Happy Little Accidents: Lost Chapters

For those who watch Bob Ross’ show – The Joy of Painting on PBS and YouTube, you know his signature saying – “Happy little accidents.” Such a thing happens to me a lot, but in my novel writing.

Currently, I’ve gone through a bout of happy little accidents since 1996 and just late last night I stumbled upon another. Happy little accidents for me as a writer can work like this –

  • Not saving the file I’m working on and the computer glitches to where that section is gone.
  • The whole manuscript (my very first manuscript actually) saved on an old hard floppy disc from 1996 and the whole file is corrupted and disappears cause of technology upgrades or that it’s pointless to try retrieving the file. (Side note: the original first manuscript was printed before it died in hard disc)
  • The printed prologue rewrite is missing some pages and I can’t reprint the missing 5 pages cause the original file is gone due to a virus that also killed the computer.
  • Your favorite laptop dies, but you were lucky to transfer everything over onto thumb drives three months in advance, but you may have still lost some original chapters, but that’s okay because….Happy little accidents.
  • Brooding about the chapter I wrote for weeks and then wanting to rewrite, but that file isn’t on the main computer cause I forgot to transfer it from the laptop so I have to start from scratch.

Now, once I’ve realized that chapter is gone I happily start from scratch, believe it or not. I don’t brood about it any further like I had before when working on that chapter. I lose precious time if I fuss over a lost file that is only 5 to 15 pages long. Don’t get me wrong though, if I’ve lost a total 300pg manuscript, oh you bet I’d be upset.

When I originally lost my first manuscript of 370 pages from the hard disc floppy and then the continuation of it on the desktop computer years ago, I was in such a panic that I had a hard time sleeping. It would usually take me a few weeks to almost a month to get over the shock, but I got over it in good time. Thankfully, I still have the printed version in a red hard bound binder, including half of the prologue pages.

What did I learn from these happy accidents exactly? I learned that starting over is a blessing. That there are reasons to the world that if something is not meant to be, it is not mean to be, period. Writers, just like painters and other artists out there, we are creators. If we lose a creation, that does not mean we’ve lost the ability to create. Therefore we can continue to create even if we start from scratch.

To close, sorry for the long winded time of not posting anything on my journal. The hot summer has kept me from wanting to do much of anything. I’ve barely worked on my third manuscript and once this entry is done, I’m back in the saddle again to start chapter 12 over from scratch.

Thanks for reading. Hope this helps anyone.

Muse Has Changed

A common muse to some would be something you see in the world may it be a painting, a flower,  a song or an event that you see or that is happening. A muse is to spur you onward to a new experience that may and should enlighten you to something positive for the world and your existence alone. Below is the basic definition of muse:
noun

1.Classical Mythology.

  1. any of a number of sister goddesses, originally given as Aoede (song), Melete (meditation), and Mneme (memory), but latterly and more commonly as the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne who presided over various arts: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry), Euterpe (music), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (religious music), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy); identified by the Romans with the Camenae.
  2. any goddess presiding over a particular art.

2.(sometimes lowercase) the goddess or the power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker, or the like.

3.(lowercase) the genius or powers characteristic of a poet.

Origin
1350-1400; Middle English Muse < Middle French < Latin Mūsa < Greek Moûsa
My muse, whom I met when I was ten years old in my dreams who took on the form of a wise elder man with long white beard and mustache and small circular glasses. He would appear when I was alone in my room or at times when I was at school. He hardly ever spoke, but when he would it would be to the stance of: being careful of what I was doing and keep observant. I learned early to listen to him, but over time I grew less to listen, this of course frustrated him.
From age ten to fourteen, I found myself dreaming of a tropical island. A place for me to hide from the abuses, turmoils and angry; hurt-filled words of my mother. A place for me to hide and recoup from family and school stresses. I found that my muse, the one elder man that would follow me at school and hang around in my bedroom, who always walked on my left, was on the island, too. When I had first arrived on the island, in my dreams and meditations, I was afraid feeling I was alone, which I was for a few years, but gradually this man appeared. We would take walks around the island and into the woods and find waterfalls. I even found ruins of three stone towers in the near center of the island. (Later I would learn what these Three Towers were for and place them in my first manuscript)
It was not until June 22, 1995 that I had astral projected in my dreams to a new exciting world. I saw all its people, places, markets, shoreline, harbors, country side, animals and strange plant life, one being a pear shaped dark purple with pink spotted fruit. I found myself being filled with as much information about this world as I could carry in my mind on my journey back. I awoke back in my body that morning with refreshed vigor as though I was born and cleanly washed. For the next few days I set out to write the first few pages of the first manuscript which went through three different titles before settling on – Mythia.
It was not until a few months had past and I had written three new chapters at the beginning of the new school year of 1995, that I learned my muse’s name – Ynycornus. (Originally spelled Unicornus in some of my early writing class projects in between writing the first manuscript) Ynycornus by this time, was becoming someone I could depend on. He was full of wisdom and compassion toward what I was going through. I loved him dearly for being who he was, even though I became frightened in thinking I was hallucinating him due to the abuses of my mother.
 Continue reading here…

