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.

New Schedule for Book 2

Set schedule for my writing and much more fantastic news and behind the scenes.

As you can see from this photo, I’ve created a schedule for myself starting tomorrow.

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It is time for me to get back into the swing of my writing. After a hard 2 years living with my parents after my divorce, it was hard for me to fix up a set schedule for myself. Everything was hectic in my family’s house were I could not concentrate at all.

When I started writing the first draft to my first novel, Mythia back in high school from Sept 1, 1995 to May 9, 1996, I did a schedule for myself in my head. I pumped out nearly 200 pages in 9 months. During my marriage I went back into finishing up the first draft adding more to the piece which came to a total of 197,000 words, 23 chapters, 4 parts. From chapter 18-23 I think I wrote it in six months. It’s been so long.

Now, with Soul’s Little Lie book one done, that piece taking 9 months, taking weekends off and 2 to 4 weeks off (not all at once), I found myself doing a set schedule in my head. I had quite working at Michaels Crafts Store in Everett, WA from August 10, 2010 and found myself with plenty of quiet time to get the main draft done. I started in June 2010 and finished in February. Another 9 full months to finish a draft.

As for Soul’s Little Lie book 2 – this one has been a pain. I have all the chapters outlined and in order, but it has been hard for me to get back into the swing with the disruptive household back in TN and then the move back to Washington state. It was quite hectic for me.

What was also lagging me was I actually enjoyed having a set schedule. Keeping up on it, not missing a day at all from when I worked in retail. I can still have that type of discipline here at home with no worries.

Now, no excuses.

No, bull shit!

Time is NOW! Treat this book, with what is left, as a real work schedule as though I’m back in retail. Book 2 is almost done, say, 5 more chapters to go and book 3 is demanding to be born. Book 3 can’t happen if I don’t finish book 2.

Also, join me on Facebook at 3:45pm PST (5:45pmCST) A Platinum Event! Provocative Paranormal Online Multi Author Event! with other fellow authors of paranormal romance fantasy adventure writings. Giveaways, Q/A and more.

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of my first book along with a free eBook copy.

Hope to see you there!

 

Interview with blogger Lynne Cruz

Did a little pre-Thankgiving interview with Lynne Cruz here

Not much else to say, but loads of thanks!

I would say more, but food coma, ya know how it is.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Book In My Hands

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My first novel is now in my hot little hands!

My mother ordered the first one and it came today. I feels surreal to old my first work like this. I’ve dreamed of this day since I was little. I’m calm, but happy. I’m calm, but ready to work more into book 2. (having some writer’s block, argh) I want to get outside in this beautiful weather and dance and party with my dear friend Robert. Robert…oh dear Robert! It was you who pushed me to talk to Eden Glenn. It was you who kept insisting that I hook up with Rebel Ink Press. It was you who pushed and pushed me into the right direction to see my dream come true.

To my Parents – Thank you for reading thousands and thousands of novels in this family home over the years. For reading all kinds of genres – Romance, Military, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Mystery. Thank you for keeping as much of your book collection as you could every time we moved around the country. Thank you for putting up with my emotions as I pushed to get what I always wanted – my dream to come true!

To my MPHS classmates – you know who you are! Thank you for believing in me and thanks for tolerating my first manuscript back in school. (THAT piece will never see the light of day) Thank you for being my cheerleaders as I kept writing. Thank you for the party to jump start me out of there. I miss you all so much!

To Dave – Thank you for being there for me throughout this whole experience from 2003-present. Brainstorming with me. Believing in me. Pushing me to write. Being my archival guy. Being there when I cried. Being my first reader and mild editor. For being there for me throughout it all.

To Robert – Thank you for pushing me toward Eden Glenn Thank you for giving me the courage to talk to her on FB. Thank you for helping promote my work and being there when I needed a shoulder to cry on. Thank you for putting up with my fears and doubts.

To Eden Glenn – Thank you for pushing me toward this goal in the beginning publishing process and throughout. Thank you for being my mentor, for teaching me the basic noob learning curves. Thank you for cheering me on. Thank you for answering all my questions, and there will be more.

To my Publisher – Thank you for believing in my writing, in this story and the stories to come. Thank you for being patient with me even when I may have been confusing at times. Thank you for teaching me how it all works. I love learning this business! Thank you for believing in me. Thank you from the core of my heart and soul.

 

Now, to relax a bit, dance a bit in the glow of my happiness and re-read book 2 to get back on the ball again.

Soul’s Little Lie: Whispers In The Hall coming soon.

 

 

Writer’s Drama edition: Back Up Everything

Nearly two weeks ago, June 28th, my beloved laptop died. I had that computer since 2009. It was my beloved companion and co-worker in my writing projects for my first novel “Soul’s Little Lie”, some new short stories and some new novel ideas, including the continuation to Soul’s Little Lie of three other books.  I had my whole life on that laptop. I truly loved it until its last breath.

Thankfully, with the help of my best buddy – intuition (gut feeling mixed with images of the coming future), I backed up all my current novels onto disc. I even backed up my art reference pictures for my art classes and whatever else I could. Then, that day on June 27th, I decided to do some serious updates. It wasn’t me that had killed the computer, it was the power supply in the device itself.  I could not shut the computer down, I got that legendary blue screen of death. I tossed and turned in my sleep hoping this was only a dream.

Took it to Best Buy to get the hard drive removed and get some extra files out of it.  Thankfully the hard drive was not damaged.  The Geek Squad clerk suggested I get this USB port drive to drive hook up transfer device.  My friend Robert was there with me, a fellow computer geek.  I had bought a brand new HP computer that day, too.  Took it home, set it all up and began to transfer my old C Drive to the new one with this USD port thing.  Well, as soon as I clicked the C drive, it went black.  Turns out that there were not options to transfer particular files only.  Instead it transferred my whole Vista OS to the new Windows 8 OS and they canceled each other out.  Went back to get my money from the USB port device, transferred some more files onto a thumb drive from the old hard drive and then called HP the next day.

Thank you Huricane Arther for stopping FedEx from delivering my recovery OS for my computer!  It took two whole weeks and with the July 4th weekend, it made it that much longer to get here.  Today, thankfully it made it. I’m typing this new entry from my now fully working computer.

While I waited for the recovery discs to arrive, I didn’t stop writing or reading.  I hunkered down and studied my ass off by reading: The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing by the Editors of Writer’s Digest.  I’m half way done.  I’ve marked up important areas all throughout the whole book that strike a cord with my thinking.  There are sections of this non-fiction that I thought I was the only person who ‘went through this’ or ‘went through that’ as a new writer.  I never knew other writers thought this way of ‘odd tactics’ or ‘odd behavior’ while flushing out a new novel.  I was captivated by this book.  I could not, and still can’t, put it down! It’s like a one on one process with your favorite literary teacher and English teacher at the same time.  A ‘free’ one on one course in writing in the comfort of your own home with no worries of college debt!

In between reading, I would jot down notes here and there in my purple note book for the current novels I’m working on.  Any idea that would come to mind.  I’ve found myself making notes in certain pen colors: Pink for Soul’s Little Lie, Orange for SLL: Broken Roses, Green for SLL: Metal Staircase, Blue for SLL: Cloaked Mirrors and Teal Green for other story ideas that are separate.   If older notes had other colors, I’d draw a star in the proper color in which I made the current notes in.  This way I could find the novel notes I needed at a quick glance. Oh, of course don’t forget that I wrote down which pages to continue from.  The notes are a bit jumbled up, but at least I can find them easily.

As a new future author I can’t stress this enough – BACK UP EVERYTHING!

It does not matter what it is, anything that is of importance to you should be backed up. Granted I should have backed up my documents much, much earlier, but at least I got it done in time.  At the time the only thing I cared about backing up was my novels. If those had died, even the sections of the 4th book and notes which I had not sent to Dave yet, I would have DIED! I would have freaked out so bad! I got lucky this time paying attention to my intuition. Sometimes, a  well worked intuition technique won’t always do the trick.

To close this entry: When your computer has died and you need something to do, continue to write notes of your current novels.  Read books that interest you about your writing.  Continue studying your craft while you wait for that all important package for your beloved computer.  And always – BACK UP EVERYTHING!