Tag Archives: amediting

A Glimpse Into What Comes Next…

I did a little writing, did a little reading, did a little exercising, did a little watching TV…. You get the gist. It’s been a regular ol day around here.

I can’t say as I have much to blog about. I’m not feeling the least bit inspired. Nothing is coming to me. Nothing at all.

I did get some really good stuff written today though. Which I always feel like is more important. I like blogging, and it’s good fun. I enjoy interacting with everyone out in the world. But my heart is with the characters I’ve created, in the world I’ve built, with the stories I’m telling. So when it comes to pouring my energy into something, if I stumble around here a bit, it’s not the end of the world, so long as I’m still standing upright when I flip my laptop open to work on the current manuscripts.

Also. Random piece of info you may or may not care about… I have a plan that spans a lot of books and a lot of years. Ya girl is going hard! 😘 Anyway, this first series I’m working on, my Sweetgum Valley Series, will have 12 or so books. After that, well I’ve already been tossing around an idea for the next series that will come after it. Sweetgum Valley is a fictional town set in the North Ga Mountains. When I was ruminating on where I’d go next, I thought, I think I’ll stick closer to home next time with a fictional coastal town, set along Georgia’s coast. We have a ways to go before getting there, but it’s in the back of my mind, and someday we’ll see it come to life!

Heather. ❤️

An Update, Some Insight, Plus An Important Reminder…

Yesterday I reached 40,050 words on novel number 3! (Insert thumbs up here) — For context, that’s roughly 160-ish actual book pages. I’m halfway there! (Give or take a few thousand words.)

One of my least favorite things about starting new books, is that for me, it takes hitting a stride, which is somewhere close to the halfway point, where I really click with my characters and everything starts flowing smoothly. Until then, getting the words down is a little more difficult. There are more big edits that happen in the first half of my books verses the back half, for that reason.

It takes a bit for me to get to know the characters well enough to do them justice. I miss small details about who they are, which I learn as I spend more time with them. Once I get to that point, or when I’ve finished the first draft entirely, I’ll notice instances where a character says something in the beginning that doesn’t line up with their personality at all. They’d never actually say it. So it has to go. Usually to be replaced with something more fitting.

We’ve now reached the point in book 3 where the words are flying and everything is just peachy. The back half should go much more quickly than the first. And I’m really excited!

Justin and Lynsey, the hero and heroine of this novel, are turning out to be one of my favorite couples. (Granted, for all I know they’ll all be my favorites before this series is over!) I think, really, my heart just goes out to Lynsey, and I love seeing Justin peel back all her layers and show her what love can be. Not what she’s always known it to be. So I’m loving this one.

Quick update on Edits. — Novel 1, still working on in between writing. I edit for a few days, write for a few. I like to give myself a break from the monotony of editing. It really drains so much out of me, and it’s not nearly as fun. Edits also go better the fresher my eyes are upon the pages. So the little breaks help not only me, but the book itself. Plus, I’m still getting something valuable accomplished in the meantime. It’s a win-win.

I’m kind of amazed, really. I had about 7,000 words when I picked up writing book 1 in September 2018. Now, here we are in February 2020, and I’ve written two full length novels, with a million rounds of edits in between, and I’m halfway through book 3. So by the time the two year mark rolls around in September, I’ll have written three full-length novels, and if not a fourth, I’ll be knee deep in writing it. Three, possibly four novels in two years, the first of which should be published by late Spring/early Summer, if all goes well.

I honestly never thought I’d see the day. Ya know, you go to school, you graduate, they tell you get out there now, make something of yourself, get a job, a career, go to college, make it all happen. And some of us, we flounder a bit. We’re still learning so much about ourselves, how in the world are we supposed to have it all figured out already? Some do well, others do not. I used to look at other people and feel like a failure. Why couldn’t I get my feet off the ground? Why was I going nowhere? Ya know? — But none of that mattered. I see that clearly now. But back then, it was a little soul-crushing.

I’m much more self-aware and a lot more self-confident than I was back then. And if I’ve leaned anything from all this, it’s never, ever compare yourself to anyone else. Fight for yourself, move at your own pace, and ignore anyone who might belittle you for being at the back of the pack. That’s not how this works. In a lot of cases, timing is everything. Don’t lose sight of yourself, because all you can see is someone else. That’s more heartache than it’s worth.

Heather!

What You Don't See… The Emotions.

I’m still working on an out of order edit for book one. I just edited Chapters 18 & 23. I went through each chapter twice. Both had a handful of changes that I made. Nothing wild and crazy. The wild and crazy edits are over. I completed those months ago. (Thank God!)

But after two hours of staring at my computer screen, I have headache. That, and it’s late and I’m tired. Also, chapter 23 is one of the more emotionally draining chapters. 22, 23, & 24, actually. So, that didn’t help either.

A lot of people may not realize that as writers, a lot of the time, most of us, really pour ourselves into what we do. Tough stuff hits hard. We feel as we write, and that’s rough.

