Skye Falling

Skye Falling

Monday, November 23, 2015

4 Reasons To Fail and LOVE it #NaNoWriMo

Yeah, okay I’m failing at NaNoWriMo. Last year on this date I crossed the 50,000 mark, validated, then passed out on the floor. Yes. EARLY. Today my word count is less than 25,000.

Why am I smiling? Well, I’ll tell you.

1          Because I’m failing like a rock star and by that I mean I’m lovin’ every minute of it. That’s a Loverboy reference to those unschooled in cheesy 80s rock. There were commitments and deadlines that kept me freakishly busy up until the 15th or so, but I managed to eke out a few thousand words here and there – after work, before work, at work (shhhhh). From the start I gave myself permission to fail, NOT permission to stop.

It’s only been for the past week or so that I’ve been able to submerge myself and wallow in my Nano story and I LOVE it. That brings me to #2.

2          Because my Nano book keeps surprising me. What I thought should happen in my hastily scribbled outlines haven’t worked that well. I haven’t deleted those busted scenes because hello this is NaNoWriMo after all and THERE IS NO DELETING IN NANOWRIMO. But because those scenes didn’t work I’ve been forced to crack open and tickle that writing center of What If. And I love to play that game. It’s daydreaming with a purpose made possible by Nano. I LOVE it.

3          Because everyone else is doing it. At least it seems that way. Who doesn’t like to be part of a massive Vowel Movement (coincidentally that’s also the name of my brother’s band back in the day – I’m totally not lying, that was the name), seeing inspiring emails from authors and tweets from coaches and joining in on impromptu word sprints? I’m Twitter friends with a lot of writers participating this year and my TL is filled with their successes and failures. I can applaud their successes instead of feeling a bit sick with envy and I can empathize with their failures because oh look I’m there, too! Welcome! Have a seat! I LOVE it.

4          Because it's your novel that's important, not the word count. Over this past weekend the Midwest had its first snowstorm and it was a big ‘un. Three inches of wet, thick, mutant sized flakes splashed down followed by plunging temperatures and another three inches of the non-mutant variety. I had to cancel plans to see Planet Groove downtown because of it. What? Yes, you heard me. I actually had plans during November. And I’ve ridden my horse and socialized IRL during the month, too.  Blasphemy? No. Balancing my life. By not being consumed with reaching 50K, I’m loving the hell out of Nano this year and everything it has to offer. And my book, and life, is the better for it. What's NOT to love?


Monday, October 12, 2015

All aboard the NaNo Train


It’s nearly mid-October and NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is less than three weeks away. What? How did that happen?!  The fake spider webs in bushes and tombstones in front yards and good Lord the pumpkins, well now they're everywhere. Turns out those are the reminders of NaNo AND Halloween.  

The occasional tweets and emails are increasing daily (much like pumpkins on porches) as people are committing, plotting, outlining.  Or saying ohhellno and slamming the door.

Crunch time.  Do you plunge into the frenzied, mad dash to 50,000 words or continue your life as is?  Because Nano isn’t a toe-dipping-to-test-the-water kind of endeavor. No one can “sort of” Nano. Once the calendar crosses into November 1st, half a million people across the globe will fling themselves into the month-long endurance test to churn out their novels.

I gotta say, that’s the draw for me. No one writes alone. I participated last year for the first time, crossing the finish line with a few days to spare.  I know back then that I blogged about my love/hate relationship with Nano but that was last year. (here's the link for that post

All the anxiety and swearing and staring at the blinking cursor with dull, bloodshot eyes because omg I need to catch up because I only got 1000 words yesterday; all that is just a distant memory today.

What I remember most is the camaraderie and the fun. The pep talks from authors, conversations at the write-ins, kick-off and Thank God It’s Over parties, the word sprints and hashtags, the glowing satisfaction of a plot twist pulled out of your...head that not only works but also changes the direction of the book, a 180 wheelie. What a rush! A caffeine and adrenaline fueled rush to 50,000 words.

