Category Archives: Writing

To Ravencon, and BEYOND!

So, here we are. It’s a Monday, and I don’t know about where you are, but here, it is extremely dreary, rainy, mucky, and depressing. Doesn’t help the Monday Blues much, does it? (Correction: it’s a Wednesday now. Typed that part on Monday… :/ )

At least I have something to look forward to later this week.

Ravencon 2017 happens this Friday through Sunday, last weekend in April, as per usual. This will be my eighth year attending, and second year as a panelist. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Ravencon is a sci-fi/fantasy/horror/mystery/fandom convention, mainly for writers, artists, and die-hard fans of pop culture and/or literature. The Dealer’s room is like a candy shop for avid readers, and the costume parade is amazing to watch. I have a handful of friends that attend regularly in cosplay, so it’s always fun to catch up and admire their hard work.

I’ve posted my schedule in [this post], but I’ll add it below as well, because I know my reading time.

That’s right.

I have a reading.

A READING.

*flailsexcitedly*

Have yet to figure out what to read, but *maybe* I’ll read from my secret project. Just *Maybe*.

Speaking of, no real updates or news on the #secretproject front, other than still awaiting my professional edits. Still cannot say anything else at this time.

HOWEVER! You may have seen this cover across my social media over the last week or so::

The_Vikan_Quartetv1

That is the cover for “The Vikan Quartet”, a collection of all 4 of my Tales of Terrara Vikos short stories, and includes a sneak peek into THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY as well. It is now available for preorder as an eBook on most eBook platforms, and the links to it (and anything ToTV) can be found [here], on my Terrara Vikos page. Official Release Date for “The Vikan Quartet” is slated for May 15th, 2017 (Monday, 5/15/2017).

AAAAAAANNND…

*whispers* It’s gonna be in print.

*Louder* IT’S GONNA BE IN PRINT!!!

LOOKLOOKLOOKLOOKLOOKLOOK::

TheVikanQuartetProofs

DON’T THEY LOOK JUST AMAZING?!

*ahem*

Sorry, but I’m currently bouncing off the walls over this.

Unfortunately, Print book won’t have preorders, but, if you’d like a reminder, I’m getting my email newsletter thingy set up again, and this release will probably be one of the first I send.

[Newsletter Link]

Also, this e-newsletter will include TONS of updates and news as it pertains to my life as an author. So, if you’d like reminders and exciting news sent straight to your inbox, sign up with the link above.

Here’s my Ravencon Schedule::

Friday

4 pm (Panel) Why I Write Short Stories

7 pm (Opening Ceremony) Large Auditorium

 

Saturday

10 am (Panel) How to Revise

1 pm (Panel) Writer With A Day Job

7 – 7:25 pm (Reading) Room 4

 

Sunday

11 am (Panel) The Adult In Young Adult

 

Hope to see some of you there! Also, hunt me down at Ravencon if you’re going, because I have a special deal for Ravencon attendees only pertaining to eBooks of mine…

*couchcough*FreeCodes*coughcough*

 

Keep Faith, everybody. ❤

Updates and Projects and Conventions, Oh My!

So, this is a bit of an update post, with a bit of details on what the coming months hold for me and, by association, all of my readers.

If you follow my blog, hopefully you saw my most recent post, which hints at brief details on a secret project I’ve been working on. This #secretproject is currently in the post-production/pre-publishing phases. Can you guess what that means?

THIS ONE WILL BE PUBLISHED.

I know I said it in the last post, but it bears repeating::
WILL. BE. PUBLISHED.
DEFINITELY.
WITHOUT A DOUBT.

This project has meant the world to me, and just today I sent my baby off to an editor. She said no later than the beginning of May would I get the notes and edits back. I’m terrified at what this editor will have to say, mainly because I’m terrified of editors. Ever since grade school, actually. As a young writer, getting an essay marked up in red pen terrified me. While this project is more in tune with my skills and expertise (YA/New Adult fantasy), the terror still remains. I know they are meant to help the story in the long run, this project is more than just any other manuscript. It’s been a coping mechanism for me, and I’m hoping once published, it might be one for others too.

