Friday Music: A duo of songs that MUST have been written about me

(Beginning note: If you only listen to one of these, please let it be the last one.)

Relating to music isn’t an uncommon experience. I think most songs (like all aspects of art) are pretty open to interpretation. An artist might be writing about one set experience, but we listen to it (or look at/read it) and relate it to some aspect of our own lives. That’s really what makes art so freaking beautiful, in my humble opinion.

Finding a song in that aspect really isn’t difficult. There are songs about love, and breakups, and troubles of all shapes and sizes. Those are easy. Those are experiences that pretty much everyone shares in some way (even if only loosely).

There have been two songs in my life that – after listening to the lyrics – caused me to stop for a second . . . then burst into hysterics at the similarities they had to my actual way of being.

Up until very recently, I’d only heard one of them. I think I was about eighteen the first time I came across it, and even still . . . it fits me pretty well. (That’s probably obvious if you read my blog or know me even a little bit.)

That song is: Motion City Soundtrack – Everything is Alright.

I’ll say that I never thought I would hear another that fit me so well. Then I did. It wouldn’t have fit me at all if I’d heard it when I was eighteen years old, sort of drifting through life and not doing much else. But I’m CLEARLY not eighteen anymore. (And if the song says anything, it’s that ‘drifting’ is not okay for me now.) If not for Pandora . . . I probably never would’ve heard this. I’m so glad I did. So I give you . . .

My new ‘me song‘: Air Traffic Controller – Hurry Hurry

I stop to smell the roses

My body decomposes

If I could sum up how I feel basically all the time? Yeah, that would be it.

I probably shouldn’t laugh at that song.

 

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ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!

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ENDWORLD - A NOVEL and THE ENDWORLD SERIES

Hello again, everyone! I hope you all are enjoying these last, waning days of the Summer and are looking forward to a long, holiday weekend filled with family, friends, beaches, barbecues and all around good times! Soon our focus will be shifting from milkshakes and peaches to Pumpkin Spice Lattes and apples (though you can’t really tell tonight; up here in southeastern Pennsylvania it’s hot and humid). While I love the Fall (and will likely write more about it in subsequent days, weeks and months), that is not the reason why I’m writing this tonight. I am writing this tonight for another, much more important reason. And that reason?

ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE! It went “live” as I’d hoped, and can now be ordered from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the iBookstore, Createspace, Smashwords, Kobo… you name it! Here are the links…

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Positivity Journal

I usually apologize when I haven’t been on here (or anywhere) for a while. I’m not going to do that this time. I’ll explain, and explaining will (eventually) get me to the title of this post. This is going to be a long one. Proceed if you dare . . .

I posted something about a month ago that I really didn’t want to, talking about how I (mentally) was not doing so great. Then I posted about two weeks later that I was feeling better (in comparison). The in comparison was key there. The fact of the matter is that the not-so-greatness has been going on for well over a month and a half now. I’d usually rather not say anything like that, and I believe I’ve only done so on here a small handful of times. No matter what sort of stuff [going on in my life] I talk about on here, this is ‘work-related’ to me. This blog has my ‘author name’ on it, my ‘author photo,’ etc. This isn’t a space where I toss my deepest feelings out into the abyss of the interwebz. I don’t toss my deepest feelings out anywhere, really, apart from in one-on-one conversations. That’s just me. So apart from saying, “I’m in a weird/bad/whatever headspace,” there’s usually not anything like that. That might change one day, but I’m not holding my breath for it.

The only reason I ever post things along the lines of what I did a month or so ago is when whatever headspace I’m in starts impacting my work rather than my life outside of work. It definitely has this time.

Typically, when I get in ‘a mood,’ I’m so preoccupied with work that I don’t even have the time to think about it. I have such a one-track mind and get so focused on what I’m doing that whatever else is going on in my life sort of slips somewhere behind a closed door in the back of my head. Sometimes (like when I’m writing), I’ll get so caught up in what I’m doing that the door doesn’t even have the chance to get opened again. Then, by the time I might’ve gotten around to it, whatever was causing the unpleasantness has usually lessened for some reason or another. (Issues getting resolved or me just calming down about whatever it was.)

