Love: Lost and Found by Pamela Beckford (Blog Tour!)

Today, I’m participating in part of a blog tour for a blogging buddy of mine, Pamela Beckford.¬†Love: Lost and Found is the third book of poetry that she’s published. If you enjoy poetry, you should definitely check it out!

Also, she’s a super nice person, and you should go check out her blog if you haven’t already. ūüôā

 

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Lost-Found-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00LEST9Z4/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1405041518&sr=8-8&keywords=love+lost+and+found

 

Alone (double cinquain)

Alone

So incomplete

Gazing at the moonlight

Wondering just when you’ll be here

Nearby

With me

To start our lives

Never to leave again

Becoming whole and not just half

As one

 

Pamela has written a second collection of love poems. Poetry is an expression from deep within the soul. It can be therapeutic and healing. It can bring out all the best or the worst in life. Her poetry comes from the heart, not the head. It is an outpouring of emotion and she exposes it to the reader in the pages. Love: Lost and Found contains over 90 poems representing over a dozen different forms of poetry. The poems span the angst and despair of love lost to the exhilaration and ecstasy of a deep abiding love.

 

Love: Lost and Found has already received a five star review that says

“Pamela Beckford writes with her heart as much as her mind. She makes me feel things when I read her work that usually stay buried beneath the surface. Her way of expressing emotions that usually aren’t captured for later evaluation is amazing.

I also enjoy that she uses a lot of different styles and forms of poetry in her collections, making the book varied and interesting. Some are shorter and some longer, but all of them carefully constructed. Her ability to say so much in so few words is a indication of her talent as a writer.

If you are looking for an excellent poetry book, look no further.”

http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Love-Collection-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00I9H9K3Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405042082&sr=8-1&keywords=dreams+of+love+pamela

 

http://www.amazon.com/Voices-Nature-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00JCRWVJU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405042107&sr=8-1&keywords=voices+of+nature+by+pamela+beckford

 

Pamela’s other books have also garnered some great reviews and both are available on Kindle or paperback as well.

 

Season of Love (tanka)

First there is summer,

Followed by fall, winter, spring

But lest we forget

The season of love appears

Bringing hope for all lost souls

 

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On releasing a second book . . .

Trying to process how I’m feeling with the release of Elude coming up fast has been a pretty interesting experience. It can be all pure, undiluted excitement for who knows how long, only to be overtaken by stress and the like at a moment’s (unwanted) notice. Me, I’m a stressful being. I’ll be stressed about the sky being too blue if nothing else is going on. (WHERE ARE THE CLOUDS?! THERE SHOULD BE CLOUDS RIGHT NOW!) Clearly that’s an exaggeration (of sorts), but there’s always the ‘expect the worst’ mentality trying to break through any bit of positivity in my head. That’s just me.

I’d been ridiculously stressed trying to get everything done and (as close to) perfect (as I can get) with this. I was still excited despite all that, more of that than anything else. Then, all at once, most of the stress and other negativity was sucked up. I was just excited.

Thus far, preparing to release a second book has been an entirely different ballgame than the first. I know what I’m doing a bit better than I did when it was Reave I was preparing for. (Though, admittedly, I did forget some things this time which was much easier to be remedied than initial learning.) Releasing that first one, I was a giant mass of stress. I’m pretty sure I was putting off so much stress that it could easily be detected by others within a fifty-foot radius of me. (Though it’s rare for people to be in that space.) Obviously there was the pleasantness as well. I was FINALLY going to have a book out there in the world. I was going to push it off the proverbial cliff to see if it could fly. It was¬†terrifying.

It was also exciting.

After several years of writing books and wanting people to enjoy them like I enjoyed them, it was . . . a bit surreal, to be honest. I’d been so over-protective and private with my work until that point, and the thought of any and everyone being capable of reading it just blew my mind. (I’m getting better with the over-protective part, but it’s a process for sure.) It still does blow my mind, when I really think about it in certain ways.

I’ll say my head is much clearer this time around. Rather than, “Is this really happening? Really?” it’s, “This is happening.”

I’m happy. I think a great deal of that is due to just how much I love¬†the rest of this series. If you’ve read Reave, you know it leaves off for things to PICK UP. And pick up they do. I really love this second book. (Though I’ll easily say that the fourth is by far my favorite in the series.)

