Local Woman Shocked to Discover World Doesn’t Revolve Around Her

This sounds like the title of an Onion article.

Truth be told, the whole point of this post is to say that… I don’t really have much to post. And I’m kinda bummed about it.

The process is so slow. Maybe it’s slower for me than it is for others – maybe it isn’t. But it’s so slow. And it can get disheartening.

Juggling edits on The Assassin’s Wolf and rewriting Gifted at the same time was always a little difficult. But I’ve recently had to go back to freelance marketing writing, which takes up a great deal of my free time. And, to be perfectly transparent, I wrote the first draft of The Assassin’s Wolf while I was medicated for depression. I’m no longer on my meds now, a year later, and I can’t help but think it’s affecting my ability to get shit done. Both projects are moving along a little bit every day but it’s going by so much slower than I expected.

And that’s to say nothing of how long the process of getting Gifted turned into a TV show is taking. We hear news, exciting news, but the TV world moves at a snail’s pace. Months of nothing goes on between each bit of news.

That’s pretty much the whole post. I’m constantly screaming “I JUST WANT IT TO ALL BE DONE ALREADY” and it constantly just… isn’t. Which is frustrating, and disappointing, but there’s nothing to be done about it. As much as I might wish it did, the world doesn’t revolve around me. I can only do what I can do, and I’m trying to do as much as I can.

The Assassin’s Wolf is coming.

Gifted is coming even sooner than that – I think I’ve decided to officially only focus on this for right now, since splitting my focus isn’t helping anything.

When it’s coming, I don’t know. But I’m still here. I’m still writing. I’m still editing. One word at a time.

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cape literacy festival

A few days ago, on March 16th, I had the honor of accompanying my parter-in-crime, Case Maynard, all the way from our home in Cairo, Georgia to Cape Coral, Florida for the 1st Annual Cape Literacy Festival at Cape Coral High School. Case was a featured author at the event, while I was just tagging along to get a sense of what these things are like. And let me just say it was so worth it. I met so many fantastic authors who all had excellent pieces of advice and words of encouragement for an up-and-comer like myself. I hope one day, if I’m lucky enough to have any of the YA ideas in my head published, the festival will invite me to come and speak.

Among the people who left lasting impressions were Katherine Blakeney – seriously, just read this girl’s about the author to get an idea of why she had me captivated, – NYT best seller Cinda Chima, PK Hrezo – who is about to publish a novel I swear was based on my life, – and, of course, Jamie Ayres, the organizer of the event. Make sure you check all these ladies out, as well as everyone else who was featured at the festival. (You can find a full list of the authors and their featured books here, where you can also buy one or more of the books for the high school.)

I definitely arrived home from the event saying “I NEED TO GET PUBLISHED ALREADY.” Which means I flew hardcore into editing, editing, editing, getting ready to query my ass off for The Assassin’s Wolf. I’ve got a great feeling about the edits I’m making and can’t wait to see what happens next. On top of that, Case and I are still dutifully working to get Gifted up and off the ground. Seriously – this book is about a decade in the making at this point, it’s gonna be so good when it’s completed.

Thanks for stopping by and, if I don’t see you before then, happy early Easter. ❤

back in the saddle

Holy crap! I can’t believe that almost an entire year has gone by since the last time I’ve updated on the comings and goings of my writing. So much has happened in the last 10 months that it feels like the blink of an eye.

In the spring of 2016, my family lost one of its most important members. My Papa, John Abbott, passed away after a long, long battle with cancer. Though he was technically my grandfather, and not my father, he was more of a father to me than anyone else. Getting the wind back in my sails after that took some effort.

In the summer of 2016, I made the 3,000 mile move from Anchorage, Alaska back to my family’s home in Cairo, Georgia. While I wasn’t sure in the beginning if the move would be temporary or permanent, I have 100% decided to stay now. Goodbye, Alaska! You will be… well, you won’t be missed that much, but I will definitely think of you fondly when it gets to be 110 degrees here in the south.

In the fall of 2016, I underwent Gastric Bypass surgery, something that I had been working towards having done for almost a year. In the last 3.5 months, I have lost 91 pounds! It had been a massive lifestyle change and I’ve basically had to relearn how to be a person.

Now, in the first couple months of 2017, I’m in the process of getting some of my various ducks in their proper rows.

Firstly, my wife and I have been stuck doing long distance for almost seven months now because she’s still up in Anchorage. Soon, she – along with my three fur babies, who I miss just as much – will be down here with me and things can get back to their own version of normal.

