Tuesday, September 8, 2015


So it's been a while. I have no excuse other than I'm finding myself. Does that even make sense? I've been trying to figure myself out for a while especially my writing self. As with all journeys, my path has been a rollercoaster and continues to be. When I first started taking this seriously, I was wide eyed and probably had more confidence in myself than I do now, which is not much. I've learned along the way that that's only part of the puzzle. I've struggled to find my place, which leads to me not having anything to say or repeating myself like I am now. The one thing that I needed to grasp is to believe. You know the cat poster in THE LEGO MOVIE. Yes, believe. If you don't have it in your heart that you can, you won't. It can be a difficult thing to do especially for someone like me.

Along the way on this path, I've written and rewritten, cried and did happy dances, got many critiques, cried some more, received many rejections, didn't want to talk about it, but the one thing I don't think I was consistent with was believing. There were times, but it wasn't a feeling I always possessed especially in my stories. It was hard to sometimes because I'm always getting rejected. Seems understandable, I guess. But the thing is --if you don't believe in the story, it won't believe in you. It will show. Some of my stories are hot messes because I was changing them to fit the market or an opinion. I didn't believe in it. I didn't back it up and stand up for what I was trying to do. This turns into learning how and what you want and only taking the advice when you know it will improve the story. Some have told me if more than two critiques address a problem then listen. It's advice I've known for years but haven't implemented myself. I was too scared that I wasn't experienced enough to know.

The truth is I am. So I'm not a teacher or librarian or bookseller. I dabbled in my visions and took them to the next level. I have to believe that I can and that what I'm doing with my stories is what I want even if no one wants it. Believing does make a difference. It shows through in the writing.

How about you--have you learned to believe?

Have a great day!

Friday, June 5, 2015

While you wait

The thing about this business is there is a lot of waiting. I think that was the biggest and hardest part to get used to. Still is. I'm no where near having a book published but the waiting in the query zone is enough to make you rip your hair out then bang it against a wall. When I first when through this, I was a mess. I was on edge and I kept repeating that no one would like it. After thirty queries and no bites, I gave in to defeat. The next two times have been more manageable. There has been some interest and I prepared myself for the months and months of nothing. Still, my neurotic brain can't help but allow the pessimistic voice to creep in. You know, the I'm-not-good-enough thing. It's a human reaction or maybe it's the lack of confidence and daily reminder that it may be true. I have developed more of a thick skin about, in fact, I think I expect rejection more than I expect someone to say they like it and want to read more.

But enough about that downer. I don't want to start complaining because I've been in this long enough to realize it's all part of the game. The one thing I keep doing is writing. On with something else. I have been writing a fantasy, as you know, and it has been my biggest problem child. I started to get frustrated and discouraged with it. The problem is--the story will not leave me alone. I'm anxious to get the first draft down in order to let it sit before revisions. But when I sit to write it, I overthink it and ask too many questions so nothing gets done. This has happened to me before, but it usually doesn't go on as long. Finally, after much anguish, I decided to just let it sit for a while and go to something else. It's funny how things come back around. My frustration with this fantasy is I'm forcing myself to think too much about it. Where's the creativity in that? I'm pushing myself and that leads to bad writing. I was missing that joyous, giddy feeling I get when I write. That feeling seemed to fizzle at some point--between learning more about the business and pressuring myself. So what do you do?

Well, you either start something new or revise something that made you feel awesome at one point. Since no new characters were burning in my brain, I decided to revisit an old shelved novel that used to make me all smiley. I don't expect anything from it other than jumpstarting the happy fuzzies and hopefully getting me out of the funk I've been in. So far, it's working. I'm looking at it differently and moving things around, playing with structure to make it flow better. The characters are like long, lost friends. We're picking up right where we left off. It's comforting. I'm not sure what I'll do with it when I'm done. It had been queried at one point, you know the one with thirty rejections, but it'll make me happy to see it in better shape than it was.

How do you get out of your writing funk when you get down?

What do you do while you wait for your queries or submissions to be answered?

