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? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

Next Stop: The Fantastic and Horrific

Oh lordy, it’s been a while since I updated my progress on this WIP, hasn’t it? I’ve been dutifully working on it, not enough to really complete NaNoWriMo, but still doing some major progress all the same. This story has gone down some dark roads and some characters have really surprised me as I’ve gone along.

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody who celebrates it! I have a heck of a lot to be thankful for this year, including getting both a novella and a novel picked up by two separate small publishers! During the break, I’ve been making plans for booths and panels for next year and even though I’ve got a lot to learn between now and then, I’m super excited for this next phase in my writing career!

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, itโ€™s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 26,201 (Omg a whole 13k more since my last update!)

New Words Written:
11/6 – 2,019
11/7 – 2,096
11/8 – 2,147
11/19 – 2,226
11/25 – 1,519

NaNo Progress:
17,890/50,000 words

Progress:
Some very tense moments and some characters change directions completely. The Seeking is over but the devastation has only begun.

Next Up:
Dahlia will have to deal with the outcome of the Seeking and the renewal ritual will soon begin.

Commentary:
Oh my gosh, it makes me so pleased to see that this book has gone over the 30% mark! I’m practically a third of the way through on this novel and I’m really happy for that. The plot is precisely where it needs to be at this point, and soon we’ll be heading into the fantastic/horrific portion of this world. I already know of at least one scene I want to clean up, but I have to remind myself that this is draft one and it’s okay to leave it for now.

My love of the supernatural will definitely be showing soon and I can’t wait. The novel in many ways has built up to this section of the book, but it’s also a part I intend to pants my way through, so it’s exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. It will be both intense and horrifying, and it’s also the scene that inspired this whole book.

I also got a couple of sample pages back for the print edition ofย The She-Wolf of Kantaย and OMG they’reย beautiful!ย I can’t wait to have the copies in hand and be able to share them with all of you!

Stolen: A New YA Fantasy Book Coming Soon!

So yes, I’m running behind on NaNoWriMo again, but this time I have a very good reason for it! I’m very proud to announce that after looking for a home for over two years, Stolen has finally been picked up for publication!

The digital ink is just drying on the contract, but Stolen has been picked up by the amazing folks at Parliament House Press. I forget how I found them, but I absolutely loved their aesthetic and their covers are simply gorgeous. I’ve followed their line for several months now and all of their titles are so intriguing! According to their site, they’re trying to be the Guillermo del Toro of indie publishing world, and their title listing and range of styles really proves that. Run by the role model Shayne Leighton, who has had a hand in multiple areas of the entertainment industry, they’ve got an impressive list of upcoming books.

Here’s a quick run-down:

  • There will be ebook, audiobook, paperback, and hardback copies. Omg hardback… definitely a first for me!
  • Yes, it will be distributed, and according to a friend of mine who works in a Barnes and Noble, it’s a distributor that they work with regularly.
  • It’s Book 1 of a YA Fantasy series. Only the first book has been signed right now, so that gives me motivation to finish up the other two books!
  • Yes, I am super excited! Can’t you tell?

Here’s the rundown of what Stolen is all about!

Shaleigh is tired of dealing with her father. To escape from the delusions he lives in, she explores condemned buildings with her best friend. But when she is kidnapped by a creature who carries her atop a flying bicycle into another world, she realizes how much her father needs her, and is determined to get back home.

In a kingdom known as The Garden where minotaurs pull carriages and lion statues work as librarians, Madam Cloom and her faerie servant Teagan rule over the land with incredible but terrifying magic. Shaleigh must prove that she is the reincarnation of a long dead ruler, not because she believes it to be true, but because it’s her only chance at survival. By befriending Teagan’s ex-boyfriend, Talek, who has a plan to get her out, Shaleigh thinks she has outwitted everyone. She’ll do anything to get home and that might be her biggest mistake.

I love the community that Parliament House Press has and even though I’ve just signed with them, they’ve all welcomed me with open arms. I can’t wait to get this book out and into the world!

If you want to learn more about what it took to get Stolen here and the long journey it’s had from conception to completion, take a look at my recent newsletter that came out. If you enjoy reading stories like these about the patience and pitfalls that being a writer takes, please consider signing up for my mailing list! You’ll be the first to know about any new publications coming out, and the first to know about appearances I’ll be making.

Well that was gruesome

Ever write a scene where you just sit back in your chair and give a deep sigh, knowing that you probably just wrote something that will haunt somebody’s nightmares if this ever sees the light of day? I love those moments. Those moments are what make me really enjoy writing horror. A little voice in the back of my head worries that some things are a little too dark for YA, but who’s listening to them anyway?

I was very behind on NaNo (I know, and it just started!), so I’m up late tonight finishing up. No, I haven’t even started on today’s wordcount yet, but damn it feels good to be up to speed at least!

Project: The Seeking

Each Seeking, the magic that protects the city of Carra must be renewed, which means the children of the High Family must go into hiding. Whether it be through disguise or bribe, through trusted friends or perfect hiding places, every child of the Priest family must avoid capture for the full day.

When things go wrong with the renewal, itโ€™s up to seventeen-year-old Dahlia, the middle child of the Priest family, and her girlfriend, Bisa, to escape Carra and find the magical beings responsible for the protection. They must learn who would require such a cruel game to be played every year and if the protection of the Gray People is really worth such a deadly cost. What they will discover is far worse.

THE SEEKING is a YA dark fantasy novel

Current Word Count: 13,414

New Words Written:
11/2 – 1,192
11/4 – 2,078

NaNo Progress:
1,833/50,000 words

Progress:
Some hiding places are better than others, and some risks really aren’t worth taking. This scene started out tense, and then got a whole lot worse for everybody involved.

Today’s Research:
Various animals including tapeworms, spiders, and owls. I know, a pretty strange mixture!

Next Up:
An unexpected visitor, and Dahlia must learn to come to terms with what just happened.

Commentary:
Not bad for trying to catch up! I know I still have to hit the wordcount for today (Day 4), but I’m still pretty pleased! Also this scene was super intense, and 2k words just flew by once I got going. Dang. I wasn’t joking about those nightmares either, heck I think I just gave myself nightmares! But that’s good, right?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you’re also doing NaNo, why not send me a buddy request? Here’s my profile page!