Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Self-Publishing, Sweet Gum Valley Series, Uncategorized, Writing

Seventh Day Of Blogging…

Hey guys.

Thought I’d just pop in real quick. — Today makes one week of daily blogging. So, Yay. Managed to stick with it so far. — Fingers crossed.

I’ve been editing all day, and I’m bout a third of the way through. When I finish up this post, I’ll get right back to it. I just wanted to make sure I got over here and made this happen.

I always have a rule when writing. Every time I fire up the lap top, the deal is, only read back through what I wrote the very last time. No further. It’s so easy to get caught up in correcting things, you’ll end up sidetracked and all over the place if you’re not careful. Well, I will. I can only speak for myself.

So this is the first mass edit I’ve done. I was worried about having to go through and tear it apart, because you hear those horror stories all the time. But it’s honestly not as bad as I thought.

Don’t get me wrong. There are tons of things to change and rework. Exchanging words here and there. Punctuation and grammar. Paragraphs along the way that aren’t needed. Adding extra things that are needed. Dialogue that seems stunted. Restructuring sentences. Adding extra description where it’s lacking. Realizing I don’t need something because now that the story is written in its entirety, that particular piece is out-of-place in the book. — Doesn’t even make sense. Coming across sentences that would confuse the reader to no end because it’s written with knowledge I have, that they don’t yet.

So anyhow, even after saying all that… it’s really not so bad. πŸ˜‰

Anyhow. I’m going to run. See you all tomorrow.

 

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Life, Personal Growth, Uncategorized, Writing

I Did It! :D

Y’all wanna know what I did? Hang tight… I’ll tell ya. πŸ™‚

It’s been a minute since I’ve been here. I haven’t typed up a blog post since about September, October-ish. The last time I did, it was to tell you all that I was finally doing it. Like for real, it was happening.

If you read that post… you know I’m talking about my book. I’ve struggled to get it off the ground for years now… but this was the year. It was finally happening.

There were times I almost popped on here to give you updates, talk about word count, and regale you with tales of my writing escapades. Part of me wanted to share it with you guys… another part of me was tired of sharing all those things and then letting you all down… letting myself down.

I knew this time was different, but that didn’t mean you guys had any way of knowing that. So instead… every time I got excited, or hit some small milestone… I shot texts off to my best friend, called up my Mama, or talked my husbands ears off… because believe me, I was excited. They were all probably sick of me at various times along the way… but they were with me, all the way.

My mama read intimate scenes so she could inform me whether they were classy or not… she said I wasn’t allowed to embarrass her.. πŸ˜€

My best friend… read, I can’t tell you, how many snippets of text and provided feedback, which she wholeheartedly demanded credit for, mind you, and all the while complaining because she wanted to read the whole thing and I was moving to slowly for her. Apparently, I needed to speed it up.

My husband… who, let’s face it, understands things like alien ants taking over the world far better than he does two people falling in love… soldiered on head first into sounding board mode and engaged in countless plot point discussions, despite his disappointment at the lack of sci-fi. πŸ˜€

God… well… that almost speaks for itself doesn’t it? If He hadn’t turned my life upside down and inside out this past year, in the best possible ways, we wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be typing this and we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all. He kick-started everything and He gets all the glory.

As for myself… cause I did write the thing after all… πŸ™‚ — I stuck with it. On days I didn’t wanna… on days I did wanna… and every day in between. I believed in myself, and for the first time ever… I didn’t care what anybody else believed.

There is so much freedom in that, I can’t even tell y’all.

So… In September, on the 14th. I sat down and started working again. I had roughly around 7,000 words. I now… Four & a half months later… have a completed, 80,000-ish word novel.

Say what?! Yeah… I did it! — I didn’t do it alone! But I definitely did it!

Now what? — Well, Gotta edit the blasted thing. But we’re gonna dive right in. Then I’m gonna turn around and dive right on in to the wonderful world of publishing…. (Y’all pray for me… I thought writing it was scary… eeek!) — At the same time… we’re gonna get started on book 2! Keep on rolling!

I started on this book 2 years ago… and couldn’t get it off the ground. — Well, y’all… it’s off the ground now… we’ve taken flight… and it’s only just beginning. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Life, Writing

The Search History Of A Writer…

Ya know what you learn writing a book?

Things you think you knew… you did not actually know as well as you thought. — And sometimes it’ll make you feel like you are especially dumb. πŸ˜‰

You will spend a ridiculous amount of time researching and googling things you thought you knew enough about. — Turns out there’s a lot you don’t actually know about simple things you thought you knew and sometimes what you know slips your mind altogether.

When you are trying to be descriptive and accurate…. there’s a lot you don’t realize you need extra help with.

I have examples!

