Tag Archives: writing

THE DAY HAS COME! // “Kinetic Rebirth” Release Day

Greetings, Vikans!

I know, it isn’t Wednesday. But my regular blog posts are Wednesdays, right? Why would I switch up my schedule?

KineticRebirth_promo

BECAUSE KINETIC REBIRTH IS NOW AVAILABLE DIGITALLY ON KINDLE!!

Yes, that’s right, friends. September 19th, 2017 has finally arrived, and I am so excited and beyond terrified at the same time. To me, this book is my greatest accomplishment, and my ultimate dedication to JV (If you don’t know who she is, go read a few previous blog posts. Long story short, she was one of my best friends who was killed early this year, and I have inserted her as one of the heroes, being as true to who she was as I could manage). It’ll give me a little bit of closure, knowing she will be forever immortalized in my writing. She was my beta reader, my inspiration, my co-author (on another series), and my best friend. She was almost like a sister to me, so this is the least I can do to honor her life and memory.

KINETIC REBIRTH is also available for Kindle Unlimited (KU) subscribers as well. Also, for those of you that don’t have a Kindle, there’s a Kindle app for smartphones, tablets, and any other AppStore technologies.

Just for a brief update on projects, I finally beat a week-long writing slump and cranked out almost 2k on my KINETICS #2 WIP, bringing rough word count to over 42,000 words. Chaos Accounts #4 also got hit by that writing slump, so it won’t be out as soon as I had hoped. Also, I dabbled just a tad on me and JV’s series, but can’t work on it too much for a lock-up of JV’s notebooks. No worries; I’ll get them eventually, but it’ll be a while. I’m also considering an attempt to go the traditional route with our co-authored series. When the book nears completion in a year or two, I’ll decide for sure.

You can grab your digital copy of KINETIC REBIRTH off Amazon [here]. If you’re more of a print version, subscribe to my newsletter [here] to be reminded closer to Print release day and on actual print release day on October 19th, 2017.

Hope you all enjoy reading this adventure as much as I loved writing it.

As always, Keep Faith, everyone.

And… Remember this::

“Assume Nothing.”

 

Kindle/KU link:: http://amzn.to/2vFyZGA

Email Subscribers link:: http://www.subscribepage.com/a5h2b9

#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?

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.

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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Looking to the Future: 2016 to 2017

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

scared-hiding

But, wait.

Why do I feel terrified?

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

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

Answer: What’s in store for my future?

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

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

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

Things that were horrible in 2016::

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

Things that were good in 2016::

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

Things I hope to accomplish in 2017::

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

So, here comes the biggest goal of all.

I WANT TO PUBLISH ANOTHER BOOK!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep Faith, everybody.

Patreon, Take 2 (and other summaries)

BAD, BAD, BAD CHRISTINE!!!

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

I feel ashamed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, as always, Keep Faith, everybody! ❤

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. 😀

The Waiting Game: Take Two

Last time you saw the words “Waiting Game” here on my little slice of the Internet, it was to talk about waiting for news on a project and what to do to not stress. This is in the same vein, but more a story than an advice column.

Last time I attempted to publish a novel, I succeeded. It became what is titled The Protektor’s Reality, and I am so happy I finally got a published book. Waiting was the hardest part though. Not only for betas/edits, but covers, layout, the delay in instantaneously being able to throw your greatest achievement out into the throngs of people with confetti and flying money. Does matter if that waiting takes only 1 day or five months. Waiting is HARD.

For The Protektor’s Reality (hereby abbreviated “TPR”), I had a few edits I waited for over the course of five months. First one I sent out go it all back to me within a month. Luckily, she enjoyed it so much, she said she is always willing to read more. In fact, you’ll hear a bit more about her later (in relation to the reason for this post). The other edits weren’t so quick, but I eventually got them back. Waiting for those edits, even the one-monther, were absolutely nervewracking. At the time, I was still in school, so I could study and hang with friends while I waited.

That no longer applies.

Granted, I do have a full-time job now, which takes up a majority of my day. However, during down times at the office, my mind shoots back to what I am waiting on, if they’ll like it, if I’ll like what comes out of it, what that will mean for the future of my book, etc, etc, until I drive myself crazy and have to force myself to do the work that suddenly gets slammed on my plate.

I’ll lay it out, plain and simple.
Waiting.
Sucks.

We all have to do it, though. In fact, we all wait on a regular basis. For food to cook at home, or be prepared at a fast food establishment or restaurant.  For our favorite TV show to come back on after commercials. For the car in front of you to stop driving 30 in a 60 (on dry roads) and get their butt moving. For us to fall asleep at night.

Granted, a lot of these might frustrate various people. However, we writers aren’t only stressed by waiting, we are terrified. Why do you think that is?

Worry we won’t ever hear back.

Anxiety over our writing not being good enough to succeed.

Maybe fear over rejection or dislike.

Whatever our reasoning, as writers, we are terrified of waiting. Our work (or pieces related to it) seem to be in a state of unreachable limbo, and we feel so much fear it will never come out.

When I finally released TPR into the wild, a huge weight lifted off my chest. I breathed a sigh or relief, sunk into a comfy chair, let life start to go back to normal-stress levels. Soon after, though, came the big realization.

This wasn’t over.

