Wednesday Randomness

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Writing fears and anxieties...

All right, I'm gonna be super real and honest here. And kinda break the rules, I suppose. I'm not going to delve into all of my fears and anxieties. Not going to make a bulleted list of them and lay them all out. I'm not going to give them voice, right now.

Why? Because I live with them everyday. They batter at my skull, whispering and shouting, in turn, all the reasons I can't do this. How I can't be successful doing what I love, that I should just give it up. I'm not good enough, successful enough, just not enough. It's also hard to put into words, sometimes, what specifically I'm anxious about, what I fear - and as a writer, not being able to put something into words is a whole other level of frustration and madness.

I will say that I do have fears and anxieties. Big time. That they fuel my depression and overall anxiety, sometimes, to the point it's paralyzing. Dealing with them is a daily freaking battle. But, so far, it's a battle I'm winning. And will continue to win, day by day by day by day by... Well, you get the idea. Despite the fears and anxieties, despite how big and loud they get, I'm confident I'll come out on top. Not really going to accept any other outcome, and I may be a wee bit stubborn. Between that, the work I've already done straightening my head out, and pretty much have the best support system a girl could ask for...I've got all the tools I need to keep doing this..


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris

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Seriously, I'm getting that frame and putting it on my wall. LOL Mostly because, no matter the successes, the failures, and everything in between, I try. Despite things blocking my way, I try. No matter how many times I stumble, I try. Even when that stumble leads to a spectactular face-plant, I try. Even when it's my own mind trying to push me down, I try.

So all joking - and tongue-in-check mock cover - aside, I'm damned proud of that fact.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease
 Jessica De La Rosa | Kellie St. James

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Hey all. Time for another Musical Musings. I limited myself to 1-2 for each one... LOL And here we go...

SONG THAT MAKES ME HOPEFUL - "I Am the Doctor"

SONGS THAT MAKES ME HAPPY - "Can't Stop The Feeling" & "Best Day of My Life"

SONGS THAT MAKES ME CRY - "It's Quiet Uptown" & "Supermarket Flowers"


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease
Kellie St. James | Torrance Sené

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For today's Promptly Penned, I once again ventured into the world of my serial.

For those interested, here are links for the other flash fiction peices that are kinda connected/set in that world:

The Lies Begin
Lying in Wait
Lying to Myself
The Lies We Tell
The Choice Lies Before You 
"Little Heaven" (Song Fic) 
Uncertainty
Promptly Penned #9

And the link to the chapters of the serial: Your Lies

This story isn't about the hero or heroine of the serial but a follow up to a couple of flash fiction pieces I did from this world.

Awakening (from Male #1's POV)
"Iowa" (from Male #2's POV)

For this piece, I'm back in Male #1's POV. So here we go... (Actual prompt is in bold)


I watched Maddock walk out of the apartment we shared and silently counted in my head.

1...

2...

3...

4...

"I can't believe he's going out with that Magical Sympathizer. Again." Mark practically spat the words as he flopped onto the sofa next to Kevin, who nodded.

Fuck, he hadn't even made it five seconds. God, I hated him. Hated being here, pretending to be one of them. Hated that I had to sit here with not only a straight face but an agreeable one as they spewed anti-Magical bullshit. All the while my magic skittered beneath my skin, aching to lash out, to take them out before they could do more harm to those like me.

"Chill out," Nick said, strolling in from the kitchen. "He'll lose interest soon enough."

And him... My magic wanted to do so much more to Nick Collins. It wanted to squeeze the life out of him, slowly. Slowly enough he suffered. Just as Molly had suffered, just as the life had been squeezed out of her...by him.

I inhaled deeply and shoved my magic down. Because now was not the time. It would come, soon enough, but I hadn't spent the last years carving out my place in this group to let it all go to waste by acting impulsively. Luckily, Nick wasn't here often, so it wasn't always so difficult to control myself and the power that lived within me. Though, fuck, even without him around, it was getting harder and harder to live like this.

