Collaboration and Progress

Well, after my call to arms, I’ve found three fantastic CP partners. One via email, two that I Skype and live edit with. It helps the progress immensely and I do enjoy the fact that I have someone to vent to, as well as go ecstatic with over righting. Tiffany, Temperance, and Tasha – no this isn’t a disaster waiting to happen… (Follow the links to their websites so you can see the awesome projects they have going on.) Everyone of my CP’s are fantastic writers. Be on the look out for their work.

Oh! Speaking of disasters. The three of us are collaborating a paranormal romance.  It is epically entitled:

Dark Whispers Of The Bayou

An Elemental Disaster Novel

More details to come. For now, I’ll just be a cruel, cold-hearted author and leave you in suspense. Cue the evil laughter.

However, if you’re a teeny bit curious, you can always check out the hashtags #shitreggiesays #shitrorysays #shitrahaelasays

Blood Moon is in it’s final round of editing. One beta gave great feedback, mix that with the advice of CP’s and I’m starting to have hope it may turn into something other than sloven, slush pile kindling. The muse to start the second one is completely overwhelming, but I don’t want to do so until I’ve got most of this at least stamped down and into place. Other the dreaded ripple effect will change everything, and I’ll be highly pissed off.

Characters are cruel beasts.

Oh! And my wonderfully talented friend Stepha G. made a new graphic for Blood Moon!

Pretty bad ass, if I do say so myself. She’s also working on some images for my Rider’s WIP. Seriously full of artistic mojo.

Oh speaking of Riders, it’s up to 17k! Still a long way to go, but steadily progressing while I work on Blood Moon edits. Definitely getting there-when I don’t want to strangle my characters.

Speaking of, I need to get back to work on stuffs. Saturday is disappearing pretty damn quick.

Later Gators! Until next time, keep the creative juices flowing!

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Scatterbrain City!

Happy Saturday!  There’s so much going on for me this week, it’s insane.  I have a friend flying in from England tonight.  She’ll be with us until Thursday.  Then, Friday, I get to head up to the parentals for moms day and enjoy some family time.  It’s not fun until it gets awkward.  Much of this week will probably end up with booze, laughter, and shenanigans that are not for the faint of heart.  I wanted to go to Free Comic Book Day at Tate’s, but alas, cleaning ensued.  I finally – mostly – cleaned out that pesky closet that had become an unofficial hoarders paradise, and my blanket is currently on it’s fourth round in the dryer.  My hair looks fantabulous though, and I really need to take a pic with it before the color fades and I forget to take care of it for another six months.  In this life, hair is unfortunately not my priority.

The search for critique partners continues.  I’ve gotten a few replies, but I’m not closing the doors just yet.  Finding a critique partner is like trying to find the real Waldo in a red and white cartoon.  It’s not easy.  We need to mesh.  Hopefully I’ve found my true writing soul mates, the critique partners of my dreams!  But alas, if anyone thinks they may fit the bill or just wants to join in for a ride along feel free to leave a reply or email me.  We’ll test the waters and see what happens.

Oh!  Also, I’m being told I should apply for King of The Nerds.  I haven’t decided yet.  It would probably be fun if I made it, but I’m far from the most awesome nerd in the universe.  Still, the money sounds awesome, exposure could be fun, and lets face, I have no qualms about making an ass out of myself on public television.  It might even be a little fun.  There’s no harm in sending the email.  After all, the worst that happens is I don’t get picked.  Ahh screw it, I’m gonna do it, cause why not?

On the Blood Moon front – someone mentioned to me that it’s a common title.  So it is, so it is, but I knew that.  Let’s be honest, if it gets picked up by an awesome agent who gets me to a publishing house, the title I pick is more than likely not going to be the final title.  Self published title can do whatever they want with the title, but I’ve pretty much decided that I don’t want to go the way of self publishing.  There’s nothing wrong with it.  There are some bad stigmas associated with it, but when done right, there truly is nothing wrong with it.  I just don’t think it’s for me.  My personal drive is to go for traditional publishing, get an agent, and go from there.  Blood Moon is on it’s third and hopefully last round of edits. Moving past that and into the hands of professionals, I have a feeling a new title will emerge.  Still looking for Beta Readers on that front too.  Unfortunately I don’t have time to exchange with everything else going on.  Look at the Critique Partner info if you’re interested in work exchange.  While I’m working on this final round of edits, I’m going to be digging into the Query aspect of everything.  So, if anyone has any thoughts, pointers, tips and tricks, feel free to let me know.  As I learn more about it, I’ll probably toss some rants and the like up on here. Hopefully I will have critique partners who are quite happy to be all like:

Random Note: The rain has returned.  My friend may have a bumpy ride into South Florida with this weather.

