Christmas Eve isn’t as relaxed as it used to be #ROW80 & #WIPpetWednesday

Christmas Eve isn’t a break for me like it used to be. I was just telling the SO the other day that it’s a bit weird not having a Christmas break from like when I was in school because I don’t really know when everyone is done for the semester.

Today is one of my busiest days of the year. And today…oh boy today…It starts around 5:30 in the morning and goes until close to midnight. So I won’t be checking on blogs today, or probably tomorrow. I might get to them on Friday, but I get to drive my mom to the airport Friday, which is a 2 hour drive one way. And Saturday I have a funeral.

Long busy week for this writer! =P

But the good news is, I have been writing. So here’s my ROW80 check in.

1. Write 1667 words a day.

Sun: 0
Mon: 2683
Tues: 2476

2. keep up with all blog posts ROW80, WIPpet, Open When and add in 1 extra post a week

I’ve managed this so far! Just need to finish Open When twice this week. Tomorrow and Saturday. =P

3. Edit at least one chapter a week on something.

I’ve edited two chapters from Amya’s Take Out, my short stories that are companion pieces to For by Grace.

4. crochet one round of border a week

Now, for WIPpet Wednesday ::rubs hands together::

This excerpt is from Grace but not from Grace. I’ve decided to write a series of short stories in companion to For by Grace. I’m not sure if I’ll do it with the other two books in the series. I might, but … who knows. I might know more when I actually do the final edit of Fallen from Grace which should be happening soon.

Anyway. Thus far this week, I’ve written two of these short stories and edited to more. So I have like 5000 words to pick from! Yay! Today you get 3 paragraphs from “Office Hours” for the 12 month because 1 + 2 = 3

I must admit, it’s crazy weird to be writing from Amya’s POV and it’s crazy weird not to have Grace in some of the stories at all. I think that’s why I’ve put off writing these stories for so long. It’s just weird not to have the MC in the world you’ve created and written solely from for YEARS not be there at all.

Anyway, here you go! 3 paragraphs.

Grace turned to leave the room, but Amya couldn’t let her go at that. There was something in the air that hadn’t been cleared, something that needed to be. Amya tugged Grace back, walking into her body and pressing her against the office wall. She cupped Grace’s cheek with her free hand, keeping the one still entwined with Grace’s in place.

“I really like you, Grace.”

When Grace said nothing in response, Amya thought she had stepped too far over the invisible barrier they were fighting with, but when Grace slid a hand up her back, she knew she’d done the right thing. Grace’s mouth descended onto hers, and Amya let out a small moan when they touched. Grace pulled Amya tightly into her, and Amya relaxed, waiting to feel completely taken over by Grace, more so than she already was.

Thanks for stopping by! If you’re interested in joining in WIPpet Wednesday, write up a post with an excerpt from your current work in progress. Make that excerpt somehow correlate to the date and then link up the blog post with all the others right here.

It’s that time of year #ROW80

It’s that time of year when things all get smashed together in a short period of time. Happy things and sad things. Death and dying are oh so prominent throughout the holiday season. I just got off the phone with the funeral director of the funeral home in this tiny little town (he runs about 5 funeral homes I think), and he said he’s so busy this week that he can’t go to every funeral.

You might be wondering why I was on the phone with the funeral director…someone died. That’s really the only reason he would have to call me. Someone died and I get to meet with the family and work on the funeral. Someone died because that’s what people do. They live and they die, and a lot of times it happens right around the holiday season.

I can’t tell you if it’s just because people get to see all their friends and family one last time and they finally feel as though they can let go, or if it’s depression that pushes them toward suicide (that number largely goes up just after the holiday season), or if it’s simply just a mutual end of time and start for new beginnings. But it happens, and I’m sure almost every funeral director can attest to it.

Anyway, I did go off on a bit of a ramble there. My week will be filled with Christmasy things with family and planning for a funeral on the 27th. Here’s my ROW80 update.

1. Write 1667 words a day.

This isn’t happening, but I did write a little bit yesterday!

2. keep up with all blog posts ROW80, WIPpet, Open When and add in 1 extra post a week

This happened this week! My extra post was a cover reveal and I did get Open When up and ready. I have Open When scheduled 2-3 days a week until I can catch up with them all.

3. Edit at least one chapter a week on something.

This happened. I edited one chapter of Unbound, finished a copy-edit so I’m finally copy-edit free!! Meaning, I also to a slight break from editing but will jump back into it real soon. I have 3 books out next year, so I need to get on that.

