Monday, December 19, 2011

Writing Woes

No matter how much I try to focus, I just can't seem to get the writing woes to go away.  I would blame my Muse, but he actually has given me all sorts of great ideas to work with.  I just can't seem to find the focus or energy to sit in front of the computer long enough to write anything down.  Maybe it's the holidays or maybe it's the scenery...who knows.

The sad part is that I seem to be able to find time and energy to read and write book reviews to post to my other blog, Escape Into Fiction.  I think part of the reason for that, though, is that it's such a change in what I normally do and I'm not necessarily dealing with the same characters day in and day out.  Don't get me wrong...I absolutely love the characters and the worlds I've created.  They're a very strong part of me and I'm never far away from them, whether it's me thinking about them or writing about them.  But sometimes it's nice to escape into other worlds and meet other characters.

With all this said, I really need to find some way to get my focus back on the book I'm writing.  So, I'll be making a very conscious effort to put my energies into L&L #3 this week and hopefully will have some awesome progress to share next week.  And, because of this effort, this will probably be my last post until after Christmas at least.  So, I wish everyone a very merry Christmas and hope that Santa's good to you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Working on Edits

Sorry it's been a while since my last post...way too much going on at the moment!

I swear I think working on edits is sometimes much harder than writing the initial draft.  Reading what has already been written and trying to decipher what needs to be polished, thrown out, or moved to a completely different part of the story is not easy and not always fun.

So, why have I decided to fuss about this right now?  Because I'm in the middle of editing L&L #3 and it's been quite a struggle so far.  And when things become a struggle, I suddenly find all kinds of other things to distract me.  (I know, bad Wendy, but that's the way it goes sometimes.)

The other reason that edits become such a chore is that my Muse and I are the editors...there's no disinterested third party that tells me sections suck or rock.  This situation is both frustrating and rewarding...frustrating because I'm so close to the story that I don't always see the flaws and rewarding because my Muse and I actually do make a great editing team.  I'm always happy with the end result, it's just getting to the end result that can be quite challenging at times.

I don't know about other authors but when I write, I become the characters.  So, when words appear on the screen, I may not always be expecting what appears.  Sometimes it's better than my original thoughts about the scene; sometimes it's worse.  And when those scenes come under scrutiny by someone other than myself (yeah, even if it's my Muse), I tend to get very defensive.  Because, in a way, my personal thoughts and feelings are what's being scrutinized.  Because, I have become the characters.

So, in some respects, that's what's happening now.  I want to take the characters one direction, but my Muse is gently telling me that I need to remain on course for now.  And he's right; but I soooo want to go this other direction that it makes it hard for me to focus on what needs to be written.  And therefore, I keep putting off edits and re-writes because I know where my heart wants to go but my brain (and my Muse) tell me it's not time yet.

But, I am determined to get this next novel out.  And I'm determined to make it the best one yet.  So, I'll suck it up for now and get back to writing and editing because in the end, it's totally worth all of the heartache and frustration and self-doubts and other conflicting emotions that always swamp me during this phase!

Monday, November 28, 2011


It's amazing how best laid plans can get way-laid by irritating distractions.  After spending a rather restless night writing out the next section in The Soul of Arial in my head (yes, lots of tossing and turning as the scenes unfolded), I was ready to put those scenes down on screen.  Of course, I start up my computer and what do I find?  It telling me that I might have a security risk.  Which leads to scanning my system.  Which turns into installing more updates.  And that leads to cleaning off a bunch of junk on my pc that I don't use anymore. 

So, by the time all of that's done, the morning is shot to hell and I've still not written one word of the story that had kept me up half the night.  Sigh.  Oh well, my computer is semi-clean and ready to be productive again, so I guess that counts for something.

Anyway, I am horrible when it comes to distractions.  I'm very easily distracted, unfortunately, and getting back on track again is one of the hardest things for me to do.  I've reached a point now where I'm more inclined to just shut everything down for the day and curl up with a good book (it's kind of gloomy, yucky outside...perfect weather for reading).  See, now I'm distracted again.