For instance, my second book. Writing that was incredibly emotionally draining some days. Bits and pieces of Charley’s story are torn straight from the fabric of my own life. I lived it. I understand it in a way that makes it twice as painful than if I’d never known personally what the journey is like. — I won’t spoil that, because I don’t want to spoil her story before people get to read about it someday, but there are moments in it, where I felt the punch that was packed, because I’d been there, done that. I knew the struggle intimately. And there’s no way to write it without part of me bleeding onto those pages.

Anna’s story was hard, too. In different ways. It’s titled Forgiving Anna, not so much because someone else has to forgive her, but because she has to come to terms with forgiving herself. And if you’ve ever been there, I don’t have to tell you how painful it is to forgive yourself for making mistakes that have devastating consequences. It’s one of the hardest things to do. I know what that’s like. I know what it feels like. And that gets poured straight onto those pages as they’re written. And then cultivated as they’re edited.

I’m also the type of person who feels everything. I break down sobbing listening to songs, watching tv shows, reading sad or heartfelt stories. I feel it all, and those feelings end up on the pages.

It gets a little less draining with each edit, but stuff still packs a punch, even then.

That’s not to say I write sad books. I don’t. They’re romance novels slap full of love, witty banter, sexual tension, and even a laugh here or there. But my whole purpose is to write real, relatable characters. And real life is messy. Full of tough, dark moments. But what I love about life, is that no matter how dark, there is light in that darkness. There is happiness to be found. Love wins, it conquers all. And things may get ugly sometimes, painful and sad. We live through things that mess us up and get in our way, break us and tear us down, but we get back up, and we keep on going. We find love, we find happiness, and we find joy again. It doesn’t beat us. And those are the stories that I choose to tell.

My characters, they’re like us. Their stories are like ours. They make mistakes. They get hurt. They deal with loss. Some of them are bitter and angry. Some of them are afraid. Some of them have lost people they loved. Some are addicts. Some don’t have loving families. Some have come face to face with sexual assault or domestic abuse. Some have been in prison. Some have been to war. Some just have messed up families. Some are completely alone, on their own. Others have felt the sting of rejection, what it’s like to never be good enough, to never live up to the expectations their loved ones have of them. — They’re like us.

But just like us, they find happiness. They have hope. They find love. They laugh, and they smile, and they live.

And those are the stories that I tell. That is the point that I make. That even in the dark, or after it, there is light, because there is love. And yeah, it’s in romance form here, but these people have friends and family, too. There is a whole lot of love and whole lot of beating the odds in my books, and that’s because I think it’s so incredibly important to remind people… there is light in the darkness. There are good times after the bad. Hold on. You will love again. You will laugh again. You will know happiness again.

So when I write these books, I have to feel all these things. Process them and wade into the deep end. But it’s worth it.

It’s so worth it.

Anyway, I’m going to call it a night. Hope you all have a fantastic day!

Heather.

Book Updates! Sweetgum Valley Series

I think I’m going to try and finish making my book cover this week. I think.

I’ve also been contemplating a title change for the first book. I haven’t found anything else that fits though, so we’ll see how that goes. Maybe. It’s a maybe.

This past week I worked on an out of order edit, (still working on it ) meaning I’m jumping around randomly, editing chapters out of order. It helps because I tend to stay focused on just the chapter in front of me, rather than the book as a whole. A line by line, paragraph by paragraph look at it.

Book 2. It’s hanging out in ‘haven’t touched it in weeks, still requires multiple edits’ land. It’s only had one so far, and that’s not nearly enough.

In between stuff for the other books, I’m writing book 3. It’s at 30,000 words, roughly 1/3 of the way there.

I have a million other things to do as well, but my primary goals for the moment are to completely finish edits on book 1, format it, finish the cover, and write book 3.

I plan to publish the first book around late spring, early summer. And the second around late fall, early winter. We will see if I manage to keep this timeline. I’m sure going to try though. 😊

— Somewhere in there before I publish, I’ll start working on sending out monthly newsletters. It’s not as high up on the priority chain as getting book 1 complete. It’s coming though! —

Just thought I’d share a quick update.

Heather! ❤️

Just Another Day …

Today, Tuesday (when I’m writing this), was a typical day in the life.

I worked, I did laundry, I cleaned the kitchen, I watched a little bit of tv, and that literally sums it up.

To add to that, I brought the plants in, so they don’t get frosted on. I put out more birdseed. Even opened up a window so the dog could watch the birds and squirrels outside. She loves that. ❤️

That’s literally it. I didn’t workout or cook anything. It was an off day for exercise, I had leftover enchiladas for lunch (that I made last night) and we had takeout for dinner.

All in all, it was a good day. See y’all later!

Heather. ❤️

Honeysuckles, Brownies, & Husbands!

Just a couple pictures of the honeysuckles in our backyard. My husband took these btw! I’m horrid with a camera. Y’all wouldn’t get nearly this quality without him. 😂

So. It’s Saturday night. I’m going to kick back, relax a little. Maybe watch tv, maybe edit some more. – I have 50 pages to go… I bout got it y’all!

Might even get a brownie, too! And ice cream. What’s a brownie without ice cream? Half a treat, that’s what! 😂

Alright! Enjoy the pics… courtesy of my lovely husband! ❤

& I’ll chat with y’all later!