A bit of a depressed update day…

I can’t believe that we’re at the end of April already. Because it’s the last Friday of this month, it’s Update Day for my bloghop. 

Basically, we’re just a group of people with some big, crazy or even crazy important goals, and once a month we get together to update everyone on how we’re doing. Please feel free to click here for more information. 
So… How did I do? 
Mmm… drafting wise, I’m yet to add any significant amounts of words to my projects. I pretty much spent half the month being too messed up to write (because of the dispute I had going on with my publishing house), and the remainder recovering from being messed up. I did write quite a bit, though, but nothing related to my goals. 
However, I did finish editing Birds vs Bastards and my short story for the Untethered Realms anthology. So I can’t really say I achieved nothing. I’m glad for that, because two months of being unproductive would just have been depressing. 
But speaking of depressing. I’ve had to take a nice long look at my timeline for this year. Basically, the four months being f*cked around by my publishing house means that I’ll basically be able to achieve almost nothing of what I wanted. 
I understand that I had set steep goals and I was never going to get everything done, but… I would have liked if the four months of nearly blank squares everywhere was due to me say… doing something fun like catching up on series or work (yep, I love working on the farm) or anything else of that sort. But… no. Mainly the reason why I did almost nothing was that my mind had been put through the blender, and my emotions wrung out by my publishing house. 
So. The current timeline looks like this:
I’m going to have to edit book two in my War of Six Crowns Series (Wo6C2) in June, when it was supposed to be finished already. Which means I can’t even rewrite Wo6C3 until much later this year. Which means I can’t even start writing Wo6C4 at all. 
It also means that none of the books I wanted to finish drafting by June have even truly been started yet. And that means that the second batch of drafts I wanted to do this year is postponed to the last four months. Rewrites? Half of them had to be postponed until next year just so that I can get my priority projects almost done. 
So yeah. I’m NOT a happy camper. Not by any stretch of the imagination. 
Right now, I’m just hoping that things’ll fall into place easily once I get back into some sort of groove. Right now, that’s the only chance I’ll have to achieve any except for one of the goals I set for this year. Who knows? It could happen, right? 
The lucky thing is that my $7500 goal is only deadlined for 2018. So anything I get done this year still goes towards that. I just HATE that it’ll be such a measly amount. 
How are your goals coming along?
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Exploration

I have this tradition with a writing buddy that basically started with us needing some outside voices to ask questions in character interviews. At one stage, I’d ask her characters questions via skype and vice versa. On new years eve 2011, our characters actually started chiming in as we discussed plot etc.

And then… we had the amazing idea to “get the characters” drunk to see what happened.

Well… what happened was well over a million words of story and world exploration just for War of Six Crowns and her WiP. (Secret of this happening is having two portal fantasies. So both worlds could exist along with earth, and the character interactions mainly happen on earth.)

So yeah… it’s… well… Epic. It’s so bad that we’ve had to split the documents we kept into multiple parts, or Word just doesn’t open.

Anyway… we’ve done some other awesome stuff other than exploring our stories. Like… we’ve created two completely new ones together. (One’s still in progress. The other we finished last night.) Why? Well… because it’s a great way to stretch out your imagination. It’s like writing, but where at least half of the cast isn’t actually in your head, so the interaction aspect is more real and… well… some unexpected stuff happens. Like… let’s just say that through these explorations I’d gone far deeper down the rabbit hole than I ever thought I’d want to.

Which is a good thing, because digging deep is where the good stuff happens with my writing. And through these…. (dang I don’t know what to call what we do) plays, I’ve come to realize that there aren’t really limits to what I can write.

But yeah… all that creation takes time, so now that I have nothing to draw me away from writing, I have to get back to doing more writing and less exploring.

What’s your favorite way to explore your stories? (Other than drafting, naturally.)

Three Positive Thoughts

I had actually written a post yesterday, but as I wrote, I just felt really really negative, so I decided to leave things on a high with my last post.

It sounds weird, I know, but I guess I’m still recovering from the tough times.

Because that’s the thing with stress. Even when the stressor is gone, the effect remains. But thanks to Alex being really awesome and featuring me and my blog, I’ve been able to bounce back enough to start thinking positive again.

See yesterday was Good Friday. And while I was moping and going through the motions, I have to admit that I’d missed the point. (I did send up quite a few prayers, though.)

But today, my mind’s been cleared and I thought I’d share some nice positive thoughts. (And I’m going to expand on my Good Friday thoughts here.)

