What not avoiding writing looks like

Yeah, I’ve definitely been avoiding the Pen boys for a little while.  I was having finishing anxiety again, and so I took a couple weeks off to read a crap ton of books, and to hang out on Pinterest a lot under the guise of “researching”.  I mean, to be fair, it is actually research.  Everything I’ve done in the last couple of weeks has helped me prepare for getting back to Alex and Mason soon.  The week with Erin was heavily Mason-centric, but this last week has revolved around Alex, and I’m definitely ready to dive back into that story and work on a second draft.

The Pen boys, however, will very likely be done today.  This blog is not a procrastination of that, it’s a I just finished a 4k chapter, broke 180k overall, and I need a brain break.  I might make some tea.

On Thursday, I texted Erin and Patrick to tell them that I was close to finishing the book, and then realized just what exactly that meant.  I’d already vaguely plotted out the end of the book, but then I sat down to actually plot out each chapter.  Six.  I had six chapters left to write.  Not a heck of a lot.  So, I got to it.  Wrote the big, final showdown with Quinn, introduced the villain for the next book (he has the best name ever: Arthur Arkwright), and hinted, one last time, to the big secret of this book before I get ready to reveal it.  Spoiler: I’m not telling you what it is, but I’m really, really hopeful that one of my readers, someday, will figure it out before the epilogue.  All that said and done, I only had three chapters left to write.  Three chapters.  Tidying ones, really.  An adventure Sunday at the beach with the boys, the last day of school and a small ritual in honor of Liana Hollands’s death anniversary, and the epilogue.  Spoiler: I’m not even saying what the epilogue is about.  I’m so excited.

So yeah, three chapters.  I just finished the adventure Sunday, so now, all I really have to do is write the last day of school and the ritual because the epilogue’s going to be short, and I’ve already got it all written in my head for the most part.  This is it.  This is what four months of straight writing looks like.

Which is a point I didn’t intend to make in this post, but hey, perfect segue way.  Fourth months of writing is going to look different every single time you do it.  Writing is different every single time.  Here are some examples:

  1. I’ve been writing Ronan for 12 years.  12 years.  The third version of the second book took me exactly one month to write.  The first six chapters of the fourth version of the first book took me two months to write.  The first version of the first book was written in a year.
  2. The first draft of Mason was written in 18 days.
  3. The first draft of Alex was written over the course of two years.  The second draft still isn’t finished, and I started it in April.
  4. Pen boys has taken me four months to write, and it’s only the first draft.

I’ve always been a fast writer, mostly because when I have a project in my head, I have to get it out, or I’m going to go crazy.  But writing is a weird, fickle thing.  It doesn’t obey rules, and it doesn’t do what you want it to do.  Just because I wrote a novel in four months doesn’t mean it’s good, and it’s definitely not ready.  It’s still going to be some time before it’s even close to ready, and probably a while before I start working on a second draft.

But it’s almost done, and damn if that isn’t the best feeling in the world.

Post-Vacation Vibes

Gosh, it’s been a while.  Life has been insane lately.  Between my regular day job and teaching yoga, I haven’t been home much.  I’ve been subbing here and there, and I had the Harry Potter yoga workshop, which went over phenomenally, and then it was off for vacation.  I think I’ve mentioned Erin a few times, but as a proper introduction on this blog, she is my muse.  Both in the mythical sense and in a very literal sense.  Whenever I need help with something, I call upon her.  Whenever I’m in a slump or procrastinating, she always seems to know that she needs to give me a nudge.  I’ve always worked better around people, which seems odd to me since I don’t particularly like being around people all that much.  As an introvert, I love my alone time.  I love to sit in my room on a Friday night with six candles lit, a mug of tea and a cat nearby, and read, either in silence or with instrumental music.

Wow, okay, so that just described exactly what I’m doing tonight.

The thing is, whenever something big is happening in a novel, or whenever I need to create something specifically, I gravitate toward people.  Recently, I needed to create an altar for the Pen boys, so I carried all of my white and blue crystals into Jen’s room, burned some palo santo, and drew cards while she read on her bed.  We didn’t talk–we didn’t have to.  I just needed that other creative soul to light a fire inside my ribs.

Erin is a strange, wild creature.  She has many titles–witch sister, anam cara, Fencehopper, little queen–and something magical always happens when we’re together.  It happens when we’re apart, too, but much more noticeably when we’re physically sitting next to one another.  The words won’t stop.  I’ve talked about how the Pen boys came to be–on a drive to and from New York after wandering the seaside.  A lot of my fanfictions happened because she said one thing while sitting on my bed in college.  This week, we discussed two things, though one of them excites me far more than the other.  The first, a Marauders fic, is something we’ve both wanted me to write for a long time.  I’d really love to write it, too, but the second thing was about Mason, and gosh, for the first time in a while, I am so eager to get back to him.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing him because I have been thinking about him, but I’ve also been avoiding him.  There is a lot of anger and hurt wrapped up in those words, and the Pen boys were a way for me to escape that.  Now, though, I’m starting to see what he could be, where the potential in his story lies.

Back when this blog was private, there were a couple weeks where I was helplessly confused about the scope of his story.  Was it four, three, two, or one?  Three originally, a trilogy of his story.  Four next, one for each elemental.  Two, then, because three was too much.  And finally, one.

I’m pretty sure I was wrong all along.  Mason might be endless.  Mason might be my DragonLance.  (For reference: there are 17 novels by the original authors.)  No one is surprised when I say that all this started in Salem.  Of course it did.  Jolie Tea was where Madhouse was born.  We started the day at Jolie, wandered through witch shops (goodness, I love Coven’s Cottage so much, thank you for existing), had lunch in Life Alive (also inspiration for Madhouse), and ended our day in Pyramid Books (which is what Olive’s shop is based off of).  I couldn’t stop thinking about him, couldn’t stop talking about him.  I kept telling Erin that I missed Madhouse, that I wanted to go back, and I never wanted to leave.  Madhouse calls to me.  Sometimes, it’s not even Mason or Lukas or Dhaval or Olive.  Sometimes, it’s just the teashop.  There’s so much there to explore.  And then, it just came out, “Is there any way I can stay there for more than one book?”  Immediately, Erin said, “Absolutely.  All the adventures.”

