Life-Changing Happenings, Keeping on Track

Life is a funny thing. You think it’s going one way and it winds up going in a completely different direction.

I was in the middle of writing my longest post ever: Why I decided to quit my job and become a full-time writer (and what that actually means). …I didn’t just mean that the title was long though. Unfortunately, I feel that the post may no longer be relevant. All of a sudden I’ve had to seek employment again, and it’s kind of unfortunate that I messed around and wound up actually getting the job…

Yay for me! And also bleh… I don’t really mean to complain. I got lucky, actually. I needed a job and I managed to get one. I just know that this is not where my heart is, and that makes me feel a bit bland.

So, I’m going back to work. I feel that this is good and bad, but I plan to soldier on for a while. This wasn’t in my plan. I was hoping to make it at least a year of writing full time before having to work a day job again, to give me the opportunity to get ahead with my writing and to build it up a bit more before doing anything drastic. But, the time is now.

Even so, I’m not going to let it get me down!

That said, I’ll likely have to revoke a few things that I had originally planned. I wanted to continue to publish on a three month schedule, but I doubt that will happen now. I may try it, but I don’t want to be so rushed that the quality of my work slips. So, 6 months may be more reasonable. If you follow the blog, you’ll know when I get behind. I’m not going to set up a book that I know I can’t finish in time.

It also means that now, just after I’ve said I would post on the blog twice a week, I’ll likely have to dial it back to once a week, or else just posting when I have something to announce – like I used to do.

Even though I’m going back to a day job, I still have the same goals in mind. I want to get rid of debt so I can make my ideal life a reality at some point in the future! I might be a full-time writer yet!


Okay, now onto the book stuff! As you know, I recently released The Captor’s Redemption and now I’m pressing forward with The Mark of Thorn Saga. I’m left to wonder if three months in between books is not enough time (not for me to complete books, but for my fans to catch up). Maybe I’m just not promoting enough, anyway, I feel as though The Captor’s Redemption has been glossed over a bit. I know my fairy tales are what people really get excited about though. Releasing Captor was more of a soul-quest for me, so I understand that it may not be as popular. It happens.

As for The Mark of Thorn, I’m busily reading through it, anxious to work on the new material for the series. I know it will take some time, but if I focus, I know I can get it done just like I originally envisioned. I have a lot of notes so I believe I can still drive it in the direction I want without losing anything I had originally planned.

I’ve always been proud of the ideas behind this series, so it will definitely be an epic experience.

I’ve decided I might do a few character profiles for The Mark of Thorn characters after all, though without revealing too much about them. It was always fun to let readers figure it out based on where the story was going. Of course, along with the major fairy tale stories being explored, there are several obscure ones incorporated as well, and I think it was fun to have people wondering which characters and events were associated with tales they may or may not have heard before.

That said, not every character is associated with a fairy tale. Some are just there for my own devices, whereas some characters serve more than one purpose. Interesting, right?

It’s going to be fun! The Book of Scars preorder is posted now on Amazon only. I did this because I went through the trouble to do full distribution for several of my books, but it never pays off like on Amazon. Also, like usual, I cannot do a preorder for the print copy, but it will be available on November 5th alongside the paperback (or you may be able to order it sooner. Keep your eyes open.)

I think that’s all I have to say for now. I may not be as active in the coming weeks because I’ll be working, and learning what I need to know to do this job, so I’ll be focused on other things.

As always, if there is anything you want to know or anything you’d like me to post about, just speak up!

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An Author’s Way: Connection with Nature

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Authors, as people, are different. I’ve always thought there were two kinds, but there are probably more than that. I’m talking about what we crave as far as the career, not how we write. For now, let’s just say this: Some long for the hustle and bustle of the city, meeting people, making deals, and living a fast-paced life. Others, however, long for something a little simpler.

For me, I enjoy the simple life. I like to write and read outside when I can, and taking walks through the trees while getting in touch with nature really helps me to zone out and use my imagination. It lets me forgot, at least temporarily, about all the other things weighing me down, as if none of that really matters. When I can truly clear my head and focus on a project, I find that I am at my happiest.

