I would absolutely love to be fortunate enough to be able to just WRITE. Only write. Sit at home all day, writing, researching publishing, networking, reading on writing, etc. But let’s be serious… who really gets to do that? Unless you’re a highly commercially successful author with multiple new books out per year, it’s just not likely to happen.

Of course the idea is to get there at some point… ! In the mean time, my writing happens in the in-between moments of my life. Tonight it’s been happening while I watch a movie in the living room with my boyfriend. If I didn’t make the time for it, I would never get anything done. Over the last month this has been especially true, since I’ve been hunting for both an apartment and a new career. Admittedly, I’ve fallen a bit off the band wagon. Not writing or working on more query letters as much as I would like. Not working out as much as I’d like, either! I’m pretty much doing things that I have to do, which gets in the way of things I want to do. I am, after all, technically an adult. :)

For years I didn’t make the necessary time for it often enough at all, which is why it took me a couple of years to really get into the meat of my book. So I highly recommend making the time EARLY on! I certainly will for the next book to come.

In other news, I’ve already planned out where I’d like to put my desk in my new apartment… directly in the bay window, facing outward. I can’t wait!

 

 

Making the Time.

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The Year of Change, Apparently!

2014 has been full of big changes so far! I got a new car… finished my book and sent out query letters (yikes! More of those to be sent out soon!)… and now I just found my new apartment. ALSO, I’m looking for a new full-time job (in my field of writing & editing)! Ahh!

I almost feel like an actual adult. Almost.

Seriously though. I’ll be 28 this year and this will be my first time living with no roommates… what is my life?! HaHa. I joke. :) I’m perfectly happy with my life and where it has taken me. And I’m SUPER excited for this next chapter.

Cross your fingers for me that I can find a great job soon! Seeing as how I have to be out of my current one basically by the middle/end of May. HaHa! I like to live on the edge. I’ve been contacted by two companies to complete writing tests… hopefully they lead to interviews. Then I’d be overly jazzed! Yay!

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It Happened.

I received my first rejection letter (well, e-mail..).

Whew! It was far less painful than I imagined. Still a bit painful, but nothing a quick smile didn’t fix. :)

There are sure to be many more to come, but I will do my best to continue to brush it aside. As with anything else in life, we writers should aim to compete with ourselves and care most about what we think of our work. Clearly this is easier said than done… but it’s worth working toward.

I’m in the same position with my fitness goals; trying to rewire my brain to stop comparing myself with others and worry about what progress I’m making compared to where I started. It becomes so easy to look at someone and compare ourselves to them and end up feeling shitty about ourselves. No fun!

Anytime I see some super fit girl and my mind thinking, “Damn! Why can’t I look like that?!” I switch the thought to, “No, good for her. I’m on my way!” So I suppose the same kind of thought process could work when receiving all of the sure-to-come rejections.

Positivity, people!

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Another Step Along the Way

Whoa. Time gets away from me sometimes, I guess!

Query letters have been sent out… ! Yikes! I can’t really believe I’ve finally made it to this point… hoping things go smoothly from here. I’ve had this idea in my mind of what having a book published will be like, pretty much since I was 4 years old. What if it’s all horribly disappointing and doesn’t happen how I imagined?! These are the thoughts that terrify me.

But, worrying won’t help! That much is certain. So, I keep typing out these query letters and sit back to wait for a positive response. I know there will be negative responses as well (on top of complete non-response, which is almost worse, I think), but that is just something to accept about life in general. Things can’t always be good! And it doesn’t invalidate my talents or efforts.

Can you tell this is part of my near-daily mantra? HaHa! I do believe it, in my heart. But I still need reminding once in awhile.

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Change Is A Comin’

In just a couple of months I’m going to start looking for a different full-time job… and I’m slightly nervous! I’ve been at my current job for 2 years (since moving to Phoenix, actually) and I’ve gotten so comfortable in it that a new environment is a little scary. Not a LOT scary, but just a little. :)

I’m really just nervous about whether or not I will find what I am looking for. I went to school for writing and I love editing so I’m obviously hoping I can find something along those lines. Cross your fingers for me! Perhaps your toes and eyes as well.

