Posted in newsletter, Resources, Updates

Accountability and Productivity Proclivity

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

As promised, I will discuss my goals and the methods I use to finish and meet those milestones this week.

To be clear, I am not getting paid or compensated in any way for the promotion of the products and books. I am suggesting them simply because they have helped me, and I want to share resources that might help you!

Goals

My goals are as follows:

  • Write 2 chapters of my current work in progress
  • Write a blog post weekly on the 3rd; 10th; 17th; 24th; and, if applicable, the 31st of each month
  • Do all of my homework assignments for the week
  • Read ahead in the school textbooks
  • Keep track of my word counts every day
  • Do at least one Spanish lesson every day
  • Read for fun and to learn every day
  • Hang out with friends at least once per month

Productivity Tools:

The first tool is a book. I read The 12-Week Year for Writers by Trevor Thrall et al. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited, and I found it immensely useful.

The basic premise is setting deadlines in shorter lengths of time throughout the year, which will help motivate the writer and help with procrastination. It offered a 12-Week deadline, 4 times per year, with a break week to evaluate and plan the next deadline sessions.

While this structure is beneficial for me, I had to tweak it. 12 weeks was too far away for me to really fathom how close I was to my goals, and I am on 8-week terms for school. So I decided to make my deadlines every 8 weeks and have six of these in an annual year with four weeks of rest.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be more productive. There’s a best-selling version that is geared toward the general public if writing isn’t your cup of tea. But the basic premise is the same.

It even suggests a way to make sure you’re focusing on your goals daily and making progress, which was invaluable for me. Feel free to tweak this method to fit what you need, with weekly check-ins and setting aside time for your goals.

The second and final tool I will suggest is the “Go Girl Planner and Organizer for Women” This planner is uniquely suited to working with the first tool because they are set up much the same way. The “Go Girl” phrase is not stamped anywhere on the outside of the planner, and a simple stamp of two “G”‘s is stamped on the cover. Please keep in mind that this planner is not just for women and that men can use it, too.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Until next time, F3’s!

Posted in Updates, Book Stuff, newsletter

Reading Fling: January 2023

Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

This week has been hectic, and I remembered that I had to write and post this five minutes ago. That’ll teach me to not look at my calendar.

Just to be clear: I am not getting paid by any authors, publishers, or third parties for recommending these books. I am doing so simply because I’m enjoying them.

Books I Am Reading:

  • The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Yes, this is an old one, but I find the ideas and the research fascinating. I am also looking into productivity methods I can use in conjunction with the ideas behind The Happiness Project.
  • Once Upon a Bet by Penelope Bloom. I am a huge fan of her books because they have a good bit of spice mixed with hilarious, if vulgar, humor. It always puts me in a good mood.
  • Drummers and Demons by D. Gabrielle Jensen. It’s a bit violent, but I love the original lore of the book and the unique cover designs. It’s part of a trilogy.

Thanks for reading! I promise to be more detailed in the next 17th post.

Until next time, F3’s!

Posted in newsletter, Updates, Writing

Sneak Peek Week: January 2023

Photo by Joakim Honkasalo on Unsplash

Hello, Family, Friends, and Fans!

As a part of my goals for 2023, I decided I would do weekly posts on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and, if applicable, the 31st of the month.

Here’s the catch: instead of making every post a “Writing Quest Update,” I have decided to make each week a different theme.

  • 3rd of the month: Writing Quest Update. Features updates on my personal life, my writing life, and my professional life.
  • 10th of the month: Sneek Peek Week. You will receive an excerpt or snippet from something I am working on, and I will talk about some struggles I face while writing.
  • 17th of the month: Reading Fling. This will include a list of things I am reading and book recommendations.
  • 24th of the month: Accountability and Productivity Proclivity. This will feature my goals and progress toward them as well as productivity methods and resources.
  • 31st of the month (when applicable): Frivolous Fun. I will post a fun poll, meme, or question just for laughs.