Okay, that’s a tease, but more news soon, I promise. But that’s all I can say now on that.

Moving on to THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS series:

Account_of_Friendshipv3FINAL

After almost two months since #2, Story #3 is hitting the virtual shelves! Titled “Account of Friendship”, it follows Luz, the transgender techie who struggles with keeping his friendship with Blaine afloat in the midst of this secret, magical war with ChaosBlaze. When Blaine demands to go topside for a promised performance, Luz won’t let him go alone. As the events of the night play out, Luz starts to wonder if the only thing ChaosBlaze desires is Blaine…

That story is slated to be released April 15th (4/15/2017) (This coming Saturday), and details and links are available [here]. Also on that page are the covers, links, and summaries for Story #1 (“Account of Anxiety”) and Story #2 (“Account of Unrest”) are there as well. Also, news for the next one:: It’ll be titled “Account of Secrets”, and it is currently in progress. ?

Final topic of interest: RAVENCON.

Yes, I will be returning to Ravencon this year, for my second time as a panelist, and eighth time as a participant. Ravencon has always been my home away from home, and I am waiting in impatient anticipation for the event date to come faster. I will be on four panels (which I will list below for anyone who might be coming), and they are setting up a reading for me.

A. Reading.

Yep, that just happened.

However, this Ravencon will be rough for me. My original +1 for this year was the one I had last year. But, if you’ve been keeping up with me lately, you’ll have heard that she passed away on January 29th. This will be the first Ravencon in four years that JV will not be accompanying me. Luckily, my amazing Boyfriend will be accompanying me instead, for support and curiosity, and I will also have JV Jr attached to my side the entire time (Prepare to be bombarded with photos of stuffed Haruhi Fujioka). Note to Ravencon guests: take it easy around Boyfriend PLEASE. This will be his first glimpse into my writing career and the crazy people that fill that world, and I’d like to not freak the poor guy out. xD

Ravencon is April 28-30th, 2017 in Williamsburg, VA. [website]

RavenConBanner

As I did last year, I will be posting live check-ins on my Facebook Author page. I will try to do those more than I did last year, I promise. Like my Facebook page to keep up with my writing merriment and shenanigans.

Ravencon panels:
Friday, 4 PM – Why I Write Short Stories
Saturday, 10 AM – How to Revise {Ironic, I know}
Saturday, 1 PM – Writer With a Day Job
Sunday, 11 AM – The Adult in Young Adult
Reading (TBD)

Well, that’s my most recent update. Keep up with me at the sites/links [here], especially if you want to stay up-to-date on my upcoming projects.
Keep Faith, Vikans. 😉

EXCITING NEWS: #Secretproject WIP

So, for those of you familiar with my little slice of the Interwebs, you might have noticed I’ve been spacing on blog posts recently. So, to make up for it, I’ll have a snippet of something below for you guys, even newbies to my sanctuary of a website.

The reason I’ve been otherwise occupied and neglecting this blog is because I’ve been working on a very special WIP. If you follow my social media, you may have noticed me using the hashtag #secretproject for the past couple of weeks. Well, guess what?

It’s finished.

59,000 words in exactly five weeks.

FIVE.

WEEKS.

😮

Yeah, I know, I’m kinda shocked too. I started this manuscript at my regular trip to the Smoky Mountains for our writing retreat. A week in the mountains of Tennessee helped me start this project, and cranked out a little over half of the final word count (~31,000).

The only information I can give at this time is that this project is a testament to JV’s life and free, youthful, random personality. By that, I mean in multiple ways. First off, the characters hold a special place in my heart, but that’s all I can say about plot/character details at this time. In case you can’t tell, this stuff will be *hushhush* for a little while. Need to know basis.

