Friday, November 27, 2015

Update Day Leftovers Edition

Hi everyone! Today is Updated Day for my Big Dreams/Crazy Goals bloghop. But before I get to that, I want to let you know that my short story Hanna’s Gift is now on Lightning Quick Reads, if you would like to check it out.

Right. For those of you who aren’t clear on what I’m doing today, the Big Dreams/Crazy Goals bloghop was my and Beth’s brainchild, which was aimed at allowing ourselves to think big, while encouraging us to figure out ways in which to at least try to get there. It’s also great for accountability (no one wants to be the person who keeps updating with no news all year) and encouragement.

The bloghop is open for anyone to join. If you’d like more information, please click here.

Now that’s done, let me get to that update.

Well. The long and short of it is that I didn’t actually manage to finish anything I set out to do this month. I mentioned my new job last time, and although I’m really happy with it, I think the adjustment was just one last straw that kicked me over into emotional exhaustion territory.

I’ve had a stressful year that can only be called an improvement on the last because 2014 set the bar so low, and I’ve been fighting all year to keep writing.

This month, I came to the point where I just couldn’t. (Which in itself deserves to have a post written about it.) The thing is, I know myself. I’ve been pushing through stress and writer’s block because I wanted to write. Then, I just got this… lethargic feeling even when I have deadlines looming.

Tried taking a few days off (and have been writing little bits), but overall, I’m just not in the place where I want to be.

And the thing is, I have a huge year planned for 2016. I can’t burn myself out. I can’t afford it. Now when I have actual, living and breathing fans who want more books.


I’m going to break the pattern (and pace) I’ve set since January. Instead of looking at my progress for November and setting goals for December, I’m going to set one goal: Work on Wo6C3. How much work will depend on how I’m feeling. Anything else I do will depend on how I’m feeling.

Then, I’ll update on the entire year’s progress and announcing my goals for 2016. In between, I’m hoping to get a LOT of reading done.

What about you? How are your goals going? Are you also starting to feel tired after 2015?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Just stopping by...

... to wish my US friends a happy Thanksgiving.

I'll be back tomorrow for update day.

Love you all. (And am thankful to know every single one of you.)


Friday, November 20, 2015

I feel sort of guilty.

I do. I know I'm not supposed to, but I do.

See, I have so much to do. I have three books to edit. I have three to rewrite before the end of December. And I have two to rough draft.

And I haven't done anything related to any of those projects this week.

The problem is that I'm tired. Even when it ended up being nothing, the scare, drama and anger associated with the events of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning have possibly managed to tip over the scale into emotional exhaustion, which I have been trying to fend off since January.

So although I know I should write/edit, I just don't feel like I can. And when this feeling strikes, I know it's time to do something else instead.

Which I guess probably means I'm going to not do anything I set out to do in the beginning of November. But you know what? If that happens, I'm saving time simply by not pushing myself into a full-blown burn-out that lasts months somewhere down the line.

Instead, I'm going to take this afternoon off and draw. Then I'll see how I feel about things in the evening. If the drawing doesn't help, I'm going to keep drawing and add a reading marathon into the mix until the end of the month.

I'm figuring that a total of two weeks out of my writing schedule can't be that bad, given how little breaks I've given myself this year.

What do you do when you need to rest? 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Challenge. Accepted.

Hi everyone! So, my plans to resume my regular posting schedule from Monday didn't work out quite as planned, and today I'm just too exhausted to put any major thought into what I'd like to write here for today. 

See last night, someone on Wattpad accused me of stealing her cover (which was as a result of Wattpad wrongfully putting her cover on my book on her app). The mind boggles as to how that could happen, but it's far from the biggest thing about last night to boggle my mind. But, let's not delve into the unpleasantness except to say that it took me until 2:30 this morning to clear up, which means I'm currently running on about four hours worth of proper sleep. 

Yes, it is indeed impressive that I am this coherent still at 5pm the next day with only one cup of instant coffee to sustain me. That said, I'm not pushing it, which is why I'm ever so grateful that J Lenni Dorner tweeted me this: 

That's right, the 777 Challenge is back, and since I'm working on multiple projects that are all different from the last time I took part, I'd thought this is perfect for today. 