But, maybe...just maybe...I can pull out some resolve that I know is hidden within me somewhere and actually write for a little bit before I give in to the dark side.  It will be a struggle, but the story must continue.  Leaving characters dangling is not a good thing and it will just haunt me the rest of the day if I don't do something.  There's always tomorrow, when I can start fresh and correct any glaring mistakes or ridiculousness I might type out today.

So, wish me luck...I have a feeling I might need it this afternoon. ;)

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Blog's Purpose

Over the last few weeks I've come to realize that if you don't set out with a specific purpose for your blog, it will soon take on a life of it's own.  This blog was originally meant to be for me and my musings about being an author.  But, I've quickly come to realize that I've got a lot of different things going on here.  Sure, I still have musings and ramblings and some of those even pertain to being an author.  But I've come to realize that there's nothing specific going on here.

So, I will continue to keep this blog up for my own ramblings.  But, I am in the process of creating a few new blogs that pertain to specific themes.  One blog will feature all things relating to The L & L Mysteries.  Another blog will feature all things relating to the Galactic Dynasty series that I am co-authoring with my Muse.  And, I am contemplating maintaining a blog about all things books because I'm rapidly rediscovering my reading fetish and want to share my true thoughts and feelings about the books I read.  If I do decide to create this book review blog, I'll post a link here for anyone interested.

Each blog will be updated as I reach milestones and have news to share.  They all won't get updated everyday...if I did that, I probably wouldn't have time to write the novels I'm blogging about. :)  And this blog will remain my source for rambling and musing when I feel the need.

Now it's time for me to get back to creating.  I hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving holiday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's That Time of Year...Again

The holiday madness has begun once again.  I just wish I could get rid of this sinus headache in order to enjoy it more.  Oh well.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've never been a big fan of shopping and I especially hate Black Friday.  I've tried it once and I will never do it again.  People become insane over ridiculously stupid things that they would normally never look twice at when shopping.  Nope, definitely not for me.  Just give me a decent internet connection and a credit card and I'm happy.

I also find it to be a sad state when stores won't even close for Thanksgiving Day.  More and more retailers are opening that day to give pre-cursor Black Friday deals and that's just wrong.  Those employees have families too or at least friends they would like to enjoy a nice turkey dinner with.  Give it a rest, people.

Anyway, I'll get off my soap box now.  After all, these are the holidays and it should be full of cheer.  And I do have so much to be thankful for.  I have a wonderful husband, a good family, an awesome house, excellent health (minus the sinus headache which will go away eventually so that doesn't count), and the extreme fortune to be able to pursue my dream of writing instead of reporting into Cubeville every day.  So, my life is wonderful and I'm extremely grateful for that.

So, even though I gripe and complain about the commercialization of the holidays, it's still hard not to get excited and happy about this time of year.  And I can't wait until tomorrow, when I get to partake in all that wonderful, yummy turkey and dressing and mashed potatoes and pumpkin, I'm already putting myself into a food coma just thinking about it. :)

Once Thanksgiving is behind us, then I will officially be ready for the Christmas season.  I'll be much more amenable to listening to Christmas music and determining how I want to decorate the house this year.  And I'm very excited about going out and getting a tree from one of the local tree farms to put up in the living room again this year.  It will be my second Christmas here in the new house and it should be a wonderful, fun time!

With all this said, I guess I really am excited about the arrival of the holidays!  For anyone who is reading this, I wish you a very wonderful holiday season!! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back to Work

So, the last week was a blast!  My Muse and I went on a road trip to visit relatives in Opp, Alabama.  Just before we left, I'd really started feeling the effects of burn-out and this road trip was hitting at the perfect time.

Now I'm back and feeling refreshed and ready to hit the writing again.  Fortunately, I left Leyla & Lucien and Rosa & Daemos in relatively safe places, so I should be able to pick up where I left off and get the action going again.  And hopefully I won't find that my characters have gotten into too much trouble from being left alone for so long...hehe.

I also have a website that is crying for attention.  Some of the changes I made to it before I left didn't work out so well.  So, I'll be playing website doctor this week and fixing whatever is wrong with the site.  Gotta love playing with html and css code. :p

And, this Thursday I'll be attending a Self-Empowerment series that is available to Women's Network members in Martinsburg, WV.  The series sounds really good, so I look forward to checking it out and maybe making some new contacts with other business women in the area.  Time to brush the dust off of my CEO cap.  I've been wearing my author, cover designer, and web designer hats far more frequently these past several months.