The Madhouse Adventures

Or something of that ilk.  A series of separate adventures based around the same characters, exploring the life of the teashop and its inhabitants.  Oh, yes.  This means so much more than it sounds like.  This means I can start the story earlier, show the very first time Mason looked at that abandoned building and thought, yes, this is perfect, show Dhaval’s bewildered expression as he asked, uh, are you sure?  I can show the fire that nearly burned down the shop Olive took over, that Mason may or may not have started.  I can show before, during, and after the addiction.  I can show more of Lukas, Miriam, and Leila; more, even, of Dhaval, Rajani, Nila, and Amar.  I can show Mason hiring all of the pixies, goblins, gnomes, and dryads that work at Madhouse, show how he first met Vayu, the couple that owned the bookstore, his early relationship with the twins and Akash, and just–all of it.  There’s so much there to play with, and I think, finally, that I can.

I know already that I won’t be rewriting the Pen boys entirely.  I’ll edit what I have already.  The bones are really, really good, and there’s a lot that I can keep.  This is true about Mason, too, but there’s something to be said for the darkness lingering in it.  Mason, true to his character, needs to burn up and be rewritten again.  And he will.

First: finish the Pen boys.
Second: finish Alex the Destroyer.
Third: Mason.

Why do writers procrastinate?

There are so many topics that I want to talk about on here now that this is public, so many things that I want to share about my writing process (someday soon, I promise, I’m going to blog about how I use tarot cards at the beginning, middle, and end of my process), but this one–procrastination–is something near and dear to my heart.

I didn’t share my last post on any of my social medias, mostly because I was freaking out too much, so in case you missed it, here is a post almost in all caps and showing purely just my excitement during a single scene.  For 140k words, I’ve been creating a relationship between two of my main characters.  They meet for the first time at the beginning of the book, and they become fast friends.  There are very obvious feelings happening between them, but they’re both a little a lot too broken to focus much beyond their own pain, so it’s a very (very) slow burn.  140k words worth of slow burn.  Sure, there are other things that happen in that truly obnoxious amount of words (another post one day will also be about word counts, and how they actually do matter), but they probably interact, however small, in every chapter.

140k words.  Let that sink in.  One hundred and forty thousand words.  Prisoner of Azkaban is 107k words.  Goblet of Fire is 190k.  And do you know what I did when I got to the chapter when they finally kissed?

I went back and worked on a different chapter.

How does that make any sense?  I’ve been building this relationship for an entire novel, and when I finally, finally, got to the scene I’ve been over the moon excited about, I did something else.  It doesn’t make sense.  And yet, I do this all the time.  I’m fairly certain other writers do it, too.  It’s not even romantic scenes.  I’ve worked my way up to big battles for Ronan, and decided to go back and edit the whole first half of the novel.  I got right up to the last five or so chapters for Alex, and decided I was going to start writing a new novel instead.  I do it while I’m reading, too.  If the next chapter sounds like it’s going to be really promising based on the one I just finished, I’ll put it down to read later.  What?  This is insane.

Sometimes, the procrastinating isn’t that bad.  I made that post about James and Oliver kissing (FINALLY!) on Monday morning, and had written the scene by Monday night, but I let an entire day pass.  I fluffed out the chapters around it, I added a little more to a scene from an earlier chapter I’d been thinking about, I read my book a little, I hung out on Pinterest–I did everything I could that wasn’t writing this pivotal scene.  I’m still procrastinating, too.  I haven’t written the chapter that comes after the kiss, which is almost more intense than the initial scene.  I’ve spent the last two days taking out a conflict and finally writing a chapter I’d been avoiding because I wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it.

Why do we do this?  I’m not really here to answer this question because I’m not entirely sure, but I do have some theories.

  1. The right song.  If you listen to music when you write, then you know that the right song for a particular scene will make or break it.  Usually, I can just listen to whatever I want, and type away.  Sometimes, however, when it’s a big scene–James and Oliver kissing, the memory of Ella’s death (dun dun duh), Quinn invoking a demon (WHAT)–the atmosphere needs to be right.  For each of these scenes, I’ve procrastinated because I’m desperately searching, starting and restarting sentences as I keep changing songs until I finally land on the right one.  Saturn by Sleeping At Last, You and I by PVRIS, Once Upon a Dream by Lana Dey Rey.
  2. The right mood.  And I’m not talking about atmosphere here, but you, the writer.  If you’re not in the mood to write something romantic, something sad, something wild, then it’s not going to happen.  Sometimes, I sit on Pinterest for a half hour searching for things to put on the Pen boys’s board because I’m trying to put myself in the right headspace.
  3. The end.  I will forever and always procrastinate ending a novel, and I think we can all agree that’s not because we don’t want to leave the world, but because we’re afraid to leave.

Again, I’m not here to answer the question to why we procrastinate, but rather, to say stop procrastinating.  Your next great adventure is on the edge of your comfort zone.  Take the plunge, and write the scene you’ve been waiting for.  End the novel.  Edit later.  Stop blogging.  The time is now.

we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming

OH MY GOD

ALERT

THEY’RE ABOUT TO KISS

JAMES AND OLIVER

I’M FREAKING OUT

that is all, bye

 

 

 

 

I’ve been working toward this moment for the last one hundred and forty thousand words, and I’M SO EXCITED.  I have to stop so I can drive home, but holy moly, it’s here.  IT’S HERE.  I have to find the perfect song to listen to.  I’m gonna cry, I can feel it.  They deserve each other so much.  It’s going to be beautiful. Ugh.  I’M SO HAPPY FOR THEM.

History of the Reader

When I was in the fourth grade, my dad started reading to me.  They’d both been reading to me long before that, and I had been reading on my own for some time, but nothing like this.  Nothing as grand as Harry Potter.  Throughout the fourth grade, he read books one through three to my brother and me.  In the fifth grade, he read us the fourth book, and by then, the fifth one hadn’t come out yet.  And when it did, I asked him if I could read it on my own.  I also asked if we could go to the midnight release.

Order of the Phoenix was both the first Harry Potter book I read on my own, and the start of something wonderful.  For the last three books, we arrived at Barnes & Noble at 10PM, browsed for an hour, and then sat in line for the last hour until, finally, it was time.  When we got home, my dad locked the book up downstairs so that I would go to sleep, and then all hell would break loose for the next three to four days.  For Deathly Hallows, I actually requested a few days off of work so that I could read it uninhibited.

That was the beginning.  They were the first books that I ever owned.

After college, my parents sectioned off half of the living room, put up a wall, and gave me my own room.  Until then, I’d been sharing with my sister.  It was small, but it was mine.  I was so excited.  I started moving everything downstairs as soon as I could, which, as it turned out, was going to be a nightmare.  I filled the entire dining room table with books.  I wanted to reorganize my shelves, start putting more on my favorites shelves.  I only had one or two at the time, I can’t remember, but I quickly turned it into three.  I’ve always shelved my books as favorites first, alphabetical after.  When I went away to college, I’d always take a few favorites that I didn’t need and likely wouldn’t read, but it just felt nice to have them there.

