Well, let me rephrase that: I finished editing a first round paper edit last night, and spent until 1am or so entering the changes into the Word doc before I sent it off to a friend for a second pair of eyes. (That alone was nerve-wracking to me for some reason.) This morning as I got it back I read through again and tweaked the awkward sentences — with lots of growling and swear words on my part at times — clarified things, and even ended up adding a hundred words or so based off suggestions.

I’m happy with how the story turned out. Really happy, actually. I hope that’s not a bad thing.

So after that was done, I started tackling the dreaded blurb. I. Hate. Blurbs. I swear these things are the Achilles’ Heel of every author out there. How do you put 22 pages worth of story into about eight to ten sentences? How? It never works out nicely the first time, or the second time, or the third, or…

Catch my drift?

Finally after some help in that department as well, I managed to come up with a blurb that I could live with and hopefully has the aspect of appealing. At some point within the blurb writing I finally stopped to eat since I had ignored food the entire day while I was editing.

Once those two things were done, I only had the information side of the submission left to complete. An author bio, placing the story in a genre, recording the word count, writing a dedication since I decided on one, gathering the links to my websites.

Now… Now I’m nearly done.

I’ve completed the author bio and all the other necessary information, the editing is done, the blurb is done, I’ve mostly formatted the Word doc now, the dedication is done.


I can’t believe I’m saying that.

The only thing I have left to do is add the website links to the Word doc and send it in. Ho-ly crap.

That’s a half lie though. I’m not fully, fully done.

One of the links I could include was a Facebook author page. I don’t have one yet. Well, I do now, actually. I had been tossing around the idea of making one for awhile now, but thought I was going to wait for the release of the Dark Heir book. I mean, I’m not published yet so I can’t put any links up to it, no real news. But then again, I do have Wattpad and I do have this blog so I might as well start utilizing a Facebook author page now.

So, in light of this submission, I decided now was a good time to make one. That way on the off chance I am accepted, I have that link out there.

Of course, because I spent the last hour putzing around trying to create my author page, I totally forgot about this blog post. Then again, creating that page is also what reminded me I needed a blog post… Irony is a bitch.

Getting back on topic now… This is really it. By tomorrow afternoon I’ll have sent in my submission and I’ll wait with quiet nervous and a pounding heart to see if I hear back about it at all. I think the story is going to get one last read through and then that’s it.

My heart is pounding just thinking about it now.

(And should any of my followers here be interested in following my author page on Facebook, feel free to come drop me a like. I’m still in the process of setting it up, but the basics are there.)

Scarping Versus Scraping

Alright, so I didn’t finish writing my short story submission for the anthology by Saturday like I had wanted. I got close, but I was hitting blocks and I was a real cranky bitch for a couple days so not a lot of writing happened. I did write every day, but I didn’t finish the story like I wanted to.

Sunday I kind of took a day off, even though I know I shouldn’t have. I was trying to make myself write but I was still just so tired from a long work week that I couldn’t get myself moving. I had my laptop out and everything, I just kind of never opened it to start writing.

So yesterday before work was when I finally finished writing this short tale. As usual, I’m a horrible judge of how many more words left I have to write. I thought it’d be around 7k words or so in total, and, nope. I ended up finishing out at 21 pages and 9.5k words.

I’m not complaining about it. I like how it ended and I think it’s befitting. Though I did have a new character decide to waltz their way in at the end of the story. More like clip-clop on in. But I love them so much so it’s all good.


Since I finished writing the story yesterday, that had left me with about four days to edit this and send it in. The deadline is this Saturday. I want to send it on Friday just to be safe. I had really wanted more than four days to edit this, but I think I’ll be okay.

Before I went to work yesterday I printed it out and hole punched it, then put it in my short stories binder for editing. (Which still has Rivers of Black sitting in it staring at me expectedly going “when am I finally going to get my re-edit?”) I hauled my editing bag out yesterday before I left, too, and had sorely wished I could have stayed home from work and started working on it.

Unfortunately the evil day job just does not allow me to do that. I gotta make money some other way until my dad keeps saying I hit big with publishing. (He’s more confident than I am over that fact.)

So I started editing earlier tonight then and I’ve gotten halfway through the story. I’m up to page 12. I would have been editing all day but I had a dreaded bathroom to clean finally, and I still haven’t gotten to my laundry since someone else stole the washer for the day. I swear that happens every time I’m off and need to do my laundry.

I’d still be editing if not for the fact I remembered I needed a blog post before midnight. Whoops.

