Tag Archives: Author

Fall and Rise

It’s time for me to fall on my writerly sword and put it out there for all to see:

I have failed at all things writing this year.

I wanted nothing more than to publish this year, but I allowed myself to lose motivation and I ended up steering myself away from my own goals. There are a lot of factors that come into play–my life has had many changes this past year–but, at the end of the day, it’s about me getting side-tracked and falling off the writing and editing wagon.

I don’t want to make excuses or blame life circumstances for my stumbles and lack of getting stuff done. It’s all about me losing focus. Period. Plain and simple. It’s 100% my fault.

If I want to succeed, I can’t dwell on my mistakes; I must learn from them and take the next steps forward. I love writing more than I can put into words. It’s my passion, but as anyone knows who’s followed their dreams, mistakes happen. All I can do is rise above and not give up.

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I am committed to getting The Christmas Key into the hands of all who want to read it. I love the story. I love the characters. I love everything about it. I just need to tighten it up a bit and do one last read through (I know. I know. I feel like I’ve said that a million times). Then, I need to get over the fear of letting it go. I always feel there’s something else I can do to make the story better, but I know I it’s time to pull the trigger, and push my baby into the world.

I can do this. I can. I CAN! 

In addition to getting through the final stages of The Christmas Key, I’ve decided to also write a cookbook.

I’m certain some people are like, “What? You can’t even finish the book you’re working on. Why add more to your plate?”

Well, I’ve had the idea for a long time, and since Mom passed, it’s something I think about almost daily. So many of my recipes stem from something she taught me. It’ll be a therapeutic process and it’ll be a great way to mix my love of writing with my love of cooking and photography.

My approach to the cookbook will be to combine recipes with stories, tips, tricks, and alternative ingredients to make any of the recipes something you, your family, and your friends will enjoy.

I started working on it this past weekend and I’m happy with the approach I’m taking to the recipes and set up. I’ll tell you more as I get deeper into the process, but I think the concept I’m playing around with will be fun and easy for any level of cook.

As of right now, I’m not going to start a separate blog  for the cookbook. I’m not ready to take on the extra expense and responsibility. A cookbook entails so many moving parts (photos, cooking a recipe many times, detailed instructions, etc…), so I think it’s smart to keep it as simple as possible for now. Focus is everything. Once things come together, I’ll reassess the need for another blog.

I’ve had a Facebook page for my cooking for a while now. Feel free to go over and give it a like and follow along– Bubs’ Kitchen (Bubs is my nickname). I’m sure I’ll have a lot of fun  (and funny) experiences to blog about, so I’ll give updates here, too.

So, there you have it… my writing journey continues and I’m finding more passion along the way. Thank you to everyone for your support, love, and understanding. It means everything.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” — Henry David Thoreau 

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under June 2016

Interview: Just in case you want to know more…

 

If you look at the top of this page, you’ll see a tab for “Fun and Random Things About Me”. Well, it’s time to go a little deeper… one or two steps further.

Why would I want to share more? Honestly,  I’m in the midst of editing, and there’s not much to say on the writerly front. However, I can connect by sharing, and I’m willing to do it.

Ready?

Let’s go.

What’s your favorite meal?

Let’s exclude my favorite healthy meals (scallops and shrimp). My most favorite meals are based on mood and I’m always in the mood for pizza, pasta, tacos, and nachos. I love them all and wouldn’t complain if any of them were put in front of me.

Do you snack while writing?

Yes!! My favorites are: peanuts, almonds, apples, oranges, and dark chocolate. I know it sounds boring, but it’s the truth. I have them on hand at all times.

What do you fear as a writer?

Everything. Absolutely everything. Every word. Every sentence. Every paragraph. I fear anyone reading my work. I never, ever feel I’m worthy, but at the same time, I want people to read my stories. It’s a conundrum. However, it’s a fear I have to deal with if I want this dream of mine to come true.

What is your dream?

Writer wise? I dream that people who’d like to read my stories are able to read them… plain and simple. I’m not looking for fame. I’m not looking to be on a “top”list. A lot of my author friends don’t understand that, but it’s true. As long as I have my stories available, I’m cool with it. That’s why I’m self-publishing. That being said, just because I’m self publishing, doesn’t mean the quality is sacrificed. I’ve gone through major editing with a paid-for editor (who’s great, by the way)… my stories deserve quality, therefore, I will deliver them with as much passion and care as possible.

What’s your favorite drink?

Oh, just like food, it’s about the mood and atmosphere. If I had to answer, off the cuff… wine. I love red wine. That being said, I love… love… jack and ginger. Readers will see that in my books. Man, it’s a good drink.

Do you have a tattoo? If so, where? And… would you get another one?