At the time, when I was moving into my new room, I only had one bookshelf.  It was six feet tall, and had room for six shelves.  If you follow me on social media, and saw last night’s bookshelf reorganization, you know how insane this idea is.  And if not, well–I currently have three bookshelves.  I was running out of room for my books in this single shelf, though, and had to make a decision–a second bookshelf or a dresser.  It’s not hard to imagine the choice had already made itself.  And so, I welcomed a new four foot, four shelf bookshelf into my room.  I had it filled almost instantly.

For most of my book life, my shelves have been in neat lines, overflowing with trinkets, and pretty boring.  Not the books themselves, but the outward appearance.  They look like a library.  Uniform.  Tightly packed.  And yet, when I moved again, I didn’t change them.  Moving to Medford meant moving to a bigger room.  I finally had space for a third bookshelf.  At the time, when I first started unpacking my books, I only filled the first shelf.  Now, I’ve got almost three filled.  It’s another six foot, five shelf bookshelf, and it’s not the most sturdy thing.  If I move again, I’ll probably invest in something better, but it’s doing what I need it to do for now.

Moving to Medford with the books I had now was actually a nightmare.  Most of my boxes were books.  The shelves themselves were ridiculous to get up the stairs and in place.  One of my friends once told me that every time they moved, they gave away most of their books so they wouldn’t have to take them.  I just can’t even begin to imagine that as a possibility.  Not only are they most of my decor, they make me feel happy.  Safe.

For as long as I can remember, reading has been an escape.  I can travel to different worlds, step into different shoes, experience different lives.  Whenever I’m nervous about something, unsure of what my next steps are, or just not feeling 100% mentally, I read.  I have lived a thousand lives, and each of them has given me something new.  I am constantly learning, discovering, and reshaping the way I look at things.

And though this post is about my reading history, it should be noted that without books, I would not be a writer.  Without Harry Potter, I would not have started writing.  Without every single book that I have read, my writing would not have gotten better, would not have expanded, would not have challenged me.  I am not Mary without books.

For a while, I’ve been frustrated with how my books look.  There are some that I want to show off, some that I want to just look over and see immediately, some that should be shelved differently.  But it’s a huge task, reorganizing three bookshelves.  My Goodreads tells me that I’ve read 340 books, and that doesn’t even include the TBR ones that are also taking up space.  I have at least 400 books, maybe more.  Someday, I’ll count.  It seems wild, I know.  To each their own.

Last night, I finally did it.  I stripped my shelves first of all the trinkets, then sorted the crystals into groups, and finally started taking the books down.  I did it about two or three shelves at a time, dusting and polishing each shelf before beginning to reorganize them.  I posted four pictures of my new shelves, but I didn’t get to talk about them.  The whole ordeal took about two and a half hours, and it was almost midnight when I finally finished, so I wanted to get to bed.  However, these shelves tell a story, and I am here to spin it.

bookshelf one

Oh man.  These are the shelves.  The favorites.

Shelf one: Lord of the Rings by JR Tolkien, DragonLance by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin.  LOTR was the first true fantasy series I ever read, and probably the most important.  If you look at any of my novels, you’ll find Aragorn in there somewhere.  Little pieces, but he’s there.  DragonLance was my first guilty pleasure fantasy.  There are actually several books that I own that I haven’t read, but I love this series endlessly.  It was my first real introduction to dragons, and I will keep rereading those first three over and over again.  The crystals pictured are for the different moon phases, and Jenna got me that Pooh and Piglet quote forever ago.

Shelf two: Harry Potter by JK Rowling, everything by Maggie Stiefvater, Keats, Rilke, and John O’Donohue.  Yes, that is a custom made Hogwarts letter.  Yes, that is Harry Potter’s wand.  Yes, that is the largest piece of selenite I have ever seen.  Harry’s an obvious favorite.  These shelves are actually setup this way because LOTR & DragonLance are both really small, so I always stick them up top in the smallest shelf, but HP is the first favorite.  Maggie is a close second.  She’s my favorite author.  I hadn’t heard the term auto buy author until recently, and after looking it up, I’ve realized that I have quite a few, her the most obvious.  I own 15 books by her, and there’s actually one that I’m missing.  I’ve also got my two favorite poets up there, which I actually just finished reading.  I have a complete collection for both of them, but I’ve been procrastinating finishing them because then I have nothing new to read by them.  And then there’s John O’Donohue, who is a truly magnificent Irish philosopher, and another I have not read everything by for the same reasons.  Also pictured is Maggie’s tarot deck.

Shelf three: Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, Dalai Lama & Buddhism, and David Mitchell.  Eragon is and always will be a very important character for me.  He is the kind of character I want to write, in some shape or form, and he’s got a dragon, so he’s an immediate favorite of mine.  A lot of the Dalai Lama and Buddhism books, I have not read, though I’m slowly working my way through them.  David Mitchell is my second auto buy author.  I own all 7 of his books, and am desperately awaiting the next one.  These are actually organized by favorite instead of chronologically or alphabetically, from bottom to top, because The Bone Clocks is quite possibly one of the best books I’ve ever read.  Also featured are elephants from Jen, a set of chakra crystals in front of a Tibetan prayer wheel in front of a picture of His Holiness, and a very accurate drawing by Erin of me.

bookshelf two

Shelf one: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Shades of Magic by VE Schwab, and the beginning of the alphabetizing.  This is the last of the favorites shelves, and right now, only extends halfway.  TMI was a series I ignored for a long time, and it’s because I judge books by their covers.  I try really hard not to, but if there’s a half naked man on the front, I’m probably going to put it back.  Which was a mistake, I am now recognizing.  Patrick, my CP, actually originally gave me City of Bones and said that it sounded like a book I would really enjoy.  I also ignored him, which is another terrible mistake.  It was only when the movie was coming out, and Jace was being played by Jamie Campbell Bower, whom I loved in his role as King Arthur, that I caved, and watched the trailer, and lo and behold, there were not only vampires and werewolves, but faeries, demons, demon hunters, angels, and a whole slew of other amazing things.  I read the first five in a month and a half.  SOM is a new addition to the favorites list.  And by new, I mean I put it there last night.  I’ve only recently gotten into this series, and I’m currently halfway through the last book, and wow.  Kell Maresh.  That’s all I have to say.  Also featured are three very specific crystals in front of SOM for Kell (howlite, obsidian, and hematite) and Sirius Black’s wand.

