All of the work presented on this blog is © Joanna Peterson.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I did it!

At 11:49 PM, July 29, 2015, I verified my word count with a total of 25,393 words.

I did it!

And now I can keep writing because I've uncovered a bit of a mystery in my story. And I know where it's all going to go, and it's really exciting.

Thanks for all your support this month!



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tragedy + Writing

It's been a while since I've written. I started the month off so great, just under 11K words written, that I almost didn't feel like I had to write until I caught up to my word count goal.

And then tragedy struck. We went for a nice family drive up the canyon. I was getting all sorts of inspiration. It was great. Nature is awesome that way. It's kind of like when we went camping and I stayed up a few extra hours that one night to write, and ended up writing a couple thousand words. By hand. In a lined notebook.

Anyway, there we were, driving through the canyon. Out of cell service. We stopped to speak to a camp host about their beautiful campground facility. When we went to drive on, we had no clutch. At all.

The camp host drove my husband down the canyon, leaving me with the tired, cranky kids at the campsite for two hours. Luckily, my amazing sister-in-law, her husband, and my nephew came to save us. They were going to tow us out if we couldn't get the car to start in first gear. Luckily, it did. My husband trucker shifted (I didn't even know this was a thing until Sunday!) all the way home - over 40 miles, if I remember correctly. We thought we could fix the hydraulic clutch ourselves, but alas, we couldn't. It was done for. We had to find a shop to take it in to get fixed. Sadly, everyone wanted as much as we paid for the car to rebuild the transmission. Except for one shop who was willing to do it for about half what we'd previously been quoted, if we picked the parts up for him. Sure thing! So now my car is in the shop, and I'm not nearly as stressed out about it. (I'm supposed to be getting it back tomorrow. Yay!)

So, since I'm no longer as stressed out about the car, I decided to see if I could actually write. I turned on Pandora Classical Radio and set to work. About 4K words later, I was actually caught up to where I needed to be today! And now I'm still going strong. It's looking like I might actually hit my word count goal if I push hard and keep writing tonight.

So, into the writing cave I go! Wish me luck!



Sunday, July 5, 2015



I just got back from 4 days of camping.

Yep, actual, quite literal camping.

It was fun. We were out in nature. With the bugs and the rain and the freaking hot, humid weather.

But it was fun.

I loved it.

The thing I think I love most about it is that it gave me some really great ideas for the project I'm working on for Camp Nano this month.

I'm not sure what it is about actual camping that does that, but it does. For example, I wrote the first half of the first draft of The Sector on a camping trip several years ago. Look where that got me! It's published! You can even get it in my local public library (which is pretty awesome).

So who knows? Maybe this current project will work out just as well for me? Maybe, just maybe, it will actually make it to publication. Or, at the very least, get written and out of my brain. Because believe me when I tell you there are a lot of stories taking up space up there, with more joining the ranks every day. I wish there were enough hours in the day to write, work, and take care of the family, but the truth is: there just aren't. So, until we find a way to make a 48 hour day and I only have to sleep for 6-8 hours of it, I'm going to have to take every second I can to write. And let's just say, I definitely took advantage of my time while we were out in nature.

I can't wait to be able to share some of what I've been writing. Be patient, my friends. It will be worth the wait.

Until then, wish me luck! I've crested 10,000 words, leaving just under 15,000 left to write by the end of the month.



Monday, June 29, 2015

Switching Cabins

OMG! I am totally that camper.

The one who complains that her bunkmates suck and asks to be moved to a different cabin.

Yep, I did.

They were really quiet. So very quiet.

Like, I'd been in the cabin for a week and no one had said anything.




I'm sorry, but I can't stand quiet cabins.

So I asked to be moved. And, because it's Camp Nano and they're awesome, they obliged.

And now I'm in a new cabin.

They all have similar writing goals (remember, mine is 25K), and we appear to be a diverse group of people. Some of the story synopses even sound like books I'd enjoy reading (not so big on Fantasy when reading, but they made it sound enjoyable and interesting).

But they're quiet too.

