15 May 2015

Rambling Time

Ok, I know I said I got an idea for a blog post. And I did. A good one! But I just don't feel like writing it today. Maybe sometime next week. I'm a bit stressed out so I thought I would just ramble for a bit instead.

So I'm still working on all of those things from my last blog post. I've almost finished the first guest post, just need to tidy it up a bit. I keep procrastinating but having it hanging over my head just stresses me out more because I feel really bad about not having it done. Then once that's done I'll start the second one. I still don't know the what the wifi situation will be in Florida, so I'd like to get all this stuff done and some extra blog posts before I leave.

I really don't think those drawings I talked about are going to happen. Maybe if I get a free moment to just sit down and not feel like I should be doing a million other things instead...

My freaking cat is sick again! This time with some kind of stomach bug, I think. I'll spare you the gross details but I will say it usually involves me having to clean his tail or paws after he gets out of the litter box. I thought it was just because of the heat because he got better for a day or two but now he's sick again. I don't know what to do. I can't afford to take him back to the vet since I spent so much the last time he was sick. But if he doesn't get better before we leave, I don't think I can go to Florida. It's just stressing me out worrying about the cat all of the time and not knowing what I should do about it.

Don't even get me started on life stuff! My fiance and I have been talking about moving to LA instead of New York (which would have been my first choice, but anything is better than staying here). I'm stressed out about money and wondering if I'll have enough to make it to when we move. I've got a one day NY trip next month and then my dad's 60th birthday is in July so I wanted to wait until after those because if we move all the way across the country, it's gonna be way too hard to come back for them. But I don't know if my money is going to last that long. My fiance filled out a form to get his student loans forgiven since he works for a hospital and has already made over 5 years of payments, so I'm really hoping he'll qualify because that would really help us out.

Uhh...anything good to share...hmm. Last night my niece had her first dance recital! I used to dance when I was around her age, too, so it was really fun to see.

That's about it. I'm just gonna try not to have a nervous breakdown over here. Have a nice weekend, everyone!!

13 May 2015

Oh Right, I Was Supposed to Blog Today...

I woke up this morning blissfully unaware that I needed to write a blog post. Then I turned on my computer and went through the usual routine: email, Twitter, Blogger....ohhhhh. Right. It's Wednesday. I'm supposed to blog on Wednesdays. All I could do was whine, "But I don't want to!"

I think my blogging momentum has finally come to a screeching halt. It's probably equal parts A to Z burnout and just running out of ideas. I've been blogging three days a week all year and it's hard to keep up and come up with ideas. I do have a list of blog ideas, but I feel like I've already picked through all the good ones. If I talk about my writing progress, I feel like I'm just repeating the same stuff over and over again. I'm sure I've already blogged about running out of ideas before, too.

So what am I blogging about today? Nothing, really. Sometimes the ideas just don't come to you. Maybe on Friday I'll have a better idea. That's usually the way it goes. Maybe something will happen with my writing that will inspire a post (Monday's post was kind of like that).

For now I've got sooooooo much stuff to work on. I'm trying to set up for The Muse Party Blogfest. I need to write my post and a "prep" post for the Friday before that (which should be amusing). I also wanted to draw some pictures for it and I'm really not that great of an artist so it'll probably take me a while. I've got TWO posts for other bloggers that I'm working on (one that I should have written months ago). I'm reading a book from my CP (I think I can call her my CP now since I'm actually reading her stuff, lol). AND let's not forget I'm trying to write/outline/brainstorm THREE books. I can't pick which one to work on so I just work on all three.

Aw crap thinking about that just gave me an idea for a blog post!!!!! Oh well.

UGH. All right. I need to get out of here so I can work on all of those aforementioned things. And maybe write a blog post for Friday...

11 May 2015

When Characters Run Amok

Most of the time (if you're like me, anyway), your characters dictate what happens in a story. You may not know what's going to happen next, but if you give your characters a bit of freedom, they may lead the way and figure it out for you. Which is usually great. You want your characters to feel like real people and to do realistic things and make choices that feel natural and not crafted by some supreme overlord...I mean, author. But is it possible to give your characters too much freedom? If you let them get too far away from you, will they do something that makes no sense? And then you're left trying to figure out where to go next or to even use this moment at all.

Think about all of the characters in your story like you're keeping them in a giant pen. You have to constantly make sure the gate is locked and no one gets out. You may let one out once in a while but never let them get too far and eventually you have to herd them back in with the others. And if one gets loose on you, all hell could break loose.

I know it sounds silly, because we created our stories and our characters, so they should be following our ideas, right? Well, not always. If you're really stuck trying to figure out what should happen next, sometimes your characters will figure it out for you. Maybe you just think of every possible scenario and whichever one feels right is the one you end up using. Or maybe an idea just randomly pops into your head and even though you never considered it, it feels perfect. So giving your characters a little freedom can be a good thing if it helps you figure something out.

