1.4 … First Kiss

el (1)

LOVE LESSONS

1.4 … First Kiss

It should have been bliss.
I remember afterwards thinking
Romeo & Juliet didn’t die for this.
It left me wishing I were the star
of Never Been Kissed.
Anything to keep from
remembering those lips.

⚬⧝⚬


For more from this collection, visit

elluminations, vol. 1
LOVE LESSONS

Click here to learn more about elluminations. This poem is also available on Medium.


Want to read more poetry?
Add Unraveling Light on…

Goodreads

Buy the book on…

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(Featured Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash)

(elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

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1.3 … Feel Loved

el (1)

LOVE LESSONS

1.3 … Feel Loved

30 around the corner
and the book of my loves
is still full of empty pages
and crossed out names,
unwritten passions,
and dreams unfulfilled.
I’ve learned to
be okay with the lonely,
but it doesn’t change
that the only
thing I want to do
is feel loved like
the sun loves the moon.

⚬⧝⚬


For more from this collection, visit

elluminations, vol. 1
LOVE LESSONS

Click here to learn more about elluminations. This poem is also available on Medium.


Want to read more poetry?
Add Unraveling Light on…

Goodreads

Buy the book on…

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound


(Featured Photo by Altınay Dinç on Unsplash)

(elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

I Am Unraveled

Every so often, I write a blog post that calls back to the title that is displayed on my blog. Capturing Life’s Chapters, it reads. When I started this blog, it didn’t have much sense of direction. All I knew was that I had just changed my name, and needed a fresh start on the internet. A place to share what I’m going through, what my dreams are, and to reflect on where I’ve been.

Today is one of those posts, because today friends, is in a way, the first day of the rest of my life.

Unraveling Light is officially for sale, and I am a published author.

oscars-2013-quotes-22
Me at my first book baby.

The day in all did not come with much pomp or circumstance. I haven’t even left the house, because I’ve just been mostly going back and forth between cleaning my room and posting about the release all across the internet. It’s been a lot of staring at my screen, and feeling like I’m shouting out into a void. But the congratulations from friends and people that did find their way to me where all so heartfelt and genuine, that you’d think from the look on my face that I landed on the NYT list. My first book came in with a whisper, but it was a whisper full of love and kindness and excitement, and I will forever be grateful that my journey into publishing began this way. With unexpected surprises, with unbridled enthusiasm, and even in some cases, making people realize they could love poetry when they never had before.

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I’m so beside myself with joy that I really and truly do not know what else to say. My heart is just so very, very full. 

I know that ahead lies uncharted territory. I have a whole new world to navigate before me. New stories, new adventures, and new perils as well. I know it won’t be easy, but I feel a kind of ready that I have never felt before. Just a thousand thank yous to every person who helped get me to today, and here’s to whatever wonders await for tomorrow and beyond.

I should probably get some rest after such an emotional day, but y’all know me. 😉 I have something brewing, and as my favorite GIF to use for writing days always says…

supernatural we got work to do


Unraveling Light
is now available to order on
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound

Return of Camp NaNo

Three summers ago I participated in my first ever July Camp NaNoWriMo, where I began writing what would go on to become my first fully completed draft of the first book in my Alteria Trilogy. This July, I come full circle.

This summer I am writing the first draft of the third book.

And the third draft of the first book.

Three summers later, and the Inception meme is still applicable.

959816683-Inception-Squint
BWAM BWWAAAM BWWWWWAAAAAAAMMMMM

I realize that writing two books at once (while also wrapping up production on Unraveling Light, which will be dropping VERY SOON!) is madness, but I’ve always been one for crazy endeavors, so why stop now.

The decision to work on Book 3 though this summer wasn’t an easy one to come to. I found myself so torn about whether or not it was the right call. I always told myself that Book 3 was a far off thing that I’d do well after the first and second books were done and out there. But I realized that 1) I have nothing to lose by writing a first draft of it early and 2) In fact, it will make the revision process for Book 1 go much smoother, because as I am writing the newest draft of it, I’ll know where the story ends, and thus, will be able to breadcrumb all the right things in there for readers.

