Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What a Rush

Despite the negativity in my last post about editing, I'm actually enjoying it. I know! It sounds almost contradictory! I whine on and on about how much I hate it, and then I write about how much I'm liking it. Go figure.
I'm currently at the climax in editing, so I'd like to get back to that, but I'm writing this so I don't get into a habit of posting not very often. :)
Yesterday, I learned a lot about horses. Yes, still a horse nut here, nothing's changed. I'm trying to complete Parelli level one which is kind of problematic since it's been three weeks since the last time I touched a horse!
I had this problem with my riding lessons. It was with my ankles. When my legs were pulled up to the hunter jumper position (go Google it, yeouch!) my ankles would throb and give out and I would unceremoniously thrown onto the horse's neck. This problem was caused by my riding instructors constantly screaming at me to point my toes inward, turns out, you shouldn't do this!
When you ride, you should be part of the horse, not this foreign thing clinging onto their backs. To be part of the horse, you need to sit the shape of the horse. Light legs, heavy butt, toes pointed out. When your toes are out, you're not pinching with your knees, when your toes are pointing in, your horse is getting pinched on all sides, no wonder they buck!
Why am I writing this? I thought it was cool. I had my younger sister try it out on me and I could tell how UNCOMFORTABLE it is for our poor horses when we clutch with our knees, point our toes inward and sit sky high. It hurt. My back ached. Glad my sis didn't have reins or she would've pulled my mouth off.
I'm also gloating because I was right and my old riding instructors wrong. It is highly uncomfortable and puts structural strain on you and your horse! When you ride with your toes pointing inwards or forwards.
Try it. Sit like you're on a horse, toes pointing out. Then point your toes forward, just like that, you are no longer the shape of your horse! Toes pointing inwards makes it even worse!
Poor horses. They have to endure so much of proper riding. Proper riding is not savvy riding. When you're savvy you don't pinch the poop out of your horse!
It was a rush to learn.
Sorry for my language. I feel strongly about this. :)
Yeah, that's about all I have to say, other than, last night I dreamt I put Gollum in a dress and his precious was my iPod and he broke it. It was odd.
Oh, quick update for those asking and saw my comment. I DID change Aster's age. I spoke with my older sister (Yes, the one with the boyfriend =D) and she said she thought Aster was too old. Apparently 23 is old. So I changed it to 20. I was going for 19 but my sister said that was too awkward between Aster and Allie. Though it would make a lot of you romance lovers happy to have a spot of romance in Twisted.
Sorry. The only love story I'm considering writing is the backstory of Amaarzar. (Oddly enough my main bad guy has a love story. Weird.) I'm not a fan of romance unless it's Twisted Tales; With a Kiss by Stephanie Fowers. I was urging the main characters to kiss by the end of it. ;)
This is Gollum's Rescue (remember my dream. Gollum in a little girl dress, disturbing!) by Studio C, a BYU comedy group. If you want to look them up, they're mostly clean. Here's another fave by them. Five Day Weather Forecast.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Back Again

I know! Long time no post! I was on vacation last week (Tuesday through Saturday) and I didn't want to post anything because I wanted Elsie's interview to be seen. Also I was using my dad's laptop and I've never actually used one before so I was kind of struggling to get anything done. The replies given during the vacation were the only ones I dared to give. Hopefully I'll become better at the whole laptop thing, because I cannot spend the rest of my life using a crappy Windows '98! One of these days my PC is just going to die, and then I will kill it because it took all my hard work with it to the grave. ;)
Yes, so I've also discovered that despite what I thought I was ready for...I wasn't. My book came from the editor on Saturday. I was kind of relieved because apparently while we were on vacation some bozos were going up and down my street stealing people's mail. A lot people lost checks and major bills and some of our neighbors went out with a petition to get a locking mailbox. I was terrified that my book had come and that they had stolen it. I would've pulled a Nazgul and hunted them down. I've waited for nearly 3 MONTHS to get it back. Some freaking bozo isn't going to steal it from me!
It's mine. My OWN. My precious. :)
But it came, so every thing's good again I mean like less than fifteen minutes after we came home. I want to stick an old banana peel into an envelop and put that into the mailbox and see what the mail-stealing-animals have to say about it.
So as I opened it my family gathered around me (no pressure!) and my dad recorded this apparent historic event. I'm sure I looked lovely, we'd just gotten back from vacation, I'd tossed all my cool clothes in the wash and was wearing my less-than-attractive clothes and my hair had that vacation look that I'm sure you all know, that shaming mop that you're too tired to fix until you get home...yeah.
I also couldn't get the package open! I had to borrow my brother's pocket knife (yes the same brother that told me to stop complaining. We have a love-hate relationship, but it's getting better. He took great joy at making me fly (literally) on the trampoline on vacation) to get past all the packing tape. And of course, to mark how absolutely cool I am, I opened it backwards.
I spent about an hour hole-punching it, I have this thing about binders, I don't feel organized unless my book is in one. And then I started to read my book and the editor's markings. She used a purple pen, so it felt a little less shaming than a red one, and at first I was like "Yeah! I totally agree with that!" "Dang! Why didn't I catch that sooner!"
But the further in I went, the more I felt stupid for not catching those mistakes sooner. The more I wasn't sure if my editor had liked my book, or hated it.
The more I wanted to quit.
The more I blamed that stupid little possessing demon for entering my mind and EVER making me think I could write a book.
Now, a whole two days later, I've found that deep reserve that pushes me forward. I agree with my editor on some parts, others, not so much. I even went through with a couple of her suggestion last night when I couldn't sleep. I wandered through my darkened basement (I live in the basement BTW, so darkness and spiders, no big deal. Most of the time) and discovered that when I'm afraid, I pull my arms up close, get tight, and want to go somewhere comfortable where I know I'm safe.
Good thing to note.
Yeah, so I'm going to be really busy for the next little bit, I'm marking up my own book as much as my editor did with things I want to change. Like a little bit of dialogue from the Secret Keeper. I read it and went he wouldn't say it like THAT! I feel so proud that I know him well enough to know how he'd say something. :)
Also, after a lot of thinking and prepping myself, I know that I've learned a lot since the last time I actually went through and wrote Twisted from start to finish. I've written a few books between then and now and I can see where I made those beginners' mistakes.
I found it funny, that my editor eventually got so sick of writing the Secret Keeper that she did what my brother made up and that I follow now. She wrote his title as the SK. I write it as TSK. Much easier to handle that way. I laughed when I saw it.
Here's a song I found years ago for all of you who feel that you're dreaming but nothing's happening. Remember, it's one thing to dream, quite another to actually get up and chase it!
Tayla D out! ;)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Interview with Elsie Park