Shelf two features: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, Maze Runner series by James Dashner, and the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.  For the rest of my books, which are all alphabetized, I either featured series or other favorites.  For this one, it’s actually a little strange.  I was watching this booktuber the other day, and they were talking about auto buy authors they had that they’d never read any of the books, which I just didn’t understand until I was reorganizing last night.  I’ve read a few chapters of the first Dark is Rising book, and yet, I count them among my favorites.  I know they’re good, and I know that I’ll like them, I just haven’t gotten around to reading them.  The Divine Comedy was a no-brainer because hello.  Also featured is a lovely blue candle by Erin, an absolutely gorgeous teapot from Tommy, and the Wild Unknown tarot deck with element crystals on top.

Shelf three features: Cornelia Funke, Pure Dead series by Debi Gliori, and Margaret Peterson Haddix.  Funke is another auto buy author, though I haven’t read a few of them–mainly, the second two in the Inkheart trilogy (a real life reading tragedy) and Dragon Rider.  However, Thief Lord is one of my all time favorite books.  Both the Pure Dead series and the Shadow Children series were huge for me growing up.  Also featured is a beautiful, real Venetian mask from Jen specifically placed in front of Thief Lord.

bookshelf three

Shelf one features: Ellen Hopkins.  Another auto buy author.  I’ve read most of her poetry books, though not the last three, I think.  I also haven’t bought anything after Tilt.  Also featured is a wild statue from Tommy from Belize, desert rose selenite, and a series that I didn’t get to feature because there are only two, and I didn’t have room–Rebel of the Sands and Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton.

Shelf two features: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield and James Joyce.  Hadfield’s book is one of two that are actually out of place purely because I loved them so much that I wanted to make them stand out.  He’s in front of all my graphic novels and comic books.  Joyce used to have a spot on my favorites shelf, but after some consideration, he’s moved back into the alphabetical section.  Also featured are chakra candles, Albus Dumbledore’s wand, and a jade elephant that Tommy almost got confiscated on the way back from Australia.

Shelf three features: The Someday Birds by Sally J Pla.  This is my other out of place feature.  It is, hands down, one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I recommend it to every single person ever.  Also featured is a lovely floral teapot and a stunning polished flourite from Erin.

Shelf four features: another author that I didn’t have the space to face out, Arundhati Roy, as well as a Harry Potter music thing, and an owl tea mug from a very sweet employee when I left BJs.

bookshelf four

The third bookshelf!

Shelf one features: Shakespeare in front of the Holy Bible, Le Morte d’Arthur, and Oscar Wilde, and A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.  These B&N collector editions are my pride and joy, and I want so many more of them.  I’ve also not read all of ASOUE yet.  I’m on book seven, I think?  It’s taken me a long time to get through them, and I only started reading them just before the Netflix series came out.  Also featured is a spooky black crystal set for grounding.

Shelf two features: Angelus Trilogy by Jon Steele.  THESE BOOKS.  Oh man.  Truly one of the greatest contemporary fantasy series I’ve read in a long time.  I gobbled them up so fast.  Also featured is an actual set of dungeon keys, and a stupa!

Shelf three features: the end of the alphabet, a picture of the Buddha, and a real life fortune cookie I once got that reads, “You are a lover of words, someday you will write a book.”  How accurate is that?

And that’s that.  Books, books, books.

If you’re still curious after that, I’m on Goodreads here, and I’m always down to chat about books.

This one is actually going to be a trilogy.

When I first started writing Mason’s story, I was confident that I was embarking on a series.  The long story short is that the original idea for Mason was sparked through four short stories.  Mason’s was the most intriguing, and thus the one I wrote first.  I was about halfway through it when I realized it was the second book in four, and that I needed to write a novel for each element.  Time went on, and I started to like my earth element faery, Leila, less and less.  She got demoted, and the series turned into a trilogy centered around Mason, but focusing also on Miriam and Lukas.  Then, it became two.  And shortly after that, I finally admitted that Mason was a standalone novel.

That is not the case for the Pen boys.  Part of me thinks that this is because I did it right this time.  I plotted out all three books.  It’s a loose plot, and it’s still changing, but I know who my ultimate villain is, and what I want to accomplish in all three books.  I have a story arc in sight.

Most of me knows it’s because I want to play with these characters forever, though.  It started as just wanting to spend as much time as possible with Oliver and James, but, as I continue to write and reach benchmarks like 120k (yesterday), it’s become more than that.  It’s Harrison, too.  It’s Charlotte and Ella (spoiler!) and Liana, too.  It’s even Allaway and Arthur Arkwright (god, I love alliteration) and the Marlow’s.  Somewhere, in between the birth of this idea and right now, I fell in love with every single one of my characters.

And the end is in sight.

Not the end the end, but the end of the first book.  I’m a little in shock.  I feel like I’ve just gotten to know some of these characters.  And some of them, I have.  I only just gave Charlotte her own chapter yesterday.  I only just started introducing Arthur Arkwright, our big bad for the second two books yesterday.  Liana Hollands has been there all along, but I only just saw inside her head last week.  And Ella?  Well, that’s a spoiler.

But it’s in sight.  This feels really weird.  I keep coming back to this number–eleven years.  I wrote Ronan for eleven years, almost twelve now.  That’s more than a decade.  That is my middle school, high school, and college years all wrapped into one.  It’s my post-school life, my adventures in full time work life, and my early twenties life.  I’ve been with Ronan since I was thirteen.  And while yes, I have already completed a novel outside of Ronan (Mason), and I’m nearly finished with another (Alex), the Pen boys is something new.  Mason was birthed out of short stories that I wrote while still working on Ronan.  Alex is actually older than Ronan by two years.  I met the Pen boys in April.  Of 2017.  This year.

Really, it was almost May at that point.

Since I’m here to talk about the end of something beautiful, here, first, is the beginning.

In April, Erin came down to visit for a long weekend.  We were due to see Anastasia on Broadway in New York on Saturday, and the Sleeping Beauty ballet in Boston on Sunday.  She came down Friday morning, and our day looked a little like this: beach, food, books.  I’m not even lying, that’s exactly what we did.  We stopped at my parent’s to walk the dogs and get out of the car for a second, and then drove to Wingaersheek (how is that a real word?).  We were climbing over rocks, calling war at the waves, and playing in the sand when I said, “I want to write about magic again.  And boys.”

