Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bristol Ren Fair

Yes, I am one of those people who dresses up and goes to the Ren Fair. I love everything about the Ren Fair: the people, the food, the fact that grown ups can were costumes in public, the entertainment...but I mostly love the feeling of being in another world. I think most fantasy book lovers will get what I'm saying about the want to be in another world. Being at the Ren Fair is a bit like that. ;)

My friend K and I made the costumes we wore this year. It was hard since we are both in nursing school, but we spent two days working on them, staying up until 1 AM both times, and got them done. They are simple, and we plan to add more when we have the time. But, I loved them and loved the colors!

I was really into sewing last summer (I made Valkyrie costumes for last year's Ren Fair) but haven't had the time to get out my sewing machine with school. My goal is to make a tavern wench dress by the end of the summer. My mom and my older sister are both very good sewers who I'm sure will have to help me. There is so much I want to make! I really love costumes...I'm not sure if that is weird or not. It's just fun pretending to be someone else, I suppose.

We are already planning next year's group costume. (We enter the costume contest every year) This year we didn't have much time to devote to awesome costumes, sadly, so next year we will have to make up for it. Our choices are Elven Warriors or Elementals (like earth, air, water, and fire). I'm a fan of anything warrior (pretty obvious, right? Just look at the women I write about lol) and I like carrying around daggers and wearing arm bracers. You're probably thinking I'm the biggest nerd ever...and you're probably right! Anyway, here are some pics from this year's Fair, as well as last year and the one before that. (The people in the pictures are my mom, my sister, and my best friends, K, A, and H)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reaper Update

I had some free time (the power went out and class got canceled-no pharm final today woo-hoo!) so I wrote about 2,000 words in Reaper. The book was almost done at about 110,000 words but I decided I wasn't happy with the beginning and rewrote it (and made it twice as long... oops lol). I still have a few things to add to the beginning to 'patch' it what I had already written and then write the end. It really shouldn't take long!

I'm very excited about it!! It was fun to write this one; I like having Anora and Ethan's relationship already established. Yea, the falling in love is fun to write, but I like the trivial dramas established relationships go through. Maybe it's because I'm married and I can relate more. I don't really like focusing on falling in love either; I like having that love interest for sure, but I like the story to focus on magic and demons more than love. I don't want the point of the book to be about finding a boyfriend, basically.

Anora has a hard time accepting herself, and I tried to keep a general theme of self acceptance throughout the book (and the series, eventually). It's about finding the courage to believe in yourself and not giving up when someone tells you that you can't do something. Yea, Anora loves Ethan more than anything, but she doesn't need him to survive. In the end, she's the one who can kick more ass. Obviously, that's how I like my girls!

I'm also going through Contagious and re-looking at some things the editor suggested. Don't worry, the plot WILL NOT change. I know I had a bad habit of not saying who was talking in conversations, so that was fixed and some of the things Orissa says were slightly reworded. I guess she comes off a lot gruffer to others than she does in my head.

My lame comparison is Orissa is like Buffy in season one. She's scared and self conscious but instead of showing it, she over compensates and comes off as bitchy. As the books go on, Orissa comes to terms with herself and her flaws and stops trying so hard. Orissa felt like she had to prove to her grandpa was was just as tough as him, and built herself a tough exterior. She realizes that she doesn't have to do that anymore.

A friend told me that the 'drama' started up again on the Contagious review. I haven't had a chance to look at it (and I really don't care lol) but it's funny because whenever that craziness goes on, my book sales go up and I get tons of blog views with amazon as the referring site. So...thanks! I'm thinking people are curious as to what everyone is talking about.

I'm thinking about getting new covers for the GL series. I just love the work SweetDreams does so much I want more by her lol. :) We had really bad storms last night and this morning. On my way to school (power was out all over town) the clouds looked just like they do on DC's cover. It freaked me out and then I started thinking that a 'natural' power outage would be good cover for the ZA. The city would just never fix it...we'd be out of food, water, and gas. We'd be siting at home, just waiting for stuff to get back to normal and it never would! I think I'm getting a little too into the books. I feel like need to start preparing now :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

My stomach as been in knots over this

It's the call you never want to get. The one that makes your heart plummet into a black pool filled with icy water. The one that you hope is a joke-a sick joke but a joke nonetheless.

