31 July 2015

Not Feeling It Today

I think I've used that blog title before...

Yeah, so that flash fiction I talked about posting didn't happen. See what happens when I promise things? I'm just not gonna say anything about it until it's actually done. But I will post it on a Friday. Because that's what people do, right?

The thing is, I don't really feel like blogging about anything else. I kinda don't feel like doing anything at all. I'm having a bit of a life crisis, worrying about money, having trouble sleeping. I'm gonna have to get a real job soon because my savings is running out and I can't make enough with my freelance stuff to pay all the bills. I really wanted to wait until we moved to get a job but I just don't think there's enough time. We still haven't figured out when we're moving, either. So I'm screwed, basically. I was supposed to get so much more done in the time since I quit my job and I just haven't.

Maybe I should have saved this rant for IWSG! Oh well. I'm off to try to earn some money...

29 July 2015

Gabriel Release & Review!

Earlier this week, the final book in Patricia Josephine's Path of Angels series, Gabriel, was released! I really enjoyed this series, so you should definitely check it out. Take it away, Patricia!

What’s in a name?

Angelic Messenger
Gabriel, an archangel and one of the two highest ranking angels in Judeo-Christian and Islamic lore. Her name means "strength of God". She is a unique archangel in the sense that it is almost certain she is the only female angel in the higher echelons, although some believe there are no female angels. Gabriel fosters joy, truth, justice and love. She grants wisdom in interpreting our dreams and visions.

Well, in Path of Angels Gabe is a guy and would probably be grumpy to read this. He is all about justice though. Love, he wants it for sure, but isn't very open about it. He's really a big grouch.

*   *   *

The end is in sight.

To stop Uriel from freeing Lucifer, Gabriel and his brothers must fall and go to Hell. It is a sacrifice Gabriel is not entirely ready to make. Will he fight alongside his brothers or forge his own path? There is only one choice.

Alexander doesn’t want to help Uriel nor does he trust him, but the angel has promised him a better life. He swore to protect Charlie, and he’ll do whatever it takes. When he meets the archangels and learns the depth of Uriel’s lies, he understands the true meaning of sacrifice. If there’s any hope of stopping Lucifer from being freed, Alexander, Charlie, Zephyr and Lake will have to get to Hell and help Gabriel and his brothers in the fight against Uriel.

The path is finally ending, but the price may be too high.

Check it out on Amazon and Goodreads!

About the Author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during
high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

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

Twitter | Website Google+ | Wattpad | Goodreads

Path of Angels

Sarah's Review:

The final book in the Path of Angels series focuses on the last archangel, Gabriel, while also wrapping up the overall plot line that has run through all of the books. Gabriel and his brothers must fall and go to hell in order to stop Uriel from freeing Lucifer. Gabriel’s struggle was really interesting to see: his anger seems to be the thing that sets him apart from his brothers. He doesn’t want to fall and really doesn’t even want to follow the path at all. He just wants his normal life back, but eventually comes to realize that this is impossible. That’s when Alexander and Charlie come in. They have a very sweet relationship—Alexander doesn’t really want to follow Uriel but it’s the only way he can protect Charlie. When they meet Gabriel, they are both drawn to him and the three of them see that they were meant to find one another. The polyamorous relationship was an interesting twist that I enjoyed. I wish they were able to have more time together, but with Gabriel fallen, he and his brothers must continue on their path. The angels’ loved ones play a much larger role than anyone expected, and they must also travel to hell to help stop Uriel. I won’t give away the ending, but I will say it did make me a little sad—but I also understand why it had to be that way. Overall, a great ending to the series!

(I'm not sure if I can call my reviews "mini" anymore...they always come out longer than I intend. Maybe next time I'll learn to use paragraph breaks...)

27 July 2015

All Screwed Up

I'm totally off my game today. I know, I know, when exactly am I on my game? But it's past noon and I still don't have this blog post done. I was up late last night so slept in too much this morning. My fiance is off work today so that's throwing me off. It feels like a weekend. We just got back from the gym, so my usual 8:45 shower was an 11:45 shower. I haven't had any coffee or food so I'm starting to lose my sanity, I think.

I also wanted to do a lot of writing this weekend but that definitely did not happen. What I did was watch a whole lot of Harry Potter. I really wanted to get some work done on the first chapter for UL, because now I'm thinking it might be easier to edit in order? Or at least try. Really, I should just work on whatever part is inspiring me the most and to stop avoiding it altogether. Getting anything done at this point would be great. Rewriting a random sentence in any chapter would at least be progress. But no. Still avoiding looking at it.

