In the rut

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Hello all,

I’m here to talk about experiencing writer’s block! Woo hoo, fun times, am I right, all you writers out there?

I did write a post previously about writer’s block, and in that post, I encouraged everyone to continue writing in spite of the block. You can read it here.

Anyway, the point is, I told people to push through. I’ve been through a bit since then, and I’d like to update the post a bit.

First of all, I didn’t realize it then, but I was being a bit ableist at that point. Now, on the other side of a serious bout of depression, I know how hard it can be to write when you have no motivation to do anything at all. I also realize now that there are other mental disabilities that can also affect writing, as well as other things such as editing and getting a beta reader.

For those of you with both doctor diagnosed and self diagnosed illnesses, I hope you are feeling okay today.  If you’re self-diagnosed, I urge you to get yourself properly diagnosed and treated. I promise you, you’ll feel a lot better. Not perfect by any means, but better.

Secondly, I am experiencing writer’s block right now, and it’s so hard to keep motivated when you feel like everything you’re writing is absolute crap. I know in my head that it really isn’t crap, but I can’t help having the lingering doubt “What if it is?”

I’m still writing, very very slowly. Much more slowly than I would normally, and it’s making me feel less confident because it feels like I’m not making any progress. I’ve been keeping track obsessively of how many words I’ve been writing, and it’s not very much.

It’s very hard to keep telling yourself to keep going when all you want to do is throw in the towel. 

Some of the things I said in my past post were true. Writing is hard work, and sometimes it is boring to write some of the necessary scenes. But I do understand that it’s not easy, and at times even possible to write as much as you want, or at all.

Don’t despair, writing will return. It’s hard to be a writer and not write, but sometimes that is our reality. Keep trying to push forward, but if you can’t, don’t feel bad about it. Sometimes that’s just how it goes.

I wrote about 300 words today. It’s not much, but it’s still progress.

All the King’s Men release day!

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Hello everyone!

Today is an exciting day, because it is the release date for All the King’s Men!

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All the King’s Men is now available on the Less than Three Press book market! Check it out!

Also, don’t forget to check out the mini blog hop going on right now for a chance to win a signed copy of All the King’s Men as well as a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market! All you have to do is comment on one of the blog posts and then enter the Rafflecopter draw. There is a stop on my blog here if you want to enter, and today’s stop is at Hearts on Fire!

All the King’s Men Cover Reveal!

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Hello everyone!

I have a couple of announcements to make.

The first is, I just received my cover for All the King’s Men, and I am super excited about it! Check it out! All the King’s Men will be released July 27th, 2016 from Less Than Three Press.

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As usual, Less Than Three Press has done an excellent job, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. All the King’s Men is long enough to have print copies, so I will be getting four amazing author copies in the mail in the future with this amazing cover. I love having physical copies of my work.

The other announcement is that my story that I wrote for the Gay Romance Northwest Magic and Mayhem charity anthology has been accepted! I don’t have a title yet, so I’ll have to brainstorm one up. I’m also very excited that my short story was accepted, because that means I will be an Attending Author for GRNW 2016.

Other than that, I’m still working on the sequel to Far Patrol. I haven’t gotten my editing mitts on for Far Patrol yet, but I’ll probably be working on it over the next few months. I really need to plan out the series arc for this, which I’m finding challenging. I haven’t written a series before, so it’s certainly an interesting learning curve.

I accidentally started writing on a story that’s been kicking around in my head which is about a trans lesbian detective named Louisa and a bisexual prostitute named Maggie who are trying to solve the murder of Maggie’s best friend Beth. I say “accidentally” because I haven’t started world-building or planning out the story arc yet. It just couldn’t be contained. Oh well, now I have to go print out a map of Victorian London. I’m going to make the world greenpunk, which means that this world’s Britain started using sustainable green energy instead of steam and coal power.

Anyway, that is what I’m doing right now. I hope you’re all doing well on your current projects, whatever they may be.

Release date for ATKM

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Good news everyone!

I have a release date for All the King’s Men! It’s July 27th, which I think is a great time for a book to be released, during the height of summer. I’m obviously really excited to have something to look forward to in the future.

My cover art for ATKM is coming next month, so I can share that with everyone soon. I’m always really happy with cover art from Less Than Three Press. LT3 has some pretty amazing artists.

In other news, I’m still slowly working on some other projects while also getting the hang of the bookstore business. If you hadn’t already heard, I now own a bookstore, and I have a new kitten who will be my bookstore kitty. He’s already gotten in a lot of trouble knocking over stacks of books and climbing tokitten1 the top of racks. (I’m also shamelessly going to include many kitten pictures in this post.)

I have one mini project in the works, which is the anthology for Gay Romance Northwest. Their call for this anthology is called Magic and Mayhem which is a charity anthology to help GRNW with their various programming and book donations. The call is for either stories with a pairing of mage/cyborg or soldier/tattoo artist. For those of you who’ve attended the conference in the past, this is from the fun Character Type Love Match game that readers played during the last two years.

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I’m going with mage/cyborg, mostly because I’m a fantasy and sci-fi writer generally. I’m just about 8000 words into it, and it probably won’t be more than 10k words long. That’s due March 31st, so I will be working on that until the end of the month.