This has probably been the worst mindset I’ve been in for . . . a very long time. I tried just about everything to drag myself out of it. I wrote. (I FINISHED ANOTHER BOOK.) I did (a few) non-writing work-related things. I got out of the shed. (A lot of that was due to a messed up sleep schedule/sleep related issues and it being too hot for me out here.) I played video games. I watched some TV. Did (a few) things outside (and got a good reminder of why I enjoy being indoors). I EVEN GOT OUT OF THE STATE.

I really tried just about everything, and no matter how okay (and even sometimes great) I would be doing at any point, I kept mentally backsliding. Now, we all know (and I have no problem with admitting) that I am a very negative person. (Not outwardly, but inside my head.) I used to consider myself realistic, and I don’t think it really hit me just how much I was kidding myself with that until pretty recently. I do believe that I look at the glass as neither half-full nor half-empty, only that there’s a glass filled to the midway point, but I’m always worst-case scenario. I’m always planning things out and trying to mentally prepare myself for whatever horrible thing that’s next on the path. That’s just me. And really, in a way, I’m totally fine with that. I wouldn’t be me if my dad couldn’t make jokes about the sky falling and me responding with something like, “If [whatever] happened . . . it could.”

I don’t have a problem with that sort of thing, but I WILL admit that I’m getting worse about it, and I don’t like that. I feel like in a lot of ways, my anxiety has even gotten worse. And I’ve been trying to push myself out of my ‘safe bubble comfort zone’ for a while now.

And it’s so freaking weird, because at some point along the way, I’d slowed down all the negativity in my head that I was really worried about – the negativity that pertained to my work. The, ‘What makes you think you could ever do this?’ sort of questions. The, ‘You know you’re not good enough for this,’ remarks. The responses to those had turned into, “Because I can,” and either, “Yes I am,” or, “I’m doing it anyway.”

So what’s been with the mood? I’m still not really sure, but I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve kind of been a wreck lately. I’m sure pretty much everybody knows there are some times that are harder than others to put a (figurative or literal) smile on your face just because you have to. It’s been hard for me lately, when trying to take care of all the stuff that needs doing. So I didn’t do much of it.

I cry a lot over weird things. Movies, TV shows, sometimes music. Sometimes commercials. When I say cry, I mean tear up. I don’t actually cry often. (You may think it’s not weird to cry at the things I mentioned, but it’s what sets it off that makes the crying so weird. If I watch LOTR:ROTK by myself, I’ll sob when they’re all riding into battle. It’s just so epic. Even after watching it more times than I even know, I still fight against sobs.) I cry REAL GOOD (getting all Southern there) when I’m writing/editing sometimes. The point of saying that or even bringing it up at all is . . . I don’t cry about my real life often. Once in a blue moon, usually when I’m extremely frustrated over something that makes complete sense to be up-in-the-air about. So when it gets to the point where nothing in particular has happened, and I’m just feeling nothing short of completely broken down . . . that obviously means I let myself get past an okay point to be.

I don’t really have a solution for it. (Though starting to re-watch Merlin drastically improved my mood.) I can’t magically make this workload go down. Even working on it doesn’t really put a dent in it. This isn’t a story in a book I’m writing, where I can depend on fake people to fix something. This is my real life. I’m just a feeble, little human. And no matter how I feel about my books, or my work in general, sometimes I need a good reminding that I’m more important than they are. (Because I can’t get them out of my head if I’m not in a place where I can.) It’s easy to forget sometimes, and it’s just as easy to beat myself up over needing to get whatever done and not doing it when I think I should.

So while it almost feels like it killed a part of my soul (I say that about a lot of things but rarely mean it like I do here) to not work as much, or as well, or as efficiently as what I ‘should’ have . . . I needed the break. That’s why I really can’t apologize for missing the posts I’d JUST set a schedule for, because I needed to take care of myself. And you know what? It’s been really freaking nice to spend some substantial time with my husband.