4. crochet one round of border a week

I crocheted two rounds this week, and I finished the afghan. Pictures to come probably on Wednesday check-in, since it’s been off and mailed and hopefully said person will receive it by then!

 

Have a great holiday season! And remember, tell your loved ones how much you love them. Life is short, and it always ends.

Grammar Wednesday: POV–2nd Person

This is the type of person or POV that you will find the least of. It’s also, in my opinion, the hardest to write and the hardest to pull off when writing. People slip into second person when talking all the time and even when writing. It’s like, you know, you do it all the time. See what I did there? I had a professor in college who utterly hated and despised when second person was used unintentionally, and particularly, when it was used in speech. Apparently she corrected her sister on it all time–so glad I’m not her sister.

The most common way you will see second person used is in letters to other people. However, there are stories and novels written in this person.

You walk into the room, floorboards creaking with each step you take, the noise reverberates off the empty walls. You take a deep breath, waiting for the floor to collapse in on itself, or for the ghost to jump out of the closet, or for the world to simply end. It doesn’t happen. You let out the breath you’ve held until it started to burn in your lungs. The rush of hot air out and cold air in sends shivers down your spine, and you shake it off by walking to the window. The night is pitch black, the air is stiff with energy, and you can’t help but spin on your heel when the door slams shut and the lock clicks into place.

This is second person. I don’t know if I pulled it of, or if you can, but give it a shot and check it out. It’s a very interesting way to write a story.

Creative Buzz Hop: A road less traveled… (6/7)

I have generally always taken the road less traveled, from the first moment I was born to the moment that I’m living right now. This weeks Creative Buzz Hop is all about the road less traveled and the inspiration that keeps coming from being off the beaten path. Maybe that’s more astute to my road–the beaten path that one can barely see through the overgrown weeds and brush.

Anyway, this week there is a video from the Kid President, which is a vid that I’ve seen before. You can find it here. This gets posted every Wednesday and then no Thursdays all the links go in (I’m late as I took a hiatus from life for my birthday yesterday!). The goal of this Creative Buzz Hop is to write something creative from the inspiration of the week (at least, that’s what I understand it to be). Then link up your post here and read all the other posts AND comment on those posts. It’s to create community and inspiration among us. So join in!

Here’s my response to the inspiration this week.

Sometimes it’s not all about the journey and sometimes it’s not all about the end. Sometimes it is all about the beginning, the moment when the dream is decided and excitement enters the system. The road less traveled or the beaten path becomes a viable choice in the way of life and the first step is taken toward that path–sometimes there is a wait to get there.

When I was twelve years old, I started writing on occasion with my friends. We wrote a massively long Lord of the Rings fanfiction, which involved so many characters, so many details, and a great amount of humor. We never finished it, but I didn’t stop writing. My senior project for high school involved looking at the publishing industry, finding the differences between traditional publishing and self-publishing, interviews, research, paper writing and the likes. I was looking for my anthology of poetry and short stories that compiled the first of my writings. Now, eight years later, it scares the living daylights out of me to open that document and even LOOK at those writings.

Needless to say, I was not very good back then. I’m also still improving even though I have entered the publishing world. Eight years I waited to publish, and twelve years I’ve been writing. Not bad for a little girl from the hobunk state of Montana. Inspiration came with the idea of the dream. The idea to publish and to write and to get my work out there. It was all about the dream, that moment of realization of what I wanted to do, why I wanted to do it, and knowing that there were going to be hardships and great joys all along the way–there still are, even after getting to this point.

This is true for all my dreams. Nothing is smooth sailing, it is always off the beaten path or the road less traveled or the stick in the mud! The point is to see the dream and reach for it. To keep going, to trek on, to work hard and never give up until that goal and dream is reached.

But then what happens?

I am twenty-four years old. By this time next year, I will have completed all the dreams that I came out of high school with (at least the ones that I remember). I will have my Master’s in Divinity, I will be well on my way through the ordination process, I will (in theory) by published with my first trilogy and another series on the way. I will be doing everything that I thought I would be doing. So, where does that leave me?

This is the scariest prospect of the beaten path for me right now. I don’t know where to go once the road diverges again. It’s not simply just one path that Robert Frost was writing about, it’s not even two paths. There are so many of them that they make up a maze of wanderings throughout the life of each individual, each family, each pairing and grouping of friends. Sometimes the cross each other, sometimes they get so close the walkers can touch, and sometimes they are so far apart that other paths cannot be seen or even thought of. Where does that leave the world? On any one and only chosen path? Or a path that diverges once, twice, so many times that we lose count of the ways and directions that we have gone?

