EDITING, part 1


Guys. When am I going to be done editing this book?

“When it’s published,” whispered the Muse irritably.

I’m six chapters in and have realized there’s always something to fix. As I write I can see improvement, probably because I spent all summer reading. I compare scenes to what they looked like in January, and it feels like they’ve been purified through fire and lots of sleepless nights.

(And suggestions from Heather.)

I’ve also been getting a lot of help from Jeannette and Rachel. Some other friends will get back to me with notes soon. Four months is actually plenty of time at the pace I’m going, but I find myself constantly worried that I’ll drift off for a week or two and wake up on November with a book that still needs work!

Another thing is the sequel–it’s seen two drafts now to sort out the plot, and I think I need to get serious with it. Both those drafts feel disconnected compared to the first book…I need to polish the characters, so they feel like old friends!

Even though there’s a lot of work to be done, I’ve never been happier. I’ll leave you with this Coldplay song. These days they’re the only band I want to hear, because their live performances are so magical…enjoy!

P.S. Check out my guest post on Alexa’s blog!

20,000 views


Yesterday my corner of the web reached its 20,000th view. I know others have a higher number than that, but it still blows me away. I remember years ago, when I couldn’t stick to one blog and kept switching from Livejournal to Blogger to WordPress.

The only reason I’ve been on WordPress this long? I deleted the domain name mariellahunt off Blogger. Otherwise I’d still be wandering from one site to another and confusing you guys.

But I won’t leave WordPress now that I’ve gotten used to it. I understand the features and ignore how boring the themes are (but may still upgrade at some point.)

Last week I went through and weeded out so many unnecessary tags. If you’re a newbie blogger, here’s a tip: More tags doesn’t necessarily help. It just makes things confusing, especially if you’ll only use certain tags once.

Hopefully this blog will see more activity starting now, as I try to make a habit of updating more than twice a month. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, I just never get around to blogging. I’ve mastered the art of procrastination!

If you’re a regular visitor who helped me get to 20,000, thank you so much for still being here. If you’re a new visitor, I hope you come back so we can keep in touch! I’ve met amazing friends and can’t wait for more!

Fall Into Fantasy — The Undead: Playing for Keeps by Elsie Elmore


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 3: The Undead: Playing for Keeps

By Elsie Elmore

When an undead woman with serious de-comp issues stalks sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm, her hope of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation takes a back seat. Survival definitely trumps the in-crowd.

Her corpse-following scare reeks of a major prank and coincides with the arrival of Eric. He’s the hot new guitarist in her brother’s band. But Eric’s arrival isn’t by chance. He’s a Grim Reaper dispatched to find out why Death’s clients aren’t staying down.
As Eric realizes that Lyla can wake the dead, he jockeys for control of her gift. His uncanny way of appearing when she needs him most earns her reluctant admiration. But the closer he gets to Lyla, the less sure he is of his plan. The dead are easier to deal with than living emotions.
Gossip explodes, the Grimm family implodes, and desperation sets in. Death wants the gift and a soul. Lyla and Eric face hard choices with hidden consequences. Sometimes life’s choices aren’t really choices at all.
Buy your copy here: Kindle  Barnes & Noble Print  Amazon Print

Or add it to Goodreads

ABOUT ELSIE ELMORE:

Elsie Elmore lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids.

With a science education degree, she never imagined she would someday write stories that challenge the laws of nature. She loves the color red, has an appreciation for chocolate and coffee that borders on obsession, and wishes fall temperatures would linger year round.
Elsie is a member of several writing organizations: RWA, SCBWI, and WSW. The Undead : Playing for Keeps is her debut novel. Find her on the web: on twitter at @ElsieWriter, her blog at elsieelmore.com, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/elsieelmorewriter.
Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.

