Writing & Dreaming in My Favorite Place

I don’t know about you, but it takes one holiday and my entire schedule is thrown off. I had a great Easter with family and friends, but between cooking a holiday meal, cleaning the house, and recuperating from all that, my editing fell a little behind. I try not to worry about those things because although I’m a writer, I’m also a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend…and so many other titles! That means that life happens, which is something to cherish and enjoy.

That said, I’m back on track with my book. I am almost done with the first round of editing and lots of things are happening in the background to bring this book to life. I’m enjoying the process and I can’t wait to share with you all the exiting news coming ahead.

 

Where Inspiration Takes Place.

This week I want to share with you some pictures of my writing area.  

Tucked in a corner of my bedroom is my writing desk. Here’s where my book is written and edited. It’s not a big area or a sophisticated place, but there’s plenty of natural light and personal knick-knacks that serve as inspiration.  This writing corner is cozy and relaxing. There’s nothing better than sitting at my desk with a hot cup of coffee and seeing my dreams coming true.  The white Ikea desk is small enough to keep it cozy but it’s functional and organized.  My file folders have several secrets hidden inside: Art inspiration, Novel Ideas, Character Lists, Workshop Notes, and yes, even Dumbbell Exercises (in case I get the inspiration to work out!)

Surround Yourself With Love.

There’s my “I Love Mom” mug that serves as a pen holder. It’s precious to me because my daughter painted it when she was 5.  Having this on my desk reminds me that I have people to inspire.  I want my kids to see that following your dreams takes hard work and dedication, but it is doable.  I like having inexpensive things surrounding me, even if in reality they’re priceless.  Nothing inspires you to work harder when you have things reminding you how loved and cherished you are.

We’re All Mad Here.

The Alice In Wonderland mug suits my writing personality and journey. It reminds me “We’re all Mad Here.”  You need to be a little mad to follow your dreams.  If you worry about being “normal”, “walking the straight line”, or simply blending in because it’s the safest thing to do, you won’t achieve your dreams.  It’s the quirky and whimsical attitude that pushes you to break the mold and think outside the box.

Dreams & Schemes.

 

On the bookshelf I have my Dreams & Schemes book where all my writing goals are housed. I scan through these pages when I need a reminder of why I do what I do.  Why is it important to have a Dreams & Schemes book?  Because it gives your dreams a voice.  Seeing your inner desires written on paper not only helps you identify them in more detail, but it allows you to put together a plan to achieve those goals.  Writing down your dreams validates them and makes their presence a reality.

 

Your First (Creative) Love.

The little Sailor Moon figurine reminds me what first fueled my imagination as a child. I fell in love with Anime at the age of five and to this day I cherish the rich imagination it created inside me.  Sailor Moon opened a brand new world to me.  One filled with magic, romance, self love, friendship, but most importantly it showed me there are no boundaries to imagination.  You can become who you want and create stories that don’t have to fit the mold.  This little cutie symbolizes my childhood, when everything was possible and the world was wide open to me.  I love thinking back to the little girl I was.  It’s like rediscovering a part of me that will never let me down and that will always inspire me to make my dreams come true.

What about you?  Where do you write, work, or dream?  Is there a special place that inspires you?  I’d love to read about it.  Share it with me!

 

The Journey of Writing a Book

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It’s been a while since I’ve updated on my book process.  There is a reason for that.  I really didn’t want to.  Call it superstition, or downright silliness, but I thought that blogging about my book before publishing it would bring it bad luck.   When you write a book, you become attached to it.  Your book becomes your baby, and in a way it is.  You nurtured it inside of you for many months (or years), then you painfully gave birth to it. And there it is.  A shiny, brand new story, full of innocence and timid beginnings.  Inside there are thousands of words that are still rough, naive, uneducated.  Your task to is to raise your book, giving it the substance and love needed to grow it into a well rounded, acceptable manuscript.  You expect it to become part of society, to bring some value to it, or to simply brighten someone’s day.  What you don’t want is to put it out there prematurely. It’s a big scary world, right? Your mama (or papa) bear instincts kick in, urging you to keep it hidden and safe until you know it’s ready to be viewed by the world.

