My Current Writing Projects

My Current Writing Projects

While When Stars Die is still on sub, I not only finished hardcore revisions of a contemporary novel I started several years ago, but I also finished outlining an entire novel in the paranormal romance genre, a genre I didn’t think I was going to ever visit again. Not only that, but I have made a major change to the third book in The Stars Trilogy. But before I get to that, I want to talk about my contemporary novel a little bit.

It was originally called The Glorious In-Between because the story focused more on the queer-platonic relationship between two asexual characters, but after receiving some feedback that the protagonist didn’t really push the story along, that stuff happened to her but she didn’t make much happen, I had to completely tear the plot apart and redo it. There’s still a queer-platonic relationship in it, but it’s not the main focus. Instead the focus is on something entirely different, and I hope that new focus means my MC is now the one making things happen. That one is currently being critiqued.

As for the novel whose outline I finished, it is currently untitled; a title won’t come until I’ve actually started putting the story itself on paper. However, what I can say about it is that it’s a magical girl story (sans transformations), something I’ve always wanted to write since watching Puella Magi Madoka Magika for the first time. I was fascinated with how that show turned the magical girl trope on its head and ultimately turned into something dark and delicious. Being drawn to magical girls myself and the concept of girls/women having incredible powers inaccessible to boys/men, I knew I wanted to transition this concept to novel format. Of course, they won’t be called magical girls. It’ll be a play on words.

Like The Stars Trilogy, it’ll take place in the 19th century. But unlike my trilogy, it’ll take place in our world instead of a made-up one.

I don’t know when I’ll able to start writing this. I’m hoping to hear some good news about When Stars Die soon, so that’ll have to take precedence. And also, I start PT school officially tomorrow. I’m hoping I can fit my writing life into it as well as take care of my mental health.

As for the third book in my trilogy, All Stars Align, it’s been several years in the making. I outlined it once, did have the draft written, started re-writes, but I just wasn’t happy with it. The entire novel was from Amelia’s perspective because a reader of mine recommended I do that; however, I wasn’t feeling it with her perspective–I wasn’t close to it. It seemed wrong because the stakes weren’t high enough for her. Her primary concern has always been her younger brother, Nathaniel, and her story had already been told in When Stars Die. Alice’s story is told in the sequel. It’s time for someone else to have the spotlight.

So I’ll be re-doing the outline and giving that spotlight to Nathaniel because the stakes are highest for him. I won’t reveal any spoilers as to why this is.

But that’s what’s going on, and I ask that you all wish me luck!

Styling a Writer’s Desk

Styling a Writer’s Desk

If you’re wondering why I’ve been writing posts so close together, it’s not because I lost my job again (I haven’t), I’m just in a bipolar mixed state, so throughout random times during the day, I’ll have bursts of energy, even if it’s drowning in some form of depression. But I want to talk about something fun to see if other writers are as anal about their writing spaces as I am. I am very much into cute culture, so everything on my desk is pretty much cute and pink and pastel or just outright cool looking. I have more desk pieces, actually, and posters I’d love to hang, but they’re in a storage unit. I’ll likely collect them soon since I don’t want anything happening to them, and I’ll keep them in the closet until I graduate PT school and my husband and I get our own place. Anyway, this is what my desk area looks like:

Big Pic

 

So you can see I have a lot of little decorative items because I don’t do any work in that space. If I want to handwrite things, I’m usually chilling in my bed, and sometimes I’ll work on my laptop in my bed. It’s all cutesy stuff. (I should definitely do something with that space above my computer monitor, shouldn’t I?) I also recently brought out that butterfly panorama light-up thing because my nights haven’t been so great–or I haven’t been doing too well at night. The mixed states just get worse, so the light and the butterflies are rather comforting and keep me from harming myself.

I have an even more close-up version of all my little trinkets:

Part Desk

The little cat set-up I purchased during a manic phase. It was just irresistibly cute, but it makes for great desk decor. It’s from Calico Critters, and I honestly wouldn’t mind purchasing more things and actually building up a collection. You can also see I pretty much adore cats, from the cat keychain on that pink binder to the cat sitting on the card with the cherry blossom tree to the cat pen to Hello Kitty to the aqua-blue squishy cat and of course the Calico Critters themselves. Hidden behind my computer monitor in the previous pic is a golden good luck cat I purchased in China Town in New York. In the previous pic, I also have a cat mug a personal training client purchased for me for Christmas. She also gave me a matching pencil case.

