A Month of Recovery

This month has been pretty interesting. Not bad, just… interesting.

I was hoping to get a lot of catch-up writing done on Broken and put aside time to do just that, but then I got sick for like weeks. The weather down here in GA has been all over the place. Highs of 20s one day and then highs in the 60s the next, so everybody is having allergy problems. I think the plants are as confused as we are. I’m still recovering after 3 weeks of struggling with it.

So I’m not a winner of NaNoWriMo this year, but that’s okay! There will always be more – and I usually do better during the Camp NaNo events anyway. I still got around 10k+ words added to my manuscript, and NaNo helped me do that.

Now it’s December and I’m gearing up for the release of Stolen in January, meaning that I’ll soon be announcing all sorts of opportunities. I’ll soon be organizing tours, book signings, events, giveaways, and all the things that you do with a new book release. If you’re interested in getting any book swag or even a holiday card from me this month, make sure you check out my Moonlight Wanderers Facebook Group or join the mailing list. I’m collecting addresses now to ship out goodies this month. There’s going to be a LOT going on next month and these folks always get the early access & opportunities for swag.

I finally got into the writing groove today for the first time in weeks. It felt good and I really needed that creative boost that it caused. Here’s hoping I keep this going!

Project:  Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
11/26 – 808
11/30 – 1,150

Current Word Count: 37,861

Progress:
Escaping one danger only to run head-first into more. You know how it goes. It’s difficult to work with someone who is so unstable and unpredictable, and it’s also frightening when they have so much power.

Next Up:
Somebody’s going to be real mad once they are back on their feet again, and someone is going to get hurt. It’s not going to be pretty, but when dealing with matters of an injured heart, it rarely is.

Commentary:
At times I feel like my writing is too disjointed, and then at other times I see how I can stitch the parts together again. As the storyline progresses, I see the story arc fall into place. I feel the direction take shape. I’m usually a complete pantser and this book is no exception. Because there’s so much to balance though, each scene does take a careful approach. I think that’s why this book is taking me longer to tackle. Each movement is like a chess piece getting moved and the landscape changes with each turn, until finally we reach the final confrontation. I’m getting closer and closer to that moment, and I’m both looking forward to it and dreading it for a number of reasons.

Happy December, everybody!

Learning to Be Kind to Yourself

Y’all don’t want to know how far behind I am on NaNoWriMo at this point. Let’s just say it’s been a heck of a busy month with a lot of good things going on, but not nearly as much time for writing as I wanted. At this point I’m a little under 20k behind, but that’s not going to stop me. I’m still trucking away, because even if I miss NaNo’s deadline, I still have other deadlines to meet.

Sometimes when you’re so far behind, it’s difficult to find the motivation to keep going. Sometimes it’s difficult to make the time for writing, and you really have to get used to forgiving yourself. It’s hard to do, but so necessary. You have to learn to be kind to yourself for missing deadlines, or not carving out writing time, or binging a favorite TV show. You have to allow your mind to wander. Cause when you sit back down to write you need to be able to dive in and make use of the sometimes limited time that you have. Give yourself the time you need to figure out where you’re going but don’t forget to return to it and give it the attention it deserves. Be kind to yourself but stay on track as much as possible. That’s the tough middle ground you have to find between slacking and overworking.

This week I mailed off a manuscript, I’m prepping for Stolen‘s release (in a little over 2 months!), I’m working on Broken, and I’m querying The Seeking. I realized that I’m juggling 4 pieces right now in various stages of readiness, and that’s just how the writing world works. Opportunities and connections don’t come every day, so you have to learn to jump when that comes along. This just always seems to happen in November around NaNoWriMo time – which I’m not complaining about! I’m just, whew, tired.

Here’s my incredible progress I made today on Broken and even though it’s not as far along as I need it to be, I’m still proud of myself for getting to this point.

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
11/14 – 653
11/18 – 2,301

Current Word Count: 35,855

Progress:
Finished up one scene and dived right into the next one. Some weird things are going on but I can’t go into too much detail without giving things away. Let’s just say they’re shadows with red eyes.

