02 December 2020

Is It Next Year Yet?

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

Can you believe it's December already? I'm sure everyone is excited for the year to be over. I think we can't help but hope that next year will be better. I mean, how could it possibly get any worse (knock on wood)??

For me, I really think I need some kind of a reboot. I'm stuck in a rut. I don't even have the desire to work on writing. Every once in a while I'll try to get into it, or at least try to get organized and make a plan, but I never follow through. I think the start of a new year could really help motivate me. I asked for a new planner for Christmas (and if I don't get it, I'll just buy it myself lol), one that's even fancier than the one I used this year. And more stickers! I want to be extra organized and really make plans for working on writing and other goals I want to accomplish. 

Part of why I haven't been writing is that I've been focused on other things, which I don't really feel bad about. I started back on Weight Watchers on September 21, and I've lost 25 pounds since then. I've been going to the gym five days a week, too, and it's all really paying off. But it definitely leaves me even more exhausted than I was just working my day job (and that already leaves me feeling pretty exhausted!). But, again, I think getting more organized and planning my weeks ahead of time will help me balance everything. 

I've also already finished my Christmas shopping! I was very determined to finish before December began, and I made my last online purchase on November 30. I knew the longer I waited, the longer it was going to take to have things shipped, so I just wanted it over with. I just have to wait for a couple more shipments and then I'll just have to put everything together. I've always been into making gift baskets and I got a lot of good ideas this year so I'm excited to put them together. 

So, that's about it. I'm focusing on losing weight and getting myself organized for next year. Then when January hits, I hope I'll have a better writing schedule figured out.

Are you ready for this year to end? Have you started your holiday shopping? 

04 November 2020

Making a List

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

I don't know if you knew this, but sometimes writing is hard. Editing is hard, too. Rewriting is REALLY hard. When you're trying to polish a manuscript and make it as perfect as you possibly can, thinking about all of the things you still have to do can be overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like I don't know where to start. 

Luckily for me, I love making to-do lists. I rarely have a day off where I don't make a long list of tasks that I want to get done. So, when it comes to editing/rewriting, I decided I needed a list. When I was reading through UL to try to get my head back into the idea of writing, there were certain parts I knew needed big changes, others smaller ones. An awkwardly written sentence here or there can be easy to fix, but when there are entire scenes that I want to rethink, sometimes I just avoid working on them at all. 

So to ease into the process, I made a new list. I went through every chapter, noting particular moments that needed bigger rewrites than just a sentence or two. So instead of opening my manuscript and staring into the abyss, I can pinpoint where I need to start working. I know some scenes will be easier to fix than others. Some will need some extensive thinking to figure out what the story actually needs. Instead of getting overwhelmed by how much I need to get done, I can take it one step at a time, focusing on whichever part I feel I can accomplish when I sit down to write. 

I know I still have a lot to do, and I actually haven't even finished this list yet. Some of the later chapters need a lot of work. But some of the chapters don't need any work at all! I've also decided that Chapter 21 is getting the ax! There are a few moments in it that I can probably sneak into other chapters if necessary, but I like the idea of cutting down the length, especially in the third act (it's waaaaaaaaaaaay too long).

Eventually I'm hoping that every single list I could possibly create will be completed, and the story will be done. Then I suppose it will be time for new lists...publishing related lists, perhaps? I can dream...

07 October 2020

Not Enough Hours in the Day

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

Do you ever feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? I certainly do. I work full time from 6-2:30, then after work my husband and I go straight to the gym most days, since we're really focusing on losing weight and eating healthier right now. Then I like to do at least a half hour of reading, and do a little cleaning, and DISHES so many dishes why are there so many there's only two of us??? And now it's October so hubby and I try to cram in as many horror movies as we can all month (I like to watch ones I've never seen, he just wants to rewatch the classics...guess I do have time to do those dishes...). 

Anyhoo, what does this have to do with writing? Well, basically, that I'm not. At all. I'm not even trying. I'm not even thinking about trying, because I don't know what the next step is. For a while I was rereading chapters 1-26 of UL (not 27, because 27 is a trash fire...wait, have I said that before?), doing some editing as I went and leaving notes where I wanted to change things but couldn't figure it out on the spot. Which was great! It gave me something to do. Like reading, my goal is to just spend 30 minutes every day on something writing related. 

