Sunday, March 10, 2019

Mystery Woman (my first short story)

I’m a woman of my word. The past month I had been busy writing a short story, named Mystery Woman. In truth, it took me about a month to get it down. It’s the first time I’ve actually written in the third person. I’ve always favored first person point of view. It’s always just been the type of reading style I favored. So, why not write in it as well.

To make sure I understand the short story format, and how it really should work, I’ve been reading shorter pieces. It is far harder for me to write than longer pieces. You have to be a lot sharper with your descriptions, and watch adding unnecessary words. Fluff, so to speak. I ended up just under a 1000 words. Halfway through, I found myself trying to make the piece longer. But nothing I added made the story better. So I decided to keep it as is, even if it is really short. I guess for a first attempt it wasn’t so bad. Or for someone that hasn’t written in a long time, it is a victory. But it felt good actually writing something new. But aside for pitching it to magazines, or online media (which I didn’t want to do at all), I can’t really sell it by itself, like I wanted. Not unless I put it with one of the other short stories I plan to write.

I know I’m taking the fun out of it. Trying to think of how to sell it, and where. It really is a struggle to put that side of thinking away for now. But I am trying. Writing this short story made me so happy. It reminded me of why I fell in love with writing to begin with.

So, 4 more short stories to go (a personal goal I set for myself). The Executioner (book 2 in the Thelum series) is with my amazing editor. And I hope to publish it this year as well.

So, if you just write 700 words for the month, it is something. Don’t sell yourself short.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

My brain hurts

The past few days I’ve been feeling like I have a giant hangover. My brain feels the way I do after I try to exercise after a few months of inactivity. You know, when you end up tasting your lung?

I started writing again. I started on a short story. One of my goals is to indie publish at least five short stories this year. As you will recall, I intend for this year to be the year of productivity. And I meant it.

In 2015 I would’ve told you I could easily write over 100 000 words a year, if not more. I was by no means fast, but I had those days where I would hit large word counts. So, being as cocky as I could be, I took my laptop and thought, “I can knock out a short story in one day.” How did it go? Well, it took me 2 hours to write 700 words, and I felt exhausted. I went to sleep that night, and I probably had 12 hours of sleep. No kidding.

Seriously people. I haven’t written anything new since mid 2016, I think. Of course I don’t count emails and blog posts. It was excruciating building up to those 700 words. Of course I deleted a lot of sentences as I wrote, because they just made no sense, literally. My words were written out of order. And no, I wasn’t drunk. It was just a mess. My mind was a mess. I just couldn’t think properly.

I respect the hell out of all of you who keep writing even if you don’t publish. All of you that write no matter what happens in your lives. All of you that show up to finish that book, or short story, or those awesome flash fiction pieces that take so much thought, and genius to plan and write. You guys are truly hardcore, and I hope to be like you when I grow up.

I wrote a bit last night, while we had a power outage. I wrote about 2000 words in two and a half hours. I really pushed myself. Because I know I should be able to write at least 5000 words in one week. I Used to be able to. I mean, if I really really push myself. Today I feel like I had attended a rock concert, while downing half a bottle of brandy. My head is not my friend. My body is lethargic. Don’t get me wrong, I love rock and metal. Just not when my head feels like someone is playing a drum solo inside my skull.

So believe it or not, one can make your brain lazy. I know I sure did. My brain’s feeling like someone that has never used it in their life.

I’m planning to write a bit everyday. Even if it’s just an email. I have to get my brain fit. I had no idea how bad I had allowed things to get. But no matter, I am soldiering on.

Have you ever felt like your brain is lazy and slow? Even a bit jumbled?

P.S. I downloaded one of those word games on my phone. They give you letters and you have to figure out what they spell, and even build new words from the given letters? I got caught out the other day, because I couldn’t figure out the last outstanding word spelled NET.

I know, I know. Pathetic.

Monday, February 4, 2019

This is the year

Diesel keeping guard

Finding inspiration has been hard for me for a while now. Not just in terms of writing, but life in general. Even though I’m still grieving for Diesel, I want to blog more. I want to write more.

Diesel had such a love for life. He was always upbeat, which is the exact opposite of me, most days. He was very aware how unique his personality was, and he had a strong rebellious streak.

Diesel taking over my bed

So now I live and write for him. He taught me to live life on my terms. And I’ve started saying no to opportunities, and traditions that don’t work for me.

I don’t care what else falls my way, 2019 is the year I stop making excuses. The year I start being more productive. I’ve already finished up the Executioner (book 2 in my Thelum Series), and still hope to publish it this year. Also, I want to indie publish at least 5 short stories this year. You are more than welcome to hold me accountable.