One of my concerns was that other people wouldn’t agree with me on this, that they wouldn’t enjoy¬†the rest and would be like, “FIRST.” After having several people read Elude and telling me they liked it better, and having the people who have either finished book 3 or are currently reading it saying the same (that they like it even better than the second, which was an even larger concern for me if I’m being honest) . . . I’m feeling good.

I don’t know when it happened exactly, or if it’s only a temporary thing, but I think I’m getting just a smidgen better at putting away the negative thoughts where my work is concerned. They’re still there, of course. But I’m getting a bit better at not letting them dictate so much, or have so much of a say in matters where they don’t actually need to have input at all.

Obviously I’m stressed out, wondering how it will be received, and all that. At the same time, I know it’s better and I can be excited about that.

As of right now, I don’t really know that I’ll be posting another entry on here before the release. Unless I think of something important, this will probably be it. So I have a few things to say to all of you who have actually taken the time to read this and are interested. There will be no mass of stress seeping into the following…

1) I am¬†really¬†looking forward to you reading Elude, if you’re planning on it. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it makes you feel something. I hope you’re satisfied with it.

2) Thank you. I sincerely want to thank any and everyone who has been supportive of my work. These books mean more to me than I can actually get across. (I suppose that’s easy when they pretty much consume your life…) And I’m really not very fantastic at many aspects of this. Getting the word out? Yeah, I’m pretty awful at that. Having confidence in myself? Pretty awful at that as well. So thank you all for either dealing with the latter of those, or helping with the former. More than that, thank you to anyone who has at any point ever thought the characters I write deserve to be not only enjoyed by you, but shown to others. It seriously means more to me than I could ever express.

That’s why I do this.

(Apart from trying to keep my sanity in getting these stories out of my head. ūüėČ )

– C

Releasing a second book? Yeah, it’s happening.

Be prepared on July 14th. Until then, you can check out Reave, or add Elude on GoodReads. ūüôā

Female Friendships

I was hoping to do a post today entitled: ALL THE COLORS Pt. 2.

Obviously I’m not doing that, which is because I haven’t yet attempted what I planned to attempt in ALL THE COLORS. I’m still planning it, but I haven’t got all my supplies out of the boxes they’re in yet. I’ll try it out at some point, hopefully soon.

So instead, I’m going to be writing a post about the importance of female friendships in novels, and in life. This is inspired by Vampire Academy coming out in two days, which I am EXTREMELY excited about.

Most of the reading I do is in the YA genre. I don’t always WRITE in that genre (it’s a bit difficult for me to keep the cursing to a minimum [depending on how badly a character wants to do it] and wondering about the line where *cough*¬†other things¬†are concerned), but I prefer to read in it. My reasons for doing as much aren’t related to this post, so I’m not going to get into that because I’m¬†trying¬†to stay on subject with the new schedule. (Is mentioning something getting into it?)

One of my largest problems (it’s not the only one) with the genre is the lack of female friendships that the heroines have in their lives. More often than not, it seems to be piling a bunch of males in with the one female to develop (sometimes) meaningful relationships and friendships with. If there¬†are¬†females, they seem to be put on the back-burner and are more for keeping up appearances rather than adding any sort of legitimate substance. They’re underutilized, in my opinion. (Kind of like something else, which I will probably get to in another post.)

I’ll completely admit that writing female friendships is a tricky thing. When you’re female, you KNOW how tricky female friendships can get, especially around the age when YA main characters are. I’ll also admit that the male/female friendship ratio I tend to work with is usually pretty indicative that I personally find friendships with males¬†easier. BUT, there’s a quality over quantity aspect. And I will say that in any series I’ve finished, the main female character has AT LEAST ONE extremely meaningful friendship with another female. Doesn’t necessarily happen in the first book of a series, doesn’t necessarily not¬†happen in the first book of a series,¬†but it happens at some point (thus far). It happens because . . . that happens in life. I also believe it’s important.

I think for younger females, it’s good for them to see that friendships with other girls can be healthy. It doesn’t have to be backstabbing and all the other nonsense that comes along with being 16-18 years old (and younger, and older). I think it’s good for them to see that. It’s true that you don’t always get back what you put into a friendship, but sometimes you do.

While I’ve always made friends easier with males (for the most part), some of the most meaningful connections I have in my life are with females. Females communicate together in a way that you just . . . don’t¬†get¬†with males. And no, it’s not all make up and clothes (but yes, that’s fun).

