Upcoming Releases from My Fellow Writers!

When you enter the writing world you begin to come into contact with other writers. The following are two authors who are making their impact on the publishing world and I am so incredibly happy for them – and a tad jealous ;)

I am pretty sure I have written at some point about Donna Hoise. She is a successful independent author who writes the wonderful Camelot Series. This coming August 1st she is releasing her first book through a publisher “The Devil’s Intern”!

She has also released the cover the next book in her Children of Camelot Series – Quest of the Artisan which is due out in 2015. If you have not read either of her Camelot books please do! The latest one is The Ring of Morgana which is the first book in the Children of Camelot Series. The original series: Return to Camelot begins with Searching for Arthur.

DI(Overview from BN.com)
“How did you die?”

It’s the most popular question in Hell, and Mitchell Johnson has been answering it ever since he was hit by a bus at age seventeen and inexplicably ended up in the Underworld. Now Mitchell is The Devil’s intern in Hell’s accounting office. Lately, he’s noticed a disturbing trend: the volume of new arrivals is straining Hell’s limited resources. Then Mitchell overhears his boss discussing plans to limit newcomers with a legendary time travel mechanism. With a device like that, Mitchell realizes, he could change history and prevent his own death.

Mitchell’s plot goes awry when his three closest friends—Alfarin, the Viking prince; Elinor, from 17th-century London; and Melissa, from 1960s San Francisco—insert themselves into his plans. It soon becomes clear that the fates of all four are entwined in dangerous and unpredictable ways. With unforgettable characters and a thrilling premise, this original novel is by turns funny, poignant, and thought-provoking.

I just ordered my copy at a local Barnes & Noble! Can’t wait to read it! Early reviews have been very positive.

 

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Another friend of mine – Staci Hart – has just released the 3rd book in her Good Gods Series. This one is titled: Doe Eyes.

It is currently $0.99 as a release special price. I highly suggest you read the first two books as well before Doe Eyes: Deer in Headlights – Good Gods Volume 1 and Snake in the Grass – Volume 2. There is also a short story: What the Heart Wants.

doe(overview from amazon.com / img from Staci Hart)

Aphrodite knows better than anyone how the heart works. Just don’t ask her to figure out her own.

She’s been away from Olympus for weeks, which wasn’t near long enough for her to move on from everything that happened, to get past the betrayal and loss. She has no idea what she’s walking into when she gets back other than a new competition, this time against Artemis. The goddesses have never been friends, but now they have more in common than ever, though they’d rather face eat ambrosia straight than admit it.

Artemis can’t help but be smug. Her player, Josie, is a private investigator who’s lost more than she’s won. Every waking moment is consumed by her fire to catch the man who killed her partner, and when Jon comes back into town after leaving her without a word, it’s more than she can handle. She’ll never let him in. Not again.

But Jon only did what he thought was right, and he’ll do anything he can, give her everything he has to give to prove that he can be trusted with her heart again.

With Adonis gone and the threat of Ares around every corner, Aphrodite’s past presses on her, leaving her more alone than she’s ever been. She can’t help wondering if she’ll ever escape, and how much pain she’ll endure before the whole ordeal is behind her.

Another one I can’t wait to read – so far the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.

Short Story – Edit #1 Done

editors_red_pen

Since my last post, I have gone through and finished a first edit run on my short story which also added at least another 1,000 words to it. Once again, I am very happy with the result. This happened after I confronted one of my greatest worries about writing – having other people read it but I was told over and over and over how important it is to have someone else read your work. Another set of eyes to look through it and help point out mistakes or issues that need to be resolved prior to submission.

I had the chance to have it read by a writing group I belong to and while it was difficult I did survive it. It was not easy at first but thankfully some kind words from my fellow writers helped get me through the session and I am so very glad I did. While the discussion moved on, I sat and thought about their suggestions and made sure to write down what they had said. Parts that needed to be clearer to readers so they can understand what was happening in the story and its characters since it seems I did not put everything in my head onto paper. In the end, I do believe that it has turned out even better then the rough draft – isn’t that the point of writing groups and edits though?

Now, I have sent it off to one more set of eyes to read through before the next edit. Making this the furthest, officially, the furthest I have gone with my writing. Only a few more steps until I submit for the first time.