This editing round is honestly my first try at printing out what I write and editing the old fashioned way with a red pen and a bunch of other office goodies. (You should see what my editing bag holds.) I used to just edit right from my computer screen but after being told printing it out seems to help a little more, I decided it was time to give it a try.

So far I like it. I really like doing it this way. There’s a bunch of papers and colorful pens strewn around me, but it works well doing it this way. I’m going to stick with this.

Part of the problem is this is also sort of my trial and error editing method. Since this is the first time I’m editing on paper, I’m not quite sure how I want to color code things or stay organized so I’m kind of testing the waters as I go. Thankfully this story isn’t a mess so I don’t have a lot of sticky note options or more than one color pen options, but it’s still a bit of trial and error. I think Rivers of Black might be a bit more in depth than this is.

So far so good though. It’s coming along well, even if I’m sitting here muttering to myself and reading aloud. I also discovered that scarping is a word in this process. I apparently meant to write “scraping” and it came out as “scarping”. I had never heard of that word before and since Word didn’t obviously yell at me for it with a red squiggly line, I didn’t notice it till now. And yes, I did go look it up when I realized what I wrote to see if it was even a word. I don’t think I would have caught that if I was staring at my computer screen instead of a piece of paper. So, yay!

My hope is to have finished paper editing it and entering the changes into Word by tomorrow night. Then maybe get another set of eyes on it just to be safe and give it one last read through before I send it off on Friday.

Wish me luck, but I’m sure you’ll hear about that come Friday anyways.

Eight Days

Eight days.

Eight days left until the deadline for the anthology submission.

The little tale I’m writing is coming along quite nicely. It’s almost a bittersweet tale to be honest. My main characters decided to really throw me a couple curveballs though in where the story was headed, but it’s a good thing I believe. Where they are leading me is bringing in the romance aspect a little bit more.

The problem is I really need to get this finished so I can take some days to edit it before I send it in. I had wanted to have it finished by tomorrow night. I’m thinking there’s only about 2k words left to the story to write, and I’m almost hoping I can finish it off tonight, but there’s a couple other things I need to do as well so we’ll see. I have to have it completed by tomorrow night so I can edit.

A looming deadline should get me going, right? Of course, they always do. Also the fact that the agency noted the sooner you send the submission in the better helps with the motivational panic. But I’m also trying to keep a steady pace so I don’t rush it and the story ends up as total crap. I feel like I’m trying to stand on the middle of a seesaw to keep a balance on finishing it without rushing but being done on time.

The motivational panic is starting to grow a little more though considering I only have eight days left. Eep.

I think the fear that I’m actually doing this is starting to mount a little bit as well. This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. It is freaking nerve wracking.

Half of my brain keeps fantasying about getting an email saying my story was chosen to be in the anthology and what my reaction to that email would be. Which in turn makes me giddy and nervous and excited on the inside. The other half of me is sort of bracing myself for the blow of not getting accepted.

I shouldn’t expect much, I know I shouldn’t. I’m really just an author starting out compared to all these other published and more successful and known authors by at least more than a few friends, but the thought of being picked is sending my mind reeling. The thought of not being picked, however, is kind of crushing the enthusiasm to do this.

Then again, I’m trying to keep in mind something I read not too long ago.

It was an article of someone’s blog I believe that said they aim for 100 rejection letters a year. Sounds strange, right? When you hear the logic and reasoning behind it, it really isn’t.

They aim for 100 because in all those rejection letters, there has to be at least a few acceptance letters. If you aren’t getting those rejection letters, then you aren’t trying, and all your fantasies of receiving the acceptance letter can never come true if you aren’t even trying.

It sounds bittersweet and discouraging in a way, but it has a valid point. At least the rejection letters means you tried.

Sure, you might scream and curse at the world for those first few rejection letters. You might cry and wail you’re giving up writing. You might doubt yourself and believe you’re a horrible writer. But once the initial blow to the heart and passion subsides, you can still say you tried.

And how many people out there anymore can say they at least tried?

That’s what I’m trying to tell myself. That’s what I’m trying to make myself focus on as I write this tale and send it in. At least I tried. Even if it’s a rejection email I get back, I can say I at least tried.

As weird and backwards as this may sound, if it is a rejection letter I get back, I feel like I should keep it somewhere I can see it. As my reminder that there is always another anthology I can try for, always other opportunities out there. I can still write my series and everything else my heart desires to put down on paper.

One rejection doesn’t stop a career trying to get off the ground.

So eight days. Eight days until I can say I took a chance. And however many days until I can either say I did it, or at least I tried.