The Writing Process Blog Hop

234d4f21e48da0a047062556c3f2bee2Hello once again, readers!!!

I’ve been nominated by the awesome Andrew Toynbee to join in this blog hop. I haven’t done this in forever! That’s probably because I’m a really bad procrastinator, so I’m lucky if I can even discipline myself into working on my current WIP.

But I digress.

There are four questions to answer, all pertaining to…you guessed it….the writing process!

o_O

So here is my take on getting through it.

1. What are you working on?

Currently, I’m working on The Gramm Curse (Night Watchmen, #0.5). It’s a companion novella to Everlasting, putting the reader in the male MC’s head before he meets Faye. It gives insight into why Jaxen is so hot and cold in the beginning of his relationship with Faye. There are so many secrets in his head. So many.

I’m also working a bit on the second novel in the series which is currently titled, Evernight, and a NA Romance…which I’m calling Grunge Love. That title is subject to change though.

2. How does your work differ from others in the genre?

Welp, no two works are alike. As much as people try to generalize work, every character is unique. Every story has a twist true to its own. For my work, I have matched Hunters with Witches, and I’ve made a female dragon shifter who saves two separate realms-one modern-day, and one completely magic-filled. Both of my female leads are strong to the core and true to themselves. Sacrifice is always involved, as well as love.

3. Why do you write what you write?

I write what I write because I love writing, and because the characters want me to. I love seeing the places they take me. I love watching the trials and tribulations they go through. I love feeling every bit of what they’re feeling. It’s an escape from my own life…a chance for me to travel without leaving my family.

4. How does your writing process work?

Very simply. I sit down and write. Usually my first draft has the bones of the story, but a lot ends up changing because I spend a lot of time exploring my characters and their world so I can understand them better. Since I’ve only written in fantasy so far, a lot of the worlds my characters live in is completely made up. This takes time. As I’m introduced to new places, I keep a side notebook where I write out in detail what everything is so I can keep track. In a nutshell, usually I have a small idea with a brief glimpse at the ending. I pants the rest of the way through to get to that ending.

 

That being said, I’m supposed to tag four authors. The problem is, most of the authors I know that would participate have already been tagged! So instead, I’m going to point you in their direction to their novels and blog. They are people worth checking out!

Andrew Toynbee

Sonya Loveday

Dan Thompson

Michelle Proulx

 

Elizabeth Guizzetti

Echelon out!

Indie Girl Con Deets

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Hello once again, readers!!!

So I’m back and I’m feeling…well…slightly exhausted. A good kind of exhausted though (if that’s even possible). Indie Girl was a success, and so was the release of Everlasting and From the Embers. But now that I find myself with no immediate deadlines, I don’t quite know what to do. Or write.

I’ve started a novella for the Night Watchmen Series titled The Gramm Curse. It’s going to be told in Jaxen’s POV and it will lead up to the moment he first sees Faye. I’m really excited to be inside his head and to show my readers exactly why he’s so wishy-washy and guarded when it comes to love. I’ve also started the second novel in the Night Watchmen Series which as of right now is titled Evernight, but it’s subject to change.

And with having started both projects at the same time, I think I’ve crippled myself. I usually only write one book at a time. I like to keep all of my creative focus on one project so nothing intermingles in my head, so I’m torn. Which do I work on first? Book two needs to be out soon so the readers can pick back up on Faye’s journey, but I’ve had a lot of requests for a novella in Jaxen’s POV to help understand him better.

Gah.

I’ll figure out…hopefully today because I really need to get back to writing.

But I digress.

Here are some photos from Indie Girl Con and my trip to South Carolina:

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Entering SC!!

 

Friday set-up!

Friday set-up!

 

Walking around downtown with my bestest author Sonya Loveday.

Walking around downtown with my bestest author Sonya Loveday.

 

The old library we passed.

The old library we passed.

 

The stairs of the library.

The stairs of the library.

 

Our Saturday set-up!

Our Saturday set-up!

 

Best Friends!

Best Friends!

 

That about sums up the trip. It was long and fun. We learned a lot and met A LOT of cool people. I was even able to meet a lot of the bloggers I talk to.

Fun, right?

Okay, I need to get back to writing.

Echelon out ♥

NERD

 

Turning 27!

1503475_10202369218425663_1839653046_nHello once again, readers!!!

It’s my birthday and I’ll write if I want to!

Okay, a little cliché, I know, but hey…

Any who, today marks another year from the day of my birthday. And another year closer to 30. o_O I woke to my husband and kids singing happy birthday and handing me red velvet cupcakes. Yum. It was awesome. And now I’m at my computer working on the last chapter of Everlasting! So if I finish today (I will) then double happy freakin’ birthday to me! I will be sending it off to my most trusted best friend for the approval that it’s ready for editing, and then off to beta and editing it is!