(You’ll notice as well that many of my books feature travel in the open world instead of dealing with matters in cramped society, court, etc. I like this idea of freedom, and the inner workings of politics and society has often baffled me.)

I grew up in the country. As I child, my family always had a garden — not a farm, mind you, but a garden (and a few animals). During the summer, my parents always made me help, and I would say ‘there is no way I’m going to need this as an adult! I’m going to be so rich (ugh) that I won’t have to do this.’ Sure. My brother and I used to talk about having mansions with hidden doors behind our bookshelves. Those were the days… And guess what? Now we both garden and try to live frugally.

The older I get, the more I find myself looking back to that. Lately, I’ve become fascinated with growing things. I have even begun to feel empathy with plants, which is new for me. (I’m sad when I have to clip a vine that doesn’t need to be climbing wherever it is climbing. It worked so hard to get there!)

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Our young garden (it was prettier then, haha). Now it looks like a jungle.

For the past few years, all I can think about is living a simple life to coincide with my writing, to have a self-sufficient, frugal lifestyle which is slower in pace and truly stress-free and enjoyable. I think I’ve been longing for it for a long time, I just didn’t know how to identify it. Along with all that, one thing that remains important to me is connecting with nature.

Growing up, one thing my family often did was go camping. This was something we could do together that didn’t cost very much, and though I likely complained about it at the time, it’s still something that I hold dear and enjoy doing on occasion. I have a lot of good memories about sitting out by the campfire and riding my bike during the day through all the campground trails. It was a great time for me to sit back and brainstorm, and even now when I actually get to go, it feels like a chance to unplug, to sit and read by the campfire.

Sometimes, I honestly wish that experience would carry over to my daily life. I wish I wanted to spend more time outdoors every day, but it’s easy to just stay inside in front of the computer (and with the air conditioning), but when I do take time to go I out, I usually smile and breathe a sigh of contentment. If it wasn’t so hot out right now, I think I would sit outside to write and maybe even get some reading done, just to enjoy the time in nature.

Even mowing the yard is a fun task for me now! Not sure how that is, but it works as an outdoor excursion.

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I’m thinking that I might take the blog in a slightly new direction, exploring not only my books and projects, but to share more about what I’m doing to build my life in this simpler way. For a long time, I feel that what I’ve been seeking is peace in my life and a balance between what I have to do and what I want to do. I don’t think that I have fully found that comfortable place, but I’m trying to get there.

Also, I’m hoping to publish posts twice a week instead of once. I’ve been doing well with the once a week thing, and right now I feel that I might be able to do more. That could change, but I’ve been enjoying working on the blog lately, and I hope it sticks.

Right now, I’m feeling pleased with the thought of the future and the direction that I’m headed in, but I’m also nervous at the thought that it might have to change a lot sooner than I want it to. Either way life goes, I’m hanging in there and trying to focus on what I need to accomplish to make my life better.

I just thought I’d share some of these peaceful pictures with you! I want to make this a recurring theme on the blog and talk about how taking a break and enjoying the simple things in life will help clear the mind and make for better creativity.

What do you do to keep the balance?

The History of Me: A Writer is Born

**If you’re reading this on the blog, you can see I have a new banner for a new book that will be released in November! While I already have it listed, I’m not going to talk about it yet. That will come soon. For now, go read The Captor’s Redemption!**

Now, on to the post.

I’ve been trying to write more personal posts lately to let you see a bit more of who I really am. Some of this might be information you’ve seen before, but I write this for myself as well. It’s interesting to look back and see how fiction writing has been a lifelong interest for me. It wasn’t something that I thought I’d ‘give a try’ in adulthood. It’s something that I’ve always felt a need to do. With that, I suppose my life story can be played out through my writing history because I’ve probably spent more time in fantasy worlds than in this one.

The very beginning

My first real word was ‘book’. I had a small bookshelf near the kitchen doorway, and my father says that one day I looked at him, pointed to the bookshelf and said ‘book’. And thus, my fate was sealed.