Despite everything that had happened recently, I was still writing.  Though I was upset with Mason, upset with the way he had been treated by someone I trusted and respected, I was still writing.  I was working on Alex at the time, and I was so close to the end, I could almost see it.  And then, the beach.  Alex is still unfinished.  I probably only have 20-30k left, and I’ll go back to it when I’m done with this first Pen boys novel, and I knew this, but I still stepped away from it that weekend and let the magic that is my soul sister happen.

I write best around people.  Last night, I created a small crystal and tarot altar for the boys that will appear in a chapter toward the end of the first book in Jen’s room.  Just being near another creative person helps me create.

Erin is usually the beginning of things.  I jokingly call her my muse sometimes, but I’m not kidding.  On the way up to New York, we talked about the world they would live in.  It would be contemporary, definitely on the coast, and maybe even somewhere close by.  We settled on Massachusetts, and already, I was starting to imagine them in Gloucester.  We talked about the school, what it would look like, what they would learn there.  We stopped for gas, and when we got back in the car, she asked, “Okay, but who are they?  How many?”

“Five,” I said, “All boys.  I think two of them are twins.  One of them is sad.”

“Give me a Tony Stark.”  (She always wants one of these, and undoubtedly, you can find him in every single one of my stories.)

We kept driving.  We talked about what they might be like.

“One of them should be kind of obnoxious.  Like, you think he’s a frat boy, but he’s actually really sweet.”  “So Chris Evans.”  “Such a meatball!”  “Give him a last name for a first name so he’s pretentious.”  “And he listens to Kiss 108 and plays sports and is just a beefcake.  But he’s also really adept at magic, and just the nicest person you’ll ever meet.”  “He’s their leader.”  “What about Harrison?”

“Okay, and the Tony Stark one should be angry about literally everything.”  “He’s just rude to everyone.  Always causing trouble.”  “Oh, he’s Sirius Black.”  “Sad and dangerous and messed up, but you just want to help him.”  “James.”  “Well, that’s ironic.”

“I need a sad boy.”  “Make me cry.”  “Oliver.”

“And twins.  They should have the same first letter.”  “But they hate that they’re twins.  And one of them is always annoyed with the others.”  “And the other one is just a total punk.”  “Jasper?”  “And Jensen.”

The thing is, I’m actually under-exaggerating.  Is that a thing?  This took hours.  Most of the ride up, and most of the ride back down.  Oliver was the easiest one, which makes sense.  He is my main character, after all.  Harrison changed a lot from his initial creation.  James is still angry and volatile, but he’s also a lot sadder than I meant him to be.  The twins are exactly what I said they would be.

That night, while we were lying in bed, whispering and giggling about the universe, I was scrolling through old estate names in England.  It was late, later than I’d meant to stay up, and Erin was nearly asleep when I whispered, “Penhallam.”  She sighed, and said, “Yes.  That’s it.”

After that, it was only a matter of time.

Really, it was four days later.  Erin left on that Monday, 5/1, and I drew the first cards for the boys on that Thursday, 5/4.  The file labeled Chapter 1 was created that Thursday morning.  And then, the adventure began.

It’s been 77 days.  In that time, I’ve written 120k words, 47 chapters, and the end is in sight.  I’ve still got a ways to go.  They have an important ritual coming up, Quinn still needs to do something terrible, the boys still need to save the world, and the kiss still has to happen.  I have been waiting 77 days for this kiss.  I can’t wait.  Erin has been very strict with me every time I try to make it happen sooner, and I’ve tried several times.

And why does this all matter?  Because after nearly twelve years writing the same story, after half a year recreating old stories, these boys are the first time I’ve ever ventured into something new.  They did not come from something else.  They’ve only been alive for two and a half months.  And really, I think it’s some of the best writing I’ve ever done.  There are large chunks of my soul in these words, and I hope that when they are eventually out in the open, you enjoy them.  Maybe, even, that you love them a fraction of the amount I do.  (It’s a lot.)

I’m a little excited.  I’m a lot nervous.  I kind of can’t believe it.  There’s not that much more to go, and I can really see the end in sight.  I know what it is, and I know how to get there, and really, it’s probably only 30-40k words away.  Wow.  That’s–that’s kind of crazy.

Deep breaths.  This is only the beginning.

Yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!

I’ve been thinking a lot about music lately.  For the first time in years, I’m listening to the radio in the car rather than the CDs (yes, I know) I have burned.  It’s for a few reasons.  One: the CDs I have burned all pre-date, like, 2015, and I’m just not interested in many of those albums anymore.  Two: a lot of the songs I play in yoga class can be found on stations like Kiss 108.  (I know, I’m sorry!)  I’ve got three stations that I usually switch between on the ride home from work–Amp 103.3 is the most common because that gridlock jam is out of control awesome, Mix 104.1 is nice for if I want to occasionally hear the Spin Doctors, and Kiss 108 is mostly a last resort.  It’s my pre-yoga or post-work space.  I like to just let loose, sing loud, and boogie.

Writing music cannot be found on the radio.  That’s–not entirely true, actually.  Most of it can’t.  It depends on the character.

It’s odd, sometimes, how big of a personality our characters take on.  Yes, I create Pinterest boards for these novels, and yes, I think about them even when I’m not writing, but their own music style?  Sometimes, I really do think I’m going insane.  But, if you asked me right now, what the most recently played song on any of the Pen boys’s phones might be, I could absolutely tell you.

Oliver: Setting Out by Citizen of the World
James: Cry by The Used or Help by Papa Roach
Harrison: I Feel it Coming by The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk
Jensen: Wish I Knew You by The Revivalists or Water Under the Bridge by Adele
Jasper: The Bliss by Volbeat or, honestly, Praying by Kesha

And they all make sense to me.  Oliver is a sad, lonely boy.  He is desperately in need of help, in any shape or form that comes in.  James is too busy raging against the machine to notice that he’s falling apart.  Harrison wears bright colors on the weekends because he needs to express himself, guys.  Jensen gets decent grades, has several different friend groups, and can adapt to any situation.  Jasper is weird.  That’s it, really.  He’s just a strange creature.

This extends beyond them, too.  I have whole playlists drafted up for Oliver, James, and Harrison, but also for Mason, Lukas, and Miriam.  I have a playlist specifically for Rónán’s birthday festival full of wild Irish and Scottish music.  Comet novel really only has the Cloud Atlas soundtrack and several songs by Sleeping At Last, but it’s still there.  I even recently created a playlist for a fanfiction I was writing.