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Manuscripts breath life for themselves

20170301_133847

I apologize for not updating my blog since late October or November. I had gone through a few things emotionally with my mother’s death and cleaning up my mental state and having to let go of a few things.

As you can see in the photo above, I have been working on book 3. As you can see, I breezed through to chapter five faster than I thought it would happen even with all the notes I have. But, yeah know, being sick with a cold twice really is the pits. Your brain doesn’t want to work and yet you yearn to writing the next chapter. If there’s one thing writers/authors can’t afford is sick days. We need our minds to push out our manuscripts at any cost.

Book 3 Soul’s Little Lie: Echos of the Lost is going to be quite a lot larger than the first two I think, however, I’m starting to think that I’ll have to take book 1 and 2 and put them into book 3 in chronological order of the story. Book 1 would be in the middle and book 2 would be right after that or so and kinda close to the end of it all. In other words, ‘book 1’ isn’t finish after all.

It’s not a bad thing. It just means that this novel(s) was wanting to be written differently. There’s no harm in that, I’ll just have to make sure I arrange the manuscripts correctly in a more constructive way with a few added paragraphs to connect a few areas. If all else fails, I’ll just have the professional editors take care of this rearrangement of the story. At least I have a very good idea how this will all be constructed. This form of editing won’t take too long I don’t think.

In other news, my three beta readers have read the 2nd book. They couldn’t put it down, but they also gave me a great amount of notes to fix up a few areas. This manuscript wasn’t that bad in lack of errors. A lot less than the first one by far. And they told me that the ending was a bit short, rushed and airy. This is what made me think that I should connect the first 2 manuscripts closer together for the 3rd one. I’m willing to do it if I must.

For those who might want to read an excerpt of the second manuscript, I’m sorry I can’t afford to do that right now as it hasn’t been fully edited and I’m more interested in wanting to send the first manuscript out, but if it comes to it, which it looks like it must, I’ll just have to rearrange manuscript 1 and 2 into the 3rd and then send it off. No, I’m not confused, this first time novel is a complete learning experience and never ever are any two manuscripts ever written the same.

Oh, more last thing, as for fan art of book 4, I haven’t touched those five art pieces in a year at least. I have three left and I fear I may have messed up the third one a bit and may have to start over. And, I’ve gotten down a fair amount of notes for book 4 and I can’t wait to get started on that one out of all the others. Been wanting to work on book 4 for nearly five years now. It’s driving me crazy, but I’m being very patient about it. I can’t jump from one book to the next haphazardly like some authors can do. I’m still learning and I don’t want to screw this up.

As always, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter if you ever want to talk to me about writing. Takes for tuning into my blog tonight. I’ll try to keep to a once a month blog as much as I can. Thanks and take care.

Changing of the Guard

Monday, November 21, 2016 was the last day to purchase a paperback copy of my first novel. In some small book stores online, through Amazon, you can still buy a copy if you’d like, but the price from those smaller stores has gone way up ($50 or more) cause of the rarity of them now. If you were lucky to buy a copy, any one of the 3 different mistake copies, those are collector items now. If you were lucky to get one signed, you’re one of my #1 fans of my works. Congratulations.

Come December 5, 2016 my contact with my publisher will end. I really can’t wait for that to happen. It can’t get here any sooner. I really hope a newer publisher will show better business practices and integrity than the other publisher did. This experience has been just that, loads of experience for what to look out for when things go wrong. At least it shows I can get published cause I love writing unique stories that come from my real life and imagination. Without writing, I’d be a shell of my former self, that’s for sure.

In other book news, the continuation to Soul’s Little Lie, the first draft, is done. I’ll be working on the third piece early next year. The third one won’t take long to hash out. I’ve made loads of notes and put them all in order. I’ll have to go through them again just to make sure everything is correct.