I kinda sorta have a plan for the rest of the week. I've got a book review to post on Wednesday (that's assuming I get it done...but I did finish the book, at least!). And then maybe on Friday I'll post a piece of flash fiction. Well, it may be too long to be called flash fiction (I'm new at this...) but short enough for a blog post, at least. Adam has been chewing on my brains lately so I've been working on a little something from his point of view (CURSE HIM). He's probably got Jordan tied up somewhere...who is probably enjoying it. Of course, telling you that I'll post something has probably squashed all possibility that I will actually get it done in time. We'll see.

All right, I'm gonna go take a deep breath and have some coffee. In the meantime, here's a picture of my cat being ridiculous:

24 July 2015

Cherished Blogfest

Today I'm taking part in the Cherished Blogfest, hosted by Dan Antion, Paul Ruddock, Peter Nena, Sharukh Bamboat, Tom Benson, and Damyanti Ghosh. The idea is to talk about one of our cherished objects. Tell us what it is, post a picture of it if you like, and tell us why you cherish it.

The object I want to talk about popped into my head right away, well probably because it's always on my finger--my engagement ring. While you may think the reason for cherishing this object would be pretty obvious, it's actually a bit more complex.

This ring actually belonged to my grandmother, but I never met her. She passed away when my mom was 10 years old. My grandfather eventually remarried and we always considered my step-grandmother to be our grandmother because she was the only one we knew. I remember when I was little my grandparents gave the ring to my mother, and she wore it every day because it belonged to her mother and was special to her.

When my mom passed away two years ago, my sister held onto the ring along with her other belongings. My boyfriend and I had been together for almost six years and we had talked about getting engaged, but he didn't have the money for a ring. It was actually my brother-in-law's idea to give him my grandmother's ring. My boyfriend proposed to me on Christmas Eve of that year.

So there are a lot of reasons why my engagement ring is special to me. It's a piece of family history--something that existed before I was born and that I can pass down to my children if I have them (or my niece if I don't). It was something that belonged to my mother and I can remember her by. And of course, it's a constant reminder that I have the love and support of a wonderful man who will someday be my husband.

(This was the most recent picture of us that I could stand. You know how I hate pictures of myself...)

22 July 2015

Editing Lists

I make lists all of the time. Pretty much every day I have a to-do list for the things that I want or need to get done over the course of the day. I don't know if you're like me, but if you just say to yourself, "oh, I'll get to that later," then that task probably doesn't get done. Writing down what needs to be done is a great way to not only remember these tasks, but to add a bit of motivation.

I try to use a similar method when it comes to writing, especially when it comes to editing. When you need to make changes to a story, it can be helpful to know exactly what needs to be done. You may not know how to fix everything right away, but just knowing what needs to be fixed is usually the first step.

It can be extremely helpful to write down any idea that comes across your mind. If you want to rewrite a scene, add something in, cut a particular section. It's a lot of information to try to keep inside your head. Chances are you'll forget some of it, and if you have a lot of good ideas, losing them could be devastating. Writing every idea down will help you make sure all of those ideas actually happen.

There really is no right or wrong way to make an editing list, as long as you're able to understand it. I couldn't even tell you how many lists I have. I have a separate draft with comments just for making line edits. I have a list of new ideas for the section I have to rewrite. I have separate lists for each chapter with things I want to fix. You can make as many or as few editing lists as you want. You could go by chapter like I have or just have one giant list with every necessary change on it.

I've recently been working on a new list that groups things based on what order I want to work on them. Group A is for the things I've already figured out and think I can get done quickly, Group B is for things that will be slightly harder, and Group C is for all the things I'm absolutely dreading working on. I haven't figured out all of my edits yet so the list isn't quite finished yet. I think that's why Group C is pretty much blank--technically all the things I haven't figured out yet are there. But once the list is done I think it will be a good way to stay motivated. I'll start with the things I'm actually excited about working on and hopefully as time goes on those things I'm dreading will seem easier to tackle.

Having an editing list can also help you keep track of your progress. One of the reasons I like having to-do lists is that sense of accomplishment you get when you finish a task and can cross it off your list. Imagine how great it will feel once every single task is crossed off the editing list. Maybe then I can actually say my book is done? We'll see...

