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To Do or Not to Do NaNoWriMo?

Hey Epic Dreamers!
This is the first year in 6 that I’m not doing NaNoWriMo.  It’s become such a big part of my life that I’m emotional about not being able to participate this year.
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But as much as I would like to, my writing cycle doesn’t align with NaNo this year like it has in previous years. Usually I would time it so that I was ready to write a first draft of a story every November, but The Blood Debt is taking longer to get through than I thought and I don’t even have an idea for a new story (well I have a ton jotted down in a folder, but none cultivated enough to start a first draft of).
I wouldn’t have the time to work on edits and write 50,000 words on a new project as well anyway.
So, it looks like NaNo will have to be be skipped this year.
Even though I’m skipping this year for a good cause (editing my WIP) I still feel a bit like I’m giving up, quitting, missing out…
This will be the first time is 6 years that I won’t feel the satisfaction of adding yet another year to my winning streak and that irks me way more than it should.
I’ll just have to focus on the fact that NaNo is a tool to help authors start and finish books. It’s a means to an end. It isn’t completing NaNo that really counts but completing a manuscript….but oh how I will miss adding another  “finished” novel to my profile. 😉
How many of you are doing NaNoWriMo this year? (It’s okay…go ahead and rub it in.)

Join me for tons more fun, writing tips, and a glimpse into the daily life of a writer!

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How’s Quarantine Life?

How is everyone doing out there? Staying sane? Doing lots of baking and reading and home improvements to keep busy?

It’s strange that with all the extra time on my hands, this is the first blog post I’ve written in the month and a half since things really got crazy with COVID-19. I’m not sure why I haven’t posted before now. It might be a combination of finding other things to do and being at a lost for how to address something this drastic.

I really have no topic for today’s post other than to check in and see how everyone is doing.

I’ve been really lucky and haven’t been affected in a drastic way. I mean, yes, the places I can go have been limited to the grocery store and my apartment complex’s parking lot, but I don’t count that as drastic in light of how many people have lost their jobs, their businesses, or even their life.

I haven’t lost any loved ones and my husband still has his job, so all things considered, I’m doing really well.

I’ve been keeping busy cooking recipes off Pinterest, working on my next novel, and last week I even did a bit of drawing.

Of course there are downsides to being pretty much confined to a 600-square-foot apartment but since complaints about staying home are already all over the internet, I’ll spare you those and tell you what I do like about quarantine.

Of course there’s the obvious. More time at home means more time to read and write. (Any good book recommendations?)

I’m also enjoying not having to rush through dinner. There’s no where to rush off to, no commitments I don’t want to be late for. I can enjoy the food I’ve made and not have to feel stressed or annoyed by all the dishes and clean up that is left for when I get back from where ever we (my husband and I) are headed for the evening.

Which leads me to the thing I’ve enjoyed the most about quarantine, and that is the extra time I’ve had with Eddy. With no commitments in the evenings, every night is like a stay-in date night. 🙂 I will miss all the time we have to play board games, play Age of Empires, watch tons of silly YouTube videos, and just cuddle on the couch when things go back to normal.

That said, of course I do want things to go back to normal (as normal as they can be after something like this).

So now that I’ve shared how I’m doing, how is everyone else? What kinds of things have you been doing to keep busy and stay sane?

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See what I’m up to!

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Introducing my best Friend

Hi Epic Dreamers! I have some exciting news to share with you. I usually don’t post about my personal life, but this particular event in my life is worth mentioning even if it isn’t writing related.

I’m just going to say it…I got married!

Not only did my dream of publishing a novel finally happen, but a few weeks after, I got to marry my best friend.

I bet you’re all wondering who this guy is and how we met so I’ll tell you our story (and I’ll throw some of our wedding pictures in too).

It all started with The Hashna Stone and this blog. Well, in a way, I guess it started before because Eddy and I went to the same church for years, but we never ended up in the same groups and never really talked. I’d seen him around and I knew his name and he knew mine, but that was about the extent of the relationship.

Eddy found my blog and started reading the chapters of The Hashna Stone that I posted.  He must have been impressed with my fantastic story-telling abilities *wink* because he messaged me and told me that he was enjoying the story.

I was flattered as any writer is when someone shows interest in their work, but I had no idea that he had another reason–besides complimenting me on my story–in starting the conversation.

Over the next month and a half, we sent messages back and forth. I thought he was just being nice–having a friendly chat. Even when he invited me to go skating, I still didn’t suspect a thing.

It wasn’t until he stayed by my side for the whole night that I realized he was interested in more than friendship.

The next day, he asked for my number and after only a week of texting each other like crazy I knew that this guy was going to be my best friend.

In the months that followed, I learned more about him.