Music is a powerful, wonderful thing.  It’s the driving force behind a lot of what I do.  I found really two amazing posts on Tumblr recently: this one is for ambient sounds and this one is for different classical pieces.  And yes, wow, thank you so much.  (For anyone looking for more writerly things, my reference tag on Tumblr has not only music, but sometimes what different wounds will do to people, how to stay motivated, and Shakespearean insults.)  However, I’m over here listening to the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack (ha, and you thought that title meant nothing), and I thought it would be neat to provide a list of the soundtracks that I listen to most.  Soundtracks are proven to be excellent companions for writing, and I’ve compiled a list of ones that I really, really love for specific things.  For almost every single novel, even if I have specific songs or whole playlists, I’ll ultimately revert back to soundtracks when I need to dig in and get writing.  So, keeping with this blog’s new idea of providing a space for the writer’s chaotic mind, here are a list of soundtracks and what they’re good for.

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean
    • Specifically Curse of the Black Pearl, but At World’s End is also fantastic; and really, for literally anything.  They’re particularly good for intense scenes, usually physical ones, but I’ll listen to it if I just need inspiration or to motivate myself to write.
  2. Wonder Woman
    • YO, THIS SOUNDTRACK.  Particularly the first song.  It really is amazing.  It has a lot of great drums, and is really just quite powerful.  Again, another that’s great for intense scenes, but also to amp yourself up for a long writing session.
  3. Cloud Atlas
    • The thing about this soundtrack is that some of it is really good, and some of it is just okay, which bums me out.  However, the first few songs and the last half are lovely, and I like to listen to them just as something to put on.  Like the story itself, they’re easy to get lost in, and they provide a musical background that isn’t too showy or too soft.
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road
    • Okay, I debated about whether or not to include this because while it is an excellent soundtrack, it does weird things to my writing.  I usually only listen to it if I need to be angry, but sometimes I go in trying to be angry, and come out writing something really sad, and if that’s not the epitome of Mad Max, then.  Well.  Here we are.
  5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    • And not HP.  I know, crazy.  HP invokes a very particular feeling in my little heart, though, and Fantastic Beasts does not.  It doesn’t have those telltale notes (it does, but you really have to listen for it), and the music itself is gorgeous.  There are a few songs specifically for sad parts, but it’s another great in the background one.
  6. X-Men: First Class
    • Every song is golden.  But it will make you write like a maniac, so you’ve been warned.  They sound very inspiring, so good for speeches delivered by leaders.
  7. The Martian
    • It’s so subtle and beautiful.  I love listening to this when I’m writing filler or traveling scenes.
  8. How to Train your Dragon
    • I can’t recommend the second one only because I haven’t listened to it a lot, and the types of times for when you should listen to this are below.
  9. Lord of the Rings
    • Oh boy.  This is almost exclusively reserved for Rónán, and thus, high fantasy.  There’s a reason for it.  HTTYD is the same.  I’d like to say that this can apply elsewhere, but it really can’t, and that might be my fault, the way my brain’s connected it solely to swords and dragons and adventure, but it does feel like music that doesn’t belong in the real world.  However, I am also going to break down the three different LOTRs, too.
      • Fellowship of the Ring is great for beginnings.  I know that sounds cliche, but it really is.  Mostly the Hobbiton music, and some of the entering Rivendell ones.
      • Two Towers is my favorite, first of all, and is great for battles, power struggles, big moments between kings and their subjects, and just things that make you grin stupidly in excitement.
      • Return of the King is also good for endings.  I’m telling you, these soundtracks are marvelously constructed.  And I don’t just mean your last chapter because we all know that authors start the end of their books about 100 pages before it actually ends.
  10. Iron Man 3
    • This is the only Marvel soundtrack you’re going to see on here, and for good reason.  The first Amazing Spiderman has a good soundtrack, but it sounds so heavily Peter Parker that I’m not including it.  The third Iron Man, however, has some really great intense, loud music, particularly if you’re in the middle of a street race or making bad decisions.
  11. Maleficent
    • Also amazing, and great for writing scenes with magic.  I used it a lot when I was writing Mason (faery), but specifically during the Samhain (Halloween) festival.  It’s great for the mystery surrounding magic.
  12. Man of Steel
    • Sad, sad, sad.  This soundtrack is very slow and subtle like The Martian, but also has a very deep, sorrowful element that works really nicely for making your readers cry.
  13. Never Let Me Go
    • Another great sad one.  It has more strings, and a certain heaviness to it that makes you feel a bit like you’re drowning.
  14. Tron: Legacy
    • I shouldn’t put this on here, but I am.  I’m in love with this for other reasons, but I do think it’s great for scifi and if you’re character is sparring/running.  Hey, at least I’m not putting Transformers on.
  15. Pacific Rim
    • YOU HAVE TO BE YELLING WHILE LISTENING TO THIS.  Or at war.
  16. Into the Trees by Zoe Keating
    • Not a soundtrack, but almost entirely cello.  Great for spooky scenes, or ones that take place in nature at those weird times–dawn/dusk/starless nights/full moons–okay, so just spooky.

And that’s it for now.  While writing this (translation: procrastinating writing this chapter), I’ve finished Curse of the Black Pearl and have At World’s End on, so we’ll see what happens next.  If you have any recommendations of soundtracks you really love, let me know!  I’m always down to find new things to listen to.

Happy writing!

boys, boys, boys

All the boys.

I know I just posted, but boys.  I have a lot of them (and a few girls, I promise), and if any of this is going to make sense, I need to explain who they are.  Prepare yourself.  I’m not kidding when I say there are a lot.  I’m also linking all of their Pinterest boards because I’m shameless.  I’m also linking short stories for the ones that have those because why the heck not.

Alex the Destroyer: the original.  He is the literal first boy.  I first created Alex’s character (you might need to sit down for this confession) in a Good Charlotte fanfiction.  Oh lord.  After that fizzled out and died thank god, I gave him his own story (his boyfriend’s name is still Billy, shut up), wrote 44 chapters that spanned from age 17 to age, I don’t know, 37 or something.  It was the stupidest thing I’ve ever written, and I never finished it.  Fast forward to about three months ago, at the beginning of April, when I finally, finally, started working with him again.  Of course, I’ve paused just before the end for two reasons–a) I’m terrified to end his story after all this time, and b) Pen boys.

About: YA teen romance.  Teenage Alex Hart is addicted to heroin, has an abusive mom, and hates his life.  Characters include boyfriend Billy, best friend Noah, twins Wyatt and Caleb, in prison dad Max, psycho mom Michele, and villain Trent Travis.  They have a band.  They try to ruin their lives.  Ultimately, Trent gets a little too rough with Alex, and things spiral out of control.

