Category Archives: Ramblings

#WildNewsWed // SIX DAYS AND COUNTING!

Heyheyhey, everybody!

I am currently panicking. With KINETIC REBIRTH releasing digitally next Tuesday (September 19th), my day job taking a sharp turn on a rocky mountain side, and my creativity monster giving me flack, my mind never shuts off. I have woken up slightly late every day this week thus far, luckily only arriving a few minutes late to day job. My brain has been going a hundred miles an hour as I prep for release day, which makes my body exhausted. If that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve been getting crippling chest pain, which doctor’s tell me is due to anxiety.

No. Frickin. Way. NEVER would have guessed THAT. (Catch the sarcasm?)

Anyway, long story short, lots of stuff going on. KINETICS #2 (Title TBD) reached 40,000 words a few weeks ago, with a total goal of minimum 60-65k. ACCOUNT OF SECRETS, my Chaos Accounts Story #4, is only two or three scenes away from its cliffhanger ending, so close I can taste it.

I haven’t touched either in a week.

My creativity and inspiration has been floating back to the series I was writing with JV. If you want an idea of how we decided to coauthor a book together, that story starts as far back as when we first met in October 2011. Check out the videos JV and I did for my Youtube Channel: [Part 1 here] and [Part 2 here]. Part 1 talks about our friendship, while Part 2 talks writing a book series together. Also, if you want a good grasp of JV’s character and personality (and mine as well), check out [this video] (also below) of us acting like goofballs::

 

This has happened once before, back in April, where my inspiration for writing always crept back to Lite & Darke (Our series title). It’s a struggle, because, currently, I do not have access to her notebooks. Legal stuff I’m not going to get into. The point is, I coped with it by finishing a few unfinished chapters I’d written, and updated our outline/word count spreadsheet. That gave me enough satisfaction to finally move back to projects I might actually have a chance of finishing, aka, Chaos Accounts and Kinetics.

Well, it came creeping back into my brain lately, probably because of the nearby release date, and the fact that JV would have had her baby around the seven month marker since her death.

Not an hour has gone by every day since January 31st that I don’t think of her. She was my closest friend, practically a sister. I made a promise to her while during the funeral home viewing and at the church ceremony, as well as promised each of her family members and close friends, that I would finish Lite & Darke for her, and her name would be on the covers right next to mine. While KINETICS is my ultimate dedication to her life and personality, Lite & Darke is my way of showing how we helped each other to grow as writers, how we had a chemistry with creative juices and thought processes. In fact, one of us would have an idea for a scene, and when telling the other over the phone, the other would cut the original plotter’s description, but say the exact same thing the originator was going to say. I swear the two of us had some kind of psychic bond between us, which is probably why her being gone is so painful.

Anyway, to conclude, I went into my Lite & Darke folder on my computer and opened my merged file with all of our completed or partially completed chapters, as well as the Book 1 Outline we only partially finished filling out. Don’t think even for a second that was all we’d planned together. No, we outlined the whole series in our heads and words, and I remember every single idea, even without written/typed documentation.

I did some minor editing, finished up a partial chapter, and updated the Outline with the total Word Count so far.

30,000 words.

Yup, you read that right: Thirty Thou, baby!

This doesn’t include all the scenes that JV handwrote during her breaks at work. Like I mentioned before, those are locked up until May 2018 at the latest. However, I found a loop hole. In our Outline, we designated chapters to each of us, labeling each chapters as “C”, “J”, or “Toss Up”. While I can’t work on the “J” ones just yet, and I remain wary of the “Toss Up” ones as well, I can still writing the scenes I was assigned, at least until my creativity monster is satisfied with the progress and lets me go back to Chaos Accounts and/or Kinetics.

Oh, and just FYI, KINETIC REBIRTH is currently doing preorders for the Kindle version, which, as mentioned above, released on September 19th, 2017 (Next Tuesday // SIX DAYS!!). I’ve been a bit disappointed at the lack of preorders I’ve gotten, so if you’ve got a Kindle or a Kindle app, PLEASE preorder a copy! Preorders count once release day hits, and every one matters to me. To preorder the Kindle copy, PLEASE click [here]! It would mean THE WORLD TO ME!

If you’re a print-book type of person, [subscribe] to my email list. You will receive an email closer to print release date, which is October 19th, the six year anniversary of when JV and I became friends. You will also receive an email the day of digital release next Tuesday morning, as well as a reminder on Print release date as well. Print might not be perfectly timed for a recorded release of October 19th, as I’ll have to approve it prior to October 19th to ensure it is live and available for purchase by the 19th, but I will send the print reminder as soon as the book goes live.

