Posts Tagged With: journey

Touching Base


Indie Author Day @ the Richmond Hill Central Library

These day’s I find it incredibly difficult to keep in touch with everyone and everything I’m supposed to be doing. And yet, the busier I get the more I seem to “take on” because “someone has to in order to get it done”.

Have you been there before? Are you there right now with me? 😀

I’ve been busy with my editing business this year and yet it’s still not producing the kind of income I need to help support my family. And yet, the more editing I do, the less time I have to write my own books. I’ve been trying to get Book 3 of The Chronicles of Xannia written for the past 12 months but other projects keep creeping up and taking over — usually because they involve getting paid 😉

I’m at a crossroads with my chosen career and keep reminding myself that I’m “laying a foundation”. I’ve got my SFF series that I’m self-publishing, my client editing projects (that keep me grocery money), my Urban Fantasy book (1st in the series) I’m currently querying agents about, a new Medieval Romantic Suspense series floating around in my head demanding to see the light of day, I’m the new VP for the Writers’ Community of York Region, I’m running a giant book event (gearing up for May 2017), and trying to find ways to entice buyers to consider my book when I attend other book events (marketing makes my head spin). I’m also working on contract for a local small publisher as polishing editor and trying to submit a New Adult, Contemporary Romantic Suspense stand-alone for his new Love Knot Publishing line …

I’ve got my fingers stirring so many different pots I’ve let my social media presence slide … for months now.

Don’t get me wrong, I love chatting with you guys about the journeys we take in life and the paths we choose, but I haven’t quite found that balance yet. I keep putting myself last and looking at the All Mighty Buck when it comes to priorities.

This month, though, is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I’m trying to focus only on writing book 3. I haven’t sent out any query letters, I’ve put 3 different editing projects on hold until December, and my Book Fair event staff (all volunteers) are stepping up to help take on a project we were left high-and-dry on with a volunteer who had to step back for health reasons.

I have it in my head that if I can just finish book 3 by the spring, I might stand half a chance keeping to this elusive path through uncharted territory and not lose my way.

What paths are you glad you’ve fought for?

Which ones to do you wish you’d tried harder to keep or want to find a path back to again?

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The Third Lost Chapter is now Available

The Platinum Hall Debacle – Time’s Tempest Lost Chapter 3 is now available for free download!

[The Gauntlet: Lost Chapter 1]     [A Probationary Effect: Lost Chapter 2]

The Platinum Hall Debacle - ebook cover - 850A contractor with the CTF demands a certain level of professionalism and respect. Taya’s newest employer doesn’t see a Contractor standing before him – he sees what he wants to: a little girl who isn’t worth his time. With a tight deadline for erecting the outdoor concert stage,  Taya challenges a growing prejudice as she risks her life and her livelihood.

Prejudice or Preconceived Notions

I’m sure you’ve faced this as some point on your personal life journey; being told:

“You’re too thin.”

“You’re too fat.”

“You’re too dark.”

“You’re too light.”

“You’re too weak.”

“You’re too meticulous.”

“You’re the wrong race.”

“You never finished high school.”

“You never went to graduate school.”

“You’re [fill int the blank] .”

We hit these walls in school, trying to get employment, entering new communities, and for various other reasons. My second summer working to find employment to help me save money for my second year at university brought this home for me on a personal level. I had signed up with various short term employment banks around the city when finally a job came available for which I qualified: A local older man needed help for a few days hauling paving stones around his yard in order to build a patio – general labour. I was fit and strong and ready to work. When I called to respond to the request for help, the guy basically said “no” outright. Not only was I a girl but he didn’t think I’d be strong enough to lift the pavers. Okay. I didn’t have the strength to lift heavy pavers over my head and dance a jig for him in his back yard, but I clearly thought I was strong enough to help otherwise I wouldn’t I have called.

Now, I doubt this guy considered his response as prejudiced. However, he clearly wanted a man with big muscles to come work for him. He wasn’t being sexist per-say, he probably thought he was simply being realistic. He didn’t think I was strong enough and didn’t want me to waste his time. When you’re desperate for work so that your money can be put toward something important in your life, that kind of off-hand slap in the face just ticks me off to no end.

What about you?



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Starting from Scratch: Plotting the Journey

writingWithin the last 24 hours I have decided to move forward with the goal of publishing 3-4 books in the next 12-14 months. If I’m going to show the skeptics and myself that writing for a living is truly possible then this is an important first step.

So, how do I begin?

Well, I’m lucky enough to have a contract with a small publisher for my short sci-fi series The Chronicles of Xannia… book one will be launched Oct 1st, 2014 so that’s my official first book – the starting line in this race to prove my mettle. I all ready have half of the second book in a laughable first-draft state (but that’s better than nothing) and it’s fully plotted (pantsing is not my forte). This afternoon I finished the skeletal plotting for a new urban/fantasy duology of which I will be writing the first draft of book one for this November’s NANOWRIMO (national novel writing month).

