Tag Archive: writing


New Year, “New” Projects

So. This year, I have set out to do lots of things to help further my potential writing career. I have joined a wonderful writing community known as Get Your Words Out over at livejournal with my personal journal. It’s what used to be my writing LJ, but with all things, it’s changed and evolved into something else entirely. I still post writing there; it’s just gotten less frequent than the entries that are far more personal and navel-gazing in nature.

Now, over at GYWO, you could pledge to writing various amounts of words over the course of 2015. The number of words I pledged to complete this year is 500k, and as of today, I am just 400 words over the “target” line. I have written 16.8k words so far, this year. Not bad, right?

Except I have writing goals other than simply spitting out 500k words in a 365 day period.

I want to submit at least three pieces to literary magazines. I want to resume my Amazon Self-Published Erotica biz, Erotica Pen Name included, by writing and publishing at least one piece to sell. Most likely, it would be me playing with the “Vicky and Mordecai” storyline, as I have a part 4 that’s been languishing at “half-finished” for about half a year, now. I want to finish the Second Draft of Gray Morning.

If anyone’s been paying attention — back in December, I was wrapping up the first book of my A New Day trilogy. Yes, trilogy. Because between December 23rd and today, January 12th, I not only decided, yes, I’m shelving One Day at a Time despite not having filled in those last 15kish words, but that there was, in fact, another book that took place after Gray Morning.

I wish I could say I wasn’t surprised. But I was. I mean, I sat here and began writing Gray Morning a few days before January 1st. It’s at approximately 24k words total. I think at about 15k in, I looked up from my screen, my eyes widening and me whispering, “Oh, no,” to myself. Because I realized that there was no way Gray Morning would be a satisfactory ending to the storyline. That there definitely was more storyline to explore, after a certain protagonist’s death.

But I have never seriously thought about plot-related things after Gray Morning either. At the same time, though, the world Jazz and Savin now inhabit has undergone so many changes. It’s not the same that it used to be. They’re not the same that they used to be. I mean, okay, they’re still themselves, and their story is still theirs, but just like me and their world, they evolve, too. They experience growth and change (and they should, if they’re going to be well-rounded characters).

I want 2015 to be a good year. I want it to be the best year. I want to get into a routine, I want to find a way to write for at least an hour every day, so I can try to stay on top of my word counts. I want to set aside larger blocks of time to get caught up when lack of sleep and time inevitably tank the lead I have on my goals at present. I want to finish this damn trilogy and begin editing it and reworking parts and finally know all of the pieces to it.

My best friend thought I might be pushing myself a little too hard when I mentioned that I wanted to finish the 8-10 novel ideas I have in my head at present before I turn 30. I turn 30 in approximately three years. That’s roughly 3-4 novels a year. 3-4 months spent on one novel at a time.

Doable. As long as I can, in fact, write for an hour every day. I also want to work on finding an agent and building my “platform” and getting myself out there.

Who knows. Maybe I’ll be on my way to a publishing contract in another couple of years or so.

Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Advertisements

So for some of you who’ve been around on this blog for a while, you’ve heard me gush about this particular writing community from time to time. The Real LJ Idol can be found on livejournal.com, at therealljidol.livejournal.com. It is, perhaps, my favorite community on that particular website. It is a sprawling community, one that brings amateur and professional writers alike to its fold. Right now, it’s in between seasons, with the final season slated to take place in early 2014. 

I want to tell you all (and the world) how much I love LJI. How LJI has even changed my life, and produced irreplaceable friendships, and also a level of confidence in myself and my writing that I never quite had, before.

I’ve been writing for a long time. I have notebooks with my scrawling handwriting in them that date back to the late 90’s, when I was roughly 9-10 years old. I’ve posted fanfiction on fanfiction.net since the age of 12. But there was a time where I stopped writing. Most notably, it was after I got married. My whole marriage, I struggled with writing. It wasn’t as fun. I had ideas, but I couldn’t quite break the block. I was depressed.

And then, my ex-wife and I moved from North Carolina, back to our home state. And we were both unemployed, and looking for work, and we were living with my father. It was around that time, back in October 2011, that I discovered this writing community. A writing  competition, with reality show-esque twists like Survivor? Sure, I thought to myself, I’m game.

The commitment? Write one entry, based on a prompt given by the wonderful (and terrifying) host, Gary. Each piece was to be completed within 3-4 days. Sometimes, we got multiple prompts to do over longer periods of time. Sometimes, we’d get an Open Topic, which we all then would proceed to Flip the Fuck Out, because wtf does Gary have up his sleeve? Better bring our A Game! 

It’s because of this community that I found the commitment to write on a weekly basis again. And then on a daily basis and pursuing my own projects with renewed vigor, once I got voted out at 30 Weeks (and made it to the top 30 out of some 300+ contestants — not bad, if I do say so myself). It forced me to grow as a writer. To experiment. To learn how to tell non-fiction in a way that was compelling, that had a point, that didn’t feel like an LJ entry. 

This is a writing competition you simply cannot forget. The struggle, the pain, the cursing of Gary for some really absurdly weird prompts. The camaraderie you develop with your fellow contestants. I met my best friend Sarah through LJI Season 8. We started talking as the season was heading towards the end, and she made it to 4th place.