If I wanted a future career as an author, one which I’d already started down with the launch on TPR, I would need to keep creating and publishing books.

With a wating game.

Every. Single. Time.

My stress shot through the roof. It wasn’t over. And, for us as authors and writers, it will never be over. But, that’s okay. Because, we are still doing what we love: creating stories, and sharing them with the world.

Currently? I’m in a waiting game again, and will probably be for a majority of 2016. I’ve sent off my betas, one of which being the one who read the TPR before its release. All my betas are reliable and have a considerable amount of willingness to make time to read, because they trust this will be a good read. Then, after that, I’ll make my personal edits as quick as I can, and send off to an editor. Then wait again. Once that’s back, make my final edits, send off stuff to layout and cover designers. Wait. Get all that back. Upload to self-publishing company. Wait. Receive proof on mail. Read and make sure everything turned out correctly. Hit Submit. Write another book. Send to betas.

Repeat.

It’s a neverending, vicous cycle of waiting in the author world, but, once we accept it as a part of our writing/publishing journey, it becomes easier.

What to do in that time frame?

Read this.

And, do what you do best.

Write.

 

Re-editing the Past

Lookie here! Posting after only a week! Woo!

I made a few commitments this new year, instead of resolutions, as inspired by my amazing mentor, Tee Morris (link). The idea is that we always believe that it’s okay for resolutions to fail, so,  when ours do, we shrug it off. Tee suggests instead making commitments, ones which we feel obligated to see through. One of mine is to blog more frequently.

Another is to get my next book published.

Yes, this is my earliest alert. It’s not certain yet (There will certainly be a blog post once I know definitely when it’s happening), but it’s my commitment to myself, so I will see this through to the best of my abilities.

One of the things I’ve always struggled with was editing my manuscripts. Writing the stories themselves comes easy. Tweaking it (or, in the case of wanting to be published, cutting out its heart with a spoon), is a much more daunting task. My novels are my babies, as many writers and authors out there can attest to. We put our heart and soul into creating these universes and characters and plots that always take a huge amount of love and care to create and maintain. But, then, in order to be the most competitive, we need to rip it to shreds, because, apparently, it’s not good enough as is.

At first, this was a hard thing for me to accept. When I started my journey into becoming an author almost twelve years ago, every bit of poetry/story I wrote was praised. Most couldn’t believe a middle school/high school student could write that well or that maturely. It built up my confidence in my writing abilities, one of the only things in my life I have confidence in.

The upsetting fact is that we are biased. When we write our first draft, we are blinded by this amazing world and in-depth, painfully-realistic characters we created all by ourselves. We have to come to the realization that, yes, this is a wonderful story, but is it the best for us, or the best for the story itself? It’s hard to come to terms with, because we can only see things from our own perspective, the one which created the story we fell in love bringing to life in text.

That’s when three things come in handy:

  1. Beta Readers

Beta readers are one of the best resources you could have. You can get help from people who you can trust will give you an unbiased review, with advice and tweaks in plot and flaws. The best part about these guys is the fact that they can look at it with fresh eyes. They have never met these characters before (or, in the case of a second or third book, never seen the situations they are about to), and can give a perspective of your prospective readers. You want your prospective readers to like it, right? take their advice then. Now, you don’t have to accept all their advice, but give their ideas and views a serious think-over before deciding on the edit.

2. Editors

They can be your best friend, or your mortal enemy. But, they have the best skills necessary to pound your precious baby into a strong, believable novel that will appeal to many (hopefully). That’s right, I’m talking about the cursed EDITOR.

Now, don’t get me wrong, some of my nicest friends are editors. But… They scare me! I’m terrified of editors, because you hear about the fatal pen all the time as a starting out writer. With all the marks of the Red Pen of Death, destroying everything you’ve poured a bit of yourself into. However, an editor just wants to make your work better. Their goal, believe it or not, is not to tear you, or your story, down. It’s just to help it be the best it can be. And, sadly, the best story it can be is not your first draft. Also, just like betas, you don’t have to accept every change they make. And, most will not be offended. In the end, you know what’s best for the story as a whole, but sometimes, it takes a skilled, outside opinion to gain a new perspective on the greatness your manuscript can become.

3. STEPPING AWAY!

This is the best advice I can give. When you are so blinded where you can read your story over and over again and see nothing wrong but a few missed commas or an capitalized T, you need to stand up and walk away for a while. My current project I’m editing, I haven’t touched since May of 2015. Back then, it had been five months since the last edit, and I apparently went to town on it. I didn’t even remember making immense edits on it until I opened the document this week to do more. In fact, the first chapter, the very FIRST paragraph, had things added that I hadn’t remembered even thinking of adding. The best part?

IT MADE IT BETTER!

And, if the prologue was made better after a five month break between December 2014 and May 2015, imagine how much I can make my story better after an eight month hiatus. In fact, just this week, my word count has been fluctuating, and I’ve been tweaking and editing, because, while I still love my characters and the universe I’ve created, I am not blinded by the stadium lights of a deviously tricky first draft.

My goal is to publish the best story my novel can be. In order to achieve that, I need to edit. We ALL need to edit. In the end, our opinions don’t really matter. Our readers do.

And, no matter how many edits we make…

The story will still speak for itself.