Hi everyone! Long weekend right? I personally thought it was incredibly long, but that may have been because I couldn't fall asleep last night until about 2 and then I had a nightmare and played Lego Lord of the Rings until 5. Yeah, I'm a half-asleep ghoul right now, so bear with me. =D
Anyway, I'm hosting another wonderful author on my blog! Elsie Park, author of Shadows of Valor, it's been a delight to go through the interview process with her, I can't wait for all of you to read this interview. :)
View Shadows of Valor cover - resized 1.jpg in slide show      View Cropped #2.JPG in slide show
Thank you so much, Tayla, for hosting this interview and allowing me to be a guest on your blog. I enjoyed answering the questions and look forward to any comments people have.

Tayla asks, what inspired you to start writing?

Elsie's answer: I’ve made up short stories since I could write coherently in grade-school, but as far as writing a full-length novel, the notion didn’t hit me until about 6 years ago after I’d had my first baby. I got antsy to do something more as a stay-at-home mom. Always a fan of good action-packed, fantasy, romance movies and novels, I had ideas in my head of what I thought would make good scenes (especially if I didn’t like the way one was played out in a book or movie - LOL), so acting on a whim, I jotted them down and later formulated a plot to tie them together.


2. What inspires you to keep writing, even on days when it's hard to write a single word?

It’s often difficult to find the time to write, as I am in a season of life which includes three small, high maintenance children. So I admit that even though I TRY to write everyday, I simply don’t. For me, writing will always come second to being a wife and mother. That being said, however, the things that keep me inspired to write (when the time allows) is the thought that I have a specific story to tell with a specific message and characters that I want to share with others, and that if I don’t write them out, they’ll NEVER get shared. I’m inspired to write with the hope that someone, somewhere, will like my story and characters as much as I do, find enjoyment taking the journey with them and connect with the issues in such a way that the reader takes a look at his/her own life, having the desire to improve as well in some small way. That’s what I try to do: Learn from my mistakes and try to live a little better today than I did yesterday (easier said than done, but still a good motto).


3. How did you come up with your storyline?

I’ve always loved a hero (and heroine) with a troubled past who struggles (like everyone else) to overcome his/her weaknesses. Drawing on my love of history, I found an era where a heavy tax was levied, causing people to turn to illegal acts. A thought came to me as I pieced together a viable story for my characters. People face choices of integrity everyday. Just because we don’t like a specific rule or law, doesn’t mean we should act illegally and hurt others to defy it (though I admit this is often a gray area especially in circumstances of oppressive governments and hierarchies). Though set in the middle-ages, my story-line relates to the modern reader. The age-old tale of good versus evil, good and bad choices, is something that can be written about over and over again with new plots and characters and never get old. It’s something the human race has dealt and struggled with since the beginning of time and isn’t likely to go away.


4. How do you get ideas for each chapter?

Although I wasn’t this way at the beginning, I am NOW the kind of writer who has to outline and plot out my story-line first. This helps me decide on when, where, how and what growth I want my characters to experience from beginning to end. It allows me to place trials, challenges and triumphs throughout my story in an organized fashion. I decide that in chapter 1, such and such will occur and so on throughout the entire book. Sometimes a chapter placement is just a simple as breaking up a portion of the manuscript that’s WAY TOO LONG. This isn’t to say, however, that once I have a scene for a particular chapter that it must stay there. After the first draft (or second or third or . . .) I often decide that some earlier scenes are best told later and vice versa. I don’t like short chapters, but I do incorporate plenty of scene breaks throughout a given chapter to break it up a bit.

