Category Archives: Ramblings

KINETIC REBIRTH Cover Reveal!!!

Here you guys go; today as promised! Here’s the cover to KINETIC REBIRTH::

KineticRebirth_promo

AWESOME, RIGHT! I owe this beautifully perfect cover, and the matching one for the KINETIC TRAGEDY prequel eBook short, to Designed By Starla. She is always a joy to work with, and it’s almost like she can read your mind sometimes!

Alright, so, I know I promised a surprise along with this cover reveal. Here it is::

[Kindle Preorder]

Yep, you read the hyperlinked-text correctly! KINETIC REBIRTH is now available as an eBook preorder on Amazon! And, if you venture over to that page, you’ll notice the release date says “September 19th, 2017”. No, that’s not a typo. Yes, I am serious. The Kindle version of this, the first book in my KINETICS series, will release a month before the print. Print copies still won’t be available until October 19th, as I have advertised before, as that day is so important for my life and my friendship with JV.

20883020_10212703497198936_6822857052902535667_nSpeaking of which, a few hours ago, my wonderful Boyfriend drove me 30 minutes to the cemetery to visit JV. This will have been the first time I’d been to see her since the day she was buried there. We bought some yellow flowers, as they are the symbol of life-long friendship. As it rained last night, we brought a trash bag to lay under my towel, so I could sit and talk to her, like old times. Boyfriend even just wandered around the cemetery to give me and JV some alone time. I played some new Peter Hollens music for her, showed her my new re-branded covers, and introduced her to JV Jr. I told her that I would give up anything, even my skill and ability to write stories – my passion and life – if it meant I could bring her back. I kinda felt her wanting to slap me for that, because she knows how important my writing is to me, and would never want me to give that up. L20915445_10212703496518919_842195955544002829_n.jpgots of tears were shed, but I felt her right there with me. When I headed to the car, Boyfriend (he told me this later) went to her resting place, put a hand on the stone, and said to her, “I know I’m not as great a listener as you are, but I promise I’ll take care of Christine for you. She’ll be looked after, I promise.” Then, he followed me to the car, hugged me, and I proceeded to sob like a baby. I had never felt so close to JV before, but it finally hit me that she wasn’t coming back.

This new series, this new universe of KINETICS and magic, has made me feel so much closer to JV. I’ve gotten a handful of compliments from my select ARC readers, some of them who knew JV, and said she was the best character, and the ones that knew her said my portrayal of her was spot on and perfect. Every compliment I get on JV’s character brings me closer to tears of happiness. Every. Single. Time.

If you are even remotely interested in how special JV was to me and everyone she interacted with, go preorder a digital copy of KINETIC REBIRTH, and, in the meantime, head on over to Instafreebie for the short eBook prequel story (KINETIC TRAGEDY) to tide you over until the Kindle release in September.

If you are a physical copy kind of person, follow me on Twitter, or Like my Author Page on FB, so you can see my posts and be reminded when the print book comes out. Trust me, I know a lot can happen in two months, and I wouldn’t want you to forget about this ultimate dedication to my best friend.

I know she’s still near. I can feel her.

And, the only thing I can say to her, is summed up perfectly in my last words at her grave site today:

“Jessi, you were my best friend, my coauthor, pretty much a sister to me. You made me a better friend, a better writer, a better person. I am so lucky you were a part of my life, no matter how few years our friendship was. I am so grateful God put you in my life, and I will make sure your energy, your personality, your passion, and your life will remain immortal within the pages of my books. And, for everything you’ve done for me, I cannot explain in few enough words. So, simply put, Thank you, Jess. For everything.”

Keep Faith, everyone. And keep love in your hearts, because that is the sole thing that beats despair. Love will always win.

Wild News Wed – T-Minus 3 days until COVER REVEAL WITH A SURPRISE!

So, Vikans, Guess what?

KINETIC REBIRTH’S COVER REVEAL IS THIS SATURDAY!

THIS.

SATURDAY.

*insert excited squealing here*
*deep breath*
Okay, I am calm. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Time has flown by this year. After losing JV in late January, I felt broken and lost. A part of my heart had been ripped out and torn into millions of pieces. She was my closest friend. I could tell her everything and anything, and she wouldn’t judge or criticize. She was the purest, kindest, most supportive friend I could’ve asked for, and was one of those people that you’re lucky if you meet one in your entire life. A diamond, a gem, an angel on earth that had to return to Heaven WAY too soon, life cut short in the blink of an eye.

The only grateful thought I have is that she went almost instantaneously, no pain whatsoever. That is at least a blessing. But, it’s still not coping, and it’s still not closure.

But, KINETICS is both.

