Free Writing

I’ve Been Slacking

I almost feel like I need another NaNoWriMo to get me to write again. I’ve written 2,000+ words over the past two weeks. The first week was pure writer’s block. This past week was pure….laziness I suppose.

Honestly, I’m trying to adjust to my new “schedule” per say. Hubby got a new job. His previous job was sitting at home with me, getting paid to recover from a work injury. Now he’s back to working again and I’ve been trying to get myself into a good schedule.

Oh, and I’ve been trying to lose weight.

So I get up in the morning after hubby leaves and before my daughter wakes up. I do about an hour of exercising (I tried to start out with the P90X but only got past day 4 before deciding my body wasn’t meant for it [I even started a P90X blog]. P90X was meant for those who are already in shape, not for someone who needs to lose 50 pounds and hasn’t done any real exercise since her stint in the Army over 10 years ago. So instead I’m doing some light yoga and taking my daughter out on frequent bike rides – we’ve gone 21 miles just this week!)

After exercising I shower and wake up my daughter and have the rest of our day to ourselves. I could write, but I usually just surf the internet. I could write, but I usually practice my guitar. I could write, but I usually just hang out with my daughter on the porch while she swings and plays with her baby doll. I could write, but by the time hubby gets home I usually haven’t. We spend some time watching Netflix and try to get to bed early because he has to be up early.

I’m not sure what my problem is. I think I’ve been getting down on myself. I’ve been debating taking some writing classes, thinking it will help me get some confidence, but I’m not sure that would really help.

I think I’ve just hit the halfway slump. I’m not really sure I’m at the halfway point in my novel, but with a goal of 100,000k words and only 60,500 written I’m close enough to call it the halfway mark. Heck, I still have to edit, re-edit, edit again, and keep editing until it’s a perfect as it can be. Then I still have to go through the beta reader phase, edit again and again. Then determine if I want to go with traditional publishing (my dream is to be published through TOR) or self publish.

Needless to say, I’ve still got quite a ways to go. I think the full weight of it all is hitting me hard. I’ll eventually get over it, I’m sure. I just feel bad for slacking since Camp NaNoWriMo has been over.

So consider this a rant blog. I’m done. I promise my next blog will be more upbeat and positive.

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Uncategorized

Is This Writer’s Block?

 

 

I saw this tweet today by one of my favorite people to follow and I thought it was a great idea.

I’m stuck. Really stuck. I’ve only managed to write around 1,000 words over the past two weeks because of how stuck I am.

It’s not writer’s block…..per say….I think….maybe…

It’s not knowing where to go with the scene I’m currently writing. I’ve created a situation where I have no idea how to go about it. My characters are about to go through a pretty heart-wrenching scene, where one of the main characters is going to learn a lot, and it’s a pivotal point that will change where the story is going.

The problem I’m running up against is my ignorance of tactics. Military tactics, stealth tactics, and how my characters will handle the situation they’ve been put in. I have no idea how to go about it.

I know what I need to do is probably draw a map or something so I have a visual of what’s going on. It would make it easier to see exactly what steps they should take.

Or maybe I should just skip ahead and write the next scene (or chapter) and come back to it later. The only issue I have with this is that I’m pantsing right now. I haven’t drawn out any sort of plot map and my writing so far as been linear. I don’t know how well I would do with skipping this part.

This is one of those times where I need to bounce some ideas off of someone.

Or maybe I should start plotting. Not sure if that would help though.

Maybe I should write a bit of flash fiction and take a break from Soul Weaver for a bit. Recover a bit more from Camp WriMo.

Maybe I should read….that might spark some ideas. *sigh*

In the meantime, I’ve been working on designing a website and practicing on the guitar. I need to clear my mind.

What do you do when you’re stuck like this?

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Free Writing

Step One: Acknowledge, Accept, Admit.

My good friend Aaron Steinmetz and I were chatting last night and I was telling him about how I’ve finally accepted the cold hard truth. It took me a long time to come to the realization, but I was able to openly admit it to myself as well as him. I had denied it for a long time. Too long, in fact. Even when others were telling me the obvious, I refused to believe it. It took my experiences in Camp NaNoWriMo to finally come to terms with what I am and I accepted it.

Even now, as I confess to you who read this blog, it’s hard to acknowledge the truth of what I am. I want to hesitate. I want to shy away from it. I want to stammer and stumble upon my words, uttering them so quietly that you have to ask me to ‘speak up, I didn’t catch what you said, could you repeat that please?’ Much like when Twighlight Sparkle meets Fluttershy for the first time in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (Yes, I do watch it. Yes, I do love it. Yes I suppose that makes me a Brony or a Pegasister [I prefer Brony]. Hey, I have a 2.5 year old little girl. So sue me.)