ALSO…

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My publisher posted a happy birthday to me and announced that From the Embers will be their first published book in 2014! So that means soon, folks! They also shared a sneak at the cover. How exciting!

And that’s about it. Mind blowing, right? Hope you have a wonderful year! Dream big and go for it!

Echelon out ♥

 

13 Things I’ve Learned In 2013

New YearHello once again, readers!

It’s the last day of the year. Can you believe it? I really can’t. This year has been somewhat of a blur for me and seemed to have snuck up on me. I think I’ve learned more this year than I’ve learned in a long time. Which is what I wanted to share with you.

Here are the 13 things I’ve learned:

1. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

2. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Don’t lend your trust out the same way you give candy on Halloween…you’re bound to get burned.

4. Schedules are a necessity for writers.

5. Time and practice really is an author’s best friend. And reading.

6. Dreams come at their own pace whether you want them now or not. Wait for them.

7. My kids are growing up fast. Too fast.

8. Honesty will always get you farther. Especially with yourself.

9. You can’t be everything for everyone. It’s not physically possible.

10. The only way the words will come is if you sit in your chair and type them.

11. Don’t compare your life to everyone else’s. The path you’re on is your path and it’s the right path. Trust that.

12. Remain humble. Don’t let ego kill your personality.

13. Make time for your loved ones. Even when the characters are knocking on your door.

It may not be the best advice or the most original, but each one is something I, or someone very close to me went through this year. This year wasn’t what some would call a ‘huge success’, but I’d have to say it’s been exactly what I needed at this point in my life. Even the rough parts. The amount of knowledge, confidence, patience, and understanding that I’ve gained is more valuable than anything else I could possibly want.

I have no doubt in my mind that 2014 will be a year I never dreamed of. I can feel it. I know I’m on the verge of something and I can’t wait to see what it is. I hope you had a fantastic 2013 and reflect upon everything you’ve learned as we enter a brand new year. Oh, and don’t forget to leave money on your doorstep before the night is through. It’s supposed to bring you luck when you pick it up tomorrow. Change will suffice. I’ve used a quarter and I swear it works.

Any who, Happy New Year!

Echelon out ♥

Thankful Thanksgiving-Family Version

FamilyHello once again, readers!!! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I hope your day is filled with lots of family time and delicious food. I will be with the most important people in my life, eating some banging food, and preparing myself for Black Friday…

o_O

Yes, I do enjoy roughing the crowds of Black Friday. I go every year with my mom to people watch and grab a few things for my kids.

But I digress.

In all seriousness, I wanted to take a moment to give a shout out to all the people in my life who I am extremely grateful for. All too often it is easy to get caught up in the flow of life, especially when you live a hectic one. I find myself thinking a lot about my loved ones, but never finding enough time to spread myself out to all of them.

So here it goes (prepare yourself, there is a lot):

First and foremost, I am thankful for my mother. Without her, I literally would not be here today. She has always been my biggest supporter. Every dream I have chased, she has pushed me towards. I can’t explain to you the strength she embodies. I can’t explain to you the many times she could have thrown in the towel from all the crap she was dealt, but she never did. She was a good mom. She did everything she could to provide for my sister and me, and she did it alone. I love you, mom. Thank you for everything.

I am also thankful for my husband. I met him at a very young age, and quickly fell in love. I believe with all of my heart that he is my soul mate. He is the best man I have ever known. He loves unconditionally, and through his rough demeanor, he has the kindest heart. He is a patient father and the best friend a girl could ask for. He works hard for our family and is one of the most witty, intelligent people I have ever met. Without him, my life would be colorless. I love you, babe. Thanks for being my rock.

I am thankful for my best friend Sonya. From the moment I met her, I knew that we would be the forever kind of friends. She is funny, smart, loving, kind, patient, fiercely loyal, and a wonderful mother. She is one that I seriously could not be without. She’s pushed me when I wanted to stop pushing myself, and called me out when I needed it. She is a pillar of strength and wisdom and I only hope that I can give back to her all that she has given me in our friendship. We’re on this boat together, Sonya. Thank you for always understanding and having the right wisdom to share.

I am thankful for my grandmother. She and my grandfather practically raised me. All of my earliest memories are of her and her kind smile. Yesterday was actually her 79th birthday. She still gets up every morning and makes her way to the gym. She’s amazing. I can’t think of her without feeling joy and the need to hug her. My grandparents were everything to me. If there were two people I wanted to make proud, it is them. I love you, grandma. Thank you for believing in me unconditionally.

I am thankful for all of my friends who make me laugh and always lend an ear when I go into panic mode. Adam, Alicia, Chuck, Misty, Nathan…you are all family to Damon and me. (okay Nathan & Misty, you’re literally family), but still, we love you all so much. As sad as this is to say, it’s so hard to find people worth investing time in. But you make that statement untrue. That is how special you all are. You are worth every second of every shattered friendship that left me feeling like there was no point in having faith in people, because in the first few minutes of being around you, all of that disappears. In the first few minutes, my guard comes flying down and I can simply be. For you, we would do anything.  Thank you for always being there.

