Life, Writing

Current Status…

How is every one this month? I hope you all are doing great. I am super busy.

In exciting news, I have finished editing my fourth novel!!! Now, I am finalizing some other things (synopsis and query letter) before I start querying next week. I’m super excited and nervous! Wish me luck!

In other news, I am prepping and doing all the things I try to get done before NANOWRIMO starts. I don’t write extensive outlines, but I write out a very rough outline of the book from start to finish. I try to create the names for the main characters too (otherwise I get hung up on naming people and can’t seem to write).

As you can see, once again, I am participating in NANO, and this means next month is basically all booked for me.

I am a little behind at this point in the year as far as writing and some other personal goals go but I should be able to get caught up soon. Gotta keep trying, right?

Anyway, if you are participating in NANO, good luck!

Happy reading and writing today and every day!

Life, prompt, Writing

October 2022 Prompt

How is everyone doing? I’m once again trying to play catch up. I went on vacation the last week of September, and then when I arrived home, I was sick within two days. Since then, I’ve been in bed, watching tv, blowing my nose, and wishing I was writing. My head has been too foggy for editing though.

In happy news, I’m feeling much better today. Yesterday I made myself work on editing a bit. I’m a little behind on my list, but hopefully in the next few days I can catch up. And hopefully then I’ll also have time to get caught up on my short stories.

Anyway, I hope whatever you are working on is going well! If you are here for the prompt, look no further:

The doctors had never seen anything like it. She was a perfectly healthy little girl who just happened to have two hearts. The only explanation they could offer was…

Complete the Story

Happy reading and writing today and every day!

Life, prompt, Writing

September 2022 Prompt

It’s a new month, and that means it’s time for a new writing prompt!

If you’re looking for something to write about, look no further:

“As a young girl, she learned how to juggle fruit: apples, oranges, sometimes pears. There was little risk, little drama, and people smiled politely and then moved on. But they started paying attention when she started juggling…”

Complete the Story

This month is all about editing for me. I am working through my new novel before I start deep editing. I’ve finished my first round of edits, and now it’s time for the real work. If you’ve ever edited something as lengthy as a novel, you know what I’m talking about. It’s an even harder process when you edit yourself. I always have someone else read my work too, but before it goes to them, I go through it about four times. It takes months. And here we go…..

My plan is to start querying in mid-October, maybe November. Wish me luck.

Happy reading and writing today and every day!

Life, reading, Writing

Hauntingly Beautiful

One of the many hauntingly beautiful Lego statues made by Nathan Sawaya

One of my favorite elements of storytelling is the combination of horror and beauty. It shows up in books, movies, and art. And I don’t know why, but it captivates me.

If you don’t follow what I’m talking about, here are some examples that have a hauntingly beautiful feel to me:

  1. The Virgin Suicides (movie)
  2. Follow Me to Ground (book)
  3. Spirited Away (movie)
  4. Pan’s Labyrinth (movie)
  5. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (book or show)
  6. Lily and the Octopus (book)
  7. The Night Circus (book)
  8. Poems and Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Guernica (painting)
  10. Lego art by Nathan Sawaya

These are just some of the many examples of storytelling that for me have this distinctive element. I’ve been wondering lately… what makes these stories fit this description?

I think there is an element of sadness and/or tragedy that comes through in these works. And that sadness is combined with horror and/or violence in a way that leaves a lingering feeling of beauty.

What do you think? Maybe not everyone gets that same impression from these things, but I do. Not gonna lie, the hauntingly beautiful is one of those ideas that I am instantly drawn to.

Happy reading and writing today and every day!

Scene from Spirited Away
Life, Writing

Trying Something New

In addition to editing my novel, I am brainstorming for this year’s NANOWRIMO. At this point in the year, I try to gather and read through any unused ideas that I have stashed away. I keep them all in a notebook. Occasionally, I pull it out and write down more, or if I have thoughts about an idea already in the notebook, I add to it.

I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to work on in November, but I’m thinking about branching out and trying something other than fantasy writing. To date, I’ve written four novels, all of which are middle grade fantasy. It’s still what I enjoy writing the most, and it’s what I want to try to publish more of.

However, sometimes it’s nice to work outside your comfort zone. I want to try something new. So…. I’m thinking of trying to write a mystery.

As a reader or writer, what are your favorite mystery writers? What types of scenarios do you like to read about? What do you think is over done in that genre? Or, do you love mystery so much that you will literally read anything by anyone?

I’m genuinely curious. I don’t read a lot of mystery, but every once in a while, I do pick one up. I enjoy them, but I only like a handful of writers. I don’t know why I find it so hard to like more mystery writers. And the even weirder thing is, I love, love, love crime shows. I watch any and all mystery shows I can.

Anywho, hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Happy reading and writing today and every day!

Book, Book Review, reading

This Year in Books… So Far

What have you been reading? And of those, what would you recommend?

