Posted in Book Stuff

Reading Fling: February 2023

Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

I have a problem. A book problem, that some of you may relate to. I pick up whatever book I feel like reading that day and end up in the middle of 15+ books at any given time. It’s starting to get frustrating because I can’t keep everything straight anymore.

Do any of you have this problem? My solution for myself is to practice self-discipline. So I made myself some rules so I will finish the books I read.

  1. I cannot start reading any book I have already read.
  2. I cannot start reading any books I never read before.
  3. I must pick a single book from each genre I read.
  4. Either read those books to completion or get rid of the book.

Books I am Reading Based on These Rules:

A disclaimer: I am not getting paid to recommend these books. I am sharing them in the interest of informing you of what I am reading, and am not getting compensated for mentioning these books, authors, and publishers.

Self-Help, Personal Development, and Psychology: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Fiction Short Stories and Anthologies: The Dragons Within anthologies by Balance of Seven Press (Not including the one I am published in, as I have already read it.)

Fiction Novels: Alienated by Melissa Landers, a local author from my home state that I met at a book fair.

Writing Reference: How to Become.a Fearless Writer by Nina Harrington

School Textbooks (2 titles): Early World Literature by Soomo Learning and The Poet’s Companion by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux.

What are you reading?

Until next time, F3s!

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates, Writing

Sneak Peek Week: February 2023

Photo by Joakim Honkasalo on Unsplash

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

Are you ready for another excerpt of Poseidon’s Pearl? Or are you here to listen to my writing troubles? Either way, you’re in the right place!

Keeping up with this blog thing is fun, though I do want more interaction. I think it’s about time I started posting on Twitter again. But I digress.

Snippet from Poseidon’s Pearl

In this excerpt, the King of the Atlantic Kingdom is Prince River’s uncle, Aquarius. Aquarius heard that River brought home a female in mating form (a little twist on my merfolk world, since I am not into tentacles and fins and other such things you may find in more avantgarde erotic works. But if that’s what your cup of tea is, enjoy it!) when he was betrothed against his will to the Princess of the Pacific Kingdom, Ripple.

Aquarius is trying to get River to spend some time getting to know Ripple, while River is only interested in seeing his little sister, Penelope. who is in the dungeons as an insurance policy that River will return to the Atlantic Kingdom and obey Aquarius’s rule. The first speaker is King Aquarius, followed by Prince River.

It’s time to meet Princess Ripple of the Pacific Kingdom!

Prince River’s Point of View:

“I want you to apologize to Ripple. She was devastated when she heard that her betrothed had another woman he loved enough to bring home. And then I want you to ditch the girl and marry Ripple. You could always invite your mermaid. Remember that your behavior reflects badly on Ripple’s name, bloodlines, and willingness to marry a half-breed like you. Not to mention the scandalous rule you will have when people hear about this. So, let’s keep this under fins and respect Ripple’s sacrifice.”

“Penelope first.”

A nasally female voice reached my ears as two hands with razor-sharp nails embraced me from behind. “Why? I’m right here. Besides, I’d love to meet the little fish. I bet she’s darling.”

I stiffened at this strange female’s touch. She slid around to face me, never once breaking physical contact. She was pretty, with angular features and long, blonde hair. She wore a red pigment on her lips and dark black pigment around her eyes. In other situations, I might have found her attractive. But if Aquarius liked her, that alone was a good reason for me not to like her.

“Ripple.” I inclined my head to acknowledge her.

“Such a warm welcome! I know this isn’t ideal, but the fact that I can overlook the other female in your life, as long as you’re discreet about it, is a tremendous offer.” She stroked my cheek with three fingers, making sure her fingernails showed the promise of their ability to draw blood.

Writing Troubles

This past week I lost my motivation to keep drafting the sequel to my Dragons Within short story. I had changed my goals from writing two chapters per week to writing a thousand words per day on any project. Unfortunately for me, this meant my brain took the opportunity to work on whatever I wanted to work on, and thus I lost all motivation to write the first draft of The Last Pyro (working title).

But writing two chapters meant pushing myself too hard, as I also have school papers to write and other responsibilities, habits, and life changes that needed to be addressed as well. My goal of writing two chapters per week was a first draft in an eight-week timeline, and I’m not there yet with my writing muscle or my ability to do everything without burning out.

For reference, I wrote the first draft of Poseidon’s Pearl in three months, as the first novel I had ever completed that I felt was good enough to edit and pursue publication options for it. This one is the second novel I have ever attempted with the intention of publishing it.

Because I had turned my focus to a daily word count without a specific project in mind, the urgency to write The Last Pyro was lost, and my brain made the excuse that as long as I wrote a thousand words per day whether it was blog posts or journaling instead of my fiction projects, I was still meeting my goal.

So I modified my goals. One chapter of The Last Pyro needs to be completed each week, regardless of how many words I write per day. The word count is just a secondary measurement of how productive I am writing-wise and can be an indicator of burnout.

The urgency is back! I tricked my brain into cooperating with my goals again! (Cue the meme that stated the irony of the two “o”‘s in the word “cooperate” insist on having separate distinct sounds.)

Thank you for supporting me and my writing journey.

Until next time, F3’s!

Posted in Updates

Writing Quest Update: February 2023

Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans!

I have a lot going on in my writing journey, as well as in my personal life. But there’s one thing I am very proud of: I hit the first milestone of the year. I completed and published blog posts on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st of January 2023!

Now, I just have to keep this momentum going, and I am armed with a plan to do so, as well as keep up with my writing projects and personal life goals.

Writing Journey

In January, I only missed three days of writing. It didn’t matter what I wrote, but I kept track of my word counts in different areas of my life:

  • Writing fiction, outlines, blurbs, marketing materials, and blog posts.
  • Schoolwork.
  • Miscellaneous, including journalling, editing (not as a word count, but just a record of days I edited), etc.

The three days I missed writing were when I was traveling for the day or had plans with friends, along with one “burnout” day where I didn’t write a word.

The burnout day happened when I felt out of spoons (as a measurement of energy), so I took the day off. When I did the math to see why I felt burned out, I realized that I had written over four thousand words in three days and had a traveling day in the middle, as well as the first draft of a six-page school paper due.

So I took a deep breath and made a plan to slow down so I could work my way back up to writing one thousand words of fiction a day without burnout.

I bargained with myself to help myself get started with the daunting task of writing my dragon project because I am at that halfway point where the project has lost its luster, and I want to move on to something else. I told myself that if I write two or more pages of my dragon project, then I can use the rest of my writing time to work on whatever strikes my fancy, whether that’s a blog post, editing the novel I plan on publishing this year, outlining the second book in the Poseidon’s Object series, or doing schoolwork.

Just like the photo I chose above, the writing journey is full of hills and valleys. I’m learning to take things as they come and adjust my goals and plans to align them with who I want to be and aim for the success that I define for myself.

Writing Goals:

  • Write two pages or more per day on my dragon project.
  • Keep up with schoolwork, including reading ahead and keeping up with the assignments, so I don’t procrastinate until the last minute.
  • Write a blog post every week on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th of February 2023.
  • Make a story bible for the Poseidon’s Object series by reading through the first book and compiling quotes and information directly from the text.
  • Write and edit these blog posts on the day before I send them out. There’s no need to schedule them, but save them as a draft and then post them the day they are due, at my convenience.

Thank you for your continued support, family, friends, and fans. You keep me going.

Until next time, F3s!

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!