Yes. I sit on it. And, yes, I plan on getting another one in advance of my 40th birthday (this October).

Do have any advice for anyone who’d like to dive into the writer/author world?

Absolutely, I do. Just write. Don’t be scared of those who are ahead of you, who are already doing it. Don’t be scared of your voice. Don’t be scared to put your world on paper. Don’t be scared to write your mind. Don’t be scared. Just do it.

Finally, who’s your inspiration?

Me. I inspire myself. My brain challenges me enough… it’s a fabulous place to be inspired. Trust me.  Outside people and things are good to be inspired by, but we should all find inspiration inside ourselves.

Well, there ya go. If you have a question… ask. I’m an open book.

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under March 2016

Progress… keeping things on track

Time for a quick update!

Just FYI– I’ll be running fast over the next six months, so I’ll probably do quick posts, here and there, of what’s going on… unless a topic flashes a large “blog this” sign in this rambling brain of mine, then, of course, I’ll have to run with it.

Okay, so here’s the update:

I had a great call with my book manager (also my editor) this morning. It looks like we’re still on track for a fall release of The Christmas Key. I’m going to guess around October-ish. We even discussed pre-sales, which is exciting. Once I know more about that, I’ll be sure to let you know. It could include a reduced price and drawings for some fun stuff.

The SUPER FUN topic we discussed is the cover design!! I’m so excited about this. I’ll probably cry when I see it. No, scratch that, I will cry. Just the sight of my name on a book will make me deliriously happy, but seeing it on a beautifully designed cover will make me do a happy dance (and cry) for hours! I don’t want to give away anything just yet, but trust me, it’s going to be gorgeous.

There are a lot of business oriented things I have to research and continue to work on, and I won’t bore you with all of it, but I will share this picture of my registered business name, Long Writing Road Publishing. May not seem all that exciting, but I kinda-sorta did a (little) happy dance when I got the email.

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As you can tell, there’s a lot of happy dances going on over here, and I’m sure there will be many more in the future. No, it’s not all going to be easy and fun, but it’ll definitely be worth all the work.

I can’t wait to share more with you as it happens. Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time…

 

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under January 2016

A Dream Turning to Reality

Sorry I haven’t posted lately. It’s been busy in my little world the last month or so. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and the new year is treating you with love, kindness, and success.

Here’s a quick update on my end, which I’m very happy to post.

My editor will be returning my manuscript in the very near future. This will be our second exchange, so let the games begin! The next phase is in full swing.

I hear a lot of writers/authors get super nervous about the return of edits, and I was the first go-round, but this time, I’m more excited than anxious. I can’t wait to see what Jessica’s editing magic will suggest/fix/enhance. There’s ALWAYS something new to learn with each exchange of the MS (manuscript) and I definitely have a lot of room for growth.

Warning! A loving shout-out to my editor ahead:

I’m so thankful to have an editor whose passion for the written word is gigantic and genuine. She knows and respects the rough road a writer travels to get a finished product in their hopeful hands. This means a lot, especially when you’re a virgin to the (professional) editing and publishing process. I appreciate her, and her work, so very much. Jessica Swift, thank you for taking me on and working with me step-by-step through this crazy writing journey. YOU are exactly what I need to help me take my dreams and turn them into reality.

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Our road in VT. It always leads me home, where my heart is.

Jessica and I also have a meeting next week to go through what I can expect going forward in the publishing phase of the process. This will be new territory for me, and I’ll be learning as I go, but man, how exciting  (and, yes, a little scary)! I’ll give more details once I know what they are.

By the way,  I don’t have an exact release date yet, but I should have a tentative one very soon

Before signing off, I have to give a shout out to all my family and friends who have stayed by my side and cheered me on. There have been times I’ve thought about giving up and keeping this author dream of mine to myself. Thanks to all the encouragement and support, plus my absolute love of writing, I will never give up. You all are the best!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Until next time…

Chase your dreams. Catch them. Turn them into reality. Never, ever give up. — a. weaver

 

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under January 2016

The Power Within

I bet you’d agree with me when I say:

It seems everyone has an opinion (or lots of opinions) on how others go about their life and how they approach their passions and dreams.

Sometimes, when the journey to our passion is broken, interrupted, messed up, off track, darkened, out of sorts– we look to others to help us, to give advice, to give their opinion. The only problem is, we get so many point of views we lose our own vision and purpose.

How do we weed through all the advice and pick out the right pieces that’ll hopefully lead us to a good decision about our path? I’ll tell you my thoughts on this in a minute. First, let me tell you what has me on this topic to begin with.

Lately I’ve been struggling, like majorly struggling, with my path and journey of writing. I’m not ready to give too many details, but I will say this, it breaks my heart to feel the lack of love for writing. I’ve never experienced it like this before.