The fourth book, I’ve got the ending down. You know how some authors write the ending of the last book first so they know where the end goal is when they start the beginning? I’m kinda doing that, but not quite. I really can’t wait to get started on book 4 though. It will be so much more details and moving than the first three. Not to mention all the history, back story, culture, magic, etc that I have to put together. It will be a labor of love. This whole book series has been a labor of love since I was a kid. I can’t get enough of this and there is much more to cover.

 

Mother’s Last Birthday

My mother’s last birthday is coming up on September 13th. She’ll be 75 and she’s dying. She’s in hospice now, has been for two weeks and 4 days now. She had a stroke on Wednesday, August 24th.

This is the first time I’m faced with an odd situation such as this –

Mom’s dying and she’s still alive to see her 75th birthday.

What in the world do I do?

What do I say?

I will be calling her, or at least Dad, which we are not on good terms cause, well, I won’t get into it here. Do I say to her – You’ve made it to 75.

I really can’t seem to find anything on this matter at hand. I’m completely lost in what to do and how to say it. On top of that, I’m 2,000 miles away, she being in Tennessee and I’m in Washington state. I’m trying to gather funds to see her late next month if not sooner.

Time is ticking and I need advice quick.

Nov. 21st last day for book prints

My contract is ending with my publisher come December 5th.

This means the digital copies will be removed from stores sooner than later.

The paperback copies will end printing November 21st. If you want to buy a copy, head to your book store soon before they are gone. Click the link below for all online stores –

https://tarabdobbs.com/buy-souls-little-lie-here/

If you follow my newsletter or Twitter, you’ll know I posted a 30% off sale coupon code from Create Space. I won’t post it here, sorry. You’ll have to join my newsletter to get such goodies or find it on my Twitter page.

As of right now, I’m almost finished with chapter 25 of book 2.

That’s really about it.

Thanks.

Coming To The Home Stretch

I’m nearly done with writing my second manuscript for book 2 Soul’s Little Lie: Whispers in the Hall. I figure I have 5 more chapters to go. I could be done by late October or sooner. We shall see.

My goodness, I haven’t posted anything on my blog in a month or more. This time I want to showcase my progress from my dry erase board of the past few months. On each photo, about four of them, it will show my regular life schedule that also mingled with my writing.

You’ll probably notice a great gap in mouths and gaps in between weeks. Writing is hard at times, especially when that pesky writer’s block kicks in. The story is all there, it’s just life stresses keep you from writing. The darkness inside you of the doubt you have in your craft tries to weight you down with that massive or even small writer’s block. It’s no joke when people say: writing is hard.

What they mean by ‘writing is hard’ isn’t the writing part of typing up and hand writing words on a page, it’s getting the words out from your mind to your fingers to the blank page. That blank page can be intimidating at times. You just don’t quite know how to put the words together in telling the story of what scene or situation or conversation comes up next from where you left off.

Now that I’ve broken free of this nasty writer’s block that lingered for a collective total of six months or more, I’m almost done with the story. This second book has been the hardest cause you ‘feel’ as though the story is done with just that one first book, but oh know, it’s far from over.

At NorWesCon 2016 author Jennifer Brozek gave me some well needed words of encouragement that I will never forget:

“The hardest part in writing a book series is that second book. Most beginning writers have the hardest time writing a second book cause inside they believe that first book is the finished story. If you can show that you produced a second book in a series, that will help you get noticed by publishers. Until then, just keep writing and finish that second novel.”

I may have not repeated exactly her words, but it’s damn close to my ability in remembering them.

Now, onto what my work load looks like. Mind, I write on the board what I have produced and what happened in the day later in the evening. I don’t write a deadline to myself. It psychs me out and upsets me.

I gave up on the original idea of making a deadline, with posting a timeline of each week of which chapters to write, as seen in the first image on the left for the month of February.

In the second image, June 23-July 20, 2016 I began showcasing my real home life of what an author goes through in between ‘writer’s block’ and real life and then finally the writing that flows. Same thing for the third image of July 21-August 17, 2016.

What I used to do back when I wrote the first Soul’s Little Lie manuscript was, I kept all of this in my head of how I was producing chapters. Writing 1 chapter a week or more which spanned a total of 9 months. This time for the second book, it’s been a fussy child to me. I’ve been working on the second novel since late fall 2014. What really bogged me down in my writing for the first year or two was the constant interruptions of my elderly parents. They could not respect what I was trying to achieve. Now, you can see I’m more focused far, far away from them.

