Tag Archives: Editing

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.

IMG_2121

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under June 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.

IMG_8971.JPG

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.

IMG_8563.PNG

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

Embrace Your Journey

My, oh, my…  has 2015 been full of unexpected twists and turns.

First, I rang in the new year with the excitement of working with a publisher.

Second, the hard decision of postponing my publish date.

Third, another hard decision of leaving my publisher. I haven’t written about this or made a huge announcement about it. It was a very personal decision on how I want to go about writing, editing, and publishing my book. I may share more later, but as of right now, I’ll just say I’m looking at my options. No matter what, my goal is a Fall 2016 release.

Fourth, the choice my husband and I made to sell our house in South Carolina and permanently move to Vermont. That moved along faster than we ever thought. Our house sold two weeks after putting it on the market, and as of October, 6th, we’ll be headed to Vermont to start a new chapter in our life.

Fifth, I reached out to my free lance editor, and we’ve made an agreement to move forward as a team. My deadline to have The Christmas Key to her is at the end of October. I’m so happy to be working with her again. I see many wonderful things happening in the future and my plans for this book have been taken to a new level.

Sixth, I’ve made a rough sketch for my NaNoWriMo story and I plan on making a few more so I’ll have a choice of which story I want to write. I’d like to go outside my comfort zone and NaNo is always a perfect time to try something new. It seems that’s what 2015 is all about, so why not embrace it in a new story?

design (4)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last eight months, it’s to not fight what life is trying to send my way. The best way to grow, learn, and enjoy life is to seize it in its entirety– the smooth parts, the rough spots, the twists, and turns. The mixture and blending of life experiences is what it’s all about.

Don’t forget to look out the window while on your journey. There might be a fun side street you’d like to explore.  

Until next time…

4 Comments

Filed under August 2015

A Return to Words

Writing and editing– they’ve been somewhat absent from my life lately. Honestly, they haven’t been a priority. Life has been full of other pressing matters and I’m not one who’s good at being creative when my mind is swarming with large life issues. I wish I was better at that, but there are times when fiction has to take a back seat to real life. I’d hate to sacrifice the quality of my story because I forced the words and/or edited while my mind was a million miles away.

Now that the big decisions have been made (reference my last post), I’m beginning to feel the pull of my characters and they’re demanding I pay them attention. I’ve sporadically been working on The Christmas Key and I’ve been tinkering with a new story– taking notes, jotting down characters, and scenarios– which feels good. I can see the new story growing legs and I think it’ll be my NaNoWriMo project this November.

I’ve had people ask me about the status of The Christmas Key. I’m still shooting for a fall 2016 publish date. As of right now, I don’t see that changing, and I’m dedicated to make it happen. So, stay tuned.

I have a feeling this next week will be full of words and ideas, and I have to say, nothing pleases me more than to feel the need of a pen in my hand.

I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time…

3 Comments

Filed under July 2015

Time to Get Dirty

As I’m packing to drive up to my writing haven, I check my computer to see I have an email from my editor. Wow! PERFECT TIMING!! I have some things to dive into when I get to Stowe and I’m excited to tackle things I haven’t thought of or addressed sooner. There’s no time like the present to dive deep and get down and dirty with my story!

IMG_9615I’ll keep you posted!

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 April 2015

Mud to Magic

mud_season-resized-600

APRIL–MUD SEASON FOR STOWE, VT

As most of you know, especially those who’ve followed this blog for while, my writing haven is in Stowe, VT. We’ve had a home there for seven years, and aside from spending a large part of winter up there, we usually go up for a month in the summer, but this year will be different. Yep, we’re actually going up during mud season. All the snow is melting, and our dirt road will be a sloppy mess, and everywhere else will probably be the same.

Why in the world would we go up during the messy, mud season?

Simple answer: Because we want to. Plus, with the temps on the rise up there, the mud shouldn’t last too long.