I went on my Smoky retreat, only a mere three weeks or so after losing JV. My Smoky companions were supportive and gentle, which helped knowing what weight I’d put on my shoulders by starting KINETICS. If you want more details on this adventure, read my previous posts from this year. I should be updating my Index tab this weekend as well, just FYI. But, in a nutshell, almost every character in this KINETICS series is one that they two of us came up with while roleplaying online together. All but one. The only character we didn’t create together is JV herself. I have inserted her as one of the heroes of the series. I had hoped that I could write her as accurate and true to JV in real life, but wasn’t quite sure if I’d captured it. I got this from my editor when I got the edits back:

KatNotes-JV_Compliment-Cropped

… And my happiness shot through the roof. Still, as my editor had never actually met JV, I knew I’d written JV’s character well to be liked, but there still wasn’t substantial proof that I wrote her accurately. However, I sent the short story prequel, “KINETIC TRAGEDY”, to three of JV’s closest friends, as well as JV’s husband/widower. All four loved it, and told me, “Yup, that was perfectly Jess.”

Side note real quick. “KINETIC TRAGEDY”, as of this AM, had just reached 100 downloads! This free short is now more successful than “THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY”, which has been out since November 2014! I am so excited about the response to this story, so download the e-story and share the link like crazy!!
Proof?

KineticTragedy_2017-08-16_midday

 

*ahem*
Okay, Back on topic.

However, it wasn’t until last weekend that I felt almost certain JV had been written exactly realistic and true to JV in real life. I talked to JV’s mother, who told me JV’s grandmother had read one of the ARCs I gave the family, loved it, said JV was so realistic and honestly her, and also that she guessed I was the main character. To which, I joked with JV’s mom, “Trust me, I wish I was half as cool as Jaden.”

As of hearing that, I knew I’d succeeded on preserving JV in print for all eternity. And I can’t wait to share her awesome bubbly-ness with the world.

If you want to see the cover reveal when it happens, go like my Facebook page, or follow my Twitter, where the news will drop early on Saturday, August 19th (THIS SATURDAY!). I WILL ALSO BE EMAILING MY Instafreebie subscribers, so if you download KINETIC TRAGEDY off there, you’ll get word that way too.

I am so excited to share this adventure with you. I can see JV smiling down on me, patting me on the back, telling me, “You got this.”

Keep Faith, everyone, and STAY TUNED!

THREE DAYS TO COVER REVEAL, BABY!

(Oh, and there’s a surprise announcement that will come out that day too. Hint: has something to do with “digital” books. 😉 lol)

 

Social Media Links:

Instafreebie (KINETIC TRAGEDY short + email list subscription) Link: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/N4Wnr

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/cmcdonnellauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/discoverywritin

 

#WildNewsWed (2017-08-09)

Hey, everybody! Welcome to another #WildNewsWed blog post!

So, a few updates, along with a short snippet from KINETIC REBIRTH, the first in my KINETICS series, which, if you’ve read any of my blog posts since May/June, you’ll remember it’s releasing October 19th this year. LESS THAN THREE MONTHS! EEEP!!

Anyway, I noticed I got a lot of people reading my blog when I posted [this post] about my communication difficulties. I got an overwhelming response to that, so I want to open up again, just a little bit. And, it partially has to do with my writing journey too.

So, for KINETIC REBIRTH, I had written it in a month. Granted, half of it was written during my Smoky Writers retreat week…

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but I still felt so accomplished finishing it within 30-ish days. As this series is my ultimate dedication to my best friend JV, I felt extremely proud of my output, and was super eager to release it as soon as edits and covers were done. However, I wanted its release to mean something to me, as this series would never have existed if I never met JV. I needed a way to honor her, and by picking the date of October 19th, the day we first met via Hyndon roleplaying with mutual friends (see [this] video that talks about this forum-based RP in more detail).

However, as of last week, everything was done. I had finished with my professional editor at the end of April, gotten a cover by mid-June, and finished reediting my proof copy and uploading updated, final draft for release. However, as Createspace doesn’t allow pre-orders for print books (which seems counter-intuitive in my business-oriented half of my brain, as trad-Published authors get that chance, but Amazon won’t do it for their own authors? Seems odd, but that’s Amazon for ya), I can’t hit that “PUBLISH” button until October.

I’ve been keeping myself busy working on Book 2. In fact, I’m already 30,000 words in! My productivity has spiked instantly, and I utilize my free time the best I can, whether five minute waits, lunch breaks, or most nights tapping away at my keyboard. Boyfriend puts up with the transcribing every night, and I am VERY grateful to have him in my life.

HOWEVER, that “Publish” button is a tease. I want to push it right now, and release my best work to the world, so JV can live on forever in the written word. I keep telling myself, “Only three months. That’s all.” While three months is cake compared to the time that passed since I started it in late February, it’s still a pressure I live with every day. I hold onto the meaning behind the release date, reminding myself that this series is ultimately for Jessi, so her spirit, happiness, and energy will live on forever within my writing. And THAT is what makes it worth it. Knowing the meaning, and remembering the fun we had in Hyndon, makes it worth the wait.

I do have a surprise for y’all though. My cover reveal is August 19th, exactly two months before the print release. The surprise will be revealed then.