Most importantly these steps need to get done prior to school starting in a few short four weeks. This coming semester will be the beginning of my last year of school (hopefully) and my plate will be incredibly full. I have already come to the conclusion that my novel rough draft will not be done by the date I had originally selected for my own personal deadline. Part of this was deciding to write the short story – the other part is that other parts of life have taken importance over writing. I know, it is insane isn’t it?! But now I am back on schedule and still have a deadline it just had to be pushed back a few months. Now back to writing!

Short Stories….

For the last month or so I have taken a break from my novel. I learned about a magazine looking for short sci-fi stories and decided to take up the challenge. It hasn’t been easy and I am not sure if it will pass the muster as being sci-fi because it doesn’t really deal with space or lasers. I wanted to make it feel like an regular moment in life today it just happens to take place in a future location.

I am enjoying this. I have a hard time with short stories – I want to put so much detail into what I write that to do this I have had to hold myself back from my normal writing style. It is weird writing the words “my normal writing style” – especially since I have a hard time saying I am a writer. I have never published anything beyond a few poems for anthologies in school. I have never won an award. And all those fun things. Hell, I have never finished anything large. Maybe short stories will help with this? I have written and finished several short stories in the recent months. Two for school and this one. I am glad though that I have a bit more freedom with this one. The school ones were limited to 3-5 pages. This time its 3k-5k words (about 13-18 pages).

When I submit this short story (which I hope it does, I really do) and it gets accepted, I will post information on the anthology here. And then, then, I will call myself a writer (even with my horrible spelling and grammar errors) as I promised a friend I would do when I finally finished something outside of school. Weird to think that I may actually get to call myself a writer instead of trying to be. Now, I just need to write more after this is done… and not give up, stay strong… blah blah blah…

Wish me luck!

 

 

OH! And I am still going to finish that danged novel!

“Inspiration”

 

“Inspiration is everywhere. A story can build from a single moment in time. That moment could be a movement of a hand, a photograph, the sound of a child’s laugh, a piece of garbage on the street, a dark movie theater, in the classroom. Those moments are only limited by our imagination.” (me… I think :D )

I love being inspired. It happens to me constantly. I love it when it happens. When I am sitting there doing something and then suddenly a see something that pokes at my imagination. I can go the rest of the day, or weeks, building a story in my head. Many times these moments do not ever get written down – at least not in the past. I am starting to write down these little bits in my head since I have finally come to the point where I just don’t want to lose them. While I am working on editing my book – I am slowly building up stories on the side from these moment. Last time I wrote I had one story beginning and now I have two. As well as a short story I am working on that has a deadline at the end of the month.

I am wondering though if some of these ideas would be better suited in short stories. Something I could mix in with my poetry for a book. These moments remind me a lot of writing poetry. When you are sitting there and the muse begins to whisper in your ear. It is one of the best things about poetry to me. I am not an epic poetry writer – I have nothing on someone like Whitman – but I did spend a good hour the other day creating limericks with my son, who found them incredibly funny.

There are times, I wonder if this is the same for everyone else who writes or creates. I am just now getting to know other writers, since I have spent most of my creative life in a self-induced isolation from the creative world and I find it fascinating to learn how they create. Everyone has something different to bring to the world of stories and they come to it in different ways.

The art of creating a mental world is amazingly beautiful to me.

p.s. for some reasons I have the song “Reproduction” from Grease 2 stuck in my head… but the word reproduction has been replaced with Inspiration.

 

Summer Break… but only from school

Two weeks ago was the end of the Spring semester of school which means it is time for Summer FUN! Or a chance to have more time to spend with my family and work on my novel. The last semester was a tough one but I got thru it with semi-flying colors. Of course, all I want to do sleep and play video games but instead I am forcing myself to open my computer and get back to work on my current book.

It has not been easy since it has been months since I have had a chance to write anything but papers for school or assignments for my writing class and I fell into the trap that happens often when you have to leave a story for a period of time — memory lapse. Yep, I have found that since I am not just writing but have decided to continue the editing from Chapter One and when I found a gap that needed to fill in I forgot several of the names of my characters. This made me glad that a few weeks ago I had printed out all of my information I had written up for the book. Background notes, plans, character profiles, etc. I had been told to write everything down in the past and I am glad I followed this advice not just because it is helping me with organization but also for event such as this. When you know the character but you forget a detail now all I have to do is flip to the book bible.