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WIPpet Wednesday: June 5th, 2013

Good morning! Guess what! Tomorrow is my birthday, so you’re getting something extra special today. I’m currently editing the prequel to my novel that’s out…this one is called DYING EMBERS. It’s so exciting. I should have it done by the end of this week (in theory). Today you will get two scenes, the first is amusing, the second is one of my favorite lines EVER!!!

11 paragraphs for the six plus the five of the month plus the date!! Favorite scene (well, one of). Rob is Addy’s little brother *snorts* they’re in their early twenties and he has just helped her move into her new apartment and new town.

***

Addison’s eyes remained glued to the retreating figure.  Rob pushed her until she started to move toward the truck.  She hit the electronic lock and opened the door.  She shook her head; dating the apartment manager was not an option.  She felt good, knowing that she was back on track after her most recent break-up.  She felt emotionally stable enough to think about a relationship, which added to her ease.

Sticking the key in the engine and turning her wrist, Addison started the engine.  The machine roared to life as her eyes tracked the progress of her brother as he walked around the front of the vehicle and tried to open the door.

The grin on her lips presented a priceless moment.

He pulled the handle and stepped back.  Taking a deep breath, he shook his head.

Calling through the closed window to her, he said, “Come on, Addy, this stopped being funny when you were sixteen and green.”

“Oh, it so did not.”

She reached over and flicked the lock.  The sound resounded throughout the vehicle.  Out of the corner of her eye, she caught him reach forward to open the door.  She hit the button again.

Pulling the handle, Rob found the door locked once more.  Jerking his hand a few times, he glared.  “Seriously.  Do you want food or not?”

Giving in, Addison unlocked the door and waited for him to climb in.

“Where to, Buzz?” She smirked.

“Infinity and beyond!” he smartly replied before waving her to take a right out of the parking lot.

***

AND to my favorite freakin’ line EVER!!!! Context? James is trying to hit on Addy and is ridiculously awkward about it. *giggles* Addy gave James this beautiful description of her eyes (which are yellow, btw, but according to Addy, yellow with green and brown hues in the center). James had to one up her–and yes, James is a woman!

***

“I like your eyes—they’re like Christmas trees, all green and shit.”

***

Obviously my favorite line is the Christmas line! bahahahaha! Still in love with it. Anyway, you got a special something today!!

If you want to participate, My Random Muse is hosting, and check out the link to add yours. If you just want to participate by reading, then READ AWAY!!!

Grammar Wednesday: POV–1st person

I’ve decide the next group of grammar goodness will be about persons in writing. There are typically 3 persons, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd! Go figure, the numbers go up.

First person, at least from what I have seen, is becoming far more common–that might just be because I’m seeing it more, not that it actually is becoming more common. I might have ignored it, since I don’t like it. Apparently a lot of people like it. What I’ve heard is that it gives more insight to the character, but it is harder to write because the MC has to be in every single scene (this is assuming there is only one POV in the novel). There are ways to have multiple first person POV’s in one novel. Check out Jodi Picoult. She has a lot in her books.

Example of first person:

I shuffled my foot against the sidewalk as my cheeks burned with fire. Mom scolded me like I was a two-year-old who had just thrown a temper tantrum at the grocery store–I can assure you I did no such thing. I refused to look up at her as the hot sun beat down on my shoulders and the top of my head. Waves of embarrassment floated through my body, grasping on to ever available surfaced and licking my wounds with vinegar, causing them to burn even more. I meant to steal the candy bar. She thought it was an accident, that I had simply walked out without paying for it because I forgot. But that’s not how it was. I had carefully chosen which chocolate bar I wanted to eat and I slipped it into my hand, keeping it in my fist. I didn’t put it in my pocket or one of the grocery bags–I was going to walk out of that store with it in my hand where everyone could see it if they wanted to. I had dared them to approach me. They didn’t. Mom had caught me though–right when we got home.

So that’s first person! I really like it in memoir or autobiography, but that’s about it. I highly doubt you will ever see a novel or short story from me that is fiction and in first person. It’s not my thing! Have fun and have a great day!

Grammar Wednesday: the “U” and the “A”

This is a common mistake that I find with my copy-editing, and it has to do with tenses, which I will eventually tackle on this blog.

Drank v. Drunk
Sank v. Sunk

These are two that are commonly misused when speaking and even more commonly misused when writing.

1–He drank the tea.
2–He had drunk the tea.

