Monday, March 13, 2017

My Book Aesthetics

Last week, I told you how I was currently working on a YA Viking fantasy. I also said I would make a collage of book aesthetics to show you more about the world I've created. I would LOVE to show you only one, but there is so many little things going on, it's so hard to narrow it!

I'm currently near, if not on, the half way point. I'm breaking my book into three parts, and have started the 2nd part. Just when I think I know where I am going, I sit back and stare off and idea hits. And it always happens when I brain fart how to get from point A to B. Suddenly there is some weird Z thrown in the middle making it all the more interesting. Those moments are the best!

Enough of my blabbing. Without further are some of my book aesthetics. For more, you can go to my pinterest page! The link is on the left side bar.

this story is big on sisterhood and family, some pics are "backstory"

these blow my mind. omg. I want someone to make them for me.

each of the kingdoms are very specific in structure

these are just teasers...


Read: COURT OF FIVES by Kate Elliot (a sister's love for the Fives game is put off to save family) and THREE DARK CROWNS by Kandare Blake (triplets raised separately and groomed to kill one another for the crown)
Reading: FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes, A FACE LIKE GLASS (Arc copy) by Frances Hardinge, THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas
Movies: For International Women's Day I watched LITTLE WOMEN, and even though I've seen it years ago...I don't remember choking up this much!
Newest Buy: A Simply Fit Board, and a 3/4 motorcycle helmet from Harley Davidson!
What I'm anxious for: Getting back on my Harley and riding in the wind!!

Questions for the Reader:
1. Can you tell my book has some dark tones to it?
2. Reading any good books lately?
3. Ever seen Little Women the movie?

Monday, March 6, 2017

March Madness Understatement

My gosh how time has flown by! I realized I hadn't posted since January. January! But I have very valid reasons. Very valid. Here they are:

1. I've been writing for hours on end. (Ok, that's not true, but it sure feels like it!)
2. Reading frenzy - I started reading more YA books to gear my arsenal (WHY??? Just wait...I'm getting there later! Calm yourself!)
3. Tomorrow my mental break ends - what does THAT look like? Well...NOT writing for hours on end and adjusting back to being an "adult". (Ew...I know.)
4. SUBMISSIONS - please, don't start...just don't (*pulls waiting room ticket and sits* praying for a bite!)
5. My first Writers Conference!!

"the gods have always
smiled on brave women"
I've worked hard on my new YA Viking fantasy draft scoring a word count so far of 41k since I started it on Jan 19th. And everything God said He would help me with, He has and beyond. When inspiration hits, and you go google said inspiration to find that what you're thinking about is actual fact (flowers, names, etc) it's like AHHHHHHH...(*cue angels singing*) Needless to say, I did have to go back through the 9 chapters written and do a tense change and create more detail/world building. (Thank you to Shallee McArthur - she is amazing for pointing it out early!) NEXT WEEK - I promise to make a book collage of some very dark and interesting inspirations!

Which brings me to #2! I wanted to be further inspired with amazing fantasy worlds so I didn't miss a beat. And that's pretty much summing up #2.

#3 - This just means I won't have my mornings anymore to sleep in (did I say that?), and work on my book at my leisure. I'll be back to my old title: NIGHT WRITER. I think I need like theme music for that.

Submissions time!! #4! My women's fiction book is currently out on submissions and I'm excited to see what happens with it! I still have several more women's fiction novel ideas, but they're coming up after this YA one. Because you have to follow your heart and when one burns brighter, you get to it first.

While on my #1, I found out through FB there was a writer's conference for SCBWI in Seattle! I looked over the itinerary and the sessions weren't what I was looking for. But then, another thing came up: Seattle Writer's Workshop! Basically a 1-day conference and the session choices were AMAZING and PERFECT to what I'm looking for!! I signed and am awaiting May!!