Now here’s a close-up of an original piece of art I purchased from my former place of work:

ART-2

 

I am absolutely in love with this piece, as you can tell by the opaque heart I put on it. It’s a cherry blossom tree, and cherry blossoms are my favorite types of flowers (even though I have never personally seen one). And this piece was inexpensive, which was absolutely shocking. I think it was $35.00. It deserves to be so much more, but since the artist left no information about her, I could only guess she simply wanted people to enjoy  her work without spending copious amounts of money–though I never judge artists who do demand high prices. Art supplies aren’t cheap, and their labor is valuable.

And what makes this piece so special? It’s the only one, and I will ever be its only owner, until I pass it down to either my niece or nephew, whoever is an art appreciator.

Now for the last part of my desk space:

Cat

Yes, I hung up my Certificate of Admission to the University of St. Augustine. I’m just so proud of getting into this university because I never saw myself going to grad school, let alone getting a doctorate in the sciences. It’s also the only school I applied to, and I had to work really hard to make sure I got in the first time. I had to tailor both myself and my application to convince them that I was/am the right fit for this school. I have to believe I will make a great physical therapist.

As for the little ballet trinket tacked to the wall, I’m sure that’s supposed to commemorate the birth of a baby, but I bought it to celebrate the year I got en pointe, which was 2012, also the same year I started ballet. It was a big deal to me because I thought it’d take several years for me to get en pointe, but it only took 10 months, so by the time I decided to switch from private lessons to group classes, I was already in grade 4.

So there’s my writer’s space, styled in all its glory.

Now I want to see yours.

Eulogy for My Cat

Eulogy for My Cat

It’s been another long while since I’ve blogged on here. My last post was July 13th, which was a mere week before my cat, Neko, had to be put down. That’s when the drive to tap into my limbic system just fizzled out. The words weren’t there. The feelings were overrun by ways of keeping myself distracted–throwing myself into my job and throwing myself into my schoolwork.

If you’ve never felt the affection of a pet, it’s hard to understand the despair you undergo. I’ve lost loved ones, but considering I didn’t even see them yearly, their passing was nowhere near as devastating as losing my cat. And I can’t know what it’s like to lose a child. I’m not interested in ever having children, but I can tell you the loss of my cat has left a deep crevasse in my heart so unscalable that crampons and miles of rope won’t help.

Some people like to think the love of an animal is shallow. They only enjoy your presence because you feed them. That’s not the case at all.

When I moved out, I didn’t take Neko with me because I didn’t want to force her into an environment she would be unfamiliar with, so I left her with my parents. Yet, even though my mom had always fed her, her affections were tied to me whenever I visited. Her audible purring was enough to let me know that my presence made her happy.

She was never a lap cat, but she always loved to be near me. And I’ve been using the excuse for so long that I don’t have enough time to write the third book in The Stars Trilogy, when, in reality, it’s been hard to write it because she is no longer here. I wrote the first two books with her always at my side. She was a constant fixture in my writing life, and writing, frankly, is not the same without her.

I have started the third book, of course, 500 words a day at a time, but my writing life feels so empty because she is no longer here to purr by my side, to lay on my notes, to beg for pets when I’m just trying to type something. Even when I moved out and left her with my parents I cried for a week because I missed having her near me so badly. I missed waking up and she wasn’t there to greet me. Eventually I accepted her absence, as I knew she was much better off with my parents. But it’s been five months since we had to put her down because she may have had stomach cancer, and accepting that she’s gone is not any easier.

I still cry a few days a week at night when I’m in bed by myself because my husband comes to bed a little later. And I always tell myself that if something ever came along and said it’d grant any wish in exchange for my soul, I would wish to have her back and have her live forever so that even when I pass, she can go on to bring someone else joy, and she can go on to keep experiencing the world in a different way with each person she lives with. Even as I type this it’s hard to keep back the tears.