"But he's not focusing," Mark argued. "He's starting to question what we're doing. She's filling his head with ideas that go against everything we've been working toward.  Fucking Magicals and their Sympathizers. Shouldn't even be allowed here."

"Or anywhere," Kevin added vehemently. "Abominations. All of them."

I fought not to sneer at him - or throw him across the room with a flick of my wrist. They were the abominations. The monsters. And they needed to be stopped.

"She's just a piece of ass, playing hard to get. And once she gives it up, he'll move on." Nick sat in the chair across from me. "He'll do what he needs to do. Besides, going home for the long weekend will help set him straight."

"True," Mark said with a laugh. "Daddy and Mama Roberts sure as hell aren't going to put up with their baby boy crossing lines."

I forced myself to chuckle along with them as my stomach clenched painfully and my head throbbed. Again. More and more, I fought against horrible headaches. The result of suppressing my magic and from little to no rest. - I might be able to push my magic down and hide what I was, but I couldn't stop the visions from coming while I slept. In fact, they seemed to come more frequently the longer I muzzled my magic and kept it deep inside. But there was nothing for that. It was necessary. For the greater good. And it was a small price to pay to do what was right. That's all I ever really wanted. That and making my sister's killer pay. I had to accomplish the first before I could see to the second.

The short break from classes would help. The people who thought they were my friends believed I was going home while I'd told my parents I was staying near campus, to swamped with schoolwork to come before the longer break over the holidays. In reality, I was going somewhere I could be myself. Somewhere I didn't have to hide. Somewhere I could loosen the hold on my power and let it free.

The pain in my head ratcheted up a notch at the mere thought of my parents. I loved and hated them in equal measure. They were good parents, for the most part, always good to me and my siblings. But I loathed their weakness. When I looked at them all I saw was a foolish pair who blindly accepted and followed the anti-Magical movement. And all the while, unbeknownst to them, two of their children had the very thing they, with their passivity, helped oppress and persecute. To be honest, the reason I still maintained contact with them was because of my little brother. He showed no signed of being a Magical, but my powers hadn't awakened until I was in high school - the night Molly was murdered. So I would watch Owen and keep him safe.

And there was the fact it solidified my cover as a strong anti-Magical to remain the good son, so I'd keep doing that as long as I needed to. No matter how hard it was.

I focused on the conversation around me, and quickly tuned the hateful words and ranting out again. I bit back a sigh and shifted into more comfortable position. Only three more days of this. Three more days of pretending, of hiding, of doing what needed to be done. Then...then...I could be me. Even if it was only for a short time. It would be enough. I would make it be enough because it couldn't be otherwise. The work I had to do was far too important.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Jessica De La Rosa | Kris Norris

 

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In no particular order...

(10) Being outside in winter. I hate being cold.

(9) Commenting on Facebook. And every once in a while, I seem to forget why I avoid this, but don't worry, I'm reminded oh so very quickly every single time.

(8) All the "news" on FB that gets shared again and again. Kinda goes along with the previous one. Don't get me wrong, I love FB. Love being able to keep in touch with friends/family who live far away, rediscovering friends from years past... But I try very hard to keep it to just that and avoid the rest of it.  But there is always that one person who shares and shares and at the rate they are doing it? There is no way they are even reading the things - they just like the headline because it fits their view. *sigh*

(7) People who don't listen. Because they are always right. Don't think I have to elaborate there, do I? Nah, didn't think so. 

(6) Feet. Just...feet. I don't know what it is, but I don't like feet, don't like touching them, sure as hell don't want anyone near mine... No. Just no. And this is one top ten item, that is NOT getting a pic because...pics of feet? Avoid because they fall under the umbrella of "Feet", thank you very much.

(5) Bugs & Spiders - It's not going to shock anyone to learn that I'm not an outdoorsy kinda gal. It's mostly 'cause bugs, spiders and creepy crawlies...well, creep me out. And the ones that don't, are just plain annoying.

