Why I Don’t Feel Guilty About Not Writing

Why I Don’t Feel Guilty About Not Writing

BOOK UPDATE: I’m going to hold off on When Stars Die either until I feel comfortable during this summer term since it is supposed to be really difficult and where my cohort really hits the ground running, or right after when hopefully I will be completely, 100% comfortable with the physical therapy program. I just don’t want to add in trying to get a book ready for publication into the mix because I actually am having a very difficult time even re-outlining the third book. I have the time, but the problem is that I am so mentally drained that all I want to do is decompress and remove myself from anything stimulating. ADHD medication can only do so much, but I very much am neurodivergent when it comes to how often I need to decompress to prevent burnout and in turn succeed at my classes.

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Some writers believe you need to write a little bit every day, even if it’s just 100 words. Those writers neither understand that not everyone has the same 24 hours in a day nor do they understand that not everyone has the same mental faculties.

I wrote a whole novel last summer. I haven’t really written anything since, and I don’t feel bad for it. Do I miss it? Absolutely! I would love to get back to revisions on the novel I did last summer, but physical therapy school has to take priority. It’s a doctorate and as such demands an incredible amount of discipline and mental energy that no one who has ever done a doctorate will understand. Frankly, writing a novel cannot compare because with writing a novel, you are doing it because you want to, 100%. You might not like every part of the process, but you are doing it knowing you have all the time in the world. Earning a doctorate means taking a few classes you may not enjoy, doing assignments you may absolutely despise, enduring practicals that are emotionally taxing and intensely stressful because you can’t get anything less than a B, studying things you find mind-numbingly dull but are necessary to progress in your degree, prepping for back-to-back exams, and bearing the weight of knowing that as each term progresses, it only gets harder, and as such you don’t want to slip up and fail and have to redo a class, putting you behind–and then, of course, let’s not forget clinicals and the looming boards in order to be licensed as a physical therapist. Oh, you also don’t have all the time in the world because you’re only allowed to fail so many times before you’re kicked out. At least with writing a novel, you can mess up an infinite number of times.

The stress is just different.

I also have ADHD. That adds another layer of what I’m able to tolerate. People with ADHD don’t have as high of a stress threshold as those without, so decompressing is absolutely crucial for us. We burnout more easily than neurotypicals do.

When I am done with hours of studying, I am mentally drained. I don’t want to do anything that requires mental effort, which is why I play video games and watch TV in my spare time. That is how I decompress. I read books as well and have taken up painting again. Even my job is an escape because it doesn’t require much mental effort. However much I love writing, writing a novel is mentally taxing and requires mental effort I do not have and cannot force. I don’t care what that one author said about how if we only wrote when we wanted to, we never would. That, frankly, is absolute bullshit. When I outline the third novel of The Stars Trilogy, I want to be at my semi-best so that this outline is something I can actually work with. I’ve already outlined the novel once, after all, and I want to change it entirely. If I tried to outline after I just got done studying for pathophysiology, it would be half-hearted, rushed, and garbage, to be frank. I even had a hard time fitting in a workout I was so drained.

Perhaps once I get more comfortable with school in general, with the idea that I can pass all of my classes without failing, I can begin to compartmentalize my days more and squeeze in writing before my brain has lost all of its energy. For now, I am fine with the idea I may not pick up the proverbial pen again until I graduate.

Writing Goals for 2021

Writing Goals for 2021

This is not a New Year’s Resolution for writers. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions for anything. These are simply things I hope to achieve by the end of this year, because I have dogged determination to be a writer/author despite being in physical therapy school. I pretty much could not balance a single thing, which is why WHEN STARS DIE has been on a bit of pause with my publisher. In any case, here are my plans:

  1. Have WHEN STARS DIE released. I don’t know how possible this is, not because I can’t manage it, but because I don’t know what the publishing schedule is like for this year for my publisher. Perhaps a more realistic goal would be to nail down a publication date. Once that’s nailed down, the true work begins, and I’ll have no choice but to get my writing chops in gear.
  2. Finish THE STARS ARE INFINITE copy edits. I lost a thumb drive over a year ago that contained the original, final manuscript from my last publisher. Thinking it’d be in my gmail, I started looking through everything mentioning TSAI, but unfortunately I could not find the final Word document manuscript that I sent off. However, I did find one containing copy edits, and I’ve been going through that and making the appropriate changes as well as changes that tighten the manuscript more, ones that did not exist in the published version. I’m actually almost done with this, so this is entirely feasible.
  3. Start re-outlining ALL STARS ALIGN. Originally Amelia from WHEN STARS DIE was going to be the main character for the final book in THE STARS TRILOGY, but I did write out an entire draft using her perspective, and she could not resonate with me the way she did the first time I introduced her in WSD. I felt her story had already been told, and that story is over with. There is nothing more to be said about her. In fact, her fixation is with her younger brother, Nathaniel, and it’s hard to create a story from that, even though I do give her a critical role that only she can play in ASA. Nathaniel, on the other hand, was introduced in WSD, played a major role in TSAI, and his perspective has not been told yet. The stakes are so much higher for him because of his love for Alice, the MC from TSAI. So I aim to re-do the outline with his perspective and change the story entirely. I hope by doing this, it’ll reinvigorate my passion for this trilogy.
  4. Start writing ALL STARS ALIGN. I hope to finish the outline before the year is out so that way I can get started on the first draft of ASA. After all, TSAI is ready for submission once WSD is out in the world again, so, if possible, I’d like to have ASA ready for the same once TSAI is back out in the world.

So what will I do after my trilogy? Well, I’ve already outlined the beginning of either a duology or trilogy that I hope my current publisher will be interested in later down the road. I have borrowed from the magical girl genre popularized in Japan (America does have its own magical girl genre, though it’s not explicitly called that). Obviously it’s going to have to make sense within the context of a novel because magical girl transformations only make sense in visual formats. I also have a contemporary LGBTQ+ novel that I started five years ago that I may try to seek an agent for–or just stick with the house I’m with. I’m not quite sure how I feel about traditional publishing anymore, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out once the time comes.

My Philosophy on Criticism

My Philosophy on Criticism

Recently I’ve been offering criticism for other writers’ stories–mostly short stories or a chapter or two in a manuscript–in an effort to help keep my skills sharp. I’ve been enjoying it, and I realize how much I’ve missed it. It has also gotten me thinking about how I prefer to word my criticism versus how other writers might do it.

I prefer to be kind in my criticism. I am straightforward, but I am not mean- spirited, overly critical, or even unnecessarily tough. The way I view the world of writing is that writing as a craft is tough to master as it is, but it is an art that many do for enjoyment and self-fulfillment. Writing is not the military where it must be tough because soldiers might find themselves in a life-or-death situation. So I don’t see the point in being, well, mean. You never know what your criticism could do to someone.

I understand. You have to have thick skin, but to me that’s only insofar as understanding that your story IS NOT PERFECT. You cannot ever hope to get published without receiving criticism from someone else. You have to be open to changing your story, even going so far as to perhaps tearing the entire thing up and starting over again. But that thick skin should not extend to having to endure meanness. And unfortunately, I see a lot of it out there.

I can recall when The Stars Are Infinite was an entirely different story in its infancy. I put the prologue (when it had one) up on some writer’s website where people could read and rate it, and the whole idea of the website was that publishing professionals would be drawn to it and use it to request partials or fulls. My chapter had 4.5 stars despite being very amateurish and was actually on the front page, which meant it was popular. But I remember one commenter who was rather brutal–and they were the only one. It didn’t hurt my feelings, and I did take the criticism and run with it after thinking on it; however, I would have taken the criticism anyway, even if said person had worded it kindly.

It was just overall unnecessary, as though this person had a chip on their shoulder or was jealous. And when I see other writers commenting similarly, that’s what I think: you’re jaded and are tired of one too many rejections.

I actually did not grow as a writer from that person. I grew from Georgia McBridge, owner of Month9Books. When YALitChat was around, I was an intern for it. In exchange for helping out, she offered to critique TSAI. She was only able to help with the first five chapters, but never was she once harsh. She taught me how to write a good hook, how to write some solid first three chapters, and when I was struggling with chapters four and five, she told me to sit down and outline the whole book. And as I was outlining, that’s when I realized TSAI needed When Stars Die first.

Without her, I never would have gotten this trilogy off the ground. And again, she didn’t have to be mean at all! I feel like I learned many years worth of material under her than I ever would have learned without her. So ultimately I learned nothing from that harsh critic despite readily accepting their criticism.