I’m so bitter that she died too soon. She was twelve, and while some may argue that’s plenty, there are many cats who live a few years longer than that and some into their twenties. In fact, not only did we put my cat down last year, we also had to put down our little dog who got to live to be sixteen. And while I grew up with that little dog and spent more time living with her than without, her death just could not affect me the way my cat’s did.

You can bond with an animal the same way you can bond with a person, and it is so, so incredibly painful when that bond is severed by an untimely death that is so cruel and unfair. I wish I could believe suffering was meaningful, but it’s absolutely meaningless. I don’t know to what extent that she suffered–only that she did.

I can tell you that the day my mom and I put her down was the worst day of my life. And I’ve been run through the gamut of things.

Her death was so painful because she fought the vet every step of the way. She hissed and growled and spat, and I couldn’t even hold her as she fell asleep and they delivered the final injection that put her down for good. I screamed and cried and apologized to her all the while and couldn’t believe the nightmare I was experiencing. I cried the whole day. I cried for weeks after. What kept me together was just being distracted.

This world can be such a cruel joke, giving us the ability to feel so deeply that we’re paralyzed when our minds experience something inconceivable. And her death was and will always be inconceivable because why did I have to lose her so soon? How come I didn’t get to see her death miles away like I did with our little dog who was able to die of old age? We had another dog, too, who got to die of old age. And if my mom reads this, hopefully she won’t mind me admitting that she told me she would have preferred our little dog to go before Neko–and it’s only because she was old and showing signs of old age and Neko arguably was not old and was certainly not showing signs of old age. If she did have stomach cancer, it’s a type of cancer even young cats can fall prey to.

She’s occasionally in my dreams. Mostly I dream that she appears out of nowhere, as if her death was just a game of hide and seek. In these dreams, I hold her close to me and cry tears of joy that she isn’t truly gone. And then I wake up with a feeling of emptiness knowing that will never come true.

I do have moments where I want another cat. My parents have two cats now named Gracie and Tessa. Gracie’s a cuddle bug, and Tessa’s still new and so is distant from everyone, except when her and Gracie play. So I’m much more familiar with Gracie than I am with Tessa, and even though Gracie melts like putty when you hold her, I realize that my affections for Neko will never be replaced. I visit my parent’s house and yearn for her to appear out of nowhere. She’d probably be angry and jealous that I’m holding another cat, but I think she’d eventually warm up to the idea of living with two other cats and would hopefully become close to them.

I just wish I had more years with her. I thought one day I would be able to take her with me once my husband and I moved somewhere that accepted pets, but now that can never happen.

I’d like to be both more emotionally and financially available before considering adopting a kitty–and I’d want two so that they’re not alone when my husband and I are at work.

There’s no magic way of coping with the death of a pet. Being distracted was the best thing for me. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to survive at work, but it’s the one thing that kept me going. I know if I didn’t have work to go to, I would have initially spent my time alone at home crying all day. I didn’t even think I’d have the emotional faculties to survive anatomy and physiology, but I’m so driven to achieve my purpose in life that I don’t think there is anything in this world that can stop me.

When there are moments when I can’t stand how horrible it is that she’s no longer here, I try to remind myself that I’ve got a lot of love in me to give to many a deserving cat out there. So I just have to keep chipping away at the obstacles in life in order to provide the best life for my future hypothetical cats. If there’s an expensive surgery that can mean the difference between saving its life or having to put it down, I want to have the means to be able to pay for that.

Before the vet claimed Neko may have had cancer, I thought she just hadn’t started eating yet because the antibiotics hadn’t fully cleared an undiagnosed infection from her system. Or she was just so stressed about being force fed that she couldn’t bring herself to voluntarily eat. I was willing, at that very moment, to dip into my savings and pay for her to have a feeding tube (the most expensive option) if it meant giving her the chance she deserved. I was not going to have her put down just because she wouldn’t eat. It wouldn’t have been fair to her. It would have just been too cruel. But whatever she was going through was far crueler.

It saddens me deeply when I think about how I couldn’t have ever possibly understood to what extent she felt the pain and misery of whatever illness she was infected with. It saddens me whenever I think about how scrawny she was on her very last day, how she had no energy, and how she barely meowed, even when I called her name. She was a normally chatty cat who loved to meow and purr and jump and run, and she wasn’t any of those things on her final day. It saddens me even more to think of what she must have been thinking as the vet held her down and stuck needles in her.