To know that at any time during November, day or night, someone somewhere was out there writing, ready to whip out a #1K1hr (1000 words in one hour hahahaha I know right? But it’s oddly doable) or frowny-face their word count or wail about their story losing steam. Even epic stuckiness is more bearable when others are sharing your misery.  

There are a million reasons NOT to get your Nano on.  Responsibilities! Commitments! Exhaustion! My feet hurt! All valid, probably. And don’t forget these beauties -  Headache! Don’t FEEL like it! So busy! The house is FILTHY! Shopping! THANKSGIVING!

*takes a deep breath, puts Pepto and Cheetos on the shopping list*

I’m jumping aboard the NaNoWriMo train again, guys. If I cross the finish line, awesome, Go Me. If I don’t, I’ll have a head start on either the next book in my paranormal romance series or a less sucky version of last year’s urban fantasy or the bones of a completely new book. Awesome, Go Me. Downside - uh, not that much.

I know I’m deciding late – the last prep meeting in my area is this weekend – and that I have a sh*t ton of work to do (a sh*t ton is nine...teen...thousand times larger than a metric ton for you curious types) between now and then but I’ll be armed and dangerous (armed with my pen and Pepto and dangerous to those around me because I’m tired and my back probably hurts) and ready to play come November 1stBut it's never too late, as long as it's still October. And we have *counts squares on calendar* 19 days to go. Gird your loins and let the prep work begin!

Because NaNoWriMo is all about shiny possibilities and none of those million reasons can trump that. ALL ABOARD!


Friday, September 11, 2015

TJ Dodd rocks the 7-7-7-7

Yesterday I completed the dare/gauntlet/challenge thrown at me by Laura Harvey. Today, one of the 7 writers I challenged, the lovely TJ Dodd (whose Twitter avi made me laugh so loud I scared my dogs), is borrowing Meanders and Muses to complete her challenge. Whee!  Take it away, TJ.

7-7-7-7 challenge accepted.

7th page of my work in progress, 7 lines down, post the next 7 lines, challenge 7 more writers.

I was challenged by Anna Kyle, who kindly loaned me the use of her blog to post my response, because I don’t have a blog of my own. I don’t have a published book of my own yet, either. Yet.

I’ve been a writer since forever, but have only published professionally as a journalist and have spent most of my energy teaching others to write. I’ve shared some of my fiction with family and friends privately, and in recent years, through free online sites. Only this year, with much encouragement of my fellow writers, have I seriously considered making the leap from writer to published author of fiction.

So when an author whose book I love, and whose next book I’m eagerly anticipating, included me in a writer’s challenge I was thrilled. I even squeaked out loud. (I don’t squeak. Seriously, I’m more likely to growl or curse.)

I’m not an author. But this is a writer’s challenge, and from my first conscious breath in the morning until my last conscious breath at night, and even in my dreams, I’m a writer.

So here it is, my 7 lines from the current iteration of the novel my high school English teacher told me I’d write someday. It’s done and in the editing stage, so who knows what it may look by the time I can call it complete?

     “The High Guard is here, in the open. You can destroy the vampire command in one move.”
     “In the open and guarded by that.” Lettie nodded toward the swirling cloud of hell-spawned wings, claws, 

talons, and fangs outside the windows. Every color of the human complexion was represented in that cloud. Evil  

has always been colorblind, she thought.

    “If I move fast I can kill the vampires and still have time to dust some of those demons before they run for 

cover.” She was thinking strategy. Her heartbeat quickened as her thoughts turned to the battle ahead. Five 

centuries of retirement had been far too long. Gods, she missed this!

Thanks again to my lovely hostess, Anna Kyle, for including me in this challenge. P.S. If you haven’t read her book, Skye Falling, why the heck not? Skye is adorable, Lake is (oooh baby!) dreamy, and their story sings along the pages. There are plenty of hints of things to come in The Wolf King series. I can’t wait!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

7-7-7-7 challenge accepted

I’ve been CHALLENGED by Laura Harvey. Yay! 7th page of my WIP, 7 lines down, 7 lines posted, then pass this hot potato to 7 others.  My WIP is currently being dismembered, hacked, and reassembled but its current state lands me here: 

     Rose sat cross-legged in a corner of Tank’s new stall. The donkey’s gaze remained on a frowning Finn, who rested his forearms on the opened half-door.
     “What’s his problem, anyway?”
     “He started attacking everyone around him but there was nothing wrong. Nothing medically, I mean. Your six hundred bucks covered all that testing.”
     “So you made me buy an angry donkey with mental health issues?”
     Great. Surly Finn was back. Rose rubbed her temples.

