17 February 2016

After the Party

Thanks to everyone who took part in Monday's Muse Party Blogfest, as well as those who just stopped by. Hopefully everyone had a good time with their Valentines and anti-Valentines. I know I did! It was super fun to read everyone's posts about their muses/characters.

The Muse Parties always seem very chaotic. A lot of our muses have a lot in common. For one, there is so much sarcasm and snark being thrown around that I wish I had brought some earplugs. And having that many crazy characters in one place can be dangerous. I think if these parties were real, they would end in drunken fights, random muse hookups, police involvement, and possibly the whole place burning down. While that didn't actually happen, we came pretty close. Here are just a few highlights:

- We had several awesome muses and characters show up (along with their awesome authors!), including a fairy, a Viking, and a cannibal (just don't call her that). Luckily no one was maimed or eaten.
- A lot of muses had significant others who weren't at the party so were just there for a fun time. Others wanted to flirt like crazy. I won't say which one mine was...
- I spent most of the time making sure Jordan didn’t drink any of the booze everyone else brought (so much wine!). I *should* hold off on another Muse Party until he’s 21 but I probably won’t.
- We had lots and lots of sweets and uh, roasted goat. (Yum?)
- Not everyone was too keen on wearing the dress code colors. It's all good, though. Pink isn't for everyone. "Are you saying I dressed up for nothing?" Jordan asked. "AND I could have worn gray???"
- Too many disturbing versions of spin the bottle that involved sharing drinks and all out brawls. I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but letting Jordan be in charge of spin the bottle probably would have been safer.
- Jordan somehow got frosting all over his nice black shirt (I dunno, something happened with Will Scarlet on the table for at least seven minutes), but it worked out since he got a few cool t-shirts as musiversary gifts. Hopefully everyone snagged some cupcakes before he smooshed them, though.  
- I have no idea what happened to Jordan's tie. I'm not sure I want to know. 
- Various random fires. Probably more than one magic spell. And possibly some sword fights.
- Between Valentine’s Day gifts between writers and muses, plus musiversary gifts for me and Jordan, you couldn’t see the floor by the end of the party. Nothing but wrapping paper.

I'm done with the cartoons, I swear. For now...

Thanks to everyone for making the second Muse Party Blogfest a success!

15 February 2016

The Muse Party Blogfest: (Anti-) Valentine's Day Edition!

The day has finally arrived! It's February 15, which aside from being the day after Valentine's Day, also happens to be my musiversary with Jordan. So we're throwing another Muse Party! All of my blogger buddies who signed up will be showing up with their muses or characters and sharing their love and/or hate of Valentine's Day! Let's get started!

I know I usually give Jordan the blue font when we share a post, but since love is in the air, today we're going with red.
Love is in the air? Someone call an exterminator. 
ANYWAY. For this party, I've added pictures! They were a lot of fun to make so I hope you enjoy. I apologize for how long this post will be, and for any inappropriate comments made (not by me...). Let's get to the questions!

1. Who did you bring to the party? Is he/she your Valentine or anti-Valentine?
Since it’s our party and our musiversary, I of course brought Jordan to the party.
Against my will, I should add.
That’s not true! You’re excited, admit it!
Nope. Hate Valentine’s Day. Romance. Stupid. Blech.
Uh-huh. We’re the epitome of anti-Valentines in case that wasn’t painfully obvious. I think listing all of the reasons would take all day.

2. Which one of you is the more romantic person?
Uhhhh you, obviously, with your “I’ve only kissed one guy my whole life” crap. I’ve never done any romantic thing. Ever.
Yet! What about Adam?
SPOILERS. How about we get the first book done before jumping to the third one?
Don’t change the subject! You luuuuuuuuuurve him.
DO NOT. I’m only 20! That’s still a good two years away from being a thing.
Jordan and Adam sitting in a tree…
For the love of God, shut up! The only reason he even exists is to save me from YOU.
Excuse me?
Everyone thinks I’m the mean one but you basically TORTURE me in the second book. I mean, really. WRITERS.
So I give you a nice boyfriend in Book 3.
You’re welcome!

3. What gift are you giving to your (anti) Valentine?
I got you a box of chocolates! Wait, where did they go?
I may have found them earlier… *burp*
Oooook. What did you get me?
That’s creepy on so many levels.
No, it’s incredibly practical. You need them more than I do. At least I can’t get knocked up. No one wants to end up like my mom, Sarah! 
Riiiiiiiiiihgt. You still need them, though.
Not for everything…

4. Are you guys wearing red or pink (or black...)? 
Well, I did just buy this great pink dress, and since it’s the internet, I’m going to pretend if fits without Spanx. But black tights! Mostly because I like black tights.
Pink is pretty much the last color you will ever catch me in. I’m going with black just because. But with a pop of red, you know, to be festive.
A tie? I thought you didn’t care about this party enough to dress up.
Yeah, I’m just hoping some cute boys show up.