At first, I thought I just needed to take a break. So, I took a break. That didn’t help.

Then, I thought I needed to work on a new story to get some fresh writerly blood flowing. That worked for a day or two, but the love faded all too quickly.

I finally reached out to some of my writer/author friends. I got some good advice and I got a lot of it. I also reached out to friends who aren’t on any sort of writing path. I got some good advice and I got a lot of it.

At the end of the day, I was still lost. Still confused. Still out of love.

*** Cue the tears ***

There were lots and lots of tears.

Finally, after too much time, I decided to clear the board and discard all the outside thoughts and opinions. I got down to what *I* felt. Not just the top layer of feelings, but the deep, dark, don’t really want to face it feelings–the ones that linger in the nooks and crannies of my heart and mind.

That’s not easy–AT ALL!

But, there ya have it. That’s my answer to the question I asked above: “How do we weed through all the advice and pick out the right pieces that’ll hopefully lead us to a good decision about our path?” We have to dive into the nooks and crannies of what we truly want from our dreams, goals, and passions.

Of course, there are always exceptions. There are times when we really need to depend on others and reach out. But when we still can’t get to the crux of our heartbreak, pain, and the lost feeling, we have to know it’s time to go deep and reach within ourselves.

I came to the conclusion that my passion deserves 100% of my love, attention, and heart. And when my passion fades, it’s up to me to figure out why. This is my journey and where I end up is completely up to me. Yes, listening to others is good, but sometimes, I have to trust myself, trust my gut, and trust my heart.

I think, sometimes, we tend to rely on other people’s thoughts and advice so if we mess up, or we don’t get things figured out, we won’t feel 100% to blame. Let’s not do that. Let’s learn to take full responsibility and control of our journey, dreams, and goals.

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Take the reins, take hold of your power, and even though the decision may not be easy, know you have all the control of where you go. Sometimes, that means changing your path or maybe even creating a new path all-together. Don’t be scared to do that. Revel in the fact you have the power to do so. Embrace the fact you may make the way for others to follow the new path you build. You never know until you start. Enjoy your journey, and when it gets hard, and you begin to lose your way, look within. You hold the power.

Until next time…

Everyday meditation:

Love life. Be Kind. Be genuine. Eliminate the negative, false, and vain. Peace, love, and happiness to all. 

2 Comments

Filed under June 2015

Simple Can Be Great

One minute: “Oh, I love this.”

Next minute: “Ugh… this is utter crap.”

Three minutes later: “Wait, maybe it’s not too bad.”

Six minutes after that: *Crumbles paper and throws it across the room* OR *Delete… Delete… Delete…*

Every single writer I know has had this moment a few hundred thousand times, if not more. It’s exhausting to question every word we write. It can be excruciating. I tend to pace the floor as I talk out loud (or scream) at my characters, while pulling my hair out at the root.

Pace… pace… pace… scream.

Yes, I know if I chill out, not force it, the words will work themselves out, but of course, it takes me going through the screaming and pacing drama to get me to the other side.

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Thankfully, I have random days when it seems all the stars are in alignment, and the rays of writerly-love shine upon me, at the perfect angle, and every word that pours from my fingers is pure gold. Those are the days I do a snoopy dance and sing the love of words loud and proud for everyone to hear.

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Boom… Boom… Boom… here they come. From a distance, almost as soon as I catch my breath from dancing, I can hear the rumble of their feet. Remember those doubt demons I spoke about in a post a few months ago? They creep up on me and loom overhead like storm clouds.

Then, the trigger–the one thing that sends me spiraling down, down, down, from my high of golden words.

Why did I have to get online and see that post where someone shares their complex, deep, dark, words–the ones that blow my words right out of the water and makes them seem menial and small? Then, I see someone boast about how their writing IS NOT simple and, “how dare someone tell me I write in such a way!”

Here I am, staring at my story in all its simplicity.

Is this such a horrible writing crime? Is simple shameful?

I face-plant the computer keyboard. Now… cue the tears and wails. Well, that’s a little overboard, but you get my drift.

After a few moments (probably more like hours or maybe even a few days) of self-deprecating arguments with myself, I put on my writing armor and fight my way back to the love of my story… my simple, yet engaging, story.

Does a story have to be complex, dark, deep and/or use large intertwined words to be called “fabulous”, “great”, “fantastic”, and all those other phenomenal descriptions?

In my opinion, no. I know there are those who disagree with me and that’s okay. To each their own, right?

I like to read a well-written, simple story. To me, it’s enjoyable. Does that make me less of a reader? Absolutely not! Don’t get me wrong, I also love a well-written, complex story. The key obviously being “well-written”. When done right, simple AND complex, have their place in this large world of words.