Also, I have rebranded myself as “C. McDonnell” from now on. As such, I updated all of my previous short stories by adding the new pen name AND, in the case of the Tales of Terrara Vikos stories, BRAND NEW COVERS! I will update the covers here on my website this coming weekend, and you still can’t search “C. McDonnell” on Amazon for some reason, as my stories won’t show up with that. Unfortunate, and hope it’ll be fixed soon.

If you don’t want to miss out on the double reveal, Like my Facebook Author Page!

Well, that about wraps it up. See ya guys next #WildNewsWed!

Keep Faith!

Wild News Wednesday (2017-08-02)

Howdy, Vikans!

So, life’s been stressful lately, but I won’t bore y’all with details. However, I will update you guys on my writing endeavors. I owe you guys that much for reading coming over here to my slice of the Interwebs.

So, we have less than 3 months until the official print release of KINETIC REBIRTH, the first in my KINETICS series. You know, the one I’ve been talking about non-stop for months? Yeah, that one.

It’s due to release October 19th, 2017, and I have NEVER been more excited in my life! HOWEVER, some reveals are closer. I’ve decided to do the official cover reveal on my social media on Saturday, August 19th, exactly two months from the print book’s release. Along with it will be a surprise pertaining to KINETIC REBIRTH’S release, which I’m sure will make some people super excited.

Or, at least, I hope.

Anyway, if you want to make sure you get notified of the cover reveal, Like/Follow/Subscribe to the following pages, so you’ll see everything when the news goes live.

One way is Instafreebie. When you download KINETIC TRAGEDY, the eBook short story prequel to October’s novel release, your email is added to my e-Newsletter subscribers list. You’ll get pertinent information, and I promise I won’t be sending too many emails to my list. At least, not yet. To download the story AND be added to my subscribers list, go [here] to download it! If you just want to be a Newsletter subscriber, but don’t need the eBook short for whatever reason, you can directly sign up [here].

You can also Like my Facebook Author page. Either search C. McDonnell on the FB search bar, or just click [this link]. Yes, I did change the title of my author page. This is because I learned back in 2011, when I released my first short story, that there is a children’s book author that also has my name. So, all upcoming and future projects will be under author C. McDonnell, to stop confusing searches on Amazon, B&N, etc.

Another place to keep up with me is Twitter. My user is @discoverywritin, or you can click [here] to go to my Twitter page. Don’t be afraid to say Hi! I don’t bite, I swear.

Okay, one last update.

As of the beginning of June, I have been working diligently on Book 2 of my Kinetics series. Yep, the sequel to the above aforementioned October 2017 novel release. (Sorry, mouthful). As of now, title is TBD, as is completion date and release date. From June 1st until yesterday, I have written over 24k words (24,000 words, for those of you that don’t understand the abbreviation). YA Fantasy generally has an accepted 50k minimum word count, but I’ve never had a problem surpassing that in my other 7+ completed manuscripts that I’ve set on the back burner. So, essentially, I’m halfway to the least I can publish. While it is just an objective minimum, it gives me a calculable goal, and I know this book will surpass that easy peasy.

Also, to give a bit more details, this second book will encompass more of me and JV’s friendship, going back to our roots, back to when we first met and became friends back in October 2011. We met through mutual friends, through a forum-based fantasy RP they’d created. If you want more info on our journey through our five and a half year friendship, go to [this video] on Youtube, where JV and I discuss how we became friends. Part Two (found [here]) delves into our transition into coauthoring a series together.

And, for clarification, the KINETICS series is NOT the one we were coauthoring. Currently there’s a snag in getting her writings for it, but once that snag is untangled, then I will pursue that series as well.

Anyway, back to my information on Untitled Kinetics Project #2.

It goes back to our roots, in a little town called Hyndon. We created characters about 1-2 months in that were in a relationship together. Even after the RP site went inactive, JV and I continued those characters’ story within private, shared Google Docs files. That led to multiple different Google Docs of varying role-playing, each with their own sets of characters, settings, magic systems, etc, etc.

My Kinetics series is my ultimate dedication to JV, and the friendship we had together. This series will get crammed with so much of our writing together, that you will hopefully know her as well as I do.

Monday marked 6 months since she passed from this world, and I cried all day and all night, and didn’t sleep well that night. When I woke up the next day, my boss asked me, ten minutes into the work day, if I was okay, and that I looked like I was in bad shape. Have I mentioned how awesome my boss is before? Well, I am now.

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However, within a few hours, I looked at my JV Jr doll, who I’ve taken to work every day since the funeral, and also looked at the photo on my desk, and realized crying won’t bring her back. To be honest, I’d give up my creative mind if it meant bringing her back, but since that isn’t a possibility, I have to utilize my gifts to make sure she forever lives on through my writing. So the world can see how pure, creative, fun, and amazing a person she was. This is our friendship’s legacy, and I hope you’ll get copies when KINETIC REBIRTH is released, so you can see for yourself how much she meant to me, and to everyone else she cared about.

 

So, links are in brackets where each social media platform is mentioned. You can also locate me on the links on my “Contact Me” tab [here].

