2020 is life on hard mode

photo credit Jay Wennington on unsplash

On what should have been my second day of work, I woke up with a slight fever. Now, I was pretty sure it was nothing serious, but I didn’t want to lie to my manager so I told her when I got in. I ended up going home and scheduling a COVID-19 test for later in the day, and yesterday afternoon it came back negative, so I finally had my second day of work today.

Despite having two days off, I didn’t get ahead of my NaNoWriMo goals because I was still not feeling great. Still, I’m not super behind so I’d say I’m still doing okay.

Things are getting weird. I started writing from the middle of the story instead of the end. Each section/chapter has time stamps so I’m considering not going in order at all and just sorting them in editing. But we’ll see.

November 3rd word count: 3835
November 4th word count: 6426
November 5th word count: 8381

I haven’t done NaNoWriMo since college, I don’t think. And it was high school when I last finished and edited a NaNoWriMo novel. I forgot how much work this is. I was like “yeah, I did this before, no problem.” No, there is a problem. This is a lot to write. And I don’t really have a plan, other than send a bunch of people to hell. YOLO.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, are you on target or will you need this weekend to catch up?

Nanowrimo Day 1 and 2

If you don’t know, National Novel Writing Month kicked off today, starting the 30 day stretch to hit 50,000 words for a novel. The days are broken into smaller goals of 1,667 words.

I want to get back to writing. I want to get my projects finished. Even if they’re not perfect, I want to be proud of what I did. So I’m participating in NaNoWriMo with the hopes that focusing away from the projects I’ve been stuck on forever and getting used to writing on a schedule will help me move past this rut I’m in.

So my novel for this month is called House Party, Descensio. It’s a suspense/fantasy/comedy. Or so I’m planning. But as it’s for fun, I can do whatever I want.

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So I’ve spent about the same amount of time making the ridiculous cover as I did writing today, but hey, any progress is progress.

I also started a new job today. And the election is tomorrow, for us Americans. I must say, I CANNOT wait until this election is over and done with so I can stop seeing so many political ads. The worst is when I’m running at the gym and each TV has a different political attack ad on. Like, can someone who knows about the history of politics tell me if there was ever a time when presidents used their own merits as campaign points, not just the shortcomings of the opponents?

But I digress. Writing is going okay, but it’s only day two. Hopefully I can keep a steady habit for the next 28!

November 1st word count: 1694
November 2nd word count: 2993

Let me know in the comments if you’re also doing NaNoWriMo this month! What’s your motivation, and have you participated before?

This is a blog

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So I will say, writing-wise, I’ve been all over the place. I should have been killing it over the summer as I was “working from home” during quarantine (ie. doing nothing), but instead I watched a bunch of anime and redecorated my apartment.

It’s been so long that WordPress has changed how you write a post. It’s all very new and strange.

I may join in on NaNoWriMo next month to try to force myself to write. Only it won’t be in line with my current stories, it will be a present day narrative of a party.

Every time I go to write I feel like “what’s the point? I’m not the next Neil Gaiman,” and it becomes harder and harder to remember that I enjoy writing for fun. I’ve done it since third grade. I might have less free time now, but I’m still the same person.

The status of my next novel, Beyond a Dream, is “locked for editing.” I decided to tear it apart and now have to piece it back together and bridge the gaps. Why? Because I don’t have an editor, and the more I read the more I want to refine my writing. But it all takes so much time and concentration, and sometimes I don’t have the energy to put towards it. I want to revise Wildflower Crown and Kiss of the Fey the same way because I’m a little embarrassed at them now that I have grown a bit as a person but am afraid if I take the books down off Amazon to edit that I’ll leave them like that forever and never write again.

So yeah, here’s my attempt to get back on this site and start writing again!

Release and Rerelease

My third novel, Beyond a Dream, is currently being read by beta readers. After that will be the final edit, and then I can set a date for release!

Since I’m currently sitting around waiting for my readers to get back to me, I’ve been thinking on what project I want to work on next. I have two new stories I want to write but I keep thinking about Kiss of the Fey. I started the first draft of Kiss of The Fey in high school. I was in college when I finally published it but my writing has matured considerably since then. (It’s been three and a half years already?? How does time move so quickly??) Because I still love the characters, I believe my next project will be to rewrite Kiss of the Fey and rerelease it as a second edition. (One of the benefits to self-publishing!) At the same time I may work on one of the new ideas I have floating around.

I know I haven’t been active enough in the community for anyone to care about updates like this but that’s okay. I just don’t have the time to promote and socialize with other bloggers like when I was in school. That’s just life, I guess.

The Wonder of Unknown

So, ladies and gents, I’ve bought a ticket to London for September 20th. To clear things up, I’ll remind everyone that I live in America and have never been outside the country. I have no idea what I’m going to do or where I’m going to go, only that sometime around New Years I’ll get my butt to Paris for my flight back (which has yet to be purchased).

Obviously I am excited about this trip. In 77 days I will be flying to London. (Well, technically I’ll be flying to Canada then Iceland THEN London, but close enough.) I mentioned before that I was planning to go to Europe and I have a pitiful travel blog here (where I already mention this trip), but now it’s set in stone. I don’t know how much money I’ll have or where I’ll be going or if I’ll end up homeless and begging my parents to pay for me to come home, but either way I’m ready.

So, what does this mean for this blog? Well, two things. One, I’m going to be working as much as possible between now and the 18th of September, so I’m not going to be posting that often, but I’ll aim for at least once every other week. It also means that I’ll be on a writing hiatus after I leave–I’ll still write, but it will be on a tiny tablet and that won’t have the processing power to edit anything, so nothing new will be released–but that I will probably be posting more book reviews if I ever find my Kindle.