I’ve realized that I can’t stick to any sort of actual schedule right now. I just can’t manage it, and that’s okay. (Did more of that writing up posts on here and not posting them stuff.) Trying to do that didn’t actually help like I thought it would. It just made things worse for me. So I’m just going to post about whatever, whenever (like I’ve done pretty much forever on here). The sky isn’t going to fall down. People might have issues with how long it’s taken me to comment back, but I WILL comment back. And I’d rather say what I want to say when I can say it than say what I can say in a small space of time. (That makes sense in my head. I know I could’ve worded it better.)

Anyway, the whole point of all this is the title. I read an article today, and it was almost like something clicked in my head. I really feel like I’ve been in this cesspool of negativity for FAR too long. (I don’t like not being able to work.) I thought of an idea earlier.

I’m going to start a positivity journal. Not like a real journal, with feelings and all. More like a list.

I wrote however many words today. I actually went to the gym. I got whatever done. This happened. So and so said this to me. I laughed about some event.

And not all positives either. I’m going to put the negatives in there too. (Herald’s E-key broke. Husband fixed it.) Because when you break down your days, you might have one massive negative, but you’re going to have a crapton of small positives thrown in there. For someone who naturally focuses on negatives . . .

I just don’t want to do that anymore. I feel like writing it all down might put things in a different perspective for me. I’m hoping so.

I’m just a feeble, little human, and my feelings are relevant. Being down, or overwhelmed, or sad, or angry . . . that’s relevant. But those are the things I naturally cling to. Those are the things I typically remember when all of this other stuff slips out of my head. (My memory is so bad.) And I would really like to remember everything else.

Husband and I had a talk about [something awesome] today. It really meant a lot to me.

I accomplished this today.

So I’ll be able to look back at some point, and I’ll remember the moment of writing it down if I write it down, meaning I’ll actually remember the event. (I remember almost everything that I actually write down.) One thousand words written might not seem like much, but they add up. Add about 90,000 more and you’ve got a book. All the days broken down.

I don’t expect doing this to change me. I’m the most self-deprecating person ever. (If you want to challenge me on that, we’ll lose together.) I’ve mastered getting in my own way, and I’ve lived most of my life like that. (What a skill to master!) So I might have a day where the sky is falling down inside my head because my anxiety is intent on pulling the damn thing down, but that doesn’t change what’s going on around me.

My feelings, no matter how relevant, do not undermine my accomplishments, my dreams, or the good things that happen to me.

I’m not aiming to fill my life with only positives. I’m too realistic (there’s that word again) for that. I’m aiming to acknowledge and accept the positives that already exist. That’s all, and I think this is a good start.

I know there are a lot of people like me out there, and really . . . I just wish so badly that we could all let ourselves focus on the good. Good things happen. It’s easy to forget sometimes, overlook. I just don’t want to do that anymore. Whatever struggles anyone else is going through . . . I hope you find a way to overcome them. I really do. I’m working on my way.

No matter what I’m working on, I just have to remember that my most important WIP . . . is me.

 

After a week of writing . . .

As I said a few posts ago, I took this past week for writing. Not surprisingly, I’m feeling much better (in comparison). I spent (most of) that entire time writing on New Series (8, if you’re going by my What’s in the works? page). I’ve said before on here that I’ve had some major issues with getting this series out of my head. I really think a lot of that is to do with timing and not being able to write as consistently as I used to, with releases/blogging/Twitter/anything that isn’t writing pulling me away from writing.

Book 1 . . . it took forever (for me) to get out. I started it in February, hit a brick wall very early in, then took about a month off of writing. I got back to it, figured out a way around that (particular) wall, then hit another (smaller) one. It’s gone on and on that way from the get-go. I’m six months into this series, and it’s been the longest I’ve been actively(ish) writing on one without having the first (garbage) drafts finished. (Excluding the first series I ever wrote, which I typically exclude from everything.) That’s pretty strange for me. I don’t like it. But such is life!

At the start of the writing week, I had a few chapters of the third book written. At the end of it, I’m happy to report that I’m over halfway finished with the third book (if the word count continues to hold in the way it has been). I’m also happy to report that (for the most part) planned events in this one have gone (pretty much) the way I’d thought they would. What a surprise!