The idea of really fine tuning They Are the Last before I begin a second round of querying feels right, but so does wrapping up the series by getting the first draft of Book 3 to paper. It’s going to be a writing adventure unlike anything I’ve done before, which fills me all kinds of up with the excitement and dread and wonderment that makes me love writing so. damn. much.

I will do my best to blog along in the process as I go this month, but I make no promises of writing every day, since every time I say I’m gonna do that, the pressure makes me never actually do it. Hopefully this bizarro journey will teach me some new things, and if I find any of that worth sharing, I’ll be sure to put that together into something for y’all.

I’m already three chapters into the third book, and already there’s been some majorly gut wrenching to write scenes. This is where everything comes together, friends. I cannot believe I have come to it, and that I will at last be finding out how Piper’s story ends. Many more drafts will surely come over the years of all 3 books, but to know generally speaking where my babies end their journeys makes me feel nine kinds of everything all at once.

Hoping to cross the 5K mark on the third book tonight, so it’s about time I get back to it. But to those of you who’ve been around since the beginning, thanks for sticking with me through this. For those of you just joining the journey, I’m glad you’re here. Off to Alteria we go…

1rP6XH_C
(Photo I took of the bridge that plays a huge part in the story, and Alteria shining in the distance.) ((Ok its the moon but LET ME DREAM OK))

 

Fresh Start

It’s days like today where the subtitle for my blog (Capturing Life’s Chapters) feels particularly fitting. After writing yesterday about my end of an era with working for MuggleNet, today feels like a bright new beginning, with lots of exciting things ahead.

Now that I will have more time, I have big plans to make Elayna Musings my main focus. What with Unraveling Light on the way, pending queries out there for They Are the Last, and a bunch of bubbling new ideas, the next few months look to be unreal levels of exciting. So I thought to kick things off, I’d share an update, detailing all the awesomesauce things y’all have to look forward to in the next few months. Let’s get to it.

They Are the Last

As I’ve been working on the poetry, and also waiting to hear back on my first major round of query letters, this project has been on a bit of a hiatus. I’ve got big plans for working on what will be the third draft this summer, before sending out more queries this fall. Just know that even though I haven’t been talking about it as much online, does NOT mean it has gone anywhere. Trust friends, I’m doing my best to get Piper’s adventures into your hands ASAP.

Unraveling Light

As of this writing, the manuscript is in the hands of my editor. (GOSH DOES IT FEEL COOL TO TYPE THAT PHRASE) She is hard at work doing final edits, as I’m over here finalizing the art work and making perks. Currently, we’re still on schedule to release it June 26th, 2018, but keep your eyes on this space for any updates should that need to change! And while you’re waiting, feel free to add the book to your shelves on Goodreads! *faints in disbelief over having a book on Goodreads*

Patreon

This is something I have always regretted not having more time for, because so many of the volunteer things I was doing on the side took up my every extra hour. But now that I’m re-centering on my own creative works, I’m psyched to announce I have done a 100% overhaul of my Patreon page, including a new about section, rewards, and goals. Y’all know well enough by now that being a full time writer and making you more stuff is the dream, so if you have $1 a month to spare and want to help make that happen, head on over. It is in conjunction with Patreon that I am absolutely bursting to tell you about another new project I am launching as of today.

elluminations

Bringing Unraveling Light to life with you all has been one long, magical dream, and it has made me realize how much I desperately love writing poetry. Having to keep that book down to just poems that suited the themes became harder and harder as new poems and ideas poured out of me. But to publish full collections of them with art included on a frequent basis would be something that would burn me out faster than you could blink. However, Patreon’s monthly subscription model has birthed an idea for how I can share my poems with you all on a more regular basis, without fizzling out.

Introducing elluminations

elluminations is going to be a quarterly chapbook that I plan to put together for you all so that when I don’t have a major release coming out, you still can have new, original content from me. In keeping with the theme of Unraveling Light, I felt elluminations was the perfect name, because not only is it a nod to my first published collection AND my own name, but it also hearkens back to illuminated manuscripts of medieval texts, in which monks painted elaborate designs around their letters and pages.