Also, the whole project was me channeling JV in spirit. She always was the most random, funny, relaxed, and spontaneous individual I ever met. In her spirit, I did no planning for this project. NONE. All I started with was the main five characters and the opening setting, and only part of the initiating event. Then, I just let my imagination do the rest. Every time I sat down to work on this project, I had no idea where the story was going, or where it would take my characters and plot. So, when I say every detail and plot thickening scene was completely spontaneous and on-the-spot created, I’m not kidding.

I have also started communicating with an editor, and plan to send this manuscript out to her soon. I’ve also got a beta reader whose opinion I trust, and also layout freelancers on standby. I also want to use the same cover designer who designed “THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY”, as that cover came out completely badass. She’s got quite an amazing portfolio behind her, and I wouldn’t trust anyone else with this cover. She’ll give it the amazing cover I know it deserves. J

Also, brief update on THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS: I have finished edits on Story #3, titled, “Account of Friendship”. This one follows Luz, a transgender boy whose experience and finesse with technology surpasses a majority of middle-aged IT consultants, and his obsession with Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch is supplemented with a secret eidetic memory and love of pop culture, movies, and entertainment. At the beginning of this story, Luz fears his friendship with Blaine might be weakening, as Blaine starts to neglect him and his own siblings to train and chill with the other members of Division 3. When Blaine realizes he has a life-changing performance back topside, Luz goes with him, not only as tech support, but to help him should the enemy find out he’s unprotected. However, what if ChaosBlaze had known months ago? And, if they did know ahead of time, who would have told them?

Cover reveal in a few days, followed soon after with preorder link once I deal with the nitty-gritty details with Amazon and Smashwords. Aiming for an official release within two/three weeks or so.

To close, I’m going to link to my social media and other links below. The first one below is my Patreon. I’m going to ask every one of you this; PLEASE SHARE MY PATREON! The #secretproject I talked about on this post is slated for a release in very early 2018. Timing with getting things done shouldn’t be a problem. The funds to actually get this #secretproject officially in my hands and the hands of my readers… Yeah, that’s a slight problem. Even if you yourself can’t pledge to me (trust me, I understand not having money to spare), PLEASE just share the link. If everyone reading this shared this post and/or my Patreon link below, I can get a lot more eyes on the page, and hopefully new Patrons. I’m lagging in the Patron’s department, and all the money I make on Patreon for the next year is going toward this #secretproject , and every little bit helps. All my Patrons, regardless on pledge amount, will get access to my Patron-only feed, which will receive news and updates and sneak peeks and cover reveals a few days before the public. Also, I’ve added a $4 pledge amount to my Patreon page, with only 30 slots, to be added to my secret Facebook group, the members I warmly call my EXMakers. The EXMakers will receive news and updates even sooner than Patrons, and definitely a decent amount of time for the public’s reveals. They will also get sneak peek snippets, sketches and quotes from characters for ANY projects I work on, AND occasionally, I will pose questions for info and polls that might help me decide things for WIPs. After those 30 slots are filled, that benefit of membership will be restricted to $10 pledgers, so pledge while you can!

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discoverywritin

Like my Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/christinemcdonnellauthor/

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/discoverywritin

 

Links to other info on this blog—

Terrara Vikos saga: https://terraravikos.com/terrara-vikos-saga/

The Chaos Accounts series: https://terraravikos.com/the-chaos-accounts/

Original Patreon Announcement

 

And, as always, Vikans: Keep Faith.

(Please share!)

 

Snippet below if from “Account of Friendship”, Story #3 in THE CHAOS ACCOUNTS::

“Luuuuuuuuuz!” yelled Kayla, “Get outta bed, sleepy-head!”

Luz’s bed felt like a trampoline, his body bouncing up and down. His eyes shot open to find that the kids had broken into his room. Again. These unwanted wake-up calls had been happening for the last week. He loved Kayla and Richie, but wished Blaine, as their older sibling, would spend more time with them. The four of them had been confined to this underground “Sanctuary”. While he acknowledged the MRC did this for their safety, Luz felt cabin fever really strongly now, after a month in restrictive captivity.