But then I finished my readthrough, and was left wondering, "now what?" Now, if I really sit down and think about it, there are plenty of things I could tackle. I recently decided that I'm most likely cutting Chapter 21, taking any really important bits and fitting them in other parts of the story. There are plenty of editing comments throughout the Word document that I will eventually have to tackle. I want to completely rewrite Chapter 27. And then I still have to write the last two or three chapters. 

I think my problem is that I just feel overwhelmed. I don't feel like I have a lot of time to write, and since nothing I need to do is easy, I'm not able to pick anything at all. When I have a specific task in mind, it's easy to devote 30 minutes to it. But when I've reached the end of a long, demanding day, and I have to actually choose something difficult to work on? I just don't want to do it. 

I think I need a new system. The 30 minutes a day is great, but I think I need to plan way in advance what I'll be working on so that I'm not deciding in the moment. Maybe I should even spend one day a week working on a different project (one of the Sexy Fluffs, perhaps??) so that I can have something new and exciting to motivate me and keep the drive to write going. 

How do you find the time/motivation to write? Any horror movie recommendations??

02 September 2020

The Editing Storage Unit

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

When I first moved into my apartment, I got a storage unit. I had a lot of stuff that wouldn't fit into my tiny studio apartment, so it was helpful to have a place to store all the stuff that weren't necessities but I still wanted to keep. What you may not know about a storage unit is that the longer you have it, the more they charge you. After a while, I was getting frustrated with being charged more and more and I wanted to get rid of it. So...I had to get rid of some stuff.

Unpacking that unit was not something that happened overnight. It took time to decide what I truly wanted to keep, and what I was actually ok getting rid of. It kind of happened in phases. I would sweep through the unit, finding the things I was ok tossing, bringing home stuff I knew I wanted to keep. Then I would give it some time. I found that a few months or even weeks could help change my mind about whether or not I really needed something. This continued until I was able to empty the unit, and eventually I repeated the process with all the new clutter and boxes filling my apartment. I felt like I wanted to keep something? Ok, keep it. But a few weeks later? I might just change my mind. 

What does this have to do with writing, you might ask? Well, I kind of think of all of the changes I want to make to my book as filling up a storage unit. Every big rewrite or tiny little edit jammed into a 5x5 cube (ok, probably something bigger...at least a 10x15...). Somewhere buried deep in the back is a box labeled "write Chapter 29." And to get it all done, I just have to pick away at it. 

Some things are easy to fix right away. A word choice here, an awkwardly written sentence there (I write "AWK" in the margins just like my AP English teacher. She'd be proud). I just go through each chapter, fixing what I can in that moment, skipping what I can't. I figure if I just give it time, I'll be able to eventually figure it out. 

If I can someday clean out every single item from that storage unit, then maybe I can say the book is done. And it's a good thing it's a metaphorical storage unit and I won't miss my rental payments, because I don't think anyone on Storage Wars would be interested in bidding on my edits.

22 August 2020

Influenced Release Day

Happy Saturday, everyone! Today's a special day because it's the release day for Patricia Josephine's new book, Influenced! Read all about the book and check out an excerpt below! 

There is no Light without Dark.

Influencers are the voices that whisper in our ears. Tiny Angels and Devil sitting on our shoulders and guiding our choices. They are sworn to thwart the other. It is their duty.

Or so they thought…

Nothing is as it seems and questions are piling up. Do Kale and Ariel have the strength to face the truth? Will Antonia and Landon be forced to choose a side? Can Soleil break through to Kemuel? Three tales, three choices: Light. Dark. Or the shades of gray between.

Which one will win?

*  *  *
“Hey, Dad?” Jimmy dropped his backpack by the front door and bounded through the house. He paused in the empty living room. The kitchen was vacant as well. A note pinned to the refrigerator let him know his dad had gone to his aunt’s, so he had the house to himself. He could play his music as loud as he wanted and not get yelled at. He pumped his fist in the air.

“No, you are to respect your father’s wishes,” Tony scolded. God, she sounded like her siblings. A white sheep following the pack blindly.

But doing her job was the best way to keep Landon off her mind. As long as she focused on what Jimmy did, her mind wouldn’t stray to the devilish blond hiding out of sight.

Jealousy aimed at Jimmy gathered in her stomach. It must be nice to be a mortal. Oblivious to the war raging around them. No cares in the world. Letting the little voices in their heads help them make decisions. Tony wished an Influencer would whisper in her ear to to make her stop thinking about Landon.

As if on cue, Landon appeared. “Hey, Tony.”