Snippet from Poseidon’s Pearl:

Leading up to this quote, the merman Prince River has been away on a trip and has returned in need of help. He saved a human from a riptide and needs help keeping her safe. So he goes to his best friend since childhood, Harvey, who agrees to help River.

This excerpt shows a little about River and Harvey’s dynamic.

*** Subject to change when published

River’s Point of View:

I breathed out a sigh of relief. “Thank you, Harvey.”

“Anything for his Royal Highness,” he called from deep inside his room. He preferred not to have bioluminescent jellyfish, just the algae.

“I thought I told you not to call me that, sarcastic or otherwise,” I said, a smile stretching my face. It felt good to be back home.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Royal-pain-in-my-ass.”

Writing Troubles:

I started the draft of Poseidon’s Pearl back in 2017. I went on to start and stop a couple drafts before buckling down and writing the 62k manuscript in 31 writing days. These days were not consecutive, and it took me three months to pen the first draft. This manuscript was the first novel-length project I had outlined and written to completion. But I had no idea how to edit.

For years I tried a bunch of different editing methods, interspersed with some life events that left me with long stretches of time that I didn’t write.

But then, once I figured out a method that worked for me, I dove head first. I went from the third draft to the fifth draft in about a year. But I neglected drafting other projects in favor of focusing on schoolwork, Write of Passion, and dealing with the dung bomb that was my life.

This means that my creative writing muscle was atrophed. That is, I could no longer write for hours on end, churning out 1,000-2,000 words per day. Now, getting 500 words of fiction is a challenge.

Lesson learned: I need balance between drafting and editing works so I don’t have to start from the beginning in terms of my creative writing muscles.

Thanks for supporting me! Until next time, F3’s!

Posted in Updates, Write of Passion News

Writing Quest Update: January 2023

Photo by Fang-Wei Lin on Unsplash

Hello, Family, Friends, and Fans!

We have survived another year, and the new one is full of challenges, victories, and possibilities. It’s time to make some goals and intentions for the upcoming year, and I am here to share some of mine, along with the normal life updates.

New Year: New Goals

One goal I have for the new year is to be more active on social media. I will continue to write blog posts on my website, but instead of making you click to read the post, I will publish the whole post on my Facebook page and group. Feel free to read wherever is easiest for you. I will also be posting more often. Specifically, every 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and, if the month has a 31st, that day, too. Be on the lookout!

As for my personal writing productivity goals, I want to publish the first book in my Poseidon’s Object series: Poseidon’s Pearl. I plan to at least finish the first draft of the sequel novel to my Dragons Within: Guarding Her Own short story. The short story is called “Fire Legacy,” and the working title of the sequel is The Last Pyro. Finally, I want to get started on the second book I have for my Poseidon’s Object series, which is yet to receive a title.

Finally, I would like to get started on the process of publishing an anthology for WofP with the four issues of Write of Passion published between May 2021 and February 2022. This will be a lone effort, so it may take a while. Plus, I have to track down the issues that were published exclusively online for the last two issues of that year since technology-challenged me accidentally deleted them in a haze of thinking I could do things myself. If you are considering switching website providers and transferring all of your data, ask for a professional to help you. Don’t be like me.

This Month’s Goals

  • Finish the edits of Poseidon’s Pearl and send it to beta readers.
  • Start drafting The Last Pyro.
  • Be more active on social media by posting on my website, Facebook page, and Facebook Group on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and, when applicable, 31st of the month.

Personal Life Update

I am planning to move soon, so I am going to give myself grace during that time if I don’t accomplish what I set out to do.

I am also using a new productivity process called The 12-Week Year for Writers. I do not get any compensation for suggesting this book, to be clear. It has been revolutionary in my life, and I think it could help others, which is why I am telling you about it. More to come on this on the 24th of January post.

I am still in school, and that is a priority over writing in my life. I’ve worked exceptionally hard to get to where I am and I’m not letting all of that go to waste by dropping out. When I graduate, I will have accomplished a life goal in the face of immense adversity. My education is important to me, and no matter how long it takes, I will get there!

