Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Are You Writing Now?

End of the month people. Time to post about goal achievements and failures. I have both.

First the failure. Yes, there was only one! *throws confetti* Wait, that should be reserved for the achievements. Oh well. I didn't finish rewriting Leaves of Fall. My heart just wasn't in it. It follows the girl meets mystery boy formula and while there is no romance, I just cringe at the idea of writing that kind of story. It makes me unsure as to if I will ever finish rewriting it. Maybe if I get bored enough one day. The formula may be overused, but the idea is unique.

As for my achievements. One was finish shiny new idea. I finished two. Yup, this past month I got hit with two shiny new ideas almost at once. And I managed to finish them both. I didn't abandon one and start the other. I feel like I've come so far in my writing because of that.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Writing Skillz

I finished my latest shiny new idea this past weekend. The work count was just over 48K. As I was writing, I was cranking out the words. At least 2K a day, and many of those days up to 4K. I was on fire and the word count was soaring. Would I get this WIP over 50K?

Honestly, it's been a while since I've written a story that's over 50K. The first draft of Being Human topped at 150K and I cut it in half with the help of beta readers. It wasn't my first story I wrote, but it was the first one I shined and polished. I knew I'd need helping editing it while writing it too. There was no denial there. Since then, I have learned a lot about writing. I know about fluff words, adjectives, passive voice vs active voice. Being Human had all that, and those elements were slowly chipped away.

Now when I write, I'm more aware of my favorite fluff words, just and so. I know not every action needs an adjective. Softly whisper anyone? I will still search out fluff words in my current writing. There are not as many anymore. I'm more aware. I even notice in my blog posts. When I'm proofing and trying to minimize typos (they always slip though!) I notice a fluff word here and there.

I wonder if that's part of why my recent first drafts don't end up as monster 100K+ stories. I know how to tell a story in less words. My writing is tighter. A friend on twitter said maybe my muse was holding back my next monster story. Is it lurking in the back of my mind and waiting to ambush me? Maybe I'm more of a short story writer. Not that 40K+ qualifies as short stories. Just some of my stories are riding the boarder between short story and novel.

Anyone else notice this trend in their writing? Their word count has gone down as their writing ability improved and bad writing habits are broken?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Write On Edge: Setting

This weeks Write on Edge prompt was a bit tricky. The goal is to use setting to help develop the story. In only 250 words. I cringed a little. Especially after reading the one post and example that was amazing. I am going to try though because there is a scene in my current WIP that might work for the prompt. Here goes nothing!

Since lights out hadn't been called, trainees lingered in the hallways. They clustered in small groups or sat on beds in the rooms. Their voices filled the air like a chorus, punctuated by laughter. The noise receded around me as I walked down the hallway and people stepped out of my way. After I passed, the noise started back up as if uninterrupted. I pretended they were just being polite, but the looks on their faces told the truth.

I reached my dorm room and slumped against the door, staring at the sparse belongings. A neatly made bed, wrinkle-free clothing in the closet, and a bare desk. A small white board hung on the wall over the desk. My training schedule was printed and the only other thing on the board was a small newspaper clipping taped to it. The clipping had an image of a woman, happiness sparkling in her eyes. Behind me, the noise in the hallway beat at the door, teasing me with promises it had no intention of filling. I moved away from the door and leaned on the desk. Silence crept around my feet and filling every inch of the room like a poison. I looked at the woman in the clipping, struggling as the silence crawled up my body to choke me.

"I'm trying Mom."

So, how did I do? Also, don't forget to check out the others' take on the prompt.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Snapshots Cover Reveal

The cover of Snapshots is here and I am excited. Naturally, I contacted Keary Taylor because she does amazing work and is affordable. She did Being Human's cover and I have not had a single person say they did not love that cover. I squeed when I saw it. A poster of it is hanging on the wall above hubby's computer. It is beautiful! Every other cover I've seen by her has been stunning as well. She has an eye for finding just the right images to use and making them pop.

That said, I have to admit, Snapshots' cover isn't quite as breathtaking as Being Human. But it still rocks! I still love it and am so psyched to show it off. Hopefully, everyone else thinks so too and at least picks it up and reads the back. After all, the back should get you wanting to read it. I swear, I had a moment of pure genius. Which will probably never happen again when writing blurbs.

Have I rambled long enough? Should I shut up and get to the cover? Okay, okay, I will. Drum roll please. And when you're done staring, don't forget to head over to GoodReads and at Snapshots (or Being Human or Influence of Love) to your to-read pile.
~*~TA DA!~*~

Monday, May 21, 2012

Formulas in Writing

Pick up some books any genre and you can find a formula. Patterns that authors follow to tell a story. In romances with vampires or werewolves, one formula I've noticed usually goes like this: Human meets supernatural creature who hides truth from human. Love ensues. Human finds out truth and feels betrayed. Human runs off and gets caught by bad guy. While in grip of bad guy realizes supernatural creature isn't evil and does love creature. Supernatural creature comes to rescue. They declare love and live happily ever after.

Recently I've figured out a formula I like to use. It goes like this: Boy goes through life like normal, but feels something is off. Boy learns he is not human and a new reality is revealed. Bad guy enters story and causes chaos. I've done it in Out of Secrets when JJ meets Cage and learns vampires exist. I do it in Snapshots, but I'm not going to tell you how because that's giving away part of the ending. In Puck's story I did it when he learns he's fae. Even the current WIP I have Hadrian learning that the truth he's been told is a lie.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sunshine Award

Emma Mills, author of Witchblood, nominated me for a Sunshine Award. Not sure I deserve a sunshine award. More often than not, I am not a ball of sunshine. I am a get out of my face and leave me alone type person. Who am I to argue with Emma? ;)

Here are the rules of the award:

1. Include the award logo in the post.
2. Link back and thank those that nominated me.
3. Answer 10 random questions.
4. Nominate other bloggers and link them to the award in their comments.

So here are my 10 questions I have taken from previous interviews & my answers:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Paying it forward

The other day, a friend tweeted that he had given his book info to some people and I told him, "yay, go you." He tweeted back that I should send him some of my bookmarks for him to hand out as well. My reply: Really? Another time a friend said she was excited to see my new works in progress. My reply again: Really? I think she headdesked. Yes, really!

It's unfathomable that people would want to help me out. I will help other writers out til the world ends, but I don't expect them to help me back. Why should they? Is my writing really as good as theirs? Do I really deserve it? Come on, let's stop this joking around and be honest. I'm not that good. I still can't wrap my head around the whole Turkish foreign rights deal.

Don't get me wrong, I am elated over that and I jump for joy when someone tells me they read my blurb and are excited to read Being Human. I'm excited when a friend says they will beta read my next story. I just don't expect it to happen. I don't expect people to RT my links in return for RTing theirs, like my page back, or want to help me in any way. I'm not even sure I expect a thank you. (Honestly, not always sure I like getting thanks. I tend to feel like I should say something back but you're welcome sounds lame in my head.)

I guess it's just part of my mentality or maybe something to do with how I was raised. You help others because you want to, not because you expect something in return. Plus, if you expect something and nothing happens then you're left with disappointment. And trust me when I tell you I can disappoint and guilt trip myself without anyone's help.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Get, ready, set, Write!

When I first started writing, I was asked to join someone in a twitter word sprint. We had a half hour, I think, to write as much as we could, as fast as we could. I didn't do too well. I think I got under 200 words. But Mike Rowe and Dirty Jobs was distracting me! Honest.

Since then I have seen a bunch of twitter word sprints. There is #wordmongering and #1K1H to name a few. It doesn't stop at twitter either. There is NaNoWriMo and 750 words. Around these spring up communities of writers. They rely on each other and give each other support. It's a very good thing for the writer who is stuck at her computer alone every day.

I'm not talking about myself, of course.

