Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Check this out!

Hi everyone!
Just a quick plug from me. Yes, me. Check out this issue of Vine Leaves Literary Journal. I have some free verse poetry in there. Yes, me! Thanks to the everyone at Vine Leaves especially Jessica Bell. This would've never happened without her. ;) Go check out all the wonderful talent.

Thanks and have a great day!!

Issue #10 is now live!

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Hi everyone! It's been a while, but I've been writing lots so one thing has to be limited for me to focus.

Thanks to the lovely Ilene Gregorio (NONE OF THE ABOVE  Balzer
& Bray/ HarperCollins 2015) for tagging me in the My Writing Process Blog Tour! Go check out her site and make sure you check out her debut NONE OF THE ABOVE in 2015. Thanks Ilene. Also, check her out on twitter @IWGregorio.

1)      What am I working on?

I’m currently working on revisions for COURIER my fourth novel. It’s a YA light scifi. I’m really excited about it because in takes place in a city I adore, Munich, Germany. Although, I’m always starting new ideas and tweaking other manuscripts. My brain never stops. For instance, I'm starting to brainstorm a new fantasy novel, but the MC is a little shy.

2)      How does my work differ from the others of its genre?

Oh good question.  I tend to write with a contemporary feel but throw in something that isn’t of this world. Maybe because I wish that’s how real life should be--a little unpredictable and mysterious. I also would love to have a super power, but I have a hard time limiting it to just one.
3)      Why do I write what I do?

I’m stuck in the mindset of a seventeen-year-old so I think it was inevitable that I gravitate towards YA. The paranormal and scifi stuff is what I wish would happen in everyday life. Hey, you never know. There are a lot of unsolved mysteries out there. It helps me escape the everyday hum drum.
4)      How does my writing process work?

I have to say, I'm always discovering my writing process. I know when I started out, I was a total pantser. I wrote what came to me with no real direction so that led to many, many, many revisions. Now, I like to call myself an organized pantser. I usually start out knowing the beginning, some of the middle and end, and then write those scenes that I visualize in my head.  Lately though, I’ve made sure once that’s done, I go through and get the character arc down and the plot just so I have something to follow. It's not fully detailed just general ideas. Once I start writing the whole thing though, it can change. I like getting to know the character through writing it. This process has its cons but it’s comfortable for me.
Well, that's my crazy process. What's yours? Thanks again to Ilene for tagging me. And now I must tag two more fine writers. So go check them out.

Kim Chance is writer of YA Supernatural/Paranormal fiction and is currently working on her first novel, KEEPER, which she is hoping (and praying!) will one day be on bookshelves everywhere! When she isn't writing, she's busy being a full time mommy to twin girls and a high school English teacher.  You can find her blog at:  Twitter: @_KimChance            

Ashley Zarzaur writes Harry Potter fan fiction, and has delved into that world since early 2003.  When she's not writing, she's involved in the ever impressive MMORPG World of Warcraft, playing with her two nephews and one niece, and enjoys reading, watching "The Big Bang Theory", and laying around in pajamas to do absolutely nothing! Her blog:
Twitter: @ashleyfanfic
Have a great day!!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Snack Time

I'm definitely a snacker when I write. I find it interesting what writers snack on while producing magic. What fuels the fire so to speak. Of course, we should be thinking healthy, but sometimes that doesn't happen.

For me, I tend to go to the granola bar or Cheez-its. Every so often, grapes get involved or Leibniz mini's sneak in. I do try to stay away from chocolate. Let's face it, beach body 2014 isn't going to look too good with a bag of Hershey kisses around the middle. I save the hard chocolatey stuff for the frowny face times.

I have discovered this awesome recipe for a granola banana cookie that I've been making. My kids love them too.
They are ridiculously easy to make and taste really good. I add chocolate chips. It's the chocoholic in me. I get chocolate and some healthy stuff while snacking. Score.

Whatever you pick it's helps the juices flow, doesn't it? I don't know what it is. Or Maybe I'm a loner in this department. Either way, we all have different ways to produce our pride and joys.

If you snack while writing, what is your go to food?

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ban the email

You're querying. Fantastic. Good for you. Best of luck. Your baby is polished and your query is sparkling. You have a list of agents and you carefully followed the submission guidelines. So now what?

This is the part where you must learn patience. As you know, I'm not. But I've learned to become more tolerant. I let things roll more often than I used to. Querying is that moment that defines where your path might go. It puts you on the edge of your seat and your insides squirm. After you hit send, the build up to the moment . . . goes and now you must wait.

I know, not easy. As much as we don't like to admit it, we've hit the refresh button shortly after sending even though you know you're not getting a response any time soon. Most agents takes from two weeks to four months, some even longer. I know most of my email is advertisements. So why do we do it? Why torture ourselves? Why is that urge to continually hit the refresh button on our email so tempting and addicting? A society of instant gratification? Possibly. The want to know whether you make the cut? Sure. To some it's a test of whether you pass. But is it? Writing is highly subjective. That's the part that's hard to swallow. Not only do you have to have the strength of a great writer, personal taste and what sells comes into play. It may not be the right time. And sometimes being the best at your craft gets pushed aside just for a money maker. The factors of all this can make your head spin and create emotions you never knew you had. But it's the nature of the beast. You have to accept this will happen and some will get there quicker than others. Right now, I think I'm on the ten year plan, but even that can change. Nothing is set in stone, and even after you get that agent, there's no guarantee.