The first sentence is past tense, the second is past perfect or perfect past.  If you are writing in past tense, and the action happens in the moment (yes, I know that doesn’t make TOTAL sense), then the first sentence is correct. If time has passed since the action has occurred, then the past perfect is necessary and the second sentence is correct.

1–The ship sank in port; the U.S.S. Arizona fell beneath the warm waters of the harbor.
2–The ship had sunk in port; the U.S.S. Arizona had fallen beneath the warm waters of the harbor.

Do you see the difference? In the second sentence there is the past perfect tense twice, with the “had sunk” and “had fallen.” These tense things take time to learn. I will do a more in-depth post about them, including also present tense. For kicks and giggles, the present tense of the second example would be: “The ship sinks in the port; the U.S.S. Arizona falls beneath the warm waters of the harbor.

I should note that I have never ever EVER written a story in present tense. It’s just not my thing. However, I have edited and read plenty. A lot of it comes with preference.

WIPpet Wednesday May 29th!

Hey, y’all! (I can say that because I live in Texas!). It’s Wednesday and that means two great things happen today. This is one! It’s so exciting.

It’s WIPpet Wednesday, meaning this is a post about my WIP (Work In Progress) and connects in some way to the date. Lots of peoples are doing it, so why aren’t you on the bandwagon yet? Here’s the link! WIPpet. Also…this is a really good practice for all you inspiring writers out there to get into. Writing something once a week can help you get into the habit of writing every day.

I’m taking a break from novel writing, waiting until June first rolls around. So, that means I’ve been working on a short story (amidst some copy-editing for two new up and coming authors). I plan of submitting this short for an anthology, meaning that I need to get cracking on it today. Going to Starbucks soon to get my write-on!

Here are the first 29 sentences of my short story (paranormal romance).

***

The flash lit up the sky, blinding CL’s eyes. The stream barreled toward the ground, fingering off in different directions until it dissipated into the darkening night. Rain clouds loomed overhead, dark and dirty, threatening to come even closer to the little haven below on the ground. Trees stood up tall, protecting the tiny house as it stood in silent reverence. CL swallowed and licked her lips, waiting for the taste of rain on her tongue.

It wouldn’t be much longer.

Taking in a deep breath and filling her lungs with the rich scent of damp greenery, she stood still. This time her eyes were closed when the lightning struck down from the world above, lashing out its anger against the defense of stoicism. CL didn’t move. The hairs in her nose burned as ozone washed where she stood; her eyes watered from the sting in the musky air.

God tried to tear open the sky, using both hands to rip it in half, scrambling to get a tight grip to shred the world. The sound was intoxicating. Cracks and pops resounded through the small forest just on the edge of the clearing, echoing as even more bounced through the clouds. Quickly it turned into deep rolling waves as energy disappeared just as fast as it came. She only had a few seconds left.

The wind shifted and the air chilled as she waited with her chin upturned to the roiling heaven above. She lived for days like these. With arms wrapped around her chest, she shivered, still keeping her stance in the center of her yard as the floodgates eased open. Her white, gauzy summer dress wrapped tightly around her ankle, tangling as sheets of water started to fall, one after the other until they reached her toes. That was when she turned. Sliding her bare heel into the dirt, CL booked it for her deck, the rain already caught up with her.

“You shouldn’t stay out there.”

She gasped and stood stock still on the last step of her stairs, the rain still beating down on her head. Pressing a hand over her racing heart, she looked up into the greenest eyes she had ever seen. Her chest rose and fell unevenly as the man stood between her and her door. She blinked back the water from her eyes as it trailed down her face and through her hair. CL grasped for words as she memorized what he looked like. “It’s raining” was all she managed to make out, her voice weak and covered by the rolling thunder.

“It is,” he said, smiling sweetly. He reached out, his hand ghosting along the skin of her cheek.

***

There is definitely more to come! I’m absolutely in love with CL and her inability to decide whether to break and run for it or if she should stick around and figure out who this stranger really is. Too bad I only have 10,000 words to play with her. Maybe I’ll steal here for a longer piece somewhere in the near future.

So…come one, come all. Join in this fun. Thank you to all who are participating and enjoy the work that they have spent so much time and energy creating!

TTFN!

Beta-reading

Today I am working on editing. And not my own stuff.

I finished up a Twilight fanfic (yes, I beta it…no I do not write it, nor have I read the books or the movies, so sometimes beta’ing can be quite interesting). I beta for a website called Project Team Beta, which takes on a few fandoms and original fiction. It is also where I have found my wonderful beta’s for my novels throughout the past.

