Being Real

The internet has given us freedom that we could’ve never imagined. It has opened worlds to us that would’ve been impossible even a few decades ago. Behind the safety of a computer screen, we can become anyone or anything. It gives us a degree of separation that helps buffer us from the reality of the situation. But in doing this, we’ve lost a bit of ourselves. In our rush to show the world our amazingness, we try to hide our flaws away. But in my opinion, our weaknesses and flaws are part of what makes the sum of us. We are not complete without our scars. So I’ve decided to be totally honest with you guys today.

I’ve been absent from my blog for a while. That is because there has been a lot going on in my life. Now, I am not trying to excuse myself, but I thought that I would share what has been going on.

  1. I published the second book in my series in May. After publishing it, I was hit was major anxiety and depression. Who was I to be a writer? What if everyone hated it? Was I just kidding myself that I was cut out to be a writer?

These and many other questions assailed me during this time. With some time and sleep, I was able to work through it, but the biggest help that pulled me through this time was my reason WHY I write. I write because I love my characters and stories and want to share them with others who will hopefully love them as much as I do. While it would be nice to reach J.K. Rowling fame, if my stories resonate with even one other person, I’m happy.

2. I was working with an editor on reworking my first novel “In Search of Justice”. Now, there are two things to realize for this. One, I wrote my first novel in just under a month. After hiding my writing for years, I decided that I was sick and tired of hiding my writing and challenged myself to write a mystery AND publish it in time for Halloween. After all, I’d seen much worse on Amazon. When I sat down, I was fortunate enough to have the plot for a six book series pop into my head. I did as I challenged myself and managed to write and publish a mystery in just under a month in time for Halloween. I was so wiped out after it happened. So after recouping and writing the second book, I decided that it was time to go back and polish up the first book. Second, I absolutely hate grammar. It has been my arch-nemesis since 7th grade. I would have meltdowns about it. I love to write, but grammar is a struggle for me. So the rewriting/polishing part really took it out of me.

3. During the last part of June, first part of July, we discovered that my aunt, my father’s sister, had lung cancer. We were unsure what stage it was, but we were worried that it was quite advanced and maybe had even settled in her bones. After several weeks of uncertainty and testing, we were relieved to discover that it was only stage one and only on one spot in one lung. We were very thankful for that.

4. Since December 2016, I have been learning American Kenpo Karate Jiu-Jitsu or Kenpo for short. We test every two months to advanced rank. This month, I tested for Advanced Blue, which is about halfway to Black Belt. I find testing extremely stressful, even though I love the art itself, so I’m always wiped after a test. On a positive note, I did pass the test 🙂

5. I have started on Book Three of the Seeker Files, In Search of High Society. After fighting with Aletta and Lirim for several weeks, I went back and wrote a prologue before returning to where I was. Apparently they just wanted me to properly set the stage, because it’s been going swimmingly since.

6. And finally, two days ago, my smartphone died after it threw itself off of a table. Because of a low paycheck, it will be a few weeks until I can get a new one. I am in technology withdrawal, lol.

 

So where am I going with this? I honestly don’t know. I try to be upbeat and positive in my posts. I try to wear a happy mask for the world and honestly, most of the time it’s the truth. My life could be so much worse than it is and I am truly blessed. But I also think that when we try to hide out struggles, we are cheating those we engage with the chance to share theirs and also the ability to encourage others that they will get through things. So please, share with me. What are some struggles that you’ve encountered lately?

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

A to Z Challenge: Reflection

A-to-Z Reflection [2018]

When I first discovered this challenge, it was only a day or two before sign-up closed. I ended up making a snap decision to participate, hoping to build up my blog. It would be easy, right? After all, it was just a simple post every day except Sunday throughout the month of April. I could probably wing it. Maybe.

So signing up, I now had to chose a theme. Easy enough. This blog is all about writing, so I would make my theme Everything I Love about Writing. There! I was going to breeze through this. Then I stumbled over my first obstacle. I actually had to come up with subjects the fit this theme using every letter. Do you know how hard it is to find X and Z words? Neither did I.

My good intentions of getting all the posts written ahead quickly fell through and I was writing a blog post every day. That actually turned out to be fun as I could approach it from a fresh perspective. Also, as I mentioned several times during the month, I am a pantser, not a plotter. I had a master list of the subjects I had picked, but every new post was a delightful surprise.

For example, my theme was Everything I Love about Writing.  However, I realized that that was too one-sided of an approach to what I consider my writing journey. After all, how can you recognized good if you never see bad? So I expanded it to all aspects of my journey. Something that surprised me was my G post, G is for Grammar. I didn’t like that post, I don’t like grammar, it was the antithesis to my theme. It was one of the most popular posts from the entire challenge. Every post revealed something new to me, challenged me to change and grow.

A particularly fun part of the A to Z challenge was getting to blog hop to other bloggers. I only visited about ten consistently, but I was delighted to get to know them through their blog posts and A to Z journey.

So how can I sum up the A to Z challenge? I still don’t know what happened to April. I scrambled to keep up with the posting and comments. There were days when I felt like I fell far short and others that I felt like I’d won a gold medal. I got to met new bloggers and made some amazing friends over the course of this challenge. As my dad says, ‘Would I do it again?’ The answer is yes. I’m looking forward to next year.

My thanks to everyone who stopped by during this challenge, you’re the best!

 

U is for Unexpected

Writing for me is not a thoroughly planned journey. It is often just a rough sketch and I usually end up coloring outside of the lines. For me, creativity happens spontaneously. If I try to plan out every little nuance before I begin to write, I find I have no desire to actually write the story. It takes all the joy out of it for me. So although I may have a general outline, I tend to just let my storyline flow and see what happens.

However, that does not mean that I am never surprised by what happens. This weekend I was working on my novel. The scene was going well, we were working on setting up a game plan for their undercover operation. Then, right in the middle of this, one of my characters decides to have a deep, introspective moment. I’m like, ‘Where is this even coming from and you choose now to have this conversation? We are right in the middle of a battle plan, not a why did you trust me conversation.’ Still, my character was unwilling to progress any farther until this matter was dealt with, so we rolled with it. It may or may not become important later in the plot, I have no idea as I never planned for this conversation.

This is part of why I love writing, the joy of discovering surprising backstories and hidden depths to characters. The twists and turns in plots that I could never anticipate. Sometimes it irritates me and I rant for a while or even walk away from the story for a time. But in the end, the curiosity about what happens next always draws me back.

So what is something unexpected that happened in your life recently?

 

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