The first book I read

I’m not sure of my complete writer timeline when I was a child, because I’ve simply forgotten most of it, but I do know that I loved writing short stories even in elementary school. My favorite subject was ghosts and witches, which likely explains a few things. The first book I ever learned to read (in first grade) was The Spooky Old Tree. It was a Berenstain Bears book, but I’d like to say that it set the course for my love of horror and supernatural stories.

My first attempt

When I was in third grade, I distinctly remember trying to novelize a video game that my family had been playing on the Nintendo. It was called Maniac Mansion, and if you play it today, you will see that it is a rather fun but silly point-and-click adventure game in which a group of teens tries to rescue a friend from a mad scientist’s house. It is not quite horror, but at that time in my life, I thought it was extremely scary. (I was a kid!) If you moved your character into a room that one of the family members was in, they would grab you and lock you in a dungeon! But the idea of that game has stuck with me my entire life. The characters were all so different that they captured my imagination and I wanted to write a story about the complex ideas before me. Even in High School, this game stuck with me, and I played with these ideas many times in writing. Perhaps one day I’ll finally manage to capture that old inspiration. But anyway, in third grade, I was trying to novelize this game on notebook paper. I would write at school and a girl in my class was like “You are going to be a writer. Why don’t you write and I’ll sell it for you.” We even went so far as to say that she was going to be my agent! How either of us knew what that was at the time, I have no idea, but I remember telling her that we couldn’t do that because it wasn’t my idea, I was just writing it. So cautious and aware, even then.

Novelizing and the Typewriter

I had a typewriter long before my family had a computer. I had an old one for a while that had belonged to my mother. It had issues, but I loved to type on it. I remember having to press the keys with force just to make the letters show up. I remember pulling the teeth back and having to push them back in place when they got stuck. (Now I want to get another one…) I taught myself how to type on it, and to this day, I do not type correctly. My dad tried to tell me that I should stop myself and learn to type properly in case I needed it for the future, but I didn’t listen. I type quickly, but to this day, I consider my improper method a hindrance. But oh well. I’ve tried to retrain myself, but it doesn’t work.

After a while, my parents bought me a newer typewriter, which was much nicer. The keys were automated and I didn’t have to worry about getting my fingers stuck under the keys. Ouch! It would hold a separate ribbon which would erase mistakes. No more white out! Yay! I replaced both ribbons often and probably spent a small fortune on that. So what did I do with this glorious machine?

I novelized movies and TV shows that I liked, changing things as I wanted to. It was sort of like fanfiction, yet mostly, it was frame for frame and line by line of what was said on the show. I really enjoyed translating what I saw into words, and still do that a bit to this day. I see a scene in my head and then have to explain it on the page.

I would go to a movie and then come home and try to write a book about it based on what I remembered about the story. My most famous of these is a novelization I did of Homeward Bound, which was pretty short as far as books go, but I included pictures of my own animals. When I watched it again later, I realized I had gotten some of the details wrong, and oddly, I felt embarrassed! But it was pretty good for my age. People were always impressed with my memory skills.

The Grand Mystery

At some point, I remember that my best friend and I were writing a book together. That was an amazing and wonderful time. We were middle school age, I know. So maybe 12-13. I would spend the night with her on the weekends, and we would sleep in the small room above the garage all by ourselves, stay up late, and work on our book. It was a small room – her dad’s hangout, I think. There was a couch in there, a small tv, a computer that we didn’t use much, and some other stuff. It was awesome. We would talk about our book and write all night. It was great, because not only was it a small taste of freedom, but it was a great way to connect with my friend as we worked together on this project. I remember that the book was a murder mystery story about a will reading, and all the potential heirs were being killed off. I remember that we each had a character that was supposed to be ‘us’, and both of our characters had their love interest. All in all, it was terrible because it was just a mashup of all the stories and movies that we were fans of, but it was a really fun experience. I don’t think I have the entire story, but I definitely have parts of it somewhere. I believe that we did indeed finish it.