But there is a very good possibility that your characters could take it too far. Maybe you're too busy paying attention to your main characters and one of the minor ones gets loose and does something silly. I'm dealing with the aftermath of this right now, actually. So I have my main WIP and I've been on the fence about writing a sequel for it for a while, but I did have a second book idea in mind. And I had a character who I imagined being basically just some cardboard cutout in the background. At some point where I wasn't paying attention, he snuck out of the pen.

Suddenly I imagined this character revealing something about himself that made zero sense. He wasn't an important character, so why would I need to know anything about him? If I included this information, the reader would probably be left scratching their head saying, "So?" But the more I thought about it, the more ideas came to me, and eventually I had a complete idea for a third book. Sounds crazy, right? It all happened so fast I didn't even know what to do about it. All because I lost control of one insignificant character. Now I'm stuck not only with another book to right, but with the task of making this character more important than I initially planned. It's not really a bad thing, in the end, but I did not see this coming at all.

So watch out for those stray characters. They may get away from you and do something you never imagined could happen.

08 May 2015

A to Z Reflections

Well, I suppose it's time to officially wrap up this year's A to Z Challenge. It's been a blast and I will miss all the fun but's it's also a relief to get back to regular blogging and *gasp* maybe working on my novel! But first, reflections!!!

This was my second year doing the Challenge, and I feel as though each year I'll get a little better at it. Last year, I didn't have a theme and wrote every post on the day it went up. This year I planned a little bit more. I did have a theme (The Name Game!!) and before April began I had a list of topics for every letter (except 2 that needed to be figured out). I didn't write anything until the last day of March. I thought this would be the end of the world because I initially wanted every post written before April even began. 

It wasn't a disaster, though. What really saved me was having those ideas already figured out. My theme was sort of complicated in regards to putting topics with letters. I was able to rename topics so they could fit different letters, and so I was able to fit in every idea I wanted to write about. If I was figuring this out day to day, it would have been impossible. Actually writing the posts was not as hard as just figuring out where they would go. I thought I would eventually get ahead, but the best I ever did was writing posts the day before. A few I even wrote on the day they were posted, depending on how much I had procrastinated the day before (usually to the point where I was too tired to write the posts). 

I really liked my topic. I had fun with it. Some ideas came to me right away, others took a bit. I did feel like my enthusiasm wore out as the Challenge went on, and that my earlier posts were better quality than the later ones. I also kind of gave up on finding pictures or gifs to go with the posts. It was a hard topic to find pics for, so after a certain amount of searching and not finding anything, it was easier just to forget about it. 

Where I was really disappointed in myself was in visiting other blogs. I did not get around to a lot of new blogs. I would usually start the day by just going through my blog feed, but since a lot (A LOT.) of blogs I already follow were doing the Challenge, it was a lot to get through. A few times I did try to pick at the list, usually looking at the WR blogs, but I didn't do this as much as I wanted. I was also a minion/sidekick for the first time this year, so I did get to check out a lot of new blogs that way. 

All right, I'm rambling again so I'll wrap this up! Having a theme was super helpful, as well as planning out all of my ideas. I think if I do the Challenge next year, I'd like to actually write the posts ahead of time so that I'll have the month of April just to look at blogs. 

Don't forget to sign up for The Muse Party Blogfest!!! I've already gotten more signups than I thought I'd ever get (you guys are awesome!), but there's still room for more! It should be lots of fun! 

06 May 2015

Another Crazy Month

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 it's finally May and the A to Z Challenge is over. Most bloggers would want to take a second to breathe. Well, not me, apparently. I feel as though this month is going to be just as psychotic as the last, only with less focus. I've got so much going on and so much I need to do and I feel like it's impossible.

First of all, I'd really like to keep the blogging momentum going, which is great in theory, but can be exhausting. It's mostly because I haven't missed or skipped a day at all this year (I've posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, except of course for April where I posted every day except Sundays!). I'd really just like to keep that going. There are two major problems I see, however: running out of ideas and just burning out.

Then, of course, like the crazy person that I am, I decided to host a blogfest at the end of the month (see shameless plug below). It's not like it was a spur of the moment idea. I've been thinking about it for months. But it's still a big thing to take on.

I also really really really want to finish rewriting/editing Uneven Lines by next month so I can do Pitmad. I don't think it's going to happen but I'm probably not going to officially give up until that day comes. It's the rewriting that drives me nuts. You'd think after four years and writing it three times already, I would have figured out how to properly end this book. Nope!