Write of Passion Update

Ironically, I am no longer passionate about Write of Passion. Publishing a quarterly literary journal with a team of volunteers proved not to be sustainable. Instead of giving up, I have decided to keep the published issues on the website as a homage to our authors, and our anthologies will still be available to purchase through Amazon. To learn more, visit writeofpassion.com/publications.

For now, Write of Passion will only publish my books. hence the website announcing it is a “romance press” and is not accepting submissions. It will not be accepting submissions in the foreseeable future.

Though, as stated before, I will attempt to publish our authors from the magic-themed year in an anthology, just as we did with Fractured Realities and Shadows Redefined. However, it will be slow going as I attempt to do this on my own. I might be learning this lesson the hard way, like I did with switching website hosts. Wish me luck!

Thank you for your support! Until next time, F3s!

Posted in newsletter, Updates, Write of Passion News

Writing Quest Update: December 2022

Photo by Syd Wachs on Unsplash

Hello Again, Family, Friends, and Fans!

How is it December 3rd already? Time has flown by. But that means I’ve been keeping busy!

As always, here is an update on what has happened this past month.

Write of Passion

As an inexperienced technology person, I have accidentally deleted all of the past issues of the Write of Passion Literary Journal. I am genuinely sorry for those whose work is no longer available. I don’t have the energy to try and restore it, and I am closing shop as a small press. Fractured Realities and Shadows Redefined will both stay available for purchase.

But this is not the end of Write of Passion. For now, it will lie dormant as I focus on school. However, it will get a reboot. It may not stay a small press, but it might pivot to something new and exciting. Stay tuned.

Writing Journey

I have been editing or writing something down almost every day and have been tracking my word count. For November, I wrote more than 30k words. That’s a lot when I was also doing schoolwork, dealing with many appointments and social gatherings, and not participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). However, this is a huge difference between the month before (12k words) and the month before (around 5k words).

I want to get this book to you as soon as possible, so I have to start taking my writing just as seriously as my education. I’m doing overhaul edits with it right now, and the trilogy for the same couple turned back into a standalone with the secondary characters’ stories as the second book in the series. I’ve never set deadlines for myself, but I think I need to start if I ever want to get this book to you.

I’m also dealing with some pretty serious burnout and some major changes in my life, such as finding a new living situation. So taking care of myself is my first priority, followed by school, then writing.

Do you have any pointers or tips to make setting deadlines easier or how to calculate deadlines? Are your deadlines flexible or solid? Do you use milestones? I would love to hear how you set your goals!

Thanks for taking the time to read this! I’ll be back on January 3rd, 2023, with another update! Stay tuned!

P.S. 2023?! Just twenty years ago, it was the eighties! I also don’t know why I think the eighties were twenty years ago when my parents hadn’t even met. I certainly do have an “old soul.”

Posted in newsletter, Updates, Write of Passion News

Writing Quest Update: November 2022

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

I chose this image intentionally, because the month of October was all about scrapping ideas and making new ones. Topics this article will discuss are the course I am taking in Entrepreneurship, Write of Passion, new schedules, and, of course, my writing journey.

Entrepreneurship Class and Write of Passion

I was excited to take this class because I felt like it would help me figure out how to fix my problems with Write of Passion, and help me figure out how to get it up and publishing again.

What actually happened is it showed me that the Write of Passion literary journal and anthologies were a lot of work for very little gain. If someone dropped the ball, there would be a ton of work that someone else needed to deal with. I was honest with myself and realized that it would not be possible for me to keep running it as is.

I have some plans in the works for the future of Write of Passion, but I am not quite ready to share them yet, as I must inform some of the team of the changes, before I announce it to the public.

In short, Write of Passion will be pivoting in a new direction.

New Schedules

The month of October was an experiment where I attempted three different schedules.