The way Landon rolled her name around his mouth made Tony tremble. She hunched her shoulders and brought her knees up to her chest. “What do you want?”

Landon sat next to Tony. His long legs dangled over Jimmy’s shoulder. “I can’t come over and say hi?” Innocence dripped from his voice.

Tony eyed him. “We’re supposed to be enemies. Not besties.”

Landon slung his arm around Tony. The warmth of his skin seared her.

He snorted. “Who is going to know? The angels and demons don’t care about us. We’re pawns in their silly, little war.”

Tony blinked. “You think the war is silly?”

“Don’t you?”

Tony opened her mouth but then shut it. Before she could answer, music began playing. The Influencers looked at Jimmy.

Headphones covered his ears snugly, and music blasted in them. The sound was muffled, though, despite how loudly Jimmy had it. He played his guitar along to the tune, but the amp wasn’t on.

Tony turned back to Landon to see the Dark Influencer frowning.

“What?” she asked.

The frown morphed into a smile. “What?”

Now, Tony scowled. “What are you doing over here?”

“Nothing. I’m bored on my side.”

“Riiiiiight. You’re not doing your duty?” The last word came out acidic.

Landon stared at Tony with wide eyes. “Come on. Why would I lie to you about being bored?”
Tony fell silent a moment. Then laughter burst from her. Landon laughed at well. The grin on his face said he was pleased with her reaction.

“You’re funny,” Tony said, shaking her head.

Landon waggled his eyebrows. “I’m being my charming, devilish self.”

Charming wasn’t the word Tony would pick. She cocked her head. Her heart thumped nervously. She had never met someone who doubted the war. “Do you believe the war is pointless?”

Landon dropped his gaze to his hands. His voice softened. “Honestly, I’m not sure. I was told never to question it and to just do my job.”

“I know that feeling.” Tony sighed. “The angels wouldn’t give me a straight answer, or they’d get mad at me for asking questions. Sometimes I’m not even sure they know why they’re fighting.”

Landon nudged Tony with his shoulder. “Our friendship could convince them to stop.”
Friendship… The word echoed in Tony’s head.

Was that what Landon wanted? All she wanted? Disappointment stung Tony. As much as she knew she shouldn’t, something pulled her toward Landon. And she wasn’t sure she wanted to resist it.

                                                                          *  *  *

About the Author
Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. 

05 August 2020

IWSG and Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop

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

What am I insecure about this month? Well, I've just recently (like the past two days) been getting back into working on my flat character arc for Jordan, and it's led me to the conclusion that the third act of my book is WAY too long. I know I'm going to have to cut some things, and I do have a few ideas that immediately jump out at me, but I know it's still going to be a grueling process. But I'll just take it one step at a time. 

Today is also the day for the Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop to celebrate the release of Chrys Fey's new book! We're supposed to share a story about writer's block, depression, and/or burnout, and how we overcame it or what we are currently doing to heal. 

If I'm being totally honest, I think I'm experiencing some form of writer's block or burnout right now. I've kind of had to force myself to do anything writing related. None of my ideas have excited me lately. I've just had no desire to write. 

It's tough because I've been working on one book for so long and it's taken so much to figure things out, and I'm still not done (see above!). Plus I constantly think about how when I actually DO finish this book, no one will want to read it. I don't think an agent or publisher would touch it with a ten foot pole. So why do I keep going? Maybe because I've come this far, I can't just give up. I have to see it through to the end, no matter what that end may be. 

My strategy with pretty much everything, like I said above, is to take it one step at a time. If you try to pile on too much or think too far ahead, it can get overwhelming. I just like to focus on one thing at a time. Right now, it's to make myself work on something writing related every day. This can be working on my character arc, brainstorming, or editing. If I don't want to actually write, it's ok. I just want to be able to say I did SOMETHING. 

Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!


When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:


·        Writer's block

·        Depression

·        Writer's burnout

·        What a writer doesn’t need to succeed

·        Finding creativity boosts


With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.





Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo / Goodreads


Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout. https://www.chrysfey.com/

01 July 2020

Falling Flat

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

I mentioned in my last post that I was having some health issues, but I got everything checked out and it's all good. Not really sure what was causing my head pain but it seems to have gotten better on its own. I have a few theories, including having to wear a mask for eight hours in a hot kitchen or maybe my hair is just too long. But I digress...

Getting back in to writing is still pretty difficult. I was doing a lot of editing just to be doing SOMETHING. Mostly getting rid of unnecessary and overused words. I know a big project is to rewrite Chapter 27, so I'll probably get to that soon. But the ending of the book still doesn't feel quite right. 