This is what I’ve read so far this year:

  1. The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco
  2. The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher
  3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
  4. Batman: Three Jokers (comic)
  5. The Haunted Bookstore 1 by Shinobumaru
  6. Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
  7. The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow
  8. The Dreaming Volume 3 (comic)
  9. Orlando by Virgina Woolf
  10. Lumberjanes Volume 1 (comic)
  11. Clive Barker’s Next Testament (comic)
  12. Paper Girls Volume 1) (comic)
  13. The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
  14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  15. Paper Girls Volume 2 (comic)
  16. Paper Girls Volume 3 (comic)
  17. The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco
  18. Paper Girls Volume 4 (comic)
  19. Paper Girls Volume 5 (comic)
  20. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  21. Beautiful Chaos
  22. The Ever Cruel Kingdom by Rin Chupeco
  23. Locke and Key Volume 2 (comic)
  24. Locke and Key Volume 3 (comic)
  25. Locke and Key Volume 4 (comic)
  26. Locke and Key Volume 5 (comic)
  27. Locke and Key Volume 6 (comic)
  28. The Death Cure by James Dashner
  29. Beautiful Redemption
  30. The Kill Order by James Dashner
  31. The Fever Code by James Dashner
  32. Redder Days by Sue Rainsford
  33. Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut

There is still a lot of year left, and I’ll be reading more but not many more. I’m currently editing my own novel, and I tend not to read as much when I’m doing that, simply because of time. And, then November is when I don’t have time to read practically anything because I usually participate in NANOWRIMO.

This year I’ve tried to finish reading a few series that I started ages ago, and I’ve been reading more comics than normal because I discovered that my local library has a pretty great comic selection.

For the novels I’ve read this year, there have been a couple of highlights. Basically, anything by Rin Chupeco. I wrote about this recently: see my previous post about her: Why I Love Rin Chupeco.

The other two books that I would highly, highly recommend are The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow and Redder Days by Sue Rainsford. They’re both great, and if you don’t want to know why I think so, stop reading now, otherwise… SPOILER ALERT.

The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow

This book is brilliant. I loved every word. It’s historical fiction that incorporates witch lore and women’s rights issues. The use of familiar nursery rhymes and fairy tales interwoven into the storyline is fantastic. It’s so clever. It’s about three sister witches fighting against an ancient evil as well as trying to be non-traditional women in a time when they weren’t allowed to.

Redder Days by Sue Rainsford

I couldn’t put this down. I read it in one sitting. If you haven’t read Sue Rainsford first book, Follow Me to Ground, go read it too. Both of her books are weird in the best possible way. Redder Days is about two children, twins, born in a commune that formed when the world was ending. However, the world didn’t really end, and these two children are brain washed. Every character in this book is a little crazy. This book falls into my favorite category of Literature — The Weird Tale. I can’t explain what it is, but you’ll know it when you read it. This book holds up that standard. Let me also say this, every author hopes they write at least one story as great as the two novels by Sue Rainsford. I will be reading whatever she writes in the future.

Anywho, enough rambling for today. Get out there and have a great day!

Happy reading and writing today and every day!

prompt, Writing

July’s Prompt

July is trying to get away from me, like so many of the months earlier this year. I’m not letting it happen.

Focus. Focus. Focus.

I am avoiding distractions and checking my to-do lists several times a day —- it seems to be helping.

If you are here for the short story of the month prompt, look no further:

They’ve done all these studies about how twins remain connected, psychically, their whole lives. I haven’t seen Sally for twenty years, but sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with pain in my knee and I know it’s her pain, not mine. Or I’ll be taking a walk and I’ll feel…

Complete the Story

I can’t wait to share this one with you. I love writing stories about twins who are connected!

Whatever you’re working on, I hope it’s going well!

Happy reading and writing today and every day!

Life, prompt, Writing

June’s Prompt (plus my excuses)

Okay, let’s be honest. If you follow my blog, you may have realized that I haven’t posted a story in a while. And, I am behind on my normal posting schedule (which is just a personal goal I set for myself, not something that is life or death).

To be honest, up until Memorial Day, I was working a lot more than I usually do, but it’s been over for a couple of weeks and I haven’t made progress on any writing lately.

I was reading an article lately that talked about how starting projects (writing, crafting, diy) is really fun but finishing them can be intimidating. I think part of my personal fear right now is that when I finish editing my current novel project, I want to try and get it traditionally published. This fear is leading to an almost insurmountable amount of procrastination on my part.

The idea of tackling the publishing world terrifies me, so if you can, send some happy vibes my way.

I’m going to try and buckle down and set myself the goal of being back on track by the end of July! (You all saw it, that makes it official!)

And if you’re here for a writing idea, I am getting to that as well. Here is June’s short story prompt:

She told him to try again, and he did, and she couldn’t help but laugh. “I told you I wasn’t a dancer,” he said, protesting. “But you’re an athlete,” she said, “you…”

Complete the Story

Now let’s get to writing!

Happy reading and writing today and every day!

My new DND figure I painted last month!
Life, Writing

Updates on my Blog

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve finally gotten around to making some much needed updates to my blog. My temporary job is finally over (for now) and I have free time again! This means the blog and other endeavors, like writing, will be getting my full attention again.

If you get a chance, check out my new color scheme and layout… Plus I organized all the short stories of the month in easier to navigate tabs. I’m excited about it even if no one else is!

Short Stories!!!! (Click to read all the stories!!)

Happy reading and writing today and every day!

prompt, Writing

April 2022 Prompt

I swear I don’t get this behind on things all the time, though it seems that way sometimes. I still haven’t finished the short story for March… and April is almost over! Ugh!

Despite my tardiness for this post, I am working on a short story for April as well. Here is the prompt for this month:

Don’t let this one get away, she thought to herself. Tom had the look of a man quietly planning his escape. Christine watched him closely as he…

Complete the Story

I hope everyone is meeting their writing and reading goals this month! And if you’re not, know you are not alone. I’m personally blaming it on the weather. Mother nature in Washington can’t decide if it’s winter or spring, and it’s making me crazy.

Happy reading and writing today and every day!