The first had me working from 9 to 5 with two fifteens and a thirty-minute lunch break. As I am not a morning person and am super lucky, I do not have to keep to this schedule.

The second was adjusting the other way and being a night time person, starting work at 3:30 in the afternoon and ending around 10:30 at night. In order to keep this schedule, however, I had to drink a scary amount of caffeine a day and I was not comfortable in doing so.

The third one, like Goldilocks, was a happy medium and the perfect solution. At 11:30 in the morning, I practice my Spanish. From noon to 1:30 in the afternoon I read for fun. I then have three blocks of time separated by thirty-minute breaks that end at 8 at night and then I watch my favorite TV shows and head to bed at 10 at night.

Writing Journey

I learned that I get in the mood to write by reading a chapter or two in a writing reference book. I also figured out that I am best at writing in the evenings.

One of the writing reference books that helped me was called Paused to Prolific by K. Webster. She suggested having several projects going at once, and I have found that immensely helpful for the way my brain works. I do not get paid to recommend her book. It helped me, and I want that for others.

Now I am working through three projects and counting school writing as my last project, with school being the priority and then rewarding myself for doing schoolwork with writing on a fiction project.

I tripled the word count output I had for September this past month. And I am celebrating by, you guessed it, spending more time writing my fiction works.


Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Merry writing, F3s!

Posted in newsletter, Updates, Writing

Writing Quest Update: October 2022

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

Mental Health:

I’ve got to be honest with you: September was rough. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, I feel like I was run over by a bus, then stomped on by a stampede of Clydesdales, and finally got peeled off the sidewalk piece by piece with a snow shovel. In other words, I’m not doing so well.

What has gotten me through each and every day was the promise that tomorrow is a new slate, a new day, a new chance. Even if it did suck, again, there was always tomorrow.

Writing:

I have been slowly working on the third draft of Poseidon’s Pearl by reading and highlighting everything I want to change. And then a peer reads my writing and now I have to fix a major plot hole in the setting, in River’s character arc, and basically re-write the book. But it will be SO MUCH BETTER when I do. And I’m saving all of the old versions, too, so if I think I over edited it, I can just pull up a previous draft and go from there.

I am also drafting the first draft of the sequel novel to my published short story. The story of the one Pyro that survived. More to come on this later.

Thank you for keeping up with me!

Posted in Updates

Writing Quest Update: September 2022

Photo by DJ Johnson on Unsplash

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

This past month has been a struggle.

Challenges

I have been working hard on an intense class for school that is a writing workshop. The good news? I am getting some valuable feedback on my novel Poseidon’s Pearl: Book One of the Poseidon’s Object Series. The bad news? The class is a lot of work, so I have to put the assignments first over my second editing pass of the full manuscript.

Not to mention, my mental wellness challenges have flared up for the past couple of weeks, draining my energy so my productivity has gone down in an effort to be kind to myself and let myself heal.

Even though I’ve had some challenges, I have been making small steps of progress in other areas.

Successes

I am working, slowly, on re-structuring Write of Passion so my team doesn’t burn out again and hopefully we can continue to publish journals and anthologies for your reading pleasure. It won’t be up and running any time soon, but I am working on it.

Secondly, even though this class is intense, I am working ahead so when I have completed all the work for class I can do on my own, I will just have to do the week-by-week assignments and will have more time to write. Plus, I am getting invaluable feedback that is helping shape my novel.

I discovered a new emotional arc for my characters in Poseidon’s Pearl and am going to revise the work to emphasize this aspect. I am in no rush to publish, but I am working on making the work as good as it can get.

Finally, this blog post is a miracle of itself, that I took the time to write it and post it. I was half-planning on a social media annouccement that this month’s update wouldn’t happen, but instead of writing that, I wrote this update.

Thank you for reading my life updates! I have a treat for those of you who have made it this far: I’m going to share a short excerpt of Poseidon’s Pearl also known as PO1. Enjoy!