And then there's life stuff. My fiance and I are trying to figure out what to do with our lives, where we want to move to, when we want to get married, yada yada. My money is close to gone so I have to figure out what to do about that and I spend pretty much every second of every day doing crowdsource work just because it's something. And we're also going to Florida at the end of the month for his grandfather's 80th birthday, and I'm all in a panic wondering if they have wifi because if they don't that means I can't blog or work or pay my bills and I will just be a nervous wreck.

*deep breath* All right, I'll wrap this up before it turns into a novel. Maybe I just need to take a little time each day to relax. Drink tea or do yoga or something. Or try to schedule myself. Oh, who am I kidding? That never works! I'll probably just continue to live life like a chicken with its head cut off!


For my fourth blogging anniversary, I'm hosting a blogfest! It's a party where you can come and bring your muse or a character from one of your books. Click the picture to get all of the info and sign up! It's happening on May 25 and all you have to do is answer some questions about you and your muse, some of the things you like, and how much fun you'd have at my virtual party! So join in!!! :D

04 May 2015

Jordan Takes Over: The Reluctant Co-host

**The first Monday of every month, I let my muse take over the blog. I apologize in advance.**

Did you miss me?? Is everyone sleeping? Well, that's what I was doing all through April while all of you were losing your minds, so I'm all nice and refreshed! Anyone out there??

Anyway, if you were awake (or sane) enough to stop over here on Friday, you may have seen a certain announcement. We're throwing a party! Yay? Ok, look. Parties aren't really my thing. I don't have a great history with them (looooooooong story). So now I'm forced into not only going to one, but co-hosting it?!! Ugh.

But I'm not going to be the one who ruins everything. I'd need a good reason to do that. And I guess I'm not the most helpful of muses so I can at least help out with this. Plus it could be fun and not a disaster. Who knows? What I do know is that YOU (Yes, you. The one reading this right now.) should come! Why? So you can show off your muse and see how well you two would interact. Plus you get to come to a party! Normal people like that, right?

All right, so I'm gonna tell you all of the details in case you missed them. So if you want to come (because you do), here's what you have to do. The party is happening on Monday, May 25. You can bring your muse or one of your characters. On that day, answer the questions below on your blog.

1. Who is your muse (or character)? Tell us a little bit about him/her and why you brought them. 
2. What are you guys wearing? Dressing up or keeping it casual?
3. It's a potluck! Did you bring something yummy?
4. Open bar! What are you both drinking (booze or otherwise)? 
5. Wallflowers or social butterflies? 
6. What song(s) will you and your muse sing for karaoke?
7. What's your favorite party game?
8. Which one of you is more likely to end up dancing on a table top?
9. Has your muse been a good date and would you ever hang out with them again? 

That's pretty much it. I'll even make it easy for you and leave the sign up list below. Go on! You know you want to! You'll have a great time. Will I have a great time? Well, that's debatable. Let me guess! You all have chicks for muses so there aren't going to be any hot guys at this party. *longest sigh ever* I mean, I haven't made out with a girl since...well, since the last party I went to, actually. Weird. But! Don't think I didn't notice that there's going to be karaoke. I'm going to put all of you guys to shame. You've been warned.

All right, that's about it. Was I persuasive enough? I hope so. It's kinda my thing.


01 May 2015

The Muse Party Blogfest!

So the A to Z Challenge is over and it would be a great time to take a blogging break, right? WRONG. Why? Because I'm a crazy person. You didn't know that?

My fourth blog anniversary is coming up this month and I thought I'd do something special! I've had this idea for a while, and it seemed to fit in with the overall mood of my blog, so...drum roll please.....I'm throwing a party! 

Well, a virtual party, anyway. A muse party! Where you and your muse can come and we can all have some fun and get to know each other.

It's pretty simple! The Muse Party Blogfest will happen on Monday, May 25. I will be hosting a party and you and your muse can come! On that day you can post on your blog and answer the questions I've provided. I'll be answering them as well and of course visiting all of the blogs who participate! 

If you don't have a muse or you just don't want to bring them, feel free to bring a character from one of your books (published or not!). I'm hoping this will be a fun way to express your own tastes and maybe to get to know your muse a little better!

Here are the questions: 

1. Who is your muse (or character)? Tell us a little bit about him/her and why you brought them. 
2. What are you guys wearing? Dressing up or keeping it casual?
3. It's a potluck! Did you bring something yummy?
4. Open bar! What are you both drinking (booze or otherwise)? 
5. Wallflowers or social butterflies? 
6. What song(s) will you and your muse sing for karaoke?
7. What's your favorite party game?
8. Which one of you is more likely to end up dancing on a table top?
9. Has your muse been a good date and would you ever hang out with them again? 

Feel free to also add on any other details you'd like to share!

Sign up on the Linky List below if you'd like to participate! If you need more persuading, stop back here on Monday. My co-host for the party may have a few things to say...