So, that's it for now.  I'm going to go grab a fresh cup of java and get into the heads of my characters once more.  Who knows where we'll end up by the end of the day?  But it should be a fun journey!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Being self-employed and doing what I love most (writing books) can be wonderful.  I've made a living in the "real world" and know what it's like to exist in Cubeville.  Not that I didn't enjoy what I did (for any of you in the Food Safety Branch in KY reading this post...I love you guys).  But, it was restrictive and definitely didn't lend itself to being creative.  So, I am very fortunate to finally get to live out my dream of being a full-time writer and I love every minute of it!

Of course, when I first had this dream (I believe I was 14, maybe even younger), I envisioned myself spending all my time writing.  I never realized until I started living this dream that there's so much more to being an author than just writing the books and waiting for people to buy them.  There's that little concept called 'Marketing' that I never envisioned having to do myself.

Now that I have two books published (yay!!) and am working on the third, I find myself coming face to face with what I consider one of my worst fears: self-promotion.  Lately, I've been following other author's blogs and their Facebook pages and it keeps jumping out at me that these authors spend a lot of time promoting their own books.  And it hits me that if I'm going to have any success in this business, then I really need to seriously consider doing the impossible: becoming my own marketer. 

It's quite obvious that I can't sell books if nobody knows they exist.  And while I have sent out promotional copies to people, it takes so much more than that to really make an impact.  Now, my Muse and I are co-owners of Cressen Books LLC, the company that publishes my books.  And we each have agreed that there are certain roles that we will play, since there are only two of us.  He's been doing a fantastic job of handling finances and such.  And he has already agreed to tackle the marketing once we feel that we are ready. 

But I can't help feeling a little guilty when I realize that most authors are doing their own marketing instead of relying on someone else.  Of course, most of these authors are published through big name publishers like Harlequin Teen and such and that's really awesome.  The publishing companies actually do have a marketing team that helps to promote new books.  But, the authors still spend a lot of time doing self-promotion because let's face it; big publishing companies have more than one author to promote, so only a fraction of their marketing budget goes towards promoting a single author.

With this realization, I have begun to explore all the different methods I could employ to promote my own books.  Between Facebook, Twitter, my own blog, and probably a hundred other avenues I've yet to discover, the marketing field seems daunting and a little scary.  I will admit right now that I'm an extremely shy person that has a hard time engaging in social networks.  But, these social networks could very well be the key to making potential readers aware of my books.

So, I am struggling with the question of whether I'm truly ready to make that big leap and start self-promoting.  I do have two published books now and three more are slated to be published within the next year or so.  Not to mention that I am also co-authoring a new series with my Muse.  So, it's not lack of ideas/products that keep me from marketing.  It's my own insecurities and uncertainties about how to go about promoting my books. 

I want people to know about them and read them, but I struggle with whether I'm forcing myself on the public or not by telling people about my books and wanting them to purchase and read them.  I've never been one to want to force anyone to do anything they didn't want to.  And I do recognize that if I don't say anything at all, then no one will know my books exist.  I just don't want to end up in the pushy zone, I guess because I feel that will definitely turn potential readers off.  I'm sure it's a fine balancing act and one that I will have to figure out for myself, just as so many other authors before me have had to do.

So, maybe within the next few weeks or months I will finally gather up the courage to plunge into the world of marketing and self-promotion.  Until then, I will continue to write and research and work myself up towards that daunting task, knowing that once I do take the plunge, I will at least have a very understanding and encouraging Muse to hold my hand and help me get over the obstacles that may stand in my way. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snow Before Halloween...Trick or Treat?

So, yesterday was a beautiful sunny day.  Check out some of these beautiful fall colors:

Okay, now here are pics of the same general area but taken today:

Now is that crazy or what?  I will say it's absolutely beautiful out right now...a real winter wonderland.  But it would have been nice to have made it past Halloween before seeing snowfall.  Oh well...according to the weather, all of this gorgeous snow will probably be gone by Halloween.  So, I'm going to accept this as a Treat from Mother Nature.  I just hope this isn't an indication of how the entire winter is going to be.