The rise of horror and my first real book

R. L. Stine was extremely popular while I was growing up. I read so many of his books. I went from Goosebumps to Fear Street through middle school and High School, and in seventh grade, I wrote my very first complete book: The Vampires of Riverdale High, based on some of my favorite R. L. Stine works. I wrote it all by hand in a small notebook and I know for certain that I still have this one. I haven’t read it in ages, but I was in seventh grade when I wrote it. I know that for certain. I was very into vampires back then, but for a long time afterward, I wouldn’t touch the subject because it has been done to death. But I’m not sure I care much about that now.

FYI: This is how I spent most of my time in grade school and college, writing when I should have been paying attention. Oh well. What’s done is done.

Embracing Fantasy

When I was in High School, I think I went through a ton of writing phases. I would read a lot as well. Mostly, I think I went back and forth between writing fantasy novels and writing teen horror fiction, both of which sometimes had sci-fi tendencies. At home, I would hang out with my brother while he played video games, and I would either write or draw. My brother was more into games than I was at the time, but he would tell me bits and pieces of the storylines of the games he was playing. I thought a lot of that was really cool, and so I would take little bits of that and add my own ideas to write stories.

When I was a Junior and Senior in High School, I wrote my first Fantasy novel called Versallies, about a group of people who were dealing with an alien invasion on their home planet. I was proud of it, even though it wasn’t great. It was supposed to be followed by my next novel The Ascension, which I started, but never finished. Still, I think it was a good idea. I had others, but many of those also went unfinished.

During this time and after High School, I was also into writing fanfiction, which I think can be a great learning tool for writers. You can take what you like about something and add what you think would make it better, or else alter events that might have been a bit better in your own mind. That, to me, is a big part of what I do in general. I like to capture things I liked about other works, and try to find a way to use them in what I do, in what I often consider to be a better way.

That’s just me. I like to rebuild.

The fanfiction that I was most interested in was anything to do with Final Fantasy, and I was extremely into writing Daria fanfiction. I wrote a lot of other fanfiction along the way until eventually, I decided that I didn’t really need that anymore. I wanted to write my own works. But starting with novelizations and fanfiction helped me to pinpoint the different aspects of other works, how they went together, and that helped me learn how to build my own stories.

So, jumping into retelling fairy tales seemed pretty natural. I was able to write my own stories, but there were already base ideas in place.

The Twisted Fairy Tale 

I was out of High School when I wrote my first twisted fairy tale. I believe I started with the American McGee’s Alice fanfiction called Behind Sanity, but I didn’t finish that one until much later. I think the first twisted tale that I completed was Jack and Jill. It was short, and I was pleased with myself when it was finished. From there, I went on to do others, many of which have turned into the stories that I have published today. Others, however, have not seen the light of day in years, and may never.

The Captor’s Redemption – a turning point

When I was 21, The Captor’s Redemption was the first serious novel that I wrote. Around that time, I had discovered Stephen King, and I became completely enraptured by his writing style. I wanted to write like him, to learn to capture images and feelings with words just like he was able to do, and reading his work brought me to a new level with my own writing.

Back then, I didn’t know much at all about publishing or genres or any of that, but I was convinced that if I completed this work, it would be a success for me.

I worked on The Captor’s Redemption for a year, writing and rewriting — truly putting my heart and soul into the work. I learned a lot that year about what I could do and what I should pay attention to as I pushed myself along.

All that came and went, and when it was finished, I still couldn’t find an agent or sell it. It was a frustrating time, and yet I was proud of what I had created.

The works that followed

Even after all this, I didn’t stop writing. I gave up pursuing any other career in favor of writing. In my mind, I was just holding out for success in this area, believing that there would one day be no need to do anything else. Sigh. I sometimes wonder if I would have made the same choice if I could turn back the clock, but it’s impossible to say.

As far as writing is concerned, there was only to grow. After I learned how to complete a book, I was able to go back and revisit older works, finishing them as needed. Finishing a book was no longer such a daunting task, and I learned to not begin a book unless I knew how it was going to end. Unfortunately for me at the time, I had so many unfinished works, and not all of them had a clear path to the end.