Also, if you have a Kindle, you can get a taste of my KINETICS series on Instafreebie, where you can download KINETIC TRAGEDY, a short prequel story available only to Instafreebie subscribers currently. You can get that story [here]. Also, by downloading that story on Instafreebie, you are automatically added to the above aforementioned subscribing e-Newsletter list. So, not only will you get an email alert when my books/stories release, but you get a free story out of it too! 😀

Also, click [here for my FB Author Page] or click [here for my Twitter Account], because there will be updates on both of those pages as well, especially closer to each versions release date.

Anyway guys, Keep Faith.

OH!

Maybe a snippet of the first chapter of KINETIC REBIRTH might give you an idea of whether or not you want to join Jaden, Lukas, Kiran, and Jessica on their journey home.

As a final word before the sneak peek…
“Assume Nothing”

 

SNIPPET START:::

Chapter 1

Keyboard keys tap-tapped all around Jaden Walker. She ripped her gaze from her computer screen to gaze around the competition room. Her spot sat in the second row from the back, with about ten rows of students and computers in front of her. Supervisors scattered around the rows, keeping an eye out for cheaters. Jaden didn’t see the point in that, as every competitor’s test had been randomized out of a pool of questions. In order to cheat, you’d either need a camera and earpiece or be an idiot. That first option screamed “Idiot” to her too, to be entirely honest.
After a quick sweep of the testing room, Jaden locked gazes with one of the Supervisors. His burning amber hair stuck out like a sore thumb as he smiled crookedly at her, as if he knew something she didn’t. That look pointed out the obvious, as he – being a Supervisor – already functioned in an aspect of the business world and obviously would know more than college freshman Jaden Walker. Rolling her eyes, she directed her attention back to her test. Despite the beaming talent surrounding her, she knew she would wipe the floor with them.
About twenty minutes later, she closed down the testing browser, grabbed her coat, and scooched her way down the narrow walkway to get out of the square of competitors. Right as she reached the edge, she ran right into somebody. “I’m sorry-”
“Shhhh…” the man whispered, “Others are still testing.”
Jaden nodded. “Sorry.” She kept her voice hushed as well.
When she looked up at the Supervisor, she recognized him as the red-headed man who’d made her feel annoyed earlier. “May I ask your name?”
Scoffing, she replied lightly, “Like you need to know.”
The smallest of smiles crept onto the man’s face, his green eyes gazing down at her as if analyzing her every move. “I’m sure I’ll know it soon enough.”
“Riiiiiiight…” A chill shot down her back, which she shrugged off. As she turned around to leave, she felt his eyes on her the whole walk to the back exit. As the door shut behind her, she relaxed, releasing a heavy sigh.
“Sooooooo, how’d you do?”
Jaden spotted Lukas, her closest friend, leaning against the wall with one foot flat against the tan wallpaper. “I hope you’re not leaving a shoe print on that wall. The convention center staff might not take too kindly to that.”
Removing his foot, he smiled. “Avoiding the question, I see?”
Shoulders dropping from exasperation, she snapped lightly, “How should I know? I won’t know until the awards ceremony tomorrow night.”
“Jeesh, just asked a question. No need to be harsh.”
Rolling her eyes with a small smile, Jaden walked down the testing hallway. Her eyes skimmed the walls, all plastered with promotional “BS” related to this Phi Beta Lambda national conference. She won first place in two state competitions and second in a third, which gave her admittance to the national level of testing. Even placing in the top ten would be amazing. Plus, it looked impressive on a resume when she would graduate in a few years. She’d just finished her final test, so all that was left of her agenda involved networking with business professionals (in her wording, schmoozing the big wigs) and tomorrow night’s award ceremony at Six PM.
Lukas suddenly appeared at her side, matching her step by step, completely in sync with her pace and speed. “So, no weird people in there?”
“Well there was one guy, but I think other people saw him, so not a figment.” The term “figment” referred to the hallucinations she’d had since she was a child. At first, her parents blamed it on an over-active, childish imagination. Once she’d reached high school and still saw people and animals who weren’t there, her parents worried deeply for their daughter. They employed the help of a shrink, who, for each session, she’d humored with breathing exercises and repetitive mantras and meds until she bolted out to go home and read a book. Rather quickly, she masked her diagnosed schizophrenia from the world, instead diving deep into her studies and avoiding as many social situations whenever possible.
“You trust your sight yet?”
Heaving a heavy sigh, Jaden responded, “Not entirely. You’re still here.”
“Hey!”
After whacking him lightly on the back of his head, she finally cracked a smile. Lukas had been her friend since third grade and stuck like glue to her side. In fact, he went everywhere with her. Weirdly enough, he’d frequently show up out of the blue during personal trips and vacations, insisting he wanted to surprise her. At first, his surprises did shock and elate her, but after a couple years of it, it became pretty predictable. His parents tended to be lenient toward him and his antics, and they somehow had the money for him to follow her pretty much anywhere. Part of her thanked God that he wasn’t another one of her figments. People saw him, talked to him, and played with him, so he existed. Since he’d been by her side for so long, she confided her mental handicap to him early on, and only him. Outside of him and her family, no one knew, and she wanted it to stay that way. She’d thought it was strange with how accepting he was with it. He didn’t freak out or get depressed or feel worrisome. He’d pretty much shrugged it off, like seeing imaginary people everywhere was as normal as pizza on a Friday night.