He was an amazing, empathetic listener. Being an INFJ, I was used to everyone spilling their problems on me, but not having much patience with listening in return, but when Eddy and I held conversations we spent equal time listening and speaking.

I loved that he was an introvert like me and didn’t need the constant noise and stimulus that most extroverts never seem to get enough of. I was thrilled that he didn’t shy away from deep conversations and enjoyed talking one-on-one for hours. (Which is what totally makes an INFJ happy 😉 )

There were little things that we found that we had in common, like we were both interested in archery (I’d only gone as far as owning a bow and shooting it a few times…he was in archery in high school and went to tournaments). We both loved music and he played the guitar and I played the piano (well, saying that we can play is generous…more like we play around and pretend we can play 😉 ).

But what really made my little writer self happy was that he loved books and had an affinity for fantasy which–being a fantasy author– makes me ridiculously happy. 🙂

He’s been with me through this entire writing-a-book process and was even one of my beta readers for one of the early drafts of The Hashna Stone.

So–to speed this story up a bit–we hit it off right away, he stuck with me and was my support though some of the roughest patches in my life, and three years after we started dating, I am now married to my best friend.

I can’t say enough about this guy. I didn’t believe that someone like him could exist.  He makes me feel like I am the most beautiful, exceptional, loved girl in the world.

If you would have asked me before we started talking if I believed in soulmates, I would have said that I  wasn’t sure if something like that existed, but now I know it does. Something about him called to me from those first few conversations, and we connected so easily and quickly.  It seems strange that I ever lived without him and it feels like I’ve known him for my whole life.

I know this sounds terribly cliché and like romantic drivel when I say this, but I’m going to say it anyway; It feels like my life didn’t truly start until he came into it. Like life was frozen, waiting for something I couldn’t explain, and it didn’t began to thaw until I met him.

I’m not sure how to end this post, since it is so different than my usually content, so I’ll end it with this: I’m one happy little writer. 😀

If you want to see more wedding pictures, follow me on Instagram. I’m sharing a picture every week. 🙂

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Book Update

Hey Epic Dreamers!

It’ s been a while since I’ve updated you all on the book (The Hashna Stone), so I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of where it’s at in the publishing process.

Editing

I’m so excited to announce my editor has finished with it! Not only that, but I’ve finished making all the changes she’s suggested and sent it off to be formatted. (If you are following me on Instagram, you’ll know how excited I was to get to that stage. 😉 )

My editor was great. She went the extra mile to not only look for grammatical errors and places where sentence structure could be better, but she took the time to get to know the characters and pointed out if they said something that seemed unlike them.

It was so refreshing to have someone read my story again after so long since it’s been a year since it went through the beta-reader process. It was nice to have a second opinion after so many drafts with just my own thoughts to go on.

Then, when the editing was finished, she told me that my book was one of her favorite projects that she’d worked on and said that I was a talented writer.

Me? Talented?!

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I might sound egotistical for saying this, but it really felt good to hear that. When you put so much time and effort into a project as large as a 140,000-word novel, you’re bound to have some self doubt. What if I’ve wasted my time? What if after two years of working on this, no one reads it? The smallest compliment or encouragement does so much to combat these thoughts.

Formatting

I’m just as excited to announce that my book has been formatted as well. 🙂

Formatting may sound like the boring part of getting the book ready for publishing, but it was actually the most fun. It isn’t just making sure the text is lined up correctly and that the gutters are wide enough (although it is those things too). Formatting also covers the font and pictures in the book. And that’s where the fun comes in. 🙂

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I loved getting to see my book transform from plain Times New Roman text to being filled with the beautiful, fantasy-looking text my formatter filled it with. (I know, I’m such a nerd!)

I was really lucky to find such an amazing formatter. She created the most epic looking chapter title image ever! She also put an awesome background to my act title pages.

I am so in love with the way this book looks! (I’ll reveal what the inside looks like on Instagram…cough, cough…you should follow 🙂 )

Cover

I had someone from fiver.com design a cover, but I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the way it turned out. It is a very inexpensive place to get a cover for your book, but it shows in the quality.

After several revisions to the image, I finally bought my own image of a gemstone from IStock. It looked better with my image on the front, but it still had a less-than-stellar look to it.

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I thought I would be stuck with it because any other cover design service was way out of my budget, but then I came across someone who designs beautiful covers for a price I can afford on Instagram (which is also where I found my formatter), so I’m going to get them to create a cover and see how it goes. I have a good feeling about it, judging from the example covers I saw.

I can’t wait to get started on it!

Publishing

Besides the cover, the only other thing that needs to be done is a final proofread. And then…it will be PUBLISHED!

Finally. Finally! After two NaNoWriMos, one blog version, four drafts, and two years. It’s actually going to be published!

