I’m giving in . . .

should be doing my Friday music post today, but I’m not going to. I actually have a song I want to put up, but I’d just post this immediately after and I don’t want that song to get lost in the sauce, soooo . . . I’ll wait for it. (If anyone watches Psych, feel free to hear Shawn pulling one of his ‘wait for it’ moments there, even though it’s not really applicable. Just fun.)

This blog entry is part apology, part update, part . . . something.

I’ve fallen behind on everything. Email responses, messages, comments on here, Twitter. I’m just behind. I don’t know how it happened, really, but it totally did. So, I’m sorry for that.

I finished inputting the changes from this run-through of B3 (hitting the halfway point where adding became nearly impossible REALLY helped speed things up) just a few minutes ago. This means:

I am getting ready to start inputting the changes from the LAST edit of B4, so I can do another run(inch)-through of that one. (I’ll add here that I absolutely freaking DESPISE inputting changes). This means:

I will PROBABLY not be on here often.

A) Having to do two IC sessions in a row makes me EXTREMELY miserable (which is why I occasionally put them off until they need to be done). It will be DAYS of doing this (already a couple in), and that puts me in an EXTREMELY bad mood.

B) No matter how many times I go through B4 . . . I always get caught up in it. I can’t help it. It’s my favorite.

C) I started writing here and there the other day, just for an hour or two at a time. But what I was/am writing is a side-story to the Reave series, and it involves my favorite character (Aster does not count). Meaning . . . I want to write it. Granted, it’s sucking puh-retty bad at the moment, but still.

I don’t know what it is about the past week, but I just feel like I’ve been struggling to get a leg up on anything I need to do, and it’s been making me miserable. Yes, I’d been pretty good about keeping to the schedule, and that is a BIG accomplishment for me. But I think I just need to take a bit of time to myself right now and chill out. That does NOT mean I won’t be working. It means I WILL be working.

That also doesn’t mean that I won’t make posts on here, but I think I’m just stressing myself out with all the NEED-TO-DO’s. So while I’m doing all that book-related stuff, I’m going to be whittling away at the emails I need to respond to, the comments I need to respond to, etc. etc. I’m going to try to catch up rather than get myself farther behind, which is all I seem to be doing at the moment.

And I’m going to enjoy myself by going through B4 again after another miserable day or two spent on IC. I really, really hate doing that. I’m going to get started on that tonight, and hopefully will finish it up tomorrow if I power through.

But yeah, I might make a few posts here and there, and I’m going to get back to the schedule. I just don’t know if that’s going to be on this coming Wednesday or a month from now. I don’t know. I’ll be on here (and Twitter, etc.) when I can. I might not be gone long at all. I’m not sure yet. That will depend on how long it takes me to catch up on everything. (Yes, everyone can add here that it wouldn’t take me so long to respond to things if I didn’t write mini-novels almost every time.)

I really know I should be focusing on promotion and all that, but I suck at it anyway. So, if you’ve read Reave and like it . . . tell your friends and neighbors (and random people passing), please. I just need to take a bit of a break from feeling like I suck at life, and I’ve been living in a nearly-constant state of that for a while now (minus a few tiny spots of time here and there).

I might feel better about that at some point.

I’ve been trying to tell myself this entire time that ‘disappearing’ is bad, and that it wouldn’t help anything, but . . . I think it will. I need to get in a better headspace because there is absolutely no point in being miserable, and I’m making myself miserable with all the stressing.

Please be patient with me while I try to get caught up on all this, and . . .

Please don’t forget about me. :/

The first of the Monday Update posts . . .

Today is my first Monday Update post, and after writing two full entries that are going to rot in Draft Land . . . I THINK I’m starting to figure out why blogging occasionally frustrates me (very badly). (Not to mention I have a streak [not steak] on my glasses that I didn’t get cleaned off, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Maybe my problem with this particular post is that I have about five million (clear exaggeration) things I could/might possibly want to say. Maybe it’s my mood. Maybe my biggest problem with it is that, in some way, all I want to write for this entry is:

I JUST WANT TO WRITE A BOOK.

