Category Archives: Fiction

AWESOME! – That Time In The Mountains

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I’ve been quiet for a while, trying to figure out what I could blog about. Now, I have the absolute BEST thing to write about.

For the past week, I have been away on a Writers retreat (Smoky Mountain Writers- SMW) with about <20 AMAZING people. When I arrived, I only knew one person, one of my mentors who pulled me into this. I was petrified, not knowing who these people are, just knowing they were writers and friends with my mentors. Said mentors assured me that these were good people, and I trust them, which is why I agreed to go. I thought, hey, it’s a good experience, and great networking. However, with my shyness and reluctance to interact with other people, I was still a bit anxious about how I would fair during an 8-day retreat in the middle of nowheresville Tennessee (The mountains in Gatlinburg, for anyone’s information) with a bunch of people I didn’t know. At worst, I’d get some writing done, get some sleep and food, and not embarrass the heck out of myself.

Man, I was SOOOOOO GLAD that it was much more than that.

My drive was difficult to say the least. I drove through a blizzard on I-81 for over 8 hours, finally stopping 15 miles from the VA/TN border on Saturday night. I continued the drive Sunday morning, and when I got there, I learned it had been totally worth it (no matter how much my mom said she was going to kick my @$$ when I got home).

Sure, a majority of our time was silent writing time (which, over 6.5 days, I’d written over 28k). At first it was hard to interact with these people, because all of them had some sort of connections with other cabinmates. Most had been to Balticon, and were planning on returning this May. Some were co-authoring works together, and others had been friends for years. It was intimidating, being the odd one out.

Then came the surprising part: they attempted to include me. Like, talking to me, actually WANTING to get to know ME, of all people. They understood the challenges I’d had in life, because all of them had been through it too. They were welcoming, kind, CRAZY people, so much like me that it stunned me for a bit. They got me to do things I never would have done elsewhere. I read some of my raw work EVERY NIGHT. I watched a New Zealand vampire ‘documentary’ (coming soon to places other than NZ- What We Do In The Shadows). I even hot-tubbed OUTSIDE in 30° temperatures!

Before I arrived, I believed this would be an amazing opportunity to network and make connections. I hadn’t really expected to make 17 new friends. By the time I had to say my tearful goodbye (Bad weather on last day, so left early), I trusted them so much, and I hope they will be friends with me for a long, long time. They were amazing, creative, spontaneous, CRAZY people, and I miss them so much already.

Onto Smoky Writers 2016!

As Stu WILL say, “AWWWWESUMMMM!”

IT’S HERE!!!!

So, if you can’t tell by the title, I’m EXTREMELY hyper!! My paperback book was officially released on November 25th, with the eBook versions out five days later. This dream was ten years in the making, and when that book was in my hands, I started tearing up. I may not be as far as my final goal, but this is the first step toward it.

This book was one of my favorites writing. It is a prequel to a trilogy I had completed TheProtektorsReality_400x640_115dpibefore starting to write this one. My goal is to get that trilogy traditionally published, hopefully sometime in the near future. This whole saga – which includes 4 short stories, 1 novella, the prequel, and the trilogy – is a project I started about four years ago. In fact, two of the four total books in this saga were NaNoWriMo wins, one in the traditional November NaNo, and the other during Camp NaNoWriMo.

Those of you that have a dream, don’t stop reaching for it! Though you may lose faith along the way, if you continue to pursue your dreams, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Check out the tab for my works to find the synopsis and links for The Protektor’s Reality. I’d really appreciate any support I can get, including buying or reviewing! It is available as a print book on Amazon, Kindle eBook, and also on Smashwords in all eBook formats, online reading, and also PDF file.

And don’t think this means I’m done. My journey is just beginning.

My Dream Come True

So, I know I’ve been away a while, but with good reason. Things have been a whirlwind for me since my last post. I’ve had schoolwork upon schoolwork (Graduating in 3 weeks though, so can’t complain), I’ve gone to a baby shower, had to go home every weekend to work one day every week at my job. My 72-year-old grandmother got married this past Sunday, and family came in from all over the country to celebrate with us. I was even a bridesmaid! (They’re perfect for each other, btw ❤ ). So yeah, things have been nuts lately.

Oh yeah, forgot the best part about this late post…

I’M GETTING MY BOOK PUBLISHED!

TheProtektorsReality_400x640_115dpiSelf-publishing, anyway, but there’s no shame in self-publishing, especially in this day and age. In fact, some very well-known authors started self-pubbed. You can look on the My Works page for the blurb, as well as the links (once they are available).

