Positivity Journal, Week Three

Yesterday I got to write ‘Day 21’ down in the Positivity Journal. So I’ve kept with it for three weeks now, and that’s pretty cool.  Apart from a few stray days here and there, things have been going well here. Sure, there was yesterday where I was dealing with some major dizziness/general discombobulation. The positive of that was getting to write the word discombobulation. I love words, and all . . .

There have been the other negatives. One of those being that playing Destiny has gotten me far behind on . . . pretty much everything. Okay, okay, I’ve written a bit as well (though not anywhere near the amount I did the week before this last one), and that hasn’t helped with getting caught up. The positive to that is . . . I’ve written. The positive to playing Destiny is that I’ve got to spend some time with Husband. Also, it’s fun.

There was even a ‘family’ sort of ‘issue’ the other day that took up an entire page to explain due to my unhappiness/frustration over it. And yet I was still able to find a positive in it.

I really have to believe that the PJ is a positive thing for me all around. Even on the frustrating days, it’s nice to actually pick out something good that happened, write it down, and say, “Okay. This is the thing to focus on here.”

I’m sure there will be the odd irredeemable day here and there. (Such as the day where I was trying to get some stuff done and my internet was refusing to cooperate. That day was filled with – after – after – of me complaining about the internet, not to mention the generally negative remarks of things along the lines of ‘this figures’.) Such is life.

I’m sort of adapting it as I go along. I started keeping a ‘Stat Count’ early into it. Every day (or night, depending on), I’ll write a few things down to keep track of. They get their own positives and negatives. Being able to write down [+16,011 words written] one day was both unbelievable and fantastic. (That was during the writing week, where I needed to get that part of the story out. Getting that many words out in one day has its downfalls. Such as being so out of it by the end that I’ll be missing two words from every other sentence. It happens, and it’s fixable.)

I just think it will be really awesome to look back one day and be like, “Yeah, so that must’ve been one of those days where I did absolutely nothing but write. That must’ve been a great day.”

I’ve seriously been keeping track of basically everything, even down to ‘Wrote a chapter. S8, B5, C2 +3, 777.’ (That’s the most recent one, and it was done yesterday when I was recovering from all the dizziness. There’s no telling how horrible it is.) So not only will I be able to look back and know which book I was working on, but also the chapter, which will be exceptionally cool for the ones that stick out pretty far in my memory. “Yeah, that was a horrible chapter. Definitely not going to be comfortable when my mom reads that.” (I don’t need to write that sentence down to remember it, and yes, that chapter mentioned at the top of this paragraph is definitely one that messes with the comfort level. I’ve been writing a lot of those lately, seems like. Makes me feel like I’m doing something right, if it can make me uncomfortable.)

My inner ‘control freak’ must be having the time of her life with this. I can only guess because she tries very hard to keep herself quiet. (Doesn’t always work.) (Okay, enough of talking about some aspect of myself in third-person.) My days have been structured, and that’s more comforting for me than I can even explain. I’d almost wonder if that would make me more willing to step out of my comfort zone (which pretty much just requires taking ONE STEP ANYWHERE), or at least better able to handle it, but if my latest experience at the Post Office is any indication? Yeah, I’m still just as awkward and uncomfortable. Don’t even want to think about that, but even my husband said he could tell how uncomfortable I was, and he’s usually all, “You did fine.”

I do worry about myself sometimes. Then again, I worry about pretty much everything all the time. Take today, for example. I’m still on the first page of the PJ and there are two separate bullets about different worries. That’s me.

That’s basically it as far as what’s going on, but I do have one more thing to say.

I had an idea yesterday to start a new ongoing post, of sorts. They’ll be short and something I could for sure make the time to write up weekly. I’m not sure that anyone would want to read them, but . . . short. Enough said there, with how my posts seem to go (long), and a few people still read those for some reason. So maybe. I guess I’ll just have to try it out. Sort of like how hardly anybody checks out my Friday Music posts, but I still do them anyway from time to time. I guess it doesn’t really matter.

I honestly don’t even know what I’m talking about at the moment. Still not coherent.

Anyway . . . I hope everyone is having a great week so far. I’ll be working on getting caught up, but if it takes me a bit to respond to things, you can assume I’m playing Destiny. Or writing. Or working on getting caught up with something else.

kbai

Oh yeah, one more thing? I am pissed off about Master Chef. Just saying.