Step two, my mother and I have been tossing around a new business idea that we are both very passionate about. I’m going to do my best to keep it close to the vest until we have everything up and running, but I can’t wait to share the details later this year!

And lastly, possibly most importantly, I’m getting back into writing. In the last few days, I’ve printed out one hundred pages of plotting, world building and character development for the Gifted series. Together, Case Maynard and I are gonna knock that out of the park ASAP. And I will get The Assassin’s Wolf (Book 1 of the Desires of the Otherkind series) published this year. My next round of querying starts today.

This last year has tested me in a lot of ways that I didn’t expect. Emotionally, physically, mentally. 2016 is one that will definitely not be missed. But now that it’s in my rearview, I’m ready to move forward and get this show back on the road.

writing playlist, “the assassin’s wolf”

Since I posted the playlist for Gifted last weekend, I thought I’d post one for The Assassin’s Wolf today. I briefly touched on one of my favorite TAW songs in November, when I was halfway through writing the first draft. The complete playlist focuses on songs that focus on tension, on the push and pull and ‘will they, won’t they’ kind of vibe. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!

writing playlist, “gifted”

Music is an excellent way to clear my mind and really get in the mood to put a story to paper. Especially when I have a playlist tailor made for the project. In the case of Gifted, the playlist calls for hauntingly beautiful songs with a southern gothic feel. Give it a listen and let me know if it gets you in the mood to read about a biblical war in New Orleans.

me vs. technology

Look, I love technology. Really, I do. I’ve been a bit of a computer addict since I was in middle school. I met my wife online when we were like, twelve. (On a Harry Potter roleplay forum, no less, because we’re just that cool.) I am infinitely grateful for the internet, because, without it, I wouldn’t be able to do any of the research I have to do for my writing. (Or, at the very least, it would take me much longer and cost me $5 to get a card for the public library.) I have spent the past week obsessively playing the new Kendall and Kylie game on my iPhone. (Do not judge me. Those outfits are fire.)

But sometimes, technology has a way of really, really letting me down. A few weeks ago, I was innocently using my laptop, browsing Zillow to look for my fantasy house working on edits for The Assassin’s Wolf, when my laptop decided it would be a really good time to blow up. And I mean that literally. The screen went black, smoke erupted from the keyboard, I thought that my bedsheets were going to catch on fire.

Thankfully, I had the foresight to pay an extra $100 to get a warranty on the computer, so the next day I dropped it off at Best Buy. For a month, they fiddled with the laptop, before sending it back with a new motherboard. I never got a real answer about why my computer suddenly decided to almost-burst-into-flames, but as long as it doesn’t do it ever again, I’m fine with that.

But because I’m the World’s Biggest Moron sometimes, I hadn’t backed up all of my recent book edits. And there were… a lot of them. Which meant that I lost about 75% of the changes that I’d made to the first draft of the book.

It’s frustrating, but it’s my own fault. (Well, a combination of my fault and the fault of the Robot Overlords who are probably responsible for my laptop’s suicide attempt.) Since getting my computer back a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been busy working on a revamped series bible for Gifted – which, hopefully, will lead to some exciting updates on that project very soon.

That’s finally over with, for now, and I can start up again on the edits to The Assassin’s Wolf. A month without a computer pushed my schedule back, but I’m determined to get back on course. I’m making a promise to myself that March is going to be the month. I will have these edits done before April. Query letters will start to go out in the next 30 days. I’m gonna make it happen.

sleep deprived local woman found wandering the streets alone shouting unintelligible exclamations of joy, petting every puppy

This is me right now.

Because I finished The Assassin’s Wolf!

… Well, okay, I finished the first draft. There’s still going to be numerous amounts of editing done over the next few months. But also… I finished, I finished, I actually finished!

I’ve never gotten this far in the creative process before. So, while it may not seem like a big step to some, it’s kind of huge for me. I’ve wanted to be a writer since forever. There were no other options for me.

(Well, except the fleeting moments where I considered being a social worker, a preschool teacher, and – my personal favorite – opening up my own big cat wildlife rescue.)

Because I was so hellbent on being a writer, when I reached the Official Adulting Age of 18 and had yet to publish a bestseller – or even finish an entire book – I was absolutely convinced that I was doomed for failure. When I still hadn’t accomplished this by age 20, I was sure that I just needed to lie down and disappear into the dirt.

But I didn’t. And I’m so, so glad that I didn’t. Because I’m in love with Bella and Boone, and the whole entire story, and I think you will be, too.

Thanks for sticking with me the past few months. I’m so very excited for where 2016 is going to take us both.