1/3 of the way through Dark Moon Rising

Not a whole lot to say, except that I’m a little over the 1/3 mark of Dark Moon Rising, the 4th book in the BLOOD MARTYR series. This one’s going to be a doozy of a book, estimated at around 95,000 words, if my chapter overviews are to be trusted. Easily the meatiest book I’ve written so far and Tan is definitely going to make some life-altering decisions by the end of the book and break some shit along the way.

Anyways, I don’t have a whole lot to say, but I will leave one of my favorite gifs that make me giggle no matter how often I’ve seen it.

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I’m Same-Sex Marriage Supportive and I know It

(sung to the tune of “I’m Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO)

So….guys. I like to write love stories. Not like Nicholas Sparks or that other dude who usually likes to kill people off at the end (hey, Mr. Sparks does that too, come to think of it) but I’m more like, God save her soul, Barbara Cartland and Nora Roberts (my fingers wanted very much to type Julia Roberts, but I’m pretty sure she’s not a romance writer…then again, who knows, hm?). I believe in the everlasting power of love and I think the world would be awesome with unicorns pooping technicolor rainbows and little kitties that stay kittens (although, I like adult cats just as much too).

TLDR, I’m a sentimental fool and there’s no changing that. Even if I make a sound of disgust whenever someone kisses on screen or I think every Disney Princess would be better off without their Princes (personally, I like to think the Princes need their Princess more than the other way around), in the deepest, darkest corner of my heart, I still believe in the Happily Ever After. Which is why, despite all the pain and struggles my H/h’s go through, I still make sure they get their unicorns pooping bright rainbows at the end of the story.

TLDR x 2, love is awesome, no matter the form.

This is something I would LOVE to trumpet all over the net. I’m proud that I am friends with people who have found the courage to find love, no matter the gender, shape, color or creed. I myself am in an interracial marriage. I’m an Asian-American married to a Caucasian-American and I have been really blessed to be surrounded by family who have accepted my husband and not told me “You should have married a Korean guy!” <– I might look Asian, but I’m about as Korean as George Takei is Japanese, which is to say…not at all. I mean, I respect my racial background, but if Korea and the US were to duke it out in a future World Cup, I would totally be waving the Stars and Stripes, and damn what other people think.

So, let me get down to the crux of the matter. I love my family members. They are the most accepting, wonderful, kind people I know, both my family and my husband’s. They are the kind of people who will move heaven and earth to help those in their sphere and I’m lucky to know each and every one of them.

A few days ago, someone in my husband’s family posted this quote:

(actually, I tried to find the quote they posted, but they have since deleted their account…but it went along the lines of how nine lawyers have no right to change the constitution…or something along those lines)

I’m pretty damn sure they were referring to the recent decision by the Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriages. My facebook feed is littered with people who have rainbow-fied their profile images in support of the SC’s decision, and while I’ve love to do something like that, I just can’t because I’m deathly afraid of offending those I love and respect.

Both my husband’s family and my family are conservative Christians, although neither my husband and I are religious. Well, I believe in the great Pasta God in the sky, but that’s only because I love spaghetti.

Anyways, they think homosexuality is a sin and the fact that my husband will not join them in Heaven when he dies is something that disturbs my husband’s family quite a bit.

I don’t…I don’t even know what to think about that. I mean, these people are super intelligent, but they think that a man and a man or a woman and another woman getting married to each other is just about the worst thing since, I don’t know, sliced bread containing the same kind of ingredients as gym mats.

Honestly, I don’t get it. A lot of same-sex marriage folks brings up the whole “Oh, the sanctity of marriage, now it is all ruined and no one will view marriage as sacred again!” but I certainly don’t feel like my marriage was cheapened. Okay, so it’s hard to get any cheaper than a $50 dollar ceremony at the courthouse that lasted all of 5 minutes, but you get the idea, right? Your marriage is as sacred as you view it and it’s not like your next door neighbor just decided to get married to his goat.

So, a few days I decided, against my better judgment, to make a comment about someone’s post re: the SC’s decision, something along the lines of “love in any form is to be treasured” or something equally as sappy. And I stand by this. Just because a man loves another man doesn’t make his love any better or worse than the affection I feel for my husband.

When you post things on FB, everyone on your friends list gets to see it. When I like something, everyone sees it, even if they aren’t friends of the original poster, which is why I am usually quite circumspect because hey, no one needs to know just how much I love Lolcats and Icanhazcheezeburger, right? Just like how my husband doesn’t need to see all the risque photos that his friend likes….*wriggles brows*

Anyways, a family member who has always been quite active on FB in the past suddenly decided to deactivate their FB account. I don’t know why, not for sure. But I know that most, if not all, of the people on their friends list are of the same mindset as this family member and suddenly, I decided to just bite the bullet and post up this rather interesting picture from a recent LGBT rally in Korea.

