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.

 

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Lots of Magical

The last two months have gone by in a big, messy, life-altering blur, and I feel remiss to have not written in so long. But had to get in at least one post before the month is out, and with everything that’s been going on, I think it was high time for an update on my life and my book.

Let’s start with life.

For those who don’t know, I’ve spent three long years working a job that, well, to be candid but also respectful, was not very great. Lots of management changes and stressful days doing something that wasn’t very creative or along the lines of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Some days, it made my depression and anxiety unmanageable, and I spent much of that time so monetarily broke and feeling emotionally broken that I honestly don’t know how I made it. But if my heroes who came before me taught me anything, its that strength comes from struggle, and I can say with conviction, while I might not be unbreakable, I am certainly a much stronger human than I was back then for having gone through it all.

But in good news, playing the long game paid off, because as of May, I finally started the job I’d been wanting and pitching during that whole time I was here. Its been a lot to take on, with its own new challenges and responsibilities, but I can honestly say that it has been a very long time since I worked a job I enjoyed doing this much. 90% of my job relates to social media, which I love contributing to. And to make things even better, I’ll be moving soon, into a new place with one of my best friends, which will start a whole new chapter for me. It’s terrifying, but also pretty damn exciting.

Then there’s been IndiePen Ink.

I haven’t had much chance here yet to talk about the website for writers that my dear friends and I launched back in February, but after a few months of getting our feet wet, we’re soon rolling out some really big and exciting things that has me more jazzed than I can describe. It feels like we’re at the beginning of something really beautiful, and after spending the most wonderful week in recent memory with the two ladies I co-founded this site with, I can genuinely say that I believe we have something really special we’re creating here, and that’s just magical.

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The savvy, snarky, sassy founders of IndiePen Ink. (Aka, mah girls.)

Speaking of magical things, SpeakBeasty just turned 40! Well, sorta…

We just recorded our 40th episode… fortieth. When I think about where we are and where we started, goodness, it gives me so many emotions. Our show certainly hasn’t been without its bumps in the road, but we’re getting to make something that’s just so much fun to create, and the more comments we get like “thanks for helping me power through this week“, the more full my heart is. It’s living out a childhood dream for me to get to contribute to this show. Being a professional fangirl is, and always shall be, #goals.

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Recording the 40th. Can’t believe it.

And for one more magical thing, how about an update on my book?

As you might know if you’ve been following along on this journey, I spent pretty much all of 2016 reworking and reworking the first parts of the book, all while trying to run that campaign on Inkshares. After that crashed and burned, I took it hard. I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo, a bigoted orange got elected president, and I ended last year/started this year with next to no positive creative energy. March 1st of this year though, I finally decided to take all those reworkings and incomplete chapters and set them on a shelf to start a fresh new draft, which came with a shiny 22 chapter outline, which built on the Frankenstein version from last year.

Since then, I’ve been trying to get through this second full draft, and making what has felt like slow, but is actually pretty steady, progress. As of this writing, I’m through 13 chapters, and have 9 left to go. And with it officially being Camp NaNoWriMo again, I’m reeeally looking to finally get this draft finished.

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Me at the cafe earlier today, revising that Ch 7 bit & intermittently working on Ch 14.

This will be my third July Camp in a row in which I’ll be working on this book, which feels very strange. The version I did in 2015 got scrapped. The version for 2016 was more me beating the same chapter to death without making much progress. But this year, I go into July with 13 (sorta?) solid chapters, and have a strict trajectory of what needs to happen form now through to the end of the book. I’m more prepared than either of my previous July Camp attempts, so really what I need this coming month is just going to be lots and lots of focus. If my estimates are correct, there’s about 30,000 words to go before I get to finish the last chapter and slap that exciting ‘To Be Continuued…’ on the end of this book. (I’d especially like this to happen so that this November, I can take a wild, crazy, pantser-style stab at the first draft of Book 2 in The Alterian Trilogy, but let me not get ahead of myself…)

This road has been long and weird and winding, but even on its worst days, I’m still so happy to be doing it. I spent today having several writing friends look over some pages I’m using for a writing residency I’m applying to, and I was mortified to share it with them, because the scene I had them looking over was one of *the most* important scenes in the book. (Your only hint is that its in Chapter 7.) And while the mark-ups and edits were many, the consensus among them was pretty similar: still needs work, but you’ve got something here. Can a writer really ask for more?

