Posts Tagged With: writing

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? πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜‰

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?

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chicken and the Egg Syndrome

chicken-and-eggI’m sure you’re all aware of the age old question: Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

Since high school I’ve had a logical and scientific answer for this and couldn’t understand why the question was even asked.

My outlook: The egg came first. Whatever partial-version of the chicken happened to be in existence prior to the egg being laid would contribute to, but not be, an actual chicken. What the egg contained, would be.

So, in my mind there was no question, and instead a syndrome where people who didn’t know all the facts were easily confused.

Often this syndrome accompanies the very basic question of: What should I be doing first?

My answer: Does it really matter if the outcome is the same either way?

Take for instance my writing. I usually have several scenes, moments, and scenarios in mind well before beginning the planning stage of my novels. This time, for book 3 of The Chronicles of Xannia: Rebel’s Rein/Rain, I knew what needed to happen in the book but hadn’t received any inspiration when it came to writing the characters or the scenes. To me, I was working backwards, without my muse.

I’ve found it difficult to start the book and really tap into the extreme situation the characters find themselves in but at the same time, by pushing myself to experiment and get something, anything, on the page, I’m slowly navigating through the writing to find my muse.

And it’s working.

I have this overriding and grand vision for book 3 but found myself blindly reaching for inspiration. That’s okay – just as a blind person may lose one sense (sight) they gain the ability to use the others better, to help compensate. My other writing senses faced quite the challenge, but they succeeded. I’m writing again and with each new chapter my muse is becoming clearer.

Thank God!

Have you ever had to do something backwards to what you were used to? How did you feel? What was the outcome?

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What Do Your Dreams Tell You?

Flickr user BurningMax (Creative Commons)

Flickr user BurningMax (Creative Commons)

I usually have very vivid dreams when I sleep… as long as I’m not stressed out πŸ˜‰ As the first day of school approaches, and my son gets ready to attend full-day kindergarten for the first time, a personal sense of something akin to peace is settling my well-being… and that means the dreams have returned.

More often than not the dreams I remember are good contenders for books or stories. This time, I think the new fantasy series I’m writing (The White Raven) is informing my dreams and maybe my mother being courted by a new beau too…

How do these two things relate?

Well, the dream centred around a difficult time I went through after changing schools as a pre-teen; but in the dream I never moved away from this new school. I went on to high school with the very people who made my life a living hell at that elementary school… but not all the kids were horrible to me.

There was this guy who was teased badly about his last name – Warner… The kids called him “Wiener”. That’s the only negative thing they ever said to/about the guy and I guess he was used to it because he never let it show that it bothered him.

It would have bothered me – and an even worse nickname did, eventually.

Well, in my dream some version of myself as a teen in this alternate reality ended up dating David Warner – the nice guy who was a bit of a geek but still cute in his own right πŸ˜‰ (kind of sounds like the guy I married!) And my subconscious took me through a lesson I wish I’d learned as a pre-teen – Ignore the bullies; don’t try to be a part of the ‘cool’ crowd; celebrate the ‘nice’ kids.

You see, I had been coerced by one of my supposed ‘cool’ friends to date another cool kid who “liked me”. Of course, I later found out that he was ‘curious’ about me and my past and really had no other interest in me beyond that. So, after sharing my ‘secrets’ with him (I was altogether too trusting and still am) he dumped me 3 months later and started to use those secrets against me.

Enter David Warner…

The day I was planning to do something rather stupid (because I could no longer handle the incessant bullying and negative teasing) he hung out with me over lunch break and, well, we had a great time. I completely forgot about those creeps who I thought were my friends and for 45 minutes I had a ‘normal’ lunch break with someone who treated me like a real friend.

Now, here’s how my new series and my mother fit in to this.

In my ‘what if’ alternate reality dream David and I hooked up in high school… me and the ‘good’ guy – not the ‘cool’ guy. While it’s true that in my real high school experience I did much the same thing, it struck me that my main character, Dray, had to learn how to deal with her own ‘difference’ in elementary and high school. And, like me, she tried desperately to fit in to the ‘cool’ crowd – but it never really worked out. She became a bit of a ‘nice rebel’ – lol!