I am beyond excited! Publishing a book is a dream I’ve had since I was a kid. I don’t think I’m going to fully believe it until I hold it in my hands.

The Hashna Stone will be coming out in August and will be  available on Amazon, both in eBook and paperback. I’ll know the exact date once I know how long it will take my proofreader to get through it. 🙂

Well, that’s what’s been happening with me and The Hashna Stone (and also an accidental plug for Instagram–I mentioned it four times 😛 ).

I hope you all have a great rest of the week! Until next time, Epic Dreamers!

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The first 20 to become patrons will get their name mentioned in the “thank you” section of my book. This is regardless of which tier you select. That means you can get your name mentioned (which is something only the highest level patrons get) for only $1. Yes, one dollar will get your name in my book!



Connect with me!

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Announcing Some Changes

Hey Epic Dreamers!

It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted an actual blog post with actual written words, and I wanted to let you guys know that I’m not turning this into a video-only zone. 😉 I’m still going to be posting good old regular blog posts, I’ve just been so busy starting the YouTube channel and Instagram account (not to mention editing The Hashna Stone) that I haven’t gotten around to writing a blog post.

Since the whirlwind of publishing and YouTube has entered my life, I’ve decided to make some changes regarding the types of posts I write.

Book reviews

For the past year, I’ve been posting book reviews every third Thursday of the month, but I’ve decided that I don’t feel comfortable writing honest book reviews now that I’m publishing my book. I feel like any negative reviews may make me look like I’m just trying to trash competition. I could be completely wrong about this, but I’d rather not look like a catty author who thinks everyone’s work is beneath their own. 😛

I’ve also been too busy with all my new pursuits to read much, so I might find it hard to have a book to review. I might post a book review every now and then if I really enjoy the book and think it deserves some love, but except for that, I’m retiring my monthly book reviews.

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Posting every Thursday

I don’t know how long I’ve been posting on this blog on Thursdays (probably since the Ice Age) but Thursdays aren’t going to work anymore since that’s when I post my videos. I’ll still post my YouTube video on here, so there will be a post on Thursday, just not a written one.

My regular written posts (like this one) will be published on Tuesday mornings. At least for now. 😉 I’ll try it out and see how that works for you all.

 

Growing as a writer posts

I am still going to be posting tips on how to grow as a writer this year. Don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned that too. I’ll be posting  them on the last Tuesday of the month.

 

Taking a break

Between making videos, looking for someone to format the book, searching book covers, working with my editor, researching self-publishing, starting a new Instagram account, and plotting my next novel, I’m running about like crazy. As much as I like to think that I’m Wonder Woman and can do everything I want to do in spite of the fact that I need things like sleep and take breaks for food, I really can’t hold myself to impossible standards. In short: I need a break!

wonder woman

So, I am giving myself a break every third Tuesday of the month. And no, I refuse to feel guilty about it. 😉

 

Here’s what the new schedule will look like.

1st Tuesday: Poem/flash fiction

2nd Tuesday: Writing Tips/ Just Chatting

3rd Tuesday: Break for me!

4th Tuesday: Growing as a Writer

(And every Thursday I’ll post a video, so you’ll actually be getting two posts a week instead of one.)

 

New look for the blog!

If you’re are reading this in an e-mail or the WordPress reader, you may want to switch over to my site because it has a whole new look! I’ve been thinking about changing the theme for a few months now, and thought, “Why not? I’m changing everything else. Might as well make all the changes at once.”

My old theme didn’t allow widget sidebars on the sides of the home page, and I didn’t like how whatever was set for the header would take up the entire screen so all you saw when the site first loaded was the Invisible World logo. This new theme takes care of these things and also shows the entire post instead of just thumbnails so you don’t have to click to read the post. (I know clicking is so difficult and wanted to save you from that taxing effort :P.)

I also added a tag cloud so it will be easier to find topics and navigate posts. I hope you all like the new look.

 

Phew, I think that was all! I’m so excited about all these new projects. I can’t wait until The Hashna Stone is ready for you guys (which looks like July or August), and I’m loving making videos. I hope you all are enjoying the videos too!

Before I end this post, I have to say one more thing; It feels so good to be talking with you like this again. I’ve missed writing posts and the interaction with you all. No matter how many other social media platforms I try, this will always feel like home. I just love you guys!

Okay, I’m done being sappy. Until next time Epic Dreamers!

Before you go though, tell me what you think of all these changes. Do you like the new blog look? Have you had a chance to check out my YouTube channel (because it is pretty cool, if I do say so myself :P)? Any thoughts on the changes with the time/content of my posts?

 

 

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The first 20 to become patrons will get their name mentioned in the “thank you” section of my book. This is regardless of which tier you select. That means you can get your name mentioned (which is something only the highest level patrons get) for only $1. Yes, one dollar will get your name in my book!