I’ll keep this short (for me), just to spare you until I get all these possible topics for Monday separated into smaller subjects that could potentially be written about at a later date.

What I’ve been doing lately is editing book 3 in the Reave series. One of my largest issues is not ‘fleshing things out’ so this second run-through since December is to do just that. (The first was more to fix technical errors.)

I added A LOT to book 2 (I’m not saying how much), and I need to make sure this one is on par with what I put in the last. The problem is book 3 is/will be the most difficult to do that with (for reasons I’m not going to say because releasing it is just too far off and I don’t want to spoil anything).

I’m also not going to say how many hours of work it’s taken me just to get to chapter eight, but . . . it’s a lot.

That’s what I’ll be doing work-wise for . . . a very long time (for me), if the hour-count per chapter holds.

Along with all that, I’ve been trying to catch up on here. I’ve neglected Twitter and Facebook (surprise, surprise). I’ve been struggling with pushing through my anxiety in order to do what I need to do for Reave (working on it). And I’ve also been struggling with the INTENSE desire to just fall off the face of the planet for a little while, workworkworkwork, then come back at some point.

It’s extremely difficult not to, and I just have to remind myself that I wouldn’t be doing Reave any favors in doing that. Then again, I’m not really doing it any favors currently anyway, given that I can’t even figure out 140 characters to promote it. That might be adding to the temptation to disappear. It’s just overwhelming and I feel I’m not doing any good anyway.

I probably shouldn’t even be blogging when I’m in a mood like this, but it’s showing no signs of stopping anytime soon and . . . well . . . at least it’s real. That has to count for something, right?

So that’s my life as of now, as far as updateable things go.

Hope everyone is doing well out there (and kicking any struggles one may find themselves going through in their frustrating [non] faces).

Also, Reave is now available on SmashWords. You can find it here: Look, I’m a link to Reave on SmashWords.

Random holidayness and stuff. (*ding*)

After a few hectic days, things are trying to get settled back into normalcy. Husband and I went to visit his family Christmas Eve/early Christmas. It was really enjoyable (as always, because his family is awesome). Got to talk about Reave with some of his family, which (of course)…mind blown. I wonder if I’ll ever stop being surprised by people liking it, but…I don’t want to stop being surprised by it because I feel that would essentially make me an arrogant A-hole. Still, it would be nice if the level of surprise could go down just a smidgen or two. (Can there be two smidgens? I say there can be multiple smidgens regardless of knowing it would just be smaller or larger singular smidgens.)

It would be REALLY nice if my anxiety level could go down about…ten million smidgens (or one extremely large smidgen, which would not actually be a smidgen). It’s been pretty bad lately, even around my family (who I see all the time). I noticed a week or two ago that I’ve started having issues even with speaking to them (stammering badly). And I think my hands have been shaking for the past four or five days straight. I don’t even want to mention the amount of sweating that happened with the in-laws (AND IT WAS SO COLD UP THERE!). All of it’s just ridiculous, especially so with the people I see/interact with all the time. It might be general stress setting it off and making it worse, but I can’t be sure. Either way, all of you out there in BlogLand should be glad you don’t have to interact with me in person.

Speaking of interacting in person. I’m still not used to talking to people who have read my books (minus a very small handful of people), so that’s been really strange. Just talking to people (when I can manage to get a few sentences out without sounding like a complete moron) and them actually knowing what I’m talking about with it. Or more so them talking to me about something I wrote, which is just…insane.

(Or hearing, “So and so read your book and they loved it.” Crazy.)

In other news, I’m slowly conquering my fear of Twitter. I’ve even made a new best friend on there, so that’s cool. (You can find his website here, and it tells all about his books and whatnot. He’s super awesome, so you should definitely check that out, especially if you’re into Fantasy and YA genre(s).) Apparently I can make friends even with my general awkwardness and declarations of a person being moved to BFF status after a few interactions. Twitter can definitely be an interesting place. (Is it a place? >.>)

So yeah, the holiday was good, apart from being stuck in a car for hours upon hours, then having The Migraine From Hell for several days in a row. It hit me the worst Christmas day, which I’ll say was likely due to a lack of coffee, sleeping awkwardly on an air mattress, my neck being garbage, and my hair being ridiculously long again. I AM glad to be rid of the blond though…not that there’s anything wrong with blond hair, but I had for enough time to suit me. Wow, digress much?