Retelling fairy tales worked for me because I already had a base story to work with and I could build from it with my own ideas, but I also wanted to write my own thing with ideas that I created from nothing. Aside from The Captor’s Redemption, I think The Needle’s Eye was the next original work that I completed, and I was extremely proud of that one. It was like all the elements that I had worked with came together in one book. There was a bit of fantasy, a bit of horror, and a bit of fairy tale.

I wrote story after story, posting chapters on Fictionpress and later on Wattpad as I wrote them. I earned a decent following from it and was excited to complete and post each new chapter. I enjoyed a lot about that, but there was still something wrong: I wasn’t making any money, and my books were not in print.

Project Nevermor

I had tried to get published and failed several times with different books. I pitched The Captor’s Redemption, The Needle’s Eye (I was hopeful with this one), The People in the Rickety House (which I believed ALMOST got me an agent, but it didn’t work out) and even Neverland: Forsaken Dreamscape. Nothing was happening, and I was bitter about it.

One day, I was having a routine conversation with a friend through text. I was at work, and I was doing something that I did quite often back then: complaining about popular published works, about how they had no literary merit, and about how they were only written for simple-minded individuals. Well, that was the old me — the young me. I don’t think that way anymore. (People are allowed to like what they like, however, I do believe that if you advertise something enough, eventually people will break down and buy it.) Anyway. Back to the subject. On this particular day, we were bashing Fifty Shades (which I have still not read but I did read a snippet of, and I never continue anything if I feel like it’s lowering my IQ.) So we were talking about that, and my friend said the magic phrase that made me so angry that it drove me to action:

“You know that Fifty Shades was originally a Twilight fanfiction, right?”

I’m not even sure why, but that infuriated me. These were two things I hated, and yet everyone seemed to love them, and it was terrible! It just made me feel like nothing when I learned that something so popular had roots in something else that I also felt was garbage. And there I was, feeling like I was a talented writer who no one appreciated. I was annoyed with the thought that I might be destined to live my life in obscurity.

Again, I think differently now, but at the time, that one statement was enough to drive me to self-publish. I was infuriated and determined at that point, and nothing could stop me — even though my friend tried. She did. To this day, she still doesn’t exactly love the decision I made, but I don’t know if she could truly understand my frustration either. I decided that I wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way! If I wanted to see my books in print, I was finished with sitting around and waiting for someone else to decide that this was going to happen. I had waited on responses from agents – and waited, and waited – only to be rejected. No more!

So, in September 2012, Project Nevermor was born from my intent to rework and publish one of my most popular stories: Neverland Forsaken Dreamscape.

The rest is history – and the future!   

I’ve been on this path for nearly 6 years now. So far, I have 14 books published, and I don’t plan to stop. I may get off track at times, but to survive the struggle feels worth it. Still, I don’t make much money, and I always hope of finding a way to boost that so that I can truly support myself as a writer, but there are other things about what I do that make my work fulfilling.

All of these books and projects I’ve mentioned have played a large role in my growth as a writer. That said, writing is certainly something that you can learn to do, but I don’t believe that it’s something you can learn to do overnight. It comes from thought and experiences, from practice, and from finding out what you like and what works for you. Through a unique cocktail of exposure, you can find your own voice. No one can tell us exactly what is right and what is wrong, and I’ve always believed that no one can teach you how to write.

Do you have a writer story like this one? Is there something in your own past that reminds you of who you are and what you were meant to do?

The Captor’s Redemption is here! Plus a new Preorder! It’s good to be on schedule!

Today is the day! The Captor’s Redemption has been released and is available in ebook and print formats on Amazon and other major retailers.

Just check the Books tab for purchase options.

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It looks so good in print!

 

I always feel a sense of accomplishment when another of my books is in my hands and sitting on the shelf next to the others. I often wonder if I ever thought I’d see it happen, and yet here it is.

I remember that feeling of determination I felt the day that I decided I was going to take matters into my own hands and self-publish my books. If I hadn’t, likely none of my books would be in print. Maybe I would have completely stopped writing. Doubtful, but maybe.

More and more, I feel that there is such a thin line between balancing a dream and real life, and I’m grateful that I’m able to continue this for now.