I’m wondering if part of the issue with this is the sort of . . . evolution of it. If I look at my three separate fantasy series – Reave Series (2), Completed Trilogy (4), and New Series (8) – they are all very different. I always focus the most on characters, and the Reave Series is a prime example of that. The story IS the characters, more so than the ‘world’ they’re living in. (That’s not saying the world isn’t important or has no impact.) Completed Trilogy has the world taking a bigger part in it, impacting the characters in more atypical ways than that of the Reave Series. The world was/is bigger (or maybe I should say different), and that was pretty difficult for me to get down. (Thus the start of more detailed mapping, more detailed character/information sheets, more detailed lists.) It was harder to keep it all in my head.

New Series is . . . MASSIVE. It’s the first time I’ve undertaken having multiple viewpoints in one book (though in Completed Trilogy the books aren’t all from the initial main character’s perspective). So, not only is it having to tackle that (voices and all), but it’s dealing with multiple arcs, multiple backstories that need to be told (in the right way at the right time) and dealt with in the head of whichever character is telling that part of the story, multiple races with their own rules/ways of being/focuses, etc. That’s not mentioning how much detail is going into the actual locales, and from getting one place to another. And as I said, I’m a completely character-driven writer, so there being so much of a focus on everything else has been . . . an experience, that’s for sure. Completed Trilogy definitely helped with that. I wouldn’t have had a chance in hell at writing this one if not for that one. (That seems to be the way it goes . . .)

But something happened during this week of writing. I actually wrote. Even adding the POV of a different character . . . it went pretty seamlessly. This was the first bit of substantial writing I’ve gotten done in that sort of time span in what feels like freaking forever. And it feels good. I’m not sure if that’s having a (much) better feel for everything, or if I had the time needed to really get into it, or both. (Probably both.)

This is the first time in a while that I feel like I need to write, not for my mental wellbeing, but because the characters and story have finally clicked hard enough in my head that they must get out. (And I’m not talking about little bits of getting out here and there, I’m talking OUT.) The characters are no longer content enough (yet grumpy) about me potentially pinning them to trees so that I can carry on with things and get back to them when I’m able. If I were to have a conversation with this group of characters, telling them I need to do just that, it would go as follows . . .

1: *stares at me for far too long* I’m not letting you pin me to a tree again. Are you that ignorant?

Me: I’m sorry. I have a lot of things I need to do.

2: So do we.

3: But if she has things she needs to do, shouldn’t she do them? I mean, she’s helping us, isn’t she? Shouldn’t we be quiet for a little while if that would help her get us out of her head so we can live?

4: I’m sure we could keep ourselves occupied while she’s away.

1: Shut up, 4.

4: *grins*

Me: I really am sorry. I don’t want it to be this way.

5: Why don’t you try time-splitting again? Obviously it would be difficult. We all *looks around at the others* know you want to tell our story. So tell it.

Me: It would be pretty much impossible with writing rather than editing. I’m worried pinning you to the trees will end up being necessary.

6: This is bulls***.

Me: I know.

7: Is anyone going to tell me what I’m doing here?

Me: I am. Just give me some time.

1: I am not letting you pin me to a tree again.

2: *nudges 1*

1: *shakes head at 2* I’m not.

4: Is everyone going to ignore the fact that I’m her favorite here?

6: You’re being an ass. She likes all of us.

4: But we all know I’m the favorite.

7: *looks at me* Can we talk later about why? Because I really don’t understand that.

Me: I’m really not allowed to talk to you about that sort of thing. It would mess with the dynamic.

2: You know you shouldn’t be talking to us at all, right?

Me: I know. I’m just trying to explain.

4: Am I the only one who’s getting this? *looks around* No? No one? Seriously? I can fix all of this. *grins at me* You know you want to spend time with me.

Me: I know, 4. I know. Time for the tree.

4: *gapes* You’re not serious.

Me: Completely.

7: I guess being the favorite doesn’t always help.

Me: Seriously, everyone. Trees. It would be better if you could pin yourselves there. I don’t know if I can make myself do it right now.

1: Are you forgetting that we’re not currently someplace that makes pinning ourselves to trees feasible?

2: She’s not forgetting.

6: I’m not going back in that forest until I absolutely have to. You’re out of luck with the trees.