Ultimately, I do not understand this idea that writers should just accept severe criticism as a part of doing this craft. So next time you’re critiquing a writer, perhaps think of how you’re approaching their piece and realize you can be thorough and even strict without being callous.

Why You Should Read Your Book Aloud

Why You Should Read Your Book Aloud

Read Aloud

I just finished reading out loud my WIP titled The Seeming Impossibility of Everything. I did this for When Stars Die and The Stars Are Infinite. It was my first publisher who suggested I read out loud–especially the second book because he wanted to cut down on extraneous words before moving forward with the project.

I’ll admit it wasn’t my favorite thing to do. After all, that second book was 105,000 words when I first submitted it, and I managed to parse it down by 11,000 words. It was a lot of painful work. TSIoE wasn’t as bad because it’s about 75,000 words.

When we read only in our heads, the book sounds different to us. Reading it out loud essentially makes us become the reader, so we’re able to see the book how a reader might.

When I was a tutor at my university’s writing center, we had all students read their papers out loud to make it easier for them to catch their own errors. We weren’t allowed to directly point out errors to them.

Now you can make it easier on yourself by having Microsoft Word read it out loud for you, but I never checked if Google Docs has that same function.

  1. You catch repetitive words and phrases. It’s so much easier to figure out what words you’re overusing when you can actually hear what you wrote. When you’re reading in your head, you become more passive, making it easier to to gloss over words and phrases you’re overusing.
  2. Awkward sentence structure and run-on sentences. Reading in your head is naturally a lot easier than reading out loud. Reading out loud means that if you suddenly start stumbling over what you wrote, you might want to go back and re-write that sentence because it’s likely poorly structured. You can also easily catch run-on sentences, though some writing programs point this out for you.
  3. Typos. Reading in your head makes it likelier that you’ll gloss over a great deal of what you’ve written since the brain is excellent at being able to construct entire sentences without needing to read every word in the sentence. The brain is so focused on creating meaning out of the words that it looks at the bigger picture rather than all the details within. But reading out loud, however? You are forced to read every single word, so you’re able to see where your typos are. It’s not a guarantee you’ll catch every one, but you’ll find more than you would not reading out loud.
  4. Lack of logical cohesion. As you’re reading through your paragraphs, you’ll be able to unveil where some of your story logic may fall apart. For example, in WSD, my MC’s best friend was caught in a trap, and my MC suddenly realized she didn’t stand a chance at being able to free her. I ended the chapter at that and started the next one with her sitting underneath the cloister of a cathedral feeling defeated. The logic fell apart because what happened to her best friend? I never even mentioned what was going through her head to make her decide to just abandon her best friend. But reading out loud helped me not only catch that but come up with some logic that didn’t involve tearing the entire scene apart.
  5. Pacing. Reading out loud will be able to tell you if you’re going too fast or two slow. It’ll also be able to tell you if you’re using too many short or long sentences in succession, which can absolutely affect the pacing.
  6. Missing parts. When you’re writing that first draft, it’s assumed you are just writing down whatever comes to mind. If you’re using an outline, it might be a bit more organized, but you’re still writing down whatever comes to mind based off the bullet points in your rough draft. You’ll immediately find incomplete points by reading out loud, thoughts that you started but just let fly off into the ether.

In short, just give reading your manuscript aloud a go.

 

Cancel Culture

Cancel Culture

Untitled design-3

I think many of you know JK Rowling has been saying a lot of inflammatory things about the trans community lately. I even caught her on Twitter saying some rather uneducated statements about mental illness and how we’re overmedicated, which I find highly offensive as someone who solely relies on medication to keep her stable. I don’t care if the statement winds up being true. She is not a doctor and is merely stating an opinion she shouldn’t be stating given her platform and her lack of knowledge on the subject. There are many mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, that cannot survive without medications, even though there are individuals who try to manage but still have a lot of problems, so her having depression doesn’t make her an authority on this matter since some depressions are situational and others are hereditary. (But all bipolars and schizophrenias are born from DNA.)

In any case, there is no cancel culture. She is a TERF, which is a trans exclusionary radical feminist. She wants to stand up for women’s rights, but not the rights of trans women. She denies their womanhood.

TRANSWOMEN ARE WOMEN. There. I said it.

However, this isn’t the biggest issue. Authors with big names like Noam Chomsky and Margaret Atwood are signing a petition for an end to cancel culture, completely oblivious that there is no such thing as cancel culture. This is fans deciding they do not want to associate with sexist, racist, ableist, bigoted authors/artists/what have you, and deciding to not purchase future works from them.

It is also not censorship because the government is not coming in and forcing these authors to remove their books from store shelves or anything like that. Fans are simply refusing to support these artists anymore. Publishers have that same right. So do booksellers.

It is a myth born from  people with a platform having been given free rein to say what they want for far too long, and marginalized communities are tired of it and are speaking out against it now.

People complaining about being cancelled claim they are expressing views that are not bigoted. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but you know what is an even bigger problem than false accusations (much like false rape accusations)? Expressing bigoted views. Being bigoted. That is a much bigger problem.

These people aren’t being silenced because they are still free to express whatever views they want, no matter how big or large their platform is. Even if their account were banned they could create another one. No one’s storming their homes, ripping them out of their beds, and sending them to reeducation camps or the gulag or outright disappearing them.

If you express a bigoted view, do not be surprised when you are torn down because you deserve it. And if you do not step away and try to understand why your views may be bigoted, don’t be surprised if people continuously attack you.

Now I don’t believe in sending actual death threats or threats what-so-ever, but cancel culture is not a thing. 

JK Rowling, you’re a billionaire, and while I know you are not a typical billionaire because you understand what it’s like to languish in poverty, you have a massive platform and are instead choosing to revel in your own blindness, ignore your critics, and remain in your echo chamber of yes men. And that’s a shame because you wrote such a great series of books for children, and I suddenly think less of you and those books now.

When Stars Die: Chapter One

When Stars Die: Chapter One

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So unfortunately Gnome on Pig Productions folded. The publisher had high hopes it would be able to push on through this COVID mess, but it was another victim in a long line of businesses that have had to shutter, so The Stars Trilogy will be seeking new representation, starting with When Stars Die. 

I will start seeking a new publisher (only two are on my list for now), when my books have been removed from all distribution sites, like Amazon and B&N. In the meantime, if any of you know other publishers that accept previously published works, I will be eternally grateful. I’ve already been through Pandamoon and Clean Teen in the past, so those two are off the table.

In the meantime, you will be able to read the first full chapter on Wattpad.

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.

Vanilla Chai Tea and Writing Update

Vanilla Chai Tea and Writing Update

tea and writing

Before I get into an update on my writing life so far, I want to mention how I am currently working on my website to make it more tea/writer themed since tea has always been a hobby of mine, one I’ve recently picked back up since discovering a place in Aiken that actually sells loose-leaf tea. We used to have a Teavana at our Augusta mall, but they closed down since Starbucks bought them out (a disastrous move, might I add, because there is nothing Teavana about what Starbucks has done to its products). In any case, it is called The Confection Cottage run by two women named Lady Kelly MacVean and Chef Kirstie Wohlfeil. You don’t have to live in the Aiken, South Carolina region to enjoy her teas, as you can order them online.

My most recent purchase was a vanilla chai tea. It’s a black tea, and I am used to using water to make all my black teas. However, I wanted to create a dupe that New Moon Cafe sells because it was just sublime. So first I made it with 8 oz of water at 100 degrees Celsius, seeped 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla chai in a tea bag for 3 minutes, then added two teaspoons of half and half, two teaspoons of milk, and two teaspoons of sugar. It was good, but it had a watery flavor to it that I didn’t think was right for this particular blend. So I decided to try milk, and this is the dupe I came up with (it is perfect):

  • Boil 16 oz of milk to 100 degrees Celsius (about half will boil out anyway) in a tea kettle
  • While you’re boiling, put 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla chai blend in a tea bag and rest it in your cup.
  • Now pour the milk over the bag and steep for 3 minutes.
  • Once you’re done, still add 2 teaspoons of half and half or 1 teaspoon of whipping cream. Stir.
  • Now add 2 teaspoons of sugar and stir. You can add more if you want a perfect New Moon Cafe dupe (if you’re ever able to go there), but two teaspoons is perfect, in my opinion.
  • Now you can add whip cream and even sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  • And yum! It is amazing. It is bliss.

On to writing!