I've been trying to figure out character arcs. As I've learned more about them (thanks to a book we read for the IWSG book club!) I've felt that UL has more of a flat arc. I say "more of" because, well...it still doesn't feel quite right. Maybe that's part of my problem? But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

One of the main aspects of the flat arc is that the main character doesn't change, but changes the world and other people around him. This is where I think UL fits in the most (with some exceptions, but more on that in a bit). By the end of the book, Jordan is pretty much in the same spot he was in the beginning. The last line of the book really hammers that home. 

The only exception would be one of the subplots, which definitely has its own arc, and this one's positive. I guess the discord is partly coming from the idea that in the subplot, Jordan does go through changes and ends up in a better spot than the beginning of the book. I think this can still work even with a flat arc in the main plot. He's changed in some ways, ways he actually always knew he needed to change. But in some ways, he hasn't changed at all. 

I guess where I'm struggling is the idea of a character's "truth." In a flat arc, the main character already believes a truth and uses that to overcome the world's lie. My problem here is that all I can really come up with is that Jordan's truth is, "I can get whatever I want if I try hard enough/manipulate people in just the right way." The "lie" would be something like, "society has rules that need to be followed." Which isn't really a "lie," right? Or maybe in the context of this book, it is, because Jordan knows he can get around rules to get what he wants. He's a bit of an antihero, so his truth isn't going to be some righteous quest that's going to change the world, after all. 

Am I answering my own questions? Maybe I just want someone else to tell me that this actually does work. I'm going to try to map it out, either way, and see if that sparks any ideas or changes. 

03 June 2020

Real Life Gets in the Way

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

This month's optional question is: Writers have secrets! What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

I don't *think* I have any real secrets. If they were reading Jordan's book, they may be surprised that I am literally his polar opposite. No idea how that guy came out of a shy nervous wreck's brain. Actually, I think this works more in reverse. If a lot of the people I know in real life read what I wrote, they wouldn't believe I wrote it. Plot, characters, genre, language--all of it. They never would have guessed this was what I was writing.

Well, I gotta be honest, I haven't been doing much writing lately. I really was on a roll for a while, mostly with editing UL (since I still haven't quite figured out those last two chapters...). But real life kinda slapped me in the face and I've got some health issues to deal with now. I started having pain in my head, right where I had a shunt put in when I was an infant. It's never hurt me my whole life so I knew something was wrong. And trying to get to a doctor right now is a PROCESS, let me tell you. The good news was that it got me to get a physical for the first time since I was a teenager (yeah, I'm one of those people who avoids the doctor until absolutely necessary). I have a virtual appointment with a neurosurgeon on Friday. I'm just really worried because I'm sure if something is wrong, I'll most likely need surgery. But one thing at a time, right?

I've just been really exhausted lately between being in pain and my anxiety going through the roof pretty much nonstop, plus still working at a hospital full time. So my writing hasn't even been on my mind. I kinda wish it was because I could use the distraction, but I just don't think my brain works that way. When I'm worried or dreading something, that's all I can think about.

This afternoon I'm getting together with some coworkers for some kind of social-distancing-around-the-pool-party, so that should be fun, at least. I may be late getting around to other blogs (unless your post is up at 4 AM EST because I try to read some before work like the psycho that I am). Hope everyone is doing well!

06 May 2020

Just Keep Writing...or Editing...or Brainstorming...

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

Has it been a month already? March felt like it took six years but April took about three days. So which plague comes after the murder hornets? Don't remember that part in the Bible...

This month's optional question from the IWSG is: Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

I've probably mentioned this before, but I've always been very in tune with my characters, and my routines to get into the WRITING ZONE, if you will, usually have to do with them. Listening to music has always been a way to get in the zone for me, but even moreso now because Jordan is a musician. I actually realized that lately I haven't been listening to music (since that happened mostly at the gym and the gym is closed), and my desire to write was pretty much zero. I started listening again and my urge to write has slowly been creeping back. The muse is fickle. 

Anyhoo, I've been trying really hard to at least WORK on writing, if not ACTUAL writing. I'll probably have to explain that. I've added to my daily checklist of goals to work on writing for at least a half hour. But this doesn't necessarily mean I have to be writing. It could be editing, making lists of things to eventually fix, brainstorming ideas in my journal. It just has to be writing related. So far I've been sticking to it every day. 

