Crunch time #IWSG

Shattered Illusions is up for digital pre-order on Amazon. Working on getting the physical proof in (and obsessively checking the mail for it) so we can go through it quickly and I can get pre-orders started. Setting up other sales for Twisted Magics. And the list continues. I might be found tugging my hair with everything going on and worrying about how the second book will be received.

Though this month’s IWSG made me stop and think about where I am. Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I’ve given up on projects. Just stopped working. Stopped writing for a while and eventually something brought me back. There were a number of years in a row I attempted NaNoWriMo and got maybe a few thousand words in before getting frustrated at my current life situation and simply dropping it and walking away. Kept thinking I was never going to finish anything.

I actually was about to give up even attempting the challenge when I got pestered to join for another year. Figured why not? It’s a day and a half before it starts and I have half of a concept. Found a great group of people in my area also participating and I just plugged along doing my thing.

Suddenly, this world I fought with for years came to life and I had a horrible mess. But there was something in that mess. Eventually it turned into Twisted Magics and well, I’m still writing that series and loving (sometimes frustrated at) the crazy things my characters get into.

What changed that made everything finally click? I changed which character I was trying to write from and went back in time. Sounds weird, I know, but having something (even when that something was a huge steaming mess) gave me the boost I needed to get back to writing.

Now I have these two with a third being edited (and more in planning):

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Shattered Illusions cover reveal

If you follow me on my Facebook page, you have already heard that I’ll be at Boise Book Fest this year. That was the first of a few announcements coming up.

Next is the cover reveal for Shattered Illusions!

A few people have gotten a chance to see me running around with mock-ups. Again, amazing work by the talented J Caleb Design.

Pre-orders are now available for digital copies on Amazon. I don’t have an estimated date yet for physical copies, but I’m going to try and have them in time for the June 21st release date. I will post as soon as I know.

Mock Up One

Distracted #IWSG

Usually I can focus down on a project and work on it for a while, but after getting through one round of revisions on book 3 during Camp NaNoWriMo I got distracted by other side projects.

These side projects are helpful because for me it fills in the gaps that the reader won’t see and if it’s something that can come back in later, cool. If not, I know what those people were doing at the time. Maybe I’ll have something I can share later.

I just feel a little guilty for not focusing fully on the current major project. I guess it gives me something else to do instead of pacing nervously as Shattered Illusions gets closer to release.

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Snowball effect #IWSG

Since I totally forgot about today’s post until now and it has some relevance for me, I’m stealing Loni’s idea.

I posted previously about Crossfit. I try not to speak too much of it because I know the stigma it carries. And truthfully, from an outside observer before I started it looked like pure chaos.

I promise I’ll get to the writing part soon.

A few weeks ago there was a team workout and I got partnered up with two other women who had just started (I was not quite at my first month yet I think). They were friends who decided to do this together. Cool because my husband dragged me into this. So we’re getting set up and going since there’s different movements and it’s supposed to be one person working at a time so the other two can rest. About halfway through they’re not following the pattern anymore. Suddenly I find myself on my own for the rest of the workout because they decided I wasn’t moving fast enough for them (by the way, this is not normal behavior for people at my box – the others are very helpful and inclusive no matter their level).

I’m big and slow. I have a hard time doing stuff. I scale everything. Those simple facts began to snowball into directly negative thoughts (I can’t do this. I’ll never get anywhere. What was I thinking? Who am I kidding?) and it went beyond Crossfit. I began second guessing myself on everything, which is really bad at this time as I’m wrapping up book 2 and editing book 3. Had a panic attack about another team workout and had to sit that day out.

Lack of a decent night’s rest for who knows how long wasn’t helping either.

It became my turn at one of my critique groups and I prayed I could take people’s opinions without breaking down. I knew I had problems with the first chapter of book 3, but I couldn’t figure out what.

Managed to make it through that and start Camp NaNoWriMo (I use Camps for revisions and maybe some small side projects if I have time). I haven’t touched the first chapter yet since I decided to go through the rest of the book before I made an major changes. Need to see what I have because I know I set up a lot in the beginning that comes back.

I’m also torn a bit on a few things because readers vs critique partners again.

So I’m still on shaky ground with pretty much everything, but I’m trying to move forward.

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It’s all in the shoes

No, seriously. This post is going to be different so bear with me. It’s one of those “ah ha!” type of moments with a fair amount of head hitting the wall following.