Here are a couple of more pics for your enjoyment:

 This is the firepit the Muse and I built about a month ago.  I mentioned it in a much earlier post.

And this is a holly-like bush that's planted in front of the house.

And now I will sign off and head outside to play for a while...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Day of Musing

Do you ever wake up in the morning and just know that the day is going to be kind of blah?  That's me today.  It probably has a lot to do with the fact that it's cloudy, rainy, and cold outside.  I don't quite feel the creative juices flowing, no matter how much caffeine I consume and thinking I do.  It probably also has to do with the fact that my poor Muse needs a break, too.

So, instead of working on "Starward" or "The Legend of Goat Head Lodge", I probably will turn my attention to stories that will never get published.  Once I get going on one of those, I can usually write for awhile and be happy in the knowledge that the story doesn't have to be fantastic or gripping or enthralling because it's only being written for me.  Plus, I can alleviate some of my guilt for not working on the stories that will be published because, hey, I'm still creating something.  Right?  Well, that's what I tell myself anyway and it works. :)

I don't know about other authors, but I have about fifty of these non-publishable stories lurking in my Word docs.  About five or ten of them get any kind of real attention at any given time.  But that's okay.  I've found that I pull from some of these non-publishables to incorporate ideas or interactions into the publishables, so in a round-about way, they kind of, sort of do get published.  Funny, I hadn't quite thought about that until now...sweet!

As for which non-publishable I'll work on...who knows?  I've been in a kick lately writing about vampires (something I've never done but I absolutely love reading about vampires).  I blame my recent crush on The Watchers series by Veronica Wolff and The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine for my sudden interest to write something vampirish.  I loved the concept of The Watchers and the first book in that series, Isle of Night, was freakin' awesome!!  I just wish I didn't have to wait so long for the second book, Vampire Kiss, to come out...grrr.  And The Morganville Vampires just keeps getting more and more engrossing for me.  I've read the first three books and can't wait to read book four, Feast of Fools.  So, yeah, I'm on a vampire kick.  But that's a good thing since we're so close to Halloween, my favorite non-holiday of the year!

So, anyway, I may work on that non-publishable or I may turn my attention to something different.  I don't know, but I am determined that I write something today...other than this blog, of course!  So, it's off to the keyboard with me...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Celebrate the Book

I'm finally back in the loop and had a great time in Carlisle PA at the Celebrate the Book festival.  Here's me at the booth:

I ended up signing and selling a few books and had a really great time getting to know other authors.  I'm not sure when my next event will be, but I'll keep everyone posted. :)

Now I'm back and have finally mentally recovered enough to begin working on "The Legend of Goat Head Lodge" and "Starward" again.  I was already in Leyla's mind this morning and will continue to write some more from her perspective tomorrow.  As for Rosa, she got a little break while I delved into the mind of a different character by the name of Daemos.  I will not, however, explain anything more about Daemos at this time as that character is somewhat of a work in progress and I wouldn't want to spoil anything.  I'll just say that writing from Daemos' perspective is extremely challenging!

Well, break's over and it's time to get back at it.  See ya later, peeps!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Birthday Bliss

So, I had a fabulous birthday on Saturday.  My Muse made me cinnamon rolls (from scratch, woohoo) for breakfast.  Check it out:
Don't they look yummy??  I promise, they were!

Then he made me a three-layer chocolate, chocolate cake:
Just the sugar consumption alone that day about killed me, but I enjoyed every bite!!  And there's still a ton of chocolate cake left, so I know what's for dessert tonight and breakfast

We also went bowling, something we've never done together.  It was awesome, even though my arm was killing me after two games (yeah, I know, I'm such a wimp).  It was a lot of fun, though, and we had the bowling alley to ourselves almost the entire time.  It was a little like having rented the place for my birthday without having to pay the huge rental prices!  So, the lesson was go to the bowling alley before lunch on Saturdays and you're pretty much guaranteed the entire place to yourself. :)

For presents, I got an amazing digital camera that I spent most of Sunday playing with.  It's a Nikon D3100 (here's a link to amazon:  I got the camera, 2 lenses, a really nice carrying case, and an 8G SDHC card.  I was definitely a happy camper this weekend!

