Where My Wit Ends

Wit, def. (noun) – The keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure.

I think I’ve found it.  My wit’s end.  The end of my wit.  The keen perception is iffy, cleverly apt expression is so so. I think amusement and pleasure are in serious jeopardy.  They are actually shot to shit.

Wit (idiom) – At one’s wit’s end, at the end of one’s ideas or mental resources; perplexed.

Yeah – that’s more like it.  Mental resources are very low and I am highly perplexed.

You may (or may not – shame on you) have noticed that I have not blogged in months.  I have found that life, work and writing enabled me to keep a fairly robust blog going.  Life, work and this process of self publishing… not so much.  For these last months I have been immersed in setting up accounts, art, designing and re-designing covers, fonts, styles, articles of incorporation, tax documents, ISBNs, formatting, .pdfs, Mobi, blow me. Not to complain but IT FUCKING SUCKS.  I can’t remember the last time I wrote something longer than 140 characters. I have actually come to rely on Twitter as a writing exercise because I am not writing. <— That is the saddest sentence I have ever written.

20140727_082449-1Here is the good news… If all goes well, even if all goes badly, Circling The Shadows will be available on Amazon Kindle and paperback on May 1. There is a tiny chance the paperback will lag a few days behind.   If you are wondering, the idea of a big fancy launch with actual marketing, was just too much for me this go round.  The irony is I am professionally in Marketing.  Oh well.  Forever Falling, book two in the Sunshine and Moonlight series, is ready to move into the editorial process.  It will release with some larger fanfare, perhaps, on August 1.

My blogsite got a bit of a face lift.  I added a page for Novels.  You can read about Circling The Shadows here.  I’ll add the Amazon links soon.

Writer’s Gotta Write

IMG_20150116_200717Yesterday, February 7th, was one year since I typed the first sentence of Circling.  Back then it was called, “The Keys,” and the first sentence is no longer the first sentence, but it was a monumental day for me.  I consider this day to be my writer’s birthday. On February 7th, I left a part of myself behind – mostly fear – and entered a whole new world. I typically celebrate writing accomplishments with a steak and a bourbon.  I was far from home last night, so I kept it to a steak and Shiraz, and it was lovely.

In 365 days I have written and edited and edited and edited and edited and edited and edited and fucking rewritten and edited Circling. (< – – is an accurate assessment of my drafts). I wrote and edited and edited Forever Falling. The second book was a hell of a lot easier to write than the first.

What all of you published authors know (independent or otherwise), the lesson that I am just learning, is that getting a novel in front of readers – covers, promo content, a marketing plan, tech, all of this – is about as tricky as a first draft and not nearly as fun.

I have been adamant about not starting the third novel in this series of four, until Circling and Forever Falling are in your hands.  I can’t keep all these balls in that air.  I am a terrible juggler. The waking up at 3:00 a.m., worrying that John and Anna will destroy each other, blends with waking at 3 a.m., considering how and if Callum and Victoria can find happiness together.  I can’t add a third story to the mix.  So… I am not writing. I am not writing at all.  I am selecting cover art and considering promotion strategies and researching conferences. But I am not writing at all.  I haven’t blogged since I fell down the mountain after New Year’s Day. (I really fell down on the mountain, but the other is such a better sentence. I would prefer to say fell off the mountain, but it is a lie).

The real problem is that I am waking less and less at 3:00 a.m.  I complain a lot about my insomnia.  I hadn’t slept more than three consecutive hours since February 7th, 2014. This morning I slept straight through to 5:00 a.m., woke, glanced at my notifications and went right back to sleep til 7:00 a.m.  My mind is turning to mush.  IMG_20150127_102839I’ve started watching Grey’s Anatomy again and actually looking at the screen. I’ve been cooking and shopping and showering daily.  This has got to stop!  I long for those days I was taking in 900 calories a day, popping a Xanax to get 5 hours of sleep and writing 10,000 words a day.  If I am 100% honest I can say there is probably no better feeling in the world than those days of insanity, pushing a story.  On the planet, how many of us can do it, have done it, and strive to do it again?

So here I am at Starbucks… part of the early crowd for the first time in almost two months.  Truly the Circling rewrite kicked my ass.  I probably needed a break after that, but the break is done. After this is posted, I’ll start the final edit of Forever Falling and then onto book 3.  That will be a joyous day! As we all know… a writer’s gotta write.

How is your W.I.P.?  Challenges, successes?  Share it and let’s commiserate and celebrate.

I seem to be playing this song constantly.  It isn’t my usual but it has really gotten under my skin.  It seems like a good song for beginnings…

 

The Strangest Thing

So one day you decide to write and write you do. You write morning, noon and night. Your try to fit in a semblance of a real life, work, family, friends, basic healthcare, maybe too little fitness, and you write a damn book.

For me, the first time around, writing Circling, most of the energy felt like adrenaline. It was probably a nice boost of endorphins. Forget the runner’s high, try the writer’s high! I would get up after hours motionless, except fingers on a keyboard, panting from expended energy. But it was all mental and unsustainable.
Eventually, by the later drafts of Circling, my physiological response to writing normalized, and it scared me. The energy was crazy, but it was magical too. What if the magic deserted me and I went back to being just plain me. I like writer me much more than other me.
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So on June 2, 2014, I started my second attempt at writing. Forever Falling picks up a few months after Circling ends. The story travels west with Anna’s brother Callum. Writing was a bit more staid. It was slow to start and my fingers danced much less aggressively across the keyboard. But it kept coming. The questions kept getting asked and answered and the voices kept talking. It took about three and a half months for a very respectable first draft, but it happened.
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I typed the magic words today. With Circling I didn’t type them until draft four. Forever Falling is a much cleaner first draft. POV and narrative inexperience plagued me the first time around. Not this time, lessons learned.
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Tonight I’ll celebrate with a bourbon and a steak. To me this combination tastes of pure satisfaction.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be working with an editor to put the finishing polish on Circling. I have decided to leave the traditional world of publishing behind. I’d much rather be the pilot of my own destiny. My goal is to have it in the hands of all the world in December.
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Raise a glass with me, if you will, tonight. Toast every beginning and every ending. And may every ending lead to a new beginning.

XO