As much as I enjoyed the past few days, I’m looking forward to getting back to work. I feel lost when I’m not doing it.

Also, I need to apologize to all my in-laws for having to deal with me. I’m still hoping I don’t come across like as big of a mess as I actually am…

Actually…I need to apologize to anyone who ever speaks to me in person about my book (or sometimes just speaks to me in general, but especially about the book). My mouth-filter doesn’t work very well when my brain is malfunctioning due to anxiety. So when you say, “I love your book!” and I say, “That’s surprising. I thought everyone would think it’s garbage,” what I REALLY mean is… “I’m so glad. You have no idea what that means to me.” Sometimes that filter malfunctioning even extends to my fingers, so yeah, I’ll occasionally type things of that nature too. Occasionally might be a bit of a slight under-exaggeration. I have problems. One of those is a rather large lack of faith in myself. Another of those is not taking compliments well. When you add those up…well, you usually get the word ‘garbage’ in some way or another. It’s been one of my favorites lately.

Also…When most of your Christmas presents include pajamas, fuzzy socks, Starbucks gift cards, and candy? Well…it makes you realize that some people know you pretty dag on well. 🙂

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas (or whatever holiday(s) potentially celebrated recently), full of wonderful experiences that don’t involve you being unable to speak in a satisfactory way to your family, sweating, migraines, etc. 🙂

I think I jinxed myself…

And I’ll say that’s what I get for making a statement about how I was managing to do something successfully. I should’ve known that no good would come of it.

Granted, this is a difficult time of the year to attempt a drastic schedule adjustment, especially with the intention of making it permanent. I should add right here that I’m missing my entirely nocturnal schedule VEEEEERY badly, but this is how things have fallen.

I feel like I’m getting pulled in about fifty different directions and don’t have a clue which way is up. Sometimes I can’t do much more than allow myself to get tugged along whichever way is necessary, then get back to doing other things when I have the time. Speaking of time…….

Does anyone know where to find some?

There aren’t enough hours in the day. There really aren’t.

I think I’m just realizing that I have to do a slight adjustment to the adjustment. I said in the last post that the time-splitting wasn’t even. I think I’m gonna have to split it a bit more evenly. If I don’t, this isn’t going to work. What good is doing the other half of things if I’m not coherent enough to do them? I dunno.

I’m gonna have to do that, and will also have to get over this ridiculous problem I have with interacting via Twitter. I don’t know what it is, but every time I interact with people on there…freaks me out. (I say that, but what I mean is that it freaks me out worse than interacting with people in most other ways – apart from in person, which is HORRIBLE – which truly isn’t saying much, given that I get lost when someone says ‘hello’.)

Damn my anxiety for being so bad. I’ve been getting really frustrated with it lately (my anxiety), but I suppose that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, a few random things…

I’ve been a bit O.o (yes, that’s a way to describe it) over the positive feedback I’ve received on Reave. So that’s cool. I need to thank everybody who’s put up a review for it or in other ways said anything about it where it’s gotten back to me, or told people about it, or just even read it. So…….thank you.

Also, I’m planning on doing a GoodReads giveaway, probably next month or so. I’m a GoodReads moron, so it might take me a bit of time to figure it out (or to figure out the site in general), but I’ll get there. I think. Maybe. Possibly. But I will definitely post on here whenever I set that up.

That’s basically it, I think!

Hope everyone is doing well! 🙂

Why I’m using a pen name…

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time and actually read my entries, you’ve probably seen me say at least once that I’m a very private person. If you know me personally, you might not even realize how private I am. I do tell people a lot of things, but when it comes to personal matters . . . I generally don’t. There’s a line, I think, and there’s some part of me that finds it damn near impossible to cross over that line – even with people I care about, a lot of the time.

