30, Nervous & Surviving

One of the few traditions I seem to have here on this blog is that whenever I finish a draft of a novel, I tend to make a post about it. Part of me almost didn’t want to bother this time, because the same day I finished was the day that 45 got diagnosed with covid, and the news cycle has been an absolute shit storm since then. But I’ve decided that if the world is gonna be a hellscape beyond my walls, the least I can do is celebrate the small wins within them.

Which is to say, YAY HALLELU I HAVE FINISHED DRAFT 5 OF STILL THE STARS!

Some fun stats first: Those of you who follow along are probably wondering what happened to Draft 4 since the last time I wrote about completing a draft was when I wrapped on the third one last summer. Well dear friends, I got about 30K into Draft 4 and had to entirely scrap it because of some major story changes. I shifted gears in late June/early July, and started writing this new draft Aug 8. Finished it in the wee hours of the morning on October 1st, which makes this draft officially the FASTEST I have ever written a draft of ANY novels in my life. It was also the first time I completed a start to finish verse novel, which feels really, really exciting, as I am hoping it is only to be the first of many.

What this also means is that by finishing October 1st, I got the book done in time to submit it to Pitch Wars. This is my third year in a row applying for this incredible mentorship program, so here is to hoping the old adage proves true. Third times and charms and all that.

To be done with this draft feels so much different than all the ones that came before it. Writing my fictional universe in actual verses was the most joyful thing. I had so much fun. I felt like I had more room to play and explore my own world. And I have found some really lovely agents looking for verse novels specifically that I plan to reach out to, so I am keeping my hopes high that mayyyyyyyybe this draft will be The One that finally gets my foot into publishing’s proverbial door.

But as I await the responses on that fresh batch of queries, and try not to drown myself with existential doomscrolling through the news on Twitter, I do have another major and exciting milestone to mark.

Today, I got my first proof copies of DARKNESS UNDONE, which is only 25 days away from publishing! It is hard to believe. With how long each day of 2020 has felt, it honestly feels like YEARS ago that I was launching and running the campaign. I am really excited that its release is so close now.

I spent the afternoon making this little unboxing video, which you can watch below!

I really cannot begin to guess what the rest of this year is going to hold, with my queries, with my new book, with the election… but I am staying as hopeful as I can. When I turned 30 a few weeks back I couldn’t help but make the “I thought I was supposed to be 30, flirty, and thriving by now. Jennifer Garner promised!” But the way things are these days, I am just glad to be here. 30, nervous, and surviving, is more like it.

Things feel so heavy and impossible these days, but I didn’t get this far just to give up. Sending all of you lovely readers every last shred of hope I can muster that we’ll have the strength to get through all this together.

Featured Photo by Johannes W on Unsplash

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