All right – enough jibber jabber.  I need to get some work done before all the fun commences tonight.  Enjoy your Saturday all and have a wildly creative day!

 

WANTED: CRITIQUE PARTNER!

I seem to be having difficulty in this area.  I’ve had a few replies, but after a chapter or two of exchanges they disappear.  It saddens me, but I feel like finding a critique partner is sort of like finding your soul mate.  You have to go through a lot of crappy relationships before you find the one suited to you.  Sure, some people get lucky and find that person straight off, but clearly, I’m not one of them.

Critique Partner – not to be confused with Beta Reader. Maybe this is my problem.  Most places I’ve found have been for Beta Readers, and originally that’s exactly what I wanted.  Someone to read and give an overall thought on the manuscript.  However, most Beta Readers have wanted to be reciprocated – which has turned into the possibility of Critique Partner – which then falls through. So, at this point, my thoughts on Beta Readers have become – I’m more than likely not going to reciprocate on a Beta Read.  At that point, I want an indepth critique partner that I can talk to, discuss things with, get new points of view, thoughts and ideas.  For a Beta Read, I’m looking for someone willing to read and give me thoughts on the big picture.  Beta Readers are great – for when it’s done. Which, I already have one manuscript done and going through edits.

However, I’m also working on other projects.  I’m looking for a Critique Partner willing to kick my ass into gear if I’m having a bad day, and willing to look at my stuff whether completed or not.  Someone I can bounce ideas off of.  I’m looking for a critique partner that I’m in contact with several times a week as opposed to once a month.  Sure, there will be times when life gets in the way, but that’s to be expected.  I want a critique partner I’m comfortable with and who’s comfortable with me so we can be honest with each other without the other running off in a tantrum.

I’ve posted on several forums, hoping to find that one (or two) critique partner(s) that are on the same wavelength.  I write Urban Fantasy and would prefer someone who writes in the same genre (or somewhere along the lines of.) Hopefully, I get a nibble.  If you’re reading this and feel like this may work for you, feel free to leave a comment or email me.

If you have any tips or tricks on how to find a critique partner I’d love to hear it.

If you’re interested in Beta Reading Blood Moon feel free to leave a reply or email me as well.  I have a Beta sheet for those interested so they know what I’m looking for.

Completing a novel is only the beginning.

Second Round Of Edits Complete!

Yeah, that’s about how I should feel right now.  The truth is, it still needs so much work.  The more I learn, the more I realize how much crap I’ve put onto paper.  I’m so very proud of myself for getting the second round of edits done, but I still feel a little down that it’s not in a better state by this point.  I think I’m having writer doubts.  Am I good enough?  Am I kidding myself thinking I can do this?  It sucks.  I should be happier, I know.  Ninety percent of writing is rewriting.  I just feel slumped I guess.

They say writing is easy.  That’s true.  Spilling words out into some random order on a page to tell a story is easy.  It just doesn’t mean it’s good.  Writing takes a lot of work.  Rewriting, critiques, people not liking what’s been written, more rewriting, more critiques, critiques that then contradict what the last critique said.  It’s a whirlwind of tumultuous emotions!  I’m at the bottom of the roller coaster track right now.  I know I can write better than what I’m producing.  It’s frustrating that what’s in my mind is not transitioning onto the page.  I want to throttle my muse for being so confusing and not straight froward.

With everything going on, between school, life, and writing, I’ve opted to no longer do book reviews.  It’s not that I don’t want too.  I simply don’t have the time.  I’m spreading myself much too thin these days.  I plan to focus on school and writing, writing and school, and hopefully turn this sludge fest of a manuscript into something worth reading.  It’s going to take more time than I thought, but by slimming down my extra curricular activities and focusing on what’s important to me, hopefully I’ll be able to push past this and get it where I want it to be.

Blood Moon Excerpt

I broke 100 likes on Facebook and promised an excerpt of Blood Moon.  Not to be cliche with excuses, but life caught up with me and things happened – not all of them good.  Regarding progress, I’m almost done with the second draft of Blood Moon and will be calling for epically awesome beta readers should they want to give me some honest and constructive feedback on the story.  In the meantime, here’s the excerpt I promised, and I hope you enjoy.