5. When you have writer's block, what helps you push past it?

Setting the book aside for few days (or weeks) and coming back to it with fresh eyes and a sharper mind is great for alleviating writers block. Reading the book again from the beginning and then acting on the thoughts that come to mind when you get to the part in question. Also, don’t be afraid to ask other people their opinion on what they would do if they were your character(s) in the situation. My mom and dad were indispensable to giving me ideas when I heard their various ideas. This isn’t to say that you need to use the thoughts others give you, but it sure opens up new avenues in your own mind that hadn’t occurred to you previously.

6. Who's your favorite characters in your book and all time favorite in literature?

Ah gee, asking for a “favorite” in anything is difficult because there are invariably more than one that fall into that category. But if I have to pick one (besides my two main characters that is) then I’d have to say Sir Giles, a minor character in the book. He’s full of charm and easy-going wit, adding some light reprieve to the more serious issues in the story. He’s always snacking on something, something I personally love to do, but in his case, he never gains weight from all his eating (much like my husband and NOT like me at all – LOL – I simply LOOK at food and I gain weight). In literature, I’d have to say Frodo Baggins and Samwise from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. They are both sweet and humble, yet have as inner strength and integrity that defy all the other characters in the story.

7. If you could change one thing in your favorite book what would it be?

Hmm, another toughy, Tayla , but I’d have to say Sir Walter Scott’s IVANHOE. I would have had Ivanhoe end up with the Jewess Rebekah, regardless of the thoughts of propriety for the day. I loved the character Rebekah and wanted to see her be with the man who rescued her. I mean, IVANHOE is a work of fiction, so why not weave it in such a way as to have them together in the end. Can you tell I’m a fan of “happily-ever-afters?”

8. How have your jobs influenced your book?

This is something no one has ever asked, and yet, my job as a patrol officer has had the MOST influence over my hero, The Shadow. In law enforcement training, officers are taught not to trust anyone, to see everyone as a potential threat to safety, to always be on their guard, to be ready for an attack so they can act promptly to protect themselves and save the lives of others. I know why this view is important and necessary, but at the same time, I didn’t like the kind person I was forced to become as a police officer. After I left the force, I eased up on those cynical views, but only a little. To this day, I still retain strong feelings of distrust as I view situations with a leery eye. Some may say that’s what keeps me and my family from being victims of crimes, while others argue that I hold an unhealthy regard for the human race in general. Be that as it may, my thoughts put me somewhere in the middle, a place I feel comfortable with at the moment.

9. What is the most distracting thing to you while you're writing?

MY CHILDREN! Hands down! *laugh* Even as I’m typing out these answers, I have my precious 20-month-old on my lap trying to push the keys on my keyboard, draw on my computer desk with a pencil and poke me in the eye with the same pencil . . . okay, I just took it away from her . . . so now she’s dripping apple juice from her sippy cup onto my pajama pants *sigh*. I’m also typing all this with one hand *smile*. Why don’t I just do it after I put her down for a nap, you may ask? It’s not that easy, since her nap time often means only an hour or two to get other things done, like laundry, dishes, time with my other girls, groceries, cooking meals, you name it. All this being said, I wouldn’t trade my beautiful children for the world. I love them. I just have to find different ways to get my writing in.

10. Do you ever pretend to be your characters and playact as them?

I’ve heard of other authors doing this to get into character and have dialogue and ideas flow through their minds, but I admit that I’ve never done this. Maybe if I did, I wouldn’t get writer’s block *laugh*. I talk out loud sometimes to get the right punctuation and description for dialogue or for facial expressions, but that’s about it. I would LOVE to see my story some out as a movie, however, and view how actors would portray my characters. That would be AWESOME! Yeah, I’ll leave the playacting to people who can actually act, which isn’t me *laugh*


About the author

From a wildland firefighter to a security guard, police officer, and student of botany and zoology, ELSIE PARK has done it all. It was only a matter of time before she wrote her first novel. While on a hiatus to Italy, Park was inspired by the thick presence of ancient and medieval history. She felt it in its walls, and slowly, yet surely, a story was born.


Twitter - @elsiepark1


SHADOWS OF VALOR, will be released September 7, 2013 through Jolly Fish Press. It can be ordered from any bookstore including Barnes and Noble and and will be available in hard cover, paperback and on e-readers (including Kindle, Nook, and Kobo, as well as any tablet, smartphone, or computer).



PAGES: 310

SIZE: 6” x 9”


- Hardcover ($28.99):


- Trade Paperback ($16.99):


- Ebook ($7.99):