While this might be a good opportunity to announce my next book which is already up for preorder, I’m going to wait just a bit and savor this moment in time to let Captor breathe just a little. But it’s there if you choose to seek it out. Just sayin’.


Last week I was going through a ton of papers that I had stored in the closet and also some that I had brought back from my parents’ house. I found so many story ideas and so many printed parts of old stories, plus hand-written notes and story parts.

Did you know that much of The Captor’s Redemption was written by hand? I used to work in a restaurant, and I would write while I was at work, writing sections on white paper sacks. It’s almost as impressive as the J.K. Rowling napkin story. And I still have a lot of those paper sacks. It’s so much easier to just jot down a note on my phone nowadays, but there was something special about writing long-hand. Of course, I had to type it later and that was extra work, but still.

(I’d show you some pictures of this, but my phone isn’t working. So…)

Before I was able to publish my books, all I ever had was a dream that I would see them bound. I would print them off and store them in binders so that I would have hard copies of my work, just in case. It was such an interesting thing to go through all those old papers and notebooks (which I still have a ton of) and see what is basically my life’s work. It was inspiring to see that and know that writing is truly all I’ve ever wanted to do.

If you’re the same way, look back at what you’ve accomplished and try to hold onto that dream. I know it’s difficult. I struggle with it often. But all we can do is try to keep going.


I’ve been thinking: it’s still really hot outside, but I feel that there is something familiar in the air. Something is changing. Could it be that fall is approaching?? Oh, I hope so. I’m ready. There are already a few leaves falling. I know I’m not imagining it! I’m hoping this will put me in the mood to write something gothic or at least something creepy. I think I need that in my life right now.

How is your writing going? Any progress?

A Day in the Life of a Writer: Introvert, Modern Day Hobbit, and the Most Practical Idealist You’ve Ever Met

So, you’re curious about me, are you? About my daily life? (If you’re not, just smile and nod.) Or maybe you’ve seen a meme or two and you wonder “what DOES a writer really do all day?” Well, the answer is different depending on who you ask, but for me, it’s all about freedom (and yet structure), having lots of ‘me time’ (while still accomplishing goals), and procrastinating on everything (but still getting it all done).

I’m an INTJ. What can I say?

The early bird gets the words

Some writers like to write at night. Me? I like to sit down and write as soon as I get up. Whenever that turns out to be. My schedule has been different lately. I don’t have to get up in the morning for work, but I don’t like to sleep all day. I don’t like to nap either. When I’m awake, I’m awake and I want to be doing something with my brain.

Ideally, I would get up and make coffee, sit down at the computer and have a nice, pleasant, distraction-free morning for a few hours before anyone talks to me. But that’s not usually how it goes. I don’t have kids, but I do have animals. And they know who feeds them. So as I’m wandering through the house like a zombie, there are four cats under my feet, a young dog that wants every second of my attention, and an old dog that doesn’t get up until later. I’m letting them out, letting them back in, feeding them — all the while I’m calculating how I can make the least amount of trips up and down the stairs.

*whew*

During this, I’ll make coffee. (sweet, sweet coffee — author fuel) and once all is said and done, I finally sit down in my office library upstairs (with the one dog that won’t leave me alone and whichever cat pushes through the door first).

The first thing I do is check my book sales on all my sites. If I sold something, I get happy! If not, I’m sad for a second and then I move on. I’ll check my email and social media, and do whatever needs to be done in that regard. This morning time consists of anything from writing blog posts, writing new content, researching new marketing tips, editing or setting up book content, and so on.

I’ll make a To-Do list that looks something like this:

Get word count
Finish reading Captor
Edit Captor Manuscript
Work on patreon posts
Update Captor files
Work on blog posts

Sometimes it is longer or shorter than that, but this helps me keep up with what I need to do. Sometimes I don’t get all these things done in one day, but after a few days, I can cross everything off and breathe a sigh of relief.

Then, I write — unless the writing time insists on being first.

Lately, I’ve had a word count goal in mind for each day. Sometimes I get that word count in an hour. Sometimes it takes me nearly an entire day to get a measly amount of words. But still, I try. Even if it’s uninspired crap, I try to get the words on the page.