Rónán: dragons.  I always referred to Rónán as the original because he was the one I wrote for 11 straight years, but chronologically, he did come after Alex.  In the eighth grade, I said to two of my friends, “I want to write about dragons.”  That was the entire plot.  Rónán has undergone four rewrites, all of which I hate, and is on an indefinite hiatus.  I will write his story someday, but he needs to simmer for a good, long while.

About: Adult high fantasy.  Rónán, king of Irizedd, dragon rider to Nevaeh, is struggling to maintain the balance of dark and light.  Characters include best friend/eventual boyfriend Liam, historian/magician Elias, villain Treyan (is that still his name?  that’s a bad idea), and a very large cast of various races.  There are seriously way too many characters for me to list.  There are dragons, magic, good versus evil, a lot of faery lore, and all the other things you could want out of a LOTR-inspired universe.

Mason & Co.: the faery.  More specifically, the fire elemental faery.  Mason is the reason for this blog.  I needed somewhere to rant about what was going on.  I had finally stepped away from Rónán after 11 years, and I was freaking the heck out.  I originally met him in April of 2016 in the form of a short story, spent a while thinking I was going to write five books, sliced up the story and made it into a trilogy, played very briefly with the idea of two books, and then finally realized I was only meant to write the one about him.  His whole novel has been written and revised, and he’s currently on a temporary hiatus, but I will come back to it.

About: YA urban fantasy.  Twenty-two year old Mason is an elemental faery who is coming out on the other side of a two-year addiction to tea to find that he’s survived the fire inside of him.  Characters include: boyfriend/air elemental faery Lukas, best friend/water elemental Miriam, sometimes nemesis/earth elementary faery Leila, Undying (basically just keeps him alive) Dhaval, and best friend Olive.  Faeries are trapped in a world where just being a faery (or a witch) means execution, so they live in secret.  This is the story of the beginning of their war against humans.

Gemma Gwyn: the witches.  Oh look, a girl!  There are a couple girls, and chronologically, I should put Gemma before Mason, but realistically, that’s not true.  Gemma first started out as a screenplay for my second(?) screenwriting class in college.  It was terrible.  Let’s not talk about it.  (There was one scene where I spent a full minute describing her bedroom.  My professor made us close our eyes for a minute and try to just envision her bedroom.  I’m going to never forget that, and I appreciate him for doing it.)  This was one of the first times I wanted to write about magic, and will certainly not be the last, but I am hopeful that someday I’ll go back to it.

About: YA urban fantasy.  Yo, I don’t know.  Honestly.  I have no idea what this story is about.  I do, kind of, but not really.  It’s got witches, they’re in a secluded city because humans, and bad things happen.  Characters include: best friend Maia Vernn, sisters Arianna and Ava, best friend Sam Lowen, awesome dad Elijah, and others that I don’t really remember.

the Hayes boys: zombies.  These boys have gone through so many different transformations, it’s a little funny.  They started as a short story written during college that was one of the few short stories I ever went back and worked on again.  The linked story is the final product (I think?) of those edits, and I was fairly proud of it.  During my first(?) screenwriting class, I tried to turn it into a screenplay.  I didn’t get very far.  I’ve also tried to turn it into a novel, but I wasn’t in the mindset to be writing outside of Rónán yet, at the time, so that fizzled out pretty quickly, as well.

About: Adult post-apocalypse.  When the world ends, the Hayes brothers are in separate countries.  This is their struggle to find one another again.  Characters include: Eoin, Connor, twins Jude and Rhys, and Leah.  Eoin and Jude are in London trying to find a new place for their family to live.  They want to leave Ireland after their father’s death, where Connor and Rhys are waiting to join them.  Faced with something that might be zombies, but that crazy scientist Leah tells them are not, this is a story told in halves.  One, with Eoin and Jude traveling from London to Wales so they can return to Ireland, and the other, Connor and Rhys trying desperately to survive in a dying world.

Pendulum: VAMPIRE DETECTIVE.  Someday, guys.  Some freaking day.  This idea has a mostly formed plot, characters, backstory, and vampires.  I should be able to write it right now, but I’m just not in the headspace to be writing about vampires, but someday.  Oh man.  I can’t wait for this story to happen.  I first wrote the short story in December of 2015 because vampires, and I’ve been looking back at it ever since.  I love this story, I love these characters, and I can’t wait to someday dig into it.

About: either YA urban fantasy or Adult fantasy, I haven’t decided yet.  Vampire Andrew has woken up to another dead body, drenched in blood, and with no memories of last night.  Meanwhile, his detective partner, Sam, is furious about the news of a new missing person while they’re in the middle of hunting down a cult of serial killers.  Surprise: they’re Andrew’s old clan.  I’m actively grinning right now.  Characters include: vampire detective Mediterranean Andrew, human detective redhead Sam, and a whole cast of vampires and other mythical creatures.  And yes, his original name was Lucien.

Dima & Jae: post-apocalypse.  Oh look, another girl!  She’s not the last one, either, I’m realizing.  Oh man, this story.  This was also born out of a short story that I wrote, but it was very small, and it was overflowing with stuff.  I started writing the novel in January, but it just wasn’t ready.  It needs a loooooong time to sit on the stove.  Like, a stupid long time.  There is a lot packed into this story, and I’m pretty sure it’s not just one book, but I am nowhere near ready to tackle it.

About: YA fantasy.  This book does not take place on Earth.  IT’S ONE OF THE REASONS I LIKE IT SO MUCH.  All of my YA takes place on Earth, and I miss working in Irizedd so much that I was too freaking excited for this idea that I just plunged in with absolutely no idea of where I was going or what was happening.  Teenager Dima lives in a world where the air poisons those born without the gift of magic.  And even when you are born with magic, you are hunted down and forced into slavery under the high queen Shri.  More on her in a second.  Characters include: best friend Jae (boy), non-magic aunt Zahra, girlfriend Surya (straight relationships bore me, whoops), Jae’s sister Harper, misunderstood villain Morroca, high queen Shri, and her attendant Devika.

the desert witch: see above.  OKAY.  This is one of those where chronologically, it should come before Dima & Jae, but realistically, it comes after.  This started as a short story that later became the backstory for Dima & Jae.  This is Shri’s beginning, and thus why I think Dima & Jae is a multiple-novel pain in the ass.

