Wednesday, October 9, 2019

October Begins

Hello Friends. I did it. I finished my first round of edits from my editor. It wasn’t as bad. I just had to put my head down and get it done. Of course afterwards I chastised myself for not finishing it sooner. But oh well.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been getting the strangest comments on my blog. People using the comments section to advertise their own site, or products. At some point it was one or two weird comments a day. Every time I deleted one spammy comment another would pop up again. So I activated comment moderation. So I get to choose which comments get published, and not. It is a relief actually, and so easy.

The day job has been keeping me busy, which is why I haven’t been around. A smart person would start writing posts in advance and scheduling them. Clearly I’m not smart (he he).

So have a good week. What is new with you?

Monday, August 19, 2019

Moving, but not as fast, and sabotage

I didn’t mention this before, but I got my manuscript back from my editor In June. I was so excited. I only asked for copy editing this time. And my brilliant editor, Janie Goltz, did an excellent job. I’m actually embarrassed about the simple mistakes she had to keep correcting me on. Things like, using British English, along with American English in the same manuscript. And not using the same spelling throughout.

However, I have had this bad habit of not pushing through the corrections as fast as I should. I could have worked through the entire book in a week. But I’m taking it slowly. I think I’m scared of publishing, and now I am sabotaging myself again. I also decided to read my manuscript as I was applying the change, and immediately had the urge to start tinkering with the manuscript again. I didn’t think it was good enough. I had simply deleted one sentence on page 3, and stopped myself from reading the rest of the manuscript. I had done the best I could before submitting it to my editor. But for some reason, as I was working on applying the changes, I almost gave in to bad habits again. Like rewriting certain scenes, and so forth. I’m not doing it this time. Not again.

I could make a quick search and replace all similar words. But I really want to take my time with it. Make one change at a time. Though I won't lie. I'm frustrating myself. And I know I have to start pushing, and motivating myself.

Why is it you think that we keep wanting to write the same book over and over, and then never moving on to the next book? Or is this problem just me?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Angry at Social Media

When it comes to social media, I am addicted. Or at least I was. I don’t really do Facebook, unless I have to share news about my books, or something I am working on. Twitter not so much either. Pinterest; Sure, for research. Especially about items, or lifestyles, I will never be able to afford. Instagram is my social media of choice at the moment. You can say so much with just a picture, and a short description bellow, or not. Easy, peasy. And of course, I am getting back to blogging.

But I have come to really hate social media. 20th of June my Chef sister and I were in a car accident, on our way to make a delivery. We are okay. We both have whiplash, and of course our bodies hurt, and we are a bit black and blue. But what really bothered me, was that after we pushed away the airbags, and I was checking on my sister, I saw people crowd around the broken up car to take photos. Of the car, of us . . . It was perverse. Such a violation of privacy. My sister was unconscious for a while, and people were taking photos, and making videos, as I tried to wake her, and just find out how badly she was hurt. Nobody called for help, or the police. They just stood there. I had to call for help myself, even though I asked for someone to call the police.

Have we as people become so desensitized to trauma, or human life, and suffering that we just don’t care about anything, or anyone else anymore? Is privacy, and compassion truly a thing of the past? 

Not for me. I still try to be a descent person. I don’t live my life through a lens. I sometimes share certain aspects of my life, yes, but I decide which, and it’s about my author self. I don’t have any social media profiles for myself (personally), but the writer part of me does. I don’t do it for attention, even though I do get an adrenaline rush every time someone leaves a comment, or likes something I said (wrote).

I started using various social media platforms to spread word of my writing, and book. For business purposes (wink-wink) However, these days I don’t have much authorly news to share, so I mostly read what others are posting, and sharing. Cute cat/ dog videos. Nice quotes. The funnier, the better. Also, articles about archaeological finds . . . Stuff like that.

But I do fear that I have become so addicted to those daily funnies, that I will become one of those people that forget to be human. Who walk around texting without looking up, or to see where they are going.

I have wanted to close my Facebook account many times, but I have made a few fellow South African friends that want to know about when I am publishing again, wanting to buy the next book, and so forth. Facebook is their social media of choice. So I don’t want to lose the small audience I have built there.