Richie, the youngest of the Foster brood, dropped halfway on top of Luz, knocking the wind right out of him. “Luzey, wakey-wakey!”

Laughing lightly, Luz gently pushed Richie to the side. “Alright, I’m up, I’m up.” Sitting upright, Luz gazed around his room. The MRC’s budget must be lax or overflowing, based on all the decorations and objects they’d allowed him to buy with their funds. They wanted him to stay so bad that they let him make his room feel more comfortable and homey. Posters of Thor, Captain America, the Suicide Squad, Gotham, and Agents of Shield plastered over the boring tan paint that encased the whole room. Oh, and there were a few Loki posters too. Okay, a little more than a few.

ALRIGHT, Loki essentially wallpapered the room!

Blaine teased him about his Tom Hiddleston obsession, but he didn’t mind. Hiddleston held the number one spot on Luz’s list of extraordinary actors, closely followed by Doctor Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch. Blaine may have songs and impersonations memorized and also have talent as a musician, but no one beat out Luz when it came to cinema, technology, and pop culture. While most would label his knowledge about the entertainment industry as female gossip, Luz countered every time by pointing out that gender labelling someone based on their un-stereotypical interests was as effective as telling a bear to not eat the food out of your picnic basket while you’re camping because it’s people food. Not very effective.

(Releasing later this month. Stay Tuned!)

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. 😀

Pre-Smoky Jitters

Greetings, Vikans!

So, Story #2 of The Chaos Accounts, titled “Account of Unrest”, released on February 16th (two Thursdays ago). Compared to its predecessor (“Account of Anxiety”), sales reactions responded weakly. “Account of Anxiety got 81 downloads in less than a month. My biggest download days were the first three days after release. With “Account of Unrest” having been out for over a week, I’ve only gottne three downloads.

THREE.

house_whatthe

However, I will NOT be deterred! In fact, I’ve come close to finishing up Story #3, and the only hint as to what happens that I’ll give at this time is that it’s from Luz’s POV.

Now, for the topic mentioned in the title: SMOKY!

Every year, a bunch of crazy, incredibly talented authors and their equally as amazing chefs, rent out a cabin in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee for a week. During this week in the majestic mountains, writing is our full-time job. Eight hours a day with lunch in the middle, for seven days. We get a “Free” day to explore the surrounding arear too, but I usually just get another day of wordsmithing in.

So, why does my title use the word “jitters”? If this is Year 3 for me, why so nervous?

Well… for a few reasons…

  1. My anxiety has been manically wild for over a month now, so I’m jittery enough at home in day-to-day life.
  2. This retreat is my safe haven. A place where I’m among people who are accepting and caring (and crazy, but we already mentioned that). The jitters will come from being away from home for a week after all the previously mentioned anxiety that’s cropped up recently. I know my fellow Smokies will be there to hold me up, but I don’t like the idea of burdening my friends with my problems.
  3. WILL I BE PREPARED?! Last year, I cranked out 36,000 words in 5/6 days. With everything worrisome in my brain space, will I be able to focus enough to crank out even a fraction of last years total word count?

To wrap up this worry-fest, I’ve been counting the weeks until Smoky for months. Now, with only days until we arrive in our “Valhalla” of a cabin, I’m starting to feel nervous. But, while I may have worries, Smoky is my safe haven, and all the people in that cabin are my writing family. They’ll be there to help guide me through all of this.

I’m so grateful I have them to get me through this. 🙂

TWO DAYS! Smoky, here I come!

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RELEASE DAY!! The Chaos Accounts #1

Today is the Release Day for the first story in my Chaos Accounts saga. To say I’m excited…

… Is an understatement!

This story is my first one I’ve published since The Protektor’s Reality in November 2014. So, big deal.