Recently, I’ve begun to think that I might be able to work on two stories at once and have a separate word count for each, but the jury is still out on whether that’s a good thing for me to do. I like to focus on my projects, and two might be too many.

Balancing act

I am simultaneously the most practical person and yet the biggest dreamer you will ever meet. Some might say I’m a negative person; I like to say I’m a realist. I’m skeptical. I’m logical. Yet there is still a part of me that has a vision – which I often know is ridiculous – but I always think “what if, by some freak act of nature, it COULD happen?” I mean this is to explain things like winning the lottery, or releasing a book that is a sudden bestseller as a total surprise to me. That would be nice… And though I sometimes don’t really believe these things can happen, I’m sad if they don’t.

It should be enough that I’m able to stay home and do what I love full time. Isn’t that the dream?

Well, that got real pretty fast. I’m rambling now. Anyway!

Making time to brainstorm

Throughout the rest of the day, I’m doing a lot of normal housewife stuff, like laundry, shopping, cleaning, cooking, paying bills, blah blah blah. But that’s the boring part. SO I try to make it fun. During all this, I try to brainstorm as much as possible. If I have an idea, then I need to have my phone handy or else I must dash to the computer to get the words down. But I often write (or attempt to write) for hours and hours a day. Sometimes the entire day is just staring at the screen…

Trying.

I’ve found that exercise often helps, and if I do that with the right music, ideas can bloom like flowers. I really like nature, but if it’s too hot or cold, just walking on the treadmill helps.

After I get my word count, I will likely read over the next work that I’m planning to release as I’m going through my editing phase. This consists of many readthroughs of the same book, but I try to be vigilant. Though yes, I could have beta readers or hire an editor (and maybe I should) I get a sense of satisfaction from doing it myself. And to go through this myself helps me to get a real handle on what text needs to be there and what doesn’t. If I get bored reading it or realize it’s redundant, I’ll cut it out.

I’m convinced I’m a hobbit

If you’re wondering about the hobbit thing, yes; I’ve long considered Bilbo Baggins to be my soul-brother. We both like our privacy, we like to stay home, and we absolutely don’t do any adventuring — unless forced. Then we grumble through it the whole time, but afterward, we’re really thankful for the experience after all. I mean, sometimes I like to leave my house, but good luck. My time is my own and I have no trouble spending it alone, thank you very much.

So, for now, I don’t go out to book conventions or do book signings (part of this is because it costs a ton to set up an attractive booth, and public speaking is SO not my thing). So I sit at home and I make my art. For the most part, I’m happy to be a bit obscure.

Winding down

I’d like to make some time after all this for the reading of books not written by me, but finding time for that is a work in progress. Also, at that point in my day, sometimes words just don’t make sense anymore.

Sometimes I write at night if I still feel like it, but by that time, my brain is usually pretty tired and I can’t think. In the morning, my head is clear and there has been no time to be bogged down by life stuff.

So at night when my brain is fried and I can’t make it go anymore, I’ll usually relax by playing video games or watching someone else play videogames on Youtube. (You know, low brainpower stuff.) Sometimes I wait all day for this part, and yet I don’t play games every day. It’s a part of my life that I never thought I’d let go of, and yet it escapes me at times… But that’s another topic altogether.

Then I sleep, get up and do it again.

Sounds pretty boring… Then again, I’m convinced I’m the most boring person in the world. I just do what I do. I live in worlds other than this one, and with that, I must be content.

So, this is my life. It’s certainly not glamorous in any way, but there are plenty of ways in which it’s fulfilling. The most rewarding — and perhaps the most tiring thing at the same time — is that I have to live in two different worlds at once, and sometimes more than that. It’s sometimes disorienting to jump back and forth, and I think most people around me don’t understand what it’s like to have one foot in reality and one foot in the clouds.

But it is what I must do.

What about you? Do you have an writing rituals that you you do daily? Does anything ever interfere with your writing time? Do the people in your life understand your mind? How do you deal with all this and make it fit?