New experiences and change doesn’t really scare me but not being happy does. So I just really hope I am able to find something that will make me happy! Something that will make me feel challenged and fulfilled. As fulfilled as a 9-5 office job can, I suppose. Because the real dream is to work from home just writing books and editing for clients! A girl can dream… !

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Writing Residency

So have you seen this? Amtrack to possibly offer free rides for writers?

I think that would be incredibly fun/interesting to do! It also got me thinking about residencies in general. I would love to do one… ! I should look into that for this fall. What with needing to have a full-time job to you know, pay my bills, I doubt I’d be able to do anything longer than a 4 day weekend, but that would still be beneficial.

What a dream… to just go somewhere and write. Eat. Sleep. Write. Walk around in some nature and what-not. Heaven!

If I was by myself I think I might get scared, though. Haha! I’m imagining being out in the woods… or up at the Grand Canyon or something… renting a house for the weekend… and I think there probably wouldn’t be much sleeping going on. My childhood fear of the dark and noises in the night would likely come back fairly strong. :)

In my dream life I’d be like Ernest Hemingway (and I’m sure so many other writers in history) and have a little studio apartment to venture off to when I needed to focus. THAT would be the true Heavenly scenario for me.

I wonder what a residency is like… has anyone done one? Let me know in the comments if you have any input!

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Time for An Excerpt!

I essentially have zero brain cells to spare for writing a semi-thoughtful/interesting blog post today… so it looks like it’s time for another excerpt from my book! :D

Eleven

 

            The instant Mom’s old Buick was parked in the driveway I shot out the door and into the house. I didn’t take the time to notice that Nikos’ car wasn’t there, so I was frustrated to not find him in the house.

            I decided that I had to talk to someone before I gave myself a panic attack. As I peeked out the back door in the dining room I saw Alex’s bedroom light on, and made my way to his window. The crickets were still out, though there were audibly fewer than in the warmer months. The world was winding down, preparing for the freezing cold to come.

            Alex let me in seconds after I rapped on his window, lending me a hand as my gangly limbs tried getting through.

            “Hey. I thought you were hanging out at Emma’s tonight. Girl’s night or whatever.”

            “I was. It got cut short, though.”

            He closed the book he’d been reading at his desk. It was a thick hardcover, no doubt some kind of history book. Alex couldn’t get enough of history, though he tried to keep it quiet. I’d always known he was kind of a geek. It was part of his charm, I told him. I knew I had his attention when he closed the book and leaned forward, his elbows on his knees.

            “An old man at the mall died today.”

            “Okay?”

            “I was at the mall, Alex! I saw him! I talked to him! I handed him his bag of candy that Emma rudely knocked out of his hand! And then, he DIED!” I was shouting.

            “Jeeze, Thana! Keep it down! Unless you want the entire neighborhood to think you’ve officially lost it!”

            I knew he was right. So I grabbed a pillow from his bed and screamed into it as loudly as I possibly could. The release of frustration did make me feel more relaxed. I plopped onto the bean bag in the corner and let out a sigh.

            “Alright. So how old was this guy? Ancient? Maybe this really was just a coincidence.”

            “He was pretty old, but he wasn’t like, decrepit or anything. He was so happy, Alex. Just sitting there eating a bag of gummi bears. Jesus, I can’t go anywhere!”

            “Did you touch him?”

            “No. I touched his bag of candy, but that’s it. He must’ve died the second I walked away. I didn’t wait because, well I didn’t think he was going to die!”

            “Are there any similarities between him and the others?”

            “Mr. Graham was old, too. But Mr. Graham had also just been hit by a car. Everyone else had been majorly injured. This guy was fine.”

            “And they’ve all been in very different places… yeah, I don’t know. I still think this might be a coincidence.”

            “Maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m just freaking out. Overreacting.”

            “Just go home and eat—relax. I’m sure it’s no big deal.”He had me convinced that I was being silly, so I retreated back to my house for the night. What could I do other than worry myself into a frenzy?