Now, I don't know how long the rest of them have been together. I just know that I just got assigned. So I decided to strike up a conversation and get us started. 

We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, I'm really excited about my project for Camp Nano! Except that I'm going out of town for the 4th of July, and I won't be within internet - or electricity - range at all. 

(We're going camping, in case you couldn't figure it out.)

Maybe I'll buy some lined notebooks and take them with me. After all, that is how The Sector got its start: camping Labor Day weekend forever ago. I wrote it by the light of the moon, the stars, and my tiny little battery-powered lantern that attracted the giantest moths you've ever seen. No lie.

And look how that turned out!

In the meantime, I'm working on something different. It's definitely going to be more sci-fi-y than The Sector was. And I'm excited about that. I even have a sequel novella planned (but mostly because part of it is going to be incorporated into part of what I'm working on. Confused? Yeah, me too!).

I'll try and blog before I go. If not, watch for my farewell to tech post on the Facebook page, and I'll see you all next week!

Thanks for reading! (and commenting! *hint hint*)



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Camp Nano

I got my cabin assignment for camp earlier this week! I totally forgot about it until the other day when I looked at the calendar and realized how close to July it really is. I'm not sure exactly how active my cabin is going to be. As of right now, we've been cabin mates for the better part of a week and no one has said anything in chat. They mostly have really low word count goals too. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if you stick to the planned schedule Nano provides of 1,667 words/day, you're more than likely to hit 10,000 words in a little over a week.

My goal is 25,000 words. July is going to be a little crazy. I can tell already! There's a ton of stuff going on in my real life that I won't get into right now (maybe later), so I'm going to make it so I can actually succeed this time around. In April I made it to just under 25,000 words, so I figure I can easily hit that in July.



I'll need all your help and support to keep me buoyed up, okay?

And maybe, just maybe, if I hit my goal at the end of July we'll have a giveaway of some sort.

How does that sound? Pretty sweet, right?

Here's the catch though: You have to actually participate here on the blog and over on the Facebook page. I know, I know, posting comments takes time and it's way easier to just like something. But if I'm going to hit this goal of 25K, I'm going to need some actual verbal support.

In exchange, I'll post little sneak peeks of what I'm working on. Sound like a good enough deal?

Yeah, that's what I thought! ;)

Well, I have 7 days left to plan - even though I'm not really the planning type - so I guess I'd better get started on that outline, huh?

Until next time!



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Please Don't Die!

I posted on Facebook earlier this week that our writing prompt for today was going to come from 642 Things to Write About (Buy it Here), and was going to involve telling a dying houseplant why it needs to live.

So, here goes! Please feel free to share your versions on the Facebook page or in the comments here on the blog.

Thanks for reading!



Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission when you click through and purchase the items. This helps me fund my writing. Thanks! :)

(As always, all original work posted by me is copyright Joanna Peterson 2015. Thanks!)

I stared at the wilted leaves, wondering why, after I'd cared so diligently for it, it had decided to die anyway. I watered it when the soil dried out. I kept it near the window so it would get enough sunlight. Heck, I even bought the expensive plant food at the nursery and followed the directions to the letter.

And yet, there it sat in front of me, dying. I knelt on the floor next to the little side table I'd set the basket on and clasped my hands before it. 

"Please, little plant," I begged. "Please, oh please, don't die on me. Not now. He already thinks I have the Black Thumb of Death. If you die now, despite my best efforts to care for you, he'll blame me forever."

I stared intently at the little plant my boyfriend had given me just a few weeks before, as if I was waiting for it to respond. Like it would explain to me why, after all my hard work and loving care, it was deciding to leave this world. Naturally, it didn't say anything. It was just a plant, after all. 

"Come on!" I shouted, slamming my fist down on the table. "Really? You're really going to die on me?"

Now I was starting to feel silly. I was shouting at a plant. A houseplant. A freaking peace lily!

I pushed myself off the floor and started toward the kitchen where I kept the plant food and the watering can. I wasn't going to let it just drop dead on my watch. I would nurture the crap out of that little plant until it either gave in and perked up and continued to live, or decided to go all in and die on me.