Blood Moon Excerpt

Rolling her shoulders, Mac cracked her neck. Adrenaline surged through her veins, her heart racing. It pushed away the lethargy – for the moment. When this was over, she was going to sleep like the dead. There was no if. Just when. “Hmm all talk and no action.”

Benny scowled. His hands sprouted thick, dark fur, fingers extending into claws. He grimaced. It wasn’t an easy process. Only the older, strong wolves were able to do it. The others stayed all human.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Travis stood off to the side. “I give you our champion, Miss Lucy McNamara. It’s no secret she’s taken down many a flea bitten, mangy ass wolf, and currently holds the world heavy weight title in werewolf killin’.” He gestured to her. “And the challengers – Benny and pals – moronic wolves who have no idea what they’re about to get themselves into.”

Mac had known Travis going on ten years now. It wasn’t easy for a ghost to standby and do nothing when things got rough. To keep himself occupied he’d started commentating on the fights like it was a wrestling match. Mac tuned him out and focused on the task at hand.

Her belt slid easily from the loops of her pants and she unsheathed her Urumi. Two more came out of the brush, both in wolf form. Mac glanced from the corner of her eye noting where each of them stood. They growled, low in their throat, fangs dripping saliva in a feral way.

Travis grinned. “Well now it might be a fair fight.” He cleared his throat, spread his arms and shouted. “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!”

Mac let the Urumi fly. It swung around, decapitating one, slicing through the torso of the other, and catching the legs on the next. She whipped it back, going for the others. Red screamed and took off into the woods.

“Three down, three to go,” Travis said. “It doesn’t look good for the challengers! Will Lucy McNamara walk away with the belt?”

Benny was quick, and once he realized what was happening he calculated the next attack. He avoided the swing of the Urumi and slid under it like he was going into home base.  Coming up behind Mac he lunged. The Urumi had cut through the other two wolves. Mac flexed her wrist pulling it in closer.

“Mac look out!” Travis stepped forward.

Too slow. The half shifted man slammed into her. Mac’s back hit the ground, the moist earth not giving enough cushion from the power of the hit. The air rushed from her lungs, and stars danced in her semi blurry vision.

“And here I thought you’d be a challenge.” Benny’s lips curled into a triumphant grin and he raised his claws to strike.

Internet Legend: The Liebster Award Nomination

Well isn’t this just a flattering boost of the ego!  There is sarcasm in there.  While I’m very appreciative of this award, truth be told, I’d never heard of it before.  I’m humbled that Chris Votey would nominate me for this.  I met Chris through twitter, and I have to say, not only is he a fantastic writer, but he also helps other writers as well.  He’s definitely got good karma coming his way for all the good juju he’s putting out.  Like Chris, until he had nominated me for the Liebster Award, I’d never heard of it.  After reading about it on Chris’s blog (go check it out!) it seems there is no actual award and no one knows the beginnings of it.  Was there a blogger named Liebster who wanted their name to live on in infamy? Possibly, but probably not. It may have been a meme at first – sort of like Throw Back Thursday and Ten Things Tuesday.   It’s an Internet Legend – one we may never know the beginnings of, but that I will pass on in hopes of linking more blogs for people to discover.

First, I will answer the questions Chris asked on his blog for us nominees.  I will then nominate and ask questions of my own.  For those of you I nominate, link back once you’ve answered – if you so choose, and I’ll scamper off to read your post.

1.) In a bar, what is your drink of choice?

Well that’s an easy one.  Jack Daniels.

Forever and always, I am a whiskey girl.  I’m fairly certain I was born with it infused into my blood.  My dad also has a soft spot for good ol’ JD.  As you can tell from my parents living room, Jack Daniels is a staple in their home. There’s no denying, it is my favorite, my fathers favorite, and it may have been my grand daddies favorite, but I’m not sure.

2.) Out of the 45 Master Character by Victoria Schmidt, which do you enjoy writing?

I’d never heard of this, so I can’t particularly give an informed answer.  (Though now I intend to pick up this book because after doing a bit of research it looks intriguing.) So, I’ll describe the type of character I prefer to write, and maybe Chris can help classify what type it may be and I can add it in later.