If that’s the case, why do I beat myself up for writing simply? Why do I let other people’s complex work stab the innermost, vulnerable part of who I am? Is it because those are the books that seem to get the most press? The most mentions? Or am I just being mean to myself and allowing the doubt demons have their way with me? Could it be plain ol’ insecurity? Yeah, probably all of the above.

I need to remind myself that simple writing doesn’t mean generic, unoriginal, or lacking in depth. Simple can be great. Simple can be big. Simple can reach millions of people and be loved by the same.

Okay, with all of that being said, it’s time for me to make myself perfectly clear:

I am damn proud of the stories I’m working on– I mean super-duper, hold my head high, proud. I love the storylines, the characters, the settings. I refuse to let what I read on social media, or elsewhere, bring me down and make me feel less of a writer because it’s not a “certain way”. I look forward to interacting with the readers who fall in love with the stories and characters just as I’ve written them. They are penned from a genuine heart that thoroughly enjoys the process, even the difficult, disheartening parts.

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I say, let us not put down the simple or the complex. Let’s just all get along and praise the time, the heart, the love, the sweat, and the tears that go into each and every word bound by the spine of authorship.

Until next time…

Everyday meditation:

Love life. Be Kind. Be genuine. Eliminate the negative, false, and vain. Peace, love, and happiness to all. 

10 Comments

Filed under March 2015, Monday Blogs

Keeping the Writing Marriage Inspired

As to be expected, whether they’re full of it or lacking in it, writers tweet, facebook, and blog about inspiration often. I know if I were to go back through the posts I’ve written over the years, I’m pretty sure I have one, two, or five on the subject.

Inspiration means everything to a writer. It’s not only what provokes a new story, but it’s also what keeps the passion going for the story we’re in the process of writing or editing.

The last couple of weeks have been a struggle for me. It’s been hard for me to stay focused and inspired with the story I’m currently editing. I know it’s about mindset, about surroundings, about staying in love with the story, about the passion for the characters– all of that. Every single thing affects our inspiration.

It’s normal to get blasé about a story we’ve been writing, working on, editing, changing, fixing, tweaking. I mean, come on, it’s quite a process, and sometimes grueling, to make a story everything we want it to be– everything the characters want it to be. It’s a constant challenge to keep the writing/editing mojo going.

Writing is a marriage between the writer and the characters, and just like any relationship, it requires communication. So, when we feel things going awry–the love is fading–we have to talk to our characters, and even more importantly, we have to listen to them. We may want them to do one thing, but they’re insistent on doing something completely different. Often times, if we listen to their vision, and not our own, the storyline will begin to move along. We’ll see the missing piece of the puzzle that we might have missed if we hadn’t taken the time to communicate with our character(s). Communication is like gold for story-telling.

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If talking things out doesn’t work, maybe take a step back, let it simmer. This is not only good to do during the writing process, but also during the editing process, especialIy in the first deep edit, where we’re changing, rearranging, and creating more depth to our scenery and characters. It can be frustrating when the pieces and parts aren’t coming together. Sometimes it feels more like work than creation, which can be highly disheartening for a writer. Take a deep breath, set it aside, and let the characters and scenes do their own thing for a little while.

I wouldn’t suggest the next tip for a human marriage, but for a writing marriage, I say go for it– play around with another story! This keeps the creativity flowing while the other story is on a break. You never know, the new story you’re messing around with may teach you something you need to learn about the other story that’s simmering on the side.

My last piece of advice on keeping your writing marriage inspired is to keep all your senses engaged. For example, when I’m writing/editing my holiday stories for the Tinsel Trilogy, and I get ho-hum about how things are going, I light a Balsam Fir candle. I sip on spiced cinnamon hot tea. I listen to Christmas music. I put on a Christmas movie and keep it going in the background. I swear, while working on The Christmas Key last year, I watched Home Alone 1 and 2 no fewer than twenty-five times, plus all the other Christmas movies I have on DVD, saved on my DVR, and on Netflix. I also think there were a few times I turned down the thermostat so I could wrap up in a blanket. It didn’t matter if it was sweltering hot, in the middle of August, I had all this going on inside the house. And, trust me, it got me through. It kept me going.

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Just like any marriage, sometimes love isn’t enough. We have to work at it. We have to baby it. We have to entice our partner– our characters. We have to change the scenery. And, you never know, you may have to talk a little dirty to it to get it going.

Do what ya gotta do. No matter how silly it may seem to others, if it works, do it. Keep your story going. Stay inspired. It’s worth it– love of the story is always worth it.

Until next time…

Everyday meditation:

Love life. Be Kind. Be genuine. Eliminate the negative, false, and vain. Peace, love, and happiness to all. 

8 Comments

Filed under March 2015