"Fine!" I shouted at it as I filled the watering can in the kitchen sink. "See if I care if you die or not! I won't give up on you though, little plant. And if you do crap out on me, he'll understand. He's seen the care I've given you. He won't blame me. Your little plan to screw with our relationship won't work."

I shoved the watering spout down toward the roots of the little, dying peace lily and poured water on its dry roots. I'd show it. I'd show it I wasn't giving up. I'd die before I let that stupid little plant die.

Okay, maybe not, I thought to myself as I returned to the kitchen and placed the watering can back beneath the sink. I was just being dramatic. But that plant meant so much to me. It was the first real thing he'd given me. And if it died, well, I was afraid it was a sign of how our relationship would end. I glanced back over my shoulder, sizing up the wilted leaves. 

I blinked. Were they that wilted before? Or did they seem a little perkier now that they'd been watered. I sat on the couch, staring directly at the plant. I was going to sit there and wait until I knew for sure. I'd sit there all night if I had to. Luckily, I didn't. Three hours later, the leaves definitely looked perkier than before. I smiled as I brushed past the peace lily to draw the curtains closed.

"That's a good plant," I said, patting its leaves softly as I walked past toward my bedroom. "That's a good plant indeed."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Between Drafts

I've been reading the books I bought over the last few years about writing. Writing a book in a month, outlining your book, blogging about your book, even story generators. It's been fun, and I've gotten a lot of ideas. In fact, I think that's why I've been blogging so much lately.

Anyway, I thumbed through one of the books the other night called Novel Blogging (Buy it here) and found several great ideas for things to write about here on the blog. One of which is the topic we're going to cover today.

I know a lot of people wonder why it takes so long (at least, for me) to write a novel. Escaped and The Sector each took years to complete before they were ready for publishing. It's been several years since I've published them, and I know I've promised sequels. Believe me, I'm working on them!

But why does it take so long?

For me, I have to let the story sit and stew for a while. Sometimes it's as short as a few weeks or months, and sometimes it's as long as several years. It really just depends on how bad the draft is, how much work the story needs, and how I'm feeling about where everything went.

See, I've got everything all planned out in my head, and most of the time I can manage to get from where Book 1 left off to where Book 2 needs to end. Sometimes, as is the case in the two sequels I'm currently working on, characters go crazy and do totally unexpected things and throw the whole plan away. It really makes it hard to work in Book 3 or 4 (no promises here!) when my characters do that. And it's really frustrating and makes me wonder if the new plan is the right thing, or if the old plan needs to come back. You see where I'm going with this?

So what happens in between drafts?

Well, Draft 1 gets finished and I let it sit for a good while. Usually at least a month (lately a little longer). Then, I mull over the things I want to happen vs what actually happened in the story, and try to decide if it's going to be easy or difficult to insert said ideas into the existing draft.

If I decide it's going to be difficult, usually I'll scrap about 75% of what I've written and start fresh, keeping only the bits that I really, really liked that worked well with the new version of the draft.

Then I finish Draft 2. It's usually about this point where I send it off to my Beta Reader (love her, she's the BEST!) and then she rips it to pieces. :) After I get it back from her, I let it stew for a few weeks before diving in with fresh eyes, making changes, and adding or subtracting things. Then I send it back to my Beta Reader. This process goes on until the manuscript is finally in a good place.

Then I let it sit for a few more weeks before I begin editing.

Once editing starts, I power through the whole thing multiple times in about two or three weeks. Then I work on the cover, the description, and I send it out for a final proofread. And then, once it finally passes muster, I hit the publish button in Amazon and Barnes & Noble, cross my fingers, and hope for the best. :)

Hopefully this explains a lot to all of you, and kind of sheds some light on why I've taken so long in producing sequels.

I promise, I'm working on them. I promise, I'm on Draft 2 on both. It's just taking some time to get it Beta Reader ready. But, soon, hopefully very soon, they will be on their way to my Beta Reader, and then we can get the ball rolling toward publishing again.



Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission when you click through and purchase the items. This helps me fund my writing. Thanks! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Let's Cast a Movie!

