Miss Me?

Hello everyone!

For those of you who may have been wondering, no I’m not dead, maimed or seriously injured.

I am, however, living in a house in the middle of the forest that is over a hundred years old. And while we have cable television, we have no internet access. Yes, there are still places in America where WiFi does not travel, or in our case, even the cable lines. They tell us they are coming like the Stark’s long for winter, which could mean three months or three years from now.

I have used the last few months to re-evaluate a lot of the way I’ve done things in the past. I have read and read and read so many paper and hardback novels. Not just cheap Kindle novels (like mine, ahem) but proper English and American literature. And the experience has reminded me of why I wanted to write in the first place. Going back and re-reading all my old favorites as well as some new classics has reminded me what it’s “all about” you could say.

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Being away from instant internet access, besides occasionally frustrating is equal parts refreshing. It has helped me to appreciate other things. I have spent more time playing piano in the last month than the last two years. I’ve been learning how to keep my flowers from dying, a continual and monumental task indeed. I have written very little but planned and brainstormed much. Above all I feel like I’ve lived more in the last few months than the last few years of my life.

I’m not saying online media is “the big bad” but it’s been healthy for me as a writer and a person to step away from it all. I do realize that as a modern independent author, and a “brand” as they say, this is counterproductive for my business. Because it is a business when you get down to the nuts and bolts. This little unintentional sabbatical may not have garnered more readers or media attention. But I believe it is making me a better writer.

Without constant tap into the online book world, I’ve had to re-discover why I write. Is it because I want more followers on my facebook page? Or more money in my bank account? Because without those concerns, when it all was stripped bare for me, I was left with nothing. It was depressing at first. I’m not sure where my initial idealism went in the last year but I feel as though all the ambition I once had was sucked out of me. Perhaps that was why I read so much. And somewhere in the midst of reading Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” I started to remember the feeling. I could remember why I wanted and needed to write. It wasn’t ever for attention or affirmation of some kind, but because I loved it. I love telling stories and I love connecting with other readers. That’s all. And that’s all it should be.

I won’t be able to update often on here, but I will update. I’m currently working on the sequel to Vynasha and seeking a way to see the re-written part one published again.

I live in an old farmhouse in the middle of the forest, miles from what most people would call civilization, and the wonderful thing is I’ve never been happier.

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Happy Thursday!

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A Quote from Peter S. Beagle

“I had to go back to the start and find a new path…and let me tell you, every memory I have of what came next, with very few exceptions, is painful. It was nothing but struggle. It was Sisyphus pushing that damn rock up the hill, only to have it roll back down again. I worked and worked at it, mostly in a back bedroom … 

People imagine that writing The Last Unicorn was an enchanted voyage, a trip to the moon on gossamer wings, but that was not the case. It took me close to two years, and it was hard every step of the way.” 

-from “A Conversation with Peter S. Beagle


I recently purchased the Graphic Novel version of “The Last Unicorn” and discovered this interview & subsequent quote as a bonus in the back. There is much more insight into the author’s life and journey from burgeoning teen novelist to the legend Beagle is today. I found it not only fascinating but inspirational. 

For my fellow authors out there, I know this quote resonated with you as well as it did me, because I’ve totally been there. When you are writing a novel that seems like such a constant struggle you long to abandon it. A small voice in your head seems to whisper, “why bother?” and you almost convince yourself it shouldn’t be so difficult. 

Beagle reminded me that sometimes the most worthwhile things you’ll ever write are the uphill battles. I’m a new author and have a very long way to go before I pen something as perfect as The Last Unicorn. Beagle rewrote his most beloved novel a couple of times before it became the version we know today. It is a fresh reminder not to give up when he going gets tough, but to forge ahead. Because of Beagle, I will continue to struggle willingly, gladly.

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FINISHED!

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Approximately one minute ago I finished my revisions and new ending for Vynasha Part One (still working on a better subtitle, lol) There are still edits and last run-through revisions to be made before we publish again of course. I’ll need to have my beta, Allison read through and correct the little things because she knows this story as well as I do. Then it’s off to the editor for one more run-through. But after months of struggling to do this story and our heroine justice, we’re finally there!

This process has taught me so much about storytelling and shaped and focused my writing to a new degree. Vynasha’s story is a much darker fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast. You won’t be expecting many of the twists and turns it takes, but hopefully you end up like me, desperate to know what happens next.

Before this revision, I had already written an in-between novella involving a secondary character’s perspective. I was a good quarter of the way through writing the first draft of part two. Now that part one has been tweaked so much, I will also have to tweak things in the companion piece and sequel. But we’re so much closer than before and I’m so happy to finally finish something again.

For those of you who know me personally, you know this year has been a good but tough one for me and my little family. I lost a lot of the will for writing. At the same time there were days when it was like my lifeline, a way to process my grief. To those of you who have passed through the valley with me, bless you! Thank you for being true and being wonderful and simply there.

Stay tuned for more updates on The Wylder Tales and other projects! Have a fantabulous weekend!

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Darkness

“The darkness had come to claim her at last and she gave into it willingly. Her beast would keep her safe.”

-Vynasha

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Love is the Answer

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So I thought I’d share something about Vynasha and the recent writing process/progress. I’ve been working through revisions, as you all know, but have still felt something missing. My husband went out of town for a few days recently and I was kind of excited. I’d get the computer all to myself and envisioned blissful hours of solitude and inspiration. But every day I sat down to write, nothing came and my fingers seemed stuck, poised over the keys. For the life of me I couldn’t understand what was wrong. I was kind of angry over the fact I couldn’t find the willpower to work. I tried watching different movies for inspiration. I watched Phantom of the Opera for its aesthetic beauty (and Gerard Butler’s wooing) and Jerry Maguire so I could make myself tear up. “You…complete me…” “You had me at hello.” I even put on G.I. Jane, hoping she’d make me want to write strength into my heroine. Results? Nada.

My husband came home tonight. It was wonderful. You would think it had been a year and not only a few days since I saw him. I was blissfully happy suddenly, just sitting near him, just holding his hand again. And that’s when it happened. Inspiration took hold, jumped and soared. I finally know how I’m going to properly end Vynasha Part 1. The reason for it was because of him, and because of love. I know it sounds sappy and trust me, it surprised me too. But it also reminded me that artistic inspiration truly does come from life, from living and from loving another person. That kind of love fills you up and overflows until you have to let it out somehow, you have to express it.

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Whenever I Despair…

Or when I think about how much time it takes to plot a book,

write it, edit, revise, rewrite, edit, revise and finally publish…

I try to remember that,

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Losing Love

“It had been so long since she cared enough to think of her future and love meant nothing to her. Love meant losing the ones dearest to her heart and the pain of missing them afterward. Loving someone was like passing on a death sentence and she had not allowed herself to grow close to anyone, in case she truly was cursed.”

– Vynasha

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Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

This poem and its author are a large part of my inspiration behind Silver Hollow and my need to be fanciful. It also reminds me just how much I am not Lewis Carroll, lol. Hope you enjoy this whimsical nonsensical poem as much as I do. 


Jabberwocky

BY LEWIS CARROLL

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)


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Defining Character

“What they didn’t know is that I am the monster that lurks in the shadows. I fear the spark of the flames that scarred me. I am the true beast, but most people do not know it…”

-Vynasha

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