I’m Writing A Book

When Was the Last Time A Made A Post About Writing?

I haven’t been doing a lot of posts on writing or what I’ve been working on lately because I’ve actually been doing a lot of writing or, more specifically, planning. I’ve been worldbuilding, outlining, and planning three novels. I took about a month to world build because I think I like this world enough, that when the three stories I’ve planned are written out, I’ll still want to write more in this world. It’s beautifully dark and flawed and has a lot of room for a lot of characters and stories.

The Set-Up

The story I’ve been working on is a near future post-apocalyptic science fiction/fantasy. Yeah, it’s a mouth full but that’s the best way to describe it.

Version 2The year is 2814 and the world looks very different from what you might have envisioned. In the early part of the twenty-first century, nuclear war covered the world in darkness and flames. After the dust settled and the world began to rebuild, there was a new world order and humans were no longer in control—the Enhanced were.

The Plot

In a world where lineage means everything, an orphan with a past like Celeste’s had to grow up hard and fast. Questions about her identity and where she came from have always sparked a fire within her but as her twenty-fourth birthday approaches; she can feel a different kind of heat spreading just beneath the surface. She feels that the vivid dreams and nosebleeds she’s been experiencing lately are omens, warning her that her dark past is about to catch up with her. It’s not until she sees someone from one of her dreams in a crowded nightclub that she starts to think maybe it’s something more than omens and jittery nerves. But she has bigger problems, after all, she’s being watched.

Ezra’s life was already complicated by being a Hybrid in a world that only sees Humans or Enhanced beings but after asking his Shield captain if he was being put on the fast track for career advancement because of who his father is, things become even more complicated. Instead of being the lead investigator in a local drug sting, he’s put on surveillance duty. For any other rookie, this would be exciting news but for him, it just means late nights followed by early mornings and paperwork which makes his already sleepless nights, thanks to some very vivid dreams he’s been having, even more “fun”. During one of his plain-clothes assignments, he sees a familiar face. At first, he can’t quite place where he’s seen her before but then it hits him like a bolt of lightning—the dreams.

Rhena lives a life of excess and to an onlooker, she’s one of the elite but she knows better than to believe that. After all, she’s just a bird in a gilded cage. She has been the property of the Cloth ever since she was four and demonstrated a rare ability, even amongst the purist of the Enhanced. She’s a Watcher. She can see the past, present, and future and over the past twenty years, the Cloth has been grooming her to become their greatest weapon. Once she masters her powers, she’ll be able to find anything and anyone no matter where or when it is. She’ll be the ultimate watchdog. But when she’s given her first “real” assignment—find a dead person—she realizes she’s not the only prisoner hiding in plain sight and this assignment could change everything.

Three bloodlines, one destiny…

 

Are you interested yet?

The Blue Sky Tag

Hey everyone, this is going to be a different type of post today. I’ve been branching out and making friends in the blogging community and I was fortunate enough to be tagged by Anne Pyle to do the Blue Sky Tag. Here is her post. Check it out. She answered a different set of questions.

The Blue Sky Tag

 

Describe your life story in forty words exactly.

I was born in 1995—the middle child of three. I’ve always loved writing but before writing became my only viable claim for “fame” I used to sing and had aspirations to be a ballerina. Hahaha. Look at me now.

What is your favorite dessert, and why?

I love ice-cream. I’ve had affairs with cookies and cake but ice-cream has always been my love. I don’t know why I love it but when I’m really craving something unhealthy and lovely, ice-cream is the first and only thing that pops into my mind.

How did you come to be a writer?

I don’t know. I stumbled on it when I was younger. I’ve always loved movies and television. That love came from long nights staying up with my dad—our bonding time. I guess I just really liked the way stories made people sit and listen and as a child, that’s all you ever want people to do. Thus, I became a writer.

What made you pick your genre to write/publish in?

I love science fiction and fantasy. Sometimes, it can be a nice break from reality but the genre also allows you to talk about pressing social or political issues without it being all in the audience’s face. That is why I write primarily in sci-fi/fantasy. I plan to publish in sci-fi/fantasy for a very different reason.

I started wanting to publish works of sci-fi/fantasy once I became old enough to question the lack of diversity in the genre. The lack of racial diversity. Location diversity. Economic and social diversity. Sexual orientation and religious diversity. Diversity within the authors themselves.