Okay, so not really. Don't get all excited. I wish, but not going to happen. Not yet, at least.

Let's pretend we've got a movie deal for Escaped, shall we?  Who would you cast for the following characters?

Jamie Lynn Turner
Rob Stanton
Joel Earnson
Sam Wellington
Whitney Andrews
Lacey Martin
Todd Turner
Julie Turner
Detective Turturro

Can't wait to see who you've picked! Leave your ideas in the comments. I'm still thinking my cast over, but I'll be sharing it later this week.



Monday, June 15, 2015

I'm totally going to use this one in something!

Today's writing prompt was to describe a notification scene at a family's home who has just been told their loved one was killed in combat, is a prisoner of war, or missing in action. (Taken from 642 Things to Write About. Can you tell I'm kind of loving this book? Want a copy? Buy it here!)

I've been working on something for the past year or so, and there's a similar scene to this writing prompt that I've just not been able to get right. Well, I think I've got it (partially) figured out. I hope you enjoy. Please let me know what you think in the comments!



Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission when you click through and purchase the items. This helps me fund my writing. Thanks! :)

(As always, all original work is copyright Joanna Peterson 2015. Thanks!)

This was my least favorite part of the job. The suburban pulled to a stop in front of the next home. I slid off the leather seat, taking slow, deliberate steps toward the front door. It was open, the family waiting for someone other than me. I watched as their faces turned from excitement to dread as I walked up the front path.

I offered my deepest condolences as I read the pre-printed letter in my hand. The mother's eyes rolled back in her head as she shrieked and fell to the ground. Her daughter, tears streaming down her face, rushed forward to help her. The father stared blankly at me as he took the letter I offered him. He didn't say a word to anyone as he turned, stepped over his wife's limp body on the floor, and stormed away. The daughter glanced up at me, screaming obscenities and begging me to let them grieve in peace.

I bowed my head and retreated to the suburban, disappointed that, of all the notifications I'd done that afternoon, this was the best - if "best" was even the word you would use to describe such a grim and horrible task. I shut the door, avoiding the urge to glance back at the grieving family I left behind as the suburban sped off toward my next notification assignment.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

It's Dark in Here

Today's writing prompt was to put yourself in the dark and write what happens. (Taken from 642 Things to Write About)

I had a lot of fun with this one. Let's just say I have some personal experience where this topic is concerned. haha

Let me know what you think in the comments!



(As always, all original work is copyright Joanna Peterson 2015. Thanks!)

I open my eyes, but still can't see anything. I swing my legs off the bed and stand, bumping into the bookshelf next to the bed. Water splashes on my bare foot, and I realize I've just managed to spill my glass of water all over the floor. I shuffle toward the door, keeping one hand on the mattress to guide me. I trip and stumble over a shoe, bumping my hip into the metal corner of the laundry hamper. I reach out toward the wall, feeling for the switch with my fingers. I press the button, and blink in the brilliant light from the LED on the ceiling.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Dear Girlfriend

Today's writing prompt is: You are 21. Write a letter to your girlfriend. (Taken from 642 Things to Write About)

I decided to play off of the letter I did last night from the 13 year old girl's point of view. Let me know what you think in the comments!



(As always, original work is copyright Joanna Peterson 2015. Thanks!)

Dear Girlfriend,

Do you realize I've kept every single thing you've ever written to me? I just found a note you wrote when we were 13. Don't get me wrong, I love you more today than I ever did back then, but you were pretty sappy. (Also, kind of obsessed with Mrs. Hamilton's ears - which I had completely forgotten about.)

I just wanted you to know how much I love and appreciate everything you've done for me over the years. You are my lifeline to the shore as I battle the waves of the unknown.

Thank you for keeping me grounded and tied to home. I don't know what I would do without you.

I love you,

Your Boyfriend

Friday, June 12, 2015

Dear Boyfriend

Last night I worked on some writing exercises. I was in the mood to write, but I had no idea what I wanted to write about, or work on. (I know, you're all going to say "Work on the sequels!" but I just wasn't feeling it.) So on a whim I pulled out my copy of 642 Things to Write About and thumbed through it.