About: YA fantasy.  Magic is not allowed.  Magic is heresy.  Magic is a sin, meant to be extinct.  This is why Shri’s father sells her to a witch master.  Characters include: her later attendant/right now little girl Devika, and witch master Nagendra.  This is the beginning of the world that Shri creates, the one that Dima and Jae are born into.

comet novel: Sense8 meets Cloud Atlas meets The OA.  I posted about this only once, but that’s because it’s a novel that I’ll likely write after I’ve finally managed to work through all these other ideas because it’s a novel that’s going to take a hell of a lot of time.  Like, years.  Actual years to write.  Comet novel takes place in seven different countries with eight different characters in several different decades.  It still hurts my brain sometimes to think about it.

About: Adult fiction.  Their souls were born long ago, and they have been fighting their way back to each other for centuries until, finally, they are born again–in separate countries and in different times.  And yet, they can still hear and feel each other.  Characters include: the wanderer (Midwest America), the free spirit (New Zealand), the monk (Thailand), the soldier (Egypt, but from Greece), the healer (ISS, but from Bolivia), the witch (Italy), the aware (Antarctica, but from Africa), and the scientist (Argentina).

the Pen boys: my life right now.  I have currently written 106k words for these boys.  This was the beach trip with my anam cara that helped dissolve a lot of the doubt I had around my writing.  I said to Erin, “I want to write about boys and magic.”  Like Rónán, that was it.  That was the plot.  It took most of that day, and our drive to and from New York before I started forming a solid plot and characters, and still a while after that before I started writing, but I am officially halfway through the first novel, and wow, do I love these boys something fierce.

About: YA urban fantasy.  It’s not Harry Potter.  It’s much angstier, and it’s more energy work, tarot, and crystals than it is wand waving and Latin spells.  Penhallam Academy for Magic proudly houses the brightest boys Massachusetts has ever seen.  What they don’t know is that one of their boys has summoned the family demon, bound his cult following into its service, and is preparing to kill off those that oppose him.  Pen boys include: Oliver Hollands, James Goddard, Harrison Eldridge, James and Jasper Marlow.  Oliver is terribly sad, very broken, and just trying to survive.  James just wants to watch the world burn, though only because it’s trying to burn him first.  Harrison loves bright colors, accidentally fell in love with his best friend, and is busy trying to make everyone happy.  Other characters include: Ainsley & Parker Eldridge, villain Quinn Arkwright, and various parents/siblings/faculty/other students.

And that’s it?  There are actually two that are missing–Colin Luan and Isaac the vampire–but that’s because I’m not sure I’ll ever write those.  My plan, right now, is to eventually tackle every single idea above, and hopefully many more after that.  These are all ideas that I’ve worked on previously, and that I’ve loved enough to keep holding onto.  There are some–death-bringer, Ode à la mort, and the zombie sisters–that don’t have enough pull quite yet, but I think might someday.  But these are the ten that are in my brain right now, that are constantly vying for first position.  These are the stories I want to tell, the characters I want to explore, and the words I want to write.

One of the things I’ve always found so amazing about Maggie Stiefvater (favorite author, I’ll undoubtedly reference her a lot) is that she’s always got something else going on.  Even while writing one novel, another one is brewing.  I never knew that was how it worked.  For 11 years, I thought I had to finish this one idea before I could move onto something else.  Now that I’m free, I have ten ideas, and I’m so eager to dig into every single one of them.

So hey.  This is what the inside of my brain looks like.  Feel free to ask all the questions because writing is the one thing I will confidently talk about endlessly.  Why?  Because I’m damn good at it.

 

Hello again.

When I started this blog in December of 2016, it was both private and solely for Mason.  A lot has happened since then.  Obviously, it’s public now, and it’s about a hell of a lot more than just one boy.  (Really, it’s about all of my boys.)

But first, as always, the beginning.

Back in December, I was still friends with someone I had known since I was thirteen, someone I loved dearly, and someone who I had always shared my words with.  Four months later, we stopped speaking.  Hurtful things were said, and I’m not going to go into it here, but I am bringing it up for a reason.  My entire world tipped off its axis.  I stopped querying for Mason.  Every time I looked at it, it felt wrong.  It was irrational, but I felt like everything I wrote was awful.  I wanted to burn all of it.  I never wanted to look at it again.

Deep breaths.  This was not the end.  And really, all it took was one beach trip, my anam cara, and I was writing again.

I’m still working on Mason.  I’m not physically writing it, but he’s always there.  For now, he’s on the back burner.  I need to come to terms with his story.  More accurately, I need to rewrite it.  I need to get rid of the burnt pieces, and let him be born again.  For now, though, I have five new boys that I’m over the moon about.

And so, finally, I am making this blog public.  This is a space for me to talk about my writing, what I’m reading, even what I’m watching or listening to.  This is a space for words, in whatever shape or form they take.  Recently, I’ve been looking for other writer blogs to read.  I only ever read Maggie Stiefvater’s, but I need more.  Just like I follow 100+ yoga Instagrams, I need more writers in my life.  And so, I’m taking the plunge.  I’m letting the world into my very scary mind.  Like I said in the very first post of this blog, this is a kind of stream of consciousness into a writer’s insane mind.  Here’s hoping that this will help another writer say that, yes, finally, I’m ready.

Next up: Pen boys.

To Edit, or Not to Edit

Always edit.

While editing isn’t fun, it’s necessary.  And while editing may not feel like “real writing”, it is.  You are still creating.  You are still moving forward.  I hate that term–real writing.  Everything is real writing, even if writing means going about your business while creating in the back of your mind.  You’re always creating.

I have to keep telling myself this because I want to be writing.  I want to be putting words on paper, but right now is not the right time, so I keep reminding myself that by continuing work on Mason’s novel, I am still writing.

Edits have been going well.  I’ve got about the first 60 pages edited with content edits from Matt and line edits from Jack.  Erin has the first 50 pages right now to do final edits, and then I’ll give it one last go before I start sending out to agents that want actual pages.  Speaking of!  I submitted to three agents the other day.  It was exhilarating.  I have such a good feeling about Mason, and I really feel like it’s a story people need to hear.

The one book nonsense has been going well, too.  I’ve written a prologue that will give a little more substance to the Lukas half of the story, and I’ve been simplifying things a little (mainly the Order).  Right now, I’m working on a conversation between Mason and Olive to stick in between two chapters where it’s very much needed.

Overall, though, I really think I need a day at Life Alive/Jolie to get back to my roots and sink my teeth into him all over again.  I need to be in his environment.  Maybe this weekend.

Keep on writing.