5. Did you bring any Valentine’s Day treats?
Don’t say it…
I made cupcakes!
You’re so predictable.
But they’re my Valentine’s Day cupcakes! I had to make them. You know you want one…
Can’t talk. Eating.

6. Name a song for our Love Playlist or Anti-Love Playlist (or both)!
I’m going to add Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” for the Love Playlist. Because I’ve decided it should be you and Adam’s song. Because you luuuuuuuuurve him.
You’re not allowed to watch Twilight movies anymore.
Ok, then Mr. Rock Star, what’s your anti-love song?
Hmm…so many choices. I can only pick one?
Uhhh….I don’t think so. I choose several. I’ll do you a favor and only pick songs you have. Otherwise this could take me a week. Plus it will be easier for you to put it together for me.
I hate you.

7. Got a great anti/Valentine party game?
We could always play spin the bottle again…
After the stunt you pulled last time? I don’t think so!
Pardon me for trying to keep things interesting.
You just don’t want to have to kiss a girl.
You just don’t want to have to kiss ANYONE.

8. Feeling the love or just feeling nauseous? How will you have fun at the party?
I’m nauseous, but it’s probably from eating too many sweets…
Well, since so many people showed up to my party, I’m definitely feeling the love!

9. Has your muse been a good Valentine?
Not even a little bit.
You see? She’s so mean to me.
You didn’t let me finish! You’re the perfect anti-Valentine! And I’m just fine with that.
Can you go back to being mean? I’ll take mean over mushy any day.

Wait, where's my bonus question? Don't you want presents???
Right, because our Valentine's Day presents to each other went so well. If other people want to give us musiversary presents, that's up to them! 
It's going to be a fun party! I can't wait to see the answers from everyone else!
I need a nap.

Remember, you can still sign up and post through the end of today! Thanks to everyone for coming to my party!!! 

12 February 2016

It's Almost Party Time!

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm super excited for a few reasons. First off, this weekend is a three day weekend for me (my first at the new job). My fiance and I have a few errands to run (laundry, booooooo!) but we're going to try to get that out of the way early tomorrow morning so we can relax the rest of the weekend. We're going out on Saturday night and then hibernating on Valentine's Day. I plan on just making dinner at home and relaxing.

Then there's Monday! Which is of course the day for the Muse Party Blogfest: (Anti-) Valentine's Day Edition! If it is anything like the first one, it should be awesome! Since I'm always a procrastinator, I haven't quite finished all of the questions for my post yet. But I have gotten some of them done, and Jordan is being inappropriate as usual, so like with his monthly posts, I feel like I should apologize in advance.

Another thing I'm adding to my post is Bitstrips! I remember this being a huge thing on Facebook a while ago but I never got into it. While I would love to be able to draw people, I'm really just not good at it, so I Googled "cartoon maker" and this seemed like the best choice. I'm hoping to make a few comics to sprinkle in with my blogfest post, which will just make it even more awesome.

Here's a sneak preview. FYI, Jordan isn't all that excited for the party (but he kinda dressed up so I call BS). And he doesn't like hugs.

You can still sign up for the blogfest through Monday so come to the party! Find all of the details and sign up here! See you all on Monday! 

08 February 2016

Something Clicked

I think something finally happened that I've been waiting a year and a half for. At least I hope so. And if I'm right, it could mean a lot of writing will happen in the near future.

Ever since the PitchWars fiasco, I really wanted nothing to do with my book. Didn't want to work on it, didn't want to look at it, didn't even want to think about it. Well, mostly. There was still that tiny urge somewhere in my mind that still had hope for this story and still wanted to make something of it, but it just wasn't strong enough. It was buried under mountains of self-doubt, and honestly, some doubt caused by others as well.

So I haven't done much on it during that time. I've thought about it a bit, came up with some new ideas, thought a ton about the two sequels I have in mind, but didn't actually write all that much. Maybe a line here or there (or lots of random dialogue from Book 3), but most of what I wrote down were just ideas to work on later. I just couldn't get the words out. I kept waiting for something to click, for me to just be able to snap out of it and start writing again. It just wasn't happening.

But then last Thursday night happened. Through some sort of weird process comprised mostly of watching an hour long interview on YouTube and listening to music (this will only make sense to me so I'll spare you the details), I was feeling inspired. I had this very particular feeling of anxiety, which I knew from having it before meant I wanted to write. Now, usually if I feel like writing, I will basically take whatever I can get. Doesn't matter which book it is, which characters, or even if every word is awful. I'll still take it. But the problem was I had no idea what to work on.

So instead of writing, I started reading. After listening to a particular song, it made me think of one of my chapters, so I started reading it. But once I got into it, I wanted to read the chapter before it. And I went a little crazy. I had actually forgotten how good this chapter actually was. It was actually surprising that I had written it. Despite the fact that I knew exactly what was going to happen, every moment still had my heart racing. There were particular sentences that gave me chills. It certainly wasn't as awful as I had led myself to believe.