Also, I’m running a donation campaign for each download and review I receive between today and February 14th, 2017. I’ll donate a little bit of money for each to Freedom From Fear, a national non-profit focused on mental-health awareness and support. I picked them because my main character in Account of Anxiety (Blaine) suffers from high Anxiety and ADHD. I felt this charity suited the story and character well. The break-down on what type of download gets what amount of money, see my last blog post HERE. The hashtag to share for this is #FearlessChaos .

These stories are made possible due to my Patrons on Patreon. If you like this story and want more, consider donating to this adventure with Division 3. My Patrons also get frequent updates and news before the general public does.

I have partially updated the “My Works” page here to reflect this story’s release. The links to Amazon, Smashwords, and (hopefully soon) Barnes & Noble will be there, as well as below::

ACCOUNT OF ANXIETY” links::
Amazon
Smashwords
B&N (link coming soon)

Soooooo, here we go! Enjoy the ride!

And, as always, Keep Faith!

Free and for a Cause

Hi there, everyone!

If you follow me on social media, then you already know that I have a new story releasing this week. If you’re not following me on social media, then you need to click [here] and follow my antics on your choice of social media platforms.

This story was created with the inspiration of starting my own Patreon page. The funds my Patrons give me will keep me inspired to write this series. My Patrons also get updates that aren’t anywhere else, as well as access to public updates before anyone else. There are also different rewards depending on a Patron’s pledge amount. If you might want to become my Patron for this series, click [here].

Anyway, you’re here to hear about the actual content of the saga, aren’t you?

Let’s begin:

My elevator pitch: Agents of SHIELD mixed with Divergent, if the teens had superpowers.

The Chaos Accounts is a saga that follows Division 3 of the MRC, an organization dedicated to keeping peace between humans and Metas, humans with incredible gifts. They also try and counter any destruction or injury caused by ChaosBlaze, and I’m sure you can infer their intentions based on their name.

acct_of_anxiety-cover_edited-1

 

 

The first story, “Account of Anxiety”, follows Blaine, a teen musician and impressionist, as he gets thrown headlong into the world of the Metas when his family is kidnapped by ChaosBlaze. This is essentially a brief introduction to the series and main characters, as seen by a confused, anxiety-ridden outsider.

I’ve got many others planned, and as long as I have people who want to read this journey of painful pasts, confusing and conflicted present, and uncertain futures, I will continue to write it.

 

 

Now, here’s a “catch”. At least for me.

The story goes live on 1/18/2017 (this Wednesday night). Between then and February 14th, here’s what I am going to do:

-For every free download of the story (it will be free everywhere but Amazon, cuz Amazon won’t allow it), I will donate $0.25 to Freedom From Fear, a national, mental-health advocacy based in Staten Island, NYC. (Details below)

-For every PAID download (aka-Amazon Kindle), I will donate $0.50 to Freedom From Fear.

-AND for EVERY REVIEW on B&N, Amazon, or Smashwords, I will donate $0.50 to Freedom From Fear.

So, essentially, this is money from my pocket that will be going to a good cause, and one that relates to Blaine’s anxiety issues, as well as making the world even slightly less scary for those of us with mental/emotional conditions.

To read more about Freedom From Fear, click [here] for more. The hashtag to share for this donation campaign by yours truly is #FearlessChaos

So, spread the word, because I will only be tallying downloads and reviews until February 14th!

Can’t wait for you all to jump on this crazy train with Division 3 and me!

And, as always, Keep Faith, guys. 🙂

Who Wants To Be My Patron?

*GASP*

OVER FOUR MONTHS!!

I’VE BEEN A BAD CHRISTINE.

You’ll have to forgive my overlooking of a COMMITMENT! Things have been crazy.