Lukas rubbed where she whacked him. “Um, ow!”
Her smiled widened slightly as she shoved him with her shoulder. “That didn’t hurt and you know it.” She knew it too, because he possessed a “high pain tolerance”, as he’d reminded her on countless occasions.
With a light chuckle, he shoved her with his shoulder like she had to him. “Good, you remembered.” Then, he froze, stopping in his tracks. His icy blue eyes locked on something ahead. “Uh, oh…”
Her eyes followed his line of sight and easily spotted two teenagers making a beeline for them. Or, rather her, because she went to address Lukas to discover he’d vanished. Again. He’d done this frequently in her life, and it always annoyed her. He didn’t up and poof away in a puff of smoke, but he always picked the perfect moment to disappear on her, usually moments he didn’t want to deal with. “Freaking kidding me, Wolfe!”
The two kids stopped about three feet from her. The girl waved and greeted, “Hi!” Her personality bubbled with childish excitement, like a kid stuck in a sixteen-year-old’s rather bulky body.
Jaden stared at her for a moment before weakly raising a hand as well. “Hi?”
The boy with her rolled his eyes. “Jess, you’re freaking her out.”
The girl’s eyes widened slightly. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Not startled,” Jaden replied slowly, “Just weirded out. What can I do for you two?”
The girl and boy looked at each other briefly before turning attention back to her. “My name’s Jessica, but most people call me Jessi. My twin brother here, Kiran, usually calls me Jess or JV, just randomly picking between four different variations of my name. It’s a good thing I’m used to being addressed with all four throughout my life.”
Kiran’s head rolled back as he sighed, “Jess, diarrhea of the mouth again. I honestly don’t think she cares about your millions of nicknames.”
Shaking a hand at him, Jaden said, “It’s fine. I don’t mind. My sister’s the same way sometimes. So, Jessi, Kiran… Can I help you with something?”
The two teens exchanged looks again before looking back at her. Jessi told her, “We think someone might be looking for you.”
Raising an eyebrow, Jaden responded, “Probably my parents. They’ve been wandering around this Gaylord center every time I have mandatory events. I’ll find them eventually, I promise. Now, if you’ll excuse me.”
She walked around them, but only made it two steps before the two kids stepped into her path. Holding up a hand, a “STOP” gesture, Jessi told her, “No, not your parents. Someone else. Someone bad.”
In her mind, Jaden could only call them crazy kids with overactive imaginations. Right when that thought crossed her mind, she recalled that being her parents’ initial reaction to her seeing the figments. These two probably have been dealing with the same stuff she had her whole life, and she felt a pang of empathy for them. “Look, I’m sure security around here will be able to pick him up like a sore thumb.”
Jessi shook her head, her sandy brown hair flying around at the rapid, overly-excited speed she swung it. Jaden caught scattered blonde highlights in the strands of her bob-like haircut. “No, they can’t, because no one can see him. Nobody but you.”
Jaden’s heart started pounding in her chest, her skin chilled with goosebumps. Did these two kids, strangers at that, really know that she was a schizo? Shaking her head slightly to snap out of her worrisome, panicked thoughts, she replied, “I have no idea what you mean by that. Plus, I’ve got a seminar at four that I can’t be late for.”
This time, Kiran spoke up, “Which seminar?”
She hesitated. Clearly these two needed help, or at least needed to stick with their guardian or chaperone. But, she really didn’t see the harm in sharing. “‘Budgeting for Needs and Wants’. Since I’ll be coming out of college debt-free, thanks to my dad’s military benefits, I need to figure out how to budget once I don’t have my parents to help. I graduate in about three years, so it’s better to be prepared, you know?”
Kiran’s eyes lit up, his irises a blue-green that reflected the color of the ocean. “Oh, cool! That sounds like fun! Mind if we tag along?”
As much as Jaden wanted to get as far away from these unhinged children as fast as she could, she bit back her stress and told them nonchalantly, “Yeah, sure, that’s seems okay with me. You can join me. Make sure you have a notebook handy. I’ve heard the speaker is amazing and gives tons of good advice.”
Kiran’s mouth widened into a huge smile. “That’s sounds awesome! Sold! C’mon, Jess, let’s go learn about finances.”
Jessi stared at her brother for a few seconds before sighing heavily. “Alright, Mr. Studious Crazy, I’ll come too. Take notes for both of us though. I don’t want to zone out and not have the amazing knowledge this strange businessman has to offer.”
Jaden recognized the slight sarcasm in the girl’s words, but Kiran’s excitement blocked him from identifying it himself. “Great! Lead the way…” He faded off, biting his lip. He glanced at her and then at his sister.
Mentally rolling her eyes, Jaden filled in the missing blank: “Jaden. Jaden Walker.”
With a smile, Jessi responded, “Nice to meet you, Jaden. I hope we won’t slow you down much.”
As she held back a laugh, remembering a ton of times that Lukas had said that to her in jest, she told her, “Trust me, I’ve dealt with worse. Okay, I believe that seminar is in room 2B.”
“Excellent!” Kiran rubbed his hands together, during which Jaden thought she saw sparks flying out. Trying to snap herself out of those thoughts didn’t work at first.
First figments, and now I’m imagining electricity popping out of a kid’s hands. Don’t tell me my problem is branching out more…
“Let’s go!”
Kiran’s shout of excitement shocked her out of it. Her head snapped up from where it had been angled at the floor to find the two teens halfway across the atrium. Kiran waved at her excitedly. “C’mon, slowpoke! Thought this was your panel choice.”
Her face cracked a small smile at his eagerness. As she walked to catch up with them, a question ran through her head that worried her.
Did they know?
Followed by a second one:
How?