Me: Can’t you just go shut yourselves in rooms then? At least for a little while?

5: I’m fine with that.

3: You’re coming back for us, right?

Me: Of course. Hopefully in a few hours.

Everyone grumbles a bit and starts walking away.

1: This is what happens when we have a human writing our story. We already have to deal with her taking too much time to eat, and gods, she sleeps for an eternity. Doesn’t she realize how much we have to do?

Me: I can still hear you, 1.

1: *shrugs just before turning a corner*

There are a few waves and a few glares before everyone else disappears.

 

Yeah, I need to get this story out. If it gets to the ‘I’m having conversations with my characters on my blog’ point? Yeah.

Anyway, the point of all that is this: I AM going to try time-splitting with this. I’ll be cutting down on my posts on here, as I mentioned. (At least for the time being). The plan is to do two ‘update’ type posts monthly, around the first and third Monday of the next few months. I am wanting to bring back my Friday Music posts (to pop in and say hello, and to share some of the ridiculous amount of music that I like). I’ll probably do two of those a month, maybe on the second and fourth Friday’s. I’m also planning to do a few stray ‘fun posts’ here and there, which could be about anything and come at any time.

I’ll be spending this week legitimately trying to get caught up on things while time-splitting. The plan is that doing this will KEEP me caught up, but I’m not sure. I’ll really just have to see how it goes. If this doesn’t work? I’m pretty much out of options.

In other news, some interesting things were going on while I was away. For one thing, Charles Yallowitz released the newest book in the Legends of Windemere series.

Also, they’ve opened up the crowdsourcing to potentially make the Frostbite movie, the second book in the Vampire Academy Series. I know I’ve said on here before that I love (LOVE) that series, and a lot of that has to do with the friendship(s) involved in it. (I wrote on that in Female Friendships, if you want to check that post out.) If you’ve read the books, you know they only get (SOOOO) much better after the first. I really, REALLY hope the second movie gets made. (They really seem to be LISTENING now, which I think they could’ve greatly benefited from doing with the first.) It seems that word hasn’t gotten out about that as well as it should be, so I wanted to make sure I said something about it on here, in case any of my followers are fans and don’t know about it. You can check out the campaign here: Frostbite on Indiegogo.

One more thing. I’d been deleting the ‘news’ bits on my What’s in the works? page when I would update. I think I’m just going to leave them there and update below them from now on. That way if anyone is THAT interested, they can see how progress actually goes.

Guardians of the Galaxy was pretty fantastic, by the way . . .

That’s all!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sorry this was so long . . .

 

Book Sixty of 2014: Reave by C. Miller

❤ x50000

Casia's Corner

19193256

How far would you go to be free—to make your own choices without being subjected to punishment for doing what you felt was right? Could you kill for it?
After being abandoned by her father as a child, Aster spent ten years of her life as a servant for the leader’s House in the broken city of New Bethel. She’d known, even as a child, that the cities of her world were corrupt places with human monsters—assassins—running rampant between their high walls.
Thinking everything will remain the same as it always has there, Aster is startled to discover that one day . . . the cycle breaks. As a young new leader takes a strange and—at times—horrifying interest in her, will she be capable of discovering the reasons behind his actions and orders?
In a world where nothing is as it seems and all things are never anywhere near as…

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Cover Reveal: The Compass Key by Charles Yallowitz!

Debuting August 8th on Amazon Kindle!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Swords will clash and spells will fly in the newest adventure of young warrior Luke Callindor, Nyx the magic-flinging caster, and their friends.

With Sari captured by their enemies, the champions of Windemere are determined to get her back and destroy the Lich’s castle. Little do they realize, their battles in the Caster Swamp are only the beginning of this adventure. Trinity and her Chaos Elves have invaded the city of Gaia in search of a relic called the Compass Key. Rumored to be the key to rescuing Sari from a magical island, our heroes are in a race to find the mysterious relic.

Which side will claim the Compass Key? And, what will our heroes do when they’re faced with an enemy whose evil power overshadows anything they have ever faced?

About the Author:

Charles author photo B&WCharles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Read the Previous Volumes of Legends of Windemere!!!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Cover by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen (CLICK FOR AMAZON SITE)