Aside for blogging, I’m angry at social media. I will look, but not participate for a while.

How do you feel about social media?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Finding a routine

It is the end of May, and I can’t believe that we are halfway through the year. It has definitely just flown by.

My current work in progress is going well. I am enjoying my writing so much. I won’t lie, I’m still struggling to get a proper routine, or to write regularly. As I previously mentioned, I work for my sister in her Artisanal baking/ food business. So the hours are long, and the work is hard. So sometimes I’m too tired to do much when I’m done working.

But I think that is the struggle with all creatives. You have to pay the bills, as well as be true to your creative passion. So I write when I can, and make the best of that time. Some of us just don’t get to have the luxury of a routine. I know I don’t. But I fight to make time, and use it well. Everyone's life and circumstances are just different. I think I prefer not having a specific routine.

Lately I’ve been enjoying the luxury of Netflix. I have found that it really helps me unwind. These days I love those corny movies, that make you laugh, and sometimes think the acting is questionable, but my brain finds it stimulating. I can just watch one, or two, and I’m relaxed. The stress of the day forgotten.

So, how are you doing? Are you ready for the coming month?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Change can be scary, but necessary

I’ve always been the kind of person that ran away from change. It was too hard to adapt. To learn something new. Or navigate around something new. The newest thing I changed was that I ended my Newsletter. Nobody was interested, and, I share all the info on my blog as well. So if future readers want to find out about new books, they can check the tabs in my blog, or sign up for new blog posts to be delivered in their inbox. So it serves the same purpose of the newsletter. I only did it in the first place because all the experts online recommended it. I no longer follow expert advice. I just do my own thing.

I also changed my writing process. I’m no longer so stressed about my writing. I just go with it. Also, I care more about the punctuation, and spelling errors. Things that would drive me insane if I were reading a book. It’s hard to let go of this type of control. I always have this tendency to want to make everything perfect. Since I stopped the process of constantly rewriting every book over and over, I’ve become a lot less stressed, and I’m actually enjoying my writing again.

Because of my taxing, tough day job, I’ve started to worry that I couldn’t write everyday. All the experts and writing advice suggests you write everyday. That you set a certain word count for everyday. Unfortunately, I no longer have that luxury. I write whenever I can. And I make good progress. So write in however manner you want, or that suits your lifestyle. It’s not a one fits all thing. Not at all. We are all artists. And every artist has their own quirks, and ways to express themselves, let alone their working processes. So you do what makes you happy.

So that is it from me. Always stay the way you are. If you make changes, do it for yourself, and not because others tell you to.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Genre Confusion … Anybody?

Is it just me, or can deciding what genre your story falls into be maddening, even super complicated? When I had to submit queries to agents for my first book, I had to say which genre it fell into. But I was between genres. It wasn’t completely a romance, and it wasn’t an out-and-out fantasy novel. So I used to submit it under romance, just to play it safe. As I knew the fantasy genre was hard to get into. And I didn’t think I was good enough at the time to classify it as fantasy.

I am working on a new project, which will be unnamed, in case I jinx myself. But once again, I have no idea what (if I publish it) genre I would place it in. Same goes for the short story I just finished. I read up all the genres, but it doesn’t quite sound like one or the other. I tend to unconsciously mash-up genres. Its not my fault publishing platforms want to put every piece of writing into a perfect box. So after writing your masterpiece (which is a feat in itself), you have to know what genre your work falls into.

Lately this has happened to me a lot. Whenever someone finds out I’m a writer:

What is your new story about?”
Me; “Uhm

This is the point in which I ramble on about the synopsis.

What kind of writer are you?
Me: Crickets are singing.
I mean, what genre do you write in?
Me: “Uhm.

You see my dilemma. My latest response is, “I write fiction.” Why is it that people want to know? Immediately after that, I quickly try and make the point that I don’t know super famous writers like J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King personally. For some strange reason non-writers think we writers all know each other in some secret way.

What do you guys do to help you determine in what genre you write, or which genre your story belongs to? Is there a magic trick? Or is it just my lack of experience showing, and I should read more?

Just something I have been pondering.

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?

Not quite myself

I have no idea why, but I have not been feeling like myself. Even being in my own skin feels alien.  The good news is that I still managed t...