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Inspiration: One Word

After some advice from the fantastic Charles Yallowitz about writing down topics to cover on here, I’m going to give it a shot. Normally I just blog about whatever comes to mind (which is usually apologies for my lack of blogging), but with Reave going live soon (NEXT WEEK – aiming for December 4th), I do have several things I’d like to cover on here pertaining more specifically to the book/series than, say, progress with it.

Be patient with me while I try this thing out – attempting to stay on one subject, for one, and actually having a focus in an entry, for another. I’ve always struggled with thinking nobody would give a crap about anything I had to say, so . . . guess I need to just get over that and write about whatever I want. Over the next eight days or so, I’ll be trying this out (seeing if I can stick with it when it’s more firm than my usual blogging routine). Maybe not the best time to experiment with things, but I’m worried I’m going to lose my mind and it’s possible that this will help me calm down a bit (blogging).

In this specific entry, I’ll say how the series came about as a whole. Don’t ask me what the next entry will be about. I have some ideas, but I’m not that advanced in ‘plan-blogging’, so . . . let’s not get too crazy.

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while, you’ll know that I’ve written more than just this one series that I’m releasing now. This one is the second that I ‘finished’ (why do they never SEEM finished?). If you’ve been following my blog for an EXTREMELY long time, I believe I said something waaaaay far back in the archives about one word popping into my head, essentially creating . . . this series. It popped into my head and I started writing that night. Didn’t get out of my head.

Wow, I suck at this, I’m all over the place. Don’t ask me how I manage to write books. Anyway . . .

After writing and going through that first series several times – which I am determined will never see the light of day – I took a break. I should say that my ‘break’ only lasted about a month or so. When setting off into novel-writing, I had no idea how emotionally/mentally taxing it can be. Of course, I never thought I would write a fiction book either, due to an unquestionable lack of imagination (which I found at some point – don’t ask me how). 

That first series was draining in a lot of ways, but they all have been. Anyway, the entire thing was rife with paranormal things and was . . . pretty typical of the genre as a whole.

When ideas for other series began popping into my head, needless to say, I wanted to leave ‘paranormal’ COMPLETELY out. I’d had my fill of it for a time and decided I might go back to it eventually. I wanted to stretch myself, to try new things and writing styles (mostly stretch the newly-found imagination). And, above all . . . no paranormal.

Thus, I created a strange fantasy world with no magic or creatures running around. Despite it being a different ‘place’, at times it can seem like it’s not. There are a few things in later books (that do NOT exist here), which clarify it a bit more. But I like that about it – that it’s different and the same at once.

I’ll admit that when I sat down to write the first book, I intended for it to be a dystopian novel. I got a decent way through it and one word (again), changed everything. I wasn’t going to say what the word was because I didn’t want to admit that I ran around shouting the word (fist in air) for a day or so, but I’ll go ahead.

Concrete.

I didn’t want there to be concrete. How could there not be concrete? But . . . how could there be concrete? It just didn’t fit. (I don’t even want to get into the questioning that followed – which I’d never thought about. I’ll say there were a lot of things along the lines of, ‘. . . . . wait. How are there no guns?’)

(I should clarify that I’m talking about concrete in the modern form. Like, “Hey, let me go call that concrete company and have them send out a truck so we can get this thing poured.”)

It took me a small amount of time to get over that roadblock (CONCRETE!), but I did. Guns and concrete trucks do not exist there.

Looking at it now, I can’t even believe what it started out as. What it is . . . it’s what it should’ve been all along. I’m just glad I realized in the first book.

I don’t know that I consider it a typical fantasy novel, given the lack of magic and whatnot, but I can’t really consider it anything else. I tried. It just fits. Even if certain aspects make it seem like it could take place here in our non-magical world . . . it couldn’t. Maybe because . . . it doesn’t. I’m weird, I don’t know.

The entire purpose of this particular entry was to point out that inspiration can be a very simple thing – just a single word. A single word started this series, and a single word changed it.

It’s the little things that make me love being a pantser.

And the word that started it all?

Reaper.

Simple, yes. Not so simple in my head.

Maybe tomorrow or the next day I’ll do the entry about them – the assassins. They’re loads of fun, let me tell you . . .

(I’ll try to focus better on the next.)

One of the best things EVER.

I know it’s not Friday, thus making it entirely off the schedule for a music post. Given that this isn’t a DIFFERENT song (and really, last Friday was more of a joke than anything), I couldn’t help myself.

BF ‘got’ me this yesterday, because I’d shown her the real video the other day. I don’t know if her ‘giving’ it was due to how catchy the real song is, how hard I was laughing about it (tears) when I showed it to her, all the talking I was doing that day about the sort of music in the above video, or just because it’s so freaking beautiful and she knows me well enough to know I’d appreciate it immensely.