She hated the vet. Always did. She was a tyrant whenever we brought her, and the vet would have to wear gloves and need the help of a vet tech. So it was no surprise she reacted horribly when being put down. But it doesn’t make it sting any less. It just makes everything worse because she must have felt deeply betrayed.

If there’s an afterlife, and if there’s one for animals, I hope she knows how deeply remorseful I am that I couldn’t do anything for her. I hope she knows just how much I loved and still love her. I hope she knows that I wanted to do everything possible to save her, but at the end, there was nothing that could.

Mostly, I just want her to know that she was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. If it hadn’t been for a boy breaking my heart when I was a freshman in high school, my parents likely would not have adopted her. Then I would have missed out on so much by not having her in my life. And who knows what choices I would have made in life had I not had the influence of an affectionate cat? Because I know her love has made me a better person, and I want to keep existing in this world with her love influencing how I live my life.

I am who I am today because she influenced a part of me very deeply, just as there are many positive people in my life who have influenced me and guided all the decisions I’ve ever made.

And I promise to keep living with her positively influencing me.

My Return

My Return

It has been well over a year since I’ve been on this blog. I honestly did not think I was going to come back to it, not because I grew bored of it but because having a career is more time-consuming than school ever was. However, my book’s recent ranking (When Stars Die), the best it’s ever been (yeah, it’s free, but only because of the second book) was the kick in the pants I needed to get back to planning the third book–plus, this blog is still receiving views, so I’d be stupid to keep ignoring it.

Another reason why I wanted to drop my author platform entirely is because I also have a fitness platform. If you’re interested, you can find it here. I hadn’t the slightest clue how I was supposed to juggle both, but now I’ve accepted that this blog is enough and that I’ll simply pay for promotions so that way I’m not spending unnecessary time on social media trying to get my book noticed.

At this stage in my life, it’s just not feasible to devote even a slight ounce of my energy to social media. This blog will do just fine. I’m working almost 30 hours a week training clients and creating programs at my gym, like nutrition coaching; I’m back in school with the hope of getting into a physical therapy assistant program (so I’m actually devoting a lot of time to studying); doing continuing education for personal trainers; and trying to find time to do mindless activities, like watching anime.

I’m at a point in my life where sleeping in is a delicious luxury and sometimes waking up at 3:30 AM is slightly obscene but not nerve-wracking. I wouldn’t change things at all, but I’ll detail my journey later because it’s a good story of perseverance, and this blog has never been strictly about my books or even writing anyway.

The plan is to blog twice a week though I haven’t decided what days I’d like to do just yet. Expect two next week though.

What Wednesday: Writer’s Don’t Always Have to Write

What Wednesday: Writer’s Don’t Always Have to Write

Moncrieff wrote an article about the need to stop shaming writers who can’t write all the time. I am one of those writers. I haven’t been able to write recently because it’s been crunch time with studying for my huge exam coming this Friday. Plus, it’s great this article came around NaNoWriMo, because I’ve never been able to participate in NaNo–mostly because I was usually working on a book for publication.

I’m glad Moncrieff decried the notion that writers must always write. Sometimes on my Facebook feed I’ll see other writers posting that if they can find the time to write, then so can you. Or if they can find the time to market, then so can you. And I’m tired of it. Really tired of it. I have to prioritize other things in my life, and, unfortunately, When Stars Die hasn’t been a top priority for me, even though its release is this Saturday. I’ll admit that sucks considering it was a huge priority for me with its initial release, but work has drained me in the past, and even though I’m barely working this week, I’ve still got to use this time to study, to ensure that I do know all of what I need to know.

In the past it was easy for me to write all the time. I wasn’t working as many hours, and I wasn’t studying to be certified as a personal trainer. Work also wasn’t a source of stress, and stress can be abysmally draining. It’s so easy for writers and authors to say that we should write and market all the time if they’re doing jobs that are related in these fields. But for those of us who aren’t, it’s not as easy. Not at all.

