Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2024. When you get older, time seems to move so much faster. I'll be 40 in July! How!?
Anyhow, with the start of the new year, I've started my most lofty reading goal yet, and that is to read 24 books this year. I have friends who have read 100, and I know I can't do that, but I can at least read two books a month if I get off my phone.
On that note, I have decided to chip away at my growing Kindle collection and have started with Robert J. Crane's Alone from his Girl in the Box series.
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Let me start by saying Thank you to all veterans for your service! Veterans Day is also my mom's birthday, so we will be having our now standard British Brunch in her honor tomorrow. Last year I brought Yorkshire pudding and this year forgot that I bought the mix on Amazon, but the recipes I've seen just say I need flour, so what the heck was in the mix? Are they cheating us?
So, I had a goal to read Edgar Allen Poe's complete works in October, and the first story I encountered was so fricking boring that it took me until November to finish it. I have to learn to speed read, but I also need to read some of the other million books I have on my Kindle.
Last Saturday, I attended the first Black Women's Health Conference founded by my play-cousin, and it was AMAZING. I can't wait for next year. It was amazing. Somewhere in the middle of it, I realized what I need to do for one of my next book projects. It might've been around the "Burn it all down" portion of Q&A. Either way, I'm excited again about that particular story.
I'm coming up on another paste-a-scene in my writing, so I'm happy about that. I'm glad I wrote so many salvageable scenes and chapters before I started Divided Princess again. It really was just that I needed to put new scenes and ideas in their proper places. This is going to make the story so much stronger. Did I mention the Women's Meditation Retreat I was in last month? If not, while meditating, God gave me a key to the ending of the series, and I could've fallen out right then. It makes so much sense. I'm extra excited about it and can't wait to get there. This story has morphed into something I never expected, especially as I had planned for it to be one book and have no sequels.
Next weekend, I will be at my first two-day convention, Blue Hen Comic-Con, and I had to buy less books that I wanted. Only 9 less, but...eh. I sold 35 books in one day at the Dover Comic-Con, if I remember correctly. I have 66 for two days. This could work. I'm just nervous. I also hope one day I'll be selling not to recoup what I bought and pay off some bills, but to have some extra cash. Of course, that's not the main goal, but it would be so helpful. I usually go live when I finish setting up, and because this one is indoors, I only have to set up my table, so I'll go live a little longer this time. I will most likely check in the Friday after next to share how the convention went.
I started this post an hour ago with the hope to post at Noon, and I'm out of words to say. Have a great weekend!
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I'm in the office today because of an open house (blugh), but I just wanted to stop by and say that I am now on Threads! I need an "old Twitter"-like outlet where I can just word vomit whenever I feel, so I'm going to be using that. I already have a stan post for Chris Stapleton planned. XD
I saw a Reel the other day asking September if it has someone to be, and that's a great question, because how is October on Sunday?
It is a fifth Friday, so that means it is time for my quarterly goals. Last quarter, I sought to publish Fractured Princess, and I did! It is now available in all text formats (see the links below!). My goal for this coming quarter is to record and publish the audiobook. I had started practicing reading it aloud last quarter on Twitch, but then I got sick for an entire month, so now I have to strengthen my vocal cords and lungs back up. I definitely want to get the audiobook out before the year is up, though.
Also, of course, in the next quarter, I would like to try to have--at least--the first two parts of Divided Princess completed. I know just about all of the major plot points. I just need to connect them. If I can say "THE BOOK IS FINISHED" in January, that would be just the bees knees. Wish big. Work big.
My other goal was to make my reading goal. I've read 11 books so far, so that means I'm going to make the 12! Depending on how many I finish, I'll try to add a book a quarter. No promises. I'm only doing it for myself anyway. I started Poe's complete works, because I've only read a few of his short stories and one poem in school ("Annabel Lee"; I haven't even read "The Raven"), so I'm going to power through this weird story about Hans Pfall, which is mostly a rambling so far, and go from there.
Another goal is to try to get more sales in. For me, that will mean a little more marketing and trying to get into more conventions as a vendor. I have Blue Hen Comic-Con in November. I didn't make the cut for the Multiverse Con in October. I know there is a big fantasy one in D.C. in the Spring? Early Summer? So, I will keep an eye on that. Marketing and social media-ing is tougher. I deleted my Twitter account, so I'm down an avenue. I'm thinking more about Threads than any other newer outlet. I like Spoutible. It's being ignored even by articles listing new social media apps, but so far, it's the one with the least issues. I need to keep a better presence on Facebook, but they always recommend I post around 7:00pm. I mean, I guess I can schedule something, but I like to be in the moment. We'll see.
Anyhow, those are my goals. Have a happy Spooky season! I'll see you next month. ;)
FRACTURED PRINCESS is now available in Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover! Get your copy today!
So just a quick update, because I haven't blogged in 3 weeks.