This past weekend I spent a lot of time writing in my journal. I really like taking a basic idea that I feel I haven't gotten quite right or needs more exploration and just letting my thoughts run free until I've figured it all out. I kid you not, I wrote NINE pages exploring the symbolism of Jordan's phone. You'd think, well, all teens have phones, right? Haha WRONG. It's actually symbolic of not only his secret keeping, but also the isolation he forces on himself.

Literally titled "phone stuff"

It's ok, you can tell me I'm insane. 

All this brainstorming has also read to some mini-revelations. Basically certain parts in the story where I think I can do better. Every time I think of something, I jot it down in a separate journal where I've basically laid out (or am in the process of laying out) all of my editing and rewriting goals. I've already got HUGE lists for rewriting Chapter 1 (because is a first chapter ever really finished?) and Chapter 27 (because it's a trash fire).

And maybe at some point I will actually write the last two chapters of the book. But I'm hoping that by getting all of this other stuff done, not only will I feel more accomplished, but maybe the ending will become clearer.

01 April 2020

Keep Calm and Purell

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

Since I am pretty much a giant ball of stress, I will just skip to this month's optional question:

The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

Boy, oh boy! Did I mention that I was a giant stress ball? Well, I work in a hospital kitchen, and things are CRAZY right now, as you can imagine. While our overall patient count has dropped significantly (because no one is going to be there if they don't absolutely have to), and the days are really long and slow, there are also a TON of precautions in place and things seem to be changing every day. It's a lot to keep up with and my anxiety is probably at an all time high.

We are being very safe. We have to wear masks everywhere we go in the hospital (except in the kitchen, which is good because it's hot in there and those things already make it hard to breathe!), we don't have contact with a lot of patients who are under certain precautions, we can't even go in certain sections of the hospital. The newest change is that right when we get to work, we're asked if we have any of the coronavirus symptoms. They're not checking our temperatures yet (unless maybe you have the symptoms? I'm not sure because luckily I don't), but I'm sure that will be next. My hands are also very raw from all the Purell and hand washing.

Besides the added stress level at work, though, honestly, things don't feel that different. Probably because I'm a hermit who never leaves my apartment anyway, and I also still have to go to work every day. I'm definitely grateful to still have a job.

How's the writing going? you might ask. Yeah, that's not happening right now (kind of like my diet...). I pretty much just want to decompress and watch Netflix (got one episode left of Tiger King!). Since my schedule hasn't changed at all, and my stress level is high, I don't see any writing happening in the near future unless I'm really struck by an idea.

I am still trying to actively think about Chapter 28. So you never know...

04 March 2020

Multiple Projects, Multiple Options

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up! This month's awesome co-hosts are Jacqui MurrayLisa Buie-CollardNatalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence! Wait a second! I missed one...hold on...need my glasses...Sarah Foster? Never heard of her...

Hi! Welcome! If you've never been here before...sorry, I'm weird. 

This month's optional question is: Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories? 

Not really. I've definitely never inserted any of my own traditions or customs into my stories. The closest thing I can think of is in Uneven Lines, it's kind of a periodic ritual for Jordan and his mom to eat ice cream together. It's something that happened a lot more when he was little, but as he gets older and their relationship gets more strained, it happens less often (and not until Chapter 14!). But I think it helps to show they can have their moments of a normal mother/son relationship. 

Now I want some ice cream...

I'm a little scatterbrained lately. Kind of all over the place. I keep jumping from one story idea to another, letting my thoughts (and fingers, when I actually sit down to write) fly free. And you know what? I kinda like it. 

Ok, so I KNOW my main focus should be Chapter 28 of Uneven Lines. I'm so so close to finishing that third draft. However, it's probably the most difficult chapter to write, for more reasons than I can count. And the words are not coming easily to me. I'm chipping away at it very slowly, but at least at this point it is no longer a blank page with nothing but "Twenty-Eight" at the top. 

But I also have other projects I want to work on. There's my NaNo win from last November, Sexy Fluff #1 (I'll come up with a title eventually...), then there's the exciting, action packed, although not quite as sexy but I'm still calling it Sexy Fluff #2 (see above), and how could I forget Shiny New Story (what's a title?)?? Although it isn't really shiny OR new at this point. 