That’s three books right there that could potentially be published by next spring, which just leaves me with that fourth one… will it be the 3rd book in The Chronicles of Xannia? or will it be the second and final book of the fantasy duology? Needless to say, like most writers I have a back list of potential books to write, all listed with some degree of plotting in two very well protected journals, so it’s not like I’ll be lacking any ideas for moving forward.

crumpled_paperBut that’s the hardest part, right? Moving forward. I’ve given myself a logically tangible goal for writing but only time will tell if I can actually make a good income doing this. Yet, there’s that dark spot in the back of my conscious that whispers when I least expect it, “What if you’re not good enough?”

Many of us face that doubt in our lives… for me it means the gain or loss of a new career – something I’ve dreamed about doing nearly my whole life. I can’t help but wonder what the consequences of failure might do to me? My tenacity? My spirit? My self-esteem?

I failed as a teacher – 10 years and no full-time position (they say it’s because of the market and timing and all that but other people were being hired for the jobs I was applying to, why not me?).

I failed as a journalist – I couldn’t even complete my diploma for college (I hated current events so much).

I failed in my goal to sing for Disney – with no support for such a ‘far fetched’ idea friends and family just smiles and shook their heads.

I failed as a theatre tech – I love the work but under pressure I tend to mess things up at the worst possible moments.

I have not gotten over any one of those failures and each one impacts me to a greater or lesser degree, but writing? That’s my soul we’re talking about now… if I fail at writing no one can claim it’s not because I didn’t try, and it scares me to contemplate which aspects of my life are most likely to hold me back, drag me down…

I’m plotting and scheming, scratching and clawing but in the end will there even be a ‘top’ to this mountain I’m so desperately trying to climb?

Will hope fail me too? It has before… still, I’ve all ready opened the door. It’s time to walk through.

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The Journey of an E-Book Cover Design

Sometimes the best way to understand the evolution and creation of something is to see it for yourself. I have been stressing over a simple series of e-book covers for my Lost Chapter teasers. These are theoretical “chapters” in the life of the main characters of my book The Chronicles of Xannian: Time’s Tempest – chapters of their lives prior to where the book finds them. They read like short stories with brief glimpses of core or important elements that will be focused on in the main novel.

My goal is to put these Lost Chapters out for free as e-books. However, because they are not apart of my official contract with my publisher they fall into the category of “must be approved” before I can release them.

SkyscraperSo I sent the publisher my DIY version of the cover:

The publisher balked, to say the least. My version did not…

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Trying Something New


Sew Closed my Soul by DestinyBlue – deviantART

Many of my personal journeys to self-understanding have come from trying something new. One of the biggest mistakes in my life was leaving my mother for my father at age 16.

I know that sounds strange. My parents have been separated (not divorced, no) since I was 2 years old. I have experienced a lot of strange ups and downs since that time, that were mostly due to other people’s choices. The summer I turned 16 my father decided to move in with his girl friend. He knew my high school was considering changing its boundaries and my special arts busing for being in the Regional Arts Drama Program was up on the chopping block. So he proposed that he would find a house, with his girl and her younger son (just turned 17), and that I could live with them and still be able to attend my high school.

Now, the idea for most teens to change high school half-way through is bad enough, but it was worse for me.

My mother was a roamer – her average stay in any one place was 2 years at that point (3 years was the longest she’d managed previously). Between the ages of 2 and 10 I had moved 7 times. During that time my one saving grace was the fact that my mother always brought me to my Grandmother’s house to attend school. My first 7 years of schooling took place at the same elementary school, which I loved. Then, after one of our moves when I was 11 years old, her boy friend at the time told her it was ‘ridiculous’ to keep sending me to school at my Grandmother’s house when there was a perfectly good school right across the street (or there abouts) from our house.

My world was shattered (a horrifying 3 year experiment that nearly drove me insane).

I did not want to relive that horrible experience during high school. After having half my soul ripped from my body as an adolescent (everything feels that much worse when you’re a kid), I didn’t want to experience it again. So I agreed to move in with my father (to try it out for one year), keep my high school and live like a traditional family.

Needless to say, not only did I break my mother’s heart, but I lost the other half of my soul when she moved 3 hours away before I could change my mind back.

Life with my father was not like my times visiting him on the weekends as a child. I learned very quickly that he didn’t trust me (like my mother did) and ruled the roost with a firm, “My way or the high way” state of mind. High school was still awesome but now my happiness at home suffered.

You might find it interesting that I haven’t spoken with him in the past 5 years (I’m now well into my 30s) – his choice, not mine… well that’s not entirely true. He misinterpreted a situation (more than one but he lumps them altogether) and refuses to apologize. As I have spent my entire life understanding the middle-ground of problems (I was a great mediator in elementary and high school) I would always be the one to make a compromise.

I refuse to be the one to apologize for something he thinks I’ve done, that I haven’t – and he’s too proud and stubborn to admit he’s wrong. That being said, he’s never met his grandson because of this.

I firmly believe that had I learned more about what was happening with the re-zoning at my school before making my decision to live with my father, we might at least still be talking right now.

It’s interesting how a simple decision can have such rippling effects in my life for years after, and has left me reluctant to try anything new.

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