Tag Archives: Progress

In Case You’re Interested In An Update…

Hey Everyone! πŸ˜€

It’s Saturday night, well, technically it’s early Sunday morning… but, that’s really neither here nor there.

Exercised a few hours ago, fresh out of the shower, and now I am sprawled on my couch watching Elementary on Hulu. — I am living the life, let me tell ya! πŸ˜‰

Quick update! — Also. I haven’t blogged in a while & as my fingers are flying across this keyboard I can’t tell y’all how much I’ve missed it. Of course, I spend a great deal of time typing, but still, this is different. It feels different. Novel writing & blogging are two different beasts.

Let me tell y’all where I’m at!

Book 1: Forgiving Annaleigh! — Completed. Although I am currently reading back through it & looking for any errors that may have escaped mine or any of my lovely beta reader’s notice. — It happens, y’all. It happens. — The book cover. Much closer to being completed. Hang tight, I’ll start marketing for Forgiving Annaleigh very soon. Every day is a day closer to publication, although I don’t have an exact date for that yet… there are a lot of ducks to get in a row… I’m wrangling them, bear with me. πŸ™‚

Book 2: Chasing Charley! — Is roughly 55,000 words along! Whoo-hoo! πŸ˜€ We are over half way there, just 30,000 words or so to go… which won’t take as long as you may think. I’m steadily working on this book week in and week out, amidst all the other things I’m doing. — Side note about this one. — It’s special. Near & dear to my heart, as Charley’s story is the closest thing to my very own story that will ever be put to paper. She’s not me & her story isn’t exactly the same as mine, but she’s a lot like me, and it’s very, very similar. — As soon as it’s complete… I’ll jump into editing & that book cover comes next. — Hopefully, it won’t be long after book 1 comes out, that you’ll be seeing book 2!

Book 3: Loving Lynsey! — Stay tuned! I have several scenes mapped out & I’m super excited to get started with this one! I won’t start it until book 2 is complete though, but it is in the early planning stages. I’ll dive in much deeper once I’ve finished writing Chasing Charley.

As for this Sweetgum Valley Series, there are a lot of books to come! This is just the beginning. I have big plans for this small little world that I’ve created and all these characters that I’ve grown to love.

I cannot wait to share them with you! Hang tight, they’re coming. πŸ˜€

Now that you’ve been sufficiently updated, I’m going to focus on Sherlock over here solving crimes on my tv. πŸ˜€

Much love,
Heather! πŸ™‚

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.

 

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™‚

 

 

 

 

 

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˜€

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˜€

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is Long… But It’s Good! :D

So if you’ve been keeping up with me at all.. & if you haven’t, you’re missing out.. I’m loads of fun! πŸ˜€ ) you might remember that I recently mentioned I’ve been actively losing weight. Well guess what? I have officially lost the entire 30 lbs I set out to lose in February. — I may lose an extra lb or 2 before it’s all over & done with for good… but I have at this point reached my goal weight. — Which begs the question, what next?

— We’re gonna pause right here cause my dog is looking at me like she needs to go outside & potty, stand by……………………………………………………..

I’m back! πŸ™‚ Not that you would have ever known that I left & then returned in the first place, but since I shared it with you.. I did take a few minutes to trot outside with the pup mid-blogging this here post. πŸ™‚Β  (Yeeeeahh… the word ‘here’ shouldn’t be before the word ‘post’ as it’s redundant & totally unnecessary… but I like it so it stays! Let’s just toss proper grammar out the window for tonight. — I feel like breaking the rules. πŸ˜€

Okay, where were we before I got distracted? Oh yeah. What next?

I recently blogged a bit about how I have learned so much about things like motivation, discipline, & determination from my weight loss journey & it’s really changed the way I see tasks that I’ve set for myself.

It’s easy to be motivated & disciplined when it’s fun or you’re in the mood for it. When you’re seeing results & when you’re optimistic & ready to go & get at it. But what I had to learn is staying disciplined & determined when I didn’t feel like it. You don’t lose 30 lbs in 4 & a half months by keeping with it only when it’s fun or you feel like it. You do it by keeping with it all the time. No matter how you’re feeling about it any given day.

I’ve never fought so hard to reach a goal before. Not without quitting a thousand times along the way. (Which I also talked about in a previous blog post.)

I went from no exercise to exercising every day. I can’t tell you how many times there were days when I just didn’t feel like it & on many occasion had talked myself out of it. But I would rally & get up & do it anyway. & sometimes I would be annoyed the entire time, just grudgingly going about it because darn it I would rather be reading a book or watching tv. But I would tell myself, 1 hour & then you can watch tv or read or whatever you wanna do for the rest of the day or night or what have you. But first…. 1 hour.