ALSO, if any of you live in Europe and want to meet up, I’m game with that. Since I’m going during November I plan to go to a NaNoWriMo meet-up just to meet locals, so if you’re near a major city we may because to get coffee or something.

For now, bare with me as I get overwhelmed and freak out over my impending departure, and please note that I have not died, I’m just selling my soul at a fast food restaurant in order to fund my trip.

How to Run a Book Review Blog

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So, there are a few things you need to do in order to run a book review blog. The list below should help out anyone new to blogging or who thinks their blog could use some improvement.

First, start a blog. I happen to be partial to WordPress.

Second, read a book. Preferably nothing by Ayn Rand, but that’s just me.

Next, review the book with a clear rating, either through a number of stars (which you explain the meaning of somewhere) or simply whether or not you would recommend it to other people.

Make it easy for authors to contact you. Either put your email address up or use a contact form thing on a designated contact page. If you run a book review blog, you can get free books. If you didn’t know that, you do now. It makes it easier for authors to spam tell you about their book they’re giving away for free. All they want in return is an honest review (and if they say “give me five stars or else” just ignore them).

A note: if you do want free books but not a certain genre, make that clear. Some authors will still ignore that, but if you don’t want to receive erotica and you’re under eighteen, usually stating that clearly will reduce the probability that authors will send requests to read their naughty things against your wishes. (However, I’m not sure if stating that you’re underage could welcome other safety problems as I’m 21 and haven’t thought about cyber security in a while… but yeah, don’t be Catfished by pedophiles. And stuff. I’m off topic.)

Finally, post book reviews regularly. It doesn’t have to be every day, but post often enough to make sure your blog looks active. This may also encourage you to read more, which is obviously a plus.

Random Writing Prompts

Anyone out of ideas for a story? Anyone tired of their current project and want to get sidetracked for a few hundred words? Well I’ve got some writing prompts for y’all. (I’m trying out this whole y’all thing. I’m not from the south but it’s such an efficient way of saying “you guys.”)

  • Write a story in the POV of an inanimate object. (Alright so this is just because I wrote a story in the POV of a banana but whatever.)
  • Write a story with only dialogue.
  • Write about something that happens in the great outdoors.
  • Write about something that happens in a fast food restaurant.
  • Write about someone being in incredible pain. (Emotional or physical, whichever.)
  • Write a character who swears every time they talk. (This may be me. The other night at work I called a chicken sandwich a “son of a whore.” Don’t be afraid to get creative.)
  • Write a story that starts off angry and ends up happy.
  • Write a story featuring two people with sexual or gender orientations you’ve never written about before.
  • Write about an argument such as dogs vs. cats or Pepsi vs. Coke. Kill off the loser.
  • Write about a serial killer doing the things in his mundane life.

Go crazy, guys. Make sure you post to your story below if you end up writing one.

Wildflower Crown is now available for purchase!

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Wildflower Crown is available on Amazon in eBook and paperback! Until Amazon gets around to joining the pages, here is the eBook link and here is the paperback link.

I’m super excited to share this with the world. I really like the story and I think you guys will too!

For those of you without money who are interested, I’m looking for reviewers and will give a free PDF or MOBI of Wildflower Crown in exchange for an honest review to be posted on Amazon, Goodreads, and your blog. You can comment below or use the contact form on my “contact” page to ask about getting a copy.

My Bookshelf: The Wolf’s Captive

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Title: The Wolf’s Captive

Author: Chloe Cox

Genre: Erotica/Romance/Fantasy

Amazon Summary:
“It’s the raunchy, decadent holiday of Bacchanal, and Lucia Lyselle is just hoping to make it through intact. But then her father is arrested, and Lucia is held captive by Lord Cesare Lupin, heir to the ducal seat and her secret protector. She’ll have to submit to Lord Cesare’s sexual domination for the duration of the Bacchanal if she hopes to win her father’s freedom. But she doesn’t expect to fall in love – and she doesn’t expect that she’ll have to choose between her family and Lord Cesare…

Lord Cesare Lupin has come back from war afflicted with an ancient curse. If he can’t find his mate, he’ll turn into a mad, blood-thirsty beast, and the city that is his responsibility will suffer. Just his luck that his mate turns out to be the daughter of a man accused of treason…”

Jeers (possible spoilers):

  • Yes, yes, we get it. Lupin means wolf. Rowling named Professor Lupin that because he was a werewolf and now all other authors need to stop doing the same thing.
  • I didn’t like how they were just suddenly in love with each other.
  • The entire treason plot was SO overly complicated and then it boiled down to basically nothing.
  • I think the story lacked a bit. It just wasn’t all it set out to be. It could have been better.
  • This is marketed as “BDSM” but it was pretty tame. I think doing stuff in public was the most risqué they got.

Cheers:

  • I guess I did enjoy the absurdity of it. (The whole thing takes place during a week of orgies, basically).
  • It kept me reading. I was fully interested in the story until the end.
  • I did think that the characters were fairly well-rounded.

Would I recommend it?:
If you like sex-centered stories that also manage to carry a descent plot, yes. If you want to read a book with a plot that just happens to have sex in it, no. The characters didn’t have any real romance together other than the magical pull of whatever it was, but overall I still enjoyed the read and would read another book set in the same world if the author produced one.

Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Captive-Erotic-Romance-Bacchanal-ebook/dp/B009518Q6A