Posted in Uncategorized, Blog

The Dentist & Chick-fil-A In The Same Day!

I had hopes of editing today, but alas, that’s not going to work out. — I knew it was unlikely that I would get to it. But, I had hoped.

I had a dentist appointment this morning. Cleaning, nothing crazy. It takes me about an hour and a half to get there. That includes swinging by to pick up my mom since she’s on the way and always goes with me. We like to make a day of it. — Dentist first. Lunch second. Then shopping. — So that’s what I did today, or rather, what we did. πŸ˜€

Cavity free. So that’s nice. Course I need to get my wisdom teeth taken out sometime later this year. So that’s not nice. But I knew that already. I’ve been putting it off for a while. Cause, I mean, really… oral surgery? Ain’t nobody wanna do that!

Chick-fil-A. — Now that’s something worth doing! Feel like it speaks for itself. It was hot, delicious, and worth all the calories. I don’t even care it had too many. Ate it all anyway.

Didn’t buy anything. But then half the time we never do. — We shop, we talk, we smell all the candles, look at all the clothes, and go into all the stores. — It’s a thing. And it was fun. Had a good time.

Now I’m home. Been home about an hour. It’s seven o’clock. — I’m tired. I have a headache. I just want to kick back and watch a little tv. Relax. Do absolutely nothing. That sort of thing. — Which is why editing is not happening tonight. But that’s okay. I’ll work tomorrow. πŸ™‚

It’s also Valentine’s Day. But we don’t celebrate it. — I love my husband. He’s my favorite person. I just don’t buy into someone else telling me when to celebrate those things, or how to celebrate them. — Maybe that’s just the libertarian in me? Don’t tell me what to do or how to do it. I’ll decide for myself, thank-you. πŸ˜‰

Seriously though, if you do enjoy Valentine’s Day, then Happy Valentine’s Day! There’s nothing wrong with that either. πŸ™‚

Imma get off of here and try to find something quick to toss together for supper. — See you all tomorrow!

Much love,
Heather. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

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 Uncategorized, Sweet Gum Valley Series, Blog, Books, Self-Publishing

What Will It Be?

I come seeking advice!

To curse or not to curse? Where to curse, when to curse, why to curse? What to do?

So here’s the deal. — I write novels. One of my big things is authenticity. Is it relatable? Is it raw? Is it real?

I feel like in certain situations, cursing is all of those things. There are other people who do not, however.

My novel isn’t slap full of them and they aren’t on every page. But, they are there, sprinkled about. — They are there when someone is angry. They are there when someone is passionate about something. They are there when the guys are hanging out, drinking beer, and shooting pool. — While they are not everywhere, they do crop up when it is authentic for them to be there.

So this battle is always raging, like, what do I do?

To be clear, they don’t bother me. My big thing is that I know they bother other people. Readers. Not all readers, just some.

But readers matters. To be a writer, to publish novels… you need readers. I’m also aware that every one is different. Every reader is different. And not every book is for everybody. That’s okay. It’s more than okay. That’s how this works.

I think the big question is… how true do I stay to the story and the characters, and the authenticity of the situations they are in? And how much do I altar for readers? Because some readers aren’t going to bat an eye. Some are going to take one look at the first curse word and never pick up another of my books again.

And if you want some real honesty. I’m not so sure I’d think twice about it except I have family and friends that are going to be sorely disappointed at the first curse word.

I kind of feel torn in two about it. To stay true to the characters and, to me, I will have to disappoint a certain group of readers. Some that I call family. Some that I call friend. — So I think that’s where this stems from the most.

At this point… what is already there is not being taken out. I’ve already battled through this some when I was writing it. — Now I’m editing it and near the beginning and just slipped one in after someone nearly ran their car off the side of a mountain. — Seemed appropriate given the circumstance. — But then I worried one so close to the beginning would put people off at the very beginning. — And then I wondered should I worry about that, given they will come upon them eventually? — Or how many people would see it that early on and assume they are everywhere and quit before they get very far?

So maybe a large part of this is me not knowing how to handle people I know, having problems with my work. And that’s where the majority of it stems from, I think.

I can’t please everyone, and I know that. Not everyone will like it, and I know that.

It just brings up the question, how much do you change to appease one certain group of readers… or do you not, and focus on the readers that will enjoy it as is?

I don’t intend to market this as a “clean romance.” Mostly because I don’t believe it is. While there are no graphic sex scenes, they do talk it about it, and there is some alluding to it. There are also curse words around and about, as well as alcohol consumption. So readers looking for clean romance aren’t exactly my target audience, so maybe that should be my answer? — Maybe I answered my own question. — Focus on my target audience and don’t worry about anything else?

What do y’all think? Lemme know. πŸ™‚

Posted in Blog, Randomness, Sweet Gum Valley Series, Uncategorized, Writing

A Success & A Mess…

I’ve been writing for the last six hours. I finally finished the flash back scenes I’d been working on this week. Wrote the last two today. — Yay!