My tentatively titled “Far Patrol” ace aro dragon novel is still out on beta. I expect that to take a little while because the novel is almost 60k words long. It’s a pretty hefty one for me, my longest novel to date. The sequel to that is on the back burner while I work on the Magic and Mayhem story.

 

kitten3As usual, I have plot bunnies running amok, and there’s all sorts of story ideas going every which way. But I’m glad to be back to churning out the writing.

 

Read and Write with Pride 2015

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So I want to tell you all about the Read and Write with Pride event that just happened, because I’m so excited about my first reading event. I’ve read things aloud in the past, and I have no issues with public speaking. But I’ve never read my own work to an audience before!

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It wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be.

This all started two weeks ago when my friend Heidi Belleau, a very well-known author who writes for Riptide Publishing invited me to this event. Of course, I accepted the invitation immediately.

This week was Pride week in Edmonton, hence the Pride reading event. We had quite the array of authors reading, which was great fun.

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Danielle, our lovely host from Audrey’s Books introduced us all. Audrey’s is an awesome little local bookstore, and it has an entire LGBT section! I was really happy to see that.

First up was Rob Browatske, a local author who opened us up with a trip down the rabbit hole with the first chapter of his book Wonderland. This excerpt took us deep into the psychedelic gay club scene.

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I was up next. I read an excerpt from Sky Knights, which is my lesbian fighter pilot novel. I read a fight sequence, which are always my favourite to write, and I have a feeling also my favourite to read.

Next was Marc Colbourne, who read from the memoirs of gay Iranian activist Arsham Parsi in Exiled for Love. We were given a real look at how a gay man in Iran comes to terms with his sexuality.

We inter-spaced our prose with some poetry. Marina Reid Hale performed some slam poetry for us. My personal favourite was one that didn’t have a title, but was about bisexuality.

Next up was Sheldon L’Henaff, who read from his gay fiction piece Joy (Maybe this Christmas), which is a Christmas story that involves drinking, dancing drag queens, and a very naughty Santa.

Heidi Belleau, our event organizer, went second to last. She read from Wallflower, which features a genderqueer protagonist! The section that she read from that made me laugh, and most of the audience as well!

Lastly, Laurie MacFayden, well-known local poet read us some poetry from her books White Shirt and Kissing Keeps us Afloat. She has some fun, quirky poetry about romance, but I particularly loved the poem “White Shirt,” about picking someone up at a bar.

I think our event was a great success, and I’d love to do another reading like this anytime!

Finding time for writing

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I’ve recently been having a hard time finding time to write, as the rest of my life intervenes. I’ve been going crazy over this issue for weeks, but have started calming down, because it’s not just my problem. Lots of people in this day and age want to just write for a living, but for most, that’s not a reality.

school1I mean, for me, there’s school and trying to find a job in my field, which is a struggle for a lot of people these days. University is very demanding, especially for people who are trying to keep their GPA high enough to go on to grad school. Some people work full time jobs, or have kids to look after. It’s tough to find time to write in between all these other things we have to do. Not to mention, if you’re too stressed out or anxious, you can throw that good writing vibe out the window.

There’s nothing I’d like more than to have no other job but writing, but for an indie author, that’s not feasible. Even authors with publications with big companies can’t really make a living on their writing.

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This is me on the floor with a stuffed sheep on top of me.

 

So if you’re stressed out because you haven’t been writing as much as you want to be, try not to get too worked up about it. It’s a problem that a lot of writers go through.

As to how to fix the problem, everyone’s different, and some ways just won’t work for certain people. I can suggest a few, though.

thewritera) Fit writing in around all those other things when you’re in one of those in-between spaces, like when you’re waiting in a boring line-up or riding on the bus. I carry around a notebook in my bag in case some idea hits me so that I can write it down. Other options are writing it down on a tablet, or even a smartphone. Once, I was sitting in a pub waiting for my lunch to arrive and I banged out a few lines on my phone and emailed them to myself. I know, it’s nice to have all your story in one place, but writing is a messy business. Sometimes you’ve got to adapt.

b) Start a writing group with some friends. I don’t know about you, but sometimes you need someone else to talk to and bounce ideas off of. You don’t have to meet often, even once every one to two weeks. Also, if you need a little motivation or support, your friends are there for you.

c) If meeting your friends in person isn’t feasible, use the digital world to help you connect. Find a time when you’re all free and agree to write at that time. You can text by phone, Skype, IM or anything you like. What use is all this tech we’ve got if we don’t use it?

writeclubd) Going off of the last one, you can join an online group on social media. I myself follow Friday Night Writes (#WriteClub), which is a group on Twitter that helps motivate people to write, because everyone writes at the same time. The mod tweets start and stop times, alternating writing times with break times. You can even tweet them how many words you’ve written.

There are probably lots of other ways to try and fit writing in around your busy life, these are just a few. The main thing is, don’t get discouraged if you’re behind on your writing projects. It isn’t a race!

Hakusan Angel sale!

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Vector Graphic Design Button and Labels Template. Color paint spAs you may know, Less Than Three Press is turning six this month! So there are all sorts of prizes and sales going on to celebrate! There are three things you should know:

  1. All purchases for the month of April mean you are automatically entered into a draw to win a prize
  2. All books are 20% off for the month of April
  3. Every single day of April, a different book will be on sale for 50% off

Today, Hakusan Angel is on sale! 50% off my book all day today (April 26th)! Go check it out!

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