Sunday, January 15, 2017

A+B Doesn't Always Equal C

Bam, and Here Comes Z

Funny. I began writing Flirty and Red, the new story. Had it in my head as a contemporary, but there were hints that Red was more, not human. Struggled with that idea. I mean, the goal was for these two to have a pretty simple story. Meet, conflict, resolve and end. But, nooooooo. Red had to be something different.

Isn't that the problem sometimes? As a writer, even a writer who plans every last moment, you have an idea or a concept. Then, before you realize it, your story has changed. It's a lot like the characters having a life of their own, and you? You're just the storyteller, providing the events as they lived it rather than how you wanted it to be.

Me? Had the whole thing outlined from beginning to end. Now? I've got to do research, go back to the first chapter and add the layers then return to the area where I am currently and get the job done.

And, you know what? I'm happy. Writing shouldn't be easy. It shouldn't be a formula. A+B always equals C. No, it doesn't. Sometimes, you have to let D, E, F, and G in there. Then you have a story. It's like life. BAM, Z comes out of nowhere and clunks you on the head. Then, you have to deal with it.

I'm dealing with it and can't wait to see where it ends.

On Audiobooks? 

Right now, I'm listening to this series by Maris Black. Oh, my everloving wow. You have to check this book out, but be prepared. It's not easy. It's not cute. It's beautiful, dark and a little twisted. And, no, not twisted in that taboo way. It's raw, and it's real. Love it. But, I'm ahead of myself. Hang on a sec....

There you go! Find this book. It's a three part series, and you will not regret listening. In fact, you'll become addicted. Oh, that reminds me. Another second here...

The blurb!
My name is Jamie Atwood, and I'm an addict. I never thought I'd say such a thing. Never had a problem being overly attached to anything in my life. I came from a perfectly middle-class family, made good grades, and had a hot cheerleader girlfriend...but the truth is, nothing ever really moved me.

So how did a guy like me become an addict? I met Michael Kage. Kage is an MMA fighter. A famous one. I like to think I helped him get that way. He's charming as hell, with looks to rival any movie star and talent to back it up. So why did he need to hire me as an intern publicist? Simple. He has a darkness in him - like a black hole so deep it could swallow him and me and everyone we know - and that's not good for business. The first time I met him, I felt the pull. I think the addiction began at that very moment. And even if I'd known then what I know now, I would have fallen for him. How could I not? For me, Kage is everything.

Getting so much done here, because I will do anything to listen to this story: clean, wash, fold, drive, etc. Anything. 

Have you had a moment to check out Banks? If you're needing someone to listen to while you're writing or studying, try her. She's my go to . You can even do her radio station on most apps and get the same type of feeling. 

What's out there right now for me?

Broken Bones is available almost anywhere ebooks are sold, and of course, on the DSP website. 
They Called Him Nightmare and A Chance for Hope (which is actually a part of the Love Wins Anthology) is located on the Dreamspinner Press website and almost anywhere ebooks are sold. 

What am I crossing my fingers for? 
A Place for Dreams
Getting There
Both have been submitted. Let's all cross our fingers.

Still hoping for Broken Pieces to finally be finished. Waiting on some beta responses on that one, then submitting. 

Well, that's me, my lovelies! Happy hugs and hopeful wishes!


I'm dealing.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Year, No Promises

Out there making those fantastic New Year's Resolutions? Not me. Resolutions are promises you make to yourself that you are well aware will be broken. So, I don't make them. What would be better? How about, "I'm going to be happier," It's simple, but then it takes a lot of work to do that. Means you have to be happy in your own skin regardless of what someone else says about you, believes about you. You have to know how truly amazing you are.

The same could be said for writing. I'm realizing as I write more that I have to be happy with what I write as well as be aware of what my readers need. So, I've actually taken the time to ask one or two who've read a few of my books what they liked.

One said, "I like that you don't just write sex. You build the story. I like story." Perfect. I like story, too. I'm not trying to write porn. I'm trying to introduce you to the men I see in my head, get you to know them. Do I love the smexy? Just as much as anyone else, but give me the story first.

Another said, "I like that your guys seem real." That's good, too. Yes, I know they're in my head, but that doesn't make them any less real to me than they are to the people who meet them. It's funny how sometimes I have an idea of who I want them to be, who I want them to love only to learn that they don't care what I want. I simply have to go along for the ride, and it's a ride I enjoy.

What do I need to improve? Well, thank goodness for betas, because before the books make it to my readers, we have killed the superfluous use of backstory, the word "that", the need to say one thing three different ways and the tense change. Oh, and let's not forget that whole show versus tell monster. Without them? It's over. Just over.

Being happy as a person and a writer means three things for me:
1. Be willing to change - I don't have to be in a box, and I'm not going to be. I have to be willing to grow to see beyond limitations both in my life and how I live it as well as how I write. It means seeing beyond the limitations others may set for me.

Know that you are capable of more than even you know.

2. Take care of my craft by taking care of me - That whole lose weight deal became very real for me recently. I usually exercise and eat well, but prior to a few weeks ago, I settled into a rut. Well, like a domino effect, some crazy went down.

Food poisoning, some girl issues, or lack of, led to some seriously uncomfortable testing which made me lose time and spend a portion of it in several doctor's offices. Why? Well, it turns out if you don't take care of you, then you will have health problems. Go figure!

So back to walking, swimming and eating well. Can't be there for my family if I don't. Can't write if I don't. Taking care of me allows that to happen.

Hey, are you taking care of you?

3. Do what I love - If I'm going to be happy, I have to do what I love. Do the parenting thing. Do the family thing. Do the friendship thing. Do the teaching thing. Do the music thing. Do the writing thing. Whatever it is, do it because I love it, and put my all into it. I love to write. It's a part of me, something I just can't let go. If I'm going to do it, I have to do it well which means regular practice, studying, and reading.

Hey, Pixar says it best (Okay, maybe not best, but they do a really fabulous job of it).

See this link for the whole image. It's worth a look. 

I heard something interesting today. Slow down. 

Don't be in such a hurry. Value the things you love. Live in the top right quadrant, things that are important but not urgent. Breathe. 

My life is not a competition, no commentators on the sidelines worthy of my attention. Yours shouldn't be either. That includes the naysayers and the critics. My writing is not a game, a place where I put undue stress on myself to be better than the next person or try to meet everyone else's needs. Write because you love to write and because you want to reach the audience that enjoys what you put your heart and soul into. It takes time for that, so be patient. 

That doesn't mean you don't do a few things. For example, Amy Lane says it's important to know your genre, to know who you write like so you're able to pitch to someone else unfamiliar with your style. 

Learning from others, reading others, studying the ones who went before you? That's a good thing. Frustrating yourself about why you can't be them? Not. 

So, slow down.

Be willing to change. Take care of myself. Do what I love. Breathe. Live. 

Sounds good to me. 

Oh, and on the writing front, I'm working on that story, the one that appeared in my head when I took the Concealed Carry class, the very flirty guy and the cowboy who fell in love with him. I'm really excited about them. And, wow, finding their names? That took work.

Ah, and I did get the certificate in the mail by the way, the one that allows me to hide a weapon. Have I done anything with it? 
No. Still thinking. 

But, making empty promises? Resolutions? 

Who needs them when you can just choose to love you? 

Happy New Year