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So, I was prepared to come on and say that while my writing hasn’t been that successful the last week. I think I’ve written a total of like 600 words, and I’m already considering scrapping them for something different, but at least I’ve written.
But I just received an email about a co-worker passing this weekend. So I’m not as up as I was when I started to write this post. It’s the fourth death in my circle in the last couple weeks. It’s been a hard March so far. Two were family members of people I work with, and two – including this most recent – were people I worked with on a semi-regular basis.
So instead of rambling or discussing word count or goals, I’m just going to leave you with these origami sculptures that were at the Arboretum near me a few years ago. There was an incredible sense of peace and reflection as I wandered the grounds to find them all. And I feel like for today, I need that peace and reflection again.
Each piece was folded out of a giant piece of paper, that was then used to create a mold for the metal to be poured into so that each fold was shown in the sculpture itself.
All credit for these beautiful pieces of art goes to the artist, Kevin Box. The exhibit’s official name was Botanical Peace. Morton Arboretum’s name for it was Origami in the Garden.
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So Feb wasn’t a good month. I had too much going on at work and it kind of killed my brain a lot. That and with the weather shift, my mood has kind of tanked. And with my mood tanking, my will to write, read, or really do anything productive goes with it. weekends have been some cleaning, some crocheting but not much else.
We had cold in Feb, like in the negatives cold, and we had warm in Feb, like 50’s and all the snow and ice are melted and flooding any rivers and houses near the rivers (mine). I had flooding in the basement again due to the spike in temperature to deal with.
It’s been a month.
I think my mood is also toeing the depression line, so I’m trying to keep myself at least moving forward to not fall to that completely. (No one particular thing in my life, no real rhythm or reason, just that way) And there’s not anything particular I’ve found that helps in the grand scheme, just time and keeping myself moving forward. But it means that most of my focus and forced motivation goes to the job that is currently paying the bills and there’s limited left over for the creativity and authorly of me. It means my authorly stuff is falling behind my hopes and plans right now, but I’m trying not to let that weigh too hard on me, or I’ll fall over with it. Right now, I’m taking it day by day and not punishing myself for the things that have to be left on the cart, as it were.
March’s goals are pretty much what Feb’s goals were: there’s a short that needs editing, there’s a short that needs finishing, and there’s a cover reveal that I signed up to be a part of for another author. All good things, all good goals. And all currently in my hopeful list. Here’s hoping March is kind to me.
Also, the one time I felt up to writing, I had to wrangle a cat (picture above). He decided I needed more rest, less work apparently. Because that’s my laptop he decided to sit on.
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I didn’t disappear for a freezing cold month, you did!
No seriously, I hope everyone in the path of that polar vortex stayed warm and inside. The weather has gotten to me the last few weeks and coupled with some super stress at work I haven’t been doing too much besides my 9-5 job. Things at work are slowly calming down, just too many things hit the fan at the same time and it left me feeling like I was sinking a little. So I’m super grateful that that’s coming to an end.
It also means writing hasn’t gone very far this last month, and neither has reading. Most of my reading in January has been in audiobook form, which still counts but even those have been a little slower. I’m hoping to work through all this and get back into writing. I have a couple stories that are close to completion I want to finish, and one story I need to finish editing so I can release it end of this month, early next month. I have goals! I swear!
I’m also going to a Science Fiction Convention this weekend. Currently taking a gander at the programming schedule so I can get an idea of what I want to go to, where I’ll wander, and when I’ll just curl up in a chair somewhere and see about writing either in my room or out in the open. Apparently, there’s a big enough writing community that attends that they have a ‘Writer’s Room’ which hosts writing sprints in the morning both Friday and Saturday. So I might head that way if there aren’t any other panels I want to attend and both meet new people and get some writing in.
I’m excited to get a break from work and head somewhere fun. Also always curious what fun treasures I’ll find in the dealer’s room for sale. So I’ll definitely make sure to report on that next week after I’ve returned home.
Hope you’re staying warm!
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Can you believe it’s 2019. Not just 2019, but we’re already eight days in! Is the new year treating you well? Are you well on your way to exactly how you want to work, what you want to work on, and what all you’re doing?
I hope so.
I have a few things on my personal list to accomplish for this year, but also a good bit of wants for my blog, writing, & reading portions of my life.
For My Blog
Updates: 2018 saw me increase my posting much more than in the past. I want to stick with that momentum and continue doing better until this blog is getting a post a minimum of once a week – on Mondays for updates. (You’ll note that today is Tuesday…)
Reviews: I did some reviews in 2018, but I’ll be honest – especially for the amount I read last year – not enough. I want to be sure this year that if I liked a book, that I’m writing a review for it – and then leaving it on Goodreads and Amazon where I can too. Far too many of my Goodreads stuff right now has a star rating but no actual review – which while better than nothing is still not where I want to leave it for the future. For my blog, reviews are posted on Wednesdays – not in lue of an update post.
For My Writing
In general, I wrote more and published more last year (and mostly in the last six months of 2018) than I did in the past. In this I don’t just want to stick with the momentum, but increase it. I want to write more often, plot when I’m not writing, and get more of a catalog up on Amazon.
I also want to see my first draft edited so I can decide if I want to shop it around to publishers or really give it the push it needs marketing wise to indie publish it. It’s my baby, and I want to do right by it.
For My Reading
Last year I read 50 books. Which considering in 2016 & 2017 I read less than that combined, is a great accomplishment for me. My original goal for 2018 was 24 books, and I was pushing to read five to six books a month overall.
This year, however, because I want to focus a little more on writing. I’ve left the my Reading Challenge at 50 books. I’ve also decided to stop focusing so much on having a long TBR pile. I may decide at the beginning of the month to definitely read one or two titles, but the rest for the month will be titles that just hit my fancy and call to me to read.
I’m not really doing resolutions this year, but more goals to keep myself to month to month, to gradually improve myself and my life. I think goals will do me better this year. We shall see if I’m right.
Are you doing resolutions this year? If so, what are they?
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Can you believe we say goodbye to 2018 tonight? I’m not always sure where the year has gone, how it’s already going to be January again, a new start, a fresh year with millions of possibilities.
I think part of my problem right now is that it doesn’t FEEL like it’s the end of the year outside. I live in the Midwest, where we normally have snow from December to March. But this winter has been so weird, very off because we’ve had a lot of rain and almost no snow. I keep waiting for it to feel like it should be winter, like it’s ready to be a new year or the Holidays, but it just hasn’t happened.
Overall, I still feel like I’m not ready for the year to be over. There are a few things I’d wanted to have finished before 2018 ended and a new year had taken its place, but sometimes life just happens that way, right?
This year has seen my health and Mom’s health get a little better. I’ve been part of a writer’s group for a little over a year and I’m loving the connection it’s given me. I published three shorts this year as well, and have finished writing two others that need to be edited. I’ve also made some headway on editing a finished manuscript, and editing one that still needs the last couple chapters added to it to be considered finished.
I’m hoping I can keep the momentum up for 2019, keep the writing up, and keep up the editing. I’d love to be finished editing the manuscript by the end of next year.
I also read 50 books this year. My original goal for 2018 was 24 books. So 2019’s goal will be 75, I think. It takes into account how much I have read, and pushes me to read a little more. I didn’t always keep to my reading TBRs that were set for the month, and there were some months I didn’t read at all which is why I’m looking to add to my goal for 2019 as well. Because I know where I can improve already. I do think I’ll keep my monthly TBR lists to three books a month, and that way I leave some space for some non-list books that fall my way as well.
I did better this year with my blog as well, posting more than I did in 2017, but again there’s still some room for improvement. I mean, I can just look at this month to see that. I missed the Mondays between the first and last of the month. I don’t spend a lot of time on the computer when I’m not at work, but because I’m pushing to work more on my writing that’s changing and it’s a good thing overall. Leads me to be more productive when I’m at home, or on vacation from work.
So yes, lots of hopeful plans this year. If you’re interested in the shorts I published, please check out the My Books section here.
I hope you have a Safe New Year’s Eve, and that 2019 brings great things for all of us!
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So November is over. We saw it off with a fond farewell, a glass of Strongbow (my drink of choice), and a yippe!
Because National Novel Writing Month is over! And whether you achieved 50 words or 50,000 words, pat yourself on the back. Because you wrote, or you plotted and planned and honed your craft or business another way. There are many reasons for you to pat yourself on the back for what you did in November I’m sure.
I had good intentions of posting my stats throughout November as I went, weekly check-ins, but that kind of went down the tube.
With the year wrapping up, and finals arriving, a Holiday Party to plan, decorate and orchestrate mostly on my own for my department, things tend to ramp up here at work. Not only that, but applications for Fall are in full incoming mode as well, and I work closely with the DGS for ensuring materials are in, applications are reviewed, and questions are answered during this season – something that won’t officially end until February.
For me, my NaNo was kind of all over the place. I went through slumps, I wrote on several different stories to get my words, but I did achieve my word count.
And now December is here! With ice, snow, and darker mornings that make it difficult to want to get up for work. And I have two weeks before I am off for the Christmas Holiday. I get a little under two weeks of paid vacation off between Christmas and New Years – in which I’m hoping to both get a lot of writing done, reading done, and cleaning done.
Mom and I are hoping to move in a couple years. Somewhere maybe a little smaller, with a smaller yard that won’t take too much to manage. Ideally, I’m hoping for a three bedroom, two bath house. So we can have a guest room/library/office room, which we don’t really have now. We have a studio/office now but I guess part of the problem is it’s where everything from the living room goes when we have company – and the stuff from their last visit is still sitting in there being piled upon. So one of the goals this break is to get the living room and office cleaned out.
I’m trying to hand make some of my Christmas stuff this year. Though, that’s partially dependant on the stores shipping me the items I need make them. I’m just sitting here watching the order tracking information, waiting for them to be out for delivery. After I’m sure people have opened their presents, I’ll see about posting a picture of the final products on here. Not before.
I only have three books on my TBR this month, partially because I’m still working on writing things and with the Holidays, I’m crafting Holiday presents, and the last week of December is pretty much all Family stuff.
What books would those be?
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Cruel Prince is a serious need for me to read with The Wicked King coming out in January. I have the Owl Crate covered edition of The Cruel Prince, and last month they released the sales for a special edition box for the release of The Wicked King – with a special cover to make their The Cruel Prince cover. So I’m kind of super excited to see what the cover will look like when I get the box. So that’s a hard must read before the month is over.
What are you planning to read this Month? Did you reach your reading goal for 2018? Let me know down in the comments!
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I’d originally planned on a NaNo Update because it’s the 30th and NaNo ends tonight. I’ve been kind of off social media because I’ve been working hard to keep my word count up, and keep on NaNo.
Checking in today I can’t help but sigh. I thought after everything with the whole #Cockygate getting massive attention that we were over this and done with it. But no. Apparently not.
Among the posts that I scrolled through to catch up what I’d missed, I come across yet another author complaining that someone ‘stole’ her title.
Can we all repeat after me?
Titles can NOT be copywritten.
Titles can occasionally be the same.
It happens in the publishing world.
Titles that are similar or the same do NOT mean that the books are the same, does NOT mean the plot is the same and DOES NOT mean that the title was stolen from someone else or that they’re trying to ride someone else’s coattails.
Books can share a title, and even a general concept and still be completely different because it’s not the title that should be selling the book. It should be the author – his or her self – and the morals, ethics, and reputation that they build with their community and the craft that’s under that title that sells the book, and not just sells the book but defines the book.
No title, unless it’s a 100% made up word, is going to be unique. While there are a LOT of words in the known languages, they are finite and that means that there will occasionally be similar or duplicate titles. This shouldn’t stop someone from publishing or feeling like they now have to change their title because of it.
If you search ‘Cocky Dragon Slayer’ on Amazon you’ll find five books written by five different authors, with five different covers. All five of us decided to use that same title because it was an experiment to prove to the world that while the titles may be the same, the story that existed behind that title would be vastly different from each other because we are different people and we each have our own unique stories to write.
And that’s exactly what happened. Each tale is unique not because of the cover or title, but because we all had different ideas on where to take the story, how the world our stories take place in worked, and how the mythos in that world unfurled.
So can we please all agree to stop trying to stake claim to words and titles?
We may build our lives out of them, but we don’t own them – unless you choose to create your own language in which case you do to a point own them.
Stop throwing mud at others because a title is similar.
Stop causing a fuss because you think you have the corner on a certain word – you don’t.
And stop thinking that if you do decide to publicly complain about that it will do great things for your community and career. It won’t. Most of us, the ones especially that have crawled out of the dust and debris from #cockygate? We’ll only judge you super hard for it, and potentially blacklist your books – current and future – from our TBR piles because we know a social ploy to grab attention a mile away now.
In the wake of what we’ve been through this year, the try for a public flaying for similar titles isn’t going to work much anymore. Especially not on Twitter. You can’t claim ‘well I didn’t know anymore’. At this point, it’s like stepping willfully in front of a bus, getting hit, and then turning around and claiming that the driver hit you on purpose. We can all see you gauging how fast that bus is coming. We can see you thinking about how much damage it might do versus getting your name out there in the public eye. And we can all see you taking that knowing step into the abyss.
It’s not amusing. It’s not cute. And you’re not the victim here. The person you’re trying to call out on social media, to hundreds of thousands of people? That person is the victim. And you should be ashamed of yourself for even trying this. You’re dragging them across coals for something that you don’t own. And your readers, the ones who will blindly believe you? It will be your fault, and your fire to manage and try to put out if they go after the other person. That’s all on you.
If you’re thinking of trying this? Don’t. You’ll only ruin your reputation with thousands of people who didn’t know you before, and will now for all the wrong reasons.
Trust in the work you do. Trust in your craft and your own creativity. Trust that readers know titles occasionally bump against each other in the night and it doesn’t reflect on the authors’ creativity when that happens, it just means that maybe they find two or three books they’ll enjoy instead of just one.
The author in question that caused me to write this blog post? I’ve heard nothing but good things from their debut novel. It’s been praised left and right on my social media. I have planned to read it to see what all those great things were about, and now? Now I won’t. I have no interest in supporting someone that decides to be this petty and try to ruin another person. There was no need to do this, except that they apparently doubted themselves and their work enough to try to grab attention.
And no, I’m not listing the authors’ names and titles. I’m leaving them out of this blog post on purpose. Why? Because at the end of the day the social media post in question is just adding a log onto a fire that was starting to simmer down instead of a bucket of water that it needed. The who of it isn’t important. The actions are the problem, and so I’m choosing to focus on the actions instead of the person.
Also because this blog post is a call out to all authors out there, not just the one that recently screwed up. Think before you get huffy about someone else sharing your title. The amount of work that you put into that lovingly handpicked title? So did they. They didn’t pick it too to hurt you, steal from you, or use your sale numbers to get ahead. Odds are, even if it’s a best seller, they may not have heard about you – especially if you’re not in the same genre they are. Odds are? It was just a coincidence.
Just let it be that ship passing in the night. Stand on the bow of your ship, hold up your lantern, and wave at each other peacefully. There’s more than enough room in this ocean for everyone.
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I can almost not fathom that it’s already the 8th of November. I wish I could say ‘where did the beginning of the month go?!’ but honestly, I know where it went. It went into my writing.
October’s TBR list didn’t get read. The hazard of NaNo Prep during that month. I ended up being more than a little ambitious considering just how much I really had on my plate. I’m ALMOST done with the werewolf short from October, however not completely. And of course, with the start of November, I’ve started my planned November WIP – also werewolf based but a completely different cast of characters. I haven’t fully decided if I wanted the two to exist in the same world or not.
NaNo specifically has been going fairly well for me, and I hope *knocks on wood* that it continues to go well for me. How well, I know you’re thinking. Well here’s a breakdown of the first seven days of my month:
November 1 – 526 words (I started out a little rough, not going to lie)
November 2 – 4,547 words (NaNo Total: 5,073)
November 3 – 1,949 words (NaNo Total: 7,022)
November 4 – 2,399 words (NaNo Total: 9,421)
November 5 – 2,655 words (NaNo Total: 12,076)
November 6 – 2,355 words (NaNo Total: 14,431)
November 7 – 1,771 words (NaNo Total: 16,202)
I know it’s the 8th as I write and post this, but I’m not including today because It’s only 10am. I still have most of the day to get more words in before I have to tally what I’ve written today, though I know that it’s around 800 already.
I always get into work a little early, so I’ve been trying to get words in before I officially start, and if I haven’t reached my word count for the day by the time I get home I make sure to sit down and get the words in after dinner before I get to read, watch tv or video game. It’s been a real motivator recently because I’ve started playing a new game that has daily stuff to do and I enjoy winding down and just getting those dailies done. Which gives me a great motivator for getting my word count in so I can do that.
I’m also being a NaNo Rebel this year. I’m not working on one full-length novel, but instead my goal is to get three 20,000 word shorts done – which does mean that keeping ahead of the word count isn’t a bad thing but it’s almost mandatory because I have to be able to squeeze an extra 10,000 words into my NaNo Goal personally this month.
And on top of working on NaNo, if I’ve reached my word count for the day and I’m feeling it, I’ve been adding to my October WIP to continue to try and get it finished. I’ve currently got about 1,300 words that I’ve written on it during the month of November that I haven’t counted toward my NaNo word count. I haven’t decided if I’m going to add them in at the end or not. Technically they are words written, toward a body of fiction, during the month of November so they should count. But part of me wants to be stubborn and only count my dedicated November WIP because it will push me to ensure I get those words on that work.
How is your NaNo going so far? Not participating, how is your November going so far? Let me know down in the comments.
Just in time for Halloween, a new spooky short!
While their parents are away Katie and Josh watch as a dark storm rolls into town. With it, strange shadows lurking outside their window can be seen outside the house.
What are the strange shadows outside the in the rain?
Are Katie and Josh just jumping at shadows?
Find out in this creepy, short read just in time for Halloween.
You can find the book HERE for purchase or free to read on Kindle Unlimited!