___
–>

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So, This Book Synopsis…

It seems I’ve been making this book synopsis far more difficult than necessary. Of course. I did some more searching around the lovely Internet for examples and tips for writing a book synopsis, and from what I found it appears that it’s basically what you would say to a friend if they asked you, “So what happens in your book?” and you have like 3-5 minutes to describe it. You want them to get the general idea, but you know that you don’t have time for all of the minor plot points or minor characters. They don’t need to know that in chapter three your MC’s older brother was working on his car, unless that somehow majorly affects the plot. (Which, in my case, it certainly doesn’t!)

So, yeah. I just wasted a lot of time getting all detailed and then freaking out wondering how I was going to condense those eight pages down to more like three pages. It’s kind of aggravating that I’ve spent so much time on the original version that I had. Alas! You live, you learn!

In other news, last weekend completely ran away with me. Do you ever have those weekends? Probably even weeks. Where you are literally going, going, going so much that you barely have time to even think? Or eat?! Yikes! I’m enjoying a restful week so far, so that’s good.

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A Book Addiction Is Not A Bad Thing.

It seems that in the past year or so I’ve been in a reading slump. I’m jumping back on the wagon!

As soon as I learned to read I started devouring books. I pretty much carried a book with me everywhere I went. Then I started to drive and no longer could read in the car… then I went to college and was doing so much reading for school that I did very little reading for pleasure (luckily a lot of my classes were English classes & the required reading was interesting). I never STOPPED reading, by any means. I just wasn’t reading as much as I wanted to anymore. I missed it! I prefer to read a book a week, or even two books a week! Two books a month feels like I’m severely slacking.

In the last year or so I just haven’t found many books that I’m CRAZY about, you know? I’ve read many books that were “meh” or “okay”… so I’m making more of an effort as of late to find books that I AM crazy about. Or that I can at least FINISH. I’m sick of starting a book only to be so bored 25 pages in that I quit reading it.

I went to the library yesterday and found 2 books to read. We’ll see how they are. Also, I signed up for Scribd. It’s a pretty sweet app for book lovers! You pay $9 per month and have access to thousands of books! It’s like Netflix! But for books. :) So far I read The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler, and was not disappointed. But I love Daniel Handler’s writing–Lemony Snicket, anyone? A Series of Unfortunate Events is one of my favorite book series EVER. Ugh! So good. So clever.

Anyway–that’s my little Tuesday rant on books. :) If anyone has suggestions of books I might devour, please comment!

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The Furry Worry Monster

I’m such a slacker! Two weeks in a row that I’ve posted on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. To be fair, my mom was visiting from Michigan and stayed with me last night. :) Now, to get on with it…

 

I sometimes want to worry about whether or not I will be successful in making my lifelong dreams come true.

However, worry is allowed very little space in my life.

There are countless things for us to worry about on a daily basis. Money, health, safety, love, global issues, etc. I suppose we all have moments where we worry… but something I’ve been working toward over the past few years is to lessen my time and energy spent worrying.

I’ve really never been one for excessive worry in most areas of life. Where relationships are  concerned though, it would be more of a problem for me. All of the “what ifs” would get to me sometimes–what if he cheats? What if he falls out of love with me? What if, what if, what if.

Sitting around freaking out over these possibilities does nothing. It doesn’t stop anything from happening or not happening. It is an enormous waste of time, energy and emotion.

I try to always keep in mind the Law of Attraction and keep a positive outlook on things. Plus, I severely dislike being stressed. So letting go of the “what ifs” also releases stress from my life. As much as I would love to be in control of everything that happens to me (who wouldn’t?!), I simply can’t do that.

Being finished with my book and putting the final little touches on it could easily turn into a stressful, worrisome situation. If I let it. Who knows what will happen? I have NO idea! All I can do is put in the work necessary, and hope that it pays off. I can’t stress my book into success, after all. Oh if only I could… haha!

So basically, I believe it is in everyone’s best interest to just let the worry free. Free the Worry Monster from your mind… if you let it fester in there it will only hurt you. Just breathe, and let the cards fall into place. :)

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