777 challenge on the blog of @JLenniDorner

To recap, the rules are as follows: 

1) Go to page 7 of your WiP. 
2) Go to the 7th line of page 7.
3) Copy 7 sentences from line 7 on page 7.
4) Tag 7 people. (I'm tagging a few more, though.)

Since it's the easiest for me to do, let me see what's on page seven of Book 3 in The War of Six Crowns. Bewarned, though. This is only moderately better than a rough draft, since I don't edit until drafts are done...

Callan sighed. Surely this was relatively well-known. Maybe the news just hasn't reached earth yet. 
"The wedding was supposed to be part of an alliance," she said. 
"We know," Claire said, putting her a bit more at ease. 
Gawain returned with a tray and set it down before taking a seat next to Callan. The room suddenly went buzzing as if someone had smashed a beehive at their table. 

I'm going to challenge... All of my buddies at Untethered Realms and anyone else who wants to take part. What are you working on at the moment? 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

In memory of all who lost their lives to terrorism this year.


Blood littered the streets last night
Blood littered the streets
Of the city formerly of light.
Now in mourning.

Blood littered the streets last week
Blood littered the streets
Amid cries and tears and screams
That went unheard.

Blood littered the streets in January. 
Blood littered the streets
Of what used to be a town
No. Blood flowed down those streets. 
A river of death to water a village razed. 
The silence still leaves me amazed.

Blood littered the streets today
Blood littered the streets
As it litters the streets always.


Without the news.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Realms Faire 2015

The 2015 Realms Faire! 

Twitter Hashtag – #RealmsFaire

Welcome one and all to Realms Faire 2015! If you are here to visit the Hall of Doors, the following image will serve as your portal...

Otherwise, continue in order to reach more such portals to other events. 


4th Annual Joust

Up to 10 knights can joust. Each will battle daily. Magic words will be granted to each knight to pass out to their adoring fans. Knights score points by commenters using their magic words. Knight with the most points at the end of the week wins. What does the knight win? A year of promo on my blog in the slider and a tumbler printed with your championship boasts and badge.

Winners are drawn daily from the adoring crowds.


Beware the Vortex

A vortex opens. Five people are trapped in the Underworld with only one way out – challenge an immortal to a contest of skill. The odds are against those brave enough to accept but enthusiastic fans can help them win their freedom with magic words given to each contestant. Daily prizes awarded to each challenger and a commenter chosen at random.


Dueling Bards

One writer's character squares off with another writer’s darling. Which character wins the duel? The audience decides. Daily prizes.


Unicorn Hunt

You are charged with tracking down the unicorns!

Every day, a new blogger will host a photo. You will have to find the unicorns in the image, much like the famous “Where’s Waldo?” Leave a comment stating how many unicorns you find in that image. The most correct guesses out of five, wins.

Prizes will include books and gift cards.

Five images – many unicorns – only one winner!


The Hero’s Dilemma

Heroes beware! Here at the House of Hero’s Dilemma, a new cliff-hanging adventure will dangle new heroes above the depths of destiny or despair. In 100 words or less, a hero will face a danger in story form.

Each day, the people of Realsmdom will decide the fate of these heroes in three sentences or less. If fateful endings are giving answer in poetic form, an extra entry for prizes will be awarded.

Daily e-book prizes will be awarded via random name-pulling from the entries. Everyone is invited to participate.

People of Realmsom, you have the power of storytelling might to decide the fate of the would-be heroes. Will they die in glory or shame, live in victory or defeat? It is up to you.

And, after you have decided the fate of the Hero’s Dilemma, try your hand at the other Realms Faire Events for more fun and prizes!



A simple word game. Prizes drawn daily.


Soak-A-Bloke and Drench-A-Wench

Come by and soak a blogging friend with wet sponges… or witticisms. Prizes drawn daily.


Who Roams Here

Each day I will give clues to a famous ghost from literature or movies. I’ll give new clues throughout the day until someone guesses the right ghost. The first one to guess correctly will get a $5 Amazon gift card and a bundle of ebooks.The only rule is that the same person can’t win the daily game more than once.

At the end of the week everyone who left a comment will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize which is a $30 Amazon gift card and a bundle of ebooks.


Riddle Me This

I am a book so popular they made a movie of me. Within the what if realms I lie. Horror? Fantasy? Or am I Sci-Fi? A riddle every day during the Realms Faire for you to take your best guess and have a chance to win a prize most splendid.