Thursday, July 18, 2013

And She Sinks a Little Lower

I know yesterday's post was not that happy. Today's will not be that happy either. I have this problem with emotionally riding the roller-coaster until I feel like my head's going to fall off.
So they say that teenaged girls are constantly fretting about their weight, fact or myth? At least for me, you don't need the Mythbusters to crack this one. I feel great about myself until I start looking around and thinking whoa! she's so thin! Why can't I be that thin!? I've struggled against the "YOU ARE FAT!" thoughts since I was like twelve and today, the thoughts are almost unbearable.
My sisters are even thinner than me, I feel like a fat ugly toad among swans when I'm around them. I know this ain't normal, but what girl hasn't looked down at herself and thought whoa! there is way too much of me there!
I read this book called Perfect, I don't remember who it was by, and it was about a girl who had bulimia, and it nearly made me cry. I felt the same way, like when I sit my thighs moosh out about three miles, and it feels like no matter what I do, I can't get rid of that stomach. Everyone claims I'm not fat, but I'm beginning to wonder if they're lying, I certainly don't feel skinny and I'd much rather be a stick than a log, if you get my meaning.
I know, this has nothing to do with my books, or violin, but I am IMPLODING! I need to get this out before I do something dramatic. I think it has something to do with the pair of pants I'm wearing, they're way too big for me, like I can pull them out an inch on either side. I'm thinking I should go change and see if that makes a difference and then perhaps I'll burn these pants, I'm feeling that kindly towards them.
Still, I'm not feeling all that happy towards myself today. I even caught myself thinking don't look in the mirror! Don't look in the mirror! I'm predicting it's going to be a REALLY long rest of the day.
And another downside, I'm going on vacation next week and that's also when my editor predicts that my book will arrive in the mail.
Another one, a lot of girls in my church are at girl's camp right now. I'm stuck in a mix between want to be there and glad I'm not. I didn't go because of my health issues that BTW have not gone away and have steadily gotten worse. So when I keel over, will the doctors FINALLY figure out what's wrong with me?
Okay, reason why I'm a little miffed about not going to girl's camp. They're going to ride horses. I'd like to do that, just sit on a horse for a couple of hours. I know some of you are probably thinking about the welfare of your sitters right now, but I consider that fun, because it's like what my characters would be doing.
I've been BEGGING to ride horses at girl's camp (okay, strongly hinting at times, not really begging) since my first year five years ago and because I'm sick with something no one can figure out, I can't go.
Yeah, I know, I'm really drudging up the dark sides of life right now and that's why I'm writing it down. You know a real lift off the shoulders to get it out. Now I'm going to go get a real lift off my hips and go change into a pair of pants I like.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

And the AUTHOR explodes

So I'm sure you noticed how my last post was all happy light and cheerful.
This one will not be.
Just to warn you.
I know, I know, I have mood swings, but hey, I'm a girl and girls have a nasty tendency to be this way. Happy one moment, stark raving bonkers the next.
My editor is done, and although I claimed that I was prepared for what was coming next, I wasn't, and who ever is? I got the editing letter yesterday and I could feel my heart sinking with every line I read.
Look at all those things you did wrong, a snarky little voice whispered in my head, all those things. Do you ever think you could do this? What delusion made you think that YOU could write and published a book?
I agreed.
I figured that fire and brimstone would freeze over before I got a book published.
I tossed my binders into the trashcan and wished that writing had never been invented, that we all communicated with troll grunts and gestures.
I gave up.
Thankfully my parents who know a lot more than I did intervened. Granted I wasn't overly talkative last night, but my mom got me through it, so did popcorn and chocolate. I'm proud to say that last night I ate an entire bag of popcorn mostly by myself (my dad took a few handfuls, I feel less bad because of that :D) and considering I live in a house of popcorn vultures, that is an impressive feat!
I'm still pretty shaken, who LIKES to be told that their three years of hard work and sweat amounts to something that is still beginnerish and looks as though it's a first draft (5th!) but I'm not going to quit, I just need to find my thick skin.
I also learned that basic YA books only have about 50,000 to 70,000 words. My book has 107,000ish words. For those of you who didn't do the NANOWRIMO (try it this year, it's fun to make your brain explode as you try to cramp as much writing as possible in before the last of November fades away!) 70,000 words is only about 300 pages and Twisted packs out an impressive 474 pages worth of stuff. I felt heat rising in my chest as I realized this, I'd cut out at least half of my book if I chopped it back down to 300 pages. So many chapters, so many hints and clues just gone.
YA readers, I figured, were pansies. (Whoa! don't get offended! That was in the moment, we all think really offensive and rude things in the moment, if you don't, you are a much better person than me!)
And character ages 14-19, what? Are you kidding? Aster is 23! (Allie and Prince Maffio, two other main characters however fall under this category, Allie is 16, Maffio is 19) The Secret Keeper definitely goes over that age limit, he's no spring chicken!
Good thing I don't have like the Witch-king or something (Yeah LOTR reference, you knew it was coming) he's over 3000 years old! But his POV would be really interesting (the Halfling stares up at me with horror, his fear is delicious to me and my fellow Nazgul. I reach forward to snatch the ring from the Halfling's opposing fingers...)
YA genre, is apparently not for me. My target audience is everyone. Maybe I'll write some YA (this stands for Young Adult BTW) later on, but for now, I meant what I meant, and I said what I said, don't make me change it or you'll blow up my head.
Yeah, on top of being an author, I'm also a poet.
Hopefully I'll be able to handle it when I get the full manuscript back. I just feel so stupid seeing all the beginner story-teller mistakes I made. A little angry too, I've been writing since I was like 12 and I'm still considered a beginner? When will I STOP being a beginner!?
Yes, I am apparently a beginner-quality author, but I am a gold medal winner in whining. :)
Two songs relatively describing how I feel, top one with the wraith (okay, I KNOW it's the Grim Reaper, but if one wants to get technical, the Grim Reaper IS a wraith, so there) the music (if this is the right vid) is Endless Love from Myth. I have no idea what movie that is, I just like the music, (and the picture)
This one is really how I feel. I Give Up, by Elijah Bossenbroek.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The happiness EXPLODES