So to bed I go. Want to be up early so I can get in some words before work. Because I’m resolved friends: this draft is getting done this month. No matter what, I’m making it happen. I think it is finally time.

See you on the other side of Camp!

 

Editing So Far

A little over four months ago, in my post So It Begins, I wrote about launching into the brave new world that would be editing the first draft of They Are the LastI can say now with much certainty from the experiences thus far: editing is weird.

I thought then it would largely consist of combing through what I’d already done and just tweaking things and chopping bits out. What I’ve actually found is that I’ve had to rip the poor thing to shreds, tossing the bulk of it to the wind only to salvage the few gems that lay hidden in a good line of dialogue or a piece of important structure. At that time, I also had no idea I’d be discovering Inkshares. While I’ll admit that at times that has diverted my attention from the draft so I can focus on campaigning, Inkshares has also been a great service to the draft by way of providing me with the support of other writers who’ve given me some of the most insightful and helpful feedback I’ve thus far received.

Really, there’s been less editing than I expected and more just all out rewriting. Some days I get little glimpses of that special NaNo creativity where I just type like a maniac until the story’s been freed from me, but much of the process now is careful writing. It’s taking the ideas I’ve spewed out before and making them more coherent and beautiful. It really is like the refining of a diamond. I know that the story I’m trying to tell is this lovely thing buried somewhere in there, but I’ve got to cut and polish and cut and polish all of the roughness away to get there. It’s not anywhere near as easy or freeing as the initial draft, but I’ll tell you what, it’s making me a much stronger writer, and for that I’m grateful.

All of this is really coming out right now I guess because just this week, I made a pretty big decision regarding my editing process. The second draft I’d been working on since January 3rd? Baby is getting put in the corner and I’m starting it over.

During April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, I managed to make it to 35,000 words on that draft, but much of it didn’t get to incorporate the many aspects of feedback I’ve been receiving as of late. I’ve also in an exciting turn of events, begun reading again. I finished the AMAZING novel Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, and am about half way through reading Gary Whitta’s book Abomination (an Inkshares book itself!) and just seeing other people’s finished novels has me realizing that my story has a long way to go, but it needs a new start.

So I’m scrapping what I’ve done and starting anew. This will be the second time in the last year that I’ve done that, but if we’re looking at my track record, this bodes well. I spent July to October of last year getting done a 44,000 word draft of They Are the Last which on October 31st, I decided to scrap in favor of starting the first draft over for NaNoWriMo proper. The draft I started the next day went on to be the first completed draft of the book. I’m taking this new beginning as a good sign for this rewrite draft that I’m about to hurl myself into.

There’s no possible way I could have known when I started revisions on January 3rd that before the year was half way through, I’d be in the throes of trying to get the book published. I mean seriously: the book currently has 133 pre-orders. Remarkable. Given that, God only knows where I’ll be come five months from now when the campaign for the book concludes. While I dream that by that day, I’ll have reached the pre-order goal to be published, I’ve no way of knowing which way the wind will blow. One can only hope that if nothing else, my draft will be further along and I’ll be ever the little bit wiser for it.


PS,

Speaking of the book, if you happen to see this post prior to the evening of Monday May 23rd, I’m running my first promotional contest! You can visit the official They Are the Last website for more details, but the prize is NAMING A CHARACTER IN THE BOOK! Plus every person who enters will receive a handmade bookmark. Click the image below to visit the official website, or click here to directly visit the CONTEST page!

contest promo

 

Freeing the Madwoman

This month is my second whack at Camp NaNoWriMo, which could easily be described as the lite version of National Novel Writing Month. Last April, I ended up in London and Edinburgh on a journey that very much became about not just finding myself, but also finding my story. As it would have it, the story I found was the one that had lay in waiting inside of me the longest. Piper’s story. Alteria’s story.