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Why I Haven’t Posted Lately  (and why you should be excited about that)

Hey Epic Dreamers!

It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted, so I thought I’d let you know why I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. There are three reasons actually.

First one is that I moved to a new apartment.  I’m totally excited to be where I’m at. It’s a cozy little place close to all the stores, but in an area that still feels peaceful and secluded. And there’s a lake!

IMG_20190327_162708 lake at apartment

The second reason is that I don’t have Wi-Fi yet, which can also be blamed on moving. There are several other things that I need more than Wi-Fi (like electricity and food) so easy internet access will have to wait a while. For now, I’ll just have to be a library bum and use their Wi-Fi.

The third reason is the most important, most exciting reason. If you don’t think that moving or restricted internet access are good enough reasons for missing the last two weeks, than you will think this reason was worth it.

I’ll start at the beginning…

A few weeks ago, I was in a class that was discussing a book, The Obstacle is the Way. I haven’t read this book (but it is on my ever-growing reading list), but basically the concept is this: sometimes what we see as the obstacle to getting what we want is actually the way to getting what we want.

So, as I was sitting in this class, I thought, “How does that apply to my life?” Of course I thought of my book first thing, because I’m a nerdy writer whose whole life revolves around books.

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I’ve tried getting an agent to represent it, sending off query letter after query letter. I got one agent from Writer’s House that asked for the manuscript, but no one has agreed to represent it, so I’ve kind of put The Hashna Stone aside. Maybe it isn’t meant to be published. Maybe I should work on something else.

Or….Maybe the obstacle (no interested agents) is showing me the way I should be going. I’ve been so focused on finding an agent and getting published traditionally that I forgot my original idea for The Hashna Stone: to self-publish.

Maybe my path to traditional publishing is being blocked because I’m supposed to change course.

So, I’m sure by now you’ve guessed what I’m about to say. The decision I’ve made, the reason I’ve been too busy to post is…I’m self-publishing The Hashna Stone!

harry-potter celebrate Happy fans

I’m not waiting for someone else to publish my book. I’m going out and making this thing happen. You all have waited a long time for this. Some of you have been here since The Hashna Stone was just a choose-your-own-adventure story for this blog. Some of you have been on here long enough to remember the day announced that I decided to turn The Hashna Stone into a novel. And some of you have just been around long enough to get annoyed at how many times the words “the Hashna stone” come up in blog posts. 😛

This is a story we wrote together. You all deserve to enjoy the story whether I can find an agent that clicks with it or not.

So, I may have been a bit distracted from the blog because I’ve been busy researching self-publishing, searching for editors, and looking into cover designs.

And I’m having the time of my life. This is WAY more fun than sending query letters to agents. 🙂

I have another little surprise to tell you, but that will have to wait for another post (I can’t give away all my secrets at once.) I’ll keep you updated on how things are going.

Until then, keep dreaming!

 

 

The Handwriting Challenge

This tag could not have come at a better time. I had no idea what to write for this week’s post and was kind of feeling burned out on writing because it’s April and that means Camp NaNoWriMo. Don’t get me wrong; I love all the NaNos, and I’ve gotten so much writing done in the past few days so I’m super pumped about my story. But sometimes when you’ve done a lot of writing, the last thing you want to do to take a break from it is, well, more writing.

So, thank you Ket Cage for giving me something fun to do for this post.

You’ve all read tons of things I’ve written over the few years this blog has been around, but it’s always been typed. You’ve never seen what my writing looks like handwritten.

Well today that’s about to change (because I know you stay awake at night wondering what my handwriting looks like). The challenge is pretty simple. All I have to do is answer these questions, but instead of typing the answers I have to write them.

This should be fun!

Questions:

  1. Write your name
  2. Write your blog’s name
  3. Write your favorite word and its definition
  4. Write something nice
  5. Write the name of your favorite song right now
  6. What are you writing with?
  7. Write a fun fact about yourself
  8. Write/draw your favorite emoticon
  9. Write a silly message
  10. Write who you’re tagging

To be fair, I’ll admit that this is what my handwriting looks like when I’m paying attention to it. When I’m jotting down notes for story ideas, it gets pretty rough. It’s like my brain is moving too fast for my hand and I’m just trying to get it all down before it fades from my mind.

Here’s something from a story idea I had about a year ago (that I’ll probably never actually write).

Pretty sloppy huh?

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my life beyond the typing.

Before I end, I’m going to put a link to the wonderful people I’ve tagged for this challenge. It’s really fun! I hope you all do it too. 🙂

Jes2G

Nandini Bharadwaj

Oneta hayes

Kaleiyah Prose

 

Until next time Epic Dreamers!