My favorite character to write is the woman with flaws.  Her beauty is subjective.  She doesn’t have a face that people find ravishing and can’t get enough off.  In fact, I like to blemish the physical traits somehow, with scars or birthmarks, etc.  She is strong, but not impervious.  The protagonist who makes mistakes, and may or may not learn from them pending on the point of view and what’s going on.  Demons may haunt her from past memories, and she doesn’t always get along easily with people.  Tough, but she doesn’t have to flaunt it.  My favorite character has depth and doesn’t have an ‘automatic’ connection with someone.  It’s organic, ebbing and flowing, just like in real life – whether it be friends or lovers – and sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. She’s also compassionate, even if she doesn’t show it right away, and for the love of god she doesn’t whine about her past or use it an excuse for her behavior.  So…in a nut shell – I like writing well rounded characters with several layers to them that peel away slowly and develop who they are.

3.) What do you do when you’re faced with writers block?

Ha!  It’s a good question.  I don’t have one ritual that will get me past it.  Sometimes I’ll just grab a notebook and write, “I can’t write.  This is stupid.  Why can’t I write.  It’s just a sentence.  God damnit, come on brain!”  I’ll keep going on like that until something coherent comes out that isn’t me bitching at myself for not being able to write.  It works more than some might think. Other times I may read over what I’ve already written to see if there’s some juicy nugget I glanced over that can help inspire me.  I’ve also heard that blood sacrifices to the muses help – but I’ve never had to go quite that far.

4.) How do you generate ideas for your stories?

My problem is I have more ideas than time to write, and sometimes when a new idea jumps in it makes me want to write about that particular topic right then and there!  It doesn’t take much for me to get an idea, though not all of them are story worthy.  Sometimes I see a commercial, or someone says something, a picture may inspire me, or I’ll just go and look over some lore and read classic stories.  I’m a perpetual ‘What If’ thinker.  It contributes highly to my anxiety, but also to my stories, because I’ll look, hear, say, read, something and think ‘well what if this happened’ and then a character comes to mind, and it’s off we go – on the never ending idea train.

5.) Have you ever won Nanowrimo?

Why yes, yes I have.  In 2013 actually.  It’s a strange experience just jumbling 50k words together.  I’m actually on the second draft now.  It’s how ‘Blood Moon‘ (title still tentative) was spawned. However, I skipped over transition scenes, and by the time it was done it was a mess.  So I had to put together what I called Vs. 1.5 which was stringing it together coherently and writing in any bits that were missing.  Now, I’m a bit more than half way through the second draft, and thus it will be ready for Beta Readers soon.

6.) How do you distract yourself from writing when you need a break?

There’s quite a few ways.  Distracting myself from writing is sometimes easier than I’d like it to be, because sometimes I just want to kill my characters off and be done with it.

– Cuddle with the hubby.

– Play with the pups.

– Go for a walk.

– Hit the gym.

– Catch up on shows.

– Read a book.

– Play on twitter and facebook.

7.) What are you currently working on right now?

You mean besides this blog post?  Oh right!  You mean projects!

The second draft of Blood Moon and a short story – which I’m not entirely sure where it’s going at the moment.  I’m also drawing up notes and plot points for the sequel to Blood Moon.

8.) Knowing there is no award to be won, why did you answer these questions?

Because someone was kind and courteous enough to nominate me for the award – even if it just an Internet Legend.  It will also (hopefully) connect other blogs and promote workings and interactions between authors or those who are seeking to be authors.  They say that writing is a solitary journey – and maybe in some aspects that’s true, but it never hurts to meet and promote others as well.

9.) What is your favorite word?

I don’t wanna say.  I was going to do a whole post about words and how the common ones slip up in our language without us really noticing.  At the moment, my favorite word seems to be ‘Fantastic.‘ I say seems to be, because suddenly I am speaking it more than any other word to describe something I like.  “Oh that’s fantastic!”  “Fantastic!”  “Freakin’ fantastic!”  I noticed it a few weeks ago at the Ren Fest.  Before then, I never noticed myself saying it, but now I seem to all the time.

My other favorite word is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – though there aren’t many openings in day to day conversation to use it.

10.) Do you write with your heart or your brain?

I’d like to think both.  I hope my writing is passionate, and that I use my brain enough to make sure it’s coherent, well written, and grammatically correct.  Plus, the brain is good for coming up with nifty plot twists and the like. First draft is definitely more heart than brain.  Second draft, more brain than heart so I know it makes sense.