I don’t want to force myself to write when I’m drained because it’s all going to come out super crappy anyway. Then I’m going to feel inclined to delete everything and start all over. I’m not a perfectionist with drafts, but I do want some degree of being able to make sense of what’s going on.

I also have to have at least 9 hours of sleep, and since I generally work the mornings, going to bed late is not an option. I have bipolar disorder, so it’s a detriment to me to not get that much-needed sleep. And since I also want to be a great model for fitness and health, sleep is a very important part of that lifestyle. If I don’t get the sleep that I need, I’m incredibly crabby and short-tempered.

Let’s also not forget the fact that I always take a few hours out of my day to spend with my fiance since we don’t yet live together. I think once we do, I might find that I will be able to use those hours to write since we’ll be around one another a lot anyway.

But right now, writing is unfortunately not a priority.

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A Treacherous Flame free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, $0.99 for all others

When Stars Die up for pre-order

When Stars Die Available for Pre-Order!

When Stars Die Available for Pre-Order!

when-starsWhen Stars Die is now up for pre-order! Currently it can only be pre-ordered through my publisher’s website, and it’s in paperback and hardback for now. Check it out here. It is a young adult dark fantasy. Edits weren’t drastic at all. It was simply getting rid of typos and fixing a few errors. The cover has also been slightly altered.

The City of Malva is rife with puritanical hatred for witches.  It is said they embody the Seven Deadly sins of mankind.  

Amelia’s only chance of saving her brother Nathaniel, a born witch, is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims.  Enduring a series of trials including starvation, isolation, physical abuse and blood-sucking leaches, she will sacrifice all that she is to save him.  

Complicating all of this is the fact that Amelia can see what is lurking in the shadows.  Shadowmen,  seeking witches like Nathaniel to join their ranks.  This group of Shadowmen begin planning.  The results could be devastating.

Oliver Cromwell, a dashing priest at Cathedral Reims, is the only one who can protect Amelia, her brother and save Malva.  Yet, he may prove to be more dangerous than the shadows themselves.

It’s official release is November 21st

My Writer Confessions

My Writer Confessions

I have several confessions I need to make. About seven of them. Really these confessions are so you can get to know me better–and know that I’m not the author most people dream to be, you know, the one sitting on a beach and sipping chardonnay (which I don’t even like), or buying ten million books at a bookstore, or sipping tea while typing away on a well-groomed desk with lots of inspirational trinkets.

I’m far from someone you want to idolize. At least I think so, anyway.

  1. I don’t consider myself a poet. Despite having a poetic writing style and having some poetry published in the future, I just can’t bring myself to attach the “poet” label to my author resume. I guess I can’t do it because I don’t regularly write poetry. I still don’t fully understand poetry, even though my writing style is poetic. The poems that I did write and am having published were only written because poetry was therapeutic for me during my eating disorder struggle. Other than that, I didn’t actively seek publication for them. The only reason they’re even being published is because some people pointed out the places I could submit to, and I subbed to them, because, why not? And, yes, I did manage to get lucky to be accepted by both places, the only places I subbed to.
  2. I’m a slow writer. I can do a draft in about a month, and I can even think I can revise in three months, but it’s more like over a year–unless you’re the sequel to When Stars Die. Then it’s half a year.
  3. I prefer amusement parks to libraries. I saw this article circulating around my Facebook feed about how libraries are more fun than amusement parks. I’m going to have to shyly raise my hand and admit that I’m an amusement park junkie, and the only time I’m ever going to love a library more than Six Flags is if that library turns into an amusement park with literature-themed rides. Plus, I’d rather own my books–and not have due dates. But I will fight for the continual funding of libraries.
  4. I haven’t written a book in a year. You see, I wrote this one book last summer in two weeks, and I seriously thought I’d have it subbed by December of last year. Well, life gets atrociously busy, and I’ve had to put it on hold. I am slowly, SLOWLY trying to copy edit it.
  5. I’m not really doing anything with my lit degree. The only useful thing I see my degree doing is getting me paid more when I start out as a personal trainer. Besides being a writer, I don’t really have any desire to do anything else in the writerly/English field. I just want to be an author.
  6. I prefer my e-reader. I don’t get the romanticization of books. They’re lovely and all. I did buy a paperback today. But e-readers, for me, are much more convenient. E-books are cheaper. I can read in whatever position I want. I can read on any device where you can download a Kindle app (like reading on my phone at work so that I don’t get caught doing so). My e-reader has a rocking battery life. I can read in the dark without having to turn on a lamp. I can carry an infinite amount of books around with me. And you can adjust the size of the font.
  7. I sometimes spend more money on make-up than books. Well, at least lately I’ve been spending more money on make-up than books–particularly nail polish and lipsticks. But, hey, I did buy a book today! And I still have plenty of books on my Kindle to read.