But here’s the thing: this book is not my baby, really.  I did pour my heart and soul into it.  I do cherish it and wish to protect it, but it goes beyond that.  It is only a small part of who I am, and what I am is a writer.  That means that my responsibility isn’t just to my book.  It is to share my journey with others, those who are also writing and need inspiration and support. Or to share it with people who want to become writers and are deathly afraid of the process.  Like me, they may be navigating uncertain waters, trying to find their style, create decent characters, and fall in love with the process.

This is why I decided it’s time to share my first novel update.  It is vulnerable, raw, but also beautifully real.

My novel is untitled, although I do have a few ideas in mind.  Last month I finished my first draft, from start to end.  For the first time in my life,  I was able to complete a book. Mainly this is because I forced myself to outline.  I HATE outlining.  I’m more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” type of writer, but guess what?  That never helped me finish writing any book.  Outlining was tedious but it kept me structured enough to follow an idea from start to end.

Now the real fun begins.  I’m currently in the first round of the editing process.  It’s where I’m catching mistakes, plot holes, character deficiencies, and even changing some of my story.  I was afraid of this process, especially after completing the stubborn phase of writing the first draft.  But I realize it really isn’t that bad.  In fact, editing is when the real shaping takes place.  I’m no longer pressured to “finish” the book.  My job is to mold it and fix it, not create it a new.  What a relief!

Here are some tips I can share with you if you’re in the early stages of writing your own book.  This is where I’m at in my own writing journey.

  • OUTLINE.  Yeah, it’s tedious and annoying, but do it.  It will give you a structured way to write your story, even if that outline is a bit clumsy.
  • JUST WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT.  Don’t overthink it.  Expect it to be complete trash.  Yes, poke fun at it and even dislike it.    Who cares if your grammar is horrid right now.  And maybe Aunt Brunilda falling in love with the mail man is a stupid idea.  Just write it anyway.  Finishing the first draft of my book took several years.  In fairness I did change my story quite a bit, but really it took so much time because I wanted to get it just right.  Big mistake.  A first draft is laying down the foundation of a story.  It isn’t meant to be perfect, or even coherent.
  • TAKE A WEEK OFF.  Once your first draft is done…celebrate! Yes, it’s still crap and no, you haven’t published it yet.  Still, you did it! You wrote a book.  You ARE an author.   Take a week off before moving on to the next process.  This will give you time to relish the pure joy of completing a book.  Tell all of your friends, share it on social media, bake yourself a cake…anything that celebrates this accomplishment.  You’ve earned it!
  • PRINT YOUR FIRST DRAFT.  You’re finally ready to begin the editing process–the first round of it.  There will be several of them, trust me.  Printing your novel instead of reading it on the computer offers a new prospective.  It actually feels more like a book and it’s like looking at a new story instead of the one sitting on your screen for the past months.
  • SET UP AN EDITING GOAL. Do you want to start with plot holes, grammatical mistakes, or both?  I suggest picking the most important thing.  For me is to read the story and analyze it carefully.  Does it make sense?  Do my characters fall flat or are they interesting?  Am I describing too much or too little?  Are my chapters dragging on?  Does each chapter move the story forward?  I will deal with the grammar last because to me that will be the easiest fix.

And finally, I will take the overwhelming step to share my book’s synopsys.

An anxiety disorder and a dysfunctional family are more than Hera can handle.  But when she’s abducted from her home one night and taken to a secret forest house, she has bigger problems to face.

Hera is weak, uncomfortable in her own skin, and constantly living in fear.   When Aethen enters her life with the shocking revelation of psychic vampires and a prophecy claiming she’s a High Priestess, she believes she’s lost her mind. 