I will say the other issue for me at the moment is my desire to start a new story. Often inspiration is like lightning sometimes and that is what happened for me. I was researching a paper for school and inspiration hit me, as it usually does when I was reading something fascinating, for a story series. I just don’t want to get carried away with it though because I would end up abandoning my current work and I am determined to finish it. This has been issue for me in the past. I would jump from one story to the next one when I found a new story I wanted to tell. Instead, I am just working on the notes, writing down a few passages as I become inspired when I need a break from my current work.

At least the one thing I got done in the last few months is work on the prologue for my book. I had signed up for a writing class this past semester at school (plus to being an English major) and for our fiction piece I decided to work on this short section instead of writing something new. It turned out well. It helped me focus that aspect of the story and flesh out the history of the book more. I am proud of what it became and the response I received from it. I also signed up for some writing groups – one for mommy writers – people in similar position as me. Trying to balance writing with mothering. It isn’t easy. A lot of my free time this summer is being taken up by taking my son to soccer, swimming, and art lessons, as well as travel. It so incredibly worth it… and it makes my son happy as well.

And now, back to work. kiddo is sleeping and I only have an hour left to work on this chapter.

Poet do’nit?

To get an agent, sell your book to a publishing house… leading to success is often the main dream of most writers. I know it is mine and I don’t even call myself a writer at this point. I consider myself to be someone who is attempting to become a writer. Mainly because I am unable to make writing a priority in my life due to attempting to gain my bachelors (hoping for Spring 2015!) and being a wife-n-mom. Sleep is necessary as well. In truth, I have only had the minimum amount of time to work on my novel because of my work load over the past few months.

I have been playing with the idea of going the self-publish route with publishing some of my poetry as I work on my novel. In my office is a box full of old journals, loose sheets of paper, old works that have piled up over the years. I have published a few in small contests while in school over the years. I believe in that pile, somewhere, is the first poem I ever had selected for an anthology when I was in 6th grade. Maybe it is time to sit down and rework those poem with the mind of a more mature me?

When I think about the idea of publishing my poetry, it is scary. I rarely let anyone hear or read my poems. They are extremely personal and the few times I attempted to gain entry into the poetic culture I was often met with scathing looks before I even had a chance to share my work. But now, I am to the age I am not sure I care about the reaction. I have wanted to publish something since I was a child. I wanted to create work that would be enjoyed by others. The idea of putting something out there for others to read is one of the scariest things I will probably ever do with my life.

But do it I must. Yes, one day I may finish my science fiction series and get to publish it. But why not grab the bull by the horns to finally put my words to print with my poetry. Now I can stop playing with the idea and instead actually do it. Focus and get it done.

While I do that, I am working on revising my draft so far on my book in between writing my papers for school.

Visual Inspiration

I recently have been going thru boards on Pintrest looking at the History section and have been finding all these amazing photographs and facts from the past. So many of them brought up ideas for story ideas and it gave me an idea to start using random images for writing practice. Using them for a writing prompt. Such as – tell me how he caught it:

Image

Seriously… tell me in the comments how he caught the turkey. Just freewrite – no thinking. Look at the photo and write something short about the boy and the turkey.

Writing Update – October

As we are on the verge of another NaNoWriMo – I look at those that are going to do it and wish them luck. I have never had the time to do it. I can look at my schedule and know there is no way I could have the time to get it all done. Currently, I am in my 4th month of working on my novel and only about a 1/3rd of the way through. With school, I am lucky if I get a few nights a week. Of course, it doesn’t help that sometimes I need to just zone out and end up falling back into the world of Sims just to get away from it all (cheaper than a vacation).

I am writing though, and that is the important thing. I have added several new chapters to my novel and have fleshed out the story so damned much its beautiful to me. I recently went to a Writers Conference and loved it, I was surrounded by all these people who had achieved the same dream I had. When I had gone, I was kind of trudging through the swamp of my novel but by the end I had become re-inspired to keep going. I even spent several sessions working on background for my story. I love taking this story and making it realistic to the reader. Going over details with my husband because he is a wonderful sounding board for me. I am also feeling more confident in my writing and the story, having had a chance to talk about it to other people outside of my small group of family and friends.

I would recommend conferences to anyone wanting to write because it is a wonderful experience. Maybe one day I can get into a writers group.