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Editorial Services

Editorial Services

I’m offering my editorial services and currently will only have 3 slots open at a time as I finish each project. What I’ll initially do is offer a free edit for the first 5 pages so that way you can see what my editing style is like. My prices are also affordable because I don’t need to live off this money just yet. Here is some experience I have in the editorial/writing department:

  • Author of When Stars Die, published by AEC Stellar Publishing, being re-released by Gnome on Pig Productions
  • Have edited books for various clients, including Lauren Hammond, a former literary agent
  • Beta read for Georgia McBride’s editorial clients
  • Edited YALITCHAT’s website
  • Edited newsletter for YALITCHAT
  • Slush pile reader for The Oddville Press
  • Executive editor for Sorean: A Gothic Magazine
  • Founder of The Corner Club Press
  • Tutor for writing center at my previous university
  • Have had short stories and poems published

I offer three services: proofreading, copy editing, and substantive editing. Proofreading is where I simply look for little grammatical errors and typos. Copy editing is where I look at each sentence and determine the best way it can be written. Substantive editing is where I tear the book apart and look at plot, structure, character development, and so on and so forth. The substantive editing is my priciest service because it does take more time to complete than the other two services. My prices are listed below.

bird-writing-style-backgroundYou can e-mail me at thedancingwriter@gmail.com if you are interested! It’s first come, first serve, and I’ll give you an estimate on how long you may have to wait before I can get to your project. I try to complete a single project in two weeks.

Why I Adore Anime

Why I Adore Anime

BeFunky Collage

As far as visual entertainment is concerned, I prefer anime far more than any other genre of television show or even movie. While anime is based off manga (which I do read, by the way!), I feel as though anime contains the most original storylines I’ve ever come across. (Studio Ghibli, anyone?) The art styles can be absolutely incredible, the characters breathtaking, the plots unbelievably fantastic, the music drop-dead gorgeous (Tokyo Ghoul’s Unravel!), and there are so many different genres within anime that can appeal to anyone’s tastes.

My favorite anime is currently Puella Magi Madoka Magica, an incredible story that turns the magical girl genre on its head. In fact, this anime is the reason why I was able to discover exactly how I want to end The Stars Trilogy. Anime has inspired a lot of storylines that are currently floating around in my head.

So what exactly is it that makes me prefer anime over other types of visual media? I think it’s this idea that anime is more often than not based off manga. Manga is very visual in itself, so you already have this template available for the anime based off it. The anime can also choose to go off in a different direction or can even incorporate filler episodes, which can add more colors to characters, if the manga is still ongoing. My two favorite ongoing manga are Black Butler and Tokyo Ghoul. I also love how limitless anime is. If an anime contains a myriad of special affects, like if it’s in the fantasy genre, producers don’t have to worry about replicating those effects with a green screen. They can draw them in and go from there. I also love how fluid the artists are with the styles of the characters based off the general tone from the manga. The colors are so vivid and each art style unique and distinct. For example, the art style of Puella Magi Modoka Magica is very cute and innocent, deceptively so, but the story is intense and dark. So you have this cuteness that makes you believe you’re going to be watching a typical magical girl show, but then by episode three, you realize it’s completely atypical. Prepare to have your heart ripped out and eaten.

What I also love about anime is that nothing is off-limits when it comes to character identities. You have transgender characters, characters who are homosexual, characters who cross-dress, gender non-conforming characters–and no one makes a huge deal out of it! In fact, when Sailor Moon was showing on cable in America, they censored a lesbian relationship between two of the scouts and made them cousins. Yet, if you watch the uncensored version, the creators treat their relationship like any other. It seems like mangaka and anime artists want to normalize these identities so that people begin to realize there is nothing wrong with identifying as these things.