A chapbook, for the uninitiated, is just a shorter collection of poems by a single author, so you can expect that each one will contain anywhere between 10 and 30 new poems for you. Since monthly would be too hectic of a turnaround, but one a year would be too few, I’ve decided I will release a new volume each season. (So for the rest of this year that means you can expect one in June, September, and December!) Each volume will be named by a unifying theme to tie these little collections together. I already have some ideas brewing about the first one, which I’m hoping to release right around the same time as Unraveling Light this June.

But HERE’S THE REAL EXCITING PART! These past few weeks, as things with Unraveling Light have been flourishing, I’ve managed to put together a Volume 0 which will be free and available to the public, both here on my blog and on Medium, so that you can get a taste of what to expect from future editions!

Volume 0 is titled Independent, and the theme deals with the journey I found myself on as I struggled through the loss of my parents. A rough topic to start on I know, but this mini collection (which features 17 poems in all) is very close to my heart. And if you end up enjoying what you read, you can hit up Patreon to become a supporter, so that you’ll get all the future volumes delivered to you once they’re done! (So for $5 a month, you get a subscription to elluminations plus a bunch of other cool stuff!) I am so, so excited to get this project started.

So that about wraps things up for now! As I said a dozen times in this post, I am THRILLED to finally be dedicating my time to writing and creating original things for you. 2018 really is shaping up to be one helluva creative year, and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. ^_^

 


 

Cover photo by unsplash-logoDebby Hudson

 

First Memory

First Memory

It was an earthen rainbow,
a sprawling sea of leaves,
bright reds, brilliant yellows,
fading greens.

We’re all packed in the van.
Mom’s driving, always
steering our family forward,
though getting no more credit
than a stranger driving a cab.

I know these things now,
for losing her taught me much
that I wish I’d never had to learn.
But I treasure those changing trees.

I don’t remember
the 90s song that
played on the radio,
but I remember
that earthen rainbow.
I remember the
September breeze
through the window
dusting my small cheeks
in the same way
I remember my mother…
with love, and with peace.

⚬⧝⚬

This poem is an excerpt from Unraveling Light, Elayna Mae Darcy’s debut collection of poetry, coming summer 2018. The book is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter.

 

 

 

 

You

C3Eift4l

You

First,
I had to collapse
and admit to the power
I’d given my name,
and know that it had
become a black hole,
consuming who I
wanted to be.

I came undone,
a revelation that lasted
twenty-four revolutions
around the sun.

Across time and space
who I could be
called out to me,
a quiet voice,
somewhere beyond,
out in the void.

Alone, in the quiet
with fabric sheets and concrete
separating me from the sky,
I heard her…

I found her.

And though she spoke
in a whisper,
I knew she spoke truth,
I am here.
I am light.
I am you.

For this poem and more, pre-order Unraveling LightElayna’s debut poetry collection, now crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

 

My Turn

As a writer, I have always agreed with J.K. Rowling on her words…

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.

That statement has proven true in my life time and time again. For every word that has hurt me, there have been more that have healed. For all the words that cause me to doubt, there have been just as many to inspire, and it was three words my roommate said to me about two weeks back that ignited something inside me.

Our conversation wasn’t unlike many of the others we’ve had before. One of the biggest topics was my fear that I can’t do “this.” By “this”, I mean be a published author.

Waiting to hear back from agents is painstaking. Watching other debut authors bask in the glow of their first books is incredible. Feeling like I could never be among them even if I tried has been disheartening. But on this particular night, there was one thing my roommate said that must have been exactly what I needed to hear. With three simple words, he sparked a fire…

“It’s your turn…”

This struck me, and it is because of that conversation that a project that I’ve been working on for months is about to come alive in a way I had not originally planned, but which am now thrilled to pursue. It is because of those three words that I was able to find the courage at last, make this announcement, which I’m happy crying over as I type.

I’m publishing a book, y’all.