That being said, that’s not actually why I’m using a pen name. In fact, it’s almost irrelevant in the ‘reasoning department’ and is mostly just a small thing that makes me feel a little better where my life is concerned.

While I am very private, I do war with myself over it. Honesty and openness are a VERY big deal to me and I’ll spare you all from me going on some tangent where I could ramble for days about those two walking hand-in-hand and whether or not they’re constantly required to walk together, or how I feel about either of them, and how my feelings about either of them clash with me wanting to keep my personal business personal (and by keeping it personal, I mean keeping it ENTIRELY to myself).

And while I’ll say something I said in one of my first blogs on here (that I want to keep me as a person separate, in a sense, from my work – meaning, yes, I am responsible for the work, but the work is not ABOUT me), I’ll also say that I do understand there’s no escaping from the fact that . . . I am responsible for my work.

My desire to use a pen name is less about my instinct to go hide under a rock (you have no idea how tempting it is . . .) and more to do with ‘personal choices’. So, in this entry, I will drop a barrier that might seem very small to other people, but is VERY large for me.

I call the name I’m using a ‘pen name’, but . . . it’s kind of not. It is not my legal name, but it IS my name.

My legal first name does not begin with a C. EVERY nickname I have (apart from one) begins with a C. Only about three people call me by my real name (mom, mamaw, and my niece after she could say my full name) regularly. Everyone else calls me something that starts with C (apart from my dad, who has the different nickname for me). I sign most of my emails as C, and have done so for a very long time. I’ve used those nicknames as my ‘name’ on most social networking sites for years. If you want to know my first name (or even a nickname) so you can stop calling me ‘C’, I’d be more than happy to tell you. But . . . I’m pretty used to being called C, and I prefer the nicknames (as they’re what I hear most often), so . . . yeah. I’m content with it. Meaning, if there was a room full of people and someone shouted, “C!” behind my back . . . I would turn around. I would be more likely to turn around for that than my real name, if I’m being honest.

As for the second half of the ‘pen name’ . . . it’s my maiden name. I’m partially using it because . . . that’s the name I had at birth, and that will never change.

But mostly?

I am using my maiden name because I’m unsure if I ever want to have children. I’ve done quite a bit of battling with myself on that. And yes, part of me does possibly want to have children in the future, but . . . I’m not entirely sure. And I think about the fact that, if I don’t . . . my father’s ‘blood’ will stop with me. It brings about more guilt than I could probably say on here. So, using my father’s name is a potential ‘repayment in advance’ (meaning I at least put SOMETHING into the world) in case I don’t ever have children. Not really a fair exchange, but . . . it is what it is. That’s why. Very personal.

And there you have it.

Anyway, I have some things I need to do on here, which I’ll be trying to do over the next several days while simultaneously attempting to nitpick this proof I have. Now that I’m almost completely over that cold (which kicked my butt a LOT harder than I expected it to), I’ll be able to start knocking some stuff out.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Yesterday.

If you missed out on my countdown to yesterday on here, and on Facebook (I think I spared my Twitter feed of it), then you wouldn’t know that the photo shoot for my cover is now over.

*clears throat*

THE PHOTO SHOOT FOR MY COVER HAS TAKEN PLACE!

Needless to say, my nocturnal sleep schedule is a little . . . off currently. I was (also, needless to say) extremely exited yesterday and stayed awake waiting to hear from the (uh-MAY-zing) photographer about how things had gone.

I WAS NOT EXPECTING TO ALREADY HAVE THE PROOFS!

I have them. 🙂

I’d been anticipating a 72-hour wait time – days spent alternating between fidgeting and my eye(s) twitching, and then attempting to calm myself. No days.

As of yesterday evening, I’d already chosen the image to be used.

I say that, but I feel that was sort of like the model and it wasn’t really me ‘choosing’. There was just one photo in particular that captured so many elements of the character. It was/is perfect. I was in a nearly constant state of Mind-Blown yesterday, and that (the photo) was the strawberry on top. (I don’t like cherries and, clearly, putting a cherry on top of something is a bad thing.)