I stumbled across a few exercises that I thought sounded like fun. The one I'm posting below prompted me to write a letter as a 13 year old to her boyfriend. Fairly easy, having written several (but never sent them - they were always kept secret in my locked journal. Aah, the days of early teenhood) as a 13 year old myself, I was able to channel past me and I think I nailed it.

If you'd like to check the book out, and get 642 writing prompts all to yourself, you can buy it here.

Let me know what you think in the comments! (And, as always, all original work posted on this blog is copyright Joanna Peterson 2015). Thanks!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission when you click through and purchase the items. This helps me fund my writing. Thanks! :)



Dear Boyfriend,

Today at school was awesome. You totally looked so-o hot in those Lucky Jeans you were wearing.
I'm totally bummed that the only class we have together is English.

Also, do you think Mrs. Hamilton even has ears? Janie said that Rob said that Susan heard she was in a really bad car accident like 10 years ago and she lost her one ear.

Ew! Totally gross! If that's true, it totally explains why she wears her hair like that.

Anyways, I was thinking we could work on our English homework together? I started my poem assignment already.  What do you think?

Roses are dumb,
Violet's a fool
'Cuz everyone knows
In the whole school:
You belong to me,
I belong to you,
And that will never change
'Cuz our love is too new. 

I love you babe!


Your girlfriend

*muah! *

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It's a Love Hate Relationship

I hate vacations. But I love vacations.

Vacations are awesome while you're on them, but as soon as you get home and reality hits you square in the face, they suck. Hard core.

After recently returning from a vacation, I feel like I need another vacation to unwind from the vacation.

Who else is with me on this one? *raises hand*

I took my laptop with me on my last vacation with every intention of spending hours writing.

I didn't.

I wrote 553 words.

But that's better than nothing, right?

Now that I'm home and unpacked (sort of), I hope to be able to get back into the full swing of writing regularly before July when the next round of Camp NaNoWriMo starts.

So, what would you like me to work on in July? Here are the options:

Escaped #2 (finish from April Camp NaNoWriMo)
The Sector #2 (rewrite draft 1)
Omega 5 (new project)
The Choice (working title, project from 2013)
Untitled New Adult Project #1 (project from 2013)
Untitled Fantasy Project #2 (project from 2014)

Leave your vote in the comments. I look forward to hearing everyone's opinions. Also, check out the poll on the Facebook page (it's the post pinned to the top of the page) and make sure to vote over there, too!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Something New

You guys! I'm working on something new!

I know, I know!

When are the sequels to the other books going to get finished?

Someday. I promise. But I'm kind of stuck so I figured I'd work on something that has been bugging me to get out onto paper (or the computer screen) for a while now.

Want a sneak peek?

I thought you might.

Please keep in mind, this is completely unedited. Like, I wrote it tonight. So be nice in your comments as far as grammatical errors are concerned. ;)

Thanks for reading!



“Community College sucks,” I grumbled as I staggered up the steep marble steps of the oldest building on campus. It was so run down and in dire need of repair that I had to keep dodging the broken steps. I dropped a book. “Son of a –”

“Need some help?” a voice called from behind me.

I turned as I bent down to grab my book, dropping the other five I held clutched in my arms.

“Apparently,” I smiled with a shrug. “Thanks.”

He ran up the stairs easily, not even out of breath when he reached me, and handed me the first book I dropped.

“Thanks,” I blushed as I gathered the rest of my things. “I can’t believe I’m such a clutz. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been up and down these stupid stairs. I should have it figured out by now.”

“The trick is to just keep going,” he said with a smile. His deep blue eyes twinkled at me as the sunlight glinted off them. “Don’t worry if the step is broken. Just keep going. You won’t wear out as easily. Promise.”

“Thanks for the tip,” I laughed. The clock tower chimed the hour and I groaned. “But now I’m late for class. I really need to get going.”

“I could help you get out of trouble,” he offered hastily. Then, as if to cover his eagerness, he added with a shrug, “Or not. Whatever.”