Guess what!?
Yes I am happy. Very happy. I got the email this morning at 7:00 but I was like "meh, it's YouTube or something else that I don't care about" (Okay, I do care about YouTube, but not when I'm waiting for an email, you know?) but at 7:21 I got bored and looked at it and I saw the email I have been WAITING for.
Right now, I love my editor. ;) she made my day, and since it was 7 when she sent it, my whole day is looking really good. Thank you Danyelle. You are awesome.
I know I haven't sounded overly happy with her in past posts, but I think most of that was my own anxiousness and worries screaming out. I've felt like a horse trapped in a stall for weeks, just pacing and waiting for my owner to come out and play with me (yes, Amy Miller, that is for you ;D) Danyelle (my editor) is awesome. She's been so nice about everything, even my probably really annoying emails. A lot has been happening in her life for the past two months, so don't blame her or get angry at her for taking so long. I'm happy right now, so yeah.
I'm also kind of nervous.
What kind of mistakes did I make while writing? I'm currently reading Twisted to my dad (yes, he's a fan, my whole family is, thankfully, even my seven-year-old sister, more on her later) and I'm catching a LOT of mistakes that make me cringe. I wonder what my characters would say if they could read what I wrote from their POVs and whether or not they'd laugh about the mistakes. Aster probably would.
Here's a few of my mistakes.
1. I have a nasty habit of putting the same word in a paragraph twice! It's so annoying! For example, I put steep into a paragraph twice during an action scene, completely tossed off the drama of Aster running from Chikego (Chikego is a wraith, he's like...I don't know, like the ringwraiths in the Lego version of Lord of the Rings. Really stupid and kind of brainless. If you YouTube clips from the game, you'll see what I mean. They made the Nazgul look really dimwitted. =D)
2. I spell lose as loose.
3. I have the characters repeat like the same thing over only in different words.
Yeah, those are the ones I really noticed, but whatever right? It's all in the drafting process, and I can happily say, I am officially in editing. That's just a step off from publishing and then all of you can understand my craziness!
Or at least part of it.
On Friday I staying up until 3 watching The Fellowship of the Ring, I was mainly watching it for the Nazgul, just to watch the way that they move. That fascinates me for some reason. I was also sewing some improvements onto a shirt, so it was like watching the movie! and then ow! my finger! I missed some of the best parts because of my sewing. I noticed that the Nazgul's horses made a lot noise, and grunts, and because I'm into Parelli (he's a horse trainer, a REALLY good one) I couldn't help but notice the way that the Nazgul rode their horses and the bits that they used.
I'm such a nerd. I'm probably the only person alive who looked for that kind of thing.
The bits, um...they looked like a snaffle, a full cheek snaffle, that's good. They're a mild kind of bit meaning that the Nazgul were mostly in control of their horses, horse and rider respecting each other enough to listen. What I didn't appreciate was how the Witch-king (he's the wraith that leaps in front of Frodo on the trail as they're running for the ferry) was yanking on his horse's mouth to turn him. You don't need to do that, some simple leg cues is better for the horse, it's why the poor things mouth was hanging open as his rider sawed on his lips. That's probably why the horses made so much noise, ow! my stupid rider is yanking my face off! Stop it! Please!
I know. I'm a nerd, and I'm proud of that nerdiness. =D
Okay, THIS is what I'm talking about from Lord of the Rings, if you watch closely you'll see the Witch-king yanking hard on the horse's mouth to turn him in front of Frodo.  Provided this is the right clip.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Crossing My Fingers

Okay, yesterday I got an email from my editor saying that she was about 50 pages away from being done and it would either be today or Monday. I've got my fingers crossed for today. If I have to wait another three days, I think I'll self-combust.
Plus there's the added measure of suspense that I'm going on vacation in a week and my Mom cancelled the mail for that week, so I'd have to wait even longer to get my book back through the mail. I'm chewing my nails (actually I'm not. I cut my nails too short every single time I cut them so there's nothing to chew!) with anxiousness.
I've also realized that I'm exactly 17 and 11 months (well, exactly in two weeks) meaning in a month I'll be 18 and that's a scary thought! I don't know if I'm ready to be grown-up. Part of me wants to stay a little kid forever and the other part cringes and says "okay, let's grow up!"
Though my goal is to have my book published by my birthday. I don't know if it's going to happen, but if it doesn't I'll publish in October. Why October? Well that was my goal LAST year. To have my book published by October 15th 2012. Naturally you can assume it didn't happen. :) I'm glad it didn't, I got major help from an author friend in November so I'm super glad that I missed that goal because the suggestions she gave me really helped!
It's actually really exciting to think that in about two months my book will finally be published! I've been working on this for about three years, so you can imagine my excitement. I've just got to cross my fingers and hope that nothing else goes wrong. I'm still terrified that I'll get it out there and nobody will even LOOK at it. Then it's three years down the drain and I take up knitting. Just kidding, I can't even hold the needles right, sooo, I guess knitting wouldn't happen.
But everyone I know seems to want to read it. My violin teacher (I hope she reads it! I put both her horses into the second book. Gypsy and Cheyenne, just to make her happy. I'm not sure where Cheyenne is, but I think she's going to be Mullin's horse, so she'll get a lot of page time that way. Mullin is one of the wraiths, but don't worry! Unlike the Nazgul, my wraiths actually respect their horses. Well, most of them do anyway...) said she'd read it. And everyone except for a few readers who positively hated my main character and was really vocal about that fact...sorry, still a little bitter about that, it wasn't even constructive criticism. Aster isn't exactly what you'd call society's best, but seriously, did she have to go on and on about how much she didn't like him? Aster is practically me! He's so much like me if we met in real life we'd either be the best of friends or we'd drive each other CRAZY!
Sorry again...I'm not terribly fond of when people mock my characters. They all have little drops of me in them (some have a LOT of drops, others like Apasha the fat dude, only got like a little snippet) so when people mock my characters, it feels like they're mocking me and that hurts my feel goods. Yeah, and then I tend to get even by putting those people into my books. Like those girls I talked about last week getting their free rides to college...yeah, they're in it. And I even call them in Twisted what I've referred to them in real life. A giggling gang of gits.
Not so sure what happens to those girls, but I think the worst of them get a face to face meeting with Amaarzar. So ha!
Anyway. I'm just crossing my fingers hoping that I'll get my book back soon.
Also the weirdest thing just occurred to me. It's nearly been a year since I begged my parents for violin lessons. It's strange. A lot has happened since then, and my proudest achievement right now is that I can vibrato with my pinky!
Yeah, I know, big achievement, but hey, it ain't easy to vibrato!
Awesome music I found. Can't listen to it anywhere but YouTube because the album art is naughty and I'm sorry. I just don't respect that. Anyway, the music is awesome. =D