You see, my mom also had a habit of dating the ‘wrong’ guys (at least from my perspective) and now, in her late 50s she’s finally met a ‘nice guy’ who treats her right… her own David Warner so to speak. And Dray, my character, tries her darndest not to fall for anyone, but finds herself inexplicably drawn to a ‘nice guy’ but is certain she’ll only mess things up with him too.

I tried to find David Warner online today. I googled his name, checked facebook and linkedin but honestly – I’m terrible when it comes to trying to find people like that.

Why was I trying to find him?

To thank him.

I don’t think I ever did.

… and, now I’m curious to see if my mental projection of what he looked liked in the future actually matches reality πŸ˜‰ Dreams are crazy that way πŸ˜‰ Still, it’s been over 20 years since I gave him more than a passing thought. I also have a great memory for people I shared classes with during my elementary days – whereas I seem to be fairly forgettable to them, lol!

What about you?

Have you ever had your dreams try work things out for you while you’re sleeping? What about trying to find someone from your childhood?

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Science Fiction vs. Fantasy

Hi everyone!

I’m really excited about the publication of my next full-length article: Science Fiction vs. Fantasy where I take a close look at the long-time debate and touch on what it is like being a crossover writer of these two genres.

I was approached by Kathryn Jenkins of DKC (Dragon Knight Chronicles Publishing House) to help with the inaugural launch of their magazine Ind’spiration Digest on June 30th.

Check out the awesome cover –

Cover June 2015The first issue will be free for anyone to check out and consider a subscription to.

They focus on author interviews, spotlights, book reviews, & industry-related articles that not only serve as a platform for Indy Author awareness but great information about writing, publishing, and marketing your wares.

Give the cover a click and head on over to the Ind’spiration Digest Facebook page to learn more πŸ˜‰

I’ll be sure to post a link for you when the magazine goes live.

Happy reading!

Categories: Up Dates | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Epiphanies and Creativity

Epiphanies are those rare “lightbulb” moments we humans have when things suddenly click in our mind and either what we’ve been stressing over or an understanding that’s been eluding us becomes wonderfully and incredibly clear.

These moments are rare for me as I’m stubborn and pig-headed by nature and tend to wrestle with ideas and concepts until I’ve wrangled them into submission. I’m also a fairly well-read and generally knowledgeable when it comes to a wide variety of topics and find interest in anything from a great joke to a good recipe to astronomy to ancient history and beyond.

I’m not a genius – far from it. In fact, I’d more likely label myself blissfully ignorant (though I’m well-aware of the horrors in this world I try not to hold onto the world’s pain and suffering as if it were my own).

All of these things combine make it rare for me to have epiphanic (not that’s not a real derivative of that word but it’s doing what I want it to) moments.

Which made yesterday such a wonderful day for me –

I had an epiphany!

For months now I’ve been working on plotting book 3 for the Chronicles series and trying to figure out how to wrap everything up in book 4 for the grand finale. I’ve always known in the back of my mind a very general concept for what had to be done and who would be part of it (character-wise that is). But I could never quite get a handle on exactly what was going to happen and why.

Then, I took three days off to spend Easter with my family. I did not write or edit or do anything work-related (even though weekends are usually my most productive time)… and the biggest thing I did was not worry about not working!

Now, when I sat down yesterday to dig into some larger edits required for book 2 I paused between chapters to simply take a breath and find a more comfortable position to sit in when it happened…

Suddenly my brain kicked into overdrive and I understood not only why book 3 had to take place in the past but how everything came together in book 4 – including the conclusion to Taya’s (my protagonist’s) character arc!

And I got excited – so much so that my heart raced and I felt as if I had to shout out my good fortune to the world. Of course, no one was around at the time and I had to keep going on the edit but that excitement kept me in high-gear for the rest of the day – giddy, positive and yet focused.

So why is it that today I’m in such a pissy/grumpy mood?

My epiphany is still magnificent – it clarifies where I’m going with this series and still has me doing mini-happy dances whenever I think about it. But I’ve been snappy and impatient all morning. Part of me desperately wants to take a nap and let my brain relax since my morning dream was one of those you just don’t want to wake up from, but it didn’t exactly let me rest either – and I’m always a bear when I don’t get enough sleep… but somehow it feels like more than that is going on.

Has this ever happened to you?

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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