“And how could you get me out of trouble with my professor?” I chuckled. “It’s the first day of class, I’m already behind on my reading, and I’ve heard he’s a real hard –”

“Hey!” he objected. “I’m not that bad!”

My mouth dropped open in surprise. I swear my eyeballs practically popped out of my head. Was I seriously standing there on the steps of the oldest building on campus talking to my professor – and thinking about how awesome his eyes were, because seriously, they were awesome – and had I really just almost called him a hard –?

“Hello?” he waved his hand in front of my face, interrupting my scattered, rambling thoughts. “You still here?”

“Hi, yeah, sorry,” I blinked wildly, trying to regain control of my brain, mouth, and other necessary functions. “Sorry, I didn’t realize you were my professor. Your bio made you sound a lot –”

“Older?” he offered. I shook my head. “Stuffier? Boring? Ancient? I’ll accept any of those answers.”

“No!” I objected. “The course description itself was enough to draw me in, but then when I read your bio and all the things you’ve accomplished, I knew I just had to be one of your students.”

“Smart move,” he winked at me as he turned and escorted me up the rest of the stairs. “Brown nose the professor on the first day before class. Always works.”

----Untitled Project, copyright Joanna Peterson 2015

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Reading Challenge

Have you participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge before? It's currently in its fifth year, and I've set my biggest goal ever.

Goodreads: Book reviews, recommendations, and discussion

I know, it sounds crazy. But it's totally doable.

Two weeks ago we signed our littlest one (3 years old) up for the 1000 books before Kindergarten reading program at our local library. It challenges the parents and the children to read a range of books, completing 1000 books before the child begins kindergarten.

We have roughly two years until that happens.

And so I set my goal for 2015 to read 500 books. That's half (and they get a prize when they get halfway, which is awesome and she's really excited about it!).

We're two weeks in and already at 74 books.

I know, I know, the widget says (as of May 10, 2015) that I'm only at 73.

Guess what? If your kid really likes a book and you read it more than once, it counts each time!


We've only re-read 2 books. So far, so good.

The best part of it is that it's exposing me to children's books I never knew about, or reminding me of some of my favorites from childhood I'd forgotten. And the 3yo is finding some favorites of her own.
Our reading stack from the last 3 nights.

She's OBSESSED with the Curious George series.

And she LOVES Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type. She whispered "Click clack moo" as she fell asleep tonight. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

The Fancy Nancy and Madeline series are also looking to become new favorites. I grew up on the Madeline books, so it makes me happy she loves them as much as I did. Fancy Nancy is new to both of us, but darling.

Every night she asks for "Just one more book?" And every night, I oblige.

I checked 32 books out from the library on Saturday. We've already read half of them!

I think my favorite part of this whole experience - so far - is that reading has always been a big part of my life, and she is starting to love it as much as I did. I was the kid who snuck into the hall and read by the light coming from downstairs because I had to know what happened next in my Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys/Bobbsey Twins books (and ruined - RUINED!!! - my eyes in the process).

My son loves reading, but on his own terms. He hates that it's required 30 minutes daily for school. I think if he could just read whenever and whatever, he'd be happier. The library is seriously becoming one of his favorite places, and I couldn't be more proud. And now his sister is joining in the family tradition.

So, what do you read with your kids? Do you have a reading goal? It's not too late to join the challenge! Sure, we're about halfway through the year (almost) but that doesn't mean you can't still get in 1, 2, or even 10 books.

Read. Read to gain knowledge. Read for fun. Read to your kids.

Whatever you do, just READ.

(Oh, yeah, and read my books, because they are seriously great!) haha ;)



Sunday, May 3, 2015

Goodbye Camp!

April is over.

It's sad. I didn't make it to my goal. 50,000 words is a lot to write, though, when real life is crazy busy.

Up side: I did write over 23,000 words (23.084 to be exact), so that's good. It's kind of like its own mini-win. I'm that many words closer to being finished with this sequel that has been hanging over my head, tormenting me for a few years now. And this time around, it's actually pretty good (if I do say so myself!).