Sienna:

After taking a deep breath, I decided I would go for a swim to relax and gain some mental clarity. I toed off my shoes and headed towards the water. I loved the feeling of the warm sand between my toes. The ocean felt like bath water at this time of year, at the end of dry season, when heat still permeated the air. I dove under when I was waist deep.

Something changed as I swam forward. Before I knew what was happening, I felt the water pulling me deeper, tossing me around, and dragging me out to sea.

A riptide. The sting of the salt when I opened my eyes didn’t bother me. I struggled, trying to get my bearings and figure out which way was up so I could ride the current and get a breath of air.

My heart pounded in my ears and throat as the need for air burned in my lungs. Involuntarily, my mouth and nose opened. I breathed in nothing but water. My body tried to cough the water out but that just made me inhale more.

This was it. I was going to die.

Posted in Updates

Writing Quest Update: August 2022

https://www.pexels.com/photo/blur-bookcase-books-bookshelf-298660/
Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

It has been a while since I have posted. I’m trying to make that a more regular thing, now that I am on a routine every day. My routine varies only when I make plans to leave my dwelling. Some of these are necessary, like doctor’s appointments. Others are not as often and not as necessary, like taking the puppy for a car ride, or socializing with friends.

However, this routine allows me time to do everything I love and everything I have to. Every day I make time for reading, homework, writing activities, social media, cleaning, taking care of myself, and free time to do whatever I need to do.

This allows me a certain level of productivity and tasks that mean that I can post more regularly, and even may start a newsletter in the future, though I’m going to start with blog posts and work my way up to newsletters. Both will hopefully be on a monthly basis.

An Introduction

I am a steamy paranormal romance writer, but I have dabbled a little in contemporary romance and fantasy romance, all with a healthy dose of steam.

The reason I write is because I want to provide entertainment, escape, hope, optimism, and a safe haven for readers in this tumultuous world. I want readers to know that there is such a thing as a healthy relationship in romance books, and that it’s a possibility for the reader, too.

Keep in mind that healthy relationships do not mean no drama. It just means the characters have a healthy level of respect for one another, even when the drama happens.

Some readers like darker themes, such as bully romances and possessive alphas and stalkers. If that’s one of your cups of tea, more power to you! But you aren’t going to find that with me. No hard feelings! There’s room for all writers and readers, whatever you are into. I’m not for everyone, and I’m okay with that.

What I’m Working On

I have a series of books that I am working on outlining, writing, and editing. I am going to publish them, eventually, but I will stockpile the manuscripts for now until I feel comfortable with the process, that is, how long it takes me to write, edit, proofread, and complete the drafts and having a cushion of ready-to-publish manuscripts so I can release them on a regular schedule.

My debut series will be the Poseidon’s Object series. The first one, Poseidon’s Pearl (known on my social media as PO1), is with the professional editor, sent today after spell-checking it and sending a list of things I would like the editor to look for in the manuscript. I finished the self-edit on July 30th, 2022.

The second book, Poseidon’s Vortex (known on my social media as PO2), is outlined with subplots and I just finished my second chapter today. The term “with subplots” is important because I didn’t have any subplots outlined when I first wrote Poseidon’s Pearl. During the self-edit of Poseidon’s Pearl, I added in all the subplots, so it took a lot longer for me to complete the self-edit than it will for Poseidon’s Vortex.

What To Look Out For: Future Plans

If you join my Facebook group or follow my Twitter, you will receive little posts and updates on a more regular basis about my writing journey. I will hopefully be posting monthly blog posts and then, as I get closer to publishing, a monthly newsletter with a free short story when you sign up that I have yet to write.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! I hope you will join me on this journey to becoming a published author and that you might find something interesting, intriguing, informative, or worthwhile in my writing.

Until next time, F3s!

Posted in Uncategorized

Capital “T” Truth: A Poem

Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

What does mental health mean to me? 
Taken literally, it’s having a healthy mind. 
But what does that entail? 