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I know that pic showed up on their thread. I know they would not have approved. But I don’t know if the picture was enough to upset them. I was worried about it for a bit, but I can’t stay worried about my connection with this family member over something like whether or not same-sex marriages are constitutional. I got bigger shit to worry about. Like books that need to get edited and published, and hopefully in that order.

So…I guess this is me coming out of the proverbial closet. Not to say I’m gay, but to say “Hey, I support people who want the freedom to marry who they want!” This is kind of a big step for me because I don’t want to hurt those around me because they think homosexuals are sinning in the eyes of God.

The world needs more love. Who are we to dictate what kind of love should be the right kind?

With that said, I’ll sign off with this rather succinct gif, because I just love them:
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That story that almost Killed Me

So…about that beginning of a story I swore I was going to share…last week. Finally getting around to putting it up. Hey, better late than never!

—– YET UNTITLED HITWOMAN BOOK —–

I became a hit man under rather unusual circumstances. I saw a woman getting beaten up on the side on the road and jumped out of my friend’s car to help her. I don’t remember a whole lot of what happened after that, but I ended up in the hospital for two weeks. The woman I was trying to help was released after a day, go figures.

Turns out, my friend took a video of everything, rather than jumping into the fray. Asshole. Thanks to him, I made the news and had my brief few minutes of fame, which translated into real life equaled about three days before something about the governor and his tranvestite girlfriend popped up. Not that I particularly minded (about either my brief kiss of fame or the governor’s trans-girlfriend); fame got kind of embarrassing after about thirty minutes.

Anyways, some dude came to see me a few days later, all slick, with a “butter won’t melt in my mouth” kind of attitude. He said his name was Rudolph and apparently, I had really impressed him. I tried not to gawk at his bodyguards who looked like human versions of the Terminator and told Rudolph he could’ve just sent me a postcard and some flowers.

He laughed. “The way you took all those hits…that was really something! And then you bit the hell out of Catalino’s calf when we thought you were down for the count. I’ve had enforcers who couldn’t take half the damage you did. I mean, we had to use the tire iron on you, for Christ’s sake!”

I would’ve pissed myself if I hadn’t already peed five minutes before he sauntered in. There he was, standing there, laughing like I had just told him the best joke and he was just talking about using a tire iron on my head, which explained why the doctors had to put an iron plate in my head.

I was stupidly scared he had come to finish the job.

“What…what do you want?” I asked, licking my dry lips.

His dark eyes twinkled with mirth. And something else. Something darker. Something I didn’t even want to think too long about, because, you know, I still believe in sunshine and rainbows.

“I’d like to hire you.”

I blinked once or twice. “You almost killed me…and now you want to hire me?”

“Hell, yes!” he said and snapped his fingers.

One of his three bodyguards slid a hand inside his black blazer and I really though I was a goner, then.

I didn’t even relax when I saw the white business card he held out to me.

“I admire your spunk. I think it’s great you just keep going. I could really use a gal like you.”

I stared at the card and then at his broad, smiling face. “Um. I already have a job.”

“Yes, as a receptionist, isn’t it? Tell me, how much do you make?”

I wanted to tell him it was none of his damn business, but his bodyguards were super scary. On the other hand, I got the feeling they weren’t half as scary as him.

I told him the amount, slightly inflated, of course. Hey, I have my pride.

He nodded as though he understood. He said a number that almost made me bite through my tongue.

I wouldn’t even make that much in ten years, much less save it.

With that kind of salary, I could finally send my parents on that cruise, put Riley through college at NYU, if she so chose, buy me that dream house on the beach…

And all he wanted was my soul.

Great.


The Books that Worked for Me and a Story that almost killed me

Oh yeah. Sorry about not posting sooner…kind of had a little mini internet hiatus, but it didn’t even help me get a higher word count (on account of me being a lazy-slob) so…yeah.

*twiddles thumbs*

Anyways, last entry I really did promise to post up a list of books that I have found utterly indispensable to my writing, which…might turn this entry into a rather long one, so bear with it. I’m sure a few of them will come as no surprise, but I hope one or two you’ve never heard of might be of assistance to you. I’m also linking to their Amazon page, in case you want to check them out. *note: I have not been paid or endorsed or whatever by the authors for promoting their books. I just really, realy, really like them and wanna share them with the world, OH BOY DO IT*

another note: btw, this are really not in any order, maybe in the order I read them recently, because that’s what my Kindle is telling me.

