Back Again

NaNoWriMo 2018, Day 5, Elayna’s Log

Current Word Count: 12,065 words

Current GIF Mood

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It’s that magical time of year again friends, and even though I’m terrified of the election tomorrow and it often feels like the world has gone beyond dumpster fire into full on eldritch dystopian hellscape, I’m trying to find a tiny piece of hope to hold onto, and right now, that hope is NaNoWriMo. That hope is, as it always seems to be for me, Alteria.

You may recall a few months back when I made the whacky decision to try and write a third draft of book one at the same time as a first draft of book three. In retrospect…

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Not the best idea.

It was a great idea in theory, but I burned out on that faster than a cheap t-light candle, and fell into a bit of a hole as I went through some stuff in my personal life. I wasn’t working on the story, book one OR three, and I was to be honest, feeling a bit trapped.

But then I applied for Pitch Wars 2018. I was more hopeful than I’ve been in a long, long time, thinking THIS IS IT. THE THING. IT IS HAPPENING. And then when I got a full manuscript request from one of the writers I was most stoked about pitching, I was bursting. Everything I’ve ever hoped and dreamed was so close I could taste it and friends it tasted like your favorite ice cream mixed with homemade cookies and goddamn rainbows.

When I got another email from that same writer, asking me specifics about the history of the manuscript and other questions of import, it felt like it was just a matter of time. I was drunk on hope, anxious with nerves, and really, really thought that my name was gonna be on that list on October 12th.

And then it wasn’t.

And then I broke a little.

Added to the six rejections I’ve gotten from agents in the last calendar year, that brings me to seven. When I got rejected from ANOTHER mentorship last week, that brought me to eight. I was feeling so kicked down, and scared that maybe I should quit. This manuscript will never be ready. The book will never be finished. I tried staying positive, but internally, the breakdown was more like an implosion.

Leave it to National Novel Writing Month to save the damn day and remind me to have hope in humans, existence, and my story.

The last five days working on this new draft (after an astronomical overhaul of the outline, plot, and even chopping some characters) I feel fan-bloody-tastic. Is this the honeymoon week of NaNo talking? Maybe. But who the hell cares if it means I feel rejuvenated in my writing?

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This draft, while in some ways very scary and new, is honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made creatively in a long time. Its outline came after talks with some closest friends about why I was getting stuck, and looking over rejection feedback, and a lot of it came down to this… there was something about my book that wasn’t personal enough.

If y’all have read my poetry, you know I go in. I lay myself out and say, this is what my soul looks like. But it turns out my fiction writing was full of just a little too much fiction, and not enough of my own voice. I was trying so hard to tell the plot of a sweeping epic trilogy, without telling the story of a girl who learns she’s got light inside of her. And so writing this so far has felt more authentic and honest than any drafts prior.

I’ve included places from my hometown. Woven in my own memories to Piper’s narrative. And if you can believe, I found a way to include poetry into my YA fantasy novel. I described the writing of this version as feeling like, “adding new plot elements, but talking to an old friend”, and so far, its been a magical decision.

I’ve got zero way of knowing right now if this is gonna be the one. I could still be in for a draft four, five, six, and twentyteen. Maybe this one will end up being too personal and I’ll have to go back and do this all over again. God only knows. But right now, I’m letting the delightful fire of a new draft fill me up and keep me warm. I’m enjoying the bejesus out of writing fiction, which I haven’t felt in some time. It’s a nice feeling. Just so nice.

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Though now it’s time to get back to it. I’d love to try and stay as ahead as I can on this word count, so I can make the most of the end of month when I have some vacation days tucked away just for writing.

If you’re participating in NaNo as well, sound off in the comments so we can encourage each other! And as ever, thanks for listening to my ramble about this thing I love doing so dang much.

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1.7 … Wrong Direction

el (1)

LOVE LESSONS

1.7 … Wrong Direction

I was looking
for love in all the
wrong directions.
From her, from him,
from the world,
from my work,
from the very air…
and I was looking
so far off
for what I thought
was promised,
that my unfocused eyes
missed the mother,
missed the teachers,
missed the friends,
missed the mirror
that was right there.
I thought the love
I wanted could only be
found in distant lands,
but the love I needed
was already in my own hands.

⚬⧝⚬


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 Chris Lawton on Unsplash)

(elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

1.6 … Not Yet

el (1)

LOVE LESSONS

1.6 … Not Yet

Thinking of songs and stories
and all the came-before-mes,
I realize
that as glorious as those stories be,
all were missing something key…
me…
So whenever I feel lonely,
or sad that my love story
hasn’t been written yet,
I’ll remember it’s being written now
between me
and someone I haven’t met.

⚬⧝⚬


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 Micheile Henderson on Unsplash)

(elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

1.5 … Who Deserves Me

el (1)

LOVE LESSONS

1.5 … Who Deserves Me

He said I would
never find love
because I cared too much
about my career,
as if writing words
and making films
and changing hearts
was a pursuit to be feared.

It hurt at first,
but the more distant
from those words I grow
the more I’m confident
and absolutely know,
that my passion for stories
is the greatest part of my being
and if that’s something the person
I fall in love with can’t see
then they certainly
don’t deserve any part of me.

⚬⧝⚬


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 Da Kraplak on Unsplash)

(elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

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…

Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound


(Featured Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash)

(elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

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)

1.2 … The Nebula of You

el (1)

LOVE LESSONS

1.2 … The Nebula of You

Look at a nebula
and consider its magnificence.
It is no single star,
nor a binary,
it is a cosmic cloud
of interstellar intricacies
and galactic glory
made of billions of
particles of stories.

You, dear queer child,
are like the nebula.
Complex and glowing,
beautifully showing
the universe that you
are marvelously multidimensional
and made from
science, magic, and love.

⚬⧝⚬


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 from Canva)

(elluminations © 2018 Elayna Mae Darcy)

 

• Nostalgia •

The word evokes in most
Nickelodeon or N*Sync
or any of the other trappings
of our childhoods.
But for me, nostalgia has always
emerged in ways that
to the world might seem strange.

Backstage darkness,
the smell of lumber,
the hum of light fixtures.
12 scoop ice cream sundaes
from Friendly’s after
every special occasion,
and lying in the freshly
mown grass of the football field.
Candle wax between my
fingers while lying on the driveway.
Nights looking for meteors,
and cool, rainy mornings
in the shadows of stone history
when we were hoping for a sunrise.

Nostalgia tastes like
Charlie’s greasiest pizza,
smells like sweet incense,
feels like warm pavement,
and looks like starry skies.


Want to read more from Unraveling LightAdd the book on

Goodreads

Buy the book on

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(Featured Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash)

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.

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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.

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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…

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(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))