Tuesday, November 2

November already?!

That time of the year again--that mad dash to 50,000 words within 30 days. I've been bouncing back and forth between two stories to write. While I woke up this morning, set on one story, by the close of the day, I switched to the other. I may end up working on both at once. So would that count as 100,000 in one month, or still 50,000? I'll go with the latter. Too bad I can't count blog entries and chats as part of the count! Yeah, didn't think so.

2,000 words a day. That's my goal.

Today's count: 2,453

Monday, August 9

A New Way

I'm finally putting my foot down and beginning my adventure into the book called "The Artist's Way." I have tried to do this before, but I was using a PDF version of the book and ended up doing a week's worth of the morning pages. But now, I went to the bookstore yesterday and bought the paperback. Finally, I'm going to begin this process the proper way. I already started back on the morning pages this morning. Man, I hate writing long hand. Writing now on the computer I'm flying through these words. A pen in my hand is so much slower. Talk about lag!

So today I begin reading Week One. What will it have in store for me? When I read the PDF, it was only up to Week One. I think I was waiting for when I purchased a hardcopy. Now that I have it, there will be no more excuses.

I will use this blog to track my progress. Let's hope I can make it through the 12 weeks without throwing in the towel.

*grabs the book to begin reading*

Friday, July 16

I Write Like...

Playing around with "I Write Like." There are no scientific methods involved. But it's fun to mess with. :)

Here's the breakdown of my work and the style I was compared to.

"Eden" Part I - Dan Brown ("The Da Vinci Code") *sigh*
"Eden" Part II - James Joyce ("Ulysses")
"Eden" Part III - David Foster Wallace ("Infinite Jest")
"Eden" (all) - Dan Brown *double sigh* (There must be something in the first half that's Brown-esque.)
"May the Dead Speak" - J. K. Rowling ("Harry Potter")
"Four Corners: Masquerade" - Robert Louis Stevenson ("Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde")
"Four Corners: Forever" - Chuck Palahniuk ("Fight Club")
"Four Corners: Legend" - Vladimir Nabokov ("Lolita")

Then I pasted some blog entries to see what it came up with.
Entry 1 - Stephen King
Entry 2 - Bram Stoker

Finally, I typed in this simple phrase, "I like to write. I write books. I love creating." Apparently, that sentence is in the style of Mary Shelley.

Personally, I prefer not to compare myself to any other author. I like to stay in my own head-space and deliver my own screwed up style.

Tuesday, June 29

Rain - My White Noise

When I write or try to relax, I usually listen to the rain and thunderstorm tracks on my iTunes. (Though nothing can really replace the real thing.) I've noticed that it's hard to find good tracks out there to listen to. Either they're too short, too much background noise (birds, planes, so on), or extremely LOUD thunder that catches you off guard. So I have made my own tracks to listen to.

Right click to "Save Link As" or "Save Target As."
These tracks are for personal use only.

Rainstorm (62mb - 192 kbps)
Thunderstorm (62mb - 192 kbps)
Thunderstorm2 (53 mb - 192 kbps)

The first two tracks are the same; one is with thunder and the other is without. The third one listed is actually the first storm track I ever made. I listen to the "Rainstorm" track the most. On my Thunderstorm playlist in iTunes, I have about 7 hrs altogether. I have a strange fascination with storms. I think that's why I get all giddy when a hurricane or tropical storm is looking to strike the Grand Strand.

Friday, June 25

Free To Read!

I posted EDEN online to read on June 8th. You can find the link through my main website. I also posted the first twelve chapters of MAY THE DEAD SPEAK, which is a story under OF THE MOON AND SUN. So far I've been have a positive response to this move. This has also pushed me to fill out the series website. I'm working on the Characters area right now. I also plan to have a FAQ section, some dealing with the mythology while the other will focus on the miscellaneous questions I receive.

This brings me to FOUR CORNERS. I plan to bring this series back online, as well! :D Not sure when I will find the time to convert everything to their online format. It will take me a full day of HTML editing for that series. Though only two of the books have been published, I do have a third that's finished and ready to be edited. So much stuff to do. But I will work on this series when I need a break from EDEN.