This just means tomorrow, or maybe later tonight, I will start going back through my novel from beginning to end to clean it up and make it better. Then I’ll print it off and do it again. — Then I’ll get it into the hands of some readers for feedback. No one has read it but me. Some have read scenes, and snippets here and there, but not in its entirety.

So that’s scary. They may tear me to shreds. Hopefully not. I like to think I have some raw talent in me where writing is concerned. Let’s hope others do too!

In other news. Went up town to get some take out earlier, and while we were gone my 85lb dog attempted to climb up on the trash can, so she could get to something that was on the counter.

This plan backfired on her. As the flimsy plastic trash can could not support her weight and so we have surmised she toppled off of it. Taking the trash can down with her. Lid came off, and when we returned, she spotted us and ran away like a dog that knew she was in trouble.

Why you ask? Well, remember the lid came off… and when presented with her two options, rather than walk away like any good obedient dog should… she did no such thing. Clearly, she’s no good obedient dog. She drug everything out of it and scattered it all over the kitchen floor. — Banana peels. Egg shells. Lemons. Strawberries. And so many other such things were scattered all over the place.

So, having said that. Anybody want a dog? She’s cute, really. Her behavior… well, that’s questionable. I’ll even offer a discount if you’ll overlook that last bit about her behavior. Then she’s just cute. And who doesn’t want a cute dog?

Eh, guess we’ll keep her. Love & forgiveness & all that. πŸ˜‰

Anyhow. This is the fifth consecutive day of blogging for me since saying five days ago that I’d blog daily. WordPress is going to tell me I have a five-day streak going on and I’m going to grin like an idiot and pat myself on the back for a job well done. — It’s the little things in life guys. πŸ˜€

Heather! πŸ™‚

Posted in Blog, Randomness, Uncategorized, Writing

A Twist On The Classic Writing Prompt…

I went searching for writing prompts a little while ago and was far more amused with my thoughts than I was anything.

So this is a list ofΒ  ten writing prompts and my first thoughts upon reading each of them. — You’re welcome! πŸ˜‰

  1. You appear in an infinite white room with nothing but yourself and a piece of paper saying, “You have been banned from existence.” —Β Certainly not! Jesus would never!
  2. Luna, from a waterless village, is compelled to enter the dark forest to fetch water for her dying mother… —Β I don’t think so. Somebody better make it rain!
  3. You sold your soul to the devil some years ago. Today he gives it back and says, “I need a favor.”Β — Certainly did not! Devil is a lie. — Y’all crazy.
  4. She gripped the rim of the porcelain sink and tried to steady her hands. “One last time,” she whispered to herself. One. Last. Time. —Β This about a prostitute working up the nerve to turn one last trick? πŸ‘€
  5. The ghost silently led the young woman…. —Β NOPE.
  6. The man leans into you. There is a dark red, almost black color to the whites of his eyes. He is so close his nose is almost touching yours. You can feel his breath when he says, “We all have it in here. We’re all infected. —Β The hell we are!
  7. The phone rings. The voice on the other end says, “We need you again.” then hangs up. —Β Samuel L. Jackson called Tony Stark, didn’t he?
  8. I dare you to touch her again. —Β Fight, Fight, Fight!
  9. “Sorry, my room is a little messy.” — “The phrase pig sty comes to mind.” —Β Did my mama write this? She did, didn’t she?
  10. “I’m no better than you. But at least I’m not you, and right now.. that’s worth a lot. —Β Well somebody’s going through an ugly breakup.

See, what fun! πŸ™‚

Heather!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Life, Randomness, Uncategorized

I’m Here & I Have Reese’s…

I’m here.

I spent 8 hours of my day in the car. On the interstate. It’s 9:30 pm. I’m tired. I kind of want to sleep. I kind of want to binge on Hulu. I kind of want a snack. — And I will get to all those things… though not necessarily in that order. But first… I will blog. — I made a commitment. — Daily blogging. And here I am.

My sentences are short and sweet. I’m too tired to string anything else together. Amazing what sitting in a car for hours can do to a person. How do people drive for a living? I would lose my sanity. All of it. Every last bit.

So we got in the car this morning. Drove 4 hours, hit up a baby shower, and then drove 4 hours back home. Also got to buy onesies with cats on them yesterday. Who doesn’t love a cat onesie? — That’s like the most adorable thing ever. Uncle Jeremy & Aunt Heather for the win! πŸ˜‰

Alright, I really don’t know what else to say. My day was fairly boring. I spent the majority of it in the car. I did do a little bit of writing in the car. Lot of talking. Little bit of eating.

Ooooh! Speaking of eating in the car. I just remembered. I bought road trip Reese cups last night and brought them with us today, but totally forgot about them on the trip. — Which just means there is chocolate in my car and I’m about to go get it and get my snack on! Totally winning at life right now. — Except that part where I forgot they were in the car with us all day and so never opened them. — Ignore that part. — Still winning!