I’m about to embark on a new adventure. I was approached and as to copy-edit (professionally, I might add) an erotica novel. To be sure that the individual and I work well together, I requested a chapter be sent to me (free of charge, of course) so that I may copy-edit it and send it back before any commitments have been made. It’s quite a process. If this edit goes well, I’ll have my second official copy-editing job ever.

And on that note–later on today, after these first two edits and before writing group, I will be copy-editing a novel titled “Stuck on Pause.” I’m about a fourth of the way through the novel and will absolutely have it completed by June 1st. This copy-editing stuff takes a very long time, but it’s so much fun. I quite enjoy it.

I remember when I was little and reading novels that I would point out mistakes in them to my mother but still enjoy the novel itself. She told me a few times that I should become a professional editor. Well, God had different plans for me, but doing it on the side is still great fun and joy (and a way to earn some extra cash). I never honestly thought in the past year that I’ve been beta’ing or copy-editing for people that ANYONE would actually pay me for it!

Beta-reading can be a tricky matter. There comes into play grammar, process, plot-lines, subplots, authorship, cranky authors (which I might be one of them), stubbornness and the intense need to be able to multitask. I have to be able to look for many things in a novel at the same time…that or suffer a third or fourth run-through, looking for different things each time. Grammar is all-out one of the most important things, but so is story flow. If the story is not there, I can edit the grammar endlessly and the story will still not be good. I’ve had a couple of those. But I’ve also had fantastic stories that are so poorly written in the grammatical sense that no one would ever read them. My job, as I see it, is to make the story read better, to give a hand up to the author toward a path of completing their story/novel etc. It’s not my story; it’s there. So, what they do with it after I send it back is their own prerogative.

The Failure of Time

I wanted to share this blog and the struggles that I have been dealing with for the past “little” while. It seems over this past week to me that each person’s story and struggle is important to understanding who they are and where they come from. It is also rather therapeutic for those who are doing the telling. I hope this story doesn’t seem too personal, or that you think I’m revealing far too much about myself in it. However, I do believe in honesty and truth, and in not hiding in the shade.

***

It’s so hard for me to put this into words that make sense. The closest I can come to is that I feel like a failure. While there are a few things in my life that are not going right at the moment (work, school, the pursuit of happiness), the one that would be relevant to this blog is my novel and my writing. FOREVER BURN came out March 1st of this year, and while I have sold copies of it, I feel inadequate in the amount that have been sold and the entire process.

I’m sitting here thinking that it needed another round or two of editing. That it needed a better, more formed, stronger publisher, who works harder (or at all) on marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my publisher, she’s great and sweet, but I’m starting to see some downfalls and thinking that I may have made a bad choice.

When it comes to marketing, I feel as though there is only so much that I can do by myself for free. I certainly can’t afford to hire a publicist or even pay $50 to end up on a blog tour or to have my book reviewed. I’ve been unemployed since December of 2011 and the toll on me has been taken. I live off of about $900-$1000 a month (3/4 of that if not more goes to rent). That is considered poverty, yet here I stand (or sit, actually), living off my mother who can barely afford to live as is. It’s a constant struggle. When is writing and taking this time not worth it anymore?

When will I reap the benefits? I did get my first royalty check at the first of this month. I was ecstatic even though the dollar amount was measly (under $20). What do I get for it? I spent hours upon hours, money on ink to print and edit, money to mail stuff out to the publisher, cover artists, editor, and formatter, I put so much time and energy into it and all for what? I know that I’ll get more later on, but what I’m debating right now is whether or not it’s even worth it to try again.

Such is the life of a writer, I suppose. But so is the life of a student, a daughter, a volunteer, a copy-editor, a woman, a young adult, and a human.

I am someone who likes to see quick results, who can look and know that there is an end, a resolution, a pinnacle point somewhere in the near future. Maybe that’s not what happens with writing; maybe I need to be patient for yet another three years and still struggle to make any ends even come close to meeting; or maybe I should just give up. Not writing. I’m not sure that I could ever give up writing as a whole, but maybe I should give up the idea of publishing in this world, of sharing my stories in anything other than an online format for free for anyone who happens to stumble upon them. Maybe this just isn’t the time.

Time is an interesting subject to study. After spending a week in Guatemala and small towns where time just seems to slow down, where there are seconds and minutes in each hour that can be counted because they are each working toward the survival of time’s occupant; perhaps this is what I need a reminder of. I need to let everything slow down and come to ripen with the seasons.

Grammar Wednesday: Quoting a quote

I was writing, and I had a question. This is how I typically come up with finding grammatical rules to remember for the rest of my writing career. In my newest novel FOR BY GRACE, there is a character, Peter, who has a bad habit of quoting scripture when he’s drunk.