The thing is, I want to write all of these books, too. And I figure, if I can't make the words happen with UL, it's better to be writing SOMETHING than nothing at all. So I've been doing a bit of story hopping lately, just trying to get my ideas down whenever they strike me. I completed an unfinished chapter in SF#1, outlined SF#2, and lately a lot has been coming to me with SNS, so I've been writing that for the past few days. I've been keeping track of my word counts in my fancy planner, really just trying to up the word counts for everything every week, even if it's just a little bit. 

Look, it even worked the first week! 

Did it work the next week? Well...sort of...two of them went up...but one was UL! So yay! 

I think I just like having the options. If I'm stuck on one story, I can work on a different one. If a particular scene pops into my head, it's ok to write it, no matter what story it is. Also having some first draft freedom with my other stories is nice since UL is in its third draft and I want everything to be PERFECT. It's nice to change to something with less pressure. 

In the end, aren't some words better than no words? 

Do you work on multiple stories at once? What's your favorite flavor of ice cream? 

12 February 2020

Help! I've Been Abducted by Aliens Blog Hop

To celebrate the book birthday for Abducted Life, Patricia Josephine has put together a blog hop! Everyone participating has written a story about an alien abduction. The only thing more unbelievable than an alien abduction is me writing a short story! Check it out!

(The only title I could think of was "Alienfish" but then I thought that was really stupid...)


        “Megan, wait up!”
Erica pulled herself off the ground, prying her foot away from the tree root that tripped her. She brushed her palms against her jeans and looked up, but her best friend was several yards ahead, walking into the open field. Nothing could slow her down.
“This is completely insane,” Erica muttered, then walked faster to catch up.
Erica had no desire to be in the middle of the woods, especially after dark, but she wasn’t about to let Megan go by herself. Pretty much everything about this scenario screamed serial killer.
“Still don’t know why you’re meeting this guy in the middle of nowhere. We’re both about to be murdered, you know.”
Megan paused and slowly turned to face her friend. The moonlight illuminated her calm face. “I didn’t need you to come.”
Erica rolled her eyes. “Unlikely.”
  It had been nearly six months since Megan began talking to “Kyle,” or whatever his name really was. She’d met him online, and spent countless hours talking to him every day. She was obsessed. Erica indulged her little fantasy life for a bit, but she tried to talk some sense into Megan every chance she got. Now that Kyle finally wanted to meet, there was no way she was letting Megan go alone.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this. You’ve never even talked to this guy on the phone, let alone video chat, and that one picture he sent you…clearly a fake.”
“Don’t you get it?” Megan said, a faint smile pulling up her lips. “It doesn’t matter what he looks like. It doesn’t matter what his name is. This is bigger than all that.”
“What are you talking about?”
Megan shook her head and looked up at the sky, the smile never leaving her face.
Erica folded her arms across her chest. “I really should have written in to Catfish. We could be on TV right now instead of you know, dying.”
Megan didn’t respond. She smoothed out her skirt and ran her fingers through her hair, then closed her eyes and let out a slow, deep breath. “It’s almost time.”
Erica glanced at her phone. Almost nine o’clock. Crazy time. She wished she had been able to get her hands on a weapon, or at least some pepper spray, but everything happened so fast once Kyle decided to meet. She was surprised Megan even took the time to tell her. But they’d been best friends since they were little. They told each other everything.
“Erica,” Megan said. “I love you. I hope someday you’ll understand.”
Before Erica could respond, a blinding beam of light appeared out of nowhere, so bright and strong it knocked her to the ground. She lifted her arm above her eyes, shielding herself while trying to see what was happening. All she could see was the bright, stark white light. It pulsed with an energy that shook the ground beneath her feet. She slowly pulled herself off the ground, squinting her eyes until she saw Megan, standing right in the middle of the light, looking up into the source of the beam, a wide smile on her lips.
Everything went black. The light vanished as quickly as it had appeared, leaving Erica blind in the darkness, gasping for breath. She fumbled with her phone until she turned on the flashlight, then scanned it across the field.
“Megan!” she screamed, seeing absolutely nothing. Just a wide field of grass and the trees surrounding her.
Megan was gone.


Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace. A year later she reappears—alone. With no memory of what happened and strange, new abilities manifesting, Savannah struggles to rebuild her life.

Evan Sullivan never gave aliens much thought until the night he and Savannah were abducted. Now, changed by the horrifying experiments that made him less than human, Evan hides in the shadows and watches Savannah rebuild her life without him.

But neither can let the other go. Reunited, Savannah and Evan finally see a glimmer of their old lives return. As they face what happened to them together, they realize aliens aren’t the only danger out there.