#1. 2,000 to 10,000 by Rachel Aaron: There’s a load of writers out there who have hit the 10k mark in their daily word counts, but Ms. Aaron is the one who really made opened my eyes. Her numbers are very interesting and while the second part of the book which consists about the plotting and editing is kind of weak, I really thought the beginning half of the book was very strong, what with her explanation of The Triangle, which basically consists of Knowledge, Time and Enthusiasm. I singlehandedly credit this lady with upping my word count drastically. Not my hourly word count as that usually doesn’t change (I get anywhere from 1.5 to 2k an hour) but her method kept me writing for longer. Before I write now, I usually spend about 5-10 minutes writing out in longhand the scene I’ll be writing that day and it’s been really great for my productivity. I’m still mildly afraid of the blank white screen but rough-drafting the scene beforehand really makes me feel a lot better.

#2. Super Structure by James Scott Bell: I’ve always been a big fan of Mr. Bell from his WD articles, but it was this book and one another that really, OMG, really made structure easy to understand. You don’t know how many plotting books I’ve purchased, hoping “Maybe THIS ONE will finally help me understand”, but most of the time, they were kind of vague only telling me “complications” “point of no return” “more complications” and I’m just like “Wait, what? Complications? What kind of complications? What kind of complications?” I’m not naming any books but they were all written by authors who spent time on various bestselling lists here and there, and I’m secretly convinced they’re not telling me something so I can’t poach on their territory <— totally delusional, but you get the idea, right? Anyways, in this book, Mr. Bell breaks down each element in the structure of the genre book, explaining each scene, which he calls signpost scenes, such as “A Kick in the Shins” and “Doorway of No Return #2.” I really think this book has helped make me a better writer and I’m hoping to prove it in my book DARK MOON RISING. <— totally not a shameless plug, btw.

#3. Write Your Novel From the Middle by James Scott Bell: Remember that other book I was talking about in the previous sentence? Yeah, it’s this one. Basically, he takes one pivotal moment which he calls “The Mirror Moment” and writes a whole damn book on it. I bought this book because a lot of other methods were working for me, and it was this book that made me buy the book mentioned in #2. The Mirror Moment is classified as one of the most important scenes in a story, if not THE most important scene, you know the part where the hero takes a deep breath and reflects on what he’s done and what he’s going to do. That slow moment when everything just freezes and the hero/heroine is given a moment to think. He cites the scene from Hunger Games where Katniss is about to die as a Mirror Moment as well as the scene in The Fugitive where Tom Cruise’s character thinks he’s about to get caught by the cops when they’re really there for the landlord’s son. He talks a lot about Gone with the Wind and Lethal Weapon’s story points (both of which I acquired once reading this book to see if he was right. He was.) which is a godsend for me because I won’t understand something unless you practically write it out in a blunt-tip marker for me. I don’t get subtle nuances or sly allusions, but the fourteen scenes he lists in this book and in #2 were like a slap in the face for me, which I needed.

With #2 and #3, I actually plotted out a science fiction story with romantic elements that is currently…somewhere on my computer. But this was a while ago and I have other things on my plate I need to finish first.

Actually…I’ve just been using 1-3 lately. Below are a list of books that deserve a mention; I was able to glean few bits of useful information from the, but I couldn’t really gain the full advantage of all they offered:

1. Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
2. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
3. Outlining Your Novel by KM Weiland
4. Any of the 9 Day Novel books by Steve Windsor

And no, they don’t get links because I just can’t get behind them 100 percent. But no one writer’s methods are the same, everyone’s got their own thing. Like me, who likes to have Sims 3 playing the b/g while I write. Weird and you’d think it’d be counterproductive, but actually, it keeps me in front of my laptop longer and that’s kind of half the battle for me.

I’ll save the story for tomorrow’s blog, that way I don’t have to think hard about how to be even 1% interesting, because in truth, I’m quite a boring person.

(if you, the reader, have found other books to be absolutely instrumental to your development as an author, I would love to know about them, thanks!)

Anyways, I have 9 days to finish writing 76,683. Anyone else hearing the Mission Impossible theme song in their head?

I should probably get started on that…


In which I barely make any sense

It’s a few minutes before 10PM and I’m pretty bushwhacked.

Bushwhacked. What a funny word. It means a state of general fatigue, right? So…I dunno. Bushwhacked? Whacking a bush? Is it the person whacking the bush who is tired or is it the bush getting whacked who is tired? Is this some kind of Aussie slang that found itself into common American speech?

…I’m delicious and need to sleep.

… … …wtf. I mean, delirious. I can’t even blame that on autocorrect.

I meant to tell ya’ll about the reference books I find myself turning to these days as well as the beginning of a new story I wrote on my phone while getting very nearly hit by vehicles about 4-6 times, but I’m way too tired and I don’t make too much sense.

Soo…see you tomorrow!!!

PS: I hit my 6k quota tonight. Righteous.


Hey, you can shove that where the sun don’t shine!

That’s what I told my boss.
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Actually, no, I didn’t.