Thursday morning, I learned that my friend Kelly's two daughters were in a horrible car accident. The girls are 5 and 7. Being driven by their dad's fiance, the girls were on their way to their grandparent's house. As they rounded a curve in the road, a SUV going way over the speed limit crossed the center line and hit them head on. The driver of the SUV was either drunk, texting, or both. It's still under investigation. The SUV hit them, veered off the road and rolled. The driver is in critical condition. 

The fiance died soon after the crash. Both girls were in extremely critical condition. It had been storming all night and continued on until morning, making it impossible for the medical helicopter to get there. The girls had to be transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. 

The 7 year old suffered massive brain trauma. She is in a medically induced coma and had a craniotomy done soon after the accident to try and reduce brain swelling. Her neurological status is currently unknown. The 5 year old suffered from many breaks and fractures, but has been moved out of the ICU. She's a fighter for sure.

I cannot imagine being a mother and having to see this happen to my children. Even worse, the girls are in different hospitals. (One is in Indy and the other in Chicago) I know they are in the best care possible. I know the doctors and nurses are doing everything they can. I know that kids have a way of 'bouncing back'. Still, I'm so worried. It's not fair. Why did this have to happen to innocent children??

When something like this happens, it's like life slapping you in the face. Certain things just seem so trivial. I am alive, I am healthy. I got to live my life today and it was a gift, a gift I dare not to waste. Every morning, I am lucky enough to wake up and have a fresh start. When things seem bad, I need to remember that. I will go through hard times, but they will get better.

And I am alive.

I (along with several amazing friends) are putting together several fundraisers for Kelly. We are hosting a poker run (it's a fun motorcycle thing to raise $, in short lol) and a car wash. I am donating 100% of the money I make on Beyond the Sea to Kelly and her girls. (Spread the word! I want to give as much as I can to them)

If anyone lives in the NW Indiana region and wants to participate, that would be awesome! Please keep Kelly and her girls in your thoughts and prayers; they deserve a miracle.

Life is a gift. Please don't waste it. There are people who would do anything for just one more day.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The bite

I have two weeks of summer school left. (Jump for joy) I'm excited to get back to writing. I really, really miss it. I think of it kinda like reading but 'more', if that makes sense. I love to read because I can get lost in the world of the book. It's a great escape from reality and sometimes I feel a little depressed when I'm done reading because I'm not in that reality. Weird? Maybe.

So, writing, is the same. I get lost in the world, but it's a world I created. I can make things happen exactly how I want them to. Literally, nothing is impossible. I love getting caught up in writing, feeling like I'm in the world I created, imagining new characters, plots, and settings. This is probably really nerdy, but I like to make Sim worlds of my books. I love making the characters' houses. Anora's house is the coolest. I don't even want to know how much time I spent in the Sim World making that one.

I daydream pretty much most of the time I'm not writing (or doing anything that involves cognitive abilities lol). I have ideas for two new books. One will be a series and will have werewolves in it and the other is stand alone novel about a ghost. I'll come up with both synopsis later...I hate those! It's really hard to make a book sound good in just a few sentences. I've been dreaming about my werewolf series idea for days. I wish I had the time to just write everything.

It won't be possible with school, I know. I'm too exhausted right now to put out anything good anyway, writing wise. It's funny...I can tell when I'm tired in my writing because I notice a lot more errors. And I do like school, don't get me wrong. I just like writing more ;) Nursing is a wonderful thing and I definitely do not think nurses get the appreciation they deserve. I like taking care of people and helping people. I like knowing medical stuff; I find it all super fascinating.