Despite needing the encouragement sometimes and that, yes, goals do get me to write more and achieve things, I don't participate in word sprints. The other day I looked into 750 words. It sounded interested and fun. Each day write at least 750 and it doesn't always have to be for a WIP. It's to form the habit of writing daily. In the end, I decided not to do it. Maybe it's just me, but the pressure of that just gets to me, and suddenly, I don't want to write.

I'm just not a pressure writer. I don't thrive under pressure Which is why I will never do NaNo. Maybe it's also a control thing. I don't feel in control with those activities, and that's unappealing to me. It's why I like my #AYWN group. I can set the goals I want, and while I do try to achieve them, (not this month it seems. I am distracted by shiny new ideas) if I don't reach my goals it's no biggie. I'll roll them over to next month and try again.

Maybe it's time I sucked it up and gave one of those community a shot. I could use the support and encouragement and I enjoy encouraging others. That means overcoming my shyness and the bad habit of thinking I'm butting in and will just be ignored or annoying. (Confidence issues, anyone?) I don't want to miss out on an opportunity to improve and meet new writers and that's all I'm doing.

Monday, May 7, 2012

From Love and Pain Blog Tour

From Love & Pain:
29 year old Adrian ran away from an imprisoning and abusive household at the age of 19. For years he ran, living on the streets and in shelters, taking crappy jobs to save a little money. Ten years of struggling and now he is a successful partner of a security company. Under the guise of running the security company, Adrian and his best friend and the people who work for them help others who live unfortunately. Like Adrian, not one of his employees have a nice past. They're all running from something, never letting their guards down and they don't want others to suffer as they have. But Adrian makes the mistake of falling in love with a young man when he's 27. For a while, he gets to experience what it's like to be a normal man. He never thought he could be happy, but Jaxon makes him the happiest man in the world. Only it can't last and Adrian is forced to leave or risk Jaxon's life. But his demons caught up with him long before he realized and now no ones safe. Can Adrian save Jaxon before it's too late? And can Jaxon forgive him for walking away? 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A to Z Reflections

The challenge is over and it's time to reflect on my experience.

Looking back, I didn't comment on as many blogs as I did last year. With so many blogs signed up, it was overwhelming trying to figure out how to comment. I did find a few new blogs to follow and saw plenty of interesting posts. I tried following the #AtoZchallenge hashtag, but the problem I found with that was I saw a lot of the same posts throughout the day. My best bet was to go to the A to Z blog and look through the list of participants and just click. Sometimes, my lack of commenting was because I was tired. It can be a lot of work visiting and commenting on blogs. If I couldn't think of something to say on a blog post I liked, I google+ it or ticked reactions if those were available.

Certain blogs I had to pass over because of black background with white font. No offense to them, it's just that messes with my eyes big time. Unless the posts were short, I can't read them.

Congrats to all who participated in the challenge. Thanks to all the people who commented and followed me during the challenge. A huge thank you to all the hosts of the challenge who did an awesome job keeping everything neat and easy. If you're curious about my previous posts, I have them listed nice and neat on my website,

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Confidence

(Always forget about this until I see someone else post.)

Since starting my writing journey I have learned a lot about myself. I learned I could write a book and publish it. I learned I could format. I learned I don't have a melt down when I get a low review (I just get a little drunk.) I learned that my writing has improved. I learned I can point out passive voice. Lots of positive stuff I have learned along the way, but there's also been a few negative things I've learned.

Like the fact I really have no confidence. You look at Being Human's page on goodreads and you'll see I have mostly four an five star ratings and good reviews. Every month I sell books and so far no one has blasted me in a review as a horrible writer. Even my lower reviews have noted something they enjoyed or thought was well done. But still, I tend to sit here waiting for the ball to drop and people realize I'm not that good. When people tell me they loved my writing I find it hard to believe. My writing buddy, Daniel A. Kaine, even asked me about it one day (when I was ranting him) and my reply was, "No, I have no confidence in myself."