Allow me to (tearfully) present to you, Unraveling Light, my debut collection of poetry.

a collection of poetry

As of the time of this writing, you can click the above link and be whisked away through the interwebs to a Kickstarter campaign, where I am raising the set-up funds to self-publish the book this summer. My starting goal is only $900, which means if 36 people decide to pre-order a signed paperback right now (really, did I mention the link’s right here?) then that’s it. I’ll have the funds needed to publish, and the rest is just whipped cream and cherries.

As I’ve shared this news with friends and family in the past few weeks, some have expressed surprise that I write poetry. Trust me, no one is as surprised as I am that my first published work is going to be poems. For while I’ve been actively writing poetry for the past few years, I never would have dreamed when I started that it would ever be something I would want to share with others, because of how deeply personal much of it is. But as I’ve been chipping away at progress on my YA series, writing poetry has become a truly joyous outlet for me and has served as a magnificent means of self-expression. Putting together this collection, and subsequently finding a passion for doodling and word art that accompanies the poems, has been an unbelievable experience of growth, and so I couldn’t be happier to finally be ready enough to release it.

The campaign runs from today until April 25th, concluding on that date because that would have been my mother’s birthday, and she is the one to whom this book is dedicated. I tear up thinking about her, and wondering how she would feel to know that not only am I finally chasing my life’s greatest dream, but that I am doing it on my own terms. My mom always supported me, and I wouldn’t be the writer, dreamer, or person I am without her encouragement, even when the rest of the world didn’t believe in me.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some teasers of the book here on my blog, but you can get more frequent updates by donating to the Kickstarter today so that you get notified as soon as something new develops with the project! For donating, you can get all manner of fun things from handmade bookmarks, to audiobooks, to signed copies of the book, and even custom art prints. By donating, you’d be helping me to achieve something I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid. So basically a ton of great karma on top of all the swag. A pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

I know there’s not many people who read this blog. I know that as far as the publishing world is considered, I am still a nobody. Hell, even when this campaign succeeds and the book is out there, it still isn’t likely to be a bestseller or to change the world. But it is my heart put to paper. As my campaign page says…

The words in this volume serve as not just the written sum of one person’s experiences, but as a celebration of surviving them.

As I begin this journey, I find myself so happy to have survived. I am so happy to still be writing. I am so happy to be alive to share this with you. I hope that whoever you are, stranger or friend, you can find some shred of magic in my words, and that through that, you can feel the same hope I feel as I put Unraveling Light out into the world.

The Adventure Continues…

So the last two years in a row, I’ve written blog posts to commemorate the anniversary of when I started writing the first book in my Alteria trilogy, They Are the Last. Seems only fitting that I should continue the tradition, giving that this year, I’m working on book two’s first draft, and even better, I’m almost done.

What a journey this story and I have been on in the last twelve months.

In that time, I managed to AT LAST finish the second full draft of the first book, which I wrapped up with insane amounts of joy on the night of July 31st/the early AM hours of August 1st. The story became more concise, despite the addition of some new chapters and characters. I grew so much as a writer in that time period and felt so accomplished that this was the first time I’d ever completed a second draft of something. It was a draft nineteen months in the making, and while it still needs another round (or several) of revisions, it is in the best shape it has ever been.

It was the completion of that story that finally led me to begin to plan Book 2, which is currently titled You Are the Dawn. This book got considerably darker, and also split into a few different perspectives. (More so than the first book anyway.) This book includes a deepening of Alteria, with the introduction of new characters, new world elements, and even new dimensions. I planned the heck out of it from August to October, and then rolled ’round another season of NaNoWriMo, which I was happier than words can say to have finished in the final hour.

Since finishing that first 50,000 words of the books, I’ve been slow-walking the completion of the book, since there’s been a bunch of other creative endeavors, and also some intense personal life events, that kept me from finishing. But recently, I’ve felt incredibly inspired by a number of authors I’ve been following on twitter (looking mostly at you Tomi Adeyemi and Julie C. Dao) and it has me on a path to complete the draft. One step better, I will hopefully be finishing it this weekend.