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

The respark

Whoa. It's been a while again. I apologize, but I've been writing a novel that's kicking my butt and it's finally flowing again. I go through these dry spells, which I should be used to by now. It's as if the well of creativity dries up and there's no rain in sight. A drought so to speak. It could be a burn out of forcing it to happen. I don't know. But I love it when it rekindles. It's like taking a breath of air after holding your breath for ages. Anything can do it. For me, sometimes a song, a movie, but my most recent spark is a book.

My good friend, Joanne Fritz, gave me a book called RUSH by Eve Silver. I've been sort of down with my writing. I don't write the norm nor do I write anything that's "sellable" but I like what I write, it makes my frowny face turn upside down. So when I can find something that allows me to see that what I'm doing is okay, my insides flutter and my brain restarts. It makes me happy so why get down. Taking breaks are fine, the brain needs to reboot.

Anyway, this book has everything I love--first person present tense, scifi, teenage romance with a "bad boy", short choppy sentences--it's the stew that makes my heart beat fast and my brain wanting more. There are some things that bother me about this book, but the pros outweigh the cons. I'm a sucker for these books and I took the bait--hook, line and sinker. I like to read many different things but when I'm in a slump, reading what you love to write can ignite a fire that makes you feel giddy. It's makes what you love to write okay. And I love it when it happens. It's that mountain moment making you crawl out of the deep crevice you fell into. It sort of a validation. Basically, write what you want to read and stick to it.

So have you had the moment of clarity?

Have a great week!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Little gestures

Gestures are things that can help or hurt someone. They can either make or break someone's day. In our writing these simple nuggets can show a character change or even just hint at it. In reality. What is reality? You know, day to day life. There are times when it's hard to figure out what to say to someone. In this world of constant information our brains can get overwhelmed, leaving us feeling unaccomplished and alone. There will always be the negative and positive, but today I'm going to stress the happy ones. A small gesture of kindness could change all of that. It could be as small as a "hello", or "how are you?" That could redirect someone's crappy day into something with more light.

For example, my week's been kind of yucky. Nothing in particular just everything grouping in my brain at one time. Monster 2 had a check up and I was discussing the eye therapies we were doing at home for monster's eye. I do my best but deep down the perfectionist in me doesn't accept it. I'm very hard on myself in that I always think I can do better or I'm not doing enough. I guess the doctor saw it in my face that I'm freaking out inside because I'm thinking this doctor will think of me badly. Instead, she put her hand on my knee and said, "It's okay. You're doing a great job."

Something lifted off of me, even if it's only for a moment. Someone understood. Someone saw my pain. It made me smile. For a moment, it allowed me to breathe. And I got a little teary eyed too.

As a writer, these moments are crucial. We tend to be introverted and are only expression is usually in words that drip from our hearts. The pace of publishing can feel like forever, not to mention, the inconsistency of it. We deliver words from our souls only to be put in a pit of rejection and opinions. It can get lonely, but one gesture can change that. "I understand" or "I know" or a simple smiley face can help get someone through it. Even if that person has gone silent or doesn't respond right away, a kind gesture could be the stepping stone out of their dark cave.

We can never know what another person is experiencing, but we can only be kind and put ourselves the best we can in their shoes. So whether your a writer with a fresh rejection or someone who is dealing with bullying or someone who is just overwhelmed with what life has handed you, look around you and see who is giving you a kind gesture and don't be afraid to reach out.

Have you experienced any kind gestures lately?

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Some books to check out

Whoa. Has it really been that long? I didn't realize I haven't posted in a while. Well, things happen. Writing comes first so . . . Anyway, I attended two book launches over the past few weeks. Both these ladies are quite the awesome. So go and check these two books out.

Title: Blackbird Fly
Author: Erin Entrada Kelly   (who is awesome and super sweet)
Publisher: Harper Collins

Apple Yengko knows what it’s like to be different. She has a weird Filipino nickname, she’s the only Asian at her school, and she’s obsessed with the Beatles instead of boys. But her life doesn’t truly fall apart until she finds out she’s listed on the Dog Log—the list of the ugliest girls in school—and her friends abandon her. Suddenly she’s a social pariah. The boys bark at her in the halls and the girls turn the other way. Apple dreams of escape and resents everything about her culture, including her mother. She’s desperate to get a guitar so she can run away and become a musician like her idol, George Harrison. Apple is convinced that music can save her. And it might—only not in the way that she thinks.