Now it's back to work.  I'll be creating posters and business cards for Celebrate the Book this weekend in Carlisle PA.  I've also got to get back to writing.  It's nice to take a break but it leaves my characters in limbo.  And they tend to get into mischief when they're left in limbo too  Adios for now, amigos!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Busy, Crazy Times

Sorry it's been a while since my last post.  Things have been pretty crazy around here.  That and a three-day weekend with my Muse, which was wonderful!  And no, we didn't escape for some romantic getaway (we have that right here at home).  We stayed home for the most part and worked on clearing out a lot of dead trees and brush in a small section of our 15-acres of woods.  And the section we're working on is looking fantastic!

Anyway, I did that and I finished the first part of the book "Starward" in the new Galactic Dynasty series I'm co-authoring with my Muse.  Now I'm ready to tackle the second part, which will introduce a new and unique character to the mix.  I'm extremely excited about it but don't want to give anything away right now!  Let's just say that it's going to be really challenging to write from such a "absolute logic" perspective.

Over the last few days I've been reading a lot too.  I have a profile on Goodreads...a totally awesome site that I would recommend to any book-loving fiend.  You can click the link above and friend me or follow me if you're interested. :)  I've given my honest opinion on a few books I've read and will try to remember to link those to this blog in the future.  Right now I'm reading Supernaturally by Kiersten White and Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick.

Now, for the next couple of weeks, more craziness will ensue.  So, I may be a little sporadic in posting to this blog.  My Muse and I will be traveling to PA in a couple of weeks to attend Celebrate the Book.  We'll have a booth set up displaying and selling the first two books in The L & L Mysteries: Spanish Intrigue and The Art of Deceit.  If you happen to be in Carlisle, PA on October 22, come by and see me!

So, it's time for me to hop off of here and begin work on "Starward" and creating display posters and such.  Until next time.....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Part 1 Complete...

Whew...I have finally reached the end of part one of Rosa's journey in "Starward".  It's always such a huge relief to reach a goal that was set at the beginning of a writing project.  Now my Muse and I will be re-reading the first part and seeing if there's anything we missed or wanted to change before I begin part two. 

I'm really excited about beginning part two (even though Rosa is a little less enthused).  My Muse and I have so much planned for the second part, that every time I think about it, I get all giddy and excited and my fingers itch to begin writing it!  But, I shall refrain until we both give the first part our seal of approval.

So, while I'm waiting for my Muse's feedback, I'll turn my attention to poor Lucien and Leyla.  They've kind of taken a back seat lately while I collaborated with my Muse to begin this new series with Rosa.  But, soon I will be taking on Leyla's persona again and helping her through the next piece of "The Legend of Goat Head Lodge".  Fortunately, the story has already been written.  Now I'm just going through and doing the edits and re-writes.

From one character to the next, I'll continue this journey I'm on, navigating the world of creative writing.  And, unlike Rosa, I'm looking forward to every minute of it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Time!

I love the fall...the changing of the leaves, the crisp, cool mornings.  Such a beautiful time of year that really gets my creative juices flowing.  My Muse and I take more walks outside, which gives me many flashes of inspiration for scenes and interactions I'm writing.  Fall is just my favorite time of year!

I also enjoy the idea of curling up on the couch with a good book, glancing up occasionally to see the colorful foliage outside, the sun glinting off leaves of orange and red and yellow.  Sipping on coffee or tea or hot chocolate and getting lost in other worlds.

Then there are the puzzle evenings with my Muse.  We choose a 750 or 1000 piece puzzle and work together to make all the pieces fit.  We usually have music going in the background while we sometimes chat, sometimes remain quiet as we stare intently at the section of the puzzle we're working on.  And whether it takes us an evening or several evenings, we eventually snap every last piece into place and grin like little kids at each other when we're done.