Wait a minute, did you see that? That’s pretty sad isn’t it? I’m more willing to admit that I’m a Brony than I am willing to admit that I’m a writer.

Eeeepp! *slaps hands over my mouth*

I just did it. I just said that I’m the “W”-word.

*sigh* Okay….here goes. I may as well just say it right?

I’m a writer…
I’m a writer…

I’m a writer!

I’m a writer!!

There…I said it.

Real-Writer-by-TerriblemindsWhy is it so hard for us to admit that we’re writers? That’s the discussion Aaron and I were having last night.

I think we realized that it’s because we compare ourselves too much to other writers.

I say, “I can’t possibly be a writer. I don’t have anything published. I’m not like Aaron, who’s got 4 books out there and is working on another one…”

While he’s thinking, “I can’t possibly be a writer. I still have a full-time job. I don’t write for a living, I just write on the side and manage to sell a few copies here and there on Amazon.”

Do we think that we can’t call ourselves writers because it’s not a full time occupation? Do we not call ourselves writers because we haven’t published anything yet? Or aren’t traditionally published? Or haven’t sold a million copies? Maybe we don’t call ourselves writers because – at the moment – we aren’t writing? Can you call yourself a writer if you’re between books? I mean, is J.K. Rowling currently working on another novel? If not, does that mean that she’s not a writer right now?

Let me quote you Google’s definition of Writer:

writ·er  ˈrītər/  noun
  1. a person who has written a particular text.
    “the writer of the letter”
    • a person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation.
      “the distinguished travel writer Freya Stark”
    • a person who writes in a specified way.
      “Dickens was a prolific writer”

i-write-therefore-i-am-a-writerDo you see that? “…as a job or regular occupation.” We look straight beyond the first definition it gives us: “a person who has written a particular text.” (emphasis added because it’s most certainly needed)

This is what we need to realize. A writer is a person who has written a particular text. And by the way – there is no such thing as an “aspiring writer” or an “amateur writer”. So leave out the word aspiring and amateur. If you write – you’re a writer! Simple as that. There’s no such thing as an amateur writer unless you’re in pre-school and you’re learning how to write your name (even then it’s debatable). I’m pretty sure we’re all beyond that part right? Good, so then you’re a writer!

That means if all you do it blog…guess what? You’re a writer!

If you only keep a journal in a notepad that never sees the light of day: You’re a writer!

If you write short stories or poems that you think are terrible and you cringe because you’ve actually uploaded them onto your blog for others to read and laugh at how horrible they are (*cough*notme*cough*): You’re a writer!!

P.S. If you’ve participated in NaNoWriMo, even if you didn’t win, you’re a writer. How’s that for earning the title eh?

You don’t have to be a famous NY Times best selling author backed by Penguin or Tor who’s ready to turn your book into a movie by Paramount and earning millions of dollars a year to be called a writer! That’s the beauty of it! You’re a writer whether anyone else knows it or not!

It’s hard to admit that you’re a writer. Believe me, I know! It’s especially hard to admit when you’re talking to another person (and maybe even harder to admit when you’re talking to a fellow writer who may be more successful than you *cough*notme*cough*)

Im-a-writerBut don’t think for one minute that just because you don’t have anything published that you’re not a writer. You ARE. Admit it first to yourself. Look in the mirror. Yeah, do it. Right now. Look into those awesome *insertthecolorofyoureyeshere* eyes and say it out loud, “I’m a writer!” Say it until you believe it. Say it to yourself. Then say it to your family and friends. Then get out there and when people introduce themselves, be PROUD to say, “Hi, my name is _______ and I’m a writer!” (Well, I mean, you don’t have to shout the word “writer”, but if that’s what helps…..)

So to all my fellow writers out there I say, “Hi, my name is Amanda Davis. I’m a WRITER!”

I imagine the conversation going like this:

“I’m a reader……what are you?”

“I’m…I’m a writer.”

“I’m sorry, what was that?”

“I’m….I’m a writer.”

“Didn’t quite catch that.”

“I’m a writer.”

“Well, um. Okay then.”

amiawriterI-am-a-writer2

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Free Writing

Get to Know Me – If You Dare.

So apparently I’ve been nominated for a Liebster award by J. at Don’t Delete Me. Interesting concept. I’ve done these kinds of things on Facebook, so why not on my blog too eh? Besides, it is a good way for you get to know a little bit about me.