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Not Much to Say

As the title states I don't have much to say, other than I really want my book back from the editor, I'd like the person advertising on my blog without my permission to stop it, and I'm also really bored today. I'd just like to make it clear right here that the advertisements you see on this blog are not ones I approve of, if you see something nasty, I DID NOT APPROVE OF IT. =D
I did finish the second book of Twisted. It ended up being about 733 pages long and I'm not going to brag about it because I'm too tired to even care! By the end I was so sick of writing it that I was copying and pasting like crazy.
I dreamt last night that my editor finished my book and sent it back. I was content waking up until I realized that it was just a stupid dream! It will be a very happy day when I finally get an email from her telling me that she's done. Two months, almost three is an incredibly long time to wait. I'm going CRAZY! All I want right now is my book back. I know some places I need to smooth over, but I don't want to touch it yet until I learn what she has to say.
I also discovered that I have gotten too good at drawing (is that possible?) I used to only be able to draw cartoon like figures of my characters (maybe I'll post a few after Twisted is published, just for laughs) and now I'm able to draw them pretty life-like. I drew two of my wraiths last night and whoa. I was surprised at how good they turned out, definitely not two characters I'd want to bump into! Granted they are a bit more contained than some other wraiths, but still...
Yeah, that's about all I have to say. I want to send an email to my editor saying something like "tell me where my book is, for a I greatly desire to read it!" I'm going CRAZY with all the waiting!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Found, Sort of

Okay, I know, my post on Friday was really depressing. But I was backed into a corner and felt like I (nerdy reference here) was Eowyn getting attacked by the Witch-king and he'd managed to push me against a wall and I had nowhere to run and now way to call for help as he attacked me. And let's face it, I'm no Eowyn, faced up against a wraith and I'd be screaming my brains out, especially if it was one like the Witch-king.
But, if you can tell, my tone is a bit peppier. thankfully my Merry came through and I may not have defeated the Witch-king, but at least I got him out of my face. My characters can be really defensive for me sometimes (or at least, I like to think so, I'm not crazy, trust me =D) and there is no way that they're going to suffer so much only to have me quit! I'd like to pretend that they helped me escape that corner, and the one I find the most annoying is usually the one taking up the most slack and yes I mean the Secret Keeper. He's so stubborn! But when I need him the most, he's always there. My imaginary fight with Tolkien's big bad wraith (ha! as opposed to wolf!) was fended off by my big bad spider.
Sorry, that paragraph hardly made any sense. I'm still on the verge of falling back into that corner and I know that the Witch-king would me more than happy to attack me again. But I'm not quitting. I made it this far, you don't make it almost to your destination and then decide to turn around and go back. No! You keep going! Even if you have to claw through miles of burning lava to get there.
See, I'm such a nerd. Three months ago I wouldn't have even mentioned the Lord of the Rings, now it's like in every sentence. I've seen all the movies, played the Lego video game of it and read all the books within a month and a few weeks. I'm actually reading it again, or at least the first one. =)
Hopefully I won't get backed into that corner again. that was awful! I felt so hopeless. I'm still kind of scared, but I'll go crazy if I spend the whole day worrying about things that I have no control over. Though I decided yesterday that when fifteen people tell me that they loved Twisted I will go get wet for fun. I'm such a cat in that regard, I HATE being wet! I hate it so much I hiss at the idea of swimming, snarl at jumping in a lake, and growl at those who would dare throw a water balloon in my direction.
Okay, I'm more of a wraith. They hate getting wet too. That's why all of the Nine stopped at the ford as Arwen's horse stood in the water. None of them liked the idea of being wet, and I would've been wailing my head off too seeing that wave coming. Oh my gosh! I'm going to get wet! though most of the Nazgul must've been thinking curse the elves! and possibly well, my mother did tell me I needed a shower...
So you can tell why it'd be such a big deal for me to go get wet for fun. I'd even make a video of it. When fifteen people tell that they like my book, I'll do it. When thirty people tell me...yikes. I'll have to think up a real good one for that. =)
Anyway, with my random blabbering, I guess you can tell that I'm better. I'm planning on finishing the second book of Twisted today (BTW it's called Entangled, used to be Entwined, but the third book has a smiliar name and that was just too confusing!) and it's going to be a lot of work to get through, so I should go finish my chapter (57, yow! I have 600 pages! It was a fight to get that many!) But hey, on the upside, this is the last time that I'm ever going to rewrite it fully, after that I'm just going to do a lot of copying and pasting, but I think I'll let it sit for a bit. I've written it about 3 times since Christmas. That's a little much!
Hopefully next time I won't blabber so much, I'm basically writing everything that comes to mind. I apologize for that!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Help, I'm Lost