So, as a college student, I certainly know how to quote within a quote. It got confusing when it became a quote within a quote within a quote. Let’s start with the first though, shall we?

To quote dialogue there is always double quote marks to open and close the speech.

He said, “Why the hell did you do that?”

Simple enough, right? I actually ran into a beta recently that had single quotes, or single for one and double for another, and my most recent beta who didn’t put quote marks in at all. It gets a bit more confusing when you add in a quote within the quote. For that you have the double quotes for the person who is actually speaking and single quotes for what that person is saying. For example:

She replied, “Well, I was told to. She told me, ‘You go out there and be strong. You are smart, you are pretty and you are strong.'”

Single quotes within the double quotes, making sure to close everything out at the end of the dialogue so that it’s all complete. Simple enough. Now, here’s the complication I ran into. Peter is quoting Scripture in his own speech, which has dialogue in it. To resolve this, it’s double quotes for what Peter says, single quotes for the Scripture, then back to double for the dialogue in the Scripture (are you starting to see the pattern?). Here’s a sneak peek of the novel, too.

“Peter is the disciple. Peter makes the revelation. Peter is the child of God who follows Jesus.  ‘Jesus went out, with his disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”’” Peter paused.

Wow! Look at all those quote marks to close out all the quotes. It’s insane! I wouldn’t suggest going beyond what I did here, but as you might have guess it goes double, single, double, single, double, single until you’re done or don’t need anymore. If you have more than this, I suggest reworking the piece so you don’t need it. I even reworked a lot in this piece to get rid of a lot of the double and triple quote marks.

Keep it up, and remember to always edit!

Paving the way…

I am paving the way toward professionalism in this little world called writing. Yesterday, I was awarded (it’s a bidding thing) the job of copy-editing someone’s novel. And they’re actually going to pay me for it! I’ve been copy-editing and beta reading for people for the last few years, all for free. This is a grand new revelation to think someone would actually pay me to do the same work that I was doing for free. Hmmm…it sounds a lot like ministry.

So, now that I have this free-lance copy-editing thingamajig on my record, it has been said to me that more copy-editing jobs will come. Maybe that’s true, maybe that’s not. I don’t really know, but it would be awesome if it did. I mean two to five of these jobs a month and I’d be making the income that I want to make–not so sure how that would work with school, though.

Secondly, I’m paving the way back into author-hood. Last night, I emailed in FOR BY GRACE to a new publishing company with query letter all neatly typed and gone over a half-million times. Hitting that send button was one of the scariest things I have ever done. I didn’t really sleep last night because of it (note to self: send in these query emails early enough to have a few shots of hard liquor before attempting sleep).

This new publisher is fantastic, and I can’t tell you how excited I would be if they chose to publish FOR BY GRACE. However, I still must wait. Their site states they will get back to me by July 1. Well, that’s a damn long time to wait for an answer, and we all know that I am NOT the most patient person in this world–or even this tiny apartment complex. So, I’m set to wait until at least July 1, where I can finally give up the hope of them liking FOR BY GRACE.

There was a huge debate last night before I sent in my query letter as to what name the letter should bear: legal name, nick name, or author name. After much discussion, I chose: legal first name “nick name” legal last name.

If you have any other suggestions on how to do this, please tell me. I’d love to be informed for the next time (and yes, we all know that I am a glutton for punishment).

ttfn!!

The Brick Wall of God

I have been asked so many times in the past few weeks why I’m still in school studying to be a minister if my passion is obviously in writing and writing only. The answer is that I have many passions, and that God told me to be a minister. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it, but saying no to God is oft times like talking to a brick wall. Once God has made a decision for your life, you better get on board because the train is leaving with you on it whether you want to be on it or not.

I’ve had many discussions with my mom about this, because she’s wondered the exact same thing. I get thrills out of writing, and I enjoy it like no other hobby I have ever had. But to me that is all it is. I have no desire to become a professional writer where I spend days upon days writing and only writing (I’m sure there would be some editing in there, too). It’s not what I want to do with my life. I want to be a minister, to spread the good news that Christ is Risen and that God is in our land and that the Spirit loves us with all that she can. This is my passion for life, for living, for being who I am.

Well, that was a bit of a side note, but it leads me to this. My mom (whom I adore and love) forwarded me this email today. Scott Hedegaard writes daily devotionals that he sends out in a mass email. This was today’s.

Check out Isaiah 44:24-28.

