Writing Isn’t Always Champagne and Violets

WHAT’S PLAYING: Alicia Keys “Tell You Something (Nana’s Reprise)”

So, I’ve put my first novel aside for a bit and started work on a new book. It’s not going well.

The words are coming, but the little tingle I get when a story finally clicks into place is missing. With my first book, most mornings I’d sit down in front of the computer and the words would just tumble out of my head, one after the other, like some sort of shimmering fountain of awesomeness.  

Awash with inspiration, I’d write for hours, stopping only to answer the demands of my coffee-filled bladder. I’d get up, only to discover that my legs had fallen asleep, and lie there, trying not to piss myself or scream as the pins and needles worked their torturous way through my lower extremities.

*Sigh*

Those were the days.

bad_day

When it comes to this new book, instead of a shimmering fountain of awesomeness, I get a viscous deluge of shit. It’s depressing. Like I need a nap after every 2-3 thousand words type of depressing.

Dead moms, madness, ghosts, monsters, trauma, prejudice, all my personal demons are in there. Add to that the knowledge that I’ll have to go back and tease some kind of hope out of all this despair, and you have yourself one tired, morose writer.   

Don’t get me wrong. The book is good, probably the best thing I’ve ever written. (Which, at this point, is not saying much. But I’m saying it anyway. So, shut up.) More importantly, it’s the story I need to tell now.

Still, in the words of the immortal B.B. King, the thrill is gone.

Frustrated_Writer

I love writing, but days like this remind me that it’s a job, which requires work. That’s why I spend six hours a day slogging through this first draft, pushing through resistance, and forcing the words out when they refuse to emerge on their own.                                            

Because I’m a writer. And that’s what writers do.

In the meantime, if I want thrills and tingles, I’ll call my boyfriend.

Author Tag: The Next Big Thing

WHAT’S PLAYING: Alicia Keys feat. Nicki Minaj “Girl on Fire”

Talk about an embarrassment of riches. The lovely and talented Kelly Johnson and Joy Johnson have both tagged me in the Next Big Thing Game. Make sure you check out their blogs!

tag-youre-it

1. What is the working title of your book?

Wildling

2. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A couple of years ago, I learned that UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) lists my native languageChoctaw—as vulnerable to extinction, joining the list of the estimated 300 languages spoken in North America before the arrival of Christopher Columbus that are endangered or extinct.

This knowledge left me feeling sad, lonely, and more than a little angry. But it also left me with a curious question: What would I do, sacrifice, to save my race from extinction?

And Wildling was born. The story itself has changed a lot since I started playing around with the idea, but I like to think that part of the original inspiration is still present.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Adult Fantasy

4. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A member of a nearly extinct magical race strives to protect a human child from various factions, including one led by another of her kind who is determined to kill the boy before he can be used to destroy the world.

5. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jessica SzohrMia Twinblades

When Mia stumbles upon a murder and kidnapping in progress, she finds herself caught up in a conspiracy of slavery and political intrigue. She must choose between the man she could come dangerously close to loving and the child that has captured her heart before her indecision destroys them all.

jessica szohr

Noah Gray-Cabey Connor

Intelligent and curious, Connor’s talent for boosting magic makes him a prize worth killing for.  

noah gray-cabey

Sir Michael Gambon Lachlan Dilwyn

An ex-priest born with the gift of healing, Lachlan lost his magical abilities when he chose wine over his religion.  

Sir_Michael_Gambon

Henry SimmonsLuc Excer

A telepathic prince banished from his kingdom, Luc is determined to rescue his younger brother from Vadim and Irina at all costs, even if it means betraying his friends.

henry-simmons

Gilles MariniVadim Aranka

Old and immensely powerful, Vadim is torn between his feelings for Mia and doing what he knows to be right. Connor’s very existence puts the kingdom in jeopardy. But will Mia forgive him for doing what needs to be done?

"The Grey" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Blake Lively Irina Aranka

As Vadim’s ward, Irina has been in love with him since she was a child. Now, with the ultimate tool within her grasp, she’s bent on having him for her own. And nothing, not even his growing feelings for Mia Twinblades, is going to stop her.

blake lively

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I intend to seek representation and traditional publishing.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Two to three months. The revision process is taking much, much longer.

8. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

An excerpt, maybe?

Cheval lunged forward and drove his sword into the old woman’s back. Blood splattered the boy’s horrified face. The grey haired woman crumpled to the ground.

Taking advantage of the distraction, Mia dove between Grimm’s legs, barely avoiding his claws. She rolled to her feet, spun around, and vaulted onto his shoulders. Putting one hand on top of his head and the other beneath his jaw, she twisted with all of her strength. The sound of Grimm’s neck snapping reverberated through the alley. He collapsed beneath her, already reverting to his human form.  

Strangely disappointed now that the fight was over, she climbed to her feet and looked up just in time to see Cheval fire a crossbow. The arrow struck her in the chest, the force of it knocking her into the wall. She felt a brief sensation of rotten planks crumbling under her weight, and then she fell backward into the building. She lay there—unable to breathe, let alone scream—and stared up at the sky through the holes in the ceiling. The moon hadn’t even risen yet, but it was already shaping up to be a shitty night.  

Then the roof came down on top of her.

9. Now comes the part where I’m supposed to tag other authors.

I’m not going to do that this time because I’m lazy. So, any of you out there working on new projects and would like to share, consider yourselves tagged!  🙂

Social Media 101 – Facing up to Facebook

WHAT’S PLAYING: Alicia KeysTry Sleeping With a Broken Heart

I joined Facebook a while ago, and I’m still not sure if it was the right move. I am a loner after all. Why go looking for more people to “friend” when I can barely manage the friends I have? I’ve been told that FB is a good place to reconnect with old friends from high school and college. This might be true, but if they were really my friends, then I wouldn’t have lost touch with them in the first place. (Some of you are probably shaking your head at me, but you know it’s true.)

I have serious reservations about social media and how it changes people. I’m “friends” with a few of my younger relatives, and they are completely different online. It’s as if they go from intelligent, well-spoken young people to profane idiots who couldn’t conjugate a verb to save their lives with just a click of a mouse. (You know who you are. Now stop it.) Then there’s the oversharing. (FYI: I don’t want to know what you had for breakfast this morning, or how wasted you got last night. And I really don’t want to see pictures.) The good news is that both issues are easily solved. All I have to do is click a button.

Another good thing is, since I’m not obsessed with making new friends or reconnecting with old ones, FB doesn’t take up too much of my time. I check it maybe once or twice a week at most, and I’ve only posted twice in the last six months.

The problem with FB is that it’s turned me into a bit of a stalker. Not a creepy, rabbit boiling, love-me-or-die stalker. I use it to keep track of what my friends and family are up to and how their lives are going. Which would be fine if I didn’t suck so much at actually checking in with them in real life. Sometimes I go months without talking to them. FB provides me with the unique opportunity to keep abreast of what’s going on my loved ones lives without actually having to speak with them. It’s a loner’s dream. All the important info with none of the messy contact.

Sometimes I wonder if this is healthy. Is it OK to allow a social network to maintain personal connections I should be forming myself? After all, the point of this blog, of all my forays into social media, was to connect with other people. Is it cheating to just sit back and watch my loved ones’ lives unfold on the computer screen without actually joining in?

Truth is, when it comes to connecting with people, I’m crap. I forget birthdays. (Unless FB reminds me.) I have no pictures of my friends or family. (Except for those I’ve downloaded from  FB.) And I couldn’t tell you how old my nieces and nephews are. (No wait, they’re on FB too.)

 Huh.

 Now all I have to do is find an app to take my place at family dinners.