I’ve written several times about what I’m writing (which sounds a little odd to say) because I for one have always felt that reflection on the past helps get you caught up with the present so you can better make way for the future.

But what this month do I have to reflect on? Not much to be honest in terms of story, as most of my time has been spent revamping the campaign to get said story published on Inkshares. So much of that time in fact, that I’ve somehow managed to get so far behind that I now find myself faced with the task of writing 39,440 words in 5 days.

That’s an average of 7,888 words per day.

Someone who tweeted at me put it best:

Screen shot 2016-04-26 at 12.02.00 PM

Creativity is a funny thing, and begets a process that is full of uncertainty. You can get into a habit of creating – daily writing in the morning just after a cup of coffee with exactly one spoonful of sugar – or, you can be a complete and utter crazy person and try to write 30K+ words when running on no sleep and three red bulls. Each person does it differently. But there is one thing I’ve noticed in my own creative processes, whether they are jammed into a short amount of time, or whether I have six months.

There’s an extent of madness that needs to happen. You have to let go. You have to let Jesus take the wheel sometimes, and be the backseat driver to the story itself. Your characters, if you’ve let them truly come to life, sometimes make rash decisions and go the opposite of where you’ve instructed them, and trying to steer them back to what you think is best can be to the story’s detriment.

So for next few days, I’m handing the reigns over to the deeper, crazier parts of myself to see where the rest of this second draft goes. I didn’t foresee originally that so much rewriting would be necessary to a second go of this novel, but all of the rewrites I’ve done so far have done a great service to the narrative, so at this point, I’m running with it.

To all of you who may be pondering a similar endeavor to get the creative juices flowing, my advice would be to go with it. Run full steam ahead, flailing your fingers across the keyboard or fluttering that pen across your page. You never know what kind of magic can happen when you stop trying to be a writer for a second and just write something. 

Trusting the Path

If all else fails in the universe, there are at least two things of which I am always certain.

The first, is that Book Ron and Book Ginny will always be better than their film counterparts. (Even though I love Rupert & Bonnie. They couldn’t help bad character development in the scripts, poor dears.)

The second, and what this post is actually about, is that nothing in this universe gets me more excited or filled with hope than NaNoWriMo.

Growing up, NaNoWriMo was always a frantic rush to 50K during November. It came when the air was cooling, the leaves were crisping, and the hot chocolate cravings were calling. But as with most things that we do for many, many years, NaNoWriMo has changed, and last year was the first time I decided to increase my yearly amount of noveling shenaniganry by participating in my first two Camp NaNos.

The idea behind Camp NaNoWriMo is simple. You get the same creative rush, but you use it towards a word goal you choose for yourself, or you can use the month to edit. It’s more loose in its creative restraints, but no less thrilling than November, when you get to share in the energy of lots of people all creating at once.

My very first Camp NaNo attempt was supposed to be last April, but due to uncertainties about the story I was trying to do at the time, and a certain trip that changed my life, I didn’t get past a few thousand words. It didn’t feel like a real crack at it to me. It did, however, end up being the month that set me on the path back to Alteria. That call made in a small cafe in Edinburgh ended up informing the rest of my year, as I would come to spend July’s Camp NaNo, and November’s official NaNoWriMo 2015, working on versions of They Are The Last.

Funny how you can start off thinking you know precisely where you’re going, and life can be like NOPE, RIGHT THIS WAY PLEASE. IN THE EXACT OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF WHERE YOU PLANNED. Kind of like a story, if you ask me.

All that being said, the plan I’m attempting to carry out will involve me writing 50K this April, something I’ve never achieved outside of November. While time is running short, I’ve actually yet to decide if the 50K I write will be towards my second draft, or if it will be 50,000 words worth of backstory short stories. We’ll see what happens. Regardless of which path I choose, I’m sure I’ll end up right in the place I’m supposed to be.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here, being alarming levels of excited by the fact that I have no idea where that place will be.

NaNoWrapUp 2.0

Well, it’s been six days since the literary mayhem of NaNoWriMo concluded, and I’m coming here to say that I’m a little frustrated with myself, because since that day, I’ve not written a word.