(4) Sometimes, I just wanna be alone. Alone and silent.

(3) Web MD -

(2) Toxic people - the drama-seeking, issue-creating, lie-to-your-face-and-everywhere-else-and-can't-keep-their-lies-straight, will-do-anything-to-satisfy-themselves-and-to-hell-with-you kinda people

(1) Negativity - This is a work in progress (and avoiding the toxic people? Biggest step I've taken in my life to avoid negativity) I've been trying very hard to be more positive and not let negative situations, negative people and negative thoughts overwhelm me. Not always easy, I'll admit, but it's amazing how differently I function when I focus on good things, on what I've accomplished rather than what I didn't get done... Does it make everything perfect? Do I only have good days, brightside-Barbie-ing my way through life? Nope, but I'm better for it - I'm happier and more productive because I do everything I can not to get sucked into the vortex of negativity.

 


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullen | Gwendolyn Cease
Kellie St. James | Kris Norris | Torrance Sené

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Happy Wednesday! Today we're talking about...

My organization, particularly when it comes to writing...is very much a work in progress.

I have some things I do that helps me stay on track - and some of it may seem redundant but it works for me.

Number one on my list of things that help me organize my writing is my bullet journals. Yes, plural. I have a regular bullet journal that I track pretty much everything I do - house stuff, family stuff, self-care stuff, writing stuff, editing stuff, blogging stuff. It is really the go-to for me.

It is not fancy and pretty - though my cover is gorgeous (thank you, Bronwyn, for making it for me! You can see her own cover on the journal behind mine. She will be selling these and other gorgeous things at an Etsy store soon. Be on the lookout for Granola Girl Creations.)

My set up is pretty simple. You can see in the pic - the start of a week I haven't filled in yet - I have a page that is just a week at a glance, that's were I put appts for pretty much the whole family, and things like that. Then, each day gets half a page. This is where I list what I need to do that day and hope at the end of the day, I'm able to fill in all the little squares.  Again, simple, but it keeps me on track like nothing else I've tried before.

So, I guess my tip here would be to find a system that works for you - whether it's a ready made journal/planner or something you create yourself. It took me a while to find this way, but I'm so glad I did.

My second bujo is solely for writing. It's a traveler's journal that Bron modified to me - the booklets used to be stitched in, but she went to town on that bad boy, took the stitching out and put in elastics so I could put what I needed in there and then switch them out. I have a small notebook for every series.

In the notebooks, I put pics of what I imagine my characters to look like, track the progress of each book, put notes about the characters (physical descriptions, backstory etc) and plot out the stories themselves.

I also keep track of things on a spreadsheet. Some of it is a repeat of what is in my bujo, yes, but I use the spreadsheet for future planning - looking at big picture when it comes to scheduling -  and the lovely excel spreadsheet does all the math for me so I can track words written, edited, and blogged (weekly, monthly and yearly). I also have pages that has info on all my books - published and not yet published, notes on Bound books (usually typed as Bron and I are chatting), my blogging calendar, names I've used and names I just really like and may use one day in a book, and trackers from previous years. Nothing ground-breaking, but it works for me and like with the journal/planner, it took me a while to tweak it to work best for me.

Another tool? Pens. Seriously. Bron will tell you (I'm visiting her now and have several times in the past so she has firsthand knowledge), I cannot go in a store without meandering down the pen aisle (likely the notebook/journal aisle as well because you can never have too many notebooks). I always have pens with me, and I also use them in my main bujo. I color code the crap out of that things. Writing stuff is purple, editing stuff is orange, social stuff is blue....and so on and so on.

I can't be alone in my pen love, right?

The last thing I'll mention is writing friends and the power of holding each other accountable.