Next Up:
A bit of an angry tantrum followed by some very dangerous decisions. Desperation makes people act in strange ways.

Commentary:
I’m realizing how much reorganizing I’m going to have to make for this story to get the timeline down, and I may end up writing a full timeline to keep everything straight and to keep things going properly. The woes of being a pantser and trying to keep two POVs running smoothly. On a side note, this is quickly creeping up to the halfway mark!! And the first big climax of the story is really getting close. Considering this is book 2 of a 3 part series, it’s right where I need it to be.

Hope everyone else is doing well in NaNoWriMo this month! And if not, remember, it’s perfectly fine. Be kind to yourselves!

Just 500 Words

I’ve spent most of my weekend cleaning. I’m talking carpet cleaning, down on your hands and knees scrubbing, and tons of vacuuming kind of cleaning. The kind of cleaning that living with three cats requires. Ya’ll know what I mean.

So when I sat down to work on my NaNo project today, I was having a hard time getting my mind in gear. There are a lot of things going on right now that want to take up brain space instead of focusing on my (very important) writing deadline that NaNoWriMo is helping me reach. I was going to work on something else, but my sister offered, “At least get 500 words in first, then go work on that other thing.”

Okay, that’s not so bad! 500 words in NaNo life is hardly anything. I can surely get that many words in just doing a bit of tweaking on my existing piece really. Well… 500 words turned into over 2,000 words today. Not too shabby! I’m going to have to keep that trick in mind for the next time that I have trouble getting the words to flow. (Big thanks to my sister for giving me that boost!)

I’m still behind on NaNo by about 500 words, and that’s probably only going to get worse as the month goes by. We have friends coming in from out of town plus Thanksgiving later this month. So we’ll see if I’m able to keep up with these word count goals, but I’m certainly going to try!

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen serie

Words Written:
11/4 – 2,238

Current Word Count: 31,206

Progress:
Wow, I had a lot of fun digging into the psychological aspects of characters here. Folks had some very uncomfortable revelations and big decisions got made. I can already see myself coming back into this scene later to flesh this out even more, but considering this scene is around 5k alone, I think it’s at a good place for draft number one right now.

Next Up:
A major revelation just got made. Unfortunately they can’t really do anything about it, but now their heads are spinning. We have an escape followed by a rather terrifying encounter. That’s just how things go around here, okay?

Commentary:
Considering how difficult it was for me to get going this evening, I actually had a ton of fun with this scene! I thought it was going to be difficult figuring out where to go with it, but I really just handed the reigns over to the characters and let them figure things out. I’ve also got some ideas about how everything is going to be tied together here soon too, especially as we near that elusive halfway point.

Happy NaNoWriMo!

To every writer out there working on some kind of project for NaNoWriMo this month – good luck! I’m over here cheering you on!

You can do it!

I too will be in the trenches this month, and since I had a major author event on November 1st, I’m also starting it a day or two later than I would have liked. But that’s okay!

I use NaNo for motivation with my writing, especially when I have looming deadlines to meet. (Looking at you, Broken!) I’ve also been really enjoying doing longhand writing recently, which is great but also leads to my hand cramping up partway through and then I get distracted. I look back to when I was writing reams of paper everyday in college for my classes and just shake my head. Clearly it’s been a while since I’ve done heavy duty handwritten anything!

Since I’ve been doing journals more, it’s been more difficult to transcribe everything and to get my updates posted here on WordPress, but good old NaNo is here to get me back on track! Already have found myself far more productive than I’ve been in the past few weeks. Hopefully it’ll be enough to keep me on my goals.

On November 1st I went to the awesome Horror Writers Association Atlanta Kickoff event and got to hang out with some seriously inspirational authors. We had a whole table of books on the back table and I may have gotten carried away getting copies, hehe. I came away from it just inspired and ready to tackle my long list of writing goals! Speaking of, here’s my writing update for the past few weeks.

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
10/20 – 1,033
10/23 – 693
10/24 – 1,555
10/27 – 847
10/29 – 269
10/30 – 566
11/1 – 1,098
11/2 – 2,779

Current Word Count: 28,968

Progress:
I finally started the second POV I’ve been needing to dig into for a while now. Both are going to be converging, so I needed to make sure I understood where they were in the storyline. The best part about writing this in Scrivener is that I can easily drag and drop scenes or chapters around to make sure the flow is good between the two POVs. If I did this in Word it would take MUCH more work to do this!

