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

pic unrelated

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.

Novel Editing Mistakes to Avoid

Found a solid post by M.L. Davis over at Uninspired Writers:

Good morning, superstars. I hope you’ve all had a brilliant week.

For me, it’s been another week of editing. Does it ever end? With editing on the brain it seemed only appropriate for this weeks blog post to focus on editing. And so I’ve made a list of novel editing mistakes to avoid. Take a look…

Click here for six editing tips to get your novel in shape.

The Perfect Bad Review

So, I recently got a 2 star review of Wildflower Crown on Goodreads. The person said that they couldn’t finish the book and found it entirely not suited to their tastes. I was a little bummed that she didn’t like it, but I actually wasn’t upset because of how nicely she worded the review.

I was really glad to get this review, even though it wasn’t good, because it can actually help people decide if they want to read my book or not. Rather than saying “This book is terrible, don’t read it, my eyes were bleeding” or any nonsense like that, she just pointed out where she thought the book needed work and what she didn’t like about it. She was also very polite about it.

When writing a bad review, keep in mind that you’re commenting on something a person made, and that person has feelings. You don’t have to lie or anything, but try to think of what is constructive and could help the writer/other potential readers. If you hated every single thing about the book, you can say that, but word your review as you would if you were telling the author your opinion in person. Or over Skype, at the very least.

Before you publish your work you have to be prepared for bad reviews, even if they are just hateful nonsense, because not everyone is going to like your book. I steer far away from what I consider to be purple prose when I write, and this person thought my book was too simple. And that’s fine. If they didn’t like it, they’re allowed not to and I bare them no ill will. Another person emailed me to say she couldn’t finish my book because she really hated third person POV. You know what? I can’t help that. My book is third person POV and that isn’t going to change, and neither will her tastes. I don’t aim to write a book that everyone will love, I just aim to write a book that I would enjoy reading.

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.

The Peelers

I was born for one purpose. My duty in life is to provide nourishment to the Peelers, to help fuel their lives by giving my own. My life was dark for some time, a flash of brightness before I and my brothers were taken away from our home. I don’t know how much time passed between then and now, but here I sit surrounded by my brothers waiting to be chosen, to be given my chance to live.

I am still a young creature, firm and green like my brothers. I know that now, in the Choosing Place, is a critical time for us. If we are allowed to age on these shelves, we will die uneaten. Our coats will rot and we will turn to slime and there will be only regret and despair until there is nothing more. Our lives will be a waste.

We are thrown carelessly into a basket by a Peeler, all of my brothers and I. I am filled with joy to know that we have passed this critical test. We circle the Choosing Place as distant cousins and foreign things are thrown into the basket next to us. We come to the Gates of Freedom in the Choosing Place and the Handler puts us in bags for the Peeler.

Continue reading

An Author’s Meltdown

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So I’ve posted before on how to handle bad reviews and multiple times I have mentioned that an author should never respond to a review unless the reader is asking a genuine question (such as when is book 2 coming out). For those of you who missed it, there was a significant meltdown on Goodreads a few days ago. (Sorry I’ve been late about posting it, but my own book was just released and I am now working two jobs.)

The author went back and deleted his comments but I have the link to an archived page. I’ll provide the best snapshots then link to it below so you can see for yourself this hot holy mess. This is mostly for entertainment purposes since I don’t know of anyone who would react so badly and needs to be warned against it.

This was just…so unnecessarily wordy and pretentious. I just did not enjoy it at all. Which makes me sad because the summary says it’s for fans of Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and World of Warcraft. Aka three of my favorite things. So how did I loathe this so entirely from page one? I don’t know.
-Reviewer

Sorry that my book evoked such a horrible response… I’m an indie author. I work over 100 hours a week to get my books to succeed so that I don’t have to be a slave anymore. This review is not good for my business, so unless your desire is to ruin my dreams, it would mean a great deal if you could remove this review from my work and forget about it. But if it’s your desire to hurt me financially and ruin my business, then it’s understandable why you would post such a harmful review
-Author

The book has a number of good reviews so far so obviously plenty of people enjoy it, I just wasn’t one of them… I hardly think one review by a single person who is in no way affiliated with any company or big name blogs is going to ruin you financially or otherwise…I think we both know being an author is going to come with positive and negative attention… I personally did not like the story, it wasn’t for me… My one review is not going to sink your life’s work. If you are only here to police your book, only allowing good things to be said about it, I think that says more about you than the reviewer… I’m not going to remove my review because that would be a lie. I read it, I did not enjoy it, I’m within my rights to say so.
-Reviewer