I have no problem saying that Aster eventually develops several meaningful relationships with females in the Reave series (apart from Agatha). Some of them come later into the game than others, but they help her grow as a ‘person’. These females (I’m not giving them away) help her in ways no one else ever could.

I say writing female friendships isn’t any trickier than writing love entanglements. No, they’re not as ‘appealing’, but by god . . . they’re real.

And that’s one thing I¬†loved¬†about the Vampire Academy series (apart from Rose being badass, which she was). Rose and Lissa, whatever connection aside, have one of the deepest friendships I’ve ever read. No matter what boys get thrown into the mix, or what crap, they are¬†always¬†there for each other. I think that’s beautiful, and I think it’s important.

When you have girlfriends and you throw boys into the mix, things can get a bit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . difficult. When you’re young, a lot of times you think the boy is the one that matters, and don’t get me wrong, they matter in their ways. It’s usually not ways you realize at the time.

You might cry on a male friend’s shoulder when you’re falling to pieces over a boy. I know I did my fair share of that when I was younger (A BIG¬†SORRY¬†here to any of you who had to deal with that), but it’s different when you’re sprawled out on your best female friend’s bed, a complete¬†wreck. There’s no, “I knew this was going to happen.”

That comes later, if ever. Usually not.

Girlfriends know you don’t want to hear that garbage, especially when you’re in pieces (you probably did know and don’t need reminding). All you want to do is cry about some jerkface who probably didn’t deserve your time or the tears you’re crying over him anyhow.

I’m not devaluing one sort of friendship and talking up the other. Some of my best friends in the world are male, and I would not give up those friendships for anything, but neither would I with my female friendships. What I’m saying is that it’s all important.

There’s really not much that compares to the bonds females can form with one another, especially in the fueled flames of adolescence. I can easily say that, being well past that time, I’m glad to see it over. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it for what it was, or the people involved. But it’s easy to look back and realize that you take things for granted when you’re young.

So hug your girlfriends and always remember . . . they can’t be replaced. And those connections? They deserve to be written about. They deserve so much more than what they’re given.

Thank you Richelle Mead for doing a fantastic job of that when it seems to be so rare in the genre.

(Also, on a completely unrelated note: I’m trying to get an actual SCHEDULE made up for reading people’s blogs on here. It’s taking me longer than I want it to with all the work I’m doing, but I AM working on it. Please be patient with me until that time, and then I’ll actually have a daily schedule for it to hold myself to.)

ūüôā

Why I love editing . . .

For my Monday Update post, I’ll be talking about what I’m currently doing (past saying I’m doing it) and why I love it so much.

Editing.

Not all authors enjoy it. I’ve gathered that much from reading blogs, but that’s to be expected. Everybody loves different parts of this process for different reasons, and that’s all fine and good. It’s one of the things that makes it so interesting to communicate with and read blog entries by other authors – comparing similarities and differences.

I’ll be totally honest and admit that SOMETIMES, IN SOME WAYS, I enjoy editing more than the actual writing. That being said, it does NOT mean that I would rather do it (that I would rather be an editor than an author, or that I think I’d even be capable of that, which I don’t). I enjoy editing my own work. One of the largest¬†reasons is this:

I’m a pantser. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I write stories. I can THINK I do, then turn around only to have the characters laugh in my face and say, “You thought you were in control here? That’s adorable.”

Other than a few major plot points that I will include come hell or high water, I let the characters do what they do and – thus far – it’s worked out. Don’t ask me how, but it just does. (It’s completely off-topic, but I’ll add that I think anyone can have an interesting story, so . . . it’s just telling a person’s (character’s) story however they want it told.)

That first edit is the first time I get to sit down and somewhat ENJOY the story as a whole. I’m not stressing about what the characters are doing/will do because . . . they’ve already done it. So that’s the first time seeing it as a whole (but not yet complete) story, and I love that.

A related reason to that is because I enjoy watching it go from something whole to something that gets¬†just a bit¬†more complete with every run-through (or inch-through, which is what they’ve been lately). I’d imagine it’s a lot like painting in that regard, but I wouldn’t know.

I’m not saying that getting it down and out of my head isn’t spectacular. It’s pretty miraculous to me, actually (I have NO IDEA how they come together). But I really enjoy not stressing so much about it and just¬†enjoying¬†it. (Or not being angry at characters for doing something you didn’t want them to, like . . . exist,¬†in some cases.)