God makes some strange choices sometimes. God chooses Abraham, who at the beginning of the story is pretty nondescript. Abraham’s grandson Jacob – a deceiver and a cheat – is chosen over his brother Esau. Moses, a murderer, is elected to be the one to bring Israel from slavery to freedom. David the shepherd boy is considered the ideal king.

Still one can imagine the people in exile, upon hearing this announcement, saying, “Who? Really?” God calls Cyrus a foreign warrior, someone not even of the people as the one to shepherd Israel, the one to bring them deliverance, the one by whose command the Holy City will be rebuilt.

But we know how that goes. God called us too. And I suspect with a lot of us (me especially) people around us said, “Who? Really?” We may have even remarked that ourselves. Yet we are chosen and we are called and we are sent. And it is not by our own power that we are able to fulfill God’s calling. No, God gives us what we need to be messengers of grace and rebuilders in the city of God.

Send us out, Lord; give us power. Amen

It’s just something to think about the next time you have the reaction of “Who? Really?” Do not doubt what God had set in place and in motion. Breathe in and accept that God’s work is at hand in the moment.

Struggling Artist #indie

It’s hard to struggle. I think that, and then at the same time I think that struggling just adds that much more to the story. I have officially been unemployed since December of 2011. That’s sixteen months and heading right into the seventeenth. Yes, I currently work at a church twice a month doing children’s church but that doesn’t even pay me enough to feed my cats on a monthly basis, let alone me.

Struggling sucks. Flat out–it sucks. I have sent in dozens of applications to entry level, low level, crappy, good, educated jobs–just about anything one can think of, I’ve applied for it (except McDonald’s and Walmart, the two I will NEVER apply for).

I’m a writer. I’m even a published writer. It’s like people think that once published, everything takes off. Well, it doesn’t. To live off my royalties the amount of books I would have to sell is a number so large that my brain can’t compute it. My goal is to sell 60 ebooks a month. Which would be totally awesome if it did happen (and it did, for at least the first month). But the problem is that it still takes anywhere from four to six months for me to see that money. There is a gigantic lag.

This is the not so pretty side of publishing. The money isn’t instantaneous, there is a seriously long wait to get it. And getting it right now would be awesome! This is also why so many authors and writers have day jobs. People think it would be awesome to write all day and to only worry about the damned loud characters in my head that shout at me second after second to get their story written, but I’m not so sure about that. It gets pretty boring to sit by myself in my apartment all day, writing. I’ve done it–for the past sixteen months. It ain’t so pretty at all.

The day job gives me time to think, time to work through problems and people to talk to. Now, it doesn’t have to be the day job of my dreams or one that takes over my life. Something that is sufficient enough to give me something else to think about–that’s what I want. Something to ease the tedium of writing (never thought I would say that).

Now, go write and read peoples!! Support those indie authors!

Forever Burn Collage

Forever Burn Collage

I finally put the collage together that I’ve been meaning to do. These are a few photos from people who bought “Forever Burn” and were kind enough to send me the photos of them holding it. I love the community, love, and care that this shows, and seeing all these smiling faces just makes me grin in response.

If you buy it, post a picture with you and the book (either print or ebook) on my facebook page. I’ll make a new collage with all the additions.

Condoms! Condoms! Condoms!

I feel as though I need to jump on the bandwagon with this one. While yes, I mostly write lesbian fiction for publishing, I do write quite a bit of het fanfiction (actually, the majority of it). Now…I’ve been bad. The high majority of the time, my male characters do not wear a condom.

Now, that doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens a lot of the time. I think it really goes with what is happening. All of the characters (at least the majority of the time) are in monogamous relationships–or at least working toward one. I have read many places that when writing sex scenes always use the sleeping bag.

I really should write condoms in more, which is something I will continue to do in my fanfiction writing (and original when I actually get around to writing a het original).

Condoms are sexy. There is no reason why one shouldn’t use them when having sex (in writing and in real life). We are not a society that really promotes or advocates for abstinence until marriage anymore. I think it’s been accepted that it doesn’t really happen.

Condoms are sexy. Red, blue, black, white, purple, green, yellow, flavored, lubed–they’re all fantastically sexy.

Amy writes that she has a condom kink (she also has a consent kink–which should include consent for both parties, not just the woman, just saying). Maybe I should have a condom kink…a fetish with condoms. Perhaps I’ll work toward that, toward making sure that a condom is always present unless the circumstances don’t require it (aka my new novel where the goal is to get pregnant).