Here’s a quick little summary, because too much to go into too much detail::

-Ravencon: Was the most amazing experience in my life. Hoping to be invited back. Got my book (THE PROTEKTOR’S REALITY, in case you’re knew to my side of the Internet) into the hands of about 15 people. Met some reeeeeeally cool people, and got to talk writing and publishing stuff. Whether I come back as a guest or a participant, I will be going next year, and will have copies of my book to sign. Visit ravencon.com for details.

Vacation: Boyfriend and I went on a 9 day excursion to Las Vegas and Arizona. We got front row tickets to see KA at the MGM Grand, slots and roulette at a few different casinos, and kept a chip from every casino. Actually, our last day there, we literally went to a bunch of casinos, just to trade a dollar for a $1 chip for a little collection. Between Vegas and Arizona, I think we have about 16 poker chips. We also got to go to the Grand Canyon, and if you ever get a chance to visit, DO IT. It is an indescribable beauty and unbelievable until you go from up to the edge and scan the horizon and you realize, “This isn’t a dream. This was created by nature. Nature’s amazing.”

Mono: Yeah, you read that intro right. I got sick with Mono in the middle of June. No, I have not been cheating on Boyfriend. I’m certain I probably just got it from sharing a drink with a friend, or maybe a water fountain in Vegas. *shrug* who knows. Six weeks without exercise had me gain back a bit of those 40 pounds I lost, but I’ve lost it since beginning of August.

Day job: Day job is chaotic. No details, because, obviously, this is the internet, but things be going CRAY at work, and I’m overwhelmed beyond all reason. I’m getting through it okay, and actually being more productive there, but, when I come home, I crash because there wasn’t anything to do.

That’s about to change.

Writing has always been my best antidepressant for me. I just haven’t had any motivation to write anymore. In order to get motivated again, I’m taking this BIG, RISKY step, and I hope some of you reading this will assist in this venture. It’ll keep me writing, and keep Depression from eating me alive like it has been lately.

I’ve joined Patreon, a community of content creators who rely on Patrons (you guys who join) to pledge a certain amount in support, and, in return, Patrons get cool stuff, like exclusive content, Google Hangouts, Live chats, and even some physical goodies. It varies depending on the Creator. There were two options for frequency of pledge. Patreon advised that if you are putting out 4+ pieces a month, go for a monthly rate. For the time being, I’m only planning on 1-2 per month, so I have it set per creation.

I owe it to Peter Hollens for using the site and being an inspiration to me. His music and videos got me through a bunch of hard times, and, now, I’m taking that same big step forward by joining him in the Patreon community. Here’s his Patreon page [link], and also a link to his equally-as-awesome wife Evynne’s [link]. I’ll also link two of my friends from my Smoky’s retreat I take every year: Hugh [link] and Bryan [link]. Both of them are pretty awesome dudes, and are creating pretty cool stuff, so check them out too. 🙂

My creation is serialized fantasy stories. These are stories I barely started that I need motivation to write up. These stories are also perfect fodder for serialized fiction, because the ones I’m choosing… Never decided on an ending. So, these are indefinite stories (or “Human” stories, as I refer to them on my Patreon page), and I’m hoping I can get a good deal written on them. But I need motivation.

And I need you.

Yes, you, reading this right now.

I’d really appreciate the support from ANYONE. When you go to my Patreon page, at the very bottom of my description, I have a link to the first chapter of my first serial, titled “Truths of the Triangle”. It’s essentially a twist to the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, involving magic, multiple worlds, and a race to save what’s left of the protagonist’s sanity. Right now, that first chapter is on my Google Drive account, but looking for ways to get it available for download. Just so you know though, downloadable versions will only be available on my Patron-only stream. All you need to do is pledge $1/chapter to get that access.

But… I think I’ll at least give ya’ll a lil’ snippet from that first chapter.

A little teaser, if you will::::

 

“They’re just so naïve, peaceful, no cares in the world. As if life’s all rainbows and sunshine.”

“You’re sounding like a demotivational poster right now. Should I call a doctor?”

A quick breath of a chuckle came from him. “You know what I mean.”

Kelli cocked her head. “I’m not sure I do. Everybody has bad things in their lives that bug them: drugs, alcohol, abuse, death. They just pretend everything’s fine to not bum out everyone else around them. In fact, the only thing bad that isn’t currently happening is World War Three.” She’d said it in jest, but the expression on his face said he hadn’t taken it as such.

The music continued to blast, but she heard his quiet, gentle words clear as day in her mind:

“That’s what you think.”

Kelli wanted to open her mouth to refute his annoying, avoiding response when he planted a long, forceful kiss right on her lips. It surprised her for a second or two, but she eventually fell victim to it, wrapping her arms around his neck and returning the gift. It just felt so right.

A loud boom from the front yard that shook the building broke them apart. They both looked at each other with wide-eyed, “What-The-Heck” glances. Then they heard the screaming, followed by huge plumes of smoke.

When a gunshot rang out, Kelli’s legs buckled. She hated that sound. Even in movie theaters, she always winced when someone shot a gun on screen. In real life, however, it was so much worse.

Help a girl out, please? 🙂 It would mean so much to me, plus keeps me out of the darkness that is Depression. Always a plus. And I’ve got some pretty cool rewards levels for Patrons. 🙂

Here’s the [LINK]. Adding it to my Contact Me tab here as well, if you want to find me everywhere else as well.

Have a good day, guys, and remember to KEEP FAITH! I know I will be. 😀

Mental Preparation

As I’m typing this, I am sitting in a desk chair, mind racing. I leave in less than three-an-a-half hours to leaving Richmond for the first big moment of my writing career. Being an author guest at Ravencon is such a HUGE honor, but, at the same time, kinda scary. I’ve got fears of public speaking and constantly worry about others opinions of me. It rarely shows on the surface, so when I tell people I have anxiety, they kind of laugh, “No you don’t! You can’t possibly! … Wait, really?”

What gave it away? The constant worry about everything? Or the fact that I don’t talk much in a strange environment?

Precisely why I’ve been nervous about Ravencon all week. However, as it’s gotten closer, I’ve been mulling it over. Sure, it’s a strange, new situation, but it’s the same con. The same atmosphere, the same types of people, all in one space for the same reason: A love for fantastically creative art of all kinds. Writers, artists, scientists, gamers: all under one roof. Seems kind of counter-intuitive to worry about a place that I’ve felt comfortable at for the past six events. Why should Year 7 be any different?

Answer: it shouldn’t.

Am I still nervous out of my mind? Yeah, of course I am. Most people in my situation would be. BUT, at least this first step forward is somewhere I feel comfortable, somewhere I feel like family.

So, come on up and talk to me. My wardrobe will be consisting of plaid flannel of various colors, jeans, and sneakers, rolling around a black and yellow box-that-is-not-a-toolbox and toting a tiny black backpack on my back. Don’t be afraid to come up and say Hi to me. Because, not only will I be able to (hopefully) make friends, maybe, just maybe, you can help me to fight my anxiety and remind me why I’m here.

A love of fantasy and writing.

Ravencon, I’m coming home.

 

(Oh, and the book will only cost $9 for con-goers. I’ve also got a guessing game for people who buy my book, which includes a plot-based ‘choice’ of snacks. No worries, you don’t have to have read the stories yet. I’ve got all the basic information you’ll need. 🙂 )

 

(Keep up with what I’m doing by Liking my Facebook author page, where I will be Facebook Live-ing REALLY frequently, and watch this blog for updates on my speaking panels, other panels I’m going to, meeting with and making friends, and other wacky-doings with my best friend Jessi. I will be posting on both VERY often.)

Catching Up // Before Ravencon 2016

Howdy do there!

Yeah, I know, I know, I’ve been quiet for a while. Life grabbed me and shook me and threw my world into dizzying, spinning spirals. This post will outline everything that’s happened, and update you for my plans in the future.

For starters, I’ve been on an exercise/eating regimen. It started with me dropping my soda habit at the end of Feburary, and, within 7 weeks, dropped 18.5 pounds and gone down almost two pants sizes. Talk about an image change, huh?

About those Affirmations… Working on supplying those in an alternative way. That’s all I can say now. But, you will be getting a lot of them. A VERY BIG lot of them.

At the end of March, I returned for the annual Smoky Mountain Writer’s retreat, a small, week-long getaway with about 20 author friends filled with intensive writing sessions every day, reading segments afterward, and alcohol. Lots and lots of it. No worries though, no alcohol for me. Or, at least other than a small milliliter of pineapple moonshine in a mouthwash cup. Which, for alcohol, was really good.

I pushed myself so hard I was almost in a deep breathing fetal position by the end. But, I ended up writing 36,000 words on a brand new WIP within six days. The view was gorgeous as well, overlooking a chasm deep in the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I also went for a 3 mile hike up and down steep inclines on my free day (so hot and out of breath by the end).  My mentors (yes, Tee and Pip were there also. They were the ones that forced me to go last year. I regret nothing at this point) went with two other Smokies (Katie Bryski and Hugh O’Donnell) to the Titanic museum, which apparently was a blast!

We all had an amazing time, and the first day we were all home and back to reality and day jobs, Alex White (amazing cover photographer/designer, check him out if you want a personally photographed cover), who is the organizer, coordinator, and resident leading bad@ss, had already picked tentative dates for next year’s retreat. At the same cabin. That had a hot tub AND a giant Jacuzzi. Yeah, it’s that cool.

Anyway, got to hang with tons of old friends and make lasting new ones. And, to me, they’re not just friends anymore. They’re family.

I’ve booked plane tickets for me and my boyfriend to go to Las Vegas and Arizona next month to see his mother, who he hasn’t seen in over two years. I’ve got a surprise in store for him, which he’s knows I have one in store, but doesn’t know all of it. I’m excited to do this, and he won’t know until we get on our plane in Chicago. Can’t wait for his reaction.

In other news, I know I’ve mentioned this briefly in other posts, but I am going to be an author guest at this year’s Ravencon, a fantasy, sci-fi, and horror convention. This year is the first year being located in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the newer Doubletree. I’ve got my panel listings, though I looked it up on my own at the con’s website, which is www.ravencon.com, in case you want to explore the other stuff happening::

Friday, April 29th

10:00 PM – How to Self-Publish on a Budget // Moderator: Alex Matsuo

 

Saturday, April 30th

10:00 AM – Self-Publishing Doesn’t Mean Solo Publishing // Moderator: ME; Other panelists: Doc Coleman, GB MacRae, Alex Matsuo

3:00 PM – Writing a Strong Teen Protagonist // Moderator: Bill Blume; Other panelists: Charity Ayres, Darin Kennedy

6:00 PM – “Kill Your Darlings” // Moderator: ME; Other panelists: Bill Blume, Will McIntosh, D. Alexander Ward

 

Yes, you’re seeing correctly. The first-time author guest and fairly-new-to-publishing-world author with social anxiety has to moderate TWO panels.

 

*Deep breaths*

Just have to keep telling myself I can do this.

 

I can do this.

… I can do this, right?

I sure hope so.

Anyway, I hope to be updating this blog with posts about each of the panels I’m on, as well as some of the panels I will be sitting in the audience at. If you’d rather see it live or recorded as video, like my author page on Facebook (link). I am planning to Facebook Live parts of the convention, so you guys can keep up with the action.

Did I forget anything? No, don’t think so. Wait… Right, right. There will be big news hitting the blog soon, hopefully by the beginning of June. Stay tuned, and, if you want to have advanced preparation, go to the “My Works” tab here on Terrara Vikos, and download/purchase the stories and/or prequel. For future reference, the stories go in time order (#1-4), ending (so far) with The Protektor’s Reality prequel novel.

Wish me luck, guys! I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Keep Faith, everybody!