I have amazing writing friends, who are understanding and loving but never hesitate to give me a swift kick in the ass when needed. Finding ppl like this and building a support system - and being that support in return - is invaluable. And I'm lucky AF to have the group of friends that I do. I don't know what I did to deserve them, but I will never take them for granted.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah MullinGwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa

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All right, my lovelies, today is a promptly penned post. We all get the same prompt and get to write something from it. This one is hella short. It has been a crazy time here--I'm trying to finish a book, life is kinda exploding chaotic around me, and right now, all I can think about is going to bed.

So, some people will be happy to see there is no sweeping sad, angsty story today. 😉 Nope, it's short, sweet and...one might say, fluffy. So enjoy. 🙂 (The actual prompt is in bold)


Philip lifted his head as the man beside him groaned and stretched. He bit his lip as he took in the long lines of Kev’s nude body. When the bright green eyes lost their sleepiness and focused on Philip, he smiled.

“We were supposed to go a real date, this time,” Kev said hoarsely, and Philip’s smile grew into a grin at the sound. Who would have thought the straight-laced Kev was a screamer? Well…his neighbors sure as hell knew now.

“Mm hmmm,” Philip replied absently, reaching out and dragging his palm down Kev’s chest.

“You promised.” Kev gave an exaggerated pout. “I really wanted to see that movie.”

“It’s not my fault. I couldn’t find the show times.” Philip inched his hand lower, loving the way Kev’s breath caught and his eyes darkened. “That's what happens when you don't have reliable Wi-Fi, sweetheart.”

“Like you don’t have enough data.” Kev scooted closer.

“True…” Philip rolled onto his side and pulled him closer. “Should I check now? I’m sure there’s a late showing.”

Sliding his fingers through Philip’s hair, Kev chuckled. “Nah, realized I don’t want to see it that much, after all.”

Thank fuck, Philip thought as their mouths collided.


Bronwyn Green| Deelylah Mullin

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10 - First way to hook me? An amazing cover. Not saying a cover will make or break it for me, but if you can catch my attention with a cover...you have your foot in the door, my friend.

9 - Brilliant description - This is a fine line to walk. Some books give hardly any description, while others go a bit overboard - I really don't need a run down of every piece of furniture in the room, thank you very much. There needs to be enough that I can picture it in my head but not so much that it's tedious and obtrusive.

8 - Internal conflict - I'm more drawn to internal conflict. I find it more compelling. I don't know why, exactly, but I will usually choose an book that is driven by internal conflict over one driven by external conflictl. Maybe because it's more identifiable? I can relate and sympathize more? Well, whatever the reason...there it is.

7 - But...give me a really freaking good external conflict...I won't walk away. I can really dig a story where the character(s) is on the run from or fighting a big bad or having to survive a really horrible situation or environment.

6 - Angst... DUDE. Give me an angst-filled story.... Le sigh. I eat that stuff up with a freaking spoon every single time. I will ugly cry and re-read again and again. Yes, I will. 

5 - Good characterization -  Well written, fully developed believable characters that grow throughout the story is a surefire way to hook me. No too-stupid-to-live characters, no major alphaholes that have no redeeming qualities whatsoever... Hell, even a villain should be more than a flat, one-dimensional representation of a bad guy. Some of my all-time favorite characters are villains - usually ones I could identify with, sympathize with and understand why they were doing what they were doing even if it was horrifying and/or wrong. The biggest thing is they just aren't 100% evil to give the story a bad guy. They have layers, dammit.

4 - A good friends-to-lovers story. Oh, be still my heart. My all-time fave trope.. Seriously, I go looking for these, and I will hold onto the ones I love to go back to time and time again.

3 - Originality & Variety - Have you ever really loved an author but then after a while it seems as though are reading the same story again and again? That it's just slightly different look for the heroine or the setting is a bit different but it's basically the same story you read before? No one wants that. 

Or sometimes it's the same character (unintentionally) popping up in every book...with just a slightly different face.

