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?

04 December 2019

Better Late than Never

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! 

HEY! SO! I wouldn't necessarily say I forgot to write my post for today. It's more like, I forgot that it was the first Wednesday of the month. In my defense, I have been very busy lately. Between NaNo and Thanksgiving and thinking about Christmas, and working full time, and my sister-in-law is getting married this Saturday, and I had to go to the dentist...I've been a little preoccupied. I didn't even blog at all last month besides my IWSG post because I was too busy with NaNo. 

But when I was browsing Facebook on my lunch break at work and I saw the IWSG's post for today, well...I may have lost it for a second. But I'm writing it now! 

I guess that's the thing I'm most insecure about right now. Because I am in no way insecure about my NaNo project! Because...that's right...

I WON!!! I actually wrote 50,000 words in the month of November. Sexy Fluff #1 is going well, although it's definitely not done yet. But 50k!!! I still can't believe I actually did it. It was actually a really nice break to not only work on something different, but something that was a lot lighter than my usual stuff AND had that first draft freedom. If the words sucked, I didn't care! I just kept going. 

So I guess the big question is...now what? I still have to finish SF#1, but I really should bring my focus back to UL. I've only got two chapter rewrites to go and it'll be done! Of course, one of those chapters will be particularly difficult, but I'm hoping working on SF will in some way help? By just shaking things up and by also writing a few perfectly normal sex scenes will at least help get the jitters out for the one I have to write for UL. We'll see when I actually try. I've been too busy to write the past few days! But I loved writing every day during NaNo. I'd really like to stick with that. 

I think my main focus should be on finishing UL, and maybe one day a week working on Sexy Fluff. But what will probably end up happening is that I'll just go wherever the inspiration takes me.