And, my new sign-off for Kinetics related stuff…

“Assume nothing.”

Also, Keep Faith, guys. Life may be hard now, but, at a certain point, you can only go up from there.

Hugs to you all.

Communication Confession

So, not much news today, but soon, I swear.

However, I’m going to ramble a bit, as certain things have appeared into my view that I need to talk about. It’ll be short, simple, and to the point, with no pictures to distract.

Ever had a moment when you question something you felt firm and secure? It could be anything: relationships/friendships, day job, career path, self-publishing details. If you’ve ever felt that about ANYTHING, then welcome to my current boat. Because I’ve got a LOAD of those doubts, or, at least I had.

Those curveballs life throws at you can hurt and debilitate, right? Make you question every decision you’ve ever made?

Well, that’s been me within the last month or so. Every choice I second guess, and the ones I don’t second guess come out wrong. I’m going to admit a mental problem I have, because I need to get it off my chest.

Communicating has always been a struggle for me, since I was a child. If I spoke without thinking, the wrong words would come out. I’m still like that, and it’s frustrating. Poor word choice, joking around too soon, and describing something I really know a lot about is a daily struggle. It’s not a condition or disability, but rather a disconnect in my vocabulary and common sense departments. Someone could be talking with me about a topic I know really well, and I still struggle to use terms and logic and phrasing that normal people could understand. I’ve learned over the years that, even if something I say aloud makes sense to me, 9 times out of ten, it’s confusing as $h!t to the general public.

This has impacted friendships and relationships, and God bless my parents and family for getting me to a debatable level of communication, and my poor boyfriend for having to deal with it full-time in the present day.

The written world is fine. I can spin a yarn and tell fantastic stories with the written/typed word until kingdom come. It’s more so expressing my opinions and instructions in the verbal word that I struggle with. For example, I could do mental math, and if you asked me to explain how I got it, you’re better off having me write it out, because all you’ll hear will be the “womp womp” of Charlie Brown adults.

I know most of y’all don’t have this kind of issue, so you can’t relate, but I’ve had to train myself to think over anything before I say it. As such, either I wait too long to contribute, speak too quickly and cause problems, or remain in silence until the person I’m communicating with thinks I’m doubting things or feeling conflicted.

I just kinda wanted to rant on this Wednesday’s blog post, as it has a BIG factor in my day-to-day life, and one I fear might mess me up someday.

My advice? If you doubt something, TALK TO SOMEONE. Even though I have communication problems, I have a good amount of people that know of this problem and can nudge me in the right direction to communicating better with others. Find a small group like that, a group that you can talk to about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Trust me, getting doubts and fears off your chest makes the burden easier to carry.

Until next week, Vikans:

KEEP FAITH.

FEED THE MACHINE: aka, The Concert That I Desperately Needed

Howdy, Vikans!

So, this post may get a little emotional, but I feel I need to let this out, at least at the beginning.

So, last night, Sissy (my little sister) and I went to Virginia Beach for the Feed The Machine tour. This included Shaman’s Harvest as the opening act, followed by Daughtry and then Nickelback. We bucked out early to avoid traffic, because we had a long drive home anyway. I have to say this though. I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE!!

I started a bit bumpy though. We decided that we wanted to get to the area early, so we could walk along the beach for a bit. It took us about 30-45 mins just to find a parking spot, which we paid $40 to use a lot for a little over an hour. Guess they gotta make money somehow, huh? And, to add on to that, it was drizzling the whole time. about 15-20 mins after hitting the beach, thunder sounded, and everyone had to clear the water. A little more time later, and the rain got a bit heavier. By the time Sissy and I got back to the car, we were pretty wet. We sat in the car for twenty mins before heading toward the venue for the concert.

We stood in line for merchandise before the concert, and while there, Shaman’s Harvest started opening the show. Sissy and I actually thought they were pretty good, so I’ll be looking up their music soon and see how studio version sounds compared to live.

When Daughtry came on, Sissy and I were rocking! Standing up every couple of songs and belting the lyrics. I knew more of the songs than her, but I’m also a slightly bigger Daughtry fan than her. During songs we both knew, we’d occasionally look at each other as we were singing and broke into wide, laughing smiles.

However, Daughtry hit my emotions hard. Just barely into their set, they played “Waiting For Superman” and “Life After You“. If you can’t tell by some of these pictures I’ve already posted::

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… I took JV Jr with me. A year or so ago, I was talking to the real JV about the last Nickelback tour that I’d wanted to take my Mom to. Unfortunately, the lead singer had to get throat surgery, and they cancelled the remainder of their North American tour. Lucky for me, because I hadn’t purchased tickets yet. Also, my Mom told me she probably couldn’t have done it mid-work week anyway. When I was mentioning it to JV, she told me that she’d LOVE to come if work schedule would allow. It broke my heart, because this tour was announced two or three days after she passed, and when I heard the news, I broke down again. Well, I was breaking down every 20 minutes back then anyway, but still.