Switching gears. My cousin is planning to publish the first book in her series called [name removed upon request]. She, however, will be going the traditional route and will be looking for a publisher that way. She expressed how she hopes she won't create a green-eyed monster out of me when/if she gets published. Seriously? She fails to realize something; I'm already published. But this is where self-publishing is looked down upon. Let me clarify. Everyone that follows me knows that I've tried twice to get published the traditional way, even looking for an agent. She says that I gave up too soon. That's not the case. I only changed my plan--my path in the whole publishing journey. I haven't completely tossed out the idea of nabbing an agent or landing that publishing contract with a respected company. The thing is, my method isn't traditional. I doubt any agent or publisher would allow me to post my work online as I write. I need this to help fuel my drive. I got a taste of it when I began publishing FOUR CORNERS online back in September 2000. It was like the webcomics of today, releasing 1-2 chapters a week. I didn't have a set released date at that time, but I hope to use one for my EDEN series. This will give me to drive to meet my deadlines, something I need to get comfortable with. If I can win NaNoWriMo, then I can meet a weekly deadline.

So no, no green-eyed monster here. It just upsets me that indie authors are looked down upon. It's not because we were rejected elsewhere and this is our only option. It is a choice! I choose to be an indie author. I choose to have complete control over my work. I choose to write for myself and not worry about making money. This has never been about making money. It's about writing stories that entertain me and perhaps others. I know I'm not the best writer, but I'm having fun. I've said this before and I'll say it again; too me, it's all about having fun, and if I can entertain others in the process, it's just sprinkles on an already iced cake.

;)

Monday, June 7

Creative Nostalgia

I've been thinking again (I know, the doctors told me not to) and I keep going back to the formula that has worked for me. I care more about having readers than selling books. So I'm entertaining the idea of posting my entire works online, free to read, and if they want a hard copy, I have that covered as well. It's like a webcomic idea; post a new page on certain days. I think this is what I need to regain some of my fading buzz. I use to have readers who looked forward to the posting of new chapters. But after I retreated offline to do the whole publishing thing, all of that buzz has faded. *sniffsniff* I get the random email and message every now and then about an old reader of mine who recently rediscovered me.

With posting a new chapter online it also fueled my drive to write constantly. But now, without that drive, I can find myself going days/weeks without writing.

I have weighed the Pros and Cons, and the only major con I see in this; What if someone steals my work? To which I reply, "My work is Copyrighted to me. But it is the nature of the beast." Even books out there on the bookstore shelves are sometimes claimed as plagiarized works.

I need to think of an easy way to convert the chapters into HTML. The old school way I use to do it was okay then, but this will be a mass conversion. I think InDesign has a way to do it. Perhaps an ePub way.

I'm actually excited about this. This may be the refocusing event I've been looking for.

Saturday, April 10

New Project

To paraphrase the official website, this will be a spin-off of "Four Corners," but will also work as a standalone story. The best way I can describe it the overall feel of the project; "Arcane Machina: Where steampunk meets fantasy."

Official website:
http://am.hauntedstudio.net

Follow the progress here:
http://haloghost.wordpress.com

Tuesday, March 23

My Constant Battle

In writing this blog, I use it as a way to battle my own writing demons. I like to think of this thing as therapy. One of my biggest hang-ups in life is my fear of rejection. I know I have said this plenty of times before, but this fear is so strong that it was dug itself deep into my thought process, and the tiniest things will set it off. This fear is also rooted in my perfectionism. I hate that I can’t seem to get over this insane cycle. So this here is a list I created to deal with these issues.

(This is me talking to myself.)

“It’s not perfect.” So what. Nothing is perfect. Look at the movie industry. Every movie created has its own share of flaws, and they have hundreds of people working on them. You are one person writing a book with endless possibilities. Stressing over every imperfection will leave you banging your head on your desk until you pass out from severe brain trauma. Whether you consider yourself an author or not, the struggle for perfection is in all of us. The real battle is to march on in the face of mistakes. Again, so what if your work is not without its flaws. The real tragedy would be to give up on your dreams in the shadow of your fears.

Break the mold. I have seen and read plenty of articles and books that talk about the proper ways of writing (fantasy, horror, so on). But this is where it can go from instructional to opinion with the flip of a page. Anyone can write an article called “The Correct Way to Write Fiction” and go on to explain how you must write. But this is their opinion. The methods and styles of writing are as alive as you and I. You can’t look at writing as a template created by someone and placed out there for others to use as a guide. Break the mold. Take risks. Don’t stop and think, “I’ve never seen it done like that before. Better change it to be on the safe side.” No! This “safe side” crap is for those who fear risks. Be different. Make an impression. Look at it from different angles. Millions of years ago, writing didn’t exist. Writing is human entertainment. But if you fail to entertain someone, it’s not the end of the world. For every person who dislikes your work, you will find others who will salivate for your next installment.