So my positive vibes for everyone (regardless of faith or creed):

1) Things are never so bad that there’s not one good thing you can hold on to. 
2) We all have the ability to move past the bad things that happen to us. But it is a choice. If you keep looking back to mope, you’re going to keep stumbling and it’s going to take you down again. Look forward. Smile. Move on. 
3) There is ALWAYS hope. Always. Find it. 

Well that’s it from me. Except to wish everyone who celebrates a blessed Easter/Passover. Seeya all on Tuesday, if all goes well. 

Rallying Call

This is going to sound weird, but I’m so glad that I went through that nightmare with my former publishing house.

No really.

In terms that we writers all understand, that was the dark of the night. The moment when I was at my absolute lowest. That bleak time when I wasn’t sure if I could carry on. Where I had to take stock and somewhere, somehow, find the strength I needed to keep going.

You know what? That’s exactly what I did. And what I realized is this. I love writing. I write just for the hell of it. I write it’s because my passion. But I’m not going to allow that my loving a story I wrote will enable someone to bully or exploit me or push me around in any way that I don’t want to go.

So in the interests of that, I’m changing the way I’m looking at the publishing business. Before, I just signed when I got the offer because the contract seemed fair and I didn’t feel I had bargaining power. Now… I’m saying screw it.

From now on I’m having an attorney going over ever publishing contract I might sign with a fine-toothed comb. And if I don’t like something, I’m going to ask for it to be changed.

You know why? I’m a writer. I face monsters and insecurities and all sorts of darknesses within my own soul in order to create books. And

I
DESERVE
RESPECT.

But no one will respect me if I don’t respect myself.  And respecting myself means standing up for myself and acting like the powerhouse I know is lurking within me.

You know the thing about powerhouses? They keep moving forward to bigger and better things.

Thank you.

Thanks all for your support and understanding!

I have taken down yesterday’s post based on some advice I received, but to those of you who need to talk (you know who you are). Don’t hesitate to contact me.

THE MOST EXCELLENT NEWS

Oh my gosh, you guys! 

Oh. 
My. 
Giddy. 
Aunt!
Sorry…. I’m just coming to terms with…
Okay. *Deeeeeeeeeeep breath.*
I got my rights back. To both books. The Vanished Knight has been removed from all outlets and let me just say that I’ve never been so glad to be an unpublished author. 
As in… I’m so excited that I can’t even imagine sleeping tonight. 
All of my suffering for the past month or so… gone in as long as it took for me to read an e-mail. 
Wow. 
Just… 
Wow. 
Okay. I’m going to stop now. Hopefully tomorrow will give you a more cohesive post. 

Perspective

I’m not going to lie.

The past few weeks has had me the lowest I’ve been in a long time when it comes to my writing.

I mean, being treated the way I am – by people I am supposed to trust – just really demoralized me. I mean… what’s the point of spending years on preparing books for publishing, only to experience a loss of control over those books I never expected?

But you see, here’s the thing. I want my books read, yes. And I do deserve not to have a publishing house treating me like shit. But neither publishing, nor editors’ compliments, nor good reviews are why I am in this gig.

No. It’s not about preparing books for publishing at all. It’s about writing.

And I write because I love it. I love my characters. I adore letting myself submerge into worlds of my own creation. To me, writing is almost a heightened sense of being. And nothing.

NOTHING.

Gives me the same buzz as something happening in a book I’m writing that I didn’t see coming.

That’s why I write. If no one in the world sees the next thing I finish, I’ll be disappointed. And when people screw me over, I’ll be furious. I’ll do everything I possibly can to defend my rights.

But the point is that I’m not letting these people define my life to the extent where they negatively affect my creativity. They’re not worth the aggravation.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m letting go of my anger. I’m focusing on refilling those creative wells. And I’m getting myself to where that desire to write and perfect what I’ve written outstrips everything else.

Because that’s what I want to get back to. The pure joy that comes from doing what I love. And a distance and clarity I’ll need to keep the story I love from being exploited in ways I can’t allow.

When I can do that, (and note, I’m not saying “if”.) I can really say that I’ve become a pro at my job.

Because pro writers don’t sit forever, dwelling on the negatives and blaming them for why they can’t write. They write. They create. They edit. Despite all the shit that might fly around them.

So, ladies and gents. That’s where I am. Right now I’m going a bit of thoughtless creativity in the form of crochet (tip from experience: repetitive actions calm the mind and allow perspective from difficult events.). But as of tonight, I’m going to get myself back into writing mode. Even if it’s just random prompts by the hundred.

I WILL WRITE.