Top 10 Reasons I’ve Been MIA

  1. NaNoWriMo: I almost gave up a few days ago. It was very weird. I’m generally a pretty fucking determined person when I decided to do something hard. BUT I didn’t. Which means I’ve been pounding away there. I’m about 5k from winning, eeek! I can totally do this.
  2. Graduate School: You’ve heard me complain about this one if you follow me on twitter (you don’t follow me on twitter? That’s crazy. I’m funny. I like to chat with people. I post snippets of poetry, reblog book reviews, talk about life stuff). As the end of the semester draws close, work for school is ramping up, and I have some big projects I have to get done.
  3. Work: Here’s the kicker in my life. My school pays me to go to school — they pay for my credits, a stipend, and health insurance. But that is in exchange for “20” hours of work a week, which is more often more than that.
  4. That fucking commute: With good weather, I commute about 10 hours a week. Darn snowstorms are ruining my life.
  5. I’m writing a book: I realize this goes with NaNo, sort of. But this NaNo project is also book #3, and it involves research and a lot more plan/thinking than I usually do during NaNo, which I usually complete in an insane style.
  6. My kids: Who have decided they do not like all of the things pulling me away from them and have (particularly the younger) become very, very challenging. Sigh.
  7. What it Takes: Virtual Book Tour is coming soon! Promo stuff is getting going, which is a lot of planning and writing! I’m finishing last minute detail checks on the manuscript. Oh gosh the release is so soon, I AM SO EXCITED.
  8. I’m sick: I haven’t been sick in at least 6 months. With a cold I mean, we won’t speak of the stomach virus of death from September or the surgery/hospitalizations in July. I mean a cold. I thought I was going to get through the semester without getting sick because I’ve been fending off some doozies that are taking out my classmates. No dice.
  9. Holidays: Thanksgiving! Yay! I love family holidays. But ya know, that means I’m not here as much.
  10. My freaking hands: Sometimes I struggle with typing because of my bad hands and elbows. The NaNo and schoolwork and driving have all combined to make this hard. But school break is coming up soon and they’ll get to rest and heal, and next semester I’m hoping to commute only 3 days a week and not four.

Long and the short: My life is so crazypants right now, I’m surprised I’m coherent. I maybe just coughed up a lung on you guys. QUICK, EVERYONE RUN A VIRUS SCAN ON THEIR COMPUTER.

I think I’m funny. Just pat my head and pretend I am.

As we draw closer to What it Takes, I’ll be posting excerpts and as I did prior to the release of Hush, character bios. In the 10 days leading up to release, I’ll be doing my ten tiny spoiler tweets, each 1 line from the book.

Soon as well I’ll be posting links to book giveaways through Goodreads, and you can enter to win a free copy of What it Takes.

IN THE MEAN TIME, AND THIS IS IMPORTANT:

Interlude Press is having a huge sale through Monday: all books and e-books are 30% off! WHAT. And you guys, this applies to pre-sale book, which are a great deal already because for the price of the paper book you get the DRM-Free multi format books. That means that you can get BOTH for the price of ONE at 30% off right now. Just use the code 30STORIES.

BOOM. If you’ve been waiting to get Hush, or are ready to make a killing on pre-ordering What it Takes, I’ma suggest you get your tush over there. Plus, it’s a great time to stock up on all IP titles. Trust me, it’s all gold. I’ve read every single one of those badboys (well not the pre-order ones yet, but I will soon).

What it Takes is currently available for pre-order and will be out Jan. 14th.

Hush is currently for sale at Interlude Press Web Store
AmazonAll RomanceBarnes & NobleBook Depository, Apple iBookstore, Smashwords, and Independent Bookstores

 

 

National Novel Writing Month!

It’s almost here! 

I’ve participated in NaNo since 2007, and with the exception of 2008, when my son was 2 months old, I’ve managed those 50k in 30 days each time. Once, in-advisably, in ten days. Holy Moses I couldn’t use my hands after for the life of me. I’ve written promising things, I’ve written two things I’m really proud of. I’ve written something terrible I’d like to pretend never came from me and was a bear to get through. 

NaNo is terrifying and exhilarating and daunting and incredibly motivating. I love that there are no rules. I love that no matter what happens — if you make it or not — NaNo pushes people out of their comfort zone into the land of “maybe I can” or “yes I did”. 

Before my first NaNo, I was a writer who lived in Never Can Land. I didn’t think I had interesting stories to tell. I never thought I’d harness the discipline, and I wondered what the point would be when nothing would come of it. 

But then the universe arranged itself, as it sometimes does, and things just…happened. I was at a terrible job with awful people that I dreaded seeing each day. It was soul sucking, horrible…all of those things. 

The only other person in my office I could stand confessed to me that she wanted to write a book. She had no idea why, seeing as she didn’t like to read (I still haven’t figured this out). I’d just finished my second or third re-read of The God of Small Things and it had lit a fucking bonfire under me. I always knew I was a poet, but for some reason, I’d never really thought that I could take that poetry and learn to write fiction in my own way. Books like this are the kind that make one realize that you don’t have to follow the “rules”. You can do any fucking thing you want with the space and time and a blank document or sheet of paper in front of you. 

And that’s when, somehow, I ran across the NaNoWriMo web site. It was already November 3rd or something like that, but it…was a little more gasoline on that bonfire. And my friend and I decided then and there we had to do this crazy thing. 

The more I’ve written in my life, the more I realize I’ve come to obey a lot of the unwritten “rules* of writing. This is something I love because process and progress and learning: all good things. But I also love that I’ve honed my craft. I love that that push NaNo gave me each year taught me to be confident. Not in how others would perceive my stories (that’s a fanfiction story), but in my ability to find and tell a story. 

It doesn’t help to hear from your editor that the poet in me comes through in what I write. Discovering that I can blend my love for words and making images and movement from them with storytelling…what a lovely affirmation. 

But honestly, I don’t know if any of this would have happened without NaNo. I don’t know that I ever trusted that I would get published for anything, ever, but now I am. I don’t know that the first book I wrote is something I’d ever show anyone now, but with 7 original books and over 400,000 words of fanfiction written (that last part in the span of three years), I have an incredible amount of confidence I rarely let myself feel in my writing. 

If you have a dream or a hope or a longing, write. Fuck the idea of an audience if that scares you. Flip off that voice in your head that tells you you can’t, or won’t, or that you aren’t capable. Let yourself connect with that ache that urges you to make something. If you write 500 words, celebrate the shit out of that because *you did it*

I always encourage people to participate in NaNo because the structure is motivating for so many. The idea that this is a tiny space in time to let go and let yourself dream works for so many people. 

I go into each NaNo thinking “oh fuck what the fucking fuck will I write?”. But somehow, each year, something comes. So yes, November looms and I’m not sure what I’ll do but I feel that tingle in my fingers that says something’s coming. Let’s see what it is. I hope, so much, that for any of you who want to write, or who just want to say you did something crazy that once, that you’ll hope on this speeding bullet of a train too. 

Quote

Writing a novel belongs to that category of thing—like surviving the Hunger Games and eating an entire large pizza by yourself—that appears to be impossible but actually isn’t.

Lev Grossman, in his 2013 NaNo pep talk (via nanowrigormortis)

When I talk about NaNo in context of Dream It, Do It, this perfectly sums up how it feels to climb to the top of that first novel mountain.