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The Wishing Well, Youtube, & editing


I’ve been on Youtube more, because every writer knows editing time is great for procrastination. It’s certainly useful to rediscover old songs and stumble on new ones. If you haven’t heard the Natasha Bedingfield cover of Coldplay’s The Scientistgo listen. It’s had me singing for three days.

Editing is scary. I’m not a fan of shaving down words, even if it’s for the good of the story. But I’ve got some amazing friends who keep me motivated! Seriously, I don’t think I’d have gotten this far if I didn’t have people cheering me on.

The first day of Autumn is 9/23 and I want to do something special with it. Really old friends will remember that The Wishing Well was definitely an autumn book. I had so much fun describing the foliage and chilly weather. These days the book won’t leave me alone, and keeps asking for more attention. If I can get a head start on editing, maybe The Wishing Well can get a facelift.

Meanwhile, part of the new first chapter can be found here–I wasn’t planning to keep writing it, but novels are whiny children!

Speaking of, I also found a trailer someone made of when The Wishing Well was Autumn of Secrets. So much nostalgia–I nearly teared up:

No time for nostalgia. I need to get to work.

Fall Into Fantasy: How To Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 2: How to Date Dead Guys 

Under the Blood Moon series

By Ann M. Noser

College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.

Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn’t the only one.
Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.
Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

Buy it from: Amazon US  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble

Or add it to Goodreads

ABOUT ANN M. NOSER:

My to-do list dictates that I try to cram 48 hours of living into a day instead of the usual 24. I’ve chosen a life filled with animals. I train for marathons with my dog, then go to work as a small animal veterinarian, and finish the day by tripping over my pets as I attempt to convince my two unruly children that YES, it really IS time for bed. But I can’t wait until the house is quiet to write; I have to steal moments throughout the day. Ten minutes here, a half hour there, I live within my imagination.

Like all busy American mothers, I multi-task. I work out plot holes during runs. Instead of meditating, I type madly during yoga stretches. I find inspiration in everyday things: a beautiful smile, a heartbreaking song, or a newspaper article on a political theory. For example, a long drive in the dark listening to an NPR program on the SMILEY FACE MURDERS theory made me ask so many questions that I wrote HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS to answer them to my satisfaction.
I’d love to have more time to write (and run, read, and sleep), but until I find Hermione Granger’s time turner, I will juggle real life with the half-written stories in my head. Main characters and plot lines intertwine in my cranium, and I need to let my writing weave the tales on paper so I can find out what happens next.
Find Ann Online:
Blog   Facebook page  Twitter  GoodreadsWant to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
 

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another month of editing and panic


Time is a funny thing. She doesn’t ask permission; she just keeps flying.

Remember the free copy of Dissonance I got last November? The one people received with such enthusiasm that it was a driving force to leave my comfort zone? I mean this one:

tbt

(I tried whiting stuff out for comment privacy, but one of them is clearly my cousin, so HI COUSIN! :D)

Okay but I never thought so many people would react that way. And even though it doesn’t mean all those people are going to read the book, it convinced me to take a chance. This picture is super important–it’s a milestone–and I’m not using that cover anymore, but it’s always going to be special.

Now I’ve cleared my desk to have space for editing again. This book is getting a chance, and I know I can do it! (Though fighting the inner editor is hard. Other authors, if you have tips for this unpleasant REWRITE REWRITE REWRITE impulse–let me know.)

So what happened is, one picture sparked a slight misunderstanding which sparked a huge decision.

Coincidence? NO.

September I’m editing, and some amazing people are going to beta read (a few have beta read multiple times.) If you’re a friend and interested in helping, let me know! Meanwhile, I’m going to be locked up with lots of coffee and migraines.

I don’t have a lot of time anymore. Stay tuned, and thanks for coming this far with me!

#WIPpet Wednesday – failed


I failed the writing break. I refuse to believe it’s anything but a good sign. Heather knows I’ve been filling a notebook with those random plot bunnies, but then the notebook ran out, and I had nothing left to put off Book 2 anymore. There’s not one page left–not. one. page.