What is going on with my story? I have gone from a single person view-point to multiple… 3 females and 1 male. I do feel bad because out of all them, she is having the worst time ever in a story of some really bad times but it is really interesting to write her story. It is interesting fitting the different stories together, making sure the timeline matches up and that you have the details right. You can’t have someone seeing something happen that hasn’t happened yet or too far in the future – I have done this a few times already.

I have also found that some of my characters are unnecessary to put into the foreground and have gone to very minor roles, whereas a minor character that I thought was a throw away one and I thought I would delete now has a major role that is becoming very vocal in the story.

That right there is why I am enjoying this story, because it feels like it has a life of its own sometimes. But I have learned that giving everyone a distinct voice is WAY more difficult than it sounds but it can be fun trying to figure out their personalities.

All in all, it is still going and will finish one day. I really hope so because I have about 10 more ideas for stories I want to work on; including several non-fiction pieces and scripts. I just want to write and maybe something will happen. :D

 

October = Happy

October is my favorite month of the year. Not just because the smell of Pumpkin Spice is in the air, though that is an added bonus. I truly can not pinpoint the exact reason why I get giddy each time October rolls around but I do. I start counting down to it as soon as September starts. Each time I see a beautiful orange-red leaf fall to the grass and a cool breeze gives me a shiver, I smile and become a happier person. Even the smell of fall is something that I can not help but love, its crisp and fresh.

As the month progresses, I know it will end in fun a happiness as I begin to get ready to decorate my house for Halloween. A night when strangers come to your home and you give them a gift. Even though it is just a piece or two of candy there is something bonding in the action of saying hello, see a smile on a child’s face as they watch you drop something so small and seemingly insignificant into their bag. Then in just another moment you watch them skip or run off into the night, with their parents in tow, as they visit the next house.

Yes, they are in costume but why not. You get to for one single night pretend to be anyone or anything you want. A dark mysterious creature or a hero – anything. Let your imagination run wild and it is to just have fun. There is no one looking at what you got and judging to see if it measures up to what is popular or telling you that you are celebrating it wrong. Whether you decorate and dress up or not… its your call.

This is also the month where we usher in a period of time that is supposed to be about family, sharing, and togetherness. I adore the time from now until January (minus my finals of course).

We are a good way into the month and I am loving the cold, crisp days but right now I just want to go read a scary story while I sip hot apple cider while sitting under a pile of blankets.

Building Less Stress

Recently, I took a mini-vacation from the world and just existed within my small realm of life. My computer was broken so I couldn’t use it to distance myself from reality.

I really enjoyed it but it gave me too much time to think and blank out. I became a bit unfocused because I felt like a weight was lifted off of me. The constant flood of whats going on the world ever single day is so incredibly stressful. For this, I am glad I shut down my Facebook and the longer I go without it, the less I want it. Yes, I can’t submit to some contests because you have to do it thru the companies Facebook and I am out of touch with many old friends because I’m not on there anymore. Now, though I have more time, I don’t spend hours upon hours a day reading up on other people’s lives instead of living my own.

This helps in many ways with writing and school. I can only do so much and I had a wonderful brother who reminded me of that. Instead of sitting and watching life go by, I should go out and live it. Now my writing time and my homework time goes by much faster because I am not spending most of it on Facebook playing games and getting into stupid debates about Ben Affleck as Batman (that was my breaking point). Kind of reminds me of that car commercial – with the daughter sitting at home on her computer with all her friends while the parents go out and ride bikes. Since I am planning on getting rid of my smart phone as well, I am going to be even more disconnected and I can not wait. Though I should probably do it soon since it is becoming harder and harder to find a phone that is NOT a smart phone. Let’s come back to that later though because that just stresses me out.

Right now in my life, there is much going on but it all feels like it is happening for a reason. I am sorting through my life and finding those things that matter to me. This is helping me cope better day-to-day. Not knowing everything in the world? It is nice. I don’t need to know everything. I don’t need to get upset about everything. I don’t want to do either of those and I feel like if I keep doing it, I will die much earlier then I want to because the stress will kill me. I am trying to find better things to do with my time, such as sitting on the floor building towers of blocks with my son or reading to him, even if that book is a school book. Maybe soon I will do some of that exercising I keep talking about and keep putting off. I still have run a marathon and/or do a triathlon on my bucket-list.

And here you thought you were going to get a blog post on writing… that is coming, I promise

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