Do you make editing lists? What's your strategy?

20 July 2015

Searching for Ideas

I'm constantly struggling to find new ideas. New stories, new poems, new blog posts. Actually this post only exists because all I could think about this morning was how I didn't have an idea for a blog post. It happens a lot. It's a blogging day and I've got no clue what to write about. Sometimes there will be some new development in my writing that I can talk about, or sometimes I'll just ramble about nothing in particular. But it's always a constant struggle to come up with ideas.

I'm always in awe of those authors who seem to bust out a new book every month or so. I have no idea how they do it. It's not just because I have a tendency to take forever to write something. It's about ideas. I could never come up with that many ideas that fast. I'm sure when a writer needs a break from their WIP, they'll often work on another project. The problem for me is that I don't have one. I have a few ideas, sure, but none that seem good enough or that I care enough about to work on. So when I need a break from my main project, there isn't anything to turn to.

I don't know what it is, really. Am I just terrible at coming up with ideas? Or am I so hung up on my main WIP that I subconsciously block out any possibility for new ideas? It certainly doesn't help that I don't want to work on my WIP most of the time. Besides blogging, I couldn't tell you the last time I actually wrote something. How can you call yourself a writer if you're not writing?

Ok, this is turning into a sob story. This was supposed to be about ideas! I know it's possible to find ideas anywhere. For some reason they just don't seem to come to me. The only ideas I seem to get are usually a part of the universe for my main WIP--sequels, side stories for minor characters, or just random cute short stories that I probably won't let anyone read. So they don't really feel like new ideas to me because they involve the same characters.

So where do you find new ideas? Well, since the answer to that could be "anywhere" or "everywhere," I guess my question really should be, what do you do when those ideas aren't coming to you anymore? The more I write this the more I feel like it's just my brain telling me to finish what I'm already working on. Working on that is another issue entirely. But hey, there's an idea for another blog post!

Where do you get your ideas from? Are they constantly coming to you or do you struggle to find them?

17 July 2015

Don't Look at My Book!

Usually the ultimate goal with any piece of writing is to get other people to read it. You've got a story in your head and you want to get it onto paper and share it with everyone else. But it takes a while to get to that point where you think your piece is good enough for someone else to read. You may have to go through several rounds of editing and rewrites before you let anyone else look at it, and even after that there may be more editing to do. But how do you know when it's ready? What if you need fresh eyes but you still have a lot that needs to be fixed?

It can take a while before you feel like your writing is ready for other people to read it. Until then, you probably won't let it see the light of day. You'll hold onto it for dear life, pull the shades down, turn off the lights, and hiss like a cat at anyone who tries to touch it. Ok, figuratively speaking, of course. But when someone offers to read it, you may feel like running in the other direction.

On the other hand, what do you do when you really could use a fresh set of eyes? What if you can't figure things out and just being able to talk to someone else about it could help? But what if you're too scared to let anyone read it?

I feel like I'm in some sort of paradox when it comes to having beta readers. I know I probably should have more, but at the same time, I already know a lot of things I want to fix in my book. I think letting someone else read it as is before I make those changes would be pointless. But it would also be nice to have more people to bounce ideas off of. But I also just really don't want anyone else to read it the way it is right now. See? It's a vicious cycle.

This is how it's gone so far: my fiance read the first draft (AGH NO NOT THE FIRST DRAFT! BURN IT!), which is great from a supportive standpoint but he couldn't really offer any critiques. For the second draft, I had one actual beta reader, and then a bunch of people who showed interest in reading it but then never actually did. Horrible mistake on my part. I thought they were serious about wanting to read it, and I was totally fine with getting no real critiques from these people. I thought I would at least get some sort of reader-based reaction, like "Oh, I loved this part!" or "Why did that have to happen???" But no. I got nothing. No responses at all. I'm not even sure if anyone actually read it. So I'm a little jaded when it comes to letting people read it.

So I have literally had only one person who read the whole thing and gave me feedback (and who I keep bothering with my editing ideas...). That's probably not enough, right? But I have so much I want to change for this third draft that I don't want to bother letting anyone else read the second one. And by the time I do finish the third, I want to be querying it. So I don't know if I should bother trying to find more beta readers. But querying will take a while so would it make sense to also have people beta reading in case there are other things I should change? I DON'T KNOW.

So I really have no idea what I should do. For now I'll probably just keep hoarding my book so no one else can read it...