The questions I’ve been given by J. are thus:

  1. What do you really think will happen if there is a Zombie outbreak? – I think more people are prepared for this than we think. I’m sure I’d be one of the first to die, simply because of where I live and my lack of appropriate weaponry at my disposal. haha It would be quite an adventure just to get to my local Wal-Mart 2 miles away to get what I need to survive. I’m definitely not emergency ready at my house. In all actuality, I think the Zombie outbreak would be more along the lines of 28 Days Later or I Am Legend (where it was a virus, not the literal walking un-dead.) This would also mean that it would be harder to survive. You wouldn’t have slow moving, mindless people stumbling around groaning at you. They would be hyper active. Super strong. They’d live on adrenaline and they’d kill you in a heart beat. They wouldn’t bother eating your brains, they’d just rip you to shreds before moving on to the next to satisfy their blood lust.
  2. If you met your idol in person, what would you do? – I have many idols. Although I don’t like the term idols, per say. I have many people I look up to and admire. I’d like to think that I would remember that they are just normal people too, but I’ve met celebrities before and the rush I get from it as well as the bumbling idiotic babble that comes out of my mouth makes me think otherwise. Were J.K. Rowling to shake my hand, I’d probably turn red and not know what to say that doesn’t make me sound like a 2 year old.
  3. If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go? – This is a tough one. Either Medieval times or the times of Jesus. Regardless of your religious views, most people do believe that Jesus was a real man. I’d have liked to meet him in person. As for Medieval times, I think I would thrive in that era. I always thought if it weren’t for the decade I was born in, I’d have been tilling the land, caring for my young, and supporting my brave, strong husband who would probably be a local blacksmith or something. I think that’s why Soul Weaver is set around that time era. I’ve always loved it.
  4. What is your favourite movie? – I don’t have just one. I have quite a few. Movies that I could easily watch over and over until I was blue in the face. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, “Dead Poets Society”, “Shawshank Redemption”, “Mr. Holland’s Opus”, any and all Studio Ghibli movies. ESPECIALLY the Studio Ghibli movies. If you haven’t seen at least one, I’m not sure if we can be friends. Just kidding. Not really. But kidding.
  5. What is your main goal in life? – To be happy. No really. To be happy. I don’t have some long-term life plan for myself. I tried that a long time ago, but I learned that life throws obstacles in your way that you either have to jump over (much like Mario jumping over those turtles) or choose a new path (like going through those tall green pipes to skip a few levels). Ultimately, I love my life as long as my family and I are safe, happy, and healthy. That’s all I can really ask for. It would be a bonus if I could write a few novels that sell okay-ish. And if I win the lottery, I wouldn’t complain. But I’m not putting too much stock in either of those. Hey, expect the worst and get happy surprises right? lol
  6. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it? – I have two actually. Two awesome wonderful dogs. A Shetland Sheepdog called Talia. I adopted her from my local Humane Society. She’s a wonderful dog and I love her more than any other pet I’ve ever had. The other is an English Bulldog named Kabuki. He’s hubby’s dog. We just got him about 12 weeks ago, so still a puppy at 6 months old. I love English Bulldogs, and this one is no exception. He’s great. I love both of my four legged children.
  7. What are you most afraid of? – Losing a loved one. I know we all die eventually, but the thought of losing my mother scares me sh*tless. We just lost my grandmother recently. Death seems to throw a reality check at your face. I know my mother will die, but I can’t imagine not having her in my life. Same goes for my children. I think I would become an emotional wreck if anything happened to them. Second to that is being alone. I love my alone time, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think I could go through life never having someone to share it with. We weren’t meant to be alone. Me especially.
  8. What is your favourite quote? – Um….I don’t really have one. Well, I suppose I do: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” It’s a good enough quote to live by. Basically – just be good to your fellow man. It’s amazing how relaxing life can be when you don’t stress yourself with the evil and stupid people in this world.
  9. If someone told you when you were going to die, would you believe them? If so, how would you live your life up until that final day? – No I wouldn’t believe them. No one can predict when you’re going to die. Imagine this: Random person: “You’re going to die in two weeks.” Me: “Oh yeah?” *Takes gun and blows off head* Take THAT psychic! I told you now didn’t I?! ha ha!  No, I wouldn’t believe them. Besides, we should all try to live every day as if it were our last. Tell those you love how you feel. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be the person you want to be.
  10. What do you think the meaning of life is? – This is going to sound corny as all get-out: love. Even the most evil of us love someone. Love gives us powers we had no idea humans could be capable of. I feel like Dumbledore here, but it’s true. The love of her child can give a woman super human strength to lift a car to save her baby. It can create entire worlds. And it can destroy them. Christianity believes that God is Love. That may very well be true.
  11. Are you wondering why there are 11 questions for everything and not an even number like 10 or 12? – Nah, I’m used to odd things like that now. 🙂

Here are 11 additional facts about yours truly and if you participate these are my questions for you:

  1. What do you like least about yourself? – My laziness. I really should get out more. Maybe work out. Ride my bike cross country. But sometimes it’s really hard to push myself.
  2. What element do you feel most connected with? I absolutely LOVE the water. Inside of me is a mermaid screaming to be let out. If I had gills, I’d live underwater for life. I love it.
  3. If you could go anywhere, where would you go? If I could visit any country in the world it would probably be Great Britian and Ireland. My ancestry dates back to Scotland, and I’ve always loved England. I’d probably live there if I could and I envy those who do. That’s pretty much why my novel is set in aland much like Ireland.
  4. Have you tried sushi? I have tried sushi and I love it. Sorry, but I’m not sorry. 🙂
  5. What’s the first thing you notice about people? Their eyes. They say that eyes are the window to the soul. I think it may be true. You can learn a lot about someone by their eyes.
  6. Would you rather be hated or forgotten? Forgotten. Most certainly. I strive my best to be a good person. I’d hate to have people hate me. lol Don’t we all crave love? lol
  7. If they were to make a movie about your life, who would you want to play yourself? – Hermione Granger. Not the actress, the character. I think she’s a wonderful character. You could say I look up to her.
  8. What is your favorite food? – Probably pizza. I eat it way too often. It’s convenient and has all your basic food groups. There are thousands of different ways to eat it. It’s a lovely food, so why not be my favorite. I also love Chinese food and Italian food. Oh, and tea of course. Does that count as food? lol
  9. How do you feel about your age? – Had I been asked this question when I was 29 I would have said I’m terrified. I dreaded turning 30. To me, 30 was like reaching a point in your life where you can’t fix your mistakes anymore. Where you’re suddenly old. Where people start looking at you as if you’re not worth as much because your life span is that much shorter. Now that I’m 32, I love my age. I feel like my 20’s were the best time to make mistakes and now that I’m in my 30’s I’ve learned that just because I’m older, doesn’t mean I have to feel older. I still feel like I’m 19 sometimes. Especially around my family. But I think I’ve learned that life can be awesome at any age.
  10. What is your favorite color? Blue. More of a blue green actually. Like an aqua. I’ve always loved blue even as a toddler (I have proof!) lol
  11. How hard was it to find 11 questions to ask yourself? – Very. I had to do a Google search to come up with questions to answer about myself. I’m a sad person, I know.

 

If you’d like to participate here are the rules:

RULES:

  1. The nominated user must provide a link back to the person who nominated them
  2. Provide 11 facts about yourself.
  3. Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  4. Choose 11 more people and ask them 11 questions.

 

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Free Writing

Help! Photoshop Has Sucked Me In!

Since winning Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ve taken a week long break from writing. I must admit, on one hand it feels good not having the pressure of needing to write every day to make sure I keep up with my word count. On the other hand, I miss it. My story still hasn’t left my mind. So starting on Monday I’ll get back to writing every day.

You can tell that I’ve still been distracted with my book this week. I’ve spent countless hours in Photoshop putting together my book cover as well as a map of the land of Teralinda. I’ll be including the map in the first few pages of the book. I’ve also debated putting in a few drawings of the items mentioned in the book. Namely my main character’s necklace as well as her dagger. Both are pretty essential to the book, so it’s nice to have a visual reference for them.

Here is what I have for my book cover so far. I used the template provided by LuLu.com. They have a wonderful reward for those who win NaNoWriMo: A FREE first edition printed hard cover of the novel you wrote for WriMo. I hope to at least have the entire first draft finished before the deadline of August 31st so I can take advantage of this offer. Although it won’t be fully edited, just seeing it in print will be truly overwhelming. Heck, just printing everything I have so far from my own printer is overwhelming.

SoulWeaverBookCover

Soul Weaver book cover version 1.0

 

Major thanks to calthyechild from Deviant Art for creating a great way to make your own maps. Including permission to use commercially or non-commercially. I had been searching for weeks for software to create a map like this. I nearly shelled out $100 until I found this little gem. I cannot thank this person enough for offering such a simple way to create a customizable map like this. I may tweak it a bit more, but I really like what I have so far. I’ll be using it again for the sequel (title to be determined) as well.

Soul Weaver map of Teralinda version 1.0

Soul Weaver map of Teralinda version 1.0

 

So even though I haven’t been writing this week, I have been working on the novel itself. I’m actually looking forward to Monday when I start writing again. I think I easily have another 10-20k more words to write. Knowing me, it will be even longer than that. I’ll likely double what I have so far, which is quite a bit. That’s one huge stack of paper waiting to be edited!

chapters1-40

Soul Weaver after Camp NaNoWriMo

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