I started a book five years ago that was dubbed The Glorious In-Between, a book about an asexual character (Shailene) who forms a fast friendship with another asexual character (Sean). They had a kind of squish (an aromatic crush) relationship going on. However, the problem with TGIB is that a lot of stuff was happening with my main character, but she wasn’t doing anything herself to progress the story. In fact, it was the secondary character, Sean, doing all of the progressing. Now after a few recent beta reads, I’ve renamed the novel Panic Switch and have given Shailene panic disorder because upon doing research, I don’t think there are really any YA books at all that touch upon panic disorder (if I am wrong, point some out to me because I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to read them). Sure there are books on anxiety, but generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder are not the same thing. I have been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks myself recently and am currently working on them with my doctor.

So I am re-writing this entire novel where it now centers around Shailene having to cope with this new panic disorder diagnosis while also trying to find closure for her recently deceased twin sister Annabelle who committed suicide. While the scenes are very much the same, the plot is completely different, and I think this time around–I hope–Shailene has much more control of the plot than Sean will.

Now on to All Stars Align. I will admit I am being slow with this one, but I am at least writing it. It is happening. It may not be submitted by the end of this summer (more like the end of this year), but I’m taking my time because I’ve noticed I have partial burnout with this trilogy–I have discovered I am simply not a series writer. Two books and that’s it. That’s why I want to take my time because I don’t want to short readers by getting out a subpar story all for the sake of finishing it before I start physical therapy school.

I also have a little surprise I want to unveil in the future, but first my books (When Stars Die and The Stars Are Infinite) will have to get fixed on Amazon first because the e-books still aren’t up and now the paperbacks supposedly only have a few in stock or are entirely unavailable. Apparently this has been a common complaint amongst the indie community. You can get them on Barnes and Noble though.

Where I’m At With My Writing

Where I’m At With My Writing

Five years ago I finished a novel currently titled The Glorious In-Between, which originally concentrated on what it meant to be asexual as a teen. Then it evolved from there because you can’t have only that defining a book. Sexuality itself isn’t a story. It’s a defining characteristic that can complicate a story, so I’ve built it in layers over the years. 2018 was the last time I touched the book, and then this pandemic hit, I got furloughed from work, and I found myself with plenty of time to sit down and get back to it. I said I was going to prioritize the third book in The Stars Trilogy, but the future of my current publisher is unknown thanks to COVID, so my books can only be purchased through Lulu or in print on Amazon.

Well, now I’m going to have plenty of time for the foreseeable future since my position as a personal trainer was eliminated entirely; I am without work. It’s honestly been gutting because I loved that job. It also doesn’t help to see “essentials” teasing “non-essentials” when, in reality, essentials aren’t any safer. After all, people in my husband’s industry (trucking) have been losing their jobs and having pay cuts. Physical therapists are also essential, but many have been furloughed, depending on where they work.

Since receiving that news, it’s been hard keeping a regular writing schedule. I am at a chicken-or-the-egg scenario right now. It’s hard to know if depression is stemming entirely from the loss of a job I was passionate about, or if my bipolar disorder is tipping downward (again), or if it’s a mixture of both and the job loss sped up the process. I’m also undergoing a dosage change with my Depakote and am currently waiting on confirmation about whether or not I have hypothyroidism, most likely caused by my Lithium.

There’s really no point in guessing. All I can do is accept that this is how I feel.

I am the type of person who experiences her emotions all at once when disappointment strikes, and so my heartbreak doesn’t last long because I’m not trying to push away the pain. Yet, anyone else would look in on and me and be convinced I’m taking the loss of my job extra hard. After all, I am in a much better place than others who have lost a job since I live at home with my parents. They’re not putting any pressure on me. All of my debt has also been paid off, so I owe nothing for the foreseeable future. I have PT school to look forward to, which could, for all I know, make holding any job impossible anyway, even though it is a flex program.

I was born anxious. It doesn’t take much to flare it, and it’s been my fuel lately.

While I am done with the first round of revisions of TGIB, I have been struggling with that hollowness common with depression, which has made doing further work on it difficult. But I added a new plot thread to up the stakes for my MC since my query letter on AbsoluteWrite was torn to shreds and revealed a rather glaring flaw in the storyline itself–at least in my opinion. Now my second pass will be checking to make sure the plot thread has been developed appropriately, along with adding a few other things to add some color to the story (McMansions, anyone?). Then another pass through to cut down on words and probably, hopefully, one more for proofreading. It has been beta read in the past, so I might seek out one more, unless having the synopsis looked over is a sufficient enough guide for any further edits the book itself might need.