I also don’t know whether to be impressed or surprised that such a ridiculous song could result in this. Regardless of how catchy it is, how well those dudes sing, or any number of other things it has going for it . . . two totally different worlds.

This up here is MUCH more my speed, if you will. I do enjoy a good laugh, but speeds are speeds.

Now if I could only listen to this enough times that the words would stop playing over it in my head . . .

PS) I’ve been saying for a week that I want to somehow hire Benedict Cumberbatch to do an active narration of my life (THAT VOICE!). I’ve got the soundtrack now – those two. All three of them following me around would be absolutely fantastic.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

PSx2) I think I’m a little too old to refer to myself as a girl, ever.

Oops.

Self-publishing.

Yeah. I’m doing it.

I know, I know. I said I was going to attempt querying and do the whole shebang (get an agent and we all lived happily ever after with a picket fence and 2.4 dogs, er, kids).

Anyone who’s been following my blog for a little while knows I flopped back and forth about it (don’t we all?). I spent so much time weighing the pros and cons of each – carefully and meticulously – until all cons blurred with pros and pros were cons and cons were . . . um . . . what’s going on? That was basically how it went in my head for a very long time, so I told my husband to make a decision on it. I was content with that for about a day or two, and then the mental-flopping began again. I didn’t want to blog about it because I wanted to get it sorted in my head.

I realized, after speaking with so many people, that this was a decision only I could make.

I started looking into cover artists just for curiosities sake and found one that I LOVED.

For about four days, I did nothing but flop around mentally afterward. I mulled over the word author. I’ve said it before that I will NOT call myself one unless the word aspiring is in front of it. Not yet.

One night, I looked up the definition of it. I kind of had a moment. There was no ‘traditionally published’ in the definition, of course. For one of those days, I contemplated over the word – what it meant, what it meant to other people, and what it meant to me.

Rather than focus on pros and cons, I started focusing on why. Why did I want to be published traditionally? What was drawing me to self-publishing despite the stars and rainbows and glitter of the P and the T together?

When thinking about the why . . . it fell into place.

I don’t need a publishing contract to accomplish what I’ve wanted to accomplish with this. All I want is for ONE person out there to love my books – to make an impact on a person the way that some books have impacted me. I don’t need a P and a T together for that. I don’t.

So I made the decision about a week and a half ago and I haven’t looked back since.

There hasn’t been one single flop from me, or even one second of doubting the choice I’ve made.

I don’t like posting things on here unless they’re set in stone. I’m feeling comfortable with sharing now.

I’ve been arranging things with that love-inducing cover artist and the photographer. I love them both. Seriously. Details are being figured out and things are being put in motion.

My editor had to extend the date of finishing my novel, so I won’t have it back until early to mid-October. I’m trying to get everything done that can be done until that point.

As of now, I’m shooting for early December. That’s going to depend on how everything works out, but now . . . I’ll be able to keep you all updated.

It’s so freaking weird having things moving. I spent such a long time feeling like my entire world was at a standstill.

Anyway. No more waiting. It’s time to start letting them go. I’m worried, of course, but . . . I’m feeling good. I’m excited. I never thought I’d be more excited than stressed/nervous, but . . . I am.

Wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it.

O.O

A Word

The word moment is a tricky thing for me. There’s really not any other word that be used in replacement to prevent over-usage. Instant only seems applicable under certain circumstances, as does second or stretch of time – things of that nature. Sometimes only one word can be used – should only be used – when all other words would fall short of doing justice to a situation, a message you’re trying to get across, something you’re trying to explain the right way, or some hidden thing that you might be the only person to notice.

Words are a big deal to me. If I told people how many words I’ve written over the last several years, I would get The Look – the same look that I had on my face yesterday when watching YouTube videos of a guy getting scared while playing video games (it’s the, “You need to get out more,” look). Most numbers, when thinking about it, should usually be kept pretty close to the vest when they pertain to personal things. It’s taken me a bit of time to realize that.

Words are my entire life. I wake up, I read the ones I wrote the day (night) before, and then I write more. When I’m editing, I read the ones I wrote, add more, take some out, and move them around, trying to make all of them as close to perfect (my perfect) as I can get.

I don’t know how many times I can say, “I fail words constantly, but they never fail me,” or some variant of that with the same message.