So send those queries but do something else while you wait. Go outside (if it's not bitter cold like it is here), write another book, make new friends, find other writers. Go out and live. Don't let the email be your crutch.

Lessons to learn and one I must follow. I've been shutting off email and all other social media when I write, and even though the urge is there, I plug forward and do my best to do something else.

Have a great day!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


No, I'm not throwing a tropical dance party to see how low you can go. Although with the winter I've been having I would love to. I'm talking about those times when you feel like you're going no where. The life of a writer seeking publication can go from very high to the depths of the deepest ocean. It's not easy and can be a completely frustrating process. The whole one step forward twenty steps backward thing. There are times when you are getting closer (creates smiles) and times when you fall hard and it takes you down so many levels you're not sure if you can climb out (frowny faces). There are times when you don't know where you stand. You celebrate other's victories but feel almost like a wannabe because you have nothing important to share. The whole left out feeling because you're not there yet. You yearn to be a part of something. Anything. To be included and respected. Yet all doors say closed.

All of this can eat at you. It does. As much as it sucks, it's the demon of doom if you let it continue and influence you. Now, I could sit here and tell you what to do, and I have in past posts. I've dealt with this for years. But the only way to cure it is to deal. There's no real answer other than to keep going.  It's what I have to remind myself when the going gets tough. Sure, there are suggestions like working on something else, get outside, clean, blah, blah, blah. These are great and do help, but when you can't--getting rejections and simply waiting for an answer can mask over the creativity. These thoughts lead to even more character stabbing ideas like--maybe publication for my novels is not in my future and what am I doing? You have to counteract that no matter how much it weighs you down. Move forward and shut off everything around you. Work and work. Look for support. Use what you have and seek new. Keep going and never give up. I have to remind myself always.

So, move forward. It's something I'm going through and must push on regardless of my want to back away.

Where do you go to for support?

Are you seeking new betas and CPs? Where do you search?

Have a great day!! Happy writing!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

There's always light

I can't believe I'm posting again. Well, I am. I have to say things always have a bright side. It's something I'm learning to turn to. I'm quick to write my feeling down and post them though sometimes embarrassing. I think a lot. Trust me, my brain never shuts off. My outlook this year was to let everything go and move on, be more positive, because that's all you can do. Things happen for a reason. Some of which we may not like, but they are done for a purpose. Whether it's to make us stronger or show us how to improve. There are reasons.
My eyes have been opened and I'm finally at peace with who I am. I know where I want to be and I'm fine with where I am. My past is that--my past. Who I was and what I did only proves that I'm better person now and will be.
So look to the lighter side of things. . .always. People don't want to be around negatives. Trust me, I know.
Happy writing and have a great day!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A public service announcement from the socially awkward.

I will admit it--I'm socially awkward. There. I said it. Many people find me strange. I know they do. The thing is--there are times, I just don't know what to say or how to even approach certain situations. It's a battle that I've had throughout my life. Mostly on the outside I can pull it off, but inside I'm cringing that I said something stupid or wrong. It's not that I don't like to talk to people, in fact over the years, I've gotten better, but I know there are times where I'm sure people think, "There's something wrong there." They retreat and become silent.

Another problem is trust. In the past, I put my trust into a lot of people only to be let down in the end. So I approach carefully to every encounter I have and when I feel threaten I go silent. It's not that that person is the problem or even did anything wrong, I curl up worried I'll be hurt again. So I stop and go into a dark cave.

I'm not sure how to cure it or even how to move ahead, but it's a battle and in the end I'm embarrassed and ashamed and lose many friends over the process.

Last year, I retreated, curling up in my hole. I tried to be silent because I was scared and embarrassed at my own writing. Why would anyone want to read my stuff? I can't get a request. But the thing is-- it's all in my head. I'm my own worst enemy. I worry too much how others see me than how I should see me. I follow the rules and I'm learning that it's not always necessary. This business is subjective so no matter how perfect I try to make my stuff, it may not get there because it wasn't liked due to personal preference.

I've been trying to break open my shell this year and throw all my worries to the wind, renewing old friendships and hoping I didn't lose too many. I'm approaching writing differently too. I focus on me. I try not to stay on social media too much and worry that I'm far behind and all the questions that come with it--why can't I catch up? Why can't I just get there? Where is that sign of progress? I will put that aside, the best I can, and move forward. Not letting what others say bother me, but take it as a lesson. Let it roll off as they say. I will put my needs first and not just please. I will because I know I can. I can't thank those who have supported me enough. They have been there through it all and my gratitude and support for them is all I can give.

I know I've been posting about my feelings a lot on this journey, and well, I don't have much to report so I'm trying to figure out how to proceed with this blog. I can't devote as much time as I once did. I will update on other events and writer stuff, but I had meant for this to be a place where other writers could come and maybe find that they are not alone. To share their experiences through this process.

I don't want to keep posting things over and over again because let's face it--that's writing. It has ups and downs and ins and outs. Things take forever and they repeat, it doesn't always have happy endings that continue. So I will be thinking of ways to change a little but keep the essence of what I started with. I'm in a quiet period. I have some things in the works, which are great and have me smiling and I will talk about soon, but on the whole querying front, the crickets are chirping and maybe this book isn't it, which is fine. I'll move on quietly. Here's my motto for the year. :) Write on people.

Are you socially awkward too?

Have a great day!!