And let's not forget the awesome food!  My Muse is the cook and boy is he talented!!  Everything from homemade New England clam chowder to vegetable-beef soup to very spicy chili and all other assortments of extremely yummy food get put in front of me and I promise, I devour every delicious bite.  It's a wonder I don't turn into a blimp by the time Winter sets

So, yeah, I love the Fall and am so glad that it's finally here.  Now if only I could get it to stay until Spring....

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Back To Work...

Since my last post, it's been back to work for me.  I've been inside Rosa's head for the last few days and am really getting to know this unique character, inside and out.  She's young and has a lot of growing up to do, but I see a lot of potential for her as the story progresses.

Speaking of which, I now finally have a title for the series and the first book in which Rosa is the main star.  The series is entitled Galactic Dynasty and the first book is entitled "Starward".  These books are being co-authored with my Muse and have been challenging and fun to write so far.  It's a world completely different from the L & L Mysteries and even though I have an outline of where the plot will take the characters, I'm looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds as my fingers fly over the keyboard.

This brings me to a subject that I had never really given much thought to before.  But as I was writing a particularly emotional scene for Rosa, it suddenly dawned on me that it was going to be an awesome scene!  And why did I think this?  Because I was actually shedding a few tears as the scene unfolded.

I'm not sure if other authors get this or not when they're writing.  But for me, this is the first time it's happened.  Of course, I usually tend to shy away from emotional rollercoasters, but after I finished this scene, I began thinking about other stories I've written and came to realize what I'd been missing out on.  Sure, it made me cry and I really don't like to cry.  But that's what made the character even more realistic; her very real, human reaction to an emotional situation.

Giving characters depth is a very challenging thing to do.  I think it might actually be one of the most challenging aspects to writing because it really forces the author to question how they themselves would handle different situations and then write that down for others to read.  The emotions and reactions reveal a little something about the author and sometimes that can be scary.  After all, perfect strangers will be reading these novels and in a way, the author is sharing their more intimate thoughts and feelings with those strangers.  The only difference is that the author is using a character in a story to portray those feelings instead of coming out and saying "Hey, this is actually me spilling my guts here!"

But it's those very real emotions that draw readers in and helps them to identify with the characters within the story.  So, depth of character is crucial and after having written that particular scene for Rosa, I will strive to give my characters the depth that they deserve.

Well, I'm off to continue Rosa's journey.  She has a very scary, life-changing decision to make and I don't want to leave her hanging for too long.  Until next time...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have to get Lost in a Book

So, for the last couple of months I've been anxiously awaiting the release of If I Die, the fifth book in the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent.  And at long last, I was able to go to the book store and purchase it yesterday. 

Let me just begin with WOW!!!  I love the series but this book was by far the best.  And there are still two more books scheduled for this series.  I literally spent a couple of hours last night and most of this morning reading the book and hated to put it down for even a minute.  It was a roller-coaster ride of shocks, tears, laughter, heart-break, unexpected surprises, a few hoped-for surprises, mystery and intrigue, and so much more.  I think I'm still in awe of how awesome the book really is and am trying to remember the last time an entire series captivated me so greatly.

Rachel Vincent has developed a world and characters to such a depth that most authors strive for but never quite achieve.  Her writing style is something that truly impresses and inspires me and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of time and energy she spends in not only writing but also in connecting on a personal level with all of her fans.  I follow her blogs and on Facebook and she's always taking the time to comment to things her fans have written.  This is an author that should definitely be a role-model and inspiration to others.

With all of this said, I think I need to sign-off and revisit some of my favorite parts in this book and just basically get lost in it one more time.  I'll write more once I find my way back to reality...

Monday, September 26, 2011

So Many Books, So Little Time

This weekend, I was catching up on some blogs and discovered a list of Top 100 YA Books.  I'm not sure where the list originated, but this is the blog I read about it from:

Anyway, I got to looking at the list and realized that I had read about 29 of the books on the list.  Some of the books I had on my Books To Buy list and some got added to that list.  The rest of the books I had either never heard of or had no interest in.

So, when I finished adding to my Books To Buy list, I suddenly had 42 books staring back at me.  And I'm sure that the list will continue to grow as I discover more books that already exist or add books that will be releasing in the coming months.  That's why I've titled this post the way I have; because there are a great many books out in the world clamoring for attention and yet I only have so much time....sigh.