So, in some way, she did get to come with me, in the form of JV Jr. The thing is, during those two songs I mentioned earlier, and when they closed with “September“, I was a bawling mess. Those songs just triggered something in me, and the dam broke. However, during “September“, I looked down at JV Jr for a moment. I knew JV would whack me for crying during any songs. The truth is, hearing that song live had me remember the good times we had during her too short life. Then I was crying for a whole ‘nother reason.

It took the stage crew over 45 mins or more to prep for Nickelback to come up on stage. During that time, the man sitting next to Sissy asked randomly, “Hey, who are you guys here to see? Nickelback or Daughtry?” Sissy replied honestly, “Both Daughtry and Nickelback.” The guy gave her a fist bump and said, “Awesome, you guys rock. I came for Daughtry but have never listened to Nickelback. After Daughtry’s performance, I hope they can follow up just as good.” Let me note that he was dancing and hollering to their songs, and also screaming answers and comments to Chad’s between-song banter while laughing.

Right before they started, I told myself, “You know you want to stay for two particular songs. Then you can leave.” As stated earlier, we had to drive back home afterward, and Sissy and I had experience with concert parking lots when seeing Danielle Bradbury, Thomas Rhett, and Brett Eldridge in Salem, VA during their Suits ‘N’ Boots tour in October 2015. If anyone one of you have been to a concert, you’ll know: THEY. ARE. THE. WORST.

Nickelback’s opening was AMAZING! They had the machine on stage that reflected their “Feed The Machine” Music video AND Lyric video, and opened with that song too. Shortly after, they played “Photograph“. That song is one of a couple dozen Kryptonites for me, so of course I was crying, for multiple reasons. During the rock songs, Sissy and I were belting the lyrics again, along with the rest of the crowd. Chad, the lead singer of Nickelback (If you didn’t know that already), was hilarious between songs, having me and Sissy cracking up. Some songs I didn’t actually know, as most of my Nickelback listening only stretches back to 2005, but now I have songs to look up that I want to know the lyrics too.

At one point during a break for the band to get some water, Sissy looked at me and asked if we should go while they take this weirdly long break. The stage was a bit dark, but we spotted the crew bringing out a small piano or keyboard. I had a feeling I knew what they were going to play next, and I told her, “Let’s wait until after ‘Lullaby‘.”

Sure enough, that’s what they played. It was AMAZING live. I was belting out lyrics while choking on tears. “Lullaby” is a song that has been a motivator and comfort for me ever since it came out. It talks about anxiety and depression and reminds people that struggle with inner demons like that that life gets better, and hurting yourself isn’t the answer. Whenever I’ve had friends in the past that were struggling with depression or hard times, I’d play them this song, and it helped a lot of them, to the point where they are downloading that song themselves.

However, during that song, I felt a chill. Now, this was an outdoor, covered ampetheatre, and it was a humid VA day, so chill would be out of place, right? That’s when I knew.

JV was there with me.

Once that song was over, Sissy looked at me and asked if I was ready to go. However, Chad was talking and leading up to their next song, and before he even said the next song title, I told her, “One last one. This is the last one I need to hear.” She nodded, knowing what would be next::

This song is another one of my weaknesses. Every time I hear it, I always think of JV. Her life was cut too short, but she lived her life just like the song says::

“Against the grain should be a way of life,
What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight,
Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try,
So live like you’ll never live it twice”

She lived like every day wasn’t promised. She was genuinely nice to everyone, never felt animosity, and always looked out for those she cared about. She was the best friend I could ask for, so halfway through the live performance, which was so well played live I couldn’t believe it, I cringed, tears streaming down my cheeks.

Then, I got that chill again. And I knew she stood there in the open spot to my left, hand on my shoulder, telling me, “It’s okay. I’m okay. So no more tears.”

After that song, Sissy and I left. I dozed off halfway home.

So, in a nutshell, it was the best concert of my life. Crossed Daughtry and Nickelback off my bucket list (Two in one night! WOW!), and had a blast with my Sister, who I don’t spend nearly enough time with.

It’s hard to believe it’s been over five months since I last heard her voice and laughter. I miss JV every day, every hour, every minute. But, thanks to that concert, I know she’ll always be looking out for me. Always.

Hug your loved ones. You never know what your future holds. Make every minute count. And live life like JV did, as If Today Was Your Last Day.

Keep Faith, Vikans.

Wild News Wed (2017-06-28)

Welcome back to #WildNewsWed!

These weekly updates posts are keeping me accountable so far, and I hope to keep it that way. Hopefully I don’t drop it like a weight when I get busy.

ANYWAY!

KineticTragedycover

So, over the weekend, I released a short story prequel to my upcoming October release. It’s titled “KINETIC TRAGEDY”, and takes place six years before the events of “KINETIC REBIRTH” (slated for an October 19th release). It’s a quick read, and leaves you with more questions than answers. Perfect fodder for this author. >:)

It is currently only available on Instafreebie, but a month or so before the novel’s release, I will be publishing this eBook prequel story on all digital retailers to prep for KINETIC REBIRTH’s release.

