Updates: Finishing Up, Starting New

As of today, I am done with 110k words (404 Word pages) of my current project, a fantasy re-imagining of the world of Wonderland titled ‘Painting the Roses Red’. I ended up going straight into editing rather than beginning my next project, and have been steadily editing the ever-loving spit out of this project (with the help of some extremely patient and passionate beta readers) for two months. At the moment I have about two or three more chapters left to finish up- but they are the ending chapters, which in beta reads needed the most dramatic overhaul, so they’re taking the most time. My plan is to finish this project by mid-week next week, and then begin the process of letting the project go to submission.

Which couldn’t come soon enough- I’m itching to really be able to fully dedicate my attention to The Thing About Apples. I have all of the characters hanging out in my head, fully fleshed out and ready to go, and I feel like they at least deserve a plot at this point in time. It’s going to be a nice, refreshing thing to be writing a brighter coming-of-age story to go into the Once Upon a Reality series, especially one that speaks so clearly to my own coming-of-age experiences. Now that I’ve settled in to my new house, new full-time job and volunteer work, I’m looking forward to being able to get back into a good routine with my writing work.

Make sure you head on over to my website to check out the first two books in the series, ‘Till the Last Petal Falls and To Dwell in Dreams. If you already have your copies, don’t forget to leave a review or send me a picture of you with your copy!

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March Progress: Manuscript #3

Today I finished the first draft of the fantasy manuscript that I started for NaNoWriMo, Painting the Roses Red. Current stats stack the project at forty chapters with 141, 432 words. Regardless of where I go later wit this project, I’m proud of myself for finishing such a big project in five months. The target finishing date was by the June release of my next novel- and I’m nearly two months ahead of schedule. I’ve really enjoyed writing it, and depending on how the first readers receive it, I’m really looking forward to polishing it and seeing how it fares in submission processes somewhere down the road.

I’m going to take about a week off from anything writing-related and just read and play video games in the time I’ve been using for drafting. Then I’ll dive right back into it, beginning the planning processes for The Thing About Apples, the third installment of my current ‘Once Upon a Reality’ series. This next one is going to be the most personal and I also think the most fun out of the current books in the series, so I really look forward for this one being a lighter, more fun coming-of-age novel than the previous two that took on more heady, series subjects.

Thanks to everyone who has been supporting me thus far, giving me encouragement and well-placed kicks in the rear to keep up the momentum.

Happy All Saint’s Day! (And NaNoWriMo)

Halloween was a blast- got to hang out in my costume with a best friend of mine and go dancing all night long, which is always cool. Saw some people going around in working Iron Man costumes, an eight-foot Wreck-It-Ralph with his Fix-It-Felix, some Missy Franklin outfits, the entire KISS band…. man, I love this holiday.

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Now I get to celebrate with an All Saint’s Day mass- and the beginning of another NaNoWriMo. This year, I’m participating slightly haphazardly, as mentioned earlier- I’m going to be using the month-long ‘holiday’ to kick my current writing project into high gear (it will be interesting to see how many words that ends up translating into- definitely not the full 50,000, that’s for sure!). One of the big reasons why I can’t participate fully in NaNoWriMo is because I’m graduating this December, and my priorities need to lie in buckling down and finishing strong this semester. Another is that I always end up at this point half way through a project and so can’t participate ‘from scratch’.

But whatever my own personal reasons for not diving fully into NaNoWriMo, I want you all to know that I’m here for support! I’m going to be proofreading and beta reading some stuff for friends in my department who are participating, as well as committing to posting several encouraging posts all month long (and reblogging tips and tricks over on my Tumblr). I’ll also post my own progress on my project, no matter how far behind the rest of ya’ll I end up being.

So Happy All Saint’s Day, and good luck to all you NaNoWriMo-er’s! Can’t wait to see how this goes this year!

Getting Ready for Halloween! And an Update.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays by far- and I have so much to do this week! My costume this year is Casual!90s era Rogue from X-Men- I’ll be posting pictures of that later on this week for everyone. Tonight, I get to go to my English Department’s Annual Halloween party and should be getting plenty of material for that.

Writing-wise, I’ve been a bit on a hiatus (or what I would consider a hiatus- a week or two and I feel like I haven’t written in forever, even when I haven’t dropped things too much). I’ve been still submitting a couple of the short stories/novella pieces I wrote recently, (most notably Katherine’s Shadow and Good Women) so we’ll see where they go- I have an unnamed short story in the works, and The Right Time (a short story about twenty-something relationships in today’s social climate) is halfway through first drafting stages. In response to NaNoWriMo I’ve also begun drafting up the plot for the first book in a trilogy series apart from ‘Once Upon a Reality’, just to stretch my creative juices. We’ll see how far we can get through this book in this month before returning back to work on The Thing About Apples– or if I want to go ahead and take a break from that series to really buckle down on ‘The Wonder Land Chronicles’.