Some may say, but you worked so hard during November! You needed a break! It’s okay. Well yeah, to some extent, I can understand that argument. But if there’s one thing that NaNoWriMo reminds us of, is that momentum is important. And right now, I feel as though I’ve shot myself in the foot a little by slowing down and not getting anything done this past week.

That changes today.

November really was the most magical month for my writing. I’ve never felt so incredibly inspired and motivated to keep at it, and I feel that was largely due to the rewarding aspect of taking on both the roles of a Municipal Liaison and a NaNoWordSprints leader. Both positions allowed me to be the source of encouragement for others, and when you’re constantly reminding others of how remarkable they are, how great their word counts were (no matter their size) or that they are a rockstar for simply giving their all to try – it becomes a feedback loop. Others being inspired by me reminded me that I have it in me to inspire myself, and be inspired by those who are being inspired by me and JUST GOSH THERE’S SO MUCH INSPIRATION I COULD CRY.

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Another enormous contributing factor to me finishing this year would be the story I’m working on. As I’ve detailed in past posts, the novel I am working on right now is one that’s been in my head for eleven years, so it basically is the epitome of an idea feeling like my baby. I came up with it at age 13 when I barely knew what I was doing and the story has grown with me, always being in the back corners of my mind as I learned how to tell stories in film school, and now it’s finally coming to the forefront. This month’s NaNo is officially THE LONGEST single piece I’ve ever written, at 62,000 words . . . and I’ve still got a bit less than half way to go. It’s so exciting and exhilarating to see this story at last coming to fruition, and to have it happen in a month in which so many other good things were happening was just icing on the NaNoWriMo 2k15 cake.

What lies ahead is territory that is completely unknown and uncharted. When I finish, I will begin the process of rewriting and editing and rehashing with the hopes to get a draft of it into the hands of an agent sometime within the next year. As I said, momentum is important, and I do not want to lose the tremendous amount of it I’ve built up over the last year, in particular, the last six months.

If you were to put together the draft I did from July to October (my Camp NaNoWriMo draft) which was 44K and my new 62K one I wrote in the last month for NaNoWriMo proper, that’s over 100,000 words in the last six months.

100,000 words?!? o_O
100,000 words?!? o_O

That’s more than I’ve written probably in the last several years combined, so needless to say, I am pretty proud of that accomplishment. But while it is certainly a majestic milestone, it is not the end. There’s a long, long road ahead, and if I want to see through to the end of it, I cannot stop now.

taylor-swift-shake-it-off-cant-stop-wont-stop-moving

So here’s to the rest of the road, and to getting to the end of this draft before the clock strikes 2016. I’ve got 26 days to do it. Let’s freaking go . . .

Life Is My Patronus

This past week on September 4th, I spent much of my day crying . . . but not for the reasons you might think.

happycrying
The Doctor gets it.

Backtracking a bit, for anyone who’s been following this blog since I began it back in January, it has kind of been a really great freaking year for me. From starting my YouTube channel to London, from Scotland to MISTI Con, from my first Camp NaNo to Orlando for Geeky – it’s been a wildly excellent 2015 I’ve been having. Sure there’s been plenty of downs in that time frame, but for the first time in forever, the amazingly good is outweighing the bad in such a way that it’s much harder to get me down right now, when I have so many happy memories to make patronuses with.

Expecto-Patronum-harry-potter-and-the-order-of-the-phoenix-28638327-500-208
Take THAT depression & anxiety. 😛

But in the wee hours of September the 4th – just when I was thinking I might go to bed since it had become so late it was early – my phone buzzed. It was a notification that J.K. Rowling had just tweeted something. (When you work for MuggleNet, you kinda need to know when the Queen has something to say.)

The night before, we had just begun a campaign with MuggleNet called #PotterItForward, in which we’re encouraging people to leave a note about their positive experiences with the story in a copy of Harry Potter at a bookstore or library, so that a new person picking that copy up can know what a life changing tale lies between the covers of what they’re holding. I think it’s brilliant, and I am so proud of my friend at the site who came up with it. It’s one of those things that reminds me why the Potter fandom has always been so important to me – we’re all about the love & feels. So naturally, when I saw Queen Jo tweeting, I decided to tweet at her.