What is your favorite aspect of the writing community?

It is not as competitive as journalism, which is where I started at when I was trying to become a professional writer. I also enjoy the idea that we exist in all cultures and lifestyles.

How magical was your experience with your first burrito?

Must not have been mind-blowing because I don’t even remember it.

Tell me all about your love for–or hate of–a warm gooey brownie.

I love the chocolate and the warmth of one that’s fresh out of the oven. I can envision myself eating one right now with some vanilla ice-cream.

How did you learn from your worst mistake?

I consider myself a humble know-it-all so when I’m wrong or I fail, I take it to heart and I try not to repeat whatever it was that made me fail/wrong.

Cat person, or dog person? Or bird/lizard/snake person?

I’m a dog person. I grew up with dogs and they seem friendlier. I have friends who have cats and I think they’re adorable but dogs have my heart.

What has being in your family taught you about writing?

Every family gathering will unfold like a paperback novel. Complete with a beginning, middle and end.  Laced with surprise guests and plot twists.

 

My questions for the Blue Sky Tag

  1. If you could time travel, would you? If yes, where would you go and why?
  2. What is your favorite color?
  3. Tell me something you’re really bad at?
  4. Who is the one person who can make you smile even on your worst day?
  5. What is your favorite childhood snack?
  6. What was the last television show you watched?
  7. What country are you from?
  8. If you had magical powers, what would they be based on your personality?
  9. What is your favorite music genre?
  10. How old were you when you got your first cell phone?
  11. How was your day?

Who do I nominate?

All of you of course. Comment below with your answers or do a blog post about them.

 

Times Are A Changin Pt 2

So, I think I’m going to make the “Times Are A Changin” a serialized post. It will be used to update you all about changes to the website and general life updates.

The Website

So, have you looked at the website lately? Take a look around. Click on some things. Check out the homepage, about section, contact form, and the company page. Did you look? All the photographs used for the featured images are photographs I took. How cool? But anyway, the website also has a new URL and domain name because I finally own it. There has also been some cosmetic changes to my previous posts and the addition of the category cloud, to make searching for posts simpler. And a Facebook page has been created for the blog to help it get more exposure. You can find a link to the Facebook page at the bottom of the screen. Just click on the Facebook icon and you’ll be sent to the Facebook page. This is all part of my rebranding efforts because I finally figured out what I want to do with the website. Having some direction is a wonderful thing.

Traveling Thursdays

You may have noticed a few posts that have been tagged “Traveling Thursdays” and wondered what they meant. Well, I’m here to tell you that Traveling Thursdays will be serialized posts about travel and things related to travel. Traveling Thursdays are only posted on Thursdays and will become a mixture of photo-assignments and articles over time. This is my attempt to live up to my tagline: live, write, travel because there has been plenty of living but not enough traveling or writing.

Graduate School or Nah?

So, I think I’m going back to school. Not this fall, but next fall. The only problem is that it’s really expensive. Like, although the program is only one year it costs more than two years of my undergraduate education. The reason the program is so expensive is because of the amount of traveling involved and the fact that you’re doing internships and shadowing as well. Plus, it’s a graduate program so the expenses are a little bit higher.

I have to figure out a way to get the money and it probably won’t be a Go Fund Me because it’s just way too expensive to even try it that way. I’m currently looking for full-time employment that does tuition reimbursement. I’m looking for scholarships and grants to apply to and I’m looking for grant writers. And yes, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’ll probably still end up taking out loans but at least it won’t be as much as I previously thought. I have a network—a community that wants to see me succeed and they’re really helping me out.

Writing

I am currently developing a sci-fi trilogy in book form and I’ll probably even do a screenplay for the first book to see if it’ll sell. Now that I’m not in school, I can finally work on book ideas that have been building up over the past four years and it’s wonderful. I’m going to do a longer post about the trilogy soon, I just need to get some other content out first because I’m terribly backlogged and I can’t even figure out why. I guess these summer days are just slipping away from me.

Which reminds me, what have you been up to this summer?

The Election Messed With My Writing

Just a little heads-up: my personal political views are expressed in this post

Before the World Crashed and Burned

A while back, when I was going through all the craziness that was my senior year, I made a POST. In that post, I said that when I had the time, I would sit down and explain why I had fallen so far behind in my senior project. I feel like it’s important to note that I’m a planner and my degree required that I do a senior overview. A senior overview is just a fancy way of saying independent study. I had to write a full-length screenplay without any adult supervision. 😉  I feel like the whole purpose of this independent study was to test what I’ve learned but most importantly, to see if I could stay focused and meet deadlines like the “real world” would require of me.