Our house in Stowe is a haven no matter the season, no matter the weather, no matter the mud.

After being gone for a few months, I’m missing it so much–the smells, the woods, the local food, the wonderful maple syrup that’s dripping into buckets as we speak, the quiet, the peace. Vermont hits all the senses at once and it’s simply amazing. And after a tough last month, it’s exactly what I need.

Taken from Mountain Road looking toward the village.

Every time I prepare for the travel up to Vermont from South Carolina, people ask me about the drive. So here’s how I do it:

I load the passenger seat with bad-for-you snacks, which includes: sandwiches, chips, cookies, candy, and of course, a thermos full of coffee. In my opinion, when it comes to a very long road trip, calorie and sugar intake don’t matter. I mean, come on, I never allow myself to have Pop Tarts, Oreos, Cheetos, and, Sour Patch Kids, much less all in one day, so a road trip is the perfect excuse to indulge on some junk.

My dogs, Winston and Churchill, are always good little boys on the drive up. They chill in their super-cool doggie car seats, while watching the traffic go by or sleeping. We stop a lot along the way and make it a fun adventure. I leave around 2:30 in the morning and I arrive by 9:30 at night, which makes it’s around an 18 hour trip. I like to get it done and over with in one day. With the aid of all those snacks and coffee–plus, talk radio, audiobooks, and music–I’m good to go. Honestly, I enjoy it.

Winston chillin' on the ride up.

Winston chillin’ on the ride up.

Churchill being cool in his bed.

Churchill being cool in his bed.

Once I’m there, I have major editing to get done, and Stoweaway (the name of our house), always provides the motivation and inspiration I need. This time of year is perfect for raising the windows and letting in the fresh mountain air. I’ll take strolls in Stowe Village, which is my inspiration for The Christmas Key, and I’ll stop to write at Black Cap Coffee or Cafe on Main. I’ll, no doubt, take a look in Bear Pond Books to see what’s new on the “Vermont Writers” shelf, imagining my book there one day. With a November release date, it a wonderful feeling knowing that’ll happen sooner than later.

Bike rides on the Stowe Rec Path is a great way to get exercise, but taking a break at a picnic table to jot down story ideas is the best part of the ride. Hearing The Little River run over the rocks and listening to the sounds of nature does wonders for the imagination and storylines. And, by the way, Edelweiss Mountain Deli is a great place to pick up a delicious sandwich to take with you on a hike up the mountain or a ride/walk on the rec path.

After a long day of writing, walking, and biking I love to cook in at home. That means a stop at Stowe Seafood to get either a nice piece of fresh fish (any kind you can think of) or a beautiful steak. Seriously, this place is pure awesomeness!  They not only have fish and meat, but a selection of wines, pastas, local baked goods, and many other yummy delectables. It’s one of my favorite places in Stowe to shop for dinner. I’m also very excited to try out Commodities Natural Market this trip. They weren’t open yet when I was there this past winter. I hear wonderful things and I’m sure I’ll be there frequently.

We’ll also be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary while we’re up there, and Stowe is a wonderful place to plan a romantic evening. We’ll probably go up to Hourglass at Stowe Mountain Lodge for early cocktails, and then work our way down to the village, where we may hit La TrattoriaThe Roost , Sushi Yoshi, and The Whip. We’ll end up at the place where we’ve decided to enjoy our anniversary dinner, PLATE, which is a new place on Main Street in the village. The ambiance, cocktails, and food are spectacular! Then, after indulging in a rich, fabulous dessert (at least I will), we’ll go back to Stoweaway’s four season room and have an aperitif by the fire. That, my friends, is perfection.

Stowe, Vermont–a special, special place where I can mix a lot of work with a lot of pleasure.

I leave Wednesday and I can’t wait! This trip is all about renewal, writing, editing, and love–my favorite things. I plan on turning all the mud into magic.

Until next time…

Everyday meditation:

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

6 Comments

Filed under April 2015, Monday Blogs