So I’m rewriting my sequel. I said I’d wait till at least September. I give up. This month of reading poetry, classics, and essays helped–my sentences flow more naturally now, just in time for one final shaping-up of Dissonance.

This is my notebook. The sticky note says August 2014.

It’s in front of the awesome Paris painting I got for Christmas, so it looks really cool. :D

10621073_10203926625079979_2125811798_n

Now, for the WIPpet! I want to share something from my rebellious rewrite of Book 2. I’ve had enough insomnia that now my poor character suffers from it, too! It’s terrible!

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock—

The sound was empty, just noise. Frustration pulsed through her body, and she sat up with a groan, flinging the pillow aside. Nearly four in the morning, and Allie couldn’t remember how to fall asleep, listening to hour after hour crawl past like a dying person seeking refuge.

What wouldn’t she give for a full night’s rest!

This excerpt is short, because I haven’t edited Book 2 Draft 3 at all. But I just wanted to share this.

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K.L. Schwengel, and you share excerpts from a current work in progress. Join here!

Fall Into Fantasy: The Darkness & Light Series by K.L. Schwengel


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

 

Week 1 — The Darkness & Light Series
Book One: First of Her Kind
Book Two: Emergence
Book Three: Edge of Darkness (Release date 2015)

 

It seems everyone wants to dictate what Ciara does with her life: Serve the Goddess, destroy the Goddess, do as you promised your aunt — all Ciara really wants is to keep the two magics she possesses from ripping her apart.

And that’s not going to be easy.

Not only is her earth magic in complete opposition to her other power, blood ties pull her in divergent directions as well. And then there’s Bolin, the man sworn to protect her. There’s no denying the growing attraction between them, but is it Ciara he wants, or her power?

None of which will matter if Ciara can’t overcome her fear and learn how to use her gifts. No one knows the depths of the ancient power she possesses, or what will happen if it manages to escape her control. Will she lose herself entirely? Or be forever caught between Darkness and Light?

Buy the e-book: Kindle Nook

Or the paperback: Amazon  Barnes & Noble

The battle for Ciara’s power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won’t be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin’s skin.

For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair–something that grows more unlikely by the day–there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin’s uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.

Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

Buy the e-book: Kindle  Nook

Or the paperback: Amazon  Barnes & Noble

 

ABOUT K.L. SCHWENGEL

K. L. Schwengel lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona the Cat, and assorted livestock. Growing up as the youngest of nine children, and the daughter of a librarian, Kathi spent many hours between stacks of books, and secluded away in dusty archives, drawn to tales of medieval heroes and conquering knights. With so many characters and ideas spinning in her head, she had to get them onto paper or risk what little sanity she possessed. She has been penning wild tales of magic and mayhem as long as she can remember, but opted to follow her artistic muse first. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and spending many years working as a freelance artist, grocery clerk, art teacher, graphic designer, stable hand, advertising account coordinator, dog trainer, and process technician (among other things) she answered the call of her writing muse. When not writing, Kathi trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, still paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design, and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way.

Connect online at…

Blog  Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter  Amazon Page  Goodreads

Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?

  • Don’t forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.

August reads


I’m going to be pretty busy with writing stuff this year. So I decided to take August off and just read stuff.

I made a collage of the books I’ve read so far:

books

I’m always, always 6 books behind my goal. No matter what I do, or how I speed-read–nope, 6 books behind.

Jane Eyre is still my favorite. The Fault in Our Stars was okay, but I thought I’d like it better. I’d read If I Stay before, and think it’s actually more powerful than TFiOS.

One good thing is that I at least passed the halfway point for my Goodreads Challenge. I’m 53% done. The Flannery O’Connor book took a while to finish, because short stories have to be read a certain way to enjoy them.

What’s next? Tennyson, Franz Kafka, The Fellowship of the Ring…usually a book jumps up and tells me to read it. I’ll keep you updated!