Tonight alone I’ve googled… Japanese Maples, types of sweaters, plaid scarfs, kitchen decor, various shades of green, the definition of the word rich, how to describe the color yellow, words for describing a kitchen, the name of the silver refrigerators, (It’s stainless steel by the way, I own one! ) what outdoor furniture looks like, synonyms for… bright, dark, muttered, perfect, colorful, exasperated, capture, proud of, and emotion.

Y’all that’s just tonight. & I assure you it’s not just a one night thing. It’s an every day thing.

Anybody ever stumbles across my search history and they’re gonna think I’m an idiot. Like… next level dumb.

That’s okay though… as long as I nail descriptive and accurate. πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Life, Personal Growth, Randomness, Uncategorized, Writing

It’s Happening!

Another day down in the books. (Insert thumbs up here.)

Wrote 3000 words & finished a scene I’ve been working on for like 3 days now.

It’s flowing, it’s smooth, it’s good. (Ignore that I’m biased because, I, of course, think my own work is brilliant. πŸ˜€ )

I even sent a little snippet to my best friend/sister-in-law & I was like, “I don’t think I’m half bad at this.” And she was like… “Yeah, you have a knack for it.” — Yes, we talk like this… kindly, don’t judge us. πŸ˜‰ ) — Then she told me to hurry up so she can read it in its entirety and not just the little teasers I keep sending her. πŸ˜‰ — I mean… the snippets & the teasers are good… it’s all good, amiright? πŸ˜€ — If you don’t think I’m right… please don’t burst my bubble. Everybody has the right to bubbles!

Anyhow… progress is being made… we’re moving along.

Y’all… it’s happening.

There have been moments along this journey where I very much thought it would never happen. — It’s happening. Right now.

I’d kick myself for all the time I wasted… but I genuinely believe that I wasn’t ready until now. I couldn’t have done this before…. because I wasn’t in a place where I could do it.

I’m in that place now & it’s happening.

I know that there were a whole host of people who didn’t & maybe even don’t now, believe me or in me. That used to bother me so bad. I mean turn my world upside down bad… because I already didn’t believe in myself.

Y’all know what is beautiful? I believe in me now. — I have a confidence that I didn’t have before… That God has given to me… that has changed everything.

Nobody can undo what He has done. No amount of disbelief in me… can shake my belief in myself. You can’t shake my foundation… because God built it… it’s quake proof. πŸ˜€

But I’m sure there will be people who read this & think… Yeah. Right. Okay. Here we go again.

And y’all wanna know something…. That’s alright. I don’t do any of this for any of them. I do it for God first and me second. — But once upon a time…. I would have felt that to my core. I needed people to believe in me… in an effort to convince myself to believe in me, and when they didn’t… it just reinforced my disbelief in myself. (What a hot mess that was!) — & now…

If you aren’t #1 or #2… that’s God & me… & you do have an opinion that is one of doubt… that’s okay… you can have it, it’s yours to have… but it’s irrelevant. — You can’t tear down what God has built… and He has built me up.

Y’all…. It’s happening. — & I’m excited! πŸ˜€

 

 

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Writing

Wash, Rinse, Repeat… ?!

Ever have one of those writing days where you don’t really wanna but you know you should, so you do? But then it’s like you have to push & shove & pull & fight to get 2 sentences on the page… and those 2 sentences sound like utter crap.

So then you begin a cycle of writing a couple of sentences, reading it, shaking your head, back spacing.

Writing a couple of sentences, reading it, shaking your head, back spacing.

over & over & over again.

Yep! One of those days.

But I will say that I did manage to get a page or two written despite all that & while it may be a total mess when I have to edit back through later… that’s okay. Something was written & that’s always better than nothing. Gives me something to edit in the future if nothing else.

Or who knows? May edit back through & find it to be an outstanding couple of pages. Future Heather may be like this is literary gold. πŸ˜€

So here I am blogging about my writing woes. But really if that’s all I have to complain about I must say I’m doing pretty good. πŸ™‚

Talk to you all later.
With Love,
Heather. πŸ˜€

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Life, Personal Growth, Writing

This Is THE Game Changer…

So it’s been a minute since I’ve said anything more about the project I am working on. The last time I mentioned it, I believe I said something along the lines of, “Oh, I’m going to figure out some sort of schedule and devote to it the time & determination it is due… or something or other like that. (Definitely sounds like me. πŸ˜€ )

Anyhow, that was in July. (I’m pretty sure it was July, at least.)

I did not immediately do that. BUT!! I have some good news to report. You ready???

I did pick it back up in September. AND… here’s the important part.

There is no schedule. No rhyme or reason. BUT! I write EVERY DAY.