To add, I’ll do this little ‘writer’s tag’ questionnaire that I found on Jenna Moreci YouTube channel.

#1 What do you eat or drink while writing? – Maxwell House Coffee w/ International Delights Creamer of a flavor I’m in the mood for, usually it’s Almoretto Cafe and sometimes tea, but in between each cup of coffee, usually 2 cups one in the morning and one at night, I’ll drink a few 8oz water bottles of water. Oh, I don’t eat while I’m writing. I’ll take my food into the living room or watch videos on YouTube while I have my snack or lunch or dinner. Never, ever while I’m writing will I eat.

#2 What do you listen to while writing? – I have a large eclectic collection and it all depends on my mood in the scene I’m working with. I have a few soundtracks strictly for Soul’s Little Lie series. I arrange them in order of the story and use that song that comes up next as a ‘tuned in’ marker for my mind.
#3 What is your biggest distraction while you’re writing? – The negative hurtful words of my mother telling me I’m no good at anything. That then turns into a few days to a few weeks of depression and fear about my work. That emotional manipulative bs of my mother’s voice really hurts my time in the hours I could be writing.
#4 What is the worst thing that has happened to you while writing? – My first manuscript that I wrote by hand, that then I typed onto a Mac computer back in 1996 in computer class, decades later the hard floppy discs became corrupted and I lost all the files of all 200+ pages. Thankfully I printed the file out way before the corruption occurred and I have only one copy left. Recently though, 1 out of 3 hand written notebooks of said first original manuscript, along with 3 hard bound notebooks, artwork sketches, other odd notes and 2 hand written poetry books are in limbo at the USPS Distribution center in Federal Way, WA. The mailing location address was ripped off somehow and I’ve been waiting ever since, for nearly a year, for the box to return to me. I’ll have to just drive down to Federal Way location to get it that way even though I LOST the tracking number in the process of my move back to WA. Yeah, I’m on edge about that and that’s part of my writer’s block. I want my novel materials to come home to me so badly.

#5 What is the best thing that has ever happened to you while writing? – Currently getting Soul’s Little Lie book one published. Gotta consider each publication is a stepping stone to something bigger for my main goal.
#6 Who do you communicate with while you’re writing? – I don’t talk to anyone while writing. No one really should talk while they are writing cause you have to focus your whole energy onto your craft. If you must talk to someone, make sure it’s during a break so you can write down the notes during your talk. Or, just talk to yourself, since that’s where your writing is coming from – your inner soul.

#7 What is your secret to success and your biggest writing flaw? – I don’t have any ‘success’ to speak of yet. I just have one book published and have many more to write that will get published when they are ready. My biggest flaw would have to be – doubting myself and ‘listening’ to my mother’s harsh words. I have to break that habit if I am to ever succeed to my main goal.
#8 What is your inspiration? What makes you productive? – Music, my mind and my dreams that I remember when I wake up in the morning. Seeing that massive goal at the end of all of this. Can’t tell you what that final goal is, it’s a secret.
#9 What is one thing that you do or that other writers do that is super annoying? – There is this one author, I won’t say her name, that I met at NorWesCon2016. She kept on boasting this at the panel and in public at her booth – “I just want the fuck it all money!” Let’s just say, putting the cart before the horse and boasting that the cart can move, when it can’t, is a bad bad thing to do in one’s writing career. I don’t care how many books you’ve published or who your publisher is or how many you’ve sold. You don’t boast about wanting the ‘fuck it all money’ cause there is no guarantee of that ever happening. She was also very rude in how she spoke to me and other fledgling authors as though she was the ‘bell of the ball’, the ‘I’m better than you, cause I have this publisher’.
#10 Are you willing to share something you’ve written? – Since book 2 isn’t finished yet, I don’t want to share that just yet. I’m really not too keen on sharing book 1 either cause I need to clean it up for republication. I’m so sorry, but not at this time. I want to make sure both books are finely polished before sharing them in small bits.

Well, that’s all for today. A fairly long blog post as of late. Hope you enjoyed reading it and got a visual in how I do my work. If you’d like to see more my writing in what I’m up to, follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

All the Signs are There

20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists Sociopaths and Psychopaths Use To Silence You

I’m going to cut and past the article here. From all 30 years of my life of being around family members and ex-boyfriends and an ex-husband and his own family that were just like these traits expressed, I can’t stress this educational piece enough.