I started working on some stuff with it all last night – stuff that I need to get done today. But I wanted to share this, and also give myself a little bit more time to wake up given that I’d been sitting here staring at my computer screen trying to force my brain to start making connections with things. (Failure)

So, busy(ish) day today, at least for the next few hours. Then . . . who knows?

I don’t even care. haha

Hope everyone is doing fantastically.

🙂

Facebook Author Page . . .

As of this morning . . . it is up. You can find it ~~> here.

I know I’m a week or so later with this than intended, but it is what it is!

Apparently it needs more ‘zazz’. There isn’t really much ‘zazz’ currently to be had. haha

And for anyone who is interested, questions have been asked about my shed. That is it on the second picture on the cover photo. And in case you didn’t know . . . I WRITE IN A SHED (oh, I love it – no sarcastic font).

Anyway, news will go up on there. Thinking about it that way, there doesn’t seem to be much point for anyone to ‘like’ it, as I also post news on here (though I’m shorter-winded on FB than I am on here XD). But like it if you’re interested and you want to!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Monday (I know it’s difficult sometimes . . .)

❤ 🙂

Stuff.

I’m really behind on here. I was doing good for a few days there. Prepare yourselves while I prepare my excuses.

I had to reverse my sleep schedule to days (due to appointments and the like). It’s impossible for me to be productive in any way during the daytime, as there is so much pushing and pulling in whichever direction to do other things (like . . . eating, and things of that nature. Who does that?! Just joking . . .). I’m not kidding; the temporary daytime schedule is mostly to blame for it. It’s part of the reason I prefer to be awake at night – no distractions, etc.

I had two appointments yesterday – one early in the morning, and one in the evening.

The first was to speak with a . . . um . . . tax . . . person . . . lady? I highly suggest everyone do that at some point or another, especially if – like me – you’re so clueless about that sort of thing that you don’t even know what to call them. Tax representative? Probably. Anyway, that was highly informative.

Yesterday evening, I had some head shots taken. Why is it that every time I say the words ‘head’ and ‘shot’ together in that order, I think of video games, or zombies, or things of that nature? Anywho, I think that went well. I should have them back from the photographer around the beginning of next week. Then, I can actually get an author page up on the good ol’ Facebook (>.<), and do all of that fun stuff. So . . . yaaaaay?

I’ll be spending the next several days attempting to get my sleep schedule back to normal so I can actually do the things that I do and can catch back up on here.

Hope everyone is having a great Thursday!

🙂

Overwhelmed by the new WIP

The title says it all, doesn’t it?

I somehow managed to fix my sleep schedule back to normal (nocturnal) after that first night of coming home from Florida. So, for the past several days, all I’ve been doing is WRITING. Time has slipped away from me. I’m not ashamed of it, and I feel only slightly guilty.

Things are going well with this second book (so far). I’m writing it from another character’s perspective. Interactive. The story rolls on.

Here’s the thing . . .

I write a LOT of characters over the course of a series. I’m not even going to tell you how many were in S2. It seems natural to me. People meet other people. I guess it’s enough to be confusing if you have a difficult time remembering names. Normally, I don’t.

And you see . . . it’s not that there are a crapton of characters being introduced in these new books. There really isn’t. It’s everything else.

EVERYTHING.

I made up a new world in S2. Cities, small towns, etc. But it seems so . . . my god, I’m going to hate saying this, but it seems so basic in comparison.

Now I’ve got magic to deal with. Who can do what most efficiently. What it looks like when each of them use it (and its differences).

I’ve got creatures.

I’ve got dragons with names.

Ties. Families. Wars. Lineage. Kingdoms. Villages. Armies. Generals. Units. Laws. Punishments. More ties. Marriages. Kids. Taverns. Weapons. Soldiers. Secrets. More magic. SO MUCH MORE MAGIC. HAVE I USED THAT NAME? WHICH DRAGON IS WHICH? HOLY JESUS, WHAT COLOR DID I MAKE THEM AGAIN? WHAT’S THAT ABOUT REPRODUCTION? WHAT WAS THAT NAME? WTF IS GOING ON HERE?!