I always like to get the biggest chunks of actual writing out of the way as soon as any kind of inspiration hits me- that way, the bulk of my work is done in fine-tuning, editing, and fleshing out scenes rather than building things as I go. It’s also nice to jump genres for a little while, take a break from the more reality-based stories and flex my mind with a story more in the fantasy vein of things. We will see if I want to formally submit this to NaNoWriMo or if I will just be putting in the work alongside others in my own way- in either case, I’ll be writing in solidarity with all you other writers who are participating! It’s always a great opportunity to get pumped, keep going, and to push yourself into a great spurt of writing work. With my thesis defense coming up this next Monday, I’ll finally be out of the hardest part of this semester and into time where I can write more of what I want, when I want. I can’t wait!

Break, What Break?

Here I am, not even three days into my summer break and I’ve fully gotten myself back into the grind. Last night I stayed up until three in the morning with my boyfriend while he finished a paper for his Global Politics class and I re-designed the layout for my poetry blog. Got back up at around seven-ish and have been fine-tuning some posts and some graphic work (also for my poetry, might end up doing some more for quotes I particularly liked from ‘Till the Last Petal Falls when I get around to it). Five minutes ago I fixed my themes on my Tumblr so that you could actually access all of my links. As soon as I finish off my morning coffee I’m going to head off to the gym to walk for an hour, do my morning prayers, and then come back and query a couple more bookstores.

Also today, I’m going through this first run of ‘Till the Last Petal Falls to help my publisher correct those little typos so that they won’t appear in the ebook release (which we are waiting to submit until the typos have been killed)  and in subsequent print runs. The first draft manuscript for To Dwell in Dreams is still circulating for feedback and edits, and I’m trying really hard not to think about it so much.

After I’ve gotten those cataloged and taken care of, I’m going to upload the next section of a project I recently started on. It’s a kind of novella-in-short-stories currently titled Good Women that follows the friendship of three girls from high school until the birth of one of the girls’ first daughter. I’ve been kind of obsessed with this idea of what makes a good friend and what makes ‘good women’, and I’m playing with characters that I feel tend not to be ‘stars’ of most best-friend coming of age “novels for girls”- the main character, Aileen, is a Theology major who enjoys being the follower, even if she ends up the most materially successful and secure; her friend Teagan is a fashionista/photographer who gets kicked out of college for alcohol abuse and ends up in the Navy and doesn’t care about love or sex; and Trisanna is a loud-mouthed tomboy who is constantly aware of how lonely she is and how much she craves attention, but is almost incapable of committing to anything but the love of her best friends. They get into fights and rock at gym class and care almost too much about how tough they seem to other people- basically, I’m trying to write a story that showcases the kind of girl I was exposed to growing up- who is completely different than most of the ideological girls in mainstream writing (who are either stereotypical, or shamed/’fixed’ when they are shown as being different). At the moment, the story is an amalgamation of short-stories- we’ll see if that structure sticks or if I end up developing a flowing narrative…. ah, well. The cycle never ends.

Of course, I really only have to the end of this month to get as far into that as humanly possible- starting in June, I’m putting all of my creative writing projects to the side so that I can dig into and finish the first draft of my undergraduate thesis before my last semester of college starts in August. And I say that now so that I can get embarrassed when I end up slipping back into writing stories instead of thesis sections and actually have some incentive to get things done for school for once! I’ll be glad when I have finished college and I can focus more on my writing without having to stop in between to write paper for professors (even if I do love classes!)

Looks like the sun has come back out so I’m going to go soak in it for a little while before the rain comes back!

Finished First Draft!

Yesterday, I officially finished the first draft of ‘To Dwell in Dreams’- all of the hand-written chapters have been typed up and exported into a single document. All I have to do now is format it so that it will be easier for my editors and beta-readers to go through, and then it will be sent out to them. People are still currently going through it chapter-by-chapter, so I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback up to Chapter Sixteen already, so we’re moving along.

And now, some fun stats regarding the first draft of my Sleeping Beauty re-telling:

-It currently sits at 69, 172 words

-It is 181 manuscript pages ( so a ballpark guess of 362 formatted book-pages)

-It has 30 chapters- each odd numbered chapter is situated in the present, each even numbered chapter is a ‘Dream’.

-For those who have read the first book, you’ll be happy to know that, though the topic is still hard and at some times dark, this second installment is much less violent, and has a much happier ending

What I’m hoping to accomplish with the edits:

-Do more research into my settings, particularly the parts of the story that go into England

-Flesh out a lot more of my descriptions of each character and their surroundings (something I noticed I was lacking in when typing up the first draft)

-Ensure consistency within the timeline of the story (there are a couple of wonky spots, here and there).

– Check the believably of the main character, Lyn, and her character arc. In the initial feedback, I’ve been seeing a couple of trouble spots where I need to go back in and emotionally balance certain scenes.

I’ll keep you all updated on everything- remember, you can now always check on the progress of my second novel at my website, where I will be posting each step as I go.

My next book is a re-telling of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, dealing with the issues of depression, prescription medication addiction, and the a refusal to grow up.