Women need to ask for condoms and come prepared with them just as much as any man does. Protect the vag, ladies. You can bring the protection! Don’t play damsel in distress, hoping the knight in shining armor has one stashed somewhere.

Amy’s Post: Unchainedfaith
Sirena’s Post: Condoms in Literature

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA SPLICE–rearranging

I realize that this post is going to be short, as it should be pretty self-explanatory. However, next week I will be concluding the comma splice regime with how to find comma splices. My cohort Amy is a comma splice nazi, particularly in my own work. Check out her blog, she’s awesome sauce!

Rearrange the structure of the sentence

4. Adrian is writing a forum on comma splices, she is sitting in class.

RESOLUTION:

Adrian is writing a forum on comma splices while she is sitting in class.

As I said before, resolving comma splices is very stylistic.  Here is another option for resolving this comma splice.  This is by changing the structure of the sentence. Be careful when doing this, as it can change the meaning of the sentence.

6. “I’m Adrian, I’m a word-guru, according to my best friend.”

RESOLUTION:

“I’m Adrian and a word-guru, according to my best friend.”

Rearranging this sentence with a conjunction to make an independent clause with a dependent clause does not change the meaning of this sentence. It actually makes it read more like one would speak.

Abundance of ideas…

I have an abundance of ideas. This is not abnormal for me. I’m currently in the middle of three novels, two being edited and one that I just started writing. I am also working on, in my head of course, the sequel to Forever Burn, called either Ashes Fall or Blaze, Fire, Blaze and the sequel to For by Grace, called Fallen from Grace.

But I’m here to talk about the newest novel, which I am writing with Sirena Robinson (she’ll yet at me later for starting that sentence with a conjunction). This novel is not like anything either one of us has written before. First off, it’s taken on a sci-fi element. It’s happening on a space ship and a space station. OH MY! (please say that in your head like George Takei). Secondly, this novel is a complete erotica. Although, the first chapter does not have sex in it yet.

This novel is my “on the side” novel, the one that I will only work on one day a week because I do not want it to detract from my other writing. That seems to be working rather well thus far. I think it helps to have someone else who is writing something else and keeping me on track with it. I would love to share more with you about this piece; however, I’ll leave it to you to guess. I don’t want to spoil it or have anyone steal my ideas. We will probably self-pub this novel under a combined pseud. I’ll keep you updated!

Getting back into it

I have not worked on FOR BY GRACE since last Monday. Oh. My. God! It’s insane! I had one whirlwind of a week between class assignments and extra events. My friend had an art show in Friday night, then two of my friends got married on Saturday (to each other, not two different weddings), then Sunday was filled with church, job applications, and going to Ennis, TX to look at the blue bonnets.

But…today is Monday. This means editing (which I should be doing right now instead of writing this blog post) and writing group tonight at the Gingerman. I’m so excited for this writing group.

I’ve also started to explore the world of online dating…now, I’ve done this before and it’s just as tedious now as it was then. I’m sure I’ll be able to tell many stories of the dates or conversations I have with these individuals. I mean, things can get pretty freaky. =P Maybe I’ll put it into a book sometime.

So back to editing. But I’ll leave you with a picture from yesterday looking at blue bonnets. Btw, my friend I went with, Amy Bush, is a photographer. Check her out here. Or on Facebook, here.

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Writing for speech

As most of you, or at least some of you, might know, I dapple in the world of ministry. I recently (meaning only a short few hours ago) had to give a sermon on a text from the gospel of John (4:5-42, if you were curious). Now, I obviously love and enjoy writing and the rush that it gives me.

I’ve heard tell that if one can write, one can preach. That is SO not true! Writing for reading and writing for speaking are two completely different things. Now, one who writes might have a one up on those who don’t, because we know how to plot something out. There’s a beginning that grips, certain moves that are taken, a heightening in action or emotion and then a sweet conclusion to wrap everything up.

Writing a sermon is much like writing a short story–however, I do not write short stories, at least not often (planning on two this next month). I wrote my sermon, I plotted it out like I was writing a short story about this one moment, a moment that changes. The moment when the Spirit enters into our lives and carry us away on the breeze.

Describing a moment in words is one part of this, the other is in voice. If I talk about this moment like a dull school teacher that has no passion for the subject, then the moment will never come. If I talk about the moment with energy and excitement, with joy and praise, then that moment is transferred to those listening, the experience it again. That is the difference in writing a sermon and writing a novel/story. The writing for the sermon is the prep–the reading of it is what makes the sermon a sermon.

If enough of you want, I might post my manuscript for my sermon on here. Not sure if I will though.