Anime also forces you to suspend your disbelief since a lot of it can never happen in real life, like Naruto. Your imagination works in overdrive because of this. And even though the plots of the anime can be unrealistic (I mean, really, let’s hope we never have to deal with titans), it explores meaningful concepts all the time. These concepts often explore what it means to be human. In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, a major theme is sacrifice and what you would be willing to give up for what you believe to be the greater good. It also explores how every choice we make affects the future, whether it’s for better or for worse. Friendship is also at the core of much of anime. Anime can show you how valuable friendship is and how you should never take for granted great friends.

In this way, anime is very much like novels since the possibilities of what can be explored are limitless. The best anime has deep, compelling characters and plots, so I would recommend to any writer to give anime a chance. It’s chocked full of inspiration that I wouldn’t otherwise have if it were not for anime. I’d also suggest giving manga a chance as well since the anime can sometimes veer off into a wildly different direction or not even cover everything. Plus, it’s like needing to read the book before watching the movie.

Losing a Publisher

Losing a Publisher

As some of you may or may not know, I lost my publisher, AEC Stellar Publishing Inc., back in December, thus putting When Stars Die out of print. At first I wasn’t hit too hard by it, even though its closure was completely unexpected. After all, it wasn’t in any danger of going bankrupt, which is why many a small press usually fails. So I wasn’t too distraught until it became apparent that finding a new publisher for When Stars Die was going to prove to be incredibly challenging.

Every publisher I subbed to requested a full, but they all ended up rejecting, except for one–and I ended up turning that contract down for a variety of reasons. You would think finding a home for a previously published book with a 4.31 star rating on Goodreads would be easy, but that simply isn’t true. If anything, it’s more difficult since your list of publishers is limited to those willing to take on previously published books. I knew I didn’t want to self-publish it. I simply don’t have the funds for it right now. Between paying off a car because I got in a wreck a few months ago with my former one, paying for gas every week, a cell phone bill, and paying off my ACE certification course, I cannot spare the funds to make self-publishing work for me. So it has been an exhausting, frustrating journey with loads of self-doubt.

I know authors who have had it worse, who have had to enact lawsuits, just to get the rights of their books back. Then ultimately they didn’t choose to put their books back in the market because their previous publishers tainted them, so I’m grateful that’s not the case with my book. I’m grateful for the opportunity AEC had given me. I only wish that it didn’t have to end.

Throughout this journey I kept constantly wishing my publisher hadn’t folded since it has been so painful playing the waiting game and wondering each time if it was worth continuing to pursue something that seemed out of reach. My writing life has been stagnant because of it. I felt like it was pointless to write. If When Stars Die couldn’t find a home, what made me think any of my books would? I even attempted copy-editing The Glorious In-Between, but I was filled with so much self-doubt about whether or not it even had a chance. Yet, I love the story and I don’t even .000000infinitysymbol hate what I’ve written. I couldn’t give up. When Stars Die is a story worth telling.

It’s difficult losing something that gave you such security, that thought your ideas were valuable enough to share with readers who will hopefully also think your writing has value. You begin to wonder if the publication of your book was a mistake, if you were ever meant to be an author or just some keyboard jockey typing out words that go nowhere. Well, the truth is that there may ever only be one publisher or literary agent who wants to give value to your words. The truth is that the book you worked so hard on may never see itself to print, unless you decide to take the path of self-publishing (and please do if you never fall out of love with your book!). The truth is that even when you find a publisher, being an author never gets any easier. And sometimes you’ll end up with a publisher that wasn’t your dream one but can become one. But then sometimes opportunities are handed to you, and you’ve got to know when the right time is to take them. collageThis is why I’m proud to say that When Stars Die has a new home! After contract negotiations, I’ll post a more official announcement on this. It’s been a tiresome journey, but something tells me I’m making the right decision by latching on to this opportunity presented to me months ago. I can’t wait to share more news of this and get back into the blogosphere.

For my writer followers, don’t give up. You are going to experience moments when you wonder why the writing life chose you, where you’re going to wonder why you didn’t pursue some other, more obtainable passion.

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