Trapped in the middle of a war between psychic and blood vampires, where finding her true self is far more frightening than the battle raging ahead, she must find strength and love in the most unlikely place.

A story that intertwines psychic and blood vampires, magic, and the search for strength amid the ashes of loss and self-doubt.

—Have you been writing a book?  Share your progress!  Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to receive more updates on my book writing journey!

Author Update

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I’ve meant to write an update blog for a while now. My absence from blogging has developed a nagging voice telling me ‘This is not good. You’re a writer. How can you call yourself a serious writer if you’re not slamming out a blog a week?’

Usually this type of guilt stricken thought would turn me frantic, my gears rearing up again in hopes to make up for lost time. That’s what it comes down to, after all. Whether you’re a writer or anyone trying to find their path in life, time is the one thing that will steal your joy. It tells you that in order to succeed you have to work harder, utilize every minute, and maximize your exposure at any given moment of the day. I agreed with this theory for a long time but for me things are different now. Maybe it’s the way life has been throwing me curve balls, or how certain dreams are coming to an end, but my perspective has changed.

My writing journey has mutated into a life journey. I used to think that finding my way as a writer meant fulfilling my life. Now I realize that finding my way in life means fulfilling my writing journey. 

 Although writing has been and always will be an essential part of who I am, I’m still growing. This process shapes and molds my writing into what it needs to be, and not the other way around. I’ve taken the past year to find myself, to heal parts of my life that need desperate attention. I’ve decided to take head on those pesky thieves that steal my joy, that determine what type of woman I am, that build up walls around me so that I can be contained. To find yourself starts with healing first. I am in the process and although hard and heartbreaking, and sometimes an overwhelmingly slow progression, I am thankful for the trial and tribulations. They thicken my skin, grant me experience, and finally begin to break down those walls.  [Read More Here…]

My New Year Irresolution

 

Welcome To The Future Green Road Sign with Copy Room Over The Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

As we reach the end of the year, I begin to reflect on these past twelve months. When I was a young girl, I hated the time immediately after Christmas. There was something melancholically off about saying goodbye to an entire year. After all, it was twelve long months of memories, friendships, birthdays, school days, everything that formed the entire world I lived in.

My reluctance to meet a new year mirrored my thoughts and feelings in regards to ‘letting go’. When I was five years old, I cried for an entire day when my parents forced me to get rid of a pair of shoes I had outgrown. I became so attached to things, to people, that they became part of me. Saying goodbye to those things, just like an entire year, was like tearing away a part of my heart.

As I grew older, I began to embrace the New Year with a new aspect, joining the ‘adult bandwagon of New Year resolutions.” It was those new resolutions that gave me strength and hope in what waited ahead. It wasn’t so hard to say goodbye to the past when you had something on the hook for the future.

Now, as a writer, wife, and mother, I see the timeline of my existence as something more than a New Year resolution. I’ve come to realize that time is precious not because the past is gone for good, but because we get to decide how to face the future, whatever it brings, and whether it’s the middle of June or a day shy of ringing in a new year.

Instead of making a list of resolutions, I’ve decided to start now, in this moment, to mentally prepare myself to have the best life possible—not year. I’ve given myself permission to stumble and fall. I’ve instructed myself to free my mind of restrictions, deadlines, limitations, and unrealistic accountability. There’s a discipline in setting out goals, but there’s an even greater freedom in allowing your life to flow in the direction it was meant to.

If I had to tell you exactly what my resolution is, I’d say it is the willingness to follow my destiny in whatever timeline, manner, and flow God decides to direct it. What does this mean to me as a writer? I’ve decided to be okay if I don’t finish my book this upcoming yearThe book will complete—and publish—at the right place and at the right time, exactly when it’s destined to be. If that is two years from now, then be it.   I’ve had so much insight, inspiration, and new prospective in my personal work that I realize I’m enjoying the journey and trusting the outcome. I’m writing a second book […CONTINUE READING HERE]