Though I'd like to point out that in Doctor Who, even though each actor is technically playing the same character, they make the Doctor their own. Each incarnation has its own characteristics, mannerisms and quirks. And that's one of the things that makes it freaking brilliant.

Obviously, we all have our favorite types of stories. Like I said, friends-to-lovers is a big one for me. So are books based on Arthurian legend. I love me a good vampire or shifter book too. But what I really, really love is when an author puts new spin on it. They take something and make it their own. I think, as authors, we have a responsibility - not only to readers but to ourselves - to stretch ourselves, to move beyond our comfort zones. And that includes looking at our body work and making sure we aren't writing the same story or the same character again and again.

2 - A balance of information - There is a fine line authors walk when writing. The reader needs to be given enough information to follow the story and to (eventually) understand why characters are doing what they are doing, but they don't need to be hit over the head with every single detail or reason characters are doing something. It's playing in the middle ground, really. The reader isn't stupid and doesn't need to be spoon fed - which will just annoy and lead to a book being set aside - however, they can't be expected to make huge leaps of understanding with nothing in the book to support it - which leaves the reader scratching their heads and leads to a book being set aside.

1 - And finally... Write me a long, well-written, angsty as F&$k with lots of kinky sexy times (and no freaking slow-burn, thank you very much) Merthur fanfic, and I am yours.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease | Kellie St. James | Kris Norris

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A new feature! Woot. We're going to be blogging about music - our faves and our not so faves.

So this month we have...

FAVE SOUNDTRACK - I love a lot of soundtracks, but right now, in this moment? Hamilton (I know, I know, shocker, right?)

Absolutely love this cast album, and at least once a day, a random line is sung in this house. And not always by me!

SONG THAT MAKES ME WANT TO DANCE - "Time Warp" from Rocky Horror Picture Show

Okay, it's usually this parody that is in my head lately...but they both make me want to dance!

...but they both make me want to dance!

SONG I LOVE TO SING ALONG WITH - Oh boy, this is a tough one... My kids will tell you (with varying degrees of disgust and embarrassment), I sing along to everything, all the freaking time. LOL But one I particularly love? "Gang of Rhythm" by Walk Off the Earth


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Paige Prince | Torrance Sené

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A new feature in 2017...monthly Top 10 lists. Woot.

This time, my top 10 is in no particular order.

  1. My kids. Can't quantify the pride I feel as I watch them grow. Incredibly proud of the young men and women they are becoming. 
  2. Putting priority on my marriage, when it's way too easy to get caught up in kids, day-to-day stuff, etc. 
  3. Choosing to do what I love - writing - even with the obstacles. 
  4. My persistence. 
  5. Making the daily decision to love myself - as I am now, not thinner, more successful, etc - and take care of myself. A hard won battle each day but very proud of it. 
  6. Pushing play and exercising regularly. I will never be one to love working out. That just isn't me, but it's still something I do for me, and I like how I feel because of it (just not during!) And I am proud because it's all too easy to make excuses...
  7. Doing things for me. And not like the time to shower uninterrupted. LOL Like big things...for me. For example, traveling to the UK & Ireland with my mom and SIL this past fall. In the past, I'd have felt selfish and never would have dreamed of doing it. But I did it (mostly) guilt free and had the most amazing time.

    Sneem, Ireland
  8. Finding a way to be organized (and keep my head on straight) that actually works for me - Bullet Journaling. Though admittedly it's still a work in progress but I'm doing it regularly and it's working.
  9. I'm proud of every book I've written and published. But if I had to choose one project I'm particularly proud of, it would be my Albion's Circle series. These are the books that made me fall in love with writing again, that pushed me out of my cozy and warm zone of comfort. 
  10. That I'm still here. That I didn't (and don't) give up. I've struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life. Still struggle with it. But damn it, I'm still here. I'm still fighting. 

 


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah MullinGwendolyn Cease
Kris NorrisPaige Prince |  Torrance Sené