LJI restored my faith in myself as a writer. Made me realize that yes, writing is my life’s blood. I need it to breathe. I need it to cope. And I was competing in Exhibit B (a mini-season) when my ex-wife told me she wanted to end our marriage. It was Idol that carried me through those rough few months immediately following the news. Idol that kept me writing when all I wanted to do was quit, and give up, and never write again and never feel again. 

I implore you all, when I link the Sign Up Sheet, to get a livejournal account. To give Idol a spin, just like I did. It may be a writing marathon, a test of your skills and your ability to pull something out of your ass when there’s no time and no ideas, but it is, hands down, the best writing competition. It is the first of its kind, and no others can quite compete.

Thank you, LJI, for shaping me into who I am today. For shaping me into the writer I am today. For introducing me to wonderful, amazing people who enrich my life and make me a better person. For the support I found when my ex-wife severed emotional ties with me. 

And thank you, Gary, for pulling it all together for us every year, for veterans and noobs alike. This labor of love has done wonders for me, as I’m sure it’s done wonders for others, as well. ❤

WARGLBLARGl

I am still alive!

I’ve been having one hell of a time adjusting to my new work schedule. Not to mention, I’m working 40 hours a week at that 12am-8am shift. I like the job, but it’s exhausting, and I’m still trying to learn how to balance life with it. I’ve been writing, though, and I have about 20k words for the newest version of Seize the Day. I haven’t written anything (yet) today, and I’m going to try to get in at least 750 words so I can say just above the NaNoWriMo quotas. On my days off, I tend to find enough time to bang out about 4-5k, so those days have been helping me stay caught up.

This has just shown me that I CAN in fact write while working full-time, and I can continuously hit my personal writing goals. I just wish I worked a different shift, at this point. It is what it is, however. I actually worked last night, so I’m starting to feel the urge to collapse for 20 minutes. 

My characters continue to astound me, however. Jazz and Savin are moving so quickly — it’s all lust and love at first sight with them and it’s so weird, because every version of this story I’ve written so far, they’ve had to wait to be together. Now? Not so much. I’ve learned that the one night stand I’ve always seen them have is 100% true, and that it was Jazz who initiates their initial encounter. 

Savin, however, is pretty much immediately smitten and is the one who pushes for a more emotional connection. Which, of course, will make things more tragic as I continue to write this. We’ll see how it goes, though. I’m almost entirely winging this. I’m letting the characters guide the way, as it should be, when I write a first draft. They like to tell me the way, a lot of the time. 🙂

A snippet, of Jazz and Savin being… well, themselves:

Continue reading

NaNoWriMo

Is it November yet? I swear, these days just keep getting longer and longer…

I started my job very early Monday morning (12am). I did manage to write about 1350 words yesterday, despite that. This week is basically a test drive up until Friday, so I can figure out how the hell I’m gonna manage to watch my kid and write my words and get some sleep during November. 

I’m also heavily crushing on a writer-friend of mine I met through LJ. His words have always taken my breath away, and getting to know him a little better has made that a little worse. 🙂 So I have romance on the brain, just a little bit, which is making me want to write even more — but right now, I’m trying to relax and let my brain settle and maybe nap (I woke up early this morning in an effort to help keep me vaguely on a schedule for tonight — when I go back in at midnight…).

I want to embark on this journey with the final draft so bad. I know I’m not going to go much over 50k — I’ve been averaging that the past few months, and while I like to make NaNo a challenge for myself (and last year, challenged myself to 90k a month or a finished book — and surpassed both goals), adjusting to working a crazy life of third shift and just plain working again after three years of NOT working, I think 50k will be a bit of a tough feat.

But I WILL write every day, and I WILL push myself to at least achieve that goal. Writing is my life. It’s who I am; it’s how I breathe — and I can never, ever forget that. 

Say…

Still working on the last installment of the Say What You Want series. I wrote another 1100 of it so far today and might not get a chance to add much more to it, either. However, it’s a start, and tomorrow I have my full child-free time. My first day on the job is Sunday night — I’m working 12-8am, every other night for my first week. I’m sure my second week’ll be a little different. Training and all that needing to be done and all. 

I am starting to figure out exactly how this piece ends — though I’m a little surprised it’s ending that way. Then again, this is what my characters do, so I shouldn’t be that surprised. And then once it’s complete, I’ll start trying to compile everything together. Vicky & Mordecai part 3 should go up tomorrow — just have to get the title page and the copyright page done and then it’s going up on Amazon. 

Part of me is borderline freaking out about this huge upheaval in my schedule, but I’ll find a way to work around it. I’m going to have to figure out how I’m going to write on the days where I have work — and how I’m going to get enough sleep. I’m sure I’ll figure something out. If I have to like permanently keep myself awake at night or keep weird wake-up times, I will. 

But I will keep writing and I will keep producing stories. I just need to figure out what my next erotic romance piece will be. 🙂 Until then, enjoy this chunk of Say… (still untitled) I wrote today. 😀

Continue reading