Imma be honest… some days.. it’s just a few hundred words. Other days though… it’s a few thousand words. — & I have made a ridiculous amount of progress over the last few weeks.

I find that sticking with it & the writing itself is now much more effortless. — But that’s not all…..

Ya ever wonder if you’re on the right path? If you’re going in the right direction? — Just a little bit of doubt… can really derail you when it comes to going all in on something. So I want to tell you a little story. — Stick with me… It has an astounding ending.. I promise!

When I started this blog.. I said I was writing a book. At the time, that was roughly 4 or so years ago. Also at the time… it was an entirely different one than I’m currently working on. — A lot has changed. I have changed a lot. — Lots of change, Y’all.

I couldn’t figure out where I fit as a writer back then. As a christian I thought I had to write christian fiction if I was going to write fiction.

I was also ashamed. — I’m gonnaΒ be real with you. — The literary world looks down on a romance novel. That’s not great literature. It’s second-rate. It’s blah blah blah. — Okay, there are all sorts of opinions like that out there. I was letting those opinions.. affect me in a way that was causing me to try to change the romance aspect or be ashamed if I wrote it.

To both of those things… at several different points along the way… I said, screw it.

I am not meant to write christian fiction and I have embarked upon a romance series … and every one else’s opinion is completely irrelevant. If anyone has a problem with any of it, anywhere, no matter who they are… then my work, what I write… is not meant for them.

Here’s the other thing. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

4 years ago… when I was working on the other book that I have since abandoned (Years ago) ….

I was in the living room floor and I was stumped. I couldn’t figure out what to do with it or where to go with it. I had papers scattered everywhere. My lap top open. I was trying and nothing was working.

I asked God, I said, What do I do? Where do I go with this? Tell me what to do. & I motioned all around me at the papers and work spread about, where do I go with this? …. and God said…

Charlie is important.

& I said, say what now? Charlie? See there was a character named Charlie. & he was not a huge part of the book I was writing. He was in it. But a minor character. & I said, I don’t understand. — & God said again….

Charlie is important.

Y’all I tried so hard to fit him into that book and figure out what in the world God was talking about. Cause, look, that’s all He gave me.

It didn’t work. I did end up tossing the book to the side. & I reasoned that I had not heard correctly and must have thought that up myself. That was 4 years ago.

A couple of months ago I was working out and something had recently happened that had brought some of my past screeching back to the forefront. and my mind was on that. — Well in the middle of working out… God revealed to me with such clarity…

Charley’s story is your story.

And I stopped and I was like that’s it! (Mind you, the Charlie of my old creation was a guy and I had long forgotten all about him. This Charley, is a woman, and completely different character.) I had been wracking my brain trying to figure out her back story for months. I knew her quirks, and her personality and character. and I had always said she was the character most like me of all the ones I have created. But I hadn’t put all of the pieces together yet.

I was excited that I finally had the answers for her and I started working out again… and God said…

I told you Charley was important.

Y’all!!! Now see here, I had long forgotten about that. It was years ago and I had concluded that it was never God to begin with.

I stood there for several seconds just in awe. God knew.. He knew 4 years ago when I had it all wrong and I was going down the wrong path and it wasn’t working out, that years in the future, I would get on the right path and He would get to show up and say, I told you then.. so I could give you the revelation now.

And y’all.. I’m telling you.. it was such a powerful moment.

He gave me one little piece of a puzzle, that made zero sense at the time, because He was planning to give me the rest of the pieces years down the road when I needed them. — See.. Charley’s story was always going to be important because it was always meant to be the closest thing to my story. I didn’t know that then… But He did. — He knew I’d create a whole new world, with all new characters & that I would eventually name one Charley at the last minute because the original name I had for her just didn’t seem to fit somehow. He knew it all.

If there was ever any doubt, and okay let’s be real… there was heaps of it!!

It disappeared that day.

I know I’m on the right path. I’m going in the right direction. Charley’s story isn’t the one I am currently writing. Hers will come a little later on. But God revealed to me in that moment that I was going in the right direction. & all the doubt fled. I now know with certainty these characters and their stories are the ones I am meant to tell.Β  — So between knowing that and making the effort to write each & every day…. (& let’s be real… God guiding & blessing all that I do.. ) — I’m in a place with my writing that I’ve never been before.

& y’all!! It feels fantastic! πŸ™‚

Love to all!
Heather! πŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Writing

1981

I fail to be consistent in my writing. I don’t mean to, but it is still true nonetheless.

Having said that… I sat down & wrote 1981 words over the last couple hours.

I’m now going to invoke the saying, “Something is better than nothing.” It’s 1981 more than I did yesterday or the day before, or the one before that.

