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.