Next Up:
I’ll be shifting back to my original POV and finishing out the psychological scene going on there. I’ll also have a good idea about where I need to go from there. Did I mention I’m a pantser when I write? 😉

Commentary:
Oh goodness, I’m creeping up on that 50% mark on that word tracker up there and I’m so freaking excited! I was amazed looking at my last progress bar and seeing I was only at 20% and now I’ve jumped up to 36%. Writing so much on paper helped get me untethered from my wordcount which helped me not to stress out as much and just get words onto paper.

I’ll have worldbuilding to do soon once I finish up this upcoming scene. Then comes the great big moment this is all building up to. I’ll be honest, I’m excited and nervous at the same time! I want it to be as cool as it has appeared to be in my head for the last few years, but I guess that’s what every author struggles with. Wish me luck!

The Dark Lands

I’m sitting here listening to Hurricane Michael dump tons of rain here south of Atlanta. I’ve been keeping tabs on it all day trying to see where it was going and how strong it was going to be. We’re just now getting the worst of the rain and wind, and we have an interior room we’ve prepped in case a tornado warning comes through. It really is the perfect kind of weather to work on a book though, especially when you’re tackling a particularly dark scene.

I haven’t been posting updates here as much as I’ve wanted. Mostly because I’ve barely been able to squeeze in time to write let alone make regular posts. This weekend I’ll be over at Park 42’s 2nd Annual Fall Festival, a local event with all sorts of Halloween fun – from costume contests to apple cider. Next weekend I’ll be helping my sister out at an art show at the Fall Festival on Ponce in downtown Atlanta. And the weekend after that, Atlanta Horror authors will be doing a Fireside Smores and Horror Stories event, which is exactly what it sounds like.

As usual, October is a heck of a busy month, but I’m happy to reach a milestone on Broken! Finally hit that 20k mark!

 

Project: Broken

A land has fallen. An escape was made. It’s a victory of sorts, but at what price?

Shaleigh has made a terrible mistake, one she may not ever be able to fix. Lost and in a strange land with anger and death all around her, she must navigate her way through treacherous lands on her quest for redemption. Along the way she’ll have to negotiate with the mercurial Queen of the Fae, survive the dangers of the Masked King’s realm, and seek out a terrifying fire dragon.

With two powerful beings hot on her trail, Shaleigh has no choice but to keep moving, or else face the dangerous magic of the Madness that has already caused so much pain and heartache. With her sights on helping her friends and her heart longing for home, Shaleigh is determined, but will it be enough?

BROKEN is Book 2 of the Stolen series

Words Written:
9/15 – 1,028 (Transcribed from hand-written journal)
9/19 – 1,058
9/22 – 1,785
9/25 – 699
9/26 – 1,119
10/2 – 388
10/10 – 1,412

Current Word Count: 20,128 (25%!!)

Progress:
As Tolkien famously said, “Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire”

They’re in the Dark Lands now with all that it implies. From Black Dogs to Banshees, Shaleigh may not be ready for the mind games she’ll have to play to survive. And she has no choice, she must play by the Masked King’s rules.

Next Up:
How will she get them out of this mess? How will she convince the Masked King that they should be permitted to live?

Commentary:
I’m so happy to have reached the 25% mark on this piece! It was a struggle getting words out today, mostly because Hurricane Michael has been preoccupying much of my mind today. I wanted to sit down and get writing in on Broken though because I felt like it had been too long since I got to work on this. I really love this section of this book and how it’s affecting the characters.

This book is going to have two POVs throughout the piece, so there’s a whole second plotline I’ll need to go back through and write. I think once I’m done with this section, I’ll start targeting that so I can make sure everything shakes out properly for the ending. I’m very much a pantser, but when things get really complex, I have no problem creating outlines to use. I had to do that for Stolen’s ending, and I’m already seeing that Broken’s ending will likely need that as well.