I’ve done it plenty of times before, but she never has interacted with one of my tweets before, which tbh I don’t take personally. The woman’s got over 5 million followers on twitter! Everyone and their mother tweets at her, and probably hundreds of thousands of people have their phones set up to know when she tweets, just like me. Every time I tweet to her, it feels like a shout into the void, but I’ve continued to do it every once and again hoping she catches it.

Well guess what kids?


THE QUEEN KNOWS ME

SHE FECKING CAUGHT IT.

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Guys, I really tried so hard to not freak out and wanted so much to just be like:

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Ah yes, the Queen has seen my tweet. How pleasant…

But to be honest, my reaction was much closer to:

HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT
HOLY ROWLING IT HAPPENED
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IS THIS REAL LIFE?!
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ME AF RN

I’ll be honest in saying I pretty much immediately started crying. The really good kind of crying. The kind of crying where you’re more so crying for the sheer disbelief that such beautiful moments could happen in your life.

I have looked up to J.K. Rowling since I was an 8 year old girl who fell in love with a magical story. The more of her books I read, and the more I learned about her as a person . . . there was just so much about her to admire and respect. And for just a moment that morning, the woman who’s inspired me more than anyone, saw a lil icon of my face, read the words that I had to say for a change, and liked it so much she felt compelled to give it a little gold star of approval.

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Me, myself, and I at that moment.

Some people might think it’s crazy for me to have reacted in such a way – crying, having trouble breathing, being incandescently and ecstatically happy for the entire ensuing day – but if J.K. Rowling (and Luna Lovegood) have taught me anything, it’s to not care what others think of you, especially if it means not being yourself.

After a night of not being able to sleep, having a mediocre day at work, and then a night spent mostly online talking to my MuggleNet friends who mean the world and a half to me, I found myself sitting alone, and I once again started to cry. Like really, genuinely, happy cry. But the reason, I realized in that moment, was not just because some author took 2 seconds of her morning to like a tweet.

I’ve been happy crying because I have reasons to. While I have spent so, so much of my life, crying because of depression, anxiety, loss, rejection, self loathing, and a million other things, I have finally reached a point in 2015, where I have so many loving, genuine people surrounding me and filling my heart with joy and reminding me that I’ve got so much light in me that I can share, but only when I stop to realize I have it. I’ve got a job that’s okay with an apartment that I love, I’m giving back to my school through an amazing LGBTQ Alumni group, I’m starting to lose weight and feel healthier, I’ve traveled to two new countries and two different states in the last five months, I’m working for the Harry Potter fan site I’ve loved since childhood, and I’m writing again. Writing a story that’s been with me for 11 years, and which most recently helped land me a leadership position as one of the Municipal Liaisons for Philadelphia for this fall’s upcoming NaNoWriMo.

 

Awesome
How I feel about me and my life rn.

No low balance in my bank account or any hate that anyone could try to fling at me right now can take that away. My happiness is so strong that it could hold back 100 dementors any day. I’ve got so much passion, friendship and love in my life right now that I can honestly say I’ve never felt this unstoppable. But all of this realization, came from a single little gold star on a tweet that I thought would never been seen.

So if you’re feeling like your opinions (or tweets in this case) don’t matter, or that you yourself don’t matter – remember this story, and remember these words:

very-good-lives-rowling-quote

Camp NaNoWrapUp

FINAL WORD COUNT: 21,970 

MENTAL STATE

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ICYMI: Camp NaNoWriMo officially ended while I was away this past week at GeekyCon, and since I was too busy fangirling (which I’ll blog about later cause it was a MARVELOUS time) I didn’t get a chance to wrap up the experience of my first summer NaNo attempt, but I wanted to make sure I did.

Let me start by saying that while there’s a small piece of me that is disappointed I didn’t make 50K, the majority of me is extremely proud that I tried and got to 20K words. And to be honest, writing in a month that isn’t November, was a pretty big deal for me. I usually spend most of my year being like, Let me come up with a million ideas for things to write . . . . and then wait till November to write them! The list of reasons why I don’t write can sometimes feel endless:

Well, it’s not November, so I can’t write! 