It also helps that I’m meticulous and don’t mind doing tasks a lot of people would consider monotonous. (Repeating the same sentence ten times in a row to make sure the commas are in the right place for speaking opposed to technicality, then going back and changing them, then changing them again,¬†or ensuring tiny details line up? That’s right up my alley.) I enjoy it and don’t find it monotonous at all. It’s¬†fun.

One of the major things is brain-speed opposed to hand-speed.

I type VERY fast. It’s helpful in a lot of ways (getting stories written). It’s unhelpful in a LOT of ways. That’s how I end up typing ‘you’ rather than ‘to’ or ‘be’ rather than ‘me’ (or more than¬†rather than¬†other than and to¬†rather than¬†do¬†like I caught myself doing in this entry after running through it).

When I’m typing, my hands work faster than my brain (which ensures MANY edits are in order). When it comes to¬†quality? It’s a bit . . . lacking. That’s why you’ll never see me let anyone¬†touch¬†a first or second draft of my work. I won’t even let people near¬†them to¬†touch.¬†I have a hard enough time posting blog entries for that reason.

When I’m actually¬†writing, my brain works faster. That pushes the quality up, and it takes those MANY edits to bring the work as a whole up to speed. This is part of the reason I edit on paper, along with being able to catch more (and finding that my brain usually works better when I’m not staring at a screen . . . I’ve said brain a lot in this entry, sorry).

That’s all just the way that I function with it. I’m definitely not claiming it’s the¬†right¬†way, but it’s the right way for me and I absolutely love it. (Another fantastic thing about this is that there¬†is¬†no¬†right way. If anyone says differently, I say they’re full of . . . . something not-nice.)

But as much as I love editing, as I said, it doesn’t take the place of¬†writing. I’m still having withdrawals, but I know that I’ll eventually get done with these inch-throughs and can get back to writing another story. Eventually. At some point. Sometime. One day.

I DO think I’m going to have another go at the trilogy I wrote over the summer before I start writing again as well. I want to get them ready and hopefully release the first of those after the second in the Reave series (possibly after the third, but we shall see). There is a¬†major¬†flub in the last of that trilogy and I’ve been trying to figure out how to fix it for several months. I finally have an idea, but it’s not exactly¬†ideal. Anyway, that’s the plan!

For anyone out there who’s struggling through some less-than-ideal part of the process, just remember that everything passes and one bad thing doesn’t take away from the whole. And I do think there’s good to be found, even in the bad stuff. That can really apply to anything. (I keep telling myself that . . .)

So that’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s what I’ll¬†be¬†doing for I don’t even know how long.

ūüôā

Mae – Falling Into You (Friday Music)

If love were a song, this would be it (my opinion). I feel that’s the only thing that needs to be said here, but I will point out that obviously I know it’s not Friday (I’m behind this week, but trying to keep up), and I will also add that this song might possibly have brought a tear to my eye on one or two occasions.

Hope everyone is having an exceptional weekend. I’ll try to get another post up on Monday, but I’m not making any promises, proposed schedule or not. Trying is about as good as anyone can do.

Aster

Reave has been live for…seventeen days now, and I’m no closer to accepting it being ‘out there’ as I was when I said I was trying to maintain some semblance of dissociation from it for my mental well-being. Somewhere in my mind I’m completely acknowledging the fact that, yes, it is out there and, yes, people are reading/have read/will read it. The positive feedback has blown my mind, I’ll say that again. (I’ll probably keep saying it.) Seeing people post things about it on¬†Facebook, or randomly finding a new review has just been…fantastic. (I could make a comment here about Blades of Glory and the ‘mind-bottling’ remark.)

In a commenting back-and-forth with Ben from over at¬†BensBitterBlog¬†(If you’ve never seen his blog…you need to), I got inspired to post an entry. This is it, by the way. And this entry right here is entirely (mostly, knowing me) about the main character in¬†Reave, Aster.

I’d contemplated making a post about her before, but that’s tricky for me. One of the things I’m most looking forward to as the series goes along – receiving input about it – is hearing opinions on Aster’s development. So what can I say without giving away too much? That’s the question.

I’ve felt it was almost impossible to dance around characters in a blog entry because the characters dance around themselves in the books. (Spend a moment trying to imagine how that works. If anyone figures out how it’s possible, let me know. I’m at a loss. Made sense in my head.) So what could really be said?