As I mentioned in the previous post, the new direction went very well! The majority of the second chapter was the scene I mentioned in that post (where I was worried I wouldn't be able to use it), so I am at the third chapter now. I was about to keep jumping into the action, but no, I need a little more regular time for Cyan and Jonnie (although, I did sneak in a bit of suspense in the second chapter). By the fourth chapter, I believe it will be time to get into the meat of the story, and with so much already written, I'm partially sure the rest of the writing will be done quickly. I won't declare a date, but things are looking up. I'm excited.
I, for sure, need to make at least a Quarterly Review post next week, so I'm going to start working on it now. haha See you then!
Resurrection and Revenge.
Wei Wuxian was once one of the most powerful men of his generation, a talented and clever young cultivator who harnessed martial arts and spirituality into powerful abilities. But when the horrors of war led him to seek more power through demonic cultivation, the world's respect for his abilities turned to fear, and his death was celebrated throughout the land.
Years later, he awakens in the body of an aggrieved young man who sacrifices his soul so that Wei Wuxian can exact revenge on his behalf. Though granted a second life, Wei Wuxian is not free from his first, nor the mysteries that appear before him now. Yet this time, he'll face it all with the righteous and esteemed Lan Wangji at his side, another powerful cultivator whose unwavering dedication and shared memories of their past will help shine a light on the dark truths that surround them.
I watched the show twice and started the manhua (Chinese version of anime) on Youtube, so I know this highlighted scene like the back of my hand, the first time the wild horse Wei Wuxian (right) went head-to-head with the very strict Lan Wangji (left). I'm 82 pages in at the moment, and so far, the Netflix show stays very true to the book, Chinese censorship laws notwithstanding. There's much more detail about the characters, of course, so we get an even more well-rounded image of them. There are even things I'm noticing in the story as a whole that I missed in the show.
The tv version of the story is a frame story, but in the book, it's written more like flashbacks. Either way, we start in the present and go back into the past to learn why exactly Wei Wuxian was summoned back to life: which was to discover a truth that his summoner uncovered and was ostracized for. We embark on a mystery filled with a little humor, what I expect (from the show) to be a lot of trauma and sadness, and fantastical romance that lives on Tumblr so prominently it's how I discovered the show in the first place. If you stumble upon any iteration of this story, I hope you love it as much as I do!
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This is a quick post so I can say I posted. Haha
But seriously, I'm a little stuck in my head on this sequel. As I've said before, I started from scratch after writing about two-thirds of it because I didn't like the direction it was going emotionally. But now the I've started over, I've been dragging and doubting if I should've. I haven't written as much as I did the first pass, most likely because I wrote SO MUCH that first pass.
The one thing I really wanted to do from the beginning was give Jonnie and Cyan time to live without struggle. I think that's part of the problem. I haven't let them do that. Does it make for a good opener, though? If I do it right, it just might. I just have to work on it.
I do know, which I've probably already said as well, that scenes/chapters from the first pass are needed for this one, so they weren't written in vain. They're just waiting for where they belong.
And last but not least, I don't necessarily need to plot the main story, but definitely the backstory that plays into it. It's so meaty, and I need to make sure I get it right. It CAN'T have any flaws if it's to hit the way I need it to. I'm still really excited about it, though. I hope y'all are too.
It's the last week of Cancer Season, and I don't know where the time went, but I had a great birthday week! Last Saturday, I went to Salted Vines Winery down in Frankford, met an amazing singer who I plan to see again when she's there, and had some great food and wine with my family. Monday, I went to my favorite restaurant, Greene Turtle, with my friends. Wednesday was my birthday, so after I went to Starbucks for my free drink, haha, I went to the mall and ran up my credit card for the new FFVII remake, Funko Pops, some shirts, and shoes. Then, I came home and fiddled with my OBS to practice a stream (this sentence is hilarious) on Twitch. I made a couple mistakes that I can easily fix. The price is doing things myself.
Did I write, though?? I did, but???
So, I updated some mid-series backstory and conversation that actually makes it on the story about sed backstory. I reread what I've written so far, and I do feel like something is missing between my first two chapters. I'm not wholly sure why, save a feeling like I'm escalating things too quickly. Then again, it's nowhere near as escalated as Contagion destroying Aterholt Manor, so I don't know what my problem is. This is the problem with being a pantser, though. I know how the story ends. It's just a matter of getting there.
Can I get book 2 written by the end of the year?? If I set my mind to it! I already have chapters and/or scenes from the first take that I'm going to incorporate into this take. I had literally finished the first two of three parts before I decided to start over, so the material is there. And as I said before this book is going to be longer than FP by a few chapters. I was going to say hundred pages, but no, I think just a few chapters.
It can be done, as Grampa Joe sang.
Next week, I will be in Belize, so I will see y'all in August!
It's my birthday month! As I venture into my last 30-oughth, I'm excited for the things I have planned the rest of this year. FP Take 3 has been an adventure, and I plan to ride it into the next book. But first, some easy reading!
This year, I'm trying to immerse myself in some more diverse reading and support my fellow authors of color. I'm starting with Sher Lee's Fake Dates and Mooncakes, a YA romance whose cover I absolutely love (CORGI!). The colors are vibrant and reminiscent of mooncakes, I believe. I can't wait to try some one day. Here is the blurb:
Dylan Tang wants to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom, and to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn.