Coworker Love

This one is a tribute to my coworkers (CW)…

When you have to go to that place, that damn building and sit at the damn desk 40, 50, who knows how many hours a week, coworkers are a lifeline. Very few coworkers know about my writing. It doesn’t mesh well with my job and I’m enjoying the separation of church and state as long as I can.

Friday I brought in the proof of Circling The Shadows. The support I feel from these people, has been extraordinary. And the joy they shared in seeing my book, warmed my heart.

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Truly, I tweet about IT CW incessantly. He is my perfect foil in every way… backgrounds, beliefs, etc. He likes to tell me to be more ladylike. I like to tell him I’ll kick him in the balls. It’s a nice friendship. Watching him hold my book, telling me how proud he was of my accomplishment, was lovely though, really genuine. There is another CW who gave me a huge smile with a beautiful text. Add to that everyone who literally breathed deeply the pages of my story, there was such kindness. How do these people, whose homes I’ve never seen, who have never eaten at my table, become like family? 

To these and many others, new friends and old friends, who shared my struggles with story and processes of publishing, I am so grateful to you. The daily grind is much less grindy with you in my life.

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…

 

Tears and Circling

IMG_20141213_082304In all this time, I haven’t gone four weeks without a post, but I think my absence was well deserved.  It has been eight weeks since I started rewriting Circling to better match my second novel, Forever Falling, in tone and POV.  I just finished, right now, this very minute, and it was really difficult.  Here I sit, typing through tears, in Starbucks.

Tears for me are a very rare occurrence. As a person, I lean more toward stabby than teary.  A character flaw that probably comes from my ties to Slytherin and it is sure to get me through the zombie apocalypse. bUT THIS FEELING IS SO OVERWHELMING. (oDDLY i JUST WENT INTO CAPS LOCK- i LIKE IT).

Writing is fascinating.  That initial concept that leads to the pure flood of unstoppable inspiration, cropthe outpouring that is the first draft, it is nothing short of magic. It is a drug like none other, and I’ve tried a few. Then as it all develops, the fine tuning is like adding love to passion. Story develops and characters become real, setting becomes something that can be seen, felt, tasted, heard, inhaled. It is20140919_204758 pure beauty for a writer. This tree, Angel Oak, outside of Charlerton, SC, is where is all began for me.  I’ll love that tree forever.

But still there is more and more detail. Then the details need examination and that examination needs fine tuning, too. It becomes a cycle, I have felt this sense of Circling if you will. It became difficult these last eight weeks. Vices became more important. That low level of depression and frustration had taken hold, making everything more difficult. Now I think I can let it go. The relief is enormous.

I’m looking for a copy edit, NOT a content edit. If you have a recommendation, please use the contact page and send me an email. I want to have Circling and Forever Falling both edited and available to the public by mid-February.

I am shocked but the support of family, friends, coworkers and complete strangers on Twitter. I don’t know how anyone would ever get through this alone. Everyone reading this, know that I am so thankful for you. I am also so grateful for music.  Music is my healthiest addiction. I know absolutely that these headphone have saved my life.  Hours and hours of listening, to calm me, inspire me, soothe me, keep me awake, put me to sleep. My god I love music.  The photo above is the Black Keys in Baltimore a few weeks ago. I haven’t seen Mumford & Sons yet, but they sort of wrote Circling with me. I’ll leave you with a song that makes and breaks my heart, all at once.