Well, first off, I knew the overview was coming up so I started planning for it back in October of 2016. I came up with a few interesting ideas. I wanted to do something that was reflective of the high school experience now that my college experience was coming to an end and I had four years of distance between me and high school. I found one that I really liked and I started developing the characters and plot. I even started outlining. It was a spunky, edgy, mystery about a girl who died while attending a private boarding school. Everything was going just fine and then the election from hell happened.

After the World Crashed and Burned

 

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“Not to be used for buying elections.”

What can I say? I saw it coming but there was still some part of me that had hope. Maybe it was because it was my first time voting in a presidential election? Maybe it was because I am a millennial and I went to a pretty liberal artsy school? Or maybe it was because I just placed too much weight on the shared human experience? Whatever it was, I wasn’t completely blindsided by the results but I was emotionally wrecked by it…and that’s something that I didn’t aspect to happen. It completely destroyed my mood for writing, for hanging out with friends, for engaging with others. Looking back on it, I can clearly tell that this was depression. And I wasn’t the only one having these feelings. All across the country hundreds of thousands of people were having similar reactions but I would like to point out one thing: we are not sore losers. The election wasn’t just about the people appointed to an office but a war of ideology. And for some of us, this was the first time we truly saw and felt the presence of the “silent majority”.

It changed my social life and the people I hung out with because, after the percentages of who voted and what they voted for came out, certain people on campus stopped hiding or pretending about their political views. It actually caused a lot of tension on campus because everything became extremely politically charged, as it should. The majority of my alma mater’s student population are White Americans but we also have a very large percentage of minority, international students (study abroad or exchange students), and students of non-Christian faith.  And so all of the political rhetoric that we’d been hearing throughout the campaign stage became a real fear for students that the rhetoric was aimed at.

So all the tension on campus coupled with my own internal turmoil made writing a no go. The edgy but upbeat mystery I’d been developing was dead. I couldn’t even bring myself to touch it. I didn’t feel like writing and I couldn’t force myself to write anything happy so I decided to write something sad…but this idea formed in late January of 2017, nearly three months later.

Three Months Later

The story that started to develop in January was very dark and moody. It was about a girl who was dealing with survivor’s guilt after surviving the car crash that killed her sister. Over the course of the months that passed, it went from being a family drama to a character study on how grief affects communities. I was still in my little slump so I really didn’t want to write but as the months moved along, I knew that I needed to write or else I wasn’t going to graduate. So as I put on my big girl pants and tried to force myself to write, life started happening to me. I got a new job, started working and then taking on a lot of hours because the place I worked at was understaffed. I started this blog (all of this is the reason the content for the blog is so fragmented those first three months). Classes started back up which meant that homework and classwork and projects started rolling in. And then all the stuff you needed to do in order to graduate started happening and before I knew it, I had 2 weeks left to write my full-length feature and I only had about 27 pages done and half of an outline.

 

Graduation

The outline. I will gladly say that before college, I was a panster but once I went to college and started working on screenplays and teleplays I was forced to outline and I grew to really love it. But not this outline. I have five different versions of this outline. Five. And they’re not small ones either. They all range between seven to eleven pages single-spaced. What can I say, I’m detailed orientated. So, just in case you thought I was slacking, I wasn’t, life just got super busy and I wasn’t decisive and I think that’s the overarching effect of the election on me—lack of direction.

It was hell and then some. I was so excited about graduation but everything was just moving too fast. I had the honors dinner, all the last minute graduation stuff, finals, work, and that damn screenplay. I was overwhelmed and wasn’t getting enough sleep. That lead to me writing about one hundred to two hundred words a day and it wasn’t like I was writing every day either. By the time graduation rolled around, I wasn’t finished with the screenplay and it took most of the joy from graduation and left me with nothing but the stress. Over the next four days, I hunkered down and wrote 58 pages, finishing my senior project five days after the graduation ceremony. By the end of the week, I received my grade and was thankful that I’d passed because it meant that I’d officially graduated. And all the stress and emotions from the school year and graduation drained from me once I realized that I’d passed. I was done. Free. Somewhat whole again.