A secret I don’t think I ever told anyone is When Stars Die only ever had one beta reader.

Hopefully all of that will take about a month or less.

Right now I am gaining distance from TGIB, but it’s been hard to do anything at all productive otherwise. I should be making notes of things to keep an eye out for in TGIB. I should also be coming up with another title because TGIB no longer accurately describes the book. I should also be preparing my query letter and synopsis for When Stars Die, just in case things do fall through with my current publisher. I’ll see what small presses are out there. Otherwise, self-publishing it is.

I also finished outlining a brand new novel, although now I’m going to have to edit the outline itself because I decided to change who my protagonist is going to be. So that’s another thing I should be working on but is hard to do.

I get it. It’s an uncertain time for everyone and rough for some. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. It’s just maddening, as usual, that you have things that can keep you productive, but you’re being held back by the voice of mental illness living in your mind.

At least I have made progress since this all started.

 

What I Have Been Doing Lately

What I Have Been Doing Lately

My last post was in 2018, and I really thought I was just going to let this blog go. I started another blog, a pseudo-lifestyle blog, and I was hoping to incorporate bits of my author life in it; however, that’s just not possible. It’s still a pseudo-lifestyle blog, but I recently became inspired to make it largely about physical therapy. You should check it out just because. I think it’s pretty.

But why a physical therapy blog? Where on Earth did that come from? Well, I know I did mention I was pursuing PT school, and, well, I got in! I received my acceptance for the University of St. Augustine back in December and will be pursuing my doctorate in physical therapy this fall. You cannot imagine how excited I am to start PT school and to elevate my knowledge of the human body to help people move better, to help people live better lives without pain burdening them.

So the blog will help with my career because it will grow with me. Right now it’s a pre-PT blog, then it will be a student PT blog, then a physical therapy blog.

I am currently suffering through physics 2, a final prerequisite I need to finish up. As we speak, I’m working on a test that is doubly horrible because the class was moved online, so I’m teaching the material to myself as I do the test, which is incredibly time consuming. Writing a novel will never compare to the laborious task that is physics, so I will never complain about revisions again.

Never. Ever.

In any case, I only have the time that I do to start diving back into blogging because unfortunately I was furloughed thanks to COVID-19 (really, thank you, you bastard). The creative writing bug is also majorly biting at me, but my physics test prevents me from sating it. For now, I’m thinking I’ll have to wait until physics is done to get back into writing. I will revise the third book in The Stars Trilogy. I also want to start querying that LGBTQ+ novel I wrote a few years ago. At least I hope I can start querying it over the summer. I had the letter looked at a few times but am thinking I’ll set it out again for another look-see.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to start any new material. There was a book I wrote when I was manic in 2018, but I’m not satisfied with it and will likely heavily change the story itself, keeping only a few elements from it. I don’t think I’ll be able to get that done over the summer, and believe me, I don’t want mania to assist me with that since it is the reason the book’s draft is so awful to begin with. It’s also the reason the third draft in the trilogy is going to need the heaviest revisions of the three. I get drafts are supposed to be shoddy to begin with, but I had a gift with the first two books in that I didn’t really need to re-write them.

In summary, my radio silence has been the result of school and work. General science courses, I have come to learn, are much heavier and more challenging than even my upper level English courses were. I also picked up mountain biking among it all and trained for three races in 2019. 2020 isn’t looking so good for races though thanks to COVID, and my husband becoming a trucker and my having to move back in with my parents–putting me farther from work and the trails–knocked me out of shape that I’m slowly getting back in since I finally set my bike up on my trainer.

But I hope that I can get myself on a blogging schedule, especially with this new blog. If I can keep up with the new blog, then I can get back on track with this one. My social media presence is pretty much non-existent now thanks to a nasty hack to my Tumblr blog, which was connected to my Twitter. I couldn’t delete the Tumblr, but I had to delete the Twitter because there were too many *ahem* “inappropriate” tweets, too many for me to keep deleting. I suppose that is what I will work on is building my presence back up.

Wish me luck!