Will I try again in July? 


Will my goal be 50,000?

Probably not.

Maybe more like 25,000. I almost hit 25K. I probably could've hit it if I'd been able to write on the night of the 30th (instead, I was taking care of my sick littlest one. Not fun, people. Not fun.)

Will I do NaNoWriMo in November?

Maybe. We'll see how real life and my other "real" jobs (  <= Yes, there are multiple real jobs! I'm crazy, I know!) are going. Some years it's doable, some years it isn't. 

What about NaBloPoMo? (What is NaBloPoMo, you ask? It's National Blog Post Month. And it's in November, too.)

We'll see. I've thought about it seriously this year. Not making any commitments just yet, though. November is a long way away.

In the meantime, I appreciate all the encouragement I've been getting on my Facebook page. It's really helped!

Until next time!



Saturday, April 25, 2015

So Behind

I am so behind! I'm only at about 18,000 words at the present, and there are 4 days until the end of the month. Yippee! I don't think I'll hit 50K, and it kind of makes me sad.

But, on the positive, at least I'm writing again, right? I am still thinking about the novel, even if I'm not writing on it every day. It seriously has been haunting my thoughts. How am I going to get to the awesome ending I have planned for it? What are my characters going to do to change the pre-conceived plot I have?

The bonus is that I'm just over halfway to what I wrote last April, so I figure as long as I beat my 2014 numbers, I'll be okay. And, if I don't make it to 50K, I can always try again in July.


Life has been pretty crazy.

So we'll see.

Until then, wish me luck! Send me all the good writing vibes you can.



Monday, April 13, 2015



How do you come up with your ideas of what to write?

I get asked that a lot, and my answer might actually surprise you.

I dream novel.

Yeah, you read that right. I dream most of my books. I know, it's totally weird. I don't dream very often, but when I do, I dream so vividly. I can see the characters, I can hear their voices so clearly.

Don't believe me?

I had a dream when I was in high school. It festered in my brain for years. Now? It's the main plot of Escaped.

True Story.

About six years ago, I had another dream. It was totally crazy and full of all these really weird sci-fi elements. Totally not my normal thing. But, with a little tweaking, it turned into The Sector.

I have countless other unfinished projects that all started out the same way: in a dream. Some of them might get written. Some of them are just scenes, glimpses into a moment between characters that have stuck with me for years, and need a ton of work to actually make a good story. Some of them will just be jotted down as an outline on paper, left behind for me to smile at and remember (like the one where that one guy who plays Superman - yeah, the hot one - moves in next door to high school me and wants to be my BF. Yep, that one is staying. haha). And then there are some dreams that no matter how hard I try, they just aren't good novel material.

But others? Others turn into a six-book-long series all partially written and waiting to be finished and sent off to the beta readers.

True Story.

Every author is different. No one will have the exact same answer to the "how" question. But we all have an answer.

So what's your how?

It doesn't have to be just about writing. It can be anything.

How did you come up with your awesome Lego creation?
How did you decide what subject to paint?

How did you come up with your creative idea, be it quilting, sewing, designing, architecture, painting, etc. Let me know in the comments!!



Monday, April 6, 2015

The Why


That's a question I get asked a lot. Second only to "How did you come up with this?" - but that's another post for another day.

To get back to my #2 question:


Why do you write?

Honestly? It's kind of a compulsion. Even if I'm not writing at all (like this past year - dark days, people, dark days), I'm constantly thinking about where the story is going or what my characters look like. Last week I even gave one of my main characters a drastic hair cut and color.

Yes, they are fictitious.

Yes, they really only live in my head - for now.

But when they are finally ready to meed the world, it'll be great.

Again, back to the "why?" and the compulsion to actually write a novel.

A) I love it! Seeing something I've dreamed up come to life on paper/my computer screen is amazing. There's this giant bundle of mixed emotions once I type the last words, but it's totally worth it.