Wild New Wed (2017-08-30) – Coping and Updates

I… I just can’t, right now.

This week is only halfway over, but my heart aches. The thoughts of disbelief still swirl in my head, but the unfortunate truth is that she’s gone, and I can’t fix that.

If this is your first venture into my slice of the internet called Terrara Vikos, go through some of my previous posts to catch up, like [this one] or maybe [this one]. The long story short: my best friend, my co-author, and my co-Youtube vlogger JV died unexpectedly in a car crash on January 31,2017. She was my age, low 20s, and she and her husband of just over a year were expecting a child.

A child that was due tomorrow.

August 31st, 2017.

Exactly seven months after her death.

You know, the last seven months without her have been extremely difficult. I received the same message every weekday night, “Heading Home Now”, which was my cue to call her and talk with her during her 45-50 minute drive home.  It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that it’s been seven months since I got one of those messages. I can still hear her voice, her laugh, her hyperactive shouts of joy. She had a bright future ahead of her, one that was destroyed in a second because someone ran a red light and T-boned her.

You know, I’d been telling her for years that someday she’d make a great mother. She just had that personality and temperament that would have raised an amazingly kind child.

If you have been reading my blog posts and are up-to-date, you would know that I’m releasing my first book in my KINETICS series, titled KINETIC REBIRTH. If you didn’t know that, check out my cover reveal post [here]. If you did, and you read on a Kindle, click [here] to preorder your eBook copy. The eBook releases September 19th, a full month before the Print version goes live on October 19th.

KineticRebirth_promo

This series is special to me, as every character was one that JV and I came up with to roleplay together since 2011. Except one, which is JV herself. I have written her as accurate to the real JV as I could. She is also in my prequel short for the series, available on Instafreebie only [here]. KineticTragedycoverThis series is my ultimate dedication to her, and the friendship with her I so cherished.

If you are a print reader, and want a reminder closer to the release date and/or on the release date, sign up for my newsletter [here].

Also, you can LIKE me on FB [here] to stay up-to-date on all my doings: https://www.facebook.com/cmcdonnellauthor/

Also, some surprising news.

I’ve picked The Chaos Accounts up again!

Yep, working on Account #4 right now, alongside working on KINETICS #2 as well. If you haven’t read my CHAOS ACCOUNTS series, click [here] to be taken to my page with links to the first three stories, which will be updated with each subsequent release.

Anyway, guys, as always, Keep Faith.

And, also…

“Assume nothing.”

#KineticsReference 🙂

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…

11021147_10205204431726986_4919789665877364578_n

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-

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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…

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… 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. 😀