So did this lead to actual writing? Well, sort of. I think it led to a complete change in my mindset. After I finished reading, I went back to the very first scene in the book and started tackling that. I got out two paragraphs, and while I ended up cutting one of them the next day (it just didn't seem to fit the voice), it was still something. I think the words I did actually write will work. But the main thing is that I felt different. I actually wanted to write again. I wanted to think about my story. I wanted to figure things out. I haven't felt that way in a long time.

While I haven't really had time since then to write, I'm hoping once I have a free moment the words will start flowing again. And hopefully they won't stop.

On a side note, The Muse Party Blogfest: (Anti-) Valentine's Day Edition is one week away! Sign up and bring your muse to the party!

03 February 2016

Blog Insecurity

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click the link to learn more and sign up!

So what am I insecure about lately? You mean besides the same old, same old, right? For once I actually don't want to talk about writing, since nothing's really changed (still). I think I've completely unloaded all of my insecurities on that at this point. But one never really runs out of insecurity, do they? 

I've had quite a few blog related things on my mind lately. I definitely don't have the same momentum that I had through most of last year, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I have a lot less time now to write more posts, so I'm lucky to get one post a week out. But I'd rather be writing something that actually means something than just trying to fill space.

There are also a lot of things coming up in the near future that have me feeling a bit insecure. The A to Z Challenge is coming up way too fast and I officially signed up the other day. But I'm still not sure on my theme yet. I have a few ideas but I'm having trouble figuring out which one to use. My initial idea that I also mentioned last week was guilty pleasures. I've come up with a bunch but I don't know if I have 26 guilty pleasures, particularly one for every letter. Most of the ones I've come up with are just TV shows or junk food. I'd really like to have more of a variety of topics but I just don't know if they're there.

My second idea would actually be writing related, most likely to be called "The Revision Project." It would be kind of a way of dissecting what parts of my novel need to be fixed, sort of as a way to actually get me back on the revision track. My worries with this is that it may be too personal. I feel like some of the posts may be slightly therapeutic and I'm just not sure if people will care. Plus I'll probably be dishing out a lot of information on the book which may not keep everyone interested.

Besides all the A to Z brainstorming, I've got my own blogfest coming up in less than two weeks! I'm really excited for it but I'm worried it won't be as good as the first one. I still haven't written my post for it yet either. The signups are slowly getting up there but I don't know if they'll match the first Muse Party Blogfest. I know people will have fun with it, but I still worry that they won't.

I think what I always worry about with anything is that no one will care. Maybe that's an insecurity I need to get over.

01 February 2016

Lost & Found: Valentine's Edition Bloghop

Today I'm taking part in the Lost & Found: Valentine's Edition Bloghop, hosted by Arlee BirdGuilie Castillo-OriardAlex J CavanaughDenise CoveyYolanda Renee, and Elizabeth Seckman. We're being asked to share a story of love lost or found. I decided instead of fiction or a personal essay, to share some poetry instead. And not just one poem, but two!

While I feel these particular poems definitely need some heavy editing, if I had tried to start fixing them, I would never be done, so decided to share them as is (otherwise I'd never get this post done!). The first poem is a more personal one, and tells a story of love first found and then lost. The second is based on a piece of fiction (and actually helped me create the last two lines of my novel), and is more about love not necessarily lost, but complete. Enjoy!

Origami Roses

She knew before it happened—
there was softness in his voice
and a looming February holiday.
One day felt longer than the months before—
the careful footsteps around each other,
the coy remarks and lasting glances.

He made her the center of attention,
forced to clutch a glass vase to her chest.
Two were received every hour—
vibrant red petals and green stems,
white tags asking of her commitment.
When he appeared with the final two,
her answer was easy to give;
she knew it after getting the first.

Those roses were elegant, everlasting,
but they weren’t real.
Though he labored over every fold
with sincerity and passion,
they would always be fake.

Maybe then she would have seen the end as possible,
instead of believing his emotions
that could not last as long as these symbols.
She would have preferred real ones
to wilt quickly for her; they would have been
much easier to throw away.


He asks if I am happy.
Happy! What a strange word.
I couldn’t begin to comprehend
what it means. Which isn’t to say
that I am sad, either. But what
is there to feel when your work is done?
When you have molded yourself for so long
and find that there are no more bits
of clay to stretch, no marks to carve.

Happy? No. What I am is complete.
All my unfinished parts sewn together
and finding their place. And the pain
was entirely necessary, to rip up
all those pieces before they could
be brought together. Now I can say
that I am my own.

But what is left, after something
is complete? What can you do,
but move on to the next thing? 

**As an added bonus, I've also realized that while the poems themselves work for the theme, the fact that I'm showing you my poems at all does as well. Because what I've also lost is my love for writing poetry. Back in college I could write a poem a day, but at some point I just wasn't able to. Maybe by sharing and eventually editing my poems, that love and ability will be able to come back.