About a month ago I was dragged pretty much kicking and screaming by my husband to join him in crossfit. I know I probably just lost a few people saying that word. Many, many tears have been shed in my frustration of being unable to keep up.

I still can’t, but I was also being held back by something: my shoes. I killed my rainbow colored sneakers (this is what happens when you let a then 3 year old pick the color) during the sheer amount of running (walking) this past Saturday and then the nail in the coffin was Monday’s workout. Tuesday I found myself researching shoes and asking horribly newbie questions of random strangers on the internet.

2017-03-15 09.19.02

Those funky rainbow colored shoes are lifestyle shoes – they are good for pretty much nothing. At least not anything that has some level of intensity to it. Actually, probably don’t even say the word exercise around them. The others are a cross training shoe.

The difference? I struggled so hard to get into a half-squat with the Sketchers. I stood in the store (very awkwardly) doing full squats in the Nike shoes without issue (except for hoping no one randomly came around the corner and saw me). I grip the floor solidly and the better side-to-side support is instantly noticeable. Now, they aren’t Metcon 3s, but they’re a good start. Trust me, I tried on the Metcon 3s and would love a pair, but that’s out of the budget right now. I’d like to try the Nano 7s, but I can’t find any in my size in the area. Are there other brands/models/etc? Yeah, but hang around on the subreddit a little bit and you’ll start getting the idea of what crossfit people go for.

Changing shoes also heavily reduced the knee and ankle pain I deal with on a regular basis. I could keep going, but this has probably already gotten boring. Needless to say, if issues with footwear ever comes up in my writing, I’ve probably already done a decent amount of research for it.

I held off on this post until after another workout where I could wear my new shoes and of course Thursday’s workout heavily featured some sort of squat in it. I still need to work on it, but now I can start tackling my personal limitations without having to fight my shoes as well. And while I’m still heavily scaled, I didn’t leave feeling completely frustrated and like I was wasting my time even trying.

Now to find some good everyday shoes to wear so I don’t kill these. The rainbow ones are completely gone – they actually hurt to wear. I’m keeping them around a little longer to possibly publicly shame them.

A belated thank you

A belated thank you to everyone who stopped by and said hi at Rediscovered Books this weekend. There are still signed copies of Twisted Magics on sale there. I also want to thank the folks at Rediscovered – they are the nicest, sweetest people who have a huge passion for books.

And my daughter might be mad at me for not bringing her back a book, but she would have been more annoyed at not getting to pick it out herself. I see another trip down there in the near future.

2017-03-09 10.27.24As for my delay with this post, things kind of went sideways recently. Earlier in the week my daughter’s preschool cancelled for the rest of the year without warning so I’ve been in a bit of a scramble to figure out what to do to fill that void. And I thought kindergarten registration this afternoon (yikes!) was going to be my weird point for the week.

Trying to figure out a new routine now, but still holding onto what we can.  I’m still staying on target for an early summer release for Shattered Illusions. Still trying to teach her the basics of archery. Thankfully she’s happy with just the block for now.

It’s been a long time since I taught archery – I think it’s as much of a reminder for me as it’s lessons for her. Haven’t broken my own bow out yet since I need to focus on her while we’re there.

Guess we’ll just have to roll with what we’ve been dealt and see where it takes us.

Revisiting old work #IWSG

March IWSG Day Question: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Yes, and it was torture to some extent. I really liked the concept of the short story and wanted to rewrite it and see if I couldn’t do more with it. Since it’s a side project, I haven’t put too much effort beyond a full rewrite, showing it to a couple of critique groups, and some minor editing after that.

I think eventually it’ll work out. I have another short story that follows these characters that also needs a rewrite along with old notes I found for a third. So it’ll be fun to dabble with in between my major projects.

The hardest part was taking the original from third person present tense to first person past tense. I have a really hard time writing in third person for some reason. Either I want to tell everything or I withhold way more than I would in first person – there’s no in between. Eventually I broke down the original into something of an outline so I could keep the sequence of events roughly the same.

Me and outlines generally don’t play well together either, but for something short I can put up with it.

For now it’s tucked away to be poked and prodded another day. I’m working on the final edits for Shattered Illusions which of course takes priority. My deadlines are looming quickly and I haven’t gotten as much work done with it in the past week or so due to a change in my schedule and trying to catch up and finish my February writing challenge. And being sick. I didn’t know it you could get sick off of too much protein (also didn’t realize it was too much).

See, this is what happens when I try to be healthier about things.

Also getting nervous and excited for my event at Rediscovered Books on Saturday. I’ll be there from 11-1.