And I have to ask the question: Where in the world were these books when I was in high school and had the time to read at least one book a day or every two days?  I sometimes feel like I'm reliving my teen years because a lot of the books that have caught my interest are in the Young Adult genre and are incredibly good.

So, with all that said, I have an ever-growing list of books I want to read and another list of books I want to re-read.  Now if I could just find the time...but then I wouldn't get to do all the other things I enjoy doing, like writing and spending time with my Muse and all the other important things in life that I enjoy.  I guess, then, I will continue to do what I've been doing all along and reading when I do have time and maybe I will eventually get through all of those books on my list, which will then be replaced with new books.  The never-ending cycle, but it's a good cycle to get caught up in!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Which Character Am I Today?

As any writer (novice or otherwise) knows, characters are the integral part of any story.  Basically, you can't have a story if you don't have a character.  Whether it's one character or a hundred, they have to be there for the story to exist.

With that said, I imagine it's also a well-understood fact that sometimes a writer can have too many characters taking up space in the writer's brain.  I believe this usually happens when the writer takes on more than one writing project and they're in love with each of the writing projects.  Of course, I can truly only speak for myself and this is an issue I deal with a lot: Which character am I today?

I have a lot of writing projects on my plate.  Some I've been playing with for years, others I've just suddenly had inspiration for and find myself writing feverishly for hours on those new inspirations.  But it's always the same issue: Which character am I today?

I am currently working on two publishable projects (the other projects I consider more of my writing exercises in character interaction, plot development, or scene description).  One project I've already spoken of: The L & L Mysteries.  In those, I alternate between being Leyla Richards and Lucien Vintera, two completely different characters and I'm not just referring to them as being of the opposite sex of each other.  Their personalities are completely different and there are days when I feel like Leyla and days when I feel like Lucien.  And most of the time, I never know which day is which until I wake up in the morning and have had at least one cup of coffee.  (Yeah, I'm a java freak!)

The other project is currently Untitled but has the makings of being at least four books, possibly more.  The main character (as of right now) is a girl named Rosalita Martinez (Rosi to her mom and brother, but everyone else better call her Rosa or she gets a little prickly).  The reason I say as of right now is because I intend to introduce a character later on that the reader will start to see from that character's perspective as well as continuing to read from Rosa's perspective.  But right now, it's all Rosa and it's very challenging!

So, now I have Leyla, Lucien, and Rosa residing in my head, all vying for a chance to be the star of the day, so to speak.  And each one has a unique personality that makes them perfect for the series they are associated with.

Which character am I today?  The answer (for today only) is.....Rosa!  So, I better get going before she gets impatient (she is 16, after all) and does something I don't really want her to least not just yet. ;)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No Internet Blues

Ugh, having no internet for several days is the pits!  There's no ability to read my favorite blogs, watch movies or shows, or even check the weather.  As you've guessed, my internet was down for several days and I am just now getting back online again. 

When the internet goes, it's strange how out of touch you feel with the world.  And I'm of the age that still remembers a time before the internet.  (Shocking, I know, but there was a time before internet.)

The first day without internet wasn't so bad.  I actually managed to get two book covers designed and am very excited with how well they turned out.  The second day got a little more depressing as I really was wanting to catch up with certain blogs and see what all was going on with some of my favorite authors and the books they are writing.  (I'm ridiculously addicted to the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent - - and have been following that blog religiously for quite a while!)  And as the no internet days progressed, the blues really sank in.

But then, my mood perked up when, lo and behold, I finally had an internet signal after lunch today!  I danced a little happy jig and thanked the internet gods for not making me suffer any longer.  And then immediately hopped online to check my e-mails and read the posts that had been made over the last several days on the blogs I follow.

So now that my internet withdrawals have dulled some due to obsessive surfing and reading for the last hour, it's now time for me to calmly get back to work.

**does a happy dance and offers thanks again to the internet gods**

Monday, September 19, 2011

Focus...Focus...Damn I lost it!