If you want, you can sign up to my newsletter to be in-the-know about my new releases, and such. Since the new personal information law last year, I had to delete everyone that had previously signed up. But of course I will make announcements on here too.

So, you might be seeing me around here more often.

What are your plans for 2019?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Not such a festive season

Yesterday, my baby-boy, Diesel, died on the operating table, after having gone into surgery to repair a torn ligament. As far as I know, aside for his Addison's Disease and recent torn ligament, he was healthy, and happy. Yesterday morning he was his normal cocky self and a few hours later, he was gone.

I feel so numb, while my heart and soul feel torn. I will never be the same again, because life, and this world is less interesting and worth living, now that he is no longer here. He was truly my son. Part of me is dead now, forever.

Rest in Peace, Diesel. I will love you forever.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

My writing and a personal update

I can’t believe it, but I am at the self-editing stage. I’ve been reading a lot of Dean Wesley Smith’s blog posts, especially the Killing The Sacred Cows posts (it deals with writing myths, not actual killings of cows). Basically, he doesn’t believe in rewriting, and many others, which I can relate to. He explains why in a lot of detail and I agree. It is how I always felt, but knew I had to rewrite the same book over and over in the hopes that I make it better, but I rarely do, because that is what all the experts say. Aside for fixing spelling and grammar, you leave your work as is. Of course you still focus on keeping the quality high. You only get better through practice, and thus, writing more books. 

I’ve also been reading a lot of Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog posts, and she gives a lot of help with the writing business and writing. She is equally as brilliant. She also has a very refreshing attitude and she doesn’t believe in rewriting either. Of course she is Dean Wesley Smith’s wife, but they are both best sellers in their own rights, and have published well over a hundred books each. They are both traditionally and indie published. So they know what they are talking about. And both are advocates of shaping your own writing career and following your own path. You can’t follow the path of someone else and expect the same results. So their work has drastically changed my attitude and my approaches to writing. It connected with a lot of things I always felt, and reminded me of the person I had been when I had started writing, before reading all those free advice and tips.

I still find myself reading lots of how-to articles on writing and reading tons of advice on what others say you must do to be successful. I have followed those tips, especially on marketing and it had me so overwhelmed that I hadn’t written in month intervals over the past few years. I was in constant panic. But both above mentioned authors believe that writing more books helps you more than constantly marketing. I agree with that too. But it is just so refreshing that two professionals actually spoke out and turn most writing books and advice on its heads. It goes against what most writing books (not all) tell you to do.

On a personal level
My brother is busy adding an addition on our existing house, which basically means that our home will be divided into two separate dwellings. But it has been chaos, living with the dust and noise, hence why I’ve been gone for a while. Also, I’ve been plagued with a lot of migraines, even before the renovations begun. But at least I had started the self-editing. I have been doing yoga regularly and it has helped me feel better and minimize my pain, as well as help with my depression (I’m still on my medication). I’m not doing yoga everyday yet, which is what I should be doing. But at the moment that is good enough for me.

Image Copyright Arista du Plessis

I’m also still working for my sister in her artisanal food/ baking business. It is going well. I can’t believe how much my experience from the business side of being an Indie author has come in handy. I do our marketing, branding, and handle our social media presence. Not to mention that I help my sister out in the kitchen. Nothing fancy of course. My jobs include simple things like measuring the ingredients, or lining the baking tins, or making recipes under my sister’s supervision.

We will be celebrating our first year in business this coming November, which is cool. The business is growing fast, which is always great. It keeps me plenty busy, and has long hours. But it is stimulating, and more importantly, it provides me with an income, which helps with my medical bills. It also provides me with a lot of stability, while I try and publish more books, and work on creating a larger body of work. Because I haven’t sold a book in years, and that is what happens when you only have one book in your inventory.

Let me know what is new with you.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Progress on book two

Lately it feels like everything I have posted about on here has only been negative. Well, I finally have some good news. I have finally finished the drafting stage of book two. Now all I have to do is add more description in the areas where I was vague, or delete where I tend to over explain. Then it is on to the self-editing stage. I'm still saving for professional editing. As that is my biggest weakness. Spotting my own mistakes. But I have a long list of critiques, which my editor had picked up in my first book, to look for and correct. As one tends to make the same mistakes, or use the same words repetitively.

Also, I'm still thinking of whether I want line editing, as well as copy editing, or if I can simply go with just copy editing. To be honest, I don't think my writing is that clean yet. But it is all about what my budget allows.

But all in all, it feels like a mountain has been lifted off my shoulders. I've done what I've felt was impossible. I finished this damn second book, after having rewritten, and starting over so many times in the past few years. So, as the gif suggests, I'm dancing.

How do you celebrate victories, big or small?