30 November 2015

A Slight Detour

I know I've been scarce for the past few months. I know I've neglected this blog...and a whole lot of other things in my life. I know that I should neglect Facebook and Instagram more and my poor hubby less, but I'm still working on that.

A few months ago I announced my plan to write four books in four months.

Don't panic, they're just rough drafts. A mere 60,000 words each.

Yes, this is an insane plan. I get it. My problem is, tiny plans don't always light a fire under me like a good dose of insanity can. Besides, why not shoot for the stars and hit the moon, or whatever?

This plan of mine has a method to its madness. I have a schedule in my mind for when I would like to get the rest of the Jagged Scars series out. The series is five books long, and only Fractured Memories, book 1, is out. The release schedule is also a bit on the aggressive side. Because...if I don't push myself, I roll back down the hill and lay at the bottom staring at the internet and eating whatever I can reach.

I took the month of September to plan four books. I spent a lot of hours working on characters and plot and bad guys and the world and everything I could think of.

In October, I typed out book 2. Right around 60,000 words. I finished a few days early (not sure how that happened, but yay) and read through it before starting book 3. I'm not going to lie, it was pretty good. And by pretty good, I mean really good for a rough draft that came out of me. So the planning paid off, and on to book 3 in November.

Ah, November. The month in which I got the stomach flu that put me on the couch for two days, I had the nerves in my hip muscles tense up so bad that I could only shuffle around for almost two weeks (couple that with the stomach flu), I had a writing retreat get cancelled due to a death in the family (another girl's family) and then there was Thanksgiving. Those are my excuses. Valid, every one of them.

Now don't get me wrong, I ended up with almost 52,000 words, and the whole book written except for the finale. I've read back through parts of it, and it's pretty good. Not as good as book 2, but for a rough draft, I'm satisfied.

Except for the end. Because I hadn't thought it out all the way, and the last few chapters are just outlined.

Yesterday, I sat at my computer, looked at the clock and said, "I have 5 hours. I can get 10,000 more words out. I can get to the end of the book. The hubby will bring me a Diet Coke slushy from Sonic. I can do this."

But a little voice—that little voice—began to yell at me from very, very far away.

"Sure, you can get those 10,000 words written today. You can meet your word count goal, but you know, and I know, that you'll have to completely rewrite at least 75% of them. Probably more."

"Quiet, I'm not backing down from this."

"I thought the whole point of this plan was so you would have rough drafts that you could easily edit, not that you had to rewrite huge chunks of."


"You haven't worked this finale out. You haven't actually sat down and planned it. You could write the last chapter, but leading up to that will most likely be rubbish."

"You think I write trash now?"

"You do when you start shooting from the hip."

"Leave my hips out of this."

"I'm just saying, you should outline the rest."


"And then you should take the month of December to revise books 2 and 3. Get the characters right, put the emotions in."

"Whoa, wait. No. That's not part of the plan. I have to write book 4 in December."

"You don't have too."

"Yes, I do."

"If you take the time to revise, I promise you'll have a better foundation for the last two books. You wouldn't want to have to rewrite 75% of each of them, would you?"


"I'm just saying."

So the little voice has won. December will consist of probably 100 hours of editing and rewriting and planning for the last two books. And I might be desperately typing on New Year's Eve to get ready for book 4 in January. My hope is that it will be worth it. I'll let you know what happens.

And if nothing else, right now I have two books written that I didn't have 60 days ago. Pretty awesome.

02 November 2015

Find the Bright Side of Life

Everyone has heard this phrase.

"Be Grateful"

Am I right? I know I have, and I know how these two little words can change the course of your life. Or, sometimes more importantly, your day.

The last couple of years have been hard. I started dating, went to my kempo class less, ate out more, got engaged, then married, moved, went to Kempo class even less, fought with depression (between birth control and a new neighborhood that wasn't fun), gained more weight than I want to talk about, tried to lose weight, tore up my elbow, tore up one hip joint, gained more weight, failed to meet my writing goals and in general felt quite useless.

I've been trying to pull myself out of this spiral for a while. It's finally working. In an attempt to find the bright side of life, I've fashioned a new outlook on the past two years.

I invited a boy I wanted to get to know to a movie. We started dating a few months later.

I went to Israel with a really good friend just before things got bad over there. Traveling to the Holy Land had been a dream of mine for twenty years.

I rode 45 miles on a bike for MS.

I got engaged.

I lived through said engagement and got married to an adorkable man who treats me like a queen and keeps me on my toes.

I learned a valuable lesson that messing with my own hormones is a really bad idea.

I've met a lot of great people in my new neighborhood that I never would have had the chance to associate with if I hadn't moved here.

I received firsthand experience about how important consistency in exercise is. I 'd always understood it in regards to spiritual things, but now I know a whole lot more. And knowing is half the battle. Or so I learned from afternoon cartoons.

My body isn't getting any younger, but I'm figuring out how to gently guide it back on course.

I start each day thinking about how great it's going to be. Seriously, this is me talking to myself as I'm on the toilet. (Sorry for the image, but it's true.) I go through what I'm going to accomplish and how good it will make me feel (crossing things off my to-do list is like a drug for me). I make a mental note of something nice to do for someone, and I keep my irritable self in the corner of my mind, where she pouts because she's being ignored so much. Which I'm totally fine with. 

It sounds disgustingly ideal, and I sometimes feel like an idiot having self-affirmation talks with myself, but I can tell you, if you stick with it, it can work. It works for me. Not everyday is perfect-I almost walked out of my day job crying last week, but didn't because I'd convinced myself beforehand that everything was going to be fine. No part of my self worth has to be tied with a few issues at work. I'm still an awesome person, even if every product I put into the shop last week blew up in spectacular and expensive ways. Just keep breathing. Stop hating yourself. Take a five minute walk and think about this:

I am grateful.
I am blessed.
I am living today.
I look forward to tomorrow.