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

Quick Pop In

Hey guys!

Never made it on yesterday. I was super busy and by the time I remembered it was after midnight. Not the end of the world though. πŸ™‚

As for today… I spent the entire day editing, and just spent the last hour exercising. Which was nice after sitting in front of the computer all day.

Right now I’m hungry though! So I’m going to raid my kitchen. πŸ˜€

As soon as I get finished editing and get it in the hands of some readers for a little feedback, I promise to devote more time here. — I’m just trying to bust it out as quickly as possible.

See Ya Tomorrow,
heather!

 

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, 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™‚

 

 

 

 

 

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, Writing

With Pen & Paper….

It feels so incredibly good to spend hours with a pen & a notebook.

Typing is great. Flipping open my laptop and writing away the time is good stuff.

However, there is still nothing quite like writing with pen & paper.

I just filled page after page with notes, characters, & plot details. — & for me, doing that on paper is so much more enjoyable than typing it up. — Eventually I have to bust out the laptop for almost all the book writing… but in the beginning stages, before the real story writing begins….. you’ll always find me with a pen & paper.

Book Update: It’s going really well! I’m just getting started, but I’m definitely off & running. — I’ll keep you guys updated. But I think for sure, one of the best things I’ve done lately was deciding to follow my heart & instinct on this whole book change thing. — I’ve known these characters and their stories for years… I just never thought that was the type of writer I should be or the type of genre I should be in. — A tragic love story was never the road I thought I should travel down. But in these characters and that of their family & friends, I have the ability to breathe the life into them that I’ve always known was there. — That’s exciting and it’s even a bit magical. — How could I possibly pass on that?