And moment has always given me headaches. It took me an extremely long time of writing stories to realize what I said up top. Sometimes . . . nothing else fits. People might criticize you for it, but you know what fits in your own writing, and in your own life.

But, if we’re getting technical, I should explain.

Writing is like . . . medicine for me. It’s my way of coping with stress, and struggles, and life. It is for most people who do it, but then again, I think most people who do it manage to balance life better than I do. I go and crawl into my shed – sometimes almost literally when I’m just waking up – and I stay in there. I force myself to come out sometimes, just to do things I need to do. More often than not, it takes me several days to manage some things (which things I’m talking about shall go unmentioned past mentioning). I put things off because something inside of me says . . . I need to. For myself.

I spend my life – almost every second of it – writing the moments of people’s lives that only exist in my head. It prevents me from having my own moments. It’s healthy in ways, but not in others. Is anything in the world ever ENTIRELY good for anyone? I don’t think so. A new study comes out daily, contradicting the one before it. This is just me. It works. It makes me . . . better.

The point of this is that I had my own moment two days ago.

Normally, I would explain – rattling off for 2k words about events leading up and the like. I don’t feel I should.

I’ll only say that I realized two days ago that, well . . .

Words don’t mean the same thing to everyone that they mean to me. It’s easy to say the things that you mean and mean the things that you say, but when words are thrown in to any situation . . . the possibility for failing them is almost inevitable. The difference between, “I have faith,” and, “I hope,” is the difference in saying you believe something will happen, and that you believe it won’t.

Words.

I’ve been waiting three years to hear certain words. I hadn’t known – not exactly – what they were. But I heard them two days ago.

My father said, “I think you could’ve been a [INSERT MEANINGLESS WORD] and it would’ve just been a stepping stone. You would’ve ended up here. You’re doing exactly what you should be doing.”

There were more words said, but the last sentence up there was the one that got me. It was the only one that mattered.

I cried.

I cry over the lives of the characters that I write. I do. Often; I’m not ashamed to admit it. I laugh, and I cry. I cry about my own life a very small handful of times a year, if even that.

It was kind of amazing, having my own moment.

Just thought I’d share it. It’s funny how a moment can seem insignificant to some people, but can be the furthest thing from it for others.

I really can’t explain how much I hope all of you are having your own moments out there. That’s not me saying, “I don’t believe it will happen.” I’m saying that I hope it does.

Sometimes . . . a word is just a word. It’s everything behind them that matters – feelings and thoughts that hardly anyone can ever do justice to, express correctly, or truly get across.

When we fail with words, it can be so much worse than anyone ever thinks about. But if we fall, stand up, and try again?

It might be the one thing someone needs to hear, or see.

Words are never just words to me. They’re my life. That doesn’t mean I’m not falling.

Fail, Fall, Stand up, Try again.

Friday Music: Geographer – Verona (Acoustic)

I will, FIRSTLY, say that this is not my favorite version of them playing this song acoustically. I put this one up instead of the other to spare you all 23 seconds of nonsense at the beginning.

I’ve already rambled on here about my love for Geographer (and this song). I had to put it for my first Friday Music post because . . . I love it so much and it just wouldn’t feel right to put anything else up first. I won’t bore you with how much I absolutely adore this band again. Well . . . maybe just a LITTLE.

They are amazing. I love them. They seriously, without debate, have the best song lyrics I have ever heard (though there are a FEW, AND I MEAN VERY FEW bands that come close). That’s not debatable in my head, at least. Their lyrics make me want to crawl inside brains to figure out what in the world made those words come out. Lyrics are a big deal to me. I’m a writer. I love words. End of story.

They are amazing. Their music is amazing. Their lyrics are amazing. The entire SOUND of them is just AMAZING.

I love them.

And I have nothing else to say, apart from that you should be expecting more music from them to come on a later Friday. Expect me to ramble on about specific lines in songs that really get to me and things of that nature. It will happen at some point, I promise.

I can’t believe I said the sound of them.

Ha

Happy Friday!

(LOOK! I DID WHAT I SAID I WOULD! One week down.)

Will someone do me a favor…

. . . and listen to this song for me? Before or after I explain why makes no difference to me, so long as SOMEBODY listens to the song. It’s like two-something minutes long. LISTEN TO IT.

Okay, now I’m going to explain.

I’d imagine that most of you have no idea who that guy in the video is. Being an avid IMDB-er, and a big fan of perusing copious amounts of people and things on there (I know they don’t always have information first, that’s entirely beside the point), I will fill you in on who he is.