Hall of Doors

Each door is numbered and gives a peak at the book behind it. The blurb is available to help you out. In the comments section, guess the title of the book corresponding to the numbered doors to stand a chance to win. You may guess at any number of doors to enter.


Stockade Brigade

Warrants of arrest have been issued for select authors accusing them of witchery and wizardry. The pillory has been erected and the trial dates set.

Good people of Realmsdom, I call upon you to bear witness to these trials and offer your testimony for or against the author’s crimes.

Points will be awarded for wordsmithing a comment in your best Olde English afore 8 of the clock in the Eastern time on the following scale:

5-Ye speak as one from the days of Queen Bess.

4-Ye could pass muster as a Ren Faire cast member

3-Ye could pass as a Ren Faire attendee

2-Ye wouldn’t be foolin’ yer mother

1-Ye stand out like the sun in a cloudless sky

An e-book will be given every day to the witness who scores the most points. Fear not, your daily score will be accumulated and the person with the highest score shall receive a special prize at the end of the week. So, brush off your Olde English and prepare to testify.


Prize packages up for raffle.


Monday, November 2, 2015

The Point to Being a Writer

It's been a while since I did one of these sorts of posts, but I think this is a good time to bring it up. Again. See, I do mention this every now and then.

But then, writers need reminding of this every so often. I'm especially looking at you guys who (like me) have big goals and things to achieve.

See, goals are a good thing. I truly believe they are. They give us something to work towards, which gives us purpose. This purpose gives us determination and determination (and quite a bit of dumb luck) is what sees us through.

All very good things.

However goals can become millstones around our necks. They weigh us down with the sheer amount of measurable things we did not achieve. Or make us highly aware of how far we are from where we've seen ourselves at the end of some arbitrarily chosen moment. (End of the year, at the end of five years, etc.)

This millstone effect affects most people, but for writers and other artists, there's an extra danger: It can and does kill our creativity.

Everyone's motivation for writing differs a little bit. Often, we write for a variety of reasons. Maybe just because you like reading and thought it would be fun to write and it was. Maybe you have this huge drive to produce something, anything or your life just doesn't feel complete. Or you need to write to process your emotions. And so on.

A lot of us find that, even if there are all these wonderful reasons to write, we just never seem to spend enough time on actually doing it. TV creeps in. Facebook sucks up time. All those million little distractions gang up on us and if we're not careful, whole days go by without us writing. Which isn't good.

Goal setting with accountability makes us careful with out time. We want to have something to show those we are accountable to, so we start building habits of carving out writing time for ourselves. See? It is a good thing.

But the flip side is that sometimes, through no fault of our own, we just can't make those goals. Usually, it takes only a short moment of introspection to recognize when that's happened. You don't say "I wanted to write, but those crazy cat pictures took over my life and I just couldn't." But when things higher up on your priority list comes up (e.g. in matters of survival, or family issues, health issues etc.), there will be times when you. just. can't.

This is perfectly fine, but those goals still loom and suddenly, people are asking: "Oh, what's the point?"

And then they're miserable. Because suddenly, nothing they've done is good enough. Now nothing they've written gets them anywhere and writing becomes this pointless cause of self flagellation until we're not even sure we like being writers anymore.

So. Because I've been seeing a lot of you guys talking about this lately, I decided to be awesome and answer your question...

Whats the point? 


Not earning a living from our writing. (That's the point of publishing, but that's not the matter at hand.) Not becoming a bestselling writer. (Nice, but not the point.) Not publishing to schedule because some other blogger said you need a certain rate of output to succeed. 

I repeat. 


Your love of writing should be the be all and end all of all points when you're a writer, or you're toast. See here's the thing. It's okay to want to make a living at what you love (which is what seems to be the root of all these issues we're having), but when the expectations you set of yourself to make it happen makes you unhappy, you can't blame that thing you love for your unhappiness. 

Your expectations are the problem. 


What to do to straighten out your concerns about writing and find some semblance of serenity? 

I propose a one-round game of Would You Rather. 

If publishing was never an option to you, ever,
Would you rather...

Continue writing anyway
Stop writing and do something else? 

Now adjust your life and/or thinking accordingly.

You're welcome.