I'm not even sure how this happened. Just one day (Wednesday or Tuesday) I was surfing the net and came across something on FaceBook that totally disheartened me. I'm not even sure WHY this affected me the way it did, but for some reason, seeing another author's success turned into my ultimate failure.
I realized that all the odds are against me.
I don't have a publicist.
I don't have a publisher.
I don't have a large audience interested in reading my book, but I'm SUPER grateful for those who are. =D
I'm not popular anywhere.
I'm a debut author.
And a whole list of other things.
I had a hard time writing yesterday, nothing I wanted to come out, would. I gave up and tossed my keyboard under my desk and spent the rest of the day as far away from my computer as I possibly could. And then I got a discouraging email that totally knocked me off my feet, reminding me how not perfect Twisted is.
I think I've lost hope in my books, my plots, and my characters, and worst of all. I think I've lost faith in myself. I don't even want to bother writing, I mean what's the point if I'm just going to mess up? I tried so hard yesterday that I burned out. There's nothing left. I don't want to write Twisted I don't want to write anything at all and it's a miracle that I'm even writing this blog!
But now I feel lost. If I'm not an author, then what am I? An artist? A loser? A no one?
I'm also stuck with the problem of realizing that I'm in 12th grade (nearly) and I have no way to pay for college. So I'm going to watch all those snotty girls that I grew up with in my neighborhood as they go on a free ride to college in the cars their parents bought for them as I stay home ultimately shamed because I don't have any money to go to a stupid college, even a bloody community college!
I'm sorry for whining, but I don't have any hope right now. I feel like I've been locked in a dark closet without a doorknob or hinges on my side and my worst enemy on the other side laughing at my pleads to be let out.
And on top of that I get to add another person to the list of people who like to ignore me. My sister's boyfriend came over yesterday and I was trying to just be myself but let's face, there's only one other person in the world who actually liked me for me. My dad tells me that I give off bad vibes sometimes telling people to go away, but that's only because I'm getting vibes from them and what I was getting from my sister's boyfriend was the general vibe of you're really weird! I'm going to pretend you're not in this room.
I was stunned.
Further broken.
My sister and I have always planned that our boyfriends (my imaginary one, you know, the only boy actually interested in me after Steve) were going to be like best friends with each other and all of us. My sister's would clearly be happier if me and my weirdness weren't in the room.
I gave up.
I'm sorry if I'm depressing you, but inspirational this blog post is NOT. I can't talk about it to anyone because they don't know how to help, and I'd just get a big rant about how much money my parents spent to pay for the edit of a book that is currently never going to see the light of day because I'm sick and tired of fighting. The opposition has become immense and I don't have anyone I can turn to in my corner to help combat it.
So right now I'm a little lost.
I don't know how to get out.
I'm also stuck wearing a skirt until my laundry gets done and I'm not terribly fond of wearing skirts on any day except for Sunday.
And my overall explanation for the past few days is what happened yesterday. We were eating ice cream and I couldn't get it out of the stupid container, it was one of those big one gallon tub of ice cream that'd been in the freezer so like trying to chip apart a rock. I couldn't get anything out and the spoon I was using bent and my brother told me to go complain somewhere else, so I sat in my room eating my melting ice cream and tried not to cry. It was just everything building up to where I couldn't get ice cream out. Stupid how those dumb things are the breaker moments when the dam comes down. I didn't cry, but I sure felt busted.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Change Since Monday? Not Really