So, go me. I’m going to pat myself on the back for a job well done. πŸ™‚
It’s also well passed my bedtime. – Night! πŸ˜‰

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Writing

The Little Things…Β 

Sorting through notes & ran across these. One I wrote to myself as encouragement a while back & the other my husband left for me to find some time ago. — I leave them in the stack of notes… Cause along & along I stumble across them & they remind me that sometimes one just needs a little extra encouragement. — I can do this. I got this. ❀❀❀

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Writing

Diving Back In…Β 

Okay! So for the first time in months… & I do mean months, many, many months.. πŸ˜‰ … I have busted out the lap top & writing basket. (That’s what I call it, πŸ˜€.. the writing basket, lol holds all my notes and fun stuff like that.. πŸ˜‰.) Anyhow… it’s hard, it’s a lot of work, & kinda scary… feels a little daunting.. ya know? Cause a book is so big… ya start thinking about all those little pieces.. how you build something so big.. one word at a time… & honestly I almost wanna run screaming in the other direction. πŸ˜€. — But there is only one way to get this creation written down… & that’s one word at a time. & there’s only one person who can tell this story… And then tell all the ones to follow it… & that’s me. Cause I’ve created it and I’m the only one who can know it like I do. — So God help me, (that was a legit plea to God btw.. πŸ˜‚.) Cause I’m diving back in! ❀

Posted in Blog, Book Updates, Randomness

I Get A Little Honest Here…

So… here’s the thing.

I have been absent. I have not written a word in months. Not here, on my blog, or there, on my book. — I have been completely off the writing map. Not one written word… well, not one that wasn’t some Facebook or Instagram post, that is… πŸ˜‰ .

You see.. I have been intimidated. I have been scared. I have been insecure. I have been lost. I have been too afraid to write one single word anywhere about anything. Because… self-doubt. Because… insecurity. Because… intimidation. — Because if I’m being honest… on my best days.. I still struggle to believe in myself. I still struggle to believe that I have talent or that I am capable of stringing words together that make even a little bit of sense when I’m finished. — & that, my friends, is on my best days.

So on my worst days… it is far worse than that. On my worst days… I don’t just struggle to believe in myself… I just plain don’t believe in myself. I don’t even try on my worst days. I throw in the towel before the sun even rises. Like… not today guys, not today. Β I don’t have it in me to try. I don’t have it in me to pump myself up for this. I feel like a failure & I will just sit here and wallow in it & make no attempt to feel any better about any of it. ——- Β On my worst days… I give up. I am no longer in my own corner. I abandon post & take off. Because why? Because on my worst days… when I feel like the world’s biggest failure… I accept that. I say to myself, ya know what? It is what it is. I cannot do this, I cannot do anything, & so I just quit.

Intimidation. I am intimidated by my own self doubt, other people’s success, & the devil himself. Let me tell you something guys… I am being so incredibly honest with you right now. When someone else succeeds… and I mean just does something so incredibly amazing…. I can hear that little voice whisper.. “and what have you done, hmm? Look at them, taking the world by storm… and you… you haven’t even left the gate yet. What does that say about you, Heather? You’re a failure. A disappointment. Why do you even bother? You’re only making a fool of yourself.”

See… I know pride is like the downfall of man and all… but I still have some. & it grates & it drives me crazy to admit to that. To say that out loud, write it down, with every intention of sharing it with the world-wide web…. just what I think of myself on my worst days. — Because here’s the thing… It’s pretty bad to feel that way about yourself sometimes… but that other people, someone else, may be thinking or saying the same things of you… that hits that little bit of pride that I have right smack in the face. — & guys… I’ve heard it. Things very similar. I know there are people who have expressed doubt about me, my life, my future. — It hurts. It sucks. & it sticks with a person.

But here is the thing… because I’m going somewhere with this. I think.. πŸ˜‰ .

It can’t just be me. In a world filled with so many people… I can’t be the only one that feels this way on their worst days. I can’t be the only person that is intimidated by the world & struggles to believe in themselves. I can’t be the only person out there that feels like a disappointment or a failure. I can’t be by myself in this. Which also means… that whoever you are & wherever you are…. you and I, we are not alone. & I just want to say… I get it. I feel you. You have something in common with a complete stranger… but even so, this is one stranger that understands the struggle. — You are not alone. — & sometimes there is just something about knowing that someone else gets it. — & I get it!

So I’mma keep moving forward. I’m sure it will continue to be riddled with ups and downs, best days & worst days, Confidence & self-doubt… but I do not go it alone. I go it with Jesus & then however many people are right there in the same boat with me.

So here’s to pushing past those “worst” days & reveling in those “best” days. —

May the “best days” be with you.. ? Eh… well.. lol… little Star Wars thing I just did there… yeah, I won’t do that anymore. my bad. I apologize.. πŸ˜‰

πŸ˜€