Circumstances aren’t perfect right now, which means I’m incapable of words.

Excuse excuse! Excuse excuse, excuse excuse excuse excuuuussseee!!1$%^&*

Q0lT4G4
Stars not in position. Can’t write. Not today.

We’ve all been there before. (At least most of us writers have.) But honestly, that’s the very reason why NaNoWriMo exists! Many writers and creators often get tangled up in real life and so the creative things that matter to us like storytelling become an everlasting I’ll do it later, but before we know it, later has come and gone and you find you’ve never done the thing. It’s extremely frustrating. All that to say, doing NaNoWriMo in July really helped to show me that the stars can be in whatever position they want, but that’s not what always stops me from trying to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. The thing often stopping me is myself, because I either don’t believe enough in the idea or am afraid it won’t be good enough. This month helped just get me going with that good ‘ole NaNoWriMo reckless abandon, and I really enjoyed every minute of it.

July also became largely about trial and error for me as a creator. I had the chance to try writing in a variety of ways: doing it while blogging/vlogging about it, going out and about to try writing in different places, I tried writing backwards, forwards, from the middle, and countless other ways, all on a mission to find what works. But what I really discovered, is that nothing works, but everything goes.

Say-what
Elayna say what??!?

Allow me to explain . . .

While I was at GeekyCon, one of the questions that I ended up hearing attendees asking the special guests on several occasions was How did you get into the industry? What’s your secret to being a successful creator? How do you do the thing? Well turns out, they all had the same response, and that response was that none of them did it in the same way. No two people find success in the same way. Some people are Kardashians, born into families that force you to be a famous whether you like it or not, while some people are Rowlings, who barely survive on welfare for years till one person realizes the genius of her work and decides to give her a chance. Every person has their own story, which is why despite advice, tips and all the retelling of my experiences I do on this blog, none of that is going to change the fact that there’s no right way to write – but you have to love what you do.

I love writing. I love filmmaking, photography, short stories, feature screenplays, vines, tweets and rock operas. I love the idea of me teaming up with the creator of the universe to help bring something new to the table, whether its a fleeting thought, a parody of something I love, or something you’ve never seen before. That is the the single most important thing that I believe makes us human: we connect. We create. We love. And when you’re someone like me, you love to connect and create. John Green put it best . . .

Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.
-John Green

I’m a nerd for writing and I will never not be, whether it is November or July or some other month in the future when we disregard the Gregorian calendar. While Camp NaNoWriMo has come to its close, the writing of my book will not, and I am so looking forward to spending the next three months up until NaNoWriMo proper trying to finish its first draft. My passion will be put through the grinder as I do this, but I believe with enough determination, audacity, and pure fucking stubbornness, I will make it happen.

And for all of those writers who may be reading, I leave you with some of the simplest John Green-y wisdom to help aid you on your quest to share your stories with the world…

giphy
You tell em John.

Happy writing!

On The Road Again

Today we interrupt your regularly scheduled novel blogging to take you on an adventure!

TO GEEKY CON!
TO GEEKY CON!

That’s right kids, seems like just yesterday I was leaving for Leaky Con 2014, but here I am a year later just about to set off on the road with my new MuggleNet friend Rachael.

We have a long journey ahead of us to Orlando. Tonight we will be hitting it Winchester style by crashing in some motel along the way and then completing our journey south in the morning. Can’t express enough how ready I am for this since its probably the legit-ist road trip I have ever been on, and it really is to the most exciting place ever: Geeky Con.

Best. Place. Ever.
Best. Place. Ever.

For those unfamiliar, Geeky Con used to be called Leaky Con, which started out as a small Harry Potter convention a few years back, but over time, and as other multi-fandom nerds like myself began to emerge, the con took on a bigger, crazier atmosphere – which I love, to be honest. I’ve seen a lot of hate flung this Con’s way, and while I can’t speak to what it was like before 2014 when I went for the first time, I can say going last year was some of the six best days of my life. I met John Green, made awesome new friends, chilled in a hot tub with famous YouTubers and one of the actors from Glee, and most specially – I got to meet and chat with Robbie Thompson, my favorite writer from Supernatural, and hug Amber Benson, who played Tara on Buffy. (She even took one of my business card as well!!!!!) Safe to say, Geeky is a magical place.