She’s way too polite for those kind of words to be used (I would’ve said she’s too nice, but she’s actually quite…competitive and shrewd when it comes to her competitors…).

But we did reach a compromise, which consisted of me getting two days off a week. Not consecutive, but I realized I couldn’t just leave her in the lurch, not with the summer classes starting up and me headlining the reading/writing class (also, I’m a sucker for puppy eyes and she’s really good at them). But those two days will be wonderful. I just hope my writing will really start to take off to reflect the loss in income. In addition, I get an additional three days off this Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the Dragon Boat Festival, which I guess is a nation wide thing where people go to big bodies of water and race long boats shaped, like, well…dragons. Also, apparently sticky triangles of rice are a thing, although I’ve never had them before.

So I’m hoping to hit 35k this weekend, because otherwise I won’t meet my deadline and I very much need to get these books off my chest so I can work on other way-overdue projects.

Gah, I feel so groggy. Yesterday night, before bed, I took some allergy relief pills that turned out to have diphenhydramine and I woke up today wobbling all over the damn place. Jello would have been all, um, jelly. *bricked*

Today’s word count is: 1192/6000 with a grand total of 4808 more to go. I think I can hit that quota today. Can’t write now since SO “might” be on the way home from his work place and we have to hit Sam’s today for some fud and I’m keeping strict count of how many hours I’m getting down on DARK MOON RISING’s first draft.

So…I’m drafting out UNBREAKABLE right now, which is the direct sequel to INVINCIBLE and my July CampNanowrimo project.

Which is why I need to finish DARK MOON RISING by the end of the month. Because if I don’t, I’ll be working on two books at the same time, and while they are set in the universe, I don’t think I’d be able to handle it.

Anyways, I can’t stay, got too much to do!

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing the books I’ve found most useful as far as writing goes, so come back then! I will also be sharing the beginning a new story I wrote yesterday on my phone while walking to work. Sure, I almost got hit 5-6 times, but that’s part for the course here in one of the most congested cities in China.

See you all then!


A New Start

So…hi again.

858

Yah.

New domain and everything.

Actually, today’s kind of a special day. Allow me to explain and hopefully, just hopefully it’ll make 50% sense (as opposed to not making any sense at all).

When I first came to China, I thought it was a great opportunity to further my writing career. I was like “Wooo, no more 40 hour work weeks!” and I pretty much gave my office job the middle finger.

I really honestly thought I was going to write a book a month and become a millionaire in one year.

toddlerfailYeah, pretty stupid, I know. Total FAIL.

I’ve been in China since August 2013. That’s two years. I’ve released 6 stories, of which one was already written three years ago, two were short stories, and one was an omnibus. That’s three a year. When I don’t even work 9-5 anymore.

It took me a while to figure it out. I couldn’t seem to figure out why my output was so low considering that I don’t have a real job anymore. For the past two years, I’ve been constantly tired, eating way more junk food than I should’ve and not getting nearly enough “good” sleep I should have.

I figured it out.

It was my teaching.

You see, a few weeks after we moved into our place, my husband and I got approached by a young lady who was operating an English training center in the neighborhood. She basically offered us a job. Since I thought it would be nice to make a little pocket change here and there, I gave her our number and that was that. We didn’t hear back from her for a while until that winter, I got a call from that lady, saying that one of her teachers was moving to Hong Kong and would I come in for a demo class? I did. And that’s…that’s kind of when things started going downhill for me, I think. Writing-wise, anyways. I took one class. Then another. And yet another.

You get the point.

Now I’m teaching nineteen hours a week, which is more than MY HUSBAND who teaches at the local polytechnic and that’s his full time job. My supposedly “part-time” job was eating my life. For anyone who’s ever taught kids, you’ll understand the general fatigue and brain-dead nature of the beast when you have to attain and keep the very short attention spans of children from the ages of 8 to 12.

It sucked. It sucks. But I was making money and I think I grew complacent. I lost the hunger to write because for me, I view writing as a business. I want to write to be successful, not because I think my words will make the world a better place, God forgive me. (although if my books did make someone’s world a little less dark, that would be great!)

Today, I had to cancel my morning classes and basically working on Dark Moon Rising all morning. Hell, I’ve still got it open and I’ll get back to it after I finish this blog.

IT WAS GLORIOUS. I loved every second of it. Hell, it was the most fun I’ve had in a very, very long time.

I just sent my boss a text, asking her if she has time tonight to meet me regarding my classes. Yeah. I’m going to tell her I can’t do them anymore. I won’t have the steady extra money, but I think I’ll be happier in the long run and I’ll be far more productive once I don’t have to worry about teaching.

So yeah. I’ve got to go back to DARK MOON RISING, and you know what?

I’m going to have fun, hell yeah.


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