There’s never been much of a debate over whether I was going to write about something on here. If I wanted to, I did. If I maybe did, I didn’t. Simple as that. (An example to the contrary is the post I made about sleeping. I’d take it down if it wasn’t the entry that got the most hits off Google. And it might be a bit evil of me, but I seriously LOVE the search terms I occasionally see because of it.)

The point of that digression is: When having to ask myself so many questions about if I DID want to write about her, to let people get to know her a bit more…The answer was no, due to the questioning involved. But I think I might be able to manage it (if I could EVER get to the point in an entry).

Aster began as a product of my first series. The main character in it was……a¬†brute, to be honest. It was fun at first, but then it was just…too much. (She was also an absolute MORON, but that is NOT the point.) So when I sat down to write Reave – putting the¬†Reapers¬†out of my mind and focusing on the MC – I knew…I wanted her to start weak. Now, if you’ve read Reave, or if you’ve even read a BIT of Reave, you probably already know…

Aster is ANYTHING but weak.

Mentally.

Even from the get-go, she looked at me and said, “I will¬†not¬†have this.” So, I wrote her how she was, then got dragged along behind her (and a few other characters) for the four books I’ve written and all the bits of ones I’ve only written in my head. I don’t have a problem saying that’s how she is. It’s apparent from Chapter One.

I’ll admit there were times during my multiple edits where I sat here in my chair, openmouthed, over certain aspects. You see, it’s probably not that noticeable with the first, but these books were made to be re-read. I know a lot of people aren’t re-readers, and that’s fine. I feel you can read through each book once and find yourself satisfied (unless you hate it/them, in which case…I’m sorry). I can’t say I designed them that way (I wrote them, but being a pantser…I only have so much to do with it), but I can say I tweaked it to make it fit the way it naturally wanted to be. And the series says, “I promise you’ll find something you didn’t the first time if you just READ ME AGAIN after you hit a certain point.”

Then again, I found things I didn’t initially find when reading through Twilight more than once. So………………………………………………………………………………………………

*cough*

The point of the most recent digression is: Aster.

I’ve written…six female protagonists, at least bits of them, depending on how far into their stories I currently am. (Seven if you count a spin-off series that goes in a different timeline where the MC is essentially an entirely different person. Please don’t ask.) I can’t say this series was my best WRITING (I can’t tell you how much I wish it was), meaning in the technical aspect or whatever. But I can without a doubt, one-hundred-freaking-percent say…Aster is, and will always be, my favorite main character that I’ve ever written/will ever write. And honestly? That’s WAY more important to me.

There’s the growth, for one thing. But for another? She SCARES me. I look at some parts of the books, and I get freaked out. And this isn’t a ‘she could kick my a**’ freaked out, it’s a ‘……how did she come out of my head?’ freaked out.

She’s damaged (we all are, and she has good reason just like any person). She has her flaws (the lack of knowledge about normal human-type things could definitely be considered one, but by god…it was fun at some points). Her moral compass is occasionally………..askew¬†(then again, moral compasses being askew is all a matter of personal opinion). But there are so many things I love about her.

The ability to overcome anything put in her way (maybe not in the most…fantastic¬†way, but overcoming is overcoming). The drive and determination to fight for what she believes in. Her willingness to accept the bad but see the good (again, how did she come from my head?). She’s¬†fiercely¬†loyal (as long as it’s deserved). There is a whole list of things I COULD say, but CAN’T say without giving too much away. Still, there’s¬†one¬†more I can put on the list, and it’s up at the tippity-top.

The most amazing thing about her? She CONSTANTLY surprised me, even AFTER I’d written her. Every time I thought I knew her, I would find something and realize…I’d been wrong. And why this series will always be my favorite? Because I was constantly surprised over one thing or another, even after the fact, and I wrote it. O.o

I’ve gotten a lot of crap from people who’ve already read the first book. No one can understand my issue with it (I’m still wondering how no one understands my issue with it where the writing is concerned, but that’s not what I’m currently talking about here). All I can say to that is…

Wait and see. ūüôā

Things are always better after the foundation is built, but that’s just my opinion…

By the way, I’ve heard/seen something twice that has given me the most¬†stupendous¬†feeling.

Our Aster. People have referred to her as our Aster.

That is….amazing. Because having anyone love her that much – people feeling connected to her? What else could I ask for?