See? Coulson agrees!!
See? Coulson agrees!!

This year there are a number of people attending who I cannot wait to meet, many of whom are friends I have made on the internet, who I have yet to meet IRL, but now finally the time has come! We’ll get to hang out, relax, and even attend panels to help me with my writing! I may even meet Veronica Roth, the author of the incredible Divergent series. Oh, and did I mention? In addition to the con, I’M GOING BACK TO WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER AND FOR THE FIRST TIME, TO FREAKING DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!

ME RIGHT NOWWWW
ME RIGHT NOWWWW

There’s really nothing better than being able to go on another adventure like this. I’ve recently had so many people say, “Oh your so lucky!” and I’m really just at the point where I don’t believe thats it. For the first time in an extraordinarily long time, I really feel so very, very blessed. While I’ve had plenty of struggles in the past year (there’s a lot more to my life than my blog) I’ve also seen such a turnaround in my fortunes, and I truly believe it’s because I finally believe that if something good can happen, it will.

So happiness to all, chase your dreams like Bilbo chased those dwarves, and there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to . . .

 

Camp NaNo: Weeks 3 & 4

NEW WORDS WRITTEN: 8532

NEW TOTAL WORD COUNT: 16,767 

CURRENT MENTAL STATE

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ONE WEEK LEFT. AAAAAGGGHHHHH1YYTFRDE5315467!!!!11

I’m rather upset with myself that not only did my writing fall behind, but my posting about writing did as well. I think at the start of the month, when I was hopeful about this new venture, I must have been expecting every day to be this creative, happy sunshine world in which I write and write about writing and make videos about writing about writing . . . that just didn’t end up being a thing. Honestly, it probably would have been perfectly doable were I not working a full time, 40 hour a week day job, but ya know, bills gotta get paid. I think the hope is that one day I won’t need that day job to take up so much of my time that could be spent creatively running off into the sunset with my characters, but it is not this day. This day is the day that marks six days until the end of Camp NaNoWriMo, which means I’ve got six days to write about 33,000 words. (All while also being at GeekyCon)

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Me right now tbh

At a moment like this, I very well could throw in the towel on this month’s writing, give myself a gold star saying #YouTried and go into full on OMG I’M GOING TO GEEKYCON mode. But as fun and easy as that would be, it wouldn’t be fair to my story, or to myself. I set out to accomplish goals all the time, and then when I fall short, I feel like a total trash can who can’t do anything and that feeling is really no fun for anyone. I hate making promises I can’t keep, to myself and especially others, and I feel I’ve already gone back on my word enough by letting the blogging and vlogging fall by the way side this month.

9eIUxxe

So what can I do to not feel like a total fartbag? I can fucking do this. I can sit down over the next few days (even while at Geeky) and focus like a freaking laser on getting to 50K before August hits. I can stop scrolling through tumblr for a few days, stop trying to tweet so much about writing that I don’t actually write anything, and honestly, I can stop blogging about it. I need to just set down, with me, my notes and an open word processor, and let this happen. My best writing days tend to be the ones where I stop being so worried about creating a story and realize that the story already exists, I just haven’t put it to paper yet. At least for me, it helps sometimes to think of my stories as already done, as forgone conclusions that I’m merely transcribing to a page. Its my plan for this week, and hopefully it works.

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Thanks Yoda. You’re such a good writing coach.

I can’t make promises that I will absolutely reach my 50,000 word goal before the clock strikes midnight on August 1st, but I can promise this: I’m going to do everything within my power to make it happen, and I WILL NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES give up. Here’s hoping I’ll be posting August 1st with a bunch of happy success gifs because I did what I really set out to do. Here’s to real word sprinting, typing like a maniac, and hopefully, to hitting 50K.

i cant wait
You and me both, Ru.