Basic functioning, of course. 
Hygiene, jobs, leisure, and responsibilities. 
A contributing member of society and familial units. 
Cooking, cleaning, caring for others. 
The Basics. 

Then, we go deeper, to 
healthy relationships and habits. 

How? 

Your relationship with yourself comes
first and foremost. 
Others come and go, 
but you always deal with yourself. 

So why don’t we make it easier? 

Loving yourself and who you are will make life much easier— 
and more enjoyable, too. 

After (or let’s face it, sometimes as) you learn to 
love yourself, 
you’ll find friends along the way. 
Like-minded people. 

Get healthy with yourself (or start that journey,) 
and others will naturally join you. 

Every day you make choices. 
It’s not a one-time thing. 

One choice. Every day. To 
love yourself. 

How?

Figuring out the lies we tell ourselves, 
challenging them, and 
replacing them with a new, healthier thought or truth. 

Recognize that feelings are not Truth. 

Truth is this: 
We are all human, and as such, 
we have certain things we are entitled to. 

Love and belonging. 
We are all worthy of these things. 

Grace when we make mistakes. 
We are human and imperfect. 
Shit happens. 
And when it does— 
either we are too hard on ourselves, or 
others are too hard on us. 
We all deserve grace and understanding. 

And the final Truth? 

We are enough exactly as we are. 
Oh, there’s always room for improvement. 
But the key to happiness lies not 
in the future we strive towards, nor 
the past we replay, but 
in the present moment. 

Breathe. Feel the air expand your lungs. 
Enjoy the feeling of being simply 
Alive

Love yourself and you will believe Truth. 
Knowing Truth makes basic functioning less of a chore. 

Others are drawn towards Truth-seekers 
and often relationships— both 
platonic and romantic— 
benefit from the foundation of 
Worthiness. 

And it all starts with:
Love. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Writing Quest Update: March 2022

Three Important Messages

First, I would like to congratulate everyone for making it through this pandemic so far, and to give my condolences to those who have lost someone during this time. It’s been a long two years.

Second, I would like to address my absence. Like so many, the pandemic has affected my mental health, and there were some external circumstances that impacted me even more. I had to take a break from writing, editing, social media, school, Write of Passion, and other areas of my life.

Third, I want to say that I am easing myself back to productivity and taking baby steps to make sure I’m addressing my health, both mental and physical, and energy levels. I have accepted that I will never be consistent when posting here, and that’s okay.

Thanks to all of you who have continued to support me through this time and who continue to return to my site and take the time to read these. You truly keep me going. Welcome to all of you who are new! I’m glad you’re here and I hope you’ll return to read my work.

Future Plans

I am making some tentative plans for my writing career.

First, I am revamping Write of Passion to become a small press that publishes anthologies. Yes, that means we are doing away with the quarterly journal and working towards releasing one anthology per year. It was a tough decision, but what it came down to was that the people who kept it running in my absence worked super hard and it was taking a toll on them.

As someone who understands mental health, I figured the best path forward was to lighten the load for everyone at Write of Passion.

Second, I am attempting to establish a routine for myself. I have two themes per day that I will focus on. Today was school and writing, which means I did my schoolwork for the day and am now focusing on updating my author biography, website, and blog.

I also have plans to edit the first draft of Poseidon’s Pearl today, and over the next few weeks, hopefully complete it. I will not be releasing it soon, as it will need to go to the editor first and I want to stockpile a few manuscripts before I publish them so I can keep up with a regular release schedule so there isn’t pressure to finish a book on a certain timeline and I have some wiggle room for my mental health.

I am going back to college to complete my Bachelor’s in Creative Writing and then have plans to apply for the MBA program so I can bring Write of Passion to the next level, as well as my writing. I am taking business courses in undergrad as free electives.

A Note On Productivity

I’m not planning too far ahead and will take each day as it comes. A friend of mine reminded me that productivity is based on what you can do right now. It has nothing to do with what you could or should be able to do based on history.

Be kind to yourself, cut yourself some slack, and take care of your mental health.