Someone closer to home is watching, waiting for the right moment to tear them apart.

About the Author 

Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn't regretted a moment. When she's not writing, she's watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She's an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. 

05 February 2020

Not Feeling It

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

Well, another IWSG post and I am definitely feeling insecure. I'm in such a rut when it comes to writing. Probably because I'm not writing. At all. Usually that would be enough to depress me, but I don't even feel that pull to write. I haven't even been thinking about my stories all that much. I'm just not feeling any of it.

I'm not sure what happened. Maybe it was a lot of things. Maybe I burned myself out doing NaNo because after winning on November 30, I haven't written a single word of Sexy Fluff #1. I've barely even looked at it. I knew I needed a bit of a break after writing so much every single day, but I haven't written more than a sentence or two of anything since then.

For a little bit, I thought I was at least on the right track with Uneven Lines. If I wasn't actually working on Chapter 28, at least I was thinking about it. Now the thoughts have seemed to fizzle out as well. I don't really think about it at all. I just feel like all my motivation and inspiration has vanished.

I know a big part of it is that my day job leaves me physically drained (and sometimes emotionally). All I want to do when I get home is relax and not think. Then I'm also actively trying to lose weight, which means time spent at the gym (and more exhaustion) plus a lot of grocery shopping and meal planning. Then I'm trying to do other daily tasks like cleaning and reading. Writing is usually the last thing on my mind, but it seems the longer I go without doing it, the worse I feel.

I don't know how to fix it. I don't know how to pull myself out of this rut. I don't know how to make time for writing because even when there is time, I just don't want to do it. There aren't any ideas in my head to put down on paper. I could barely come up with an idea for this blog post.

I don't even know how to end this blog post! Well, as my hubby would say, "Now that I've brought the room down..."

27 January 2020

One Line at a Time

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I finally finished my read through of Uneven Lines (all 27 chapters so far), in order to get a feel for the story again and think about what needs to happen in the next chapter. The bad news is that I wanted to finish this two weeks ago.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am already falling behind on my goals for the year. Is anyone surprised? I suppose I should look on the bright side that at least I did eventually finish my first goal, right? But my plan of having Chapter 28 written by the end of January is definitely not going to happen.

I thought the end would be more clear to me. I mean, I know what needs to happen. I've known since I wrote the short story version almost nine years ago. But it has to work with everything that has happened before it. It has to be the right ending to this new version I've created.

Maybe my read through didn't go quite how I thought it would, and not just because it took longer than I'd planned. I was also editing as I went, which I really shouldn't have been doing (I blame reading On Writing by Stephen King at the same time...had to kill those adverbs...). I plan on editing once the whole third draft is done. I was really just supposed to be reading it for enjoyment. I did enjoy it somewhat. I liked reading the earlier chapters that I haven't looked at in a while, and the newer chapters that I don't have memorized yet. But I wasn't really reading. I was working.

But I digress! The next step is to do some journal writing to help me figure out the ending. I've made a list of topics I want to dive into in order to make sure I'll address everything I need to in the last two chapters. I'm hoping to write at least one journal entry a day this week, and then maybe I can actually start writing.

In the meantime, I'm just letting the ideas come to me. I try thinking about the next chapter as often as I can. I listen to songs that make me think about it while I'm on the treadmill. I fall asleep thinking about it. I wake up thinking about it. And every so often, I'm struck with a line. It's usually dialogue, but sometimes it's narration. But no matter what it is, I grab my phone and I write it in a note. I know I probably won't use them all, but I have to consider everything in order to get this chapter right.

So for now, I'm collecting lines. I feel like eventually I'm going to be stitching them into some kind of franken-chapter. But that just might be ok. I'm not sure if this chapter will ever hit me all at once. It's going to be one step at a time, maybe one line at a time. As long as it works out in the end, it doesn't really matter.

13 January 2020

I Didn't Ask for This Epiphany

Sometimes you get hit with an epiphany about a story. Sometimes it feels amazing, like everything is falling into place. That one chapter, that one scene that you couldn't quite figure out is suddenly crystal clear in your mind. But sometimes there's another side to these epiphanies. While you just know in your gut it's the right thing to do for the story, it also means a whole lot more work to do. Sometimes that doesn't feel so amazing.