I’m not here to “police” Goodreads…. Leaving a 1 star review on a book says much more about what kind of person does such a thing, and then attacks it for being “pretentious,” which is an erroneous statement that is defamation at best…. I’m happy I could be your Ego’s stepping stone… I’m just always amazed that someone would go out of their way to slander someone’s work like this. [Goodreads] is like Yelp, where essentially the only people that use it for negative reviews are those that have nothing better going on in their lives… I would’ve rather you got your money back than curse my book with your toxic opinion of it because it’s “in your rights to do so.” Do you have empathy? …Or do you just look at other people like they’re automatons that you can slander as though your actions don’t manifest consequences? …400,000 children go missing each year in the US alone. Do you know where they’re going? Do you know who’s behind it? Do you know why the media is silent about it? Do you know how much a person risks to confront the evil that’s running amok in this world?…
-Author

Alright, a minor break. WTF is he bringing up kidnapping for????

For all the people that observe this exchange, when you leave a negative review on someone’s work, you are potentially driving away a person that could have had their life changed for the better by that work. For someone to leave such a toxic review on a book that contains so much gnosis, that people had to die in order to learn in the past, is an utter disgrace to the human condition… So again, by all means, leave the review up if you feel like it’s the moral thing to do, if you must have it on your Goodreads profile so people can see how relevant your low opinion of “The Tale of Onora” is. The review mocks the reviewer, not the book….
-Author

You do realize that every author in the entire world has had their work negatively reviewed, right? Like literally all of them. The best writers in the entire world have had their books torn apart on a much more public platform than Goodreads. Why do you think you are above that? Why is your work above criticism when others aren’t?
-Reviewer

Then other people caught sight of this exchange and started chiming in. Obviously, a lot of them were against the author’s behavior.

And all of you who are taking [reviewer]’s side, what you’re doing in the bigger picture is waging war on the consciousness of humanity. The end… What bothers me is when people that operated at a low level of consciousness defame the work of people that are trying to help humanity, and no one helps humanity better than artists…. You’re immoral for defending this 1 star review. What is wrong with your POISONED WORLDVIEW where you cannot understand the damage that [a 1 star review] does???
-Author

Um, okay. He’s like literally saying that he’s God’s gift to humanity.

There aren’t any sides, [author]. I’m not trying to fight with you or defame your work. I just simply, on my own, did not enjoy the book… Maybe, like you said, I’m not at a high enough level of…intellect or consciousness or whatever else to understand it the way you meant it to be read…. I’m just a reader. That still doesn’t change the fact that you don’t need to come on here and threaten me over it… No one would have even noticed this review if it hadn’t been turned into this giant argument over nothing.
-Reviewer

The reviewer feels threatened but is still staying calm. She’s not doing anything to escalate this.

You know what it feels like to… see someone write that about you? Wow. No shame. All of you that have commented on this thread are EXACTLY what is wrong with this world, and EXACTLY what is ENABLING what is wrong with this world by CONDONING it… I hope you contemplate what it means to tear someone’s work down on a public forum and have the cognitive dissonance to believe it’s anything other than bullying. You’re unraised.
-Author

Talk about cognitive dissonance.

This continues for some time, continuing to say how immoral giving a one star review is while others chime in to agree with “WTF” to the author.

What I stand for, what [my book] stands for, and what the people that read it on every continent represent is SELF-EVIDENT and needs NO defense. What you stand for is all that is IMMORAL, HARMFUL, and WRONG.
-Author

So there you go. The archive only lasts till page 2 of the comments, so I don’t know if he posted anymore because all his comments have been deleted.

Kids, if you’re confused, always avoid engaging with readers. Even if someone leaves a one star review saying “John Doe is a bag of dicks and I used his book to wipe my ass” you do not reply. You flag it and report it to Amazon/Goodreads and they’ll take it down if it’s pointlessly hateful like that. (Also, readers usually avoid reviews like that when looking for pros and cons of the book before buying.)

Archived link: http://archive.is/rFgtE#selection-5187.0-5187.216