B) Hearing people's reactions - even the bad ones - is awesome. At first it's totally scary.
What if they don't like it?
What if my book totally tanks?
What if I fail?
Don't listen to the what ifs!! I know, it's hard. That's why I took a year off: too many what ifs. But once you block them out and accept the good, the bad, and the "it was just okay" reviews, you're set. My philosophy? If they wrote a review - or even gave it some stars - you touched the reader enough to elicit a response.

And that's what's important.

So now, when people ask why, I respond:

"Because I love it."

It's as simple as that.

So what's your why? Tell me why you do what you do in the comments!



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Camping in April

So I'm writing for Camp Nano again. This time I think I'll finish. My goal is 50,000 words - a lot, I know - but I'm working on something I've been thinking about for a while. It's got a lot of mystery to it. It's going to be really interesting seeing how it all plays out in the end. I'm actually really excited about it.

I started off slow. Only a couple thousand words the first few days, then ending with just over 5000 last week. Well, when I logged into my server to get my file, it hadn't updated last week. Nope. I lost approximately 1000 words.

It was really hard on me.

But I got them back, and I think they're even better this time around. I honestly can't really remember what that other 1000 words was about, just that it was kind of boring. I might have been making my characters eat. I hate writing about eating. It's kind of obnoxious. Can't we just assume that book characters eat? Unless it's totally pivotal to the story, and then by all means, write the eating in. But, in most cases, it seems like it's just a filler. I have a friend writing a novel, and she said to me once that it felt like her main character was seriously eating every time she wrote a scene. So, whenever I write a food scene, I try to remember that conversation and then I pare down the eating. Because eating is BORING.

Anyway, I'm really digging the mystery that's suddenly popped up into this project. There are several characters I just started writing into the story, and they're really going to make a mess of things I think. Which is good. It keeps me on my toes. I mean, I know where this book needs to end up, but for the most part I haven't planned anything out.

I posted an excerpt over on the Facebook page, so head over there and let me know what you think! Seriously, I want it all: the good, the bad (but please keep it clean; it's a family-friendly page). Leave a comment. Or you could like it. You could even share the post if you wanted to. I'd totally let you. Whatever you do, keep in mind that it's a totally unedited piece of what I wrote tonight.

And with that, I'm going to call it a night. I'm only at just under 7500 words so I need to rest and let those creative juices flow so I can catch up on the ever-elusive word count goal.

50,000! What was I thinking?! (No, but seriously, what was I thinking?)

Thanks for following and for all your support!



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A case of the funks

I've been in a funk the last year or so. I blame my Real Day Job #1 (writing is what I get to do at night after my family goes to bed and I can blast my music loud and immerse myself in the computer). I had a couple of bad months, and it really affected me negatively. I got in this weird funk. I didn't even want to read anymore, guys!

It was bad.

And then November hit, and I thought "I can totally do this NaNoWriMo thing." But then real life got in the way and one of my kids had to have special testing done, and it was all so freaking stressful that I said "Screw it!" and put my laptop away.

Not that it helped keep me less stressed during the holidays. Real Day Job #1 compacted with Real Day Job #2 and being Mommy, and well - you get the picture. Let's just say I ate. a. lot. Which depressed me even more, because let me tell you, being fat is no picnic, especially when you have a lot of stairs in your house.

So there I was, stuck in this endless cycle of misery and depression and not wanting to do anything.

And then I was driving to Real Day Job #2 and a song came on Pandora and I thought, "Huh, that might work for one of my unfinished projects that needed to be finished like last year."

And then there was another song, and another, and another, and before I knew it, I was rewriting the plot in my head and wishing I had a tape recorder - and that my phone wasn't in use for something else - to record all these awesome ideas on.

So I went home and started writing again. Just 2200 words at first. And then I let it sit for a few weeks because, life. And Real Day Job #2 again.

But now things have calmed down a bit. Sure, life is always going to be stressful with doctor appointments, school, homework, work, real life crap I don't want to have to deal with. But I'm finally in a good place with this story and the plot and the way I want to take it, that I think I'll start working on it more.

And if I start working on it more, then that means more sneak peeks over on the Facebook page for you all! So, head on over there, like my page (make sure you set notifications to on!) and get ready for some excerpts.