Make it your passion. Don’t let anyone’s opinions deflate your dreams. If you have a passion for writing, then hold on to it as though it is your last tether keeping you within this world. Your passion should be the air in your lungs and the blood in your veins and all that other clich├ęd crap. You began this journey for one person—yourself. Ignore the irritating chatter of others. You know what makes you happy, and any attempts to deter you are nothing more than wasted energy on their part.

Life is too short to be afraid. When you’re laying on your deathbed, looking back at the life you had, wouldn’t you like to say, “I did what I wanted and I have no regrets.” Years pass and you keep saying, “One day I’ll get serious and pursue my dreams.” There is one quote I have posted everywhere to help push me along, which reads, “Don’t be afraid. Be fearless.” This goes back to the opinions fear. What is that one saying I keep hearing… Oh! “Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.” And that is the beauty of this world: diversity. Everyone has their own opinion, and no matter how much it stings, you shouldn’t use it to grow from. This is very different from constructive criticism, however.

Have fun. This is the biggest and most important driving force behind your passion. No amount of money can fill the void if there is no fun to be had. This also brings me to another quote I use a lot: “It is better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” You have to be selfish about your passion. You have to protect it. Get inspired, entertain yourself, look forward to getting up in the morning and slipping into your “world”.

Don’t compromise. I have this other fear of disappointing my friends and family. I’m afraid they will reject me because of the subjects I write about. When someone asks about my books and wants to read them, I feel my stomach drop. “They won’t like it,” I tell myself. So when I write, I sometimes hear that voice in the back of my head that says, “Leave that in and your readers will judge you—hate you because of it. Change it! Make it ‘friendlier’.” Well, I’m not much on the friendly side when it comes to creating my characters or stories. I like to think of myself as a sadist god, feeding on the conflict and pain I bestow upon my creations. If I decide to compromise, then I will be doing an injustice to my characters. Their luster will dull and leave a foul aura in my brain.

Stay connected. Write everyday, even if it’s 100 words. As long as you have something written, it will keep you connected to the story. I like to get at least 2,000 wpd (words per day). Though most days I end on something around 300. But 300 words is still a word count! It still keeps you connected to your story. Don’t fret over the small things; “Does this sound right? Should I add more here? Is this comma really needed?” This isn’t writing, this is editing. Editing should come after the darn thing is finished. Just write and move on. It’s like that one story in the Bible. Don’t look back or you’ll turn into a pillar of salt. (Paraphrased, of course.) So don’t reread until you’re finished, and then editing madness can begin. It always seems to be the case when you go back to something you have written a while ago, read over it with fresh eyes and start to see the things that need changed. So ignore that stray comma. It will scream at you later when you have that red pen in hand.

I really can’t think of anything else. I probably repeated myself many times in this post, but I need to get it through my thick skull.

Now it’s time to slip into god mode and torment my creations.

Friday, February 12

Storms of the brain.

I had planned to finish the first draft of the story I started this past NaNoWriMo, but things never work out the way I plan. So what have I been up to? Outlines and brainstorming. Hours and hours of losing myself within the lives of these screwed up characters. What's going to happen? What will they show me? Forget what I want them to do, that never works.

This brainstorming carries me onto research. I'm currently swamping myself with articles and documentaries on Stonehenge and the people from that time in history. My parents and teachers could never persuade me to do this kind of work in school. But now it's fun. I love learning all I can about a subject that deals with my characters. I don't like to half-ass things when it comes to writing. I want to come off like I know what I'm talking about and actually know what I'm talking about.

I'm looking forward to the snow we're suppose to get tonight. I'm hoping for more than what's forecasted. :D

Friday, January 15

My Game Plan

One of the most difficult things I've faced recently has been my attempt to make writing a habit, again. Starting any habit is difficult. As long as I can write about three paragraphs in one day, I feel like I've accomplished something great. And this is actually a good thing. No matter how much I happen to write during the day, at least it's something--something to keep me tied into the story.

At the moment, I'm working on MAY THE DEAD SPEAK, the first story in OF THE MOON AND SUN. This was the one I worked on this past NaNoWriMo, but I actually started working on it before EDEN. I think there was a total of four pages (1.5k words). When NaNoWriMo started, I went back and rewrote what I had, adding 10k. Of course, I was derailed in my NaNo attempt . . . life happens and I couldn't discipline myself into keeping my 2k a day word count. And when I mentally see a snowball picking up speed down the hill, I tend to buck under the pressure. So I mentally rebelled. But I'm back now, free from the pressure of a deadline; however, I have placed a new, albeit flexible, deadline on myself. By the end of February, I hope to have the first draft of MtDS finished. Next will be ROSLYN, the second story in the book (MOON & SUN).