My ultimate dream job is to be an author (and make enough to ONLY have that job) and volunteer as a nurse at a free clinic. I want to give back; I've been lucky in my life and I want to do what I can to make other people have just as good of a life. I've worked hard for most of what I have, so it's not like things have been handed to me. But things have always worked out in the end. And I fully believe that they will continue to do so.

And speaking of best friend K and I are obsessed with Teen Wolf. If you don't know the show, there is a character who has epilepsy but once she became a werewolf, she was 'cured'. Today in class, our professor asked us what the medications/treatments for seizures were. K very confidently said 'werewolf bites'. Everyone looked at her like she was crazy and I started cracking up. Then I explained the whole Teen Wolf thing and even the professor laughed. It might be one of those 'you had to be there' moments, but it still makes me laugh to think about! :) I love that girl!!

mmmhhh...Derek. *drool*

Monday, July 9, 2012

I forgot...

I forgot to mention that I'm giving away a signed copy of Contagious with the new cover. Go over and like the book's FB page to enter. Also, you can vote on which new cover for DC you like the best! :)

Time, time, time

Only three more weeks left, only three more weeks left...that's what I keep telling myself about school. I love school, I love nursing, and I love learning...but I love not having homework even more. My last day of summer school seems so far away. Ugh, I cannot wait! I don't think people really understand just how much work nursing school is. Granted, the summer semester is accelerated so it's more work than normal. I literally do so much homework! I've only written maybe two chapters since I started school over a month ago.

I have 42 hours of just classroom school a week. And, because I'm weird, I broke down the week into hours.

There are 168 hours in a week. Minus the 42 for being in school and I have 126. For every hour in the classroom you should ideally spend two studying. Since 24 of those hours are spent at the hospital, I spent roughly 36 hours a weeks studying and another 2 working on papers and projects. That brings me down to 88 hours left. Take out 6 hours each night for sleeping: 46. Then factor in driving to and from school (one clinical is about an hour away), cleaning the house, making dinner, taking care of my horses, dog, and ferrets, and then the fun stuff. Really, I have no time for myself!

But it's worth it. And it's not impossible. My point isn't to whine about how busy I am (though I do to my husband; he gets to hear just how tired I am everyday lol) but it's so say if I can do it, so can anyone else! Really, if you put your mind to something, you can do anything. (Well, not anything...don't jump off a roof expecting to fly.)

Hard work and dedication pay off in the end. It sucks while you're doing that hard work. It does, no matter what people say, I know that it sucks big time. It's not fun staying up working on homework or cleaning or whatever. But it is worth it.

I stay up after I do my homework to write. I haven't been able to write as much as I'd like, but I'm still doing it. I have to find the time and stay disciplined. For me, that's hard. I'm a very easily distracted, I-wasted-an-hour-watching-Youtube-videos kind of person.

Self confidence was never my forte. In order to get through this and stay positive and happy, I had to learn how to become my own cheerleader. And I had to relearn my sense of time management. I have a planner that keeps me in line lol. I try to do everything on my list and when it's done, it's time to play :)

So, don't give up on yourself or your dreams just because it is hard. School seemed soooo overwhelming at first. It's no cake walk, but it's not that bad.

As Orissa would say, "you don’t give up just because something is hard. The harder it is, the more it’s worth it in the end."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cover reveal!

I hired a cover artist (obviously) to make new covers for the entire trilogy. I really like it :) I know the girl isn't a picture-perfect Orissa, but I think it captures her attitude pretty well. In my head Orissa always wears pants lol but the face looks just like how I imagined her! I'm very excited about it! :D I've seen DC's cover and it's pretty freaking awesome as well. I'll post that one a little later.

Also, Contagious is being officially edited! I'm super excited about that too. I'll have him go through DC too, and TTIC before it's released. From now on, you guys can expect better editing. You really can't edit your own work, and I learned that the hard way. I've learned so much since I first published in October. From editing to covers to marketing, it has been a nonstop learning experience. I've met some awesome, amazing people along the way, and I am ever so grateful for their support, advice, and friendship. :)

Here is the link for the cover artist's DA account. I recommend her to anyone! She is very polite, professional and a joy to work with!!