The same goes for changes in my diet. Portion control & calorie limits & making due with teeny, tiny, minuscule, barely there, slices of chocolate pound cake cause one regular slice contains more calories than an entire meal! That’s hard. It takes discipline. It takes determination. Let’s be real… it also takes the mighty hand of God! For it is not my strength, but His! πŸ˜€

So what’s next? Writing. That’s what we tackle next. I have to take the same tactics that I took with losing weight & apply it to writing. It’s easy to do when it’s fun or I’m in the mood or it feels good or it makes me happy. Not so much when I don’t feel like it or it’s not coming together or I’m terrified I’m a talent-less hack. (Let’s be real, that last part’s not true.. but there will be days I’m sure I’ll feel like it!)

So that’s where I’m going next. I’ve said it before over the years. Probably a million times. The difference in then & now… is that I have learned so much about myself from this journey that I know what that journey is going to take. — Ya girl here is about to fight for her writing. I’ve been fighting for myself. For my self-worth, & my body, & my soul, & my spirit, & I’m not finished in that arena. — On top of that, I’m about to add to it.

A couple of paragraphs above, I wrote, “that’s what we tackle next.” We. I don’t do any of this alone. I’d never make it. I joked about God’s strength helping me with pound cake consumption… but if I’m being real with you, I need you to know that I didn’t do any of this on my own or by myself. I exercise 1 hour every day, but that hour is God’s time. I spend it with Him. I pray, I talk, I worship, I listen, I learn. Some days more than others. I just want to be clear that while it has definitely been my willingness to stay disciplined & keep going…. it has always been His love, & His grace, & His mercy, & His strength that make any of this possible. — So when I say we… I literally mean, we. πŸ™‚

I haven’t figured out the logistics of a writing schedule or anything like that yet. But in the next couple of weeks I’m going to see what unfolds & what I work out. So we shall see what happens!

Until next time… πŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

A Purpose Lies Ahead…

I wanna say a little something real quick.

While working out earlier it hit me that some times in life we get in places where we can’t see past where we are currently at. Especially when those places are painful. When we don’t know which way is up or down & we can’t seem to claw our way out of the darkness we find ourselves in. It can get hard & tunnel vision becomes a real thing.

I’ve been there. As I’m sure most people have been. — Once upon a time I couldn’t see how or why in the world I was ever going to make it. It’s now years later… & I can see it.

I used to think there was no hope. I used to think that I was so incredibly broken that I would forever be in pieces. I couldn’t understand why in the world God would have me here, on this Earth, so shredded & torn apart. & I used to ask Him, why? Not why am I in pain or why is this misery in my life… but why am I here at all when this place is breaking me & I could be with You instead? Because I knew back then.. Ya know, this is a fallen world & full of sin & it’s bound to be a hard place to be sometimes. So that’s not the question I had for Him when asking why… it was why am I here, rather than why does it hurt so much.

In those moments, when I was lost in my own misery, He would always show up. Never giving up, never quitting on me. He would show up with an I love you, it’s going to be alright, I’m with you, you’re not alone. But I would still struggle with the why.

Because I could never see past the pain. I couldn’t see down the road, to the future. I couldn’t see what was on the other side. Or even a light at the end of the tunnel. It appeared to be darkness ahead.

All I saw was my shattered soul & broken spirit. A girl getting swallowed up by the world.

All those years ago I asked why. I begged & I pleaded. Why? But there was so much pain & turmoil I couldn’t see through it.

God has a plan for my life. It made zero since to me back then. I couldn’t fathom how that girl, who she was all those years ago… how she would possibly fit into any plans He had. So it didn’t make sense & I couldn’t see it.

But I can see it now. Because that girl… she fought, clawed, & climbed her way out of the darkness. (Slowly & not of her own strength, mind you.) — & when she came out on the other side… she was no longer the same person. She could see.

Every day I still fight the good fight, trying to keep my head up above the water. I keep moving forward, little by little. Good days & bad days, doesn’t matter, I keep fighting. Because I know why now. & because I know why… the will to fight doesn’t come from just trying to survive anymore… it comes from knowing that God has a plan & a purpose for me & my life & I have to keep moving forward to execute it.

So to anyone out there who reads this… God has a purpose for you. Whether you can see it or not… it’s true. So if you ever find yourself where I once was, feeling like you’re lost & you can’t figure out why in the world you’re here. That’s why. — & it’s a beautiful reason to be here. πŸ™‚