I have taken too long a break from my writing. I have not worked on my novel since Riley died. I have not posted here in weeks. I have wallowed in this depressive funk and made no real efforts to get better.

I didn’t realize just how bad it had become until CJ thanked me for performing a mundane chore before his parents arrived for Q’s birthday.  It had unknowingly gotten to a point where my husband felt the need to thank me for doing my job as a wife and mother. It’s hard to come to terms with that.

Progress, by definition, requires effort. I have been allowing CJ to put forth all the effort while putting forth none of my own. I have taken solace in my obsessions and compulsions. I apologize to my family for this.

It has become clear that my “coping mechanisms” were grossly inadequate. Writing however, seems to be the one outlet that has never failed me, yet I have failed it. Why do we avoid things that can help make us well? Why not dive headfirst into the things that can make us happy?

So, here’s the schedule. Mondays will be for updates. Thursdays will be for reviews. Surprise posts are always an option and are free from restriction. Editing will occur at least three times per week, for however long I can dedicate to it. I hope that giving myself these deadlines will help. I am a queen of procrastination, but I like a good due date. I will read more. I will continue therapy. I will do my job. I will strive to be able to return the extraordinary care I have received. You can count on it.

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Good or Bad Reads

Ever since I discovered Goodreads, I have stopped writing book reviews here and leave them on that site instead. I am pretty good about doing a review for basically everything I read. I figure, if I want others to do it for me, I have to return the favor.

The book I just finished April 30th has left me so frustrated that I needed to vent here; even after leaving my review on Goodreads.

On Goodreads, I try to leave objective reviews. Of course I avoid spoilers, but then I try not to overly sway others with my view while at the same time being honest. This book was difficult for me to not go into great detail about why I almost gave up on it. This is why what I said simply writing there didn’t fulfill my need to complain about this book.

When a series sets up certain parameters, it really bothers me when they don’t stand by them. This can go for plot, character growth and development, rules of the established universe, or even narration style.

In books one and two of this series, the female protagonist is the only point of view we get to read from. In this third installment, a new narrator is added. Then ANOTHER on page 318. But that one we will come back to.

The two narrators we have for a majority of the book, I feel are terrible choices. One is imprisoned. She was whiny and intolerable before she had this to content with. Now she was worse. The second does not want to be where she is. This leads to severely harsh, biased, and SELECTIVE narration. One can only tell us what she overhears. Two can only tell us what she chooses to hear. Neither of them SHOW us anything. I hated how all the battles and intrigue where dictated to us instead of displayed.

The addition of the third narrator was frustrating as it further broke an already broken stricture. Just because you’re the author and it’s your story, doesn’t mean you can do anything you want. I mean, you can. But you can’t.

So, the part of me that longs for structure didn’t like the addition of this narrator, but the reader in me was excited because this point of view had to be better than the others. Third’s first few chapters were meh, but her last was just like the others. Whiny.

I just can’t feel sorry for these girls. They are both progressive and regressive, depending on what could cause the most conflict. This lead to a host of inconsistencies. Also, for all their complaining, none of these girls made active choices to change their circumstances. I felt as if thy just didn’t care about themselves. And this made me not care. How am I supposed to want to keep reading if I couldn’t care less about what is happening to them?

But now that I have put in the time and effort of reading and reviewing three books, I suppose I will have to read the fourth one anyway, just because now I will need to know how the story ends. Hopefully this fourth one will end the series like the third was supposed to. This was not the first time I read books that were meant to be a trilogy.

It’s a good thing it’s not meant to be out until February though because I have made a promise to myself and to you, my readers. I will not start reading a new book until the current draft I am working on is complete. It is close to being done and I want to avoid the extra excuse for distraction that an intriguing book can be. I will be posting updates on my Twitter and my Facebook page. I am thinking of having a contest for beta readers, as I do not have enough at the moment. Getting excited!

That WAS My Jam

Driving back and forth to pick MJ up from school gives the girls and I a lot of time to listen to the radio. As of late, as most of the radio stations have switched to Christmas music all the time. I haven’t been in the Christmas mood at all this year, so I have been avoiding those stations. That only leaves two stations that come in decently for the whole hour trip. As it tends to go, these stations play the same handful of songs over and OVER.

Since the van has an AUX cable, I decided to bring my iPod along yesterday. Normally, I listen to a specific playlist – like for the soundtrack for the current piece I’m working on. Yesterday, I decided to Shuffle All.

It was like a blast from the past almost. There were songs from high school basketball warm-ups, prom theme songs, and songs my one girlfriend and I used to sing at karaoke. Those karaoke songs made me think of all the fun times we used to have at the campground her mom used to work at. We would mini-golf in the summer and do a terrible job cross-country skiing in the winter. In fact, I’m pretty sure we (or maybe it was just me) broke at least one part of ski boots in the process.

One of things I remember best about these times is when she would call me to say a boy scout troop was at the campground and her mom needed “help.” I would find a way to get myself there and we would gossip and goof around all night and then cook and serve breakfast in the morning. Could her mother have done this herself? Of course. But what teenage girl would have passed up these opportunities? Goodness, I miss that girl.

On a lighter note – yesterday, I had an author interview I gave published. I am really excited about this step in my professional writing career. Read it here!

Until next time.

I Did It!

No one ever thinks they will find the broken leg of a three year old to be a blessing in disguise, but lat week, I did. CJ’s company graciously let him work from home on preschool days while MJ has his cast on. Since he stays home with the girls, I have been going over to the library to work on my book while MJ is in school. This has given me the ability to write thousands of words at a time. It has been an amazing experience to throw myself into my book like this.

Because of this opportunity, on October 2nd 2015, I was able to write the words I’ve been so looking forward to writing since this book was just a concept in my head.


Ahh! My hands shook while I took that picture to send to CJ because I couldn’t even wait until I got home to tell him.  🙂

Now, finding a way to print it so I can begin draft two. I can do this. I will do this. And you’re all invited to the book launch and subsequent movie premiere lol.

YCN

As of the end of July, the Yahoo! Contributor Network is no longer accepting new submissions for publishable content and on August 15th, the copyright of any articles published there will revert to the author. I am a little sad about this as I enjoyed writing for Yahoo! I have decided that once I have the copyright to my work again, I will begin posting the articles here so they can still be read when searched. (Well, that is if they are even being searched.) I am very proud of some of them and hope that everyone can get some enjoyment out of them.

Free Books

I usually never win anything, so when I do, I am super excited. A few weeks ago, I won a mystery book giveaway on Twitter from one of my favorite authors. When the package arrived, I was able to tell there was more than one book in it. I was stoked because this particular author had recently released a trilogy I had not read yet. I thought I would not have to go out and buy it. Yay!

When I opened the package, I will admit I was more than a little disappointed. This really had been a mystery book giveaway. The books were not even by the author who hosted the contest; it was a trilogy by someone else. I read the books anyway – and even put reviews on Goodreads – because who does not love free books? I still would have preferred books by the author I already knew and liked though.

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These are the books I won. A trilogy about werewolves whose change is dictated by the temperature. It was an interesting take on a popular subject. The female protagonist was very hard to like at times because she was rude and disrespectful. The final ending (of the last book in the trilogy) was too neat and tidy. For the story to make sense and have a chance of being “realistic,” someone needed to die. And I knew just who I wanted to die by then…

Thanks for the free books, but next time you are giving away books you did not write yourself, a little heads up would be nice. Maybe I would not have played…Well, that is a lie. Any free book is a good book. And then if you do not like it, and it is in good condition, you can always re-gift it. But SHH…you did not hear that from me. 🙂