Okay, I don't know about anyone else, but sometimes the most challenging aspect of working at home is that five-letter "F" word: FOCUS.

Not only do I write for a living (yeah, it's awesome), but I'm also the co-owner, CEO, webmaster, cover designer, and co-editor of Cressen Books LLC.  And I probably forgot a few titles in there, but when there are only two employees of a publishing company, you do whatever needs to be done.  I'm just grateful that my Muse handles the finance and the marketing end of things (those are definitely not my forte).

And as you can see, I have already lost sight of what I was beginning to muse about: FOCUS.  As I was saying, I work at home, which is great and really lends itself to contributing to the creative flow process.  But the downside to working at home is that there is always a distraction of some sort.  It can come in the form of catching up on my favorite blogs, watching The Daily Show when I should be working on a book cover (yes, I'm a huge Jon Stewart fan!!), or reading a book on my Android because I find myself dying to know what's going to happen next to someone else's characters instead of writing what's going to happen to my characters.

So the battle rages trying to be diligent and get all the stuff done I need to while resisting the urge to be distracted by so many enticing things.  And how do I accomplish that?  I have absolutely no idea.  Just kidding.  I've learned over the last year and a half that I've been working from home that distractions are inevitable.

So, instead of forcing myself to finish that book cover or write the next scene in the mystery, I try to loosely divide up my day to include distractions.  I set aside time to peruse my favorite blogs, watch an episode of The Daily Show, and read a little further along to find out what's going to happen next to someone else's characters.  And in between all of these fun distractions, I tell myself to FOCUS on what my creative juices are leaning towards at the moment.  When I do this, I find that I spend a lot more time on the "work" stuff and less time being distracted by other things because I know that at some point during the day, I'll take some time to allow myself to be distracted.

With that said, it's not always easy and sometimes this method doesn't work out very well.  But as a whole, it works best for me.  So, now that I've indulged in one of my fun distractions, it's time for me to FOCUS and get back to "work" figuring out just how I'm going to progress my character through the next scene.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Art of Deceit

So, a little more about who I am.  I'm the author for a new mystery series called The L & L Mysteries.  The first book in the series, "Spanish Intrigue", was released in April 2011.  After many months of edits and re-writes, book 2 in the series, "The Art of Deceit", is now available.

Well, what is The L & L Mysteries you ask?  It's a series about a 16-year-old girl named Leyla Richards and a 17-year-old boy named Lucien Vintera (hence the L & L part) who find themselves involved in various mysteries.  This series began as just something fun to write while I was attending college classes at the University of Baltimore.  Three years later, I found that I had five books in draft for this series and decided to start putting the finishing touches on them.

It has been a fun series to write so far.  I write from both Leyla's and Lucien's perspectives, so getting into the head of each of these characters can be quite intriguing and definitely challenging.  These books are intended for readers age 10 and up, mainly for the 10-14 crowd.

Anyway, as this post is titled after the 2nd book in the series, I again wanted to mention it's release and how excited I am to hold the finished book in my happy little hands!  Both books are available for purchase at my publishing company's website:  They can also be purchased for the Kindle via Amazon's website.

That's all for now.  My Muse and I are in the process of building a fancy little firepit on our back deck.  I'd better get back at it so I can soon enjoy toasting marshmallows over the open flames! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

There's Always a Beginning....

Thanks to the encouragement of my Muse I have finally decided to take the plunge and create my own blog.  He always tells me that he gets blamed for everything, so why should this be any different?

Anyway, I realize there is a lot to learn where blogs are concerned and I have no delusions of becoming Blogger Extraordinaire overnight.  These things, like so many things in life, take time and patience and just a dash of effort.  But one thing I'm coming to learn quickly is that you can put as little or as much effort as you want into your blog and it's okay.  Why?  Because it's your blog.  (Okay, in this case, it's my blog.)

So, for all the posts that will follow, one thing is for certain: there will probably be much rambling involved.  And that rambling will probably center on novels I'm working on at the moment and the characters and their worlds I'm trying to create.  But I reserve the right to ramble about other topics that might be floating around in my brain at the moment.

Beware all ye that follow me...strange musings are inevitable!  You've been warned.  Now let the fun begin...