As of this writing, I’ve got three and a half chapters to go, a whole battle sequence to write, and a cliffhanger ending to pen, which hopefully will leave any future readers both very excited and angry with me. *author side eye smirk*

Looking ahead to what comes next—as I try to grapple with the fact that this story’s now older than I was when I came up with it—once draft one of book two is finished, it’ll be back to working on the third round of edits for book one. Then comes the brave new world that is querying to get the book picked up by an agent. I am both horrified for days and excited to infinity for this process to begin.

I sent out a few queries in the fall, not long after I’d finished TAtL, but was met with my first three rejections. One of them was from one of my top dream agents, so that was a sad pill to swallow. But I’m glad for it, because it made me realize the draft still needs work, and that is not a bad thing. I want my book to be the very, very best it can be before an agent decides to take it on. And even though that means taking longer than I’d like, I’m willing to take that time and care if it means a better outcome awaits.

With the completion of They Are the Last draft three, and You Are the Dawn draft one, a completely new and uncharted part of this journey will begin. I’ve no idea if this will be the year I finally get an agent or not, but I’m praying hard that this is the one.

Till then, however, I am just so, so happy that after all these years, I’m still trying to tell this story. I feel so blessed to get to explore Alteria and its universe in my imagination, and every moment spent writing about Piper and her companions is something that fills my soul with hope. Even on the hard days, when the words don’t come easy, or when life comes at me hard, I’ve still got this story inside of me. And until the golden day when I get to share it with the world, having it in my heart is more than enough.

 

What I’m Going To Do

Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 12,522 words

Current NaNoWriMo Mood (via a GIF):

tumblr_inline_n12kxrpQzY1qgp297

Kind of kicking myself for waiting till the 12th day of the month to update y’all on my NaNoWriMo progress, but the timing works I suppose since yesterday was the best writing day I’ve had in a long time, for a lot of different reasons.

For one, it was 11/11, which is my favorite day because my favorite number is 11. Good mojo from the jump on that front. Add that to the fact that we had an extended Write In with some of my friends from the PhillyWrimos group, and you have the recipie for a very good writing day.

And boy howdy was it.

Wrote just over 5,300 words yesterday, definitely my best writing day since the summer, and by a long shot my best one of the month so far. Not only was the quantity of words exciting to reach, but the content of those words was so wonderfully unexpected and important to the core of the story I’m trying to tell. Obviously the writing of it itself is probably swiftly written garbage that will need lots of revising, but the ideas are there. The framework has been laid down, and I feel as if yesterday’s writing is something truly thrilling that I will get to build upon later.

The month as a whole has gone pretty well, even though I did have a several day dry spell where I couldn’t get anything down. (Though to be fair, that was less about not being inspired to write and more about being too busy/tired to actually sit down and try any writing.) The month goes on though, and to be honest, it goes a little too quickly for my liking. I can’t believe we’re almost half way through it.

But even as time flies by, I have to say this experience so far this November has been like 90% blessed and 10% stressed, because there is a indescribable thrill that comes with first drafting for me. Its like the one Terry Pratchett quote, “The first draft is you telling yourself the story.” That has largely been how I’ve felt. Its like I’m an archaeologist of my own subconscious, digging around in there and uncovering characters and plot points and moments of meaning. My love for the exploratory nature of first drafts knows no bounds in this or any universe.

I know that the writing process is made of many hills and valleys, and so I don’t expect things with this draft to stay lovely forever. I know I’m going to go through times of writers block, plenty of low points, and if I haven’t tried to defenestrate the manuscript at least a half dozen times before its done, I’m doing something wrong. But every part of the process, both the good and the bad, is what makes me love it. For every murky moment of self doubt, there’s a time for clarity and confidence. When I one day hold the finished thing in my hands, it’ll be worth every second of it, because I didn’t give up on it, and I made a thing that didn’t exist in the universe before. Even in the darkest of times, the little spark of hope inside me holds onto that thought, and it is what keeps me writing. No matter how many times I think I’m going to quit, I just ask myself the one question that’s been my guiding light this year… WWWWD? (What Would Wonder Woman Do?)

Not give up, that’s for damn sure.

tenor

Back to the words. I’ll check in again soon.