11.) What’s the funniest joke you can think of?

I don’t really know any jokes, so I’ll just leave you all with one of my favorite comedian, Jeff Dunham and his friend Walter.

I hope I didn’t bore you all to death!  If I did, blame Chris. 😀

Nominees: 

S.A. Hunt

Stephanie McGee

Emmie Mears

Dreamer Lynn

Troy Blackford

Lisa Bouchard

Zach Payne

Congratulations to all you Liebster Award Nominees!  Ya know.  The Internet Legend Award.  That doesn’t exist.  It’s still a lot of fun to participate in and I hope you will!

Questions

1.) Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote? Whether it was a short story, poem, song lyrics, whatever?  How old were you?

2.) What is your guilty pleasure in the writing world?  That thing we know we shouldn’t want, but can’t seem to get enough of.

3.) Star Trek or Star Wars?

4.) If there was one book/article whatever you would suggest an aspiring author read – what would it be?

5.) What show/movie are you a total fangirl/fanguy of?

6.) Are you for self publishing or traditional?

7.) What is your one pet peeve that drives you mad in books?

8.) Do you have any rituals (ie turning around in a circle three times, a specific snack you must have, a blood sacrifice to the muses) that you perform before you sit down to write?

9.) What are the top three songs on your writing playlist at this moment?

10.) Which decade have you been displaced from? In other words, in another life were you possibly in a flapper in the 20’s or a hippy in the 70’s?  Big hair in the 80’s? Rockabilly in the 50’s?

11.) List/show the five favorite things on your desk right now.

Have fun with it and link back when you’ve done it!  I can’t wait to read your stuff!

Remember, Remember – Write Your Novel In November!

Scrivener is locked and loaded, my novel is outlined, and I’m working on character sheets as Nano quickly approaches.  Amazingly enough I’ve heard the question.

“What is Nanowrimo?”

To which my general reaction is:

image

Then I remember, I was once naive to the awe of NanoWrimo once myself.  Everyone has to start somewhere, so here’s my little bit to help spread the word.

NanoWrimo

NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth

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CONCEPT:

WRITE A 50,000 WORD NOVEL IN 30 DAYS!

I know, I know.  Those of you who have never heard of NanoWrimo might be thinking something along the lines of:

Maybe it is, but creative people are generally crazy in one aspect or another.  In fact, several novels have been published because of NanoWrimo.  There are also people who miserably failed, but learned certain tidbits, made new friends, found critique groups and went on to publish in their own time.  Even if you don’t make the 50k word count by the deadline – it doesn’t mean you have to stop writing it.

The point isn’t to have it polished and edited, but just to have the story down, the words on screen, and the creative juices flowing.  I really suggest giving it a shot.  Many authors have wound up either completing and publishing or having found something really great while trying to do Nano.  The most notable may be Erin Morgenstern who got writer’s block while doing Nano.  She then decided to send her characters to the circus, and thus the wildly popular and phenomenally written book, “The Night Circus” was born.

The great thing about NanoWrimo is you never really know what’s going to happen.

The last two years my strategy has been to come up with a concept and wing it.  So far, that hasn’t really worked out for me.  I always wind up getting lost at some point or another, and because I get stuck, stumble, don’t know which way is up and pray to the muse of creativity for help.

https://i1.wp.com/media.tumblr.com/9ae7650d3b5633e9d4e827dbbe87529e/tumblr_inline_mv53w4xOhp1s993sg.gif

But alas, when I need her the most, she seems to be on vacation.

image

Nice right?  So in effort to thwart another year of just winging it, I have outlined my entire novel, and I should have my character sheets done by the first.  What does this mean?  This means I will hopefully succeed in writing 50,000 words in thirty days – and even if I don’t, I think I’ve got a pretty good basis to complete the novel and publish it.  Each Nano I learn something new.  Hopefully everyone else does too.

Here’s a little teaser of my novel.  The cover art was done by a friend of mine who has epically awesome graphic skills.

Blood MoonI think having a mock cover is also a great motivator.  Pretties go a long way for inspiration.  It’s mainly that this could be the cover people look at if I not only complete, but publish this novel!

FUCKING AWESOME!

My suggestion is take a shot. Best case scenario, you write a novel.  Worst case scenario – you don’t, but you’ll more than likely have learned something about the craft in some semblance or another.

Good luck everyone! You got this!