If you are in a relationship that your gut instincts tell you is bad, listen to your inner truth. You can get help and get out of that bad relationship. In the end, you can find real love. It’s not the end of the world when getting out of a relationship like this.

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20 Diversion Tactics

Highly Manipulative Narcissists,

Sociopaths and Psychopaths

Use To Silence You

Article By: Shahida Arabi

Toxic people such as malignant narcissists, psychopaths and those with antisocial traits engage in maladaptive behaviors in relationships that ultimately exploit, demean and hurt their intimate partners, family members and friends. They use a plethora of diversionary tactics that distort the reality of their victims and deflect responsibility. Although those who are not narcissistic can employ these tactics as well, abusive narcissists use these to an excessive extent in an effort to escape accountability for their actions.

Here are the 20 diversionary tactics toxic people use to silence and degrade you.

1. Gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic that can be described in different variations of three words: “That didn’t happen,” “You imagined it,” and “Are you crazy?” Gaslighting is perhaps one of the most insidious manipulative tactics out there because it works to distort and erode your sense of reality; it eats away at your ability to trust yourself and inevitably disables you from feeling justified in calling out abuse and mistreatment.

When a narcissist, sociopath or psychopath gaslights you, you may be prone to gaslighting yourself as a way to reconcile the cognitive dissonance that might arise. Two conflicting beliefs battle it out: is this person right or can I trust what I experienced? A manipulative person will convince you that the former is an inevitable truth while the latter is a sign of dysfunction on your end.

In order to resist gaslighting, it’s important to ground yourself in your own reality – sometimes writing things down as they happened, telling a friend or reiterating your experience to a support network can help to counteract the gaslighting effect. The power of having a validating community is that it can redirect you from the distorted reality of a malignant person and back to your own inner guidance.

Article by: Shahida Arabi

Follow Shahida on Twitter Facebook

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I’ve been asked by Shahida to only post the first main paragraph of the article.

You can find the rest of this indepth educational article in the link at the top.

Thank you.

Beta Readers for Book 2 Needed

I’m in need of some Beta Readers for my second novel – Soul’s Little Lie: Whispers in the Hall

I’m almost done with the book and just need a little bit of insight on how it is coming along. I’m up to 19 chapters and only have a few more to go. I know it’s not necessarily good to have Beta Readers start reading a new book when it’s not completely finished, but I just need a push from you folks.

What I need from you is to post a comment at Soul’s Little Lie Saga Facebook page that you are willing to help me with Beta Reading. The more Beta Readers I have the better outlook into the book I will get. More eyes on the book of things I haven’t noticed that need to be addressed will help me greatly. I’ll then contact you by PM to ask for your email so I can send you the file.

In the email will house a small questionnaire to follow in highlighting key factors in the in the book.

For example:

Consistency

Engagement

Character Development

Sentence Structure

How does this chapter make you feel in wanting to continue reading?

 

If you are interested or know someone who would be interested in Beta Reading my second book, please follow the instructions above. I will contact you soon.

Thank you.

Book Review by #NerdGirlSteph

Soul’s Little Lie Reviewed by NerdGirlSteph

***Stephenee – #NerdGirlSteph’s  Review***
This is my first book by author Tara Dobbs, but I am already looking forward to what book 2 in this series will bring! This book started a bit slow for me. I had a hard time getting into it and actually set it aside several times before picking it back up and sticking with it, and I am glad I did! I enjoyed the plot and the characters once I was about 1/3 of the way in. The flow really picked up and the book grabbed my attention and didn’t let it go at that point.The book does contain some typos and grammar errors that I took note of as I was reading it, but it is the authors debut book, so some of that is expected. I felt like the author knew a lot about the setting of the book and it made the reader feel like they were right there with the characters. The ending of the book definitely makes the reader want to continue on with the series to see what happens next. Overall this was a great start to an author who looks to have a promising career as an author.

Add this book and the rest of the series to your TBR list – you won’t want to miss out on this one!

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She gave my book 4 Stars!

I’ve been working with some Beta Reader friends to get the first book cleaned up again. That’s why second editions were invented. First books are always a learning experience for first time authors.

Book 2 is still in the works, but it has hit Beta Reader stage. I figure I have 8 more chapters to go. I know I’m in the home stretch though with the conclusion of book 2.

Well, that’s pretty much it. Hope ya’ll give #SoulsLittleLie a chance.

Thanks. ❤

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