So, yes, I was very recently struck with such an epiphany. And instead of the usual, "OMG finally!" my reaction was more like, "do I have to??" Mostly because I knew that yes, I did, if I wanted this particular moment to work. And if I could snap my fingers and have it all fall into place, I would be thrilled (can I do that for the whole book, actually?). But I have to go back and rewrite. Again. And I'm not exactly looking forward to it.

I was on the treadmill, of all places, listening to a song that I've always associated with a minor character in UL, Eric. But I started to feel like the song didn't quite fit him anymore. And then I suddenly realized why. There's a moment in Chapter 27 where he stands up to a long time friend, Brian, who hasn't always been the nicest guy. He finally stops being timid and shy and stands up not only for Jordan (who Brian is also trying to hurt in this moment), but for himself. Brian's been keeping Eric down for years and it takes seeing what he does to Jordan for him to finally say, "enough."

Here's where I went wrong. I didn't actually show the moment where Eric stands up to Brian. Another character tells the story to Jordan briefly, and he talks about it with Eric for about the length of two sentences. STUPID, I know. I was rushing through the chapter. It was difficult and I just wanted it done. And it was done. Until now. Now I have to go back and change a huge chunk of it. And while I know it's what the story needs, I just don't want to. I want to be able to still say that it's done. Alas, I cannot.

I know I need to show Eric standing up to Brian. And I know Jordan needs to have a final moment/confrontation with Brian as well. I even think this moment will help lead to the conclusion of the main plot. So in the end, it should help EVERYTHING. So why am I not happy??

It could be because adding this will make Chapter 27 waaaaaaaaaaaay too long. I'm going to have to split it into two chapters, but then that will probably throw off my total chapter length. I wanted it to be 29, and now it's probably going to be 30.

Or maybe it's because I just want everything DONE. But you can't really call it done if it isn't where it needs to be. Sometimes I think I'll be working on this story forever, that it will never feel quite right. But I guess every little epiphany will eventually lead to that moment where I can say, yes, it's done, I'm done, it's perfect.

One can dream.

08 January 2020

New Year, New Plan(ner)

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

It's a new year so that means it's time to start anew and try to kick my butt into gear on getting all the things done that I didn't get done last year. Sounds like a broken record, right? I feel like I get a fresh start every new year and then all that motivation just fizzles out to nothing. Well, this time, I have a plan. No, wait, I have a planner! Is there a difference? Sort of...

One of the Christmas presents I was most looking forward to (not that I just send my husband my Amazon wishlist or anything...) was a fancy planner for 2020. I really want to crack down and get organized with all of the writing and non-writing (*cough* lose weight *cough*) goals that I always have but never seem to accomplish. Well, when I finally got my hands on said planner, I loved it! It's super fancy, with monthly and weekly breakdowns, daily checklists, places to reflect, and STICKERS. I've barely begun to use it and I'm already excited. 

So how will this help me? Well, it's really easy to make BIG goals. Like, finish my novel. Lose 60 pounds. What I like about this planner is that not only do you make those big, year-long goals, but then you break it down. It has sections for 3-month goals, then monthly goals, and even weekly goals. I'm a person who likes to take things one step at a time. I can get overwhelmed real easily and that just leads to me watching a lot of TV and eating a lot of junk food. But if I can break everything down into smaller goals, then it doesn't seem as daunting. 

For example, one of my big goals is to finish Uneven Lines. So, for the yearly goal, I wrote that I want to finish the third draft and get it published, or in the process of being published (because that could take awhile). Then for my 3-month goal, I put just to finish the third draft. For January in particular, my goal is to write Chapter 28. But since even that is a huge task, my goal for this week is to actually just read through the entire draft so far. Not only to refresh myself (spent all of November doing NaNo and December doing nothing), but to get a feel of what really needs to happen in this chapter. I'm sure I'll edit a bit as I go, but this particular task doesn't seem difficult at all. It could actually be fun. 

You're supposed to reward yourself for accomplishing goals, but I can't think of any rewards that aren't food...

Then next week, my plan is to start journaling some ideas (something I've been doing with the last third of the book as I completely gutted the last draft), and then hopefully but the next week, that will lead to some writing. And hopefully at that point I'll find the writing easier. It won't be something that seems so difficult that I'll just avoid it entirely. And then maybe I can actually get it done. 

I like the way this planner breaks everything down so I don't have to figure it out all at once. I'm sure my goals will change and adapt as the year continues. I don't need to figure out my goals for later in the year right now. I can literally just focus on this week, with just a hint of an idea of what will be next.

Do you use planners? Do you break down goals into smaller ones?