Done and done. I’m just glad this challenge didn’t involve a truckload of toilet paper and Coach Q’s house. Who am I kidding? I totally I would have jumped on that one, too.  Oh, and if I know you and you're a writer, get ready for this hot potato. And if you don't have a blog to post on, you can post on mine. So no excuses!


Friday, September 4, 2015

A sweet and sexy romance

OMG my book is out! Loose!! Running amok!!!

Do I have your attention now? Good. My novella, SKYE FALLING, catapulted into the world last week and is available online everywhere.  And the reviews give me the warm fuzzies!

Here’s the back cover for your reading enjoyment.

Skye, a Fae-shapeshifter halfing, could die if she doesn’t find out how to wake her dormant wolf, so mere rumors of the Wolf King’s return are enough to convince her to sneak through the portal between Faerie and Chicago in search of his aid. But the dizzyingly bright lights and sounds of the human realm are too tempting to ignore. So is the sexy shapeshifter wolf intent on capturing her—the one who stirs her sleeping wolf just long enough to bind the handsome stranger in a mate-bond.

Lake is willing to do anything to protect the Wolf King, a man he also calls friend. So when he receives word that a Fae princess has slipped into Chicago, he suspects a plot to assassinate the Wolf King. He’s certain capturing her will be as easy as locating her—that was his first mistake. Not only is his wolf a little too interested in Skye, but the wolf accepts her mate-bond without any say-so from him. As he unravels the truth surrounding the smart-mouthed princess and whether she’s hunting his friend or being hunted by someone else, Lake’s mission changes: protect Skye at all costs. And keep her for himself.

Or you can just read the Twitter version: The Fae halfling princess and the smoking hot wolf shapeshifter. Their story is HERE!

SKYE FALLING has reviews – as of this afternoon there is one on Amazon, one on Goodreads, and one on eswritingjourney.blogspot – honest-to-Betsy real reviews. A resounding success! (I can call it resounding today because so far they’re all good reviews, right?)

“Fun, frisky”

“The author brings a wickedly wry sense of humor and some unexpected plot twists and turns to this story, as well as a delightful shout-out to Steinbeck.”

“sexy and sweet romance”

“I was drawn in to the point where I definitely want to continue on with the series and recommend it to fans of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.”

“The reveal and the writing for the end had me staring at my screen (I read the ebook), unwilling to stop reading until I knew how it all turned out.”

“I’d have read this even if you weren’t my sister.”

Okay, that last one was over the phone and from my sister and yes, she is legally obligated as my sister to be my cheerleader, but still, I can tell if she’s lying and she totally was NOT lying. WhooHoo!

People like my book!!

It’s been a wild ride from the blank page to a published book complete with the requisite stomach-dropping plunges (oh look the computer crashed) and hairpin turns (we’d love to publish your story, just add 10,000 words) and blind corners (omg I have no ideas or words left). 
But I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m so proud to be a part of the Red Moon Romance family. They not only loved my story and offered on it, they also assigned an awesome editor who helped me make SKYE FALLING shine. And let’s not forget THE AWESOME PURPLE COVER.  

I’m officially an author now, guys, of a book that people seem to enjoy. How cool is that? I’ll tell you. Very. Very very. Elation mixed with panic and just a splash of pride and the warm fuzzies. So, in an hour or two I’m lifting a glass to give thanks (which will give me a different kind of warm fuzzies) and then it’s back to writing.
Because I’ve got a short story to fix and then edits on Book One, OMEGA RISING, the one that starts the whole Wolf King series, which is due to be published soon. Oh, and Books Three and Four aren’t going to write themselves.


P.S. Here are the buy links, you know, in case you were thinking you'd escape after just reading. HAHAHAHA 

All Romance Books