Get your copy off Instafreebie [here]. And PLEASE sign up for the email list! I make it optional, but if you want to make sure you get a reminder email closer to the novel’s release, I’d suggest signing up. 🙂

Everything is set and ready to hit that “Confirm” button and release KINETIC REBIRTH into the wild. “So, why wait?”, you might ask. Because that release date is more than just a book release date. It’s the day I first met JV. The start of our 5+ years of friendship. October 19th, 2011. The reason I know that is because that’s when the roleplay launched that connected the two of us through mutual friends. We’ve had a blast crafting dozens upon dozens of characters for a good handful of roleplay documents, either public or private. Since KINETIC REBIRTH includes most of those characters we crafted together, it’s only fitting to release this first novel to celebrate the day it all started. Celebrating her life and not focusing on her death.

Now, for a slightly different, but not unrelated topic: my emotional state.

I am hanging in perfectly right now. Each piece that went into KINETIC REBIRTH, from the editing, layout, to uploads and short stories, made me slightly happier and more positive. The biggest increase in positivity was when the AMAZING [Designed by Starla] create the covers for both the novel and the KINETIC TRAGEDY short. When I saw those covers, that’s when it started sinking in: THIS IS HAPPENING. THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING. FOR REAL.

Once I see the proof copy, I will probably burst into tears. Because, this series would never had existed if I had never met JV. We actually were in the midst of coauthoring a series together when she passed. NOTE: NOT THIS SERIES. Our series was different, and none of those characters will cross over. I just can’t handle reading her notebooks just yet. I WILL FINISH THEM. And her name will be on ALL four covers for it, right next to mine.

Dang, getting off track. Long story short: I’m doing better now than I have been in the last five months. It’s hard to believe it’s been five months since I’ve heard her voice. I will get through this. All of us that knew her will get through this. And, by including JV as one of the heroes in my KINETICS series, she will continue to live on forever in the words and stories within those pages.

Oh, and I got a haircut and color. IT’S SO LIGHT AND THIN. WISH IT COULD STAY THAT WAY.

So, summary: Short story on Instafreebie, KINETIC REBIRTH update, and hair cut.

Unfortunately, things got chaotic last night, and I never made a #TeaserTuesday photo. I’ll try posting on for Thursday. Yes, I know it’s a different day. I don’t care. :p

OH! And Cover Reveal for KINETIC REBIRTH will be in the coming weeks. GET PUMPED!!!

Anyway, keep faith, ya’ll!! ❤

Post Smoky Blues and Highs

So, back again! Been a while, hasn’t it?

Soooooo, I went to Smoky again. J If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out [this post] or [this one] from a review of a previous Smoky. If you don’t want to go to that lovely piece of my blog, I’ll paraphrase: 20-some writers of all shapes and kinds, cranking out words, eating delicious, homecooked food (courtesy of our two live-in chefs), and having a blast.

I miss everyone already, but that last day slammed me once I go home. See, in the prior two years of attending the Smoky Mountain Writers retreat, I would get home off of a high of cranking out thousands upon thousands of words, and think, “I’m going to continue working on this until it’s done and perfect and-

Grumpy-Cat-NO-1

My brain would shut down entirely. I would want to write, but have nothing pulling me to write. My mind was filled with ideas, but without motivation, I’d go nowhere. {See  [this post] on L.O.I. and my struggles with it.)

And nowhere was where I remained for months after each Smoky. First Smoky (2015) I cranked out about 28,000 words in the six days of the retreat. Second Smoky (2016 – Last Year): 36,000 words.  All new projects.

This year, my new project topped out at 31,000 by Saturday night. I was pleased with my work, even getting positive feedback from an awesome friend who has been supportive for the last month or so. (For those of you who don’t know what I mean by that, watch [this video] for the bombshell that broke me at the end of January.)

I won’t say much about this project, as I’m keeping it as hush-hush as I can. All I can promise is that it is amazing so far. In working on this project, I learned how to look back on the past and smile, without it dragging me down.

Most of this week post-Smoky, I’ve been singing and dancing everywhere, smile on my face (most of the time, anyway). I’ve gotten tons of weird looks at the grocery store and gas stations and while walking laps at work, but, for once in my life, I didn’t care.

I.

DIDN’T.

CARE.

A HUGE step in the right direction, I think. While the beginning of the year had been rough, I’m not going to let it squash my passion for writing and my confidence in this project.

Also, we do nightly readings at Smoky, where we can ask questions, but no criticisms, which creates a nice, positive atmosphere in which to share our crafted stories. Many of you will have heard of me talk about my mentors Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine (Authors of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series; highly recommend). They were the ones that got me to my first Smoky, and they go every year too. It’s always fun to see them and laugh and have a good time, and my depression thanks all the Smokies for emotionally supporting me. It really helped, guys. It really did.

Anyway, Tee was in my last three reading groups of the retreat. That first reading, it was me, him, and KT. I did my reading second, and was terrified. Once I’d finished my 15 minutes (different from the standard 10, because our group was smaller than the others), Tee asked a question or two, and then told me that, compared to the readings I did last year, my writing was LOADS better, and he could see how much I’ve improved, to which, KT agreed. Once readings were over, I was headed to my room to call Boyfriend, when Tee got my attention and said, “Seriously, Christine, that was good. Keep it up.” As he thumbsed-up me and walked away, my heart pounded. I couldn’t believe that my mentor, idol, and role model had complimented me that strongly.

Fast forward to the final night’s reading. I finished reading a single chapter, and had 3 minutes left to read. Before I could continue, Tee interrupts and asks a question. I glanced at where I would be reading and told him, “I don’t think I’ll be able to get there in three minutes.” He laughed and urged me to finish. Once my turn was done, he said to me, “Your story… it kinda feels along the lines of Labrynth.”

Cue heart pounding out of my chest. For those of you that don’t know Tee and Pip, let me mention a little factoid: they LOVE David Bowie. Like, beyond comprehension. Tee comparing my story to a David Bowie movie just topped anything else on the retreat. I was on Cloud Nine all the way home… Until I remembered what my brain does after Smoky…

Grumpy-Cat-NO-1

… And started to silently panic.

Soon, I realized there was a simple way to combat the L.O.I. and lack of motivation: Forcing words out. I am now challenging myself to write 300+ words a day, and I’m keeping a record in an Excel Document (Curse my love of Excel). I’ve been doing okay, considering; I’ve written over 3k in the last four days. I’m also posting a daily #PostSWRLog update on my Twitter account to hold myself accountable. I’m still going to attempt words this weekend, but travelling for a short vacation might hinder that ability. I still will post #PostSWRLogs, but probably not a huge word count. That will change after that fun’s over.

Oh, and that project that Tee complimented me on?

*gestures for you to come in closer*

*whispers* It’s a secret.

Keep Faith, everyone. Stay tuned. This year is going to be a wild ride. 😀

Looking to the Future: 2016 to 2017

So, Christmas is drawing nearer, as is the end of 2016. I’ve seen so many people who have labelled 2016 as the “Sucky” year. Celebrities dying, elections pulling people apart, so many people becoming violent or ending up a victim of violence. I hate the news lately, because all they do is fill me with terror.

scared-hiding

But, wait.

Why do I feel terrified?

  1. Is it election results?
  2. Death of a famous person or someone close to me?
  3. Christmas plans or moving process causing too much stress?
  4. None of the above.

If you picked (d), you are correct. Then, what is troubling me so?

Answer: What’s in store for my future?

That big question has been hanging over my head for a good number of weeks. If 2016 was as bad as it was, then what does 2017 hold for me? Well, here’s what I’ve decided to do. Below will be a few lists I’m making, both for my peace of mind, as well as for your information.

Stats for 2016 (before this posting on 12/19/2016)::

  • 1,181 views on this blog
  • 357 visitors to this blog
  • 19 Likes on Blog posts
  • 25 Followers on Twitter
  • 20 sold/freebie copies of The Protektor’s Reality in the hands of new readers
  • 13 free short stories downloaded (all off the iBookstore)
  • Only 2 new reviews on Amazon of The Protektor’s Reality
  • Only 1 patron on Patreon

Things that were horrible in 2016::

  • Mono (yes, the illness plagued me for most of the summer)
  • Having to see a cardiologist in my early 20’s
  • Losing a lot of weight, but gaining 2/3 of it back again…
  • Struggling physically from anxiety
  • Being so far away from my pucky doggies

Things that were good in 2016::

  • Smoky Mountain Writers retreat for another year, and cranked out 38,000 words in 6 days! (Love ya, guys! Can’t wait for February!)
  • My first Ravencon AS A WRITER GUEST/PANELIST!
  • I celebrated a year of being with my loving Boyfriend.
  • I started (and revamped) my Patreon page, in hopes of staying motivated.
  • Boyfriend and I took our first vacation together, went to Las Vegas and Arizona to see his Mom (Front row seats to KA, the Cirque de Soilel show!)
  • [Last week] Kicked off my new Youtube Channel, ChrissyTalks

Things I hope to accomplish in 2017::

  • Stay consistent with my blog
  • Upload to my Youtube Channel regularly
  • Try and gain more Patrons, reviews, and fans by ‘putting myself out there.’
  • Keep writing!
  • Ravencon as a Guest/Panelist AGAIN!
  • Exercise more and drink more water
  • Feel more confident in myself

So, here comes the biggest goal of all.

I WANT TO PUBLISH ANOTHER BOOK!

Unfortunately… I am so in debt that I cannot currently afford to publish one right now. I’m hoping, with ya’lls help, I can raise enough to publish this one, Children of Destiny, which would be the first book in my Trials of Terrara Vikos trilogy, the series that The Protektor’s Reality precedes. In this trilogy, about sixteen years have passed since The Protektor’s Reality, and Lucian has just made the difficult decision to bring his daughters back into the fray. Trouble is, neither of them know about the Realm, as Lucian sent them elsewhere to be protected. Now, with the girls getting slammed with their destinies so suddenly, the tension starts ratcheting up. The Seeker is close, and all the time spent trying to figure out the Seeker’s new identity is coming to a close. However, when the truth is revealed, how will they all decide to react?

I started writing my ToTV saga in 2011, starting with the trilogy (all of which are completed first drafts), with the short stories after, and the most recent being The Protektor’s Reality prequel, published in November 2014. (Two years, yikes!!)

So, I’m posting this here. This was originally supposed to be a surprise for patrons on my Patreon, but I’ll give you readers of my blog the scoop. When you pledge to my Patreon page (even just a dollar), the thank you note for becoming my Patron has a coupon code for Smashwords that will allow you to download The Protektor’s Reality for free in any digital form! How cool is that?!

Also, my first novella for The Chaos Accounts, titled “Accounts of Anxiety”, the saga which is what my Patreon is meant to influence, is well underway. I’m almost half-way through it, maybe just a tad under the halfway point. If you want more details on this writing adventure, or if you (maybe?) want to pledge to get that free ebook, I’m linking to my Patreon [here].

If you don’t have money to spare, DON’T PLEDGE! Like I said above, the debt struggle is real, and I am now twisted into it, so I understand lack of funds. If you can’t pledge, at least share links to my stories or this blog, so maybe the word-of-mouth technique might actually work. You know, hopefully. J

Also, if you are one of the few who has read The Protektor’s Reality from cover-to-cover, PLEASE (and I cannot stress this enough) LEAVE A REVIEW! Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, or anywhere else. Reviews are the biggest gift I could be given this holiday.

Below this post is my first video on my new Youtube channel, ChrissyTalks. Oh, and since I know he’s been on this website already, shoutout to Chad at 2nd & Charles. I filmed, edited, and uploaded this below video last Thursday night when I returned home from that store. If you want to know the impact of that trip, watch the video below.

I wish everyone Merry Christmas. Stay safe on the roads, eat a lot of candy and sweets, and enjoy the joy the holidays bring.

Keep Faith, everybody.

Patreon, Take 2 (and other summaries)

BAD, BAD, BAD CHRISTINE!!!

Another 3 months have gone by, and not a single blog post.

I feel ashamed.

o-ashamedanimals-facebook

HOWEVER! I have a number of reasons. To sum up, moved in with Boyfriend and his family, in process of fixing up and selling our old family home (my Mom’s actually the one in charge; Boyfriend and I are essentially on-call laborers), trying to remain sane as medical and business complications arise, and still trying to find time to write.

SO! Here’s what I’m going to do. I have revamped my Patreon page, so that it is focused on another project, and if a monthly payment rather than a per creation. I’ve tailored the rewards better this time, as well as setting reeeeeally overreaching goals that I hope all of you reading this will help me reach.

If you want to read about what encouraged me into Patreon, click here.

Although the payments, goals, and rewards have changed, the reasoning and logic are the same: KEEP WRITING.

By having people read my work and pledge, it reminds me that I have a talent. When I look around at all my author friends when on my Smoky retreat, I feel kind of intimidated. All of them have full-time lives, and still find time to write, research, and even downtime for games and stuff.

Me? I haven’t had that luxury. Between no sleep and other problems, the life from that first Patreon post [here again], is what has been the norm. And, as an added bonus, I’m in my early 20s, and now have a cardiologist.

Needless to be repeating what a ton of people are saying, 2016 ROYALLY SUCKED!

Now, here I am, hoping and praying for a better 2017. Here’s my basic list of things I will be doing to make my life better, personally, professionally, and authorly::

-Exercise 30 minutes, at least 3x a week (probably on workdays)
-Drink more water (helped me drop the weight before)
-Exercise more on weekends
-Eat healthier (meaning more whole grains and less simple sugars [cardiologist’s recommendations])
-Write at least 30 minutes a day (or at least attempt to)
-Promote better
-Get things organized at home
-Continue to get content to all my loyal readers and Patrons
-**Start a Youtube Channel, when I talk about my writing process, character details, read unedited chunks, show my sadistic side (in my writing, not in real life. Not sure if I needed to clarify, but wanted to make sure), or just be random me, or random me and my friends.**
-AND, ANNOUNCEMENT! I have been invited BACK to RAVENCON [link] in 2017!!! I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!

All that stuff and more is lined up for me in 2017, and I am starting to implement them into the last few weeks of 2016 too. Maybe then I can end my year happy. 🙂

patreon-take-2

LINK to my Patreon is HERE, or on my “Contact Me” tab above. PLEASE consider supporting me, because with enough motivation, maybe I can turn my life completely around. 🙂

I will put updates on the status of that Youtube Channel as well.

And, as always, Keep Faith, everybody! ❤