There is a movie coming out next year for the first book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. If you just so happened to read the excessive rambling that was The Liebster Blog Award, then you’ll know how I feel about those books. If you didn’t, I will say again that I loved them – basically – because Rose is one of my favorite female characters in any YA series I’ve ever read. She kicks ass and doesn’t even bother taking names.

Anywho, that guy up there singing in the video is playing in the movie – Christian Ozera, if you’ve read the books. And being the peruser I am, I happened to find that video.

Let me just say that I’m one of those people who – once a song gets stuck – cannot get songs OUT of my head. Some people miraculously have them leave after listening to them once – like it’s just some mild appetite that needs a snack here or there to be sated. I don’t know how TF people manage it, but that’s neither here nor there. Last week (I think it was), I had Dancing In The Dark stuck in my head for over three days straight.

I’ve been working, which some of you know. Let me just explain what happens to me when a song gets stuck in my head while I’m editing (which is what I’m doing right now, but the same principle applies for writing as well). I’m fine. I’m totally fine while I’m thinking about WORDS. But the INSTANT that I stand up, or fidget, or get distracted for one reason or another . . . it plays. Incessantly. I can do nothing for it. Listening to it only sticks it farther. Not listening only makes me WANT to listen to it. I am simply stuck with it for however long it chooses to stick with me.

That is my life. I always have some sort of music playing during those tiny little breaks (or not so tiny, depending on) where my brain shuts down for a moment, due to excessive thinking about WORDS. (UGGGGH, WORDS . . . I’m a little worn-down, if you can’t tell.)

This song has been STUCK IN MY FREAKING HEAD nonstop for DAYS. And for once? I am not complaining at all.

Okay, so now I have to tell the funnies. If you’re male (or female, for that matter) and don’t find the potential shamelessness of females where it pertains to males humorous in any way whatsoever, you may as well stop reading now if you’ve bothered to make it thus far.

He’s a good looking guy, I’ll admit it. It’s much easier to admit it to the entire world (or the two people who exist in my world on here) than it is to my husband.

Anywho . . . If you just so happen to look at the official Vampire Academy Facebook page (I’m linking that so you can look after I say it if you so choose), there is a picture of him on there shirtless in a pool. No big deal.

Alright, I will also admit that something along the lines of, “Hey, that’s pretty nice,” crossed my mind briefly enough while I was looking at all the pictures on there. (Yes, I did look at other pictures, thank you.) But something caught my attention.

The comments beneath it.

I was sitting here at the computer, laughing hysterically and relaying bits and pieces of those comments to my husband. Women were talking about their ovaries exploding. I am not kidding. I am not exaggerating. I am not taking liberties with it. That is LITERALLY what they were saying. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a good long while. I was partially laughing because the thought of, “THE LACK OF SHAME WE CAN HAVE!” passed many times through my head. And partially because there was a smaller voice somewhere in there saying, “Man . . . I am SO glad I didn’t hear the term exploding ovaries when I was 18 or so. That would’ve been so worn out.”

Anyways, can you just imagine being that guy and seeing that you made women’s ovaries explode? (Not literally, of course. Come on now.)

I bet he’s going to be a happy guy indeed here shortly. He probably already is, but all of this is beside the point and was simply an errant thought or two.

The ENTIRE point of this is that I just need someone out there to tell me that him singing that song is as good as my head is telling me it is. I’ve heard Jason Mraz’s version, and I can RARELY say that a cover is better than an original, but it certainly is here in my opinion. And I like Jason Mraz pretty well to be honest.

It’s an extremely rare thing for me to say that I don’t care about a person’s acting ability when they’re going to be playing in a movie I’m looking forward to seeing, but I really don’t in this case. It has absolutely nothing to do with how he looks, and everything in the world to do with the fact that he needs to be making music (I’ll selfishly add, “for me to listen to.”) . . .

And am I the only one in the world who thinks there is something undeniably sexy about his voice on that song? Again – nothing to do with how he looks. I’ve listened to it without watching the video. I really have. And I’m being completely honest when I say that I don’t usually think voices are sexy.

I’m at least going to get my best friend to listen to this because I know, if there are two things in the world that woman appreciates . . . it’s good music and good looking men. I know she’ll think at least one of the two about it, but I’m not entirely sure which yet.

I feel like a horrible person, but the song was worth sharing, and explaining.

Kthxbai.

PS . . . He gets bonus points for being British. Juuuuust saying.

PSS . . . Major props from me to any woman who is woman enough to say something about a man being good looking enough to make her ovaries explode.