Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another year around the block

So my birthday is Friday and I usually try to do some sort of blog post about my life over the past year. If I don't do it now, I fear I may procrastinate the time away.

There have been many small changes to my life over the last year. I didn't realize just how many changes there were until I started thinking about it. In no particular order, here's what has happened since my last birthday rolled around.

-I released my second novel, Future Past.
-I released two short story collections, Life and Life Odd.
-I graduated from one college and have started another.
-I left behind my old store job.
-I am (finally!) employed in a job that utilizes my writing skills. I am an English tutor at the local college!
-I obtained my substitute certification for the county school system.

It's been a good year, I think. I've also taken on some wonderful new clients and edited some fabulous stories. I continue to learn and grow.

I'm a far cry from that woman who seemed so beaten down and who struggled so much when I first started publishing and blogging. I can see how I've changed over the years based on what I wrote then compared to now. Sometimes I wonder why I was so charged and angry. I have certainly mellowed out some and I attribute a lot of that to my experience running for public office and it is something I've been learning and practicing since. The perspective it gave me about people and their reactions, especially to people in the public eye, has been life-altering.

As a result, my motto as of late has been, "I won't judge." In a world where it seems almost everyone scrutinizes every word, every article of clothing, and every breath, it's hard not to judge instantly and jump on a bandwagon. Of course, I'm human and won't always take that step back, but it's something to strive for.

My goals for the next year are simple: live and be happy. It's a lot easier said than done, I know. Tangible goals? Other than making it through the courses at my new college with A's, I'm not sure. I intend to continue writing, I hope that my schedule allows me to take an actual creative writing course this fall, but other than that, I am just rolling with what happens.

All I can guarantee is right now. This morning, I finished 1500 words of a new short story, completed 75% of a client edit, and am in the process of washing two loads of laundry. Exciting, huh? :) In the meantime, I'm looking forward to another year. Hopefully God will see me through it.

Peace, love, and birthday cake,


Monday, March 31, 2014

Ain't got nothing to learn

I work at the local college as an English tutor. Before Spring Break, I was taking a box of paper to the recycle bin when I ran across a writing friend. He informed me that he was there to inquire about a creative writing class this fall. "Not that you need it," David added, "but I thought I'd pass it [the information] along."

Of course, I'm flattered when people think that I have nothing left to learn when it comes to the written word, but that isn't true and I hope that I never convey or imply that I have everything "figured out". I always try to keep an open mind. I've helped many students and writers grow over the years but that doesn't mean that my own growth has come to a halt. As an editor, one of the first things I tell my writers is that I am not the Editing Queen of the Universe. I may have suggestions, but the writer is in no way obligated to feel like my way is the ONLY way. Having that kind of openness is the best quality, I think, a writer or editor can have. I learn from my writers as much as they learn from me, if not more.

Provided I can manage the class on my otherwise hectic schedule, I want to take it and am very excited about it. (#NerdHappy!) One of the best things that a workshop or class on creative writing can do is kick up a little dust in your otherwise stagnant comfort zone. Also, an environment around like-minds can spark something inside of you that makes you fully appreciate the gift you have. Let's face it; when you get into a routine of writing the same things for long stretches of time without any real challenge to speak of, that writing spirit inside of you can get a little stale and sleepy. It helps to have a booster every once in a while.

There's nothing that says your writing style isn't fantastic, however, it is helpful to learn new ways to think about structure, format, and voice by not only studying what's already out there but by also challenging yourself to write in different ways. I can't think of a better way to challenge myself than sticking myself within a classroom of creative individuals, all itching to feel that spark.

Ask yourself if you have more to learn. Ask yourself if you have been challenged in your writing lately. Don't risk letting your writing get stale. Don't stunt your growth because your ego says that you are a heck of a humdinger of a writer. You may very well be such, but keep in mind that no one has it all figured out and there is always room to learn and grow.

Peace, love, and get out of your comfort zone,


Life and Life Odd now available!

Life and Life Odd are now available on the following sites and more! Search for these books on your favorite retail site!

Life - Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble
Life Odd - Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble

After a few years of publishing short stories and poetry, I decided to go ahead and put them into collections, divided by genre, mostly to attract the readers who still wish to have print copies of my work as most of my short stories and poems are only available online. However, I'm still making these collections available to my ebook readers; many of the stories and poems within have been previously published but I made sure to include at least one new, previously unpublished story and poem in each book.

You can click on the links to get separate descriptions of the stories within each collection. Life is a collection of my more literary works and Life Odd is a collection of my more... well, odd works with storylines that veer off the path of normalcy.

I hope you enjoy these collections and if you should want print copies, I'll update this post to include that link when they are ready. I'll also be selling the print versions locally in a few months as I do my first sell/sign event. Keep an eye on my Facebook pages (tab above) for updates when the event will be.

Thank you for your support. <3

Peace, love, and happy reading,