I started writing this book over a year ago, as my NaNoWriMo project last November. I finished the book a few months later, and now it’s going to be in a physical paperback book! The proof is due in the next day or so. I’M GOING TO BE HOLDING MY ACTUAL STORY IN MY HANDS!!!

I’ve been writing with the intent of being an author for ten and a half years now, and now I can say it’s actually happening! It’s so surreal!

Keep watching this page for updates, especially when the links are ready, because I’d really like this book to succeed! It’s one of the best, most polished books I’ve ever written, so I hope everyone enjoys the ride.

Keep Faith!

-Chrissy

Nearer and Nearer…

Well, folks, a lot has happened since I last posted. In regards to last post, I have lost a little bit of weight, but not much. This post, however, is about something much more important to me.

My publishing journey.

I have a few beta edits out for critique right now and am anticipating those arriving soon. Once I get those, I will fix what is necessary, and then run through another last round of edits myself. I can’t reveal what will happen once editing’s done, as it is variable and dependent on third parties. However, I know the plan and will it reveal when the time is right.

For now, though, you all will have to bear with me.

On another note, I just got back from a week in Orlando. Yes, Disney happened. Yes, I had a blast. Yes, I got to take a selfie with Sorcerer Mickey. No, I didn’t get to ride Jungle Cruise with Skipper Sam, my distant cousin (which was extremely depressing, by the way. Stupid lightning!).

Disney LogoI also got to exercise (fun, right?), eat a lot, visit family and friends that live in the area, and even late-nite mini golfing. While it’s true my family and I fought a bunch, what family vacation doesn’t end up in a frustrating argument at least once? In the end, the trip was amazing, and I am grateful I got to spend time there with my dad and sis.

My dad and I argue. A lot. On a regular basis. HOWEVER, he has always been there for me. He still is. He’s the one who is supporting me in my dream the most out of my entire family, both monetarily- and marketing-wise. We spent a majority of the 12 hour car ride home discussing my future as an author. I’m so grateful I have him in my life, and I hope he knows that!

Until another day, Vikans!

Keep Faith,

-Chrissy

Critiques Aren’t Meant To Cause Pain

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As a writer, you’d think I’d be used to critiques by now. I’ve been in a writing fiction class, where they tore my fantasy to shreds, and I’m currently in my senior level English class, where our class is working on a publication that will be distributed to my entire town, and have been slammed by the harsh critiques I’ve been getting.

What does that do to me as a writer? In theory, as a writer, I need to analyze the critiques, edit accordingly, and brush it off like it’s a piece of fuzz on your shirt. It’s very nice in theory, but very difficult in practice. When you get copies of your work back, a story or manuscript that has been your precious word baby for a while, you get this feeling in the pit of your stomach and a feeling like someone torn your heart into tiny pieces.

Something important happens after that though. You read the edits, and eventually realize that some – if not most – are things that should be changed to make it better. That hole is still there, but starts getting smaller. Does that mean change everything they tell you to? No, it doesn’t. You have to use your discretion as the WIPs creator and figure out what is essential to the story and what can be changed. When you overcome that barrier, the hole is about the width of a pencil.

Finally, when you send that prec023ious word baby of yours back to the editors, and it comes back with a bazillion red markups, that hole expands again, but this time not as big as the first round. As you progress forward and get critique after critique sent back and forth, you start to catch things and habits in your writing that reoccur. Things like in-depth details, or grammatical errors, or maybe that you’re a comma-happy person.

That’s the point I’m trying to tell myself, and something I’m sharing with all of you. CRITIQUES MAKE YOU A BETTER WRITER! While seeing the red pen marks of death may crush you inside, you need to remember that the reason you even get those critiques back is because the editors (whether they are fellow peers, family, friends, or even just a distant connection of someone you know) are only marking those things to make your story the best it can be. Without those marks and notes, the story would go to publication with all the little mistakes and inconsistencies you missed in personal edits. Every good author or writer needs someone who won’t be careful when critiquing and sugarcoat it in sake of your relationship.

As I’ve learned recently, I still get a little pang of pain in my heart when someone tells me my story needs “a little work”. However, the fact still remains that my goal is to be the best author I can be, and that I can write stories that others will enjoy and that makes people feel something inside. If I have bad habits in my writing style, I want them broken before my stories go to publication to give my readers the best, because that’s what they deserve.

I remind myself of that every time a critiqued story comes back to me. I take a deep breath, open it up, and keep on writing.