Title: None of the Above
Author: I. W. Gregorio  (amazing lady who does it all)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.
But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”
Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s world completely unravels. With everything she thought she knew thrown into question, can she come to terms with her new self?
Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

So, I'm saying to go and pick up these great books. The launches were fabulous and the authors are pretty darn awesome.

How about you, what new books are you reading?

Have a great day!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Opinions. Sometimes they are hard to take. Sometimes they enlighten and empower. Sometimes they damage and hurt. As a writer, opinions are a daily occurrence. It's something that we have to learn how to deal with especially if they are negative. But that doesn't mean it makes it any easier to take. Sure our skin thickens, but when the opinions attack us, well, defenses will rise.

It seems as though opinions are easier to deliver via social media and reviews. People express themselves in all sorts of ways without a thought of consequence--without a thought of the other's feelings. It's like throwing stones at someone, but they are not right in front of you so you don't see them getting hurt. It's as if not seeing the other person's reaction makes it okay to say. I'm not saying we can't express ourselves or have an opinion. By all means, social media makes it easy to do and change can be made, but words can be harsh like a sword. They can jab into the hearts of many and the person holding the hilt will never know or understand how many hearts were stabbed.

I've seen opinions made that I may not agree with but they are made with respect. Each word is chosen to prove a point not attack and beat another. They make you think, not enrage. Opinions do make the world go round. It would be pretty boring if we all agreed on the same thing. Opinions make us unique, but we also need to have compassion. Saying your opinion is fine, but saying it with tack and poise will earn respect.

Just a little thought for today.

How is everyone?

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Writing fears

So, I've been absent lately. Things happen. As I stated before, writing and life take over and that's what I've been dealing with.

My writing has me facing many fears lately. I'm digging deeper in revisions in one, which is a good thing. I can feel the character more and the added depth can only enhance the manuscript. Plus, I tend to like revising more than drafting. Don't ask. Digging deeper and living inside them, being them, connects the reader even more. I found this post:  http://writershelpingwriters.net/2014/07/3-steps-taking-character-deeper-anger/
It takes you deeper into your character on how they would react in anger. It's interesting and definitely gets you thinking.

Another way is by going deeper into who you are. Basically taking pieces of you and really soul searching. http://hollylisle.com/deeper-people-putting-yourself-into-your-characters/

But like I said, I actually enjoy that process. Revising. Drafting, on the other hand, is torture. It should be fun, and sometimes is, because there are no rules--you write without a worry. Well, there are little worries. I'm drafting a new project. I know the beginning, some middle parts and the end. All are written like scenes waiting to be placed together. Yes, I write out of order. I also have a line of the whole story. Sort of like very loose outline. I've change the start point and I think I've found it, but now I have to figure out what tense and POV.

You see, I'm a first person present tense gal, as I'm sure your know. I love everything about it. I love to read and write it. It comes naturally to me. And up to this point, my stories seem to call for it, but this new one may not. It may lean to a 3rd person past. It scares the you know what out of me. It's a challenge, which is not a bad thing, and I'm happy to take it on. The problem, I'm a perfectionist and the thought of royally screwing it up weighs on my conscious, freezing all creativity into that project. I love the story and it's the hardest story I think I've ever attempted to write, but the idea of the switch makes me so wicked scared. But that's how we grow and strengthen, right?  It's what keeps us going and sharpens our skills. I did attempt this once before and it turned out 3rd person present, which is crazy.

One of these days, I will take the plunge and write one chapter, but I don't know how to start. I'm tempted to completely start from scratch and write the story over. I'm currently 30,000 words in.  But something is tickling me to try it again. I have to put out my impatience fire and go forward.

Any 3rd person past writing tips? I do read novels written in this POV as well as other POVs so I plan to look at those for reference.

How do you overcome fears and well as impatience?

Have a great day!!