I gave my stepdad a brief outline of the larger story within this series and where things are planned to go, and his reply was, "You've got a lot on your plate." But that's what I love. I love stories and characters that continue on after one book is finished. I love to immerse myself. I look at it like a TV series. There's so much I want to explore with these characters. I could never write a single book and end the characters and universe in one go-around. I can, however, read books like this.

My plans for this series . . . (Hopefully spoiler free.)

EDEN kicks off the rollercoaster. It's a large book, I'll admit to that, but I kept it moving fast. I also made a conscious effort to steer clear of heavy details in descriptions. I wanted to give the reader just enough to keep the coaster moving. I'm not doing this to write the next great American novel. I want to entertain! The book may end in a cliffhanger but things will be revisited soon.

OF THE MOON AND SUN begins with the story MAY THE DEAD SPEAK. It takes place during the events in EDEN, using characters introduced near the end of the book. ROSLYN is the second story in MOON & SUN and takes place two years before EDEN.

THE BROTHERHOOD is a glimpse at the villain in this story arc.

S.E.V.E.N. takes place in the 1870s and shows the beginnings of this powerful organization.

WISDOM OF A WARRIOR will contain two stories, each one delving into the history around two characters introduced in EDEN.

BLOODLINES will explore the past of two prominent characters in EDEN.

THEORY OF TRUTH is planned to contain two stories. The first one will explore the missing six months that happened to one of the characters. The second story, though introducing two new characters, will have lasting effects within the rest of the series.

SHADOWS AND SILHOUETTES will be two stories that take place right after EDEN. They will fill in the blanks left by the first novel in the series.

THE DIABOLICAL SYMPHONY picks up right where EDEN left off. Everything boils down to the chaos delivered to my beloved characters.

And this will be the end of the first story arc. The next story arc will pick up twenty years later, beginning with the book SOLACE.

Why do some of these books contain two stories? I feel that it organizes the series better, and some of these stories would be considered novellas if published alone. I also want to give my possible readers more for their money and support.

So yeah, I guess I do have a lot on my plate, and I haven't even factored in the stuff I want to do with FOUR CORNERS. In the long run, EDEN will probably contain much more than FC. Which is fine. FC is a whole different ball game.

I may not be seen as a professional writer to some (or even to myself), but I like to think of myself as a career writer. I love to do this. Good or not, this is me. I tell stories.

And to stay focused, I surround myself with everyday reminders.


Saturday, January 9

Refocusing.

Ever since I released EDEN last month, I've been trying to hunker down and begin working again. But I feel scattered. I want to work on FOUR CORNERS as well as EDEN. And in mentally going back and forth, I can't focus one-hundred percent on one project. So for the past few day I've been trying to shake myself clear from this fog. This process usually starts with me trying to steer clear of the internet. Most of my time and energy is squandered on frivolous things like Facebook, forums, and email. I miss the days when I didn't have 24/7 access to the internet. It's like a drug to me. While others can coexist with it, I have a difficult time. I believe this come from many different places within me. I've always said that I have ADHD (undiagnosed). I struggled in school--was overwhelmed in college, though I excelled in my art classes. I also have a problem with numbers. Math was my poorest subject. It's like a wall wraps around my brain when math is involved. I use to call it "Number Dyslexia," but I found out the other day that it's an actual disorder called "Dyscalculia." This is the answer I've been looking for. Too bad no one knew about it when I was growing up.

All of this "scatterbrain" stuff is magnified when the internet and procrastination are involved. I feel overwhelmed most of the time, therefore, I get nothing completed. I realize that the best way for me to work is the engulf myself in it completely. This past July, when I stayed at my grandmother's for a month, was like heaven. No internet, no cell phone, no real distractions. I wish everyday was like that--just me and my many characters swimming within my head. But I can't do that here. The internet is a constant presence. It's like a drug addict trying to get clean in a house filled with his/her drug of choice. Willpower is a fragile thing, more precious than gold or diamonds.

Perhaps I need to quit cold-turkey, or strictly limit myself to weekends in the form of one blog entry.

I need to pick one project and stick with it: EDEN or FOUR CORNERS? I'm having loads of fun with EDEN right now . . . Though I miss my FC characters. Ahhhhh!!! *rips out her hair*

To battle perfectionism, this entry will remain imperfect.


*poof*