Alright guys. It’s not much of a post, I know. But it is a post. Which is what I promised you. Daily blogging. No matter what. So here it is. — Edge of your seat stuff, I know. You’re welcome. πŸ˜‰

Heather!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Self-Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing

S&S — Scatterbrained & Self-Publishing

Scatterbrained: — adjective. — (Of a person) disorganized and lacking in concentration. — Absentminded, forgetful, disorganized, unsystematic.Β 

This is me! Wanna know why?

Self-publishing. πŸ˜‰

Seriously though. When I first set out to write books, always sorta just assumed I would be answering to other people. Whether that be agents and editors, publishers and the like. I just assumed someone else would be calling the shots.

Guess who is calling the shots? Yep. That’d be me…. over here managing myself. — *points finger at self* — πŸ˜‰

There is so much to do. I sit down to do one thing and my brain is like, but you need to do this, this, that, this, and the other. And I’m like… Ahhhhhhh!

What I really need to do, for the moment, is focus on one piece of the puzzle without letting my mind wander about all the other pieces. Then work on one of the other pieces… all my focus on it, for the time I’ve carved out for it. And so on & so forth with the rest of the pieces.

While all that is incredibly overwhelming… I am super excited! A little terrified, a lot of scatterbrained, but super excited.

I know sometimes Indie authors are treated as second-rate. They’re judged through a different lens. A lot of people assume your work is no good if you self-publish. Which I believe is a common misconception. I’ve read a many a good self-published works, as well as not so good. I’ve also read a many of not so good traditionally published books, as I have good ones.

And I had a decision to make. Which road did I want to take? I’m a regular ol’ Robert Frost over here. I remember that poem. Had to memorize it in the 6th grade and recite it for the class. Couldn’t recite it now, but I remember its meaning clear as a bell.

I did research. — still doing research. I weighed pros and cons. I read what other authors had to say. I looked into what was required of me either way.

And do you know what? I chose a tough path for an introvert like myself. I chose to manage myself, to market myself, to push myself.

I’m someone who has always preferred to blend into the background. I’m quiet, I don’t say much — Okay, clearly a blogger can’t claim such a thing, but I just did it anyway. πŸ˜‰ — I keep to myself and tend to lurk more than converse.

But I chose a path where I have to put myself out there… and with that comes growth. Which is what’s so beautiful about it. There is a learning curve for everything and I am still finding my footing, and I will make mistakes along the way.

But I’m excited! And I’m exploring this brand new world that has become my life, and while it seems daunting some days… what’s up ahead of me is an adventure that will undoubtedly change my life in so many ways. — So, scatterbrainedΒ or not, I’m super excited guys! πŸ˜€

Heather!

Posted in Blog, Life, Randomness, Uncategorized, Writing

Consistency… Is A Swear Word… Isn’t It? :D

With publishing… comes a lot of hard work. Which includes, but is not limited to, consistency and community building.

I’ve had this blog, for what? Going on about five years now, I believe. That’s a long time. But if there is one thing I am not… it’s consistent. I have a platform here, I just don’t utilize as well as I should.

We can chalk that up to laziness or my lacking social skills… we can call it ignorance, as I didn’t realize how important and helpful blogging consistency can be to an author.

I started this whole thing to sort of hold myself accountable when I decided to double down on writing books. I felt like if I told the world about it, that would put pressure on me to make sure it happened.

Well… that didn’t work quite like I thought. But I did find a lot of value in this blog, even when it didn’t serve its original purpose as I had intended it too.

I used to vent a lot on here, because as a writer, it’s sort of what I do naturally. Write when I’m upset or angry. Now I exercise when I’m upset or angry and I no longer use this place for that. Which, if I’m being honest, is probably a good thing. πŸ˜‰

So now I’m on here even less because of that. Well guys… that just won’t do. — It’s time to quit neglecting the blog.

So I’m going to attempt.. let’s see if I can manage without failing drastically… blogging daily. Once a day.

The biggest issue with that, I can tell you now… sometimes I will have nothing to say. I’ll just sit here staring at the screen. On those days, heaven only knows what I’ll share on here. Probably a bunch of boring nonsense. — I apologize in advance! (Psst.. feel free to read it anyway. πŸ˜€ )

Also, for some randomness that you didn’t ask for! It’s quiet in my house right now and I’m writing to the hum of a refrigerator, the neighborhood kids playing basketball out front and one of the neighborhood kids playing the tuba out back somewhere. This is my life… welcome! πŸ™‚

Seriously though. I have a bunch of stuff to do. There’s not enough time in the day. I have two scenes that need to be written as part of the editing process for my book. My kitchen is also a disaster. And that is not an exaggeration. — It’s a disaster.

So write and clean the kitchen it is! Oh, and I guess I’ll have to make some supper in there somewhere. There is much to do!

Talk later! Wait! Not later, tomorrow! πŸ˜‰ (Which is technically later, but… you catch my drift.)
Much love, guys!Β  πŸ˜€

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™‚