Usually I close with a list of things, but I'm in a rush to get back to my WIP. Here is a QUICK list of books/movies/things I have done since last time!
Read: Jennie Bennett's SNOWFLAKES AND KISSES, Bernard Cornwells THE LAST KINGDOM, Elizabeth LaBan's THE RESTAURANT CRITIC'S WIFE, Carrie Butler's AS WE KNOW IT (Awesome books!)
Reading: Sarah J. Maas THRONE OF GLASS, Kate Elliott COURT OF FIVES, Kendare Blake THREE DARK CROWNS
Movies: Labyrinth (David Bowe's tight-crotch pants were distracting, even my oldest was saying how he was tired of seeing "it"), Stork (cute!)
Things: hikes to cold beaches, parents vs. kids volleyball at elementary (I'm super competitive and rolled my eyes at timid mom's barely hitting the ball. HIT IT, DANG YOU!), cleaned out never-will-read books, and never-will-wear purses (you're welcome thrift stores)

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Digs

I can't remember how many times I've changed the look of my blog. Sometimes the theme is darker, sometimes woodsy, and sometimes bright and cheery. I am just never satisfied and sometimes grow bored of the same old, same old.

I also want to make sure it represents me well, and as much as I'd like it to look very proper and sophisticated, literary and meaningful to the exquisite eye, that's not me. But, I feel my new look is more suited for me, and that's something I'm going to work on not steering away from. I'm not here to impress others with my digs, but rather to be comfy in them and call it my blogger home.


You'll find what you need here on the left side bar as far as ways to stalk me. You can also see if I'm reading and how many books at a time. I usually always do one on my Kindle phone app while I'm out and about, and one paper or hardback. I love being able to properly hold a book and dog ear the crap out of it. And even like a chiropractor - crack the shiznit out of it's pretty spine.

Currently, if you head over to my Pinterest page, you can see a character board I did up for what once was called PIMPBOOKMAMA and is now retitled to A STORY BORN IN JIMMY CHOOS. The WF book is currently on it's last leg of beta readers, and hopefully by spring I'll be sending my first round of queries - like ever. Daunting yet totally exciting!

Also, on my Pinterest page, you'll find a new vision board for an interesting YA fantasy I have in mind. I've titled it THE KING OF DAUGHTERS, and so far is a 3-book series (if done right). Have I started writing it yet? Absolutely not. I'm mixing Viking/Medieval influences into the story and culture, so I'm doing a lot of research. I mean...a lot. And a lot of interviewing to get everything just right. It may be the death of me. I even have a vision collage of TKOD on Instagram. (Mind you my grammar hound mom said it should say "seize" not "siege" after the fact of me posting it, and by that point I didn't care anymore. haha!)

Hope your year is going fantastic! Have any plans for the year? Do you change your blog look often?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Breeding Insanity

I'm literally sitting here wondering what to type about as I eat frozen peanut butter M&M's. Which rocks frozen by the way. So if you have a chance to get the share size, do that, because any smaller is just silliness.

There are so many things to say since October, but not really one theme to narrow it to as this season has found me sorting through a lot of feelings. Do seasons seem to bring out things in you, too?

Here's what's happened in the last month, questioning my sanity.

1. I quit one gym months ago because I wasn't going as much and the drive was further than I wanted. I kept saying I'd join the new closer gym, going way more often. My hubs knows my forgetfulness and bought me a membership as a surprise. Which is awesome...and now means I have to go. And sometimes...I'm whiny and "I don't wanna!!"

2. I'm hunkering down a bit more on my chapter edits. Well I was. Then I started a book and couldn't put it down. I read it completely. Started edits and swore off books till done. Couldn't manage that. Found another "too good to put down" book. And the cycle began again! Currently I'm 2 days in remission of books and I'm in withdrawal mode bad.

3. 12 chapters into edits, I shamelessly went back to chapt 1 last week and went...uh. And revamped most of it...again...and resent to some betas for the thumbs up. I got my thumbs up, but...then I wanted to redo the next chapter and half way through had to stop myself. This may take...forever.

4. My jeans have holes in them, and I need new pairs. Easy peasy? No. I'm my own worst nightmare when trying on clothes. Girls, you KNOW what I mean. Wednesday I plan to buy several new ones, with hope I'm not running out of the store crying, too. I guess the gym will be my next stop after.

5. This season, I'm shamelessly using my SERVICE TO OTHERS card to distract from myself from work stress. There's nothing easier and better than meeting the needs of others when you know yours aren't being met. Once you do that, yours don't seem so big and tragic. Besides, when doing a survey, my persona fell under "the giver". Little did they know... But, I'll likely exhaust myself with it, like I normally do, and need more down/me time.

1. What's new in your insane world?
2. Any changes going on?
3. What book should I read next??? JK!!! DON'T FEED THE BOOK ANIMAL


READ: Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbinson (individual lives come together in shoe support group); The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye (twos deathly challenge to be the Tsar's enchanter, but fall in love); The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes (secret lovers' chain of letters bind yet cause tragedy over decades) ***** stars to all!!!
READING: no...I'm going to be a big girl and keep books at bay. I mean I've read 3 books in a few weeks. Oh my gosh...I'm withdrawling!!
MOVIE SEEN: The Huntsman: Winter's War (I loved the 1st film as it's my fav. This was so AWESOME!)
PLAN FOR EDITS: I'm not going to lie. I'm probably going to go back and start over.
PLAN FOR INSANTIY: going back and starting over
PLAN FOR SANITY: not starting over (this won't happen...)
NEW BUY ON AMAZON FOR ME: straightjacket - one size fits all

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Writers Retreat That Saved Me

In September, through the good word of a writer friend, Michelle Wilson, I joined ANWA (American Night Writers Association). In so doing, the following month was their annual Pacific Northwest Region's Writers Retreat. I came at a stellar time, right? I signed up, paid my dues, and had butterflies. This being my first writer anything with several authors/writers.
the view from the conference room
But, upon the nerves was the expectation you get as the new kid in class. And that's exactly what happened on my first day there.

I sat alone, reading, waiting for the keynote speaker. But registration was for 2hrs, and I showed up on time. What was I thinking? Luckily, charming author, Leah Berry, introduced herself and we got to chatting. Then as she was called away, dead air again. Awhile after, I spotted Michelle Wilson, chatting just for a few before the keynote speaker was announced. Alas, let's get started!!


That crappy part, those initial minutes gone by speaking to no one while others caught up on seeing each other from prior years or whatever, really stuck out to me. Or when I fumbled over what my novel was about when asked, ate at me. I KNOW the story inside and out, so where was my head?? I felt like a dunce and a wannabe. Sure I can blame nerves, but those nerves are my own, so it's all coming from ME!

I went home (I live 10mins from the retreat, so I opted to commute rather than stay over night) with not only a pounding headache, but heartache. Even though we had a fun game getting to know others before the first day was over, I didn't want to come back.

I did NOT want to come back, and I didn't NOT want to be a writer anymore. I was over it. I can't explain why I was so hormonal about it. But I was, doing the whole screw everyone and screw this, I've had it! pity party. What was wrong with me?? In a few hours, years and years of writing was over?? REALLY??

Yes! That's how lowly I felt about being a writer!

The next morning, I drudged out of bed, got dressed unwillingly, and forced myself to go back. I even was late because of said force, walking in during the non-fiction panel questioning, and took a seat. Slowly, I started to feel myself be a writer again. I went to several workshops, thinking I wouldn't have the mentality to learn, but they proved me wrong. And I welcomed it. I also welcomed the new friendships I was making as well.
a perfect little nook and view for edits
No other time after that first night, was I left alone, and it was so heartwarming. So heartwarming! The next day, we had our final keynote speech. Jordan McCollum did an amazing keynote speech each day, but her final one had me in tears. 

She said the adversary will put thoughts in our head to not use our God given talents, like writing. She said it happened to her when deciding if writing was the right path, and recognized it wasn't God telling her to stop writing, but Satan. I never thought all those moments I doubted my abilities/decisions could be from him. ALL THOSE MOMENTS for years! Including...the first day of the retreat.

Now I know it was Satan that didn't want me to go back, putting fear, self-doubt, and ineptness all over and in me. I was literally planning on staying home that day, but decided to go because I paid for it. And boy did I ever! I regained my confidence as a writer, made new friends, and learned tricks of the trade.

The writers retreat saved me as a writer. And I'm forever thankful for it.


Books read: Cold Betrayal by J.A. Jance (Detective work into unlocking a cruel polygamous family), I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around by Ann Wertz Garvin (therapist loses self in family dynamics, triangle love, and a new job), The Beautiful Balance by Michelle Wilson (finding your balance through God's lessons) ***** stars to each!
Reading: Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison, The Restaurant Critic's Wife by Elizabeth LaBan, and Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall:
Movies I watched: Alice Through The Looking Glass (not a lot of good reviews, but I LOVED it!!) and Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (I laughed NON-STOP)
What I'm doing tonight: eating all the candy my kids get trick or treating. (duh!!)

Questions to the Reader:
1. Have you ever been to a writer's retreat?
2. Do you often feel your talent shouldn't be used, too?
3. Promise never to give up??? (I'll hunt you down if you say no)