Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dreams

Why did I start writing? Why now, of all times? We're living on a tight budget, I'm a stay-at-home mom to three young kids (the oldest is in Kindergarten, the rest are home 100% of the time). Did it really make sense to do this?

In early 2013 or late 2012, it struck me. Now is the time. We all have dreams and we all talk about "someday" doing this or that. I was thinking of my dreams, one of which was to write a book. Mind you, some of my dreams do have to wait. I hope to serve a mission with my husband someday. For that to happen, our children need to be grown adults and we need to be secure. It has to wait. But writing? I realized that I could do that anywhere, anytime. I did not need a computer to write (it's a bonus!) and I did not necessarily have to publish (another perk, thank you Amazon!).

I am so grateful that I had that particular realization. Writing has been exciting to me. It has opened up conversations with my kids. My oldest son in particular thinks it's neat that I write books as he's learning about letters. He is constantly asking questions (Is that the title? What's your book about? Can I read it someday? :) ).

I am a dreamer. I'm day-dreaming most of the time if I'm not actively engaged in something. Writing lets those dreams come into reality. It actually helps focus my dreams and makes them more productive!

I am so happy I started writing. It is not something that I regret. I have not seen any ill effects so far...except or on days when I'm on fire (figuratively speaking) and the house gets a little messy...but those days are not often.

So evaluate! What dreams do you have? Must they wait for "someday," a day that may never come? If you knew you were going to die, would there be dreams you wished you would have accomplished? Evaluate! Discover what they are, what can be done now and what must wait for someday. You will not regret getting started.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Finding Joy #1

Quick update: The Guardians: Revenge is coming along great! Had a few insights last week that have really helped pull the story together. It feels more complete. :) Also, if you have not read Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, do it! On to the heart of the post!

Finding Joy-Thoughts
These are thoughts that have been floating around in my head for a long time. I am in no way a medical professional. Always, always, always counsel with a medical professional if you are suffering from depression or other ailments, especially of the mind. This is a sensitive subject that I am treating as delicately as possible. It was a difficult post to write and I can only ask that you read it with the intent that I have written, to help others. The examples I use are my own.

Luke 2:10-11, 14
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you agood tidings of great bjoy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is aborn this day in the city of David a bSaviour, which is Christ the cLord.
 14 aGlory to God in the highest, and on earth bpeace, good will toward men.
 
John 14:27
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
 
John 16:33
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have apeace. In the bworld ye shall have ctribulation: but be of good dcheer; I have eovercome the world.
 
I have three beautiful, wonderful children. In my religion (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), they often talk about how children are a joy, how they bring so much happiness. When my third child was born, it was not that way. I felt certifiably insane at that time. I ranged in emotions, from hating my children to feeling guilty about that hate, to loving them intensely, to staying up late at night in a panic that someone would break in and kidnap or hurt them to fearing that I would be the one to hurt them. Quite frankly, it was terrifying to feel so out of control.
 
I endured for about a month after the birth of my third. It was all my head, after all. My emotions were out of whack with the birth of my baby. I just needed to get over it. I realized I needed help when I was at the store checking out. The checker asked the generic "How are you?" and I nearly lost it at the desk. Tears welled up out of nowhere and I thought I would collapse. I called my doctor as soon as I got home (and the tears flowed freely!). She immediately put me on medication suitable to my condition. I was lucky. The day I started taking the medication was the day it took effect. It can often take up to six weeks before that type of medication begins working.
 
The day the medications started, I felt reborn. I could sleep at night. I loved my children. I no longer had urges to hurt them. I knew that everything would be okay. About a month later, I again called the doctor. I felt strongly that it was time to quit taking the pills. I weaned myself off the pills, again under her direction. I have been blessed not to have a recurrence of that episode.
 
I must contrast that with my time as a teenager. I spent most of my high school years believing that everyone hated me (what teen doesn't?). My senior year, it finally occurred to me that no one cared about me that much. I laughed when I realized it. They had their own problems to be thinking about, they did not need to add me to the pile. It was a huge weight off my shoulders, realizing that I was thinking about others thinking about me more than they thought about me. It still took years of self-mental therapy to get over my paranoia. Whenever I caught myself believing others were talking about me, I had to quickly remind myself that they weren't. And then I had to change topic in my head, running away from the misconception.
 
I tell you these two stories to make a point. So much of our happiness is related to our thoughts. Our entire perception of the world comes with how we think about it. Which is why I love the Savior's injunction to "Be of good cheer." Sometimes, you have to be happy. My situation as a teenager did not change one iota (that means 'bit'). But my perception of it did. It has hugely impacted my development into an adult and my ability to love others. By taking matters into my own hands and being of "good cheer," I have been able to enjoy life. Do not think that it is easy. It takes effort, every single day.
 
In contrast, thinking myself happy did not (and could not) work after the birth of my son. There was more going on physiologically than psychologically. This is where the angel's pronouncement comes in. You know, the one about a Savior being born. I needed help. I was desperate. And my doctor, at that time, stood as the Savior for me. She helped me, saved me from myself.
 
At this Christmas time, there's a lot to be said for good cheer. In general, people are happier and more giving. It is an elevated kind of happiness, one full of gratitude. Oh sure, the rest of the year, we feel pretty good. We take care of ourselves and are content. But this time of year...this time we celebrate a Savior. We recognize that we are nothing. We recognize our neighbors. We recognize that we are each struggling with our own demons. And some demons may only be defeated through the Savior.
 
There will always be pain and suffering in the world around us. But as we rely on the Savior, we can find peace and hope, faith to move through this world being the best we can be.
 
For some, there will always be pain and suffering within. But the answer is the same. There is still hope. And in the hope of healing, we can find peace. The Lord Christ will not leave any who rely on Him. He lives! And He offers to us the same. Life.
 
And so I ask you, at this time, to set aside some of the franticness you may be feeling. Take a moment of reflection to remember why you are celebrating this season. Look on your neighbor with a little more compassion and offer the Lord a little more gratitude for His compassion. And as Tiny Tim says, "God bless us, everyone!"

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Sun Was Shining

Where I live, we frequently have ZERO sun in the winter. So after a week of grey days, yesterday the sun shined! It was amazing! I was warm (sort of) and cleaned our downstairs.

And then I heard the water running...from my furnace closet...from the ceiling. But the sun was shining.

Ran upstairs to discover 2 inches of water on my bathroom floor. In our house, it's not the cup that "runneth o'er." Oh no. We had an entire bowl running over. So we turned off that water, called maintenance, and got the carpet cleaner out. So glad we had a carpet cleaner. :) And the sun was STILL shining!

40-50 minutes later, maintenance guy shows up...and I am HOT from sucking up the water...at least, that's what I thought. Oh no. The water had gone down the wall in the living room downstairs and through our thermostat. It was 80 degrees and rising (the heat was still on). Hmmm...well, the sun was shining!

A couple of hours later, our toilet was fixed! And, even better, it wasn't our fault! Remember, I have three little ones (one who is 18 months and loves flushing and watching the water swirl around). A flushed toy or something else was a very real concern. Nope. Not that. The suction, lid-thingy in the toilet tank didn't close all the way. So when the tank tried filling up after flushing, it instead went straight into the bowl...and over. AND the sun was still shining!

Know what else? I have been editing The Guardians: Revenge. I've been a little down because I thought I was done and I wasn't thrilled with where I was at. (44,000 words was it? Really?). Plus, I felt like something was missing. That's when it hit me. April and Eddy get separated and Eddy wanted me to tell what happened to him during their separation. Of course! He's brilliant! AND I had not finished writing the last two chapters, so word count is going up and up and the story is feeling fulfilling. :) AND the sun was STILL shining yesterday! (Yes, sunshine in the winter is a big deal.)

Also, one of my friends gave me permission to base a character in Totems: The King's Treasure off of her. I'm so excited! She's going to be a blacksmith. :) All in all, a decent day. Except for the pepper that was rotting from the inside out and I bought for dinner. That kind of threw me. And the sun was not shining anymore while making dinner...LoL

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Interview with Rael

Today, A Jot or a Lot (JOAL) has the privilege of interviewing Rael, King of the Dragon Totem lands.

JOAL: Thank you for taking time to speak with us today, King Rael.
Rael: My pleasure. I have much to do, may we proceed?
JOAL: Of course, Your Majesty. How long has your family been in power?
Rael: Several hundred years.
JOAL: Impressive. Why do you think you have lasted so long in power?
Rael: The dragons, of course. We are direct descendants of the original Dragon Bonders. It is a requirement to even marry into the Royal Family.
JOAL: What are a few laws that are important to you?
Rael: Those laws that promote protection tend to be more important to me than others. Especially when they concern those who cannot protect themselves, such as children.
JOAL: Have you created any laws that impacted your people?
Rael: I have not needed to. My family has been quite thorough in placing the laws needed. Mainly, I enforce those in place and judge between petitioners or criminals. I also work to maintain peace with the separate kingdoms.
JOAL: What is your Dragon Gift?
Rael: A...warrior's ability and sense, if you will. Also the ability to sense when my subjects are being truthful to me. The warrior's ability means that I am an instinctive fighter and strategist. My warrior's sense means that I can often sense an attack before it happens.
JOAL: What's your pet peeve?
Rael: Incompetence.
JOAL: What do you think of Arianwyn?
Rael: That is none of your business.
JOAL: Why did you choose Arianwyn?
Rael: I explained that at the banquet. If you were not in attendance, then you have no reason to know of the specifics.
JOAL: For the sake of those not in attendance, then?
Rael: If you insist...I chose her because she was willing to forsake everything to protect another.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Crayon Removal

So, here I am a mom who also happens to be an author (trust me, the other way around is different!). I think I've mentioned before that I'm kinda a "jack of all trades, master of none" kind of a gal.

So, yesterday, I was exercising one of my 'trades.' I can sing pretty well. I'm not a superstar, by any means, but I'm a bit better than the average joe (my, I'm using a lot of clichés today). My neighbor came over for voice lessons. I was excited because it's the first one I've taught and she was excited because she wanted to take voice lessons (and I offered it for free until they can figure out if they can pay me or not). She has kids pretty close in age to mine and our kids were playing together GREAT! Too great...
Yes, this lovely art was found on every all in each of the kids bedrooms about two feet up from the ground. My little girl was very excited to tell me about her "Halloween Pumpkin Picture." I managed to keep it together, I had company after all, and proceeded to finish the voice lesson. There would still be crayon on the walls when we were done. Then I turned to my friends on facebook.

The number one way people recommended to get rid of this was with a magic eraser. I don't have any, but I put it one my grocery list. I hoped something else would come up since those are expensive and I worried it would strip the paint from my walls (I'm renting right now).

Number two was with crest toothpaste. Apparently, you apply some to your fingers and scrub. I DO have toothpaste (yeah me!) and tried that one. It worked better scrubbing with a toothbrush, but it wasn't really as effective or fast as I would have liked. I'm a bit on the lazy side sometimes.

Number three (and only one person mentioned this) was to put a towel against the wall and run a blow dryer over it. I tried this one also. I blow dried the wall and used a dry wash cloth to wipe the crayon off. And glorious days it worked!
It only took about two minutes of combine blow drying and wiping for this one spot. But you can see the results. I was soooooo happy! In about twenty minutes, I had warmed up and wiped off the crayon in ALL the rooms (okay, there's one spot behind the dresser that I missed yesterday, but I'll get to it). Highly recommend this! It was easy and it was cheap. But don't use your favorite washcloth. My sage colored washcloth is now a Crayola colorbox of colors.

This morning I did notice a faint tinge of color on the walls, but only if you stand in the right play with the light hitting it just so. I figure it will wipe off with my annual wall cleaning (annual...hahah! Like how I threw that in there like I actually wipe my walls once a year?). ;) Good luck!

On a fun side note, when my neighbor and I were doing sirens for a voice warm-up, we soon had five little kids running circles around us making fire truck noises. My one year old has a very piercing squeal. But they loved it. And at dinner time, all of my kids were doing vocal warm-ups again. I'm kind of a proud Jack Momma.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Beta Readers

I have finished my personal edits of Totems: The Sword and The Shield. I've sent the book out to my beta readers. Now I'm waiting to hear back from them. I'm very excited for this story! I believe that it's better than my Guardian series, although I still love Eddy and April. They're a lot of fun.

Speaking of Eddy and April, we're nearly to 30,000 words in Guardians: Revenge. In this story, Eddy and April search for Jason, hoping to end his madness. In case you were wondering, Guardians: Gateways was about 80,000 words. So I've still a ways to go, including editing. But it should be out next year.

In the meantime, I have a decision to make on the release of Totems. I'm playing around with the idea of creating a paperback version of the story. That will involve a lot more work, which would push back the release date quite a bit. I would likely need to hire a professional to make my cover...unless I can get my hands on a good Photoshop program or something. Exciting times for me!

Tentatively, I believe the Guardians: Revenge book will be released March 2014--one year from the release of Guardians: Gateways. Pretty awesome, in my opinion. I love bringing my characters to life. :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Totems Update

Hopefully, I'm finished with edits on Totems: The Sword and The Shield. We'll see what my beta readers have to say.

As you can probably tell, I'm behind on releasing this one. I had hoped to release it by the end of September...well, it's the end of September...Hopefully mid-October will be the new release date, but that depends a bit on what mistakes and errors I missed during my editing rounds. There could be a few, since Arianwyn informed me that I needed to add a character to the story. Silly girl.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Beautiful Ones

This has nothing to do with my regular writing. This is about an epiphany I had today...one I hope every person has sooner rather than later. Hopefully, this post will help you arrive at your own epiphany.

Today, I stood waiting with my kids at the bus stop. Another mom was there with her kids and we were chatting. We've become pretty good friends, so we tell each other cute things our kids say and smile together. Today, she told me about her daughter (coincidentally, her kids are the exact same age as mine). Her daughter dressed herself and was looking at herself in the mirror, turning this way and that. Finally, she exclaimed, "Mommy! I'm beautiful!"

I laughed and agreed it was such a cute thing to say. Inside...We'll get to what happened inside in a minute. First, you need some back story.

Way back when my life was still in the single digits, I would get these random flashes of feeling intensely beautiful. It was amazing. One day, I was finally close enough to home (I spent most of my days out-of-doors then) that I ran inside to look at myself in the mirror. I wanted to know if how I felt about myself was true or not. I couldn't imagine it being any other way.

What greeted me was a dirty face, sun-weathered face. My hair was wind blown and tangled (a rat's nest, as we called it in my family). My grin slid from my face. I was ugly. I couldn't understand why I felt beautiful when the truth, looking at me in the mirror, was so different. Of course I never spoke to anyone about this. Who wants to sound conceited or beg for compliments?

That one incident has hugely defined the way I've seen myself. I'm the youngest of seven sisters...and I was the ugly one. At school, I was the ugly one. At college, among my roommates and classmates, I was the ugly one. On the mission I served for my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), during my time spent teaching at a junior high school, at my wedding, being pregnant and giving birth...my entire life, I have thought of myself as "The Ugly One." I could never join the ranks of the women around me who I saw as beautiful. I could never be one of the Beautiful Ones.

Back to the present, now. Inside, I looked at the beautiful little girl. I looked at my little girl. And I thought, "How tragic it will be when you realize you're one of the Ugly Ones."

I was shocked. How could I think that these two girls would be anything other than what they already were (beautiful)? They are not ugly and they never will be. And I had my moment, my epiphany. It's taken me more than two decades to realize what I'm about to tell you. I'm not ugly. I never have been. And I know why I felt so beautiful.

Someone, somewhere said "God doesn't make ugly things." Up to this point, I've always secretly added, "Except me." Now, I know what I should have been adding onto the end all these years. It should have been, "Sometimes, it just takes a special pair of eyes to see that beauty."

You are beautiful, whoever you are, wherever you're at. You are beautiful and no amount of telling yourself otherwise, or listening to others tell you otherwise, can change that. Believe me. It's taken me twenty-something years, but I know it now. I am one of the Beautiful Ones. And so are You.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Interview with Arianwyn

JOAL: Today, we have with us Arianwyn, heroine of the Totems book series. Thank you for being here, Arianwyn.

Arianwyn: Thanks for having me.

JOAL: Let's just jump right in. You're engaged to King Rael now, is that correct?

Arianwyn: It is.

JOAL: How did you two meet? I thought you weren't in the nobility.

Arianwyn: Technically, I'm not. Or maybe I am. I Bonded with a dragon, which makes my  nobility status hard to place. I first met Rael when Tess had me bring him lunch. I was just a servant at the time. He was meeting with the daughters of his thanes, hoping to choose the best one to be his wife. I accidentally discovered the entrance to the Dragon's Cave, a secret closely guarded, and met his dragon. Rael recognized me...well, his dragon recognized me through Rael's eyes...and Rael threatened to kill me if I tried leaving.

JOAL: Love at first sight, huh?

Arianwyn: Absolutely not. He was serious about killing me. It was one of the more terrifying moments in my life.

JOAL: Speaking of your life, what would you say was the catalyst for putting you where you're at now?

Arianwyn: I didn't accept what others were going to give me. I had grown up an orphan in my village. I made my living doing whatever odd jobs I could find. Unfortunately, one of the men decided he deserved more from me than I was willing to give. I decided that I wasn't going to be the victim any longer and took a leap of faith. Sometimes, fate decides our future. Most of the time, we decide our fate.

JOAL: What's Parvati, your dragon, like?

Arianwyn: She's very independent. She grew up in the wild, after all. She only Bonded with me to save her own skin. She's made up for her selfishness, of course. We're very close now...even without the whole Bond.

JOAL: How has the Bond affected you?

Arianwyn: Well, I had already started down the path of independence. I left my village before meeting Parvati and was just deciding to search for work in a village. Bonding Parvati gave me a boost to have a little more confidence in myself and it made me feel safer. I took work in places I might otherwise have avoided, knowing Parvati could save me if I needed her to.

JOAL: What's one thing about the world you would change if you could?

Arianwyn: Child abuse. I was orphaned, and subsequently abused, as a child. In my world, there isn't anyone who champions the orphaned or abused children. I plan on changing that as soon as I'm queen.

JOAL: Where do you see you and King Rael headed in the relationship department?

Arianwyn: Well, we're getting married, aren't we? (chuckles) We seem to get along with each other fairly well. So long as Rael keeps his temper and I don't get into more trouble, I think we'll make an effective team ruling our kingdom.

JOAL: Is it true that there was an attempt on your life?

Arianwyn: It seems to be the only constant in my life, the possibility of death. There was a deliberate attempt, however. Thankfully, Rael employs a very skilled healer and I'm doing fine now. We're still working on tracking down the ones responsible.

JOAL: Let's end this interview on a lighter note, shall we? Tell me about the friends you've made since becoming the king's fiancé.

Arianwyn: First there's Lady Alyssa. She's going to be my lady-in-waiting after we are married. For now, she is my main advisor. She's a sweet little girl, eager to please. We get along really well. Next would be Lady Blythe. She's the daughter of the northern thane. She's one of the most honest, straight-forward people I know. And she makes me laugh. Finally, I would have to put Sigurd, Wymond, Edmund, and Halvard on the list. Those four are my body guards. You don't spend that much time with someone without getting to either like them or hate them. Luckily, I enjoy having them around. They don't just watch my back from physical danger, but they've helped me navigate some of the political dangers as well.

JOAL: Thank you again for joining us, today! It's been nice getting to know you better. Can't wait to meet you in your story.

Arianwyn; Thank you for having me.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Totems

I just finished the first revision of Totems: The Sword and The Shield! Ended up adding about three new chapters...Revisions don't end there, though! I've gone back to the beginning and will be working through again. Writing a book, I've learned, is only half the battle. Maybe even just a quarter of the battle. There's so much work that goes on after you type out the proverbial 'the end' that it's a wonder anything ever gets published! In a week or two, I plan on sending Totems to a proofreader. I'm excited and will talk more about the proofreader later. This will be the first time I've had another professional look at one of my books (okay, I've only published one so far, give me a break!). On the bright side, I'm still happy to be writing. I love Rael and Arianwyn! And, I have to admit, Arianwyn's name has been growing more and more on me. I would absolutely name a kid Arianwyn! Whether or not my husband agreed would be another story...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Busy!

It all happened so suddenly...one minute, we were living in one city, the next we had packed up, picked up, and moved out! We only just got our internet back (Phew!).

I've been working like mad on revisions/editing to Totems: The Sword and The Shield. I think Rael and Arianwyn are happy about that. I hope to finish this first round in about 3 weeks from today. Then I'll be sending it off to a proofreader (more on that person to follow!).

Guardians: Revenge has been coming along nicely as well. Eddy and April are quite demanding when it comes to getting their story told. April's had enough upheaval in her life that she isn't interested in sitting around. And let's not forget that Jason is still running around, causing havoc in the world. April definitely wants to stop that and Eddy is determined to help her.

On a more personal note...Argentine beef skewers with chimichurri sauce (all of it homemade) were delicious! Highly recommend finding out how to make it for dinner during these hot summer months. We added some corn on the cob and rice to go with it. Yum! Tonight is Chinese. Asian Mama's Chicken (it's like an orange chicken recipe). I love food!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Finding that Groove

Most of us have something that we enjoy. I happen to enjoy writing. Ironically, it can sometimes feel like a chore to get started, but I ALWAYS feel amazing during and after writing. It's cathartic and wonderful. Unfortunately, it seems that something always comes up to interrupt my flow of creative energy. Or my groove, as most people refer to it. You could call it 'the zone,' also.

Today, it was a bit of unfortunate news. I was busy editing Totems and outlining a new chapter insert. Things were going wonderfully. Then I got a text. You see, we've been searching for quite some time for a new place to rent. We thought we had found the place. It was hinted several times that we would be able to rent. The text I received was from the landlords. Although not stated point blank, the 'feel' of the text is that we may not be able to move in after all. We've been searching for months! The place we have to move to (my husband's job is in that area and he's the breadwinner and I'm the homemaker) is expensive for housing...My groove was effectively shot.

So, what do you do? Well, if you're reading this, you probably know what I did. I wrote anyways. I just had to change my topic. Some people might even call this 'venting.' It has certainly helped, whatever you want to call it! You, however? You'll do what you have to do, if your groove is really that important to you. And you know what you need to do. Follow your instincts (unless they're illegal...don't follow your illegal instincts!). Your groove will be back!

And you don't need to worry about us. I know that we'll be fine. This is just a stumbling block in the road of life. Things will work out. They always do. That's the great thing about grooves. You can't stop them forever. :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Totems Editing

Currently, there are 25 chapters in Totems and I just finished editing chapter 19. I have a feeling that there will be a few more chapters by the time I'm finished! I have this nasty of habit of moving to the main scenes of action and miss the opportunity to subplot and what have you. I've got some work to do, but I believe I'm getting better as a writer. Practice, practice, practice!

We all have dreams. Unfortunately, none of us are born with the perfect ability to do what we wish. We have to practice. I think we tend to have a 'knack' for those things that make us the happiest, an inborn indicator of what dreams we should follow. But a sword that has not been sharpened and honed will never be first choice when it comes to battle. Hahaha! Stupid analogy. But I'm not going to erase it. Maybe someone else will get a chuckle out of it. Again, I have practice to do, clichés to break and create.

I also need pictures! I've got to practice creating book covers, for one thing. And the pictures work well as book covers, in my opinion. Of course, I could be horribly wrong. No one has commented yet on my book cover...no news is good news? Or it could be bad in this case.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

New Pages

If you haven't already, take a moment to notice the new pages. :) I figure that if I'm going to be an author, I better give you a place to find what I've written and to keep track of what's coming up! It's also an easier way for me to keep track of what's going on. After teaching junior high for a bit, I know that having a lot of names in your head can get confusing...imagine having entire WORLDS stored up in your head! So, here's my little bit of organization. Hopefully I'll get to add more pages to my blog as more worlds come into being.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

First Draft!

The first draft of my second book is complete! :) Totems: The Sword and the Shield. Of course, now comes to tedious part that I think does in most authors...editing! Oh well. I love writing. And I get so excited re-reading things that I've already written! And that excites me even more!

Totems: The Sword and the Shield

"Arianwyn is nothing more than a lowly orphan, passed over and abused in a tiny mountain village where family is everything (Hmmm, maybe I need to make that more prominent in the story). When the abuse becomes too much, she flees the village. She has no hope for a future; she only knows that the present is too painful to continue living.

After living on her own in the woods, she comes across an awesome (and dangerous) creature. A dragon. This dragon, however, has been captured under a magical net. In her attempt to rescue the creature, the dragon forms an unbreakable bond between them.

After fleeing still more abusive situations, Arianwyn finds herself living under the nose of King Rael, a man looking for a wife and hoping for a miracle."

How's that for a book reading? I'll have to ask my beta readers...speaking of which, wanna be a reader? ;)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dear Health Nuts...

Okay, admittedly, I occasionally fall under the title of "health nut." But I don't think I'd say I was overboard or crazy, by any stretch of the imagination...here's my letter, I guess.

Dear Health Nuts,

It's OKAY! Do you eat healthy and exercise? Awesome. You should do that. But you wanna know something? It's OKAY to occasionally cut loose, eat a slice of pie and NOT WORRY ABOUT CALORIES!

I hear health fanatics talk about foods they "used to" love eating. But then they follow it up with, "But then I realized that I would have to run ten miles to get rid of it!" I don't know why it bothers me to hear that. Maybe it's the fact that they sound more than a little obsessed. Maybe it's because people who obsess over their health have lost the ability to simply enjoy what they eat. I miss people who would share recipes because they were delicious and not simply nutritious.

So, my healthy friends, learn to cut loose every once in a while. You know the old saying 'moderation in all things?' I think it involves eating 'junk food' every once in a while. Because chances are, you're missing out. WAY out. I'm going to go consider something completely UNHEALTHY to eat now. Thanks. :)

Sincerely,

Someone Who Loves Eating ALL KINDS of Food

Monday, April 15, 2013

Popularity

Why do you write? If the answer is to become famous, I'm probably doing it for the wrong reason...at least, that's what the sales of my first book would tell me. Admittedly, I have a long way to go when it comes to writing. I need an editor. Unfortunately, I don't have money to spend on an editor. I need help with a book cover. Same problem: lack of funds. So I resort to the real reason why I write.

I'm not writing because I think I'll become wildly popular (not gonna lie, that would be pretty awesome!). I write because I love it. It's FUN to me. And I've achieved one of my dreams, becoming a self-published author. It's nothing fancy. But I did it. How many other people can say that they've achieved whatever dream they've been holding secret?

So, I'm not popular. But you know something? I never have been anyway. :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Deadlines

Self-imposed deadlines...man. They are TOUGH! It's so easy to give yourself a break (or two or three) when there isn't anyone to hold you to your deadline. Unfortunately, I don't have that. Or maybe it should be fortunately. I can't really tell, yet.

As it is, I'm not even half-way through 'The Guardians: Revenge.' And I wanted it to be ready to be published at the beginning of May. Right now, I'm hoping to get the first draft cranked out by the end of March, edits worked through by the end of the first week of April, and then give betas two weeks to work through it and a final week of edits...SHEESH! That's A LOT of work!

Let's add something in there...I'll probably be moving sometime before the end of April. Busy? Yeah. But I guess that's a part of life.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Writer's Block

Writer's block. These two words should fall under the category of "words I won't allow my children to say." They're so foul! Unfortunately, like most of the bodily functions swear words cover, it happens. Writer's block, I mean. Not 'it.' ;)

The question most writers have, new or not, is how to get past that blasted wall of creativity. I've researched the topic a bit myself, having been the victim of the block. My conclusion? Experiment. The same solution for one writer will not work for another. That's the genius of the creative process. If we all created the same way, it wouldn't be very creative, would it?

Some writers write through the block. That is, they keep writing the scene, deleting it, and writing it again until they get what they want. Kind of like running through the pain when you're running distance.

Others write around the block. They write and write and write until they finally say what they want to say, how they want to say. Then they delete the fluff.

Still more ignore the block and hope it goes away. They do this creativly, of course. Some draw or paint. Others take pictures. Some read a book. Okay, they're not really ignoring it so much as taking a change in pace, giving the old cerebrum a break from the work of writing.

Me? I write over the block. I pretty much know what major things I want happening in my story. I suppose it's an outline of sorts, but it only exists in my head. Then I write. I vomit my creativity onto the screen until nothing else comes out. When nothing else is coming, that means I've reached my block. So I skip to the next scene. And I write. That section of my creativity hasn't been blocked at all. I get a burst of excitement to be working on something "new." When I've reached the end of my story, the work begins for me. Editting. Ugh. We'll talk about that eight letter word another day... ;)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sequels

The Guardians: Revenge is about 1/3 of the way done! Yippee! :) I'm very pleased with how it's going. And I've also been having dreams about book three, so there's a scene or two that's been written to that story as well... :D Yes, this all started because of one, crazy dream. I guess I'm taking that whole "make your dreams a reality" a bit to literal, huh? I'll survive...but will April and Eddy?

By the way, The Guardians: Gateways goes FREE on amazon.com tomorrow! You have three days to pick up a free copy if you haven't already! Give it a shot...who knows? You might like it. ;)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fantasy

So, I've got a fantasy novel in the works (another trilogy). It will probably be a few months before it's completed. I'm about 65% of the way finished writing, and then I "get to" edit like mad! Any thoughts on how to do a cover for something like this? I'm really hoping to be able to afford a professional someday for my bookcovers. Christmas, maybe? ;)

The title to this trilogy will be "The Sword and The Shield." Of course, that's kind of long and awkward. Maybe I should just shorten it to "The Shield" and add something like ": The Sword" to it. Hmmm... That's the wonderful thing about editing, is the opportunity to change your mind! :)

Just a quick heads up on it... An orphan girl discovers a dragon and accidentally bonds with it. Things are going fine...until she comes to the attention of the king!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

LIVE!

YIKES! I am now LIVE on amazon.com! I'm so excited! I can't believe that I actually WROTE and PUBLISHED a book! It's so awesome that I feel an intense urge to overuse the exclamation mark!!! Haha! Okay, trying to calm down. :) :D

Seriously, free days Mar. 13-Mar 15. Check it out. Leave a review...a good one... ;)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Saturday!

That's right, Saturday is the goal for uploading "The Guardians: Gateways" to Amazon Kindle. :) Keep an eye out for free days so you can download this story and give me GREAT reviews! Haha...okay, remembering that I'm writing this for me makes me chuckle. I sure do talk strange to myself. I suppose I'll download my book so I can see what it looks like, though. And maybe I'll even be able to talk my husband into downloading it...

Two more chapters to finish editing. 57% done formatting...I think I should be able to do that in two days, especially since I think the rest of the formatting will be quick and easy things. I'm so excited! And nervous, too. What if people don't like me? ;) Sorry, couldn't resist...

"April is your regular, first year college student. Not one who stands out in a crowd...until the crowd she's with suddenly changes.

Eddy is not the type  of crowd most people think about being with. And after kidnapping April, she wishes she had nothing to do with his crowd.

Demons, big foot, and black magic plague April's existence. She goes from hoping to survive college to hoping to survive life...the question on everyone's mind is, will she make it? Or will she destroy mankind?"

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Publishing Woes

Well, I had set a goal to be up and running by this weekend with The Guardians: Gateways. And what happens? First the battery dies, then the power cord ceases to charge. So I lost an entire week. Luckily, this all happened on President's Day so I got a GREAT deal on a new battery and cord. :) Now it's back to formatting and editting (SO BORING!). Five more chapters to edit and formatting is about 33% finished. So my new goal is next weekend.

By the way, if you're going to be writing a book and publishing it through Amazon, look up Kindle Direct Publishing. They'll have you download a free book that will tell you how to format your story so that the transition to Amazon is as smooth as possible. Do that BEFORE you start writing! You'll save yourself A LOT of time formatting if you do.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Following

I guess you reach a point where you realize that you can't do things because you believe it will make a difference for someone else. The only change that I can be sure of is the one I make for myself. So, here we have it. This blog was originally to help ME learn and discover new things. Others learning and such was supposed to be a side-note. Somewhere, I lost track of that.

Now, it's for me. I am my audience. And I intend to enjoy every minute of it. :)

"The Guardians: Gateway" has 100 more pages to go before I'm finished editting it. Then I plan on self-publishing on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). I plan on this being a trilogy; "The Guardians: Revenge" and "The Guardians: Hope." The titles are tentative, but I'm pretty sure that they're a solid tentative. :) I also have a fantasy book in the works, another trilogy...although the third isn't very solid. Basically it's a "dilogy" or "duology." Hmmm, which word would you use? Probably Duology. Anyways, this series is "The Sword and the Shield" series. Not sure what differentiation to use between the titles yet.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Guardians

It's done! As soon as some of my test readers finish reading through it, I will decide if "The Guardians" goes to agents (fingers crossed) or if I simply self-pub (simply...haha!). If you're interested in reading a chapter, post a number 1-30 and I will send you that chapter number.

The Guardians:

April is your average, first year college student. No tricks, no gimmicks. Her life is going the same place everyone around her is going and she's going through the same motions everyone else is going through. Until Halloween night.

Halloween night, the monsters are real...and they're taking April with them.