I am thankful for my children who have taught me patience and the true meaning of joy. As crazy and as wild as they are, they are mine and my husband’s. They gave purpose to our lives. They give us a reason to reach beyond the unthinkable, so we can show them that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. They are so smart and so funny and have this awesome ability to turn my mood from crappy to fantastic. Everything I do, I do for them. I love you both, more than words could ever describe. Thank you for being mine.

Last but certainly not least, I am grateful for my mother-in-law. The road we traveled on to reach this point in life was bumpy, but I believe every road worth traveling on has some bumps and curves. It’s what gives the trip depth. In my eyes, she is a combination of my mother and my best friend Sonya. She is smart, funny, strong-willed, loving, ridiculously creative, and extremely protective over all of her children. I am thankful that she was the mother to my husband and brother-in-laws, and I am thankful to have her by my side, believing in me every step of the way. I love you, Kim. Thank you for being everything that you are.

Okay, if you are still reading this, wow. Thank you for hanging in there lol. I know you may not know these people, but I have to write these words down. For me, expressing myself comes easier behind a keyboard (or pen and paper). My thoughts flow better.

And I have a freaking rock of a lump in my throat. I think I might go cry now, or eat some cake or something.

Have an awesome day, and be sure to tell your loved ones why you are thankful for them.

Echelon out ♥

Throw Back Thursday

TBTHello once again, readers!!!

For those of you who aren’t away, today is considered TBT or throw back Thursday. This is my first time participating. I think it’s neat to look back at who you were as a child and compare it to the person you are today. A lot of my childhood pictures are still with my mother, but this is one that I have framed at home. Even though I never thought I could be a writer, I have always loved writing. The photo on the left was taken, I think, in second or third grade. We had a creative writing project. My story was called: The Tiger That Became a Teacher. o_O. I think I remember it had something to do with a Barbie doll too.

Any who, I had won an award for the story though I am not sure what. The photo is dark, but I am holding a ribbon. When I think about it, there were a lot of moments like that throughout my schooling where my writing was commended, so answer me this: Why the hell did it take me 22 years to wake up?

I mean seriously, I was literally walking through life with my head in the clouds (to put it in nice terms) with not a single clue as to who I wanted to be or what I wanted to do with my life. Not until I actually sat down and wrote out Born in Flames. And even that was a fluke. When I had first started the novel, I wasn’t aiming to write a novel, I was just bored and wanted to get the ideas bouncing around in my head out. I’ve always been creative like that (painting, drawing, writing poetry) I dabbled in a little of everything all the time just to appease my boredom. It wasn’t until I was a few chapters in and the world and idea was forming into something real and solid, that I began to take it serious and consider it an actual dream I could chase.

Wow.

Ridiculous.

It’s funny how many 20-somethings walk around with so much talent inside of them and not a single clue. Or without a way to express it or nurture it. Thank God for boredom.

So yeah, here’s to TBT and looking back and reflecting on life.

Echelon out ♥

My First Scuba Adventure.

581774_453068218125098_1657927492_nHello once again, readers!

What’s that? Is that an alien from another planet I am holding in my orange-handed steel grip?

Why no…it’s not, actually. It’s a freaking lobster! And I am going to eat him!

That’s right…you heard me. I spent the past four days out in the middle of the Keys putting my newly acquired scuba skills to the test! And boy was I successful! I conquered my fear of being eaten by a shark and battled these blasted alien lobsters right out of their little holes in the bottom of the ocean and right into my little bag clipped to my BCD.

Man that was a long sentence.

Any who, it was a wonderful experience. We not only caught a ton of lobster, but we found an old spear gun, a couple of glass bottles, a diver flag and a weight belt. I saw many lion fish, grouper, brain coral, schools of little fish, eels, of course lobsters and other things that I didn’t know but stayed cleared from.

But most importantly, I gained a little more self-confidence. I proved to myself that I am capable of way more that I thought I was.

But I digress…

Here are some pictures from the trip:

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An old Diet Pepsi bottle I snagged.

 

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A warning sign in a gas station.

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The sunset at the southern-most tip of America!

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A great and very successful day of lobstering!

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One of the many Iguanas we saw.

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Me and my scuba buddy Chuck about to drop in.

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The awesome spear gun we found on one of our dives.

All in all, it was a successful trip. I came away with 14 lobster (my share) but as a group we caught 42. Not bad for my first time. :) Any who, that’s all for now. I can’t wait to tell you about the Bookfest! I sold all of my print copies!!!

Okay… Echelon out ♥