Sorry for my lack of things to write. Not much has happened since Monday, other than me driving to the library by myself for the first time, actually driving ANYWHERE by myself. It was kind of scary not having the extra protection of another person there and I was almost completely positive I wouldn't survive and be able to write this post.
Rest assured I did without much mishap than some lout laying on the horn (by the way, lout means thief, scoundrel...etc.) as I pulled into the middle part of the road (between the two yellow lines, not sure what that parts called) to wait for traffic to clear up. I was reasonably annoyed. Wouldn't it be nice to have a world without people that are addicted to pressing on their horns? I think so, I hate it when people honk at me!
So as far as my editor, nope, not a word.
As far as the second book of Twisted, making slow progress, my goal was to finish by tomorrow. Not so sure that's going to happen now. I got laid up yesterday by being a little brat and avoiding writing because I was pretty well annoyed with everything. My general answer to that is a really long nap, but I think I need a new answer because I'm tired for the rest of the evening until the time I need to go to sleep!
And if any of you remember my goal to finish Suzuki book 1 by May, well, that was pretty dashed. I'm still on the last song and if I could burn it, I would. Gavotte is not a favorite, rest assured.
Oh, want to know a good way to write a hundred pages in a week? Seems impossible right? It isn't! I've done it for the last year! Write a chapter and a half everyday and depending on the length of your chapters, mine tend to be around 8-12 pages long, you'll reach a hundred pages, or around that (hey! 80 is good!) by Saturday. But you have to write everyday, I found it's also a really good way to eliminate writer's block. Having a set goal and stressing about reaching it really squishes out room for rabid worry about not knowing what to write, you'll find something! Anything! Just to avoid admitting to yourself that you didn't reach your daily quota. :)
Granted I messed up on that yesterday, so I'm not the perfect example, I'm just saying that it can be done! It also helps if you listen to music that you really like, gets the mood going.
And if writer's block does creep up I learned at the NANOWRIMO class (National November Writing Month, or something like that) that you either need to give someone a present, or kill someone, or do something entirely different like having a character leap off a cliff, jump into a burning building or come face to face with his worst enemy.
Hopefully that won't happen for my characters, especially the Secret Keeper, his worst enemy being Amaarzar and all. :D
Be safe for the Fourth of July and remember! If you love your doggy, keep him inside, fireworks are fun for us, by terrifying for dogs and cats! Surround them with familiar sounds or you'll have a howling running menace.

Monday, July 1, 2013

About to Pull a Frosty the Snowman and Melt

It's almost nine in the morning where I am and it's roughly 82 degrees Fahrenheit in Utah. It's been over one hundred degrees for the past week and I'm sure everything is going to melt. I don't really mind the heat, I actually kind of like it when I'm in the shade and not getting fried by the sun (turns out when you're a redhead you burn easier, both with a temper and from the sun, go figure) yesterday while I was in church the power went out and it was quite the interesting meeting. We came home and the power was STILL out because of the killer heat.
Yes, it's quite hot here, but I refused to be quenched by heat! No actually this is like a cool day in another part of my story (yes, I instantly go to my story, author habit, sorry :D) called the Golgi Desert, and yes for those of you who know your biology, a Golgi apparatus is something in a cell, but biology nearly killed me last school year, so I decided to take something out of it, plus it sounds cool. Say it, "Golgi Desert" it just rolls right off your tongue!
The Golgi Desert is right next to the Four Kingdoms, bordering two of the kingdoms. It's split into two separate halves and you're going to love this, it's so original! The Upper Golgi Desert and the Lower Golgi Desert. Ruled by different sultans under a peace treaty, the Upper and Lower Golgi Deserts rarely interact with each other, mainly because the Upper part wants nothing to do with the Terrors of the Lower.
Sorry this isn't making much sense, bear with me. :)
Yeah since it's a desert it can get REALLY hot there, (like some of the men, Prince Shegya, meow) and I'm cool with the heat in Utah because I pretend I'm in the Golgi Desert, and yes I pretend a lot. It's how I get ideas for my stories, and survive situations that aren't so pleasant.
And for those of you keeping up with what I've written about my story on this blog, the Golgi Desert is where Amaarzar exists (can't say lives, because he's undead and that would totally insult him!) I'm not saying where he exists, because there's some element of surprise in Twisted that would be ruined if I did. Night time in the Lower Golgi Desert is a realm of Terror.
And anyway, those of you who saw my earlier blog post before I deleted some of it may be wondering. Turns out, I was totally wrong to assume about my sister. I have a problem with tunnel vision sometimes, it's just my claws coming out, desperate to protect myself, and I was building with stress on Friday and it kind of exploded all over the place.
But it's all okay now, my sister and I talked on Friday night and watched Flight 29 Down until one, and whined about boys, so obviously, everything is cool. :) I had not right to write what I did, but seriously, I felt like I had no other outlet to seethe through, so I apologize for turning into a ranting beastie.
I'm also a little fried out with my editor. I'm desperate to have my book back and every time I turn my iPod on and there's no emails, I sink just a little bit lower. But on the upside I'm almost done with the second book of Twisted, granted, it sucks, but I think I've smoothed out some of the problems and finally gave Allie Taylor a role to play while giving Aster and the Secret Keeper a break from running around all over the place.  I plan on finishing it on the 4th of July, because seriously I've been working on it since May and I'm a little burned out.
Also, I love the person who invented Copy and Paste. I used my old chapters in the new version because they're good enough, seriously. Just a bit of tweaking here, smoothing there, and they're good to go, makes my life easier, because sometimes the only thing I DON'T want to write is action! Action scenes can be among the hardest to orchestrate because so much is happening, but at least I'm learning that it can be just plain cheesy until I know what's happening. So yeah.
Hopefully I won't melt this week, the temperature is looking pretty much the same as last week, the lowest one we have being 100 degrees, what a cold drift! I'm thinking that I want to move to Maine, I watch the temperatures there for another story of mine (the Best Thing, kind of a modern twist off the prequel in Twisted) and 70 degrees Fahrenheit is looking really tempting right now. I hope wherever you are, you don't melt, :) summer months, not a wraith's favorite time of the year. Too much sun!