I uhm . . . I’m going to have to map this stuff out.

This will be a first, minus my little lists for sh . . . er . . uhm . . . craps and giggles. Lists of names, usually. Gotta make sure they’re not too similar (as I tend to do that occasionally). Lists of chapter titles. Lists of word counts for each chapter after each editing. Tallies of each cuss word and how many times they’re each used. Yes, I’ve got a bit of OCD. I like lists. And apparently the word each when writing the past few sentences.

But now I’m going to have to make detailed sheets, like . . . for each thing. It’s new. It’s made my eyes twitch a few times, thinking about it.

Anyway. What I’m trying to say here is, “Hey. I’m a little busy right now.”

I know I try to post every three days. I think I’m a day off right now. I might have to extend that a little.

Here comes the guilt.

We’ll say I’ll try to give an update and say hello every four days or so. I’m usually pretty good at responding to comments, but I’ve even fallen off on that. I’m just feeling very overwhelmed at the moment. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but honestly? I’m looking forward to it. This will be a new experience. New experiences – yaaaaaay.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. That’s what I’ll be doing. That’s what’s going on.

Hope all of you out there in the vast expanses of internetdom are having wonderful days and all that good stuff.

I sure am, despite the eye twitching.

I shall wave the shame fan in my own face for being such a horrible person and neglecting my social networking stuff.

Balance

I’m a little over 36k words in on my new WIP – the one that I’ve actually been WORKING on. It took me a bit of time, but I’m finally getting pretty immersed into it which is both strange, and nice. It’s coming along. Still don’t know exactly where it’s going, but I’m hoping that the story lets me be done in one book, rather than four or six. I’m thinking I might tell different stories FROM that world in different books, but I can’t express how badly I want to resolve a specific character’s story quickly (even if only to prove to myself that I can do it).

So that’s why I’m behind on reading posts here. I’ve been writing, writing, writing – trying to find little moments here and there to catch up. I’m working on it.

It’s also why I haven’t asked for guest bloggers yet. Well that, partially, and because I’ve asked two of my friends (REAL LIFE FRIENDS! Yes, I have a few of those) to be the first ones. They’re both busy, but hopefully it will happen sometime relatively soon because they’re both exceptional (both as writers, and in general). Not saying that you’re not exceptional too. 🙂

I honestly don’t know how people manage to get so many things done while simultaneously doing other things. I feel like I’m running myself ragged right now. And it’s a LOT different this go-round (writing a book), now that I have so many other things to keep up with. The last time I was writing, I didn’t even have a cell phone. I got one during some stage of editing for the last series. Now I’ve got a phone which is constantly screaming game notifications at me (and the occasional text). Social networking, this blog. Writing a book, as many of you know, is such a consuming thing.

I’m trying to find a balance. Be patient with me . . . it might take me awhile.

I guess it’s just strange to me, wanting to crawl back into my little hermit-hole and feeling like I can’t do that anymore. This blog forces me to be OUT there when I want to retreat, and honestly? I’m grateful for that. It’s forcing me to realize that there is an entire world going on, outside of whatever world is taking place in my head at any given moment.

Change and adaptation are good things, as long as you’re changing/adapting in a positive way.

I need to learn how to balance. Hopefully it will happen.

In other news, I’m contemplating chopping all my hair off.

I’ve been thinking about a pixie cut for a very long time now, but I’m so worried. A) That I would hate it and spend three years of growing my hair out to fix it. B) That I will look like a boy. C) That people will take one look at my jawline and be like, “That chick could nom on some steel with that jaw.”

Husband is of no help with the decision. He would say he likes my hair short when it’s short, or long when it’s long. And of course my friends say that I’m being ridiculous, but how am I to know whether they’re saying that honestly or if they’re sitting there touching their fingers together and thinking, “You will look like a boy.” *cue internal maniacal laughter*

I don’t know.

That’s where I’m at.

Hope everyone has a wonderful morning/day/whatever.

🙂